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Southern California smog worsens for second straight year despite reduced emissions
For decades, Southern California has waged a slow but successful war on smog. Through vehicle emissions rules, clean-fuel standards and other tough measures, officials have lifted the choking pall of air pollution that once shrouded Los Angeles, bringing clearer skies and healthier lungs. But now, progress appears to be faltering. Smog has gotten worse for the second straight year, even though emissions are on the decline. That apparent disconnect is forcing regulators to explain why air quality in the nation's worst-polluted region is dipping. [Article]
by TONY BARBOZA, Los Angeles Times. 2017-11-16
Mother's boyfriend guilty of murder in torture death of 8-year-old Palmdale boy
A 37-year-old man accused of torturing and beating his girlfriend's 8-year-old son to death in a case that prompted far-reaching reforms of the county's child welfare system was convicted Wednesday of first-degree murder. Jurors deliberated for about six hours before returning the verdict against Isauro Aguirre, also finding true a special allegation that the murder was committed with the infliction of torture. The jury must next determine whether Aguirre should be sentenced to death for the May 2013 death of Gabriel Fernandez, who was found unconscious with a cracked skull, three broken ribs and BB pellets embedded in his lung and groin when paramedics reached him at his Palmdale home. He was declared brain-dead and taken off life support two days later. Prosecutors will begin presenting evidence in the penalty phase of the trial on Nov. 27. [Article]
by BRITTNY MEJIA and VICTORIA KIM, Los Angeles Times. 2017-11-16
Valley Fever cases on the rise in California, LA County
Health officials say they are uncertain why the number of cases of valley fever—an illness caused by a fungus found in the soil and dirt—appear to be increasing across California this year. From Jan. 1, 2017 to Oct. 31, 2017 a total of 5,121 provisional cases of Valley Fever were reported to local health departments in California, according to provisional data released by the California Department of Public Health Tuesday. [Article]
by CHRISTINA COX, The Signal. 2017-11-16
In landmark ruling, court orders paint companies to pay to clean lead paint out of California homes
In a ruling that could set a precedent for lawsuits over the effects of climate change, a panel of appeals judges on Tuesday found three paint manufacturers responsible for the health hazards of lead paint in California homes and upheld an order that they pay to abate the dangers. The companies — ConAgra, NL Industries and Sherwin-Williams — had been ordered by a trial court in 2014 to pay a combined $1.15 billion for a lead paint abatement program in 10 counties and cities covering homes built before 1978, when lead paint in homes was outlawed. In their ruling issued Tuesday, three judges of the California Court of Appeal narrowed the program to homes built before 1951, when the paint companies said they ceased actively advertising residential lead-based paint. It isn't clear how much the abatement fund would be reduced by the order, though an attorney for the plaintiff counties and cities estimated that the companies still would be on the hook for about $600 million. [Article]
by MICHAEL HILTZIK, Los Angeles Times. 2017-11-16
High-speed rail authority says environmental reviews won't be completed until 2020
The state's bullet train authority acknowledged Tuesday evening that it would fail to meet its self-imposed deadline to complete by 2018 the project's environmental reviews, which determine the exact route that the electrified rail line would take between San Francisco and Los Angeles. The authority said it would not complete environmental documents outlining where each foot of the future track will lie as it traverses some of the state's largest cities and hundreds of miles of lush farmland until 2020, long past the original deadline that envisioned 119 miles of track built this year and a starter system operating by 2022. The announcement adds fodder for outside analysts and critics, who have long said there's been a failure to grasp the profound difficulty of building 500 miles of new track across one of the most complex economies in the world and a lack of consistent leadership to execute the monumental task. [Article]
by RALPH VARTABEDIAN, Los Angeles Times. 2017-11-16
Compromise on watershed sediment removal a win
It’s always a good political question: When is a classic compromise a win? Or, rather, a win-win, as the current cliche has it. The problem with both sides getting something of what they want is, of course, when it creates the Solomonic splitting-the-baby situation. When two sides dig in with and advocate for their own one solution for a given problem, saying disaster awaits if it isn’t followed, morning-after agreement that all is well can be a bit embarrassing. [Article]
by EDITORIAL, San Gabriel Valley Tribune. 2017-11-16
Los Angeles County Fire, Animal Care And Control Offer New Project To Help Ensure Pet, Livestock Safety During Wildfires
Due to Los Angeles County’s vulnerability to wildland fires, Santa Clarita residents in high-risk areas recently received a survey and offer of assistance from the Los Angeles County Fire Department and Department of Animal Care and Control about preparing emergency plans for pets, animals and livestock. [Article]
by GILBERT BERNAL, KABC Los Angeles ABC 7 News. 2017-11-16
Now short by 15 votes, Whittier to seek recount for library bond measure
Although it is near certain the $22 million bond issue to renovate the city’s central library will lose, Whittier City Council members are willing to throw a Hail Mary. The council voted early Wednesday morning to seek a recount of the Nov. 7 vote. Measure L is now 15 votes short of the required two-thirds needed to pass. If passed, it would fund most of a $25 million renovation and expansion of the library. A recount will cost the city an estimated $4,500, but council members, who voted 4-0 with an abstention by Councilman Jose Alvarado, said they ought to spend it. [Article]
by MIKE SPRAGUE, Whittier Daily News. 2017-11-16
County Opts For Hotel, Shops, and Market-Rate Homes, Not Homeless Shelter on Irvine Land
Orange County supervisors have officially rejected proposals to create an emergency homeless shelter on 108 acres of largely-empty land the county owns in the city of Irvine next to the Great Park, instead voting to build a large commercial project including a hotel, office space, and market-rate housing. [Article]
by NICK GERDA, Voice of OC. 2017-11-16
Justice Department targets more ‘sanctuary cities’
WASHINGTON — The Department of Justice sent letters to 29 so-called sanctuary cities on Wednesday, demanding officials show they are cooperating with immigration enforcement laws by Dec. 8. The targets include Washington, D.C., several municipalities in California – including Riverside and San Francisco counties, and the cities of Santa Ana and Los Angeles –  major state capitals like Denver, and entire states. [Article]
by STAFF REPORT, Orange County Register. 2017-11-16
Banning legal marijuana doesn’t stop illegal market
The Orange County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to advance an ordinance to prohibit commercial cannabis activity and outdoor personal cultivation in the county’s unincorporated areas ahead of Jan. 1, when new state laws pertaining to marijuana go into effect. By prohibiting such activity, the majority of Orange County supervisors are out of step with the will of most Orange County voters, 52 percent of whom backed Prop. 64 last November, legalizing recreational marijuana. The lone vote against the ordinance was Supervisor Shawn Nelson, who specifically mentioned the will of the voters in his dissent. [Article]
by EDITORIAL, Orange County Register. 2017-11-16
Proposal withdrawn for mental health crisis clinic in Tustin after contentious public hearing
TUSTIN Weeks after residents lined up at a Planning Commission hearing to denounce a mental health crisis clinic under consideration, the county — in conjunction with St. Joseph Hospital of Orange — retracted the proposal. On Tuesday, Nov. 14, the Planning Commission voted to “accept and file” two letters withdrawing the request to place an Exodus Recovery center at the corner of Irvine Boulevard and Newport Avenue. In a letter dated Nov. 1, Glenn Raup, executive director of emergency and behavioral services at St. Joseph, said, “We are disappointed that a decision was made to site this critically needed facility in another jurisdiction.” [Article]
by SUSAN CHRISTIAN GOULDING, Orange County Register. 2017-11-16
Census: 142,932 more people left California than moved here in 2016
California continues to see more folks moving elsewhere in the nation rather than relocating here, a sign the state looks relatively unappealing to others. Last year, California had 142,932 more residents exit to live in other states than arrive, according to an analysis of a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau, released Wednesday, Nov. 15. This “domestic net outmigration” was the second-largest outflow in the nation behind New York and just ahead of Illinois and New Jersey. And it was up 11 percent (13,699 net departures) vs. 2015. [Article]
by JONATHAN LANSER, Orange County Register. 2017-11-16
Southern California soon will have a lot more old people, and that will change everything
In a state known for youth, a recently released report unmasks the face of California and reveals we’re getting more wrinkled by the minute. The number of people age 60 and older will jump 40 percent by 2030, says the federally mandated California State Plan on Aging. Within the next 13 years, the number of people 85 and over will soar by 37 percent and hit the 1 million mark. Forget the Golden State moniker. Call it the state of Golden Years. [Article]
by DAVID WHITING, Orange County Register. 2017-11-16
Thanksgiving reward delivered to at-risk kids in Orange County gang prevention program
At-risk kids who achieved success in a gang-prevention program in Orange County received a special Thanksgiving reward. Anaheim police officers made a series of special deliveries Tuesday night. Officers, volunteers, teachers and administrators took a full Thanksgiving meal to kids between fourth and eighth grade, who earned it through the Gang Reduction Intervention Program (GRIP). [Article]
by GREG LEE, KABC Los Angeles ABC 7 News. 2017-11-16
Study: OC Tourism a $20.5B Business
Orange County Visitors Association said a study it commissioned showed tourism providing $20.5 billion in economic impact to the county last year. The study by Tourism Economics in Wayne, Pa., connects OC tourism to 175,000 jobs—3% higher year-over-year—in food and beverage, recreation, lodging, and retail. Tourism brought about 48 million travelers who spent about $13 billion; spending is up about 34% since 2010. [Article]
by PAUL HUGHES, Business Journal. 2017-11-16
Audio: Are rising office rents in Orange County a sign of a tech boom?
Office rents in Orange County are rising faster than in any other part of the country, but because they're still lower than in San Francisco or Los Angeles' Silicon Beach, they're luring tech firms to expand into the area. According to a new report from commercial real estate firm CBRE, average office rents increased by 23 percent in Orange County between the second quarters of 2015 and 2017.  [Article]
by DAVID WAGNER, KPCC Southern CA Public Radio. 2017-11-16
Officials Move to Ban Marijuana Sales, Cultivation in Parts of Orange County
The Orange County Board of Supervisors granted preliminary approval on Tuesday to a measure that would ban the commercial cultivation and sales of marijuana products in unincorporated areas of the county. [Article]
by ERIKA MARTIN, KABC Los Angeles ABC 7 News. 2017-11-16
Number of flu cases in county triple that of previous years
SAN DIEGO — The number of influenza cases in San Diego County so far this year is triple that of the previous several years, local health officials said Wednesday. There have been a total of 445 lab-confirmed flu cases this season, which began on July 1, compared to an average of 112 cases during the same period for the previous three years. There have been three deaths so far this season, compared to one at this time last season, according to the county Health and Human Services Agency. [Article]
by STAFF REPORT, KSWB - Fox News San Diego. 2017-11-16
Last-Minute Allegation Against Civic San Diego Threatens Low-Income Housing Project
In San Diego, there’s always a reason not to build low-income housing. The City Council was set Tuesday to finalize a $5.85 million deal to build over 100 low-income homes on city-owned property in southeastern San Diego, at the corner of Hilltop Avenue and Euclid Drive. But the deal, orchestrated and approved by the city-owned nonprofit redevelopment agency Civic San Diego, is on the rocks due to a potential conflict of interest by one of the agency’s board members. [Article]
by ANDREW KEATTS, Voice of San Diego. 2017-11-16
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