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California invested heavily in solar power. Now there’s so much that other states are sometimes paid to take it
In 14 days during March, Arizona utilities got a gift from California: free solar power. Well, actually better than free. California produced so much solar power on those days that it paid Arizona to take excess electricity its residents weren’t using to avoid overloading its own power lines. It happened on eight days in January and nine in February as well. All told, those transactions helped save Arizona electricity customers millions of dollars this year, though grid operators declined to say exactly how much. And California also has paid other states to take power. The number of days that California dumped its unused solar electricity would have been even higher if the state hadn’t ordered some solar plants to reduce production — even as natural gas power plants, which contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, continued generating electricity. [Article]
by IVAN PENN, Los Angeles Times. 2017-06-23
Earthquakes may be the rare issue uniting Democrats and Republicans in California
In this hyper-partisan era, there may be one issue that unites California Democrats and Republicans: Earthquakes. Elected officials from both parties have supported an earthquake early warning system for the West Coast that, after years of work, was scheduled to begin its first limited public operation next year. But President Trump’s budget proposal calls for cuts that experts say would kill the warning network. The next few months will determine whether officials on both sides of the aisle can come together to save it. One of the system’s biggest proponents is a Republican congressman who has an influential role in shaping the budget of the U.S. Geological Survey. The district of Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Corona) lies on top of the San Jacinto fault, one of California’s most active. [Article]
by RONG-GONG LIN II, Los Angeles Times. 2017-06-23
A new generation of senior housing is making 'elderly islands' obsolete
Recently retired, Pam Watkins wanted a new lifestyle. The former school principal saw her Dana Point neighborhood “turning over,” increasingly populated with young families busy with kids or work. She wanted more people her own age to “play with,” but didn’t want to live in a “grave-yardish” retirement community. So last year, Watkins and her husband moved into a $770,000 house just down the road in Rancho Mission Viejo, a new, large, master-planned community with neighborhoods for seniors as well as those of all ages. There are community spaces for everyone, but also a seniors-only clubhouse with lounge, fitness center and a resort-style saltwater pool and spa. “We like seeing kids,” the 63-year-old said. “I don’t necessary want them in my pool jumping on me.” [Article]
by ANDREW KHOURI, Los Angeles Times. 2017-06-23
Antelope Valley is shortchanged in federal homeless funds, lawmaker claims in call for audit
Asserting that the Antelope Valley receives only $1 for every $10 in federal homeless funds sent to central Los Angeles, State Sen. Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita) has called for an audit of the agency that distributes the money. In a letter to the state Joint Legislative Audit Committee, Wilk asked for a review of how the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority doles out more than $100 million in federal funds for homeless programs. The letter, sent to the homeless authority Thursday, is scheduled to be considered by the 14-member committee June 28. An audit, if ordered, would be conducted by the California State Auditor and could take up to a year. [Article]
by DOUG SMITH, Los Angeles Times. 2017-06-23
WeHo City Council Gives Condo Owners a Pass on Earthquake Safety
Faced with dozens of letters in opposition and a crowd carrying signs saying “voluntary,” the West Hollywood City Council last night quickly yielded to owners of condominiums who demanded it not require them to protect their buildings against earthquakes. The letters, many of them from owners of units in the celebrity-famous Sierra Towers on Doheny, cited the high cost to them of preparing their building for safety before the next, and inevitable, earthquake. [Article]
by STAFF REPORT, West Side Story Newspaper. 2017-06-23
A Census Time Machine: Sioux Falls Is the Past, Staten Island the Present, Las Vegas the Future
A look at which counties today resemble what America will look like in decades ahead, and which ones most resemble the nation's ethnic composition as it once was. If you find yourself traveling through Nevada’s pointed southern tip, look around: Along with the towering rust-hued rock formations and the Las Vegas Strip, you might catch a glimpse of the face of the nation’s future. Clark County, which occupies that corner of Nevada, is the county that most looks like the United States of 2060 in terms of race, Hispanic ethnicity, age and gender, according to new data from the Census Bureau. It was followed by Contra Costa and Solano Counties in California’s Bay Area. The bureau on Thursday published its latest detailed population estimates for each of the more than 3,000 American counties. We used that data, along with the bureau’s projections about the future, to compare each county with the nation as a whole at different points in time. We looked at population estimates for more than 200 different groups of people — for instance, “Hispanic men ages 20 to 24” would make up one such group. [Article]
by NIRAJ CHOCKSHI, New York Times. 2017-06-23
L.A. County foster care agency botched many more payments than initially reported
For months, Bea Watts waited as the Los Angeles County child protection agency failed to pay her more than $4,500 for taking care of two children in her foster care. As bills piled up, she issued an ultimatum: The Department of Children and Family Services would have to take the children back, she said, unless it paid her by March 1. DCFS finally paid Watts, a Simi Valley resident, but her experience wasn’t unique. Thousands of regular assistance checks from DCFS failed to reach recipients like Watts after the agency implemented a new computer system in October. Because of glitches in the conversion, the department for several months failed to pay foster care parents, young people living on extended foster care assistance, group homes and others. When The Times first reported the problem in January, DCFS officials said approximately 700 payments were missed. That number eventually grew to almost 4,500, DCFS figures show. [Article]
by ADAM ELMAHREK, Los Angeles Times. 2017-06-22
L.A. County median home price breaks record set during last decade's housing boom
In summer 2007, the Los Angeles County median home price hit an all-time high of $550,000. It soon plunged as the housing bubble burst and the national economy crashed. Now the median, the point where half the homes sold for more and half for less, has finally passed the heights of 10 years ago — the result of an improving economy, historically low mortgage rates and a shortage of listings. According to a report released Wednesday from real estate firm CoreLogic, the county’s median price in May rose 6.8% from a year earlier to reach $560,500 as sales jumped 4.8%. When adjusted for inflation, May’s median remains 11% below the 2007 high, though the nominal record comes amid fresh concerns over the high cost of housing in California. [Article]
by ANDREW KHOURI, Los Angeles Times. 2017-06-22
Lawyers settle criminal cases against Los Angeles father detained by ICE in front of daughter - LA Times
Lawyers for a father detained by immigration officials after dropping off his daughter at school in Los Angeles settled the two decades-old misdemeanor convictions that prompted his arrest. Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez, 49, instead pleaded guilty to lesser vehicle code violations. ICE officials had cited a deportation order based on the former misdemeanor convictions as the reason for picking him up. His lawyers hope that with the changes, ICE will grant his release and cancel his deportation order. Avelica-Gonzalez, a Mexican citizen who has lived in the United States for 25 years, has remained in immigration detention for nearly four months. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents pulled him over and detained him in Highland Park, six blocks from the Lincoln Heights school where he had dropped off his 12-year-old daughter minutes before. Another daughter in the car with him, now 14, sobbed as she recorded cellphone video of the encounter. [Article]
by ANDREA CASTILLO, Los Angeles Times. 2017-06-22
Coastal panel spawned by 1930s oil scandal is now a player in California governor's race
When John Chiang joined the State Lands Commission, it quickly became a platform to showcase his environmental record, starting with his 2007 vote to block construction of a shipping terminal for liquefied natural gas in Ventura County. The commission has served the same purpose for Gavin Newsom, who often uses his seat on the panel to remind Californians that he opposes offshore oil drilling. Now that both Chiang and Newsom are running for governor, they are drawing rare attention to the little-known but powerful State Lands Commission. It oversees 4 million acres of land beneath California waters: the state’s entire Pacific coast and its lakes, rivers and inlets, along with the harbors of San Diego, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Oakland and San Francisco. [Article]
by MICHAEL FINNEGAN, Los Angeles Times. 2017-06-22
Ballot measure to expand L.A. County Board of Supervisors advances
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors would be expanded from five to seven members and an elected chief executive post would be created under a measure recommended Wednesday by a state Senate panel despite opposition from the county. Two members of the county’s 2015-16 civil grand jury testified that the group felt the current government is inadequate for a county of more than 10 million residents. They said that if the county was a state, it would be the eighth-largest state in the country based on population. [Article]
by PATRICK McGREEVY, Los Angeles Times. 2017-06-22
Here's why Metro trains were delayed across L.A. County on Wednesday night
Riders on Los Angeles County’s Metro rail system were experiencing delays Wednesday evening after the transit grid saw problems with its communications system, officials said. Delays of up to 20 minutes were expected on the Expo and Blue lines, said Kim Upton, a spokeswoman for the L.A. County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Riders, however, reported longer delays. There was no timetable for when normal operations would resume, but officials were hoping the problem would be resolved by the Thursday morning commute. Earlier in the evening, the Red and Gold lines saw delays, but the problems were resolved by 11:15 p.m., Upton said. [Article]
by MATT HAMILTON, Los Angeles Times. 2017-06-22
Audio: What can Los Angeles learn from Seattle's higher minimum wage?
A new study says a higher minimum wage has not led to fewer jobs in Seattle's restaurant industry, a finding that may have lessons for Los Angeles County as it prepares for another wage increase. On July 1, the minimum wage in Los Angeles County for companies with more than 25 employees will go from $10.50 to $12 an hour, part of the gradual rise to $15 an hour in 2020. [Article]
by BEN BERGMAN, KPCC Southern CA Public Radio. 2017-06-22
Pop-up clinic provides free vet care to LA's homeless with pets
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- "I love my dog. I love my dog. He's my heart, my everything." Cherie Rucker is among the growing homeless population in Los Angeles, and her bulldog, ManMan, sticks right by her side. The latest count shows nearly 58,000 homeless individuals in Los Angeles County alone, and experts estimate that around 20 percent have a pet. That's more than 10,000 dogs, cats and other animals. But homeless pet owners typically can't afford to provide quality health care for their companion animals. [Article]
by ELLEN LEYVA, KABC Los Angeles ABC 7 News. 2017-06-22
“Hack for Health” Invites Residents to Build an App for a Healthy North Orange County
This past Saturday, a panel of judges fielded pitches from community members to create a mobile health app for North Orange County. Six finalists were chosen, and this Saturday the finalists will work with coders and designers to bring their idea to life in Santa Ana. The app deemed the best will receive seed money to continue developing it, with $500 being awarded to the pitch team and $1000 to the app developers. [Article]
by KRISTOPHER FORTIN, LA Streetsblog. 2017-06-22
Fire system testing delays opening of $555 million San Diego courthouse
The new state courthouse in downtown San Diego will not open to the public next month as scheduled because workers are re-testing components of the $555.5 million building’s smoke exhaust system, officials said Wednesday. Probate and family courts were expected to be up and running in the new location at Union and C streets by July 17, and members of the public were expected to show up there to report for jury duty. But for now, those moves have been put on hold. “We’re going to provide the court with a schedule within the next few days,” said Mike Courtney, director of the California Judicial Council’s capital construction program. Courtney explained that although the fire alarm and sprinkler systems at the new courthouse have been approved by the state fire marshal, the fire control panel had to be reprogrammed. Because of the reprogramming, 1,100 smoke dampers in the heating and ventilation system — which help control air flow — have to be retested. “It takes 15 to 20 minutes per damper,” Courtney said, which when added up amounts to roughly 300 hours of work. [Article]
by DANA LITTLEFIELD, San Diego Union-Tribune. 2017-06-22
Donation will help county buy defibrillators for backcountry fire stations
The San Diego Regional Fire Foundation has donated $44,500 to the county government to purchase automatic external defibrillators that could provide life saving emergency treatment. The donation will allow the county to buy 25 AEDs that will be put in fire stations in rural communities. The devices provide an electrical shock that can restart an irregular heartbeat. They are commonly found in schools and many businesses, but in rural areas the potentially lifesaving gear is sometimes too far away to help people in distress. This donation could make the equipment more accessible in an emergency. “These communities lack public buildings and other facilities where AEDs are frequently located, so it is critical that all fire stations are equipped with state of the art AEDs for quick and effective medical care,” said Joan Jones, the foundation’s executive director. [Article]
by JOSHUA STEWART, San Diego Union-Tribune. 2017-06-22
Association continues outreach on Rancho Santa Fe Connect project
The Rancho Santa Fe Association’s Technology Committee continues to make progress toward a community-wide vote on its high-speed fiber-optic internet project known as RSF Connect. With RSF Connect, the Association plans to own, construct and maintain its own fiber-optic network, giving local control over the quality and cost-effectiveness of the infrastructure and service. [Article]
by STAFF REPORT, San Diego News Network. 2017-06-22
Riverside County’s sheriff wants $50 million more – or he may shut down patrol stations
The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department needs $50 million beyond what’s in the next county budget or major cuts, including closing patrol stations and jails, will have to be considered, Sheriff Stan Sniff warned this week. “I cannot operate 24/7 operations and maintain this level of cuts,” Sniff told the county Board of Supervisors during a Monday, June 19, budget hearing. “We gave ground, as I said, this year and reduced staffing wherever we could.” [Article]
by JEFF HORSEMAN, Riverside Press-Enterprise. 2017-06-22
Investigator testifies he knew of Colonies bribery principals earlier than previously stated
The chief investigator in the San Bernardino County Colonies corruption case testified under defense cross-examination Wednesday that he had heard of the principals in the case in connection with possible bribery months earlier than he previously claimed. The revelation came during a wide-ranging day of cross-examination in the six-month-old trial that also showed: [Article]
by JOE NELSON and RICHARD K. DeATLEY, San Bernardino County Sun. 2017-06-22
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