Water wells. The Department of Water and Power plans to build a pair of new groundwater treatment plants to tap an old source of water: deep wells under the San Fernando Valley. But they’ll have to solve some major pollution problems first.
The plants will restore groundwater pumping of drinking water to dozens of wells that DWP started closing in the 1980s. The two plants – one in North Hollywood near Vanowen Street, and the other near the intersection of 5 and 170 freeways – both sit atop one of the nation’s largest Superfund pollution sites. DWP officials say the water contains traces of industrial solvents and contaminants from auto shops, landfills, chrome plating operations and even dairy farms that used to be in the area. The utility says it’s working to identify all the contaminants and to come up with a game plan for removing them.
Despite the concerns posed by toxic contamination, environmentalists are cheering the announcement because it means the DWP will import less from water from Northern California and the Eastern Sierra. The cost of those water imports has almost doubled in the past decade. That was a primary factor in the DWP’s decision to re-tap the wells.
The plants are expected to cost up to $800 million, with DWP customers footing the bill. Construction is scheduled to begin in five years, and the DWP hopes to have both plants up and running by 2022. L.A. Times
Free flow. It’s being called the largest dam removal project ever in California. Work is scheduled to begin next month on the dismantling of the 106-foot-high San Clemente Dam on the Carmel River. A half-mile of the river will also be rerouted as part of the $84 million project. Removing the dam will open up 25 miles of spawning habitat for steelhead trout and help replenish sand on Carmel Beach, where the river empties into the ocean. The 90-year-old dam is holding back enough sediment to fill 250,000 dump trucks. Instead of moving all that dirt or letting it wash downstream, project managers decided to move the river instead. L.A. Times
Dorner case. LAPD Chief Charlie Beck says the department was justified in firing Christopher Dorner and followed proper procedures when it removed him from the force. In a 22-page report to the Police Commission, Beck and LAPD Inspector General Alexander Bustamante say Dorner was fired in 2009 because he filed a false complaint against his training officer, saying she had kicked someone during an arrest. Dorner apparently committed suicide after being cornered in a San Bernardino Mountain in February. The ex-cop targeted former LAPD officers and their families in a series of shootings that left four people dead. He claimed to have been wrongfully fired and he accused the department of intuitional racism. L.A. Daily News
Clips job. Doc Rivers is apparently abandoning Celtic green for Clippers’ red, white and blue. After a week of an-and-off negotiations, the Celtics agreed to allow Rivers to jump to the Clippers in exchange for a first-round draft pick in 2015. Rivers will keep his Celtics contract, which pays him $7 million annually through 2016. The two teams had discussed swapping players as well, but the NBA said that would violate the league’s collective bargaining deal, which prohibits trading a coach for players. The current deal still must be approved by the NBA. In nine years with the Celtics, Rivers won one championship and lost once in the finals. ESPN
Wilshire wheelin’. Organizers are calling the latest installment of CicLAvia a big success. An estimated 150,000 bicyclists and pedestrians took over a six-mile stretch of Wilshire Boulevard between downtown and Miracle Mile yesterday. L.A. has now hosted seven CicLAvia events. The eighth is scheduled for October. Organizers are dubbing the next CicLAvia “Heart of the City,” but the exact route has not been disclosed yet. KTLA
Directing directors. The Director’s Guild of America has a new president. Paris Barclay – who ran unopposed – will become the first African-American to head the director’s guild, as well as the first openly gay president. Barclay won a pair of Emmys for directing episodes of the TV show “NYPD Blue. He’s also worked on “Glee,” “Sons of Anarchy” and “NCIS: Los Angeles,” among other shows. Barclay has served four terms on the DGA’s national board. Hollywood Reporter