economy, Issues, News »

L.A’s Banamex bank hit with huge fines, closing down

Posted July 23, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
banamex

If you bank at Banamex USA, you’re going to have to find a new place to do your business.
The L.A. bank has been hit with heavy fines and agreed to shut down because it hasn’t done enough to stop money laundering by drug gangs and other bad actors.
Banamex – which operates primarily around the U.S.-Mexican border – is owned by banking giant Citibank, which …

Issues, News, Politics »

Christian war memorial will remain atop Mt. Soledad

Posted July 21, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
mtsoledadcross2

A long-running fight over a Christian cross atop Mt. Soledad in San Diego County appears to be coming to an end. The cross will stay.
A non-profit group has purchased a half-acre parcel of land in La Jolla where the cross is located from the federal government: the Department of Defense, to be exact. The reported sales price is $1.4 million.
The 43-foot cross has been …

Environment, Issues, News, Politics »

Brown goes to Rome to talk climate with Pope Francis

Posted July 20, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
POPEFRANCIS

Gov. Jerry Brown is heading to Rome to attend a symposium on climate change with Pope Francis at the Vatican.
The two-day event, which begins tomorrow, is intended to increase of awareness and galvanize action on climate change and modern slavery, two pressing issues highlighted in the Pope’s recent encyclical.
Pope Francis has called for action by local political leaders to address climate change in response …

Environment, Issues, News, Santa Barbara, Summer »

Last closed beach reopens in SB oil spill zone

Posted July 17, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
OILSPILL2

When a corroded pipe operated by Plains All-American burst on May 19th, a river of crude flowed into a creek that empties into the ocean at Refugio State Beach, a popular camping spot north of Santa Barbara.
Today, Refugio reopens – marking a significant milestone in the long-running cleanup process, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, which is overseeing the effort.
Officials …

Environment, Issues, News »

A new chapter in battle over downtown L.A. oil wells

Posted July 16, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
oil3

The owners of a downtown L.A. oil field that shut down two years ago amid complaints that it was making neighbors sick want to start pumping again. It could be an uphill fight, though.
Neighbors had complained for years that noxious emissions from the facility were fouling the air – causing respiratory problems, headaches and nosebleeds. In spite of a long list of violations that …

economy, Food, News »

A $25 ticket to the top of L.A.’s skyline

Posted July 14, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
USBANKTOWER

It’s not quite the roof of the world, but it’s as close as you’re going to get in L.A.
The owners of U.S. Bank Tower – the city’s tallest structure – are building an outdoor observation deck and restaurant on the top floors.
The view will be spectacular, but it won’t be cheap: The price is $25 per visitor.
The L.A. Times reports the U.S. Bank Tower …

Issues, News »

Firefighters are fuming about drones over wildfires

Posted July 13, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
DRONE

It’s happened again…For the fourth time in a month, a private drone has interfered with firefighting aircraft in California.
The latest incident took place yesterday during the fight to contain a wildfire burning in Yucaipa, on the edge of the San Bernardino National Forest.
Cal Fire’s Debbie Chapman says air tankers were grounded for about 10 minutes after a drone was spotted flying over the fire.
“It’s …

Environment, News, Water and the Drought »

Chance for an El Nino winter growing in California

Posted July 10, 2015 by | 1 Comment | ]
elnino

There’s no longer any doubt, according to federal scientists – California is on El Nino watch.
A new report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says Pacific Ocean surface temperatures continue to warm near the equator – setting up what could be one of the most powerful El Nino’s on record. There is now a 90 percent chance that El Nino conditions will last …

Arts & Culture, Issues, News »

Walk of Fame says it won’t give Bill Cosby the boot

Posted July 9, 2015 by | 2 Comments | ]
cosbystar

The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce is resisting pressure to remove Bill Cosby’s star from the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Some local African-American activists led by Earl Ofari Hutchinson want the comedian’s star dug up from the 6900 block of Hollywood Boulevard and thrown onto the scrap heap. The activists sent a letter to the Chamber this week after the unsealing of a 2005 deposition in …

Environment, Issues, News, Politics, Summer »

Residents sue L.A. in Hollywood sign tourist tussle

Posted July 7, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
Beachwood-Parking-Art-_June-2014-590x442

On must summer days, cars filled with tourists make their way up and down Beachwood Drive – looking for that perfect place to stop and snap a picture of the Hollywood sign.
Needless to say, the locals don’t like it very much.
But are the tourists just a nuisance – or an actual safety hazard?
A new lawsuit could help answer that question.
Hollywood Hills homeowners have sued …

economy, Issues, News »

Wage stagnation afflicts middle-class Californians

Posted July 2, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
SavetheMiddleClass011413

California is in the midst of an economic recovery – but you wouldn’t know it by looking at the paychecks of middle-income workers: Wages are lower than they were four years ago, and buying power for middle earners continues to erode.
When you adjust for inflation, middle class incomes in Californians have fallen more than six percent since 2006 and the start of the recession. …

Issues, News, Politics »

Public corruption cases starting to pile up in So Cal

Posted July 1, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
Pile of cash_3

What in the name of institutional control is going on in Southern California?
Public corruption is nothing new (see City of Bell), but there’s been a spate of recent cases that suggest that rank-and-file public employees are going to new lengths in their efforts to fleece taxpayers.
Exhibit A comes from Orange County, where a federal Grand Jury will be looking into claims that an unnamed …

California Elections, Issues, News, Politics »

Supreme Court endorses bids to end gerrymandering

Posted June 29, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
voting

The Supreme Court has upheld an Arizona law that allowed that state’s Congressional districts to be draw by an independent commission – instead of the state Legislature.
The 5-4 decision has major implications in California, which has its own independent commission for drawing up Congressional boundaries.
State voters approved a ballot measure four years ago to take that job away from the state Legislature to discourage …

Arts & Culture, economy, Issues, News, Politics »

Disneyland makes growth contingent on tax breaks

Posted June 26, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
disneyland

Disneyland is asking for an expansion of the happiest tax break on earth.
Okay, maybe not THE happiest, but still a pretty nifty deal for the Mouse House.
The Walt Disney Company has proposed a $1 billion expansion of the Disneyland Resort, with new rides, attractions and a massive parking structure. But here’s the rub: Disney is all-but demanding a 30-year extension of an existing 30-year …

Environment, Issues, News, Water and the Drought »

Drought stricken trees are posing a huge fire risk

Posted June 24, 2015 by | 1 Comment | ]
dyingtree

Millions of trees have died during California’s four-year drought and millions more are in distress because of a lack of water. And all those dead and dying trees are increasing the state’s fire risk.
Now the state Board of Forestry and Fire Protection has taken the unprecedented step of recommending that landowners be able to cut and remove dead and dying trees of any size …

Environment, Issues, News, Water and the Drought »

State isn’t sure who’s on board with new water rules

Posted June 23, 2015 by | 1 Comment | ]
delta-sacramento_delta_2-wpdms_usgs_photo

Californians continue to show a lack of urgency when it comes to new water restrictions.
Individually, we’ve repeatedly fallen short of the 25 percent reductions sought by Gov. Brown and state water officials.
And now, there’s word that more than two-thirds of the most senior water rights holders in the state haven’t even reported if they are complying with new restrictions on diverting water from river …

economy, Food, Issues, News »

Supreme Court win is sweet sanction for raisin farmer

Posted June 22, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
grapes

You can call it sour grapes, and plenty of people have, but the Supreme Court has now endorsed a lawsuit filed by a California farming couple over the confiscation of their raisins.
The high court ruled that a program that allows state officials to take raisins from farmers to help reduce supply and boost prices is unconstitutional.
The ruling is a victory for farmers Marvin and …

economy, Food, Issues, News, Politics »

L.A. is taking a harder line on illegal street vending

Posted June 18, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
baconwrapped

Have you bought a bacon-wrapped hot dog or a bag of cherries recently from one of the thousands of vendors who ply L.A. streets, parks and beaches?
Vending carts are a staple of L.A.’s underground economy – and a source of income for newly arrived immigrants and others with few other job prospects. But they are also illegal.
This week the L.A. City Council voted to …

Arts & Culture, News »

The LA Zoo wants to raise its prices, again

Posted June 16, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
jaguar_tm

It’s been steadily getting more expensive to visit the lions, tigers and bears, etc. at the Los Angeles Zoo – and city officials may not be done with price hikes.
For the third straight year, The LA City Council will consider hiking the price of a ticket by $1 to the Griffith park attraction today.
The new prices would be $20 for people over 13, $15 …

Environment, Issues, News, Power and Water »

DWP ready to drain water from Silver Lake Reservoir

Posted June 15, 2015 by | 6 Comments | ]
silverlake-reservoir

Silver Lake residents will be looking at a dry reservoir for the next year or so.
The L.A. Department of Water and Power plans to start draining 400 million gallons of water from the reservoir late this month or early next month.
The DWP says it needs to remove all of the water to replace a huge water pipe that’s buried underneath the reservoir. Of course, …

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