California Elections, Issues, News, Politics »

Supreme Court endorses bids to end gerrymandering

Posted June 29, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]

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 …

economy, Issues, LA Noir, News, Politics, The New Mayor »

Mixer: Is LA making homelessness a crime?

Posted June 26, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
friday mixer square

The Los Angeles City Council this week gave the city more power to dismantle homeless encampments.
Police will give 24 hours’ notice before removing personal items on public streets, down from 72 hours. No notice will be needed for removing bulky items.
City leaders say the new rules are needed, because the latest countywide homeless count found a 12 percent increase in the transient population and an …

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

Disneyland makes growth contingent on tax breaks

Posted June 26, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]

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 | ]

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 | ]

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 | ]

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 | ]

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 …

Environment, Issues, News, Power and Water »

DWP ready to drain water from Silver Lake Reservoir

Posted June 15, 2015 by | 3 Comments | ]

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, …

Environment, Issues, News, Power and Water »

Los Angeles pulls the plug on Mojave solar plant

Posted June 12, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]

Plans to build a large solar farm in the Mojave Desert appear to be on the ropes after the city of Los Angeles announced that it won’t buy electricity from the project over concerns that it could harm wildlife.
Bechtel Corp. is developing the 2,000-acre Soda Mountain Solar Project, east of Barstow near the Nevada border. The L.A. Department of Water and Power was expected …

Education, Issues, News »

LAUSD gives itself an F for raising grad requirements

Posted June 10, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]

Los Angeles School leaders are backing away from requirements that were adopted in an effort to make all graduating students eligible for University of California and Cal State schools.
The Board of Education had previously approved a plan requiring all graduates – starting in 2017 – to get a C or better in classes that are needed for college admission.
But it turned out the new …

Education, Issues, News »

Corinthian students get a break on debt

Posted June 9, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]

There’s good news if you were a student at one of the schools run by now-shuttered Corinthian Colleges.
The nation’s top education official says the federal government will forgive loans taken out by tens of thousands of students who attended campuses owned by the for-profit college company.
The move announced by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan comes just a few weeks after Santa Ana-based Corinthian declared bankruptcy …

economy, Issues, News »

Judges take aim at ‘pay first, fight later’ traffic tickets

Posted June 8, 2015 by | 1 Comment | ]

If you want to fight your traffic ticket but you can’t afford to pay the fine upfront, you’re suddenly in luck.
Faced with mounting complaints, the state’s rule-setting Judicial Council voted unanimously today to require counties to change their policies so people can fight tickets without paying them first. The only applies to drivers who show up for their first scheduled court appearance. It goes …

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

Mixer: A groundbreaking study; but was it a fraud?

Posted June 5, 2015 by | 1 Comment | ]
friday mixer square

UCLA graduate student Michael LaCour published a study in Science magazine last December, suggesting that people who opposed or were on the fence about same-sex marriage can be convinced – cajoled, coerced – to change their minds after having a conversation with a gay or lesbian canvasser.
And, the research suggested, those changed opinions lasted, and spread.
Here’s the scenario: Someone shows up at your door, …

Environment, Issues, News, Santa Barbara »

Santa Barbara spill eyed as source of tar ball invasion

Posted June 5, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]

At first it seemed like a coincidence: globs of tar coming ashore from Ventura and Zuma down to Manhattan Beach and Long Beach – all within two weeks of the Santa Barbara spill. Natural oil seepage is not unusual on local beaches. But as more tar appears, suspicion is now falling heavily on the 21-thousand gallons of crude that spilled into the ocean when …

Issues, News »

After long hiatus, California could resume executions

Posted June 3, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]

The death penalty is still on the books in California – but no one has been executed in this state in nearly a decade.
That could be changing though. State officials have settled a lawsuit brought by family members of crime victims that requires Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration to devise a new lethal injection procedure.
The state will have to present its plan within 120 days …

Issues, News »

Did an innocent man go to his death at San Quentin?

Posted June 2, 2015 by | 2 Comments | ]

California more than likely executed an innocent man.
That assertion is being made by a justice on the U.S. 9th Circuit of Appeals.
In an article published in the Michigan Law Review, Judge Stephen Reinhardt says Thomas Thompson was put to death in 1998 only because of a Supreme Court ruling that prevented lower courts from considering the merits of his case.
Thompson was convicted of the …

Issues, News, Politics »

OC Supes ripped (again) for bad treatment of animals

Posted June 1, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]

A new grand jury report is turning up the heat on Orange County Supervisors to spend the money needed to fix the county’s troubled animal welfare system.
The report says that the sole county-run animal shelter is in terrible condition and can no longer do its job effectively.
Animal rights activists have been complaining about high kill rates and low adoption rates at the shelter for …

Arts & Culture, economy, Issues, News »

California aims for more (film) disasters in the making

Posted May 29, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]

The Warner Bros. disaster flick “San Andreas” opens today – the latest in a long line of Hollywood movies to lay cinematic waste to the Golden State. But like last year’s “Godzilla,” which also served up a cataclysmic view of California, “San Andreas” was filmed in a land far away. “Godzilla” was shot mostly in Vancouver and “San Andreas” in Australia.
Fewer than a quarter of …

Issues, News, Politics »

A rush to end legal divide on motorcycle lane-splitting

Posted May 28, 2015 by | 7 Comments | ]

It can be a jarring experience…you’re sitting in your car or truck in heavy freeway congestion and a motorcyclist speeds by you between the lanes of traffic, passing within inches of your rear-view mirror.
Is what that motorcyclist is doing legal? Should it be legal?
Well, it’s called lane-splitting, and it exists in regulatory gray area. It’s not technically legal, but it is condoned by the …

Environment, Issues, News, Santa Barbara, Today's News »

Wanted: cleanup volunteers for Santa Barbara oil spill

Posted May 26, 2015 by | 2 Comments | ]
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If you live around the large 10-square mile oil slick in Santa Barbara County, and have wanted to help in the cleanup efforts there, your light just turned green.
And, while you may be ready to hit the beach with buckets and shovels in hand, you can’t just show up.
You have to be at least 18 years old and fill out a registration form. And then once you’re …

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