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Freeway toll lanes don’t add up to much time saved

tolllanes

Are those new toll lanes on the 10 and 110 freeways helping to speed up your commute? Probably not too much, it appears. The lanes are L.A.’s first experiment with so-called “congestion pricing.” Drivers pay different amounts depending on traffic conditions – the heavier the traffic the higher the cost of trying to escape it. The question is do the lanes help the flow …

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California works to get drivers’ licenses to the unlicensed

Unlike a conventional California driver license, the one issued to undocumented motorists will have distinguishing marks, most prominently "DP" will be stamped on it, standing for driving privilege. Some undocumented drivers and immigration rights activists have expressed concerns that motorists could be singled out for possible deportation or police harassment if stopped and asked to show the new license.  Unrelated to the new law, some California cities, like Los Angeles, have special rules in place that prevent police asking about people's immigration status. (Photo: Saul Gonzalez)

There’s a big change coming to California’s driving rules. Because of  the passage of Assembly Bill 60, or AB 60, by January 1st of 2015, the Department of Motor Vehicles will make drivers’ licenses available to people regardless of their immigration status in the United States. The law is a reaction to the huge number of unlicensed drivers in California, many of whom are …

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O.C. Murder case puts scrutiny on jailhouse informants

DEKRAAI

Prosecutors won’t use the testimony of a jailhouse informant in the trial of a man charged with the worst mass killing in Orange County history. That testimony was expected to play a key role in their attempt to send Scott Dekraai to Death Row. But Deputy District Attorney Howard Gundy has conceded a defense motion that claimed tapes of conversations between Dekraai and the …

Headline, Health Care, Issues, News, Politics, Power and Water »

Pipeline to the past: Workers dig up L.A. water history

ZANJAMADRE-1863

Local history buffs know that much of the story of L.A. is about finding and exploiting water. Now an early and important piece of the city’s water history has been discovered. Construction workers in Chinatown have uncovered what is believed to be a roughly 100-foot section of the city’s first municipal water system. It’s a 19th Century brick and wooden pipe that connected the …

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Getting into top U.C. schools is tougher than ever

Bruin Walk welcome

The University of California has accepted a record number of students for the fall – but at most U.C. campuses it was harder than ever for in-state students to make the cut. U.C. officials say nearly 87,000 freshman were accepted – up 4.8 percent from last year. But most of the increase comes from out-of-state and international students. Admission rates for those students were …

Bad Driving, economy, Environment, Issues, LA Noir, News, Politics, Summer, The New Mayor, water »

Mixer: Crumbling sidewalks and rising gas prices

friday mixer square

Emily Alpert Reyes is a reporter with the Los Angeles Times and Kevin Smith is business editor for the San Gabriel Valley Newspaper Group. Both joined us for the Mixer.
We got word this week that money for sidewalk repairs in Los Angeles has gone unspent by LA Mayor Eric Garcetti’s administration – and City Hall still wants a new tax to pay for sidewalks.
In many …

Education, Headline, Issues, News, Politics »

Vape away L.A: New E-Cigarette rules start tomorrow

VAPING

If you’re an e-cigarette user in L.A., today’s the day to vape with abandon. Starting tomorrow, the smokeless cigarettes will be under the same restrictions in the city as traditional cigarettes with tobacco. That means no vaping in bars, restaurants, workplaces, parks, beaches and outdoor dining areas. The City Council approved the new rules about a month ago in response to a big rise …

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

Griffith Park mountain lion sickened by rat poison

cougar-hollywood

A mountain known as P-22 that’s been making its home in Griffith Park is suffering from mange, which biologists attribute to exposure to rat poison. The cat appeared strong and healthy when it was photographed by a National Geographic photographer a few months ago. But remote cameras recently captured images of the animal looking sickly. Scientists sedated the big cat and drew blood samples. …

economy, Education, Environment, Headline, Issues, News, Politics »

Bus crash survivors speaking to investigators today

bus-crash

Investigators looking into that deadly Northern California bus crash involving L.A. high school students have received conflicting reports about whether the Fed-Ex truck that hit the bus was on fire before impact. But they say there’s no physical evidence that there was anything wrong with the truck. National Transportation Safety Board investigators will be in Los Angeles today to interview some of the 44 …

economy, Education, Headline, Issues, News, Politics »

Students from 16 L.A. schools on bus in deadly crash

buscrash

A 10th person has died this morning from injuries suffered in a horrific crash in Northern California involving a bus carrying L.A. high school students. The CHP says a Fed-Ex truck crossed the median on Interstate 5 north of the town of Orland, hitting the bus head on and igniting a huge explosion and fire. The dead include five students, three adult chaperones and …

economy, Education, Environment, Food, Headline, Issues, News, Politics »

Garcetti to give first State of the City speech tonight

garcetti

Mayor Eric Garcetti will deliver his first State of the City speech tonight, offering a preview of how Los Angeles will deal will projected $242 million budget deficit and laying out his spending priorities for the next fiscal year. (Listen at kcrw.com/news24 at 5pm).
His speech comes one day after the release of a report that makes a number of recommendations for improving what its authors …

Arts & Culture, Education, Environment, Headline, Issues, News, Politics »

Family feud leaves Mickey Rooney’s remains in limbo

rooney

It appears Mickey Rooney’s tumultuous personal life has carried over to his death. Two factions of the Rooney’s family are fighting over the entertainer’s remains. A judge says won’t allow the body to be released from county custody until they settle the feud. The dispute centers over where the entertainer wished to be buried. Meanwhile, the L.A. Times reports that Rooney was broke when …

Arts & Culture, Environment, Food, Headline, Issues, News, Politics »

LAPD officers pulled the plug on patrol car recorders

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LAPD officers tampered with recording devices inside of patrol cars to avoid being monitored while on duty. LAPD Chief Charlie Beck learned of the tampering last summer – but the problem did not come to the attention of the L.A. Police Commission until months later. The L.A. Times says Beck chose not to investigate who was responsible but instead issued warnings against further attempts …

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

Tens of thousands hit the street for Wilshire CicLavia

ciclavia

The weather was gorgeous and the riders came out in force for L.A.’s 9th CycLavia event. No one knows for sure how many people hopped on their biked or skates to join to the fun yesterday, but organizers say turnout was higher than the last time the event was held on Wilshire Boulevard a year ago. The event covered six miles of Wilshire between …

Education, Interviews, Issues, LA Noir, Politics »

Mixer: Sheriff’s union dust-up and school money comes-up

friday mixer square

Cindy Chang from the LA Times and Vanessa Romo from LASchoolReport.com joined us to mix it up today.
There’s a strange battle going on within the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs, and now a judge has gotten involved.
Last month, newly elected president Armando Macias was kicked out and a different president installed.
But Macias refused to give up his seat, bringing at least two union board members with …

Environment, Headline, Health Care, Issues, News, Politics, Power and Water, Sports »

Dodgers kick off home season amid off-field turmoil

dodgers

The Dodgers have high hopes of reaching the World Series this year, but as they get set for their home opener today at Chavez Ravine all is not well off the field. In spite of a roster stocked with high-priced talent, most of the local chatter about the team early on has revolved around lack of access to SportsNet L.A., the club’s new cable …

economy, Environment, Headline, Issues, News, Power and Water »

L.A. job growth is dead last among major U.S. cities

losangeles

California’s drought could suppress job growth by 0.2 percent over the next few years, according to UCLA economists. The losses would fall mostly in the state’s fishing and manufacturing industries. That’s fairly modest given the severity of the drought. But the Anderson Forecast warns that all bets are off if the current dry weather turns out to be the start of a long arid …

Arts & Culture, Featured, Issues, News, Politics, Sports »

Lawmakers preparing to kick Yee out of State Senate

lelandyee

Senate leaders have called for a vote today to suspend Senator Leland Yee from the Legislature if he does not voluntarily resign. Yee was arrested earlier this week and charged with corruption and arms trafficking in an FBI sting that also netted an infamous San Francisco gangster known as Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow. Yee dropped out of the Secretary of State race yesterday, but …

Headline, Issues, News, Politics »

Infographic: Women, wages, and representation in Los Angeles City government

Photo of Ron Galperin courtesy of his Flickr page.

Even before Ron Galperin beat out Dennis Zine for the Los Angeles Controller’s seat last year, the affable attorney attempted to brand himself as a champion of free and accessible government data.
The latest from the Controller’s open data project — Control Panel LA — supports a well-understood narrative about City Hall: women may be well-represented in certain city government positions, but they are paid less …

Education, Featured, Health Care, Issues, News, Politics, Sports »

Yee is third Senate Democrat to face charges this year

LELANDYEE

State Senator Leland Yee has been released from federal custody after posting $500,000 bail. But the troubles are just beginning for the Bay Area lawmaker. Yee was arrested yesterday and charged with public corruption and conspiring to traffic in firearms. The accusations throw into doubt Lee’s campaign for Secretary of State, his legislative career, and his freedom. They also further hamper Democrats’ efforts to …

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