How much will take to fix California’s crumbling roads and transportation infrastructure?
About $3.5 billion a year, indefinitely, according to Gov. Jerry Brown.
To pay for that, Brown is proposing an annual $65 fee on drivers, as well as increases in taxes on gas and diesel, a crackdown on polluters, and savings from a more efficient Caltrans.
The proposal comes two months after the governor called a …
Nearly 7,000 people have died in police custody in California over the last quarter century. And black youths are booked into jail at a 25 percent higher rate than whites.
That’s a sampling of the information now available to the public on the Open Justice Initiative, a new website created by the state Department of Justice.
It comes as part of an effort to ease tensions between police and …
Health Care, Issues, News »
Health insurer Blue Shield of California is a non-profit, but state officials say it doesn’t act like one.
For starters, some its top executives are getting paid much like their counterparts in the private sector.
A confidential state audit reviewed by the L.A. Times shows that executive compensation soared by 64 percent in 2012, to $61 million.
The health insurer won’t say who got the money – …
Let the budget games begin.
The committee responsible for deciding if L.A. will make a bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympic Games is holding its first meeting today. And there will be a lot to consider. A new report from the city’s top budget officials sites a number of potential problems, including possible cost overruns building housing for athletes.
The report from City Administrative Officer …
Police body cameras are coming to a city near you.
For starters, the LAPD plans to roll out more than 800 of the devices next week as part of a larger plan to equip almost the entire force. The department will eventually deploy 7,000 body cameras.
The cameras have the support of police chiefs and civil libertarians alike. They can increase transparency and provide a more …
If you’re having a hard time scraping money together to buy a house, you might take solace in the fact that you’ve got a lot of company. Or, perhaps not.
As it stands, two-thirds of the single-family homes and condos in the state are priced higher than a typical family can afford, according to a new report from the California Association of Realtors.
The median household …
economy, Environment, Issues, News, Politics, Water and the Drought »
Gov. Jerry Brown says California plans to get tougher with farmers who have been pumping record amounts of groundwater during the drought.
Appearing yesterday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Brown responded to a new NASA report that shows vast areas of the Central Valley sinking rapidly in a process known as subsidence because huge amounts of groundwater are being siphoned from underground aquifers.
Brown recently signed …
California Elections, economy, Issues, LA Noir, Politics »
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office says Compton’s mayor and council members have been illegally boosting their salaries for years by paying themselves for commission meetings that sometimes last only about a minute.
In some cases, officials have been paid whether or not they attended the meetings at all.
Mayor Aja Brown was allegedly paid an extra $4,000 a month on top of her authorized monthly …
economy, Environment, Issues, News, Water and the Drought »
What would California look like if the drought lasts another two years? Three years?
A new study says the state’s economy would probably hold up pretty well, including agriculture. But it finds that continued dry winters could prove devastating for small, rural communities that depend on well water, for the state’s wetlands and for wildlife in general.
The study by the Public Policy Institute of California …
economy, Issues, LA Noir, News, Politics, Sports, The New Mayor, Warren Olney »
Los Angeles has a lot going for it as the potential host of the 2024 Summer Games.
The city hosted the Games back in 1932 and 1984, and there are stadiums already built for another summer games event around the area.
U.S. Olympic Committee officials want an official bid to send on to their international counterparts within the next few weeks.
Meanwhile, the USOC says there is …
Environment, Issues, News, Politics »
Forget the War on Drugs, California officials are launching a War on Drones.
Up in Fresno, authorities say a privately operated drone just missed colliding with a medical helicopter that was flying a snake bite victim to a hospital yesterday. The pilot encountered the drone while flying at about 1,000 feet. He maneuvered away from the device, reportedly missing it by just 20 feet or …
California will be the first state in the nation to foot the bill for sex reassignment surgery to a transgender inmate.
The state agreed to the procedure after its own expert testified in a federal lawsuit that surgery was medically necessary to prevent Shiloh Quine from suffering depression and anxiety.
Quine has been in prison for more than three decades. She went in as Rodney Quine …
Health Care, Issues, News, Politics »
This week marks 70 years since the United States dropped two atomic bombs – within three days of each other – on two Japanese cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The heat and radiation from those bombs incinerated both cities, and caused untold thousands of others to develop cancer and other diseases.
Japan surrendered, and World War II ended.
The American government and military explanation has always been that …
Arts & Culture, Issues »
The 30th Annual Samoan Flag Day kicked off last Saturday in the city of Carson with Samoans from across the United States and abroad coming to Southern California.
It’s an event filled with good food, a cricket tournament, and a stage for traditional dances. The eight-day festival celebrates Samoan culture and commemorates the day when a small group of Pacific islands known as American Samoa …
Environment, Issues, News, Power and Water, Water and the Drought »
Scattered thunderstorms have been battering the mountain and high desert areas this week with flooding rain, fierce lightning and even hail.
Monsoonal moisture continues across Southern California, and where it’s not raining, there’s plenty of moisture in the air.
Forecasters say the added moisture is part of a warming of Pacific Ocean waters that could continue to have a big effect on California weather in the next …
economy, Health Care, Issues, Politics, Santa Barbara »
Gun sales in California continue to rise.
According to the Attorney General’s office, there were close to a million guns sold last year.
An increase of close to 100 percent since 2010.
And of all the people who applied for a background check in 2014, fewer than 9,000 were denied. Less than one percent.
In a report released last week by California’s state auditor, a program to recover …
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 …
Environment, Interviews, Issues, News, Water and the Drought »
It’s a big jump from fighting peer pressure among young friends in Los Angeles and Riverside Counties, to fighting fires.
In Jason Ramos’s own words: “I had no plans after high school. College wasn’t an option; my grades sucked. Law enforcement was out since, in my world, ‘cop’ meant ‘narc’.”
Ramos jumped from looking for purpose and a cure for boredom and jumped into taking risks every …
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 »
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 …