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Is California falling short of long-term clean air goals?


California won’t meet long-term goals for reducing the greenhouse gases believed to be a major factor behind climate change without making major policy changes. The state wants to cut emissions to 80 percent of 1990 levels by the year 2050. A new study from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory finds that emissions will drop significantly by 2030, but then they’ll begin to increase because of …

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Courts faulted for not keeping guns from mentally ill


Many courts in California fail to report the mentally ill to justice officials, undermining efforts to take guns away from potentially dangerous owners. State law requires that courts tell the Justice Department when they make certain mental health determinations. That can put people on a list prohibiting them from buying firearms .But a new state audit finds that many courts are not aware of …

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Today’s News: No motive in gunman’s ‘farewell’ note; On-time budget; California snowfall decline expected


Killer’s goodbye. The man responsible for last Friday’s deadly shooting rampage in Santa Monica carried a note saying he was sorry for his actions. But investigators still aren’t sure what motivated John Zawahri to kill five people before he was shot to death by police.
Zawahri’s four-page, hand-written note was found on his body after he was killed on the Santa Monica College campus. Police …

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Was Friday’s tragedy a ‘school shooting?’

smc mourners

Investigators are still piecing together the details of Friday’s deadly shootings in Santa Monica that killed 5 people. Police shot and killed the gunman in the library of Santa Monica College; he died on campus.
The first incident happened at a house north of the college, but culminated at the school. And that fact has led law enforcement to not label what happened on Friday …

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Santa Monica shooting victim profile: Margarita Gomez

A memorial shrine at Santa Monica College, days after the June 7 shootings. Photo by Avishay Artsy.

The Los Angeles Times this afternoon posted a profile of Margarita Gomez, one of the five victims of Friday’s shooting at Santa Monica College. Gomez, 68, was a familiar face here on campus. She lived across the street and usually visited twice a day to collect recyclables. The Times spoke to Gomez’s son, Rafael Torres:

Although she had worked at a ceramics company for almost …

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Today’s News: Delta water plan gets more expensive; Boy Scouts tax status challenged; Revenue rebound


Water works. A controversial plan to restore habitat and overhaul California’s water system will cost a half a billion dollars more than originally estimated. The price tag of Governor’s Brown Bay Delta Conservation Plan is now almost $25 billion.
Brown’s plan calls for two enormous concrete tunnels that would carry water 35 miles from the San Joaquin River Delta to pumps near the town of …

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Technology to make guns with a 3-D printer prompts calls for legislation

A photo of the 3D gun printed by Texas-based Defense Distributed.

It sounds pretty futuristic, but it’s now apparently possible to make your own gun – using a 3-D printer. That’s prompted one California legislator to propose banning the technology.
The Texas-based nonprofit group Defense Distributed is a collective of gun access advocates. Over the weekend the group successfully fired a handgun made mostly of plastic using a 3-D printer. The technology works by building up …

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Do gun buybacks really reduce crime?

Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa look over weapons collected at an LA gun buyback event in May 2012. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

More than a 1,000 guns were surrendered at this past weekend’s gun buyback event, held throughout Los Angeles.
The city collected 516 handguns, 381 rifles, 226 shotguns and 49 assault weapons.  Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa says during his administration, the anonymous gun buyback program has removed more than 11,000 guns from the street.
But is it doing anything to reduce crime? City officials believe so. But a …

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Today’s News: Police diverted by multiple false alarms; U.C. admission getting tougher; Targeting illegal guns


False alarms. As the drama unfolds in Boston this morning with the search for the remaining suspect in the Marathon bombings, police in L.A. are also on edge. They responded to numerous bomb scares yesterday, including one that that forced an evacuation of Cal State L.A. and the cancellation of classes. A man who walked into a Hollywood Hooters and claimed to have a …

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Today’s News: Challenge to ‘conversion therapy’ ban; Runners honor Boston victims; Kicking the coal habit


Conversion therapy. In San Francisco today, a federal appeals panel will hear arguments on a new state law that outlaws so-called “conversion therapy.” The treatment, which is aimed at making gay and lesbian teenager straight, has been dismissed as ineffective and dangerous by many mental health professionals. But critics say the ban violates the civil rights of practitioners and parents. Governor Jerry Brown signed …

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Today’s News: Support for tougher gun laws; Digital billboards; Who gets Dorner reward?


Guns poll. Californians are way out in front of the country as a whole when it comes to stricter gun controls. A new USC-Dornsife-L.A. Times poll finds Californians overwhelmingly favor a proposed federal ban on assault weapons, as well as restrictions on high-capacity magazines, background checks for ammunition purchases and rules requiring all gun owners to be registered and insured. One thing that Californians …

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Today’s News: Honing in on Navy sonar; Illegal gun owners; Another Olympics bid


Sonar dispute. The California Coastal Commission is due to rule today on whether a proposed Navy training program poses an unreasonable risk to marine wildlife off the Southern California coast. Environmentalists say increased sonar activity and underwater explosions could harm sea creatures, including endangered mammals like the blue whale. The fight is the latest chapter in a long-running dispute between environmentalists and the Navy …

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Mayor Villaraigosa on Dorner, the State of the Union and his future

LA Mayor Villaraigosa

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa today said he believes Christopher Dorner is dead, but he says LAPD won’t stop special protection details — whatever the cost — for some 50 LAPD families until Dorner’s body has been positively identified.
Meanwhile, the mayor led the cheers for President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address.  In an interview this morning with KCRW, the mayor said Obama …

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What can help curb school violence, more guns or more guidance counselors?

While officials in Washington debate gun legislation, cities and counties are debating how they can make schools safer in the wake of the Newtown massacre. One question that arises is: should local school districts invest in armed guards or in services that may prevent violence in the first place?

Last month the small city of Fontana, in San Bernardino County, received a shipment of semi-automatic …

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Today’s News: Bid to arm teachers; Going after group homes; Villaraigosa to D.C.?


Arming teachers. A Southern California Assemblyman is expected to unveil a new proposal for countering gun violence in schools today: secretly arming teachers or other school officials. The bill by Hesperia Assemblyman Tim Donnelly is the Republican answer to a slew of gun control measures introduced by majority Democrats following the school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut. Donnelly received a fine and probation last year …

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Today’s News: Healthier school meals; Gun control comes to LA; Changing face of Calif.


Healthy meals. When you add it all up, school districts in L.A., New York, Chicago, Miami, Orlando and Dallas serve 2.5 million meals each day. And they collectively spend more than $500 million a year on food. The offerings traditionally haven’t been all that healthy. But that could be about to change. LAUSD and the other districts will announce a plan today to use …

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Today’s News: School shooting; Budget reaction; Chinese Theatre renamed


School Shooting. Taft Union High School in Kern County is closed this morning, one day after a 16-year-old opened fire with a shotgun in a classroom and critically injured a peer. Authorities he’ll be charged with attempted murder. The teen allegedly targeted two boys who he claimed bullied him. One of those boys – a football player – is the injured student. He’s expected …

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Today’s News (Updated): Brown’s budget; ‘Lincoln’ leads; Hollywood and violence


Update: School shooting in Kern County.
This morning an armed 16-year-old student walked into Taft High School in Kern County and shot one student. He reportedly fired at another and then missed. A teacher and another staff member managed to to talk him into surrendering. The injured student was flown to a Bakersfield hospital and is in critical condition. Following the shooting Sen. Dianne Feinstein, released …

economy, Education, Environment, Headline, Issues, Politics, Today's News »

Today’s News: Commissioner targets Anthem; Sayonara Scantrons?; ‘Endangered’ sharks


Rate row. Anthem Blue Cross says accusations that it’s arbitrarily imposing steep rate hikes on small businesses in California are unfounded. State Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones is blasting the company for overstating projected costs, and improperly adding fees related to federal health care reform a year before it takes effect. Anthem – one of the nation’s largest insurers – is proposing rate hikes on …

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Today’s News: 1,500 guns; Bird flap; Grand Central redo


Gun dump. A pair of gun buyback events netted more than 1,500 firearms, including several dozen assault weapons. The number might have been even higher had the city not run out of gift cards. L.A. typically holds its gun buyback events in May, but they were moved up in hopes that collective anguish from the Newtown shootings would spur more people to give up …

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