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Audio: LA County employee complaints rise in wake of attention to sexual harassment charges
Los Angeles County has seen an upswing in the number of sexual harassment complaints filed by its workers recently as daily headlines draw attention to the high-profile issue. In the wake of sexual harassment charges directed at celebrities and politicians around the country, local municipalities are also coming under the spotlight, with questions raised about whether employees know their rights and are adequately protected. [Article]
by MARY PLUMMER, KPCC Southern CA Public Radio. 2017-11-17
 
Two flu deaths reported in LA County, prompting vaccination reminder
Two flu related deaths have been reported in Los Angeles County, prompting local health officials on Friday to urge residents to get vaccinated. The two people who died were described as a middle-aged woman and an elderly man. Both had underlying health conditions, according to a statement by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. No other information was immediately provided or available. “Although most people with flu will recover without problems, these two deaths are a reminder that the flu can be a serious illness,” said Dr. Jeffrey Gunzenhauser, Interim Health Officer for Los Angeles County. “Vaccination is the best method to protect yourself and those around you from the flu.” [Article]
by SUSAN ABRAM, Los Angeles Daily News. 2017-11-17
 
One of the first projects in LA County to capture storm water is being built in Long Beach
The thousands of miles of concrete channels diverting street water from the San Gabriel and Los Angeles rivers represent the last major water project in Los Angeles County, built almost 100 years ago. On Thursday, Dave Sorem, owner and vice president of Mike Bubalo Construction Co., showed off the first of a second wave of street-water projects that elevate what is essentially water pollution into a drinkable water source. One of the first in Los Angeles County, the Los Cerritos Channel Storm Water Capture Facility in Long Beach will take the “first flush” of rain water from the streets of Signal Hill and Long Beach and the runways and taxiways of Long Beach Airport and re-purpose it. The $9 million project located on the southern end of the airport will do exactly what many Southern Californians say when it rains: “Why don’t they capture that water instead of wasting it to the ocean?” [Article]
by STEVE SCAUZILLO, Long Beach Press Telegram. 2017-11-17
 
Dennis McCarthy: There’s hope for LA County foster care boys facing cold realities. This guy is why.
With the compassion and clarity of a father of five and grandfather of six who has seen it all, Don Gustavson left his Northridge home last Tuesday morning to fight for another child not as fortunate as his own. He’s a little boy who lost the birth lottery, and now packs his clothes in trash bags waiting for a stranger who has promised a judge he will watch over him. Fight for him. It was the day after Thanksgiving 2015 when Gustavson, a volunteer with CASA – Court Appointed Special Advocates – fought for his first Sam, a name he gives these young boys who must remain anonymous. He was a week shy of his eighth birthday, and his foster care parent decided after five months she didn’t want him around anymore. So she filed the necessary seven-day removal notice with his social worker at the L.A. County Department of Children and Family Services. [Article]
by DENNIS MCCARTHY, Los Angeles Daily News. 2017-11-17
 
Lawmakers to Californians: Do as we say, not as we do – Daily News
With a declaration that “public servants best serve the citizenry when they can be candid and honest without reservation in conducting the people’s business,” lawmakers passed the California Whistleblower Protection Act in 1999. The idea was to protect workers who report misconduct, so that they can blow the whistle on bad actors without losing their jobs. The bill at that time covered workers at state agencies and California’s two public university systems. Lawmakers expanded it in 2010 to cover employees of the state’s courts. [Article]
by LAUREL ROSENHALL, CalMatters. 2017-11-17
 
Price launches new LA county interactive map
The Sol Price Center for Social Innovation recently launched a neighborhood data platform for Los Angeles County, which allows policymakers, nonprofit organizations and community members to access data to better understand the places where they work and live. The Neighborhood Data for Social Change Platform is a public resource, and its creators’ main goal was to present accessible and interactive data for community users. [Article]
by KATE SEQUEIRA, Daily Titan. 2017-11-17
 
Sup. Hahn Proposes Plan to Inspect Massage Parlors for Human Trafficking
Supervisor Janice Hahn previewed a proposal Tuesday to have massage parlors routinely inspected by health officials looking for signs of human trafficking. “Human trafficking is not constrained to sex trafficking, but also for people who might be forced to work or people who might not be receiving appropriate payment for their services. Some people are now calling it labor trafficking,” Hahn said. “And I fear that this is happening right here in our backyard, particularly (in) places like massage parlors.” [Article]
by STAFF REPORT, Los Angeles Chronicle. 2017-11-17
 
L.A. County hate crimes linked to white supremacists jumped 67% in 2016, study finds
Los Angeles County saw a surge in reported hate crimes last year linked to white supremacists, with a wave of incidents targeting Jews, Muslims and African Americans, according to a study released Thursday. Immigrants have also been targeted, prompting officials to call in sheriff's deputies to maintain calm at public meetings. [Article]
by MELISSA ETEHAD, Los Angeles Times. 2017-11-17
 
Slideshow: Neighborhoods downslope of La Tuna Fire vulnerable to mudslides
The La Tuna Fire burned nearly 7,200 acres over the Labor Day weekend, including five houses. But hundreds more homes on the perimeter of the burn area in Los Angeles, Burbank and Glendale could be at risk if heavy winter rains trigger mudslides.   [Article]
by SHARON McNARY, KPCC Southern CA Public Radio. 2017-11-17
 
Audio: LA Sheriff's body cam plan draws mixed reviews
The Los Angeles County Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission Thursday got its first look at the department’s proposal to use body cameras. While the panel didn’t take a position on the plan to outfit nearly 6,000 deputies, it heard a variety of views from watchdogs who attended the meeting. [Article]
by FRANK STOLZE, KPCC Southern CA Public Radio. 2017-11-17
 
L.A. County leaders make a plea to feds in push to keep funds for homeless veterans
Officials at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs decided in September to put local VA officials in charge of $264 million that had previously been set aside for specific programs to help homeless veterans. VA officials in Washington say the directive will help the agency's medical directors around the country respond to the changing needs of veterans as it seeks to improve medical care and prevent suicides. [Article]
by MELISSA ETEHAD, Los Angeles Times. 2017-11-17
 
Trump's environmental rollbacks hit California hard, despite Sacramento's resistance
When 50,000 acre-feet of water went gushing out of the Sacramento River last month, it fast became a test of California’s ability to protect its environmental policies from an increasingly hostile Trump administration. The episode proved humbling. Heeding the calls of big agriculture interests and area congressional Republicans, the administration pumped federally controlled water to Central Valley farms despite protest from the state that the move imperiled the endangered delta smelt. All California could do was temporarily shut its own pumps, which came at the expense of the state's mostly urban water customers. [Article]
by EVAN HALPER, Los Angeles Times. 2017-11-17
 
California fines Anthem $5 million for failing to address consumer grievances
California's managed-care regulator has fined insurance giant Anthem Blue Cross $5 million for repeatedly failing to resolve consumer grievances in a timely manner. The state Department of Managed Health Care criticized Anthem, the nation's second-largest health insurer, for systemic violations and a long history of flouting the law in regard to consumer complaints. [Article]
by CHAD TERHUNE, Los Angeles Times. 2017-11-17
 
Historic preservation group wants to save Orange County landmarks
They stand as windows to the past, reminding us of our triumphs and warning of our trespasses. A church that served as a refuge for Japanese-Americans during trying times. One of the first schools in the state to voluntarily desegregate. Though their histories hold important dictums for society, their walls can be under siege in a region defined by unyielding development. But a new organization, Preserve Orange County, hopes to combat the industrial colossus from devouring history. [Article]
by BEN BRAZIL, Daily Pilot. 2017-11-17
 
California politicians in Washington need to defend the state's pot laws from federal attack
California officials released regulations on Thursday laying the groundwork for how the cannabis legalization initiative will work. Even as businesses focus on preparing license applications, however, the state's new marijuana regime unavoidably clashes with ongoing federal prohibition. The Obama administration took a largely hands-off approach to cannabis after Colorado and Washington legalized it for recreational purposes in 2012. But while President Trump campaigned on respecting state laws, his pick of longtime legalization foe Jeff Sessions as U.S. attorney general instilled fear and uncertainty in the industry. Last year, Sessions said that "good people don't smoke marijuana." If the Department of Justice moves against California's cannabis industry, can members of the state's congressional delegation be counted on to stand up for their constituents? [Article]
by TOM ANGELL / OPINION, Los Angeles Times. 2017-11-17
 
Foothill Rail Project Estimated to Provide $2.6B Economic Boost
Construction and operation of the 12-mile extension of the Foothill light rail line through the eastern San Gabriel Valley will provide a $2.6 billion economic boost to the region, according to a study released today. The $1.5 billion, 12.3-mile extension from Glendora to Montclair in San Bernardino County is slated to break ground next month; it will include six new stations. When completed around 2026, a trip from Montclair to downtown Pasadena will take just over 40 minutes. The trip to Union Station in downtown Los Angeles will take about 75 minutes. [Article]
by HOWARD FINE, Business Journal. 2017-11-17
 
4-of-5 Southern California homes are “unaffordable,” at least by one measurement
Remember the last time Southern California homebuying was somewhat reasonably affordable? Say, oh, 2012? Well, the economy’s improved in the years after the Great Recession ended — locally and nationally — and fortunately for house hunters, mortgage rates haven’t budged much from near historical lows. [Article]
by JONATHAN LANSER, Orange County Register. 2017-11-17
 
Disruptive technology is a tool — not a utility
Today’s biggest tech companies began as disrupters: an online alternative to bookstores (Amazon), a new way of searching for information (Google), and a revolutionary new computing device (Apple). These companies changed the paradigm. They threatened the status quo and let consumers judge the benefits for themselves. And they succeeded because the U.S. Constitution, legal and regulatory framework gave them the flexibility to compete, grow and innovate. Landmark decisions such as Sony Corporation of America vs. Universal City Studios, Inc. — commonly called the Betamax case — allowed innovators to create technology that allows the free flow of ideas and commerce. Thanks to Betamax, you can record your kid’s soccer game, your best friend’s wedding or your favorite television program. As long as your recording is for private and “fair use,” you are in the clear — no need to fear crippling copyright infringement lawsuits. [Article]
by GARY SHAPIRO, Orange County Register. 2017-11-17
 
OC Unemployment Down
Orange County’s unemployment rate fell to 3.3% in October, led by an increase in the local education sector, according to the state’s Employment Development Department. The county reported a revised 3.6% in September and 4% in October 2016. Nonfarm employment grew 11,000 jobs to a total of 1.6 million in October. The most recent October numbers for the county, state and the U.S. are not seasonally adjusted. The largest hike was in government jobs—up 7,200 month-over-month, mostly because of an increase in the local education workforce, 5,400 jobs, returning to work following the summer recess. [Article]
by PETER J. BRENNAN, Business Journal. 2017-11-17
 
Border sewage and campground vie for state funds
Surfrider and Wildcoast, along with three citizens’ groups, have challenged county supervisor Greg Cox over funding for a campground included in a state bill the groups supported. The groups are asking that the $1.6 million allocated for developing a campground in the Tijuana River Valley — a longtime project of Cox's — be committed to projects to control sewage in the river valley. [Article]
by MARTY GRAHAM, San Diego Reader. 2017-11-17
 
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