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Northern California is seeing two or three times more rain than normal. So why is Southern California so dry?
As the state enters its sixth year of drought, Northern California is seeing some significant relief thanks to a series of powerful storms, while Southern California remains mired in record dry conditions. Despite a rainstorm set to hit the Southland this week, the region continues to face an unprecedented lack of precipitation, recording only 60% of average rainfall this month. By contrast, communities from the Bay Area north to the Oregon border have recorded 200% to 300% of the average this month, according to the National Weather Service. It’s a pattern Californians saw last winter, when the much-hyped El Niño phenomenon was expected to soak Southern California but instead steered north, blanketing the northern Sierra Nevada in snow and leaving Angelenos and their neighbors in the dust. “We can only hope as the winter progresses we’ll get the rains to go farther south,” said Reginald Kennedy, a National Weather Service hydrologist. “Nothing in the climate forecast wants to tip its hat.” Rain and snow in Northern California are considered essential to easing the drought because the state’s major networks of dams and reservoirs are located there, providing water to many other parts of the state. While rain in Southern California is also important, much of it flows into storm drains and into the ocean. [Article]
by JOSEPH SERNA, Los Angeles Times. 2016-10-27
Why Gov. Jerry Brown is staking so much on overhauling prison parole
Few California voters likely know much, if anything, about the state Board of Parole Hearings — from the qualifications of the 12 commissioners to their success in opening the prison gates for only those who can safely return to the streets. And yet Gov. Jerry Brown’s sweeping overhaul of prison parole, Proposition 57, is squarely a question of whether those parole officials should be given additional latitude to offer early release to potentially thousands of prisoners over the next few years. “I feel very strongly that this is the correct move,” Brown told The Times in a recent interview. “I’m just saying, let’s have a rational process.” Prosecutors, though, contend the governor’s proposal goes too far after several years of trimming down California’s prison population to only the most hardened criminals. They believe the parole board, whose members are gubernatorial appointees, already is swinging too far away from being tough on crime. “They are recommending release of people we never would have expected would have occurred so soon,” said Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey. “I’m concerned about people who really haven’t served a significant amount of time.” [Article]
by JOHN MYERS, Los Angeles Times. 2016-10-27
What to expect from Southern California’s next storm, due today
Meteorologists at the National Weather Service believe a storm expected to pass throughout the Southland by the week’s end may have severe repercussions for areas recently affected by wildfires. The weather service forecast calls for showers to pound the region today and Friday, possibly dropping more than an inch of rain in the San Bernardino and Angeles National Forests. Meteorologist Stephen Harrison says heavy rainfall is expected in the area where the Blue Cut Fire burned over the summer in San Bernardino County’s high desert region. Enough rain could amount to debris flows and mud slides. [Article]
by DOUG SAUNDERS, Los Angeles Daily News. 2016-10-27
Measure M proponents, worried tax won’t pass, are planning a final push to win voters
CITY OF INDUSTRY >> Los Angeles city, county and state leaders stressed that without a late push, Metro’s Measure M on the November ballot may not pass, dooming funding for 40 projects including completion of the 71 Freeway, the 57/60 interchange and extension of the Gold Line to Claremont. Polling for the measure, which would add a half-cent to the sales tax in Los Angeles County and raise about $120 billion over 40 years, is showing about 67 percent to 69 percent support across the county, confirmed Yes on M campaign spokesman Yusef Robb. [Article]
by STEVE SCAUZILLO , Pasadena Star News. 2016-10-27
LA County moves forward with jails despite protest
Los Angeles County supervisors have moved forward with plans to build two jails with thousands of beds — but not before shouting protesters temporarily shut down the meeting. After a short recess, supervisors on Tuesday approved an environmental impact report for a 1,600-bed women's jail in Lancaster and $106 million in funding to plan a nearly 4,000-bed replacement for the Men's Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles. [Article]
by ASSOCIATED PRESS, KPCC Southern CA Public Radio. 2016-10-27
AirTalk | Ballot booth selfies create risk of vote buying & intimidation, but encourage participation
From the likes of Justin Timberlake to Beyonce, selfies are making their way into polling places. Voters across the country are sharing their completed ballots with the world via social media. It's currently illegal to do so in California, but a new law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown allowing the practice will go into effect soon after this year’s election. Opponents worry the phenomena could lead to vote buying and election fraud. Supporters say it’s constitutionally protected speech. [Article]
by AIR TALK, KPCC Southern CA Public Radio. 2016-10-27
Climate Resolve Talk with a Scientist: Helene Margolis
How can we help communities face the impacts of climate change? As a chronic disease and environmental epidemiologist, Dr. Helene Margolis (UC Davis) works on investigating environmental impacts on individuals and populations in order to translate that science into policy. She talked to Maya Bon for Climate Resolve about the health impacts of climate change and how we can act locally with policies to protect the public.  What is the relationship between climate change and human health? Dr. Helene Margolis: Within developed and developing nations, climate change is going to have a very broad range of health impacts. There are definitely subgroups of the population who are going to be more vulnerable to those adverse health impacts, both because they are biologically more susceptible and because of the social determinants of health…. There is a broad range of vulnerability with respect to climate change.  [Article]
by STAFF REPORT, KCET - SoCal Public TV. 2016-10-27
Foothill Gold Line is Catalyst for Transit Oriented Developments | Monrovia Weekly
Newly released reports reveal substantial return on public investment from transit oriented developments within half mile of a Gold Line Light Rail Station  The Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority released two reports that detail the amount of transit oriented development (TOD) that has been built or is underway within a half-mile radius of a current and future Gold Line station, including the economic impact the development is bringing to the region. The reports, commissioned by the Construction Authority and prepared by The Maxima Group and Beacon Economics, quantify the number of housing units, hotel rooms and square feet of commercial space built along the corridor since the Gold Line’s first segment opened for passenger service in 2003 and planning began for the extension from Pasadena to Montclair. The reports also highlight the private investment made from the developments and the resulting overall economic impact the TOD projects have had on the regional economy. [Article]
by STAFF REPORT, LA Observed. 2016-10-27
L.A. County CISO Wins Cybersecurity Leadership Award
Los Angeles County Chief Information Security Officer Robert Pittman is one of eight winners of the sixth-annual Cybersecurity Leadership and Innovation Awards, announced by the Center for Digital Government on Thursday. [Article]
by STAFF REPORT, Government Technology. 2016-10-27
Young People Deserve a Second Chance
In California, young people increasingly are being treated as adults by the justice system. I was one of them. When I was 14, my friends and I got into a fight with a man in my hometown of Watsonville, California. The man died as a result of the beating, something I will regret forever. I was prosecuted as an adult, charged with assault and gang enhancements, and could have ended up in state prison for the rest of my life. But I was given a rare second chance. Growing up, I had to learn pretty early in life how to raise myself. Aside from growing up in a poor community with few resources and opportunities for youth, my home life was unstable. I was misguided and looking for love, attention and validation – things I wasn’t receiving at home. I got caught up with trying to impress the wrong people for the wrong reasons. [Article]
by DANIEL MENDOZA / OPINION, Chronicle of Social Change. 2016-10-27
County Approved for Whole Person Care Pilot Project
The County of Orange has been approved through the state Department of Health Care Services for a five-year project to implement the Whole Person Care (WPC) pilot program, which is designed to ensure a more holistic approach to targeting the impacts of homelessness, and promoting mental and physical wellness. [Article]
by PRESS RELEASE, Voice of OC. 2016-10-27
Supervisors Support Fee Waiver to Encourage Animal Adoptions
Faced with an abundance of dogs, cats and rabbits filling space at the OC Animal Shelter, the Board of Supervisors has voted to allow OC Animal Care to waive adoption fees for pets being adopted in unincorporated areas, with plans to expand countywide. [Article]
by PRESS RELEASE, Voice of OC. 2016-10-27
Google Fiber scales back high-speed project in Irvine
Google Fiber’s high-speed venture into Irvine has fizzled. The company notified the city Tuesday that it will not pursue a cable television and internet project first announced a year ago, Irvine spokesman Craig Reem said. “The technology is rapidly changing, and Google has certainly determined that putting cable into the ground is costly,” Reem wrote in an email. “I was not surprised by this announcement.” [Article]
by HANNAH MADANS and TOMOYA SHIMURA, Orange County Register. 2016-10-27
53 months of rising home prices helps Anaheim couple buy dream home
Ulises and Haidee Sandoval took a leap of faith in 2010 and bought a rambling, five-bedroom ranch house in west Anaheim. The housing market was in the depths of recession at the time. But the gamble paid off. Thanks to a four-year recovery that has yet to run out of steam, the couple sold that starter house last month for a $232,000 profit and reinvested the proceeds in their dream home in a gated community. [Article]
by JEFF COLLINS, Orange County Register. 2016-10-27
Supervisors approve leasing Chino property that could earn O.C. $523 million
Orange County could bring in an extra $523 million over the next 68 years after the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved leasing a property it owns in Chino to be developed into warehouses, likely for e-commerce companies. The county owns the property as part of a larger land acquisition to control flooding along the Santa Ana River. But the 95-acre parcel is on the edge of the flood plain, making it open for development, and therefore valuable, as long as the county raises the land above a certain height. [Article]
by JORDAN GRAHAM, Orange County Register. 2016-10-27
Invasive Insect Threatens San Diego County's Palm Trees
Researchers in San Diego County are in a race against an invasive creature on a path of destruction. The South American palm weevil, which has traditionally been found in South and Central America, has killed hundreds of palm trees from the border to Bonita since its arrival in 2015. “We think now the palm weevil probably has a strong foothold in San Diego County and is probably killing many more palms than we currently realize,” said Mark Hoddle, a specialist in invasive species and biological control at UC Riverside. [Article]
by SUSAN MURPHY, KPBS - San Diego. 2016-10-27
Off-Ramp | In Yorba Linda, the race for water district board is getting ugly
It's not often that a local utilities board election sets off angry confrontations between neighbors, candidates' faces plastered on Old West-style "wanted" posters and even a current board member hung in effigy.  But races for four seats on the Yorba Linda Water District's board of directors have defied stereotypes of sleepy local elections, stirring up intense outrage and anger – and opening a broader debate about California's water future.  [Article]
by KEVIN FERGUSON, KPCC Southern CA Public Radio. 2016-10-27
Proposition 57 inmate release initiative is lacking
Proposition 57, proposed as an amendment to the California Constitution, is the latest effort pushed by officials that could help the state meet court-ordered cuts in its prison population. On its face, the measure seems well-meaning and straightforward. The ballot label summary for Proposition 57 reads: “Allows parole consideration for nonviolent felons. Authorizes sentence credits for rehabilitation, good behavior, and education. Provides juvenile court judge decides whether juvenile will be prosecuted as adult.” In addition, it indicates the measure will bring “net state savings likely in the tens of millions of dollars annually, depending on implementation. Net county costs of likely a few million dollars annually.” [Article]
by EDITORIAL, Desert Sun. 2016-10-27
As the Salton Sea’s decline looms, a rush to cover up dry lakebed
On the bottom of what used to be a shallow bay, bulldozers and excavators are clawing into the dry lakebed. Over the past decade, the shore of the Salton Sea has receded more than a mile at Red Hill Bay, leaving a dusty plain of salt-laden soil that crunches and crumbles underfoot. Workers have been using machines to dig down to a clay layer, starting to build berms so the area can be flooded and transformed into more than 500 acres of wetlands. The project, which involves the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Imperial Irrigation District, is one of several initial efforts underway to restore habitat and reduce windblown dust as the Salton Sea shrinks. The lake is about to begin receding rapidly. Under a deal that transfers increasing amounts of water to San Diego County and the Coachella Valley, the amounts flowing into the sea will be cut sharply in 2018, accelerating its decline. [Article]
by IAN JAMES, Desert Sun. 2016-10-27
In an unusual move, San Bernardino County Supervisor James Ramos hires two chiefs of staff
James Ramos, chairman of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, is making some rather unconventional changes to his staff, while his colleague, Supervisor Janice Rutherford, is picking up one of his former chiefs of staff. The Board of Supervisors has approved employment contracts for Ramos’ Field Representative Molly Wiltshire and Policy Adviser Sandra Maravilla to serve in the dual role as his deputy chief of staff. The two will replace John Futch, who has announced his retirement. "John’s been a great employee championing issues in the Third District, and we’re going to miss him dearly," Ramos said in a telephone interview. [Article]
by JOE NELSON, Riverside Press-Enterprise. 2016-10-27
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