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Update: King fire containment reaches 92% as humidity aids firefighting efforts
A rainy weekend helped tame the King fire, which remained steady Monday at 97,099 acres burned since it broke out more than two weeks ago. Containment – just 18 percent a week ago – reached 92 percent Monday evening, according to the U.S. Forest Service and California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. “The rain really did help,” said USFS spokesman Michael Williams. “It seemed that it rained off and on for the past several days.” The fire broke out Sept. 13 near Pollock Pines in El Dorado County and spread into neighboring Placer County. It wiped out 12 homes and burned 68 other structures. [Article]
by BILL LINDELHOF, Placerville Mountain Democrat. 2014-09-30
California exhausts initial firefighting budget
California has exhausted its initial firefighting budget just three months into its fiscal year, Gov. Jerry Brown's administration said Monday, requiring the drought-plagued state to shift 70 mln from a reserve fund as it enters what is traditionally the worst of its fire season. The Department of Finance notified legislative budget writers on Monday that the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has spent the 209 mln budgeted this fiscal year to fight wildfires. The administration is transferring the additional money from its 449 mln special fund for economic uncertainties. [Article]
by DON THOMPSON, Associated Press, KPCC Southern CA Public Radio. 2014-09-30
King Fire Fund Grants Nearly 30K to Local Nonprofits
Sacramento, Calif. September 30, 2014 - Nearly 30K was granted to local organizations from the newly created King Fire Fund, which was established by the Sacramento Region Community Foundation to provide support and future recovery efforts to those affected by the King Fire in El Dorado and Placer Counties. Grants to the El Dorado Community Foundation, People for Animal Welfare in El Dorado County (PAWED), the Food Bank of El Dorado County, and the American Red Cross Capital Region will augment immediate relief needs as well as support a pathway for recovery as people return to their homes and properties and start to assess damages. [Article]
by STAFF REPORT, YubaNet News. 2014-09-30
Brown signs bill to help protect female farmworkers from sex abuse
The middlemen who provide farmers with temporary workers will bear more responsibility for stopping violent sexual harassment, including rape, in agricultural work under a bill signed Sunday by California Gov. Jerry Brown. The new law requires sexual harassment training for labor contractors, supervisors and all farm employees. Questions related to sexual harassment will be added to the labor contractors’ licensing exam. The bill was introduced in response to Rape in the Fields, a collaboration among The Center for Investigative Reporting, the Investigative Reporting Program at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, KQED-FM, FRONTLINE and Univision. [Article]
by BERNICE YEUNG, Center for Investigative Reporting. 2014-09-30
Governor's bill signing spree: California becomes first state to ban plastic bags
Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation imposing the nation's first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags. Brown on Tuesday signed the bill by Democratic state Sen. Alex Padilla of Los Angeles. Plastic bags will be phased out of large grocery stores starting next July and convenience stores and pharmacies in 2016. The legislation is meant to encourage consumers to bring their own bags and as a way to reduce litter. [Article]
by STAFF REPORT, KPCC Southern CA Public Radio. 2014-09-30
California cops don’t need warrants to surveil with drones
Alameda County police in Northern California are inching toward flying camera-equipped drones like this one. California Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed legislation that would have required the police to obtain search warrants to surveil the public with unmanned drones. Brown, a Democrat facing re-election in November, sided with law enforcement and said the legislation simply granted Californians privacy rights that went too far beyond existing guarantees. Sunday's veto comes as the small drones are becoming increasingly popular with business, hobbyists, and law enforcement. [Article]
by DAVID KRAVETS, Government Technology. 2014-09-30
Brown sets deadline for Exide plant on hazardous waste
In a wide range of bill signings Monday, Gov. Jerry Brown approved measures to expand privacy rights for students online and crack down on ill-behaved professional sports team owners. He also signed a bill setting a deadline for Exide Technologies' battery recycling plant in Vernon to comply with hazardous-waste laws, while vetoing broader changes to the state's toxic substances regulator. Scores of bills still await Brown's consideration before a midnight Tuesday deadline to act on bills including several gun control proposals, a package of ethics-related measures and a proposed statewide ban on disposable plastic bags. Brown signed a pair of bills Monday to protect children who use the Internet. One bars companies from using personal information about minor students obtained through Internet education websites and mobile applications for any purpose other than online education. [Article]
California becomes first state to ban single-use plastic bags
SACRAMENTO >> Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed legislation imposing the nation’s first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags, driven to action by a buildup of litter and damage to aquatic ecosystems. A national coalition of plastic bag manufacturers immediately said it would seek a voter referendum to repeal the law, which is scheduled to take effect in July 2015. Under SB270, plastic bags will be phased out of large grocery stores starting next summer and convenience stores and pharmacies in 2016. The law allows grocers to charge a fee of at least 10 cents for using paper bags. [Article]
by FENIT NIRAPPIL / ASSOCIATED PRESS, Los Angeles Daily News. 2014-09-30
Jerry Brown vetoes state pay and seniority shift-preference bills
Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed two state employee bills on Monday, including one that would have set a standard that managers and supervisors earn at least 10 percent more than the employees they manage. The other bill would have required that supervisors bid for shifts on the basis of seniority. The pay measure, Senate Bill 216 by Sen. Jim Beall, D-San Jose, would have required the state to “address salary compaction and parity concerns” by establishing a goal to pay management at least 10 percent more than their highest-paid subordinate employees. If the Department of Human Resources determined that the state’s finances didn’t allow that differential, it would have had to report its salary data to the Legislature. In a letter explaining his veto, Brown said, “My administration has made progress on this issue within the past 12 months and will continue to meet with representatives of excluded employees to discuss compaction issues as appropriate.” An example: The administration in August increased pay between 8 percent and 42 percent for state managers in the scientific and civil engineering corps. [Article]
by JON ORTIZ, Sacramento Bee. 2014-09-30
Gov. Brown signs bills aiding immigrant children, troubled students
California Gov. Jerry Brown on Saturday signed legislation to provide 3 mln in legal aid for the thousands of unaccompanied minors from Central America who have flooded into the U.S. illegally this year. The Democratic governor also approved a new law to limit suspensions and expulsions of students who "willfully defy" teachers and administrators, and he vetoed 100 mln that lawmakers had set aside for deferred maintenance at University of California and California State University campuses. In addition, he OK'd the protection of G.I. Bill benefits for military veterans attending California colleges and changes in California's ballot initiative process. The governor took action on the wide range of proposals ahead of a midnight Tuesday deadline to sign or veto hundreds of measures still on his desk. [Article]
by PATRICK MCGREEVY, PHIL WILLON, Los Angeles Times. 2014-09-30
New California law aims to strengthen human trafficking prosecutions
OAKLAND -- Gov. Jerry Brown has signed into law an East Bay-grown assembly bill that will strengthen human trafficking prosecutions, Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley says. Assembly Bill 1610, written by Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Alameda, and sponsored by O'Malley, allows for witnesses and victims in human trafficking cases to be subject to a conditional examination before a trial. [Article]
by MALAIKA FRALEY, Oakland Tribune. 2014-09-30
Nextdoor Debuts Service for Public Agencies, the private social network for neighborhoods, announced today the launch of Nextdoor for Public Agencies. The new platform will allow cities and their agencies nationwide to easily sign up, verify and start communicating with residents on Nextdoor via a secure network. Nextdoor is a private social network for neighborhoods -- and has 42K neighboorhoods throughout the country. Using the platform, police departments, sheriffs' offices, fire departments, departments of emergency management and other public agencies can begin connecting with residents on Nextdoor almost immediately, allowing them to send targeted information to specific neighborhoods, groups of neighbo [Article]
by JUSTINE BROWN, Government Technology. 2014-09-30
Brown allows new local development financing tools
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown announced Monday that he had signed a bill allowing local governments a partial replacement tool for financing infrastructure projects such as water systems, transit facilities and affordable housing. The Democratic governor signed SB628 by Sen. Jim Beall, D-San Jose, along with several other economic-development bills. Brown previously led the charge to eliminate about 400 community-redevelopment agencies that he criticized as being little more than slush funds for private developers. Those agencies were dissolved in February 2012, leaving local governments without a way to fight blight and provide affordable housing. [Article]
by JUDY LIN / Associated Press, San Diego Union-Tribune. 2014-09-30
Billboard confronts parents of black gays with HIV
The billboard towers over the busy intersection of Santa Monica Blvd. and La Brea Avenue, the gateway to West Hollywood. In bold white letters against an all-black background, it offers a startling L.A. county statistic: "One in three black gay men are infected with HIV." Then, in even bigger letters, it asks: "IS HE YOUR SON?" [Article]
by ADRIAN FLORIDO, KPCC Southern CA Public Radio. 2014-09-30
Survey finds many LA veterans unemployed or earning poverty wages
A new wide-ranging report on U.S. military veterans in Los Angeles has found that a quarter of veterans are unemployed, and among those with jobs, many work for meager wages. “Nearly a quarter are earning an annual income at or below the U.S. poverty level,” said the author of the report, USC Professor Carl Castro. “That was a surprising finding. I didn’t expect that.” [Article]
by SHIRLEY JAHAD and BRIAN WATT, KPCC Southern CA Public Radio. 2014-09-30
County Supes May OK $337M Jail Program Reimbursement
[KHTS] – Los Angeles County supervisors Tuesday are expected to approve a reimbursement of about 337.7 mln to pay for AB 109 programs, a controversial jail-prison realignment program. While Supervisor Michael Antonovich has been a vocal opponent of the state’s public safety realignment program, which was aimed at reducing the number of non-serious, non-violent and non-sexual offenders in state prisons due to a Supreme Court order, officials claim early data shows promise. “Realignment continues to pose serious concerns and threatens public safety statewide because we are dealing with repeat offenders,” Antonovich said last week, when the law’s implementation was reviewed. “There are over 32K arrests involving the 24K (post-supervision probationers) under probation supervision because some are being arrested up to seven or eight times.” [Article]
by PERRY SMITH, KHTS Radio News (LA). 2014-09-30
County Officials Continue To Use Smartphone App To Connect With Public
Los Angeles County officials are continuing to use a smartphone application, The Works, in an effort to connect more with the public, officials said. The Department of Public Works officials launched The Works app in 2012. "The app has been downloaded over 5K times and there are, on average, over 340 requests for service a month," said Brandon Dowling, public affairs communications specialist for the County of Los County Officials Continue To Use Smartphone App To Connect With PublicAngeles. In the January update of the app, county residents can contact Department of Parks and Recreation, Public Health and Regional Planning officials, according to the news release. [Article]
by JESSICA BOYER, KHTS Radio News (LA). 2014-09-30
Health officials recommend county residents to avoid eating fish caught from San Dimas and Arcadia lakes
Due to elevated contamination levels, county health officials warned anglers today to avoid eating fish caught in a pair of lakes. Health officials said testing of water, fish and sediment from Puddingstone Reservoir in Frank G. Bonelli Regional Park in San Dimas and Peck Road Water Conservation Park in Arcadia indicated fish may contain contaminants above the levels considered safe for human consumption. County health, Public Works and Parks and Recreation officials are working to determine what steps will be taken to improve the lakes. [Article]
by STAFF REPORT, West Side Story Newspaper. 2014-09-30
Changing Perceptions in Foster Care Youth
“My teacher called me the ‘F’ word,” one former foster youth mumbled during a “Pain to Power” meeting held by the RightWay Foundation. Twelve transition-aged youth sat around a table that filled the room. At first everyone looked confused, trying to figure out which of the many ‘F’ words the teacher could have thrown at him. “Foster child,” he finally said, his head bent down. You couldn’t see his tears, but you could hear his heart break. He was on the football team, none of his friends knew he was in foster care, and his teacher “outed” him. He was embarrassed and humiliated. The class exploded in fury. One of the girls turned to him, her voice filled with outrage and asked him to hold on to the strength that he had, that he was worthwhile and more than just a foster child, even though that’s the label the world might give him. [Article]
by MIRA ZIMET, California Progress Report. 2014-09-30
New California law aims to rid farmers markets of cheaters
Bringing to fruition a decade-long campaign by farmers market stakeholders, on Friday, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed AB 1871, which for the first time provides what supporters say is adequate funding to ensure that growers at certified farmers markets produce what they sell. “This is the single-most significant change to farmers market laws since they were established in 1977,” said Ben Feldman, chair of the California Alliance of Farmers' Markets. [Article]
by DAVID KAPP, Los Angeles Times. 2014-09-30
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