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After a decade of struggles, Mental Health America breaks ground on new Long Beach center
After a decade of often acrimonious debate, money issues and political maneuvering, Mental Health America broke ground Friday on a new comprehensive health and service center for the homeless in Long Beach. David Pilon, president and CEO of MHA, has been there through it all. “We’ve had our ups and downs, that’s for sure,” Pilon said. “There were moments when I didn’t think it was going to happen.” The city received pushback when plans were announced to build a mental health center for the homeless, run by MHA, next to the Department of Health and Human Services headquarters at Willow Street and Grand Avenue. That plan, released in 2007, was part of the proposal to turn the Army National Guard center there, Schroeder Hall, into the East Division Police Substation. [Article]
by HARRY SALTZGAVER, Long Beach Press Telegram. 2017-09-22
 
The push for single-payer healthcare just went national. What does that mean for the California effort?
When Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders visited Beverly Hills last May, he made a full-throated appeal for California to “lead the country” and pass a pending state proposal to establish single-payer healthcare. On Friday, he’ll return here for a San Francisco speech trumpeting his own higher-stakes plan — a bill to drastically overhaul the nation’s health-care system by covering everyone through Medicare. The push for single-payer, in which the government pays for residents’ medical care, has already rattled California’s political landscape. Now, the Sanders measure brings an additional jolt, elevating the issue to a national debate that has implications for the future direction of the Democratic Party and early jockeying in the 2020 presidential race. The Sanders plan has left proponents of state Senate Bill 562, the California proposal, elated, viewing the buzz in Washington, D.C., as an unequivocal boon to their efforts in Sacramento, which faltered this summer when the measure was shelved in the state Assembly. [Article]
by MELANIE MASON, Los Angeles Times. 2017-09-22
 
The myths used to needlessly delay the Cadiz water project, debunked
California is world-renowned for its protection of natural resources, and its environmental laws are America’s strongest — far more stringent than their federal equivalents. In fact, the rigor of California’s environmental process has caused many high-profile projects to seek legislative exemptions from state review. So when a critical infrastructure project makes it through California’s environmental permitting processes and is upheld by all levels of the state’s courts, it’s a big achievement. For nearly a decade, the Cadiz Valley Water Conservation, Recovery and Storage Project, which will create a new water supply for 400,000 people and thousands of jobs, has followed the entire California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review and approval process from start to finish — public comment periods, public hearings, board approvals and litigation, all of which concluded last year, when the 4th District Court of Appeal sustained every approval of the project and concluded that it could be operated safely and sustainably. [Article]
by TRACY RAFTER HERNANDEZ, CARLOS RODRIGUEZ / OPINION, Los Angeles Times. 2017-09-22
 
Two Million Could Lose Insurance Under Graham-Cassidy Health Care Bill; Hospitals Face Revenue Hit
The Graham-Cassidy health care bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act could strip an estimated 2 million residents in Los Angeles County of their health insurance, according to a UC Berkeley study. That could severely impact more than 100 Los Angeles-area hospitals across the county required by law to treat any patient, regardless of their ability to pay, hospital trade associations say. That means up to roughly one in five county residents without insurance under the new health care bill could swamp hospital emergency rooms - among the last resorts for medical care for the poor. [Article]
by DANA BARTHOLOMEW, Business Journal. 2017-09-22
 
County’s Office of Emergency Management stresses preparedness in wake of recent earthquakes
The recent non-related 3.6-magnitude earthquake that struck near Westwood at 11:20pm on Monday, Sept. 18 and 7.1-magnitude earthquake near Raboso, Mexico at 11:14am on Tuesday, Sept. 8 should remind Los Angeles County residents and businesses that a catastrophic earthquake could occur at any time, according to the County’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM). [Article]
by PRESS RELEASE, The Signal. 2017-09-22
 
Upcoming State of Cannabis Conference Aims to Educate Industry Insiders, Create Network
Long Beach will play host to a two-day conference on marijuana next week that will not only let attendees try the products they will discuss, but it will bring together cannabis industry leaders, elected officials, regulators and others to understand the federally illegal plant that will be sold recreationally statewide by next year. The event includes a long list of notable guests like opening keynote speaker Lori Ajax, chief of the recently created Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulations (and previously with the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control), and Orange County Congressman Dana Rohrbacher who will provide closing comments. [Article]
by STEPHANIE RIVERA, Long Beach Press Telegram. 2017-09-22
 
Audio: Challenges mount as rollout of new California voting overhaul nears
Think back a decade: what did your cell phone look like? Now imagine carrying out your normal routine today with that old phone.  That scenario sums up the problem facing California’s aging voting system. Around the state, the machines that handle ballots have grown old as technology has advanced. There are also increasing concerns about security threats and how to get more voters to participate in elections. And the pending rollout of a new law could do away with most neighborhood polling locations and nudge more voters to vote by mail. [Article]
by MARY PLUMMER, KPCC Southern CA Public Radio. 2017-09-22
 
County May Allow Immediate Destruction of Texts and Email
Orange County officials would gain broad approval to immediately delete their emails and text messages about official county business from county email systems and phones, under a policy up for adoption next week that would prevent the public from obtaining the communications through public records requests. [Article]
by NICK GERDA, Voice of OC. 2017-09-22
 
Orange County sees no need to increase measures to prevent hepatitis A outbreak amid homeless population
Public health officials in Los Angeles County declared an outbreak of hepatitis A early last week with 10 people infected, while in San Diego County containment efforts have been stepped-up among the street population where the disease has killed 16 homeless people and infected hundreds of others. But with only one reported local case of hepatitis A related to the San Diego outbreak so far, Orange County health officials are holding steady to relying on offering vaccinations to homeless people here in order to prevent spread of the disease. [Article]
by THERESA WALKER, Orange County Register. 2017-09-22
 
Lack of health care access a gateway to homelessness
Headlines about homelessness increasing in Orange County appear regularly in the media these days, along with images of riverbed encampments and stories about crime, hope, the lack of affordable housing and the need for a stronger safety net. The problem is big, and it’s real, and it’s growing in our home county — something none of us can ignore. That’s why I’m so surprised that we haven’t heard from the elected officials working on homelessness issues about the impact the current proposed health care repeal could have on homelessness in Orange County. [Article]
by JENNIFER MUIR BEUTHIN / COLUMNIST, Orange County Register. 2017-09-22
 
Housing summit to focus on new uses for blighted land
Seizing the opportunity to build housing on underused strip malls will be among the topics explored at the upcoming Orange County Housing Summit this Thursday at Chapman University. Speakers include Joel Kotkin, a Chapman fellow in urban studies; Hitta Mosesman, principal at RSG; and Jeff Moore, a senior managing director for CBRE’s Orange County operation. Fadel Lawandy, director of Chapman’s Department of Finance and Real Estate, will kick off the summit with an overview of last-minute bills passed earlier this month, including housing legislation and a bill declaring California a sanctuary state. [Article]
by JEFF COLLINS, Orange County Register. 2017-09-22
 
DACA debate: Don’t call them ‘Dreamers,’ or pawns
Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi smiled as she stood at a podium in San Francisco last week and described young, undocumented immigrants as “our VIPs.” But the House Democratic leader wasn’t even finished speaking when dozens of very loud young people walked in. They shouted demands and took over the press conference. Her smile gone, Pelosi appeared shaken. “For a long time, we’ve been fighting the fight for the Dreamers,” she tried to interject. “We are not Dreamers!” some shouted back, drowning her out and forcing the news conference to end in chaos. Young and undocumented, yes. Just don’t call them “Dreamers.” [Article]
by ROXANA KOPETMAN, Orange County Register. 2017-09-22
 
Proposed veterans cemetery faces another hurdle after Irvine seeks to change deal
IRVINE — A much-debated plan to build Orange County’s first military veterans cemetery at the former El Toro Marine base may be facing another stumbling block. Instead of donating 125 acres of land to the state all at once for the cemetery, Irvine is considering giving portions of it in phases so the city can use some of it for other purposes such as hotels and housing. However, some City Council members, veterans and developer FivePoint, which currently owns the proposed cemetery site and is negotiating a land swap deal with the city, say such a move could stall and jeopardize the project. [Article]
by TOMOYA SHIMURA, Orange County Register. 2017-09-22
 
Early warning shark-detection technology could soon be a reality at local beaches with $1 million Orange County project
There’s a growing threat along Southern California’s coastline, and officials want to arm themselves with advanced technology that could save lives. It’s not a threat of a nuclear strike that officials gathered to discuss, Friday, Sept. 22, or an attempt to get early warning for earthquakes that can rattle the region. No, this threat comes in a more sharp-toothed form and lurks below the water’s surface. [Article]
by LAYLAN CONNELLY, Orange County Register. 2017-09-22
 
New fight in California water wars: How to update old system
(AP) — In California’s long-raging water wars, pitting north against south and farmer against city dweller, the one thing everybody agreed on Wednesday was that the outdated method of shipping water throughout the most populous state needs a serious upgrade. A group of influential California farmers shook up the debate a day earlier, backing out of Gov. Jerry Brown’s $16 billion plan to build two massive water tunnels, re-engineering the delivery system. Westlands Water District in Fresno said it was too expensive and came with too few guarantees. [Article]
by SCOTT SMITH / ASSOCIATED PRESS, Business Journal. 2017-09-22
 
Boulevard library kiosk
September 22, 2017 (Boulevard) -- It is back to the drawing board for San Diego County Library officials, who had intended to debut a 24/7 automated library kiosk in front of the old Boulevard fire station at 39923 Ribbonwood in September. But due to unforeseen circumstances, a heavy cover will remain on the kiosk and residents are going to have to wait at least until mid-December before it will be operational. [Article]
by PAUL KRUZE, East County Magazine. 2017-09-22
 
Medical community challenged by hepatitis A outbreak
As jaundice faded and abdominal pains subsided in July, it looked like the 61-year-old homeless man lying in a bed at UC San Diego Medical Center had beat the hepatitis A infection that had attacked his already-damaged liver. But, after five days of positive medical signs, those symptoms unexpectedly returned, thrusting him back into a fight that his doctors thought was finished. Dr. Darcy Wooten, an infectious disease specialist at UC San Diego and no relation to Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county’s public health officer, said the virus’ return was devastating for her patient. “Over the course of a week and a half to two weeks he went into liver failure and died,” Wooten said. “It was a case of relapsing hepatitis which occurs in 10 percent of patients, but it’s not something I have seen in my career before.” [Article]
by PAUL SISSON, San Diego Union-Tribune. 2017-09-22
 
Cats and kittens at County animal shelters looking for forever homes
The county is having a weekend adoption special for felines through Sunday at all three of its animal shelters, with fees being waived for qualified adopters as part of a “Fall in Love” promotion. That promo drew dozens of people, including friends Delilah Moran of El Cajon and Erik Knaresboro of Lakeside, to the Gaines Street shelter in San Diego Friday afternoon. The two stood in front of a row of cat cages, having a tough time deciding which kitten Moran should take home. The county’s three animal shelters have hundreds of cats from which to choose. Each one adopted will go home already spayed or neutered with current vaccinations and flea control, a microchip and a voucher for a free veterinary exam within the first 10 days. The Central Shelter is at 5480 Gaines St. in San Diego, the North Shelter is at 2481 Palomar Airport Road in Carlsbad, and the South Shelter is at 5821 Sweetwater Road in Bonita. [Article]
by KAREN PEARLMAN, San Diego Union-Tribune. 2017-09-22
 
Investigating voter fraud, Riverside County District Attorney’s Office sought 60-plus search warrants
The Riverside County District Attorney’s Office sought more than 60 search warrants this summer to examine individual voter records as part of an investigation into possible illegal voting in the 2016 elections. No criminal charges have been filed in the probe, which sought records from the county Registrar of Voters, and it’s unclear whether the warrants were part of routine post-election reviews or a unique investigation into whether some people voted more than once in the same election. The San Bernardino County registrar, as well as the vice president of a statewide association of election administrators, said they’ve never gotten search warrants seeking voter records. [Article]
by JEFF HORSEMAN, Riverside Press-Enterprise. 2017-09-22
 
Colonies bribery case ends with all charges dismissed against last defendant Jim Erwin
SAN BERNARDINO >> The judge in the San Bernardino County Colonies corruption case on Friday dismissed all charges against the only remaining defendant, Jim Erwin, after prosecutors announced they did not want to retry the case. It ended the epic case – nearly eight years after the first arrest and following a marathon 8-month trial that ended with none of the four defendants being convicted. “Eight and a half years. I’m numb,” Erwin said following Friday’s proceedings. “I guess the best way to describe it is bittersweet.” [Article]
by RYAN HAGEN and JOE NELSON, San Bernardino County Sun. 2017-09-22
 
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