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Health officials order Paramount metal plants to stop emissions or suspend operations
n a rare intervention, county health officials Thursday ordered two Paramount metal-processing plants to stop emissions of hexavalent chromium or shut down operations contributing to high levels of the cancer-causing air pollutant. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health directed Aerocraft Heat Treating Co. and Anaplex Corp. to “immediately take all necessary actions to eliminate the current nuisance endangering the health of the public, which may include full or partial suspension of operations.” The orders come two days after the facilities in the city southeast of Los Angeles were targeted with enforcement action by air quality regulators. The South Coast Air Quality Management District filed Tuesday for an administrative order to force the facilities to halt their emissions or shut down, accusing them of exposing Paramount residents to high cancer risks. Taken together, the moves mark a significant escalation by agencies that have been criticized by residents for slow and weak action in addressing longstanding health concerns over pollution from metal plants operating close to homes and schools. [Article]
by TONY BARBOZA, Los Angeles Times. 2016-12-02
 
P-45 mountain lion no longer faces the death penalty
he mountain lion known as P-45 has been granted a reprieve by the owner of 10 alpacas that the big cat is suspected of slaughtering recently. Victoria Vaughn-Perling will work with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the National Park Service toward a goal of having authorities capture the animal and then decide whether to relocate it in the Santa Monica Mountains or place it in captivity, her attorney, Reid Breitman, said Thursday. State officials on Monday issued a permit to Vaughn-Perling to kill the mountain lion, after the 5-year-old predator was suspected of killing 10 alpacas and injuring two others on Saturday at ranches off Mulholland Highway and Little Sycamore Canyon Road, said Andrew Hughan, a spokesman for the state Department of Fish and Wildlife. The attacks drew national attention and sparked an outcry among some animal welfare activists, who called it unfair to punish the puma for acting on its instincts. [Article]
by LOUIS SAHAGUN and BRITTNY MEJIA, Los Angeles Times. 2016-12-02
 
A year after the San Bernardino terror attack, the FBI is still struggling to answer key questions
In the year since Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik killed 14 people in a terrorist attack in San Bernardino, authorities have conducted more than 600 interviews, gathered more than 500 pieces of evidence and served dozens of search warrants. They launched an unprecedented legal battle with Apple in an effort to unlock Farook’s iPhone and deployed divers to scour a nearby lake in search of electronic equipment the couple might have dumped there. But despite piecing together a detailed picture of the couple’s actions up to and including the massacre, federal officials acknowledge they still don’t have answers to some of the critical questions posed in the days after the Dec. 2, 2015, attack at the Inland Regional Center. Most important, the FBI said it is still trying to determine whether anyone was aware of the couple’s plot or helped them in any way. From the beginning, agents have tried to figure out whether others might have known something about Farook and Malik’s plans, since the couple spent months gathering an arsenal of weapons and building bombs in the garage of their Redlands home. [Article]
by RICHARD WINTON, Los Angeles Times. 2016-12-02
 
The Black Panthers at 50: Celebrating a complex legacy
he corner of Market and 55th streets in Oakland is unremarkable in many ways. Rush hour traffic whizzes by modest homes that have become mostly unaffordable for the working class African Americans who once defined the place. But this intersection holds a unique place in California history. It is the site of the first important social action by the Black Panther Party for Self Defense, the revolutionary black power movement founded 50 years ago by Merritt College students Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale in response to rampant police brutality. In 1967, after several children from Santa Fe Elementary School were injured crossing the street, local activists and the Black Panthers demanded the city of Oakland install a traffic light. The City Council dragged its feet. The Panthers organized a squadron of rifle-toting crossing guards to get the kids across safely. Oakland relented, and installed a light, well ahead of schedule. For many Americans, the lasting image of the Black Panther is the armed, black-beret-and-leather-jacket clad radical whose militant quest for racial and political equality fell apart amid FBI provocation and harassment, the killing or relentless persecution of its charismatic leaders (some of whom did indeed engage in indefensible acts of violence), and finally, the crack epidemic, to which Newton fell victim. [Article]
by ROBIN ABCARIAN, Los Angeles Times. 2016-12-02
 
Orange County's new 'homegrown' congressman plans to bring an immigrant's perspective to Washington
There’s the Lou Correa who many voters have met on the campaign trail: the self-described “homegrown” candidate who’s an affable but unapologetic, middle-of-the-road Democrat. But there’s another Correa that few have ever heard of: a man who lived much of his early life in Mexico, learned English as a second language and says his life story was largely written on some of the toughest streets in Orange County. That’s the version Correa says he’ll carry with him as he’s sworn in next month as Orange County’s newest member of Congress. He defeated fellow Democrat Bao Nguyen in November to fill Loretta Sanchez’s seat and represent the 46th Congressional District, which covers Orange, Santa Ana, Anaheim and Garden Grove. “To me, it’s a testament to the greatness of this country, where a person that grew up in this neighborhood can actually make it to the U.S. Congress,” Correa said recently during a visit to an area once called Penguin City, the Anaheim neighborhood where he grew up. In his first term as a congressman, under a Trump presidency that he hardly anticipated, Correa says one of his first priorities will be to address the mass deportations the president-elect has promised. In his Orange County district, two-thirds of residents are Latino. “People are scared to death right now,” said Correa, 58. “My role is one of education. The new immigrants are not here to cheat or steal. They’re here to work hard and be part of the American Dream.” [Article]
by CHRISTINE MAI-DUC, Los Angeles Times. 2016-12-02
 
LA County reports first flu death of the season
California’s first flu-related death of this season occurred in Los Angeles County, prompting state health officials on Thursday to urge residents to get vaccinated. “As this unfortunate case illustrates, the flu can be deadly and causes thousands of fatalities each year in the United States,” said state public health officer Dr. Karen Smith. “Fortunately, people can get vaccinated to help keep them from getting sick and spreading the flu to others.” The man who died was under the age of 65 and from the northern part of Los Angeles County. State health officials have received reports of 11 people who required treatment for the flu in intensive care units. There have been five influenza outbreaks in California so far this year. [Article]
by SUSAN ABRAM, Los Angeles Daily News. 2016-12-02
 
Health officials give two Paramount companies 24 hours to end toxic emissions or shut down
Los Angeles County public health officials sent orders Thursday morning to two metal manufacturing companies in Paramount demanding they stop emitting a cancer-causing chemical or shut down. The directive calls for Anaplex Corp and Aerocraft Treat Heating Company, which make aerospace and manufacturing parts, to respond within 24 hours and outline what actions they are taking to eliminate the “public nuisance that endangers the health of the surrounding community,” according to the letter. [Article]
by RACHEL URANGA, Long Beach Press Telegram. 2016-12-02
 
LA won’t lose a dime if it gets 2024 Olympics, officials say
Los Angeles will have a $5.3 billion balanced budget should the city be awarded the 2024 Olympic Games, Los Angeles 2024 officials said Friday. In addition to having a balanced revenue and cost for a net position of $0, the budget released Friday also includes a $491.9 million contingency fund that covers 10.2 percent of the Games’ cost. Friday’s release follows six months of talks between LA 2024 officials and Los Angeles city officials. The budget has also been validated by the KPMG accounting firm. The KPMG review was requested by the Los Angeles City Council and paid for by LA 2024. The LA 2024 budget is $15 billion less than the costs for the 2016 and 2020 Olympic Games. [Article]
by SCOTT M. REID, Los Angeles Daily News. 2016-12-02
 
OCTA to preserve 1,300 acres of O.C. wilderness
Seven properties owned by the Orange County Transportation Authority, including a portion of Aliso Canyon in Laguna Beach, will be protected from development after the agency's board unanimously approved a conservation plan this week. Silverado Canyon, Trabuco Canyon and Brea are the sites of the rest of the more than 1,300 acres of wilderness in Orange County to be preserved, according to an OCTA news release Monday. OCTA staff, environmental groups, state and federal wildlife officials and the public have collaborated on the plan for 10 years in conjunction with the renewed Measure M's Environmental Mitigation Program. The half-cent sales tax measure known as M2, passed by voters in 2006, was intended to continue Measure M's funding of transportation projects in the county. Conservation groups were behind an effort to include an environmental component in the measure. [Article]
by BRYCE ALDERTON, Daily Pilot. 2016-12-02
 
Audio: LA voters might be asked to help the homeless — by raising taxes | 89.3 KPCC
L.A. County, looking for millions of dollars to fund its plan to eradicate homelessness, will likely turn to voters for a way to raise the cash. Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and incoming Supervisor Janice Hahn have co-authored a motion to put a quarter-cent sales tax up for voter approval in March. The L.A. County Board of Supervisors is scheduled to vote on the idea Tuesday at their regular meeting. Should it make its way to the March ballot, the measure would require support from two-thirds of voters to become law. [Article]
by RINA PALTA, KPCC Southern CA Public Radio. 2016-12-02
 
How Did LA’s Planning Process become Such a Mess?
THE REAL DEAL SPECIAL REPORT-In the first installation of TRD’s series on the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative, we explain the underlying problems with LA’s planning process. We take a look at the issues that gave NII fertile ground to build a movement. Stay tuned this week as we explore the implications of the March ballot measure in depth.  It took 18 months, four public hearings, and at least $100,000 for developer CityView to get a 160-unit student housing complex entitled in University Park, just a mile northeast of the dorm-starved USC. And this was a lucky one, according to Con Howe, (photo above: right) managing director of the firm’s Los Angeles fund and a former Planning Director. The project had no opponents, he said. If there were protests, the process would’ve dragged on, despite the fact that the site was already zoned for commercial uses.  [Article]
by CATHALEEN CHEN, CityWatchLA.com. 2016-12-02
 
Metro Board Delays Transit Policing Contract For Three Months
At the end of today’s nearly 6-hour Metro board of directors meeting, the vote on the staff-recommended $547 million multi-agency transit policing contract was pushed back three months. Metro’s new transit policing arrangement would scale back the L.A. County Sheriffs Department’s current role in favor of a majority of the work being done by LAPD, with a small slice also going to Long Beach PD. [Article]
by JOE LINTON, San Francisco Streets Blog. 2016-12-02
 
WeHo's HIV, While Still Highest in L.A. County, Has Declined
New HIV diagnoses have declined in West Hollywood, but the city still has the county’s highest rate per 10,000 residents. That is according to a new report by WeHo by the Numbers based on data from the city and county. December 1 is World AIDS Day. In West Hollywood, about 2,500 residents are living with HIV. In 2014, those residents represented 7% of the city’s population, or one in 14 residents. Among male residents, 13%, or one in eight, were living with HIV. The number has grown steadily over time. The city’s 2014 rate was far above the county average. About 49,000 of the county’s 10 million people were living with HIV. That was 0.5% of the county’s population. [Article]
by DAVID WARREN, West Side Story Newspaper. 2016-12-02
 
​Overcoming Hacking and Cybercrimes — The Next Obstacle to Edtech
Just when many school districts were starting to feel good about their wireless coverage and internet bandwidth, they face yet another question about technology infrastructure: how good are their defenses against hacking, or what’s more formally known as “cybercrime”? Access to the identities of staff and students is one of the main attractions for hackers. According the Federal Trade Commission, “a child’s Social Security number can be used by identity thieves to apply for government benefits, open bank and credit card accounts, apply for a loan or utility service, or rent a place to live.” To add more concern, children may not discover their identities have been stolen until they apply for their first job. [Article]
by GEE KIN CHOU, Government Technology. 2016-12-02
 
Land Secured for Wildlife Corridor Across 101 Freeway | News | malibutimes.com
The dream of building a wildlife corridor that will connect the Santa Monica Mountains to the Simi Hills is now one step closer to becoming a reality. With the recent purchase of 71 acres known as Chesebro Meadow in Agoura Hills, the Mountains Recreation Conservation Authority can now move forward with its years-long plan to help save mountain lions and other local wildlife at risk. [Article]
by JUDY ABEL, La Canada Valley Sun. 2016-12-02
 
Growth of career programs emphasizing hands-on learning offer students new opportunities
Angelica Verde, a senior at Tustin High in Orange County, spent last summer immersed in her dream internship, shadowing engineers at the Boeing Company as they worked on the latest technology in space exploration. She is one of more than 14,000 Orange County students in secondary schools and community colleges who participate in career pathway programs. These provide hands-on learning, mentoring and internships as part of partnerships with industries in sectors that have experienced a shortage of qualified workers. Statewide, more than 150,000 students now participate in these programs. Many were created following California’s Career Pathways Trust, the nearly $500 million effort launched in 2014 to promote partnerships linking schools, community colleges, businesses and institutes to prepare students for real-world jobs. [Article]
by STAFF REPORT, OC Weekly. 2016-12-02
 
Newport Local News Banning Ranch Saga Continues
The Banning Ranch property will be back on the agenda next week for the California Coastal Commission. But this time, just the current and future oil operations will be discussed. In September, the CCC denied a proposed mixed-use project by Newport Banning Ranch, LLC, which manages the planning and entitlement for the owners of the surface rights. Now, the owner of the mineral rights is seeking a permit to expand their existing oil operations on the land. [Article]
by VICTORIA KERTZ, Daily Pilot. 2016-12-02
 
Homelessness Is Exploding Downtown: What We Know (and Don't) About Why
Theories abound about the reasons for booming homelessness downtown but no one can explain exactly why it’s booming. Since January alone, a business group’s monthly census has shown a 68 percent spike in street homelessness downtown. The count peaked at nearly 1,400 in August and has since hovered around 1,130. More tents line city blocks and more homeless people cluster near freeway on-ramps, businesses and homeless services. Some local leaders have said Proposition 47, a state ballot initiative that downgraded some felonies to misdemeanors in an effort to reduce the state prison population, is a significant culprit. Others have speculated about the impact of high rents, an influx of homeless people from other areas and even the way the homeless population is counted. [Article]
by LISA HALVERSTADT, Voice of San Diego. 2016-12-02
 
Some San Bernardino terrorist attack survivors return to work – but still suffer effects of shooting
Tracie Thompson returned to work Oct. 17 at the San Bernardino County Environmental Health Services division, but is still wary since the Dec. 2, 2015, terrorist attack at the Inland Regional Center. Thompson, a county employee of 25 years who has worked the past three years as a supervising office assistant in Environmental Health Services, saw 13 of her friends and colleagues killed and 21 others wounded in the attack. She suffers from severe post-traumatic stress disorder. “It’s been very difficult for me. I’m still very reactionary to loud noises,” said Thompson, 50, in a recent telephone interview. “I have to see exits. I don’t like anybody coming up behind me, and that’s pretty difficult in an office setting sometimes.” [Article]
by JOE NELSON, Riverside Press-Enterprise. 2016-12-02
 
Workers who survived San Bernardino terrorist attack describe agonizing recovery
There are days Jessica Ballesteros has to force herself out of bed. To shower. Put on makeup. Go to work or visit family. The grief, anxiety and depression that gripped her for months after she survived a San Bernardino County coworker’s Dec. 2, 2015, terrorist attack in San Bernardino has crushed her again heading into the one-year anniversary. Her eyes fill with anguish as she remembers searching for answers she would never find. Memories that can’t be erased. “I have seen things and heard things I wish I never had,” she says outside a Redlands coffee house. “There are times when I think I’m still going to wake up from a dream.” [Article]
by SUZANNE HURT, Riverside Press-Enterprise. 2016-12-02
 
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