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Long Beach coastline closed after sewage spill
Long Beach City Health Officer Dr. Anissa Davis ordered a closure of all beaches west of Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier after a sewage spill contaminated local waters Thursday. The city’s Health & Human Services Department announced the closure Thursday evening. The spill originated some 25 miles north of Long Beach, according to the city announcement. An estimated 11,200 gallons of sewage escaped a Los Angeles County Public Works sewage line about 9 a.m. Thursday near LAC+USC Medical Center. [Article]
by ANDREW EDWARDS, Long Beach Press Telegram. 2018-02-23
Help Protect Your Family’s Health – Join the “Check Before You Burn” Campaign
During wildland fires — including recent record-breaking events — billowing columns of smoke spread harmful levels of air pollution across wide areas of the Southland. Particulate matter, or small particles suspended in the air, is one of the main components of smoke. High levels of particulate matter from wildfires can cause throat and eye irritation, aggravate asthma and trigger other respiratory conditions.  Breathing high levels of particulate matter over long periods of time can also cause more serious health problems. [Article]
by ATLAS NOVACK, Los Angeles Wave. 2018-02-23
“Get Out!” Report Breaks Down Black Male Suspensions During 2016-2017 School Year
A new study of race and school discipline in California counties has revealed that the black male student suspension rate decreased 5 percent between the 2011-2012 and 2016-2017 school years—from 17.8 percent of all black boys to 12.8 percent. Racial disparities remain intact, however. [Article]
by TAYLOR WALKER, Los Angeles Chronicle. 2018-02-23
Sky-high rents and home prices are making it hard for Southern California businesses to attract workers
Ace Clearwater Enterprises needs to hire four welders. The South Bay aerospace company could also use three more machinists, as well as four specialists who use 7-ton drop hammers to form metal parts for fighter jets. But filling those positions is tough. Many young Californians are going to college, not into manufacturing. Other potential hires have backed out because they live in the more affordable outskirts of the Southland and have no appetite for a grueling commute. And after many misses over the years, Ace has largely stopped flying in workers from out of state for an interview. The company is running up against what economists say is an ever-greater drag on the California economy: sky-high rents and home prices. [Article]
by ANDREW KHOURI, Los Angeles Times. 2018-02-23
Trump accuses California police of being soft on street gangs, and cops fire back
President Trump on Thursday accused California law enforcement of being soft on street gangs and suggested he might pull immigration agents out of the state, prompting a strong rebuke from local officials who said the president doesn't understand their war on gangs. Trump's remarks are an escalation of a yearlong battle between his administration and California on a variety of topics including illegal immigration and law enforcement. Trump has criticized California for being a "sanctuary" for those here illegally, and federal officials have vowed immigration crackdowns in the state. On Thursday, Trump stepped up the war, predicting that gang members would wreak havoc if federal authorities withdrew from Los Angeles and other parts of the state. "I mean, frankly, if I wanted to pull our people from California, you would have a crime mess like you've never seen in California," Trump said. "You'd be inundated. You would see crime like no one's ever seen crime in this country. And yet we get no help from the state of California. They're doing a lousy management job, they have the highest taxes in the nation, and they don't know what's happening out there." Los Angeles officials expressed puzzlement and concern over Trump's comments, saying local police have made significant strides against gang violence in recent years. [Article]
by KATE MATHER, Los Angeles Times. 2018-02-23
Trump indirectly trashes California law enforcement in diatribe about immigration
So President Trump on Thursday essentially told every law-enforcement agency in California that were it not for the presence of federal immigration and border agents, they "would see crime like no one's ever seen crime in this country." Really. Of course, whether Trump believes that or was just blowing his usual smoke is impossible to know. But it's remarkable that the president of the United States could delude himself that the nearly 80,000 law enforcement officers in California would just be overwhelmed by crime if a few thousand Immigration and Customs Enforcement and border patrol agents suddenly moved to Arizona. And it directly undercuts ICE's current strategy of adding agents here to conduct neighborhood and workplace raids as payback for state and local laws barring official cooperation with immigration enforcement. So which is it, punish California with more agents, or fewer? Let's go with fewer. It would reduce the level of fear in our immigrant neighborhoods and among the American children and partners of otherwise law-abiding folks wondering if they'll be the next ones to be swept into the immigration detention system. [Article]
by SCOTT MARTELLE / OPINION, Los Angeles Times. 2018-02-23
Retirement Debt: What’s the problem and how does it affect you?
Across California, the cost of retirement benefits for public employees remains untamed. The total cost to state and local governments as well as schools and colleges has more than tripled since 2003—and projections indicate the burden in coming years will continue to grow. [Article]
by JUDY LIN / ASSOCIATED PRESS, CalMatters. 2018-02-23
Audio: OC's homelessness problem is bigger than the Santa Ana riverbed — much bigger
When motel vouchers were being passed out to homeless people on the first day of Orange County’s effort to clear homeless encampments from the Santa Ana riverbed, some in line had been sleeping elsewhere: in cars, on friends’ sofas. Not at the riverbed.  Sophia, 28, was one of them. She held her sleeping, 1-year-old son while her 6-year-old sat in the shade with her ex-husband. “I lived in my car for a month, then my uncle took us in,” she said. Most recently, she had been sleeping in an emergency shelter for families.  [Article]
by JILL REPLOGLE, KPCC Southern CA Public Radio. 2018-02-23
Clearing of homeless encampments moves to Angel Stadium area as more people are relocated Thursday
Efforts to move more people into motel rooms or shelters from tent encampments along the Santa Ana River Trail progressed Thursday as Orange County officials and law enforcement turned their attention southward to homeless people clustered near Angel Stadium. Despite some ongoing challenges in securing motel rooms that are being rented on a weekly basis, county officials said they were hopeful that the west bank of the flood control channel between Katella and Orangewood avenues could be cleared of about 100 people by day’s end. But a handful of people remained into the night to finish packing their belongings. They were given until 6 a.m. Friday to be gone. [Article]
by THERESA WALKER, Orange County Register. 2018-02-23
February 22, 2018 (Valley Center) – Like the mythical hydra monster that grows new heads and refuses to die, a revived Environmental Impact Report (EIR) of the proposed and highly controversial Lilac Hills mixed use project in Valley Center has been submitted to the County and is now available for public review starting today. You can view it here:  [Article]
by STAFF REPORT, East County Magazine. 2018-02-23
Higginson: Poway's trail system is a treasure - Pomerado News
recent vote by the Poway City Council appears to have been a proverbial no brainer: To fund the creation of designs for a pedestrian tunnel beneath State Route 67 with the potential to connect Iron Mountain to Lake Poway, and in fact, to trails throughout the county. The fact that Poway is billed the “City in the Country” with over 55 miles of trail system lends credence to this phenomena. Regardless, a few letters to the editor surfaced (as they often do) bemoaning the potential downfall if a tunnel were to be constructed. Years ago, during the construction of the Scripps-Poway Parkway, the city was required by various agencies to create a “wildlife corridor tunnel” under the parkway to provide a north-south mobility access for our wildlife friends in pursuit of their daily activities. A few similar “tunnel fears” at that time were shared by a concerned constituent or two, but to date, those fears have never matriculated, potentially being a case of having “tunnel vision.” [Article]
by DON HIGGINSON/ OPINION, San Diego Union-Tribune. 2018-02-23
California vehicle sales exceed 2 million for third straight year
For the third straight year, sales for new cars and trucks in California exceeded 2 million and the forecast for 2018 anticipates the number to top 2 million again — but just barely, as the rate of growth is slowing. New vehicle registrations reached 2.047 million units in 2017, down from 2.088 million in 2015, which was one of the strongest years ever recorded by the California New Car Dealers Association (CNCDA), which releases sales figures each quarter. About 2.01 million cars and trucks are expected to be sold this year. “That’s the California new vehicle market — it’s 2 million a year, pretty stable,” said Brian Maas, the CNCDA president. “That seems to be the place where the market is sitting when it’s healthy.” [Article]
by ROB NIKOLEWSKI, San Diego Union-Tribune. 2018-02-23
San Diego's new single-family homes are pricey, modern and in short supply
There is one type of home an American prefers to dwell in and after several generations it remains the most coveted. A single-family home — not an attached condo or townhouse — was the preferred house to purchase for more than 75 percent of potential buyers surveyed by the National Association of Realtors. However, the traditional house has continued to be the most scarce type of home built in San Diego County, driving up prices and competition. There are at least 940 new single-family homes available for sale this year, although that number will likely go up as developers roll out plans. Even with more homes eventually on the way, the initial number of 940 is down from roughly 1,500 new homes expected at the start of 2017 and 2016. [Article]
by PHILLIP MOLNAR, San Diego Union-Tribune. 2018-02-23
Hundreds of eighth-grade girls learn about science, technology, engineering and math at Mt. San Jacinto College
SAN JACINTO – Hundreds of eighth-grade girls from Beaumont and Banning learned about careers in science, technology, engineering and math during the 18th annual American Association of University Women’s STEM Conference. The event was held Jan. 11, on Mt. San Jacinto College’s San Jacinto Campus. Maile Pendleton, 13, said she planned to be an explorer, an animator or a photographer in the future. The San Gorgonio Middle School student said the event helped show her how to find a path to a career. “Out of today, it mostly helped with how to find courage and strength in what I can do,” she said. [Article]
by STAFF REPORT, Temecula Valley News. 2018-02-23
Fate of $8.1 million housing complex for low-income veterans back in hands of San Bernardino Planning Commission
A few months after denying a 29-unit housing development in San Bernardino for low-income veterans, the city’s Planning Commission will broach the project’s redesign at its March meeting and either reverse or stand by its decision. The San Bernardino City Council on Wednesday voted to send the $8.1 million project – proposed last year by the United States Veterans Initiative, a nonprofit serving military veterans and their families – back to the commission by way of Mayor Carey Davis’ tie-breaking vote; Councilman Fred Shorett was absent. [Article]
by BRIAN WHITEHEAD, San Bernardino County Sun. 2018-02-23
Check out what is in your library
Highland’s library is like no other. Named for Sam J. Racadio, the city’s first city manager and former mayor, it is a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold-Certified building, exceeding Title 24 Energy Conservation Measures by more than 40 percent. [Article]
by JAMES FOLMER, Highland News. 2018-02-23
Water crunch hitting Kern County farms
You’ve probably seen the signs along the road, “Food grows where water flows.” The problem, this year the water isn’t flowing the same way as last year. Catalino “Tino” Martinez of Valpredo Farms said his wish for the rest of the spring is, “We would obviously like to see Mother Nature bless us with more rain and snow pack in the mountain.” Last year farmers like Martinez said he got 100% of the surface water he paid for from our aqueduct system. This year he’s only allowed 20% of his request and said that number could have been lower. “That water is allocated to us due to the fact of last year’s water replenishments within the reservoirs,” said Martinez. [Article]
by SCOTT SHEAHEN, KERO - ABC - Bakersfield. 2018-02-23
First segment of CV Link transportation path to open
PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - The first segment of the long-awaited CV Link alternative transportation path officially will open to the desert's cyclists, joggers, walkers and more tomorrow. The initial 2.3-mile segment of the path stretches from Vista Chino in Palm Springs to Ramon Road in Cathedral City. Construction on the segment began last summer. The CV Link is planned to span about 50 miles across the Coachella Valley, not including the cities of Rancho Mirage and Indian Wells, which have opted out of the project, according to the Coachella Valley Association of Governments. [Article]
by STAFF REPORT, Palm Springs - Riverside Cty. 2018-02-23
Rights groups file lawsuit alleging county's mistreatment of disabled youth
A lawsuit was filed against Kern County on Wednesday by two disability rights groups claiming that youth in the county’s correctional facilities were discriminated against. Disability Rights California and Disability Rights Advocates say youths with mental and behavioral disabilities in the county Juvenile Hall and other facilities were subjected to restraints, pepper spray and solitary confinement more than other youths. The claims came out of a six-month investigation into the facilities, with a 50-page report released this week. The report also alleges that youth were not provided with adequate mental health treatment and were denied rights to special education. [Article]
by STAFF REPORT, Bakersfield Californian. 2018-02-23
Tulare officials talk economic impact of World Ag Expo
Tulare Mayor Carlton Jones wants economic assistance fund money to be used to pay for costs related to the World Ag Expo. Jones’ request would allow for city council to decide annually on approving the funds, moving it away from the city’s general funds, which is currently used to help fund the show. Using the most recent figures, the city has paid about $40,000 each year, a figure that’s expected to change. “It seems it makes sense to be moved to economic assistance,” Jones said. [Article]
by LUIS HERNANDEZ, Visalia Times-Delta. 2018-02-23
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