RLn NEWS of Week

  • 07/11/2014
  • Reporters Desk

New Board Officers and Committee Chairs Appointed!

SAN PEDRO — At the July 8, 2014 board and stakeholder meeting the new Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council Board was seated and took the oath of office.  The following officers and committee chairs were appointed:

Executive Board 

  • President – James Preston Allen
  • Vice President – Debbie Rouser
  • Secretary – Khixaan Obioma-Sakhu
  • Treasurer – Danielle Sandoval
  • Outreach and Communications Officer – Donald Galaz

Committee Chairs

  • Port Relations Committee – Frank Anderson
  • Land Use Planning & Public Works – Sue Castillo
  • Bylaws Committee – Not yet appointed
  • CD15 Issues Committee – Not yet appointed
  • Finance Committee – Chaired by the new Treasurer
  • Homelessness Ad Hoc Committee – Not yet appointed

The next board and stakeholder meeting is Aug.12, 2014

Details: Click here.


Robbery Suspect Arrested, Charged

LONG BEACH — On July 9, multiple felony charges were filed against 22-year-old Thomas Lewis of Torrance his involvement in multiple commercial robberies in Long Beach and Torrance this year.
On January 24, a suspect armed with a handgun entered an electronics store in the 1400 block of W. Willow Street in Long Beach and demanded money from the cashier.  On February 28, again, a suspect armed with a handgun, entered another Long Beach electronics store located in the 300 block of E. Anaheim Street and demanded money from the cashier.  Cash was taken in both instances, but no employees were injured in either incident.
LBPD Robbery detectives, who believed the same person was responsible for both robberies, discovered that on March 21, 2014, another armed robbery took place at an electronics store in Torrance involving the same suspect. Detectives were in communication with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department regarding the robbery, which was within their jurisdiction. During the course of the investigation, LBPD detectives, with the assistance of LBPD forensic personnel, identified Lewis of as the suspect wanted in connection with all three robberies.  Further investigation determined that Lewis was already in-custody and being held at the Los Angeles County Jail, for a robbery that took place on March 31, in Lynwood. On June 17, 2014, LBPD detectives served a search warrant at Lewis’ Torrance residence, where evidence believed to be connected to the Long Beach robberies was found.
On July 3, 2014, the case was presented to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for review.  On July 9, 2014, Lewis was charged with 5 counts of armed robbery. He was arraigned July 10.
Anyone who may have information regarding any robberies involving Lewis is asked to call  (562) 570-7464 or visit www.LACrimeStoppers.org.


LBPD Modifies TRUST Act Best Practices

LONG BEACH — The Long Beach Police Department announced, July 9, that it will join local joining local law enforcement agencies and follow best practice by modifying its policy to require judicial review in order to honor federal immigration detainment requests.

In June, California Attorney General Kamala Harris issued an advisory to law enforcement agencies clarifying the Transparency and Responsibility Using State Tools Act requirements.

LBPD has been in compliance with requirements of the (TRUST) Act since its enactment on January 1, 2014.

A federal court outside of California’s jurisdiction has held a county liable for damages where it voluntarily complied with an ICE request to detain an individual and the individual was otherwise eligible for release. If courts with jurisdiction affecting California follow the decision reached by this court, local law enforcement agencies may also be held liable for such conduct.


Sexual Assault Suspect ArrestedBooking

LONG BEACH — Long Beach and Signal Hill Police arrested 20-year-old Raymond Demetrius Howard of Long Beach in connection with two sexual assault cases and it is believed that additional victims may exist.

On June 29, at about 11:30 p.m., Long Beach Police were dispatched to an alley in the area of Del Amo and Long Beach Boulevards and found a 31-year-old victim who had been beaten and sexually assaulted. It appeared the suspect followed the victim from a nearby bus depot prior to the assault. Long Beach Fire Department transported the victim to a local hospital.

During their investigation, detectives obtained a photo of a possible suspect and learned Signal Hill Police Department was investigating a sexual assault incident with similar suspect description. In both cases, investigators believed the suspect used a handgun to assault the victims. Long Beach Police detectives and North Division Patrol officers worked closely to identify the suspect.

Long Beach Sex Crimes Detail and Vice Detail detectives with Signal Hill Police detectives served a search warrant on July 3, and Howard of Long Beach at his residence.

On July 8, 2014, Long Beach and Signal Hill police detectives presented their cases to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office for filing consideration. The District Attorney’s Office filed charges of assault with a deadly weapon, mayhem, attempted human trafficking, robbery, criminal threats, rape and other sexual assault related charges. Howard is currently being held on $5.65 million bail.

Investigators believe there may be additional victims who have never contacted police. If you have been a victim of an unreported crime or have any information regarding the incident, please call (562) 570-6407 or visit www.LACrimeStoppers.org.


Teamsters labor action at POLA, POLB

WILMINGTON — On July 6, the Teamsters union set up pickets against three drayage companies operating at Los Angeles and Long Beach. More than 100 drivers who haul goods from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and their supporters protested.

The union has been trying to organize port truck drivers. The group of protesters rallied against Green Fleet Systems, Total Transportation Services Inc. and Pacific 9 Transportation Inc. Protestors  say the drivers have been misclassified as independent contractors instead of employees, which allows the companies to skirt labor laws and avoid paying fair wages.

The vast majority of truck drivers at U.S. container ports are owner-operators, who contract with trucking companies to haul containers to and from the ports. Since they are considered independent contractors, federal law bars them from joining unions, but the Teamsters contend that truckers at these companies are in fact employees. Drivers are demanding an end to wage theft and retaliation for trying to form a union.

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union may choose to honor Teamsters’ pickets. On July 1, The ILWU and PMA announced “cargo will keep moving, and normal operations will continue at the ports until an agreement can be reached.”

About 400 truckers were unable to drive to the ports fearing,  that the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, which has vowed not to cross picket lines, would have to honor the picket line.

The pickets come during contract negotiations for a new West Coast longshore agreement. The contract covers nearly 20,000 longshore workers at 29 West Coast ports. Negotiations continued between the ILWU and port employers that Pacific Maritime Association represented to replace the six-year collective bargaining agreement, which expired on July 1.

Without a contract with the PMA, ILWU workers have no grievance procedure through which an arbitrator could determine whether the Teamsters’ picket is legitimate and should be honored, or whether a picket line constitutes a health and safety risk to the longshoremen. If the longshoremen at Los Angeles or Long Beach refuse to cross a picket line, they will not get paid.

In April, an ILWU arbitrator determined that a protest established by independent truck drivers at the Port of Long Beach was not a bona fide picket, and told the longshoremen to report to work. The dockworkers followed the arbitrator’s instructions and went to work; the protests thus had minimal impact, even though the dockworkers briefly honored the picket until the arbitrator could rule.

On July 8, the Teamsters – the union behind port truck organizing efforts – began soliciting donations for the Justice for Port Drivers Hardship Fund, an unofficial strike fund intended to support the port truckers until they return to work.

On July 10, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti issued a statement on the matter.

“The Port of Los Angeles is critical to our city and our national economy and we must ensure its operations are not disrupted,” Garcetti wrote. “As Mayor, I take allegations regarding worker safety, poor working conditions and unfair labor practices very seriously.  Accordingly, I am directing my Harbor Commission to fully investigate the serious health and safety issues raised … and report back to me.  While this investigation continues, I urge both parties to work with Port executives and the Harbor commission to ensure that this vital economic engine continues to serve this nation.”


House Passes Amendment to Increase Funding for Harbor Maintenance

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On July 9, The House of Representative passed the Hahn-Huizenga Amendment to the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act, which would increase Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund spending by $57 million.

The legislation passed with overwhelming bipartisan support with a vote of 281-137.


POLA, Shanghai port Launch Ecopartnership

BEIJING –On July 10, the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Shanghai signed a formal agreement to exchange information, technical expertise and best practices to expand use of shore power at the Port of Shanghai.

The signing ceremony concluded the sixth meeting of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue co-chaired by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, China’s Vice Premier Wang Yang and State Councilor Yang Jiechi. The annual conference brings the two nations together to address mutual challenges and opportunities on a wide range of bilateral, regional and global issues.

Chris Cannon, director of Environmental Management for the Port of Los Angeles, signed the EcoPartnership Statement of Intent in Beijing with Director-General Jianping Sun of the Shanghai Municipal Transportation Commission. The commission, which oversees the Port of Shanghai, said the EcoPartnership builds on the collaborative work of the two ports to advance sustainable practices throughout the maritime industry, including creation of the Pacific Ports Clean Air Collaborative in 2006.

The U.S.-China EcoPartnership Program advances the goals of the Ten-Year Framework for Cooperation on Energy and the Environment established in 2008. The Los Angeles-Shanghai agreement is one of six new EcoPartnerships signed July 10, adding to 24 partnerships previously created under the Framework to foster collaboration on electricity, water, air, transportation, wetlands, nature reserves and protected areas, and energy efficiency.

Specifically, the Port of Los Angeles will share knowledge with the Port of Shanghai on topics that include regulations, rules, standards, policies, electricity rates and incentive programs to promote shore power. Los Angeles’ technical expertise and more than a decade of experience will help Shanghai build on its pilot program at Waigaoqiao Phase II container terminal as it adds shore power to the Yangshan Deepwater Port – Phase III and the Shanghai Wusong Cruise Terminal.

The parties will begin by developing a plan within the next 30 days to implement the three-year initiative. Ensuring consistent equipment and practices will accelerate emission reductions at both ports. Uniform standards and compatible infrastructure that allow ocean carriers to maximize their investment in clean ships could lead to green shipping routes that increase trade at both ports.

Shore power, which allows ships at berth to turn off auxiliary engines and run on clean energy to power vital onboard systems, has unprecedented air quality benefits. Plugging into shore-side electricity reduces engine emissions of diesel particulate matter, nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides by up to 95 percent per vessel call. Ports must have the necessary infrastructure and ships must be equipped to connect to shore power.


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