- Reporters Desk
Man Pleads Guilty to Child Pornography
LONG BEACH — Thirty-three-year-old Paul Michael Barbour, of Long Beach, plead guilty, Aug. 6, to child pornography.
Barbour taped girls undressing and had under his possession thousands of photos and videos of child pornography. Earlier this year, while he was working for Kids Artistic Review at Cypress College, a young female dancer discovered a video camera in the dressing room. The camera was eventually traced back to Barbour.
A search of his home found thousands of photos and 10 videos of child pornography, along with a stash of LSD and hallucinogenic mushrooms, court documents show. It did not appear he produced any of the pornography they found on his computers, officials said.
Federal prosecutors charged him for the child pornography, which carries a statutory minimum of five years in prison and up to 20 years maximum.
His sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 20 in federal court. As part of a plea agreement, Barbour will likely be sentenced to between five and 10 years in prison, and 15 years of probation.
LB City College Gets New VP of Academic Affairs
LONG BEACH — On Aug. 4, Terri Long started her new job as Long Beach City College’s new vice president of Academic Affairs.
Long will now oversee the college’s academic programs and deans.
Coming from Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut after 25 years
Long, a resident of Chino Hills, was the dean for instructional services at Mt. San Antonio College for five years. She also served as acting associate dean and had 20 years of experience as a professor in the Earth science, photography and astronomy department. Long earned her bachelor’s degree in chemistry, her master’s degree in geology and her doctorate in education from USC.
Nineteen-year-old killed in Wilmington
WILMINGTON — Los Angeles Police Department Harbor Division Homicide detectives are asking for the public’s help in providing any information that would lead to the arrest of the suspect(s) who killed 19-year-old Israel Raymond Gonzalez in the Wilmington area.
At about 10:30 p.m. Aug. 1, 2014, Harbor Division patrol officers responded to a shooting near Opp Street and Lacouvreur Avenue. Officers discovered the Gonzalez lying on the sidewalk suffering from a gunshot wounds.
Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics responded to the scene and transported the victim to a local hospital, where he died from his injuries.
There is no suspect(s) description or additional information at this time.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Harbor Division Homicide Detectives (310) 726-7881 or visit www.lapdonline.org, and click on “Anonymous Web Tips.”
Galperin Issues Audit of Street Services
LOS ANGELES – On July 31, Controller Ron Galperin released a comprehensive audit of the Bureau of Street Services’ Pavement Preservation Plan, a blueprint for the maintenance and repair of public streets.
The audit identified shortcomings in the bureau’s oversight and management and found that it missed the opportunity to collect $190 million in fees from utility companies that dig up streets.
Under the city’s current Pavement Preservation Plan, the bureau has been using much of its funding to apply a shiny black slurry seal to B and C rated streets, which can be a cost-effective way to preserve the underlying pavement. Between 2010 and 2013, the bureau spent $51 million on slurry seals, applying top coats to 1,166 miles of roadway — about 93 percent of its stated goal.
Unfortunately, D and F streets have been left to deteriorate. They now make up about 40 percent of the network. And, while the stated goal is to maintain streets at a B average, the streets get an overall C- by the bureau’s own assessment.
The controller noted that, according to TRIP, a Washington nonprofit that studies transportation issues, the average Los Angeles-area driver spends $832 — 71 percent more than the average American in large metropolitan areas — on additional vehicle operating costs each year. In part, this is because driving on poor roads uses more gas and damages car parts like wheels, suspensions and tires.
Galperin’s audit details significant problems with the bureau’s operations, including:
- Prioritization: The department does not always prioritize its repair work within geographic regions based on common-sense criteria such as traffic volume, heavy vehicle loads and mass transit loads – meaning that many of the city’s most important thoroughfares are in the worst condition, impeding the flow of traffic and commerce along key arteries.
- Transparency and accountability: Auditors discovered a great deal of information about the bureau’s activities is incomplete or simply missing. For instance, the bureau says it filled 953,339 potholes between 2010 and 2013, but is unable to provide documentation to back that up. Auditors could not find completion reports or work evaluations for 60 percent of street paving projects.
- Asphalt plants: The city owns and operates two plants, which can produce as much as 600,000 tons of asphalt each year. Plant 1 needs approximately $17.7 million in investment to upgrade it to the levels where it can produce asphalt at costs equivalent to private vendors. Galperin urged city leaders to pursue creative partnerships to secure investment funding for the plants while minimizing taxpayer expenses.
- • Missed revenue opportunities: Due to the failure to properly calculate appropriate street damage restoration fees—and to revise the fee structure in response to actual revenue numbers—the bureau has missed the opportunity to collect $190 million in fees from utility companies that cut and dig into our streets—money that could have been used to perform miles of repairs.
- Likewise, between 2010 and 2013, the Bureau did not use all of its funding allocation. Auditors found that $21 million earmarked for street repairs was returned unused. And the city has also spent more to produce its own asphalt than it would have if it had paid a vendor for it.
- Technology: The city’s current pavement management software, MicroPAVER, has significant limitations. It cannot distinguish between concrete streets paved over with asphalt and asphalt streets and does not track the condition of other city infrastructure, such as traffic lights, signs and sidewalks.
Galperin makes a series of recommendations in the audit, focusing on new technologies, which can bring the bureau’s oversight and processes up to speed. He notes that available software and hardware could allow the bureau to virtually and timely map street conditions, manage the progress of its work crews, track utility cuts and other damages to our streets, and even help monitor the condition of other city infrastructure — such as traffic lights, signs and sidewalks.