- Terelle Jerricks
POLA Breaks Ground on Harbor Boulevard Roadway Project
SAN PEDRO — On Dec. 8, the Port of Los Angeles kicked off construction the Harbor Boulevard Roadway Improvements Project, a reconfigured three-street intersection at Harbor Boulevard, 7th Street and Sampson Way in San Pedro.
The street realignment is in preparation of the planned San Pedro Public Market, slated to open in 2020 at the Ports O’ Call Village site on the San Pedro section of the Los Angeles Waterfront.
The realignment will improve both vehicular and pedestrian access with a new traffic signal at the intersection of Harbor Boulevard, 7th Street and Sampson Way, bike lanes, landscaping, outdoor lighting, and walkways. In addition to improved access to the planned San Pedro Public Market, the new intersection will also provide another point for connectivity to other Los Angeles Waterfront attractions, such as the World Cruise Center, Battleship Iowa and Los Angeles Maritime Museum.
During construction, both Harbor Boulevard and Sampson Way will remain open with partial lane closures from 7th to 11th streets. Once the realignment is complete, Harbor Boulevard will flow into Ports O’ Call Village, with direct access to the Los Angeles Waterfront. Also, there will be marked crosswalks with pedestrian access and wayfinding cues to provide improved community access to Los Angeles Waterfront amenities and the expanded Plaza Park.
In September 2016, the Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners approved Kiewit Infrastructure West Company’s competitive construction bid for the realignment project. Construction of the new roadway is expected to be completed in 2018 at a total project cost of $14.8 million, paid by the Port of Los Angeles, including $4.9 million in grant funding from Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
POLA Wins Creativity, Innovation Award
SAN PEDRO – On Dec. 6, the American Public Works Association’s Southern California Chapter has named the Port of Los Angeles winner of the APWA Creativity and Innovation BEST award for the Port’s Berths 142-147 Trapac Intermodal Container Transfer Facility (ICTF) project.
The $71 million Berths 142-147 ICTF project included construction of a new semi-automated on-dock rail yard at TraPac Container Terminal. The yard features eight working tracks, concrete foundations to support up to four new rail mounted gantry cranes, a train-in-motion warning system, automatic rail switches as well as state-of-the-art monitoring equipment. A $20.7 million California Transportation Commission grant went toward funding for the project. The Port’s project manager was Daniel Samaro, and the construction manager was Scott Gilmour.
PenCC Elects New Board Members
At their recent biennial election meeting (every two years), the Peninsula Cycle Club members attending elected their board members for 2017-2018. Four of the seven board members chose not to run for reelection. The newly elected officers are:
Chief Director: Kenny Blanks
Membership Director: Bob Applegate
Secretary: Gerry Taccini
Treasurer: Tony Jabuka
Race Director: Francisco Figueroa
Ride Director: Charlie Abbott
Event Director: Seth Korner
Man Stabbed, Killed in Long Beach
LONG BEACH — At about 6:30 p.m. Dec. 8, Long Beach Police Department officers found Aaron Whatley, a 43 year-old resident of Long Beach, with a stab wound to his upper torso on the 4900 block of Ferro Court in Lon Beach.
The man responsible for the stabbing, who is yet to be identified, remained on the scene and was detained. The Long Beach Fire Department took Whatley to a local hospital where he died. No arrest has been made.
Anyone with information is urged (562) 570-7244 or anonymously visit www.lacrimestoppers.org.
Possible Hotel Foreign Acquisition Prompts Lowenthal to Request National Security Review
LONG BEACH — On Dec. 8, Rep. Alan Lowenthal wrote to Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew requesting a national security review of the potential sale of the Westin Long Beach hotel to entities tied to foreign states.
An excerpt of the letter is below. Click here for the full letter.
“The sale of the Westin Long Beach raises national security questions because the hotel is next door to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection – Los Angeles/Long Beach Sea Port office, which handles sensitive information related to interstate commerce, and because the hotel’s clients have included the Department of Defense, Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, some of which hosted representatives of foreign governments.”
Buscaino Supports Exclusive Waste Hauling Contract
LOS ANGELES — On Dec. 9, Councilman Joe Buscaino supported the creation of an exclusive franchise system.
The councilman said he believes an exclusive franchise system would create a more efficient and environmentally friendly system while producing revenue that can be used to clean the streets in District 15. Granting one company the exclusive right to dispose of solid waste, he believes, reduces air pollution by mandating clean trucks, reduces wear and tear on streets and alleys through more efficient routing of trucks, and increases revenue through the payment of franchise fees.
The contracts presented in Los Angeles City Council recently did not mandate the haulers provide those community benefits. The councilman wants Mayor Eric Garcetti to present a budget that allocates this new revenue for those purposes.
LADWP Achieves Significant Energy Savings
LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power achieved a 9 percent total reduction in energy usage at more than 30 of its facilities between August and October this year, compared to 2015.
The Department implemented energy efficiency measures in its facilities including district yards, customers service centers and the Los Angeles Aqueduct Filtration Plant, to help meet Mayor Eric Garcetti’s call to “Save Energy LA” in municipal facilities by 5 percent over the summer. Staff implemented various measures ranging from simple steps like adjusting the thermostats, to replacing aging and inefficient HVAC units and refrigerators. Altogether, LADWP exceeded the goal set for all Los Angeles municipal facilities, saving 1,256,848 kwh —enough electricity to power 93 Los Angeles homes for an entire year.
Feuer Sues Four Major National Retailers
LOS ANGELES – On Dec. 8, Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer announced that his office has sued national retail giants J.C. Penney, Sears, Kohl’s and Macy’s, alleging that to increase sales, each of the companies used “false reference pricing” schemes to mislead customers into believing items were being sold at significant discounts.
These lawsuits allege the defendant retailers claimed merchandise previously sold at far higher “Original,” “Regular,” or “List” prices in order to create a false sense of value and to persuade customers to purchase the merchandise at an allegedly reduced “sale” price. Under California Law, retailers are not permitted to advertise an alleged former price of an item unless the alleged former price was the prevailing market price within three months of the advertisement, or unless the date when the alleged former price did prevail is clearly, exactly and conspicuously stated in the advertisement.
The lawsuits cite multiple alleged examples, including:
Both J.C. Penney and Kohl’s were previously the subject of class action lawsuits alleging similar deceptive business practices. In November, 2015 and April, 2016, JC Penney and Kohl’s respectively represented to the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles in separate matters that they agreed not engage in the practice. Despite these representations, the companies allegedly continue to engage in misleading and deceptive pricing practices.
The city attorney’s lawsuits seek injunctions prohibiting the defendants from further use of false reference pricing business practices. The lawsuits also seek civil penalties up to $2,500 for each violation.