• Lieu cleans up on endorsements for Waxman’s Seat

    By RLn Staff – February 7, 2014

    Ted Lieu Congressman WaxmanWhen Henry Waxman announced his imminent retirement from congress after 40 years of service, an army of challengers rushed to file papers. But I appears Ted Lieu was in front of the line after assembling a long of endorsements in a matter of days with the latest coming from Congresswoman Karen Bass. With a list that totals to more than 30, Bass joins two other congressmembers, Reps. Maxine Waters and Alan Lowenthal.

    Bass, in a released statement, noted his support in her elevation to speaker of the California Assembly when she was an assemblywoman.

    “[He] was on my leadership team during the deep fiscal crisis in California. We made the tough choices to get the state back on track, and that’s exactly what Ted will do for our country. Ted’s leadership, experience and bipartisan approach to solving some of the state’s largest problems is what we need more of in Washington.”

    Lieu also picked up an endorsement from Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi.

    He’s a veteran, a champion for the environment and has a long record of fighting for our community,” said Muratsuchi, a former deputy attorney general and school board member.

    Lieu’s district comprises more than 80 percent of the voters in CD 33, making his move to replace Waxman well timed. Lieu is a long-time resident of the district, an Air Force veteran and has served time on the Torrance City Council, State Assembly and the California State Senate.

    The 33rd Congressional District stretches from the Palos Verdes Peninsula to Malibu along the Los Angeles County coast.

    Other endorsements include: Muratsuchi joins an impressive list, including: Congressmembers Alan Lowenthaland Maxine Waters; State Controller John Chiang; State Board of Equalization Member Jerome Horton; Los Angeles City Councilmembers Mike Bonin, Paul Koretz and Bill Rosendahl (Ret.); state Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg; Senators Kevin de Leon, Ricardo Lara and Holly Mitchell; Assemblymembers Isadore Hall and Sebastian Ridley-Thomas; El Camino Community College District Trustee Cliff Numark; Hermosa Beach Mayor Michael DiVirgilio; Hermosa Beach Mayor Pro Tem Peter Tucker; Palos Verdes Estates City Councilmember George Bird, Jr.; Rancho Palos Verdes Mayor pro Tem Jim Knight; Rolling Hills Estates Mayor Judy Mitchell; Redondo Beach City Councilmember Bill Brand; Torrance City Councilmembers Kurt Weideman andHope Witkowsky (Ret.); West Basin Municipal Water District Board Member Carol Kwan; Water Replenishment District Board Member Robert Katherman; Torrance School Boardmember Terry Ragins; El Segundo School Boardmember Dr. Bill Watkins; and Palos Verdes Peninsula School District Boardmember Barbara Luck

    View the RLn Los Angeles 2014 Election Blog Here.

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  • Former LAPD Chief Endorses McDonnell

    By RLn Staff – February 13, 2014

    BrattonFormer Los Angeles Police Department Chief William Bratton announced his support for Jim McDonnell in his campaign to be elected Sheriff for Los Angeles County.

    McDonnell, who has served as chief of the Long Beach Police Department since 2010 and served as the second in command in the Los Angeles Police Department, announced his candidacy in mid-January.

    Bratton’s support comes on the heels of the announcement by the executive director and members of the Los Angeles Citizens’ Commission on Jail Violence of their unanimous endorsement, as private citizens, of McDonnell. McDonnell served on the commission, which was created in the fall of 2011 by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. After a yearlong process, the commission issued a 200-page report in September 2012, with more than 60 recommendations for reform of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and its Custody division.

    In addition to Bratton, McDonnell is supported by many other top law enforcement leaders who have served the people of Los Angeles County, including District Attorney Jackie Lacey, former District Attorneys Steve Cooley and Gil Garcetti, Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck, Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer, former California Attorney General John Van de Kamp, former U.S. Attorney and DEA head Robert Bonner, Long Beach City Prosecutor Doug Haubert and former U.S. Attorney and County Counsel and Police Commission President Andrea Ordin, among others. Within the past several days, McDonnell was also endorsed by the Los Angeles County Police Chiefs Association, California Police Chiefs Association and the California Peace Officers Association.

    “In examining the many issues and challenges facing the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department today, I believe Jim McDonnell’s uniquely varied skills, recognized and respected leadership and decades of experience with both the LAPD and the Long Beach Police Department will lend themselves to facilitating meaningful change,” Bratton said in a released statement. “I’ve known Jim McDonnell for over 30 years. When I began my service as Chief of the LAPD in 2007, I already had great respect for his insights on policing strategies and was aware of his tremendous capabilities.”

    View the RLn Los Angeles 2014 Election Blog Here.

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  • Tanaka’s Gamble

    With Baca Out of the Race, the Former Undersheriff is No Longer Shielded from Men’s Central Jail Violence Report.

    By Terelle Jerricks, Managing Editor – February 20, 2014

    Paul Tanaka runs for sheriff.When Paul Tanaka, the former undersheriff of the Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department sat down for an interview with Random Lengths News, the question I wanted to ask was, ‘Why are you running?’”

    Not because I needed him to talk immediately about the reforms he would enact, but because Tanaka was the second most-named person responsible in the 2012 Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Citizen’s Commission on Jail Violence report at the Men’s Central Jail.

    Tanaka began answering that question without the context of the commission report, focusing instead on where he and Sheriff Lee Baca parted ways and became arch rivals before Baca’s retirement last month.

    “Lee Baca [and I] had our differences,” Tanaka explained. “They were largely philosophical in leadership and management. A chasm started to grow, especially in the last year-and-a-half or so. I saw the department going in a direction that I felt it was getting further and further away from the mission of what we cops do for a living…. We fight crime and take the bad guys off the street. They keep the community safer. Whether it is in San Pedro, Compton, Gardena or Antelope Valley,” he said. (more…)

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  • Fluff and Fold Should Refer to Your Laundry Not to Your Paper

    Knowing the difference between PR and reporting in the digital era

    By James Preston Allen, Publisher

    Today we get inundated with messages–email, text, video and infomercial solicitations. A seemingly endless supply of bloggers, social media hucksters, hired public relations gurus, and political mouthpieces sending out a steady rain of unfiltered or highly filtered messages to sway you this way or that. Much of this “digital rain” comes from the users, like on Facebook or Yelp, who provide unpaid content. Facebook, especially, has become such an obsessive/compulsive adopter of content that many users are either turning off their accounts or abstaining from their use of this medium. Last month a Princeton University team of researchers released a study that projects that Facebook will lose 80 percent of its peak users base in the next three years. (more…)

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  • The Northwest San Pedro Neighborhood Council Election

    Applications are being accepted for the Northwest San Pedro Neighborhood Council elections and can be downloaded or completed on line here.

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  • Ponte Vista Hearing

    The next hearing for Ponte Vista has been scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Feb. 26 with the Planning and Land Committee of the Los Angeles City Council.

    This hearing is the second hearing before the committee and the last stop before developers of the 700-unit plan head to the full city council.

    Details: (310) 241-0699; info@pontevista.com
    Venue: Los Angeles City Hall
    Location: 200 N. Spring Street, in the Board of Public Works Hearing Room 350.

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  • Wilmington Environmental Group Establishes First Community Network to Monitor Local Oil Refinery Air Pollution

    The Coalition For A Safe Environment will make a presentation and lead a tour of their office online computer monitoring system and to the affected Wilmington “fence-line” neighborhoods, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Feb. 26, before visiting the home of the Peleti family, the first family to install an AirBase air quality monitor system at their home.

    The Wilmington environmental justice community advocacy organization has launched the area’s first community-based environmental reporting and air quality monitoring that is giving residents of some of California’s most environmentally impacted communities effective, hands-on ways to report, monitor and fight pollution and toxic contamination in their neighborhoods.   Fence-line residents – those just over the fence from large oil refineries – often report breathing difficulty from asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis and COPD symptoms along with other health effects from refinery emissions and additional mental distress when there are major accidents.

    Community members will be able to use mobile devices and go on-line on the internet to report environmental or public health dangers or public safety violations such as releases of hazardous waste, illegal dumping, bad air, chemical spills, toxic odors and other incidents.  They can monitor follow up to their complaints and sign up to be alerted to contamination or pollution in their communities.

    The pilot project is funded by a $10,000 grant from the California Department of Toxic Substance Control and a $20,000 grant from California Environmental Protection Agency.

    The Coalition For A Safe Environment is the project sponsor in putting th (more…)

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  • Animal Care Services Open House

    The City of Long Beach Animal Care Services Bureau invites the community to its 2014 Open House from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Feb.

    Residents and guests will be provided with a report card on the past year as well as an overview of new programs and technologies available to residents in 2014.  Refreshments, tours and comments from residents will be included.  Information on animal adoption, licensing, spay and neuter programs and other animal care information will be available.

    Details: (562) 570-PETS; www.longbeach.gov/acs
    Venue: Animal Care Services
    Location:  7700 E. Spring St., Long Beach

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  • UC Service Workers Announce Five Day Strike

    Oakland — With negotiations over wages and staffing at a stalemate, the 8300 University of California Service Workers represented by AFSCME 3299—the lowest paid workers at UC — have given 10-day notice that they will strike March 3 to 7.

    The 13,000 Patient Care Technical Workers represented by AFSCME 3299 have announced that they will strike in sympathy with service workers.

    Both units voted 96 percent in support of a strike during a three-day vote this past week.

    About  99 percent of UC Service workers are income eligible for some form of public assistance, with some full time workers forced to live in their cars. According to OSHA, workplace injury rates amongst UC Service workers have skyrocketed by more than 20 percent throughout the past five years. And UC is increasingly replacing these career employees with inexperienced outside contractors who are paid rock-bottom wages with no benefits.

    While AFSCME 3299 has conceded to UC on more than 75 percent of the issues up for negotiation, as well as its top priority of pension reform, UC has singled out its service unit for especially harsh treatment throughout the past year—including unilateral implementation of terms that amounted to pay cuts this past September.

    UC’s final contract offer still leaves 95 percent UC Service workers income eligible for some form public assistance, does not address the workload issues that are contributing to rising injury rates, and refuses to accept the same standards on contracting out that are required of California State University, California’s Community Colleges, or other state agencies. (more…)

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  • Fenceline Communities Win Relief in Oil Refinery Suit

    Washington, D.C. —  A federal judge approved a consent decree, Feb. 7, requiring the Environmental Protection Agency to review and, if necessary, update the standards controlling hazardous air pollution from oil refineries.

    The review should result in more protective standards, limiting the amount of hazardous air pollutants that refineries release into the air throughout the United States. EPA’s proposed action is due by May 15, 2014.  Final action is due by April 17, 2015.

    About 150 oil refineries in 32 states self reported that they release at least 20,000 tons of hazardous air pollutants into communities each year, a toxic soup of poisonous chemicals like benzene, cyanide, and formaldehyde. These chemicals can cause cancer, breathing problems and smog.

    Those emissions are vastly underreported by the industry, as shown by a new analysis of refinery emissions released on Feb. 6 by the Environmental Integrity Project and recent studies at Marathon, Shell, and British Petroleum facilities in Texas.  EPA’s rulemaking will finally have to address the emissions actually going into the air from flares, tanks, and other components at refineries and the health impacts those emissions create.

    The consent decree resulted from a lawsuit filed by Earthjustice and the Environmental Integrity Project on behalf of affected community groups in Texas, California and Louisiana. The groups charged that the EPA violated requirements in the Clean Air Act that the agency review its standards for the emissions of hazardous pollutants eight years after they were initially set. For part of the covered rules, it has been more than 16 years since the agency conducted such a review. (more…)

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