Index
Friday
Aug282015

L.A. CITY HALL: Homelessness, criminal penalties, editorial: "Respecting the rights of the homeless" ....

* Los Angeles Times (editorial):  "Respecting the rights of the homeless" - From the LAT:

The Los Angeles City Council committee took the smart step this week of removing criminal penalties and fines from a controversial new law involving the treatment of homeless people's possessions. While it's true that city officials have a responsibility to keep the streets safe and clean, they must find ways to do so that respect the rights and legitimate needs of the homeless.

Under the ordinance as passed in June, city sanitation workers were given permission to take away homeless people's belongings on the streets and sidewalks after 24 hours' notice; the goal was to find a way to clear some of the more expansive homeless encampments. But in the original version, people who refused to give up their property or have it put in storage could have been arrested or fined. It is not only unfair, but counterproductive, to criminalize behavior that stems mainly from being homeless. This week's amendments, if approved by the full council, remove those penalties.

he committee also made a distinction this week between attended and unattended property . . . . . . . .

Those changes are a step forward. But ....................

Friday
Aug282015

POLITICS (National): 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton, "unique position" of Huma Abedin: "How Huma Abedin worked at the center of the Clinton universe" ....

* Washington Post:  "How Huma Abedin worked at the center of the Clinton universe" - From the WP:

As Hillary Rodham Clinton was preparing for her farewell international trip as secretary of state, her close aide and confidante Huma Abedin e-mailed a small number of longtime political allies to help arrange an intimate get-together at a private club in Dublin. “Maybe we can all gather for drinks/dinner and HRC can come join for as long as she can?” Abedin wrote.

The December 2012 event showcased the unique position that Abedin occupied at the apex of the Clintons’ public and private worlds during the final six months of Hillary Clinton’s tenure heading the State Department. At the time, Abedin held four jobs with four different employers — an arrangement allowed by a special government designation she held permitting outside employment. And each job had a connection to the Dublin dinner.

The invitation was sent from Abedin’s State Department account as Clinton planned for an official trip in her role as secretary. The dinner was attended by the chief executive of the private consulting firm Teneo, which has close ties to the Clintons and employed Abedin as an adviser. Seated around the tables were donors to Hillary Clinton’s campaigns as well as to the Clinton Foundation, where Abedin was a contractor preparing for Clinton’s eventual transition to the charity. And Clinton, who was also paying Abedin out of personal funds to prepare for her transition from secretary of state to private life, showed up for about an hour.

New interviews and documents, including the e-mails about the Ireland dinner, provide additional details about some of Abedin’s activities during those months and how her overlapping roles make it difficult to determine when she was working for the public and when her work was benefiting a private interest. Now, Abedin’s work during that time is becoming a central element in several controversies dogging Clinton’s presidential campaign ........................

Friday
Aug282015

L.A. CITY HALL: Delivery of city services?: "Inequity is 'baked in' when it comes to L.A. City services; where you live matters" ....

* Los Angeles Times:  "Inequity is 'baked in' when it comes to L.A. city services; where you live matters" - From the LAT:

Improving basic city services has become a top priority at Los Angeles City Hall. But how promptly municipal agencies respond to Angelenos' complaints depends largely on where they live, a Los Angeles Times analysis found.

An examination of more than 1.4 million service requests since 2010 showed vast disparities across the city in how long it took to patch a pothole, pick up a broken-down sofa or paint over graffiti. City crews took four weeks to fill potholes in Hollywood Hills West, but just four and half days in Chinatown. In West Los Angeles, bulky items were picked up by the next scheduled trash collection day more than 97% of the time. In Wilmington, it was less than 40% of the time. And when residents in Mid-Wilshire called for graffiti removal, they waited a median time of more than three days, compared with less than three hours in Sunland, a foothill community in the San Fernando Valley.

The findings parallel those in a Times report earlier this month, which found that city crews respond to complaints of illegally dumped refuse at dramatically different rates in many of the city's 114 neighborhoods. And poorer areas generally received worse service than wealthier ones. After the report was published, Mayor Eric Garcetti ordered an internal investigation of the city sanitation agency's performance.

Unlike illegal dumping, the city's response to complaints about potholes, graffiti and abandoned furniture did not track a neighborhood's wealth. For Garcetti and city administrators, the wide variations in service levels underscore the challenges of ensuring consistency in basic functions of municipal government for nearly 4 million people spread across 500 square miles .....................

Friday
Aug282015

POLITICS (Bay Area; Southern California): San Francisco, "San Francisco tenant who faced $6,755 rent hike sues landlord for eviction"; Orange County, "County's Ousted Internal Audit Director Appointed Head of Performance Audit"; L.A., "A first glimpse at Frank Gehry's vision for an L.A. River makeover" .... 

***Politics/public policy:  Northern California; Southern California....

* San Francisco Chronicle:  "San Francisco tenant who faced $6,755 rent hike sues landlord for wrongful eviction

* Los Angeles Times:  "A first glimpse at Frank Gehry's vision for an L.A. River makeover"

* Voice of OC:  "County's Ousted Internal Audit Director Appointed Head of Performance Audit

Friday
Aug282015

LOCAL GOVERNMENT (No. California; So. California): Bay Area, "Santa Clara County scrutinizing wage disparities"; Orange County, "Desalination plant opponents rail against Huntington Beach location"; L.A. County, "Drought-shamed Los Angeles County cuts supervisors' car washes" ....

***Various items relating to local politics/public policy -- Northern California, Southern California....

* Orange County Register:  "Desalination plant opponents rail against Huntington Beach location"

* San Jose Mercury News:  "Santa Clara County scrutinizing wage disparities"

* Daily News:  "Drought-shamed Los Angeles County cuts supervisors' car washes