Index
Wednesday
Mar212012

L.A. CITY HALL: Los Angeles Fire Department, new explanation of flawed response times; commentary, Steve Lopez, LAFD's "smoke and mirrors" on response time....

* Daily News:  "LAFD fire chief admits data on department response times was unclear"

* Los Angeles Times:  "L.A. fire chief offers new explanation of flawed response times" - "Official says the department used computerized projections rather than actual data, showing that the department met its five-minute goal 79% of the time instead of the 64% achieved in 2008."

* Los Angeles Times (Steve Lopez):  "L.A. Fire Department's smoke and mirrors on response time" - "The Fire Commission needs to ask officials tough questions on how performance results were calculated and how to improve them in tough financial times."

Wednesday
Mar212012

L.A. CITY HALL: Lawsuit to be filed vs. city, improper trash removal fees charged to low-income tenants by Los Angeles Housing Authority, $8 million in improper charges over the last four years........

* Los Angeles Times:  "L.A. faces lawsuit over trash fees charged to low-income tenants" - "Nonprofit groups contend that residents in 14 Los Angeles housing projects are owed $8 million. It's the latest headache involving the city's housing authority." - From the LAT:

   Three nonprofit groups that represent low-income families intend to file a class action lawsuit alleging that thousands of tenants in Los Angeles housing projects were improperly charged for trash removal by the city. The lawsuit, slated to be filed Wednesday, contends that residents in 14 housing projects are owed $8 million for payments they made over the last four years.

    The Western Center on Law and Poverty, working with two other advocacy groups, said residents at Jordan Downs, Ramona Gardens and a dozen other locations signed leases that identified "rubbish removal" as a service covered by the Housing Authority of the city of Los Angeles. In recent years, tenants have been paying as much as $24.33 a month for that service, said attorney Navneet Grewal.

    ****

    The lawsuit is the latest headache for the housing authority, which relies on federal funds and has a board selected by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.................

Wednesday
Mar212012

POLITICS (Bay Area): S.F. Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, report, move by Mayor Ed Lee to remove Mirkarimi from office for official misconduct; editorial, time for the sheriff to "quit gracefully"....

* San Francisco Chronicle:  "Mayor will move to oust Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi" - From the Chronicle:

   Mayor Ed Lee will move to oust Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi from office for official misconduct over a domestic violence incident, a decision that could spell the end to Mirkarimi's political career. Once Mirkarimi is formally served with the misconduct charges today, he will be suspended from office immediately, without pay, after less than three months on the job.

   ****

   Mirkarimi, a former San Francisco supervisor, vowed to fight to save his job.

   ****

   The matter moves to the city's independent Ethics Commission, which will hold a hearing on the misconduct charges, and then the Board of Supervisors, which will decide whether Mirkarimi can remain sheriff. It would take the agreement of at least nine of the 11 supervisors to vote Mirkarimi, 50, out of office.

   ****

   The official misconduct proceedings will take place as five of the supervisors face re-election in November, with the fate of Mirkarimi's job sure to be a top issue..............

* San Francisco Chronicle (editorial):  "Time for Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi to quit gracefully"

Wednesday
Mar212012

L.A. CITY HALL: Planning & Land Use Committee, lengthy hearing, proposed ordinance to restrict locations of group homes, matter to be taken up again at next PLUM Cmte. meeting.... 

***Long-pending issue, an ordinance to restrict group homes from many residential areas....

* Daily News:  "Restricting group homes may risk federal funding"

* Los Angeles Times:  "L.A. council discusses plan to restrict locations of group homes" - "The proposal would bar homes for veterans, the disabled and recovering veterans from many residential areas. Those who say such homes draw crime and those who say they turn lives around share their views."

Wednesday
Mar212012

POLITICS (Bay Area): Nadia Lockyer, unexpected appearance at Alameda County Board of Supervisors retreat, creation of a new controversy, report of her jail visits to ex-boyfriend last year....  

* San Francisco Chronicle (Matier & Ross):  "Nadia Lockyer shows up for board retreat" - From the Chronicle:

   A little more than a month after enrolling in a substance-abuse program following a violent clash with an ex-boyfriend in a Newark hotel, Alameda County Supervisor Nadia Lockyer unexpectedly showed up for work Tuesday at a board retreat - and stepped right back into a controversy. Her husband, state Treasurer Bill Lockyer, accompanied her to the Alameda County Conference Center in downtown Oakland and returned later in the day to pick her up.

   The supervisor's return, however, was marred by a new report that she had visited her ex-boyfriend, Stephen Chikhani, three times last summer while he was in lockup on drug-related charges in Santa Clara County Jail - representing herself as his attorney. "She did not misrepresent herself," her aide Rubén Briones told us Tuesday. "She was providing pro bono legal advice as requested by Mr. Chikhani's father." "Not true," Chikhani's attorney, Adrienne Dell, fired back. "Mr. Chikhani's father has never spoken to Nadia Lockyer regarding representation of his son. ... I think this is an abuse of power."

   The rail-thin supervisor, wearing a black suit and pearl necklace, was all business Tuesday, declining to address reporters as she ducked from a morning session with her board colleagues into a lunch meeting that lasted 90 minutes.

   ****

   Briones, her aide, said he was not authorized to comment when asked whether his boss' doctors had cleared her to check out of rehab. It was her first public appearance since going into a center in Marin County following a Feb. 3 incident at a Newark hotel involving Chikhani, the ex-boyfriend, who has a long history of arrests for methamphetamine use.

   ****

   The circumstances of the hotel incident remain cloudy. Nadia Lockyer was treated for head and neck injuries, Newark police said, but Chikhani has not been arrested.........