Index
Thursday
Apr232015

POLITICS/EDUCATION: Los Angeles Unified School District: "Los Angeles Unified teachers could collect 14.3 percent of salary in back pay and raises this school year" ....

* Daily News:  "Los Angeles Unified teachers could collect 14.3 percent of salary in back pay and raises this school year" - From the DN:

Over about 14 months, teachers would collect back pay and raises totaling 14.3 percent of their annual salary, according to calculations using salary figures Los Angeles Unified relied upon in negotiating a tentative contract with United Teachers Los Angeles.

For union members, whose average salary is $68,963, the contract would mean an extra $9,878, with raises set to start just before the school year ends and continue through next year. By the time the contract expires — it covers the rest of this school year and two more — $17,027 will have been paid on top of the average salary.

The tentative agreement gained the school board’s unanimous support earlier this week and faces final approval May 12.

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School board members are counting on the state to pay for the plan, hoping California will send the district higher-than-expected revenues when calculations are revised next month.  Alternatively, the district would look to cut programs and lay off educators to balance a budget deficit most recently projected at $140 million for the fiscal year that starts July 1.

Union members will have one week to vote on the agreement, with a ballot count set for May 8. The contract would cover more than 30,000 educators — primarily teachers, but also counselors, librarians, nurses and others. Educators can expect to receive their first raise, totaling 5 percent, or $3,476 for the average salary, in the weeks before they leave for summer .........................

Thursday
Apr232015

POLITICS/ENVIRONMENT: Earthquake research: "Nearly half of all Americans threatened by earthquake faults, study finds"; also, "Man-made earthquakes increasing in central and eastern U.S., study finds" .... 

***Earthquake research in the news, follow-up to most recent earlier item (The "Big One" could trigger other large quakes)...

* Los Angeles Times:  "Nearly half of all Americans threatened by earthquake faults, study finds"

* Los Angeles Times:  "Man-made earthquakes increasing in central and eastern U.S., study finds"

Thursday
Apr232015

L.A. CITY HALL: California drought, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power: "DWP set to rewrite water conservation rules" .... 

* Daily News:  "DWP set to rewrite water conservation rules" - From the DN:

As the city faces state and local water mandates, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power officials are set to rewrite the city’s water conservation rules on Thursday.  The changes would allow the mayor to limit landscape watering to two days per week (currently capped at three), while protecting swimming pools, sports fields and golf courses — even under extreme drought conditions.

As government officials try to regulate this increasingly precious resource, water policymakers must evaluate which urban uses are worth saving and which are excessive. They have to balance recreation, aesthetics, business interests and the Southern California lifestyle. “Water conservation doesn’t mean the erosion of our quality of life,” said Councilman Felipe Fuentes, who chairs the Energy and Environment Committee. “We should not consider everything that’s green as something to go brown.”

Officials are looking for more options to force water savings .........................

Wednesday
Apr222015

POLITICS/ENVIRONMENT: New study, earthquake faults, Southern California: "The 'Big One' could trigger series of large earthquakes, study finds" ....

* Los Angeles Times:  "The Big One could trigger series of large earthquakes, study finds" - From the LAT:

New research released Wednesday suggests that the shaking from "the Big One," the long-predicted major earthquake on the San Andreas fault, could trigger additional large temblors on nearby faults, intensifying the overall seismic impact. The study suggests that such a quake "could presage a flurry of ‘other Big Ones’ on other faults,” said USC earth sciences professor James Dolan, “as stresses related to the original San Andreas fault earthquake are redistributed on other faults throughout Southern California.”

The study, being presented by Dolan on Wednesday at a meeting of the Seismological Society of America in Pasadena, focuses on whether earthquakes are generated in “super-cycles.” An earthquake “super-cycle” refers to when a large number of earthquakes rupture on a single fault system in a relatively short period of time, like over a matter of decades or a few centuries.

The concept of more than one Big One in a lifetime might feel outlandish to Californians today. But it wasn’t so long ago when this state had more powerful earthquakes more frequently. The San Andreas fault, for example, suffered two major ruptures in the 19th century: an earthquake of about magnitude 7.5 in 1812 and a much worse 7.9 earthquake in 1857. The San Andreas fault in Southern California has been quiet since. And Southern California hasn’t had a true “Big One” – a quake greater than a 7.7 – since 1857.

“This period of relative seismic quietude, during which we have been releasing in earthquakes far less energy than we have been storing from relative tectonic plate motions, cannot last forever,” Dolan said. “At some point, we will need to start releasing all of this pent-up energy stored in the rocks in a series of large earthquakes.”

To better understand where quakes happen and when they hit, Dolan and his colleagues focused on Southern California’s second largest fault ........................

Wednesday
Apr222015

L.A. CITY HALL: Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety, order for eviction, Sunset and Gordon apartment tower, court ruling: "Judge refuses to block city order to empty Hollywood apartment tower" .... 

***Following up on most recent earlier item noted here (L.A. Dept. of Building and Safety, Sunset and Gordon apartment building, CIM Group, order for eviction of tenants)....

* Los Angeles Times:  "Judge refuses to block city order to empty Hollywood apartment tower" - From the LAT:

A judge on Wednesday rejected a request for a temporary restraining order that would have blocked Los Angeles officials from forcing a developer to remove dozens of tenants from a Hollywood high-rise. Superior Court Judge James C. Chalfant denied the request from real estate developer CIM Group, which received an order to vacate its 22-story Sunset and Gordon apartment complex last month. That order was triggered by a ruling in a lawsuit challenging the city's approval of the project.

CIM Group, which owns the 299-unit building, said the Department of Building and Safety should not have issued the removal order, since the ruling that triggered it is now the subject of an appeal. Deputy City Atty. Saro Balian disagreed and said CIM Group was warned months ago -- after the judge's ruling -- that Sunset and Gordon's six-month temporary certificate of occupancy was on track to expire. Once such a document expires, a building can no longer be inhabited, officials said.

Chalfant sided with the city and questioned CIM Group's decision to act months after his ruling. "You've seen this train coming down the tracks for some time," the judge told the company's lawyers. CIM Group attorney Robert A. Sacks told Chalfant that his client .......................