Index
Wednesday
Jul312013

L.A. CITY HALL: Regulation of medical marijuana, Proposition D, challenge to ban of newer medical marijuana dispensaries: "L.A. medical marijuana shops challenge Proposition D ban" 

* Daily News (City News Service):  "L.A. medical marijuana shops challenge Proosition D ban" - From the DN:

The Los Angeles City Council will meet behind closed doors today to discuss threats of legal action by the operators of two medical marijuana dispensaries ordered to shut down under voter-approved Proposition D, which pared back the number of pot purveyors in the city.

Voters approved Proposition D on May 21, banning medical marijuana businesses in Los Angeles while exempting shops that registered for licenses prior to a 2007 suspension on new dispensaries. The proposition went into effect June 20.

The city has released a list of 134 dispensaries exempted from the ban and has refused to consider appeals from those who say they should have been on it. Last month the city attorney sent 1,716 letters notifying landlords and owners of "medical marijuana businesses" of the ban and ordering them to cease operations, said City Attorney spokesman Rob Wilcox.

The City Council is expected to discuss today a threat of litigation from attorney Arthur Hodge, who represents the Downtown Patients Group Dispensary and the Timothy Leary Memorial Dispensary in North Hollywood -- two businesses not included on the exemption list.

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Another attorney, David Welch, said he believes there are as many as 40 additional businesses eligible for immunity from the ban. He said he represents 15 businesses that were overlooked for inclusion on the city's list and that he has sent letters on their behalf urging reconsideration............

Wednesday
Jul312013

POLITICS (Orange County): Anaheim, lawsuit, Latino voters, city council elections, California Voting Rights Act: "Judge Sets Trial Date for Anaheim Voting Rights Lawsuit"....

* Voice of OC:  "Judge Sets Trial Date for Anaheim Voting Rights Lawsuit" - From Voice of OC:

An Orange County Superior Court Judge Tuesday morning set a March 17 trial date for a lawsuit alleging Anaheim's at large City Council elections violate the California Voting Rights Act.

The American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit, filed on behalf of Latino activists, argues that the city's at large council elections disenfranchise Latino voters by giving people in wealthy and mostly white neighborhoods more voting power than Latinos, who constitute 53 percent of the city's residents. As a result, the suit asserts, the City Council's all-white and relatively affluent members steer more city resources to wealthier communities at the expense of poorer Latino communities.

 

News of the trial comes after another judge ruled that Palmdale, which is 54.4% Latino, violates the state Voting Rights Act with its at large election system by preventing blacks and Latinos from electing the council candidates of their choice.

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The court date was a long time in coming for a suit that was first filed in June 2012...................

***ALSO:

* Los Angeles Times:  "Anaheim voting rights case ordered to go to trial"

Wednesday
Jul312013

L.A. CITY HALL: Los Angeles Board of Public Works, L.A. City Council confirmation of new commissoners, new Mayor Eric Garcetti's first commission appointees: "Public Works panel confirmed despite grilling".... 

* Daily News:  "Public Works panel confirmed despite grilling" - From the DN:

 The first commission appointments of Mayor Eric Garcetti were tested on Tuesday, with tough questioning of one commissioner up for the Board of Public Works -- a former mayoral rival to Garcetti and the only Republican nominated. Yet even with voiced concern over some of the controversial positions Kevin James took in his role as a talk-show host, he was unanimously approved, as were four other nominees to the city's only paid commission.

Public Works commissioners receive $136,116 a year to oversee the five agencies that provide the most basic public services, from trash collection, wastewater treatment and recycling to street repair, tree trimming and street lighting.

James, who came in third in the primary election and later endorsed Garcetti, sees no conflict between his criticism of city services and taking a paid post. "I wish I could afford to be paid $1 a year, but I can't," he said following the vote. "As is, I'm taking a pay cut to do this job."

Confirmed along with James were new commissioners Matt Szabo, Mike Davis, Monica Garcia and Barbara Romero. The panel is scheduled to hold its first meeting Tuesday, when it will select a board president.

James, who has been the subject of letter and email campaigns against his appointment, said he looked forward to the challenge of the job and insisted his political views would not affect his work or those of the city "The last time I looked, potholes are neither Republican nor Democrat," he said................

***ALSO:

* Los Angeles Times:  "Kevin James OK'd for board seat after grilling by L.A. Council" - "The Republican, nominated for the Board of Public Works, was questioned about past comments on immigration and climate change."

* LA Weekly:  "Kevin James Confirmed As Public Works Board Member, As Council Disapproves Of Past Remarks"

 

Tuesday
Jul302013

AFTERNOON MEMOS: Malibu, proposed "chain-store law," Planning Commission opposition, 4-1 vote; Vernon, editorial, "Vernon's nervy ex-manager suing city after defrauding it"; commentary, "San Diego can't seem to shake Mayor Bob Filner, a.k.a Headlock Bob"; California high-speed rail project, commentary, "Spanish train wreck may have a California lesson"....

***Various items this afternoon from across the spectrum of politics and/or public policy....

* Los Angeles Times:  "Malibu Planning Commission recommends against chain-store law"

* Daily News (Los Angeles News Group - editorial):  "Vernon's nervy ex-manager suing city after defrauding it"

* Los Angeles Times (Robin Abcarian):  "San Diego can't seem to shake Mayor Bob Filner, a.k.a Headlock Bob"

* Daily News (Thomas Elias - op-ed):  "Spanish train wreck may have a California lesson"

Tuesday
Jul302013

LOCAL GOVERNMENT (Carson): Carousel housing tract, city of Carson, soil contamination, Shell Oil Co.: "Carson declares emergency over Shell contamination in housing tract".... 

* Los Angeles Times:  "Carson declares emergency over Shell containmination in housing tract" - From the LAT:

The Carson City Council declared a local emergency Monday night over contamination in the city’s Carousel tract, upping the pressure on Shell Oil to expedite cleanup of benzene, methane gas, and other hazardous chemicals on the site. City officials hope the declaration will allow them greater authority to order the oil company to complete the cleanup of a former oil tank farm, or give them access to assistance from state and federal officials.

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For many residents, it was a watershed moment in an ongoing battle with the oil company. Soil tests revealed elevated levels of the chemicals more than five years ago. Residents have been told to minimize their contact with the soil, and not to eat vegetables or fruits grown in their yards.

The Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board, the agency overseeing the process, has ordered Shell to clean up the site, which sits on top of a former oil tank farm, but extensive testing of the tract’s 285 homes could delay the actual cleanup until 2014.

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The city also said it will request assistance from the state attorney general and Gov. Jerry Brown.

Other officials have already taken notice. . . . . . . .

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Shell officials said Monday that methane gas poses no safety hazard to the neighborhood, despite its high concentrations in the soil, and emphasized that regulators have found “no imminent health risk” in the community. Shell spokesman Alan Caldwell said the company was “disappointed” that the city declared an emergency, saying it “will not solve the problem.”

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The residents and the city are locked in a lawsuit against Shell, in which they blame the soil contamination for a host of illnesses and decreased home values. [Mayor Jim] Dear wants the oil company to purchase all of the homes in the tract before proceeding.......