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Thursday
Aug182016

L.A. CITY HALL: Los Angeles World Airports, LAX, Alliance for a Regional Solution to Airport Congresion (ARSAC), lawsuit settlement: "A $652-million project to move LAX runway will be scrapped after lawsuit"; also, "LAX settles legal war with its neighbors, clearing way for billions in upgrades" ....

* Los Angeles Times:  "A $652-million project to move LAX runway will be scrapped after lawsuit" - From the LAT:

A proposal to move the northernmost runway at Los Angeles International Airport closer to homes will be shelved indefinitely under an agreement announced Wednesday, ending a key lawsuit challenging the planned modernization of LAX. The settlement, which will go before the City Council for approval next week, would halt a $652-million project to relocate the runway 260 feet closer to the communities of Westchester and Playa del Rey.

Filed in May 2013 by the Alliance for a Regional Solution to Airport Congestion, the suit alleged that Los Angeles World Airports had not done the required environmental impact evaluation or taken measures to reduce any adverse effects resulting from the move. For years, the runway project has been a major issue in residential neighborhoods because of the potential for increased noise and air pollution.

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The agreement includes plans for a community park on the airport’s north side, as well as additional  passenger gates in the central terminal area to replace those that currently must be accessed by shuttle buses. 

Safety improvements will be made to the two northern runways, air pollution monitoring will be increased and an ongoing dialogue about airport projects will be established between LAX, the alliance and the surrounding community. However, the settlement also will lift a cap on the number of passenger gates at the airport — which had limited LAX’s passenger volume to about 79 million annually ...................

***ALSO:

* Daily Breeze:  "LAX settles legal war with its neighbors, clearing way for billions in upgrades"

Wednesday
Aug172016

AFTERNOON MEMOS: Envirnonment, "Environmentalists seek injunction tohalt ranch plannng in Point Reyes National Seashore"; sports/NFL, "Ready for another Bay Area Super Bowl? Niners making a push"Proposition 56, "Pro-tobacco tax ad mostly rings true"; also, editorial, "A Tainted settlement on San Onofre closing costs" ....

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

* San Francisco Chronicle (Matier & Ross):  "Ready for another Bay Area Super Bowl? Niners making a push"

* Mercury News (Matin Independent Journal):  "Environmentalists seek injunction to halt ranch planning in Point Reyes National Seashore"

* Sacramento Bee:  "Pro-tobacco tax ad mostly rings true

***ALSO:

* Los Angeles Times (editorial:  "A tainted settlement on San Onofre closing costs"

Wednesday
Aug172016

POLITICS (National): U.S. Supreme Court, exreme partisan gerrymandering?: "Should it be legal to have a congressional district only one party can win?" ....  

* Los Angeles Times (David Savage):  "Should it be legal to have a congressional district only one party can win?" - From the LAT:

North Carolina may be a swing state in presidential politics, with polls showing Hillary Clinton now leading Do  Donald Trump. But there’s no question who will win most of the state’s 13 House congressional districts in November. “It’s virtually certain that Republicans will hold their 10-to-3 advantage, regardless of what happens in the presidential race,” said David Wasserman, an analyst with Cook Political Report. “The districts are simply far too polarized.”

That electoral lock may prompt the Supreme Court to take a new look at the old question of whether extreme partisan gerrymandering is unconstitutional, denying voters an equal chance to have their voices heard.

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Repeatedly in past decades, the justices have said they were troubled by partisan gerrymandering, but stopped short of finding a plan unconstitutional .................

Wednesday
Aug172016

POLITICS (National, State/New Jersey): 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump, Chris Christie?: "Trump Casinos Debt was $30 Million. Then Christie Took Office" ....

* New York Times:  "Trump Casinos Debt Was $30 Million. Then Christie Took Office." - From the NYT:

By the time Chris Christie became governor of New Jersey, the state’s auditors and lawyers had been battling for several years to collect long-overdue taxes owed by the casinos founded by his friend Donald J. Trump. The total, with interest, had grown to almost $30 million. The state had doggedly pursued the matter through two of the casinos’ bankruptcy cases and even accused the company led by Mr. Trump of filing false reports with state casino regulators about the amount of taxes it had paid.

But the year after Governor Christie, a Republican, took office, the tone of the litigation shifted. The state entertained settlement offers. And in December 2011, after six years in court, the state agreed to accept just $5 million, roughly 17 cents on the dollar of what auditors said the casinos owed.

Tax authorities sometimes settle for lesser amounts to avoid the costs and risks of further litigation, legal experts said, but the steep discount granted to the Trump casinos and the relationship between the two men raise inevitable questions about special treatment ................

Wednesday
Aug172016

POLITICS (National, State/Pennsylvania): Pennsylvania Attorney General, jury verdict, criminal conviction: "Pennsylvania's Attorney General Is Convicted on All Counts"; "Jury: A.G. Kane guilty of perjury, obstruction, all other charges"; "Pennsylvania's Attorney General Found Guilty in Perjury Case"; also, "Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane Resigns After Criminal Conviction" .... 

***Sampling of coverage, criminal conviction, Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane....

* New York Times:  "Pennsylvania's Attorney General Is Convicted on All Counts"

* Philadelphia Inquirer:  "Jury: A.G. Kane guilty of perjury, obstruction, all other charges"

* ABC News:  "Pennsylvania's Attorney General Found Guilty in Perjury Case"

***ALSO:

* Washington Post:  "Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane Resigns After Criminal Conviction"