To consolidate, disseminate, and gather information concerning the 710 expansion into our San Rafael neighborhood and into our surrounding neighborhoods. If you have an item that you would like posted on this blog, please e-mail the item to Peggy Drouet at pdrouet@earthlink.net

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Storm is coming: Need sandbags? L.A. Fire Department can help you

City News Service
Updated:   11/28/2012 08:29:42 PM PST
 LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Fire Department is giving away sandbags and sand, where available, at its 106 stations around the city today in advance of the season's first significant storms.
The first wave of wet weather, due tonight, is expected to produce a quarter- to a half-inch of rain, and at least one other frontal system is expected to deliver about the same amount over the weekend and Monday.

"We're not expecting this to be the mother of all storms," Brian Humphrey of the Los Angeles Fire Department said, adding that sandbags are typically offered for free throughout the rainy season.

Sandbags can be used to divert runoff that could otherwise flood homes, especially in foothill areas where normally dry creek beds can quickly turn into destructive torrents, he said.

Filling a loading sandbags will be up to residents, he said. Moving a large number of sandbags can be tough work, and Humphrey suggested hiring a contractor to handle any complex flood preparations.

Transit tax measure falling short of required vote

November 28, 2012 |  5:29 pm
 It appears that a Los Angeles County transit tax measure that appeared on this month's ballot is getting too little support, too late and is likely to fail.

The tax extension, known as Measure J, now has 65.88% approval, according to the latest numbers released Wednesday by the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk's office. That's slightly short of the two-thirds majority needed to pass.

Measure J would extend an existing 30-year, half-cent sales tax for transportation projects that was  approved by voters in 2008 for an additional three decades.

Close to 800,000 vote-by-mail and provisional ballots were uncounted after the Nov. 6 election, when officials reported Measure J had garnered 64.72% support with 100% of precincts reporting.

Officials have continued counting ballots and the approval percentage has inched upward.
County officials reported Wednesday that 2,794,715 Measure J votes had been counted, with 1,841,208 in favor and 953,507 against. 

Election official Talyssa Gonzales said there are approximately 70,000 to 75,000 ballots that remain to be counted. About 96% percent of those ballots would have to approve Measure J for it to pass, a rate radically higher than that seen to date.  

The count will remain unofficial until the final results are certified, probably early next month.

Strike! Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach face possible shutdown as clerical workers picket terminals


By Brian Sumers Staff Writer
Updated:   11/28/2012 01:48:18 PM PST

Clerical workers at the Port of Long Beach set up picket lines. Workers at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are walking off the job at all terminals and setting up picket lines outside at least some of them, a move that could effectively shut down most port activity. (Brittany Murray/Staff Photographer)

UPDATED: Clerical workers at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are walking off the job at all terminals and setting up picket lines outside at least some of them, a move that could effectively shut down most port activity, sources have told the Daily Breeze.

Other longshore workers at the nation's busiest port complex are not expected to cross the picket lines this afternoon, and business is expected to shut down at many of the terminals, a source said.

The major job action comes one day after members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 63 Office Clerical Unit struck APM Terminals at Pier 400 at the Port of Los Angeles. They were joined by other bargaining units of the longshore workers who refused to cross the picket line, curbing operations at what port officials call the busiest terminal in San Pedro. Port of Long Beach

On Tuesday night, an arbitrator ordered the dockworkers at Pier 400 back to work, but this morning they refused.

About 800 workers belonging to the ILWU Local 63's Office Clerical Unit have been working without contracts since June 30, 2010. Union officials say they want new contracts to protect workers against outsourcing jobs abroad. Management officials say they have no intention of outsourcing jobs to other countries.

With the strike now affecting most terminals, both sides are expected to continue their legal maneuvering today, and it is possible that the Pacific Maritime Association, a consortium of all port operators on the West Coast, will go to federal court to seek a temporary restraining order that requires the longshore workers to return to work, sources said.

Residents Can Protest County's Desired Stormwater Parcel Fee

By Sue Pascoe, Staff Writer

Los Angeles County is considering a parcel fee for the treatment of stormwater through a proposed Clean Water, Clean Beach measure, which could mean that Pacific Palisades homeowners could be charged as much as $83 annually.

  The County Board of Supervisors voted on July 3 whether the measure should be on the November ballot or whether a mail-in ballot should be used. Supervisors Gloria Molina, Mark Ridley-Thomas and Zev Yaroslavsky voted for the mail-in ballot and Don Knabe and Michael Antonovich voted against.

  In accordance with provisions of Proposition 218, the 'Right to Vote on Taxes Act,' the measure must go through a two-step approval process that includes a public hearing and a mail-in election.

  Any property owner may testify or file a written protest with the Executive Officer of the Board of Supervisors at any time before the end of the public hearing, which is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on January 15, 2013 at the Board of Supervisors Hearing Room in the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration on Temple Street.

  Written protests must be signed by the property owner, include the parcel number, and be mailed to: Executive Officer, Board of Supervisors, P.O. Box 866006, Los Angeles, CA 90086.

  If the Board of Supervisors receives written protests from more than 50 percent of property owners in the county, it can suspend the mail-in ballot vote. Otherwise, it may authorize the mail-in ballot election, likely for between March and May 2013. A simple majority of 'yes' votes approves the measure.

  The parcel fee would be based on parcel size and the percentage of the parcel covered by hard surfaces.

Fee examples listed by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works include:

  Single-family residential parcel: $54 (average), $8 (minimum), $83 (maximum); condominiums: $20 or less (typical); convenience store or fast-food restaurant: $300-$400; five-acre city park: $500-$600; 10-acre elementary school: $8,000; 15-acre big-box retail store: $15,000.

  According to the County's Web site, the need for the money is to help improve L.A.'s environment in two key ways: by diverting stormwater runoff before it deposits trash and polluted water into the ocean, and creating ways to save rainfall as a source of water. During a typical storm, billions of gallons of water rush directly into the ocean.

Rainwater conservation is seen as an eventual solution to acquiring water in the Southern California's desert environment. Los Angeles currently imports two-thirds of its drinking water from Northern California or the Colorado River'spending billions every year. The County estimates that amount will almost double in the next 10 years.

According to a November 25 article in the Daily News, parcel fees would be paid by 2.1-million property owners. No parcels would be exempt, said Hector J. Bordas, County Department of Public Works engineer. Schools, churches, cities and even the county would have to pay a fee. Administrators at Los Angeles Unified School District told the Board of Supervisors that the $4.8 million it would pay under the proposal 'was a major concern.'

Governed by the County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors, the Flood Control District, a regional board, was created by the California State Legislature in 1915, after a disastrous flood took a heavy toll on lives and property. The board operates and maintains regional flood-control and water-quality and conservation facilities that cover more than 3,000 square miles, 85 cities, and about 2.1 million land parcels.

Visit: lacountycleanwater.org.