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  • California Forbids U.S. Immigration Agents from Pretending to be Police

    Thursday, July 27, 2017
    ICE agents have reportedly claimed to be police officers to gain consent to enter a person’s home – a tactic that is viewed as unethical, but within the powers granted to the officers. Civil rights groups supported Kalra’s bill, looking to stymie the Trump administration’s promise to use any and all available tools to deport undocumented immigrants who have committed crimes. Many groups fear Trump will expand deportations to include all undocumented immigrants, their families and relatives.   read more
  • Court Ponders 10-Day Waiting Period for Gun Purchases in California

    Friday, February 19, 2016
    The law - intended to reduce impulsive gun violence and to allow retailers sufficient time to conduct thorough background checks on purchasers - "imposes a modest time delay on acquisition of firearms, not a prohibition," state Deputy Attorney General Eisenberg said. He added that the length of the statutory waiting period has been fine-tuned over a period of more than 80 years since its adoption in 1923, and that "the Legislature should be applauded for doing that kind of modifying to the law."   read more
  • Los Angeles Hospital Paid $17,000 Ransom to Hackers that Took Down Its Computer Network

    Thursday, February 18, 2016
    Hollywood Presbyterian paid the demanded ransom of 40 bitcoins after the network infiltration that began Feb. 5. The FBI is investigating the attack, often called "ransomware," where hackers encrypt a computer network's data to hold it "hostage," providing a digital decryption key to unlock it for a price. "The quickest and most efficient way to restore our systems and administrative functions was to pay the ransom and obtain the decryption key," Stefanek said.   read more
  • 60% of Californians May Have Had Electronic Data Stolen in 2015

    Wednesday, February 17, 2016
    Attorney General Kamala Harris said Tuesday that there were 178 data breaches in California endangering 24 million records. The number of breaches held steady, but the number of records jumped sharply from about 4 million in 2014 and 18 million in 2013. Her report blames a few large breaches for most of the thefts. That includes records exposed by health insurer Anthem Inc. affecting more than 10 million Californians.   read more
  • Former L.A. County Sheriff Lied to Federal Officials

    Monday, February 15, 2016
    Former Los Angeles Sheriff Lee Baca told three lies to federal authorities who were investigating corruption at the jails he ran, according to a newspaper report. The Los Angeles Times reported Saturday that recorded interviews reveal Baca denied knowing about efforts to stifle the probe into abuse at the jails by hiding an inmate who was working as an FBI informant, or that two of his deputies intimidated an FBI agent at her home.   read more
  • Massive Gas Leak Finally Capped

    Saturday, February 13, 2016
    The massive Porter Ranch gas leak has been stopped, Southern California Gas officials announced Thursday. The well still needs to be permanently sealed and inspected by state regulators, a process that could take several days. But the announcement marked a milestone in efforts to stop the leak first reported Oct. 23.   read more
  • Kings County Says High Speed Rail Promises “Insane”

    Saturday, February 13, 2016
    Representing Kings County and a group of farmers, attorney Stuart Flashman dogged the California High Speed Rail Authority for proposing major changes to the train’s operating system and for attempting to use bond money without going back to California voters for approval. Flashman repeatedly disagreed with the authority’s cost and ridership estimates, calling the studies “insane” while questioning the viability of the mammoth public works project.   read more
  • Coastal Commission Seen as Kowtowing to Developers in Firing of Director

    Friday, February 12, 2016
    After more than 10 hours of public comment and deliberation, the Commission voted 7-5 to remove Charles Lester as executive director. Not a single organization spoke in support of the firing. Commissioners removed Lester in a private vote without discussing the results with the crowd that spent nearly 12 hours in a cramped auditorium. Critics accused commission members of being "wined and dined" by developers who wanted to replace Lester with a more pro-development director.   read more
  • Study Links California Quakes to Oil Operations

    Thursday, February 11, 2016
    The research links a local surge in injection by oil companies of wastewater underground with an unusual jump in seismic activity in and around the Tejon Oilfield in southern Kern County. The shaking topped out in 2005 with three quakes, the biggest magnitude 4.6.. Researchers calculated the odds of that happening naturally, independent of the oilfield operations, at just 3%. In Oklahoma and other states, the U.S. Geological Survey linked oilfield operations with a dramatic surge in earthquakes.   read more
  • Santa Barbara Allows Exxon Mobil to Move 17 Million Gallons of Oil by Truck; Environmentalists’ Response Mixed

    Tuesday, February 09, 2016
    Santa Barbara County has long frowned on transporting crude by truck. Kristen Monsell of the Center for Biological Diversity called the decision a "dangerous exception." The county's ruling puts people and the environment at risk of "fiery accidents or another devastating oil spill," she said. But Linda Krop, counsel for the Environmental Defense Center, said they agreed with the decision. "The risks of leaving the oil in the tanks clearly outweighs any concerns about the trucks," she said.   read more
  • Alleged Customer Gas Bill Increases During Porter Ranch Leak Trigger Call for Investigation

    Monday, February 08, 2016
    Englander said that officials across LA have received calls from SoCalGas customers about "abnormally high bills," and linked the rate increases to the leak at the company's gas storage facility. "This bill-spiking comes at a time when SoCalGas is experiencing a major disaster at its Aliso Canyon facility," said Englander. "I am simply not buying that these two incidents are not related. It appears that the entire Los Angeles basin is now feeling the effects of the Aliso Canyon gas leak."   read more
  • Vatican Insists Pope “Is Not an Actor” after L.A. Film Studio Announces Pontiff Will Play Himself in New Movie

    Thursday, February 04, 2016
    Vatican Radio disputed the press release claiming that Francis would "play himself" in the film "Beyond the Sun." The press release was accompanied by photos of the pope with the filmmakers. Vigano's reaction to the announcement was a clear sign that the Vatican didn't appreciate the hype. But Francis has been known to go his own way on several occasions. It was suggested the filmmakers might have shot scenes with the Pope in the privacy of his hotel reception rooms.   read more
  • L.A. Prosecutors File Criminal Charges Against SoCal Gas

    Wednesday, February 03, 2016
    District Attorney Jackie Lacey said the charges aren't a solution to the problem, but Southern California Gas Co. needs to be held responsible for the leak that has uprooted more than 4,400 families. The charges came the same day the state attorney general joined a long line of others in suing the gas company for the blowout that has spewed more than 2 million tons of climate-changing methane since October. U.S. senators want the secretary of energy to investigate the leak.   read more
  • State Bills Target Child Sex Trafficking in Key Cities

    Tuesday, February 02, 2016
    The bills would generate temporary housing and mental health services for children rescued from the underground industry. Toni Atkins called human trafficking "modern day slavery" and said the crime is spiking in many of California's largest cities. "According to the FBI, the San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego metropolitan areas comprise three of the nation's 13 areas of 'high-intensity' child sex trafficking exploitation in the country," the San Diego Democrat said.   read more
  • Lawsuit Settlement Leads to Pause in Fed’s Offshore Santa Barbara Fracking

    Monday, February 01, 2016
    The lawsuit challenged what it said was the Interior Department's practice of rubber-stamping fracking off California's coast without engaging the public or analyzing fracking's threats to ocean ecosystems and coastal communities. The settlement reached on Friday prohibits officials from authorizing fracking practices in federal waters until the Interior Department completes an environmental review. The settlement could potentially affect oversight of all federally permitted offshore fracking.   read more
  • California Narrowly Upholds Key Policy for Solar Growth

    Sunday, January 31, 2016
    Homeowners with solar panels cheer net metering as it lowers their power bills. But it has been criticized by utilities for rewarding solar users while leaving others to shoulder the cost of maintaining the electricity grid. The Commission said it was difficult to support the growth of rooftop solar while making sure solar customers pay their fair share. The decision was being watched by states working to integrate larger amounts of rooftop solar onto their power grids.   read more
  • California Sues SoCalGas for $440,000 a Day for Negligent Response to S.F. Valley Methane Leak

    Friday, January 29, 2016
    Tuesday was the 96th day of the leak. At the maximum fine of $440,000 per day, SoCalGas could already be on the hook for $42.2 million in fines. California and the SCAQMD sued SoCal Gas in Superior Court as a public nuisance, demanding it pay the price for the environmental disaster through civil penalties. California accuses SoCalGas of negligently operating its Aliso Canyon storage facility, negligently designing the casing of the leaking well and failing to properly respond to the leak.   read more
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