Monday Morning Memo for January 29, 2018
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Criminal Reform Efforts
California may up its rehab efforts to keep ex-inmates from returning to prison
Gov. Jerry Brown wants to add millions in new spending on programs to help former inmates stay out of jail-a proposal generating bipartisan praise because of concern they are returning to prison in large numbers. But some say it still isn’t enough. The proposed $50 million would expand job training for prisoners and assist them in finding jobs once they are released, such as training them to become firefighters.
Homeless count: Survey in Pasadena to see if early prison release is increasing population
For more than five years, volunteers for Pasadena’s annual homeless count have also been tasked with asking a series of questions of the people they encounter. While most of the questions on the survey are required by the federal government, the city adds a few of its own to ensure its homeless residents receive appropriate aid, said Anne Lansing, Pasadena’s housing assistance officer.
Only 13 arrests in 7 years of SF online auto break-in reports, DA says
Of the more than 81,000 online reports of auto break-ins that victims filed in San Francisco over the past seven years, a mere 13 cases resulted in arrests, officials with the district attorney’s office said Thursday. The news of the trifling total comes as the number of vehicle break-ins has exploded in the city, reaching an all-time high last year. In 2017, there were more than 30,000 car break-ins in San Francisco.
Appeals Court upholds California sex work ban: Breaking View
On Wednesday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal of a constitutional challenge to California’s prohibition of sex work. At issue was a lawsuit filed in 2015 by the Erotic Service Provider Legal Education and Research Project, which argued among other things that California’s ban on sex work infringed on the constitutional rights of consensual adults to engage in constitutionally protected intimate conduct.
Supreme Court rules for police officers in D.C. house party case that involved mystery hostess called ‘Peaches’
The Supreme Court on Monday said D.C. police officers acted reasonably in arresting 21 people at a late-night house party a decade ago in a case that featured women in garter belts stuffed with cash and a mystery hostess named “Peaches.” The court ruled unanimously that the officers could not be held liable for making the arrests after they came upon a scene of “utter Bacchanalia,” as Justice Clarence Thomas described it in announcing the decision, at a house party where the homeowner was not present and it was unclear whether the guests had been invited.
Appeals court to hear arguments on D.C. sniper’s sentence
Bob Meyers doesn’t want partial justice for his brother. He wants full justice. And to him, that means leaving D.C. sniper Lee Boyd Malvo’s sentence just the way it is: life in prison, with no chance of ever getting out. A federal judge has given a glimmer of hope to Malvo, who was 17 when he was arrested in the random shootings that killed 10 people and wounded three in and around the nation’s capital.
California Judge: Alleged killer of 4 mentally fit for trial
A Northern California judge says a 39-year-old man charged with killing four people and shooting at three others last April is mentally fit to stand trial. The Fresno Bee reported Monday that a Fresno County judge rejected Kori Ali Muhammad’s arguments that he has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and was not sane at the time of the shootings. His attorney Richard Beshwate Jr. says he won’t appeal the decision.
Gov. Jerry Brown blocks parole for Manson follower Leslie Van Houten
The governor of California once again denied parole Friday for Leslie Van Houten, the youngest follower of murderous cult leader Charles Manson who blamed herself at her parole hearing for letting him control her life. Gov. Jerry Brown said in his decision that Van Houten still lays too much of the blame on Manson, who died two months ago at 83.
L.A. District Attorney declines Black Lives Matter meeting
Black Lives Matter Los Angeles (BLMLA) activists, supporters and the families of those killed in Los Angeles County by law enforcement will hold a community meeting, Tues., Jan. 23, on Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey’s failure to prosecute officers involved in fatal shootings of civilians. Since Lacey’s election in 2012, more than 300 residents of L.A. County have been killed by the police or died while in custody.
Former Milwaukee County prosecutors accused of cover-up
Two former Milwaukee County prosecutors are accused of a cover-up. Kristin Schrank and Antoni Apollo are both charged with misconduct in public office, a misdemeanor offense. Prosecutors say Schrank dismissed a criminal case after lying about who advised a police officer working on that case.
Feds want to Retry Sen. Robert Menendez for corruption, bribery
Federal prosecutors are seeking to retry U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez on bribery and corruption charges after an earlier trial ended in a deadlocked jury last fall. The Department of Justice filed its notice of intent Friday to retry the Democrat senator, along with Florida doctor Salomon Melgen.
‘They deserve no mercy’: Couple’s abuse of 12 kids became torture, California prosecutor says
They were starved and shackled to their beds, sometimes for months. They were beaten and choked. They were given scant medical care, often denied use of a toilet and allowed to shower but once a year. They lived mostly at night, out of sight of neighbors, and knew virtually nothing of the outside world. And yet, some of the children of David and Louise Turpin hatched an escape plan.
Prosecutor: Impostor doctor tried to access patient records at local hospital
Prosecutors said there is no evidence of a terrorist threat from an Iraqi national who impersonated a doctor at Sharp Grossmont Hospital. That assurance came during an arraignment and bail-setting hearing for Zaid Jeorge, 27, who is also accused of overstaying his visitor’s visa.
Uber driver in US illegally charged with 4 California rapes
A Mexican man living in the U.S. illegally used his job as an Uber driver to target intoxicated young women and was charged Monday with raping, assaulting and robbing four victims, California prosecutors said. Alfonso Alarcon-Nunez drove women to their homes, assaulted them, and stole property including cellphones, computers and jewelry, officials said.
No charges for ‘Get off my lawn!’ LAPD officer in viral video confrontation
An off-duty Los Angeles Police Department officer who fired his gun during a confrontation with a group of teenagers outside his Anaheim home will not face criminal charges, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday. Prosecutors said Officer Kevin Ferguson made “unwise, immature and flat-out horrible choices” during the Feb. 21, 2017, confrontation, but they would not be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he committed a crime.
Two former lawyers for Marion ‘Suge’ Knight are released after being arrested on accessory charges
Two attorneys who previously represented former rap mogul Marion “Suge” Knight during his ongoing murder case and were arrested on charges accusing them of acting as “accessories after the fact,” were released from custody Friday, authorities said. Matthew Fletcher, 53, was initially taken into custody Thursday at the Long Beach courthouse around 2 p.m. and was held in lieu of $1-million bail, according to sheriff’s Sgt. Robert Alexander.
Decoding LAPD Chief Charlie Beck’s surprise retirement announcement
On Friday, January 19, at an otherwise routine press conference with Mayor Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles Chief of Police Charlie Beck abruptly announced his retirement, startling even some of the officers who had accompanied him to the press event. “Serving the citizens of Los Angeles for over 40 years has been the honor of a lifetime. Leading the men and women of the #LAPD-my family-has been a privilege I never thought I’d be worthy of,” Beck wrote shortly after the announcement in a series of tweets.
As Charlie Beck steps down, what to expect from the next LAPD chief
As reported by the Los Angeles Times, people in Beck’s inner circle had suspected that he would not finish out his second and final term, but Beck reportedly told his highest-ranking officers about his retirement just minutes before last week’s presser. Beck joined the LAPD as an officer during the racially charged 90’s.
OC Supervisors want answers over ongoing helicopter feud between fire, sheriff
Orange County Supervisors are asking for state officials to help mediate a settlement in a feud between the county’s sheriff and fire departments over an ongoing “helicopter war” between the agencies. For two years, the sheriff’s and fire pilots have waged a public dispute, sometimes racing each other to get their helicopters to rescue scenes, leading to growing concern that the quarrel will lead to an in-flight collision.
S.F. police union at odds with top mayoral candidates may skip endorsement
The San Francisco Police Officers Association, always a big player in the election of a new mayor, might find itself outside the arena this time around. The reason: None of the front-runner candidates matches its priorities. “We may make an endorsement, we may not,” said the association’s former president, Gary Delagnes, who now works as a consultant for the union.
LAPD’s new independent watchdog is no stranger to local policing
The civilian panel that oversees the Los Angeles Police Department has chosen a new watchdog to help keep an eye on LAPD’s internal disciplinary process and other operations. The Los Angeles Police Commission announced Tuesday that its new inspector general will be Mark P. Smith, a Van Nuys High School graduate who currently works as a constitutional policing advisor for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Smugglers using rocks to attack Border Patrol agents
On a foggy Saturday night at the end of December, a Border Patrol agent drove an all-terrain vehicle close to the border fence between San Diego and Tijuana, looking for footprints. To his left, a rust red, 7-foot metal barrier made of landing mats from the Vietnam War separated him from Colonia Libertad, a neighborhood whose gritty northern edges have long been known for smuggling activity.
Study finds crime-predicting algorithm is no smarter than online poll takers
In a study published Wednesday, a pair of Dartmouth researchers found that a popular risk assessment algorithm was no better at predicting a criminal offender’s likelihood of reoffending than an internet survey of humans with little or no relevant experience. The study compared the crime-predicting powers of an algorithm called COMPAS, already used by multiple states, to those of Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, a sort of micro TaskRabbit where people are paid to complete small assignments.
A downtown crime emergency
The rising crime rate in Downtown Los Angeles is alarming. If the Central City is to remain a thriving hub for business, residential life, culture, tourism and investment, then this must be treated as an emergency. Immediate and encompassing action is required. It is imperative that the police department, city leaders including elected officials, and an array of community stakeholders all come together and proceed with a sense of urgency.
Violent crime drops in Harbor Area, but increases citywide in LA
Fueled by dips in homicides, rapes and robberies, the number of violent crimes in the Harbor Area of Los Angeles dropped nearly 3 percent in 2017 and the number of shooting victims and “shots fired” calls declined, statistics show. Property crime stayed about even for the year in San Pedro, Wilmington, Harbor Gateway, and Harbor City, where the overall major crime rate dipped nearly 1 percent in 2017 from the year before.
Doctors split over mental state of accused California gunman
Doctors are split on whether a man charged with randomly gunning down three people on the streets of downtown Fresno earlier this year is mentally fit to stand trial. A second of three doctors on Tuesday found that 39-year-old Kori Ali Muhammad is not capable psychologically to help his attorney represent him in court. Authorities say that on April 18 Muhammad walked a neighborhood where he killed three people days after gunning down a motel security guard.
The loss of a son fueled a father’s fight against illegal immigration. And there’s little room for debate
Don Rosenberg and I have talked about illegal immigration on the phone and exchanged emails over the years, but we had never met, until Monday. The federal government shutdown last weekend, and temporary reopening, are about a lot of things, but differing views on immigration are at the core of the impasse.
LAPD shifts hundreds of officers to boost neighborhood patrols amid rising violent crime
As violent crime continues to rise, hundreds of Los Angeles police officers have been redeployed from specialized units and administrative positions to patrol duties in recent months in order to boost the number of officers on the streets, authorities said Wednesday.
Jack Ma says counterfeiters should go to jail as Alibaba remains a ‘notorious market’ for fakes
Jack Ma, the founder and CEO of Alibaba, has entrenched himself in the position that he is an avid fighter of counterfeits and has repeatedly demanded Beijing to take a hard line towards fakes, even going as far as to recommend throwing counterfeiters in jail.
Fuse chicken vs. Amazon is the David Vs. Goliath lawsuit to watch in 2018
Jon Fawcett, the founder and CEO of Fuse Chicken, an Ohio-based Kickstarter-funded startup that makes innovative phone charging accessories, received a big surprise when he had one of his products sent to the New York Times to be reviewed. What should have been a pinnacle moment for his company unravelled into a nightmare that has become indicative of the 21st century American entrepreneurial experience.
What you need to know about California ‘Real-ID’ driver’s licenses
The California Department of Motor Vehicles begins accepting applications today for “Real ID” driver’s licenses and state identification cards. These are licenses and IDs that will be required to board a domestic flight, enter federal buildings and visit military installations starting in 2020. Here’s what Californians need to know about Real ID licenses, how to get them, and how necessary they will be.
Californians can start applying for Federally mandated ‘Real ID’ cards on Jan. 22; here’s how
California drivers can begin applying this month for the new “Real ID” cards, which will eventually be among the requirements for anyone wishing to travel by air domestically, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles. Beginning on Oct. 1, 2020, only those with Real ID driver’s license or identification cards will be able to pass through security checkpoints at airports or other secure federal facilities without other accepted forms of ID, such as a passport, the California DMV said in a news release Thursday.
Debating a new bill to change eyewitness lineup standards
A new California Senate bill has been proposed to change standards for eyewitness lineups, aiming to make a dent in wrongful convictions. The bill, introduced by state Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and Assemblymember Marc Levine (D-Marin County), would implement procedures such as “blind administration,” or lineups managed by officers who aren’t aware of the suspect’s identity, and having officers take witness statements on how confident they feel about identifying a suspect.
California Sen. Wiener tries to shut odd loophole in car break-in law
Sometimes, laws seem to be written in the most confusing, ineffective way possible. Take the state law on car break-ins, for example. Currently, smashing the window of a car and taking valuables inside it can be charged as a felony burglary only if it can be proved in court that the car doors were locked. Otherwise, it’s a misdemeanor theft. Strangely, that smashed window doesn’t count as evidence the car was forcibly entered.
California falls short in passing protections against drunk driving, group says
California ranks just middle of the road in adopting strong traffic safety laws, according to a new reportfrom Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit. The state has strict regulations protecting consumers and the environment, but the group concluded California falls short in areas that could keep residents safe on the streets.
California Dems propose surcharge on businesses to fund social programs
Lawmakers from California have proposed a bill that would compel companies making more than $1 million to turn over half their tax-cut savings to the state in order to fund programs that support low-income and middle-class families. Assembly members Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento, and Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, have proposed an Assembly Constitutional Amendment that would enact a tax surcharge on California companies, in order to help people who have been negatively affected by the GOP’s tax overhaul, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
Oakland lawmaker proposes bill to prevent suicidal people from buying a gun
A California lawmaker introduced legislation Wednesday that aims to protect Californians from gun suicides, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Oakland, introduced AB1927, in order to bar people from buying a gun if they are struggling with suicidal thoughts or fear they are a danger to themselves. According to Bonta, Californians who commit suicide after purchasing a gun most often do so within a week of purchase.
Latino vote could spike in California – thanks to one man
California Latinos, for years a growing voting bloc, are far more engaged in public affairs since the election of Donald Trump. Forty-six percent said the Republican president has increased their interest in politics, with 68 percent of Latinos telling a new poll they planned to vote in the 2018 primary for governor and other statewide offices.
Gas Tax repeal headed for ballot as money about to flow for road repairs
People rolled through Rock Auto in El Cajon in droves this month to sign a petition to overturn Gov. Jerry Brown’s so-called gas tax. Volunteers wielding clipboards in red t-shirts reading “Stop the Gas Tax” harvested names from drivers eager to support the cause.
There’s a season for California’s 2018 ballot initiatives, and this is it
The folding table full of clipboards and flapping sheets of paper – a staple of ballot measure campaigns and thus a hallmark of California politics – is back in front of neighborhood grocery stores and shopping malls. The race is on to collect voter signatures on any initiative angling for a spot on the Nov. 6 statewide ballot.
Commentary: Supreme Court case threatens union political power
Attorney General Xavier Becerra is imploring the U.S. Supreme Court to validate laws in California and other states requiring public employees who are not union members to nevertheless pay “agency fees” to unions. Such fees, Becerra said in a brief filed last week, fairly distribute costs of negotiating contracts with the state, school districts and local governments.
L.A. man sentenced to 47 years to life for repeatedly molesting 5 boys over 7-year span
A man in Los Angeles was sentenced 47 years and four months to life in prison Monday for molesting five boys, ranging in age from 7 to 17 years old, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said. The abuse happened from 2000 to 2007, when Amador Valencia Santos cultivated relationships with the families of the victims in order to prey on them, prosecutors said.
Ex-LAPD officer charged in cadet sex scandal pleads no contest to San Bernardino weapons charges
A former Los Angeles Police Department officer charged locally with sex-related counts involving a 15-year-old girl from the department’s cadet program pleaded no contest today to two weapons-related charges stemming from a search of his home in San Bernardino County’s Rancho Cucamonga.
2 men plead guilty in statewide probe involving several young sex trafficking victims
Two men have pleaded guilty to human trafficking charges after being arrested last year in a statewide investigation into the case of 13 young girls who were sold for sex throughout California and in Nevada, officials announced this week. Highland resident Quinton Brown III, 30, and 32-year-old Gerald Turner of Fresno entered a plea deal on Tuesday, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a news release.
Man who strangled actress in West Hollywood sentenced to prison
A homeless man who strangled a 28-year-old woman and dumped her body in a West Hollywood trash bin was sentenced Monday to 15 years to life in prison. Abdulla Tario Camran, 31, pleaded no contest in December to second- degree murder in the July 6, 2016, death of Joie Nicole Kinney, whom he had apparently been dating and who was also believed to be homeless.
Judge dismisses lawsuit brought by former top attorney against L.A. County
A judge has dismissed a wrongful termination lawsuit brought by the former top attorney for Los Angeles County, who alleged that the Board of Supervisors removed him in retaliation for him raising concerns about alleged illegal activity committed by the board. L.A. County Superior Court Judge Joanne O’Donnell threw out the lawsuit filed by Mark Saladino, who previously served as county treasurer and tax collector before starting to work as county counsel in October 2014.
L.A. County supervisors pick a temporary head of the public defender’s office amid criticism
The Los Angeles County board of supervisors voted Tuesday to appoint a new interim head of the public defender’s office, despite criticism from defense lawyers that the new pick has no experience in criminal law and previously defended law enforcement officers. Six attorneys from the public defender’s office publicly told supervisors at Tuesday’s board meeting not to appoint Nicole Davis Tinkham, saying she knew nothing about the office’s work of representing indigent clients in criminal cases.
New plans for old King Drew Medical Center
New plans for the vacant King Drew Medical Center were announced on Eyewitness Newsmakers. The 500,000-square-foot facility will be a new behavioral health center. Funding of $250 million will come from L.A. County’s Department of Health Services. The announcement was made exclusively by Eyewitness Newsmakers guests L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and Dr. Elaine Batchlor, CEO of Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital.
A slow start at the Sobering Center
On Jan. 2, 2017, the David L. Murphy Sobering Center opened at 640 S. Maple Ave. in Skid Row. City and county homeless services workers and public safety officials had high hopes for the 9,500-square-foot facility. They believed that directing intoxicated people – including serial inebriates, who can tax public safety resources – to the center, rather than sending them to local hospitals, could save millions in treatment costs, free up EMTs and medical personnel for other emergencies, and connect indigent patients to support services.
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck on Red Line incident: ‘Let’s all be civil’
A woman was recently forcibly removed from a Metro Red Line train by an LAPD sergeant after she refused to take her feet off a seat. Video shows the officer removing 18-year-old Bethany Nava, of North Hollywood, from the train as she protests. Beck said he is not going to “prejudge this” situation.
Less cooperation with ICE? LA County’s sheriff oversight panel is considering it
Ideas to further limit cooperation between Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and federal immigration officials were met with cheers and jeers from community members Thursday at a civilian oversight meeting in downtown Los Angeles.
Big firms pick up #MeToo work for state legislatures
Several state legislatures whose members are facing allegations of sexual misconduct similar to those brought against film industry moguls, TV news anchors, and politicians have launched official investigations with the help of outside law firms, including Jackson Lewis, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, and Hogan Lovells.
From hidden cameras to crotch-watching: California pays out millions for sexual harassment
Four young men who were locked in a youth correctional facility in Southern California accused a male staff counselor of coercing them into sex acts in exchange for contraband and special treatment. The cost to taxpayers to settle their lawsuit: $10 million.
CNN Investigation: Sexual misconduct by judges kept under wraps
One morning in 1998, US District Court Judge Walter Smith called a deputy clerk into his chambers in the Waco, Texas, courthouse and closed the door behind her. “He basically came over to me and put his arms around me and kissed me, and I just froze. I couldn’t move,” the woman said in a deposition.
Latest bail reform ruling: Pretrial defendants can’t call adverse witnesses
Under the state’s revamped bail system, criminal defendants can’t compel adverse witnesses, such as police officers, to the witness stand in pretrial detention hearings, which would constitute “mini trials,” the Appellate Division ruled.
California’s death penalty law may hinge on outcome of Arizona case
After narrowly surviving voter initiatives in 2012 and 2016, California’s death penalty law may soon be in jeopardy again, this time at the U.S. Supreme Court. The court is being asked to take up a challenge to the death penalty in Arizona, where the law makes virtually every first-degree murderer subject to potential capital charges.
Lawyers: Firing squad must be option for condemned killer
Attorneys for a condemned killer whose execution was stopped last year after 25 minutes of unsuccessful needle sticks are once again recommending the firing squad as an alternative. The execution could also proceed if the state adopts a closely regulated lethal injection process that includes a headpiece to monitor the brain activity of death row inmate Alva Campbell and medicine to revive him if the lethal drugs don’t work, attorneys said in a court filing earlier this month.
First state-licensed adult-use marijuana dispensaries now open in City of Los Angeles
California’s Bureau of Cannabis Control has issued its first two adult-use temporary retailer licenses within Los Angeles city limits – both of them to MedMen, bringing that dispensary’s total number of fully licensed medical / recreational shops to five (other doors include West Hollywood, Venice and Orange County).
Weed Wars: Growers sue to block vast California marijuana farms
A lawsuit filed Tuesday in Sacramento by the California Growers Association comes just weeks after the nation’s most populous state began allowing legal pot sales. It argues that state regulations would allow businesses to acquire an unlimited number of certain growing licenses, creating large operations that would have a “devastating effect” on smaller operations.
Turmoil at L.A. Times has newsroom in a tailspin
For a newspaper that has weathered years of turmoil, the Los Angeles Times is once again in the throes of a crisis. Still reeling from the shock of publisher and CEO Ross Levinshohn being put on unpaid leave last week for past sexual harassment settlements and inappropriate behavior, the paper’s newsroom was jolted again Wednesday when business editor Kimi Yoshino was suddenly suspended and escorted out of the building with no explanation to staffers.
Deep layoffs began Monday at SoCal News Group
At least 10 staffers in sports and a whole bunch of photographers were let go Monday by the Southern California News Group papers. The cuts were telegraphed just over a week ago in somber Friday afternoon staff gatherings. Today the first journalists found out their jobs were ending. At the Los Angeles Daily News, longtime sports columnist Tom Hoffarth tweeted tonight that he was one the departing.
NFL rejects veterans group’s ‘Please Stand’ ad for Super Bowl program
The NFL has rejected an advertisment a veterans group wanted to run in this year’s Super Bowl program. The ad asked for donations to American Veterans, an organization that aims to “enhance and safeguard the entitlements” for those who have served in the U.S. military, but it was marked by large lettering conveying a message relating to the league’s player protests during the national anthem: “Please Stand.”
If you’re not alarmed, you should be: Who’s left to hold California’s government accountable?
Dear Californians, If you care about this state, it’s time to sound the alarm about the crisis in media and what it means for the health of democracy in the world’s sixth largest economy. Media is declining nationally, but unique pressures have made California into America’s laboratory for a dangerous experiment about what happens to the public interest when policy is made without the public’s awareness or accountability.
California’s prison statistics: How the Golden State stacks up
When it comes to incarceration rates, California has one of the lowest in the country. The United States locks up a greater portion of its population than nearly any other country in the world, but the total number of people imprisoned has fallen slowly from its peak in recent years.
Sonoma County implementing new state law on gun ownership by criminals
Gun ownership has been illegal for those convicted of felonies and misdemeanor domestic violence charges for decades, but until Jan. 1, when new rules took effect, the state relied on the good faith of criminals to relinquish their firearms. District attorneys, superior court judges and probation departments are now required to identify, inquire and investigate gun ownership of those convicted in California courts under the 2016 ballot measure Proposition 63 passed by voters but only implemented this year.
7 ways to help the homeless in Los Angeles
This week, the county takes on a daunting but important task: counting the number of Angelenos experiencing homelessness on our streets. The Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count takes place Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings, with each night focusing on a different geographic area. Last year’s count found that, in the city of Los Angeles, an estimated 34,189 people experience homelessness on any given night.
2018’s LA County homeless count comes amid an ‘explosion of energy’
As thousands of volunteers fan out over three days this week to determine the size of Los Angeles’s homeless population, the data they collect is expected to help influence how millions of dollars in new funding will be spent to combat the ever-growing crisis. The additional dollars are coming partly from Measure H, which was approved by voters in March, and makes $355 million a year in sales tax revenue available for homeless services.
The Justice Department threatens LA with subpoenas if immigration information Is not surrendered
The Justice Department Wednesday threatened Los Angeles and 22 other so-called sanctuary cities with subpoenas if they fail to provide documents related to local law enforcement policies on sharing information with federal immigration authorities. The move is another escalation of the Trump administration’s attempt to force local jurisdictions into going beyond their legal obligations in cooperating with the federal government on identifying and detaining immigrants who may be in the country illegally.
ICE Director hits back at CA dems over possible raids: ‘We are enforcing laws Congress enacted’
Acting ICE Director Tom Homan hit back Thursday at California’s Democratic senators, who criticized his agency over reports of planned immigration sweeps in the sanctuary state. Local law enforcement officials have reportedly stated they will not assist ICE in raids aimed at apprehending 1,500 illegal immigrants in northern California. California Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris wrote a letter to the agency, asking for a briefing on the raids.
CalPERS seeks legislation to avoid pension cuts
CalPERS wants unions and local government groups to come up with legislation that would retroactively correct a mistake that could lead to more pension cuts, like the 63 percent reduction last July in pensions promised about 200 former employees of LA Works. The mistake was that CalPERS contracted to provide long-term pensions for an employer that only had short-term contracts – no other revenue, not even shared pension liability with another government agency that can impose fees or taxes.