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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Crime

Mayor of Bell Gardens Shot

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Tue, Sep 30, 2014 at 4:32 PM
ADRIAN MIDDEL/FLICKR
Updated at the bottom with confirmation of Crespo's death and details about what allegedly led up to the shooting.

The mayor of Bell Gardens, a small city in southeastern L.A. county, was shot and wounded today, a sheriff's official told L.A. Weekly. The municipal website of Bell Gardens identifies the mayor as Daniel Crespo.

The attack was reported this afternoon in the 6300 block of Gage Avenue in that town, she said. L.A. Sheriff's Department officials were headed the scene.

It's not clear what precipitated the violence:

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The first case of Ebola diagnosed inside the United States was confirmed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Texas Department of State Health Services officials today.

The patient arrived from Liberia Sept. 20, sought treatment in the Dallas area Sept. 26 after feeling ill for a couple days, and was isolated on Sept. 28, said Thomas Frieden of the CDC. The person was tested for Ebola, and results came back positive today.

So now that a patient in a fellow Southwest border state has the world's most-feared virus, what can you do to avoid it?

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Environment

California Bans the Bag

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Tue, Sep 30, 2014 at 1:09 PM
REUSE IT OR LOSE IT VIA STUDIOPEPEYCAROL/FLICKR
The single-use plastic bag will go the way of the iPod and become extinct under a statewide law signed today by Gov. Jerry Brown. And thus, California becomes the first state in the nation to ban the bag.

As you know, we already banned such plastic bags both in the city and county of Los Angeles, so we're used to driving around town with a stack of paper bags in our trunks. The legislation by L.A. area state Sens. Alex Padilla, Kevin de Leon and Ricardo Lara will basically apply our ban to the rest of California.

Well, not just yet:

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CONDOUNGTOLUA/FLICKR
If actress Amanda Bynes was accused over the weekend of drunk driving instead of drugged driving, she'd likely be toast. Eight out of 10 drivers facing DUI allegations are convicted, according to the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

But suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs alone is a much harder case to prove—so much so that some prosecutors elect to drop the charges altogether. "Since there are no firmly established per se levels of impairment for drugs, these cases are more likely to settle, not be charged, or be dismissed," a DMV study found.

See also: Tips for Drivers Stopped by the LAPD for Weed

The problem is that, while California has a clear line in the sand for blood-alcohol content, .08 percent, there is no such benchmark for drugs, prescription or otherwise. And that's a whole can of legal worms:

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Sex

"Yes Means Yes" Sex App Is Here

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Tue, Sep 30, 2014 at 7:03 AM
SANDTON TECHNOLOGIES/GOOD2GO
  • Sandton Technologies/Good2Go
The ink was barely dry on California's groundbreaking "yes means yes" sexual consent law when we heard about Good2Go, an app that lets adults put their lovemaking affirmation on the record.

The bill by state Sen. Kevin De León requires state colleges to establish a standard of "affirmative consent" for students who want to engage in sex. Verbal or even written consent must be given by sexually active college-goers under the law signed Sunday by Gov. Jerry Brown. Nonverbal communication won't cut it under this legislation.

See also: "Yes Means Yes" Sexual Consent Law Coming to College Campuses

The app by Southern California-based Sandton Technologies means that prospective mates can whip out their phones and record their affirmative consent for piece of mind.

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AEG/GENSLER
  • AEG/Gensler
The folks behind a four-year-old dream to build a stadium called Farmers Field next to Staples Center downtown want six more months to see if it can happen.

Anschutz Entertainment Group, operator of Staples and L.A. Live, said in a statement late yesterday that it's asking L.A. city leaders for a six-month extension of their expiring deal for the project, including the possibility of $350 million in public bonds, so the corporate subsidiary could throw a hail Mary pass at the NFL.

See also: Why L.A. Should Tell the NFL to Stay Away

The stadium project needs the league to provide a team or two, and so far none are forthcoming. The NFL might just like L.A. as-is, without a team:

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Eric Garcetti on stage at CityLab conference - VIA CITYLAB
  • via CityLab
  • Eric Garcetti on stage at CityLab conference
Mayor Eric Garcetti took the stage Monday at the Atlantic's CityLab conference and did what he does best — talked fluently for nearly 20 minutes without really saying anything. The event is hosted by the Aspen Institute and Bloomberg Philanthropies — it's sort of a second-tier Davos — so Garcetti adopted the high-minded jargon of the international elite.

Walter Isaacson, head of the Aspen Institute, set the tone with his first question: "What does it mean to be a public CEO rather than, quote, a mayor?" If your answer is, "That's nonsense," then that's why you weren't invited to speak. Garcetti answered that a public CEO is "open-sourced," and then compared himself to Elon Musk, which was the right answer.

Garcetti said only one thing that was genuinely embarrassing when held up to scrutiny...

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Monday, September 29, 2014

Monday, September 29, 2014

Law

Powder Cocaine Dealers Are No Longer Special Under the Law (Sorry)

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Mon, Sep 29, 2014 at 12:35 PM
TANJILA AHMED/FLICKR
Used to be that being successfully prosecuted for holding a decent quantity of crack could put you behind bars for up to five years.

No longer. California Gov. Jerry Brown last night signed a bill that will make possession of crack and possession of powder cocaine for sale the same crime, both worth two to four years in state prison.

That's no walk in the park, but drug decriminalization proponents are hailing the new law as one giant step for justice. Here's why:

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TIMOTHY NORRIS/L.A. WEEKLY
  • Timothy Norris/L.A. Weekly
Legal marijuana isn't hard to get in L.A. Just go to a doctor who advertises in certain weekly publications (ahem), tell her you have back pain, get a piece of paper, show it to the dispensary nearby, and buy some bud.

But pro-marijuana activists in California have been envious of the full, recreational legalization seen in states like Colorado and Washington.

See also: Why 2016 is the Best Year to Legalize Pot in California

While there are more pot shops in L.A. than in those two states combined, Washington and Colorado have been getting all the attention this year. And California pioneered the legalization of medical weed way back in 1996. Enter the Marijuana Policy Project:

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JEAN KOULEV/FLICKR
A bill that would require affirmative consent by California public college students about to engage in sex was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown, his office announced over the weekend.

Campus adjudication panels weighing sex-assault allegations will be required to determine if accusers actually said yes, verbally or otherwise, to the prospect of sexual contact.

See also: Verbal or Written Permission Could be Required For College Sex

The bill makes clear that saying nothing or doing nothing is not consent, although some critics say the standard takes the law too far into the bedrooms of young adults because sex isn't a legal negotiation and is often nonverbal behavior.

More »

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  • Mayor of Bell Gardens Shot

    The mayor of Bell Gardens, a small city in southeastern L.A. county, was shot and wounded today, a sheriff's official told L.A. Weekly. The municipal website of Bell identifies the mayor as Daniel Crespo. The attack was reported this afternoon in the 6300 block of Gage Avenue in that town,...
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    Mayor Eric Garcetti took the stage Monday at the Atlantic's CityLab conference and did what he does best — talked fluently for nearly 20 minutes without really saying anything. The event is hosted by the Aspen Institute and Bloomberg Philanthropies — it's sort of a second-tier Davos — so Garcetti adopted the...
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