“An Inyo County official and an environmental activist stepped into wobbly kayaks on Saturday to gauge the prospects of developing a “paddling experience” that would float people down the eastern Sierra Nevada’s Lower Owens River.
“Newly appointed commissioners of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power have given officials two weeks to account for millions of ratepayer dollars spent by a pair of nonprofit trusts created to improve relations between the city-owned utility and its largest employee union.”
“Workers with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s largest employee union have voted to ratify a new four-year contract that will provide no raises until 2016, officials with the labor organization said Wednesday.”
“Los Angeles elected officials ramped up pressure Tuesday on the city-owned Department of Water and Power to account for more than $40 million in ratepayer money paid to two nonprofits created to improve relations between agency managers and the largest employees’ union.”
“The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has directed an estimated $40 million in ratepayer money to two nonprofit groups charged with improving relations with the utility’s largest employee union, but the agency claims to have scant information on how the public funds have been spent.”
“While Los Angeles moves through the 21st century, much of its landscape remains locked up in 1940s concrete. The storm drain and flood channel that was and will again be the Los Angeles River is a case in point.”
“The Los Angeles City Council cleared the way Wednesday for Mayor Eric Garcetti to overhaul the five-member panel that oversees the city’s electrical utility.
“On a 15 to 0 vote, the council confirmed four new commissioners at the Department of Water and Power: former U.S. Rep. Mel Levine, political consultant Jill Banks Barad, attorney William Funderburk Jr. and foundation director Michael Fleming.
“Los Angeles City Council members Paul Koretz and Mike Bonin are calling for a moratorium on the practice of hydraulic fracturing, or ‘fracking,’ which is used by energy companies to extract hard-to-reach oil.
“In a prepared statement Tuesday, the councilmen called fracking and its related processes a “major threat” to the city’s local water supply, air quality and private property.
“More than two decades ago, two water distributors came up with a tantalizing idea to increase reserves in parched Southern California: Create an underground lake so vast it could hold enough to blanket Los Angeles — all 469 square miles — under a foot of water.
“Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti emerged from his first labor showdown with some financial concessions on Department of Water and Power salaries but little progress on a key goal: getting employees to pay out of their own pockets for rising health insurance costs.”
“On November 5, 1913, the Los Angeles Aqueduct delivered Owens Valley water to Los Angeles for the first time. This year, the City of Los Angeles marks the hundredth anniversary of its engineering marvel with celebrations, websites, exhibits, a centennial garden, and even a hundred mules walking on the aqueduct.”
“Department of Water and Power workers are paid bonuses for being part of car pools, riding a bicycle to work and for operating the heavy-duty equipment for which they were hired, according to a review of reports released recently by City Controller Ron Galperin.
“Those are among the more than 600 work rules that govern the DWP and add to its costs of operations now subject to review.”
“Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti took his message on Department of Water and Power salary negotiations directly to neighborhood council leaders on Monday evening, telling activists that they should make their feelings known to the City Council.”
“The city of Whittier and a conservation group have reached an agreement to allow a controversial oil-drilling project under a nature preserve, a proposal that immediately drew fire from opponents. … The settlement is subject to approval by Los Angeles County supervisors, however, and its prospects at the county level are uncertain.”
“The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled yesterday [August 8] that elevated pollutant levels in the Los Angeles and San Gabriel rivers represent a violation of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit issued under the federal Clean Water Act (CWA) and are attributable to the Los Angeles County Flood Control District. The Court of Appeals’ decision in Los Angeles County Flood Control District v. Natural Resources Defense Council follows a remand from the U.S.
“A federal appeals court dealt Los Angeles County a blow on Thursday in a long-running lawsuit over storm-water pollution when it issued an opinion that the county is liable for excessively high levels.”