“In an unusual move, the president of the Los Angeles City Council took steps Thursday to move private contract negotiations with the Department of Water and Power’s powerful union into the public sphere.”
“Recreational activities, classes and tours have been relocated from a Torrance preserve after the marsh was temporarily closed amid heightening concerns over the West Nile Virus and the first confirmed death this year in Southern California due to the disease.
“The head of the union representing Department of Water and Power workers said Tuesday he wants to see the city act early — possibly by Friday — to approve a proposal extending his workers’ contracts but freeze wages for three years, resolve a pension lawsuit and begin to address salary parity issues.”
“An artist and a director of the Annenberg Foundation is seeking permission to build a 70-foot water wheel to draw water from the Los Angeles River north of Chinatown to create a stream and shady retreat for the public.”
“The city of Carson has declared a local emergency over contamination in a sprawling housing tract, ratcheting up the pressure on Shell Oil to cleanse the neighborhood of the toxic chemicals found in the soil around homes.
“Los Angeles Department of Water and Power officials gave about 100 residents a rare peek into how it treats and stores water at the LA Aqueduct Filtration Plant and L.A. reservoir in Sylmar on Saturday, and new projects the utility has in the works.”
“The Central Basin Municipal Water District, which has emerged as a key player in the FBI investigation into a state senator, on Thursday sued a politically connected company for allegedly overbilling it by nearly $1 million. …
“The suit comes as Central Basin is enmeshed in a growing scandal tied to the FBI’s investigation of state Sen.
“Los Angeles’ Department of Water and Power has paid thousands of employees a total of $35.5 million since 2010 in extra sick days under an unusual program that the utility’s top executive acknowledges has been vulnerable to abuse.”
“Less than a month after taking office, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is facing a major test of his power: A union leader who ran a brutal campaign against him in the May election is trying to line up City Council support for a new salary agreement for Department of Water and Power workers.”
“On Tuesday, the leaders of the nonprofit L.A. River Revitalization Corp. used a riverside press conference at North Atwater Park to trumpet its plan to complete a continuous bike path and greenway along all 51 miles of the river, extending from the San Fernando Valley to Long Beach, by 2020. …
“Yet the scope of those projects is minor compared to proposals being prepared by the U.S.
“Carson city officials are seeking to declare a local emergency in an effort to pressure the state and an oil company to expedite the cleanup of a contaminated housing tract where residents have been advised not to eat vegetables or fruit from their yards and limit contact with the soil around their homes.”
“No, it’s not a pot buyback but real green for actual grass that you rip up and replace with California-friendly landscaping under a Los Angeles Department of Water and Power rebate program that was recently sweetened.”
“Backers of a larger, more comprehensive National Recreation Area that would include most of the Angeles National Forest plus the San Gabriel River and the Puente-Chino Hills are asking 31 local cities to join their fight.”
While the national government remains slow to deal with climate change, many cities have been moving ahead. … Just ask Los Angeles. The City of Angels has struggled with the basic fact that it is a desert metropolis since its founding. …