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Thursday, October 22, 2020

Altadena Libraries Offer Socially Distanced, Expanded Access to In-Person Services

Altadena Libraries Offer Socially Distanced, Expanded Access to In-Person Services

The Altadena Library District is pleased to announce expanded access to both library locations in Altadena. With daily COVID-19 cases showing significant decline in late September and demand rising in the community for in-person offerings, safe access to the Bob Lucas Memorial Library and Community Room in the Main Library is now available to allow for in-person computer use, holds pickup, and browsing for limited hours, following strict safety guidelines to prevent risk of COVID-19 spread.

The Bob Lucas Memorial Library at 2659 Lincoln Avenue in Altadena is open Mondays through Fridays, from 3:00pm to 5:00pm. The Community Room at the Main Library at 600 E. Mariposa Street in Altadena is open Tuesdays through Saturdays, from 12:00pm to 5:00pm. Both spaces are limited to only 15% capacity, including staff, and visitors are required to wear face masks at all times and remain socially distanced. Curbside services continue to be offered at both locations; details can be found online at www.altadenalibrary.org/curbside.

Viktor Sjöberg, Assistant Director of the Altadena Library District,

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Thursday, September 24, 2020

Los Angeles Metro Board Approves $6 Billion Budget with Reduced Service Plan

Los Angeles Metro Board Approves $6 Billion Budget with Reduced Service Plan

By ERIC HEINZ, City News Service

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board of Directors Thursday approved a “condensed” spending plan of $6 billion for this fiscal year — down from $7.2 billion last fiscal year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The board also approved continuation of a reduced service plan until ridership returns to pre-pandemic levels, though various organizations have opposed keeping the service levels that low.

“I know how difficult as members of the board it is to try to steer Metro through a very difficult moment,” Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Board Chair Eric Garcetti said.

“To look at this budget, we have to understand, obviously, where we’re at economically. We all know that this is the worst economic moment of our lives collectively … We’ve never experienced this.”

Transit services are expected to remain at 81% of pre-COVID levels through at least the rest of the year, with boardings averaging at 55% of capacity.

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Thursday, September 17, 2020

County Oversight Commission Members Call On Villanueva To Resign As Sheriff

County Oversight Commission Members Call On Villanueva To Resign As Sheriff

CITY NEWS SERVICE

 

Expressing doubt over the sheriff’s version of events leading to the arrest of a local reporter, a civilian commission that oversees the agency asked county attorneys Thursday to prepare a report on legal responsibilities involved in law enforcement activities at protests — and some members called on the sheriff to resign.

“It’s with great reluctance that I’m calling for Sheriff (Alex) Villanueva to resign,” said Civilian Oversight Commission member Robert Bonner, a former federal prosecutor and head of the Drug Enforcement Administration. “The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department itself deserves better. The men and women of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deserve better.”

Bonner criticized Villanueva for failing to build a working relationship with the county Board of Supervisors, saying he has “gone out of his way to alienate and insult supervisors.”

Patti Giggans, chair of the commission, echoed Bonner’s sentiment, saying, “The sheriff’s department does not have the leader it deserves.”

The commission could take an official “no-confidence”

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Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Board of Supervisors Approves Emergency Proclamation Declaring Local Emergency in Response to Bobcat Fire

Board of Supervisors Approves Emergency Proclamation Declaring Local Emergency in Response to Bobcat Fire

The Board of Supervisors approved a motion by Supervisor Kathryn Barger and co-authored by Supervisor Hilda Solis to ratify the emergency proclamation signed over the weekend declaring a local emergency as a result of the Bobcat Fire in the San Gabriel Valley.

The Bobcat Fire started on Sept. 6 and is now at 41,231 acres with three percent containment. The fire is located near the Cogswell Dam and West Fork Day Use area and is burning in heavy fuels and spreading rapidly. Firefighters continue to work diligently and are focused on protecting the foothill communities and Mt. Wilson. An increase in resources has allowed first responders to expand their efforts to reduce further growth of the fire.

“I am grateful for the collaboration of our cities and communities, including Sierra Madre, Arcadia, Monrovia, Bradbury, Duarte and Azusa, who have shown strong unity in support of our fire personnel to battle the ongoing fire,” Supervisor Barger said. “The Los Angeles County Fire Department is working in partnership with U.S.

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Saturday, September 5, 2020

L.A. County Receives Nearly 70,000 Requests for Non-English Language Ballots

L.A. County Receives Nearly 70,000 Requests for Non-English Language Ballots

Nearly 70,000 voters in Los Angeles County submitted requests to receive election materials, including Vote by Mail ballots for the Nov. 3 presidential election, in a language other than English, in response to a recent county mailer, according to Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean Logan.

Registered voters can still request to receive their election materials in one of 18 different languages by calling 800-815-2666, option 3, he said.

“In a jurisdiction with an electorate as richly diverse as Los Angeles County, it is essential that voters are aware they have options to receive election materials and their Vote by Mail ballot in their preferred language,” Logan said. “It’s critical for civic participation, and the response to this mailer by close to 70,000 voters is a strong response to our voter outreach and education efforts.”

In late July, the RR/CC also issued a notice that all registered voters will be mailed a Vote by Mail ballot to ensure a safe and accessible voting option during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Thursday, September 3, 2020

Supervisor Barger Joins Fire Department to Welcome Arrival of Super Scoopers

Supervisor Barger Joins Fire Department to Welcome Arrival of Super Scoopers

Today, Supervisor Kathryn Barger joined Los Angeles County Fire Chief Darryl Osby, along with pilots, air crew members, and fire personnel to welcome two CL-415 Super Scooper fire-fighting aircraft that the County is leasing from the Government of Quebec.

“The Board of Supervisors is proud to support our Fire Department and help provide critical resources such as the Super Scoopers, to supplement our own aerial firefighting fleet during fire season,” said Supervisor Barger. “For years, LA County has partnered with Quebec to provide these Bombardiers which are instrumental in our battle against large-scale wildfires. This is a great collaboration of shared resources between our two regions. I am grateful for the leadership of the LA County Fire Department and to the brave men and women who work valiantly each day to save lives and property,” she continued.

With increasingly dangerous fires and record-breaking heat in Southern California, fire safety is at the forefront of everyone’s mind. The Los Angeles County Fire Department leads the nation in its ability to manage wildfires and it is necessary to support these efforts with top-of-the-line resources in firefighting aircraft.

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Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Barger Seeks to Expand Telehealth Services

Barger Seeks to Expand Telehealth Services

The L.A. County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a motion by Supervisors Kathryn Barger and Sheila Kuehl to examine the county’s use of telehealth services during the pandemic and to evaluate opportunities to expand the programs into the future.

Since the Safer at Home public health orders were implemented in March, county departments, first responders, community-based organizations, and service providers have shifted to virtual consultations and evaluations.

Medical consultations, mental health services, alcohol and substance abuse treatment, preventative care, and other essential services have all adapted to serve those in need through video appointments.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth operations in the Los Angeles County health care system have served a critical role to ensure community members receive the care they need,” Barger said in a prepared statement. “While we have had to make adjustments during the Safer at Home directive, these advancements could allow us to better reach our communities in a way that is innovative, convenient, and — most importantly —

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Tuesday, September 1, 2020

L.A. County Board May Reconsider Structure of Homeless Services Agency

L.A. County Board May Reconsider Structure of Homeless Services Agency

By ELIZABETH MARCELLINO, City News Services

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is scheduled Tuesday to consider a suggestion that changes are needed in tracking the results of more than $400 million in spending on dozens of initiatives aimed at curbing homelessness, including restructuring the agency that manages that spending.

In a motion pointing to the results of a recent audit of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, Supervisors Mark Ridley-Thomas and Janice Hahn said a new governance model may be needed, though the motion does not specify just what solution might be proposed.

“LAHSA was created before homelessness reached crisis proportions, and while it has bulked up personnel and scaled up operations in recent years, its governance model has remained stagnant,” Ridley-Thomas said in a statement.

“Perhaps it is time to explore new governance models with the goal of ensuring that we are best serving the thousands of homeless individuals and families who need help.”

Hahn echoed that sentiment.

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Friday, August 14, 2020

Altadena Barbershop Destroyed in ‘Suspicious’ Fire

Altadena Barbershop Destroyed in ‘Suspicious’ Fire

An Altadena barbershop was destroyed Thursday in a fire that was initially described as suspicious in nature, authorities said.

A deputy out on patrol first noticed the fire about 3:20 a.m. at G.C.’s Great Cuts, 2990 Glenrose Ave., according to Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Chad Smeltzer. The business appeared to be a total loss.

The cause of the fire remained under investigation by the Los Angeles County Fire Department and the Sheriff’s Arson-Explosives Detail, but investigators at the scene initially determined it appeared “suspicious,” Smeltzer said.

Business owner Geoff Cathcart could not be reached for comment Friday, nor could the arson investigators handling the case.

Sgt. Daniel Tobin of the Sheriff’s Arson Explosives Detail said the investigation into the origin and cause of the fire was ongoing.

“At this point, the cause of the fire is still undetermined,” he said. “I’ve collected samples to be submitted to our lab to test for the presence of ignitable liquids.”

A review of surveillance camera footage,

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Tuesday, August 11, 2020

L.A. County Board Priorities May Run Headlong Into Financial Constraints

L.A. County Board Priorities May Run Headlong Into Financial Constraints

By ELIZABETH MARCELLINO, City News Services

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors’ ability to fund or expand new programs designed to support an anti-racist, pro-social justice policy stance may be limited this year, as illustrated by a report available on the county’s website Tuesday.

Last month, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas proposed scaling up a three- person unit within the Public Defender’s Office to better track misconduct and the use-of-force by law enforcement officers countywide.

“The epidemic of police shootings of unarmed individuals is an unrelenting outrage that has rightfully provoked a much larger conversation around the twin objectives of promoting public safety and investing in community well-being,” Ridley-Thomas said at the time.

The board called for a report back in 30 days, a fairly tight timeline indicating an interest in moving quickly to implement change.

In response, the Public Defender’s Office produced an analysis — posted to the county website Monday — requesting 11 new positions and roughly $2.3 million annually to expand the unit.

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