City Aims to Cut Annual Traffic Deaths by 200


More than 200 people die on LA streets each year, and most of those deaths happen on just six percent of streets.

Sitting at a desk in the middle of a Boyle Heights street, Mayor Eric Garcetti today signed an executive directive aimed at cutting traffic fatalities in the city to zero by 2025.

The directive calls for reaching the goal, dubbed “Vision Zero,” by creating safer streets, enforcing traffic laws and conducting more public education.

The mayoral action sets up a steering committee consisting of mayoral, police, fire, public works and county public health staff that will target areas most in need of safety upgrades. Those officials are to report back on Dec. 1 with suggestions for cutting traffic fatalities 20 percent by 2017. Read more »

Overcharged DWP customers would get tens of millions back under settlement


It was hailed as a modern makeover of an aging, inefficient way to bill customers. Instead, the new system at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power became a nightmare, spewing out thousands of faulty bills, some wildly inflated.

When upset customers called the utility for help, many languished on hold for a half-hour or more.

Nearly two years later, the utility announced Monday that it would credit or refund tens of millions of dollars to customers who were overbilled during the botched rollout, under a proposed class-action lawsuit settlement between the utility and aggrieved customers.

In all, the department says it billed $44 million in excessive charges after the system went into effect. DWP Chief Administrative Officer David Wright said the utility has already refunded or credited some of the money, reducing the sum still owed customers to $36 million.

Under the settlement, customers who were overbilled will get credit for the excessive charges. If they have closed their accounts, they will be mailed refund checks.

The utility says the vast majority of the billing credits and refunds will be small — around $10 or less — but customers will be made whole no matter how small the error. And the money will be returned even if a customer didn’t know there was a mistake.

Read more »

Stop Calling 911. It’s the Forest Fire You’re Smelling.

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911 Dispatchers are being inundated with people calling because the fires in the Angeles National Forest and Simi Valley smell so close.

People around the San Fernando Valley, Hollywood Hills, Studio City and Mount Olympus are smelling smoke and calling 911 thinking there is a wildfire near them, says the Los Angeles Fire Department’s Brian Humphrey.

However, it is just smoke from the Rustic and Cabin fires, says Humphrey. Humphrey urges people to seek a presence of flame if its safe to do so before calling 911.

A brush fire raced through dry vegetation in the hills north of Glendora today, scorching about 900 acres in the Angeles National Forest, destroying four cabins and sending thick smoke into the air.

Four firefighters suffered minor injuries while battling the blaze, Justin Seastrand of the U.S. Forest Service said.

About 400 firefighters were assigned to the attack, Seastrand said.

Fire crews from Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties were among those assisting Angeles National Forest crews in battling the blaze, which was reported shortly after 1 p.m. off Highway 39 near Rincon Red Box Road.

The air attack was suspended for the night, but six helicopters and eight air tankers were expected to return at daylight, he said.

Early on in the firefight, one helicopter involved in the effort made an emergency landing alongside a reservoir, possibly after clipping some power lines in the area. The aerial attack was critical to the firefighting effort, thanks to rugged terrain that limited the access of ground crews.

Temperatures in the fire area hovered around 100 degrees this afternoon.

Within about 30 minutes of ignition, the brush fire had spread to a cabin nestled in the woods, and it quickly engulfed the structure. The fast- moving fire also managed to jump Highway 39 as it pushed its way into the forest.

City News Service; Photo Courtesy of Los Angeles County Fire Department

Can You Recognize A Heat Emergency?


Temperatures across California will be blazing hot in the days ahead. We have your heat wave safety checklist to keep your loved ones safe.


On average, 675 deaths from extreme heat events occur each year in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control, including a dual tragedy involving French tourists in New Mexico last week.

The CDC says the best way to beat heat related emergencies is to prevent them. Experts recommend staying out of the heat as much as possible, staying hydrated, using sunscreen and wearing hats and light clothing when outside on hot days.

Jack Neiman-Kimel, a Battalion Chief for the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department in the East Bay, warns, “The elderly and the young have a difficult time regulating body temperature. If they are outside in hot temperatures for even 15 – 20 minutes in over 100° temperatures they can become ill with heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Healthy young and middle aged people working outside in the heat can also fall to these illnesses.”

Neiman-Kimel offers these tips: Read more »

Expo Line Testing


Be on the lookout for Expo Line trains traversing through West Los Angeles as Metro begins testing the Expo Phase 2 extension for its early 2016 opening.  For the first time in over 50 years, West Los Angeles residents will have the ability to travel from the sea to downtown and beyond via light rail.  This extension will open up entire new sections of the city to a comfortable, affordable, and traffic-free alternative to driving.  It will also help reduce congestion on our roads, as more Angelenos discover the benefits of taking public transit to wherever they may need to go.  As part of the testing will cover street level crossings, we urge everyone to notice and realize that things may be different , and to exercise caution and look both ways when crossing the railroad tracks. Thank you for your cooperation, and we hope to see you on the completed Expo Line starting early next year.



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