HOMELESS TO HOUSING: Successful Models for Change

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Join special guests Assembly Member Adrin Nazarian, State Senators Ben Allen and Holly Mitchell, Council Members Mike Bonin and David Ryu, Stakeholders, and Concerned Residents for a forum on successful strategies on homelessness.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015
7:00 pm

Harmony Gold Theater
7655 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90046

Register at www.povertymattersusa.org

Free to Attend. Please donate what you can.

Sponsorship Opportunities available at www.povertymattersusa.org Read more »

LADWP Urges Saving Energy While Staying Safe During Heat Wave

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With temperatures expected to exceed 100 degrees in the San Fernando Valley today, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) urges customers to conserve energy use where possible, while not jeopardizing their health and safety.

“During times of extreme heat, we strongly encourage customers to conserve electricity as long as it does not jeopardize their own health or the health of their pets,” General Manager Marcie Edwards said.

LADWP officials said energy demand on Thursday was the highest so far this year – 5,679 megawatts – and is expected to be about the same today. The all-time peak power demand was 6,396 megawatts, reached on Sept. 16, 2014. Power use in Los Angeles averages about 4,700 megawatts during the summer, and usually increases in late August through September. Read more »

City Aims to Cut Annual Traffic Deaths by 200

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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

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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

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