The LAPD needs to re-read the Constitution. They have no right to hoard license plate data collected from police vehicles and telephone poles. Their defense, that vehicles "may" be stolen, sought by an Amber Alert, or driven by a fugitive, is pathetic. The 4th Amendment applies here, and what "may" be possible falls far from implying what is "probable". But we appreciate the challenge of law enforcement, so a compromise could be to let the DMV track this information and release it only by warrant, or to filter out--in real-time--any license plate data that is not related to an ongoing investigation.
4,4 magnitude earthquake today within the city limits. It wasn't bad enough to injure anyone or damage property, but we take it as a reminder that we all need to be prepared for the Big One™.
Congrats to everyone that finished the marathon! You made it harder for us to get to brunch and pig out, but you still made us all proud.
We are heartened by the rain. And it is not the typical light sprinkles that puts the local networks on “Storm Watch.” It’s a bonafide winter storm from the Pacific. On Friday it dropped 2 1/4 inches on downtown Los Angeles and more in the foothills. The storm generated warnings of flash floods and mudslides and created 12 foot waves at some beaches. Last night some San Gabriel Valley residents were awakened by two reverse 911 calls; the first warning of a tornado (“…take shelter now…”) and the second warning of flash floods. Despite our elation over the rain experts say it will do little to relieve the drought. Nevertheless it’s better than nothing. And we love it.
A look at what might be! It's just a map, but it's enough to awaken our imagination and focus our hope for better public transportation!
There is no question that child abductions are tragic, and that Amber Alert phone notifications (part of the national Emergency Alerts System) are a great idea. But the implementation of this notification program is terrible! iPhone users were jolted awake several times last night by their phone's "Alarm" ringtone, which is designed to sound like a 1950s military base under threat of imminent attack. On iPhones, the Amber Alert system uses this specific ringtone at full volume, even when in Silent Mode or Do Not Disturb is activated. Unless a tsunami is about to wash Los Angeles into the ocean, common sense tells us that particular sound is not necessary or appropriate, especially since it can be triggered in the middle of the night while people are sleeping. It's an all-or-nothing design, where the only option one has is to opt-out entirely. Given the ringtone choice, it wouldn't be surprising if many people did opt out. The poor decision to use this particular ringtone is a lesson in the importance of getting the details right.
Regarding the Venice beach mow-down, we can't help but wonder why more effective vehicle barriers are not in place at the Boardwalk!
We support Governor Brown's proposal to increase sales tax and raise levies on upper incomes to help raise money for schools and balance the state budget. * sales tax = 1/4 cent per dollar for four years * levies = graduated surcharge on incomes over $250,000 for seven years We will vote in favor if it makes it to the November ballot.
We support the position of Steve Lopez, LA Times columnist, re California's race to the bottom for quality public education.
Over the past decade state funding for schools has declined by 42% and the effects have been devastating.
The remedies are not simple but as Steve puts it:
You cannot fix any of this in a state more inclined to build prisons than schools, despite projections of a huge shortage of college-educated workers by 2025.
You can’t fix it when you’re the only major oil-producing state with no excise tax, and you refuse to correct the huge property tax advantage Proposition 13 extended to corporations.
You can’t fix it without modest concessions from public employees, including teachers, on pensions and benefits.
And you certainly can’t fix it with three competing and unimaginative tax-increase proposals — one by Gov. Jerry Brown — that would restore some school funding, but are likely to do each other in come November.