March 19, 2010 -- I start my weekdays at Griffith Park, where I work out with a great group of folks each morning. Lately, we've seen a bunch of LADWP trucks throughout the park with all sorts of equipment. Turns out, they've been installing "power nodes" so that film and TV crews can get power without having to bring in those big, noisy generators.
This is part of a package of incentives approved today by the L.A. City Council. Other measures include letting filmmakers continue to shoot in most city buildings without a fee and to park in city garages for free or for a discount.
These moves are necessary, the Council argued, because production is on the decline. On-location filming declined nearly 20 percent last year compared to 2008.
Meanwhile, Riverside County is looking to increase revenue in its own way. Next week it's set to approve a campaign to promote foreign investment in the county from immigrants with a lot of cash.
Here's how it would work: each year about 10,000 U.S. visas are awarded to immigrants that require that the recipient commit $1 million to starting a new business, expanding an existing one or buying one that's broke and fixing it. Riverside wants to advertise the county as a destination for those receiving these EB-5 green cards.
Riverside County's unemployment is currently hovering at 15 percent. So, seems like anything that could help create more jobs might not be a bad idea. The Board of Supervisors will take up the matter on Tuesday.
And, speaking of investments... A northern California digital media company invested $30,000 on a lesbian high school student from Mississippi. Today on "the Ellen Degeneres Show," Ellen handed over one of those jumbo checks worth $30,000 to Constance McMillen.
McMillen challenged her local school district in Fulton, Mississippi after they said she couldn't bring her girlfriend to the prom. The school went on to cancel the prom.
The ACLU is helping McMillen in her efforts to make the prom happen. A hearing on the matter is scheduled for Monday in federal court. McMillen was speechless when she received the scholarship money today from Tonic.com.