Light poles along the Pacific Electric Trail are numbered and logged in the City of Rancho Cucamonga's geographic information system. If a person calls 911 along the trail, the dispatcher will request the number from the nearest light pole, which will allow emergency responders to exactly locate the individual.
When Starbucks is deciding where to put a new location…when the World Health Organization needs to find out where polio is still a threat…when a city wants to know if its planned new convention center is in a flood zone…they all use maps.
Of course, the maps have gotten a lot more advanced and accessible. Google and GPS providers have put interactive maps at our fingertips and in our cars' dashboards. The term for computerized mapping and all that comes with it is "GIS" for Geographical Information Systems. Over the years, the market for "GIS" software alone has grown to between $3 and $4 billion per year.
Thousands of data locations... in Rancho Cucamonga
The city of Rancho Cucamonga has a GIS budget of a $1.1 million per year. A GIS staff of 10 to 12 provides layered maps of everything from fire zones to sidewalk cracks to banners saluting military service personnel. It's mapped the campuses of local schools, with 360-degree photo pans of classrooms. The maps come up on tablet and computer screens in offices, fire trucks, and the Chevy suburban driven by Fire Department Battalion Chief Ivan Rojer.
Neighbors of Santa Monica Airport have complained about noise from the aircraft taking off and landing, and they post signs asking pilots to fly quietly.
Voters in Santa Monica will play air traffic controllers in November, as two competing measures regarding the Santa Monica Airport will appear on the ballot.
The Santa Monica City Council this week finalized language for a measure that would give the city more control over the airport - including the ability to close it - though a public vote would be required for any major redevelopment. It will appear on the ballot this way:
Shall the City Charter be amended to: 1) prohibit new development on Airport land, except for parks, public open spaces and public recreational facilities, until the voters approve limits on the uses and development that may occur on the land; and 2) affirm the City Council’s authority to manage the Airport and to close all or part of it.
As the Santa Monica Daily Press reports, that measure will go "head to head" with one supported by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association and other proponents of keeping the airport open. Its ballot title:
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A film crew shoots in front of the Hilton Hotel on Michigan Avenue on September 12, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois.
For the last five years, California has been trying hard to keep film and TV production in the state because other states and countries have been luring production away with tax incentives. In 2009, the Golden State started a tax incentive program of its own that offers up to $100 million per year in credits to certain productions that agree to shoot in the state.
The film commission’s latest annual progress report runs the numbers on every year of the program. For example, 71 TV and film projects got the tax credit last year. The report estimates those productions spent $1.1 billion in the state and hired 7,500 crew members, nearly 4,000 actors, and 96,000 background actors.
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USC is now offering season ticket holders the chance to run onto the field with players.
Have you always dreamed of running through the storied Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum tunnel onto the field in front of 70,000-plus roaring fans before a University of Southern California football game? Up until now, you usually had to play or coach for the team to have this "once in a lifetime experience," as the school calls it.
Now you can do it for $1,500, as long as you're a USC season-ticket holder. If that's too pricey, consider the pre-game locker room tour for $1,000, or a pre-game photo with the "World Famous" USC Song Girls for $750. (Added bonus: The money is considered a donation, so it's tax-deductible, but that's a different story.)
USC recently started selling these experiences and more for its upcoming season, but at least one former player says they commoditize something that shouldn't have a price tag.
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Santa Monica residents will vote on a measure in November that would increase the registration fee landlords pay to cover the city's rent control board administrative costs, from $174.96 to a maximum of $288 a year. The measure would also force landlords to cover up to half the fee, rather than pass it along to their tenants, as they were allowed to do until last year.
The board says without the increase it faces a $36,000 deficit next fiscal year, which would balloon to $150,000, then close to half a million dollars after that.
"The rent control law is not self-executing, and its administration is not free," Santa Monica Rent Control Board's General Counsel, Stephen Lewis, wrote in a memo to the city council recommending that they vote to put the measure on the ballot, which they did last week.