Southern California breaking news and trends

Report: Occupy LA cost city of Los Angeles $4.3 million

Occupy LA

Mae Ryan/KPCC

The city of Los Angeles' decision to allow Occupy LA protesters to remain on the lawn of City Hall cost $4.3 million, according to the final report on the matter.

The Los Angeles City Council’s decision to allow Occupy LA protesters to camp out on the lawn of City Hall cost the city $4.3 million, according to the final financial report on the matter. 

The Budget and Finance Committee is expected to discuss the report next week. The estimate is about the same as the one given in May, though the City Attorney’s Office spent $61,000 more than originally estimated. Insurance and donations covered about $400,000 of the cleanup.

The bulk of the tab came from the Los Angeles Police Department, which spent $2.5 million on officers and supplies, such as restraint cuffs and light towers, when it disassembled the Occupy LA camp in November. Recreation and Parks, which took eight months to restore the lawn around City Hall, spent another $1 million.

Occupy LA participants camped on the lawn around City Hall for about two months, beginning in October of last year, before the LAPD cleared the park in the middle of the night. 

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Redistricting lawsuit follows approval of Los Angeles' new maps

Los Angeles Redistricting Map 2012

City of Los Angeles

The city of Los Angeles' redrawn map is headed for a legal challenge.

A lawsuit that alleges the Los Angeles City Council favored one community over another when it redrew its district lines was inevitable given the challenges of creating new maps, a redistricting expert said today.

The lawsuit filed on behalf of five Koreatown residents alleges redistricting commissioners and city council members ignored the wishes of Asian-American advocacy groups when it split the Wilshire Center-Koreatown Neighborhood Council into two districts. The plaintiffs, whose attorneys declined to make them available for interviews, want to toss the maps and have a court appointed master redraw the lines.

The plaintiffs also believe that Councilman Herb Wesson’s desire to keep the Tenth District as an African-American district outweighed the concerns of the Asian-American community.

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LA Councilman Bill Rosendahl diagnosed with cancer (updated)

L.A. City Councilman Bill Rosendahl

courtesy CD 11.

Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl revealed today he has been diagnosed with cancer and will begin treatments immediately.

Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl announced today he is being treated for a cancer diagnosis. 

The Eleventh District councilman had been missing council meetings due to what his office said was a back injury that followed months of nagging pain. In a letter to his constituents, Rosendahl revealed that the back pain turned out to be cancer. 

“The cancer is in my pelvic area and is pinching some of my nerves, causing a lot of pain and discomfort, which has kept me away from City Hall for the past week," Rosendahl wrote in his letter. "The doctors are confident they can get the pain under control so I can return to work while I undergo treatment.” 

The cancer is described as slow-moving, and has not spread to any vital organs. Rosendahl began medical treatments today.

“I am going to beat this cancer and return to work soon,” he said.

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Medical marijuana clinics banned by LA City Council (updated)

Medical Marijuana

Michael Juliano/KPCC

An increasingly unruly crowd begins to stand after being repeatedly told to stay seated.

Medical Marijuana

Michael Juliano/KPCC

Two passionate medical marijuana supporters argue with the council and police.

Medical Marijuana

Michael Juliano/KPCC

Police presence is temporarily increased after some members of the crowd act out.

Medical Marijuana

Michael Juliano/KPCC

A smaller crowd than early in the day begins to reenter the chamber.

Medical Marijuana

Michael Juliano/KPCC

Two passionate medical marijuana supporters argue with the council and police.

Medical Marijuana

Michael Juliano/KPCC

The public waits outside of the chamber as the council holds a private session.


Nonprofit storefronts that sell medical marijuana will be banned in the city of Los Angeles under a proposal approved Tuesday.

The Los Angeles City Council voted 14-0 to prohibit the sale of medical cannabis in retail establishments. However, exemptions will allow patients to continue growing marijuana for their own use, and primary caregivers may continue to distribute the drug.

The vote, which came after hours of public testimony and debate, drew sharp criticism from patients who use medical marijuana to tame the side effects of their illnesses. Some public speakers shouted at council members and then the police officers who took to the council chamber after the vote.

Earlier in the day, the council heard from patients and advocates of medical marijuana. 

“A ban on medical cannabis collectives and cooperatives is an attack on patients. They need this. It can work in other cities,” said Don Duncan, the California director of Americans for Safe Access. “You guys have to get it together and pass regulations that protect safe access for legitimate patients for legal operations.”

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LA City Council breaks for summer

City Councilman Tom LaBonge

Andres Aguila/KPCC

Los Angeles City Councilman Tom LaBonge is spending his summer break hiking, biking, and watching his son's football practices.

The Los Angeles City Council is celebrating summer with a two-week recess starting tomorrow, and that means council members are taking vacations and catching up on chores. 

Councilman Bill Rosendahl is headed to Northern California for three days to meditate among the redwood trees. He has made an annual pilgrimage to the Russian River since 1978.

“It’s like a cathedral for me,” Rosendahl said. 

Also headed out of town is Councilman Tony Cardenas, a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives. The councilman will spend a few days in Washington, D.C., before returning to Los Angeles to take care of his “honey-do” list, according to his staff.

Closer to home, Councilman Mitch Englander will be helping his daughter with her Hebrew in preparation for her Bat Mitzvah. Councilman Ed Reyes will take a road trip with his sons – after he works on ’57 Chevy.

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