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File: Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck talks to members of the media in front of City Hall in downtown in the early hours of November 30, 2011 in Los Angeles.
After weeks of stormy debate in public meetings and on conservative talk radio, the Los Angeles Police Commission Tuesday voted 4-1 to approve a policy that ends the practice of automatically impounding the cars of unlicensed undocumented immigrants for 30 days.
Chief Charlie Beck, who proposed the policy, said it's a more "humane" one for undocumented immigrants who are unable to obtain licenses under state law. He said 30-day impounds had unfairly cost otherwise law-abiding undocumented immigrant drivers thousands of dollars in fees.
"This is an extreme hardship on many people," Beck said of a policy that immigrant rights advocates have said results in residents losing their cars because they can't afford the impound costs.
Under the new policy, officers will use a more lenient state impound law if the unlicensed driver has a valid ID, car registration, proof of insurance, is not at fault in an accident and has no previous misdemeanor conviction for driving without a license. In addition, the driver must have no outstanding arrest warrants or have failed to appear for a court date in connection with driving without a license.
Photo by Brande Jackson via Flickr Creative Commons
Seal Beach is one step away from officially banning sex offenders from beaches, jetties, piers, parks and nearby parking lots. On Monday night, the city council voted 5-0 to approve the law. If adopted in the next meeting, the OC beach would be the latest SoCal city to institute this sort of sexual predator precaution modeled after a similar county law, explains the OC Register.
Called a "child safety zone," the new law would make it a misdemeanor for registered sex offenders to enter recreational areas where children gather. A first conviction would lead to a maximum of six months in jail or a fine up to $500 or both.
Fullerton was first Orange County city to fight back with legislation to keep sex offenders from loitering within 300 feet of parks, schools and daycare centers. Huntington Beach, Irvine, La Habra, Laguna Hills, Lake Forest, Los Alamitos, Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, Westminster, and Yorba Linda have similar measures in place.
An impounded car.
This morning the L.A. Police Commission is hearing about a proposal that would change the LAPD's impound policy for unlicensed drivers.
The proposal by Police Chief Charlie Beck that would ease the penalties for some unlicensed drivers who have their cars towed and impounded. Some immigration activists and the ACLU have been fighting for such reform, saying it’s unfair to undocumented immigrants who cannot receive licenses in California. Beck has since also said he thinks illegal immigrants should have access to driver's licenses.
Under Beck's impound proposal, drivers would have to show valid identification, car registration and proof of insurance in order to avoid a mandatory 30-day impound. Drivers who were at fault in an accident, who had their licenses suspended, revoked or had been caught previously driving without a license would not qualify.
Photo by Professor Bop via Flickr Creative Commons
Waiter, there's a dog in my soup.
L.A. County officials said Monday that dogs are now legally permitted to enjoy the luxury of outdoor restaurant dining alongside their owners. The new rule lets pups populate enclosed and fenced-off patios that were previously off-limits.
Under the new guidlines, they are not allowed on chairs or tables. You can not buy them a beer or rent them shoes or let them bowl your turn. And all pet pals must enter the restaurant patio through an outdoor gate (no dining room walk-throughs).
The change goes into effect immediately, KTLA reports, and each restaurant can decide whether or not to cater to canines or continue to ban the bark at outdoor tables.
Cities with their own public heath agencies, like Long Beach, Pasadena and Vernon, are not included in the measure.
Photo by Michael Chen via Flickr Creative Commons
The giant MLS in the sky has been shining brightly on the City of Roses, revealing an interesting truth about the real estate market in Pasadena.
Just outside of Los Angeles County, where home prices dropped about ten percent from 2010-2011, there's a realm of real estate that's reportedly on the rise.
Offering small-town conveniences and big city cultural outposts, the "charming refuge 20 miles from Beverly Hills" gives city folk a still-commutable "escape from clamor," all without sacrificing unique architecture, The Hollywood Reporter details in a recent magazine piece.
The median price of houses sold in the wealthy 91105 and 91106 Zip codes rose from $888,500 in 2010 to $907,165 in 2011. "Despite the general market decline, here it's remained pretty strong -- if anything, we're lacking in good inventory," says Ted Clark, a broker at Deasy/Penner & Partners.