Southern California breaking news and trends

LAPD's car impound policy gets hearing today

zendritic/Flickr

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.

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Woof you like fries with that? Dogs now permitted on restaurant patios

dog chair patio restaurant

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.

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It's always sunny in Pasadena: A quiet real estate rise in the City of Roses

pasadena city hall

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.

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What the hail?! Cold weather storm is freaking out L.A.

snow grapevine freeway

Photo by FrankBonilla.tv via Flickr Creative Commons

The less-than-sunny weather that was supposed to leave on Tuesday has decided to stay a while in Los Angeles and get its head together. Temperature highs in the 50s will be crashing on your couch until further notice.

A cold weather storm is currently freaking out the Southland with a flurry of hail, snow, wind, rain, rip tides, dangerous swells, a bit of thunder and traffic accidents, says the National Weather Service and the California Highway Patrol.

The CHP closed Interstate 5 through the Grapevine on Monday afternoon as light snow began falling on the mountain pass, the L.A. Times reported.

The NWS issued a Winter Weather Advisory for the mountains until 10:00 p.m. Monday. Keep an eye open for snow around 2500-foot elevations, gusty winds from 20-45 miles per hour, and slick roads. For the board-toting beaches-goers, the weather service warns of high surf up to nine feet, and dangerous, quick-moving currents.

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Metro reaches for the emergency brake on South L.A bus line

305 metro bus line schedule map

Screenshot: Metro.net

Transit giveth, and transit taketh away. Metro's 305 bus line, a vital route servicing Willowbrook to Westwood, faces elimination in the not-so-distant glow of the Expo light rail. 

The 305 route tacks across 20 miles of Los Angeles providing direct access to Westside jobs for residents of financial struggling communities in South Los Angeles. Cutting this, and other lines, would mean no more point A to point B commuting, but instead, transfers that will cost more money and time.

"County transportation officials have been trying to eliminate or reduce service on the 305 and other bus lines for more than a year. They have already tackled some lines and last week approved a report that could clear a federal government hurdle allowing them to institute further cuts," reports the L.A. Times.

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