Southern California breaking news and trends

EPA signs ship sewage rule, no dumping within three miles from CA shore

cruise ship tiltshift san pedro

Photo by millerm217 via Flickr Creative Commons

Beach-goers can expect less sewage in the surf this season thanks to a new dumping rule that goes into effect next month.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency signed on Thursday a rule to keep cruise ships and other large commercial vessels from unloading sewage that's too close for coastal comfort.

Restrictions ban large ships from discharging sewage, regardless of whether it's treated, within three miles of the California coast.  Officials estimate the rule, which takes effect in March, will keep 22 million nasty gallons from mingling with state coasts every year.

Treated waste water still carries bacteria and chemicals that harm the coastal ecosystem – not to mention people.

Palo Alto state senator Joe Simitian wrote a state law banning the release of sewage sludge and water off-shore back in 2005.


Fleeing suspect hops from rooftop to rooftop evading capture in Westwood

Screenshot: Near Malcolm and Wilshire Blvd in Westwood via Google Maps

Screenshot: Near Malcolm and Wilshire Blvd in Westwood via Google Maps

A suspected car thief spent five hours hopping from rooftop to rooftop in Westwood on Thursday in an effort to evade capture by police.

The pursuit, broadcast sporadically on television news, began around 8:00 a.m. when officers attempted to pull over the man in a Toyota Camry believed to be stolen.

The suspect -- who according to KTLA-TV told authorities "If I could get to my gun, I would kill all of you," fled first by car and then by foot in an area south of UCLA's campus near near Malcolm and Wilshire.

After hours of hopping from roof to roof of nearby homes, approaching police and then backing away, and unsuccessful negotiations to get the suspect down peacefully via ramps and ladders, the LAPD brought in its SWAT team.

The unidentified man surrendered to authorities after being hit with at least two rounds of bean bag ammunition. A female passenger was reportedly taken into custody.


LA City Attorney Carmen Trutanich announces run for County DA, going against pledge to not seek higher office

"Carmen Trutanich 'Tru Stories'" video

Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich

Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich announced today that he's running to replace retiring L.A. County District Attorney Steve Cooley.

The announcement goes against a pledge Trutanich made during the campaign for city attorney promising to seek a second term as city attorney rather than run for another office, including district attorney, while in the post. Trutanich said at the time, "It's time for a prosecutor, not a politician."

During his campaign against then-City Councilman Jack Weiss, Trutanich called on Weiss to swear the same pledge. If violated, the pledge required whoever won the election to take out full-page newspaper ads with a headshot and the words "I AM A LIAR" in large block print, as well as to donate $100,000 to an after-school program.

“I love my job as City Attorney, but I can’t do my job to protect residents — nor can our local police and sheriffs — without a crime fighting partner in the DA’s office,” Trutanich said in a statement.


Throw a football or Frisbee on an L.A. beach in the summer: Prepare for a possible fine

Kids throwing footballs on the beach

Tony Pierce/KPCC

Kids throwing footballs on a beach

The age-old hobby of tossing a football or Frisbee on the beach on a beautiful summer day in Los Angeles could cost you a fine thanks to a new ordinance passed by the Board of Supervisors Tuesday.

Claiming that such activity could be dangerous to other beachgoers, the Supes put restrictions on "any person to cast, toss, throw, kick or roll any ball, tube, or any light object other than a beach ball or beach volleyball” on or over a beach without certain permissions and largely during the crowded summer season.

Water polo participants in the ocean are excluded from the 37-page ordinance that only applies to summer beach activities. Summer is determined to be between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

While this may mean that some families keep footballs and Frisbees at home, they may consider bringing a yard stick. The board also prohibited digging a hole in the sand deeper than 18 inches. Because we live in Hollywood, movie and TV productions will be granted exceptions.


Mortgage settlement in California: Up to $18 billion for California in $26 billion deal

Foreclosures Spike As Banks Accelerate Loan Default Notices

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

For sale signs are posted on a foreclosed house on Sept. 15, 2011 in Glendale.

California has secured up to $18 billion in a settlement with national banks, part of which will directly help homeowners in the state hardest hit by the mortgage crisis. The state has more than 2 million underwater borrowers, whose homes are worth less than their mortgages.

Five major banks — Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup and Ally Financial — will pay roughly $26 billion nationwide to reimburse American homeowners and overhaul their industry.

The banks and U.S. state attorneys general agreed to the deal late Wednesday after 16 months of contentious negotiations. California and New York agreed to the deal late Wednesday, according to a source the AP did not name, but described as being close to the negotiations. 

The numbers for California as described by California's Attorney General Kamala Harris in a release: