Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Maven's Morning Coffee: LAFD response plans, DWP in Owens Valley, taxes for downtown streetcar

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Good morning, readers. Welcome to the Maven's Morning Coffee -- a listing of the important headlines, news conferences, public meetings and announcements you need to know to fuel up and tackle your day.

The Maven's Morning Coffee is also available as a daily email. Click here to subscribe.

Today is Wednesday, Nov. 21, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:


The Los Angeles Fire Department is looking at a strategy for speeding up response times -- sending firefighters and paramedics to emergencies before fully determining the nature of a 911 call, according to the Los Angeles Times. The "quick launch" program, which reduced response times by 50 seconds, was discontinued in 2006 because it required too many resources.

A member of SEIU Local 721 was disciplined Tuesday for encouraging members to sign fake names and addresses to former Mayor Richard Riordan's petition to dramatically change the city's retirement system, reports the Daily News. "SEIU Local 721 in no way recommends that its members or anyone else falsify signatures. We are against that kind of behavior," a spokesman told the newspaper.

KPCC looks at the fight to get former Mayor Richard Riordan's pension proposal on the 2013 ballot. Part of that fight took place on the council floor Tuesday when council President Herb Wesson got into it with the two-term mayor. "Ya know what Mr. Mayor, why didn’t you fix it when you were mayor?" Wesson told Riordan during the public comment portion of the meeting.

A decision by the California Air Resources Board that finds the Department of Water and Power is responsible for controlling dust in the Owens Valley will cost $400 million, according to KPCC.

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge determined work may continue on the Walmart grocery store in Chinatown, reports KPCC. The judge found interior construction work would not cause irreparable harm to the environment while opponents appeal their case through the City Hall process.

Downtowners are voting on whether to tax themselves to build a streetcar, according to Curbed LA. Ballots will be counted on Dec. 3 and it will take a two-thirds vote to approve the tax.

In the Westside race for the state Assembly's 50th District, just 79 votes separate Richard Bloom and Betsy Butler, reports KPCC. The next vote count is set for Friday.

Where to Find the Politicians

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will serve Thanksgiving meals at the Los Angeles Mission at 11 a.m.


10 a.m. Los Angeles City Council, City Hall, Council Chamber

  • Report on calling for a special election in the Sixth District

1 p.m. Ad Hoc Committee on Legislative Counsel, City Hall, room 1060

  • Report on allowing the chief legislative analyst to hire attorneys


Members of the Coalition of L.A. City Unions will hold a candlelight vigil outside of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's home this evening to urge him to speak out against former Mayor Richard Riordan's pension ballot measure.

Maven's Morning Coffee will be off Thursday and Friday. Happy Thanksgiving, and see you back here on Monday.

To have an event or announcement listed, please email the Maven here.

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