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Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Maven's Morning Coffee: EPA studies freeway pollution, another lawsuit against Millennium Hollywood, City Hall considers murals (updated)

Starting next year, the EPA will study pollution near Southern California freeways.
Starting next year, the EPA will study pollution near Southern California freeways. Flickr/formulaone

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

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Today is Monday, Aug. 26, and here is what's happening in Southern California politics:

Headlines

State Sen. Ron Calderon, who is under a federal investigation, hired former Bell Gardens City Councilman Mario Beltran as his spokesman and that's drawing questions. Beltran was hired after he was sentenced to probation for misusing campaign money, according to the Los Angeles Times. (Update: Beltran was banned from holding public office for four years. That ban lifted earlier this year.)

Gov. Jerry Brown is considering a law that would allow non-citizen legal permanent residents to serve on juries, reports KPCC.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will study air pollution near Southern California freeways beginning next year, according to The Sacramento Bee. "The new monitoring is likely to have broad implications. If, as expected, the new data show higher pollution levels, environmental organizations and neighborhood activists almost certainly will call for local officials to take more aggressive steps to reduce emissions and curtail residential development near freeways," per the newspaper.

The W Hotel in Hollywood sued the developers of the Millennium Hollywood project for allegedly filing a false environmental impact report, reports the Park La Brea News-Beverly Press.

In Rick Orlov's Tipoff column, Mayor Eric Garcetti's game of chicken, LAUSD's meetings, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry comes to California.

Later this week, the Los Angeles City Council will consider an ordinance that would allow murals on single-family homes, reports the Daily News. "To critics, there are worries about garish images and diminished property values. Supporters talk about free speech and say law is appropriate, particularly in Latino communities," according to the paper.

A Los Angeles Times editorial looks at how Mayor Eric Garcetti handled contract talks with the Department of Water and Power.

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