Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Maven's Morning Coffee: Travel expenses at Port of Long Beach, new pension plan for LA County, the move to solar power

A cruise run by the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, Calif., exposes guests to the "urban ocean" in the country's biggest shipping terminal.

Kirk Siegler/NPR

An audit by the city of Long Beach found harbor commissioners inappropriately charged the port for their spouses' travel expenses.

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 Friday, Feb. 21, and here is what's happening in Southern California politics:

Headlines

The city of Long Beach released an audit Thursday that found the port paid for commissioners' spouses to travel with them around the world, despite restrictions against such reimbursements, reports the Los Angeles Times. "Confirming that business actually occurred during certain legs was difficult due to poor record-keeping and a lack of centralization for travel planning. Harbor Commission travel costs topped $1.2 million for 12 trips over the last two fiscal years," per the Times.

The L.A. County Board of Supervisors will consider a pension plan next week that would cut back on retiree health care, reports the Daily News. Currently, the county pays for a retiree's health care and in some cases the care of a spouse or child. The new proposal would limit health subsidies for the relatives of retired county employees.

Hundreds of LAUSD buildings that were suppose to be checked for earthquake safety have not received a seismic evaluation, according to KPCC. "The school district has done some basic evaluations of all buildings on the at-risk list, but it reserves the detailed structural evaluations for the highest risk buildings," according to the station.

Mayor Eric Garcetti and a delegation of airport and port officials will head to Mexico next month for the administration's first international trade mission, reports KPCC.

Which Way, L.A.? considers the challenges in switching to solar power.

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