Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Maven's Morning Coffee: Former LA City Council aide arrested, Board of Supervisors votes against oversight, the politics of education in South LA

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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 Wednesday, Aug. 6, and here is what's happening in Southern California politics:


A former lobbyist and aide to L.A. City Councilman Curren Price was arrested in an embezzlement scheme involving a member of the West Basin Municipal Water District. Prosecutors say Rob Katherman funneled money from his nonprofit to Ronald Smith in order to cover his personal expenses, including school tuition and tennis and dance lessons for his children. Los Angeles Times, KPCC, Daily Breeze

A proposal to create a civilian oversight panel for the Sheriff's Department was defeated by the Board of Supervisors. One of the dissenting votes, Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, argued the Office of the Inspector General should have time to take shape before a new body is created. "When everyone's in charge, no one's in charge," he said. Los Angeles Times, KPCC

Los Angeles Times writer Steve Lopez talks to an 86-year-old woman in Tarzana who has spent decades trying to get the city of L.A. to repave the alley behind her house. "She'd have had better luck writing to the North Pole and asking Santa for an asphalt mixer and a bulldozer," Lopez writes.

Which Way, LA? considers the politics of education in South Los Angeles. Guests include George McKenna and Alex Johnson, candidates running for an open seat on the LAUSD Board of Education.

L.A. is on pace to be the country's largest no-kill city by 2017, reports the Daily News. Animal Services attributes the drop in the number of cats and dogs put down to fewer intakes and higher rates of spays and neuters. "We still have work to do, but we’re making progress," said the department's general manager Brenda Barnette.

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