Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Congresswoman wants Angeles National Forest part of new recreation area

Donkeys Mules Angeles National Forest Recreation San Gabriel Mountains

Mae Ryan/KPCC

David Nickoloff brings propane and soap to a cabin owner in the Angeles National Forest.

Donkeys Mules Angeles National Forest Recreation San Gabriel Mountains

Mae Ryan/KPCC

David Nickoloff leads a donkey to a cabin in the Angeles National Forest.

Donkeys Mules Angeles National Forest Recreation San Gabriel Mountains

Mae Ryan/KPCC

Deb Burgess brings supplies to a historic cabin in the Angeles National Forest.

Donkeys Mules Angeles National Forest Recreation San Gabriel Mountains

Mae Ryan/KPCC

Deb Burgess and her pack of donkeys trek nine miles to deliver supplies.

Donkeys Mules Angeles National Forest Recreation San Gabriel Mountains

Mae Ryan/KPCC

Deb Burgess unloads a propane tank at a cabin in the Angeles National Forest.

Donkeys Mules Angeles National Forest Recreation San Gabriel Mountains

Mae Ryan/KPCC

Deb Burgess leads her pack of donkeys and one mule down from Chantry Flat in the Angeles National Forest. The entire packing trip takes about eight hours.

Donkeys Mules Angeles National Forest Recreation San Gabriel Mountains

Mae Ryan/KPCC

Owners of 80 historic cabins in the Angeles National Forest area rely on Deb Burgess and her donkeys to bring up supplies such as propane, generators and food.

Donkeys Mules Angeles National Forest Recreation San Gabriel Mountains

Mae Ryan/KPCC

Deb Burgess brings supplies to historic cabins in the Angeles National Forest once a week.

Donkeys Mules Angeles National Forest Recreation San Gabriel Mountains

Mae Ryan/KPCC

Sam McAdam, manager of Adam's Pack Station, sweeps the steps of the store located in Chantry Flat. Deb Burgess bought the store in 2006.

Donkeys Mules Angeles National Forest Recreation San Gabriel Mountains

Mae Ryan/KPCC

Andy and Eeyore, two pack donkeys, wait to get supplies loaded onto their backs.

Donkeys Mules Angeles National Forest Recreation San Gabriel Mountains

Mae Ryan/KPCC

Deb Burgess prepares Andy, a pack donkey, to take supplies into the Angeles National Forest.


U.S. Rep. Judy Chu of Pasadena wants to solve litter, graffiti and safety problems in the San Gabriel Mountains and Angeles National Forest by including them in a new national recreation area that would also include urban foothills and the San Gabriel River and Rio Hondo corridors.

The U.S. Parks Service studied the concept and concluded the recreation area should not include the mountains or the 655,000-acre forest. Chu disagreed and said she would draft legislation to create the nation's largest federal recreation area.

The rugged San Gabriel Mountains are visited by 3 million people a year, many of whom live within easy driving distance in Southern California. The U.S. Forest Service, which oversees the forest, has little extra money to cope with the problems those visitors create, or to enhance their experience when they get there.

Read More...

Navy Yard shooting: Sen. Feinstein iffy on reintroducing gun control bill

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) takes to Senate floor

Alex Wong/Getty Images

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein awaits "change of will" on Capitol Hill before reintroducing assault weapons ban

The shootings at Washington’s Navy Yard were just a mile from the U.S. Capitol. Much of the conversation on Capitol Hill Tuesday has been about security at military facilities. But gun control is on the mind of California’s senior senator Dianne Feinstein.

The four-term democrat was one of the first lawmakers to respond to Monday's shooting, calling it “more of the same, except it’s a different place.” She says “virtually every part of our life is no longer safe.”

Feinstein was the author of a federal assault weapons ban that Congress allowed to expire in 2004. Feinstein reintroduced the measure after the elementary school shooting last winter in Newtown, Conn. But it was voted down on the Senate floor this spring – 40 to 60. 

RELATED: Identities of 12 victims emerge in Navy Yard shootings

Read More...

LA City Council supports tougher penalties for hit-and-run drivers

Manhunt Underway In Los Angeles After Shots Fired At Two Detectives

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday to support tougher penalties for drivers who flee the scene of a crash.

The Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday to support tougher penalties for drivers who flee the scene of a collision; the council also directed the Los Angeles Police Department to improve the way it tracks hit-and-run crashes. 

The council voted to support AB 184, which would extend the statute of limitations on a hit-and-run crash that results in a fatality or severe injury. It has passed both houses of the legislature and is awaiting the governor's signature.  

RELATED: Which intersections are the most dangerous in Los Angeles?

Council members also voted to ask the state legislature to make a hit-and-run conviction the same level as a drunk driving conviction when calculating a penalty.

Some drunk drivers flee the scene of an accident because the penalties for a hit-and-run are less severe than they are for drunk driving, said LAPD Commander Mike Williams. 

Read More...

Maven's Morning Coffee: two special elections, retirements at the Sheriff's Department, a look at the LAUSD Board of Education

California state capitol

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Southern California will hold two special elections Tuesday to fill vacancies in the state Assembly and Senate that were created when Sacramento lawmakers were elected to the L.A. City Council.

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.

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

Today is Tuesday, Sept. 17, and here is what's happening in Southern California politics:

Headlines

Special elections to fill vacancies in the state Assembly and Senate will be held today, reports Capitol Alert. Assemblywoman Holly Mitchell is expected to win a Senate seat previously held by L.A. City Councilman Curren Price. Over in the San Fernando Valley, 11 candidates are running for an Assembly seat previously held by L.A. City Councilman Bob Blumenfield.

The Daily News looks at a growing backlash against gang injunctions. "Opponents claim the court orders give law enforcement too much latitude in fighting gangs. As a result, critics say, more young people are being stopped, frisked, harassed and labeled gang members by law enforcement," according to the newspaper.

Read More...

Maven's Morning Coffee: Mayor Eric Garcetti's lunch, trash pickup in Newport Beach, Michelle Obama headed to LA

Vice President Biden Addresses U.S. Conference Of Mayors In Las Vegas

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Mayor Eric Garcetti and labor leader Maria Elena Durazo finally met for a post-election lunch.

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.

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

Today is Monday, Sept. 16, and here is what's happening in Southern California politics:

Headlines

In Rick Orlov's Tipoff column, politics is a family affair for Councilman Paul Koretz, Mayor Eric Garcetti meets Tom Cruise, and Councilman Mike Bonin learns people like to give money to politicians in power.

Mayor Eric Garcetti and labor leader Maria Elena Durazo met for lunch, per the LA Weekly.

The LA Weekly reports Los Angeles' taxi administrator has been barred from speaking to the media about his concerns over ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft. "The taxi industry is regulated in part to ensure that the city's poor and disabled residents get service. If taxi companies were not required to serve South and East L.A., they would not. (Administrator Tom) Drischler argued that the entry of unregulated competitors undermines that regulatory framework by skimming the most profitable segment of the business," according to the newspaper.

Read More...