Politics, government and public life for Southern California

City Hall looks at Convention Center improvements regardless of stadium deal

AEG

AEG's Farmers Field proposal, seen here in a rendering, would include a new wing for the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Los Angeles was promised a revamped Convention Center from a private developer if pro football returns to the city. But without any word from the NFL, city leaders are looking at Plan B. 

The City of Los Angeles has a deal with Anschutz Entertainment Group for a new convention hall, but it’s contingent on the developer bringing a pro football team back to L.A. and building the Farmers Field stadium. To do so, part of the existing convention center would have to be demolished and AEG has proposed building a new wing.  

But not only is there no team in sight, but AEG is also facing a deadline with the city – October, 2014. Rather than wait 18 months to come up with an alternative plan, city leaders are looking at what they can do now to improve the Convention Center.

A panel of experts from the Urban Land Institute presented its findings for what would make a successful convention space at a Thursday meeting of the Ad Hoc Committee on Downtown Stadium and Convention Center Renovation. A marquee entrance, more hotel rooms and a giant ballroom as well as better public transportation would all make for an improved convention space, they said. 

Read More...

Maven's Morning Coffee: LA County gets an extra $50 million, LAX runs into more roadblocks, and a look at Eric Garcetti's religion

jann_on/Flickr Creative Commons

LA County is expected to receive an additional $50 million this year in property tax revenue.

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 Thursday, May 30, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:

Headlines

Los Angeles County is expected to see a $50 million revenue boost in property taxes, reports the Los Angeles Times. "The increased revenue is expected to be modest. But it has delivered some optimism that a larger recovery is on the way — and that governments can finally begin to at least think about undoing years of cuts and pay freezes," according to The Times.

The Service Employees Union United Service Workers West is planning an environmental challenge over LAX's expansion plans, reports the LA Weekly. "The SEIU is questioning the expansion's local impact and its alleged 'significant increases in noise, air pollution and traffic'," according to the Weekly.

Read More...

State Senate approves package of gun control bills

Mercer 2562

Kitty Felde/KPCC

California Senate President pro tem Darrell Steinberg (seen here in a file photo with former Assembly Speaker Karen Bass) pushed a bill that bans detachable ammunition magazines.

Invoking the image of recent mass shootings, Democrats in the state Legislature on Wednesday passed a series of firearms bills designed to reduce the chances for widespread carnage even as opponents warned that the measures would not keep weapons from those intent on committing horrific crimes.

Among other changes, the bills that passed between the Senate and the Assembly would expand the list of people who are prohibited from owning firearms, require permits and a fee when buying ammunition, and ban semi-automatic rifles with detachable ammunition magazines.

RELATED: To track all the gun control bills in the current legislative session, click here.

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), who pushed the ban on detachable magazines, said the bills would close loopholes in existing laws, keep firearms away from dangerous people and strengthen requirements for gun ownership.

Read More...

Maven's Morning Coffee: Greuel consultant defends campaign and Bob Hertzberg runs for office -- again

Election Night Greuel

Grant Slater/KPCC

In a Los Angeles Times and "Which Way, LA?" appearance, Wendy Greuel's top consultant defends the way her mayoral campaign was run.

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, May 29, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:

Headlines

A political consultant for Wendy Greuel, John Shallman, penned a post for the Los Angeles Times that knocks the newspaper's coverage of his client's campaign. "It is easy to Wednesday-morning quarterback campaign strategy. But in this election, The Times was to Eric Garcetti what Fox News was to Mitt Romney," he writes.

On Which Way, LA?, Shallman and Eric Garcetti's consultant Bill Carrick discuss the mayor's race.

Read More...

California state senate approves tougher GPS monitoring bill

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Inmates at Chino State Prison.

The California state senate Tuesday unanimously approved SB57, a bill to increase the penalties for paroled sex offenders who cut off their GPS monitoring devices.  The legislation is one of dozens of bills introduced to address problems caused by prison realignment.

In 2011, the legislature enacted realignment to shift responsibility for the incarceration and post-release supervision of low-level felons from the state to the counties.   They did that to comply with a federal court order to relieve overcrowding in state prisons.

As a result, some counties with crowded jail systems became even more crowded, and released certain offenders after serving little time.  Law enforcement officials believe that's emboldened some criminals.

State Senator Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) said he authored SB57 after the number of parolees cutting off their GPS monitors spiked to more than 4,000 last year. 

Read More...