Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Maven's Morning Coffee: Wendy Greuel suspends TV ads, San Bernardino County joins onto LAX lawsuit, Villaraigosa heads to China

Wendy Greuel

Wendy Greuel Campaign

Wendy Greuel's campaign has suspended its television advertisements two weeks out from the election. The Los Angeles Times says it's a sign of her fundraising difficulties.

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

Headlines

The Wendy Greuel campaign has suspended its television advertisements, reports the Los Angeles Times. The paper says it's "a move that reflects her continuing struggle to raise enough money to compete head-to-head on the airwaves with her rival, Eric Garcetti."

Wendy Greuel and Eric Garcetti debated about education on Which Way, LA?

Los Angeles Times writer Steve Lopez went with Wendy Greuel to Tolliver's barbershop to watch her talk politics. "Not since Mayor Jim Hahn did the Slauson Shuffle at Tolliver's in 2005 have I seen a politician as comfortable there as Greuel," Lopez writes.

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CA lawmaker pushes services for mentally ill to reduce prison and jail crowding

Mercer 556

Max Whittaker/Getty Images

File photo: California State Senate President Pro Tem Sen. Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) wants to expand mental care in prisons. An estimated 20 percent of active parolees — roughly 10,000 people — were diagnosed with mental illness while in prison.

People with mental illness who end up in jail for minor crimes often stay longer because there’s no place for a judge to send them for treatment.

“Many of these individuals are arrested for low-level offenses,” says Nevada County Sheriff Keith Royal, who heads the California State Sheriffs Association. ”We have now become the new mental health asylums because of the closing of the state hospitals.”

Senate Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) wants to solve that problem by expanding treatment for the mentally ill. He proposes building or contracting 2,000 residential crisis beds that offer short-term treatment, and adding 200 mental health triage counselors at community clinics and homeless shelters to help people with mental disorders get medical care, alcohol-and-drug treatment, and housing.

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CA lawmaker fires back on plastic pistols; calls for ban on 3-D printers for guns

The "Liberator" is a plastic pistol fashioned by a 3-D printer by a company in Texas.

Just two days after a Texas group posted a video purporting to be the first firing of a gun printed on a 3-D printer, State Senator Leland Yee (D-SF) said he’ll seek to ban that use of the technology.

In a press release rushed out Tuesday, Yee said as amazing as 3-D technology is, “We must ensure that it is not used for the wrong purpose with potentially deadly consequences.”

Defense Distributed, the group that posted the video, offers a free download of the gun's blueprint on its Wiki Weapons website. The 3-D gun is made of plastic parts, except for the nail used as the firing pin.

The single-shot weapon is being hailed by some visitors on the company's website as a way to avoid gun registration laws.

Yee said California should be “proactive” about stopping the potential proliferation of guns that “are invisible to metal detectors and that can be easily made without a background check.”

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LA City Council votes to restore LAFD to full staffing

Los Angeles Fire Department Engine

Courtesy Los Angeles Fire Department

The Los Angeles City Council voted 12-0 to give the LAFD the funding it needs to staff 11 ambulances without removing personnel from fire engines. The $1.56 million will keep the plan afloat through June 30.

Following concerns that a newly-implemented plan that moved 22 firefighters to ambulance duty would jeopardize public safety, the L.A. City Council voted Tuesday to give the Los Angeles Fire Department an additional $1.56 million for the next two months. 

Fire Chief Brian Cummings launched a plan Sunday that deployed 11 additional ambulances in the city. But, council members and the firefighters' union expressed concern that removing 22 firefighters from engines to staff those ambulances could hinder LAFD when it comes to putting out fires.

The money will keep the ambulances in service and the engines fully staffed through June 30, which is the end of the fiscal year. 

Council President Herb Wesson backed the supplemental funding, even though it will cost $13 million to maintain the proposal in 2013-14. The council president said he wants the next mayor to have the flexibility to work with the fire chief on the plan. 

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Maven's Morning Coffee: Councilman seated in San Gabriel, a loan in the mayor's race, Roz Wyman Day in LA

Chin Ho Liao

Alice Walton/KPCC

Chin Ho Liao, left, will be seated on the San Gabriel City Council despite questions about his residency.

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 Tuesday, May 7, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:

Headlines

The San Gabriel City Council agreed 3-1 to seat a councilman-elect despite questions of his residency, reports KPCC. Chin-Ho Liao was elected March 5, but a complaint alleging that he lived outside the city limits meant he was not sworn in until now.

Wendy Greuel loaned her campaign $100,000, according to the Los Angeles Times. The latest campaign finance reports will be posted by the Ethics Commission on Thursday.

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