Despite San Bernardino's unending supply of bad news — bankruptcy, city officials recalled from office, high rates of poverty and crime — the city has fans who want to be there and have high hopes for its future.
One of them can be found most weeknights at Meadowbrook Boxing Academy. The music is loud and a few dozen boys and a few girls wear themselves out shadow-boxing, punching heavy bags and sparring in the elevated ring.
Alex Ortiz watches his nephews, David, 13, and Daniel, 16, warm up in the ring. Ortiz volunteers here most nights, helping youngsters build strength and endurance, but also the backbone they need to get along in this tough city.
"I try to teach them a lot of confidence, like, when you go in that ring, you gotta know that you're going to win," Ortiz says. "What keeps me inspired is seeing them being inspired to do other things."
If you want a friend in Washington, Harry Truman once said, get a dog.
That's exactly what dozens of members of Congress have done. On any given day, it's not unusual to see the pups of politicos walking the halls of Congressional office buildings or frolicking on the grounds outside the U.S. Capitol.
If you drop by the office of Congressman Ken Calvert, it’s likely you’ll first be greeted by a happy little golden dachshund. The Riverside Republican calls Cali "the smartest dog in the world." And then he goes nose-to-nose with the pooch in his lap to confirm it: "Isn’t that right, Cali?"
Calvert was originally a cat person. A stray adopted him back in the Inland Empire. But he decided he wanted a dog in D.C.
Like most everything on Capitol Hill, the selection of Cali was the product of intense negotiations. Staffer Rebecca Keightley offered to share custody of a dog with Calvert on one condition: "If I can bring her to work everyday."
DWP General Manager Ron Nichols, pictured here in a file photo, appeared before the Los Angeles City Council Wednesday to explain the utility's recent billing problems.
The Department of Water and Power will suspend collections on most unpaid bills through the remainder of 2013 because of problems with the utility's new billing software, DWP General Manager Ron Nichols said Wednesday.
The DWP will not take customers to collections or disconnect their service while the kinks are still being worked out in a multimillion-dollar system, which has led to inflated bills and lengthy wait times when customers call to complain.
"It is 'billings-gate' that's happened," said Councilman Mitch Englander, who introduced a motion asking for a moratorium on going after delinquent accounts while the new system is being implemented. "
"We've heard and learned of nightmare stories ... these are families. These are seniors on fixed incomes that are scared to death."
A former jail inmate will receive more than $700,000 from Los Angeles County for abuses he suffered in Men's Central Jail in 2006.
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Today is Wednesday, Nov. 27, and here is what's happening in Southern California politics:
Deputy District Attorney Max Huntsman was selected to be an inspector general to the Sheriff's Department, reports the Los Angeles Times. He will have the authority to conduct investigations inside the county jail system. "He has a reputation for standing up even when it's uncomfortable or unpopular," said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.
The Board of Supervisors also approved a $722,000 settlement for a former inmate who was attacked by other inmates at Men's Central Jail in 2006, according to KPCC. The former inmate had accused Sheriff Lee Baca of enabling jail violence.
Mayor Eric Garcetti celebrates Hanukkah with Eric Bauman of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party.
Mayor Eric Garcetti celebrated the start of Hanukkah Tuesday with a little break dancing. Really.
The mayor joined City Attorney Mike Feuer and a handful of city council members to light a menorah on City Hall's First Street steps. (The first night of Hanukkah is actually Wednesday). After a musical performance and speeches, the mayor and his colleagues did a traditional dance — he's Jewish on his mother's side — and then Garcetti used the occasion to show off his break dance moves.
It's not the first time Garcetti has pop-locked in public. Last year, during the mayoral race, he did a little break dancing during an interview in Inglewood (see video below). He's also been a guest DJ on 89.9 KCRW and KSWD 100.3. And last month Garcetti performed with his buddy, Moby.