California Essential Week in Review: Expect More Water Restrictions Next Year
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Here’s a look at the top stories from the past week
More water restrictions are likely to come next year. Four water districts and the state’s Colorado River Board said in a letter to the federal government on Wednesday that they are proposing to reduce water use by up to 400,000 acre-feet per year. That would represent about 9% of the river state’s total water allocation through 2026. In Southern California, Metropolitan Water District officials planned to approve mandatory conservation measures to begin ration water for cities and local agencies that supply 19 million people across six counties.
Bass and Caruso faced off in their second face-to-face debate with the mayor of Los Angeles. Rhetorical daggers flew, with Rep. Karen Bass attempting to portray real estate developer Rick Caruso as a shape-shifting opportunist who voters cannot fully trust. Caruso, in turn, aimed to characterize the congresswoman as lacking judgment and having little to show for her time in Washington, D.C.
What you need to know about gas tax refunds. On Friday, the state began doling out one-time payments ranging from $400 to $1,050 for couples who jointly filed their 2020 state income tax returns and $200 to $700 for those who filed independently. Payments will come in a number of ways, including direct deposits to approximately 8 million bank accounts for those who electronically filed their 2020 state income tax returns. The state expects the majority of all direct deposits will be made to bank accounts by the end of October, and more will be sent until November 14. An additional 10 million payments will be mailed on debit cards to California residents.
Gas prices in SoCal have fallen slightly, but for how long? Oil and gas analysts said wholesale California-grade gasoline prices appeared to have peaked this week after shutdowns at at least five refineries across the state led to shortages. But they said it often takes much longer for pump prices to reflect market declines. And Wednesday’s announcement by OPEC+, a coalition of two dozen countries, to cut oil production by 2 million barrels a day could affect California prices, officials said.
Why flu season could be worse in Los Angeles This year. The flu has remained largely dormant for the past two seasons, a development some attribute to infection prevention protocols put in place to ward off the coronavirus. But with measures such as mandatory masking, physical distancing, and limitations on business and social activities having been shelved amid improving pandemic conditions, California could be in line for a busier flu season. This year.
An internal LAPD report ruled that the death of an officer in training was an accident. The report into Houston Tipping’s death last spring found that Tipping and the other officers involved in the training session followed standards set by a state agency. He did not uncover evidence to support an allegation by Tipping’s mother that other officers were faking a mob and beating him during practice.
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A plan to save the Salton Sea has been rejected. By moving desalinated seawater across the desert, some local residents and environmentalists say, California could prevent its largest lake from shrinking and becoming saltier and could restore its once thriving ecosystem. But proponents of seawater harvesting received a blow when a state-appointed panel of experts rejected the idea after a year-long review, citing estimated costs in the tens. billions of dollars, damage to the coastal environment, and a construction schedule that would take several years before the water reached the lake.
A serial killer could be the cause of six shooting deaths. Last week, Stockton police said five fatal shootings reported between July 8 and September 27 in the central California city were linked. On Tuesday, they said a sixth fatal shooting last year in Oakland and a non-fatal shooting in Stockton were also linked. All of those killed were men, shot late at night or early in the morning, with no signs of theft, police said. Five of the six were Latinos, according to police.
LA landlords can resume evictions starting February 1. City Council voted unanimously to end restrictions that barred landlords from evicting tenants affected by COVID-19. In February 2024, landlords will also be able to begin evicting tenants for unauthorized pets or residents not listed on leases. In rent-controlled apartments, rent increases may resume in February 2024.
A high school football team lost the season after the players held a “slave auction”. Yuba City Unified School District Superintendent Doreen Osumi called the incident at Yuba City’s River Valley High School “extremely distressing” and confirmed that participating students would not play for the remainder of the season. The student-athletes violated the code of conduct, Osumi said.
ICYMI, here are this week’s good reads
The USC Cardinal Divas are more than just a dance team. Even before entering the USC campus, Princess Lang knew she wanted to join a dance crew. USC had several options, but “none of them called my name,” she said. So she set out to form the Cardinal Divas, a cheerleader team whose moves during USC’s football game against Fresno State recently went viral. “I want to be able to create black space for black women anywhere,” Lang said.
How a corrupt FBI agent protected a Los Angeles criminal figure for cash. Edgar Sargsyan, a bogus lawyer who had made his fortune from identity theft, pulled a piece of laminated paper from the glove compartment and handed it to officers during a traffic stop in Burbank. The parking plate had a United States Department of Justice seal on one side and an FBI agent’s business card pasted on the back. Sargsyan thought the sign would get him out of a small traffic jam. Instead, the 2016 traffic stop triggered a cascade of events that led to the conviction Tuesday of a decorated FBI agent on federal corruption and money laundering charges.
Haute cuisine (dog). Some restaurants can accommodate customers’ furry companions for a sit-down meal, but Dogue, which opened Sept. 25 in San Francisco’s Mission District, only serves dogs. On weekdays, Dogue serves Parisian pastries and “dogguccinos” starting at $4.95. A $75 three-course meal — which is seasonal and rotates frequently — is served for Sunday appointments only. “It’s like you walked into my restaurant and the star guest is your dog,” said owner and chef Rahmi Massarweh.
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