Tag Archives: Los Angeles

Saturday smile: Tiniest rescue pup grows up to be a big boss bulldog

To support Road Dogs & Rescue, which rescued Hopelily, go here.

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Appalling street conditions in San Francisco drive away a major convention

san francisco

The streets of San Francisco…

SF is a sh*thole. Shocker, not.

From SF Gate: In a move that is alarming San Francisco’s biggest industry, a major medical association is pulling its annual convention out of the city — saying its members no longer feel safe.

“It’s the first time that we have had an out-and-out cancellation over the issue, and this is a group that has been coming here every three or four years since the 1980s,” said Joe D’Alessandro, president and CEO of S.F. Travel, the city’s convention bureau.

D’Alessandro declined to name the medical association, saying the bureau still hopes to bring the group back in the future.

As a rule, major conventions book their visits at least five years in advance. So when D’Alessandro and members of the hospitality industry hadn’t heard from the doctors about re-upping, they flew to the organization’s Chicago headquarters for a face-to-face meeting with its executive board.

And with good reason: The group’s annual five-day trade show draws 15,000 attendees and pumps about $40 million into the local economy.

“They said that they are committed to this year and to 2023, but nothing in between or nothing thereafter,” D’Alessandro said. “After that, they told us they are planning to go elsewhere — I believe it’s Los Angeles.”

The doctors group told the San Francisco delegation that while they loved the city, postconvention surveys showed their members were afraid to walk amid the open drug use, threatening behavior and mental illness that are common on the streets.

It didn’t help that one board member had been assaulted near Moscone Center last year.  “There was a time when the biggest obstacle to having a convention here was that it can be expensive, but now we have this new factor,” D’Alessandro said.

In recent years, conventions have hired uniformed off-duty police and private security officers to patrol around Moscone and the nearby hotels.

Tourism is San Francisco’s biggest industry, bringing in $9 billion a year, employing 80,000 people and generating more than $725 million in local taxes — conventions represent about $1.7 billion of the business.

“You may not know it, but tourists spend more money outside of the hotel than inside the hotel,” said Hotel Council Executive Director Kevin Carroll. “Everything from restaurants to shopping to taking taxis.”

Industry leaders have been meeting with Mayor-elect London Breed to urge her to increase police foot patrols and mental health services — and to enforce the quality of life laws currently on the books.

In the meanwhile, D’Alessandro said, the rumbling of discontent continues from a number of conventions — “even from local tech companies who hold some of our biggest annual events.”

Read the rest of the story here.

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Liberal utopia: Chicago leads US in underwater homes

emanuel

From MyFoxChicago: The U.S. housing market has been on the rebound in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, but one major city has thousands of homes that remain underwater.

A recent report from the real estate website Zillow shows Chicago leading the country with 254,000 homes in negative equity. Twenty percent of the quarter million people with underwater mortgages owe double the current value of the home.

Los Angeles, the only other U.S. metro area bigger than Chicago, had 74,000 underwater homes, while San Francisco had 20,000.

Cities that were hardest hit by the housing crisis have rebounded. Less than 10% of homes in Las Vegas are underwater, and Miami has an underwater rate of 8.7%.

The appreciation of home values in the Chicago area has decreased over the years in part by crime, unfunded pensions and taxes.

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Bezos says we need to leave Earth in order to survive

jeff bezos

You go first, Jeff.

From Fox News: The recently anointed richest person in the world, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, says we need to colonize the moon — and time is of the essence.

“We must go back to the moon, and this time to stay,” he said.

Speaking at the Space Development Conference in Los Angeles over the weekend, Mr. Bezos made the argument that in order to protect Earth and allow the human species to continue growing, we need to move much of our industrial activity to the moon, or even asteroids.

The 54-year-old billionaire said moving heavy industry into solar-powered space outposts is the only way to ensure that our planet can cope with the rising demand for energy and the stresses of a growing population.

“We will have to leave this planet,” he said, according to Geek Wire. “We’re going to leave it, and it’s going to make this planet better. We’ll come and go, and the people who want to stay, will stay.”

Mr. Bezos believes it will happen in our lifetime because the human race has little alternative. “The alternative is stasis,” he said, adding that without space settlements, societies around the globe “will have to stop growing” due to environmental and other constraints.

“That’s not the future that I want for my grandchildren, or my grandchildren’s grandchildren.”

The US government has stated it wants to pursue sustainable outposts in space and the Trump administration has shown renewed interest in returning to the moon. The Amazon CEO expects US government funding taxpayers to play a vital role in efforts to build habitats in space but said his rocket company, Blue Origin, would push on with its mission even if it doesn’t receive funding help from NASA.

“It won’t be done by one company” or by NASA, he said but by “thousands of companies working in concert over many decades”.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has previously outlined his idea for sending humans to colonize Mars but Mr. Bezos clearly thinks our planet’s moon is a better option for an initial outpost. As he pointed out during the conference talk, the moon is more conveniently located and reachable in just a couple of days with the right rocket.

The e-commerce entrepreneur also seems excited by the fact that in the past decade scientists discovered the existence of icy water near the poles that could theoretically be converted into hydrogen and oxygen and used for drinkable water, breathable air and propellants for reusable rockets.

“It’s almost like somebody set this up for us,” Mr. Bezos said.

If you’re a billionaire leader of industry, it’s become rather fashionable to use your means to push humanity towards the final frontier.

Jeff Bezos previously said he sells about $1 billion a year in Amazon stock to pursue his plans for space tourism and called his rocket company “the most important work I am doing”.

Read the rest of the story here.

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STDs on the rise across the country, skyrocketing in LA County

that's gross

Los Angeles County health officials are blaming homophobia, stigma, racism, and threats of violence. I blame the person who is having unprotected sex with multiple partners.

From Fox LA: LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise across the nation, but the problem is particularly acute in Los Angeles County, it was reported Monday.

Not only does the county have the most cases, it also has some of the highest rates of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis in California and the nation, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday morning.

Some public health experts have blamed the heavy use of online dating apps, arguing that they lead to more casual sex among people 25 and younger, who are the most likely to be infected and also the least inclined to seek testing, according to the newspaper.

Though the precise cause of the increase is not clear, some entrepreneurs and public health officials are trying to tackle the problem with technology. Dozens of organizations now offer STD tests that can be ordered online and mailed to homes. The customer provides a sample, sends it back to a lab and receives results within a few days. But as these tests become more popular, experts warn that they may not always be accurate.

Rates of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis in the U.S. had been fluctuating for several years, but all surged in 2014. A particularly staggering statistic, the 1.4 million chlamydia cases reported that year, marked the highest number of annual cases of any condition ever reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to The Times.

In California, the per-capita incidence of the three diseases is higher and has been climbing since 2010.

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How bad is the homeless situation in LA County? The government is willing to pay people to put “homeless units” in their backyards

possibly go wrong

According to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, in 2017 there were 57,794 people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles County. That was a 23% increase compared with the 2016 homeless count (46,874 homeless in 2016).

Local government agencies are trying to address the situation from several angles: placing social workers on subways(outreach to homeless riders), taxpayer money from two ballot measures(which still leaves an estimated $73-million annual shortfall in funding for the county’s comprehensive homelessness program), motel conversion and steamlining the approval process for homeless projects, among other things.

Now the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is considering paying property owners to put “units” for homeless people in their backyards. Seriously.

Gale Holland reports for the LA Times: “The county Board of Supervisors approved a $550,000 pilot program to build a handful of small backyard houses, or upgrade illegally converted garages, for homeowners who agree to host a homeless person or family. Then in February, Bloomberg Philanthropies awarded L.A. a $100,000 Mayor’s Challenge grant to study the feasibility of backyard homeless units within the city limits.

Rents under the county’s pilot program would be covered by low-income vouchers, with tenants contributing 30% of their incomes. The county is also sponsoring a design competition, streamlining permits and providing technical aid and financing options.”

Read the whole LA Times article here.

The appeal of backyard units is that they don’t “compromise the character” of neighborhoods, per the mayor’s office. The units would have plumbing and cooking facilities.

Apparently homeowners would be incentivized through tax payer dollars and feel like they are offering solutions to the homeless problem. “We were overwhelmed with the interest,” said Larry Newman, manager in the Economic and Housing Development Division of the county’s Community Development Commission.

I can only assume that any homeowner who does this will face an increase in their insurance premiums: Your liability coverage would need to increase if you participated in this program.

Also, I have a few other questions:

  • Who will pay for the background check of the homeowner’s new tenant(s)?
  • Will the homeowner be allowed to write off their “rental” expenses on their tax returns?
  • Will the increase in one’s home value (additional square footage/livable area by a new unit on the property) increase their property taxes?
  • Will the homeowner be personally responsible for any purposefully-inflicted injury that a homeless “tenant” may commit while on their property?
  • How many people on the county Board of Supervisors are going to put homeless units in their backyards?

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Adios: ICE sweep leads to over 200 arrests – many convicted criminals – in L.A.

deport t-shirt

From Fox News: Federal deportation officers staged a massive enforcement action  against businesses in Los Angeles this week, arresting 212 people and serving audit notices to 122 businesses that must prove they aren’t hiring illegals, according to a report on Friday in The Washington Times.

The paper said that nearly all of those arrested were convicted criminals, according to  Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The paper said ICE targeted Los Angeles because it’s a sanctuary city, which means it won’t fully cooperate with federal authorities on deportations from within its jails. As a consequence, officers have to go into the community to take action, said Thomas D. Homan, the agency’s deputy director.

“Fewer jail arrests mean more arrests on the street, and that also requires more resources, which is why we are forced to send additional resources to those areas to meet operational needs and officer safety,” Mr. Homan told The Times. “Consistent with our public safety mission, 88 percent of those arrested during this operation were convicted criminals.”

The actions and notices came even as Congress was debating — and failing to pass — immigration reform legislation.

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