Local News RoundUp
The Local News RoundUp is the League's daily news clipping service of articles related to California cities and local government.
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September 19, 2014
HOT ISSUES: MASSAGE THERAPY REGULATION / AB 1147 (Bonilla, Gomez & Holden)
Gov. Brown Signs Bill Giving Cities Control Over Massage Businesses (Los Angeles Times)
The newly signed measure will give local governments more authority over zoning and regulation of these businesses, allowing them to close down bad actors. It also establishes more training requirements for individuals applying for a license to be a massage practitioner.
Gov. Brown Signs New Massage Therapy Law (Pasadena Star-News)
The new law also raises professional standards and changes the make-up of the board that governs the California Massage Therapy Council (CAMTC), the agency that certifies and regulates the majority of massage therapists in the state. The bill offers reforms for the original massage law, which went into effect in 2009.
Jerry Brown Signs Massage Regulation, Armenian Genocide Instruction Bills (Sacramento Bee)
Gov. Jerry Brown has handed California cities some sought-after tools for controlling a massage industry boom.
Cities and police officers have complained about a proliferation of massage parlors in recent years, saying the culprit was a 2008 law giving the nonprofit California Massage Therapy Council overriding authority for overseeing massage parlors. The issue was a priority for the League of California Cities.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and City Makes it Easier to Install a Solar Energy System (Los Angeles Daily News)
Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Thursday that the Department of Building and Safety has developed a streamlined procedure to issue permits for residential solar systems, including making permits available online and having building inspectors verify the systems.
LAPD to Establish Policy on the Use of Drones (Los Angeles Wave)
A pair of drones given to the Los Angeles Police Department are in the care of the Police Commission's inspector general, and police have no immediate plans to deploy them, it was announced Monday.
City officials plan to set policies for their use. Public hearings are expected, and the commission may have some proposed guidelines to put to a vote in about six months.
PERMITS & LICENSES
L.A. to Re-Examine Regulations Controlling City’s Taxi Companies (Los Angeles Times)
In a push to level the playing field for taxi firms competing with new, app-based ride-sharing businesses, Los Angeles officials agreed Thursday to re-examine hundreds of regulations that control the city's nine licensed cab companies.
Governor Signs Bill Tripling Funding for Film Tax-Credit Program (Glendale News-Press)
The legislation increases the types of projects that can apply for the credit, but sets aside a majority of the funding for large-budget features, TV pilots and renewed series. It also phases out the lottery used to allocate credits under the current program, introducing instead a ranking system based on the jobs a production will create.
ELECTIONS & REDISTRICTING
Editorial: A Simple Fix for L.A.’s Voter Turnout Problem (Los Angeles Times)
When fewer than 1 in 4 registered Los Angeles voters bothered to cast a ballot for a new mayor last year, it set off a round of soul-searching among city officials and political experts. Why were voters so disengaged? What would make them show up at the polls? What does it say about the nature of our democracy if the city's leaders are selected by only a small fraction of eligible voters while the rest stay at home?
Airbnb Paying its Hotel Tax Bill (San Francisco Gate)
San Francisco now has a number for how much the Airbnb home-sharing industry is worth — and it’s a lot. The firm says it will begin paying the city’s 14 percent bed tax on Oct. 1 at a rate that may yield $11 million per year.
For Nation’s City Managers, Pot is High on Agenda (McClatchy Washington Bureau)
On Tuesday, the group – called the International City/County Management Association – put together a presentation on what marijuana legalization could mean for local communities and governments.
City and county officials said it’s a growing issue of concern for them after Washington state and Colorado opened retail pot shops this year and 23 states now allow marijuana use for medicinal purposes.
ENERGY & UTILITIES
How Local Communities are Taking Over Their Power Supply (Utility Dive)
By the end of this year, startup public power agency Sonoma Clean Power a startup public power agency will serve about 173,000 California customers a special blend of power — local, clean and cheaper than incumbent utility Pacific Gas & Electric provides.
TRANSPORTATION & INFRASTRUCTURE
Futuristic BART Trains Headed to Bay Area (San Francisco Business Times)
Huge amounts of taxpayer money and the daily commutes of thousands of Bay Area workers hang in the balance with the planned expansion of the Bay Area Rapid Transit rail system into the heart of the region’s tech economy.
Poll Shows Voters Back H.B. Desalination Plant; Critics Attach Poll (OC Register)
Seventy percent of potential recipients of the proposed Huntington Beach desalination project support the plant, according to a poll released Thursday.
Robocall Lawsuits Thrown Out in Tentative Hearing (Simi Valley Acorn)
Robocalls made in Simi Valley during the 2012 election season are considered protected speech under the First Amendment and, therefore, class action and defamation lawsuits challenging the calls lack legal standing, a Ventura County judge tentatively ruled this week.
REPORTS & STUDIES
Media Reacts to Report on Women in Local Leadership (California City News)
The Sacramento Bee and National Public Radio both have stories on a new report that shows women occupy just 30% of local elected offices in California.
WASTE & RECYCLING
Oakland Makes a Deal with Waste Management, Avoids Costly Lawsuit (Oakland Tribune)
In an unexpected about-face, the Oakland City Council will consider giving its garbage and green waste contract back to Waste Management to settle the legal and political dramas brought by the garbage giant after it was jilted for a smaller company.
IN OTHER CITY NEWS
Municipal ID Cards to Come with Huge City-Wide Deals: de Blasio (New York Post)
New Yorkers who sign up for new municipal ID cards will be able to score free memberships to nearly three dozen of the city’s top cultural institutions — from the Metropolitan Museum to the zoos in each borough.
In a bid to lure the city’s estimated 500,000 undocumented immigrants to carry official identification, those who enroll will get a sweet deal packed with comped tickets and discounts easily worth $2,100.