LA City Council Approves Seismic Retrofitting Measure

Thousands of buildings across Los Angeles must be beefed up to better resist collapsing during a major earthquake, under a long-awaited ordinance passed Friday by the City Council and quickly signed into law by the mayor.

Officials expressed confidence that remaining issues over how to pay for it can be resolved in the next few months.

Adrin Nazarian Wins $3 Million For Earthquake Retrofits

SHERMAN OAKS—Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian (D-Sherman Oaks) lobbied and won $3 million to retrofit 1,000 homes to improve earthquake safety.

The funding will expand the range of the California Residential Mitigation Program’s Earthquake Brace and Bolt (EBB) retrofit incentive program, which was originally slated to cover only 650 houses.

Proposed tax credit for quake retrofits runs into trouble in Sacramento

A proposed state tax credit to ease the burden of seismically retrofitting vulnerable buildings failed to make it out of a key committee in Sacramento this week, calling its prospects into question.

Senators on the Legislature's Conference Committee, which reconciles Assembly and Senate budget proposals, chose not to include the earthquake retrofit tax credit in the budget they will send to the governor, said Dan Savage, chief of staff to Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian (D-Sherman Oaks), who introduced the legislation.

Water Bond to Help Clean Up California’s Contaminated Groundwater

LOS ANGELES—California uses more groundwater than any other state, and many areas are 100 percent reliant on groundwater for basic uses such as drinking water and agricultural irrigation.

The most recent report by the State Water Resources Control Board says 22 percent of California's 3,037 community water systems rely on a contaminated groundwater source. This means that one fifth of water being used to produce almost half of US-grown fruits, vegetables, and nuts, is contaminated.

Time for San Fernando Valley to get light rail on track: Editorial

The San Fernando Valley never needed permission to talk about transportation. The travails and tricks of getting around the Valley have been a feature of residents’ conversation since before the advent of the freeways, and a staple since.

But a generation of Valley leaders have needed permission to plan for a mass-transit option that could help hundreds of thousands of commuters and the local economy.

Convert Orange Line Busway into Light-rail Line?

NORTH HOLLYWOOD, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Could the popular Orange Line buses in the San Fernando Valley be replaced by light-rail trains? A bill signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown has opened up that possibility. And that opens up the debate over whether the highly popular busway might be converted into a light-rail line.

While the Orange Line is popular, Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky said whether it's with the current buses or with a new light rail, there is room for improvement.

California Arts Council could see state allocation rise to $5 million

It isn't all that the state Legislature's arts allies had hoped for, but the 2014-15 budget recently passed by the Senate and Assembly includes a $5 million increase for the California Arts Council — the first boost in taxpayer funds the agency has had in 11 years.

The council, which issues grants to nonprofit arts groups and arts education programs, had seen its annual allocation from state tax coffers stagnate at about $1 million since 2003-04, down from a peak of nearly $31 million in 2000-2001.

California State Assembly Recognizes Artsakh’s Independence

The California State Assembly, in an overwhelming bipartisan vote, on Thursday called for U.S. recognition of the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh, marking a major milestone in the growing American movement supporting the national and democratic aspirations of the citizens of this independent and historically Armenian country, reported the Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region (ANCA-WR), according to

California State Assembly members visit Camp Pendleton

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- California State Assembly members, Oceanside and Vista Council members and Assembly staff members toured and learned about various units here June 28.

The visit was requested by Rocky Chavez, an assembly member and vice-chair of Assembly Veterans, in an attempt to provide general knowledge about the base and the Marine Corps to the members.

California Proposal for Fracking Moratorium Clears Panel

A California Assembly panel approved a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing by oil and natural-gas producers until the most populous U.S. state assesses health and environmental concerns.

The bill by Adrin Nazarian, a Los Angeles Democrat, is opposed by the oil industry through the Western States Petroleum Association, which says hydraulic fracturing has been used safely for more than 60 years. Democrats on the Natural Resources Committee approved the measure 5-3 on a party-line vote late yesterday. Democrats control the Legislature.