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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 23, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO - Energized by Capitol scandals, four candidates for California secretary of state clashed in a forum Wednesday over which one is best suited to restore voter faith in state government. Candidates Alex Padilla, Dan Schnur, Pete Peterson and Derek Cressman also criticized each other's ideas for reducing the corrupting influence of big money in state government. Three other candidates were not invited to participate in the forum by the Sacramento Press Club. With three senators suspended while facing criminal charges and his campaign holding a big lead in fundraising, Democratic Sen. Padilla found himself the target of attacks from the other candidates who said his proposals for tougher ethics rules are too little, too late.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 23, 2014 | By Chris Megerian
SACRAMENTO -- California's parks are being dragged down by stagnant leadership, inadequate resources and a failure to serve the state's growing population of young Latinos, according to a draft report from an independent commission created to examine the troubled park system. The California Department of Parks and Recreation “has not been able to keep pace with the times and now faces significant system-wide financial and organizational challenges,” the report says. “These challenges place at risk the system's continued viability, as well as the public's trust and confidence in the Department charged with caring for the state's natural and cultural resources.” The report , which will be worked on throughout the year, is scheduled to be presented to the Parks Forward Commission next week.
BUSINESS
April 23, 2014 | By E. Scott Reckard
Banc of California in Irvine is acquiring Popular Community Bank's 20 Southern California offices, part of a deal in which Popular Inc., Puerto Rico's largest bank, is shedding 41 mainland U.S. branches. The companies said Wednesday that Banc of California would pay $5.4 million for the local franchise, more than doubling its current network of 18 branches. The deal includes $1.1 billion in deposits and $1.1 billion in loans from eastern and southern Los Angeles County and northern Orange County.
BUSINESS
April 23, 2014 | By E. Scott Reckard
Banc of California, a growing community bank in Irvine, is doubling its footprint in Southern California as it joins a new wave of smaller California banks pushing to expand into regional players in the aftermath of the financial crisis and the Great Recession. Banc of California said Wednesday that it agreed to buy 20 Popular Community Bank branches from struggling Popular Inc. in Puerto Rico, adding them to its 18 branches from Los Angeles to San Diego. The new branches would be in lightly banked Latino neighborhoods in Los Angeles and Orange counties.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 23, 2014 | By Robert J. Lopez
A 6.7 magnitude earthquake was reported off Canada's Vancouver Island on Wednesday night. But there were no tsunami concerns for the Pacific Coast, including California. The quake rocked the region around 8:10 p.m. and was located about 58 miles southwest of Port Hardy in British Columbia, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The quake was followed by two aftershocks of 5.0 and 4.2. There were no tsunami watches, warnings or advisories for the Pacific Coast, according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.
NEWS
April 23, 2014 | By Mary Forgione, Daily Deal and Travel Blogger
One thing you have to understand about the Land of Chima: The lions are the good guys. They're the ones who seek to protect the kingdom from the battle-prone crocodiles on Cartoon Network's TV series and video games. So it's not surprising that the largest piece of Legoland California's yet-to-open Chima-themed water park is a 2,116-pound Lion Temple Arch. The arch, 18 feet off the ground, was put in place last weekend at the emerging Legends of Chima Water Park that's slated to open May 24. "The Lego arch will stream water beneath the massive lion head at the entrance to the Lion Temple Wave Pool," a Lego announcement says.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 23, 2014 | George Skelton, Capitol Journal
SACRAMENTO - It has come to this: California politics have become so one-sided that the only half-way intriguing statewide races this spring are for two largely ministerial jobs. One is secretary of state. The other is state controller. Both are pretty mundane. The secretary of state oversees elections and maintains public databases on campaign contributions and lobbyists' spending. The office also processes a lot of business-related stuff. Sounds simple. But under termed-out Democrat Debra Bowen, few things seemingly have been simple.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 23, 2014 | By Diana Marcum
FRESNO - The state's new effort to map the areas most at risk from pollution features hot spots up and down California. But nowhere are there more of the worst-afflicted areas than in Fresno - in particular a 3,000-person tract of the city's west side where diesel exhaust, tainted water, pesticides and poverty conspire to make it No. 1 on California's toxic hit list. "I'm looking at this map, and all I see is red. We're right here," Daisy Perez, a social worker at the Cecil C. Hinton Community Center, said as she located the center of the red areas that represented the top 10% most-polluted census tracts in California.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 23, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO -- With ethics scandals rocking the Capitol, Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday appointed as the new head of California's ethics watchdog agency a judge who has overseen the discipline of attorneys. Joann M. “Jodi” Remke, who is presiding judge of the State Bar Court, is Brown's choice to serve as chairwoman of the state Fair Political Practices Commission. The appointment fills a void created six months ago when Chairwoman Ann Ravel was appointed to the Federal Election Commission.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 23, 2014 | By Randy Lewis
After spending 2013 ensconced in Brooklyn, the MTV Video Music Awards return to Southern California this year, landing Aug. 24 at the Forum in Inglewood. It will mark the first awards show at the arena since it reopened earlier this year after a $100-million makeover by Madison Square Garden Co. "Every year we ask the question, 'How do we do it differently?'" MTV President Stephen Friedman told The Times. "We had never done it at the Forum. When we heard it was being overhauled and really elevated in terms of quality and sound and look, this year we felt like the Forum would be a perfect place to do it. " The VMA ceremony has been held in a variety of locations over the years, last year at the Barclays Center arena in Brooklyn, and previously at Staples Center and the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, and Radio City Music Hall in New York.
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