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March 24, 2014 | By Steven Hill
Earlier this month, Santa Clarita settled a California Voting Rights Act lawsuit, and in doing so became the first city in California to embrace innovative election rules that could point the way to a more representative politics. The lawsuit, filed last year, grew out of major demographic changes in the city. Not only had Santa Clarita grown by more than 60% since 1990; it had also seen a sharp increase in the city's non-white population, which went from 31% to 44% over a 10-year period, with Latinos now making up almost a third of the city.
March 21, 2014 | By Bill Shaikin
ANGELS 7, ROYALS 3 AT THE PLATE: Mike Trout had two hits, raising his Cactus League batting average to .409. Raul Ibanez went hitless in three at-bats, lowering his average to .194. Kole Calhoun and Chris Iannetta each hit home runs. ON THE MOUND: C.J. Wilson needed 99 pitches to work 52/3 innings, giving up three runs - one earned - and striking out nine. The Angels used the back end of their bullpen in regular-season fashion, with Kevin Jepsen pitching a scoreless seventh, Joe Smith a scoreless eighth, and closer Ernesto Frieri a scoreless ninth.
March 21, 2014 | By Rosanna Xia and Rong-Gong Lin II
California officials on Friday announced that they were beginning to draw tsunami flood maps in Huntington Beach, Crescent City and other communities that cities could use to regulate development in areas along the coast at risk during a large tsunami. The California Geological Survey made the announcement Friday in advance of the 50th anniversary of the deadliest tsunami that has hit modern California. Fifty years ago next Thursday, a tsunami triggered by a 9.2 earthquake in Alaska killed 13 people in California alone.
March 21, 2014 | By Pico Iyer
SAN FRANCISCO - To get to one of the spiritual centers of San Francisco - a perfect microcosm of the city of evergreen revolutions - turn left after the high-rising office buildings downtown, saunter past Francis Ford Coppola's emerald-shaded seven-story American Zoetrope mock pagoda and halt just past the spot where Columbus Avenue meets Jack Kerouac Alley. Or perhaps approach the official historical landmark by way of Grant Avenue, at the heart of San Francisco's Chinatown, wander past a long line of slightly kitschy tourist shops displaying quotes from Lao Tse and Jimi Hendrix and try to ignore the eco-conscious green Hello Kittys in store windows.
March 20, 2014 | By Ken Schwencke
A shallow magnitude 2.7 earthquake was reported Thursday evening six miles from Universal City, California, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The temblor occurred at 7:17 p.m. Pacific time at a depth of 0 miles. According to the USGS, the epicenter was six miles from Beverly Hills, California, eight miles from West Hollywood, California and eight miles from San Fernando, California. In the past ten days, there has been one earthquake magnitude 3.0 and greater centered nearby.
March 19, 2014 | By David Zahniser
The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday voted unanimously to pay $185,000 to end a lawsuit over a rear-end collision involving a city car driven by Councilman Jose Huizar. On a 14-0 vote, council members signed off on the payout to David Ceja, a former Huntington Park police officer whose vehicle was struck by Huizar's city-owned SUV in 2012. The council approved the agreement without comment. Because the settlement was treated as a consent item, lawmakers did not discuss the case -- either in open session or behind closed doors -- during the meeting.
March 19, 2014 | By Christine Mai-Duc
The oil-rich city of Carson has imposed an emergency moratorium on all new drilling, halting efforts by a petroleum company to bore more than 200 wells near homes and a state university. The drilling ban, which runs for 45 days but could be extended up to two years, was driven by a fear that Occidental Petroleum would employ hydraulic fracturing to coax oil from one of the city's vast oil fields. Occidental has repeatedly denied it will use fracking, an extraction technique that involves blasting a mix of water, chemicals and sand deep into the ground to fracture rock formations and free trapped oil. Critics contend the practice can contaminate groundwater or even trigger earthquakes when water is injected underground.
March 18, 2014 | By Eric Sondheimer
 Paid attendance for the City Section Division I finals in basketball at L.A. Southwest two weeks ago was 1,517, according to the City Section athletics office. Division III and V finals at Roybal was 1,298. Division II at Roybal was 1,376. Division IV at Roybal was 662.  
March 18, 2014 | By Tina Susman
NEW YORK -- The main pipeline running beneath Park Avenue on the block where a blast killed eight people was leaking outside one of the buildings destroyed, investigators said Tuesday, but they have not determined the cause of the leak. It also is too soon to know whether that leak is what caused the massive March 12 explosion in East Harlem, which destroyed two buildings between 116th and 117th streets. The discovery of the leak came as officials from the National Transportation Safety Board, which investigates pipeline blasts, conducted pressure tests on the cast iron gas main and the smaller feeder lines that serve buildings on the block.
March 18, 2014 | By David Zahniser
One year after Los Angeles voters rejected a sales tax increase, the City Council is looking at trying again - this time by tying the money to the repair of the city's deteriorating network of streets. Two high-level City Hall policy advisors recommended Tuesday that lawmakers place a half-cent tax hike on the November ballot that would generate $4.5 billion over 15 years. The proceeds, they said, would pay to fix the most severely damaged roads and sidewalks. Passage of a tax could add momentum to Mayor Eric Garcetti's "back to basics" campaign, which focuses on upgrading basic services.
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