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October 10, 2013 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO - Two pieces of legislation, heavily backed by the telecommunications industry but opposed by state regulators, were vetoed Thursday by Gov. Jerry Brown. One dealt with fees related to the purchase of prepaid cellphone minutes. The bill, AB 300 by Assemblyman Henry T. Perea (D-Fresno), would have created a new system for retailers to collect the fees from purchasers. As approved by the Legislature, the money would be sent to the Board of Equalization and then passed to the California Public Utilities Commission.
October 2, 2013 | By Jessica Garrison and Kim Christensen
Even after being forced to cut production last month because of high lead emissions, a Vernon battery recycler has continued to violate limits on releases of the potent neurotoxin, regulators said Wednesday. A monitor on the north side of Exide Technologies' sprawling plant near the Los Angeles River registered emissions in violation of the South Coast Air Quality Management District's requirements for airborne lead Sept. 18, air district Executive Officer Barry Wallerstein said.
September 26, 2013 | By David Lauter
WASHINGTON -- In the debate over energy and climate change, the public continues to give support to both sides, according to a a new poll. By more than a 2-1 margin, respondents in a new Pew Research Center poll said they favor building the Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry oil from tar sands deposits under Canada's western prairies through the Midwest to refineries in Texas. Republicans in Congress have strongly advocated building the pipeline, while President Obama has given mixed signals on the project, saying he would approve it only if doing so would not contribute to global warming.
September 20, 2013 | By Neela Banerjee
WASHINGTON - The tough restrictions on new power plant emissions proposed by the Obama administration Friday set the stage for the far thornier and significant decision due next year: What will the Environmental Protection Agency do to rein in greenhouse gases from existing power plants? The nation's power plants are the single largest source of heat-trapping emissions. Supporters and critics of the EPA's proposed rule are parsing it, in particular, for clues to how the administration would reduce carbon dioxide from existing plants that burn coal, the biggest source of fuel for electricity.
September 19, 2013 | By Neela Banerjee and Christi Parsons
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration will propose rules Friday to sharply curtail permissible emissions of carbon dioxide from new power plants, an important step toward fulfilling the president's recently reinvigorated commitment to address climate change. New coal-fired plants would have to limit emissions of heat-trapping carbon dioxide to 1,100 pounds per megawatt hour, down from the current range of 1,800 to 2,100 pounds using conventional technology, according to an administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity before the official release of the plan.
September 19, 2013 | By David Lazarus
Michelle found one of those notices outside her home saying her house number would be painted on the curb. A "donation" of $20 was requested. After the work was finished, the painters hassled Michelle for the money. She asks: Is she obliged to pay them? The answer: Nope. ASK LAZ: Smart answers to consumer questions This racket is all too common. An official-looking notice says house numbers will be painted on the curb, and the wording suggests that homeowners are on the hook for a certain amount of money.
September 18, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
It is cruel and inhumane to keep prison inmates in solitary confinement for indefinite periods or to put them there for arbitrary reasons. Studies indicate that inmates subjected to prolonged isolation are at risk for mental illness and suicide. That's led human rights groups and the United Nations' special rapporteur on torture, among others, to conclude that solitary confinement should be abolished, with very few exceptions. Yet its use is widespread, not only in state and federal prisons but in immigration detention facilities.
September 17, 2013 | By Jean Merl
Heeding the police department's call for help in reducing hit-and-run traffic incidents, the Los Angeles City Council approved a series of recommendations on Tuesday. The council agreed to support state legislation to increase penalties for those caught after leaving the scene of an accident and expand the use of the police department's crime tracking network to evaluate hit-and-run incidents. The council also asked the department and its oversight board to include  hit-and-run incidents in department crime tallies and require police reports on all such incidents, even if they are limited to property damage.
September 3, 2013 | By Melanie Mason and Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO - Lawmakers on Tuesday sent the governor proposals to further curb cellphone use by teenage drivers and to clamp down on scalpers who electronically scoop up blocks of tickets for concerts and sporting events. The cellphone measure would bar those younger than 18 from using voice-operated hands-free texting programs while behind the wheel. They already are banned from using cellphones while driving, even with hands-free devices. "Distractions from using a voice-operated device endanger not only the driver but other motorists as well as pedestrians," said the bill's author, state Sen. Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton)
August 31, 2013 | By Adolfo Flores and Marisa Gerber
Saturday was supposed to be a big day for Billy DePalma. He envisioned a ribbon cutting and then a steady stream of new customers perusing colorful, pen-shaped electronic cigarettes behind glass cases. They'd gawk at his impressive selection of liquid nicotine - flavors like Hubba Bubba Grape, Gummy Bear and Orange Cream Soda - as he fielded questions about the fast-growing trend of "vaping," so-called because users inhale the vapor produced when the liquid is heated. Instead, drywall litters the floor of his dark shop.
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