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David Zahniser

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 8, 2009 | David Zahniser
A 49-year-old man was found floating in Newport Harbor on Saturday morning and was pronounced dead soon after at a hospital, authorities said. Two kayakers found the man, fully clothed and facedown in the water, shortly before 7 a.m. near the Orange Coast College seabase, said Newport Beach Police Sgt. Shontel Sherwood. He was pronounced dead at Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian. Police said he was a local resident. -- David Zahniser
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 13, 2007
The City Council voted Wednesday to instruct City Atty. Rocky Delgadillo to draft a law allowing any car with a state- issued alternative fuel decal to park for free next to a city meter. The move is designed to make it easier for parking enforcement officers to carry out an 18-month-old program that gives four hybrid vehicles -- Honda Civic Hybrid, Honda Insight and Ford Escape Hybrid and Toyota Prius -- free parking at meters. -- David Zahniser
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 10, 2008 | David Zahniser
A package of rate hikes for water and electricity won approval from the City Council on Wednesday, ending six months of debate. The council voted 13 to 1 on a trio of electrical rate increases and 11 to 3 on a pair of water rate increases. The decision will leave electricity customers paying 23% more by 2010 after four years' worth of DWP surcharges are factored in. DWP customers will pay roughly 10% more for water by summer 2009 after an increase from the Metropolitan Water District is included.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 1, 2008 | David Zahniser
The skid row area of downtown Los Angeles is scheduled to receive 100 new pedestrian lights as part of an effort to make the neighborhood safer, officials said Monday. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and other elected officials will appear in skid row today to discuss the $320,000 program, which is designed to reduce the number of sidewalk drug sales. The lights are part of the Safer City Initiative, which targets South Los Angeles, Hollywood, MacArthur Park, North Hills and skid row. Last year, the city's Bureau of Street Lighting increased the wattage of 249 street lights on skid row. -- David Zahniser
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 5, 2008 | David Zahniser
City Atty. Rocky Delgadillo said Tuesday that his office secured a $10-million settlement from a company accused of engaging in a scheme to drive low-income people out of more than 800 rent-controlled apartments. Darren Stern, the owner of Landmark Equity Management Inc., agreed to pay a $1-million penalty and establish a $9-million restitution fund to repay tenants who were forced out of the company's apartments since 2002, according to Delgadillo's office. The settlement will also ban Stern from the city's residential real estate market for four years and six months, city officials said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 17, 2008 | David Zahniser
Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton and L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca said Tuesday that they supported a city ballot measure that would raise taxes to pay for anti-gang programs. The campaign for Proposition A, a $30-million tax hike on the Nov. 4 ballot, said that it also has secured the support of Los Angeles Fire Chief Douglas Barry and businessman and former basketball star Earvin "Magic" Johnson. Proposition A would charge property owners an additional $36 per year, with the proceeds paying for after-school programs.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 3, 2008 | David Zahniser
The City Council voted Tuesday to approve an ordinance to make it easier for building officials to crack down on property owners who allow drug dealing, prostitution, vandalism and other illegal public nuisances to occur. The ordinance, proposed by Councilwoman Jan Perry, seeks to cut the amount of time needed to prosecute a nuisance abatement case. The new law will require that nuisance abatement cases are heard within two years. It also is designed to crack down on public urination, excessive littering, lewd conduct and loud noise.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 4, 2010 | By David Zahniser and Jack Leonard, Los Angeles Times
A grand jury unsealed a 24-count felony indictment on Wednesday against Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alarcon and his wife, Flora Montes de Oca, saying they committed perjury and voter fraud when they listed their home as being in Panorama City. Ending a 15-month investigation by Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley's Public Integrity Division, the criminal grand jury accused Alarcon and his wife of falsely claiming that their home was at an address in Alarcon's 7th Council District, which takes in a portion of the northeast San Fernando Valley.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 4, 2014 | By David Zahniser and Marisa Gerber
E-cigarettes have been promoted as a safer alternative to cancer-causing tobacco products that can wean heavy smokers off their habit. But on Tuesday, Los Angeles officials joined a growing list of cities that treat e-cigarettes just the same as regular cigarettes, banning their use in parks, restaurants and most workplaces. The decision came after an impassioned and at times highly personal debate at the City Council that highlighted the backlash the smokeless cigarettes have generated as their popularity grows.
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