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David Zahniser

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
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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
June 25, 2012 | By David Zahniser, Los Angeles Times
Retail giantWal-Martsaid that it has parted ways with a public relations firm whose employee was found to have posed as a reporter at an event staged byWal-Martcritics. Wal-Martspokesman Steven Restivo said in a statement Friday that his company and Mercury Public Affairs had mutually decided to end their "business relationship. " Mercury had received $60,000 to lobby officials at Los Angeles City Hall over a proposed Wal-Mart grocery in Chinatown, according to city records. "We take this matter seriously and have taken the appropriate steps to ensure this type of activity is not repeated," Restivo said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 3, 2008 | David Zahniser
Two city councilmen called Thursday for a ballot measure that would create an independent assessor to oversee allegations of wrongdoing at the city Fire Department, which has been buffeted by a series of costly discrimination lawsuits over the last three years. Councilmen Jose Huizar and Jack Weiss said the measure, proposed for the March 3 municipal ballot, would create a position similar to the inspector general at the city's Police Department. The city has been hit with at least $4.5 million in judgments, legal bills and settlement costs stemming from the incident involving Tennie Pierce, a firefighter who filed a lawsuit after he ate spaghetti laced with dog food.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 22, 2013 | By David Zahniser
Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar said Tuesday that his extramarital relationship with a former aide was a "huge mistake" but added that he expects voters will judge him on his accomplishments. Huizar attended his first council meeting since his former deputy chief of staff, Francine Godoy, filed a lawsuit accusing him of waging a campaign of sexual harassment and retaliation against her. Running for a third four-year term in the March 2015 election, Huizar has called Godoy's allegations false while also confirming he had an "occasional and consensual" relationship with her. PHOTOS: Political sex scandals "I made a huge mistake when it comes to the relationship I had with this woman," said Huizar, standing in a stairwell near the council chamber.
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