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David Zahniser

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 21, 2008 | David Zahniser, Times Staff Writer
Faced with more than 4,000 miles of broken sidewalks and scarce money to make repairs, Los Angeles officials are weighing a proposal to put responsibility for making the fixes squarely on homeowners. Under the proposal, homeowners would be forced to replace the damaged pavement -- or pay the city a fee -- when they sell their property, before the close of escrow. The City Council's Public Works Committee got its first look Wednesday at the "point of sale" plan, which could cost the average homeowner as much as $15 for each square foot of sidewalk, and dramatically shift the burden for such repairs from city government to the private sector.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 10, 2010 | By Patrick J. McDonnell and David Zahniser, Los Angeles Times
With a hard-hitting speech that branded the city's teachers union as an unyielding obstruction to education reforms, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa set the stage this week for a new battle over control of the troubled Los Angeles Unified School District, the nation's second-largest. In a Sacramento address to state leaders , Villaraigosa ? himself a longtime teachers union employee before launching a career in public office ? declared that education in Los Angeles stands at "a critical crossroads," and he assailed United Teachers Los Angeles for resisting change.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 18, 2007 | David Zahniser
The City Council's Budget and Finance Committee voted 3 to 2 on Monday to recommend that the city clerk run elections for the city's 90 neighborhood councils. Because city election workers will spend half of next year preparing for November's presidential election, City Clerk Frank Martinez said his office would be capable of overseeing only neighborhood council elections that occur before June 30.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 20, 2009 | David Zahniser
Four people -- two men and two women -- were arrested Sunday in connection with the shooting with birdshot pellets of three people on West 50th Street in South Los Angeles, police said. The incident occurred shortly after 4 p.m. roughly two blocks east of the Harbor Freeway. One of the three victims was seriously injured, Los Angeles Police Officer Karen Rayner said. That man was taken to the hospital for surgery on his face and is expected to recover, Rayner said. At least two of the suspects have been identified as gang members, police said.
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
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.
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