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OPINION
February 23, 2014
Re "Paradise seeks a parking lot," Feb. 20 The wit of your headline with the story on parking problems in Long Beach's Belmont Shore may be lost on younger readers. While a Belmont Shores neighborhood commission ponders how to expand parking while preserving its piece of paradise, the ploy of paving over residences recalls the 1970 hit song "Big Yellow Taxi," recorded appropriately enough by the Neighborhood, a one-hit-wonder pop vocal group. Written by Joni Mitchell, the song's lyrics have served as an anthem for environmentalists: "Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you've got till it's gone; they paved paradise and put up a parking lot. " The song garnered a lot of airplay in our environmentally conscious state.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 21, 2014 | By Christine Mai-Duc
A city audit released Thursday reveals that the Port of Long Beach spent thousands of dollars subsidizing the travel of spouses who accompanied harbor commissioners on trips to Tokyo, Paris and Montreal despite city restrictions that ban such reimbursements. The audit, which targeted five of the most expensive trips in the last two years, found that commissioners were able to get around restrictions by booking “companion tickets” which billed the spouse's flight as “free” but actually built in the cost, sometimes more than doubling the original fare.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 21, 2014 | By Richard Winton, This post has been corrected, as indicated below.
State Sen. Ron Calderon has been indicted in a sweeping corruption case, accused of taking about $100,000 in bribes.  Federal authorities allege that Calderon (D-Montebello) took the bribes from a Long Beach hospital official as well as people connected to what he believed was a Hollywood studio. In fact, the studio was an FBI front and the business associates were FBI agents. Authorities claim Calderon received cash bribes, trips and dinners in exchange for "official acts.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 21, 2014 | By Richard Winton
The U.S. attorney in Los Angeles on Friday painted a picture of government for sale as he announced that state Sen. Ron Calderon had been indicted on suspicion of taking roughly $100,000 in bribes, meals and trips in exchange for favorable legislation. Calderon, a Montebello Democrat, who faces up to 395 years in prison, allegedly took kickbacks from former Long Beach hospital operator Michael Drobot, who perpetrated one of the largest healthcare fraud schemes in California history, U.S. Atty.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 19, 2014 | By Matt Stevens
Four people who allegedly tried to elude capture Wednesday by climbing onto the roof of a building in Long Beach after being served with a search warrant were detained, authorities said.  Detectives served a narcotics search warrant on the 4100 block of East 10th Street in Long Beach early Monday, and during the execution of the warrant four people fled to the roof, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Aerial television news footage showed one of the suspects smoking a cigarette while others conversed as deputies cordoned off surrounding streets and put the building on lockdown.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 19, 2014 | By Dan Weikel
Representatives of a labor-friendly campaign to improve the wages and working conditions of port truckers asserted Wednesday that the vast majority of drivers are victims of widespread workplace violations by trucking companies. Instead of being treated as employees, thousands of drivers in the ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach and other harbors across the nation have been illegally classified as independent contractors, advocates said during a media conference call. That designation has lowered wages, prevented drivers from unionizing and denied them the protections of state and federal labor laws, they added.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 19, 2014 | By Matt Stevens
There's at least one California winner in Wednesday night's $400-million Powerball jackpot drawing, state Lottery officials said. A winning ticket that matched all six numbers was purchased in the Northern California city of Milpitas, said California Lottery spokesman Alex Traverso. He told The Times final results would not be available until late Wednesday night. The winning  Powerball  numbers announced Wednesday night were 17, 49, 54, 35 and 1, and the Powerball was 34, according to the  Multi-State Lottery Assn . The $400-million jackpot was the sixth-largest in U.S. lottery history, and the odds of winning it were about 1 in 175 million, officials said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 19, 2014 | By Matt Stevens
A 28-year-old man was arrested in Long Beach this week after a routine traffic stop led authorities to search his home, where they reported finding about 80 pounds of cocaine. Police said they stopped Hildefonso Angulo of Long Beach for a traffic violation Monday in the 6900 block of Atlantic Avenue. Angulo seemed “unusually nervous,” police said in a statement, and was found to be driving without a license. During a search of Angulo's car, police said they discovered “highly suspicious” packaging material.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 19, 2014 | By Alene Tchekmedyian
A 41-year-old man was sentenced Wednesday to 26 years to life in prison for the murder of a Burbank resident who was found on his neighbor's porch with 32 stab wounds six years ago. Jorge Villalobos of San Gabriel was found guilty of first-degree murder in the stabbing death of Glen Giles, who was found dead on Feb. 26, 2008, the Burbank Leader reported . Villalobos' sentence includes the possibility of parole. Through tears, relatives on Wednesday remembered Giles as a gentle giant with an infectious laugh who loved basketball.
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