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March 21, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO -- A judge on Friday ruled that Beverly Hills Mayor John Mirisch could be allowed on the ballot for the open 26th state Senate District seat in the June primary but county officials later determined he did not turn in enough valid signatures on nominating petitions to qualify. Mirisch would have been the only Republican candidate among seven Democrats and one candidate with no party preference who have filed papers to run for the seat. The office opened up when Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance)
March 20, 2014 | By Robert J. Lopez and Ben Welsh
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti suspended the city's firefighter recruitment program Thursday amid concerns about mismanagement and nepotism, including new emails that show special recruitment workshops were organized for relatives of department insiders. "I have determined that the Fire Department's recruiting process is fatally flawed," the mayor said in a statement Thursday. The action follows a Times report last month that thousands of candidates who passed a written test were excluded from consideration for a new training class because some of their paperwork wasn't received in the first 60 seconds of a filing period last spring.
March 19, 2014 | By Kerry Cavanaugh
Would you, city of Los Angeles resident, support a higher sales tax for smooth streets and sidewalks? How about backing a higher sales tax to build light-rail and subway lines? Would you support both tax increases? That's the question L.A. leaders and voters may soon confront. On Tuesday, two Los Angeles officials proposed putting a half-cent sales tax increase on the November ballot to raise money for road and sidewalk repairs. City leaders have considered a street repair tax since at least 2006, but council members previously favored a bond measure, which would be paid by property owners.
March 17, 2014 | By Howard Blume
The mayor's top education advisor, Thelma Melendez de Santa Ana, is joining the Los Angeles Unified School District as a senior administrator. The 55-year-old Melendez, a former Obama administration official, was talked about in recent times as a contender for the top job at the nation's second-largest school system. At L.A. Unified, Melendez will serve as second-in-command for Beyond the Bell, a division that oversees after-school programs, among other functions. She's likely to take over that department after the anticipated retirement of the current head, L.A. schools Supt.
March 17, 2014 | By Jean Merl
Former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan, a Republican, has thrown his support behind state Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) in the crowded race to succeed retiring Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Beverly Hills). Riordan, a moderate and pragmatist who has sometimes aligned himself with Democrats, praised Lieu a "problem solver" in a statement released by the Lieu campaign Monday. "He is smart, tenacious and effective," the statement continued, adding, "Ted has worked across the aisle with legislators and the executive branch for many years and made the tough choices that helped turn California's budget deficit into a budget surplus.
March 16, 2014 | By Matt Pearce
Former longtime Boston Mayor  Thomas M. Menino, 71, has been diagnosed with an advanced form of cancer, according to local media reports. Doctors don't know the origin of the cancer, which has invaded Menino's liver and lymph nodes, the Boston Globe reported . Menino was mayor of Boston for 20 years. He retired this year after a series of health woes hobbled him while still in office, none of which were reported as cancer-related. In one dramatic moment last year, a wheelchair-bound Menino improbably  rose to his feet to address thousands of mourners during an interfaith service after the Boston Marathon bombings.
March 16, 2014 | By Matt Pearce
Things don't get much more Boston than the St. Patrick's Day parade that goes through south Boston every year. But citing an exclusion of gay participants, the city's mayor decided not to join one of the famously Irish city's most famously Irish events on Sunday. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, whose parents were Irish immigrants, was keeping a promise not to attend after he failed to convince organizers to allow a gay veterans group to participate in the march. "As mayor of the city of Boston, I have to do my best to ensure that all Bostonians are free to participate fully in the civic life of our city," Walsh said in a statement to local media . "Unfortunately, this year, the parties were not able to come to an understanding that would have made that possible.
March 16, 2014 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO - Cities, counties and law enforcement officials across California are bristling at a 6-year-old law that they contend prevents regulation of massage parlors they suspect offer more than therapeutic bodywork. A profusion of massage parlors, often near schools and neighborhoods, creates blight, they complained at a legislative hearing. Local government officials told lawmakers last week that they're frustrated by a 2008 law that sought to regulate illicit massage parlors and support legitimate spas and other businesses.
March 12, 2014 | By Mery Mogollon and Chris Kraul
CARACAS, Venezuela -- Venezuela's government and opposition marchers were headed for a showdown Wednesday while several Caracas borough mayors defied a supreme court order that they clear barricades in parts of the capital where demonstrations against President Nicolas Maduro have now entered a second month. Opponents to Maduro have organized a march in downtown Caracas in observance of the Flag Day national holiday, even as the government has vowed to stop marchers because they have no permit.
March 11, 2014 | By Emily Alpert Reyes
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Tuesday he was bent on writing "a new chapter" for the Department of Water and Power with the help of its new leader Marcie Edwards - a task that goes beyond cleaning up its woebegone billing system, he said. In electing him mayor, "Los Angeles voters really gave me a mandate to reform the DWP," Garcetti told a roomful of business leaders and reporters Tuesday. Even his own father - onetime Dist. Atty. Gil Garcetti - had complained to him about being on hold with the agency for more than 40 minutes, the mayor said.
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