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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 21, 2013 | By Hector Becerra
The FBI has requested records from the Central Basin Municipal Water District related to a groundwater storage plan that was the subject of bitter, long-running legal battle in southeast Los Angeles County. Investigators are also seeking the personnel records of the water district's former general manager, Art Aguilar, and two elected directors, Art Chacon and Robert Apodaca. The subpoena, obtained by The Times, shows the FBI's investigation into Sen. Ronald S. Calderon, his brother and the water district has continued to expand in the months since Calderon's Capitol office was raided.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 19, 2014 | By Hector Becerra
A controversy-riddled water district involved in a federal corruption investigation is in danger of losing its insurance, a political black eye that could have implications for the agency and its 2 million customers. The Assn. of California Water Agencies Joint Powers Insurance Authority has recommended to its board that it drop the employment liability insurance for Central Basin Municipal Water District, citing the circus-like atmosphere at the agency. The authority insures hundreds of water districts across the state, and this would be only the second time in its 35-year history that it canceled coverage for a water district.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 20, 1999
United Water Conservation District officials say they haven't imposed a rate increase in several years. They say the 1999 rate increases are very small. What they don't say is that the increases might not have been needed at all if United had not adopted huge management salary increases. Let's hope Abraham Lincoln's observation that you can't fool all the people all the time will prove true at the next election. NEAL ANDREWS Ventura
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 25, 2014
Dave Brockie Frontman for heavy metal GWAR Dave Brockie, 50, who as "Oderus Urungus" fronted the alien-costumed heavy metal band GWAR during graphic and fake-blood-soaked stage shows for more than three decades, was found dead Sunday evening at his home in Richmond, Va. Detectives currently don't suspect foul play, according to Richmond police spokeswoman Dionne Waugh, and the medical examiner's office will determine cause of...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 13, 2011 | By Sam Allen, Los Angeles Times
Readers who type "Central Basin Municipal Water District" into Google News get a series of upbeat articles. One story hails the benefits of Central Basin's new recycled water system. Another piece praises the agency's legal battle over groundwater rights. Others catalog the successes of its conservation programs. What the average reader doesn't know is that Central Basin is paying nearly $200,000 in taxpayer money for the glowing coverage. In a highly unusual move, the water district hired a consultant to produce promotional stories "written in the image of real news," according to agreements reviewed by The Times . The articles appear on a professional-looking news website called News Hawks Review . The site is indexed on Google News, carries its own advertisements and boasts an "experienced and highly knowledgeable" staff of editors and reporters.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 21, 2013 | By Hector Becerra
The FBI served new subpoenas on the Central Basin Municipal Water District this month, expanding a corruption investigation that began with a raid on state Sen. Ronald S. Calderon's office in June. One subpoena sought documents related to a groundwater storage plan that was the subject of long-running legal battle in southeast L.A. County. Investigators also are seeking personnel records for the water district's former general manager, Art Aguilar, and two elected directors, Art Chacon and Robert Apodaca.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 8, 2011 | By Sam Allen, Los Angeles Times
There seemed to be no doubt that Mike Adams was a productive journalist, even if his beat was a bit obscure: the Central Basin Municipal Water District. In recent months, he churned out more than 20 stories on the water wholesaler based in southeast Los Angeles. He wrote about recycled water that kept the grass green on street medians and parks. About the computer system a college used to irrigate its landscaping. About a water-saving youth soccer field. The only mystery, really, was Adams himself.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 27, 2012 | By Sam Allen, Los Angeles Times
A water district serving nearly 4 million residents in Los Angeles County announced Thursday it intends to freeze rates for the first time since 2003. The Water Replenishment District of Southern California's announcement came after a Los Angeles Times article Wednesday highlighting the agency's recent rate hikes and battles with another local water agency, the Central Basin Municipal Water District. "We want to be responsive to all our stakeholders," said Albert Robles, president of the WRD's board.
SCIENCE
July 11, 2013 | By Louis Sahagun
After two years of dispute, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and the Mammoth Lakes Community Water District on Thursday announced that they have reached a compromise settlement over use of the High Sierra ski town's water supply. In return for a payment of $3.4 million now -- and a payment in about 50 years of $2.4 million, adjusted for inflation - the DWP has agreed to drop two lawsuits and both sides have agreed never to challenge each other's water rights. The DWP will use the money for water-saving improvements designed to increase flows in the Los Angeles Aqueduct system by 1,779 acre-feet of water annually.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 10, 1996 | LEN HALL
David A. Caretto of Irvine has been chosen from 58 applicants as general manager of four special districts in South County that specialize in water treatment. Caretto, now city manager of Irwindale, will start his new job July 22, said Gil Jones, board chairman of the Southeast Regional Reclamation Authority. He will manage SERRA, the Aliso Water Management Agency, the San Juan Basin Authority and the South Orange County Reclamation Authority.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 24, 2014 | By Hector Becerra
The troubled Central Basin Municipal Water District violated the state's open-meeting laws when it created a $2.7-million fund in virtual secrecy, an investigation by the agency's attorneys concluded. The fund, created for a groundwater storage project, was managed without public hearings or notifications, and records related to it were among those subpoenaed by federal prosecutors. The subpoenas came after an FBI raid on the Sacramento offices of state Sen. Ron Calderon (D-Montebello)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 25, 2014 | By Tony Perry
SAN DIEGO -- In a court battle with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake, the San Diego County Water Authority won a round Tuesday versus its archenemy: the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. A judge in San Francisco tentatively ruled that Metropolitan violated the California Constitution in setting the rates it charged for transporting water from the Colorado River to San Diego County through its aqueduct and other water transportation facilities. The lawsuit will now proceed to a second phase and, most likely, an appeal from the losing side.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 19, 2013 | By Hector Becerra
Montebello school board member Hector Chacon said he was at his parents' home sorting through some paperwork this year when he noticed a letter addressed to him. It was from a drug and alcohol rehab center and confirmed his enrollment in a program for first-time DUI offenders. Chacon said he was puzzled because he didn't have a DUI and began investigating. He discovered he was the victim of an elaborate identity theft: Someone had used his name and birth date when the person was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 11, 2013 | By Bob Pool
Embarrassment is on tap when Maurene Nelson turns on a faucet at her Sierra Madre home. The water that flows out, she says, is often disturbingly yellow. "My bath was full of gold water last night," said Nelson, a speech communications instructor at Pasadena City College and Glendale Community College. Officials in the tiny city at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains say the temporary use of imported water provided by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is to blame for the off-putting color.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 12, 2013 | By Jean Merl
Facing a possible lawsuit over the way it chooses its directors, the board of the Coachella Valley Water District voted Tuesday to drop its at-large elections system. From now on, directors will be elected by geographic district.  The change comes less than a month after attorneys warned  in a letter that  the jurisdiction's at-large elections were likely in violation of the California Voting Rights Act. "The letter raised some serious issues that warranted a thorough evaluation," board President John Powell Jr. said in a statement issued after Tuesday's vote.  "I don't want any of the district's constituents to feel like they aren't fairly represented, so I wholeheartedly support the change," Powell added.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 23, 2013 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO -- Former Democratic state Assemblyman Tom Calderon has decided not to run next year for the state Senate seat being vacated by his brother, Ron Calderon (D-Montebello), friends and associates said Wednesday. The decision was not a surprise to many watching the campaign, including former campaign advisors who noted he had raised little money for the election. In June, the FBI served search warrants on the office of Sen. Ron Calderon as part of a public corruption investigation.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 21, 2013 | By Jean Merl
Opening a new front on efforts to improve minority representation on local elected boards,  attorneys  representing several Latino citizens have accused the Coachella Valley Water District of violating the California Voting Rights Act. In a letter delivered Monday to John Powell, the district's board president, lawyers Robert Rubin and Megan Beaman said the district's  at-large election system "dilutes the ability of Latino constituents to...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 20, 2013 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO - Maywood residents have complained for years about brown, smelly, bad-tasting water, and now a feud over the problem has landed on Gov. Jerry Brown's desk. Legislation by Assemblyman Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) would require three private water companies in Maywood to operate more like public agencies, with open financial books and audits. It also would also provide $7.5 million for water quality projects in the city. It states the Legislature's intent "to create a public agency that can consolidate drinking water services" there.
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