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Category: L.A. Now Live

L.A. Now Live: San Onofre nuclear plant's flawed steam generators

A report released Friday by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission provides the most detailed picture to date of how a flawed system of new steam generators at the San Onofre nuclear power plant was designed.

Time staff writer Abby Sewell will join us at 9 a.m. to discuss the report on the root causes of problems at the plant. It shows that officials considered making design changes to the steam generators before they were installed but rejected some fixes in part because they would require further regulatory approvals.

DOCUMENT: Read the full report

Some of the generators began to malfunction a year after they were installed, and the plant has been shuttered for 13 months. The closure has cost San Onofre's owners, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric, more than $470 million. Ratepayers across the region are shouldering some of the plant's costs and could be on the hook for hefty future repair bills.

L.A. Now Live: Big money in L.A. school board races

Outside interests poured money into Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's war chest for this week's school board elections in an attempt to influence education reform. But when the votes were tallied, the group could count only one clear winner.

Times staff writer Howard Blume will join us at 9 a.m. to discuss the results of Tuesday's election for the Los Angeles school board and their implications.

The mayor's political action committee, which amassed more than $3.9 million on behalf of three candidates, secured just incumbent Monica Garcia's seat. In the other two races, the Coalition for School Reform lost its bid to unseat incumbent Steve Zimmer, who was backed by the teachers union.

The group's other favored candidate, Antonio Sanchez, is headed for a May 21 runoff.

L.A. Now Live: More cuts coming as L.A. voters reject tax hike

Los Angeles officials are preparing a new round of cuts to city services, warning that even the Police Department may not be spared after voters rejected a tax increase.

Times staff writer Jessica Garrison will join us at 9 a.m. to talk about how the sales tax proposal that went to voters Tuesday was seen as a last-ditch attempt to help balance the city's budget without more reductions. The city has already slashed 5,300 positions and scaled back services ranging from sidewalk repairs to 911 rescue operations.

How much needs to be cut is not yet clear, but the latest projections show a shortfall of about $200 million in the next fiscal year, officials said. Larger deficits are expected in subsequent years.

L.A. mayor race: Examining the data behind the results [Video]

How did the vote for L.A. mayor break down?

Times database editor Ben Welsh and City Hall reporter David Zahniser will analyze the data during a 1 p.m. video chat here. You can ask questions and offer comments.

Click here to see Welsh's full map.

FULL COVERAGE: L.A.'s race for mayor

Each dot represents a voter in one of the hundreds of precincts across the city. The dots are color-coded for the top five vote-getters in the primary. Citywide, Councilman Eric Garcetti edged past Controller Wendy Greuel in the primary, sending the race to a May 21 runoff between the City Hall veterans.

You can search results by address and ZIP code.

The map will be updated with the latest results after the May election.


L.A. mayor's race: Map shows geographic splits

L.A. Community College board: Eng, Moreno appear headed for seats

L.A. Votes: Dismal turnout puts Greuel and Garcetti in mayoral runoff, sales tax bombs

L.A. Now Live: Discuss L.A. mayoral, council election results

Times political reporter Seema Mehta will join L.A. Now Live at 9 a.m. Wednesday to discuss the results of the primary election and look ahead to the next round of voting.

City Councilman Eric Garcetti edged past Controller Wendy Greuel in Tuesday's mayoral primary, emerging as the top vote-getter in one of the lowest turnouts in memory, moving the race to a May 21 runoff between the City Hall veterans.

Garcetti received 33% in an unofficial count of ballots, compared with 29% for Greuel, a four-point advantage that Garcetti said he would immediately begin to try building upon.

RESULTS: Los Angeles Primary Election

“I’m ready to get up as early as it takes,'' Garcetti told cheering supporters gathered at Avalon nightclub in Hollywood late Tuesday as the primary results became clear. "Tomorrow we’re going to get up, we’re going to get to work, and we’re going to win this campaign."

Greuel wasn't conceding anything, telling her own supporters that she would emerge victorious by focusing on a plan for delivering core services that have been lacking, such as fixing Los Angeles streets and reducing emergency response times.

“We’re 11 weeks from making history, electing the first woman mayor,” Greuel said. “And, of course, the first mom.”

Los Angeles voters elected three new City Council members and returned two incumbents to office. Candidates in three other council races did not get at least 50% of the vote, and the top two finishers in those contests will face off in May.

Former Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield won 52% of the vote to win the 3rd District seat representing Reseda, Canoga Park and Woodland Hills. On the opposite side of the San Fernando Valley, former Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes squeaked past three challengers with 51% of the vote to win the 7th District seat representing Arleta, Pacoima and Sunland-Tujunga.

In the 11th District, Mike Bonin, longtime chief of staff to outgoing Councilman Bill Rosendahl, easily beat his competitors with 61% of the vote. Two City Council incumbents, Paul Koretz and Joe Buscaino, easily won reelection.

Three City Council races remain undecided. In the 1st District, former California Sen. Gil Cedillo, with 49% of the vote, will face off with Jose Gardea, outgoing Councilman Ed Reyes' chief deputy. In the 9th District being vacated by Councilwoman Jan Perry, state Sen. Curren Price captured 27% of the vote and will face Ana Cubas, who received 24%, in May.

The most competitive council race was the free-for-all in the 13th District, representing the Hollywood and Silver Lake areas. Mitch O'Farrell, a senior advisor to the outgoing Garcetti, was the top vote-getter with 18%. He advances to the runoff against John Choi, who formerly sat on the city's Board of Public Works. Choi received 16% of the vote.

L.A. elections: Join the conversation

Times reporters will join L.A. Now Live at 9 p.m. for a live election update and to answer readers’ questions about the Los Angeles primary.

Lines at polling places were short Tuesday, though the election will result in significant changes in city leadership, with residents selecting a mayor, city attorney, city controller, and eight City Council members

LIVE RESULTS: Los Angeles primary election

As voters headed to the polls, former City Council President Eric Garcetti was locked in a tight race with City Controller Wendy Greuel. In last week’s USC Price/Los Angeles Times poll, Garcetti had support from 27% of those surveyed and Greuel had 25% — a statistical tie because of the margin of error — while the three other major candidates were bunched behind. Former prosecutor and radio host Kevin James was at 15%, City Councilwoman Jan Perry was at 14% and former technology executive Emanuel Pleitez was fifth with 5%.

If no candidate breaks 50%, the top two vote-getters will enter a May runoff.

FULL COVERAGE: L.A.'s race for mayor

Turnout by the 1.8 million registered voters in the city is expected by some political observers to be below the 34% seen in 2005 general election, when Antonio Villaraigosa won office to become Los Angeles' first Latino mayor in modern times. The city clerk has issued 663,065 vote-by-mail ballots — about a fifth had been returned by Monday.

The median Los Angeles turnout is 26%, compared to 48% in Chicago, 44% in Philadelphia and 41% in San Francisco, according to a 2007 study by a University of Michigan professor.

L.A. Now Live: LAUSD board election watched nationwide

The Times' education reporter Howard Blume will join L.A. Now Live at 9 a.m. Tuesday to discuss the Los Angeles Unified school board races, an election that's being monitored around the country.

Ten candidates are on the ballot for three seats on the Los Angeles Board of Education.

Four of them are backed by high-cost independent campaigns on their behalf; the others have had difficulty getting their messages out.

New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has donated $1 million to help preserve a board majority that has pushed for several controversial efforts dealing with teachers -- including remaking evaluations and speeding the dismissal process -- that are supported by the L.A. mayor and Supt. John Deasy.

Two eleventh-hour donations have added financial muscle to that campaign from the Sacramento-based California Charter Schools Assn., which donated $300,000, and New York City-based News America Inc. -- an affiliate of News Corp., the media conglomerate run by Rupert Murdoch --  which donated $250,000, according to reports filed Monday with the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission.

The efforts to revamp policies in L.A. Unified mirror those occurring nationwide over such topics as the growth of charter schools and the proper role of standardized testing as well as teacher evaluations and job protections.

The teachers union has been critical of the outside donations, calling them "yet another example of outsiders trying to influence the outcome of the election."

L.A. Now Live: Mayoral, council races heat up on eve of election day

Times political reporter Maeve Reston will join L.A. Now Live at 9 a.m. Monday to discuss the final campaign stretch for Los Angeles' mayoral and council candidates before Tuesday's vote.

On Sunday, mayoral hopeful Wendy Greuel traded barbs with rivals Eric Garcetti and Jan Perry as the leading candidates dashed across the city in a final burst of weekend campaigning, from Encino and Eagle Rock to Venice Beach and South Los Angeles.

The top contenders to succeed Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa sought to shore up support with morning visits to churches and afternoon stops at a taco stand, a farmers market and an art gallery.

A new USC Price/Los Angeles Times poll indicated that Garcetti and Greuel are locked in a tie for the lead in the primary, but that their chances of clinching spots in the May runoff rest with a huge swath of likely voters open to switching candidates before the vote.

The survey, taken Feb. 24-27, found Garcetti at 27% and Greuel at a statistically even 25%. Bunched behind the two Democrats were Republican lawyer Kevin James at 15% and Democratic City Councilwoman Perry at 14%. Former technology executive Emanuel Pleitez trailed at 5%.

The survey indicated that none of the major candidates has cultivated deep support among any of the big voter groups that can swing Los Angeles elections. (James has sparked enthusiasm among Republicans and conservatives, but those groups are too small by themselves to push a candidate to victory.)

L.A. Now Live: City seeks to overturn homeless' belongings ruling

The city of Los Angeles is set to ask the U.S. Supreme Court today to overturn a lower-court ruling preventing the random seizure and destruction of belongings that homeless people leave temporarily unattended on public sidewalks.

Times staff writer Alexandra Zavis will join us at 9 a.m. to discuss the matter, which could have broad implications for cities nationwide grappling with how to keep streets clean and safe while respecting the property rights of those who live there.

The Supreme Court filing comes after two years of legal wrangling between Los Angeles officials and homeless advocates over a controversial campaign to clean up downtown's skid row, which has the highest concentration of homeless people in the city.

L.A. Now Live: Cardinal Mahony uses Twitter, blog as pulpit

Cardinal Roger Mahony has turned to his computer keyboard as a powerful weapon to defend himself against those criticizing his handling of the sex abuse cases.

Times staff writer Harriet Ryan will join L.A. Now Live at 9 a.m. on Wednesday to discuss Mahony's public relations campaign on social media -- and his decision to attend a conclave to elect a new pope.

As archbishop of Los Angeles, Mahony responded to criticism with a high-priced crisis management firm, full-page ads in Spanish and English newspapers, and a report naming accused priests.

Since last month, when outrage flared anew over files showing he shielded abusers, the cardinal has thrown himself into social media to give the public his side of the story.

It was on his blog that Mahony defended himself against a public rebuke by his successor, and it was on Twitter account that he confirmed, to the dismay of many critics, that he would attend the conclave to elect a new pope. "Am planning to be in Rome and vote for the next Pope," he wrote hours after Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation. He added, "Will be twee[t]ing daily."

It was an extraordinary pledge from a man who had tweeted just five times before and only sporadically updated his blog. But as Catholic groups, members of the public and even some Vatican officials continued to question Mahony's integrity, he became ever more prolific online.


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About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
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