California Senate passes package of bills aiming to address housing crisis (Los Angeles Times link): California state senators passed a package of housing legislation Thursday, a bid to spend more on low-income housing as well as make it easier for developers to build.
The two marquee measures — Senate Bill 35 from Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and Senate Bill 3 from Sen. Jim Beall (D-San Jose) — would force cities that have fallen behind on their state housing production goals to reduce some of the hoops they put in place to approve developments and would authorize a $3-billion bond to spend on low-income housing on the 2018 statewide ballot.
“What the bill does do is create actual accountability,” Wiener said of SB 35. “Because local control is about how you meet your housing goals, not whether you meet your housing goals.”
Beall’s measure would increase state funding for building and preserving low-income multifamily developments, farmworker housing and low-income projects near transit.
“It is the beginning of a solution for our problem,” Beall said.
Both bills received an unusual coalition of support. Some Democratic senators voted no on Wiener’s measure while some GOP lawmakers supported it. Beall’s measure needed two-thirds supermajority support and multiple Republicans voted yes.
Mod: Of course "multiple Republicans voted yes." They are owned by the development and Realty lobbies. Not a dime's worth of difference, as they say.
Mayor Eric Garcetti said the fire had already burnt 5,000 acres (2,000 hectares), adding: "In terms of acres involved this is probably the largest fire in LA city history." Around 500 homes were evacuated due to the blaze, which grew from a camp fire and is now 45% contained.
A man has been charged with two counts of arson.
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One video, posted by YouTube user Julian Lopez, appears to show a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department helicopter circling around the object for an inspection around 7 a.m. over West Covina.
“Well, my friends, there’s a UFO over the San Gabriel Valley,” the videographer said.
“A helicopter is circling it,” he added. “It looks like a big eyeball.”
While the object resembled a large balloon, “There’s nothing holding it down, though. That’s the thing,” Lopez.
The man and his son watched as two helicopters flew in close proximity to the object. At least one of them circled around it before leaving the area.