Metro Releases Late-Night Train Service Schedules

A Gold Line train passes by in Little Tokyo. | Photo: cyan79/Flickr/ Southern California Flickr Pool

Metro this weekend is expanding its rail schedule by running trains later into the night on Friday and Saturday nights. That's a big move for a system that, for the most part, shuts down in the midnight hour, leaving workers and people doing the bar thing with limited bus options, taxis, and personal vehicles.

Save for one Blue Line route (from Long Beach to downtown L.A.), most lines' last train leave their respective hub stations around 2 a.m. Here's a listing of them all:

Why Metro is Finally Able to Offer Train Service Until 2 A.M.

News spread like a bullet train across Los Angeles when Metro today posted a blog post announcing that it would expand hours of rail service until 2 a.m. on weekends. Such a move has sometimes -- and hopefully with some exaggeration -- been cited as what could cure the city for residents and workers alike.

Angelenos: Be Careful Where You Park, Tickets are Getting Pricier

A Parking Enforcement Officer writers a ticket on Pico Blvd. in Los Angeles | Photo: waltarrrrr/Flickr/Creative Commons License

This week the Los Angeles City Council voted to increase the penalty imposed by parking tickets.

The move is yet another sign of the times, by which I mean that Los Angeles is in a fiscal mess: an almost $240 million budget shortfall. We spend more than we bring in; what is a city to do?

Will Los Angeles Follow Stockton's Lead of Bankruptcy?

Stockton, CA | Photo: calwest/Flickr/Creative Commons License

The City of Stockton, the now-infamous port city located in Northern California, is declaring bankruptcy. It is the largest U.S. City to take the drastic step of declaring bankruptcy. Stockton is facing a $26 million budget deficit, it has stopped making bond payments, and employee pay, and health and insurance benefits, have been cut significantly.

Recession's Numbers Show Many Losses, Few Wins

Looking for Work
| Public Access Source

The employment numbers the Census Bureau released Tuesday (05/26/12) are, like all statistics, bloodless, a little late in the game, marginally comprehensive, and free of human attachment. These numbers aren't good for Los Angeles or California. The Great Recession burned through nearly every category of work and kind of business.

California had 13.8 million employees in 2006, the bureau tells us. They worked in 878,128 businesses. Four years later, in 2010 (the most recent data), there were 12.5 million Californians employed in 849,875 businesses. The state lost 1.3 million jobs even as the California's population continued to grow.

Manufacturing, construction, real estate, finance and retail businesses took the largest job losses.

Ready for Hotter Weather? Major Climate Change Study for L.A. Region Released

L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and others announce a new study about climate change in the city and surrounding region at Vista Hermosa Park outside downtown L.A. | Photo: Zach Behrens/LCET

"It's getting hot," noted L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa before a press conference as noon approached. He was talking about today, the first full day of summer, but it just so happened that he was there to announce details found in a detailed UCLA study about climate change in the Los Angeles region.

The biggest takeaway was not that it's getting hotter -- we know that -- rather that we're not going to get cooler any time soon, no matter how much cutting of emissions we do. In other words, cutting emissions could reduce the impact of warming, but it will not stop it from happening. (Case in point: the Mayor's office released a fact sheet about adaptation. "Preparing Los Angeles for a different climate," reads one heading.)

"Even if we we drastically cut pollution worldwide, there will still be quite a bit of warming in Los Angeles," said study author Alex Hall of UCLA's Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences. "I was taken a little taken aback by how much warming remains, no matter how aggressively we cut back. It was sobering."

Will Tree Trimming Make the L.A.'s Budget Problems Real?

This week much of the news coming out of City Hall deals with the newly-adopted City Council redistricting maps and whether to provide free wireless access at the Los Angeles International Airport. Instead of addressing those topics I will instead address something that may be of deeper concern: tree trimming.

Over the past few years I have wondered how many people living in our city or our state directly feel the consequences of the Los Angeles' financial crisis. Unless one works for the city or regularly uses city services, is L.A.'s financial distress only felt indirectly?

This week brings news that a city service we may all need at some point could be threatened by budget woes. Please take a moment to look out of your window and onto the street. Are the trees trimmed? The answer is "no" in a number of areas because the city's tree trimming schedule has been delayed.

Gutting Bills and Parking Spaces

A Lot of Parking
| Public Access Source

A piece of legislation appeared recently in Sacramento concerning parking space requirements for new residential and commercial development connected, rather loosely, to public transit. I say appeared, because the legislative process, as historically practiced in the cool, dim halls of the capitol, has a both civics textbook stateliness and a parallel, random aspect, a rabbit out of the hat, sleight of hand aspect that's called, by the practiced and cynical in Sacramento, gut and amend.

New Public Transit Options in L.A. Area Coming Soon with Expo, Orange Lines Additions

Photo: Reut R. Cohen

Metro's mass transit offerings in the Los Angeles area are getting a boost over the next week and a half with two awaited expansions in Culver City and in the San Fernando Valley.

On Wednesday, two stations that did not open when the Expo Line opened in late-April finally make their debut. At noon, the Farmdale Station near Dorsey High School and downtown Culver City Station both open, completing Phase 1 of the project, which goes 8.6 miles between downtown L.A. and Culver City. Phase 2 will carry passengers another 6.6 miles to near the ocean in Santa Monica by 2015, estimate Metro officials.

3 L.A. City Council Members Want California to Ban Fracking

Anti-fracking rally in New York City. | Photo: Adrian Kinloch/Flickr/Creative Commons License

The debate about hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a procedure that involves drilling thousands of feet below the earth's surface to extract oil and gas, has come to Los Angeles.

A resolution introduced Wednesday calls on Gov. Jerry Brown and California regulators to impose a moratorium on fracking until there is a "determination that such processes are safe for public health, for the Los Angeles water supply and for the environment."

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