New Florence Avenue ramps open Thursday on 5 Freeway in Santa Fe Springs

SANTA FE SPRINGS — New northbound Florence Avenue on- and off-ramps on the 5 Freeway in Santa Fe Springs are scheduled to open to traffic Thursday morning, according to Caltrans.

Caltrans plans to begin synchronizing the ramp signals around 7 a.m. and have the ramps open to traffic by 9 a.m. or earlier, a spokesman said.

The Florence Avenue on-ramp to northbound 5 Freeway will be accessible from eastbound or westbound Florence Avenue with traffic signal control. Traffic will be able to turn left or right onto Florence Avenue from the off-ramp with traffic signal control.

There are now four all-purpose mainlines open to traffic on the northbound and southbound 5 Freeway from north of Valley View Avenue to the 605 Freeway.

Throughout March and this month, the contractor has been re-striping, shifting lanes toward the median, and opening a fourth lane in sections where there were three lanes.

For more details, go to http://www.my5la.com/florence-avenue-interchange-project-week-of-apr-09-2021.

Caltrans expects to open the new Florence Avenue loop on-ramp to the southbound 5 Freeway to traffic by April 23. Go to https://twitter.com/CaltransDist7 and https://twitter.com/My5LA for updates.

Powered by WPeMatico

Senior Living: How to prevent falls by maintaining your balance

Every second of every day in the United States, someone at least 65 years old has a fall, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and one out of five causes serious injury — such as broken bones and head trauma.

And after just one fall, the risk of it happening again doubles. As a result, falls are the leading cause of injury and injury-related death among elders.


Jason Koh, D.O., Medical Director (Courtesy of Long Beach Medical Center)

Adults are at higher risk for falls because, over time, they tend to experience problems with balance. When older adults start to lose their balance, ordinary daily activities may become more difficult.

There are several reasons this happens:

Age-related muscle loss 

One of the most common effects of age is involuntary loss of muscle mass, strength and function, known as sarcopenia. This condition commonly contributes to disability in older adults. Sarcopenia increases the risk of falls and ultimately makes older adults vulnerable to injury, losing functional independence and disability. The strongest way to fight sarcopenia is to keep your muscles active by walking and doing simple exercises, such as squats and toe raises.

Medications 

The rise in polypharmacy — the interaction between multiple medications — can impact balance and stability. Many older adults are prescribed medications to help manage co-occurring health conditions. The interaction between various medicines can cause drowsiness and impair balance. A variety of some medications can also cause dizziness, blurred vision and vertigo. 

Blood pressure 

In addition to medication interactions, poor balance and dizziness can also be a result of blood pressure issues. When blood pressure gets too low, older adults may feel lightheaded, faint and disoriented. When blood pressure gets too high, however, they may experience a spinning sensation. Ensuring that older adults are hydrated, eat regular small meals daily and are careful when sitting or standing will help maintain a healthy blood pressure. Reducing sodium intake and getting regular exercise also can support healthy blood pressure. 

Unusual walking patterns

Some older adults tend to walk with an antalgic gait, or a limp, due to a painful joint. Patients with osteoarthritis of the ankle, knee or hip will avoid putting full weight on a painful limb, thus altering their center of gravity and making them at risk for falls. Those who suffer from a shuffling-type gait are also at increased risk of tripping over their feet and falling.

Preventing falls 

Tripping hazards, such as large rugs or floor decorations make falls more likely. Removing those items from a home will create clear pathways. Adequate lighting is also important. 

If a doctor or therapist recommends a walking device, such as a cane or walker, don’t be afraid to use it. Don’t let the social stigma or the feeling of aging prevent you from using something that can help you maintain your balance and keep you safe. 

Exercises to improve balance and stability 

Although falls affect many older adults, there are exercises that can help increase stability and balance. These include:

  • Strengthening and conditioning exercises for the lower extremities and core — such as sitting on a chair and lifting one leg at a time — can help maintain the center of gravity.
  • Exercises to improve proprioception, which is the ability to sense where your body is in space — one of the main components of balance. An example of such exercises can be standing on one leg and alternating between hard and soft surfaces.
  • Combinations of aerobic exercises, resistance training and balance training can prevent and even reverse muscle loss like that experienced in sarcopenia. At least two to four exercise sessions weekly may be required to achieve these benefits.

Before doing any exercise, it is important to see a physician. They can help identify the various factors that may contribute to your risk of falls and recommend targeted exercises.

If you think you or a loved one suffers from balance problems, talk to your doctor immediately. To find a primary care physician who can help, visit memorialcare.org/Providers.

Jason Koh, D.O., is the medical director of the MemorialCare Rehabilitation Institute at MemorialCare Long Beach Medical Center.

Sign up for The Localist, our daily email newsletter with handpicked stories relevant to where you live. Subscribe here.

Powered by WPeMatico

California ‘job killer’ list reignites old conflict

Annually, the California Chamber of Commerce chooses a relative handful of the hundreds of bills pending in the Legislature and labels them “job killers” that would impose new regulatory or taxation burdens.

The publication of the chamber’s list of measures it considers most onerous has become an important ritual because it defines the current parameters of a perpetual Capitol conflict, pitting business and employer interests against a quartet of rival groups — unions, environmentalists, consumer advocates and personal injury lawyers.

The targeted bills tend to be the highest priorities of the four and the annual jousting is a rough test of the Capitol’s ideological orientation.

The “job killer” exercise has been underway for more than two decades and the chamber and its allies have racked up a rather amazing record of success, given the Legislature’s continued drift to the left and its domination by Democrats who generally support what the four groups want to accomplish.

Roughly 90% of the designated bills have fallen by the wayside during that period, either failing to make it through the legislative grinder, being amended sufficiently to satisfy business lobbyists or, in some cases, being vetoed by the governor of the moment.

The 2020 legislative session typified the two-decade-long record. Nineteen bills were tabbed as “job killers” and just one made it into law, Senate Bill 1383. It expanded the obligation of employers to provide workers with family leave.

Most of the measures on this year’s 22-bill list generally fall into two categories — higher personal or corporate taxes and new mandates on employers.

The tax measures are probably dead on arrival because Gov. Gavin Newsom has publicly declared that he would reject any that reach his desk. While the governor endorses expensive expansions of services, including universal pre-kindergarten and single-payer health care, he is opposed — at least at the moment — to new taxes to pay for them.

That opposition may reflect some concern about facing voters later this year in a recall election, or a fear that new taxes might accelerate an exodus of corporations and wealthy individuals upon whom the state depends for much of its revenue.

The obligatory single-payer health care bill on the list, Assembly Bill 1400, is also very unlikely to move because of the taxes that would be required to pay for it — at least $100 billion a year.

The employer mandates — similar in thrust to the one bill that made it through last year — have the best chances of success. Most are being sponsored by unions as a backdoor way of securing benefits that ordinarily would be obtained through collective bargaining — if only the unions were more successful in obtaining private sector members.

Speaking of which, one of the bills on the chamber’s list is the latest effort, stretching back a half-century, to help the United Farm Workers Union expand its small membership. Assembly Bill 616 would modify the requirement of an election for the UFW to represent workers, and allow signatures on cards by more than 50% of a farm’s employees to qualify.

Some of the disputes over representation election outcomes have been raging for years without resolution. The union and its supporters say that employers have undermined representation elections while employers say a “card check” would allow workers to be coerced into signing and undermine secret ballots.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Supreme Court is now weighing the constitutionality of a state law granting the UFW access to farmers’ property to talk to workers — one of the Legislature’s many previous pro-union acts.

CalMatters is a public interest journalism venture committed to explaining how California’s state Capitol works and why it matters. For more stories by Dan Walters, go to calmatters.org/commentary

Powered by WPeMatico

Pomona Fairplex to house unaccompanied children arriving at US-Mexico border

The Pomona Fairplex will serve as an emergency intake site to temporarily house unaccompanied minors arriving at U.S.-Mexico border, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda L. Solis announced late Thursday.

The county’s Office of Immigrant Affairs and Departments of Children and Family Services, Public Health, Health Services and Mental Health “will be activated to support the migrant youth in their transition,” Solis said.

Solis said she received a call from the White House, and “I knew without question that it was our time to step up, as Los Angeles County always does.”

“Los Angeles County has a responsibility and an opportunity to care for unaccompanied minors coming to the United States,” Solis said. “This is not a border crisis, but instead it is everyone’s crisis.”

Fairplex will become the second site in Los Angeles County to temporarily house unaccompanied minors arriving at U.S.-Mexico border, joining the Long Beach Convention Center under a proposal unanimously approved by the Long Beach City Council Tuesday.

Powered by WPeMatico

Students lead US push for fuller Black history education

By MIKE CATALINI

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Ebele Azikiwe was in the sixth grade last year when February came and it was time to learn about Black history again. She was, by then, familiar with the curriculum: Rosa Parks, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and a discussion on slavery. Just like the year before, she said, and the year before that.

Then came George Floyd’s death in May, and she wrote to the administration at her school in Cherry Hill, in New Jersey’s Philadelphia suburbs, to ask for more than the same lessons.

“We learned about slavery, but did we go into the roots of slavery?” Ebele, 12, said in an interview. “You learned about how they had to sail across, but did you learn about how they felt being tied down on those boats?”

Her letter went from the principal to the superintendent and then began to make headlines, leading to pledges to include fuller Black history courses.

In the months since Floyd’s killing in Minneapolis, educators say they’ve heard a demand from students for fuller Black history lessons beyond what was already offered. Lawmakers and states have passed or begun implementing legislation calling for more inclusive instruction.

The previous generation of courses focused on cultural awareness. What schools found, according to Maurice Hall — the dean of the College of New Jersey’s arts and communications school and a social justice scholar — was that students still had socioeconomic, cultural and racial blind spots.

Growing up with a majority point of view could mean thinking that the way a particular culture sees the world “is in fact the right way,” Hall said.

Connecticut implemented a law in December requiring high schools to offer courses on Black and Latino studies. New Jersey, where learning standards already included some diversity education lessons, last month became the latest state to enact a law requiring school districts to incorporate instruction on diversity and inclusion.

A handful of other states have pending legislation that would make similar changes, including Washington and Virginia, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The pandemic is partly credited with the response to Floyd’s death while pinned by a white police officer, a confrontation that was caught on video and beamed into homes where people were isolating. The effect spilled over into schools, said Michael Conner, the superintendent in Middletown, Connecticut. Students held rallies and helped put race at the top of educators’ consciousness.

African American and other non-European history tends to focus on how those societies were marginalized, while Europeans get portrayed as culturally competent, Conner said, something he calls a “deficit” context, as opposed to an “asset” context.

Like 12-year-old Ebele, he pointed to learning about the same handful of prominent African-American figures.

“When I look at my education, the only time I learned about Black history in school was during the month of February,” he said. “I learned about my culture at the dining room table with my mother and grandmother.”

Districts adding diversity to their curricula now have to determine how to do it and what that looks like.

In New Jersey, the education department is required to come up with sample activities and resources for districts. And some schools there and elsewhere are adding books to the curriculum or examining them in new ways.

In Middletown, Dan Raucci, an English supervisor, pointed out how “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee has long been a 10th-grade staple. Students and teachers are discussing whether Atticus Finch, the white attorney who defends a Black man accused of raping a white woman, is a “hero of today, or of that time period?”

But the district has added new books, like Jason Reynolds’ ”The Boy in the Black Suit,” a novel that follows a Black teenager as he deals with grief.

The changes actually came before the Connecticut law’s 2020 implementation, but last year’s events underscored the imperative to revise the curriculum.

New Jersey’s legislation calls for creating a welcoming environment “regardless of race or ethnicity, sexual and gender identities, mental and physical disabilities, and religious beliefs.” It also seeks to examine unconscious bias, or implicit prejudice.

That raised concerns among some right-leaning groups that the government was forcing students to adopt beliefs. Among those testifying against the bill was the conservative Family Policy Alliance of New Jersey.

“Students should learn to be respectful of others’ beliefs and backgrounds based upon their unique experiences and cultures,” said Shawn Hyland, advocacy director, said in a statement last year. “However, ‘diversity’ trainings in public schools are the very opposite of respect.”

That criticism suggests conservative states — unlike liberal New Jersey and other states passing laws on curriculum diversity — may balk at such curricula. Already in Iowa, lawmakers have passed a bill to ban school diversity training, and in Idaho, lawmakers voted to kill a higher education budget over diversity programs in universities.

But in New Jersey, Ebele’s mother, Rume Joy Azikiwe-Oyeyemi, 38, was surprised her daughter’s efforts were met with such support. She said she had no idea that so much headway could be made in such a short time.

“As her mom I am beyond proud,” she said. “What’s next?”

Powered by WPeMatico

Two children and local doctor are among 5 killed in South Carolina mass shooting, authorities say

By Joe Sutton and Christina Maxouris | CNN

At least five people are dead after what authorities are calling a “case of a mass shooting” at a home in York County, South Carolina.

The victims of the Wednesday evening shooting near Rock Hill included a doctor, his wife and their two grandchildren, the York County Sheriff’s Office said in a tweet. The family was “very prominent and very well known” in the county, York County Sheriff spokesman Trent Faris said.

Police were called to the scene following reports of a shooting at 4:45 p.m.

“Dr. Robert Lesslie & his wife, Barbara Lesslie were both found in the home & died as a result of gunshot wounds, as well as their 2 grandchildren. James Lewis of Gastonia, was working at the home & died from gunshot wounds,” the sheriff’s office said.

The grandchildren were ages 5 and 9, according to the York County Coroner’s Office.

Doctor had been practicing in area since 1981

During the news conference following the shooting, Faris said he has lived in the area all his life and that “Dr. Lesslie was my doctor growing up.”

“Dr. Lesslie has been one of those people that everybody knows. He started Riverview Medical Center in Rock Hill and it has been a staple in Rock Hill for years,” Faris said.

In addition to the five people who were killed, another person was transported to the hospital with “serious gunshot wounds,” said Faris, who described the incident as a mass shooting.

“This is a very tragic, tragic situation and the family does ask that you respect their privacy during this time,” Faris said.

Lesslie was the founder of Riverview House Calls & Riverview Hospice and Palliative Care, according to its website, and had been practicing in Rock Hill since 1981. In a personal bio page, Lesslie says he and his wife had been married for 40 years, raised four children and had nine grandchildren.

“In my spare time, I enjoy ​writing, golf, hunting, growing fruit and hops, and bagpiping,” the bio page says.

Authorities say they’ve found the suspect

As for the suspect, Faris said: “We have found the person we believe is responsible and we are with them at this time.”

“That’s all I can say about that suspect,” the spokesman added.

When asked if the suspect was a neighbor, Faris said: “He lives on the same road.”

A tweet from the sheriff’s office says authorities found the suspect “in a nearby house.”

“There is no active threat to the community,” the sheriff’s office said. “Detectives are still in the area serving a search warrant & investigating this tragic event.”

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

Powered by WPeMatico

Ontario-raised poet John Murillo receives Claremont’s $100,000 Kingsley Tufts Award

Poet John Murillo was named the 2021 winner of the Kingsley Tufts Award on Wednesday for his recent collection “Kontemporary Amerikan Poetry,” according to officials at Claremont Graduate University, which hosts the award.

The Kingsley Tufts Award, which is said to be the largest monetary prize in the world for a single collection of poetry, goes to a mid-career poet. The Kate Tufts Discovery Award, which goes to poets at the start of their career, was awarded to Jake Skeets for “Eyes Bottle Dark with a Mouthful of Flowers.”

Murillo will receive a $100,000 prize for the Kingsley Tufts Award. Skeets will receive $10,000 for his honor.


Jake Skeets is the 2021 recipient of the Kate Tufts Discover Award for young or emerging poets, for his collection, “Eyes Bottle Dark with a Mouthful of Flowers.” (Photo courtesy of Milkweed)

Murillo lives in Brooklyn and teaches at Wesleyan University, but grew up in Ontario not far from Claremont Graduate University and still has family in Pomona.

Timothy Donnelly, a past recipient of the Kingsley Tufts Award, praised Murillo’s work for poems that “feel as relevant for us today as Frost did for his time — and we applaud that nothing about the book feels rushed.

“It is a deeply considered, impeccably selective, resonant, radiant book,” Donnelly said in a statement.

Skeets is from the Navajo Nation and teaches at Diné College in Tsaile, Arizona. In the statement announcing he’d won the Kate Tufts Discovery Award, he called his collection “a project of reclamation for me, and for this picture, and the history that went behind it.”

The picture Skeets referenced is the cover photograph of his book, a portrait of his uncle who was later stabbed to death. The image, taken in the late ’70s by Richard Avedon, is part of the photographer’s work in the American West.

Donnelly told Skeets, according to the university’s statement, “we are in awe of this book of yours. Knocked flat. We are humbled by the care and the candor with which it bears witness to what it means to come of age in the ‘Indian Capital of the World.’ The hardships, the hazards, the resilience and the refusal not to find beauty wherever it can still be found.”

Lori Anne Ferrell, dean of CGU’s School of the Arts & Humanities and director of the awards, noted that both Murillo and Skeets came from the West but create work that is universal.

“They might be regional in terms of their backgrounds, but, still, their poetry speaks boldly and poignantly about the human condition in ways that transcend particular places or individual experiences,” she said.

Powered by WPeMatico

Sheriff speaking today about Tiger Woods crash investigation

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva will provide an update Wednesday morning on the investigation into the crash that seriously injured pro golfer Tiger Woods.

Last Wednesday, Villanueva announced the investigation into the Rancho Palos Verdes rollover crash had been completed but that details were being withheld due to privacy issues.

“A cause has been determined, the investigation has concluded,” Villanueva said. “However, we have reached out to Tiger Woods and his personnel. There’s some privacy issues on releasing information on the investigation, and we’re going to ask them if they waive the privacy. Then we’ll be able to do a full release on all the information regarding the accident.”

Villanueva said investigators obtained the “black box” from the Genesis GV80 SUV Woods was driving at 7:12 a.m. Feb. 23 when he struck the center median on northbound Hawthorne Boulevard at Blackhorse Road. The SUV careened across the southbound lanes, sheered off a tree and flipped over before coming to rest on its side about 30 yards off the side of the road.

  • A law enforcement officer looks over a damaged vehicle following a rollover accident involving golfer Tiger Woods, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, in the Rancho Palos Verdes section of Los Angeles. Woods suffered leg injuries in the one-car accident and was undergoing surgery, authorities and his manager said. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

  • FILE – In this Oct. 28, 2019, file photo, Tiger Woods smiles during the winner’s ceremony after winning the Zozo Championship PGA Tour at the Accordia Golf Narashino country club in Inzai, east of Tokyo, Japan. A man who found Woods unconscious in a mangled SUV last week after the golf star who later told sheriff’s deputies he did not know how the collision occurred and didn’t even remember driving, crashed the vehicle in Southern California, authorities said in court documents. Law enforcement has not previously disclosed that Woods had been unconscious following the collision. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man, File)

  • Workers remove debris near a vehicle on its side after a rollover accident involving golfer Tiger Woods Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, in the Rancho Palos Verdes section of Los Angeles. Woods suffered leg injuries in the one-car accident and was undergoing surgery, authorities and his manager said. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • A vehicle rests on its side after a rollover accident involving golfer Tiger Woods Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, in the Rancho Palos Verdes section of Los Angeles. Woods suffered leg injuries in the one-car accident and was undergoing surgery, authorities and his manager said. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • A crane is used to lift a vehicle following a rollover accident involving golfer Tiger Woods, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, in the Rancho Palos Verdes section of Los Angeles. Woods suffered leg injuries in the one-car accident and was undergoing surgery, authorities and his manager said. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

  • Workers move a vehicle after a rollover accident involving golfer Tiger Woods Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, in the Rancho Palos Verdes section of Los Angeles. Woods suffered leg injuries in the one-car accident and was undergoing surgery, authorities and his manager said. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • A law enforcement officer looks over a damaged vehicle following a rollover accident involving golfer Tiger Woods, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, in the Rancho Palos Verdes section of Los Angeles. Woods suffered leg injuries in the one-car accident and was undergoing surgery, authorities and his manager said. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

  • A worker moves debris after a rollover accident involving golfer Tiger Woods Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, in the Rancho Palos Verdes section of Los Angeles. Woods suffered leg injuries in the one-car accident and was undergoing surgery, authorities and his manager said. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • A law enforcement officer looks over a damaged vehicle following a rollover involving golfer Tiger Woods on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, in Rancho Palos Verdes. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

  • Tiger Woods car is removed from a hill side after he suffered multiple leg injuries and was undergoing surgery following a vehicle rollover crash in the Rancho Palos Verdes CA, area early Tuesday, Fed 23,2021.
    The crash happened on the border of Rolling Hills Estates around 7:12 a.m. Tuesday, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Details about what led up the crash were not released, but authorities say the car was traveling northbound on Hawthorne Boulevard when it crashed at Blackhorse Road. (Photo by Gene Blevins/Contributing Photographer)

  • Tiger Woods car is removed from a hill side after he suffered multiple leg injuries and was undergoing surgery following a vehicle rollover crash in the Rancho Palos Verdes CA, area early Tuesday, Fed 23,2021.
    The crash happened on the border of Rolling Hills Estates around 7:12 a.m. Tuesday, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Details about what led up the crash were not released, but authorities say the car was traveling northbound on Hawthorne Boulevard when it crashed at Blackhorse Road. (Photo by Gene Blevins/Contributing Photographer)

  • Sheriff investigators look over the SUV Tiger Woods he was driving after he suffered multiple leg injuries and was undergoing surgery following a vehicle rollover crash in the Rancho Palos Verdes CA, area early Tuesday, Fed 23,2021.
    The crash happened on the border of Rolling Hills Estates around 7:12 a.m. Tuesday, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Details about what led up the crash were not released, but authorities say the car was traveling northbound on Hawthorne Boulevard when it crashed at Blackhorse Road. (Photo by Gene Blevins/Contributing Photographer)

  • Sheriff investigators look over the SUV Tiger Woods he was driving after he suffered multiple leg injuries and was undergoing surgery following a vehicle rollover crash in the Rancho Palos Verdes CA, area early Tuesday, Fed 23,2021.
    The crash happened on the border of Rolling Hills Estates around 7:12 a.m. Tuesday, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Details about what led up the crash were not released, but authorities say the car was traveling northbound on Hawthorne Boulevard when it crashed at Blackhorse Road. (Photo by Gene Blevins/Contributing Photographer)

  • Sheriff investigators look over the SUV Tiger Woods he was driving after he suffered multiple leg injuries and was undergoing surgery following a vehicle rollover crash in the Rancho Palos Verdes CA, area early Tuesday, Fed 23,2021.
    The crash happened on the border of Rolling Hills Estates around 7:12 a.m. Tuesday, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Details about what led up the crash were not released, but authorities say the car was traveling northbound on Hawthorne Boulevard when it crashed at Blackhorse Road. (Photo by Gene Blevins/Contributing Photographer)

  • Tiger Woods car is removed from a hill side after he suffered multiple leg injuries and was undergoing surgery following a vehicle rollover crash in the Rancho Palos Verdes CA, area early Tuesday, Fed 23,2021.
    The crash happened on the border of Rolling Hills Estates around 7:12 a.m. Tuesday, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Details about what led up the crash were not released, but authorities say the car was traveling northbound on Hawthorne Boulevard when it crashed at Blackhorse Road. (Photo by Gene Blevins/Contributing Photographer)

  • Sheriff investigators look over the SUV Tiger Woods he was driving after he suffered multiple leg injuries and was undergoing surgery following a vehicle rollover crash in the Rancho Palos Verdes CA, area early Tuesday, Fed 23,2021.
    The crash happened on the border of Rolling Hills Estates around 7:12 a.m. Tuesday, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Details about what led up the crash were not released, but authorities say the car was traveling northbound on Hawthorne Boulevard when it crashed at Blackhorse Road. (Photo by Gene Blevins/Contributing Photographer)

  • Tiger Woods car is removed from a hill side after he suffered multiple leg injuries and was undergoing surgery following a vehicle rollover crash in the Rancho Palos Verdes CA, area early Tuesday, Fed 23,2021.
    The crash happened on the border of Rolling Hills Estates around 7:12 a.m. Tuesday, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Details about what led up the crash were not released, but authorities say the car was traveling northbound on Hawthorne Boulevard when it crashed at Blackhorse Road. (Photo by Gene Blevins/Contributing Photographer)

  • A vehicle rests on its side after a rollover accident involving golfer Tiger Woods along a road in the Rancho Palos Verdes section of Los Angeles on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. Woods suffered leg injuries in the one-car accident and was undergoing surgery, authorities and his manager said. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

  • A vehicle rests on its side after a rollover accident involving golfer Tiger Woods along a road in the Rancho Palos Verdes section of Los Angeles on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. Woods suffered leg injuries in the one-car accident and was undergoing surgery, authorities and his manager said. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

  • In this aerial image take from video provided by KABC-TV, a vehicle rest on its side after a rollover accident involving golfer Tiger Woods along a road in the Rancho Palos Verdes section of Los Angeles on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. Woods had to be extricated from the vehicle with the “jaws of life” tools, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement. Woods was taken to the hospital with unspecified injuries. The vehicle sustained major damage, the sheriff’s department said. (KABC-TV via AP)

  • Hawthorne Boulevard in Rancho Palos Verdes was closed after a single-vehicle rollover crash Tuesday morning, Feb. 23, 2021, left Tiger Woods hospitalized. The road was closed Tuesday afternoon and traffic was being diverted onto Black Horse Road. (Photo by Hunter Lee/Staff/SCNG)

  • Los Angeles Sheriff Alex Villanueva speaks during a press conference about Tiger Woods’ car crash in Palos Verdes at the Lomita Sheriff’s station on Tuesday, February 23, 2021.
    (Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)

  • Carlos Gonzalez, the Sheriff’s deputy who was the first responder on the accident scene, speaks during a press conference about Tiger Woods’ car crash in Palos Verdes at the Lomita Sheriff’s station on Tuesday, February 23, 2021.
    (Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)

  • Los Angeles Sheriff Alex Villanueva speaks during a press conference about Tiger Woods’ car crash in Palos Verdes at the Lomita Sheriff’s station on Tuesday, February 23, 2021.
    (Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)

of

Expand

No other vehicles were involved in the crash and no other injuries were reported. The first person to arrive at the scene told sheriff’s officials Woods was unconscious inside the vehicle. The first sheriff’s deputy to respond found the 45-year-old golfing great awake and responsive, but suffering from severe leg injuries.

Woods was taken to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, where he underwent surgery for multiple fractures to his right leg and ankle. He was later transferred to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for follow-up work. He announced March 16 that he had been released from the hospital and returned to his home in Florida.

“Happy to report that I am back home and continuing my recovery,” Woods wrote in a message on his Twitter page. “I am so grateful for the outpouring of support and encouragement that I have received over the past few weeks.

“Thank you to the incredible surgeons, doctors, nurses and staff at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. You have all taken such great care of me and I cannot thank you enough. I will be recovering at home and working on getting stronger every day.”

No further information about his medical recovery has been released, and it was unclear if or when Woods might be able to return to the golf course.

Woods lives in Florida but was in Southern California at the time of the crash after hosting the Genesis Invitational golf tournament at The Riviera Country Club.

Powered by WPeMatico

You should think twice before laminating your Covid-19 vaccine card

By Maria Morava and Justin Lear | CNN

Vaccine eligibility in the US is expanding quickly, and so is the popularity of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s little white card.

While plans to establish standardized vaccination proof are still being developed, many are holding to their Covid-19 vaccine cards as a potential form of social currency.

And companies, like Staples and Office Depot, are offering to help keep them safe with free lamination.

While it may be tempting to get your vaccine card laminated as soon as possible, you should take your time and make sure you’ve considered a few things beforehand.

Here’s what you should know about laminating your coveted vaccine card.

Double check your information

If you are getting a two-dose vaccine, make sure that you receive and document both doses on your card before laminating it.

Double check all of your information — including your name, date of birth, and the date and location of the vaccine — for accuracy.

Make sure you have a backup

You should definitely create a backup of your card before laminating it.

Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician and public health professor at George Washington University, told CNN that she recommends taking a photo of the card after each dose.

“Take a picture after getting the first shot, then after the second one too, in case you lose the physical card,” she said. “Keep the picture on your phone, and email yourself a copy to be safe.”

Wen said she also recommends photocopying the card and keeping it in the same place as other important documents, like your birth certificate.

After this, if you want to laminate your card, Wen says to “go for it.”

Know what to do if your card gets damaged or lost

There are concerns that the lamination process might damage cards, smudging the ink or making it illegible.

But even if your card is damaged in the lamination process, there are options.

In the case of damage to, or loss of your card, you’ll need to contact your vaccine provider to get another one.

If you’re having trouble contacting your provider, you can visit the CDC directory of state health department immunization information systems (IIS).

While the CDC itself doesn’t have vaccination record information, providers are required to report vaccinations to their state’s respective IIS or registry. Contact your state’s listed phone number or email address to access your record and get your new card.

Proof is the most important thing — laminated or not

Some worry that getting their vaccine cards laminated will cause trouble in the future if Covid-19 vaccine booster shots are needed.

Still, Wen says don’t worry.

“If you do end up getting a booster after, you can always get a different card,” she said. “I wouldn’t let that be a deterrent.”

Ultimately, the thing that trumps all is proof — laminated or not.

“Lamination isn’t necessary if you follow all the other steps above, too,” Wen said. “The key is to have proof of vaccination easily accessible.”

As long as you have your card, you’re in a good place. Just remember not to share it on social media.

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

Powered by WPeMatico

Court rules Torrance can recoup underpaid utility taxes, but can it collect?

Southern California Edison improperly billed customers in Torrance, depriving the South Bay’s largest city – and potentially dozens of others in Southern California – of revenue from special taxes on utility companies, a state appeals court has ruled.

Hundreds of millions of dollars could be at stake statewide as well, the attorney representing Torrance said, with 104 cities and counties having similar voter-approved taxes that utilities across California may have also incorrectly calculated.

But collecting the money could prove problematic. That’s because while the three-judge state appeals panel unanimously overturned an initial Los Angeles Superior Court decision – which ruled SCE had properly calculated the taxes – it also said Torrance must collect the lost revenue from customers, not the utility company.

A spokesman for SCE declined to say whether the company would appeal to the state Supreme Court, but did say Edison remained committed to protecting customers from “unnecessary costs.”

At the heart of the issue is a tax called a utility user fee and a state rebate utilities receive for having energy conservation programs.

Utility user fees go to the city or county whose voters have approved such taxes. Utility companies, though, calculate the taxes based on a customer’s energy consumption. Besides Torrance, San Bernardino, Seal Beach, Sierra Madre, South Pasadena, Paramount, Pomona, and Westminster are among the Southern California cities with utility user fees.

The utility rebates, meanwhile, get passed onto ratepayers in the form of lower utility bills.

In 2013, SCE received regulatory approval to calculate utility user fees after applying the rebate – rather than before — reducing the amount of taxes local governments receive.

For typical customers, that amounts to two or three dollars a month, making it difficult for agencies to quickly catch the reduction, said Michael Colantuono, whose Pasadena law firm, Colantuono, Highsmith & Watley, is representing Torrance.

That was until 2018, when Eric Tsao, the now-retired Torrance finance director, noticed the reduction in his city. Torrance demanded repayment, was rebuffed by Edison and filed suit the following year.

For Torrance, which has several companies that consume massive amounts of energy, the total reduction in revenue was significant.

Torrance, for example, has already sought to recoup the lost revenue from its four largest electricity users, with some success.

ExxonMobil, the former owner of the Torrance Refinery, the biggest user of electricity in the city, recently wired a check for $433,710, Colantuono said, and a company that supplies industrial gases paid about $17,000.

And, in general, utility user fees can be an important part of local budgets statewide. Take, for example, Whittier, which is part of a coalition involved in a separate SCE lawsuit. Utility user taxes there – not just electricity — are estimated to be $6.8 million for the current fiscal year, said Assistant City Manager Shannon DeLong.

“The UUT,” DeLong said, “helps to fund parks, safety and essential services to residents, businesses and property owners in Whittier.”

Colantuono, for his part, has filed two separate lawsuits — against SCE, and Pacific Gas and Electric — on behalf of a coalition of cities and counties in those companies’ service areas, based on the Torrance lawsuit. The second Edison lawsuit includes a coalition of more than 40 cities, most from Southern California. That coalition includes Carson, Gardena, Hermosa Beach, Lawndale and Whittier.

But those suits are on hold, pending a final resolution in the Torrance case.

Local governments, however, may face challenges to recouping the money — even if they ultimately prevail in court.

That’s because, under the appellate ruling in the Torrance case, they may have to get the money from customers. The potential underpayment also dates back several years and typical customers wouldn’t know they didn’t pay enough in taxes, Colantuono said.

“It’s not going to be practical or perhaps politically wise to go chase small amounts from every electricity user,” he said. “You don’t go chase $25 with a lawyer.”

Torrance, for example, has yet to determine how it will try to get the unpaid portion of taxes from all of its energy consumers.

And it’s too early for other cities to say what they will do as well.

Hermosa Beach’s city attorney, for example, said that while the coastal town is staying up-to-date on the litigation, the City Council will ultimately have to decide on the next steps.

DeLong, in Whittier, said the same – though she added that the Torrance decision was crucial.

“Having this clarity from the court on the proper collection of the UUT,” she said, “is important moving forward.”

Colantuono, meanwhile, seemed to focus more on the largest energy consumers, who benefit most from the tax reduction.

“This scheme costs Edison nothing,” he said, “and allows it to reward its largest customers and to subsidize the price of its service, encouraging more power use in a state trying to conserve.”

Edison spokesman David Song, though, pushed back on that notion.

The utility company will continue ensuring “climate credits” – in other words, the rebates – get distributed to “customers in a fair and equitable manner,” he said.

“The company is committed to protecting its customers,” Song said, “from unnecessary costs that detract from the state’s goal to reduce harmful carbon emissions and a transition to a clean energy future.”

Sign up for The Localist, our daily email newsletter with handpicked stories relevant to where you live. Subscribe here.

Powered by WPeMatico