Many Dodger fans facing ‘blue-out’ as games begin

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The Dodgers new Time Warner cable TV station has debuted just in time for the team’s first spring training game today against the Arizona Diamondbacks. For fans who can’t get enough the boys in blue, it’s a 24-hour network. But as of now, most denizens of Dodger nation are blacked out. That’s because Time Warner has yet to reach deals with many of the region’s cable and satellite TV providers. Time Warner insists that will change before the season starts, but there is widespread resistance to the company’s steep asking price for the channel. This is the first year since the team arrived in Los Angeles that no Dodger games will be on free TV.

gpsL.A. County probation officials are vowing to make immediate fixes to a troubled GPS monitoring system that has flooded deputies with meaningless alerts while allowing some offenders to go unchecked for days or weeks at a time. During a hearing before the Board of Supervisors, Probation Chief Jerry Powers acknowledged that L.A. County’s tracking system was – quote – “a blueprint of how not to implement a GPS program.” Powers blames the problems on department managers who failed to properly train deputies – and on the vendor that operates the GPS system.

Fracking and other methods of forcing oil and natural gas from deep underground would be banned in L.A. under a proposal approved by a City Council committee. Proponents of the ban say they’re concerned about the safety of the city’s water supply. They want to see scientific proof that fracking – or hydraulic fracturing – is safe before energy companies can use the process on city property. An oil industry trade group criticized the move, saying fracking has never been found to cause environmental harm.

chainreactionAfter years of debate, Santa Monica officials have agreed to spend big bucks to save a noted piece of public art called “Chain Reaction.” The towering mushroom-cloud-shaped sculpture is made of tangled chains. It was designed as an anti-nuclear statement by late L.A. Times cartoonist Paul Conrad and built in 1991. City officials estimate it will cost $400,000 dollars or more to refurbish the work. Private donors have contributed about $100,000, and the city will pick up the rest of the tab. Opponents call it a waste of city money.

sealsChalk one up for the seals in the ongoing battle over whether people or pinnipeds should have unfettered access to a San Diego beach. A divided City Council voted to close the beach called Children’s Pool in La Jolla for five months each year during the seal birthing and nursing season. Two years ago, the city put a rope barrier to keep people away from the seals between December and May, while still allowing narrow access to the water. But seal supporters said the rope didn’t prevent the animals from getting harassed during the critical pupping period.