Palmdale ordered to start over with city elections

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An L.A. judge has thrown out the results of Palmdale’s City Council elections and ordered the city to hold a new vote. L.A. Superior Court Judge Mark Mooney says Palmdale must elect its four council members from defined districts, instead of using an at-large voting system, in which office holders are elected citywide. Mooney ruled earlier this year that Palmdale’s at-large system discriminated against minorities and violated California’s Voting Rights Act. His latest ruling invalidates last month’s election results, which ironically saw Palmdale elect its first African-American council member. Palmdale says it will appeal the decision…It’s Election Day for voters in parts of Southwest L.A. The race for California’s 54th Assembly District features a trio of Democrats: accountant, and former Culver City Mayor Christopher Armenta, 47-year old real estate broker John Jake, and Sebastian Ridley-Thomas, the 26-year-old son of L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. Ridley-Thomas has, by far, raised the most money in the race, and he’s received an endorsement from Gov. Jerry Brown…joggingL.A. County may be getting healthier. The death rate here has dropped 19 percent over the past decade, which is faster than the nation as a whole, according to the Health Department. The rate of the leading cause of death – coronary heart disease – dipped more than a third between 2001 and 2010. There were also double-digit declines for stroke, pneumonia, and lung cancer and a 50-percent drop for HIV…The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is about to do something that no other federal appeals court has done: allow live video streaming of judicial hearings. The San Francisco-based court has allowed video coverage of some cases in the past, but the new policy means that all hearings will be streamed live. The streaming will start next week in a case that will determine whether police agencies in California can collect and store DNA from people who are arrested, even when the charges are letter dropped…USCUCLAAnd finally, the USC football team and interim head coach Ed Orgeron lost to arch-rival UCLA last weekend – and now Orgeron is out of a job. Former Trojan assistant and current University of Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian will be the next permanent head coach at USC. Orgeron helped revitalize the program after Lane Kiffen was fired earlier this season. He reportedly declined an offer to stay with the Trojans in another job.