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Plans for restoring city services cut by the recession have depended in part on reducing employee retirement cost, but this week pension reforms were overturned by an appellate board, leading to warnings of “fiscal instability.” What’s in store for street and sidewalk repair — and workers who want to retire when they’re 55?

Also, yesterday’s explosive water-main break near UCLA is just the latest catastrophe for the DWP. Will there be more to come? Plus, plans to replace the San Onofre nuclear power plant meet opposition from advocates of green energy.

Banner Image: Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti, who supported the pension reforms that were overturned this week; Credit: CA Barack Obama Digital Media Team

Dealing with LA’s Aging Water Infrastructure 7 MIN, 19 SEC

Yesterday’s 10-million-gallon water eruption in Westwood was just the latest and biggest such calamity for LA’s Department of Water and Power. In 2009, a water-main break created a sinkhole that nearly swallowed a fire engine. Two years later, there was a chain reaction from Northridge to North Hollywood. Last year, it was Northridge again, and Tarzana, and this year there were breaks in Hollywood, in Venice and near LAX. Mark Gold says this won’t be the last. He’s a Professor and Acting Director of UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability.

Mark Gold, UCLA's Institute of the Environment and Sustainability (@uclaioes)

Score One for LA Labor as Pension Reforms Are Rolled Back 12 MIN, 33 SEC

Eric Garcetti ran for Mayor of LA with a promise to restore services, including street and sidewalk repair, in part by reducing employee retirement costs. When he was on the City Council, he supported what are called “pension reforms,” but they were tossed out unanimously this week by the Employee Relations Board.

Miguel Santana, Los Angeles City Administrative Officer
Cheryl Parisi, Coalition of L.A. City Unions (@LACityUnions)

Replacing the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant 5 MIN, 42 SEC

The reactors at the San Onofre nuclear power plant were shut down two years ago; that’s 2200 Megawatts lost to a large swath of Southern California. The Public Utilities Commission has approved the Pio Pico natural gas plant on Otay Mesa near the Mexican border, but that’s been challenged by advocates of green energy. Morgan Lee reports for U-T San Diego, formerly the Union-Tribune.

Morgan Lee, U-T San Diego (@SoCalSpark)

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