Governor’s drought plan emphasizes conservation

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Gov. Brown says California can immediately improve its water picture through recycling and conservation programs. Brown says his nearly $700 million drought relief plan would bring emergency drinking water to communities in need, as well making long-term fixes that would allow the state to capture more water and use it more efficiently. The plan also contains money for emergency food and housing for people who have lost jobs because of the drought. Most of the money would come from bonds earmarked for water projects. State Republicans say Brown’s plan doesn’t go far enough. They say they’ll propose legislation of their own.

regionalconnectorUncle Sam will kick in about half of the money for a $1.3 billion rail project in downtown L.A. that will connect Metro’s Blue, Gold and Expo Lines. Local transportation officials today are set to officially accept a $670 million federal grant for what’s being called the Downtown Regional Connector. When it’s complete, The Blue, Gold and Expo lines will all run between the 7th Street Metro Stop and Union Station. The project will include three new downtown stations. It’s expected to be finished six years from now – in 2020.

LAUSD would have to spend nearly a billion dollars to conduct seismic studies and retrofit hundreds of buildings that may not be able to survive a major earthquake. That’s the takeaway from an L.A. Times analysis of district data. The inventory shows that 667 district buildings require detailed seismic studies and retrofits. All of the buildings on the list were constructed before 1978.

metrolinkcrashMetrolink is taking the next in the rollout of its $200-million-plus crash-avoidance system. The commuter network quietly rolled out a train earlier this week equipped with the system that lets dispatchers put the brakes on engines remotely if they speed or blow through stop signals. That’s what happened in 2008 in Chatsworth when an engineer who was texting ran a red light and crashed head-on with a freight train. Twenty-five people died and more than 100 were injured.

monopoly-manNo word yet on the mystery millionaire who purchased the winning ticket in the multi-state Powerball lottery game. The ticket comes from a gas station mini-mart in Milpitas, near San Jose. It’s worth a cool $425 million. A cash payout would come to $242 million, before taxes. It was the sixth biggest jackpot in the history of U.S. lottery games. For those keeping track of such things, the winning numbers were 1, 17, 35, 49, 54 and Powerball No. 34.