Pipeline to the past: Workers dig up L.A. water history

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ZANJAMADRE-1863Local history buffs know that much of the story of L.A. is about finding and exploiting water. Now an early and important piece of the city’s water history has been discovered. Construction workers in Chinatown have uncovered what is believed to be a roughly 100-foot section of the city’s first municipal water system. It’s a 19th Century brick and wooden pipe that connected the Los Angeles River to neighborhoods west of the river. Experts believe it’s a historic link to what’s known as the Zanja Madre. That’s an open ditch first built in 1781 that carried water from the L.A. River to the then dusty pueblo. There are plans to remove a 40-foot section of the pipe and put it on permanent display. What remains will be preserved on-site.

sanonofreConsumer groups say they’ll fight a proposed settlement over the shutdown of the San Onofre nuclear power plant that could cost utility users more than $3 billion. The settlement was reached last month between Edison owners Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric and the consumer group Utility Reform Network. But other consumer groups say utility users are paying too much. Under the proposed deal, customers would face higher utility rates for 10 years to cover $3.3 billion of the estimated $4.7 billion shutdown costs. Some of the money would pay for defective steam generators.

A Blue-Ribbon panel will urge the Board of Supervisors today to make major changes to L.A. County’s child protection system. A new report by the 10-member commission says the county’s safety net for abused and neglected children is in “a state of emergency.” The panel was formed last year after an 8-year-old Palmdale boy was tortured to death, allegedly by his mother and her boyfriend. It says the County should create a new agency with the responsibility of overseeing social workers, doctors and police officers to rescue imperiled children. The Board of Supervisors was split on whether to appoint the commission – and it’s unclear if a majority will support adopting its recommendations.

medmarijuanaLawmakers are considering rules that would require medical marijuana dispensaries to get state licenses and impose new requirements on doctors who prescribe medical pot. The bill by Democratic Senator Lee Correa aims to provide some clarity to both medical marijuana patients and law enforcement by instituting uniform rules across the state instead of the hodgepodge of local laws now in place.  Physicians who give out medical marijuana cards would have to conduct more thorough exams, discuss side effects with patients and maintain records. The bill is sponsored by the California Police Officers Association and the League of California Cities. It’s opposed by the California Medical Association

parkingticketA group looking to stir up a revolt against L.A. parking ticket practices is criticizing Mayor Eric Garcetti’s budget proposal, saying it relies too much on parking fines to generate extra cash for the city. Garcetti’s budget calls for hiring 50 more parking enforcement officers. The group Parking Freedom Initiative says those additional parking fines will squeeze drivers harder than ever. They say L.A. citations are incredibly expensive, running upwards of $60. The group wants them capped at $25. A spokesman for the mayor defends his proposal, saying the extra parking enforcement officers would perform a lot of tasks, including special events and traffic control duties.