Today’s News: Boston bombings have L.A. on guard; No red ink in proposed county budget; Plastic bag ban

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Vigilance. Like cities from Washington, D.C., to London, Los Angeles is on high alert in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings. Both the LAPD and the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department have opened emergency operation centers. From LAX and the ports to Dodger Stadium and Union Station, Southlanders can expect a heavy police presence today. Law enforcement officials say there’s no indication that Los Angeles might be the target of an attack, but until they have more answers about what happened in Boston, they plan to be vigilant. KTLA

Balanced budget. The county’s top budget official will present his new $24.7 billion spending plan to the Board of Supervisors today. For the first time in five years, Chief Executive William Fujioka’s budget contains no major cuts and no deficits. County departments have seen their budgets whittled down by about 15 percent on average since 2008. Members of the Service Employees International Union Local 721 are planning to hold a rally to coincide with Fujioka’s budget presentation. The union says that after five years of frozen wages, workers deserve a raise. L.A. Times

Meningitis vaccinations. The AIDS Healthcare Foundation says it will order more meningitis vaccine after hundreds of people showed up to yesterday to get free shots of an antibiotic cocktail. The vaccination program was launched after a West Hollywood man contracted bacterial meningitis and died a few days after attending a gathering of gay men in Palm Springs. L.A. Times

Paper or nothing. The question “paper or plastic?” could soon disappear from the lexicon in California. A hearing is set for tomorrow in the Senate Environmental Quality Committee on a bill to ban single-use plastic bags at grocery stores, convenience stores, liquor stores and pharmacies. State Sen. Alex Padilla says some 70 cities and counties have already done away with plastic bags and it’s time for a statewide ban. His bill has the support of the California Grocers Association. But a plastic bag industry group says paper bags use more energy and water, and produce more greenhouse gases. Sacramento Bee

Lights out. After resisting for years, sign companies finally flipped the switch on their electronic billboards yesterday – just in time to comply with an order handed down by a judge on Friday. Clear Channel Outdoors and CBS Outdoors put up the signs after making a backroom deal with city officials seven years ago. But a competitor sued and the courts nixed the deal. Clear Channel has threatened its own suit against the city if a new pact isn’t reached that would allow the company to restore the highly lucrative signs. L.A. Daily News