Today’s News: Garcetti and Greuel spar before debate; New status for San Gabriels?; Con man is a murderer

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Mayoral debate. There have been more than 40 debates in the L.A. mayoral race, but none since the March 5th primary that left Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel as the last man and woman standing. That will change tonight when City Councilman Garcetti and City Controller Greuel go face-to-face at American Jewish University in the Sepulveda Pass. The candidates have been trading barbs this week over which of them would be more beholden to unions. Tonight’s debate is at 7p.m. It will be televised live on Channel 7. L.A. Times

Mountain movements. The San Gabriel Mountains are in line for a status upgrade. U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has proposed designating much of the mountain range and the San Gabriel River watershed as a national recreation area. That would place the area under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service and it would open the door to more federal funding for park rangers, trail maintenance and trash collection. Salazar’s recommendation comes more than a decade after federal officials began looking at how best to balance environmental and recreational concerns in the San Gabriels. San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Boy Scouts bill.
A State Senate committee has approved a bill that would that would revoke the Boy Scouts of America’s tax exempt status in California. At issue is the Scouts’ ban on gays. The Senate measure would eliminate sales and corporate tax exemptions for any youth group that does not comply with the state’s anti-discrimination laws. Detractors say it would hurt small troops the most by cutting into their fund-raising revenue. The bill has another committee hurdle to pass before it goes to the full Senate. Sacramento Bee

Trigger happy.
The first Los Angeles school to be transformed as a result of the parent trigger law will be run as a partnership between LAUSD and a charter school operator. Parents at 24th Street Elementary voted overwhelmingly for the unusual collaboration. LAUSD will continue to manage grades K-4 at the Jefferson Park campus – and Crown Preparatory Academy will be in charge of grades 5-8. The charter operator already runs a middle school out of surplus classrooms at the campus. L.A. Times

A con man who posed as a member of the Rockefeller family, an English baronet and a USC film school instructor has been convicted of killing a San Marino man more than a quarter century ago. German native Christian Gerhartsreiter killed 27-year-old John Sohus in February 1985 and buried his body in the backyard of a home owned by the victim’s mother. Sohus’ wife Linda also disappeared. She’s never been found. Gerharstreiter faces a maximum sentence of 27 years to life in prison. AP