Today’s News: Same-sex marriages just weeks away; AEG will manage Convention Center; Owens Lake dust

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Prop. 8 Ruling. It’ll be a few weeks before the wedding bells ring once again for same-sex couples in California – but there was a big engagement party of sorts last night in West Hollywood.

Hundreds of revelers, many donning red, white and blue, celebrated the Supreme Court decision that will allow same-sex marriage to resume in California.

Before same-sex marriages can resume, a federals appeals court must lift a hold on the original decision that struck down Prop. 8. That usually takes at least 25 days. California Attorney General Kamala Harris urged the court to act quickly. Meanwhile, opponents of gay marriage are pondering whether to mount a long-shot legal challenge seeking to limit the Prop. 8 ruling to the two couples who challenged the law.

The justices side-stepped the question of whether gay and lesbian couples have a constitutional right to marry. Instead, they ruled that the coalition of religious groups that qualified Prop. 8 for the ballot did not have the authority to defend it after a state officials refused. But the limited ruling hasn’t dimmed enthusiasm for the decision. Long-time gay rights activist Alice Hermann told KCRW’s Warren Olney that yesterday was a watershed moment in the fight for equal rights.

“I used to say ‘I love my government, why doesn’t my government love me?’ But today all of that for me is washed away,” Hermann said. “All I can think of is what’s in store for the young people today. They will have validity, they will have equality, they will have dignity. Thank you, God.”

California will become the 13th state to legalize same-sex marriage. Thirty states have constitutional bans against gay marriage.

Solar power.
The L.A. Department of Water and Power has started paying customers to generate their own solar power. The Clean L.A. Solar program got up and running yesterday. The goal is to add 150 megawatts of power to the grid, enough to power about 30,000 homes. Power producers will initially be paid 17 cents per kilowatt hour. City officials hope the program will spur investment in roof-top solar panels and increase the amount of power being generated. Under state law, the city must generate a third of its electricity using renewable sources by 2020. L.A. Times

Convention Center.
Football stadium or no football stadium, the Los Angeles City Council has agreed to transfer management of the L.A. Convention Center to Anschutz Entertainment Group. The council approved the deal despite objections from some downtown hotel owners that it would give AEG and unfair business advantage. The company owns two hotels at L.A. Live, a JW Marriott and a Ritz Carlton. AEG has submitted plans for a football stadium that would require tearing down and replacing part of the facility. But those plans are on hold until the NFL decides it’s ready to return to L.A. L.A. Daily News

Owens Lake.
The DWP has reached a new agreement with officials in the Owens Valley to control dust on Owens Lake. The DWP has already spent more than $1 billion to mitigate dust in the area. But an Owens Valley pollution agency has demanded additional measures. A federal court threw out a DWP lawsuit earlier this year that challenged the order. The new agreement commits the DWP to control an additional 2.9-square miles of the dry lake bed. The one exception is the recently discovered site of a 150-year-old Native American massacre. L.A. Times

Reactor leak. A reactor at the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant has been shut down after a small leak was detected. Pacific Gas & Electric said the leak was discovered yesterday in Unit 1 during routine maintenance, and that it was contained within the plant, which is located in San Luis Obispo County. The company said no radiation was released. KTLA

Navy furloughs. Sequestration budget cuts are about to be felt in a big way at Naval Base Ventura County, where furloughs for five-thousand civilian workers will kick in next month. From July 8th through the end of September, civilian employees will be required take 11 unpaid days off – the equivalent of a 20 percent pay cut The Base includes Port Hueneme, Point Mugu and San Nicholas Island. Critical workers such as air traffic controllers, police and firefighters will be exempt from the furloughs. Ventura County Star