October 24, 2013 |

New Laws, Donations and Edison's Plan to Stick Ratepayers

Commentary

By Neil Rubenstein

Observer Columnist

From time to time I plan to note measures signed into law by Governor Brown. When a person is suspected of driving under the influence a search warrant can be issued, blood drawn and samples used as evidence.

Police who have reason to believe property in the possession of pawnbrokers is lost or stolen can put a 90-day hold on its sale. Law enforcement can also take the items as evidence.

A new prostate cancer test that measures levels of PSA and six specific antibodies found in the blood is being tested at UCLA. A plus PSA reduced the rate of false positives and needless operations.

We have all read the concerns regarding E-cigarettes and the restrictions Temple City, Pico Rivera and Seal Beach have imposed. Hopefully Sacramento will pass legislation in the next session but until then, our city council could take action.

Lung cancer, a disease often diagnosed after it's too late, is being treated successfully at St. John's hospital in Oxnard. Key to the program is a $225,000 device called an electromagnetic navigation bronchoscope. The catheter can wind its way to the lung and remove a small piece to be analyzed. Early treatment is the key.

The House voted to cut nearly $4 billion a year from food stamps, a 5 % reduction to the nation's main feeding program used by more than one in seven Americans. The 217-210 vote was a win for conservatives after Democrats and some Republican moderates said the cut was too high.

Glendale Unified School District is paying Geo Listening, a Hermosa Beach company, $40,500 per year to have its computers check various public posts on social media accounts of its students. Recently Ventura Unified School Board enacted a similar policy. Geo Listening expects to monitor about 2,900 schools worldwide by the end of the year.

Eli Broad is donating $140 million to build a new art museum in downtown Los Angeles. It will house his 2,000 pieces, and be called The Broad. The museum will be open late next year and be free.

Water thieves have struck again in Northern California's Humboldt County, this time forcing an elementary school to close on Tuesday, September 3rd. The Times-Standard of Eureka reported up to 10,000 gallons were stolen from a tank at Bridgeville Elementary School over the Labor Day weekend.

Southern California Edison says it needs at least $2.4 billion from ratepayers over the next seven years to compensate its shareholders. Between government agencies and the electric company I will not have a dime to my name.

Did you know we just celebrated Banned Book Week? Since 1982 during the last week in September activities have taken place throughout our country. For a complete list of titles and events visit www.ala.org, the website for American Library Association.

Ventura Community College is providing textbooks on loan to students for a semester as part of its effort to make college more affordable. This program was started in 2007 with the support of the college foundation.

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