Rainwater Capture Plan Sounds Mighty Good


October 22, 2015

By Neil Rubenstein

Observer Columnist

As reported in the Los Angeles Times, The Department of Water and Power is considering an enormous rainwater capture plan that could possibly yield between 100,000 and 200,000 acres of water by 2035. One acre-foot is equal to about 326,000 gallons – enough for two households for a year.

Students at Cal State Long Beach will get a chance to further explore criminology and forensics work, thanks to a new partnership with the Long Beach Police Department. Officials expect the new partnership to result in grant funding for various research projects. First up will be an evaluation of the effectiveness of body worn cameras. The project includes joining a national study coordinated through the Urban Institute, per the Long Beach Press-Telegram.

Recently an investigation by USA Today identified at least 70,000 untested sexual assault kits across more than 1,000 law enforcement agencies. From records obtained, some police agencies send as few as two in ten kits to crime labs for testing while others send every kit.


Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey announced recently the creation of a conviction review unit that will investigate claims by inmates who say they are innocent. The D.A. will assign three deputy district attorneys, one senior investigator and one paralegal to the unit. People can send claims of innocence to District Attorney’s Conviction Review Unit, Attn: AHD Ken Lynch, 320 West Temple Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012.

The office of California Secretary of State Alex Padilla announced an update that tracks political money contributions by geography, amounts and time periods going back to 2001. It also allows a quick determination of totals in specific elections. A demonstration included the records of all contributions from Realtors in one case and from Microsoft employees in another. Can it now be possible to link developers’ contributions to city council votes? The search engine is available at http://www.sos.ca.gov per the Los Angeles Times. Just click on “Power Search Contributions.”

Have you read an article from the Idaho Statesman regarding the Oberleithner family and the app they created in Boise regarding diagnosing autism? The family started Behavior Imaging to allow videotaping so a diagnosis can be done very early and treatment can begin quickly.

Over 50 federal and state investigators effectively shut down the Palm Springs City Hall on September 1 in order to serve search warrants as part of a public corruption inquiry. Additional agents were at an apartment that Mayor Steve Pougnet listed as his home address on county voter registration records. Pougnet lives part of the year with his husband and two children in Colorado.

I’m super glad the National Black Theatre Festival will be held in Los Angeles in 2016.

Every month Children’s’ Hospital Los Angeles needs to collect 1,000 units of blood products to meet the needs of its patients. Please see http://www.chla.org or call (323) 361-2441.

On Aug. 24 Congresswoman Maxine Waters had a congressional district meeting to discuss getting loans from the Small Business Administration. The meeting was held in the Inglewood City Hall Community Room with over 80 small and medium-sized businesses from Los Angeles and the South Bay attending.

Last year analysis by the Wall Street Journal showed that African American borrowers received less than two percent of the $23 billion in total SBA loans, down from eight percent in 2008. When approved, higher rates on bank financing were customary, sometimes as much as 30 percent higher over their white counterparts. Maxine Waters works very hard helping her constituents.

Earlier this year the Washington Post published an expose stating that over a 20- year period prior to 2000 the Justice Department and the FBI formally acknowledged that nearly every examiner in the FBI laboratory’s microscopic hair comparison unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against criminal defendants. In a review of 200 convictions, 32 were sentenced to death; of those, 14 have been executed or died in prison. Twenty-six of the 28 examiners overstated forensics matches in ways that favored prosecutors in more than 95 percent of the 268 trials reviewed so far.

The Prostate Cancer Foundation provided funding for a group of researchers to read the genetic composition of advanced prostate cancer tumors. Up until now reading the genetic information in tumors has been difficult and relied on the microscopic analysis of tumor cells by a specialist. The work was reported in the May 21 issue of “Cell,” and the technology now exists to read tumor genetics in an entirely new way that can tell doctors whom to treat and how they should be treated.

Overtime for California’s state workers rose 20 percent last year and topped $1 billion, even though there are 20,000 fewer employees than in 2008. According to the state controller’s payroll data as reviewed by the Associated Press, California spent $1.13 billion in 2014 in overtime pay for its 200,000 workers. Overall payroll went up seven percent from $15.3 billion to 16.4 billion since 2013.

Georgia has become one of the top spots in the country to shoot movies, due mostly to how much cheaper it is for producers. The peach state is now ranked third, only behind California and New York.

For those who missed an article, all my commentaries can be found at http://www.culvercityobserver.com by placing Rubenstein in the website’s search box.


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