Local Briefs

Busses Won’t take Coins

Bus riders will no longer be able to pay for their rides in cash.

Starting Monday July 12, the Big Blue Bus Co. has announced that it will no longer accept cash from writers. Customers must pay with TAP cards purchased from machines at train stations, or they will have to buy mobile tickets online.

During the pandemic, both MTA and BBB buses were free to all. Both companies have since started taking fares again, in another sign that pandemic restrictions are ending in LA County.

Earthquake Near LAX

A magnitude 3.4 earthquake rumbled through southern California on Wednesday afternoon, centered just northeast of Los Angeles International Airport. The mainshake which hit at 5:11 pm PST, was felt across a wide area of southern California, East to downtown LA and North to Van Nuys.

USGS seismographic data showed that the earthquake was felt over a wide area of Los Angeles County.

The Santa Monica Police Dept and Fire Depts reported no damages or injuries connected to the earthquake. Minor earthquakes are of course, common in most areas of California.

Gas Prices Remain High

6/23 Rising gas prices have become the theme for the 2021 summer travel season.

Drivers in LA County will see prices remain above the $4 per gallon mark in time for the upcoming holiday weekend. Even with some relief from a recent small drop in prices, the LA County average price of gas on July 4 is still expected to be $4.11 per gallon, some 43 percent, or 93 cents more than last year's Covid-induced price of $3.18.

46 percent of Americans' plans this summer were affected by high gas prices, which had been rising steadily until recently. Prior to the upcoming holiday weekend, Americans saw gas prices spike in early March, and again in mid-May due to increasing demand and the Colonial Pipeline shutdown.

"With the economic recovery from Covid continuing, gasoline demand has been very strong. Amidst lower oil production as oil companies struggle to raise output, gas prices have been higher this summer than in the past few years," said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. "However, once market forces begin to balance, I expect prices to moderate this fall and over time, oil production will again rise, helping bring gas prices down to earth as soon as this fall, but the road may remain bumpy until the pandemic is behind us."

According to GasBuddy's annual summer travel survey, 74 percent of those planning to take a road trip will be taking at least two, further emphasizing the increased demand for gasoline.

With Covid recovery continuing this summer, oil prices are likely to remain elevated, keeping gas prices above $3 per gallon for most of the summer. Labor Day is poised to feature $3+ prices as well, and should any hurricane disrupt supply chains, prices may rise even further.

Only 43 Change Minds on Gov. Newsom Recall

The California Secretary of State’s Office confirmed the move Wednesday evening.

The recall petition garnered over 1.7 million signatures, of which only 43 were withdrawn, leaving the effort well above the 1.5 million threshold.

"A sufficient number of verified recall signatures had previously been reached by recall proponents in April," the Secretary of State’s office announced in a statement. "However, in accordance with California election law, voters were given a 30-day period from April 26 to June 8th to request county officials remove their signatures from recall petitions."

The next phase of the recall process is now in the hands of the state’s Department of Finance, which is tasked with estimating the costs of a special election. The vote must be held within 90 days.

"It's just been one thing after another with this governor and finally he's going to be held accountable," state Assemblyman James Gallagher told Fox News Wednesday evening.

Bonin Served with Recall Papers

LA City Council Member Mike Bonin was served with recall papers on Wednesday June 23rd, officially launching the recall effort. Supporters have blamed him for the out of control levels of homeless people in Westside neighborhoods.

“Our streets have become de facto campgrounds,” reads recall papers served to Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin this week.

Bonin, who represents Council District 11 encompassing much of the Westside, was served the recall notice on Tuesday.

“Councilmember Mike Bonin does not engage with the district and did not improve our quality of life or clean up our neighborhoods. Our streets have become de facto campgrounds, sanitation policies are failing, crime is rising, and Mike Bonin remains unresponsive. (He) has consistently made promises to his constituency and failed to follow through on these promises since he took office,” says the Statement of Reasons contained in the petition.

Bonin released a statement terming the recall a right wing Republican waste of tax dollars.“A recall election, held right before regularly scheduled city elections, would be a waste of millions of dollars of taxpayer money — dollars that could be better invested in addressing our homelessness crisis,” Bonin wrote. “This recall has been championed by the same right wing forces that are trying to erode our democratic process and take down progressive officials across the state.”

Gascon Recall Supporters Collect Signatures

Organizers of an effort to recall District Attorney George Gascón collected petition signatures in his neighborhood Saturday, setting up in front of a school across from his house in the Naples area of Long Beach.

The recall supporters collected "dozens and dozens" of signatures on the sidewalk in front of Naples Elementary School in the 5500 block of East The Toledo -- on city property, organizer Karen Roseberry told City News Service.

“He needs to recognize that law-abiding citizens are frustrated,” Roseberry told CNS. “On the very day he swore to uphold the law, he issued directives to disregard the law.”

She explained to CNS that one person attending the signature-gathering event was a crime victim's mother who had voted for Gascón last November.

“She was unaware his directives would let killers out early.”

It was unclear whether Gascón was home at the time of the event. He did not come out to talk with the recall proponents, Roseberry said.

Recall organizers have until Oct. 27 to gather 580,000 qualified signatures, she said. The group will try to collect 750,000 to 800,000.


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