Local Briefs

911 Outage

Santa Monica’s 911 system failed due to a software glitch. For 24 hours, some residents were not able to call Police, fire department or ambulances through 911. They were instead directed to call the non emergency number for the SMPD.

Residents were informed of both the outage and its resolution, through the City’s text message system. There is no information that any residents were injured by not being able to call 911.

Sewage Spill Closes Beaches

17 million gallons of waste were released one mile offshore Sunday, due to an excessive amount of debris at the Hyperion sewage treatment plant in Manhattan beach. This is the equivalent of three Olympic sized swimming pools of waste.

The release was alternatively blamed on a power outage and on debris in the equipment at the facility, which ordinarily cleans and then releases sewage into the ocean, for all of urban Los Angeles. Sewage is usually released 5 miles offshore. This release was just one mile offshore.

The LA County Public Health Dept. closed Dockweiler State Beach West of LAX. An advisory was issued for all of Santa Monica Bay. However, water quality was declared safe on Wednesday evening, after authorities measured the water for bacteria.

Recorded information on beach conditions is available 24-hours a day on the County's beach advisory hotline: 1-800-525-5662. Information is also available online.

Britney Spears Hires Attorney

A Los Angeles judge has allowed Britney Spears to hire her own attorney after a hearing in which the pop star described alleged abuse by her father.

Britney Spears will be allowed to hire her own attorney, as opposed to one provided by the County of Los Angeles.

This is a major development in her 13 year conservatorship case. Last Wednesday, she accused her father, Jamie Spears, of abusing his position as her conservator. She asked that he be removed as her co-conservator. Having her own attorney is a condition precedent.

“The worldwide Free Britney movement has demanded accountability. A lot of what we hear is speculation,” said one fan. “Finally hearing Britney herself say these things, even though it was heartbreaking, was so gratifying for the fans, who have said these things for years.”

“If she’s the poster child for this, let’s free Brittney!” said another fan.

Britney recently said that she has no freedom at all in her conservatorship, and is even made to wear an IUD so that she can’t get pregnant. She and her boyfriend want another child, she says.

Most of the pop princesses fans are female, and identity with her loss of control over her life, even while she is expected to work.

Concerning LA Covid Numbers

Los Angeles County reports its sixth straight day with increased cases. 1305 cases were reported Wednesday, which is the 6th day in a row above 1000.

After more than a year with no self-service salad bars, and mask requirements were lifted. 400 people are now hospitalized, and health officials say the Delta Variant is spreading rapidly among the unvaccinated.

People are living it up, socializing at clubs, eating out, attending gyms, traveling again.

The Foo Fighters cancelled their July 17th concert at the Ingelwood forum. “Out of an abundance of caution, especially for the sake of the fans, the concert is postponed to a later date.

Marijuana Clinic Proposed for 9th and Wilshire

The City of Santa Monica last week received proposed plans for a marijuana dispensary for the former pet store at 9th Street and Wilshire Blvd. The plans would have to be approved by City Staff and the planning process.

The City has previously not allowed weed clinics, but there have been several recent changes to the City Council.

Meanwhile, at the Federal level, there are rumblings that Congress may remove the Schedule One restriction on on Ganja. Vice President Kamala Harris, among other high ranking US officials in both parties, has admitted to smoking marijuana.

Pres. Joseph Biden has said that he would not sign any pro-marijuana legislation if it made it to his desk.

In return for getting the Covid vaccination, a Long Beach non profit has offered to give those 21 and older a free joint.

Those interested will have to get jabbed on Saturday July 24th at Houghton Park in Long Beach. IN exchange, they will receive a coupon for a free joint at a local clinic.

Calif Fire Season

Fire consumes a home as the Sugar Fire, part of the Beckwourth Complex Fire, tears through Doyle, California, on July 10, 2021. Noah Berger / AP

The number of wildfires in California to date this year is greater than the amount recorded in the same time period in 2020. And 2020 saw more burned acreage than any recorded year in history, according to data from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Between January 1 to July 11 of this year, approximately 4,163 fires have burned in California, the department said. During the same time period in 2020, 3,645 fires were reported by the department.

"It's now more critical than ever that all Californians are prepared for wildfires," fire officials said.

Last season's fires were some of the biggest that the state has ever seen, provoking thousands of evacuations, a statewide emergency order, fatalities, and dangerous air quality conditions.

And in 2021, California's wildfire season is forecast to be even worse.

Hot and dry conditions — which contribute to wildfires — in states like California have already neared world records this year. Last week, Death Valley reached 130 degrees Fahrenheit — just four degrees shy of the hottest recorded temperature on the planet. Cities like Las Vegas broke local records with scorching temperatures as well.

Multiple areas throughout California are under excessive heat warnings issued by the National Weather Service, and according to the National Integrated Drought Information System, approximately 85.4% of the state is experiencing extreme drought.

California Governor Gavin Newsom has issued a regional state of emergency because of drought conditions. He also issued an executive order asking residents to voluntarily cut down on water usage by 15%.

Current fires include the Beckwourth Complex Fire with more than 92,900 acres burned, the Lava Fire with at least 26,203 acres burned, and the Salt Fire, which has thus far burned 12,650 acres. The Bootleg fire, which is currently the largest in the county, has burned more than 201,000 acres in Oregon and has also affected Northern California, threatening the state's entire energy grid.

Under excessive heat warnings, the National Weather Service advises people to stay hydrated, stay out of the sun, wear lightweight and loose-fitting clothing, and know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Amid the wildfires, the California Independent System Operator has issued "flex alerts" to residents, urging residents in the state to conserve as much electricity as possible during peak hours. Fire officials advised residents to create wildfire action plans to be prepared for potential evacuations.

Larry Elder Announces for Governor

Conservative talk radio host Larry Elder announced his candidacy for California governor on Tuesday in Norwalk.

Elder said he is entering the recall race because of what he says is California’s out-of-control homelessness crisis, the spike in crime rates and looming water and power supply shortages.

The Los Angeles native was at the county Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s office in Norwalk to file his candidacy papers.

“Gavin Newsom should be nervous,” Elder said. “I’m going to take his job. He’s got to go down. Crime, homelessness, the outrageous cost of living, gas tax, the way he shut down the government while ignoring the very mandates that he put down, at the French Laundry with the lobbyist that drafted the mandate.”

Elder joins other Republican candidates such as businessman John Cox, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, reality star Caitlyn Jenner, former Rep. Doug Ose and Assemblyman Kevin Kiley.

Ballots will start to be mailed in August, and must be returned by September 14th.

Real ID At Some Auto Club

18 Auto club branches across Southern California will begin offering the Real ID between the end of July and December, DMV officials said Tuesday.

Participating offices include L.A., Alhambra, Northridge, Chatsworth, Arcadia, Inglewood-Ladera, Rancho Palos Verdes, Long Beach and Camarillo.

"Getting a Real ID will add significant convenience to those who have plans to travel," said Michael Johnson, the club's senior vice president for member services. "The Auto Club is proud to have partnered with the DMV since 1915 to offer select DMV services at Auto Club branch locations."

The pandemic threw a monkey wrench in the nation's original timeline for Americans to get their Real IDs, and the deadline to apply was moved several times. Residents have until May 3, 2023 — to get their Real IDs, but officials urged residents to complete the process as soon as possible.

The process is as follows:

• Fill out a Real ID application on the DMV's website, where you can upload documents, schedule an appointment and pay the fee.

• When arriving at an Auto Club location, show your confirmation code and documents to a DMV representative.

• The representative will use a mobile tablet to capture your fingerprint, snap a photograph and allow for an electronic signature to complete your application.


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