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- 09/24/18--16:39: _PHOTOS: Kitten Foun...
- 09/24/18--15:06: _Kavanaugh Says He H...
- 09/24/18--15:39: _PHOTOS: Lakers Medi...
- 09/24/18--16:33: _Kitten Found in Glu...
- 09/24/18--17:59: _Haunted Little Toky...
- 09/24/18--17:14: _Mother Continues Se...
- 09/24/18--18:15: _Bought a Used Car T...
- 09/24/18--16:53: _US Census Bureau Ha...
- 09/24/18--19:14: _Gunfire Erupts When...
- 09/24/18--19:49: _16 Local Firefighte...
- 09/24/18--21:03: _La Verne Firefighte...
- 09/24/18--21:30: _Exclusive Video of ...
- 09/24/18--23:10: _Dodgers Rally in th...
- 09/24/18--23:59: _Sheriff's Deputy Sh...
- 09/25/18--08:25: _Ted Cruz Confronted...
- 09/25/18--02:19: _National Parks Warm...
- 09/25/18--07:00: _SF Paid Firm $400K ...
- 09/25/18--08:25: _Van Nuys Water Main...
- 09/25/18--06:44: _Part of 101 Freeway...
- 09/25/18--08:42: _'Stranger Things' A...
- 09/24/18--16:39: PHOTOS: Kitten Found in Glue Trap is Ready for Fur-Ever Home
- 09/24/18--15:06: Kavanaugh Says He Has 'Never Sexually Assaulted Anyone'
- 09/24/18--15:39: PHOTOS: Lakers Media Day With LeBron James in Uniform
- 09/24/18--16:33: Kitten Found in Glue Trap is Ready for Her Fur-Ever Home
- 09/24/18--17:59: Haunted Little Tokyo's Month-Long Festivity Returns
- 09/24/18--17:14: Mother Continues Search Two Years After Daughter Disappears
- 09/24/18--18:15: Bought a Used Car That Can't Pass Smog? What to Do
- 09/24/18--16:53: US Census Bureau Has Open Positions in Van Nuys Area
- 09/24/18--19:14: Gunfire Erupts When Deputies Approach Robbery Suspects
- 09/24/18--19:49: 16 Local Firefighters Return Home After Hurricane Florence
- 09/24/18--21:03: La Verne Firefighters Claim Secret Recordings, Retaliation
- 09/24/18--21:30: Exclusive Video of Police Chase That Ends in Train Tunnel
- 09/24/18--23:59: Sheriff's Deputy Shot in East LA
- 09/25/18--08:25: Ted Cruz Confronted by Kavanaugh Protesters in DC Restaurant
- 09/25/18--02:19: National Parks Warming Faster Than Rest of US, Study Finds
- 09/25/18--07:00: SF Paid Firm $400K for Data Claiming City is Near Spotless
- 09/25/18--08:25: Van Nuys Water Main Break Floods Underground Carport
- 09/25/18--06:44: Part of 101 Freeway Closed in Camarillo Due to Big Rig Crash
- 09/25/18--08:42: 'Stranger Things' Actors Brave a 'Stranger Things' Maze
Elmer, the four-week-old kitten found in a glue trap intended for rodents back in August is now available for adoption at the spcaLA South Bay Pet Adoption Center in Hawthorne.
Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh said in an interview set to air Monday evening that he’s “not going anywhere” in the confirmation process to become a justice despite facing multiple allegations of sexual misconduct.
“The truth is I’ve never sexually assaulted anyone, in high school or otherwise,” Kavanaugh said in an interview with Fox News with his wife sitting by his side, according to an excerpt released Monday afternoon.
“I am not questioning and have not questioned that perhaps Dr. Ford at some point in her life was sexually assaulted by someone at some place," he added, according to an NBC News report. "But what I know is, I’ve never sexually assaulted anyone.”
Photo Credit: AP
Brett Kavanaugh, with his wife Ashley Estes Kavanaugh, answers questions during a Fox News interview, Monday, Sept. 24, 2018, in Washington, about allegations of sexual misconduct against the Supreme Court nominee.
Photos from Los Angeles Lakers' 2018-19 Media Day with a first look at LeBron James in a Lakers' uniform.
Photo Credit: Getty Images
EL SEGUNDO, CA - SEPTEMBER 24: LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts as he speaks to the media during the Los Angeles Lakers Media Day at the UCLA Health Training Center on September 24, 2018 in El Segundo, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Elmer, the four-week-old kitten found in a glue trap intended for rodents, is now available for adoption at the spcaLA South Bay Pet Adoption Center in Hawthorne, the shelter said Monday.
A Los Angeles man was surprised to discover the tiny black and white kitten -- now cleverly named Elmer -- stuck in a glue trap designed for rodents back in August.
He took the kitten to the spcaLA South Bay Pet Adoption Center in Hawthorne where the veterinary staff used a non-toxic mineral oil to remove the sticky residue from her paws.
After a health exam, vaccines, flea treatment and five weeks in foster care, Elmer is now ready for adoption.
"Elmer didn’t know the trap was only meant for rodents. Wildlife, family pets, and community cats -- untended targets of rodent control -- can often fall victim to traps," said spcaLA President, Madeline Bernstein in a press release.
Given this incident, spcaLA is encouraging home and business owners to explore other options on how to humanly deal with rodents and is advising to routinely check traps of any sort.
Anyone interested in making Elmer part of the family can visit the South Bay Pet Adoption Center at 12910 Yukon Ave. in Hawthorne or call 310-676-1149.
SpcaLA and various shelters have hundreds of kittens and adult cats that are waiting to be adopted.
Additionally, on Sept. 29 spcaLA will host their Pick Your Own Price cat & kitten adoption event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.. These special fees are only available for adopters who meet spcaLA adoption requirements.
There will be vendors, giveaways, shaved ice from the Kona Ice truck and a cat art show and auction by Alyce’s Art Studio.
Vendor booths will be set up by Centinela Pet & Feed Supplies, Trupanion, Renewal by Andersen, Inaba Ciao, Alyce’s Art Studio, Kona Ice, Just for Dogs, Chloe’s House and The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.
To donate needed items or funds, go to spcaLA.com or drop-off donations at any spcaLA location during business hours.
Photo Credit: spcaLA
Elmer, the four-week-old kitten found in a glue trap intended for rodents back in August is available Sept. 21 for adoption at the spcaLA South Bay Pet Adoption Center in Hawthorne.
Honestly, Halloween, being but 24 hours, is just too darn short for those revelers who love sweet and spooky and celebratory expressions of the season.
Meaning that those places, and neighborhoods, and businesses, and destinations that stretch out a single day into a week, or even a month, are to be acknowledged, applauded, and, yes, visited, perhaps more than once.
If you're looking to honor one of those Halloween-loving spots, you only need to head for Little Tokyo, which will once again host several ghosty-good happenings throughout the month of October.
Which means no waiting on Oct. 31 to find your Little Tokyo to-dos, of the eerie variety.
It's the second year for Haunted Little Tokyo, a more merry than terror-packed festivity, so you may find some of the sights and sounds you loved in 2017.
Coming up on the 2018 roster?
Weekend pumpkin patches, a cooking workshop at the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center, haunted walking tours led by the Little Tokyo Historical Society, a film festival focused on Japanese horror cinema, and the mondo Haunted Night in Little Tokyo: The Block Party on Saturday, Oct. 27.
A costume parade, beer garden, and more frightful touches shall festoon the spirited occasion.
But the occasioning won't be finished on the 27th; look for trick-or-treating around Little Tokyo on Wednesday, Oct. 31.
Need a full month of slightly monstrous adventure, happenings gentle enough for the younger set, cool cinema, and a big ol' Block Party? Plus Halloween candy-seeking in the most traditional and cute sense?
It all starts a month ahead of time, with a line-up of events you can find at the Haunted Little Tokyo HQ.
Photo Credit: Haunted Little Tokyo
Sweet to-dos, games, and movie screenings are on the busy, fun-filled, ghost-gleeful roster.
It's Elaine Park's 22nd birthday.
But for her mother, Susan, it's not a happy day. It's been two years since she last saw her.
"I feel very sad. I miss her very much," Susan Park said. "I never got to say, 'I love you.'"
Susan Park reads Facebook messages on a page dedicated to finding her daughter. A reward of $140,000 was extended through the end of the year.
But she said she knows of no fresh leads in the disappearance of her daughter.
Elaine Park was last seen around 6 a.m. Jan. 28, 2017 when she left the home of her on-again, off-again boyfriend in Calabasas. On March 2, Park's 2015 Honda Civic was found on Pacific Coast Highway near Corral Canyon in the Malibu area, with the keys in the ignition and her belongings still inside, including a phone, computer and cash, according to her family.
Glendale police said earlier this year they questioned Park's boyfriend, who was "completely cooperative." Police searched the area near Park's car with the help of bloodhounds, but found nothing.
With the case going cold, Park's family hired a private investigator, who has told reporters that new leads have been developed that suggest foul play.
They've searched both in the Santa Monica Mountains and the Angeles National Forest, but found no trace.
Park is Korean-American, 5-feet-6, about 125 pounds, with brown eyes, long brown hair with blonde tips, and often wears heavy makeup. She has a cow skull tattoo on her upper left arm and another tattoo on her lower left arm.
The family asked anyone with information to call a tip line at (800) 551- 3080, or visit the website www.elainepark.tips.
City News Service contributed to this report.
Photo Credit: Glendale Police Department
Elaine Park was last seen January 28, 2017.
If you've ever considered buying a ride from a used car dealership, buyer beware -- and make sure you see the Smog certificate.
An I-Team investigation led to the California DMV launching its own investigation into a dealer in Southern California.
It all started with Yanal Alsimadi.
The Azusa man bought a used car, but then the state said he couldn't drive it.
He bought the 2000 Toyota from used car dealer 4L Motors in LA.
"I said I wanted to buy from a dealership because I bought two cars before from regular people and they burned me," he said.
But it didn't turn out that way. Alsimadi couldn't register his car with DMV because the smog inspection was past due. And when he took the car to get smogged, it failed.
4L Motors sold him a car he couldn't drive.
"I got burned. Yeah. They cheated me," he said.
Alsimadi didn't know it, but by law, dealers are required to provide a Smog certificate at the time of sale for any car older than four years. If they don't, the DMV can fine them.
But plenty of dealers are skipping that part of the sale, according to attorney Pauliana Lara. She's represented customers who also bought used cars that failed smog tests.
"Why we have so many consumer complaints about auto sales is because the dealers aren't meeting their duty," Lara said.
Lara says dealers get by with this behavior because the DMV allows it.
"Unfortunately enforcement is the problem," she said.
NBC4 reached out to the DMV to ask how many smog-related complaints it has received and how many dealers it has fined. The DMV didn't have an answer because the department doesn't track that information.
But the DMV did take action when NBC4 shared Alsimadi's complaint. The DMV sent an investigator out to 4L Motors. The dealer immediately fixed Alsimadi's car and it passed smog. The DMV also launched a criminal investigation and turned the case over to the LA city attorney. A hearing is set for next month to try and resolve issues before charges are filed.
4L Motors didn't respond to our request for comment.
Alsimadi said he's relieved to own a car he can finally drive.
"If they fix it for real, fix the car and smog it, I'm good with this," he said.
If you buy a car from a dealer and don't get a smog certificate and it doesn't pass Smog, the dealer is required by law to fix the car so it passes Smog.
Still having a problem? Contact NBC4's Randy Mac.
Photo Credit: KNBC-TV
A SoCal man bought a car from a used car dealership, and to his surprise, couldn't drive it. The DMV said it couldn't pass its Smog test. But the NBC4 I-Team had his back.
The U.S. Census Bureau is recruiting for positions in the Van Nuys area ahead of the 2020 census, and according to the federal government, many of the positions will be full-time jobs in management, field and clerical work.
Van Nuys was one of seven areas in the bureau's western region specifically mentioned in a statement highlighting opportunities. The other California locations were Riverside, Bakersfield and Oakland. In the western region overall, Anchorage, Alaska, Salem, Oregon and Seattle, Washington, were also listed.
According to the government, applications are being accepted beginning this month, and hiring events are planned starting in October, with locations to be announced. Agency officials said office managers, field supervisors, census takers and clerks are needed in advance of the 2020 count, which is constitutionally mandated. Hourly pay ranges from $12 to $23 an hour, according to USAJobs.gov.
The government is seeking both temporary full-time and part-time employees. Even individuals with non-violent criminal convictions will be considered for employment.
"There are no general prohibitions on hiring," according to the 2020census.gov website. "The Census Bureau considers a number of relevant factors, such as the duties associated with any positions applied for."
All prospective employees will be subject to a background check. New hires will be eligible for health insurance benefits, and the duration of employment will be discussed when and if a tentative job offer is made, according to the bureau.
More information and online applications can be found here.
Photo Credit: Getty Images
(File Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
An 18-year-old robbery suspect was wounded in a confrontation with deputies who had been following him in an unmarked detective car, authorities said.
It happened Monday before 9:30 a.m., and resulted in a temporary lockdown at Davis Middle School. Its athletic field is bordered by Spruce Street, where the pursuit ended and the gunfire erupted.
The unmarked detective car was the closest Los Angeles County Sheriff's vehicle when the report came in of armed robbery at the Hogan Mini Mart at the corner of Spruce and Wilmington Avenue. At some point, as the suspect vehicle looped around the block, the deputies spotted it, followed until it stopped, and then attempted to detain the occupants, according to a statement issued by the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department.
"The driver of the suspect vehicle produced a firearm, at which point a deputy involved shooting occurred," said Sheriff's Lt. Rodney Moore.
Both the wounded driver and his passenger ran off, Moore said. Deputies captured the suspected driver, 18, a block to the north on Rosecrans Avenue.
He was taken to a hospital in undisclosed condition. The suspected passenger, 17, was located and arrested in the residential neighborhood north of Rosecrans, according to Moore. He said deputies also recovered a handgun believed to be the one used by the driver.
One deputy suffered a wound to the forehead that was not the result of gunfire, Moore said. The later statement described it as a cut above an eye.
The suspect vehicle came to rest on the sidewalk of Spruce Street with visible damage, the driver's door bent forward to ther fender.
The stolen cash box could be seen with an evidence marker next to it in the driveway of the minimart.
The area is only five blocks from where a drive-by shooting last week claimed the life of Richard Jefferson, 65, father of the NBA pro basketball veteran of the same name who played on the 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers NBA championship team.
Authorities investigate a deputy-involved shooting on Monday, Sept. 24, 2018 in Compton.
The 16 firefighters who spent two weeks helping Hurricane Florence victims are now home.
They said the conditions were different from what they train for.
Although, they went knowing their skills in swift water rescue were needed, there were heartbreaking moments in North Carolina where they heard calls but unfortunately, couldn't get to them.
"We heard these calls go down and we just kept pleading with partner with can we get there? No we can't. Too flooded out, couldn't cross those areas," says Craig Covey, Chief for California Task Force 5.
Covey says that the place where they were operating at got turned into ten islands and they were on one of them.
As a team, they rescued seven people, saving lives and taking others to hospitals that had been built just for this purpose. However, more than 40 people died across three states.
For firefighter Dickens Tai, coming home reminds him of the treasures he had waiting for him at home—his son, and a daughter; perhaps, too young to comprehend their father as a hero.
Tai also says that, to him, it wasn't about the cold water, but rather having to hold on in a current with no help anywhere in sight.
"This is what we are here for, willing to risk anything for a life," says Tai.
And as their motto says, "Risk a little to save a little. Risk a lot to save a lot."
Photo Credit: Mike Tauber
16 firefighters that went to North Carolina to help provide hurricane relief return home.
Firefighters in La Verne are suing the city after they say a fire battalion chief retaliated against members of the La Verne Firefighters Association.
The lawsuit names La Verne Fire Department Chief Peter Jankowski and claims he not only lied about the department having "outmoded, inadequate, and failing equipment," but retaliated when firefighters complained. Furthermore, union members claim they were secretly recorded when they gave the chief a vote of no confidence and threw their support behind the city's mayor during the 2017 mayoral race.
"We found out we were being secretly videotaped, recorded and secret notes taken of us over a 10-month period," said LVFD Capt. Danny Montoya. "Through discovery we've found over 250 videos, 2,000 pictures and 232 pages of personal hand written notes regarding us at the station."
This claim against the city alleges the secret recordings were taken by Battalion Chief Michael Thomson and done with the full knowledge of Jankowski.
Jankowski declined to comment on the allegations when contacted by NBC4.
The LVFA says problems between members and Jankowski date back to 2013, when he was appointed as chief and "adopted an arbitrary, abusive, retaliatory, and vindictive management style," ignoring their pleas for updated equipment despite theirs putting them and the public at "physical risk by impairing their ability to fight fires and render emergency medical treatment safely and effectively."
When firefighters complained, the city ignored them and thus encouraged the chief's behaviour, the suit states.
Things escalated in late 2016 and early 2017 when the LVFA backed an opponent to La Verne Mayor Don Kendrick who was "committed to reforming the Fire Department," the lawsuit says.
The backing of Kendrick's opponent led to his demonstrating open hostility toward the LVFA during the course of his campaign, according to the lawsuit.
Jankowski responded to the LVFA's backing of Kendrick's opponent by further retaliating against firefighters and, when Kendrick eventually won re-election - by a mere seven votes - telling LVFA board member John Grapeting, "Looks like you guys are batting a thousand on supporting the wrong candidates," the suit says.
The LVFA says it is willing to settle the suit if the city fires Jankowski and Thompson, who City Manager Robert Russi says was placed on administrative leave when the city found out about the secret recordings.
An attorney for the firefighters, however, says the city knew about the recordings in June but only placed Thompson on leave in August.
If the suit isn't settled, firefighters are seeking more than $1 million in damages for "mental and emotional injuries, distress, anxiety, and humiliation."
A wild East LA police pursuit in February concluded with the suspects escaped into Metro Gold Line tunnel in a scene out of a movie, and NBC4 obtained the surveillance footage from inside the tunnels.
New video captured by Metro cameras outside and inside the tunnel show the truck entering the narrow passageway less than 30 seconds after a commuter train, hinting at how catastrophic the act could have been if the timing had been off ever so slightly.
The male driver and female passenger ditched the pursuit vehicle once inside the tunnel and found their way into an "evacuation passage" intended only for emergencies.
With few options for escape and police hot on the trail, the male passenger can been seen hiding inside the floor boards.
The female decides to take off on her own and leaves the room, with video showing her making her escape. The female was not apprehended.
Moments later, three officers entered the evacuation room with guns drawn. Almost immediately, the officers focus on the floor and quickly discover the suspect, 27-year-old Rafael Lopez Jr.
Lopez surrendered without incident and pleaded "no contest" to three felony counts, including evasion and committing a hit-and-run. He was sentenced to two years in state prison.
Watch the video on the NBC4 News at 11 p.m.
Photo Credit: NBC4
A truck drives on train tracks in East LA during a police pursuit in February of 2018.
Free the Freese.
David Freese hit a game-tying homer in the fifth inning and added an extra RBI late as the Los Angeles Dodgers rallied from behind to defeat the Arizona Diamondbacks, 7-4, on Monday night at Chase Field.
The Dodgers remained a game and a half ahead of the Colorado Rockies for first place in the National League West after the Rox routed the Phillies 10-1 earlier in the night.
"We can't approach the day looking for help," said Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts when asked if he saw what the Rockies had done beforehand. "We're in the driver's seat. There's going to be some scoreboard watching, that's natural, but its upon us to take care of our own business."
Clayton Kershaw kept the Dodgers in the game, allowing three runs on six hits with one walk and six strikeouts in six solid innings. All three runs he surrendered came from the bat of Ketel Marte.
"Some things weren't great obviously," Kershaw said of his start overall and the runs allowed. "I was fortunate to get through that tonight. The guys just scratched and clawed and battled Robbie. To get him out after five and make their bullpen cover four innings was huge for us."
Manny Machado had two RBIs for the Dodgers, including a groundout deep into the shortstop hole with the bases loaded in the seventh inning that brought in Yasiel Puig with the go-ahead run.
Later in the top of the ninth, Machado thought he had hit his 38th home run of the season, but the ball bounced off the top of the wall and Machado who was watching the ball only ended up on second with a double.
"I thought it was way out," said Machado after the game. "I thought I got it. I have to hit the weight room with Matt [Kemp]. At least we got the RBI and got the lead and we got Kenley to come in there and pitch with a safe lead."
Los Angeles has won six of seven games overall, but Colorado has won four straight to stay within striking distance of the five-time NL West Champions.
One of the newest members of the Dodgers late postseason push, David Freese, who was acquired in the waiver trade deadline on Aug. 31, finished 3-for-4 with two RBI and is now batting .375 since joining the club.
"We battled," said Freese following the win. "Kershaw battled tonight and kept us in it, and we just kept pushing. We know these games aren't going to be easy, we're fortunate to get this first one."
Robbie Ray did not factor in the decision, allowing two runs on four hits with three walks and seven strikeouts in five innings.
Marte homered, drove in three runs, and finished a double shy of the cycle for the Snakes, and A.J. Pollock homered off Dodgers' closer Kenley Jansen in the bottom of the ninth.
The reinstated right-handed pitcher J.T. Chargois from the 10-day disabled list before the game. Chargois was out since Aug. 20 with nerve irritation in his neck.
The Dodgers will send red-hot rookie Walker Buehler to the mound on Tuesday against Arizona right-hander Matt Koch. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40PM PST.
Photo Credit: Norm Hall/Getty Images
Chris Taylor #3 of the Los Angeles Dodgers gets a high five after scoring on a single by teammate David Freese #25 during the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on September 24, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
A Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy was shot in East Los Angeles late Monday night.
LASD responded to a call on the 3600 block of De Garmo Dr and Rowan Ave at around 11:40 p.m.
Both the deputy and the suspect were transported to a hospital in unknown condition, and a second suspect has been detained.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz was forced out of a Washington, D.C., restaurant Monday night by a group protesting embattled Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Cruz and his wife, Heidi, were eating at Fiola, an upscale Italian restaurant on Pennsylvania Avenue, when a group of protesters approached them.
In a video posted on Twitter by Smash Racism DC, the group can be heard chanting, "We believe survivors," as Cruz and his wife sit down at a table.
One protester told Cruz that she is a survivor of sexual assault and asked him how he will vote on Kavanaugh's confirmation.
"God bless you, ma'am," Cruz replied.
The group continued to chant until Cruz and his wife got up and left the restaurant.
"Ted Cruz and Brett Kavanaugh are best friends," one protester yelled, as the couple exited.
Beto O'Rourke, who is challenging Cruz for his Senate seat, called for Cruz to be treated with respect.
"Not right that Senator Cruz and his wife Heidi were surrounded and forced to leave a restaurant last night because of protesters. The Cruz family should be treated with respect," O'Rourke tweeted Tuesday morning.
Two women have accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct.
Christine Blasey Ford has accused Kavanaugh of assaulting her at a party when they were teenagers. But Kavanaugh denies he was "at any such party." In an interview with Fox News, he said he's "never sexually assaulted anyone."
The second woman, Deborah Ramirez, accused Kavanaugh of exposing himself to her at a Yale University dormitory party, putting his penis in her face and causing her to touch it without her consent as she pushed him away. Kavanaugh also has denied that allegation.
President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell say they are determined to get Kavanaugh on the court, calling the allegations against him false and politically motivated. Kavanaugh has been defiant as well.
Ford and Kavanaugh are set to testify Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
"I'm not going to let false accusations drive us out of this process," Kavanaugh said.
Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke debate at SMU in Dallas, Sept. 21, 2018.
Areas in the United States full of national parks — like Alaska or the American Southwest — will be the scene of the greatest heat gains and rainfall declines in the future, NBC News reported.
A new study found that recorded temperature increases in the protected zones was twice as high, from 1895 to 2010, as temperature increases in the the rest of the United States. And those greater temperature increases would be exacerbated through the end of the century, if the United States and the world do nothing to reduce the level of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases, the researchers found.
The study, completed by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Wisconsin, looked at historic temperature increases from 1895 through the 21st century. Researchers then projected temperature hikes through the year 2100 and did the same for rainfall totals in all 50 states.
Using previous data that they aggregated and reassessed, the researchers concluded that under the worst-case scenario, no reduction in earth-warming greenhouse gases, temperatures would increase between 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit and 16.2 degrees Fahrenheit. The most severe increases would hit Alaska’s North Slope, where grizzly bears, caribou, polar bears and other sensitive species make their homes.
Photo Credit: Beth J. Harpaz/AP, File
This Sept. 5, 2017, file photo ,shows Grinnell Glacier at the turnaround point of an 11-mile round-trip hike in Glacier National Park in Montana.
San Francisco paid a public relations firm hundreds of thousands of dollars for research that claims the city is near spotless, according to government documents obtained by the NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit.
The high rating appears to contradict San Francisco’s own 311 complaint records, which reflect a continued spike in service calls concerning trash, used needles, and human feces scattered across the city’s streets and sidewalks. According to data collected by the same public relations firm, JBR Partners, Inc., last year San Francisco was the cleanest the city has been in four years. During that same four-year span, however, complaints regarding human feces tainting streets and sidewalks nearly doubled to roughly 21,000 cleaning requests last year.
San Francisco hired JBR Partners, Inc., a self-described public relations agency, in an effort to assess progress within the Public Works Department, which is responsible for maintaining cleanliness along the city’s streets and sidewalks. The firm’s findings, however, have been deemed questionable and potentially inaccurate by members of the community and the city’s own budget analysts and auditors.
City paid $400K for potentially 'flawed' research
“There is some concern that the performance measures, based on their methodology, might be flawed,” said Dan Goncher, a public policy analyst with the city’s Budget Legislative Analyst’s Office. “Why are these performance measures showing improvement, when at the same time the number of complaints to the city has continued to increase year after year? That's a real head scratcher, I think, for the city right now.”
PR firm, paid by SF, awards city near perfect cleanliness score
Public Works first hired JBR Partners in 2013 to survey San Francisco’s streets and sidewalks. In an effort to assess the level of cleanliness across San Francisco, the company was contracted to walk the city in search of trash and filth, including broken glass, syringes, and human waste.
Based on the survey results, JBR Partners rated San Francisco’s streets and sidewalks each year on a scale from 1 to 3 – 1 equated to “very clean,” while 3 amounted to “very dirty.” Last year, the firm awarded San Francisco’s streets and sidewalks an average rating of 1.18 in commercial areas and 1.06 in residential neighborhoods – near perfect scores.
According the contract, the firm was required to randomly select and survey 94 residential corridors and 94 commercial corridors every six months, for a total of 376 evaluations each year.
So far, those findings have cost San Francisco’s Public Works Department $408,745 as part of its contract with JBR Partners, which began in 2013 and runs through Oct. 8, 2018.
SF gets high marks despite increasing complaints about filth
After surveying streets and sidewalks last year, JBR Partners awarded San Francisco the highest cleanliness marks since the company began surveying the city in 2013.
Those living in San Francisco, however, appeared to notice more filth on the city’s streets and sidewalks, not less. The city’s 311 system received a dramatic increase in the number of complaints concerning a lack of cleanliness across the city during those same four years. Complaints about trash increased 40 percent, human waste complaints swelled 96 percent, and complaints concerning used drug needles spiked 228 percent.
JBR Partners did not respond to repeated requests for comment.
“There are still certainly questions around the degree to which cleanliness has improved on San Francisco streets and sidewalks,” Goncher said. “What is at stake is whether the city can really have a good barometer on how it's performing and cleaning up the streets - and the use of public funds for that.”
In the absence of clear data and amid lingering questions over job performance within the city’s street cleaning division, Goncher recommended that San Francisco lawmakers refrain from implementing any long-term budget increases for Public Works. Earlier this year, however, the Board of Supervisors and Mayor London Breed opted to give the department a multimillion-dollar increase – $12.8 million in additional funds over the next two years. The current Public Works budget, $72 million, has grown more than 80 percent in just six years.
'Why is it like this?'
The department’s ballooning budget doesn’t sit well with Rickey Wilson, a 70-year-old jazz singer who has spent his entire career in San Francisco.
“Why is it like this? It shouldn't have to be,” he said. “It's not supposed to be.”
Wilson, who regularly walks the streets of San Francisco to perform at clubs and lounges across the city, doesn’t believe the cleanliness ratings released by JBR Partners.
They’re lying,” said Wilson. “They can take it any way they want it. They can come see me if they want. It doesn’t matter. I’m going to tell them the same thing I’m telling you now – they’re lying.”
San Francisco’s dirty streets made national headlines following an NBC Bay Area investigation in February, which revealed a dangerous concoction of drug needles, garbage, and feces lining the streets of downtown San Francisco. The Investigative Unit surveyed more than 150 blocks, including some of the city’s top tourist destinations and discovered conditions that infectious disease experts considered comparable to some of the worst slums in the world.
SF pays millions more for street cleaning than other major cities
San Francisco pays millions more to clean its streets and sidewalks than several other larger cities with even bigger populations, including Chicago, San Diego, and San Jose, according to a recent report by the San Francisco Budget Legislative Analyst’s Office. In fact, Los Angeles is 10 times larger than San Francisco and collects nine times the amount of trash, but San Francisco still spends about $20 million more on street cleaning each year.
“Every penny of work that a public worker does is worth it,” said Mohammed Nuru, director of San Francisco Public Works. “We have to be responsible for making sure that our city continues to be one of the best places in the world.”
Nuru takes issue with comparing San Francisco’s expenses because, he says, his department receives a higher volume of street cleaning requests than other cities across the country.
During the 2017 fiscal year, San Francisco received 77,091 service requests while other cities received far fewer: Los Angeles, 5,800; San Jose, 9,000; Baltimore, 32,553, and Chicago, 1,271, according to data released by the Budget Legislative Analyst’s Office.
We're doing what people expect of us,” Nuru said. “We still have room to grow, but we’re moving in the right direction.”
In April, during Mayor Mark Farrell's six months in office, San Francisco unveiled a new partnership with the San Francisco AIDS Foundation to create a new 10-person crew to pick up and discard used syringes across the city. In August, the Public Works Department announced plans to dedicate a five-person team to regularly clean human feces off streets and sidewalks. San Francisco also recently opened five more staffed, public restrooms as part of the city's Pit Stop Program, which now boasts 23 public toilets across the city.
In light of San Francisco's seemingly unprecedented clean-up efforts, some are confused how a city in need of such extreme measures could manage to score such high marks for cleanliness even before many of the new initiatives were implemented.
'A report is what it is'
As for the assertion made by JBR Partners that the city’s streets and sidewalks are near pristine, Nuru said “a report is what it is.”
He added, “I take information, and I try to translate it to the best way [so] that I can understand what it is saying.”
The survey data is being collected as part of a 2003 voter mandate that began requiring San Francisco to establish performance standards for street and sidewalk maintenance.
San Francisco’s auditing division, within the Controller’s Office, is responsible for reviewing those standards and issuing performance reports. While the Controller’s Office helped design the city’s cleanliness surveys, the office now has concerns the information collected may not be accurate. In fact, the office had such little confidence in the survey results that it decided to forgo issuing its scheduled 2016-2017 cleanliness evaluation report of the city’s streets and sidewalks.
“We are trying to get representative samples to get a sense of how the city is doing over time,” said Ben Rosenfield, City Controller for San Francisco, who acknowledges current survey methods are not yielding useful results.
“This is the year we decided to do something bigger that leads to better results," he said.
Rosenfield, who declined to be interviewed on camera, said his office is now partnering with Public Works to overhaul the way San Francisco measures cleanliness and expects to finalize new guidelines in the coming months.
“The purpose of our review is to get to something that is answering the question: ‘Is the city dirtier or cleaner than the year before?'” he said. “We have questions about whether the methodology we’ve used actually answers that.”
Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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September 19, 2018
A water main break early Tuesday flooded streets and submerged at least two vehicles in an underground carport in Van Nuys.
Water gushed from an 8-inch pipe at about 2 a.m. near Hazeltine Avenue and Hart Street. Video from the scene showed at least two cars submerged in an underground carport.
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power crews were at the scene. Service to some customers in the neighborhood was cut off for repair work, expect to be complete by 4 p.m.
Photo Credit: KNBC-TV
A water main break flooded an underground carport Tuesday Sept. 25, 2018 in Van Nuys.
The northbound 101 Freeway is closed Tuesday morning due to an overturned big rig that caught fire in the Camarillo area.
The crash at Lewis Road is expected to require lane closures until about 8 a.m.
The big rig driver was hospitalized. Details about the driver's condition were not immediately available.
Photo Credit: RMG
The northbound 101 Freeway is closed Tuesday Sept. 25, 2018 due to an overturned big rig that caught fire in the Camarillo area.
Casually tossing around the word "meta" these days?
It's so common that another word suggesting something that's super-meta probably needs to invented.
Someone best invent it right now, for a quartet of actors from "Stranger Things" just entered the "Stranger Things" universe, not via a television set created for the Netflix hit, but rather a Halloween Horror Nights maze at Universal Studios Hollywood.
Call it a freaky mirror world of the one these actors know from their work, a spooky space where they don't know exactly where the scares will originate from, since there is no script to work with once you step inside a fright maze like the new "Stranger Things" experience.
So what stars showed to walk the red carpet and "surprise and and step into the Upside Down" inside the shadow-filled maze, a place packed with Demogorgon-inspired screams?
Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin Henderson), Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas Sinclair), Sadie Sink (Max Mayfield), and Priah Ferguson (Erica Sinclair) all gamely braved the settings that they know well from being on the series, but without a script or knowing where the jumps would come from, on the opening night of Hollywood Horror Nights.
The word from the actors on being inside a mirror world of a show they know inside out? The reviews included "freaking awesome and "so scary."
Meta-ness and monsters wove together on Sept. 14 as the four actors entered the maze.
Take a look now at video of the night, and ponder how strange it would be to step inside a space you think you know well, but can't be sure you know at all.
Halloween Horror Nights, and the "Stranger Things" maze within, is haunting Universal Studios Hollywood, on select nights, through Nov. 3, 2018.
Universal Studios and NBC-owned TV stations operate under the same parent company NBCUniversal.
Photo Credit: Getty Images for Universal Studi
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LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 14: (L-R) Sadie Sink, Priah Ferguson, Gaten Matarazzo and Caleb McLaughlin came face-to-face with the show’s most iconic scenes and life-sized predatory Demogorgon in the "Stranger Things" maze at Halloween Horror Nights 2018 at Universal Studios Hollywood on September 14, 2018.