Burbank bust shows need for gun law; greener schools & MORE
We didn’t need to see anything more to know why my nation-leading gun-safety law is needed. But sadly, we did see more.
A week ago today, on July 22, Gov. Newsom signed Senate Bill 1327 into law, my measure that now allows individuals to file civil lawsuits against anyone who imports, distributes, manufactures or sells illegal firearms in California. This includes assault weapons and hard-to-trace guns with no serial numbers, called ghost guns.
Only two days earlier, on July 20, officers with the Burbank and Los Angeles police departments, working collaboratively on an anonymous tip, seized a cache of illegal ghost guns from a Burbank home and charged a 32-year-old felon with manufacturing assault weapons. Among the items confiscated as evidence were multiple privately made firearms, firearm parts, firearm manufacturing tools, ammunition, cash and narcotics.
Although the action by LAPD’S Gun Violence Reduction Task Force occurred months before my latest law takes effect on Jan. 1, 2023, those convicted of providing these kinds of guns in the future can be sued for $10,000 for each weapon involved in a crime.
(PHOTO CREDIT: Office of Senator Hertzberg)
As Gov. Newsom put it, SB 1327 will allow “40 million Californians to enforce the law.”
California is already among the safest states in the nation when it comes to violence. Let’s hope this bill helps make it more so.
For additional news you can use, scroll down to learn more about the latest COVID mask updates, converting school playgrounds into greener spaces and MORE.
Be well, stay safe and remember we are all in this together.
(PHOTO CREDIT: LA County Department of Public Health)
INDOOR MASK MANDATE AS SOON AS NEXT WEEK
As cases and hospitalizations increase due to the hyper-infectious BA.5 Omicron subvariant, Los Angeles County is preparing to impose another indoor mask mandate. Last week, LA County reported nearly 8,700 new cases — one of the highest single-day totals of the current surge. The director of the LA County Department of Public Health, Barbara Ferrer, announced this week that the county could hold off on a mandate if transmission and hospitalizations slow dramatically over the next few weeks. To prevent the imposition of a full indoor mask mandate, officials encourage residents to mask up in public spaces whenever possible. More HERE:
(PHOTO CREDIT: LA Daily News)
PACOIMA SCHOOL SHOWCASES ‘GREEN SPACES’ BY LA SCHOOLS
A year ago, children at Vaughn Early Education Center in Pacoima had mostly a heat-radiating asphalt blacktop for a schoolyard. Today, as part of a Los Angeles Unified School District initiative to reduce heat islands, the center showcases gardens, dirt-digging areas and watering stations, this after converting asphalt into cooler green and recreation areas. The change reduces heat islands by planting more trees and gardens and installing athletic fields, playgrounds and shade structures. More than 100 of these projects valued at about $276 million have been approved, and all are either completed or in the process of being constructed. Besides serving as a major step toward environmental preservation and ensuring that students have access to nature, officials said the project helps remedy gaps in equity. This is because the vast majority of LA's park-poor neighborhoods are in low-income communities of color. The new green spaces will help reduce this inequity while also allowing the entire community to enjoy them when school is not in session. Such spaces can additionally increase students’ ability to focus, stabilize their moods, and (through their inviting and pleasant appearance) make students more enthusiastic about learning. Learn more about the process of ranking each campus’ need for such outdoor classrooms/green spaces based on a greening index HERE.
(PHOTO CREDIT: National Park Service)
MOUNTAIN LION KILLED ON 405 HELPS SPARK CAPITOL BILL
A GPS-collared mountain lion known as P61 that was struck and killed on the 405 Freeway near Sepulveda Pass has helped spark a statewide effort to identify where wildlife crossings are needed to protect both wildlife and motorists, according to a measure to be considered by the California Legislature during August. If approved, Assembly Bill 2344 would help prevent collisions statewide between vehicles and wildlife and would require Caltrans to acknowledge wildlife movement before planning and designing transportation projects. The CHP has estimated that 24 motorists and passengers died and 1,500 were injured in collisions that killed at least 8,000 large game animals between 2014 and 2020. Four-year-old P61 was the third cat killed on Sepulveda Pass since 2009. The bill, known as the Safe Roads and Wildlife Protection Act, would direct Caltrans to work with biologists to identify areas where crossings are needed. The law is intended to protect mountain lions, desert tortoises and California tiger salamanders, all of which have been prevented from accessing their habitats by man-made infrastructure, notably roads and freeways. More HERE:
(PHOTO CREDIT: Ceramics and Glass Industry Assn.)
FREE ONLINE SCIENCE WORKSHOPS
Both teachers and students in middle school and higher can learn about crystals, candy and clinkers that link everyday materials to cutting-edge science during nine free online workshops, but they must register by Aug. 10. Developed for those who wish to sharpen their knowledge of chemistry, earth science, geology and environmental science, instruction begins Aug. 11 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is designed to help students see various applications of materials in everyday life. For example, participants will learn how strong their chocolate is by testing how their favorite candy bar can stand up to weight. Other lessons include heating a brick on one side without heat affecting the other side; identifying metals using borax and heat; and mixing cement and composite materials to see which is strongest. More HERE:
(PHOTO CREDIT: Encino Farmers Market)
ENJOY FRESH ORGANIC PRODUCE AT ENCINO FARMERS MARKET
Support local growers, artisans and small businesses by enjoying fresh fruit and vegetables grown by certified organic growers at the Encino Farmers Market every Sunday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 17400 Victory Blvd., between Balboa and White Oak. Parking is free. Other products available include flowers, meats, plants, artwork, clothing and jewelry, as well as free live entertainment and activities for the little ones. More HERE.
REMEMBER, WE ARE A TEAM
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