News Stories

November 30, 2016

For all Muni Metro passengers knew, the free rides they were getting Friday night and Saturday were a holiday gift from the transit system. Little did they know Muni was under attack from a hacker trying to squeeze $73,000 in ransom to unlock the agency’s computer systems.

Muni refused to pay up. Instead, officials shut down the system’s ticket machines, threw open the fare gates as a precautionary move, and contacted the Department of Homeland Security and their own technology division to contain the attack, they said.

September 5, 2016

LOS ANGELES — Pity the California voter.

Seventeen voter initiatives are on the state ballot in November, a glut of citizen-lawmaking that could, among other things, end the death penalty, legalize recreational marijuana, impose a tax surcharge on the wealthy and place limits on prescription drug costs.

August 27, 2016

Consider two people arrested within hours of each other by police who say the suspects look just like a couple of prowlers who were seen recently creeping around homes that suffered break-ins. Both men are taken to the station, both are booked for first-degree burglary and both are held in jail until being brought before a judge.

The judge sets a trial date and consults the official bail schedule — a kind of rate sheet that lays out how much money suspects must post, depending on the alleged crime and a range of other factors — and sets bail for each at $50,000.

August 25, 2016

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on action in the California Legislature (all times local):

3:30 p.m.

Legislation to explicitly outlaw "ransomware" hacking attacks is headed to Gov. Jerry Brown.

August 24, 2016


Kids who skip out on transit payments will no longer face criminal charges under legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday. Fare evasion will result in administrative fines, but won’t escalate into a misdemeanor charge or jail time once the law takes effect at the start of next year.

August 19, 2016

When is water not water? When it falls from the sky and becomes storm water. Then it’s treated as toxic and wasted. But capturing storm water in Southern California and the Bay Area could increase the state’s stored water enough to supply Los Angeles for a year.

August 18, 2016


As Sen. Bob Hertzberg presented a bill dealing with sale or lease of public property on the Senate floor Monday, he referred to the “shpilkes” experienced by local officials when the state abolished their redevelopment programs a few years ago.

It’s a Yiddish word meaning “restlessness” and continued Hertzberg’s practice of dropping Yiddish words and phrases into his public utterances. And if his colleagues don’t know what they mean, the Los Angeles Democrat refers them to the “Yiddish for legislators” booklet that he distributes.

August 18, 2016

By Sandy Wells


The California state Senate has approved a bill this week that would allow actors to conceal their ages from websites such as Internet Movie Database used by casting directors in the film and TV industry.

State Senator Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) says AB 1687 would help a lot of older actors overcome age discrimination in seeking that next job.

June 28, 2016

State Sen. Bob Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys, has studied the intricacies of water issues and policy since he wrote his college thesis on the topic 40 years ago. Throughout the ebb and flow of his career in and out of government, water has been a constant.

“You’ll see me introduce water bills every year that I’m in the Senate,” Hertzberg said as he discussed some of his recent legislation. “These (bills) are just one small step for water policy toward one large deliverable of how we do water policy in California.”