Los Angeles has raised the minimum wage at large hotels to $15.37 per hour.
In a 12-3 vote, the LA city council approved the rise for hotels with more than 300 rooms on July 1, 2015, and for hotels with more than 150 rooms a year later.
The new wage floor would be one of the highest in the US.
It was opposed by the hotel industry, which said it would force worker redundancies. Mayor Eric Garcetti has said he will sign the bill into law.
Under the measure passed on Wednesday, the minimum could be temporarily waived for hotels facing bankruptcy or imminent closure. Hotels with unionized workers could also be exempt if minimum wages are defined in collective bargaining agreements.
It is unclear how many workers the rise will affect. An earlier study, based on a threshold of 125 rooms, estimated the number at 13,000 employees, the Los Angeles Daily News reported.
Because the vote was not unanimous, the council will take a second vote next week in order to pass it formally.
The Los Angeles city council has voted to raise the minimum wage at large hotels to $15.37 per hour (photo Reuters)
Wednesday’s vote comes after Seattle’s city council voted to raise its hourly minimum to $15 over several years. San Francisco will vote on a similar rise in November.
Eric Garcetti has pledged to push for a city-wide rise to $13.25 by 2017.
California’s current minimum hourly wage is $9, rising to $10 by January 1, 2016.
The vote was the result of a sustained campaign by local community councils, labor unions, and the American Civil Liberties Union, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Councilman Bernard Parks, one of the three votes against, argued wage rises should not be “just for a specific union or industry or business”, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Hospitality industry figures warned the rise could lead to hotels making workers redundant.
And some hotel industry executives suggested employees who receive tips should be exempt.
“Please give it some more time to let us discuss this,” Mike Czarcinski, chairman of the Hotel Association of Los Angeles, told council members ahead of the vote, saying his organization thinks $13.25 per hour “is the right number”.
However, supporters said larger hotels could afford to pay higher wages in an industry where many workers struggle to escape poverty.
“It’s time to lift the floor in Los Angeles, it’s time to bring economic justice in Los Angeles, it’s time to raise LA,” Councilman Mike Bonin said.
A giant tortoise was spotted ambling down a street in suburban Los Angeles.
Police in Alhambra say they found the 150-pound reptile on August 2. It took two officers to heft the creature into a patrol car so they could take it to the local police station.
Police then turned over the reptile to animal control authorities.
Giant tortoises are not indigenous to the Los Angeles area.
Authorities are asking anyone whose big tortoise went missing this weekend to contact them.
Alhambra police ask for public’s help in identifying the owner of 150-pound tortoise (photo Alhambra Police Department)
They say the reptile has some distinctive markings. They aren’t revealing them for now, however, to ensure that whoever claims the tortoise is its rightful owner.
Alhambra police released multiple photos of the 150-pound tortoise on Saturday, August 2, 2014.
Authorities are asking for the public’s help in identifying the animal’s owner. “The tortoise did try to make a run for it, but our officers are pretty fast,” the department said in a statement.
“Almost had a pursuit!” Due to the tortoise’s weight, “it took two officers to take this guy into custody,” the statement continued, adding that handcuffs were “not practical in this situation”. It was unclear exactly when and where the animal was found. Alhambra police released multiple photos of the tortoise, and speculated that it might be a female because “it did not respond to Michelangelo, Leonardo, Raphael or Donatello” – a light-hearted reference to the fictional Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Authorities said the animal has distinctive markings and would be turned over to the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control location in Downey.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Alhambra Police Department’s dispatch center at 626-570-5151.
A massive water main break on Los Angeles’ iconic Sunset Boulevard has caused flooding at the UCLA campus, local officials say.
The main burst on Tuesday afternoon, sending a 30-feet jet of water into the air and opening a hole 10 feet wide in the street.
Local roads were inundated and water poured into underground car parks.
Three motorists had to be rescued from flooded cars.
A massive water main break on Los Angeles’ iconic Sunset Boulevard has caused flooding at the UCLA campus
The broken main dates from 1921 and carries water from reservoirs in the San Fernando Valley to the city of Los Angeles.
People were stranded by rising water shortly before 3:30 p.m. when the water main burst near Sunset Boulevard from Marymount Place to Westwood Plaza, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. It complicated the rush-hour commute for scores of drivers.
The 90-year-old water main was shut off four hours after it ruptured, but not before wasting 8 to 10 million gallons of water, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power officials said.
It took several hours before the flow was halted in the early evening. Pipes had to be closed slowly to avoid further damage, Los Angeles Water and Power spokeswoman Michele Vargas said.
Police discouraged anyone from trying to surf down streets flooded with ankle-deep water, after some people came to the area with boogie boards.
“That is probably one of the most dangerous things you can do,” said Los Angeles Fire Department Captain Jaime Moore.
“For somebody to try and boogie board in this, it’s just going to be an asphalt bath.”
At least five people were rescued from an underground parking structure near the Edwin W. Pauley Pavilion, LAFD spokesman Brian Humphrey said. Four swift-water rescue teams were in two underground parking garages evaluating the structures and checking for any stranded people.
Lamar Odom and Khloe Kardashian, who separated two weeks ago, have put their $4 million Tarzana house on the private market, E! News reported.
There is no more info about the listing.
Lamar Odom and Khloe Kardashian have put their $4 million Tarzana house on the private market
Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom reportedly still maintain good relationship. A source close to the couple recently said: “Khloe and Lamar are still speaking on the phone. Not a lot but every so often. They are still working out some logistics and things are friendly between them. They will always have a deep affection for one another.”
Los Angeles residents have been turning out to watch the US space shuttle Endeavour as it inches through the city on a giant trolley, bound for a museum.
The spacecraft that once reached 17,000 mph (28,160km/h) is trundling down the city’s famously low-level boulevards at a stately 2 mph.
“It’s pretty neat to see a spaceship in the street,” a spectator told local TV.
Endeavour began its 12-mile, two-day journey on Friday and is due to end up at the California Science Center.
The 75-ton spacecraft entered service in 1992, making 25 trips, logging 123 million miles and circling the globe almost 4,700 times.
Replacing Challenger, which was destroyed in an accident in 1986 that killed seven astronauts, Endeavour was the baby of the shuttle fleet.
NASA took its shuttles out of service last year in order to focus on destinations beyond low-Earth orbit, such as asteroids and Mars.
Los Angeles residents have been turning out to watch the US space shuttle Endeavour as it inches through the city on a giant trolley
The three other surviving shuttles are already in museums or will be eventually:
• Enterprise is on display at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City.
• Discovery is on display at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC.
• Atlantis is due to be put on display at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida.
For its trip across Los Angeles, Endeavour has been placed on a 160-wheeled carrier which is being guided by remote control.
The shuttle set off on Friday from Los Angeles international airport, where it arrived three weeks ago aboard a specially equipped Boeing 747.
After an early bumpy ride, it was backed into a shopping centre car park in the city’s Westchester neighborhood as crowds cheered.
Janet Dion, a family therapist from nearby Manhattan Beach, marvelled at the shuttle, its exterior weathered by its space missions.
“You can sense the magnitude of where it’s been,” she told the Associated Press news agency, looking at the heat tiles which had protected the craft on its returns to Earth.
Around midnight local time, Endeavour crossed a bridge over the Interstate 405 highway, an especially difficult part of the complicated journey because of the size of the shuttle and width of the bridge.
For the bridge manoeuvre, crews spent hours transferring the shuttle to a special, lighter towing dolly, which was then pulled across by a pickup truck.
Four hundred trees had to be cut down to make way for Endeavour’s wingspan. The city has promised to plant 1,000 replacements.
Power lines have also been raised and traffic lights pulled down but some stretches of the 12-mile journey are still a tight squeeze.
Former shuttle commander Mark Kelly, who captained Endeavour’s final flight, said he hoped the spacecraft would become an inspiration for future generations of astronauts.
“Maybe some day one of these kids that see Endeavour, look up at it at the California Science Center, will be that person that walks on the planet Mars?” he told US broadcaster CNN.
Luis Rosales, an armed robber got more than he bargained for after being tackled by two cage fighters who just happened to be staying at the hotel he was trying to hold-up.
Luis Rosales, 31, definitely made the wrong move when he walked into the Comfort Inn hotel in LA’s Koreatown, pointed a gun at the clerk and demanded he fill a bag full of cash.
After handing over money from the till, the clerk noticed Luis Rosales place the weapon in the bag along with the cash. He followed him out of the office, grabbed him from behind and screamed for help.
Luis Rosales, an armed robber got more than he bargained for after being tackled by two cage fighters who just happened to be staying at the hotel he was trying to hold-up
Luckily for the clerk, two of his guests, trained martial arts experts Brent Alvarez, 33, and Billy Denney, 28, had just arrived in town for a tournament in Long Beach and were waiting in the lobby.
As Luis Rosales struggled to break free the two fighters leapt into action with Billy Denney grabbing the robber in a hold while Brent Alvarez seized the gun.
The cage fighters then put the robber on the ground with a leg sweep and held him until police arrived.
Billy Denney told the LA Times: “The manager eye-balled us and immediately started running after this guy saying <<He’s got a gun, he’s got a gun, he’s got a gun, he just robbed me>>.
“He body-locks him and that’s when me and Brent. kind of rushed the guy.”
Brent Alvarez, 33, a former hip-hop club bouncer added: “He wasn’t trying to punch us; he just seemed like someone who had run out of options.
“I think back now and wonder what the hell was I doing? I should have hit him and knocked him out.”
Brent Alvarez runs Twisted Web Martial arts studio in Eugene, Oregon
Brent Alvarez, who runs Twisted Web Martial arts studio in Eugene, Oregon, and Billy Denney who is his student, ended up struggling for several minutes with Luis Rosales before the police arrived and brought things under control.
Brent Alvarez claims the suspect kept insisting he was desperate and was only doing it for his daughter.
The Los Angeles Police Departnment have commended the two men for their bravery.
Mixed martial arts expert, student Billy Denney
Officer Rosario Herrera of the LAPD said: “When the officers arrived they saw a man on the ground being held by two citizens.
“From there we disarmed him, we got the money.”
Luis Rosales was later taken into custody and charged with armed robbery with bail set at $101,250.