Independence Day. With Southern California roasting under a week-long heat wave and fuel moisture levels at record lows, local officials are concerned about the possibility of fires breaking out on this 4th of July – and they’re pleading with residents to leave the pyrotechnics to the professionals.
Fireworks are illegal in most L.A. County cities. In Los Angeles, police say they will be enforcing a zero-tolerance policy.
L.A. City Councilman Paul Koretz says “setting off fireworks on the 4th of July is not patriotic, it’s idiotic.”
Now that you’ve been duly warned, have some fun!
There are at least a dozen parades taking place around the Southland today. Mayor Garcetti will practice his crowd-waving skills as he serves as the grand marshal of the 14th annual Westchester Parade. Other communities hosting Independence Day parades include San Gabriel, Santa Monica, Valley Village and Sierra Madre.
And what’s the 4th of July without a little pyrotechnics? From South Gate and Cerritos to the Queen Mary and Castaic, there are literally scores of fireworks shows planned in Southern California this evening. Grand Park will host its first ever 4th of July Block Party starting at 2 p.m. Organizers promise a light and pyrotechnic display that will literally light up downtown Los Angeles. At the Rose Bowl, planners of the annual Americafest say they’ll be shooting off more fireworks than ever before. KNBC, KABC, L.A. Daily News
Prisoner release. A panel of federal judges has rejected Governor Jerry Brown’s request to delay its order that California release almost 10,000 inmates by the end of the year. The ruling handed down yesterday cited the “long history” of the state’s non-compliance in the ongoing legal battle. The case is focused on improving inmate medical care by reducing the prison population. The Governor’s administration has said it will seek a stay from Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who oversees appeals from the Western states. Sacramento Bee
Firefighting tool. LAUSD has a plan to give iPads to school kids. Now L.A. City Councilman Mike Bonin wants to equip firefighters with the smart tablets as well. Bonin says iPads in firetrucks would allow firefighters to respond more quickly to emergencies and to become familiar with the building or terrain where they’ll be working. He says paper maps, thick binders, and outdated, heavy computers could be replaced by apps such as Google maps and electronic medical records. No word on how much those iPads would cost. L.A. Daily News
Computer visionary. You may not know his name, but you are undoubtedly familiar with his work. Douglas Englebart – inventor of the computer mouse – has died at his home in Atherton, California. The Silicon Valley engineer is credited with helping to usher in the era of computer inter connectivity at the Stanford Research Institute. It was at Stanford in 1963 that Englebart and a colleague invented a tool to interact with a computer screen. The wooden device rolled on metal wheels and connected to the computer with a cord that looked like the tail of a mouse. Englebart was awarded the National Medal of Technology and Innovation in 2000. He was 88. New York Times
Irish wake. One of L.A.’s oldest restaurants is shutting its doors. Tom Bergin’s – the Fairfax Avenue saloon known for its corned beef and cabbage and Irish coffee – will close on Sunday, according to a message posted on its Facebook page. No reason was given for the sudden closure. But one employee says sales have been down at the once-popular night spot. Bergins opened in 1936. L.A. Times