Author: anitavarghese

Airbus A380 touches down at LAX

The world’s largest commercial aircraft, the Airbus A380, left Toulouse, France and touched down at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) at 9:28 a.m., Pacific Standard Time, Monday, March 19th, for its first landing in California and the West Coast. The aircraft, numbered MSN001, powered by four Rolls Royce Trent 900 engines, was at LAX on Monday and Tuesday, March 20th, to carry out airport function and compatibility checks in conjunction with Los Angeles World Airports and Qantas Airways. Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) is the City of Los Angeles agency that owns and operates the city’s four airports, including LAX. Qantas brought the historic landing to LAX on the nonstop flight of over 12 hours and is the first airline to regularly schedule nonstop commercial flights of the A380 out of LAX. In 2008, Qantas will operate regularly scheduled nonstop flights between LAX and Australia with 20 A380s purchased at $300 million per aircraft from Airbus, a Toulouse, France-based subsidiary of the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS). EADS is an aerospace corporation formed in 2000 by the merger of AÈrospatiale-Matra of France, Construcciones Aeron·uticas SA of Spain and DaimlerChrysler Aerospace AG of Germany. A sister Airbus A380 operated by Lufthansa left Germany’s Frankfurt International Airport and touched down at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport at 12:11 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, 17 minutes before MSN001 landed at...

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Rep. Maxine Waters discusses agenda for district and ‘First 100 Hours’ at town hall

Congresswoman Maxine Waters, who represents the U.S. House of Representatives 35th District, held a series of town hall meetings throughout the district Saturdays, March 3rd and March 10th, to discuss the first 100 hours of her ninth House term and gather new ideas from constituents. The 35th District extends from Playa del Rey to South Los Angeles. One of the town hall meetings was held Saturday, March 3rd, at Loyola Marymount University’s Ahmanson Auditorium in Westchester. “We started [the 110th Congress] out with a bang,” Waters said. “[Speaker of the House] Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic leadership decided that we will show we can get things done quickly.” The Democratic Party took control of both the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives for the first time since 1994, thanks to major wins in last year’s November elections. The House of Representatives passed six resolutions during what Democratic Party leaders have called the “First 100 Hours” agenda of the new 110th Congress, which convened Thursday, January 4th: — H.R. (House Resolution) 1 ñ Implementing 9/11 Commission’s Recommendations; — H.R. 2 ñ Raising the Minimum Wage; — H.R. 3 ñ Promoting Life-Saving Stem Cell Research; — H.R. 4 ñ Requiring Medicare to Negotiate Lower Prescription Drug Prices; — H.R. 5 ñ Cutting Interest Rates on Student Loans; and — H.R. 6 ñ Repealing Big Oil Subsidies/Investing in Renewable Fuels. Five...

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Santa Monica College: Trustees certify EIR and adopt Bundy Campus Master Plan

The Santa Monica Community College District board of trustees certified a final environmental impact report (EIR) for its Bundy Campus and adopted a Bundy Campus Master Plan in February after three cycles of public hearings since 2005. The Bundy Campus, a 10.4-acre satellite campus of Santa Monica College, opened in July 2005 with 16 classrooms on a site located off Bundy Drive in Los Angeles’ Mar Vista neighborhood and across the street from Santa Monica’s Airport Avenue and Santa Monica Airport. Since 2005, Santa Monica residents who live in the adjacent Sunset Park neighborhood, Mar Vista residents and city officials from both Santa Monica and Los Angeles have expressed strong opposition to operations at the Bundy Campus. The primary conflicting issue was that an increasing list of classes and an increasing student population at the Bundy Campus would create more traffic on already congested neighborhood streets in Sunset Park and Mar Vista. Trustees had voted over two years to conduct traffic analysis, study environmental impacts, develop mitigation measures and reach a three-way agreement between Santa Monica College and the cities of Santa Monica and Los Angeles before approving the final EIR and master plan. “The Bundy Campus Master Plan is a long-range plan designed to be respectful of neighboring communities,” said Don Girard, the college district’s senior director of government relations and institutional communication. “The EIR analyzed 27 intersections...

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House under construction north of Montana Avenue features passive solar energy and sustainable design

A house under construction in Santa Monica, north of Montana Avenue, that environmentalists and architects in the passive solar energy movement say is one of the most sustainable residences in the Westside, is nearly complete and ready for its owners to occupy it in March. The property consists of a 69.61-foot by 145.47-foot parcel located on the southwest corner of San Vicente Boulevard and 21st Place owned by Carol and Bob Beitcher, the president and chief executive officer of Panavision Incorporated. “It’s a modern home as you can tell from the architecture, but there is more to it,” said real estate agent Joseph Treves. “Homes today evolve and they continue to evolve in the context of the times we are living in.” Treves chairs a subcommittee on sustainability in Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl’s Empowerment Congress and founded GoGreenLA, an entity that promotes awareness of issues friendly to the environment. He is also a member of Bioneers, a nonprofit organization founded in 1990 to promote environmental solutions and social strategies in an effort to restore the environment and communities. The Beitcher residence’s sustainable design features include passive solar heating and cooling, a solar thermal hybrid water heating system, a solar radiant floor heating system, a five-kilowatt photovoltaic electrical system, whole-house day lighting and building materials such as bamboo ceilings, palm wood floors, strawboard cabinetry, recycled denim insulation and...

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City reimburses Playa Vista $11.4 million in Mello-Roos bonds for archaeological expenses

The Los Angeles City Council approved Tuesday, January 16th, the reimbursement of $11.4 million to Playa Vista through Mello-Roos bond proceeds for expenditures the developer incurred for archaeological costs related to the Riparian Corridor project and the excavation of Native American remains. The state Mello-Roos Community Facilities Act of 1982 provides a method for local governments to fund public infrastructure and certain services, particularly for newly developing areas. The act provides that cities may form community facilities districts (CFDs), which are special financing entities through which a local government is empowered to levy special taxes and issue bonds authorized by a two-thirds vote of the qualified electors in the district. Mello-Roos bond proceeds can be used to finance the construction, expansion, rehabilitation or acquisition of any real or other tangible property with an estimated useful life of five years or more, which will be constructed, owned or operated by a public entity. Mello-Roos bonds are payable solely from special taxes levied on property within the boundaries of the community facilities district. The City of Los Angeles is not obligated to pay the bonds from any city funds. In 1999, the Los Angeles City Council approved various resolutions and ordinances to form Community Facilities District No. 4 (Playa Vista – Phase I). In 2000, a special landowner election was held of the qualified electors of Playa Vista to incur bonded...

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