Compiled by Gary Walker

Maxine Waters takes on the NSA

Maxine-Waters-TIGER-grantsRep. Maxine Waters (D- Los Angeles), who last year pushed legislation to limit the U.S. National Security Agency’s ability to collect electronic data on American citizens, will moderate a public forum about domestic spying tonight on the Loyola Marymount University campus.

Panelists include ACLU legislative counsel Gabe Rottman, John C. Eastman of the Claremont Institute’s Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence and “Dragnet Nation” author Julia Angwin, a ProPublica reporter.

In July, Waters voted in favor of a defense appropriation amendment that would have limited the NSA’s flexibility in interpreting laws that allow electronic surveillance of U.S. citizens through the agency’s PRISM program. The amendment was defeated 217 votes to 205.

Waters plans to discuss proposed changes to government data collection programs, the balance between national security and civil liberties and aspects of NSA activities that remain unknown.

The panel starts at 7 p.m. at Ahmanson Auditorium in University Hall, 1 LMU Drive, Westchester. Call (323) 757-8900 for information.



Jones sworn in as Beaches and Harbors head

Gary-Jones-swearing-inAfter eight months as acting director of the Los Angeles County Dept. of Beaches and Harbors, Gary Jones was officially sworn in as the department’s top executive on April 17 by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

The department oversees the county’s governance of Marina del Rey.

Jones  began working at the Dept. of Beaches and Harbors in 2009 and previously served as deputy director of its the asset management and planning divisions.

Jones’ responsibilities included managing the portfolio of long-term ground leases in Marina del Rey that generate $42 million in revenue each year. He also oversaw the $11-million dredging effort to remove nearly 800,000 cubic yards of sediment from the Marina del Rey harbor channel.

Jones was named interim director in 2012, when former director Santos Kreimann was appointed chief assessor after County Assessor John Noguez took administrative leave after being accused of taking bribes in exchange for lowering the tax rates of wealthy property owners.

“My goal is to maintain and, wherever possible, improve on the excellent track record of a department whose dedicated employees work hard to maintain the county’s stunning beaches and the beautiful harbor and its public landside amenities in Marina del Rey,” Jones said.

Democratic Club to host election forum

The West Los Angeles Democratic Club is hosting a public forum featuring candidates competing in the June 3 election for the 33rd Congressional District seat being vacated by Henry Waxman as well as the offices of California secretary of state, state controller, Los Angeles County sheriff and local judicial offices.

The forum is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., including a lunch a break, on May 3 at Venice United Methodist Church, 1020 Victoria Ave., Venice.

A donation of $5 is requested, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Call (310) 804-6854.