Nevada City to host its first Halloween parade
Nevada City’s first annual Halloween parade will be taking place on Thursday, Oct. 31. This event is supported by the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce and will take place from 5-6:00 p.m. down Broad Street. Entry is $30, which will go toward event funding.
Community support is needed for this new and fun all-ages event. Organizers are looking for people to join the parade. Costumes are required. Come up with a theme with your co-workers or build a float with your kids. Enter with your band. Organizers are also looking for sponsors. You can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-802-1108, or check out the group’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/NevadaCityHalloweenParade?fref=ts.
— The Union staff
Mayor signs Los Angeles plastic bag ban into law
LOS ANGELES — Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has signed into law a ban on giving out free plastic bags in Los Angeles grocery stores.
The historic ban signed Wednesday makes Los Angeles the biggest city in the country to ban the bags.
Under the law, which takes effect Jan. 1, shoppers will have to tote their own bags or pay 10 cents each for paper bags.
About $2 million a year is spent to clean up plastic bag litter in Los Angeles. Small stores have until June 2014 to begin enforcing.
Kaiser Permanente fined
$4 million by Calif agency
SACRAMENTO — State officials fined Kaiser Permanente $4 million, saying the health care giant failed to provide adequate mental health services, a newspaper reported.
The fine issued on Tuesday by the California Department of Managed Health Care is the second-largest in the history of the agency.
Investigators said Kaiser failed to see mental health patients fast enough and that the company’s description of its mental health services was so complicated and misleading it “could dissuade an enrollee from pursuing medically necessary care.”
Kaiser Permanente said it is making improvements.
The department issued a report three months ago listing numerous deficiencies that noted a “Frequently Asked Questions” sheet for Kaiser in Northern California said the company did not offer long-term individual psychotherapy.
Officials with the managed health care agency said advising patients that long-term psychotherapy is unavailable violates a state law that says mental illness must be treated on par with physical illnesses.
Judge orders BLM to sell more timber
GRANTS PASS, Ore. — A federal judge has ordered the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to sell more timber in Southern Oregon, and vacated a tool used to avoid harming the northern spotted owl.
The ruling Wednesday out of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia came in a case filed by the timber industry against the Department of Interior.
Judge Richard J. Leon ruled that BLM has failed to consistently offer as much timber as called for in its resource management plans for the Medford and Roseburg districts.
The timber industry called it a clear win, but conservationists said BLM will have a hard time offering more timber without violating environmental laws.
LA now pays for power
from solar panels
LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles utilities officials will now pay building owners who install solar panels on their properties for feeding power into the city’s grid.
In a release Wednesday, the city’s Department of Water and Power said the program is expected to generate 150 megawatts of clean, renewable solar energy.
That much power could provide electricity to over 43,000 typical homes and would also reduce 147 metric tons of CO2 emissions.
Utility chief Ronald O. Nichols says the program is a step toward transforming the city’s power supply to meet the state mandate of having 1/3 of the city using renewable energy by 2020.
— Associated Press