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first_imgOfficials said they hope to use the bond to generate an additional $300 million in federal and state grants. City officials have been critical of the amount of time it has taken to identify and fund the projects. “Since I was elected in 2001, I have been looking for ways to clean up areas of my district,” Councilwoman Janice Hahn said. “This funding will allow us to revitalize areas of our city.” Among the six major projects approved by the council is $17.8 million set aside for cleaning up the Strathern Pit in Sun Valley. The project would transform a former gravel pit in Sun Valley into a scenic lake and park to collect and treat storm-water runoff. Rainwater that now floods neighborhoods and intersections would be diverted to the 30-acre gravel pit. The water would be cleaned and stored in the wetlands and pond planned for the site. Or extra water could be pumped to nearby Sun Valley Park, where there is an underground system that infiltrates water back into the aquifer for reuse. Under pressure to take steps to clean urban runoff and improve water quality, the Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday approved spending more than $230 million on projects ranging from cleaning up lakes to dealing with storm-drain runoff. In a 12-0 vote, the council approved using about half of a $500 million bond measure approved by voters in 2004 to begin dealing with water pollution and urban runoff while increasing the amount of park and green space in the city. “This is an important first step for us to take,” council President Eric Garcetti said. “With voters’ approval of Proposition O, they gave us the means and the mandate to clean up Los Angeles’ water system.” The bond issue is considered a down payment on what has been estimated as an $8 billion problem facing the city as it strives to meet federal cleanup goals. Strathern Pit is a major piece of the Sun Valley Watershed Project, a massive project by Los Angeles County and the nonprofit group TreePeople to help clean up dirty storm water, prevent flooding and create more parks. Other projects approved by the council include major efforts such as $84.3 million to drain and rehabilitate Echo Park Lake, the site of the annual Lotus Festival and boat races. It also includes $99.5 million for Machado Lake, the local landmark noted for being home to Reggie the alligator, who has successfully avoided capture. “Maybe now we’ll be able to find Reggie and learn what happened to him,” Hahn said. “I think he probably died from living in the pollution there.” The Machado project is being done in conjunction with a $17 million cleanup of the Wilmington Drain. “What’s exciting about this is that the project is meeting all the goals of the local neighborhood council,” Hahn said. “It is an example of what can happen when we work together.” [email protected] (213) 978-0390160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more


first_imgCharlie McConalogue TD has accused the Government of betraying medical card holders with a five-fold increase in prescription charges – despite a promise four years ago to abolish them.Charlie McConalogue TDIt comes as new figures released to Fianna Fáil show that the Government has collected €312m in prescription charges in the four years since it promised to axe the charge.Last year, medical card holders handed over a massive €120m in prescription charges and the figure has reached €48m in the first half of this year. “These new figures highlight the complete hypocrisy of the Government on prescription charges. Shortly after they were elected, Fine Gael and Labour promised to abolish the prescription charge of 50c. Instead, they have introduced a series of increases and prescription charges have now gone up 200% to €2.50 per item,” explained Deputy McConalogue.“Several pensioners and people with serious illnesses who require constant medication have raised this issue with me, saying they simply cannot afford the additional expense at a time when other State supports have been cut. I know of cases where some people are forgoing medication as a result or they are forgoing other essentials in order to pay for their prescriptions. It is a disgrace,” said Deputy McConalogue.“Many of these people took the former Minister for Health James Reilly at his word when he promised in 2011 that the charge would be scrapped. Instead he trebled the charge to €1.50 in 2013 and then added another euro a year later, bringing the charge to €2.50 per item. This is subject to a monthly cap of €25, which really adds up for someone who needs regular medication and is only living off the State pension or disability payments.“This substantial charge is extremely short sighted, given that in many cases it is acting as a deterrent to sick people getting prescriptions filled. The result is more people potentially having to be hospitalised and costing the State more in the long-run. “This charge needs to be phased out, beginning with the upcoming budget. It is yet another example of the Government’s sneaky attack on pensioners and people with disabilities. Why is it that the sick, disabled and elderly are consistently expected to bear the brunt of government cuts?”McCONALOGUE SLAMS GOVERNMENT ON PRESCRIPTION CHARGES was last modified: September 22nd, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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