License-plate Reading Cameras Coming To Hollywood, Chief Says

Immigration activists cheer Trust Act at Hollywood rally

CDT, October 5, 2013 Jorge Garavito was 3 years old when his father got caught up in a raid at the airport and was deported back to Colombia. Now 22, the political science student said said he hasn’t been able to save enough money to go back and see his father for almost eight years. “It’s unfair that this happened to me,” Garavito said, “so I want to correct the system. It’s a human rights issue.” Garavito was one of hundreds of activists who marched in Hollywood on Saturday advocating for new immigration laws. Los Angeles police were on hand, but the march remained peaceful. By 11 a.m., Hollywood Boulevard at Western Avenue was packed with people holding banners, blowing air horns and listening to speakers take turns telling their stories from a stage set up on the bed of a truck. Giant speakers helped preachers, musicians and political organizers rally the protesters standing in the street. “Si se puede!” they shouted. “Si se puede! (Yes, we can.)” There were hot dog carts, American flags and plenty of handmade signs. Many of the signs called on Congress to pass legislation that would open a path to citizenship for those who are here illegally. The march around Hollywood began around noon. Garavito and other activists acknowledged that some are losing faith in Congress as the government remains shut down. But they insisted that the time to tackle immigration is now. “We have hope,” said Garavito, a member of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, which helped organize the march.

New Hollywood police chief pushes change

When told that Brown had signed the Trust Act, the father of a 4-year-old rejoiced. Under the new legislation, law enforcement officials in California who arrest immigrants in the country illegally will be prohibited from detaining them for transfer to federal authorities unless they are suspected of committing a serious crime. The Trust Act is the second milestone bill on immigration signed by Brown this week. On Thursday, he approved a measure allowing immigrants in the country illegally to receive state drivers licenses. “California is sending a clear message to Washington,” said Valladares, who came to the U.S. at age 7 and didn’t gain legal resident status until 2007. Families no longer have to live in fear. Children will know that at the end of the day, they’re going to see their parents.” The activists marched to the 1600 block of Vine Street, just blocks from landmarks such as the Capitol Records building and Pantages Theatre. Speakers stood on the bed of a truck and spoke from a microphone. Protesters clumped together on the street and sidewalk to listen. For our families, for our futures, we will keep marching! one speaker said to raucous cheers. LAPD Capt. Peter Zarcone, who monitored the rally and march, estimated there were between 1,000 and 2,000 attendees, and called the event “very peaceful and very positive.” The rally ended shortly after 1 p.m. Throughout the morning, activists pressed Congress to end the gridlock over Obamacare, reopen government and pass immigration reform that would create a pathway to citizenship for about 11 million people.

Hollywood animal trainer plans move to Oregon

Boca Raton and Delray Beach are also using them in Palm Beach County . “Every camera is equivalent to 10 officers,” Fernandez said in pitching the program to commissioners. Hollywood has budgeted $2.2 million for the program, the chief says. He hopes to have the cameras up and running within the year. Hollywood currently has 423 cameras throughout the city, but many of them aren’t working, Fernandez said. His plan calls for repairing the broken cameras and buying new ones. The cameras would be clustered in nearly 40 spots throughout the city, according to a map showing proposed locations. Cameras will be installed along State Road A1A near the beach, Young Circle in downtown Hollywood and State Road 7 in the western part of the city. Fernandez points to crime stats to show just how dangerous Hollywood streets have become. The city ranks fifth in the number of fatal accidents statewide, third in accidents involving bicycles and 12th in cases of aggressive driving. Fernandez says he wants to make Hollywood’s streets safer through more DUI patrols and traffic enforcement, especially along Federal Highway. He’s even put cops on bicycles to help curb crime. Earlier this year, he rolled out the department’s Downtown Corridor Bicycle Unit in an effort to curb crime while boosting police presence on the streets. The unit patrols Federal and Dixie highways from Pembroke Road to Sheridan Street, looking for drug dealing and prostitution.

“It’s going to be a year or so from now,” McMillan said in an interview from his current operation in Canyon Country, Calif. “Right now we’re just trying to get our house built.” McMillan has been an animal trainer for more than 30 years, according to his website. His credits include television shows such as “CSI: NY” and “Monk” and films such as “Into the Wild,” as well as an array of talk shows and television commercials. McMillan said his “Hollywood Animals” and “Walking with Lions” operations already do filming in Oregon, primarily in the Portland area, and he wants to expand that work in Oregon and Northern California. The couple settled on the Phoenix property as a base for filming here because they prefer the climate and the community, he said, but that they plan to keep his Southern California operation as well. Eventually, he plans to add pens and other facilities on the property before shipping seven lions, three giraffes, three zebras, two camels, two ostriches and six antelope north, according to his county planning application. “It’s a nice, big, beautiful piece of property with lots of space,” he said. “And we’ve always liked Oregon.” Before purchasing the land, which is zoned exclusively for farm use, McMillan asked the Jackson County Planning Department whether these exotic animals would fall under the land-use definition of “farm use.” The lions fall under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and would need a permit from that agency to be housed on the property, said Bruce Pokarney , spokesman for the state Department of Agriculture. The ostriches and camels already are exempt from wildlife laws because they are considered domesticated animals, said Rick Boatner , who handles exotic species issues for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. The giraffes, zebras and the antelopes kudus, blackbucks and impalas are listed by the ODFW as “non-controlled animals” that can be kept, bred or sold here under limited restrictions, Boatner said.