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April 23
1986 - COC board votes to allow Argentine cliff swallows to nest forever on sides of buildings [story]


homeless tent under a freeway overpass

State Assemblymembers Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) and Laura Friedman (D-Glendale) introduced legislation Wednesday to change the criteria by which local governments are able to provide critical medical care to homeless individuals who are mentally ill.

AB 1971’s introduction comes a day after the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted to approve such legislation.

“It is inhumane to be a bystander when we have the power to do something to save lives in this vulnerable population,” Santiago said. “We need to ensure there is proper medical care for homeless individuals with mental illness who are suffering on the streets with serious physical ailments.”

The legislation will serve as a placeholder for language requested by the Supervisors Tuesday to change the definition of “grave disability” to consider urgently needed medical treatment as a basic human need when assessing an individual’s need for conservatorship.

State law defines “gravely disabled” as a “condition in which a person, as a result of a mental health disorder, is unable to provide for his or her basic personal needs for food, clothing, or shelter.” This standard is used when considering conservatorship.

Supervisors Kathryn Barger and Mark Ridley-Thomas and Assemblymembers Santiago and Friedman believe that this definition does not go far enough. AB 1971 will amend the state’s definition to include “or medical treatment where the lack or failure of such treatment may result in substantial physical harm or death.”

“It’s no secret that in Los Angeles, and communities across California, we’re grappling with a homeless crisis,” Friedman said. “If we can open the door to treatment for those struggling with severe mental illness, we can get our most vulnerable the health care they need and get them off of the streets.”

On October 31, 2017, Supervisors approved a motion jointly authored by Barger and Ridley-Thomas that directed the county’s Department of Mental Health to work with county agencies, mental health advocacy groups, civil rights organizations, and other stakeholders to develop legislative recommendations to tackle the growing number of homeless deaths in the county.

Numerous mental health professionals and advocates voiced support and participated in the effort, including Dr. Susan Patrovi, Medical Director of Homeless Healthcare LA, Brittney Weissman, Executive Director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness Los Angeles County Council, and Los Angeles City Councilmember David Ryu.

LADMH and its partners engaged stakeholders from various statewide and local organizations and received overwhelmingly positive feedback on modifying the current grave disability standard.

“More than 830 homeless people died on the streets of L.A. County last year,” Barger said. “Many of these deaths were preventable with proper medical attention. It’s time for California to join 37 other states that consider medical treatment a basic human need for those suffering from a mental illness.

“I am pleased that Assemblymembers Santiago and Freidman are moving forward on this vital effort, and look forward to working with them to add California to the list of 37 other states who consider medical treatment a basic human need for those suffering from a mental illness,” Barger said.

According to local data, there is an increased death rate among the homeless population in Los Angeles County. A significant number of these deaths were due to preventable and/or treatable medical conditions such as cardiovascular disease, pneumonia, diabetes, cancer, cirrhosis, severe bacterial infection and other treatable conditions.

Although these numbers do not indicate whether or not the deceased homeless individuals suffered from mental illness that impaired their willingness to seek care, Los Angeles County has seen a 28 percent increase in homeless individuals suffering from a mental illness from 2015-2017.

By expanding the “gravely disabled” definition to include consideration of medical need where the lack or failure of such treatment may result in substantial physical harm or death, those involved hope to be able to provide care for more homeless individuals and save lives.

AB 1971 will be amended to include substantive language in early March and will be considered in policy committees thereafter.

The text of Tuesday’s Board of Supervisor’s motion can be found here.

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LOS ANGELES COUNTY HEADLINES
Monday, Apr 22, 2019
This week, Los Angeles County Probation Child Welfare officials launched “Fostering Home,” a creative advertising campaign urging L.A. residents to open their homes and hearts to one of the area’s thousands of children and teens in need.
Monday, Apr 22, 2019
Given widespread outbreaks in the United States and internationally, and locally acquired cases, the chance of exposure to measles is increased at this time, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health officials said Monday.
Monday, Apr 22, 2019
The Los Angeles County Civilian Oversight Commission for the LA County Sheriff's Department will take possible action regarding secret deputy sub-groups and immigration policies at its next monthly public meeting on Downtown Los Angeles on Tuesday, April 23, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Monday, Apr 22, 2019
The next meeting of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is set for Tuesday, April 23, starting at 9:30 a.m.
Thursday, Apr 18, 2019
LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) confirmed one case of measles in a person who flew in and out of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on April 3 while infectious.

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Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1986 - COC board votes to allow Argentine cliff swallows to nest forever on sides of buildings [story]
This week, Los Angeles County Probation Child Welfare officials launched “Fostering Home,” a creative advertising campaign urging L.A. residents to open their homes and hearts to one of the area’s thousands of children and teens in need.
Probation Child Welfare Partners to Launch Multimedia Foster Parent Recruitment Campaign
Here's a roundup of film and television productions filming in the Santa Clarita Valley aka "Hollywood North" for the week of April 22-28, 2019:
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Senate Bill 53 (SB 53), a measure to ensure transparency for state agencies, has unanimously passed the Senate Floor, Senator Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, representing the 21st Senate District, announced Monday.
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1974 - Gov. Ronald Reagan speaks at dedication of COC's first permanent building, the William G. Bonelli Instructional Resource Center [story]
Ronald Reagan
1994 - Valencia Mercedes co-owner Eddie Murray sets MLB record for switch-hit home runs in games (11 times) [story]
Eddie Murray
1874 - First train out of L.A. to reach new town of San Fernando; Newhall 2 years later [story]
train tunnel
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The Saugus Union School District board of trustees approved the reduced hours for 37 positions and the layoffs of four others on Tuesday.
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