Bits 'n' Pieces

DA Targets Catalytic Converter Thefts

District Attorney George Gascón announced that he is asking automobile manufacturers to work with him to explore creative solutions to address the rise in catalytic converter thefts across Los Angeles County and the nation.

Gascón has reached out to the four major automobile manufacturers to request their help in finding a solution to this nationwide problem. To date, only Torrance-based Honda Motor Company, Ltd., has expressed interest in exploring possible solutions to reduce these thefts that target all vehicle owners.

There has been a sharp rise in catalytic converter thefts nationwide since the COVID-19 pandemic began, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau. California is among the top five states for catalytic converter thefts, according to the agency.

Catalytic converters are used to turn hazardous exhaust from an automobile into less harmful gases. Thieves steal the converters because the devices are made of highly valuable metals such as platinum, rhodium and palladium. They can fetch up to $1,200 each.

Gascón led a similar effort to reduce cell phone theft when he was the top prosecutor in San Francisco. He sponsored legislation making California the first state requiring kill switches on cell phones that make the device inoperable if it is stolen.

Airport Recognized for Carbon Reduction

Airports Council International (ACI), the leading industry group for airports, has certified Long Beach Airport (LGB) with a Level 2 Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) emission reduction rating. 

ACA is a voluntary, worldwide carbon management program that helps airports identify, manage and reduce their carbon emissions. The program has six levels of accreditation that address both direct and indirect emission sources. In its first year applying to the program, LGB attained the Level 2 reduction accreditation based upon a review of its carbon emissions from 2016 to 2019, as well as a carbon management plan that includes pledges to reduce emissions from 2016 levels, on a per passenger basis, by 20% in 2025 and 40% in 2030. 

In 2018, the City Council unanimously approved an item, sponsored by Mayor Robert Garcia and Councilwoman Stacy Mungo Flanigan, that requested that the city develop a plan to lead the nation on sustainability for airports and to work with airlines and other partners to become an incubator of clean tech in aviation, with the goal of becoming a carbon-neutral facility. 

Since that time, LGB has begun a voluntary emissions reduction program with the South Coast Air Quality Management District, fully electrified all 11 commercial gates for ground service equipment, created recycling and organic waste diversion programs, replaced old equipment with more energy efficient technology and collaborated with Aeroplex/Aerolease on the largest solar energy project to date on the airport campus. As part of the city’s solar energy Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with PFMG Solar Long Beach, LLC, LGB will also host two large solar arrays on top of Parking Structures A and B; construction is expected to be complete in 2022. 

Property Tax Bills

The Los Angeles County Treasurer and Tax Collector will mail approximately 2,400,000 2021-22 Annual Secured Property Tax Bills on or before Monday, Nov. 1, to all property owners at the addresses shown on the tax roll. Property owners who have not received a tax bill by Nov. 1 should call the Bill Request Line at (213) 893-1103 or visit www.ttc.lacounty.gov to request a Substitute Secured Property Tax Bill.

The tax bill has two payment stubs: The 1st installment payment is due Nov. 1 and becomes delinquent by the close of business on Friday, Dec. 10. The 2nd installment payment is due on Tuesday, Feb. 1, and becomes delinquent by the close of business on Monday, April 11.

Film Festival Wraps 11th Anniversary

Catalina Film Festival observed their 11th Anniversary Sept. 25, at the historic Catalina Casino with the World Premiere of The Cleaner, starring Luke Wilson, King Orba, Lynda Carter, Shelley Long and Soliel Moon Frye. Craig Stark and Shiloh Fernandez hit the red carpet alongside Director Erin Elders, DP Jeff Tomcho and Editor Matt Prekop. The Cleaner releases October 12.

The Catalina Film Festival landed back on the Island for screenings Friday, Sept. 24, and Saturday, Sept. 25, with blocks of short films in categories: Animation, Conservation, Comedy, International, Documentaries, plus curated themes: “Do the Right Thing” and “Happy/Sad,” which included the short film, Sorry for your Loss by Associate Producer Janet Von. Her husband, actor Drake Bell (Drake & Josh) was in attendance with their son in support of his wife’s film screening. Friday’s feature film, The Catch, rolled out the Opening Night Red Carpet for Writer/ Director Matthew Ya-Hsiung Balzer and actor Bill Sage, both in attendance, as well as Presley A. Aronson, who opened Friday’s presentation with the World Premiere of his anti-bullying music video, Background. 

Saturday events featured the infamous Lion’s Den, an exclusive Catalina Film Festival event, for aspiring filmmakers to pitch accredited investors for project funding. Lions included Ed Morgan (Poker Face, Obamaland), Jonathan Brostoff, Creative Exec. for Producer Brad Fuller (A Quiet Place, Texas Chainsaw Massacre), and Producer Phil Cohen. Guests and Filmmakers also enjoyed an exclusive pre-red-carpet party in Hamilton Cove. 

For more information, visit: CatalinaFIlm.org.

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