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KSBR News Briefs on Thursday, June 22, 2017


San Juan Capistrano

The San Juan Capistrano City Council has approved its budget for the next fiscal year.

Mayor Kerry Ferguson says the city has a budget gap of just over a million dollars it will need to fill which was caused by the increased County Sheriff’s Department costs and well as the settlement of lawsuits.

She says one suggestion to fill the gap includes looking at the downtown Verdugo Street beautification project which has been budgeted for nearly two million dollars. She says it’s possible the Council could decide to reduce the project’s scope or eliminate it. She has concerns because the project’s plans indicate the street would be reduced to one lane.

Ferguson says in other business, the Council praised Mariachi Nuevo Capistrano for winning the Battle of the Mariachis again, the second time in two years.


Laguna Niguel

The Laguna Niguel City Council has approved the 13 million dollar County Sheriff’s Department contract for the next fiscal year.

Assistant City Manager Dan Fox says the contract includes two additional deputies one for DUI enforcement and the other for traffic enforcement.

He says the city may use up to 60 sheriff’s department personnel at any point in time. They include 30 deputies and community service officers who are out in the community and a number shared of services regarding crime prevention specialists investigations as needed and sergeants. 

He says the contract is two million dollars more than the previous one.

And the Council is considering adding some additional motor officers to the contract in the future if it deems it’s necessary.


Dana Point

The Dana Point City Council intends on using several methods to tackle problems associated with the homeless in the city.

Mayor Debra Lewis says the Council heard Chief of Police Services Russ Chilton say his deputies are limited to what they can do when they respond to complaints about people living in the hillsides or in the backyards of people’s homes.

She wants to give the chief more things in his toolbox so the homeless won’t be comfortable in Dana Point. That can include finding supportive services so the homeless can get the help they need.

The Council may also pass some ordinances. She intends on finding out what other cities are doing regarding the problem. She says some have ordinances. One is banning aggressive pan handling and another is banning the sale of single serve airplane size liquor bottles to cut down on public drunkenness.

She says she will join Chilton in visiting Neighborhood Watch Groups to find out where problems associated with the homeless are, so deputies can respond quicker to crimes that are committed by them.

Lewis also will reach out to the County’s point person on homelessness, Care Coordination Director Susan Price.


Appeals court strikes down California's 30-day impound law

A federal appeals court has ruled law enforcement must provide a valid reason to hold people's vehicles and can’t automatically impound them for a set period.

The unanimous ruling by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a state law that requires police to hold impounded vehicles for 30 days.

Judge Alex Kozinski, writing for the panel, said the law violates the Fourth Amendment ban against unreasonable seizures.

He says a seizure is justified under the Fourth Amendment only to the extent that the government's justification holds force. Thereafter, the government must cease the seizure or secure a new justification.


Auto club predicts record travel over July 4th weekend

Americans are expected to put down the TV remote and hit the road in record numbers for the July 4th weekend.

Auto club AAA says it expects 44.2 million people will travel at least 50 miles from home, a 2.9 percent increase over last year's record for the holiday.

The vast majority will go by car. But airline travel over the holiday is also expected to rise for the eighth straight year.


An aging Nation

The Census Bureau reports the median age of Americans — the age at which half are older and half are younger — rose nationally from just over 35 years to nearly 38 years in the years between 2000 and 2016, driven by the aging of the "baby boom" generation.

The number of residents age 65 and older grew from 35 million to 49.2 million during those 16 years, jumping from 12 percent of the total population to 15 percent.

The Kaiser Family Foundation says that's a costly leap for taxpayers as those residents move to Medicare, the government health care for seniors and younger people with disabilities, which accounted for $1 out of every $7 in federal spending last year. By 2027, it will cost $1 out of every $6 of federal money spent. Net Medicare spending is expected to nearly double over the next decade, from $592 billion to $1.2 trillion.