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The week ahead

A look at upcoming events:

Tuesday

Tax talk: The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors considers a resolution specifying principles for the allocation of the proposed half-cent-on-the-dollar sales tax for Metropolitan Transportation Authority projects and a recommendation to place an ordinance on the November ballot that would reduce the existing utility users’ tax from 5% to 4.5%.

Wednesday

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Zoning: The Los Angeles County Regional Planning Commission discusses a zoning permit for the construction of a bio-refinery that would daily convert 170 tons of material from a neighboring landfill into ethanol.

Development: The Huntington Beach Planning Department reviews the Ripcurl project, a mixed-use residential and commercial development.

Thursday

Courts: A federal court hearing is scheduled in Santa Ana involving William Gertz, a reporter for the Washington Times. He has been called as part of an investigation into whether grand jury information was leaked in 2006 concerning an indictment of Chi Mak, who was later convicted of passing sensitive information regarding submarine systems to China.

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Transit tax: The MTA considers approval of a proposed half-cent-on-the-dollar sales tax for the November ballot.

Friday

Hall of Fame: The Surfing Hall of Fame in Huntington Beach inducts big-wave pioneer Mike Parsons, along with Brad Gerlach, Sean Collins and Wayne “Rabbit” Bartholomew.

Saturday

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Pupusas: The annual Pupusa Festival, a Salvadoran community food fair, takes place at Wilshire Boulevard and Park View Street in Los Angeles, 12:15 to 9 p.m.

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Ask a Reporter

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What ever happened to the lawsuit alleging that the Department of Veterans Affairs’ healthcare and benefits adjudication systems were “broken down and in crisis”?

Samuel Conti, the U.S. district judge overseeing the case in San Francisco, ruled that the VA did not systematically deny care or benefits, but he acknowledged that some veterans had been harmed because of significant delays. Because there was no “systematic violation,” Conti said his court had no jurisdiction over the matter. He said the issue should be examined by Congress, the VA or the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

The two veterans groups that filed the lawsuit had hoped for a court order compelling reform or oversight of the VA.

They had hoped that Conti’s military service in World War II would make him more sympathetic to their case. The groups plan to appeal in the next few weeks.

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Either side in the case would probably have appealed Conti’s decision, said Bob Handy, chairman of Veterans United for Truth, based in Santa Barbara, so “we knew from the get-go that whatever decision Conti made was not going to be the final decision.”

-- Jia-Rui Chong


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