L.A. County Seeks Delay on Area-Code Dialing

The county filed a petition Thursday asking a state agency to delay implementing the unpopular 424 area code overlay in the South Bay, citing new data that shows the 310 area code still has plenty of numbers. The petition said the state Public Utilities Commission relied on "now-obsolete data" that overstated demand and understated the supply of available numbers to "create a false impression of a number shortage that in reality does not exist." The county's move comes as telephone companies are in the midst of a required public education campaign that asks those in the 310 area code to begin 11-digit dialing for all calls as of Dec. 31, the Daily Breeze reported.

Animal-Rights Group Files Civil Rights Claim
An animal rights group charged with terrorizing municipal employees has filed a $3 million civil rights claim against the city of L.A. The Animal Defense League-Los Angeles, charged last week with conspiring to harass Animal Services workers, filed the claim Wednesday in response "to the blatant lies and egregious misrepresentation of facts by City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo." A spokesman for Delgadillo declined to comment on the pending lawsuit, the Daily News of Los Angeles reported. The ADL-LA, which has advocated a no-kill policy at city animal shelters, has been accused of terrorizing city employees and their families during protests at their homes.

Clear Channel Spinoff Moving to Los Angeles
An entertainment promotion business is leaving Houston for Los Angeles after splitting from Clear Channel Communications Inc., according to regulatory filings. San Antonio-based Clear Channel completed the spinoff Wednesday of Live Nation, formerly known as Clear Channel Entertainment. About 300 of Live Nation's 3,300 full-time employees could lose their jobs as the company reorganizes, the Associated Press reported. Live Nation expects to add employees to take over services formerly provided by Clear Channel Communications. Live Nation is moving because Chief Executive Michael Rapino is based in Los Angeles.

Governor's Pick for Pollution Panel Wins Wide Support
Three months after his initial choice of an industry lobbyist was condemned by environmentalists and rejected by Democratic legislators, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Thursday appointed a respected air-quality scientist to chair the California Air Resources Board. The Republican governor's choice of Democrat Robert F. Sawyer , a UC Berkeley emeritus energy professor who has been active on air-quality issues for decades , is not expected to generate any significant opposition from environmental groups or the Legislature, the Los Angeles Times reported. The appointment of Sawyer, 70, must be confirmed by the state Senate. The job pays $117,818 a year.

Judge Halts Limits on Game Sales to Kids
A federal ruling that blocks California's ban on the sale of violent video games to children is the latest setback to lawmakers trying to clean up a medium that is increasingly graphic. The preliminary injunction granted late Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Ronald M. Whyte delays implementation of a measure that would make it a crime to rent or sell games that "depict serious injury to human beings in a manner that is especially heinous, atrocious or cruel" to people younger than 18, the Los Angeles Times reported. The law, which was signed in October by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, was to take effect Jan. 1. Whyte, whose courtroom is in San Jose, blocked that until lawyers for the game industry and the state can argue whether the ban tramples free-speech rights.

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