Containing a leak

Roughly 500 gallons of raw sewage flowed from a pipe clogged by tree roots near 23rd and Navy streets Sunday, but none of it reached the Santa Monica Bay, city officials said.

The sewage was diverted to the city of Los Angeles’ Hyperion Treatment Plant via a storm water diversion system at Rose Avenue that is meant to protect the bay from urban runoff. The spill was reported to the various agencies in charge of monitoring such events, said Gil Borboa, City Hall’s water resources manager.

“Our crews cleaned and disinfected the area,” Borboa said.

There are a couple of minor backups each month, Borboa said, most of which are caused by tree roots finding their way into pipes, clogging them. City crews routinely check the sewage system to make repairs and cut back the roots. The area where the recent leak occurred has been added to the list of hot spots.

Borboa said the city has a number of low-flow diversion systems spread throughout Santa Monica to keep urban runoff and sewage spills out of the bay.

— Daily Press


Voter registration broke records

More Los Angeles County voters participated in the Presidential Election than in any election held in the last 40 years, according to a post-election report by Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean Logan that was released Monday.

The 2008 election generated the second highest voter turnout since 1968.

“The historic … contest was unparalleled in many ways,” said Logan. “As a result, a number of trends and patterns emerged that resulted in noteworthy levels of voter participation and engagement. The 2008 Presidential Election provided an excellent opportunity to learn from and improve our electoral process for the future.”

Some highlights of the report include statistics and maps on:

• Voter registration — In October, voter registration broke an all time record by nearly 200,000 voters, and more voters registered in the five months before Election Day than in any prior election.

• Vote by Mail requests and returns — More than 1 million voters requested Vote by Mail ballots with over 81 percent returned to be counted, breaking prior election statistics by hundreds of thousands.

• Early voting — Over 30,000 voters cast ballots early at the county clerk’s headquarters in the two weeks prior to Election Day.

• Voters by age group — Age was a factor in the November presidential contest both nationally and in the county, of which the 18-29 age group showed the largest growth of new registrants.

• Student poll workers — Over 3,700 student poll workers served Election Day; the largest recruitment in the program’s eight year history.

• Phone calls — Over 100,000 phone calls received during the week prior to and on Election Day.

“The data collected during the election cycle will help us anticipate future voting trends and identify changing demographics of new generations of voters,” Logan said.

“The 2008 Post-Election Report provides a snap shot of the historic proportions to which this election was conducted and the contents are useful as a tool to learn from and improve our electoral process for the future.”

The full report and detailed maps are available on the clerk’s Web site

— DP

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