TODAY

– August 1, 2014

Jerry Brown will face Neel Kashkari for governor

(AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown easily advanced to the November general election to seek an unprecedented fourth term as governor, where he will face moderate first-time candidate Neel Kashkari, a former U.S. Treasury official who pulled ahead in a fight for the future of the GOP in California.

The GOP race between Kashkari and his Republican rival, conservative Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, became a proxy fight for the direction of the struggling party in California, which overwhelmingly leans Democratic and where Brown enjoys high approval ratings.

Establishment GOP leaders rallied around Kashkari's candidacy, and the 40-year-old former Goldman Sachs banker poured $2 million of his own money into the race in the final weeks as polls showed him trailing Donnelly, a tea party favorite.

"Beginning tonight, Republicans must come together, support one another and focus our energy on changing Sacramento," Kashkari said in a statement early Wednesday after Donnelly called to concede the race. "My commitment is to rebuilding California's middle class and re-energizing the Republican Party."

Brown finished first based on early returns Tuesday night, and told reporters outside the historic governor's mansion in Sacramento, "I take nothing for granted" in November.

"At this point, 40 years from the time I won my first primary for governor of California, I'm ready to tackle problems, not on a partisan basis, but on the long-term basis of building California and making sure we're ready for the future," said Brown, who is 76.

Brown has pursued a pragmatic approach since returning to the governor's office in 2011 after serving from 1975-1983. He won praise for helping to close a multibillion-dollar state budget deficit and persuading voters to approve temporary sales and income tax increases, allowing the Democratically controlled state Legislature to funnel more money to public schools.

Meanwhile, Donnelly and Kashkari offered competing visions for the struggling GOP. Donnelly is a social conservative who supports expanding gun rights, restricting immigration and worried some of the Republican establishment with his heated rhetoric; Kashkari, a son of Indian immigrants who is a social libertarian and fiscal conservative, has focused on rebuilding the middle-class.

The governor's race was the most high-profile on Tuesday's primary ballot. There were also opportunities for the GOP to make small gains in an overwhelmingly Democratic state.

The first statewide test for the prospects of a nonpartisan candidate yielded a typical primary outcome, though, with Republican Pete Peterson, an academic, and Sen. Alex Padilla, a Democrat, advancing in a crowded race for secretary of state, the office that oversees voting and campaign finance. Independent Dan Schnur, a University of Southern California lecturer, had hoped to make history.

Tuesday's primary also will set the stage for what is expected to be several fiercely contested congressional races in the fall.

Republicans are targeting four congressional Democrats this year: Reps. Ami Bera from the Sacramento area; Raul Ruiz from the Coachella Valley; Scott Peters from San Diego; and Julia Brownley of Ventura County. Democrats are focusing on ultimately winning the Inland Empire seat of retiring Republican Rep. Gary Miller and have targeted Republican Rep. David Valadao in the San Joaquin Valley.

In the heart of the Silicon Valley, seven-term Democratic Rep. Mike Honda faces a challenge from upstart Ro Khanna, a fellow Democrat who advanced Tuesday.

Honda and Republican Rep. Tom McClintock, who represents Sierra foothill communities in the northern and central parts of the state, could face strong challenges from within their own party in the general election.

Californians also approved two ballot measures: Proposition 41, which authorizes $600 million for affordable housing for veterans; and Proposition 42, which enshrines local government compliance with the state's open records and public meetings laws.

Voters in Del Norte and Tehama counties were showing only tepid support for joining four other counties pursuing a 51st state to be named Jefferson, while Lake County voters consider overturning county limitations on marijuana growing operations.

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Written on 07/31/2014, 2:19 pm by Business Journal Staff
fig-fest-set-for-aug-9Fig Fest 2014 will take place on Aug. 9 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Whole Foods Market in Fig Garden Village, 5082 N. Palm Ave. in Fresno.
Written on 07/31/2014, 2:04 pm by The Associated Press
(AP) — Shares of LinkedIn Corp. jumped Thursday after the professional networking service reported a second-quarter loss but topped analysts' expectations. The Mountain View, California-based company posted a loss of $1 million, or 1 cent per share, compared with a profit of $3.7 million, or 3 cents per share, in the same quarter a year earlier. Earnings, adjusted for stock option expense and amortization costs, came to 51 cents per share. The average estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 39 cents per share. The company said revenue climbed 47 percent to $533.9 million from $363.7 million in the same quarter a year ago, and beat Wall Street forecasts. Analysts expected $511.8 million, according to Zacks. LinkedIn's stock jumped $15.95, or 8.8 percent, to $196.59 in extended trading after the results came out. As of Thursday's closing price, LinkedIn shares have decreased $36.19, or 17 percent, to $180.64 since the beginning of the year. The stock has declined $32.36, or 11 percent, in the last 12 months.
Written on 07/31/2014, 1:59 pm by STEVE ROTHWELL, AP Business Writer
(AP) — For investors, there were few havens on Thursday. The stock market had its worst one-day drop since February, driven down by a confluence of worries, from weak company earnings to the looming end of stimulus from the Federal Reserve. But it wasn't just stocks that suffered; oil fell to its lowest level since March, gold dropped and even Treasury notes edged lower. Stocks started the day lower after a dose of bad earnings news, and the losses accelerated throughout the day. Whole Foods Market and Exxon Mobil were among companies that fell after reporting results or forecasts that disappointed investors. The stock market has been on a bull run for more than five years, with the most recent leg of that surge pushing the Standard & Poor's 500 index to an all-time high a week ago. Investors are now getting concerned that stocks may have climbed too far and reflect too much optimism on the outlook for growth. "We've been on a strong run," said Jerry Braakman, chief investment officer at First American Trust. "There's just more concern that stock valuations are rich compared to historical norms." The S&P 500 dropped 39.40 points, or 2 percent, to 1,930.67, its biggest loss since April 10. The drop pushed the index to its first monthly loss since January. The Dow Jones industrial average plunged 317.06 points, or 1.9 percent, to 16,563.30. The Nasdaq composite fell 93.13 points, or 2.1 percent, to 4,369.77. The Russell 2000, an index of small company stocks, plunged 26.50 points, or 2.3 percent, to 1,120.07. Exxon Mobil stock fell $4.31, or 4.2 percent, to $98.94 after the energy company said that oil and gas production slipped 6 percent, disappointing analysts. The decline was driven by the expiration of rights to a field in Abu Dhabi and natural field declines. Investors are also concerned about the outlook for growth in Europe as tensions escalate between the European Union and Russia after the downing of a passenger plane over Ukraine. The European Union on Thursday revealed the details of broad economic sanctions against Russia. The main driver behind Thursday's sell-off was a reassessment of the outlook for interest rates in the U.S. said Paul Zemsky, chief investment officer of Multi-Asset Strategies and Solutions at Voya Investment Management. Fed policymakers said the central bank would make further cuts to its monthly bond purchases, a program that is intended to keep long-term interest rates low and encourage borrowing and spending. Policy makers are also becoming more optimistic about the outlook for the U.S. economy after growth expanded by a better-than-expected 4 percent in the second quarter. "We're closer to the first move higher in interest rates," said Zemsky. "And there's definitely a camp that believes that the only reason that were at these levels is because the Fed has kept the rates at zero." Despite Thursday's weak earnings reports, the overall outlook for company profits is still strong, said Zemsky. Company earnings are still at record levels, and expected to grow by 8.6 percent in the second quarter, according to data from S&P Capital IQ. That compares to growth of 4.9 percent in the same period a year ago and 3.4 percent growth in the first three months of this year. Gold fell $13.60, or 1.1 percent, to $1,281.30 an ounce. Silver fell 19 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $20.41 an ounce. Benchmark U.S. crude fell $2.10 to close at $98.17 a barrel in New York, its lowest level since March 17. Oil's high for the year was $107.26, set on June 20; its low was $91.66, set on January 9. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils used by many U.S. refineries, fell 49 cents Thursday to close at $106.02 in London. Prices for U.S. government bonds were little changed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note edged up to 2.57 percent from 2.56 percent on Wednesday. ___AP Business Writer Kay Johnson contributed from Mumbai, India.
Written on 07/31/2014, 1:56 pm by Business Journal Staff
Health club Planet Fitness today announced that it has signed a lease to open a second location in Fresno. The club is expected to open this fall, less than one year after the first Fresno Planet Fitness opened at 4938 E. Kings Canyon Rd. The new facility will be located at 741 E. Barstow Ave. (at N. 1st Street and E. Barstow Avenue) in the Headliner Shopping Center, across the street from Hoover High School and one block from the Fashion Fair Mall. The Barstow Avenue club will span approximately 24,000 sq. ft. and will offer state of the art cardio machines and strength equipment, locker rooms with day lockers and showers, flat screen televisions, hydro massage beds, massage chairs and tanning booths and beds. The club will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. “We’re excited to be opening another Planet Fitness location in Fresno later this year,” said Planet Fitness franchisee, Ben Heiderscheidt, in a release. “We’ve seen such a great response from the community thus far, and we look forward to providing even more people in the area with a high quality, non-intimidating fitness experience at an incredible value.” Memberships at Planet Fitness are available for $10 or $19.99 a month and include a variety of benefits including unlimited small group fitness instruction by a certified trainer.
Written on 07/31/2014, 1:50 pm by JEFF HORWITZ, Associated Press
(AP) — Companies overseeing millions of mortgage loans appear to be skirting new federal regulations and legal settlements intended to stop them profiteering at the expense of troubled homeowners. They are selling or have sold nearly nonexistent insurance agencies — in some cases with no offices, no websites and only a single registered agent — in multi-million dollar deals, as new rules prohibit them from collecting commissions on insurance they force homeowners to buy. The deals illustrate how regulators are still wrestling with messy banking practices more than six years after the housing market's collapse. They also mean that newly sold insurance agencies have an incentive to compel struggling homeowners to buy costly policies, to justify the high sales prices commanded when the insurance agencies were sold. The deals involve "force-placed insurance," a type of backup property insurance meant to protect mortgage investors' stake in uninsured properties. Standard mortgages require borrowers to maintain homeowners insurance and authorize the loan's servicer to buy coverage when borrowers don't. If the borrowers don't pay for the new insurance, servicers foreclose on their properties and stick the bill to mortgage investors. Even before the housing boom, mortgage servicers found ways to profit from buying insurance with other people's money. Insurance carriers paid banks including JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Citigroup to buy policies at inflated prices, according to an investigation by New York's Department of Financial Services. To hide this "kickback culture," as New York regulators described it, some servicers created virtual insurance agencies and disguised illicit payments as commissions. New rules by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, investigations by state regulators and class-action settlements now prohibit servicers from collecting commissions on such insurance policies, and the country's biggest brand-name banks have renounced the practice. But some of the largest subprime mortgage servicers in the country — companies that handle the troubled loans most likely to be subject to the insurance policies — appear to skirt those rules or have already made profitable business arrangements that comply with them. Because people tend to stop paying insurance when they're struggling to keep up with their mortgage, the collapse of the housing market after 2007 turned the practice into a multi-billion dollar industry. In many ways, force-placed insurance's rise reflected the behavior that fed the housing bubble: After profiting from putting borrowers in homes they couldn't afford, mortgage companies were profiting from inflated insurance bills they assigned to homeowners at risk of foreclosure. The country's second largest non-bank mortgage servicer, Nationstar Mortgage Holdings Inc., has been trying to sell an insurance agency for roughly $100 million, according to people familiar with the deal who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the sale. Nationstar's insurance agency, Harwood Service Co., has no website and no independent offices. The switchboard operators at Nationstar's headquarters in Lewisville, Texas, said they haven't heard of it. Employees of Assurant Inc., the insurance carrier whose policies Harwood sells, say the company is "just the name used when Nationstar refers us business." Harwood's only registered insurance agent, a Nationstar consultant named Dennis DiMaggio, initially told The Associated Press he was semi-retired. Asked how he could run a $100 million business in semi-retirement, DiMaggio ended the call then later said he had been joking. Nationstar's first attempt to sell its affiliated insurance agency fell through early this month after the AP raised questions about the deal, prompting New York's Department of Financial Services to look into the deal. "We have some concerns with the proposed transaction," said Matt Anderson, a spokesman for the financial regulator, four days before the expected buyer withdrew. Nationstar is still seeking to sell the insurance agency, said one person who is familiar with its efforts but not authorized to discuss its business affairs. Nationstar declined to discuss details of Harwood's business. Assurant Inc. also declined to discuss its relationship with Nationstar. The insurer said it complies with the federal government's new rules against affiliate commissions but "may pay commissions to unaffiliated agents in compliance with laws and regulations for work performed." In court, however, Assurant and Nationstar have not defended their arrangements. Earlier this month, the companies reached a deal to settle a class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida that alleged Harwood exists solely to "funnel profits " to Nationstar at borrowers' expense. If Nationstars' attempts to sell Harwood are successful, the deal would render the agency immune from bans on commissions — much as a similar agency owned by the country's largest subprime mortgage servicer already is. That servicer, Ocwen Financial Corp, oversees more than one-quarter of the country's outstanding subprime loans, according to data from trade publication Inside Mortgage Finance. Last March, Ocwen sold off a force-placed insurance affiliate called Beltline Road Insurance Agency as part of an $86 million deal with Altisource, a company spun out Ocwen in 2008, led by former Ocwen executives and partially owned by Ocwen's founder. The deal closed the same month that the Federal Housing Finance Agency formally proposed banning commissions and New York reached a legal accord with Assurant, OCwen's principal force-placed insurer, banning payments to affiliates like Beltline. By selling the company to Altisource, however, Ocwen got cash upfront — and handed the lucrative business of collecting commissions to Altisource, a company characterized in financial filings as a related party. In a statement to the Associated Press, Ocwen noted that it had only owned the insurance agency for a short period after acquiring it along with the assets of a smaller mortgage servicer. Ocwen no longer collects any commissions from Beltline and sold the agency to Altisource solely because the agency didn't fit in with Ocwen's business model, the company said. Altisource, which does collect commissions on Ocwen's force-placed insurance, did not return calls and emails from the AP over several weeks seeking comment. Ocwen and Nationstar service roughly 5 million home loans. The third-largest servicing company, Walter Investment Management Corp., paid $53 million on 147,676 such insurance policies on its portfolio of 1.95 million loans in the first three months of this year, according to its Securities and Exchange Commission filings. If Nationstar and Ocwen were billing for policies at the same rate, their practices could be affecting more than 350,000 borrowers nationwide. It's unclear how or whether the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the industry's principal U.S. regulatory agency in Washington, will respond to such sales. In a statement, it expressed concern about the deals but said it could not stop servicers from selling their insurance agencies. "If servicers are circumventing the Enterprise lender-placed insurance requirements, we will work with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to address it," the agency said. Walter disclosed in its SEC filings that rules banning commissions will cost it roughly $20 million a year and said it is "actively looking at alternatives" to giving up the cash. A spokeswoman, Whitney Finch, declined to explain further but said the company will comply with all rules and regulations.
Written on 07/31/2014, 1:45 pm by KEN DILANIAN, EILEEN SULLIVAN, Associated Press
(AP) — The State Department has endorsed the broad conclusions of a harshly critical Senate report on the CIA's interrogation and detention practices after the 9/11 attacks, a report that accuses the agency of brutally treating terror suspects and misleading Congress, according to a White House document. "This report tells a story of which no American is proud," says the four-page document, which contains the State Department's preliminary proposed talking points in response to the classified Senate report, a summary of which is expected to be released in the coming weeks. "But it is also part of another story of which we can be proud," adds the document, which was circulating this week among White House officials and which the White House accidentally emailed to an Associated Press reporter. "America's democratic system worked just as it was designed to work in bringing an end to actions inconsistent with our democratic values." White House spokesman Josh Earnest called the talking points document a "particularly sensitive piece of information." And the State Department said the talking points were the work of one person, should not have been sent to the White House and don't represent the views of the department. It's not clear who wrote the document or how influential it will be in tailoring the Obama administration's ultimate response to an investigation that has been the subject of bitter disputes. It is common practice for the White House to solicit talking points from key agencies involved in responding to a major news event, which the release of the Senate report will be. The Senate report concludes that CIA's techniques on al-Qaida detainees captured after the 2001 attacks were far more brutal than previously understood. The tactics failed to produce life-saving intelligence, the report asserts, and the CIA misled Congress and the Justice Department about the interrogation program. Current and former CIA officials hotly dispute those findings, as do some Senate Republicans. The fight over the report has poisoned the relationship between the CIA and Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee and left the White House in a delicate position. President Barack Obama has branded some CIA techniques torture and ordered them stopped, but he also relies heavily on the spy agency, which still employs hundreds of people who were involved in some way in the interrogation program. The report does not draw the legal conclusion that the CIA's actions constituted torture, though it makes clear that in some cases they amounted to torture by a common definition, two people who have read the report said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the still-classified document publicly by name. The Senate report, the State Department proposes to say, "leaves no doubt that the methods used to extract information from some terrorist suspects caused profound pain, suffering and humiliation. It also leaves no doubt that the harm caused by the use of these techniques outweighed any potential benefit." Those methods included slapping, humiliation, exposure to cold, sleep deprivation and the near-drowning technique known as waterboarding. The White House document is significant because it also reveals some of the State Department's concerns about how the CIA's tactics will be portrayed around the world. The document lists a series of questions that appear to be designed to gauge what reporters, members of Congress and others might ask about the Obama administration's response to the Senate report. The document focuses in particular on the State Department's role. "Doesn't the report make clear that at least some who authorized or participated in the RDI program committed crimes?" the document asks, referring to the program's formal internal name, the Rendition, Detention and Interrogation program. "Will the Justice Department revisit its decision not to prosecute anyone?" And: "Until now the (U.S. government) has avoided conceding that the techniques used in the RDI program constituted torture. Now that the report is released is the White House prepared to concede that people were tortured?" The document also says, "Isn't it clear that the CIA engaged in torture as defined in the Torture Convention?" The document also sheds new light on what the Senate report says about the State Department's role in the CIA interrogation program. It concludes that the agency initially kept the secretary of state and some U.S. ambassadors in the dark about harsh techniques and secret prisons, according to the document. The report also says some ambassadors who were informed about interrogations of al-Qaida detainees at so-called black sites in their countries were instructed not to tell their superiors at the State Department, the document says. A congressional official who has read the Senate report confirmed that it makes the findings outlined in the document. A former senior CIA official said the secretary of state at the time, Colin Powell, eventually was informed about the program and sat in meetings in which harsh interrogation techniques were discussed. But Powell may not have been looped in when the techniques were first used in 2002, the official said. Powell cannot comment on a document he hasn't seen, a spokeswoman said Wednesday. The former CIA official said it would be standard practice for ambassadors informed about a covert operation to be instructed not to share it with others who did not have a "need to know," as determined by the National Security Council. Ambassadors in countries in which the CIA set up black sites to interrogate prisoners were usually told about it, said the official, who, like others interviewed for this story, would not be quoted by name because some of the information remained classified. It's not clear exactly which U.S. officials knew about the practices at the time they began.___Online:http://hosted.ap.org/specials/interactives/documents/points.pdf
Written on 07/31/2014, 1:40 pm by The Associated Press
(AP) — The city of Portland will quit marketing the solar-powered outdoor potties its workers developed and will settle instead for a cut of the business. Six years ago, the city installed the first of the stainless steel public toilets dubbed the Portland Loo. It now has seven and hopes to install six more in parks. The city also thought to make a business of marketing the toilets, at $90,000 each. It has sold four, with five more orders in the works. The toilets were initially placed in areas where homeless people congregate. They were open 24/7, and they featured slats that allowed police to detect illegal activity — such as more than one pair of feet at a time — but protect privacy. Critics, though, said the Loo and other projects were outside the core mission of the city utilities and contributed to rising rates. A judge found the city misspent $618,000 of Water Bureau funds on Loo efforts. A ballot measure intended to wrest control of the utilities from the Council and give it to an independently elected board failed. But sentiment was widespread that the spending ought to be reined in. The city has now agreed to allow the toilet's manufacturer to set the price and market the toilets, giving the city a royalty, The Oregonian (http://bit.ly/UNZYfE) reported. The deal relieves the city of the expense of the business. It has spent at least $60,000 a year on workers in the Loo effort. It also caps the city's revenue prospects should sales take off. For example, the city made about $23,000 per unit on three of its sales. By contrast, the 8 percent royalty would fetch the city $7,200 per Loo, assuming manufacturer Madden Fabrication gets $90,000 per unit. The Loo was the brainchild of Randy Leonard, a former City Council member who ran the Water Bureau under Portland's system of divvying municipal administrative duties among the five Council members. The current head of the Water and Sewer bureaus, Councilmember Nick Fish, is intent on focusing their efforts on core responsibilities, a spokesman said. "The commissioner felt that it was important that this business move over to the private sector in a deal which provides a royalty to the city," said Fish's policy director, Jim Blackwood.
Written on 07/31/2014, 1:38 pm by YURI KAGEYAMA, AP Business Writer
(AP) — American electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc. is teaming up with Japanese electronics company Panasonic Corp. to build a battery manufacturing plant in the U.S. expected to create 6,500 jobs. The companies announced the deal Thursday, but they did not say where in the U.S. the so-called "gigafactory," or large-scale plant, will be built. Tesla has said that Nevada, Arizona, Texas, New Mexico and California are in the running. Financial terms weren't disclosed for the $5 billion plant. The plant will produce cells, modules and packs for Tesla's electric vehicles and for the stationary energy storage market, employing 6,500 people by 2020. Under the agreement, Tesla, based in Palo Alto, California, will prepare, provide and manage the land and buildings, while Osaka-based Panasonic will manufacture and supply the lithium-ion battery cells and invest in equipment. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said the factory will help Tesla reduce its battery costs by 30 percent. Tesla needs cheaper batteries in order to produce its mass-market Model 3, an electric car it's developing that would cost around $30,000. Tesla hopes to have the Model 3 on the road by 2017. The company's only current vehicle, the Model S sedan, starts at $70,000. "The Gigafactory represents a fundamental change in the way large-scale battery production can be realized," said Tesla Chief Technical Officer and co-founder JB Straubel, referring to the cost reductions. Sales of zero-emission electric vehicles account for less than 1 percent of the global auto market. But worries about global warming and more stringent emissions regulations in many countries are expected to boost sales of electric and other green vehicles. Yoshihiko Yamada, executive vice president of Panasonic, said the planned factory will help the electric vehicle market grow. Panasonic, which has ceded much of its strength in consumer electronics to competitors, is putting more focus on businesses that serve other industries, including batteries. It remains powerful in Japan and some overseas markets in consumer products such as refrigerators, washing machines and batteries for gadgets.
Written on 07/31/2014, 1:32 pm by Business Journal staff
A free event in Fresno's Woodward Park this weekend will benefit young cancer patients by providing them free wigs. Fresno-based H.U.G. America is hosting the "Bring it On Celebration of Life" fundraiser Saturday at Woodward Park's activity area from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Festivities include live music, a cancer survivor fashion show, talent show and karaoke. More than 40 vendors will be on hand offering food, goods and services. There will also be raffles throughout the day, a candle lighting ceremony and the presentation of a check to a family that recently lost a loved one to cancer. Holly Carter, founder of Fresno's Carter & Co. Communications, will offer a keynote speech detailing her own battle with cancer starting at 11:30 a.m. H.U.G. America is a wig recovery center for cancer and hair loss patients that was founded in Fresno in 2012.
Written on 07/31/2014, 12:57 pm by CHRISTOPHER WEBER, Associated Press
(AP) — Repair crews on Thursday were shoring up a giant hole in the middle of Sunset Boulevard caused by a ruptured pipe, as officials at the water-logged University of California, Los Angeles, continued to assess damage from the 20 million gallons that inundated the campus. Workers were reinforcing the excavated 56-by-41 foot crater and making the site safe for crews, said Mike Miller, district superintendent for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. Meanwhile workers off-site were fashioning new valves and a y-joint connector to replace the burst section of the century-old steel main line. The Department of Water and Power said repairs along the famed boulevard, a heavily traveled east-west thoroughfare, likely won't be completed until the weekend. "There's still just a lot of work to do out here," Miller said. UCLA officials said six facilities were damaged in Tuesday's flooding and about 960 vehicles remained trapped in garages, with many below water left behind by the roiling flood. Rich Mylin, associate director of events and facilities, led a tour Wednesday of affected areas for Department of Water and Power workers in hard hats, who snapped photos and took notes. The flooding sent water cascading into the Pauley Pavilion, less than two years after a $136 million renovation. UCLA Vice Chancellor Kelly Schmader said 8 to 10 inches of water covered the basketball court, and it showed signs of buckling. The floor will be repaired or replaced as necessary and will be ready by the start of the basketball season this fall, Athletic Director Dan Guerrero said. On Wednesday evening, six men helping to pump water from the pavilion were treated for exposure to carbon monoxide from a generator's exhaust, city fire spokeswoman Katherine Main said. Two were taken to a hospital in fair condition, and four were treated at the scene. Department of Water and Power spokesman Joe Ramallo said people who suffered damage from the flooding can file claims with the agency, which will work with UCLA on settling losses. The 30-inch steel main was gushing 1,000 gallons a minute Wednesday before it was shut off completely in the evening. At its peak, water was streaming out of the break at a rate of 75,000 gallons a minute. The amount of water spilled could serve more than 100,000 Los Angeles Department of Water and Power customers for a day. The rupture occurred amid a drought as tough new state fines took effect for Californians who waste water by hosing down driveways or using a hose without a nozzle to wash their car. Despite the break, no utility customers were without water. No injuries were reported.___Associated Press writers Brian Melley, Michael R. Blood, Raquel Maria Dillon, Bob Jablon, Beth Harris and Andrew Dalton contributed to this report.

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Written on 07/31/2014, 2:04 pm by The Associated Press
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Written on 07/31/2014, 1:59 pm by STEVE ROTHWELL, AP Business Writer
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Written on 07/31/2014, 1:50 pm by JEFF HORWITZ, Associated Press
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