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Southern California

Triple A: More seesaw swings for local gas prices

The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $4.88, which is the same for two weeks in a row

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Screenshot/YouTube

LOS ANGELES – Southern California drivers filling up at the pump last weekend saw some gas price increases, but now prices are dropping again after some decreases in Los Angeles wholesale gasoline prices, according to the Auto Club’s Weekend Gas Watch. The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $4.88, which is the same for two weeks in a row. The average national price is $3.59, which is three cents higher than a week ago.

The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $4.94 per gallon, which is two cents lower than last week, ten cents higher than last month, and $1.52 lower than last year. In San Diego, the average price is $4.91, which is one cent lower than last week, eight cents higher than last month, and $1.46 lower than last year.

On the Central Coast, the average price is $4.94, which is two cents higher than last week, nine cents higher than last month, and $1.42 lower than last year. In Riverside, the average per-gallon price is $4.83, which is one cent lower than last week, seven cents higher than last month and $1.50 lower than a year ago. In Bakersfield, the $4.89 average price is two cents higher than last week, five cents higher than last month, and $1.47 lower than a year ago today.

“Summer is typically the time of year with the highest demand for gasoline, and usually big price decreases do not occur during this season,” said Auto Club spokesperson Doug Shupe. “However, Arizona price averages have been dropping significantly since late last month as a supply issue has been resolved. That could help ease pressure on Southern California refineries that are also producing Arizona fuel, perhaps also providing some price relief locally.”

The Auto Club reminds drivers of the following tips to save money on gas:

  • If you use premium unleaded fuel, make sure it is required for your vehicle, not just recommended. The Auto Club’s Automotive Research Center found that vehicles with recommended premium fuel performed safely with regular unleaded gasoline.
  • Make sure your tires are properly maintained and inflated to the correct level.
  • Maintain your car according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Regular service will ensure optimum fuel economy.
  • Avoid “jackrabbit” starts and hard accelerations. These actions greatly increase fuel consumption.
  • Slow down and drive the speed limit. Fuel economy peaks around 50 mph on most cars, then drops off as speed increases. Reducing freeway speeds by 5 to 10 mph can increase fuel economy by as much as 14%.
  • Use cruise control on the highway to help maintain a constant speed and save fuel. However, never use cruise control on slippery roads because you could lose control of the vehicle.
  • Minimize your use of air conditioning.
  • Avoid extended idling to warm up the engine, even in colder temperatures. It’s unnecessary and wastes fuel.
  • Remove unnecessary and heavy items from your car.
  • Minimize your use of roof racks and remove special carriers when not in use.
  • Download the AAA App to find the cheapest gas prices near you. 

The Weekend Gas Watch monitors the average price of gasoline. As of 9 a.m. on June 15, averages are:

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Southern California

Equality California decries recall of elected Calexico trans official

During her tenure, Mayor Ureña championed numerous initiatives aimed at improving local infrastructure and public services

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Mayor Raúl Ureña (Screenshot/YouTube Calexico City Council session)

CALEXICO, Calif. – Equality California, the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization, has publicly denounced the recent recall of Calexico Councilmember and former Mayor Raúl Ureña, the first out transgender mayor in the city’s history.

The organization’s response underscores significant concern over what it views as a politically motivated attack leveraging anti-LGBTQ+ sentiments.

Tony Hoang, Executive Director of Equality California, expressed profound disappointment over the outcome of the recall effort, criticizing the focus of the recall on Ureña’s transgender identity rather than his accomplishments in office.

“We are deeply disappointed that a group of far-right extremists succeeded in recalling Calexico’s first out transgender Mayor Raúl Ureña, who has a proven track record of delivering for the people of Calexico,” Hoang said.

“This recall campaign was spearheaded by a group of disgruntled former politicians and littered with misinformation and transphobic rhetoric, focusing on Ureña’s identity and not the successful tangible results she has generated for her city. This was a calculated, anti-LGBTQ+ attack against Ureña that has sadly resulted in her recall and will no doubt lead to backsliding for a community already at a crossroads. 

We were proud to support Mayor Ureña throughout this ordeal, and will continue to speak out against any and all anti-LGBTQ+ attacks.”

During her tenure, Ureña championed numerous initiatives aimed at improving local infrastructure and public services while fostering a community environment that valued diversity and inclusion.

The recall campaign, however, argued that new leadership was necessary to fulfill unmet promises such as reducing water costs, revitalizing public spaces, and addressing homelessness and housing shortages.

Ureña posted a Facebook video addressing the recall along with the following caption: 

“The recall made a lot of promises. The clock of new administration begins. From now on my decisions will not affect the municipality.

My message to the youth: DON’T QUIT!

My message to the recall: Keep your promises between now and November. We want a standing Calexico:

  • All the poles fixed
  • All parks to perfection
  • Streets and new benches
  • Let the cost of water go down
  • Downtown Clean
  • Zero Homeless
  • More Housing
  • Police and Fire Department complete
  • City Wide Transport
  • More recreation for the seniors.
  • Line to Mexicali and traffic solved

I wish them luck for the good of Calexico.”

Related

Following the recall’s success, statements from the new administration promised to focus on various infrastructure projects, enhancements to public safety, and improved social services for seniors, pledging to transform campaign promises into tangible outcomes.

The decision to recall Ureña has polarized Calexico, with many residents and advocates worried about the potential regression in civil rights gains. Equality California has pledged ongoing support for Ureña and reaffirmed its commitment to fighting anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination.

For further details on Equality California’s initiatives and stance on this matter, please visit eqca.org.

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Southern California

Triple A: Gas price increases slow down

The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $5.45, which is four cents higher than a week ago

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Triple A Auto Club/Los Angeles Blade

LOS ANGELES – Southern California gas prices are still up for the week, but are not increasing as quickly as they were earlier this month, according to the Auto Club’s Weekend Gas Watch. The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $5.45, which is four cents higher than a week ago. The average national price is $3.67, which is also four cents higher than a week ago.

The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $5.39 per gallon, which is three cents more than last week, 43 cents higher than last month, and 44 cents higher than last year. In San Diego, the average price is $5.38, which is four cents higher than last week, 44 cents higher than last month, and 44 cents higher than this time last year.

On the Central Coast, the average price is $5.35, which is four cents higher than last week, 41 cents higher than last month, and 43 cents higher than last year. In Riverside, the average per-gallon price is $5.32, which is five cents higher than last week, 49 cents higher than last month and 46 cents higher than a year ago. In Bakersfield, the $5.31 average price is seven cents more than last week, 48 cents more than last month, and 42 cents higher than a year ago today.

“According to Oil Price Information Service (OPIS), yesterday’s U.S. Energy Information Administration report showed that West Coast gasoline inventories are at their lowest level in two years,” said Auto Club Spokesperson Doug Shupe. “However, OPIS also reported that imported gasoline should be on its way to California in the next few weeks, which should help ease the upward pressure on pump prices.”

The Weekend Gas Watch monitors the average price of gasoline. As of 9 a.m. on April 18, averages are:

041824 final chart

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Southern California

USC cancels valedictorian’s speech over antisemitism allegations

“I am shocked by this decision & profoundly disappointed that the university is succumbing to a campaign of hate meant to silence my voice”

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(Screenshot/YouTube KNBC 4)

LOS ANGELES – The University of Southern California (USC) has decided to cancel the commencement speech of Asna Tabassum, a pro-Palestinian undergraduate and this year’s valedictorian, citing safety concerns. This decision marks the first time in the university’s 141-year history that a valedictorian has been prohibited from speaking at the graduation ceremony.

Provost Andrew Guzman expressed that while disappointing, the decision was necessary to ensure the safety of the campus and its students, emphasizing that the university’s actions are aligned with legal obligations to maintain a secure educational environment. He also clarified that the decision does not infringe upon free speech rights, as there is no entitlement to speak at the event.

Tabassum, majoring in biomedical engineering with a minor in “resistance to genocide,” faced criticism for her online posts about the Middle East conflict. The controversy escalated when a pro-Israel group accused her of antisemitism less than a week ago.

In response to the cancellation, the Council on American-Islamic Relations-Los Angeles (CAIR-LA) has called for the decision to be reversed, allowing Tabassum to deliver her speech. Tabassum, through CAIR-LA, stated that she has been subjected to a campaign of racist hatred due to her stance on human rights.

In a statement released through the Council on American-Islamic Relations-Los Angeles (CAIR-LA), Tabassum conveyed her shock and profound disappointment at the university’s decision, stating it was a result of a “campaign of hate” aimed to silence her voice. “Anti-Muslim and anti-Palestinian voices have subjected me to a campaign of racist hatred because of my uncompromising belief in human rights for all,” Tabassum said.

USC maintains that the decision was solely based on safety considerations and not on the content of Tabassum’s proposed speech or her political views. The university has consulted its public safety department and external safety experts, concluding that the potential risks necessitate the cancellation for this year’s commencement to focus on celebrating the graduates without disruptions.

Asna Tabassum (Photo Credit: Annenberg Media/USC)

Tabassum’s full statement:

“I am honored to have been selected as USC Class of 2024 Valedictorian. Although this should have been a time of celebration for my family, friends, professors, and classmates, anti-Muslim and anti-Palestinian voices have subjected me to a campaign of racist hatred because of my uncompromising belief in human rights for all.

“This campaign to prevent me from addressing my peers at commencement has evidently accomplished its goal: today, USC administrators informed me that the university will no longer allow me to speak at commencement due to supposed security concerns. I am both shocked by this decision and profoundly disappointed that the University is succumbing to a campaign of hate meant to silence my voice. 

“I am not surprised by those who attempt to propagate hatred. I am surprised that my own university—my home for four years—has abandoned me,” Tabassum wrote.

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Southern California

Triple A: Gas prices continue upward by double digits

The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $5.41, which is 21 cents higher than a week ago

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Triple A Auto Club/Los Angeles Blade

LOS ANGELES – Southern California gas prices increased by about two cents a day in the last week, according to the Auto Club’s Weekend Gas Watch. The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $5.41, which is 21 cents higher than a week ago. The average national price is $3.63, which is six cents higher than a week ago.

The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $5.36 per gallon, which is 13 cents more than last week, 42 cents higher than last month, and 42 cents higher than last year. In San Diego, the average price is $5.34, which is 13 cents higher than last week, 42 cents higher than last month, and 41 cents higher than this time last year.

On the Central Coast, the average price is $5.31, which is 12 cents higher than last week, 40 cents higher than last month, and 42 cents higher than last year. In Riverside, the average per-gallon price is $5.27, which is 14 cents higher than last week, 46 cents higher than last month and 44 cents higher than a year ago. In Bakersfield, the $5.24 average price is 17 cents more than last week, 43 cents more than last month, and 37 cents higher than a year ago today.

“Some additional refinery outages have further reduced fuel production and increased pump prices, and Oil Price Information Service reports that imported gasoline has been ordered and should arrive later this month or in early May,” said Auto Club Spokesperson Doug Shupe.

The Weekend Gas Watch monitors the average price of gasoline. As of 9 a.m. on April 11, averages are:

socal blue gas chart 4-10-24
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Southern California

Heal the Bay seeking Earth Month in-person volunteers

Heal the Bay celebrates Earth Month with all things reusable! Residents to protect what they love, from marshland tours to beach cleanups

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764 Volunteers joined Heal the Bay by the Santa Monica Pier last Spring to remove over 266 pounds of trash from the beach for another Nothin' But Sand Cleanup. (Photo Credit: Heal the Bay/Facebook)

SANTA MONICA, Calif. – Environmental group Heal the Bay today announced its Earth Month events calendar for April, offering hands-on opportunities to participate in grassroots advocacy, education and community action. 

The Santa Monica-based nonprofit has created a special series of virtual and in-person volunteer events for individuals, families and households, schools, businesses and community organizations. Participants will gain knowledge and skills that will help them support the health of our ocean, beaches, inland waterways and neighborhoods year-round.

No special training or experience is required. All are welcome.

Become a Beach Captain

Heal the Bay’s famous beach cleanups rely on volunteers to help mobilize and educate participants. Volunteers will learn best practices for conducting cleanups safely and gain valuable public-speaking skills. Join us April 20 10 a.m.-noon (Santa Monica Beach)

Become a Community Scientist

Our Safe Clean Water Program returns with an Earth Month BioBlitz. Participants will engage in community science by helping identify marshland plants and animals. Heal the Bay staff will host two events with the 2024 LA City Nature Challenge, sponsored by the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and the California Academy of Sciences. Join us April 27 at Bixby Marshland in Carson or Fern Dell in Griffith Park.

Become an Effective Advocate

Policy chiefs at Heal the Bay and partner nonprofit 5 Gyres are co-hosting a free virtual advocacy training about how to best combat plastic pollution throughout our region. Experts will provide an update on pending plastics legislation locally and nationally. Participants will learn insider tips on how to influence policy makers, make impactful calls to representatives and submit compelling written comments on proposed public policy. The Zoom session takes place April 16 from 6-7 p.m.

Become an Aquarist

Heal the Bay’s award-winning aquarium under the Santa Monica Pier relies on volunteers to educate visitors about all the marine animals that call the Bay home. Program leaders will be on hand at the aquarium’s Earth Month Celebration to discuss public engagement and training opportunities. Attendees are encouraged to bring kids along for face-painting, crafts and a scavenger hunt. Join us April 20 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Beyond these volunteer-training sessions, Heal the Bay is hosting dozens of other public events during April Month. Ocean lovers can join us for one of our biggest Nothin’ but Sand beach cleanups of the year at Santa Monica Beach on April 20 from 10 a.m. to noon. Register here.

To register or learn more about any of these events, please visit Heal the Bay’s Earth Month microsite.

If residents are not able to participate in these events, they can also support Heal the Bay’s advocacy and education through an Earth Month donation.

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Southern California

Triple A: Biggest one-week jump of the year for SoCal gas prices

The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $5.20, which is 17 cents higher than a week ago

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Triple A Auto Club/Los Angeles Blade

LOS ANGELES – Most Southern California metro areas saw the biggest one-week gas price increase of 2024 in the last week, according to the Auto Club’s Weekend Gas Watch. The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $5.20, which is 17 cents higher than a week ago. The average national price is $3.57, which is three cents higher than a week ago.

The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $5.23 per gallon, which is 15 cents more than last week, 33 cents higher than last month, and 34 cents higher than last year. In San Diego, the average price is $5.21, which is 15 cents higher than last week, 31 cents higher than last month, and 31 cents higher than this time last year.

On the Central Coast, the average price is $5.19, which is 14 cents higher than last week, 33 cents higher than last month, and 33 cents higher than last year. In Riverside, the average per-gallon price is $5.13, which is 17 cents higher than last week, 35 cents higher than last month and 34 cents higher than a year ago. In Bakersfield, the $5.07 average price is 14 cents more than last week, 36 cents more than last month, and 16 cents higher than a year ago today.

“Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) reports that maintenance work continues at the Wilmington section of Phillip 66’s Los Angeles refinery, and the Chevron refinery in El Segundo reported an unplanned breakdown-related flaring on Monday,” said Auto Club Spokesperson Doug Shupe. “OPIS also stated that West Coast refinery production was down in the last week as well as gasoline inventories based on Energy Information Administration reports.”

The Weekend Gas Watch monitors the average price of gasoline. As of 9 a.m. on April 4, averages are:

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Southern California

Parents mourn son’s loss to distracted driving

“My beautiful boy who was just riding a bike with friends, was lying in the street in a body bag,” Kellie Montalvo

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Screenshot/YouTube

LOS ANGELES – To mark the start of April’s National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, the Automobile Club of Southern California joined State Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, law enforcement and the parents of a young Corona man who was killed by an impaired and distracted driver, to remind the public about the deadly consequences of distractions behind the wheel.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2021 there were 3,522 people killed in traffic crashes involving a distracted driver. That’s an average of ten people killed each day. That same year, an estimated 362,415 people were injured in distracted driving crashes. Here in California alone, 828 people have died in distracted driving crashes since the start of 2021. Even with these high numbers, distraction-related crash fatalities and injuries are underreported because the behavior is difficult to detect during crash investigations, and police reports often understate the number of incidents.

“Distracted driving comes in many forms, but texting and cell phone use while driving has become the most common type of distracted driving,” said Auto Club President & CEO Greg Backley. “It is never safe to use a smartphone to text, check email, program GPS, post on social media or take photos and videos while your vehicle is in motion.”

When drivers travel at 55 miles per hour and take their eyes off the road for just five seconds that is the same as traveling the length of a football field blindfolded. Law enforcement officers nationwide are working together to enforce texting and distracted driving laws, including a high-visibility enforcement campaign during National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

“We know that the problem is serious, and the problem is real,” said California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara. “Our mobile phones have almost become an appendage for us, but we must not allow ourselves to be ruled by our mobile devices, and we ask all drivers to please not let your phone be the cause of a fatal crash on our roads.”

The Auto Club’s campaign “Don’t Drive Intoxicated. Don’t Drive Intexticated.” is designed to increase the social stigma of using a smartphone while driving, like the stigma that exists with alcohol-impaired driving. Through public education and awareness, the Auto Club asks drivers to put their phone down and focus on what’s important, which is getting to their destination safely.

“There are too many victims and too many forever broken families and friends,” said Corona mother Kellie Montalvo, whose son was killed by a texting driver.

On June 11, 2020, an intoxicated driver, who was repeatedly texting her boyfriend, hit and killed Montalvo’s 21-year-old son Benjamin Montalvo as he and his friends rode bicycles to meet Benjamin’s brother. Benjamin, nicknamed “BeanDip” by his three older brothers, died at the scene of the crash.

“With the choices she made that night, she killed our future as well,” said Montalvo. “I would never wish this nightmare on anyone. No parent should bury their child, no brother should have to carry a casket, and no friend should have to watch their friend die.”

A jury convicted the driver who hit Benjamin of felony vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence and felony hit-and-run causing injury or death and sentenced her to nine years in state prison. Benjamin’s parents now share his story with students and the public to prevent other people from making the same mistakes that took their son’s life.

“We are in a prison of our own, one that we will never be bonded or paroled from,” said Montalvo. “Dealing with trauma, anger, and the intense sadness of missing Bean every single day has changed our lives completely.”

To stay focused behind the wheel and prevent tragedies from driving “intexticated,” the Auto Club recommends:

  • Use the Driving Focus features on your smartphone.
  • Pull over if you must call or text someone.
  • Speak up if the driver of your vehicle is distracted.
  • Put it away. Place your mobile device out of sight to prevent temptation.
  • Know where you are going. If using GPS, program the destination before driving.
  • Ask passengers for help. If with someone, ask for help to navigate, make a call or text.
  • Don’t be a distraction. Avoid calling or texting others when you know they are driving.

For more information about the Auto Club’s “Don’t Drive Intoxicated. Don’t Drive Intexticated.” campaign, visit AAA.com/DontDriveDistracted to read real stories of lives impacted by distracted driving, watch PSAs, and watch a distracted driving documentary called “Sidetracked.”

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Southern California

Triple A:  Average gas prices jump over $5 in SoCal

The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $5.03, which is eight cents higher than a week ago

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Triple A Auto Club/Los Angeles Blade

LOS ANGELES – Most areas of Southern California are now experiencing average prices over $5 a gallon as prices moved up for the second week in a row and for eight weeks total in 2024 so far, according to the Auto Club’s Weekend Gas Watch. The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $5.03, which is eight cents higher than a week ago. The average national price is $3.54, which is one cent higher than a week ago.

The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $5.08 per gallon, which is nine cents more than last week, 26 cents higher than last month, and 23 cents higher than last year. In San Diego, the average price is $5.06, which is seven cents higher than last week, 22 cents higher than last month, and 19 cents higher than this time last year.

On the Central Coast, the average price is $5.06, which is six cents higher than last week, 26 cents higher than last month, and 23 cents higher than last year. In Riverside, the average per-gallon price is $4.96, which is nine cents higher than last week, 25 cents higher than last month and 18 cents higher than a year ago. In Bakersfield, the $4.93 average price is eight cents more than last week, 33 cents more than last month, and five cents higher than a year ago today.

“According to Oil Price Information Service, the Wilmington section of Phillip 66’s Los Angeles refinery is undergoing planned maintenance, with no information available on when it will return to production,” said Auto Club Spokesperson Doug Shupe. “It’s important for drivers to keep in mind that even in areas with average prices over $5 a gallon, they can usually find much less expensive gasoline than $5 nearby by using a free tool such as the AAA Mobile app. As of today, there are still several Southern California gas stations with prices under $4.50 a gallon.”

The Weekend Gas Watch monitors the average price of gasoline. As of 9 a.m. on March 28, averages are:

032824

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Southern California

Triple A: Average gas prices near $5 in many areas

The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $4.95, which is seven cents higher than a week ago

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Triple A Auto Club/Los Angeles Blade

LOS ANGELES – Gas prices in many metropolitan Southern California areas are now near $5 gallon after moving up by about a penny a day in the last week, according to the Auto Club’s Weekend Gas Watch. The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $4.95, which is seven cents higher than a week ago. The average national price is $3.53, which is 12 cents higher than a week ago.

The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $4.99 per gallon, which is six cents more than last week, 18 cents higher than last month, and 12 cents higher than last year. In San Diego, the average price is also $4.99, which is seven cents higher than last week, 13 cents higher than last month, and two cents lower than this time last year.

On the Central Coast, the average price is $5, which is eight cents higher than last week, 13 cents higher than last month, and 16 cents higher than last year. In Riverside, the average per-gallon price is $4.87, which is six cents higher than last week, 19 cents higher than last month and seven cents higher than a year ago. In Bakersfield, the $4.85 average price is eight cents more than last week, 28 cents more than last month, and two cents lower than a year ago today.

“Gas prices are likely to continue trending upward this spring as in prior years,” said Auto Club Spokesperson Doug Shupe. “To save money on gas, drivers should shop around for the lowest prices using a tool such as the free AAA Mobile app, keep their vehicle and tires well-maintained, and adopt a gentle driving style that avoids speeding, hard braking and jackrabbit starts.”

The Weekend Gas Watch monitors the average price of gasoline. As of 9 a.m. on March 21, averages are:

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Southern California

Triple A: Gas prices stop rising

The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $4.88, which is one cent higher than a week ago

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Triple A Auto Club/Los Angeles Blade

LOS ANGELES – In most areas of Southern California, gas prices took a break from their typical pattern of increases in late winter and early spring, according to the Auto Club’s Weekend Gas Watch. The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $4.88, which is one cent higher than a week ago. The average national price is $3.41, which is also one cent higher than a week ago.

The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $4.93 per gallon, which is the same as last week, 15 cents higher than last month, and one cent lower than last year. In San Diego, the average price is $4.92, which is also the same as last week, 13 cents higher than last month, and two cents lower than this time last year.

On the Central Coast, the average price is $4.92, which is two cents higher than last week, 17 cents higher than last month, and one cent higher than last year. In Riverside, the average per-gallon price is $4.81, which is one cent higher than last week, 14 cents higher than last month and five cents lower than a year ago. In Bakersfield, the $4.77 average price is three cents more than last week, 20 cents more than last month, and 12 cents lower than a year ago today.

“Indications are that this pause may be temporary, since Los Angeles wholesale gasoline prices have been on the rise this week,” said Auto Club Spokesperson Doug Shupe. “Drivers should shop around for the best gas prices near them by using a free online tool such as the AAA Mobile app.”

The Weekend Gas Watch monitors the average price of gasoline. As of 9 a.m. on March 14, averages are:

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