Results tagged “Zach Behrens”

Lindsay Lohan Ordered Back to Jail, Will Not be Released Early

As Judge Elden Fox warned Lindsay Lohan when she was released early from rehab last month, if you do drugs, i.e., violate probation, you're going back to jail. And that's exactly what happened this morning at the Beverly Hills Courthouse: Lohan was placed under custody with no bail, according to live reports on KTLA. She's expected to be transferred to the Lynwood jail facility. Lohan recently failed two drug tests and tweeted that she...

Lohan's Punishment Harsher than a Drunk Hit-and-Run Driver's

GarySe7en Speaking of Lindsay Lohan, her punishment today by Judge Elden Fox is coming under criticism by cyclists. Plainly put, a drunk hit-and-run driver who disabled a bicyclist was sentenced by Fox in July to 90 days of community service. On the other hand, Lohan is getting harsher punishment for harming herself. Legally speaking, the cases are very different -- Lohan violated probation -- but it's just another sign that priorities should maybe be...

Proposal Could Give Businesses a Tax Break for Hiring L.A. Residents

Photo by calvinfleming via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr If you've been paying attention to campaign commercials for the U.S. Senate and California's governor, the theme is jobs, jobs, jobs, thanks to high unemployment. Today, the L.A. City Council will consider a motion to give employers citywide a tax credit when they hire new employees who are Los Angeles residents. “Los Angeles urgently needs jobs and we are competing against other cities, other states...

Take a Train between Downtown and the Beach by Early 2015?

The Expo Line currently under construction right now could be fully operational by early 2015, Metro officials announced at a meeting last night. Transit supporter Gökhan Esirgen announced the news in an e-mail last night. It has been reported that the first phase between downtown Los Angeles and Culver City is expected to open next year, possibly in sections. The second phase from Culver City to 4th and Colorado in Santa Monica would not...

The USS Iowa Could Find a Home in L.A.

Photo by Phan J. Alan Elliott/Department of Defense Th last World War II battleship currently without a home may just end up permanently in Los Angeles. If so, it would be turned into a museum -- think Midway in San Diego -- and become a major anchor for development and tourism along the sleepy San Pedro waterfront. This morning the Los Angeles City Council approved a resolution to support berthing the historic battleship at...

Poll: Boxer Leads Fiorina by 6 Points

After their gubernatorial poll yesterday, Field Poll today released the results of their latest survey (.pdf) regarding California's U.S. Senate seat. Consistent with past Field Polls, Democratic incumbent Barbara Boxer is leading former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, this time by six points -- with a 4.1% margin of error -- based on responses by registered voters, most of who are likely voters. Voters in L.A. County are more likely to vote for Boxer, while...

Video: Soarin' Over the Santa Monica Mountains in a Hang Glider

If it isn't the most popular attraction at Disney California Adventure in Anaheim and EPCOT in Florida -- wow, those lines are intensely long -- "Soarin' over California" is most definitely one of the most exciting. For those who haven't had the chance to ride, it's a hang glider simulation in an IMAX theatre, complete with redwood forest smells and wind.

Metro Votes to Cut Bus Service by 4%

The recession arrived and like with many other government agencies, budgets dwindled. For Metro, which is currently facing a $250-million budget shortfall for bus and rail operations, its board yesterday voted to make a nearly 4% cut in bus service, according to the LA Times. That move to cancel a dozen or lines and (.pdf) modify another others -- changes will occur in December -- will save the agency an estimated $30 million every...

Tonight: Local Music Photographers, Including LAist's Koga, Open Gallery Show in Echo Park

Just like last month when a group of LAist photographers showed off their work in a gallery show, another of our amazing steadfast artists is doing the same. Since 2007 Jeff Koga has posted to LAist hundreds of times, sharing thousands of his amazing photos from the plethora of shows he attends (it seems he's at one every night). But it's been awhile since his work has gone offline. That stops now. Starting tonight, he...

Toilet Drama at Burbank Airport

Boing Boing founder Mark Frauenfelder is trying to get out of town this warm Friday afternoon, but so far, it's not working. Here's why, via his Twitter: "An idiot flushed a diaper down the toilet on the plane and now 200 of us are stuck at Burbank for 4 hours. #thediaperflushershavewon." Oy vey. At least, for a small sized airport like Burbank, it's a decent place to be stuck....

R.I.P. Downtown Art Walk (As We Know It)

Photo by Ernesto D. Arias via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr All good things come to an end and today comes news that one of the city's most popular events is going on hiatus for the rest of 2010. When the Downtown Art Walk comes back in January 2011 expect a quarterly weekend-long daytime event, according to Eric Richardson's blogdowntown. Over the years, the monthly event has been too successful for its own good,...

City Hall Rumor: LADOT Chief to Step Down

Word on the street is that Rita Robinson, who heads up the L.A. Department of Transportation -- traffic, parking enforcement, etc -- will soon step down. That's according to Streetsblog LA's Damien Newton, who has confirmed the news with anonymous sources. If true, Newton already has transit community abuzz with possible replacements. Ideas include the former Mayor of Bogota, Columbia, who brought Ciclovia, an event coming to L.A. next month, and Janette Sadik-Khan of...

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Today's end-of-day links: solar panels on the eastside, a motel in Silver Lake, Obama on healthcare (again), microchips for pet dogs, pipeline safety, supergraphics in Hollywood and more.

Abandoned Vehicle Complaints Ignored by LADOT, Say Residents

Photo by Jeremy Burgin via Flickr So much for community policing and broken windows theory in a neighborhood that really needs it. The Daily News today reported that, despite apparent attempts to notify the city of abandoned vehicles -- 72 hours on a city street without moving is considered abandoned -- vehicles are sitting on Pacoima neighborhood streets for months, sometimes even years. "The streets behind [Morris] Pichon's home are littered with dilapidated vehicles,...

Stay Cool: Heat Wave Expected this Weekend

Yesterday the National Weather Service warned that the hot Santa Ana winds were making a comeback, bringing warmer weather and fire danger to Southern California this weekend. But now we're hearing it's going to be more like a heat wave, which the Daily Breeze correctly calls "a significant and abrupt change" to our current weather. A high pressure system will hit the southland starting Friday and lasting throughout the weekend. While the beaches will...

Proposal: All City Transportation Improvements Should be Reviewed by the Public

Photo by Lucyrk in LA via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr This is what happens when you lack transparency. Spurred from a bicycle lane that suddenly appeared on a Northridge street that exasperated the neighbors and commuters, Councilmember Greig Smith earlier this month called for all bicycle projects to be reviewed by Neighborhood Councils. But that wasn't enough for the community. "Since then, stakeholders from all sides have expressed an overwhelming desire to be...

The Top 10 Cities for Foreclosures -- 6 are in California

AP Photo/Paul Sakuma The news isn't so surprising for a state that saw a housing boom like no other, only to see it crumble with the recession. And with the national foreclosure rate up 25% since August 2009, some are saying the worst has yet to come, according to ABC News, which today released a list of the top 10 foreclosure cities. Six of those are in California, including the Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario area where...

Poll: Brown and Whitman Tied in Race for Governor

Gubernatorial candidates Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman are in a dead heat, finds the latest Field Poll (.pdf) released today. Statewide it's a 41-to-41 race with 18% still undecided. 599 of the 857 surveyed registered voters were considered likely to vote in the upcoming November election. Compared to past Field Polls, today's is not much different, save for one fact: ""the only statistically significant change in the governor’s race since July relates to a slight increase in the..."

If Marijuana is Legalized, Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control Could be Charged with Regulation

There's a little talked-about aspect of Proposition 19, the November ballot measure that would legalize and tax marijuana in California. You can find it near the bottom of the initiative language (.pdf) talking about allowing the state legislature to amend the prop -- that is, if approved by voters -- to regulate it statewide, but only if the intent is to "further the purposes of the Act." That's something that opponents who claim the...

County to Create a Food Truck and Restaurant Task Force

Lindsay William-Ross/LAist The decision to implement a health grading system for food trucks and carts today was pushed back to a meeting in October, but officials still took steps to address issues. County Supervisor Don Knabe announced that he is creating a taskforce made up of mobile vendors and restaurant owners. The move is prompted by concerns raised by restaurants that food trucks and carts are unfairly competing with them. “In this economy, we...

Legalization's Latest Foe: Medical Marijuana Backers

It became somewhat of a "he said, she said" situation yesterday at a legislative hearing about Prop 19, the November ballot measure that would legalize marijuana in California. A group of medical marijuana advocates said it would do more harm for patients than help. A member of the California Cannabis Association, which has launched a webpage called Keep Cannabis Medical, said Prop 19, which allows local governments to regulate, even ban legalization, would inadvertently...

3 L.A. Bars Make GQ's 'Best 25 Cocktail Bars in America '

On heels of the announcement that he's taking over Clifton's Cafeteria and adding some nightlife options, Andrew Meieran is celebrating again. GQ Magazine has released its Best 25 Cocktail Bars in America and of the three picked from Los Angeles included his popular underground -- literally -- prohibition-style bar The Edison. "In an old subterranean power plant, the Edison is the largest bar on this list," the magazine noted of the downtown bar, which will...

LAPD to Announce New Approach at Managing Critical Mass

A violent altercation between the LAPD and cyclists on a large group street bicycle ride last May beget something unexpected: a monthly Critical Mass, notoriously known across the country as a leaderless sometimes chaotic event, ride accompanied by the police officers for the last three months. And now, thanks to police presence, the monthly event has grown. "June was big, July was bigger, and August was just huge," said Stephen Box, a cycling advocate...

State to Hold Hearing on Marijuana Legalization Measure

How will legalizing marijuana via Prop 19 effect California's budget? What about crime? Is it effective drug policy? These topics and more will be discussed tomorrow in Sacramento at a joint hearing of the Senate and Assembly Committees on Public Safety. Per state law, legislative committees must hold public hearings on ballot measures. For two hours on Tuesday morning, politicians, state employees and experts -- ACLU, Rand Corporation, etc -- will convene in Sacramento....

Barbara Boxer Edges Out Carly Fiorina in Most Recent Poll

Another day, another poll for the closely watched California U.S. Senate seat. And what's new? Nothing, really, as it's too close to call. The latest survey is compliments of Public Policy Polling, which found that voters are 50% for incumbent Barbara Boxer and 42% for former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina. But as KPCC noted, this is not an exactly reliable poll. Besides the 3.9 percent margin of error, which could put the two candidates...

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Mount Washington in Northeast L.A. | Photo by Jennifer Gaillard via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr Some are starting to apply the Manhattan phrase "bridge and tunnel" to suburbanites who visit downtown Los Angeles. Oh, really? The recession supposedly ended in 2009. Want the home once owned by William Randolph Hearst? No, not his castle up the coast, the one in Beverly Hills. It's up for sale right now and it's all yours for...

Look to the Sky: Rocket Launch Will Likely be Visible

Just like last week, the Vandenberg Air Force Base is planning a launch tonight. This time it is anticipated to be the AtlasV rocket, which will be sent into the sky a little after 9 p.m. tonight (listen to live updates here from). There should be no noise, but the Los Angeles Fire Department said it will "likely be quite visible." They say there is no need to call 911....

Marijuana Initiative Gets Backing from State's Largest Union

As rumored in the past few weeks, the powerful Service Employees International Union of California is readying to officially endorse Prop 19, which would legalize and tax marijuana. It's not official yet, but sources are confirming it to the New York Times, which notes that the endorsement offers "the proposition a shot of mainstream legitimacy as well as a potential financial and organizational lift." The group has 700,000 members, making it the largest statewide group....

Photo-Enforced Stop Signs Still Angering Drivers

They've been pissing off drivers since 2007 and now CBS2 is making it their latest target. They are stop signs in a few hiking areas around Los Angeles. But these aren't just any stop signs, they are a very rare breed that carry photo enforcement technology. You may be alone in the nature, but someone's watching to see if you roll through a stop sign.

At Least 8 Reportedly Arrested in City of Bell Scandal

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong You can predict the cheers from residents on this one. Citing an anonymous source, the LA Times says at least eight city of Bell officials and employees have been arrested. Who and what charges will be brought against them will be announced later today at a press conference, but it's likely that among the arrested include City Manager Robert Rizzo and at least four of the five city councilmembers. The...

Redondo Beach Residents Protest Power Plant Plan

A couple weeks ago, a group of Redondo Beach residents gathered at a corner on the Pacific Coast Highway during evening rush hour to protest a beachside powerplant they would rather see go away. In its place, they want to see a park. “Why do we need to see (the plant)? I’ve been looking at that for 20 years. I’ve been a resident for 21 years and I’m sick of looking at it,” Dawn Essex...

Move to Repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Blocked in U.S. Senate

Musician Lady Gaga spoke at a rally in support of repealing the so-called "don't ask, don't tell" law, in Portland, Maine, on Monday. She wanted Maine's Republican senators to cast votes this week to help repeal the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays in the military. (AP Photo/Pat Wellenbach) The military's infamous 17-year-old "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy about serving while openly gay will continue after it failed to see the day...

Clifton's Cafeteria to be Open 24 Hours, Hire 100 New Employees, Including Homeless

Photo by Open Air Control Testing Ground via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr Downtown's historic Broadway corridor was once a retail shopping mecca, a magnet for tourists, a major force for city business and commerce and home to twelve theatres. These days, although still a busy artery, the heyday is obviously gone. The theatres are mostly shuttered, there's a 15 to 20% vacancy rate for ground floor retail and more than one million square...

Suspicious Package Prompts Evacuation at USC [Updated]

A building at USC has been evacuated after a suspicious package was reported to authorities, University officials said in an alert to students. Students were warned to stay away from the The Hedco Neuro Sciences at Watt and Downey Way (map). Campus security and LAPD were taping portions of campus off, including up to 34th Street and Trousdale (map), according to the Daily Trojan's twitter. Update: The suspicious package, which is a paper envelope,...

Food Truck Lot Coming to Santa Monica's Main Street, Will Include Alcohol [Updated]

Photo by Zach Behrens/LAist Santa Monica was home to the first food truck lot, but, despite its success, it lasted one whole day. The city shut it down over zoning issues and put the concept to study. That was January. Then last month the city's planning department concluded it would give out three-month temporary use permits for food truck lots on private property. The deal was that the city would monitor the effects of...

Backers of Gay Marriage Ban Urge Court to Overturn Prop 8 Decision

At the rally following the district court's ruling striking down Prop 8 (more photos and story here) | Photo by Tom Andrews/LAist Just hours before the deadline on Friday, proponents of California's gay marriage ban filed written arguments detailing why a federal appeals court should overturn a lower court's decision that found the law unconstitutional. The 134-page brief from the backers of Prop 8, the voter-approved measure that banned same-sex marriage in 2008, "alleged...

After the Villaraigosa Ticketgate, State Agency Makes New Ethics Rules

"Ticketgate" is once again back. Following a recent L.A. Ethics Commission recommendation to ban politicians from accepting free tickets to events from companies with pending city business, the state's Fair Political Practices Commission ruled Friday that receipt of free tickets to events for official duties must be posted online, according to the LA Times. Scandal erupted earlier this summer when it was learned that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa had accepted some 80 free tickets to events,...

Public Meetings for Westside Subway Begin Tonight

A major decision to extend L.A.'s small subway system is coming in late October and before that, officials must meet with the public to gather input. That starts tonight with a series of meetings that continue tomorrow, Wednesday and twice next week. Environmental documents were released earlier this month detailing what the five alternatives -- down Wilshire to the Santa Monica, perhaps with a West Hollywood spur, etc -- under consideration would be like....

Watch Out, Westside Traffic: 40,000 Students Head to UCLA

Summer is about to end and that signals a new academic year at UCLA. Nearly 40,000 students, mostly undergrads, are attending the university this year, according the school. That means more traffic, but also a more lively Westwood Village. 9,500 students moved on campus over the weekend. Other stats include 4,700 freshman, 3,400 new transfers and 3,000 international students. 57,651 had applied for Fall 2010 admission. Classes begin Thursday....

Lawyer Who Questioned Judges' Pay Released from Jail

After spending 563 days in jail for contempt of court, Richard Fine has been freed. In fact, Fine broke the L.A. County record for a lawyer held in contempt. He was officially jailed for not adhering to a court order: pay $46,329 or release details of personal finances, but he believes it was in "retaliation for exposing Los Angeles County's practice of paying judges an annual bonus of $57,000 in addition to their state...

'Like' This: It's Social Media Week in L.A.

Comedy, politics, exploring the city, food and even religion. This is life, day by day. But this week, they are all also topics being covered by some 70 panels of social media mavens throughout this week for Social Media Week L.A. "There's such a hunger to have conversations about the impact of social media in society," said Ben Scheim, director of the event, which is not just in Los Angeles this week, but also...

Distracted Driving Accounted for Nearly 5,500 Roadway Deaths in 2009, Called an 'Epidemic'

Photo by mrJasonWeaver via Flickr For the second year in a row, national statistics show that distracted driving had led to 5,474 deaths and 448,000 injuries on U.S. roads in 2009. That represents 16% of traffic fatalities across the country, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced today (.pdf). “These numbers show that distracted driving remains an epidemic in America, and they are just the tip of the iceberg,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Tomorrow,...

LAX Pats Itself on the Back for Twittering

Usually when LAX is placed on a rankings list, it's about being one of the worst airports. Today, however, officials are tooting a different horn. "Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is ranked No. 7 among airports worldwide with the number of followers on the social media site Twitter," officials announced in a press release this afternoon.

Video: Musician Uses LACMA as One Big Percussion Instrument

The always innovative LACMA understands that everyday objects are so much more than that. In celebration of that notion and, well, the soon-to-open Resnick Pavilion, the museum invited percussionist and internet musical filmmaker Ben Meyers to check the new grounds out and make some of music of it with yarn mallets and drumsticks. Here's his creation.

Know Your Farmers Market: Sundays in Studio City

When it comes to farmers' markets, this is one of the behemoths of the Valley. Open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. off Laurel Canyon and Ventura Boulevard along Ventura Place (map), the Studio City Farmers' Market covers the basics thoroughly -- all the veggies and fruits, including from organic farms -- but also boasts a variety of extras -- think farm-to-freezer popsicles to vegetarian Korean food -- which makes this market a must for...

Photos: Street off Hollywood Blvd. Transformed into a Pedestrian Plaza

The good people from the Hollywood Community Studio took today's Park[ing] Day concept to new heights. Instead of taking over a parking space and transforming it into a park, they took a whole street and made it into a pedestrian plaza of sorts. Tables, chalk, board games and benches made up 200 feet of Hudson Street just off busy tourist-heavy Hollywood Boulevard (map). Unlike the over 15 parking spaces that were found around the city...

Russell Brand Allegedly Pushes Paparazzo at LAX, Arrested by Police

Actor and comedian Russell Brand today was put under citizens arrest after allegedly pushing a photographer at LAX. TMZ caught the incident on video, showing a mad rush of paparazzi surrounding Brand and his fiance, singer Katy Perry. At one point, it appears Brand pushes one of the photographers leading to a complaint to police. Brand was taken into custody and brought to LAPD's Pacific Division where he posted bail, according to the celebrity blog....

Search for Murder Suspect around Hiking Trails in Studio City Turns up Empty

Loera (LAPD) Police yesterday and today searched hiking trails around Studio City for a murder suspect that has eluded police since July. The LAPD earlier this week released the photo of 34-year-old parolee Omar Armando Loera, who they believe killed a woman in Valley Village before burning the house down. Based on that photo, a hiker -- some media reports has said it was a city employee -- saw someone that looked like Loera...

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The sunset as seen from the Griffith Observatory | Photo by Mark Luethi via Laist Featured Photos on Flickr More than 33,000 patient records at MLK Hospital in South L.A. have been breached. Whooping cough on the rise: at least 4,017 cases reported in California and nine have died. Expect delays on the Red and Purple lines this weekend due to safety inspections. Earlier LAist told you state unemployment figures, here's how it plays...

Video: Man Robs Subway Store with BB Gun

Police are searching for a man who violently robbed a Subway store earlier this week. On Tuesday around 6:25 a.m., a man entered the store in the downtown area at 155 W. Washington Blvd near Los Angeles Trade Technical College, pulled a gun and jumped over the counter. “The video is quite graphic in the way this suspect jumps the counter and pushed the employees around,” said Lt. Paul Vernon, commanding officer of the...

South L.A. State Senator Indicted on 8 Felony Charges

First a L.A. City Councilmember, now this? A state Senator who represents a portion of South L.A. and surrounding communities was indicted today for a number of felonies by a Los Angeles County Grand Jury. Senator Roderick Wright is accused of "filing a false declaration of candidacy, voter fraud and perjury beginning in 2007, when he changed his voter registration to run for the Legislature," according to the LA Times. Wright is accused of...

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Photo by jimmay bones via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr 1 in 7 people are living in poverty, concludes the latest census report. And flu season has arrived. The stage vacated by "The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien" will soon be home to KNBC Channel 4's news operation and the Los Angeles bureau for NBC News. A visit to the set of internet show "Young Hollywood," which has 3 million unique viewers a month,...

Don't be Alarmed: Missile Launch Scheduled for Early Morning

A test missile is scheduled to launch from a Southland air force base early Friday morning. While the unarmed Minuteman III ICBM from Vandenberg Air Force Base in Santa Barbara County will make no noise, it may be visible in the sky sometime between 3 and 9 a.m. In order to decrease call volume, the Los Angeles Fire Department says there's no need to call 9-1-1....

Creepy: 'Man breaks into Rancho Palos Verdes home, strokes hair of sleeping girl'

Photo by guamafro via Flickr This creepy headline comes courtesy of the LA Times. At about 2 a.m. on Wednesday, sheriff's deputies say a man broke into a Rancho Palos Verdes home and began stroking the teenage daughter's hair and whispered something into her ear. She was never hurt during the incident, but when she awoke and screamed, her parents chased him out. The suspect is described as a 20 to 25-year-old Latino, 5-foot-10...

Rolling Stone Names Amoeba #1 Record Store in U.S., Fat Beats Closing on Melrose

Photo by Jonathan Alcorn (Sundogg) via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr Amoeba Records, along with its two other California locations, took top honors this week on Rolling Stone's list of 25 top U.S. record stores for unique vinyl and CDs. No surprises there and no other local stores were listed (Chicago garnered three spots!). The news is bittersweet with the news we learned last month that Fat Beats on Melrose Avenue is closing its...

West Coast Not Preapred for Tsunami Activity

A new report from the National Academies of Science has concluded that the West Coast, particularly Northern California through Washington, is not prepared for tsunami activity. One main cause of concern is the Cascadia subduction zone, which is not located near Los Angeles. That's not to say there are risks locally, such as the minor damage that occurred in February from tsunami activity. The USGS is currently studying tsunami scenarios for the region and have...

Downtown's 7+Fig Likely to be Turned into a Target Store

Inside 7+Fig | Photo by LA Wad via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr Big changes are coming to downtown Los Angeles and for the 7+Fig mall, that could be a Target store. Numerous tenants at the complex have been given notices to vacate their stores by January to make way for a renovation project, according to the Downtown News. Neither property owner Brookfield Properties nor Target would confirm the long-talked about scenario, but most...

Jesus Saves

There are plenty of Jesus sighting around town, but what's with those two neon "Jesus Saves" signs in downtown Los Angeles? They sit atop the United Artists Theatre, but that's not their original spot, says blogdowntown's Eric Richardson, who details their history, which includes moving it from downtown to La Mirada, a scrapeyard and back....

Clifton's Cafeteria Purchased by Owner of The Edison

Photo by jeffkingla via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr It was a little more than a year ago that Clifton's Cafeteria in downtown Los Angeles went up for sale. Owners, who had bought the 47,000 square-foot building at 7th and Broadway for themselves, planned to keep the eatery running despite a tenuous economic environment. If there was ever a worry that the classic restaurant, which has been open since the 1930s, would go wayside,...

Unemployment Increases to 12.4% in California

The jobless rate in California increased by a tenth of a point from 12.3% in August, according to information released by the state today. A year ago, the rate was 12%. "The California unemployment rate surpassed the national level as the longest recession since the Great Depression continues to hammer the state," added Bloomberg. "The state jobless rate has been 12 percent or more for the past 12 months, reaching a high of 12.6 percent...

DUI Checkpoint in Universal City Area Tonight

The LAPD is back this weekend with another sobriety and drivers license checkpoint as part of its effort to deter people drinking and driving. Tonight's location will be in the Cahuenga Pass neighborhood, outside Universal Studios, at Cahuenga and Bennett between 8 p.m. and 2 a.m. The LAPD does not have to announce all checkpoints so there could be more out there. Another checkpoint is scheduled for Saturday evening in Azusa, according to the...

Thursday will Mark the Longest California has been without a Legislature-Approved Budget

California is facing a $19 billion deficit and if tomorrow, 78 days after the budget should have been passed, comes without the state legislature passing a budget, records will be broken. Unlike last year, the drama hasn't played out in the public yet. Perhaps that's because the effects of having no budget really hasn't hit home yet. "State finance officials are able to keep paying most of the bills, and many businesses that rely...

Should L.A. Up the Amount of Dogs & Cats You Can Own from 3 to 5?

Photo by fotonomous via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr As Los Angeles law stands today, you can only own and register up to three cats and/or dogs. More than that would require a resident to qualify for a kennel permit. Now a motion to increase that number to five is gaining traction on both sides of the issue, finds the Daily News. Supporters of the issue, including two councilmembers and the head of the...

Marijuana Use and Arrests Increased in 2009, Group Calls for Regulation

Photo by bobster855 via Flickr With 2009 national crime statistics released by the FBI on Tuesday, marijuana advocates are once again pointing out that enforcement on the drug continues to drain resources. In 2009, marijuana-related arrests increased by 8%. Of those 858,408 arrests, 88% were for possession, not sale or manufacture, the D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project points out. The numbers are equivalent to an arrest made every 37 seconds in the United States. “It’s...

$111 Million in Stimulus Money Given to L.A. has Only Created 55 Jobs

Photo by GenBug via Flickr More jobs are expected to be created but City Controller Wendy Greuel is disappointed that two departments given $111 million in federal stimulus monney are slow to create and retain jobs. The Department of Public Works has received $70.65 million, resulting in the creation or retention of 45.46 jobs so far. Overall, there should be 238 jobs. The Department of Transportation was awarded $40.8 million and has created or...

New Map Shows Completed and Planned Bicycle Projects in L.A.

As evident by a recent bike lane controversy in Northridge, sometimes the most civically active cyclist doesn't even know what plans the city has for bicycle infrastructure. Now the L.A. Department of Transportation has launched a Google map showing all bicycle projects, whether completed, in progress or planned, for the current fiscal year.

USC's Campus Art Museum Recognized by National Museum Association

Did you know USC has an art museum open to the public? First established in 1939 as the Fisher Gallery, the Fisher Museum of Art over the years has made sure to keep up practices and policies in tip-top shape to ensure accreditation with the American Association of Museums. This week it was re-accredited. "There are so many advantages to being an accredited institution, especially in a university setting --where accreditation is such an important...

Beer Distribution Lobby Donates $10K to Fight Marijuana Legalization

Photo by victoriabernal via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr Last week a trade association for California beer distributors donated $10,000 to oppose Prop 19, the November ballot initiative that would legalize and tax marijuana. The move certainly has a lot of people talking. “Unless the beer distributors in California have suddenly developed a philosophical opposition to the use of intoxicating substances, the motivation behind this contribution is clear,” said Steve Fox of the Marijuana...

Hollywood Sidestreet to become a Pedestrian Plaza this Weekend

It's worked in other cities, so why not Los Angeles? 200 feet of a street off Hollywood Boulevard this weekend will be turned into a temporary pedestrian plaza and community space. It's one of the many events taking place Friday in conjunction of Park[ing] Day, which will transform a number of metered parking spaces across the city into mini parks. The idea is inspired by other big cities taking major streets and permanently turning them...

New Mexican American Cultural Center to Focus on L.A. and Southern California

Photo Courtesy of LA Plaza Next Year, Los Angeles will gain another museum and cultural center and it will be quite unique for anyone curious about the early days of the city and its roots. When LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes opens on April 15th, it will be housed in what was once the tallest building in the city -- five whole floors! -- and near where the city was founded in 1781....

Rosendahl Calls for Venice Community Meeting about Homeless Issues

A sign found on a vehicle in Venice | Photo by Renee Rendler-Kaplan via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr Ever since human waste from a RV was dumped on city streets, documented and virally spread through the web and media, the mobile homeless issue in Venice has gained a lot of attention. Using that inertia City Councilmember Bill Rosendahl is calling for a community meeting next week. "The session will include a series of...

Bill Maher gets the 2,417th Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Just in case you're keeping track of the more than 2,400 stars on the Walk of Fame, political satirist Bill Maher became the latest to receive the Hollywood honor. He was joined by his dog, named Killer, CNN's Larry King, "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane and comedian Kathy Griffin, among others, at Tuesday's ceremony. The star is at Hollywood and Vine outside the W Hotel and Residences. For fans, "Real Time with Bill Maher"...

Watch Out: Brown Going After Sky-High Salaries Across CA

State Attorney General Jerry Brown today announced sweeping efforts to curtail highly paid local officials around California. In a series of announcements, the gubernatorial candidate said he was taking filing lawsuits against eight city of Bell officials while serving a subpoena to neighboring city of Vernon where one employee apparently made $1.64 million a year (another highly paid one was recently let go). Meanwhile, Brown, who apparently earns a considerable pension himself, is also...

Have you Gone Blue Whale Watching Yet? If There Ever was a Time, It is Now

After hearing about the extraordinaire amount of blue whales feeding off coast this year, Heal the Bay's staff, including head honcho Mark Gold checked it out this past Sunday. The results were stunning. "Sunday morning was beyond incredible. If you haven’t gone out to see the Blues, shame on you," he exclaimed on his blog. "There is no way humanly possible to witness a more satisfying natural event in the Bay. We started seeing spouts...

Molotov Cocktails Set Northridge Apartment Aflame

david drexler A Northridge apartment was set on fire early this morning after a suspect or two threw molotov cocktails at it, according to KTLA. The news comes on the heels of a Monday morning molotov cocktail attack in Long Beach, but no connections have been confirmed. This morning's incident took place on the 8600 block of Wilbur Avenue around 4:30 a.m. There were no injuries and damage was sustained to a screen door...

Dead Body Found in LAX Restroom: Hands Were Tied, Bag Over Head [Updated]

LAX | Photo by jakerome via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr Police are investigating the death of a man found in an airport restroom this morning. A custodian in a Terminal 3 bathroom discovered the body at approximately 7:45 a.m. and alerted authorities. Few details were released by Airport Police and the LAPD, which has jurisdiction over the incident, but news reports show it was a more creepy scene. Unnamed sources tell the LA...

What if Metro Fares were Based on Time & Distance?

A fare system that would be based on the time spent riding public transit or distance traveled instead of the current per boarding price will be discussed at a Metro committee meeting on Thursday, according to Damien Newton at StreetsblogLA. It's just a report that studies what other transit systems have done, but if something were to go forward, it's rife with challenges, including updating the controversial TAP system. Currently, it costs $1.50 per...

Do L.A. City Councilmembers Really Care About Pedestrian Safety?

Photo by Atwater Village Newbie via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr No matter what, we are all a pedestrian at some point when getting from here to there. But in a city that has more pedestrian deaths than most others, how much attention is paid to sidewalks and other walking-related infrastructure from our politicians? Not much, if you look at the city's official Pedestrian Advisory Committee. 80% of Los Angeles City Councilmembers have failed...

Culver City Holds 2 Daytime Checkpoints, Impounds 80 Vehicles

Drivers in Culver City today were taken by surprise when they went through a drivers license checkpoint. Two separate ones were set up -- one in the morning and another in the afternoon -- resulting in 80 impounds and three arrests for outstanding warrants. Drivers of impounded vehicles were also cited for "Unlicensed Driver" and "Driving on a Suspended License," authorities said. The morning checkpoint occurred from 7 to 11 a.m. on Centinela Avenue...

Study: Texting While Driving has Doubled Since Law Went into Effect

Photo by Lucyrk in LA via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr Since California's no texting while driving law went into effect 19 months ago, texting and use of smart phones has just about doubled, finds a study conducted by The Auto Club. The membership organization found that 2.7% of drivers at anytime are breaking the law. The same study conducted earlier this year found that 1.1% of drivers were texting. Young women were the...

Map: Where Animals Become Roadkill in California

On some Los Angeles streets, you can use a smartphone app to report graffiti, potholes and other problems. In the Santa Monica Mountains you can help the National Park Service document invasive plants that need to be eradicated with your smartphone. Now another project from the University of California, Davis, is getting some attention, thanks to the New York Times. The University of California, Davis, has citizen scientist document roadkill throughout the state. There's...

Use Figueroa between Downtown and Exposition Park? Plans are Afoot to Improve the Street

A city redevelopment project to improve 3.5 miles of Figueroa Street in the downtown area is its beginning stages. It's purpose is to study how people use the street, which is home to the busiest Metro station, L.A. Live, USC and Exposition Park. In the end, how can improvements better support quality of life, economic development and mobility, especially pedestrians and bicycles, and link the communities together?

Extra, Extra

"Sundown on Sunset" | Photo by Mark Luethi via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr Toyota drama heads to Orange County: "​Santa Ana will be ground zero for sudden-acceleration lawsuits against Toyota Motor Corp. after a panel of judges last week consolidated the cases to the federal court there." A weekend downtown shooting in the Historic Core that left a 14-year-old injured may have gang ties. Learn how to protect your bicycle from this former...

72 Executed in Mexico: 'Where's the Outrage?' Asks Columnist

Hector Tobar at the LA Times last week penned a column about the August 23rd massacre of 72 U.S.-bound immigrants in Northeastern Mexico and makes an interesting Los Angeles/immigration debate connection: To stop SB 1070, we've seen Angelenos drive across the desert to Phoenix to march, to denounce both the governor of Arizona and the mad sheriff of Maricopa County, Joe Arpaio. But I've yet to hear of any rallies at the Mexican consulate...

Meet Councilman Eric Garcetti -- errrrr -- Mayor Ramon Quintero

L.A. City Council President Eric Garcetti as L.A. Mayor Ramon Quintero on "The Closer" on TNT. His father, Gil Garcetti, left, plays the retiring LAPD Chief of Police The last time we saw L.A. City Council President Eric Garcetti acting on TV, it was a bit... awkward turtle. Last night, however, casting directors for "The Closer" did perfectly, having him play Los Angeles Mayor Ramon Quintero (he is part Mexican and speaks Spanish fluently)...

China and Japan Want to Build and Finance California's High Speed Rail System

Before Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger leaves office this year, he'd like to leave a legacy and one that isn't poisoned by that "deficit" word. Too late on that one. He could, however, leave somewhat of a mark on the development of high speed rail. At the very least, he's trying really hard. Back in June he announced a vision of having a demonstration high speed line between L.A. and San Diego by year's end. Talk of...

Another Sketchy Use of Money Meant to Improve L.A. Streets?

Photo by Lucyrk in LA via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr Today the Los Angeles City Council will consider transferring money that by law has to improve streets to fund a staffmember that will partially focus on improving streets. The item was uncovered by the blog Hollywood Unbound, which pays particular attention to the little-talked about Street Furniture Revenue Fund, an account funded by ads placed on bus shelters and other pieces of street...

Is the New Parking Meter Policy Fraud?

Photo by Zach Behrens/LAist The news of L.A.'s recent parking policy at new coin and card meters had a lot of people talking last week. Via LA Observed, we find Jonathan Dobrer at the Daily News' opinion blog sound off on the issue. "Our unfair [the] city is now demanding that even if we have lost money in a parking meter, we have to move and try another one, or get a ticket. This...

Once Again, the Sunset Strip Rocked Crowds with its Namesake Music Fest

In 2009 when West Hollywood gave Sunset Strip business owners the blessing to close it down for a rock festival, 10,000 people came shelling out $50 to access numerous stages and tons of music acts. It was a big step in the comeback of famous artery that once was the rock and roll mecca, and before that in the 30s and 40s, a Hollywood hangout. In 2000s, L.A.'s noted music scene -- although a very...

L.A. County Awards Homeboy Industries with $1.38 Million

Photo by ~db~ via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr Just a few months ago, Homeboy Industries had to layoff the majority of its employees. Times were tough and the money wasn't coming in. The move left around 330 workers, mostly former gangmembers learning new job skills -- Homegirl Cafe, Homeboy Bakery, Homeboy Maintenance, etc. -- without much-needed intervention, social services and tattoo removal that was part of the program for many. Basically, "nothing stops...

Ban on Free Tickets to Events for L.A. Politicians Recommended by Ethics Commission

Remember "ticketgate" from back in June? Since taking office in 2005, it was found that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa had accepted free tickets to some 80 events, including high profile ones such as the Oscars or Lakers games with courtside seats. The estimated value of all the freebies, as determined by LA Weekly, was $100,000. It irked people because a gift from a company seeking business with the city could influence a politician's decision making process....

Kids Head Back to School Today

Photo by spotreporting via Flickr Do you get all jittery reminiscing about the many first day of schools you had as a kid? That sense of excitement -- or dread -- is happening across Los Angeles today as thousands head back to school today, changing the summertime traffic patterns to worse. And if there was ever an interesting year, this should be it, thanks to the LA Times and its watchful eye on teacher...

Daily News to Villaraigosa: We're Not Letting You Slack Off

Photo by nopantsboy via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr Back in July the Daily News went head on with L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. They said he had checked out, gone AWOL, took a powder and was disengaged. "Just one year into his second term, with no big election or high-powered appointment to look forward to, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa seems to have run out of steam. He's acting like a lame-duck official -...

$200 Million Chatsworth Metrolink Settlement Expected to be Approved Today

A closeup from the rescue effort (more photos here) | Photo by Zach Behrens/LAist Nearly two years to the date, a judge today is expected to sign off on a $200 million settlement that would go to family members and survivors of fatal Metrolink train crash in Chatsworth. On the afternoon of Friday, September 12th, 2008 a Metrolink train headed to Ventura County crashed head-on with a Union Pacific freight train, killing 25 people...

Sofa Leads to Fatal Crash on 5 Freeway

Photo: justin A sofa left on the freeway caused a crash that left one person dead Sunday evening, according to wire reports. A Toyota Corolla traveling in the fast lane around 9:30 p.m. hit a couch. That car was then hit by a GMC Safari, which overturned and ejected a passenger who was later pronounced dead at the scene. The incident is still under investigation. The CHP says roadway hazards should be called in...

Like it or Not, Changes Coming to Santa Monica Farmers Markets

Photo by Alex de Cordoba via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr New rules to take effect in October mean some changes at farmers markets in Santa Monica, most notably the Sunday one on Main Street. Thanks to a City Council decision, prepared food vendors at markets must meet new criteria, namely being local -- as in local to Santa Monica -- and having sustainable practices. Six of the 13 prepared food stalls at the...

Will Legalizing Marijuana End Mexico's Drug War? Well, 'Maybe Not'

Photo by Tony the Misfit via Flickr With Prop 19, the marijuana legalization effort, heading to the November ballot, there's a lot being thrown out on both sides of the issue. USC's Neon Tommy has done a fact check regarding statements from proponents of the yes and no sides, which is definitely needed in any campaign. Of the many points analyzed -- jail, health, economy, etc -- the most interesting is the oft-heard claim...

With 10,000 to 15,000 Bicycles a Day on USC's Campus, Calls for a Beefier Bicycle Plan

Photo by Christa . Bike by the Sea via Flickr Los Angeles may be gearing up to finalize its master bicycle plan, which would bring some 1,600 miles of bikeways to the city, but that may not be enough for those whose primary location is USC. That's where some 10,000 to 15,000 cyclists roam the campus each day, according to 2009 report. According to Daily Trojan columnist Lucy Mueller, the problem for the past...

Over 330 Violations Found on Oil Platforms in Santa Barbara Channel in Past 6 Years

Some of the Oil Drilling Platform locations via VC Star With the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico earlier this year -- even 16 miles of oil coming ashore in Louisiana this past weekend -- a closer and more critical eye is being kept on the industry across the country. Northwest of Los Angeles are 20 oil drilling platforms in the Santa Barbara Channel, which over the past six years have seen...

Video: RV Controversy Gives Birth to the 'Venice Poo Poo Blues'

If the RV issue in Venice was not controversial enough, the LA Weekly today posted this recently uploaded YouTube video. It's a gritty political piece of musical and viral activism bringing attention to what Venice residents have been dealing with for a few years: neighborhood population growth via the mobile homeless who live in RVs on city streets. Catch-Up Reading - Blog Calls for a 'Public Health Alert' in Venice Area - Police Make...

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