Results tagged “Zach Behrens”

More Sewage Dumping Reported on Venice Streets, Residents Call for Police to Enforce, You Know, the Law

New Venice campaign bumper sticker | Image via Yo! Venice RV dwellers allegedly dumping their sewage onto city streets became a big news topic last week after Venice residents began documenting and publishing the incidents online. The city took swift action, arresting one person and creating a working group to address human waste, but the dumping reportedly continued. Now a group of residents have formed Don't Dump on Venice to call on the city...

Orange County by the Numbers: Not so Republican Anymore

"Reason #2,187 to Love Orange County: Because in Orange County--where nice abs are a spiritual quest--someone would actually drive a car like this." | Photo by C-Monster via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr Orange County is 34 cities and 789 square miles big and has, for a long time, been a symbol for Republicanism. That may not be the case anymore, finds the New York Times. At the very least, the demographics have shifted...

City Arrests Building Owner for Erecting Supergraphics Near LAX

An example of a supergraphic | Photo by troshy via Flickr Another supergraphic, another arrest. The L.A. City Attorney's Office on Friday arrested a building owner on 48 misdemeanor charges. 56-year-old Siamak Michael Rahimi, a Santa Monica resident, is accused of violating city law by installing and maintaining supergraphic signs at 9800 South Sepulveda Boulevard, across the street from LAX. Rahimi, along with LAX Enterprises, LP, and Westside Investment Group, was charged with "12...

Yes We Cannabis: Prop 19 Sponsors Launch Online Store

In an effort to raise some cash for Prop 19, which would legalize marijuana in California, backers today announced their online store. "Yes We Cannabis" t-shirts, mugs and hats can all be yours for a low, low price. The Yes on Prop 19 group is also conscientious about their messaging and also offers apparel that is more straight forward and stripped of cultural references. Speaking of that, has anyone noticed that pro-marijuana logo is...

Westside Subway and Regional Connector Take Big Steps Towards Reality

One of the Westside Subway Extensions under consideration | Image via Metro There's still a long way to go on these projects, but they took a big step this week. The Federal Transit Administration last week signed off on Metro's draft environmental documents for the Westside Subway Extension and downtown's Regional Connector. The news means the documents will soon be available for a 45-day public review period, including a series of public meetings, before...

Long Beach Man Gets 433 Years in Prison

Make that 433 years and four months in prison. And add on 21 life sentences, 10 of which that will be served concurrently. That's what the Long Beach Press-Telegram is reporting about today's sentencing of transient Charles Juan Proctor, who was known as "the box cutter" for attacking women working alone in Long Beach businesses. "I can say absolutely ... you deserve each of these 433 years," said the Judge about Proctor's violent attacks...

Motorcycle Noise Bill Heads to Governor's Desk

The 134 Freeway | Photo by melissssaf via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr Do extremely loud motorcycles bother you? A solution may now be in the fix. The state senate today approved a bill by Senator Fran Pavley (D - Santa Monica) that would give law enforcement a tool to enforce such bikes. “The noise caused by illegally modified motorcycle exhaust systems is a major quality of life issue across the state,” Pavley said...

Venice Community Applies Pressure in Controversial RV Issue, Sees Results

Photo by nailmaker via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr For the second time in a week, L.A. City Councilmember Bill Rosendahl has reacted to community concern voiced to the city directly about the RV parking issue that's been coming to a head this week. The controversy has heated up so much -- much thanks to dramatic alleged human waste dumping on city streets and a subsequent arrest -- that the internet and mainstream media...

Over 60 Bands to Take over the Sunset Strip on Saturday

At last year's festival (more photos here) | Photo by Nadia Kovacs/LAist The Sunset Strip Music Festival began Thursday and continues tonight with a series of concerts at venues in West Hollywood. But Saturday is the big day. Over 60 bands will play on a handful of outdoor and indoor stages when organizers shut down Sunset Boulevard for the day long street festival. And a variety of names are included. From headliners the Smashing...

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A wind farm near Palm Springs | Photo by sirimiri via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr Of the 169 medical marijuana dispensaries that applied to stay open under L.A.'s ordinance, only 41 can actually stay open. Lots of talk this week over a LA Times article called Blogger beware: Postings can lead to lawsuits. Take note, however, it's not just the bloggers, anonymous commenters can see trouble as well. One of the largest LED...

Robbery, Medical Marijuana Reported as Possible Motives in WeHo Triple Murder

Two separate news stories citing anonymous sources this afternoon are indicating possible motives in the murder of three men Thursday night in West Hollywood. The LA Times says the deaths may be a result of a "robbery confrontation" and WeHo News says it could be related to medical marijuana.

Pass or Fail? LAPD Grades Drivers to Educate Them about Car Break-In Prevention

The LAPD faxed a copy to LAist | Photo by Zach Behrens/LAist Through last week, there have been close to 18,000 reported car break ins within Los Angeles city limits, making it the city's most often-committed property crime. For someone involved in their community, this is not news. Officers at community meetings often sound like a broken record, telling residents to not leave stuff in the parked car, or, at the very least, not...

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An El Mac x Retna mural | Photo by i_hate_my_screen_name via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr How did the LA Times break the city of Bell salary scandal story? Neon Tommy's Paresh Dave details two reporters' story. 13 people were arrested at today's Janitors for Justice protest in Century City. 14%: That's the average amount the health insurance premium with Anthem Blue Cross will increase under their new and state-approved rate hike. Yet another...

3 Shot & Killed on Kings Road in West Hollywood [Updated]

Crime scene tape at Melrose and Kings on Thursday evening | Photo by Zach Behrens/LAist Detectives in West Hollywood are searching for answers in a shooting Thursday night that left three men dead inside an apartment. At 9:18 p.m., a 911 "persons down" call came into the local Sheriff's Department, which dispatched deputies to 612 N. Kings Road, just south of Melrose Avenue. "When deputies arrived they found three males suffering from gunshot wounds....

Grand Avenue Project: Delayed

A rendering of the development area from 2005 | See a larger image of this here. Eli Broad may be bringing his museum to Grand Avenue and a new civic center park may be underway, but the massive $3 billion Grand Avenue Project is not going to start in 2011 as planned. Developer Related Cos. wants a two-year extension on the start date, saying that obtaining financing in this weak economy is not panning...

Legislature Names Section of 60 Freeway in Honor of Bobby Salcedo

Bobby Salcedo was well known in El Monte. The 33-year-old Mountain View High School graduate was an assistant principal and school board member before he was kidnapped and shot execution style on New Year's Day in Gomez Palacio, Mexico. Now signs along the 60 Freeway between Monterey Park and Rosemead mark the porition as the Roberto "Bobby" Salcedo Memorial Highway, according to the Whittier Daily News. "We have all been touched by Bobby's story...

State Lawmakers Stall Bill that would Reveal their Salaries Online

Alyson Huber In wake of the city of Bell sky high salary scandal, everyone wants more transparency. State controller John Chiang will post all city and county salaries from around the state online in November, but to get elected state officials to post their own salaries, as well as their staffs', that's a harder proposition. Here's what happening, per the LA Times: The pay-disclosure bill causing trouble is by Assemblywoman Alyson Huber (D-El Dorado...

LAPD's Union Endorses Prop 23, Which Would Suspend California's Global Warming Act

An officer at Sunset Junction | Photo by Jamie Engber via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr The Los Angeles Police Protective League yesterday backed the mostly Texas-oil company funded Prop 23, which would suspend California's landmark global warming bill, AB 32. At issue for the LAPD union are city budget constraints, which is affecting the number of officers on the streets. "The City's budget deficit has already forced LAPD to cut services and reduce...

Long Beach Releases Plans for Drake Park along L.A. River

Renderings for Drake Park in Long Beach | Photo via city of Long Beach Planned to go aside the Los Angles River, Long Beach's proposed expansion of Drake Park would include a boardwalk, community gardens, wetlands, recreation fields and more. This week the city revealed renderings of the project and announced funding for the next big step, the Environmental Impact Report (EIR), before construction can begin. LBPost, which detailed the park section by section,...

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At the 2009 FYF Fest | Photo by Jack Rodriguez/FYF Fest Over the years, FYF Fest has become one of Los Angeles' staple music festivals and this year organizers are making heads turn without apology. The event, which takes place at Los Angeles State Historic Park (the former Not a Cornfield space) in Chinatown on Saturday, September 4th, has been receiving praise for its line-up that includes Local Natives, !!!, Panda Bear, Warpaint, The...

22 Komodo Dragons Hatch at the L.A. Zoo

For this first time in the L.A. Zoo's history, komodo dragons have been successfully breeded. Since August 8th, when the first one poked through its egg, 22 have seen the light of day. But not is all easy for the 14- to 20-inch hatchlings: "Komodos are cannibalistic and usually eat their young and eggs of their own species, so zoo officials say staying alive is tricky for a hatchling," explains the Associated Press. In any...

Proposed Plastic Bag Ban Amended, Minimum 5-Cent Charge Deleted

Photo by foldablebags.com via Flickr As the opposition began airing messages to the public about the prospect of California banning plastic and other single-use bags, Santa Monica Assemblymember Julia Brownley announced today that she has amended her bill in hopes of gaining broader support. The biggest change is the removal of language that would have charged customers, who did not bring reusable bags, at least five cents for a recycled paper bags made of...

Restaurant Workers Would Have to get Food Safety Training under Bill Approved by State Senate

Restaurant workers in California may soon be required to be trained and certified in proper food handling. What?! They weren't already trained and certified in that? Apparently not. Now a bill, which passed out of the State Senate today and headed to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for his approval, seeks to address that issue.

Victims in West Hollywood Triple Murder Identified

Deputies stand on KIngs Road Thursday evening | Photo by Zach Behrens/LAist The three men found shot dead in a West Hollywood apartment Thursday night have been identified, coroners officials announced today. The victims include brothers 27-year-old Pirooz Moussazadeh and 38-year-old Shahriar Moussazadeh, according to the LA Times. The third victim was 27-year-old Bernard Khalili. Detectives are working off few clues, do not know a motive and there have been no arrests. Deputies were...

Found in L.A: Parking Meter Activism

Photo by Lord Jim via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr It's street political activism at its best and we're sure many of you agree with this sign that covers a Los Angeles city meter found by LAist Featured Photos contributor Lord Jim. "Stop Feeding Your Government, What Have They Done to Feed You?" reads the sign that shows a fist inside the mouth of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. But no matter how one feels about...

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Photo by Archie Tucker via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr August 26th is the one-year anniversary of the massive months-long Station Fire. Here's what people are doing to protect the Angeles National Forest. An inquiry into a complaint alleged that L.A. City Councilman Bernard C. Parks had falsified candidacy and voter documents during his unsuccessful run for L.A. County Supervisor has been closed by the District Attorney's Office. Criminal charges will not be filed...

Protest in Century City Expected to Shut Down Streets, Lead to Arrests

A previous Janitors for Justice protest | Photo via SEIU Local 1877 The group Janitors for Justice are planning a large protest for this afternoon in the middle of Century City. Avenue of the Stars, and likely other surrounding streets, is expected to be shut down around 1 p.m., lasting through around 3 p.m. (However, the LAPD is prepared for a noon to 6 p.m. shut down if needed). At issue for the SEIU...

Meg Whitman Leads Jerry Brown by 8 Points in Latest Poll

The race for Governor is truly heating up. A Rasmussen Reports poll officially released today shows that former eBay CEO and California Republican gubernatorial candidate is leading Attorney General and Democrat candidate Jerry Brown by eight points. This comes after the weekend of the state's GOP Convention and previous surveys that showed Brown in a comfortable lead. The survey of 750 likely Californian voters conducted on Tuesday found that 48% would vote for Whitman and...

Latest Poll Shows that Carly Fiorina is Gaining on Barbara Boxer

In addition to today's gubernatorial poll showing Republican candidate Meg Whitman leading by eight points, Rasmussen Reports also surveyed likely California voters on the U.S. Senate Race that could unseat Barbara Boxer. The poll, released Wednesday, shows former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina catching up to Boxer -- 43% to 44%. Among the other poll respondents, 5% said they'd choose a third party candidate and 8% were still undecided. In a Ramussen Reports earlier this month,...

If California Doesn't Ban Plastic Bags, Santa Monica & Others Will

Photo by cuttlefish via Flickr In a bid to pressure state lawmakers to approve California's proposed plastic bag ban, officials from Santa Monica, Manhattan Beach and L.A. County today announced they are ready to do it on their own if they have to. AB 1998 must pass out of the state senate by the end of August and if approved -- Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said he would gladly sign it into law -- it...

L.A. County to Launch their 'Most Aggressive, Targeted Anti-Tobacco Campaign' Yet

Lighting up a cigarette in Hollywood | Photo by Lucyrk in LA via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr Remember in June when L.A. County health officials released a study that broke down smoking rates based on geographical locations? It showed that cities like West Hollywood and Lancaster have some of the highest smoking rates while Malibu, Agoura Hills and Calabasas had the lowest ones. Now that data is being put to work. Yesterday Health...

Former Republican National Committee Chairman Comes Out, Will Help Fight Prop 8

Ken Mehlman was President George Bush's campaign manager in 2004. He also served as the Chair of the Republican National Committee when the party was more aggressively pushing for anti-gay measures in states. Now, out of politics and working as an executive vice-president for a New York City-based private equity firm, he's coming out as a gay man. "It's taken me 43 years to get comfortable with this part of my life," he told Marc...

15 Injured When JetBlue Flight from Long Beach Lands in Sacramento

A JetBlue plane makes an emergency landing at LAX in 2005 | Photo by bcmacsac1 via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr A hard landing that blew four tires and caused a fire left 15 passengers injured this afternoon when a JetBlue flight from Long Beach landed in Sacramento. The Airbus A320 landed shortly before 1 p.m. when the fire -- caused by the brakes, according to initial reports -- broke out. Crew members deployed...

Hollywood Target, Approved by City, Now Delayed

Design plans for the Sunset & Western Target project (via CurbedLA Target is not just taking heat for its large political donation to an anti-gay candidate, its plan to bring a store to Hollywood and Western has drawn enough fire that it's going back to the drawing board, despite approval by the L.A. City Council in June. Facing lawsuits, the company will develop en environmental impact report (EIR), which was never done for the...

Cigarette Tax Initiative to Fund Cancer Research Qualifies for Presidential Primary Ballot

A smoke and a view of L.A. | Photo by victoriabernal via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr It's a long ways away, but a second ballot initiative qualified for the February 7th, 2012 Presidential Primary ballot. That's when California, after this November's election, will have another statewide election, unless a special one is called for like in 2009. Today's new initiative asks voters to place an additional tax on cigarettes. It would impose a...

Switch that Sprinkler Schedule: New Water Conservation Ordinance Goes into Effect Today

Photo by mccun934 via Flickr Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa this week signed an amended water ordinance for Los Angeles, meaning it now is in effect. Los Angeles Department of Water & Power Customers who water lawns must now adhere to new rules. Customers with a street address that end in an odd number - 1, 3, 5, 7 or 9 - can use their sprinkler systems on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Customers with a address...

Police Make Arrest in Alleged Sewage Dumping by Venice Area RV Dweller

City crews clean up sewage dumping in the Venice area | Photo by Yo! Venice Looks like an unofficial public health alert issued by a blog on Monday has gotten the attention of city officials. Last night police cleared some streets in the Venice area, making room for sanitation officials to clean sewage -- including human waste -- allegedly dumped by RV dwellers. One arrest was also made. One of the cleanups that took...

New Blog & Facebook Page are Dedicated to Jesus Spottings in L.A.

Jesus attended the Prop 8 rally in West Hollywood earlier this month | Photo by Tom Andrews/LAist One of the best approaches to blogging is obsessively sticking to one sole and unique subject. Some take on a city neighborhoods or regions like blogdowntown or The Eastsider LA. Some track issues such as city billboard and signage laws. Others take on more quirky roles. LAist contributor Jeremy Oberstein documents alleys in Los Angeles. Another contributor,...

Pencil This In: CitizenGulf LA, Rare Views of L.A. & More

Photo by Mark Luethi via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr Photography Before it closes this weekend, Barbara Thomason has an exhibit at the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena called "One Hundred Not So Famous Views of LA." As it sounds, the exhibit "represents views of Los Angeles that are less well known." We love stuff like this. The exhibit closes August 29th. Do Gooding What happened five years ago this week? Hurricane Katrina did....

Sting Nabs 18 Accused of Fraudulently Using Handicap Placards

Photo by AlishaV via Flickr A crackdown of people allegedly using handicap placards to get free parking at meters led to 18 citations from the Department of Motor Vehicles. The sting took place around the Van Nuys Government Center on Tuesday, reported the Daily News. DMV officials told the paper they were surprised how many people they caught during their six-hour sting. They are considered misdemeanor citations that can cost between $500 and $1000....

It's Pouring Rain Not Too Far from L.A. [Updated]

Photo by Djenan via Flickr In its 3 p.m. broadcast today, KCAL 9 showed footage of pouring rain and flash flooding in Lake Elsinore. Meteorologist Henry DiCarlo said the storm cell was producing two to four inches per hour. That's quite a difference from the clear blue skies and extreme heat we're feeling here in the immediate Los Angeles area. But that's not all regarding the rain. The National Weather Service this afternoon issued...

Emmys to Close Downtown Streets on Sunday

The 62nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards is this Sunday and will be airing "live-live," meaning East Coasters and West Coasters alike will be able to watch the broadcast at the same time. You'll also be able to help write host Jimmy Fallon's Emmys script via Twitter. That's fun and all, but do take note of the street closures that will occur around L.A. Live in downtown on Sunday. The Los Angeles Department of Transportation...

Blog Calls for a 'Public Health Alert' in Venice Area

Alleged fecal wastewater dumped at a street corner in Marina Peninsula | Photo via Yo! Venice Controversy over the mobile RV homeless population in the RV area is nothing new, but it looks like the ante has been raised. This weekend a couple living in an RV in the Venice area allegedly dumped their "black water' onto a city street, prompting the local blog Yo! Venice to issue their own style of a health...

Residents, Businesses Continue to Express Displeasure with the Sunset Junction Street Festival [Updated]

Trash reportedly leftover by Sunset Junction Street Festival organizers | Photo by Devin Pedde via TwitPic A lot of the music at this weekend's 30th annual Sunset Junction Street Festival was off the hook, but problems from the past persisted. Perception wise, things got off to a rocky start Friday night when the Twitter account for vegan restaurant Flore bemoaned that their employees, save for a few, would have to pay the $20 entrance...

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Photo by 27ray via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr Ever see late night infomercials with Roni Deutch promising to solve your tax problems? California sued her today for $34 million. Drink up! Downtown L.A. is getting a new Irish pub. Not only will we have extreme temperatures, but also "Big surf, dangerous rip currents predicted for Southern California beaches." The city of Redondo Beach doesn't want to friend you on Facebook yet... because of...

Brush Fire Burns Hillside in Hollywood

A small brush fire burned at least one quarter-acre in Hollywood tonight, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. Spokesperson Brian Humprhey said the blaze that was reported at 9:11 p.m. ran uphill near 1836 N. Courtney Terrace, just north of Hollywood Boulevard and abut Nichols Canyon Road. 62 firefighters and three helicopters were assigned to the blaze, but the air attack was later canceled. Humphrey said brush clearance by the homeowner was "offering...

4.0 Earthquake Rattles Off L.A. Basin Coast [Updated]

via USGS A 4.0 magnitude earthquake struck about 40 miles off the coast this evening. At 10:42 p.m., the quake rattled 39 miles south of Malibu and 40 miles west of Palos Verdes Point. It was located 32 miles northeast of San Nicolas Island, one of the five in Channel Islands National Park. Various people, from as far as the Santa Clarita Valley, reported feeling it on the USGS' Did You Feel It webpage....

Man with Two Knives Arrested at Paris Hilton's Home

Photo by Paris Hilton via Twitpic A man who approached Paris Hilton's home armed with two knives was arrested early this morning. At about 6 a.m., the man apparently was pounding on the door and windows when Hilton's boyfriend answered it. Someone called the police and the man was soon arrested. His name wasn't released but he is said to be from Redlands and in his 40s. He reportedly never entered the home. "So...

Mapping Rap Lyrics in Los Angeles

"Or watch me swing my chain at the Roscoe's off Pico." ~ From "Hip Hop Quotables" by Ludacris We've seen maps and pop culture mashed up before -- such as locations for movie shoots like Star Trek or 500 Days of Summer -- but nothing as creative as this.

Villaraigosa Unveils Poster: Drivers, Give Cyclists 3 Feet!

Just a week out from Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's bicycle summit and he's already taking action. Today he unveiled the first of many to come simple bus shelter posters that are aimed at educating drivers to give cyclists three feet when passing. Such a concept is law in other states like Arizona, Arkansas and Connecticut and Councilmember Bill Rosendahl wants L.A. urge California politicians to make happen here. Today's "Give me 3″ bicycle safety campaign...

Republican Launches Silly Ad in Bid Against Jane Harman

A silly ad is how you get attention, right? Well, the Republican candidate for California's 36th Congressional District, which covers Venice, the South Bay, San Pedro and parts of South L.A., has certainly done that. Just two days after launching her first ad -- basically an attention-seeking viral video -- against incumbent and Democrat Jane Harman, Mattie Fein's tongue-and-cheek version of Young Frankenstein has garnered over 22,000 views. She mocks Harman by casting her...

Confusion Surrounding Bike Lanes in Northridge Exemplifies LADOT's Need for Better Public Outreach

Up in the Northwest Valley, 1.2 miles of a city street are slated to get a bicycle lane in each direction. For cyclists and some residents, it's welcome news, for others it's not. But for either side of the issue, the problem was that no one knew, even cyclists who closely monitor the progress of bicycle infrastructure, about it until pre-striping markings were painted on the street earlier this month. And that brand of sudden change can freak people out, setting them on an opposition war path.

Temperature Map: It's 75 in Santa Monica, 100+ in the Valley

See a larger version of this map, which shows more of the L.A. here, here A reader took a look at Weather Underground's Interactive Radar and Weather Station map and overlayed these red arrows pointing out the differences in temperatures around the Southland. He had one word to say: "Wow." The differences are not so surprising, but still are fascinating to look at it. You can thank the them to a very strong high...

Today Will be Hot, but Excessive Heat Expected Tuesday and Wednesday

It's gonna be a hot week | Photo by jimmay bones via LAist Featured Photos Temperatures this week could reach as high as 110 in the Valley areas, predicts the National Weather Service, which last night published an excessive heat watch for Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday evening. Effected areas are valleys in Ventura and Los Angeles counties, including the San Fernando and San Gabriel Valleys. Mountain areas below 4,000 feet elevation could see temperatures...

Santa Monica & Cancer Research Company Fight Over Bike Lane

A clean-tech company that wants to consolidate its headquarters on Santa Monica's eastside may end up ditching the city after all. Why? Because some factions of city leadership want the company to install a bicycle lane through the property -- it's city land that cancer research company Agensys would lease for 50 years, a city street runs through it -- as part of its condition of the development. But Agensys says they can't fit...

80 Arrested at Rave in Exposition Park over the Weekend

Photo by Nadia Kovacs/LAist Of the some 4,100 attendees at the 18th Annual Love Festival in the Los Angeles Sports Arena, 80 were arrested and 16 people were treated for injuries by paramedics, according to the Associated Press. To gain entry, party goers had to prove they were 18 and over -- some were arrested for using fake IDs -- in hopes to avoid the madness at the Electric Daisy Carnival (attendance was around...

NSFW Photos: Women March Topless at Venice Beach for Equal Rights

Before Venice Beach became the tourist hot spot it's known as today, it was one of L.A.'s secrets. Actually, it was a topless secret. Before 1974, Venice Beach was a nude mecca and apparently pretty private. But thanks to some media attention, a gubernatorial candidate campaigning in the nude and word spreading throughout town, people started to come and check out the spectacle. Controversy, of course, came to a head and the city banned nudity....

Photos: Locals Hope the Venice Art Crawl will Bring Back the Art Scene

Venice is an internationally known Los Angeles neighborhood and it's in part thanks to artists who helped make the area so eclectic. But hit Ocean Front Walk today and you won't see too much art, it's more of atmosphere made up of muscles and freaks and everything between. That perception could soon change. A coalition of locals are hoping get back to the community's roots and it started last week with the first of the...

Downtown L.A. is Getting a New Museum: Eli Broad Confirms Grand Avenue Location

Photo by Eric Richardson/blogdowntown Philanthropist Eli Broad's plan to build a museum in downtown Los Angeles garnered its final approval this morning and it only took minutes after for Broad himself to say, yes, it's going to really happen. Construction for the Broad Collection, to be located on Grand Avenue next to Walt Disney Concert Hall and across the street from MOCA is scheduled to start in October, according to the LA Times. Plans...

Alleged 'Grim Sleeper' Serial Killer Pleads Not Guilty

Accused serial killer Lonnie Franklin, Jr., today pleaded not guilty to murdering 10 women and attempting to kill another in a spree that last over 20 years. The backyard mechanic ,who once worked for the LAPD's garage and as a city sanitation worker, was arrested in July after years of police work. Detectives connected the murders via DNA, but never could match it to anyone until his son's DNA was was entered into the...

Think L.A. Traffic is Bad? Check Out China's 60-Mile, 9 Day Jam

Meet the Beijing-Tibet Expressway. It may seem like a joke, but apparently there's a 60-mile, nine-day traffic jam and it could last for weeks. People are reportedly playing cards and vendors have entered the freeway to sell food at high prices. What's causing this? "Insufficient traffic capacity … caused by maintenance construction."

Installation of Gates at Metro Stations Completed, but is it a Boondoggle?

Photo via Metro Metro officially announced on Friday that gates at rail stations have been completed and that at some date -- who knows, really -- to be they will be locked, meaning the system is basically an honor system (and how often do you encounter Sheriff's Deputy personnel checking tickets these days?). Completion actually took place a month ago, but the announcement could have been timed to put some facts out before the...

Foes of Plastic Bag Ban Want to Stop the 'Bag Police,' Releases Dramatic Video

On the heels of a cute mockumentary in support of state legislation that would ban single-use plastic and other types of bags in most California stores, opponents have released their own advertisement. The American Chemistry Council is framing the bill as a "billion dollar hidden grocery tax" that will eliminate manufacturing jobs in the state, where, by the way, there are 2.3 million unemployed people. AB 1998, which is currently in the State Senate,...

A Taste of Sunset Junction: Rides, Music, and Eats on the Streets

It's day two of the Sunset Junction Street Fair. It may have been hot yesterday, but tens of thousands, if not around hundred thousand, showed up for five stages of music and everything between. Below is a little slice of what was seen yesterday. The festival goes on tonight through 10 p.m. with Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes closing the place down. Here's LAist's guide to the fest....

A Guide to Guides: The Sunset Junction Street Festival

Sunset Junction, 2007 | Photo by Ryan Jesena/LAist Alrighty, it's Sunset Junction weekend. Now in its 30th year, the two-day festival that puts Silver Lake on the map will attract throngs of Angelenos with its five music stages, food, vendors and, of course, excellent hipster gawking. The festival website provides a lot of the needed information, including directions and line-up. What's not on the website is parking information, $10 will get you a spot...

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Sunset in Oxnard | Photo by polaroid-girl via LAist Featured Photos A brush fire is burning in the Angeles National Forest. As of around 6 p.m., it was about 100 acres in size. Mario Obledo, civil rights activist and sometimes called the "Godfather of the Latino Movement" has died at age 78. Wanna see some craziness tomorrow? Head to the Red Bull Flugtag. LBPost has the preview. A Southern Californian interfaith coalition has put...

Sunset Junction to Celebrate 30th Anniversary with 5 Stages of Music this Weekend

Bodies of Water at the 2008 festival (see more photos here) | Photo by Koga/LAist 30 years ago former Beverly Hills hairdresser Michael McKinley did something different, something police said wouldn't work. He said he would produce a festival to ease tensions between the gay community and latino gangs with rival gangmembers working as security. What happened was that some 250,000 people came out to the Sunset Junction Street Festival in Silver Lake. No...

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Photo by vmiramontes via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr Do you work outside? New rules about working in the heat have been approved. The Redbury Hotel in Hollywood is gearing up to officially open on September 1st. Here's a look. But will they leave the neighborhood? "Three decades of arts classes, exhibits and performances have made Self Help Graphics & Art one of East Los Angeles’ most important cultural centers." Happy 10th birthday San...

Two 11-Year-Old Girls Sneak Out of Home, Now are Missing [Updated]

Photo by guamafro via Flickr Two young girls who apparently snuck out of their Pacoima homes to go the park last night never returned home, according to the LAPD. Anna Lopez and Ruby Zapata, both 11 years old, reportedly headed to Pacoima Park in the Northeast Valley at about 9 p.m. [Update: The two have been found safe, according to KFI AM 640. They were apparently sleeping over at a friend.] Both girls are...

California's Unemployment Plateaus, Still 3rd Highest Rate in U.S.

There were basically no changes in California's unemployment rate from June to July, which is holding steady at 12.3%, California's Employment Development Department announced today. But in Los Angeles County, the rate increased from 12.3% to 13.4%. Statewide,9,400 jobs were lost, most in the government sector thanks to Census workers jobs ending, but the private sector grew by 13,700 jobs. L.A. County has a total laborforce of 4,906,300 people with 655,100 of them unemployed...

Vernon, Bell's Neighbor, Also Has Sky High Salaries

What's up southeastern L.A. County? First there was Bell, which was paying its part time city council about $100,000 a year and it's city manager nearly $800,000, which added to his total compensation of $1.5 million a year. The L.A. Times broke that story and now they've found sketchy salaries in neighboring Vernon. Eric T. Fresch double dipped as the city's top administrator and as a city attorney, earning $1.64 million in 2008 and...

Home of Richard Alarcon, Councilmember Accused of Not Living in his District, in 'Shabby Condition'

Photo by Michael Owen Baker/Daily News. Check out his photo gallery. Richard Alarcon says accusations of him not living in his council district -- choosing to live in a nicer home elsewhere -- says it's not true. He's innocent, says the L.A. City Councilmember who is paid $178,789 each year and who sponsored a "foreclosure registry" ordinance that fines banks up to $1000 a day for letting foreclosed properties become blighted. So why does...

Costco Confirmed to be Anchor Store at Westfield Topanga

Rendering of The Village, via Westfield It was all but officially confirmed until this week. Costco will be the anchor store for The Village at Westfield Topanga in West San Fernando Valley. The news comes after letters sent to community members last month saying the grand vision for the upscale mixed-use project had been scaled back due to the economy. Originally, the $700 million plan to connect the Topanga and Promenade malls was said...

Mistaken Identity: Police Tell Family to Lie Face Down in Middle of the Freeway

Talk about a vacation story! A family heading out of town to go camping this morning was pulled over by police who believed their van was stolen. But what they and police eventually figured out was that the license plate had been unknowingly swapped. At about 5:45 a.m., the LAPD saw the white van and ran its license plate, finding it was reported to be stolen. They soon pulled the car over on the...

Little Bangladesh and Koreatown Approved as Official L.A. City Neighborhoods

Residents of Little Bangladesh cheer after a unanimous vote recognizes their neighborhood | Photo by Jeremy Oberstein, office of Councilmember Paul Krekorian Everyone knows where Koreatown is, but the city has never officially recognized it. That is until now. The L.A. City Council this morning voted to create boundaries for two new neighborhoods: Koreatown and Little Bangladesh. "I think it will shock people to know that we're making something official that everybody has assumed...

Earthquake Watch: Are we Overdue for 'The Big One'?

If you've been slacking on earthquake preparedness, maybe now is the time to take it seriously. A study released today indicates a portion of the San Andreas fault tends to produce a massive earthquake every 45 to 144 years. The last one from this region in Central California occurred on the fault in 1857, putting it nine years behind "schedule." "What we know is for the last 700 years, earthquakes on the southern San...

A Shot in the Dark: LAist Music Photographers to Show Work Offline

I first met LAist writer Molly Bergen two years ago, almost to the date. It was at Sunset Junction, which takes place this weekend. She wanted to give a stab at volunteering with LAist to write about music. Now 173 posts later -- plus tons of music concerts -- she will tomorrow debut a gallery show that's close to her heart, and, well, all of ours here at LAist. She has brought together the photographers...

DUI Checkpoints in Echo Park & Encino Tonight

Photo by McBLG97 via Flickr It's the weekend and you know what that means. Yes, the LAPD will be conducting DUI checkpoints in various neighborhoods. While they announce some locations, they don't have to announce them all. At least two checkpoints will occur tonight. In Echo Park, a checkpoint will be set up at Glendale Boulevard and Berkeley Avenue from 7 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. In Encino, one will be run between 8 p.m....

California Becomes First State to Deploy National Guard Troops to Border

Photo via the Governor's office Today Governor Guard Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is also the Commander-in-Chief of the California National, deployed the first group of national guard troops to the Mexico border. They are the first to head to the border as part of President Barack Obama's plan to send 1,200 troops to the Southwest border. "Today, our National Guard has been called to help secure the border and protect the safety of the American...

Extra, Extra

Photo by nopantsboy via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr Say the n-word 11 times and the heat will follow. L.A.-based radio host Dr. Laura will end her show at the end of this year following her controversial use of the word. After two years of renovation, the Japanese Village Plaza in Little Tokyo has officially reopened. Blah. State furloughs are back, affecting some 144,000 state employees. A developer wants "to carve up a single...

When Rattlesnakes Pay Your Home a Visit

Do you live abut a wildland area? Then maybe you notice a trend, according to the San Bernardino Sun. A scientist in San Bernardino County, who has been tracking red diamond rattlesnakes in the Loma Linda Hills, has found a pattern: snakes are drawn to homes in the summer and away during the winter. "It might be for the water or because small mammals go there to get water, or both," said Aaron Corbit,...

Man Jokes about Falling off Disney Ride Platform, then Falls

If you say it, mean it. Well, that wasn't exactly the intention of an allegedly inebriated 19-year-old at Disney's California Adventure last night. The man and his friends were on the top platform waiting in line at the Tower of Terror when he reportedly joked, "wouldn't it be funny if I fell?" as he climbed over the railing. He then, of course, fell, plunging 20 to 25 feet to the ground. That would be...

City of L.A. Has Paid 'Grim Sleeper' Serial Killer Suspect $300K in Pension Money

Franklin during arraignment, July 8, 2010 (AP Photo/Al Seib, Pool) Who knew that the suspected Grim Sleeper serial killer and the city of Bell scandal could be somewhat related? They are, but not directly, just anecdotally. City and state worker pensions have been an increasingly controversial topic as government budgets diminish and now Lonnie Franklin's pension from the city of Los Angeles is out there. The L.A. Weekly has found that Franklin, who is...

City Wants Private Sector to Run 9 Public Parking Garages

Photo by grifray via Flickr Parking at the ArcLight, Hollywood and Highland, Pershing Square and other garages may soon be run by a private business. After lengthy debate -- something like two to three hours, maybe more -- the L.A. City Council yesterday voted 9 to 3 to solicit bids to lease nine of the city's public parking garages. If successful, the city should reap $50 million, a fraction of the $320 million anticipated...

Question, Answer: Parking on Street Sweeping Days?

Photo by Atwater Village Newbie via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr Gram Ponante, a writer who focuses on the adult entertainment industry, had a question yesterday, so he tweeted it: "If I've seen the street sweeper go past, is it then legal to park on those streets on sweep days?" We suspected the answer would be no, considering the organization it would take the city to make that actually work, and looked to the...

Photos: Designing L.A. With Toys & Other Abstract Objects at Last Night's Car-Free Party

If you were to design a city, how would you do it? And what would you make if your design proposal was made from a mishmash of toy blocks and other abstract colorful small pieces of plastic and wood? To retired Metro planner and current co-chair of railLA James Rojas, this is an approach urban planners should take when taking on a project. Why? To simply put it, if you give a planner a handful...

Desert Racing Suspended for Company Involved in Fatal Event, Senators Quiz Federal Agency

Emergency workers look at an off-highway vehicle that lost control and barreled into a crowd of spectators on Saturday The federal agency that permitted a race that ended in eight deaths has suspended the company from producing more events while an investigation takes place. The move comes a day after both California senators questioned the Bureau of Land Management in a joint letter. "What makes this accident even more troubling is that with proper...

Here Come the Citations: New City Law Helps Step Up Enforcement of Illegal Dumping

The most commonly committed environmental crime in Los Angeles is illegal dumping and littering. For the Bureau of Street Services (BSS), it's a $12 million problem, but that doesn't include the money spent by business improvement districts, the parks department and other groups. And to enforce the issue citywide, the city only has 35 full-time investigators (plus about 25 volunteer reserve officers), who have police powers and carry handcuffs and all law enforcement weapons except...

City of Bell Gave Loans to Highly Paid Employees and Councilmembers

Oh Bell, your story never ends! The latest from the scandal-ridden city of Bell, where city officials were earning some of the highest municipal salaries in the country, are the loans they received. Yes, in addition to their sky-high salaries, they asked for loans, finds the LA Times. Over the past eight years, around $900,000 in loans were given out to at least 50 people. Of those was two $80,000 loans to City Manager...

10 Reasons Why L.A. is the 'Coolest City on the Planet,' According to GQ Magazine

It's no surprise we at LAist love this city. And we know we're not the only ones. Now you can add GQ magazine to the list of lovers because in their September issue, they will name Los Angeles the "Coolest City on Planet." Thankfully, the reasons given are not too cheesy. For example, reason two is downtown nightlife impresario Cedd Moses and his empire of bars ("Try Las Perlas for tequila, Seven Grand for...

Councilmember Wants Report on How to Avoid Another Obama Traffic Hell

Traffic during Obama's visit | Photo by jsteel2005 via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr Westside L.A. City Councilmember Bill Rosendahl is on a roll these days. First he's upstaging Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa at his bicycle summit with a popular three-foot passing proposal and last night he was demanding answers about the traffic mess caused by President Barack Obama's visit. "He [Obama] created a lot of frustration among the people who couldn't move around,'' he...

Bridge to Santa Monica Pier to be Replaced, is 'Structurally Deficient and Functionally Obsolete'

Photo by R. E. ~ via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr Now that city councilmembers have banned smoking on the Santa Monica Pier, up next is replacing the 1939-built bridge that connects to Ocean Avenue, according to the Santa Monica Daily Press. The project would cost an estimated $8 million, but the cast-strapped city, which has placed a sales tax measure on the November ballot to recoup some money, may get $7 million in...

L.A. Must Lease 9 Parking Garages to Private Operators or Sack up to 1,000 Employees

Photo by srqpix via Flickr To lease public parking garages or not? That is the question the Los Angeles City Council will be facing today. Actually, if they do vote on the matter, it will be to solicit bids, and once they are in, they will decide to go through with it. But if they don't, the city stands at greater financial peril, meaning up to 1,000 city worker layoffs and more furlough days...

L.A. has an El Salvador Community Corridor? Yes, and Officials Want it Recognized

Little Bangladesh and Koreatown are on the way to becoming officially recognized L.A. city neighborhoods, but that's not all. Assemblymember Mike Davis has been working with community members to create the El Salvador Community Corridor along Vermont Avenue. If his legislation passes, signs along the 10 Freeway will let drivers know where to exit to find the culturally rich artery.

Women to Go Topless at Venice Beach this Sunday

At the 2008 Go Topless protest (more photos here) | Photo by Tom Andrews/LAist It's all in the name of equal rights. Why should it be okay (legally) for men to walk in public shirtless while it's not for women? Here in Los Angeles it's illegal. "There could be some consequence for that," an LAPD spokesperson, calling it indecent exposure, told LAist. Organizers of a protest at Venice Beach this weekend don't see it...

LAPD Busts Large Marijuana Grow Operation in City Park

Hikers who stayed on trail at O'Melvany Park in Granada Hills may have never known, but just 300 yards off a main hiking trail about one mile and a half from the parking lot, $24 million worth of marijuana was being cultivated. Police today announced the arrest of 49-year-old West Hills resident Natale Gabriele after a 10-month investigation that began with aerial photography of suspected grow sites. A tip in April led them to the...

When Sprinklers are Used to Change: L.A.'s Water Conservation Ordinance Heads to Mayor

Photo by Robbie via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr The L.A. City Council today approved changes to the city's water conservation ordinance that limits when lawn watering can take place. The revision comes in light of a report that concluded current conservation efforts caused a series of water main breaks last year. The rules should be easy to follow, but they do need some explanation. Via the LADWP: Under the revised Ordinance, customers whose...

Prop 8 Protest Planned for Thursday Evening

At 5 p.m. today, gay couples across the state were hoping to get married. That's when Federal District Judge Vaughn Walker said a stay on his Proposition 8 ruling, which said banning gay marriage was unconstitutional, would be lifted. But the 9th District Court of Appeals on Monday extended the stay until at least December as consideration of an appeal from Prop 8 proponents is heard.

Not in Kansas Anymore: Immigration Protestors Target Obama Outside Hancock Park Fundraiser

President Obama's arrival may have gridlocked traffic on the Westside, but a protest outside the fundraiser he's attending in Hancock Park tonight has a different purpose: immigration. And it's coming with a whimsical twist. Of the few hundred expected to protest some will be wearing Wizard of Oz costumes. According to organizers, this is the meaning behind them: "Dorothy" will represent President Obama's hopeful vision for a fair and just society but lost in...

Extra, Extra

Happy Nisei Week! | Photo by TheHapacalypse via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr How nerdy and cool: there's now a wiki dedicated to Venice. In remembrance of urbanist John Chase. Dig Villains Tavern in the Arts District? Here's one mixology recipe for keeps. In Orange County: he said he didn't kill her, but he did admit to keeping her body in the freezer for over two years. A deep look into city salaries in...

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