Results tagged “Zach Behrens”

'Obama's Security Team have Cleverly Surrounded him with a Wall of Gridlock' & Other Tales from the Today's Traffic Jam

Anytime a President has arrived in Los Angeles, traffic has been inconvenienced. But today's afternoon rush hour visit of Obama seems to have had a magic touch in that really unmagical way. Angelenos have been sharing their experiences from the road, some funny, some reeking of exasperation. Here are a just a few of their stories. Update: Writer Hunter Walker from The Wrap was caught in the gridlock and pulled off the road to file...

After Obama Traffic Hell, Some Residents Want an Investigation

Olympic Boulevard was free and clear of traffic, causing traffic throughout the Westside | Photo by jsteel2005 via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr The LA Times says some residents want an investigation into last night's epic rush hour traffic mess, but one LAist commenter might be jokingly on to something. "Somehow, I think [L.A. Mayor Antonio] Villaraigosa is behind this; to illustrate how badly we need federal funding for the 30/10 subway projects." 30/10,...

14 SoCal Colleges Get Top Honors in U.S. News & World Report Rankings

Long awaited by academics every year, U.S. News and World report today unveiled their 27th list of college rankings for universities and liberal arts colleges. And lots of applause should go locally. Among the top 50 universities were six in Southern California: CalTech (#7), USC (#23), UCLA (#25). UCSD (#35), UCSB (#39) and UC Irvine (#41). And there were six liberal arts colleges in their category's top 50: Pomona College (#6), Claremont Mckenna (#11),...

Feds to Probe Desert Racing Incident that Left 8 Dead, but will Host Larger Race this Weekend

Bystanders rush to help a victim, center, pinned under the overturned truck moments after it plowed into a crowd and scattered "bodies everywhere" after sailing off a jump at the California 200 off road race on Saturday Aug. 14 in Lucerne Valley. Just one week after a San Bernardino County desert race that ended with a fatal crash, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will oversee similar event that has a group of...

Councilmember's Proposal Wins Attention at Mayor's Bicycle Summit

Photo by GarySe7en via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa wants a statewide bicycle helmet law that would require all cyclists, regardless of age, to don one while riding. Among the many positive topics broached, that was the recurring theme for him at his first bicycle summit yesterday. His reasoning is based on what spun him into a bicycle advocate: when he shattered his elbow in a bicycle incident last month, the...

Lifeguards Advise Beachgoers of Great White Sharks

In light of a recent viral video of a great white shark caught off the Orange County coast and other sightings seen in La Jolla and Pacific Palisades, lifeguards throughout Southern California are cautioning beachgoers at local beaches. But is there really cause for concern? "While I’m not going to lie and say that a 15′ white shark doesn’t give me a little quiver in my belly, the analytical part of my brain isn’t worried,"...

Design for Downtown Neighborhood Park Completed

A parking lot and construction staging area between two downtown lofts was set to become a park a year and a half ago. Now finalized designs have been released, finds blogdowntown. Spring Street Park will be 35,000 square foot and mainly feature green space. Planners originally proposed a more ornate space, but residents, who lack green space in downtown, wanted it to be simple.

Locals Among the '50 Best New Bands of 2010'

Avi Buffalo at The Echo in 2009 (more photos here) | Photo by Jeff Koga for LAist There's so much new music out there, it's sometimes hard to pick who to check out. Today UK-based music news magazine NME released it's 50 Best News Bands of 2010 list -- as they describe it, "the 50 bands who've blown our minds over the past few months." Since we're Los Angeles, a good number of local...

Over 225 People Expected at Mayor's Bicycle Summit this Morning

Photo by Lucyrk in LA via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr All of the sudden Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is a "new champion of cyclists' rights." That, after the first time riding on the streets since taking office -- or so says the Associated Press -- and breaking his elbow in an incident involving a taxi cab last month. For many, it's a great thing to finally have the Mayor's energy behind cycling,...

Your Tax Dollars and Someone Else's Retirement Benefits

Talking about pensions isn't exactly sexy, but when you get angry about potholes not getting fixed, lack of public transit and other downsized city services, many would point to the unattractive word is one big part of the problem. Here's one local example. By 2015, one third of the city of Los Angeles' general fund, which pays for core services like police, fire, parks, etc, could be dedicated to retirement benefits. "For every dollar...

Los Angeles' Fictional NFL Football Team Hindered by Blogger

Image via HBO HBO's "Entourage" has been throwing around topical Los Angeles references all season and last night it all came to a head (If you haven't seen Sunday night's episode, be warned, there are spoilers!). While there's real world talk about bringing a football team to downtown Los Angeles, NFL head honchos in the show picked super agent Ari Gold to make it happen. That was until Deadline Hollywood blogger Anna -- they...

Zsa Zsa Gabor asks for Last Rites

93-year-old actress and socialite Zsa Zsa Gabor was given her last rites by a priest last night at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, according to the LA Times. Gabor broke her hip in July and stayed in the hospital until last week only to return again after developing blood clots. She was reportedly talking through Saturday, which was her 24th wedding anniversary with Frederic Prinz von Anhalt, but her conditioned worsened Sunday morning when...

Obama to Fundraise for Democrats in L.A. Today

Just like last time, President Barack Obama is in Los Angeles to lend a fundraising hand to Democrats, specifically the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. The President will spend the morning in Wisconsin before heading to California. According to one website, he will be arriving at LAX around 4:15 p.m., which could mean rush hour traffic in parts of the city could get even more gridlocked. Obama will join House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at the...

Over 300 Sign Petition to Gain Access to L.A. River

The L.A. River in the San Fernando Valley (see more photos here, here and here | Photo by Tom Andrews/LAist Now that the L.A. River is deemed navigable, meaning it is subject to the 1972 Clean Water Act, by the federal government, it should in theory be accessible by the public. But that's not exactly the case right now. Cautious government agencies are trying to figure it out and one Los Angeles city councilmember,...

L.A.'s $26 Million Gang Program Rife with Problems, Investigative Report Finds

Photo by cyan79 via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr Word around city hall is that the Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's office has been concerned with today's release of the Spot.Us report from WitnessLA that digs deep and analyzes the $26 million spent on gang reduction and youth development. Perhaps with good reason. Last month City Controller Wendy Greuel mostly gave praise to the program, but criticized one of the most important factors: evaluation. But Celeste...

County Clerk Will Extend Hours on Wednesday to Issue Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

At West Hollywood's marriage park in June 2008 | Photo by Tom Andrews/LAist If the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit doesn't stop gay marriages from beginning on Wednesday afternoon, county officials are ready to marry gay couples. Dean Logan, L.A. County's Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk (RR/CC), announced today that office hours at the Norwalk headquarters would be extended on Wednesday. Gay marriages will be permitted on Wednesday starting at 5 p.m. Logan said...

Heat Advisory Issued for Valley Areas

With high temperatures expected today and tomorrow, L.A. County public health officials issued a heat advisory this morning. “While people don’t need to be told it’s hot outside, they do need to be reminded how to take care of themselves, children, the elderly, and their pets when the weather gets hotter,” said County Health Officer Jonathan E. Fielding. Temperatures in the San Fernando Valley are expected to be in the high 80s and low...

Some Anti-Gay Proponents Don't Want Prop 8 Appealed, Would Rather See California be the Gay State

American Family Radio host David Barton doesn't want to see proponents of Prop 8, which banned gay marriage in California, appeal the recent ruling that found it unconstitutional. He fears it will ultimately be overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court meaning the 31 states that have also banned gay marriage "will go down in flames," according to Mother Jones. If the Supreme Court finds Prop 8 unconstitutional, "there's not a marriage amendment in the...

Hundreds of Cyclists Pedal to Mayor Villaragosa's Bicycle Summit

Cyclist Pack the Metro Board Room | Photo by Ron Milam via Twitter This morning's bicycle summit organized by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who was recently spun into a bicycle advocate after a recent cycling incident that left him with a shattered elbow, started off with a laugh. Former Mayor Richard Riordan presented Villaraigosa with training wheels. But it was only a bittersweet moment as news spread that a cyclist died in the San Fernando...

Orange County Great White Shark in Viral Video ID'd as One Tagged by Researchers

Last week a Dana Point surfer caught a close-up encounter with a great white shark on video and uploaded it to the web. No doubt, it became a viral hit. Now researchers from the Monterey Bay Aquarium have identified it as one they tagged to track via satellite. "We're the only research group tagging that age-class of white sharks," John O'Sullivan told the Orange County Register, noting that tag seen in the video is...

As Californians Try to Ban Most Plastic Bags, Here Comes the Mocumentary

A state bill that would ban plastic and other single-use bags from supermarkets and some other types of stores is currently making its way through the California legislature. It has until August to clear both state houses and head to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's desk where he's expected to sign it. In the meantime, bill sponsor Heal the Bay is taking the bill to the public with a safari-like mocumentary following the plastic bag from...

No Gay Marriages in California For Now, Federal Court Rules [Updated]

A Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals panel of judges ruled today that enforcement of Prop 8, which banned gay marriage in California, will continue until at least December. Federal District Judge Vaughn Walker set Prop 8 to expire on Wednesday, meaning same sex marriages could be performed beginning at 5 p.m. if the higher court did not block them. And indeed, they did step in, but agreeing to quickly push the case through the...

Councilmember Wants City to Study Cyclist-Friendly Staircases

Photo via the Draft 2010 Bicycle Plan Technical Design Handbook Los Angeles has over 100 outdoor public staircases. As any cyclist knows, carrying a bike up and down them is doable, but can be a major inconvenience and something that may stop new riders from taking a stab at the mode of transportation. Today, Councilmember Tom LaBonge introduced a motion that would instruct city staff to study bicycle stairways, which he describes as a...

9th Circuit Court Launches Prop 8 Webpage, Prop 8 Backers File Emergency Appeal

At the Prop 8 rally following Walker's ruling blocking Prop 8 (read and see more photos here) | Photo by Tom Andrews/LAist And let round two begin. Today the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit dedicated a section of their website to the case challenging Prop 8, which banned gay marriage in California. "Due to the level of interest in this case, this site has been created to notify the media and...

Extra, Extra

George's Shoe Comfort & Repair in Eagle Rock | Photo by TooMuchFire via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr In case you missed it yesterday, this weekend is going to be heat wave hot! California almond farmers, who supply nearly all of the type of nut to the country, are in a fight against the feds about proposed rules. In Venice there's a proposal to bring “mechanical automobile lifts and robotic parking structures” to Electric...

City Panel Recommends Little Bangladesh & Koreatown As Official L.A. Communities, City Council to Vote on them Next

It's been a year and half after debate began to officially (and finally) define the borders of Koreatown and to create a new community called Little Bangladesh. The process did not start off affably -- in fact, it was quite the opposite -- but at a city council committee meeting on Wednesday where the two communities were recommended for approval, only praise could be given by all parties involved.

Video: Security Guard and Deaf Man Get into a Scuffle at Hollywood & Highland

Video of an incident between a shopper and an apparent plainclothes security guard that surfaced this week is once again questioning tactics used at Hollywood and Highland.

Watching Tonight's Meteor Shower? Here's Some Information

The annual Perseid meteor shower will peak tonight and last through the early morning hours. Unlike last year, this year will be moon-free, meaning more chances to see the spectacle. But like last year, Los Angeles still has light pollution -- a lot of it.

Extra, Extra

L.A. at sunrise | Photo by @sevenphoto via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr Have you been complaining about how this Summer has been cooler than usual? Alright, then get ready for a heat wave this weekend! What's going on with development at Fountain and La Brea? Here's what. Move over Bell? Maybe not, but there's a movement to recall the mayor of Compton over corruption allegations. Back to Bell: "We have a simple message...

Authorized Rabbit Killings in Orange County City Prompt Petition

A permit given to a Homeowners Association to rid their neighborhood of rabbits by allowing hunting has drawn some international attention. An online petition signed by 720 people around the world was delivered to Mission Viejo authorities this week. In it was one argument often heard about moving to Southern California. "If they don't want their plants to be destroyed, and they choose to live in an area where there is wildlife that has...

HP Donates More to Boxer than Former CEO Fiorina

Republican U.S. Senate candidate and six-year Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina may tout her high-tech resume to the public during the campaign, but it appears there are some sour grapes back at her old stomping grounds, finds California Watch. According to Federal Election Commission records, HPs Political Action Committee donated $3,000 to Democratic incumbent Barbara Boxer. From employees, she received " $2,000 from HP computer scientist Jeffrey Mogul; $1,000 from Executive Vice President Michael Holston;...

Target Donation to Anti-Gay Candidate Could Mean Trouble for New Stores

Before Target's funding of an anti-gay candidate became a controversy, a new one to be built in Hollywood was approved. Now, two slated for construction in San Francisco could see trouble, finds the LA Times. "You can't take two dates to the prom," said openly gay San Francisco County Supervisor Bevan Dufty. "You can't brand your company as one that values [gay and lesbian rights] and then make contributions to candidates who spend every...

Jobs Rally at City Hall to Slow Traffic in Downtown Today

About 2,000 people are expected to attend a noon jobs rally in downtown this afternoon. Some 50 buses will head to City Hall and drop off attendees who will be calling for decisive action by the federal government to create good jobs that will move the country forward, not backward. One key example that will be used is the 30/10 plan, which would give money upfront to be paid back in full later to...

Blogger Walk Scores Metro Rail Stops, Finds L.A. has Long Way to Go in Walkability

Photo by mlanda7419 via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr For the past week, the blogger Chewie at Straight Outta Suburbia has been conducting a fun exercise by using Walk Score to calculate the walkability of every Metro rail stop (and the Orange Line busway). If you're not familiar with the web tool, it "calculates the walkability of an address based on the distance from your house to nearby amenities" and "measures how easy it...

Facebook Movie Spawns Fake Twitter Flick

The Facebook-based The Social Network, brought to us by Aaron Sorkin ("West Wing"), is due in theatres October 1st. And with such a great preview, released last month, it was only a matter of time before it was mocked. And no better to do with via The Twit Network....

Photos: Guitar Public Art Launched on the Sunset Strip

After months of construction work, the Sunset Strip Beautification Project in West Hollywood has been completed. And to celebrate, a re-grand opening block party was thrown last night. The event also helped introduce a new public art project called GuitarTown, which can be compared to Chicago Cows on Parade or L.A.'s Community of Angels. It features over 25 ten-foot tall fiberglass Gibson Les Paul model guitars that were each taken over by an artist. The...

Photos: Dinosaur-Obsessed Art Show Invades Beverly Hills

Over the summer, Steve Lazarides' temporary gallery in Beverly Hills has seen a variety of work -- from David Choe's take on L.A. to street artists taking on the city and nude performance art to Jonathan Yeo's Porn in the U.S.A.. Now, in the last show the gallery will see, comes something completely opposite. It's obsessive, commercial-like, kiddish and a lot of fun. Running through August 26th, UK Artist Jay Jay Burridge's first solo exhibition...

Beverly Hills Police Tow 'Art Bomb' Car Outside Gallery

As art patrons filled Steve Lazarides' gallery last night for the opening of the dinosaur-themed "When Superstars Ruled the World," another piece of art arrived outside on the street. Shortly before 10 p.m., two men pulled up in an art car of sorts. On the hood was a mushroom cloud and the words "art bomb!" Images of war donned the car throughout. They two men stepped out of the car, which was parked just short...

17-Year-Old Gets 255 Years in Prison

Well, to be exact, 255 years and eight months. When he was 15, Eric Antonio Benites, now 17, killed one man and attempted to kill five others to avenge the death of his little brother, according to the LA Times. Jose Cano was 13 when he was allegedly killed...

L.A. Chefs Get a 'Test Kitchen' for Angelenos to Dine in

Comedians test out their material in front of crowds before their big shows all the time. So why not chefs before they open their next restaurant? Meet Test Kitchen, which opens next week in the much speculated-about former Spark Woodfire Grill space on Pico Boulevard. On a rotating basis, chefs and mixologists will take stage. Starting next August 18th will be Jordan Kahn's "Red Medicine." The $40 per person contemporary Vietnamese prix fixe menu...

Politicians, Mobile Vendors and Businesses Meet to Discuss the Future of L.A.'s Food Truck Policy

A food truck serves customers while parked on Wilshire Boulevard | Photo by polaroid-girl via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr Food trucks are nothing new and have been part of the Southern Californian culture for decades. In fact, an estimated 6,000 roam the streets of Los Angeles County today. But with their recent rise in popularity, specifically due to new gourmet ones, there have been impacts. Some of those impacts are about the law,...

Win a Pair of Tickets to Rodrigo Y Gabriela's August 18th Concert at the Greek Theatre

Photo via Rodigo Y Gabriela's Facebook page Guitar duo Rodrigo Y Gabriela are coming to Los Angeles and will be playing at the Greek Theatre next week Wednesday, August 18th. If you haven't heard these two, what needs to be known is that they've got skills (check out some samples on their MySpace page). Guitar World this year wrote that "it's impossible to imagine that just two guitars can produce this level of musical...

Will Gay Marriage Resume? Judge to Make Ruling on Thursday

Although Judge Vaughn Walker last week ruled that Prop 8 was unconstitutional, the inevitable appeal of the case to higher courts put the resumption of gay marriages into question. Walker stayed his order so he could hear from both sides on why or why not marriages should take place in the meantime. Even Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown chimed in, saying gay marriages should resume. Walker's decision should come by noon...

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Photo by A.C.Thamer via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr Down 2.5%: "Here’s another sign the economy is struggling: the personal income of California residents dropped last year for the first time since World War II." Parkman Triangle Park in Silver Lake will be dedicated this weekend. There's a pretty sweet A-frame house in the Hollywood Hills that's for sale right now. Low-tide brought in a lot of shells to Venice beach yesterday. Yo! Venice...

Remains Found in Santa Monica Mountains ID'd as Mitrice Richardson

Mitrice Richardson Sheriff authorities and the coroner’s office have announced an emergency press conference this morning about Mitrice Richardson, the woman who has been missing for about a year after being released from the Lost Hills Sheriff's Station in Agoura Hills. Although there will be no on-the-record comment until the 9:30 a.m. event, remains found earlier this week in a steep canyon have been confirmed as Richardson's, according to various news sources. Park rangers...

If Gay Marriages are Allowed to Resume, WeHo Officials are Ready

West Hollywood held a wedding park event the day gay marriage went into effect in June of 2008 (more photos here) | Photo by Tom Andrews/LAist Federal Judge Vaughn Walker is expected to make his ruling on the stay on his Prop 8 order before noon today. Last week he ruled Prop 8, which banned gay marriage in California, as unconstitutional. But he stayed the order at the request of proponents who have appealed...

Remains Officially Confirmed as Mitrice Richardson

Sheriff Lee Baca this morning officially announced that the remains found in the Santa Monica Mountains are that of Mitrice Richardson, the 24-year-old woman who disappeared last year after being released from the Lost Hills Sheriff's Station. "Life is fragile, the circumstances of this case are tragic," said Baca. He explained that there was no indication of homicide at this point and defended the actions of the deputies that released Richardson under questionable circumstances....

Judge Will Lift Stay, but Gay Couples Can't Marry Immediately [Updated]

At "Marriage Park" in WeHo, June 2008 | Photo by Tom Andrews/LAist [Updated: It appears initial reports from LogoTV and scenes from outside the courthouse were only one part of the story, something that was too early for celebration. As the LA Times explained it, the judge "refused to permanently stay his ruling overturning Proposition 8's ban of gay marriage but extended a temporary hold to give supporters time to appeal the historic ruling."...

Did a Tagger Hit One of City Hall's Elevators?

Photo by Zach Behrens/LAist On Tuesday afternoon, one of city hall's local service elevators had this marking on its inner doors and it definitely looks like a tag. It's not surprising to see something like this because a) city hall is open to the public during business hours (but you do have to sign in) and b) tags like this only take seconds to do. Still a bold move -- you never know if...

Carly Fiorina Still Leads Barbara Boxer in Senate Race, Poll Finds

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina continues to widen her lead over California Senator Barbara Boxer for this year's election, according to poll results released today. The CBS/Survey USA poll found that Republican Fiorina leads Democratic incumbent Boxer 47% to 42%. That's quite a difference from just last week when a Rasmussen Report survey of likely voters found that Boxer was ahead by five points. She was at 45% and Fiorina at 40%....

City Council to Talk Food Trucks at Wednesday Committee Meeting

Lake Street Creamery serves customers on Hollywood Boulevard in Thai Town (more info here) | Photo by Zach Behrens/LAist They can revitalize a desolate street corner with a tweet, but also potentially take business away from a restaurant when parked nearby. Food trucks have taken Los Angeles by storm over the last year and a half and politicians have taken notice. On Wednesday afternoon, a transportation panel of L.A. City Councilmembers will hold its...

Coachella Announces 2011 Dates

Mark your calendar folks, Coachella tonight announced dates for their 2011 festival. They are April 15th, 16th and 17th. Yups, that's 248 days away. Now on to the constant speculation and day dreaming about what the line-up will be. Check out LAist's coverage from this year's festival here, here and here. Rock, out....

JetBlue Employee Who Quit & Gained Folk Hero Status is from Thousand Oaks

JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater has shown the world one heck of a way to quit. On Monday morning a dispute between him and a passenger was the last straw. Sitting on the tarmac in New York, the Queens resident cursed out a passenger on the loudspeaker, grabbed some beer and inflated plane’s emergency chute to slide down it and walk to his car and drive home. Talk about drama... in that sort of...

Girl Who Quit Job in 33 Photos is Actually an Actress Who Recently Moved to L.A.

Not bad for just moving to town to pursue your dreams. 22-year-old Elyse Porterfield arrived in Los Angeles in June and yesterday became an internet star overnight. If you haven't seen it yet (and you should, it's pretty funny), she's Jenny, the HPOA -- that's "hot piece of ass" for you noobs -- who quit her job in 33 photos. It didn't take long before the viral story was called out for being a hoax,...

Spark Woodfire Grill to Shutter, Mystery Surrounds What's Next

Partial photo of owner Elizabeth Chait's letter hanging on Spark's door this week | Reader submitted photo Bad news came Monday when Elizabeth Chait suddenly announced that her Pico Boulevard location of Spark Woodfire Grill would be closing later this week. But as the letter, which was posted to the restaurant's front door, continued, things got a little more curious. "In a few days we will be announcing a new concept which will open...

Magically Wonderful: Exploring & Kayaking the Sea Caves of Anacapa Island

There was a few of us who decided to get as close as we could to Arch Rock, one of the symbols of Channel Islands National Park. The waves were breaking dangerously under the 40-foot gateway, but from a couple hundred yards away, it was still a spectacle to watch. Paddling back to the dock at Anacapa Island, I got ahead of our kayking group, but I didn't know how far ahead I was until...

Parking War Comes to a Halt on 5700 Wilshire as City Councilmembers Debate Food Trucks

Trucks lined the streets this afternoon on the 5700 block of Wilshire Blvd. | Photo by Brian Frobisher L.A.'s city council transportation committee today will be focusing on food trucks, which , depending on where you stand, are either beloved or bothersome. Today, three motions aimed at possible regulations will be discussed, but the dialogue will likely end up diving into misconceptions about operating a truck and the purpose of parking. "Meters are intended...

City Wasted $855K on Parking Enforcement Vehicles, Audit Finds

Photo by Zach Behrens/LAist City Controller Wendy Greuel is at it again and tomorrow plans to release an audit detailing how the city's Department of Transportation wasted $855,000 and exceeded a contract by nearly $2.5 million. Basically, LADOT contracted with a company in 2001 to lease Automated Vehicle Locator Systems (AVLS) for the parking enforcement fleet. Although they could have bought them for $1 a piece in 2006, officials said they went through with...

Brush Fire Breaks Out in Griffith Park [Updated]

A one- to two-acre brush fire in Griffith Park is burning uphill near the 5 and 134 freeways, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. No structures are threatened or immediate evacuations have been called for. In a live TV interview, Captain Steve Ruda told KABC-7 that, from what he could see on TV, there appeared to be no winds (good news) and that firefighters "drill in that area all the time." The blaze...

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Photo by Andy Kennelly via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr Human remains have been found in the Santa Monica Mountains by park rangers checking out a former illegal marijuana field. L.A. County Sheriff's Deputies are looking to see if there is a connection to Mitrice Richardson, who disappeared in the area a year ago. A local court commissioner has granted actor Jennifer Aniston a restraining order against a man who traveled across the country...

Former City of Bell Police Officer to be Sentenced After Forcing Women to Perform Fellatio

Feliciano Sanchez News about the city of Bell isn't just about the salary scandal and possible voter fraud these days, there's also the case of 35-year-old Feliciano Sanchez, a former police officer for the small working class Los Angeles suburb. Sanchez plead guilty to "depriving a woman of her civil rights" and will be sentenced next month following an incident back in 2007, according to the Whittier Daily News. Sanchez had pulled a woman...

Santa Monica Might Break Boycott of Arizona to Spend $3 Million

Photo by GarySe7en via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr Despite following in the footsteps of Los Angeles and other cities by boycotting doing business with Arizona, Santa Monica officials tonight will be faced with possibly breaking their own rules. An Arizona company's bid to replace 20 "manufactured homes" at the city-owned Mountain View Mobile Home Park, which is part of Santa Monica's affordable housing program, is the best deal according to a staff report....

After Losing Card Game, Man Fatally Shoots Sister-In-Law

Here's a big WTF. A game of cards between family turned deadly when one man took out a gun and began shooting early Sunday morning in San Bernardino, according to the San Bernardino Sun. 33-year-old Ricardo Magana-Lemus was apparently losing money when his brother tried to call the game off because it was getting late. Magana-Lemus didn't want to end the game yet and an argument developed, ending with him apparently pulling a gun...

Hey Claim Jumper, is that a Condom in My French Onion Soup?

Claim Jumper's French Onion Soup | Photo by danperry.com via Flickr An Easter Sunday meal at Claim Jumper in Orange County turned into quite an affair for one family in 2009. Zdenek Philip Hodousek was eating his favorite menu item, French onion soup, when something felt weird. "Suddenly he felt what he believed was tough cheese on one side of his mouth," reads a lawsuit he filed. "When he could not chew it into...

Hiking Eaton Canyon: Nearby and Relatively Easy -- Plus a Waterfall

Eaton Canyon can sometimes feel like the Runyon Canyon of the San Gabriel Valley (read: popular, busy). And if you go on a weekend Summer afternoon, you definitely won't be alone. But there's a reason for that as Eaton is one of those relatively easy hikes that any avid hiker in Southern California should do at least once and knock it off their to-hike list. The well-marked easy to follow there-and-back trail into Eaton Canyon...

Kayaking, Rafting & More in the L.A. River? One L.A. City Councilmember Wants it to Happen

In 2008, a group of river activists kayaked the 51-mile L.A. River in three days to prove it was navigable | Photo by Tom Andrews/LAist Now with the L.A. River defined as a navigable, there's a movement afloat to make it usable for residents. Today L.A. City Councilmember Ed Reyes, who leads the city's river committee on the river and spearheaded the river revitalization master plan, introduced a motion to establish a boating program....

Traffic Around Beverly Center to be a Headache for 6 Weeks

Emergency sewer repairs under the intersection of Third Street and San Vicente Boulevard will make daytime traffic near the Beverly Center a bit of a headache for the next six weeks. Lanes will be narrowed and left turns will be banned during the 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. construction hours, according to the Beverly Hills Courier. During off-hours, street traffic should be back to normal....

Santa Monica's Next Possible Smoking Ban: The Pier

Photo by sfxeric via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr Santa Monica city leaders should really just ban smoking throughout the whole city. Is the process of of slowly hacking away at bits and pieces of the city -- the latest was to ban smoking 25 feet within an apartment or condo building window or door -- really that efficient? Now the City Council will determine if smoking should be banned on the Santa Monica...

Target Apologizes Over Donation to Anti-Gay Candidate, Some Still Angry

Photo by Chris-Gonzales90 via Flickr Following uproar over a large donation from Target to a anti-gay Minnesota candidate this month, CEO Gregg Steinhafel apologized Thursday to employees. He said the $150,000 donation was meant to be for Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer's business stance, not his anti-gay one. "While I firmly believe that a business climate conducive to growth is critical to our future, I realize our decision affected many of you in a...

L.A. Congressmember Maxine Waters Charged with 3 Violations

Maxine Waters | AP Photo/Charles Dharapak Three awaited congressional ethics charges against 10-term Los Angeles representative Maxine Waters were announced today and as expected, they revolve around an alleged help she gave to bank where her husband owned lucrative stock. Here's the breakdown of the accusations: She "violated House rules that members 'shall behave at all times in a manner that shall reflect credibility on the House,'" explains the Associated Press. Adds Politico: "The...

Usual Suspects Not Donating to Marijuana Initiative

Perhaps they're waiting until it's closer to November, perhaps not. The campaign for Prop 19, which would legalize marijuana in California, is not seeing large donations like similar drug propositions in the past, finds the LA Times. So far, the prop's author Richard Lee is the biggest donor, giving $1.5 million of the $1.9 raised through June. About $10 million will be needed to launch a widely seen TV campaign. The latest Field Poll...

Brown Expands City of Bell Investigation, Whitman Attacks His City of Oakland Days

Subpoenas for testimony and personal financial records were added to Attorney General Jerry Browns' investigation into the city of Bell's financial scandal. A number of past and present Bell officials and city councilmembers will be deposed under oath later this month after some officials produce records, including tax returns, gifts received, bank accounts and other information. "My office has received several reports from residents of Bell indicating that city officials encouraged them to fill out...

Community Supported Agriculture Heads to Echo Park

Photo by Zach Behrens/LAist Echo Park will be the newest home for community supported agriculture (CSA), in which customers pay a subscription fee for weekly (or every other week) pick-up of locally grown fruits and vegetables. California CSA, which serves several neighborhoods, including locations in North Hollywood, downtown, Culver City and Santa Monica, will begin an Echo Park location at Mooi Restaurant on Tuesday afternoons starting August 17th. One week costs $25 and that,...

Can You Get Downtown Car-Free?

There's been a more aggressive Beyond Coal movement going on in L.A. this year and this month, news comes of a Beyond Cars one. At LA Beyond Cars: A Global Perspective on Rail and Space exhibit at The Jewel Box in downtown, a party will be held on August 18th where organizers are challenging attendees to use alternative transportation. "That's right—our goal is to make this a completely car-free party," writes GOOD Magazine, which...

Sherman Oaks Woman Appointed to L.A.'s Bicycle Committee

Ayla Stern A female presence on L.A.'s Bicycle Advisory Committee, the city's official bicycle board, has been missing for a good number of years, something that even sitting members had complained about. That changed today when City Councilmember Paul Krekorian appointed cyclist Ayla Stern of Sherman Oaks to the board. "Ayla Stern is a dedicated cyclist who has made the often-challenging choice of living in Los Angeles car-free," Krekorian said in a statement. "Ms....

Councilmember Wants Tour Buses to Stop Annoying Neighbors

Photo by strph via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr Following in the footsteps of New York City, tour buses may have to quiet down in residential neighborhoods if one city councilmember gets his way. Neighbors of celebrity homes of past and present are annoyed at hearing tour operators speaking over the megaphone, sometimes with blaring theme music. “I’m a supporter of the tourism industry of Los Angeles,” said Councilmember Tom LaBonge, who introduced a...

DUI Checkpoint Near USC Campus Tonight

LAPD this summer is aggressively trying to rid the roads of drunk drivers by holding a mixture of announced and unannounced checkpoints every weekend. Tonight, they tip their hats to one of them going going on between 6 p.m. and 1 a.m. near USC's campus and Exposition Park at Figueroa Street and 41st Street. "Our message is simple: if we catch you driving drunk, you will be arrested," says the LAPD....

Photos: Nude Model Gets a Haircut in Beverly Hills Storefront Window (NSFW)

As part of closing week for Jonathan Yeo's naughty and edgy show at David Lazarides' gallery in Beverly Hills, UK hairstylist to the stars (Justin Timberlake, Natalie Portman, Brad Pitt, Sienna Miller, Jude Law, etc.) Johnnie Sapong this afternoon is cutting a nude model's hair in the gallery's storefront window. It's expected to continue until 6 p.m. or until it's broken up by authorities. Sapong has been in Beverly Hills running a pop-up hair studio...

Extra, Extra

Photo by Chris_Lott via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr After seven people became sick due to an E. coli contamination, a Modesto company recalled one million pounds of beef today. Besides Ralphs and Grand Central Market, where can you shop for food Downtown? L.A.'s El Sereno has a new gateway monument sign welcoming people to the eastside neighborhood. A shooting suspect today barricaded himself in a residence, leading to a seven hour police standoff...

Movement Afloat to Make Pinnacles National Monument a National Park

Pinnacles National Monument is about 5 hours away up the 101 Freeway | Photo by Dawn Endico via Flickr Off the 101 Freeway in Central California is one of the older National Park Service units. In 1908, Theodore Roosevelt named 2,500 acres of the Gabilan Mountains, made up of "rock spires and crags that are remnants of an ancient volcano," as the Park Service puts it. Today, Pinnacles National Monument is 26,000 acres and...

Gay Marriage Foes Want to Impeach Judge Who Overturned Prop 8

U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker (AP Photo/San Francisco Daily Journal, S.Todd Rogers) Just like Lawyer David Boies warned, Judge Vaughn Walker's ruling to overturn Prop 8 would have critics attacking everything but what's in his 138-page decision. Today the American Family Association called for its members to work towards impeaching Federal District Court Judge Vaughn Walker. "Since marriage policy is not established anywhere in the federal Constitution, defining marriage, according to the 10th Amendment,...

Extra, Extra

Photo by Gamma Infinity via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr Elena Kagan's nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court was approved by the U.S. Senate today, paving the way for the first time the high court will have three women. Sharrows can now be found on Abbot Kinney in Venice. A proposal for a downtown development includes two skyscrapers being electronic billboards of sorts themselves. Headline of the day: "Man allegedly goes into LAPD station,...

Water Main Break Floods Downtown Street, Closing Businesses

A water main that broke Thursday night shut down a popular stretch of 6th Street in downtown. At about 8:30 p.m., a 12-inch cast iron main broke, flooding the street, sidewalks and some businesses between Main and Los Angeles streets. Business such as Cole's French Dip and The Varnish, two popular bars, were forced to close. Water main breaks became somewhat of an epidemic in Los Angeles last year beginning September when a break...

Rialto Police Department Faces Allegations of On-Duty Officers Taking Part in Group Sex at Union Hall

Photo by sera_leaving via Flickr On duty, off duty, sex in the narcotics office, group sex at Union Hall, physical abuse. There's a lot going on in a $500,000 claim (.pdf) filed by a strip club drink server against the city of Rialto. In it, Nancy Holtgreve of the Spearmint Rhino strip club says the "city fostered and perpetuated a culture of unwanted sexual harassment of women by male police officers," according to the...

Dawson's Bookshop on Larchmont to Close Doors this Month

L.A. is losing another bookstore, at least physically. On August 21st, Dawson's Bookshop will leave Larchmont Boulevard for the world wide web. "Starting this weekend until August 21, the store is having a moving sale with over 3,000 titles on sale for up to 75%. Expect to find a lot of photography books," notes neighborhood style blog Mondette. The once-downtown store celebrated its 100th birthday in 2005, making it the city's oldest bookstore....

Dog in San Bernardino Goes Under Gender Re-Assignemnt Surgery

Image via PE A one-year-old Pomeranian puppy's life has been saved after going under a $1,165 gender reassignment operation. Red, who was found on the streets of San Bernardino, was born as a pseudo hermaphrodite, meaning he was born with partially formed male and female reproductive organs, according to the Press Enterprise. Facing euthanasia because his condition would likely lead to infection or cancer, a woman stepped in and donated the money for the...

Win a Box Suite for You & Friends for a Show at the Greek Theatre

You may not see them, but they are there. And they're pretty damn sweet. Behind the general seats at the Greek Theatre are a series of box suites, fit for four people. And they come with some nice perks like a personal waiter, access to the VIP deck and VIP parking (read: not stacked). And now is your chance to live it up. You can win a box suite for you and three of...

L.A. City Salaries Posted Online

As promised, L.A. City Controller Wendy Greuel has posted the salaries of all city employees to her website in wake of the city of Bell scandal where its city manager, for example, was being paid nearly $800,000. The 547-page document (.pdf) only shows approved annual salaries and not actual compensation, which may be affected by voluntary salary cuts, furloughs, overtime, etc. Greuel says the list will soon be updated to reflect those changes. But...

West Hollywood Unveils Neon Signage in Honor of Route 66

Santa Monica Boulevard may be currently home to boys town and the Russian community, but it has a history that many don't realize. In 1926, the route between Chicago and Santa Monica was named Route 66. In what would later become West Hollywood, Santa Monica Boulevard was a major part of the famous artery with at least two popular eateries, Barney's Beanery and Irv's Burgers, seeing it through its heyday. "Neon got its infancy and...

Plans for New Art Museum in Downtown Approved by L.A. City Council

Photo by N10Z via Flickr It still has to be approved by the county and Grand Avenue Authority, but philanthropist Eli Broad's museum concept took a step this morning when it was unanimously approved by the Los Angeles City Council. To be located on top where parking lot currently sits, next to Walt Disney Concert Hall and across the street from MOCA, plans call for 30,000 to 35,000 square feet of exhibition space in...

Alien Mythology, a Pile of 2,000 Pancakes & More in an Art Installation at Soho House

You may know Swedish director Andreas Nilsson's work from music videos for Moby, Miike Snow, MGMT and Royksopp (plus the upcoming Yeasayer one featuring Kristen Bell), but his roots are in painting and sculpture. Last night at the private members-only Soho House in West Hollywood, he took over a couple of rooms with Furlined and Flux to install a tribute to backwoods mythology. "It's a celebration of utopia," said Nilsson of the 1961 story about...

Let Gays Marry Now, Say Schwarzenegger and Brown to Judge

Now that Prop 8 has been overruled in a federal district court, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown are voicing their opposition to a stay, which is keeping the ban on gay marriages in effect. Judge Vaughn Walker granted the hold on his ruling to accept arguments from gay marriage foes this morning. Schwarzenegger's briefing said that Prop 8 supporters "argue a stay is necessary because issuing gender-neutral marriage licenses will 'place...

Meet Sethesha: Transgendered and Trying to Break into Hollywood

Stories about hopefuls flocking to Hollywood for a chance in the entertainment industry is nothing new. And while it's not unheard of, seeking that chance as a young transgendered person presents its own challenges and opportunities. For 21-year-old Sethesha, who moved here four years ago with those aspirations, Los Angeles feels like home no matter what she's doing. "I didn't come here to be a huge star, I came here to do what i love...

Inmate Information for Indicted L.A. City Councilman Posted Online

via the L.A. County Sheriff's Department Well, you don't see this every day. Above is the inmate information for Los Angeles City Councilmember Richard Alarcon, who was indicted on 18 felony counts yesterday. He and his wife were released on their own recognizance after after the judge turned down the District Attorney's request for them to post a total of $70,000 for bail. According to the report, he was arrested at 2 p.m., booked...

Photos: Hundreds Gather in WeHo with Prop 8 Plaintiffs & Lawyers to Celebrate Judge's Ruling

About 300 people gathered in West Hollywood Park Wednesday night to celebrate the federal ruling in favor of gay marriage. The American Foundation of Equal Rights, which brought forward the case Perry v. Schwarzenegger, hosted the event, bringing together the plaintiffs, lawyers, politicians and celebrities. About a dozen people spoke -- all with smiles, some with tears -- about the huge step that was just taken. But they warned it was only a step. "So...

Some Cyclists Not Happy with Mayor's Bike Summit

Photo by melissssaf via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr Following a bicycle mishap that left Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa with a broken elbow, he announced that he would hold a bike summit, which is scheduled for Monday, August 16th from 9 to 11 a.m. But for some cyclist activists, the news is troubling. "The Mayor's staff triple failed in this endeavor," Alex Thompson of Bikeside LA, and who sits on a LAPD bicycle...

L.A. County is Home to 96 Certified Farmers Markets

It's National Farmers Market Week and today California's Food & Agriculture Secretary A.G. Kawamura wants people to take part. “Farmers markets celebrate the relationships all consumers have with farms,” he said today. “We are fortunate that many farmers markets operate year round because of our state’s ability to grow a cornucopia of different products.” He notes that since 1977, when the state created the first Certified Farmers Market program in the nation, that the...

Extra, Extra

Photo by jvoves via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr After a coyote snatched a pet dog near Griffith Park, the Griffith Park Wayist urges everyone to use a leash (it's the law in most all public places, anyway). Five days and 14,000 acres later, the Crown Fire in northern L.A. County has been fully contained. Congrats to UCLA's Daily Bruin for ranking among the top 20 student newspapers in the nation! Seemingly benign, but...

Villaraigosa Announces Date of Bicycle Summit, Topics Include Bike Plan, LAPD Enforcement

Photo by @sevenphoto via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr A promise he made after a bicycle mishap that left him with a broken elbow, L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa yesterday announced the date of his bike summit. “Let’s get together and talk about what we need to do to make the streets safer for cyclists,” he said in a statement. Topics at the August 16th event will include the City’s draft Bicycle Plan and its...

Long Beach Announces Soon-to-Come Bicycle Sharing Program

Bicycle sharing in Montreal | Photo by pdbreen via Flickr Long Beach continued its challenge to all mayors, including L.A.'s Villaraigosa, around the country in its bid to become the greenest city in America. On Tuesday, the city officially announced a new bicycle sharing program, something that has been talked about for years in Los Angeles, but has not been able to get off the ground, even if for one area like downtown. To...

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