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Glen Keane Was Drawn To Kobe For 'Dear Basketball'

Kobe Bryant and Glen Keane won a 2018 Oscar for Best Animated Short Film for "Dear Basketball." (Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images)

Back in 2015, Kobe Bryant wrote “Dear Basketball,” a farewell poem announcing his retirement from the sport.

The poem was later turned into an animated short film that went on to win an Academy Award in 2018.

That film was scored by John Williams and directed and animated by Glen Keane, who worked alongside Kobe to animate the poem:

“This was about a legacy that went far beyond Kobe and it became very clear to me, this was about after Kobe is gone, this legacy will continue on and touch many, many people.”

Kobe intended for the film to inspire new generations beyond him, Keane told KPCC’s The Frame.

He also said the two often talked about working together again in the future.

The Lakers legend died Sunday morning in a helicopter crash in Calabasas. Today, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences said they plan to include a special tribute to Kobe during the Academy Awards.

You can listen to The Frame’s full interview with Glen Keane below:

It's Here! Your Guide To The March 3 Primary Election

L.A. County mock election at Salazar Park in East L.A. September 28, 2019. (Al Kamalizad for LAist)

It's nearly time to vote again, and we've got you covered. Voter Game Plan is our guide to your 2020 ballot, and it's the destination for all your voting needs and questions (and we will continue to update it as we approach the elections).

The guide includes:

  • An interactive sample ballot
  • A handy FAQ on how to vote, complete with deadlines and information on the new vote centers and voting machines
  • Written guides to all the major races
  • A place for you to ask questions and tell us about the issues you want candidates to address

Find out more here >>

Kobe Bryant Crash: NTSB Provides Updates


Federal officials provided an update at about 4 p.m. on the investigation into the helicopter crash that killed Lakers legend Kobe Bryant and eight other people.

For everything we know so far, read more here >>

Funding Restored For LGBT Center's HIV and STD Testing Following Public Pressure


The Los Angeles LGBT Center and LA County’s Department of Public Health reached a temporary agreement on Tuesday to restore funding for the center’s free STD and HIV testing program.

On Monday, the center announced that the county was going to cut funding that covers the laboratory fees to process the STD and HIV tests. As part of its public announcement, the LGBT Center encouraged community members to contact their local county supervisor and the DPH to urge them to restore funding.

By Tuesday morning, the LGBT Center announced that it had reached an agreement with the Department of Public Health to restore funding through March.

“With these parameters we can keep the funding going as needed to continue and give us some time to clear negotiations,” LGBT Center co-director Dr. Ward Carpenter said.

He said the center was first notified on Jan. 16 about the county’s budget cuts and had been trying to negotiate with the county up until now.

LAist has reached out to the Department of Public Health for comment and we'll update the story when we hear back.

In recent years, L.A. County has seen record high numbers for STDs, including chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis.


Long Beach Has Alarmingly High Rates Of HIV And Other STDs

Sexually Transmitted Diseases Data (California Department of Public Health)

Kobe Bryant Crash Site: NTSB Releases Images


Federal investigators have been at the scene of the fatal helicopter crash that killed retired Lakers star Kobe Bryant, his teenage daughter and seven others.

On Tuesday, National Transportation Safety Board officials released images from the scene. NTSB board member Jennifer Homendy had described the crash site as “pretty devastating,” with debris spread across 500 to 600 feet of terrain.

The extent of the debris field can be seen in this photo taken Monday as investigators document the scene. (NTSB photo by James Anderson)
On Monday, NTSB investigators Aaron Sauer and Josh Lindberg prepare a drone for mapping the debris field. (NTSB photo by James Anderson)
NTSB investigator Carol Hogan examines wreckage on Jan. 26. (NTSB photo by James Anderson)
NTSB investigators Adam Huray and Carol Hogan examine wreckage. (NTSB photo by James Anderson)
NTSB investigator Adam Huray examines wreckage Monday. (NTSB photo by James Anderson)


Here’s What We Know About Kobe’s Last Flight

What We Know About The 9 People Who Died In The Helicopter Crash That Killed Kobe

Did Your Favorite Vintage LA Diner Make Our List?

The 101 Coffee Shop in Hollywood (Chava Sanchez/LAist)

We went on the hunt for L.A.'s best old-school diners. Did your favorite neighborhood gem make our list of 10? Tweet us @laist to let us know what we missed.


Read More About These Vintage Diners Then And Now (LAist)

(Almost) Every Late-Night Restaurant in Los Angeles, By Neighborhood (LAist)

What We Know About The Kobe Bryant Crash So Far

A photo from the LA County Sheriff Department's Twitter feed shows the site of helicopter crash on Sunday, Jan. 26. (Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department)

Federal safety investigators continued to gather evidence Tuesday from the scene of the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant and the eight others aboard.

We know the flight left John Wayne Airport in Orange County shortly after 9 a.m., circled around the Burbank airport several times while it waited for clearance, and then crashed into a Calabasas hillside around 9:45 a.m.

We know it was a foggy morning, and that the visibility was so poor that the LAPD grounded its helicopters.

We also know that the helicopter model, a Sikorsky 76-B, has a safety record lauded by experts and that the pilot had ample experience.

What we don't know is how big a factor the weather was in the crash. We'll be listening to the National Transportation Safety Board's news conference this afternoon for further details.


Senate To Vote Again On Housing Near Transit

The dome of California's State Capitol in Sacramento. (Megan Garvey / LAist)

A controversial bill to zone more housing near transit hubs is set to be discussed in Sacramento tomorrow. Senate Bill 50 is aimed at easing the housing crisis, but when it was introduced over a year ago by state Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), it was stalled by cities and counties that chafed over increased state control.

Since then, Wiener has been working on revisions, but the bill needs to be approved by this Friday to have a chance at becoming law.

The latest version would give opposing cities and counties who are unhappy with SB 50 two years to draft their own plans for increasing affordable housing.

But several activist groups say those changes don't do enough to help those with the lowest incomes. The Alliance For Community Transit in Los Angeles says the bill should provide more funding to sensitive communities to stop gentrification.


Read the full text of SB 50 (California Legislature)

Last year’s hottest housing fight just got resurrected — here’s what to know (CalMatters)

Ontario Airport Tapped To Repatriate Americans Returning From Wuhan


UPDATE: Ontario Airport is no longer on tap to repatriate Americans returning from Wuhan. Airport officials said late Tuesday the plane is now expected to land at nearby March AFB after a stop in Alaska. Read the latest >>

We learned late Monday night that Ontario International Airport has been tapped to serve as a repatriation center for Americans being evacuated from Wuhan, China — the city at the center of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

A jet carrying as many as 240 U.S. consulate employees and others is scheduled to arrive at Ontario International Airport this week.

Authorities say the plane will take off Wednesday and stop first in Alaska.

If anyone shows signs of infection, they won't be allowed to leave. Everyone will be checked again once they get to Ontario.

There have been five cases of novel coronavirus in the United States, including one each in L.A. and Orange counties. All patients had traveled in the Wuhan area.

San Bernardino County officials said in a statement that they are:

"Working closely with our state, city and [Ontario airport] partners to prepare for this possible repatriation, focusing on ensuring the arriving citizens are free of any illness before clearing them to proceed to their respective U.S. destinations, and protecting the San Bernardino County community from the possibility of exposure to any contagions."

Ontario International officials noted that their facility "was designated by the federal government as the official repatriation center for California about a decade ago" and has since gone through exercises to prep for such an event. They also said any repatriation will not interrupt normal operations at the airport, which served more than 5 million passengers last year.


Why Kobe Bryant's Death Hurt So Much


"It's illogical, man. I don't know why I'm crying. But it also makes sense that the man who constantly wowed us with his feats, would end up leaving us in disbelief once more. And Gianna, that hurts that much more. She was his legacy more than any of the trophies and records. I'm shook."

Listen to our immigrant communities reporter and L.A.-native Erick Galindo explain what Kobe Bryant meant to him and why the death of the Lakers legend at 41 hit so hard.


Read the essay >>

What We Know About The 9 People Killed In Sunday's Helicopter Crash In Calabasas

Federal Safety Inspector Says Pilot Climbed To Avoid Clouds Shortly Before Hitting Hillside

Investigators Map The Crash Scene And Call For Witness Photos


Human error, mechanical failure and the weather are factors federal investigators are considering in the deadly helicopter crash that killed nine, including Kobe Bryant and his daughter.

"Our investigators began documenting the scene, collecting evidence, taking pictures and we had drones in the air to begin mapping the wreckage," National Transportation Safety Board member Jennifer Homendy said Monday.

She called the site a "devastating scene" and NTSB teams will be there for several days.

They've also called for witnesses to the crash with stills or video to contact them, saying those images will aid them as they determine what caused the Sikorsky 76B helicopter to slam into the Calabasas hillside Sunday morning.

NTSB officials also said Monday that the pilot, Ara Zaboyan, climbed sharply to avoid cloud cover shortly before the crash. They said after he told an air traffic controller he was climbing, the controller followed up asking what the pilot planned to do. But there was no response.


It’s Tuesday, Jan. 28 And Here Are The Stories We’re Following Today

Good morning, Los Angeles. (Chava Sanchez/LAist)

Welcome to Tuesday. It’s been two days since Lakers legend Kobe Bryant died, and the outpouring of grief and disbelief continues. LeBron James responded publicly for the first time yesterday in an Instagram post, expressing love and heartbreak and ending with this: “I promise you I’ll continue your legacy man! You mean so much to us all here especially #LakerNation💜💛.”

What We're Covering:

  • Reporter Elly Yu will have an update on the continuing investigation into the crash that killed Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven other people.
  • We’ll also be exploring Kobe’s influence among his Chinese and Latino fanbase. Reporter Erick Galindo went to Lynwood to speak with some fans at Plaza Mexico, while reporter Yingjie Wang tagged along with a Chinese immigrant to buy flowers for the Kobe Shrine at Staples Center.
  • With more than 100 deaths in China and two confirmed cases in Southern California, the novel coronavirus may have a lot of people -- in particular travelers -- worried. But the risk is low for most people. Reporter Robert Garrova has rounded up what we know about the virus, how it’s spreading, and how you can protect yourself.
  • The U.S. State Department is helping to evacuate hundreds of American citizens from Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, and Ontario Airport in San Bernardino County may serve as a repatriation point. Morning Edition host Susanne Whatley is looking into what that means.
  • On a lighter note, LAist food contributor Virginia App takes us on a tour of vintage diners across L.A.

Help Us Cover Your Community:

The news cycle moves fast. Some stories don't pan out. Others get added. Consider this today's first draft.