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Extra, Extra: Bunny Ears, Blazes and Blair

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  • Following a flap from an LA Times article that found 60,000 LAUSD students attend school within 500 feet of a freeway, the school district is looking into ways it can reduce the health hazards for kids close to pollution-filled freeways. Maybe the school district can use the $53 million in funds they're trying to recoup to build domes over playgrounds.
  • Thousands of birds and an immeasurable amount of fish have died as a result of a Russian tanker's oil spill off the coast of the Black Sea, officials said today. The downed tanker was ripped in two after a storm wrought havoc on 10 ships in the area. Anyone know how to say heal the bay in Russian?
  • As we mentioned yesterday, Kanye West's mother, Donda, died on Sunday. Today, her publicist confirmed that she died "as the result of complications from a cosmetic surgical procedure.”
  • It's still fire season for some. Today, a hillside fire in Pacoima burned three-acres. Crews seem to have it under control and there has been no word of how the blaze began.
  • And speaking of fires, Gov. Schwarzenator told an advisory group today that it might be time to limit hillside development. Great idea. It's a good thing his home in the hills above Brentwood is already built.
  • Police closed a part of PCH today after a car crash and a report of an at-large shooter. Apparently the two were unrelated.
  • A former Cal State Long Beach professor who now teaches journalism at the University of Missouri has been caught plagiarizing from a student reporter at the school's local paper. John Merrill, a professor emeritus at the Missouri School of Journalism, wrote a weekly Sunday column and allegedly used unattributed material in a column about gender studies. Jeez, people should really stop going to the Jayson Blair school of journalism.
  • If you find yourself feeling a little altruistic during the holiday season, check out One Laptop Per Child. From November 12 to the 26, the organization is offering a Give One Get One program in the United States and Canada where, for $400, you can buy an XO laptop for a child in a developing nation and get one yourself. It's no Mac, but these laptops have some funky bunny ears near the op. They're awesome and maybe you can catch re-runs of The Honeymooners on them.
  • What the hell is up with TechCrunch, asks BuzzMachine? The tech blog landed two interviews recently with McCain and Romney. It's a sign that the political process may be opening up, they said. I would agree, though I fear that the political process may be shifting from one elite group (rich insiders) to another (tech savvy people). I hope I'm wrong and turnout is higher than a Humboldt Farm for 2008.
  • In a true sign of solidarity, 17 entertainment blogs will go dark tomorrow in support of the striking writers. ¡Si, Se Puede!

Photo by kpe II via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr