Issues, News »

From Sophie to Serra: Pope Francis’ California ties

Posted September 24, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]

A 5-year-old girl from South Gate is getting international attention after she sneaked through a barricade yesterday and delivered a personal message about immigration to Pope Francis.
Sophie Cruz – an American citizen whose parents are undocumented immigrants – was initially held back by security as the Pope’s motorcade rolled through Washington, D.C. But Francis summoned the girl to the Popemobile, kissing her cheek and …

News »

On the edge of LA’s tallest skyscraper, the Wilshire Grand

Posted September 23, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]

If you’re in downtown Los Angeles or just driving by, it’s easy to spot the construction of the Wilshire Grand Tower as it rises ever higher into the sky. When it’s done, the Wilshire Grand, at 1,1100 feet high,will be the tallest building in L.A. and the tallest west of the Mississippi.
I recently got an opportunity to visit this skyscraper-in-the-making. A ride inside a cage-like construction …

Environment, Issues, News »

Impact of air pollution rules coming into clearer focus

Posted September 22, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]

Have you been breathing a little easier?
A new study by state air regulators says that risk of getting cancer because of toxic air in California dropped by 76 percent over a span of more than two decades.
The authors of the report say the decrease in pollution is due to stringent regulations on everything from trucks and gasoline vapors to emissions from dry cleaning businesses.
Air …

Issues, News, Politics »

State GOP lashes out at Trump’s immigration rhetoric

Posted September 21, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]

Perhaps the most notable policy pronouncement in the GOP presidential race so far is Donald Trump’s vow to build a new border wall and deport millions of undocumented immigrants.
The Republican Party in California, however, is not having it.
In a direct rebuke to Trump – as well as a bid to stay relevant in a state with a Latino majority – the California GOP has …

Arts & Culture, News, Santa Barbara »

Sainthood for Junipero Serra, California’s controversial founding father

Posted September 21, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]

One of the acts on Pope Francis’ agenda important act on his agenda while he’s here is to bestow sainthood on Father Junipero Serra, the Spanish priest who founded California’s mission system in the 18th Century.
Orange County’s Mission San Juan Capistrano is a reminder of the time of Juniper Serra. The ten acre site includes manicured gardens, gracious stone arcades, and atmospheric 18th Century chapels (ancient by Southern …

News »

Outside the GOP Debate, anti-Trump, pro-immigration demonstrators rallied

Posted September 17, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]

While GOP presidential hopefuls were straightening their red and blue ties getting ready for last night’s debate, about 200 people gathered down the hill from the Ronald Reagan Library to protest what they see as the “anti-immigrant” undertone of the GOP primary race.
“We’re looked at as contaminants to the American society,” said Eric Jimenez, a resident of Rosemead in L.A. County. “We are looked at as people that are …

Environment, News »

No damage this time around, but tsunami risk is real

Posted September 17, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]

We got off easy this time. There are no reports of damage or flooding from a tsunami that rolled into Southern California this morning following a huge, magnitude 8.3 earthquake in Chile.
But the tsunami has affected tides and currents, and officials are asking boaters, swimmers and surfers to stay out of the water for several hours until things calm down.
The tsunami hit San Diego …

Environment, Issues, News, Politics, Water and the Drought »

U.S., Chinese leaders take on climate at L.A. summit

Posted September 15, 2015 by | 1 Comment | ]

Can local government leaders in the U.S. and China take the lead on fighting climate change?
We could find out over the next couple of days.
Gov. Jerry Brown will be delivering the keynote speech and Vice President Joe Biden will also be in attendance as officials from the U.S. and China open a two-day climate summit in Los Angeles today.
The goal of the summit is …

Arts & Culture, Interviews »

Agness “Aggie” Underwood, the queen of the LA crime beat

Posted September 11, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
Agness "Aggie" Underwood at her desk in 1949, two years after becoming the city editor for the Los Angeles Herald and Express. She kept a baseball bat handy in case she needed to keep overzealous Hollywood press agents in line.

In the first half of the twentieth century, the city of Los Angeles was seen by many as a dangerous place. And newspapers were full of lurid details of bizarre crimes.
For years, the queen of that crime beat was Agness Underwood. “Aggie,” as she was known, covered some of the city’s most sordid murders for the Los Angeles Herald Examiner. By 1930, Aggie had worked her …

Environment, News, Water and the Drought »

Giant sequoias in the path of fast-moving wildfire

Posted September 11, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]

The largest wildfire of the year in California is now threatening one of the state’s natural treasures.
Flames from the stubborn Rough Fire have reversed course and are now closing in on Grant Grove in Kings Canyon National Park, The now-evacuated grove is named for the towering General Grant tree, which stands more than 260 feet tall and is the second largest tree in the …

economy, Environment, Health Care, Issues, News, Politics »

Brown’s climate change agenda hits Capitol roadblock

Posted September 10, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]

It’s been a hectic and eventful week at the State Capitol.
With lawmakers facing a deadline tomorrow to pass bills in the current legislative session, a slew of important measures have been considered, some making it to the governor, and others getting shot down.
One of the biggest stories to come out of the session is the setback delivered to a key component of Gov. Jerry …

economy, Food »

The fight for lost pay after years of wage theft

Posted September 8, 2015 by | 1 Comment | ]
Together with attorney Danielle Lang (R), Maria Vasquez (L) went to the Labor Commission to file a claim. But, nearly a year after her case was heard by the Labor Commission, Maria Vasquez has yet to receive a penny of the wages she says she was owed. Photo: George Lavender

Los Angeles is “The Wage Theft Capital” of the country, according to a 2010 UCLA Labor Center report. The report found that across the city, workers in low-wage jobs are regularly being underpaid or not paid at all. Now, the city is looking to address that issue. When the minimum wage increase passed, the city also took the step of creating it’s own Wage …

Arts & Culture, News »

L.A. Dwellings: Toretto’s House from “The Fast and the Furious”

Posted September 4, 2015 by | 2 Comments | ]

There are certain places in this city that seem to scream “L.A: You Are Here.” Places like the Hollywood sign, the Sunset Strip or the Santa Monica Pier. And then there are the more unexpected landmarks.
The unexpected landmark in question is one Echo Park house which, ironically, became an icon precisely because of how ordinary it looks. It’s a plain white two-story craftsman. No bigger, no smaller …

economy, Issues, News, Politics »

Fixing a gaping hole in California’s road repair budget

Posted September 4, 2015 by | 1 Comment | ]

How much will take to fix California’s crumbling roads and transportation infrastructure?
About $3.5 billion a year, indefinitely, according to Gov. Jerry Brown.
To pay for that, Brown is proposing an annual $65 fee on drivers, as well as increases in taxes on gas and diesel, a crackdown on polluters, and savings from a more efficient Caltrans.
The proposal comes two months after the governor called a …

economy, Education, News, Politics »

Why is the LAUSD building affordable housing?

Posted September 3, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]

If you look around Los Angeles, you’ll see lots of new housing being built, especially in gentrifying neighborhoods like downtown and Hollywood. But most of that housing, whether rental units or condominiums, are luxury units and far too expensive for hundreds of thousands of working L.A. residents to ever live in. And if it needs saying, that’s bad.
Recent studies show that the average renter in …

Issues, News »

New site is lifting the lid on California police records

Posted September 3, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]

Nearly 7,000 people have died in police custody in California over the last quarter century. And black youths are booked into jail at a 25 percent higher rate than whites.
That’s a sampling of the information now available to the public on the Open Justice Initiative, a new website created by the state Department of Justice.
It comes as part of an effort to ease tensions between police and …

Interviews, News »

Why African-Americans are at a greater risk of colon cancer

Posted September 2, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
Dr. Donald Henderson, a gastroenterologist and colorectal cancer specialist, at his office in Inglewood. Photo by Avishay Artsy

Each year, about 140,000 Americans are diagnosed with colon cancer, and more than 50,000 die from it. That’s bad news, but for African-Americans, it’s even worse.
“African-Americans are more likely to get colon cancer, they’re more likely to have an advanced stage of disease when they’re diagnosed with colon cancer, they’re more likely to die from colon cancer and they have shorter survival after diagnosis …

Housed: Life on Skid Row »

Introduction to Housed: Life on Skid Row

Posted September 1, 2015 by | 9 Comments | ]

The most recent census of Los Angeles county’s homeless population found the largest number of unhoused people in the smallest geographic area: 11, 681 in Metro LA. For this series, we focused on the most densely populated neighborhood: the .4 square mile region known as Skid Row. The main thoroughfare is S. San Pedro Street.
Market rate rental units and pricey condos dot the neighborhood and continue …

Health Care, Issues, News »

Executives at non-profit Blue Shield raked in millions

Posted September 1, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]

Health insurer Blue Shield of California is a non-profit, but state officials say it doesn’t act like one.
For starters, some its top executives are getting paid much like their counterparts in the private sector.
A confidential state audit reviewed by the L.A. Times shows that executive compensation soared by 64 percent in 2012, to $61 million.
The health insurer won’t say who got the money – …

News, Sports »

Vin Scully is heading into final inning for the Dodgers

Posted August 31, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]

The end of an era is coming…
Okay, in spite of all evidence to the contrary, we all knew that Vin Scully could not go on forever. Now it’s official, or at least semi-official.
Scully thrilled Dodger fans when he announced that he’ll be back for the 2016 season, his 67th with the club. But the joy in Dodgerville was tempered when, a day later, the …

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