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Union Station on track for major rail expansion

TRAIN

L.A. transportation officials are planning a major upgrade of the tracks at Union Station. The $350 million project would enable Amtrak and Metrolink trains to run straight through the historic terminal, instead of having to enter and exit the station through the sole existing entrance on the north side. Under the plan, new tracks will extend from the south end of the terminal and …

California Elections, Headline »

What to know about the ‘down ballot’ races when you vote

There are an enormous number of candidates on the June 3 ballot. Just the statewide races include Governor, Lt. Governor, Secretary of State, Controller, Treasurer, Attorney General, Insurance Commissioner, Superintendent for Public Instruction and various seats for California's Board of Equalization. There are also two statewide ballot initiatives. But that's not all! There are also all of the county by county elections in the state. (Photo: Saul Gonzalez)

Do you recognize any of the following names: Akinyemi Agbede, Joe Leicht, Alma Marie Winston? No? They’re among the 15 people running for the state’s highest office, Governor of California.  There are eight more people running for Lt. Governor, seven candidates for Attorney General and eight on the ballot for Secretary of State.
The June 3rd election is just around the corner. It’s a day …

Education, Headline, Issues, News, Politics, water »

One after another, U.C. campuses honor slain students

ivivgil

There are no classes at U.C. Santa Barbara today. The campus is taking a time out to mourn the murders of six students by mentally disturbed loner Elliot Rodger. A memorial for the victims of the rampage is planned for 4 p.m. at UCSB. It’s expected to draw thousands of students and community members. About 2,500 people turned out for a vigil on the …

Education, Headline, Interviews, News »

A student’s deadly rampage stuns Santa Barbara

Isla Vista murder victims. Top row from left to right: Weihan Wang, George Chen, Cheng Yuan Hong. Bottom row from left to right: Christopher Martinez, Katie Cooper, Veronika Weiss

Police say the 22-year-old who went on a killing rampage on and near the UC Santa Barbara campus was obsessed with exacting “retribution” for a lifetime of isolation he said he experienced.
Authorities say after Elliot Rodger killed three people in his apartment, he shot and killed three other people at random Friday, and injured 13 more with either gunshots or with his car.
Rodger’s parents …

Education, Environment, Headline, Issues, News, Summer, water »

New carpool lane means smooth(er) sailing on 405

405

Finally…After years of construction, Carmegeddons and untold traffic-induced headaches, the carpool lane on the northbound 405 between West L.A. and Sherman Oak is now open for business. The $1.1 billion freeway improvement project was beset by delays and cost overruns and has been a major source of griping for L.A. drivers over the past four years. Transit officials say the carpool lane will shave …

Arts & Culture, economy, Education, Environment, Headline, Issues, News, Politics, Sports »

Billions of barrels of Monterey Shale oil out of reach

montereyshale

Federal officials have dramatically slashed estimates of the amount of oil that can be recovered from the Monterey Shale, a huge formation of rock under parts of the Central Coast and San Joaquin Valley. The new numbers could put a major damper on efforts to exploit the Shale, which some have called a potential bonanza for California. With current technology, the Monterey Shale could …

economy, Education, Environment, Food, Headline, Issues, News, Politics, water »

Growing pains: Drought taking a toll on Ag Industry

drought

A new report puts a partial price tag on California’s drought. U.C. Davis researchers say the state’s rainfall deficit could force Central Valley farmers to fallow more than 400,000 acres of land, or six percent of the total. That’s projected to cost the state’s the agricultural industry $1.7 billion and result in the loss of more than 14,000 jobs. Growers are facing a 32-percent …

economy, Environment, Headline, Issues, News »

Unseasonal heat may have triggered Marina fish kill

fishkill

Heaps of dead anchovies, some stingrays and even an octopus rose to the ocean’s surface in Marina del Rey this weekend, creating a massive stink and a challenging clean-up for the state Department of Fish and Wildlife. One biologist says the massive fish kill could be due to a lack of oxygen in the water caused by the recent heat wave. The dead fish …

Arts & Culture, Headline, News, Politics »

The Berlin Wall comes to Los Angeles

The longest stretch of original Berlin Wall segments outside of Germany, on Wilshire Boulevard opposite of LACMA, brought here by the Wende Museum.

This year marks 25 years since the Berlin Wall came down. The ultimate symbol of the Cold War ran through the heart of Berlin, separating East and West Germany. While most of it was destroyed, the longest stretch of the Berlin Wall outside of Germany is in Los Angeles. There are ten original segments on Wilshire Boulevard, across the street from LACMA.
There are lots …

Arts & Culture, Education, Headline, Issues, News, Politics, Sports »

Wildfires: The (long) season of living dangerously

sdfires

A badly burned body has been found in a transient camp in Carlsbad – the first apparent death connected to a series of wildfires ranging in San Diego County. At least five fires continue to burn, with homes threatened and thousands of residents under mandatory evacuation orders. Two teenagers have been arrested on suspicion of trying to spark brush fires in Escondido and investigators …

Education, Environment, Headline, Issues, News, Politics »

LAPD officers may have lied about violent ‘ambush’

LAPDATTACK

When two L.A. police officers were attacked by a gunman outside the Mid-City station last year, Chief Charlie Beck called it – quote – “a blatant attempt to assassinate two of the people who protect the community.” By now the L.A. Times reports questions are being raised about whether the attack happened at all. A new report by LAPD Inspector General Alex Bustamante says …

economy, Headline, Issues, News, Politics, Sports »

O.C. moves to treat mentally ill without their consent

laura'slaw

Orange County will become the first large county to implement Laura’s Law, a California statute that allows for the forced treatment of people with severe mental illnesses. California lawmakers passed Laura’s Law in 2002. It’s named for mental health worker Laura Wilcox, who was killed by a patient who had refused psychiatric treatment. The law gives courts the power to order anti-psychotic drugs or …

California Elections, Headline »

Listen to the LA County Supervisors Debate

L-R

On Tuesday’s Which Way, LA? Warren sat down with four of the eight candidates to fill Zev Yaroslavky’s seat on the LA County Board of Supervisors.
With 2 million residents, the 3rd supervisorial district runs from the San Fernando Valley to Santa Monica and from Westlake Village to Hollywood.  The Supervisors manage a $26 billion budget—spending more than all but a few states.  There are …

economy, Environment, Food, Headline, Issues, News, Politics, Sports »

Let the haggling begin: budget season in Sacramento

brownbudget

Gov. Jerry Brown will lay out his revised budget today – with roughly $2 billion more in the state’s coffers than anticipated when his initial spending plan was released a few months ago. How the governor proposes to spend that extra revenue has been the subject of much speculation and debate. Majority Democrats in the Legislature are clamoring for increased spending on social services …

Education, Environment, Headline, Issues, News, Politics, Sports »

Donald Sterling: I was ‘baited’ into racist remarks

STERLING

Donald Sterling has broken his silence. The embattled owner of the L.A. Clippers made his first public comments since being banned from the NBA for life for offensive remarks about blacks. In an interview with CNN, a distraught Sterling acknowledged telling a female friend that he didn’t want her to bring blacks to Clipper games, but he says he was “baited.” Sterling insists he’s …

Headline, Interviews, Issues, LA Noir, Politics »

Mixer: County lockup and Clippers lockout

friday mixer square

Douglas Morino reports for the newly-created Los Angeles Register, and  Ben Bolch covers the NBA for the LA Times. They both joined us for this week’s Mixer.
The LA County Board of Supervisors, who voted this week to approve a nearly $2 billion plan to tear down and then rebuild Men’s Central Jail and build a campus-like women’s jail at the former Mira Loma Detention Center.
Central …

Arts & Culture, Headline, News »

Transition to digital leaves Hollywood without film

The Vineland Drive-In Movie Theater is on of the last surviving drive-ins in Southern California. It has a retro, well-worn feel to it, but the Vineland's converted to projecting its movies digitally instead of on film. "We were forced to transition to the digital system because they are going to stop making 35 millimeter print, so either you change, or you won't get any movies eventually, say Juan Gonzalez, the Vineland's general manager. (Photo: Saul Gonzalez)

Hollywood is in the midst of a titanic technological shift as it moves from shooting and distributing its movies on film, long the raw material of the movie business, to digital formats. While some are prospering as cinema goes digital, others are casualties of the change. There are small armies of people who once worked in Hollywood’s enormous film processing labs. These were the …

Environment, Headline, Health Care, Issues, News, Politics, Sports »

Pres. Obama makes another cash call in California

USC Shoah Foundation's 20th Anniversary Gala - Show

President Barack Obama has made 17 visits to California since taking office in 2009. More than half have been strictly for fundraising, and 13 of the 17 have involved at least one fundraising event. Folks like Barbara Streisand and Dreamworks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg paid a minimum of $10,000 to hear Obama make a short speech last night at the home of Disney Studios Chairman …

Arts & Culture, Headline, Health Care, Issues, News, Politics »

Critics blast L.A. County’s planned $2 billion jails fix

menscentral

A divided L.A. County Board of Supervisors has voted to move forward with a $2 billion plan to replace the dangerous and overcrowded downtown Men’s Central Jail. The County will also undertake an extensive study of how it can keep mentally ill individuals out of the jail system. The plan calls for a new 4,800-bed jail next to the current jail downtown. The facility …

economy, Environment, Headline »

Did Metro build a perpetual motion machine?

Metro's turbine installation. Courtesy of LA Metro

As Deputy Executive Officer for Environmental Compliance Services for Metro, Cris Liban’s job is to find ways to save energy in the subway. “My staff and I were standing one day on the platform and somebody lost his toupee,” he explained. “We realized the wind in the subway is strong. Maybe we can harness it.”
His colleagues decided to test a wind turbine—a device that …

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