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Downtown L.A. warehouse is hyperloop headquarters

Posted March 25, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]

Downtown L.A. is in the loop – the hyperloop, that is.
A nondescript warehouse downtown is the incubator for a fledgling technology that proponents say has the power to whisk travelers between L.A. and San Francisco in about half an hour.
Hyperloop Technologies Inc. has leased the bulk of a 6,500-square-foot warehouse and is ramping up staffing there. That company and others housed in the building …

Arts & Culture »

Who built the burned-downed DaVinci?

Posted December 8, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Photo via Twitter: Adrienne FitzPatrick

The LA Times reports that the fire that ravaged a Downtown LA apartment building overnight is being investigated as a criminal fire.
Although blazes “of this magnitude” are always treated as criminal fires, “it’s very rare for the entire building to be engulfed at once,” Capt. Jaime Moore told the Los Angeles Times.
“There may have been some foul play.”
Flames shot up into the night sky in the early …

economy, Issues, News »

Think your rent is pricey now? Just wait until 2016

Posted October 7, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]

How much are you paying for rent right now?
Well, a new study says that if you’re a typical Southern California renter – you can expect to add about 8 to 10 percent to that monthly payment in two years.
USC’s Lusk Center for Real Estate projects that the average rent in L.A. County will be $1,856 by mid-2016, an 8.2 percent increase. In Orange County, …

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

Beds for bucks: L.A. mulls major tax breaks for hotels

Posted June 24, 2014 by | 3 Comments | ]

The L.A. City Council considers giving nearly $180 million in tax subsidies to two big downtown hotel projects. And that could be just the start. The biggest immediate beneficiary would be the long-delayed Frank Gehry-designed Grand Avenue project, which includes housing retail and restaurants, in addition to a hotel. The development would receive $138 million over the next 25 years, according to the L.A. …

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

$500 million goof for state’s unemployment agency

Posted March 14, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]

The bad news is piling up for California’s Employment Development Department. A new state audit says the agency responsible for paying out unemployment claims missed out on more than $500 million in revenue available through a new federal program that allows states to tap the tax returns of people who were overpaid benefits. The Department is billions in the red because of persistently high …

Issues, News, Politics »

Former Bell leaders pressed to cop to more crimes

Posted February 17, 2014 by | 2 Comments | ]

Prosecutors are reportedly offering maximum four year prison terms to former Bell City Council members who were convicted of stealing taxpayer money last year – less time than they are currently facing. But first the former city leaders will have to plead guilty to additional charges. As it stands, Oscar Hernandez, Teresa Jacobo, Victor Bello, George Cole and George Mirabal are facing up to …

Press Play's Faultines »

Fault Lines: Downtown’s Spring Arcade Building

Posted February 12, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Uli Nasibova and Ryan Vaillancourt run Gelateria Uli in the Spring Arcade Building, Downtown Los Angeles.

Downtown Los Angeles is on the way up. GQ magazine recently called it the coolest downtown in America, and the New York Times announced that it was one of the 52 places to visit in 2014. To which we here in Los Angeles reply: duh. Cool restaurants, hip bars, fresh art galleries… What’s not to love?
Not so long ago, downtown looked a whole lot …

Arts & Culture, Environment, Interviews, News »

Police cracking down on jaywalking in downtown LA

Posted December 11, 2013 by | 2 Comments | ]
A downtown Los Angeles crosswalk. Photo by Cameron Parkins via Flickr/CC.

This holiday season maybe you’re thinking about going to downtown Los Angeles to shop, see a show, go ice skating.
Well, make sure you obey the walk/don’t walk signs at intersections, and don’t cross in the middle of the street. The police are cracking down on jaywalkers downtown.
KCRW’s Madeleine Brand has this story:

Here’s what it could cost you if you get a ticket for jaywalking: …

Arts & Culture, Issues, Sports »

Covered California vastly overstated web site traffic

Posted October 3, 2013 by | 0 Comments | ]

State officials crowed about the massive response Covered California received the first day the new healthcare exchange was up and running. Five million web site hits! But it turns out that was more than a slight exaggeration. That actual number was more like 650,000. Covered California officials blame the faulty count on “internal miscommunication.” The web site is back up and running after being …

Education, Issues, Politics, Sports, Today's News »

Governor and Senate Democrats reach prison accord; Broadway streetcar line loses traction; School testing

Posted September 10, 2013 by | 13 Comments | ]
n 2006, California prisons were forced to house inmates using double and triple bunking in gyms and day rooms. Since then, overcrowding has been reduced by 43,000 inmates, from 200 to 150 percent of capacity. Photo: California Department of Corrections

Prison plan. There’s agreement in Sacramento on how California will respond to the federal court order requiring the state to reduce prison overcrowding. The deal comes between Governor Jerry Brown and California legislative leaders, who have been at odds over how to proceed.
Brown’s original plan was to increase capacity by leasing additional beds.
But Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg balked at spending hundreds of …

Arts & Culture, News »

Infusing the freeways with art: Mural conservancy restores hidden gems

Posted March 13, 2013 by | 7 Comments | ]

I had to wear a hard hat and day-glo vest to see the murals on the 101.  All you need to do is gaze safely out of the window of your car. A million people ride through downtown each day, and, bit by bit, they’re being reintroduced to thirty-year old bursts of color, in the form of murals.
The artworks were first commissioned for the 1984 …

Education, Interviews, Issues, News »

New downtown charter school raises questions about gentrification, diversity

Posted February 27, 2013 by | 10 Comments | ]

Downtown LA’s population has more than quadrupled in the past decade. Many of the new arrivals are families with young children, and they say there aren’t enough good public schools in the area.
Last year, a group of downtown parents decided to start their own elementary school. Metro Charter was approved by the LA school board this month and is scheduled to open in the …

Arts & Culture, economy, Environment, Issues, Recent Shows, Warren Olney »

Closing in on approval of a football stadium in Downtown LA

Posted September 12, 2012 by | 0 Comments | ]
Warren Olney

For years, the powerful developer AEG has been working to bring the NFL back to Los Angeles with a 76,000-seat stadium downtown. It appears that the wait is all over except for two more meetings by the Planning Commission this week and the City Council two weeks from now. LA Times columnist Jim Newton says, “If there are concessions left to get, now’s the time to get them…”

Food, News, Recent Shows »

The last days of King Eddy?

Posted August 22, 2012 by | 4 Comments | ]
Younger people flock to King Eddy in the evenings, but during the day the older regulars rule the barstools.

Los Angeles is thought to be a city infatuated with the bright and shiny, the new and youthful. So, how to explain the King Eddy Saloon?
This downtown-Los Angeles watering hole, on the corner of Los Angeles and 5th street, has been open and serving drinks for over 90 years. Over the decades, it has not only survived business booms and busts, but also Prohibition. …

Arts & Culture, economy, Environment, News »

Grand Park set to be unveiled

Posted July 24, 2012 by | 6 Comments | ]

Grand Park, downtown’s largest open space, is set to be unveiled on Thursday. The 12-acre park will transform four blocks of downtown’s Civic Center, next to City Hall. But not everyone thinks the park is a positive development.
The park is located in what’s otherwise an ugly block of cement office buildings. It’s bordered by the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration and the Stanley Mosk …

Bad Driving, economy, News, Video »

A smarter way to park in downtown LA?

Posted May 23, 2012 by | 0 Comments | ]
By Haymarketrebel via Flickr

Los Angeles traffic authorities have unveiled a new pricing plan for street parking in nearly all of downtown L.A., one that uses “smart” street meters that change the cost of parking depending on demand. When demand is high, say in the middle of the day, you’ll pay more to feed the meter. When demand is lower, like on the weekends,  prices will drop. The …

Arts & Culture, economy, Interviews, Issues, News, Politics, Recent Shows, Warren Olney »

LAPD admits racial profiling, Coliseum scandal highlights rave

Posted March 27, 2012 by | 0 Comments | ]
Warren Olney

For the first time, an LA Police Department investigation concludes that an officer has engaged in racial profiling, specifically, a white cop who targets Latino drivers. Is he just one bad apple or is the LAPD opening a can of worms? Also, we update the case of bribery and embezzlement against former managers of LA’s Memorial Coliseum and promoters of what law enforcement calls …

Arts & Culture, News »

50 Cents to travel with ‘Angels’

Posted March 7, 2012 by | 2 Comments | ]

The world’s shortest railway is going to cost twice as much to ride. Downtown L.A.’s Angels Flight is raising its fare from 25 cents to 50 cents starting next Monday. The distinctive orange and black rail cars, named Olivet and Sinai, shuttle passengers between Hill Street and the California Water Court atop Bunker Hill. The trip lasts about a minute and covers 298 feet.
Angels …

Arts & Culture, Environment, Issues, News »

Action downtown! Take that, Westsiders!

Posted February 29, 2012 by | 0 Comments | ]

(update, Thursday AM: a line of cement trucks and a bevy of workers are pouring concrete on the second level of the Broad.)
Each day down here is a steady reminder of the construction boom all around my beloved downtown.  This, for instance, is what we see when we look out of our apartment windows: the unfolding wonder of the Broad Museum.
If you’re a Westside …

Video »

Video: Olvera Street 1937

Posted January 30, 2012 by | 0 Comments | ]

LA Observed and posted this video from the archives. It’s nostalgic and wistful and full of stereotypes… how many can you count?

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