So, any news on those Hollywood Surveillance Cameras?

There’s been a kind of ongoing conversation about a slew of LAPD surveillance cameras that have been installed around Hollywood. I’m of the opinion that they don’t make a shred of difference and in fact make us less safe. Not everyone agrees, but that’s where the discussion comes in. Since we’ve been talking about the LAPD today and just to keep that going, I thought I’d point out an interesting article on the subject that addresses some of my concerns. There are some great comments following the article, as well as on Bruce Schneier’s blog where I found the link.

A hypothesis:

1. Human beings are creative and criminals actively try to get around or disable surveillance.

2. Police have limited resources.

3. If cameras are being monitored, police resources are being directed wherever the cameras are being focused. I’m not just talking about time spent by the video-monitor watchers, but where patrol units are sent to respond. By definition, that excludes every other portion of the world where they aren’t looking, which is inevitably SOMEWHERE (or if cameras are everywhere, then you get lapses like in the Atlanta case), so because of (1) above, criminals are inevitably able to adjust to the new environment.

We’re goin’ to the zoo, zoo, zoo

Ahem:

We’re goin’ to the zoo, zoo, zoo
How about you, you, you?
You can come too, too, too
We’re goin’ to the zoo, zoo, zoo.

playpark.jpg Hey, have kids? Are they in need of distraction? Take them to the new kid’s park that opened earlier this month at the zoo, zoo, zoo:

A colorful new children’s park opened at the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens March 3 thanks to a generous $250,000 donation to the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA) by prominent attorney Neil L. Papiano…. [The park] incorporates animal-themed climbing sculptures, large play structures, a toddler area, water misters, grassy landscaping, and a large picnic area, is accessible to all children visiting the Zoo, including those with medical and physical challenges.

(full press release)

Indian Film Fest Needs Volunteers

indianfilmfest.gifYour hours at the Indian Film Fest at the Arclight Cinemas get you into the screenings for free. They have a huge slate of offerings.

Their volunteer orientation is this Saturday, April 2nd at 10 AM at the ArcLight. Check out their volunteer page.

The festival runs April 20th to the 24th and features shorts, documentaries and features. Tickets are $11 for individual shows and passes are available.
Continue reading Indian Film Fest Needs Volunteers

How much is the LAPD costing you?

Mack over at LAVoice.org is pissed off that he (and I, and you) have to foot the bill for some members of the LAPD “bending” some of the rules, repeatedly. He asks:

“We paid for the Rodney King beating, and the bill from the resulting riots. We’ll probably pay for the Devin Brown shooting, too. But so far, we’ve agreed to pay $70.2 million to settle some of the lawsuits filed by 214 people – mostly drug dealers, gang members and other crooks, according to the Times – who had their civil rights stomped into the dirt by the cowboys of the LAPD Rampart division.

Did anyone else get the memo on this? A little note in your Los Angeles property or business tax bill saying, ‘Sorry your taxes are higher this week because the Rampart Division CRASH unit was a cesspool of corruption last decade’? Me neither …”

I’ve said this before, but law enforcement is there to, imagine this, enforce the law – not to break it. They have to play by the same rules you and I do, even if some of them like to think they don’t. I’m very pro police officers and happy to give them a certain amount of power to keep things in order, and very anti those who want more power and abuse that which has been entrusted to them.

Turning Japanese

One thing I’ve noticed about living in LA is how I tend to stay tethered to the beaten path of ‘my neighborhood’. That can be a good thing, but every once in a while I get crazy and push the borders of my universe. Lately, I’ve been exploring downtown which has turned into a wealth of great finds. One place that has really caught my fancy is the Mitsuwa Marketplace at Alameda and 3rd….333 S. Alameda Street to be exact. It’s a super-sized Japanese grocery store attached to a mall in the heart of ‘Little Tokyo”. Although the whole “Little Tokyo” thing is beyond me…the area certainly doesn’t compare to the craziness and bustle of Tokyo….but it IS full of great shiatsu massage joints, shabu-shabu shops and some darn good ice cream!!
At Mitsuwa Market, you get the freshest and cheapest fish and seafood I’ve ever found in LA. Every single time IĆ­ve gone in, the fish is stunningly good. And there is a whole aisle of green tea….nirvana to me. And another whole aisle devoted to Sake and Beer. The produce section always has at least four kinds of mushrooms and if you don’t like to cook….there’s a whole section of prepared yummy looking food to go. Check it out; the parking is free with a receipt from the store.

“I build a rhyme some times it climbs so erect”

caltrans121202-2.jpg If you are at all into the architecture of Los Angeles, then Architectural Digest has got your fix. This year, the magazine will be conducting Architecture Days, “including lectures by leading architects, customized tours, receptions in amazing spaces and more” in three major U.S. cities. From April 27th through May 3rd, the events are in LA (then Chicago and NYC).

Special access to amazing spaces organized by architours. Each tour offers the chance to mingle with the project’s designer/architect over refreshments. All tours include shuttle service. Proceeds benefit the Association for Women in Architecture Scholarship Fund.

(via Gridskipper)

Bleed Like Me…

2005_03_31_garbage.jpgAlbum listening parties seem to be the type of promotional event that record labels seem to be hosting to attract interest in their artists’ upcoming releases.

Geffen is employing that same approach for Garbage‘s upcoming Bleed Like Me, whose release occurs the night before the band’s performance at the Wiltern on Monday, April 11th:

4/1 Los Angeles, CA – Underground – 7323 Santa Monica Blvd. W. Hollywood, CA 90046 (between La Brea & Fairfax)

4/9 Los Angeles, CA – Bang! – 7070 Hollywood Blvd.

Pro Wrestling Guerrilla…

2005_03_31_rey_mysterio.jpgVince McMahon and his roster of WWE RAW and SmackDown! Superstars and Divas are currently in town this week since Wrestlemania 21 takes place this Sunday at Staples Center.

Several personal appearances are happening in and around town to promote the pay-per-view. On Thursday at noontime, on Hollywood Blvd. between Highland and Orange, there will be a free preview of WrestleMania 21, including exhibition matches, and at 7:00 PM at the House of Blues, THQ will host its Third Annual Superstar Videogame Challenge.

2005_03_31_kurt_angle.jpgBut apart from Shawn Michaels vs. Kurt Angle and Eddie Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio, this yearly event really doesn’t have that epic feel of past years. I mean, how can WWE truly “Go Hollywood” without even a cameo appearance by arguably their most successful graduate, The Rock?

Which is why for the first time in several years, I won’t even be watching it. Instead, I’ll be checking out Pro Wrestling Guerrilla‘s All Star Weekend this Friday and Saturday at the Hollywood-Los Feliz JCC, featuring a very strong lineup of wrestlers whom many insiders consider to be the best on the independent circuit.

2005_03_31_frankie_kaz.jpg

More photos after the jump.
Continue reading Pro Wrestling Guerrilla…

Open Season on the Freeway

There has been speculation since yesterday’s fatal wreck on the 110 that the driver who lost control of his car and caused the pile up was shot. A little over an hour ago the LAPD held a press conference confirming that and requesting the public’s assistance in the investigation. I’ve been looking all over and can’t find any online news talking about that press conference so I don’t have any info on it. Yesterday’s reports were very vague and blaming everything from gangs to road rage so I’m really interested in what the official story is at this point. Shell casings found on the freeway suggest shots were fired from another car and not a sniper as some people originally guessed and there’s no witnesses which is kind of nuts. Has anyone seen any news about this or heard a live report from the radio? The press conference was at 4:00 PM so anything before that wouldn’t be the most up to date info. I’ll post more when I hear it.

UPDATE: From this morning’s Times:

Livingston apparently died from a gunshot wound to the head, Lemos said. He said three shell casings were found at the scene.

“It appears that it was some type of road rage,” he said. “There is no indication that there is gang involvement.”

Investigators are trying to verify a witness account that Livingston was racing and determine whether that played a role, said Capt. Kenneth Garner.

From actor to puppeteer to clothing designer…

Malkovich!

John Malkovich’s 2005-2006 Men’s Wear Line To Be Showcased at The Performing Garage

John Malkovich, the renowned stage and screen actor, is also the designer of the Uncle Kimono clothing line — and he will showcase his autumn/winter 2005-2006 men’s wear collection at a trunk sale to be held at The Performing Garage (33 Wooster Street) in SoHo on Saturday, April 16, from 10am to 5pm. A percentage of the proceeds will benefit The Wooster Group.

[full story]

(via the Gas Leaking Sean Bonner)

LAPD: No Longer allowed to shoot at unarmed people in cars, shoot another unarmed guy in a car.

Anyone else not surprised at all? Here’s the link to the LA Times story if you want the full scoop. And here’s a snip:

Los Angeles police officers shot and wounded an unarmed robbery suspect who was backing his car toward them early Tuesday, less than two months after the LAPD adopted strict rules designed to prevent firing at moving vehicles.

Investigators said they were still trying to determine why the three officers opened fire and whether they complied with the new policy. The rules, adopted Feb. 16 by the Los Angeles Police Commission, say officers cannot shoot at a moving vehicle unless they or bystanders are in imminent danger.

Now before the comments get full of “F U C0mmie FAG!! HE WuZ BAKING in2 teh C0ps!!1! Thiz bl0g is teh sux0rz!11!!!” let’s clear up the new rule – “imminent danger” would mean the cops getting out of the way on their own would not be an option – which doesn’t seem to be the case in these *very early, not very detailed* reports. OK, there you have it.