2 pedestrians killed, another in critical condition, after collision at LaBrea & Fountain*


Screengrab from KTLA 5.
Screengrab from KTLA 5.

(Los Angeles / West Hollywood) A vehicle struck at least three pedestrians at the intersection of La Brea & Fountain around 6:30pm this evening. A 65 year old woman was pronounced dead at the scene, and man and woman, both 50, are in critical condition, according to alerts sent by LAFD spokeswoman d’Lisa Davies. The driver of the vehicle was mentioned to have minor injuries and was taken into custody.

*Update (11:30pm): LA Now reports that a second woman has died as a result of her injuries, and the male remains in critical condition.


KCAL9 reports LaBrea is was closed for a few hours in both directions for several blocks while the accident scene, which involved three vehicles, was investigated.

A brief live shot by KTLA news showed a single body covered with a white sheet on the sidewalk just feet from the front doors to High Voltage Tattoos, the main location of the reality series L.A. Ink.

While there is no indication as to the cause of the accident, this intersection, where a red light camera is installed, is notorious for having several serious accidents in past years. Most notably, last July actor Shia LeBouf flipped his pickup truck after being struck by another vehicle. And in December, 2007, another vehicle smashed into the corner of the same building at the southwest corner of Franklin & LaBrea, which a reader at the time noted wasn’t the first time that corner had been struck in an accident.

Felonius Interruptus

The Great Train Robbery (which has nothing to do with this story)
The Great Train Robbery (which has nothing to do with this story)
LA bloggers, myself included, seem to be fond of observing–at least anecdotally–the rise in crime that is accompanying the fall of the stock market: mail theft in Hollywood, hold-up in Studio City, and so on. It seems we all know someone, or several people, who have been victims of a property crime or worse, over the course of the last few months. Having your car window smashed and your GPS stolen is hardly newsworthy, but my friend Bob, who lives in Reseda, has a burglary story that’s man-bites-dog enough to be worth sharing even in the current climate. The events in his own words after the break:  Continue reading Felonius Interruptus

Metblogs readers get a Viva la Greens cooking class discount!

I recently penned a story for the soon-to-be-defunct (now-resurrected and on newsstands thoughout Southern California–hooray!) Whole Life Times featuring a slew of local cooking classes that specialized in “green” courses–whether that was macrobiotic, vegan, gluten-free, what have you. I conducted such long interviews with these folks it seemed a bummer to have to condense it into the little blurbs that appeared in the magazine, and I vowed to myself to follow up with each of the chefs here, on LA Metblogs.

First in that series is Viva la Greens, operated by one Christy Morgan. We spoke via email the other day & she’d be down with offering you folks a Metblogs-reader-only discount on her classes! Y’all would get a whopping $15 off on her classes, from a Vegan Brunch class (“From Banana Pancakes, to Southwest Tofu Scramble, to Walnut Currant Scones, you’ll be able to impress your friends and family with these and more brunch foods you’ll learn in class. All hands-on so bring your apron!”) to a Healthy Decadent Desserts course (“Do you have a sweet tooth but feel guilty indulging in the usual sweets available to you from the grocery store? Join us for a special dessert class where you’ll learn to make your favorite treats all vegan from scratch with natural ingredients and no refined sugar.”) Her “Basics of a Plant-Based Diet” class is $20 off, too, for those of you belatedly attempting to get on top of that “eat healthier” New Year’s Resolution. Yay!

Sounds tasty to me.

Click here for her website & info on local classes.

Getting CERT’ed

It’s fair to say that after reading Emergency I’ve been looking at things a little different and considering a bunch of “what if” situations. One thing that stuck with me was the repeated assurances by rescue workers and authorities that when things go wrong most likely they will NOT be there to take care of you. I’ve actually heard this before first hand but the book was a good reminder.

final_cert_logoBecause of that I thought it would be worth it to look into LA’s Community Emergency Response Team and see about their free training. Turns out I wasn’t the only one looking and starting in May I and several of the authors here are going to be taking their 7 week course and getting our CERT certification. We talk a lot about being prepared for earthquakes and disasters on this site but that usually ends with lists of things you should have in a kit at your house. I’m thinking actual hands on training for these situations will be much more useful.

If you’d like to join us, we’re taking the classes in Silver Lake that start 5/5, however if there are classes closer to you I’d recommend those instead, you know, because of the whole “community” part of it. Plus, those green vests are just dope.

Lie with Me: Grapples with specters of sex, incest

Amber Hamilton and Jon Cohn, photo by Natalie Young
Amber Hamilton and Jon Cohn, photo by Natalie Young

The family that lies together…

By turns profoundly sad and cathartic, Lie with Me, Mutineer Theater‘s debut production at Artworks Theater in Hollywood, is a bracing, in-your-face look at a splintered family’s bleak secrets as one member, the mother (Emily Morrison,) lies comatose in a hospital bed upstage throughout the entire play, bearing (mostly) silent witness to her husband’s and two daughter’s emotional brawl.

Jon Cohn, Mutineer’s artistic director and a company founder, plays Ian, a documentary filmmaker who is in a relationship with Carla (Taylor Hoffman,) the subject of his current project  (which he dreams of seeing picked up by HBO) about a woman who is paid to have sex with men afflicted with physical birth defects. Called home to see her dying mother, Carla tangles with her estranged sister, Susan (Amber Hamilton,) and father (Christian Lebano,) as they come to grips with the specter of incest.

Not an easy subject to tackle– and tackle is the perfect term for what the cast does.  Cohn’s (relatively) decent, everyman character is swatted back and forth among them like a dazed tennis ball. With scalpel-sharp dialogue, the blackest humor and Joe Banno’s pitch-perfect direction, the night I saw it a sold-out audience hung on every ugly word flying between the characters, an evening filled with emotional warfare. Somehow, it was uplifting.

If a line like this, about the emptiness of life, appeals to you, “The emptiness is what’s important. It’s all we really have. It’s not about filling it up,” then this play is for you.

And if Edward Albee, Neil LaBute and Tracy Letts are your cup of scalding tea, then Lie with Me‘s playwright Keith Bridges will add new shadows to your dark world.

Lie with Me, final performances April 3-5, this Friday and Saturday at 8 PM, Sunday at 7 PM. Artworks Theater, 6569 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles 90038

Tickets here. And also discounted on Goldstar.

Buy Buy Tuesday –

In case you hadn’t heard, the State of California is upping the sales tax by one whole point starting April 1st – Wednesday.

Other counties have approved even bigger increases, but for now LA is holding at “just” the increase to 9.25% – whoopee.

Oh and that’s not all: Don’t forget that April 1st is also the day the infamous car tax will double to 1.15 percent.

Since pretty much everyone pays sales tax and (I Wish) car registration, I predict people will officially start leaving California in droves – Way to go, Legislature!

Classic Eats #4: Pasadena Bound!

classiceats2You made your voices heard! We are going to Pasadena for Pie ‘N Burger this Saturday, April 4th. I’ve never been there (hence this series!) so I don’t know how big it is. I’m thinking if we get the usual turnout – 10 to 15 people – it will be crowded with just us, so let’s get there at 5:30pm.

Pie ‘n Burger
913 E. California Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91106
(They have much more than just Pie ‘N Burger on the menu)

Classic Hollywood Cocktails ran a very close second. Don’t forget, if you didn’t get what you voted for this time, it will be on the ballot again for next time.

And if you feel there was any election tampering, click past the jump to see the results.

Looking forward to it!

Continue reading Classic Eats #4: Pasadena Bound!

A video tour of the New Beverly’s projection booth

Ever since I was given a quick peek inside the New Beverly’s projection booth last year I’ve been wanting to return with a video crew to document one of L.A.’s coolest little nooks. Reels of countless trailers from the past 7 or so decades were stacked to the ceiling, and just about every remaining bit of wall space was covered with every calendar/schedule the New Bev had printed since it reopened as a revival house just over 30 years ago. It was a film geek’s paradise.

I still haven’t arranged the video crew for a visit, but last week, FlipCam in hand, projectionist Adam Trash invited up to the booth for brief tour. Here’s the result:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMwwZrSB2U4[/youtube] Continue reading A video tour of the New Beverly’s projection booth

Putting The “Ad” In Bad (next in an occasional series)

cbs2It can probably be argued that the folks over at CBS2.com don’t exercise a lot  of control over which online ads show up with what webcast stories. One might even excuse an awkward pairing between the print version of a story and whatever’s being sold alongside it.

But when the video segment of the story featuring the heartbroken and grieving mother of the USC freshman killed by  a hit-and-run driver gets sandwiched between the  same identical car commercial — the one featuring a Honda driving along the musical road? Yeah, the word “tasteless” comes to mind. No argument. No excuses.

So what should we do with our stimulus package and budget?

Assemblyman Anthony Adams asks just that question in a flyer sent out this week.  Adam represents a gerrymandering stretch of LA county into San B’doo.  His questions are slanted to the conservatives out here, but are interesting food for thought and debate.  (He represents me and most of the northern SGV into La Canada as part of the 59th District).

As a quick sidebar who has seen the “stimulus” in your paychecks?  It amounted to a whopping $30.  We opted to increase the with holdings as it doesn’t look like the actual taxes are going to change and we don’t want to have to write a check at the end of the year next year.   Anyone else care to toss in what they did with their “stimulus”?

To see the 6 questions you need to make the jump.   Continue reading So what should we do with our stimulus package and budget?

Mom chaperone Twitters school field trip

Blogger Debbie Lopez is Twittering a 2nd grade field trip she’s chaperoning to the La Brea Tar Pits.

The average reader may not be too interested in updates such as, “Passing out bananas for snacks” or “We’re getting on the bus figuring out our seating arrangements,” but faculty of Beckford Elementary and the student’s parents may appreciate the microblogging of the day’s events… especially with updated notes on when the kids will be back at the school for pickup, safe and sound.

A very cool example of what Twitter can be used for.

Classic Eats #4: Last Chance to Vote!

classiceats2I’m keeping the poll open for one more day! As of Sunday night, 6:30pm, Classic Hollywood Cocktails is wining, followed by Pasadena Bound (by one vote!).

Click here to go to the survey and make your choice.

Click past the jump to get more details on all the choices.

I’ll close the poll Tuesday morning at 6am and then announce the winning location(s) and details on getting together. Makes those votes count!

Continue reading Classic Eats #4: Last Chance to Vote!

A Day At The Races: Santa Anita

800px-santaanitaentrance_wbToday is my mom-in-law’s birthday (She’s 91!) and we took her to Santa Anita for a lovely lunch and afternoon of very exciting horse racing.  I hadn’t been for years and it was a great time. (It might not have been so great had I not won some $$…but I did!)

Even if you are not into betting on the ponies, having lunch in such a beautiful and historic spot is worth the few bucks for parking and entrance fees. We opted for the Clubhouse ($8.50) and made a reservation at FrontRunner restaurant. Our seats were good, right on the finish line and close to betting windows.  Service was hit or miss, but we were in no hurry, so it wasn’t a huge problem.

There are only a few more weeks of racing at Santa Anita and next week, April 4, is the Santa Anita Derby – the race that Seabiscuit tried and failed at a few times before finally hitting it big there. I’m sure the crowds will be big and gregarious and fun.

Santa Anita Park
Arcadia, California
Just off Baldwin on the 210 freeway

Jump out of the starting gate for more about our adventures in Santa Anita.

(Photo of Santa Anita Park entrance by Elf, used with permission via CC license/share alike 2.5.)

Continue reading A Day At The Races: Santa Anita

The Dogs Take Charge of Dogtown

img_1427I engaged in an important Los Angeles rite of passage today: my first audition. Actually, the audition was for my “nephew” Spencer, a Golden Retriever/Lab mix. I took Spencer over to Venice Beach for the Long Island-based North Shore Animal League’s Tour For Life 2009, billed as “the world’s largest cooperative pet adoption event.”  As the name indicates, Tour For Life is a roving pet adoption event that hits many major cities around the U.S.  But at Venice Beach, we got the added attraction of Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer.”

Continue reading The Dogs Take Charge of Dogtown