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by frazgo

Comedian Phyllis Diller dies at age 95.

1:29 pm in News, Obituaries, People by frazgo

Funny lady and long time Angeleno (Brentwood to be precise) passed away today.  There is a great article in the LA times about her HERE.  There is more on her life HERE in the wiki.

RIP and thanks for all the laughs over the years.

Do turn up the audio on the video as it isn’t that good of a sound quality.

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by frazgo

Community Policing, LAPD says this is why we are becoming one of the safest cities in the U.S.

10:46 am in Crime, News, Social issues, The Valley by frazgo

When I was a Valley dweller back when we were first married in Valley Village our neighborhood started experiencing gang related activity and auto thefts.  We were in the LAPD’s North Hollywood divisions policing territory.  They worked with us to establish a Neighborhood Watch and worked with us on a variety of community issues.  We became friends with several of the officers that patrolled our area. Community Policing now as outlined in the video has grown and is helping to make the neighborhoods in North Hollywood safer.

On a sidebar if you haven’t subscribed to the LAPD’s YouTube channel yet you might want to consider as aside from the infomercials and PSA’s they also have regular crime tips and vids seeking info on crimes.  You can subscribe on their channel HERE.

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by frazgo

Help a Whittier Student win a 25K scholarship, vote for her video.

8:44 am in Driving, Events, News, People by frazgo

The video is by Whittier student Kimberly Schiazza.  It was entered in the Bridgestone Teen Drive Smart video contest. The contest entailed them making a PSA on distracted driving.  She made it to the finals, its up to the votes to determine if she get’s the 25K prize.

The video is simply titled “Save a Life” and is in the top 10 of those submitted.  You can vote HERE.  (More on the contest HERE). Voting ends July 23 at 11:59 PM Eastern Time. The top three videos will be announced August 1 on Teens Drive Smart.

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by ruth666

Please tell the City not to ban medical marijuana collectives!

3:45 pm in Crime, Law, Law Enforcement, News, Politics, Rants by ruth666

UPDATE:

We just received word that the vote, and all action at City Hall, has been POSTPONED until further notice.

Please continue to Support Unionized Medical Cannabis Workers, and your right to Safe Access, in LA by writing a letter to your council person at www.ufcw770.org/cannabis.

Sorry for any inconvenience. Here’s my original post:

The city is set to vote to ban collectives this Friday.

Yes, you read that right.

Currently there are 8 votes in favor of banning ALL L.A. medical marijuana collectives. In order to overturn that, we need to make sure Busciano, LaBonge, or Krekorian lean in our favor. If all three of them vote to ban… It’s referendum time.

Unless we turn just ONE VOTE by Friday, all LA collectives will be banned.

To be clear, there could very well be 8 votes to ban right now because 3 of those votes have been holding their cards close to their chest.

If you can (and you care) please show up this Friday, June 22, 2012 at 9am, at LA City Hall East () for a press conference with Union Members, Patients, and Community Allies, to preserve safe access. This is important and very real; your voice can help keep collectives open to the law-abiding citizens who use them.

Please call and write to your councilmember in the meantime: www.ufcw770.org/cannabis

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Hey Is That A Planet On Your Thumb Or Is Venus In Transit?

3:43 pm in News, Science by Will Campbell

My first effort to document the last transiting Venus that any of us’ll ever see, ain’t much to crow about, but here’s what I got at 3:35 p.m. as the sun shined through my 20X spotting scope onto a piece of paper on my Silver Lake front porch as I took the snapshot with one hand and used my other to give some contrast to the blinding rays reflecting on the blinding paper, while trying not to move lest the scope shake like a polaroid picture.

Annular eclipses are soooooooo much easier to shoot.

UPDATE (4:35 p.m.): Here’s one that’s a bit more civilized after the jump, shot at 4:11 p.m. I’ll add any later ones that might be worthy of sharing.

Read the rest of this entry →

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How Fast Did The Amgen Tour Of California Cyclists Come Blasting Through Silver Lake Yesterday?

9:06 am in Biking in LA, LA, News, Sports by Will Campbell

This fast and this close:

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Temporary Tattoo aka Solar Eclipse @ 6:38PM

6:50 pm in Events, News, Science by Will Campbell

As projected at its maximum through a spotting scope at 20X magnification from the front porch of our Silver Lake house. It buuuuuuuurns! It buuuuuuuuuuuuurns!

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Time Is On Our Side

5:25 pm in Entertainment, History, LA, News, Science, Theatre/Stage by Will Campbell

It's NOT the end of the world as we know it, says Griffith Observatory Planetarium lecturer Kelley Hazen, just the daze of our lives.

I got an invite last week to come to a media preview of Time’s Up, the Griffith Observatory’s new planetarium show, so in between Good Samaritan Hospital’s never-miss Blessing of the Bikes yesterday morning and a long-overdue physical exam that afternoon, I biked up the hill to one of my favorite places in Los Angeles to take advantage of the Observatory’s hospitality and see how and why they decided to counter the anxiety being produced by those doomsdayers dead-set in their belief that the Mayans predicted the world to end this coming December 21 and that it’s so going to happen.

The answers are with a provocative and eye-popping new program in the Samuel Oschin Planetarium that opens on the beach next to the Santa Monica Pier, serene for a few moments until meteors start raining explosively down upon the westside, a huge tsunami closes in and a rogue planet grows larger as it bears down on its collision course with earth — accompanied by flying monkeys, of course.

Inside joke: Pictured during this doomsday scene is Lifeguard Station No. 5150. Since most of the station IDs are no more than two digits, I’m betting this was done in snarktastic reference to the police code that’s basically short for bugged-out basketcase kRaAzEe.

But just when all seems lost, Planetarium Lecturer Kelley Hazen steps in bearing a beautifully illuminated and illuminating hourglass to put a freezeframe to all the apocalyptic nonsense and go on with a visually stunning and intellectually compelling show that counters folly with fact and explores what time is all about.

Read the rest of this entry →

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Moon Shot

9:08 pm in Events, News, Science, Seasonal by Will Campbell

I’m a sucker for a fuller-than-usual moon and couldn’t wait for tonight’s so-called Super Moon to rise high enough to be visible from ground-level in my backyard. So, shortly after it rose tonight, I scrambled up to the tippy-top of my steeply pitched roof in Silver Lake and at 8:54 p.m., put my point-and-shoot camera up to the eyepiece of tripod-mounted 60x spotting scope and shot this frame (click it to biggify):

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Can LA Get a Do-Over?

10:00 am in History, LA, News, Politics, Social issues by Chris Corning

Will Campbell's Manzanar Photo

Will Campbell's Manzanar Photo - click through for post

Sure, Angelenos are no strangers to the concept of a makeover. But when it comes to an egregious error on the part of elected officials—decades in the past—is it possible to get a do-over? County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas thinks that it might be possible, at least, for the LA County Board of Supervisors to try to facilitate some healing regarding one serious misstep taken by the board in 1942.

Specifically, when our country decided that certain broad swipes of our populace could not be trusted based solely on their ancestry, the LA County Board of Supervisors voted 70 years ago to pass a resolution urging the President of the US and Congress to proceed with internment as soon as possible. According to one of his aides, current LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas will introduce a motion to repeal that resolution at the 5 June 2012 meeting of the board.

We’ve blogged about the internment at blogging.la before, here and here. (And by “we” I mean Will Campbell!) It is certainly a dark page in the past of our nation, and one that we would like to think is mostly behind us. Alas, in the post-9/11 attitude toward Middle-Eastern Americans and the ongoing atmosphere of racial profiling and harassment that thrives under Joe Arpaio, perhaps that page hasn’t fully been turned just yet.

Still, steps such as this move by Ridley-Thomas—which on its face may appear not to change much of anything—can help to push the dialogue of greater racial tolerance and perhaps prevent further injustice as we progress as Angelenos, as Americans, as humans. In fact, this move will help to highlight the progress Los Angeles has made in overcoming institutional racism, as current Chief Executive Officer of LA County, William Fujioka, and the LA County Board’s Executive Officer, Sachi Hamai, are both Japanese Americans.

That, and everyone’s favorite Japanese-American actor and celebrity, George Takei, will also attend the board meeting and offer testimony in support of Ridley-Thomas’ motion. Goodness knows he’s familiar with the challenges of being a second-class citizen.

In the gallery below, view the board’s resolution as it was passed in January 1942.

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by frazgo

Militant Angeleno explains how to jump the LA Times Paywall

6:51 am in Blogging (in) LA, LA, News, People by frazgo

Not happy with the LA Times decision to set up a paywall limiting you to content on the LA Times Web?  Blogger and ever diligent lover of all things LA has a way for you to overcome the paywall limits and is explained entirely in his post HERE.  Happy reading.

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A Moving Moment With The LACMA Rock

12:25 pm in Art, Events, LA, News, Transportation by Will Campbell

On the final day of its journey from Riverside County to its new home at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, I opted to bike down to South Los Angeles with my friend Joni because we’re a couple of those kook types who thought it would be da schist to pull a literal all-night “boulder dash” and follow the 340-ton rock along the entire length of the last 10.5 miles to the museum. Call it Levitated Mass Transit.

Your enthusiasm may vary, but the trek was a total once-in-a-dozen-lifetimes blast. And while its moment of arrival in front of LACMA at 4:30 a.m. was cause for celebration among the hundreds gathered in attendance, for me the most dramatic moment happened above in Exposition Park at the bend in Figueroa Street just south of Exposition Boulevard when the 200-foot long, three-lane-wide transport vehicle had to negotiate its first turn of the night, and its right front corner came within what looked to be less than an inch of making contact with a speed limit sign. As the spotter says to me at the end, “If you’ve got a half-inch, you’ve got a mile.”

Gneissly and successfully avoided.

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by frazgo

Protest against Walmart’s proposed Chinatown grocery store today at 1PM

8:55 am in Downtown, Events, News, Politics, Social issues by frazgo

LAANE logo

LAANE cause logo

Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE) is the group spear heading the protest of the small neighborhood style grocery store that Walmart wants to open.  I am familiar with the market as I have seen them in Las Vegas where they have been for a couple of years.  The groc to a degree is similar to Fresh and Easy or Trader Joe’s in size and marketing.

LAANE takes exception to the store on several levels.  First is that the city and its residents can’t afford to subsidize benefits for their employees.  Why?  Because they alleged, and Walmart certainly has been held to scrutiny on this in the past, for paying wages that are so low that their employees qualify for medi-cal, food stamps and similar welfare.  Certainly Walmart hasn’t been accused of paying a living wage nor employing for enough hours to have their employees to be benefit eligible.

Deets: Thursday, March 8, at 1pm., Department of Public Social Services, on 2415 W. Sixth St. Los Angeles, CA 90057  MAP HERE.

Full press release after the jump. Read the rest of this entry →

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On Exhibit: Richard Bunkall

9:42 am in Art, News, People, San Gabriel Valley by Will Campbell

In the waning months of the last year of the last century spent toiling as the editor of a weekly newspaper in Pasadena a press packet landed on my desk detailing an exhibit at the Mendenhall Gallery and from it I discovered and become enthralled with the art of Richard Bunkall, a resident of the city and long-time instructor at Arts Center College of Design.

Little more than a week later, at the age of 45, Bunkall died after a five-year struggle with Lou Gehrig’s disease. In shock as I read the perfunctory obituary in the Pasadena Star-News, I mourned his passing somewhat selfishly in that I’d just found his heroic art. As such I wanted both to know more and share that with my readers, and thanks to the grace of his widow Sally during what had to be such a difficult time, she allowed myself and writer Kathleen August to intrude upon the Bunkall home, and access his studio, where he created his amazing works, and where surrounded by family and friends he passed in May 1999.

It was a deeply emotional experience and privilege, to say the least.

Q&A: Curator Peter Frank (center) is flanked by artists Kenton Nelson (left) and Ray Turner (right) as they discuss Bunkall's life and his art.

It was equally emotional to visit the Pasadena Museum of California Art (PMCA) last night for a standing-room-only event surrounded by some of his most profound and moving creations, to remember the man and his art and to celebrate the launch of a new book devoted to both, the first publication of the artist’s remarkable 25-year career as a painter and sculptor.

If this is your first time hearing about Richard Bunkall or it’s been a long time since you last thought about him, I’d encourage you to make a trip out to the PMCA to introduce or reacquaint yourself with his remarkable imagery before the exhibit, “Richard Bunkall: A Portrait” closes April 22.

Where: Pasadena Museum of California Art, 490 E. Union Street, Pasadena, 91101
When: Wednesday – Sunday, 12 – 5 p.m., through April 22.
Cost: $7 adults; $5 seniors and students; free the first Friday of the month

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by ruth666

A Three Hour Tour???

4:17 pm in News, Politics, Rants by ruth666

LA’s broke & getting broker – so let’s all (or rather a select few) take our minds off it with a “free” ride on this yacht that will cost us yet another $Mil or so next year alone….

Villaraigosa, you are SO FULL OF SHIT!

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