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by frazgo

Fund Raiser for families of fallen officers due to ex-LAPD Dorner shootings

February 21, 2013 at 9:03 am in Crime, Food & Drink, Law Enforcement, Social issues

CPK voucher

Hat tip to my friends at Arcadia PD  for this tip regarding a fund raiser for the fallen officers due to shoot outs or outright assassination by Chris Dorner last week.   (You remember Chris Dorner, the ex-LAPD officer on a bizarre vendetta to prove he was wrongfully terminated by LAPD )

20% of your total bill will be donated to the respective police associations for Officer Crain and Detective McKay who wound up dying as a result of shooting by McKay.

To participate all you need to do is print out the flyer to the right of this post and present it to your server at the time you order at California Pizza Kitchen February 25-28 2013.


Elisa Lam: Body of Missing Canadian Tourist Discovered in Downtown Hotel Water Tank

February 21, 2013 at 2:56 am in Downtown, LA, News, Obituaries, People


The body of missing Canadian tourist, Elisa Lam of Vancouver, British Columbia, was found in the water tank of the Cecil Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. Lam had traveled to California by herself on January 27, en route to Santa Cruz, and was last seen by workers at the hotel on January 31.

Although Lam was scheduled to check out of the hotel on February 1, she had disappeared, despite being in daily contact with her family up until this point. By February 6, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) had released details about the suspicious disappearance of Lam and on February 7, a press conference was held about the case.

A week later, on February 14, the LAPD released a disturbing surveillance video of the 21 year old University of British Columbia (UBC) student darting in and out of the hotel’s elevators.

Earlier this week, on February 19, guests at the Cecil Hotel complain about low water pressure and a worker checks the hotel’s water tanks and discovers Lam’s body. Guests staying at the hotel had likely been bathing, brushing their teeth and drinking water from a tank in which Lam’s body had been likely decomposing for more than two weeks.

Photo courtesy: LAPD


George Tetsuo Aratani, Nisei Entrepreneur and Philanthropist, Passes Away at Age 95

February 20, 2013 at 12:55 am in Downtown, LA, Obituaries, People

George Aratani, a survivor of the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, and later successful businessman and philanthropist who founded Mikasa and Kenwood, passed away Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at the age of 95.

His legacy in philanthropy through The Aratani Foundation has supported many Japanese American organizations, but especially in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo. One literally cannot walk a block in Little Tokyo without passing by a space endowed by George and Sakaye Aratani: Japanese American Cultural and Community Center’s Aratani Japan America Theatre; the Japanese American National Museum’s George and Sakaye Central Hall; and the Union Center for the Arts’s Aratani Courtyard.

From The Nisei Week Foundation Facebook page:

The Nisei Week Foundation mourns the passing of George Aratani who passed away peacefully today [Tuesday, February 19, 2013].

Aratani successfully launched post-World War II international trade enterprises. His first was Mikasa, a tableware company which was doing $400 million in annual sales when it was sold in 2000.

Influenced by his late father and motivated by the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II, Aratani and his wife Sakaye have donated a sizable amount of their wealth to Japanese American organizations and causes.

For More Information:
Hirahara, Naomi. An American Son: The Story of George Aratani, Founder of Mikasa and Kenwood. Los Angeles, CA: Japanese American National Museum, 2001.

Photo credit: CalPoly Pomona, The George and Sakaye Aratani Japanese Garden


This Is The Hollenbeck Burrito

February 14, 2013 at 9:11 am in East Side, Food & Drink, LA, News, People

The quarter seen next to the plate is for scale. The Hollenbeck Burrito is the creation of a singular master by the name of Manuel Rojas who owned the famed Manuel’s Original El Tepeyac Cafe in Boyle Heights. But the Hollenbeck is hardly the largest burrito he makes — or I should say made, since sad news came yesterday that Señor Rojas has died at the age of 79 after a half-century of  serving them up.

That distinction belongs to any variety of Manuel’s Special burritos, each of which roughly calculates out to being about 250 cubic inches of gut-busting deliciousness (here’s an example with the unknown patron exhibiting the appropriate level of shock and awe). Simply laying my eyes on such massiveness the one and only time I ordered a Manuel’s Special was almost enough to stave off my worst hunger pangs. Since then, it’s been Hollenbecks for me and they’re pleeeeeenty! But if the previously mentioned dimensional quantification is hard to wrap your head around, try this alternative: it weighs in at five pounds.

I’m having trouble wrapping my head around Rojas no longer overseeing the construction of his classics, but I take solace that they live on, and I will most certainly be paying a visit in the near future to honor him by digging into one — and taking the inevitable leftovers home.


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by Jeff

Chinese Air Pollution Reaches Los Angeles

January 28, 2013 at 9:15 pm in environment, Science

This article was originally published at 8Asians.com and has been reposted here with permission.

While smog is yet one of the many problems afflicting Los Angeles, this blog entry points out that some of LA’s famous air pollution comes all the way from China.   According to this report, some days have a third of the air over San Francisco and Los Angeles coming from Asia, and along with it, up to three fourths of black carbon particulate air pollution, among other pollutants.  Just how does Chinese pollution get to the US?  Is it just the fault of the Chinese?

Some of this pollution begins as naturally occurring dust plumes from the Gobi desert, whipped up by storms every spring and summer.  As the dust travels west, it picks ups pollutants as it travels through heavily industrialized parts of China.  Those pollutants include the end products of coal burning, a common source of power in China.

While the US may complain about the pollution, it does contribute to the problem.  Various loopholes and subsidies are driving up the export of coal from the US and Canada to China, which gets burned and exported back through the atmosphere.   The US demand also drives production in some of those Chinese factories.

To me this shows how much the world is shrinking – what happens in one part of the world can unintentionally affect other parts.  Our atmosphere is something we all share.  While Beijing’s “airpocalypse” may seem far away, it really isn’t.  Not only can that pollution reach my family and me here in the Bay Area, but conditions were not much different here some 50 to 60 years ago.

(Photo Credit: Norman Kuring, SeaWiFS Project, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center)


Kylan Arianna Wenzel Is First Transgender Woman Allowed To Compete In Miss California Pageant

January 12, 2013 at 1:00 pm in People

Regardless of the outcome of the 2013 Miss California USA pageant, when Kylan Arianna Wenzel takes the stage at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium representing Century City, she will make history as the first transgender woman to compete in the U.S. pageant since a rule change in 2012 allowed transgender competitors. In order to compete in this year’s pageant, Kylan moved up her gender reassignment surgery my six months, quit her job, and has been preparing for the pageant.

According to her webpage:

Kylan Arianna Wenzel was born on October 14, 1986 in Daegu, South Korea. She was born to a German-American father, and a South Korean mother. She has a twin brother, and was primarily raised by her father and step-mother.

At the age of 2, her family was stationed at Clark Air Base, on the island of Luzon in the Philippines. In June of 1991 the air force base was evacuated when the volcano, Mount Pinatubo erupted. She arrived in the United States for the very first time that summer.

Being in a military family, she moved often. She has lived in towns and cities throughout multiple states. Thatcher, Arizona is where she finished her last months of middle school before heading back to Seoul, South Korea to attend high school. Although being somewhat isolated in another country, her high school offered unique opportunities. She was able to visit surrounding countries numerous of times through school events. Upon graduating high school, she relunctantly[sic] accepted admission to the University of Washington in Seattle despite her heart being set on an education in London.

After Seattle, she moved to California to pursue a career in entertainment.

She finally had her gender reassignment surgery in August of 2013[sic]. She hopes to eventually become a TV Host/Journalist. Kylan is currently pursuing her dream in winning the Miss Universe title.

In addition to standing for equal rights– she believes that same-sex couples should have the right to marry– she is also a supporter of LiNK, which brings awareness to the Human Right Crisis in North Korea.


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by tinabot

Q&A with Dan Lin, Producer of ‘Gangster Squad’

January 11, 2013 at 4:04 pm in Crime, LA, Law Enforcement, Movies

This article was originally published at 8Asians.com and has been reposted here with permission.

Terminator Salvation. Sherlock Holmes 1,2, and 3. Lego: The Piece of Resistance. Godzilla. Stephen King’s It. Death Note. Justice League. What do all these disparate movies past, present, and future have in common? One amazing Taiwanese American producer, Dan Lin.

And you might have heard of his latest film Gangster Squad, an LAPD period movie about a battle to take back LA from the mafia. Named back in 2008 by Variety as one of top 10 producers to watch, Lin has definitely lived up to the title, and with all the classic blockbusters being tacked to his name, he and everything he does will be worth watching for long after Gangster Squad hits the streets this Friday.

Here are 8Questions with Dan Lin about his new film and more from a roundtable press interview:

Read the rest of this entry →


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by frazgo

Can stealing the tip jar get any lower?

January 4, 2013 at 9:31 am in Crime, LA bloggers, Shopping

Hat tip to @Waltarrrrr who tweeted this morning.  The stealing of the tip jar at Antigua Bread in Highland Park was all caught on video.  Do you recognize the thieves?  If so you might want to tip them off their antics were caught on video or let Antiqua Bread know how to get in touch with them.


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by frazgo

Downhill Boarders just outside of L.A

January 2, 2013 at 11:24 am in Driving, Entertainment, LA bloggers, People, South Bay, Transportation

I spotted this on the Smoking Tire’s channel this morning.  Pretty awesome downhill boarding just outside the city limits.  Interesting to note that these guys had helmets on, much better than the yahoos I was behind recently on Laurel Canyon doing this WITHOUT helmets.

Smoking Tire for those of you who don’t know is owned by Matt Farah who runs Smoking Tire.com and was interviewed by me a couple of years ago.  Good guy, great cars and car reviews all taking place in and around Los Angeles.


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by frazgo

Happy New Years Eve L.A.

December 31, 2012 at 12:43 pm in Driving, Holidays, Mass Transit, Seasonal, Social issues, Transportation

Its New Years Eve here in L.A. and I read a startling statistic that there are nationally 25 deaths a day caused by drunk drivers over holiday weekends.  July 4th weekend here in L.A for example had 1,000 DUI arrests.   Please don’t be a stat tonight, rather have a great night and take public transportation.   You can even ride the trains for FREE from 9PM tonight until 2AM tomorrow (New Years Day).

If you drive and find yourself too tanked to drive call AAA if you are a member or not,  you can take advantage of their “Tipsy Tow“.  All you have to do is call them at 1-800-400-4222 and they will pick you AND your car up and tow you up to 7 miles.  Great service that can save you a DUI ticket or worse an accident.

I for one this year will be spending a quiet evening of family game night.  What are your plans?

Happy 2013 in advance.


Take A Hike To An Unsung POV

December 26, 2012 at 9:05 am in Biking in LA, Sports, The Valley

I’m one of 17 hiking and mountainbiking members of the newly formed Trail Safety Patrol volunteer program implemented by Glendale whose mission beginning early next year is to serve as ambassadors for the city’s Community Services & Parks Department and work in conjunction with Glendale police and fire in providing for and promoting an enjoyable experience for all visitors to its open spaces.

Though I’ve been riding in the Verdugos for all 22-years of the mountaingbiking portion of my life, there are trails in the adjacent San Rafael Hills we’ve been tasked to patrol I’ve never put tire tread to and I’m familiarizing myself with them in advance of our start date. Two weekends ago I rolled the Ridge Motorway, and last Sunday found me on the Valle Vista Motorway located on the ridge between the 134 Freeway an Glenoaks Canyon. I want to highly recommend both if they were as previously unknown to you as they were to me. But of the two, the latter offers the most awesome visual award.

Here’s the flat version of a 360-degree panorama I took of the scenery and of my fellow mountainbiking patrolers from the trail’s western overlook above the 2/134 interchange (biggification enabled when clicked).

A rotating, interactive version of the pano image is viewable here.

The trail (route mapped here) is accessible from the upper end of Sleepy Hollow Drive off of Glenoaks Boulevard. At less than one-mile in length, the payoff found at the end far exceeds the output required to get to it, although there are some steeply graded sections of the fire road to scale as it rolls along.

 


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by frazgo

Christmas from back in the day where everyone dressed for the holiday

December 24, 2012 at 3:58 pm in History, Hollywood, LA, Seasonal, Vintage

Love this video, just wish it had a sound track.  Love the old stock footage from 1940’s Los Angeles where they really went out of their way to decorate for Christmas in Hollywood.

Merry Christmas all…


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by frazgo

Santa visited my ‘hood last night

December 19, 2012 at 10:09 am in Entertainment, Holidays, San Gabriel Valley, Seasonal

Its been going on for as long as my kids were little and I have lived in Monrovia.  Its a great little tradition where MPD and MFD escort Santa and his carolers through the streets of town hitting EVERY neighborhood during the course of 4 nights the week before Christmas.  The Holidays wouldn’t be the same without this wonderful tradition, especially for those with little ones afoot still.

What sort of traditions exist in your pocket of L.A?  Share them in the comments with links to any video or pics you have.


9th Annual LA 3-D Movie Festival This Weekend

December 12, 2012 at 1:24 pm in Downtown, Entertainment, Events, Filmmaking/Filmmakers, LA, Movies

This weekend, the LA 3-D Club is hosting the 9th Annual LA 3-D Movie Festival at the Downtown Independent Theater. The festival opens Friday, December 14th at 8pm with Robin Hood: Ghosts of Sherwood 3D, a 2012 feature from Germany, directed by Oliver Krekel and starring Martin Thon, Tom Savini, and Kane Hodder.

Short films in competition will screen at 1pm and 3pm on Saturday, December 15th, followed at 5pm by a special presentation of 20th Century Fox’s Maggie Simpson in The Longest Daycare,  a 2012 3-D animated short film starring the youngest family member of  The Simpsons. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with members of the creative team behind the film, including director David Silverman.

The festival’s Closing Night will showcase the feature U2 3D, the 2008 concert film that was shot in South America during the band’s Vertigo tour.  U2 3D will screen for FREE at 8pm on Saturday,  December 15th and will be introduced by 3D Producer and 3ality Technica CEO Steve Schklair.

Sunday, December 16th will be dedicated to remembering and celebrating the life of Ray Zone, LA 3-D Club Vice President and 9th Annual LA 3-D Movie Festival C0-Chair in a free public memorial at the theater. Ray was an author, 3-D film producer, speaker, and award-winning 3-D artist who passed away on November 13, 2012. A reception, hosted by the International 3D Society, begins at 5pm, followed by family and friends speaking in memorial to Ray in the theater. The evening will include displays of Ray’s art, writing, and film work.

If you buy a pass to the festival, you could be the lucky winner of a FujiFilm FinePix REAL 3D W3 digital camera. A Festival Pass is $30 and gets you into all screenings and events during the weekend  and enters you into a drawing to be held at the awards ceremony on Saturday evening at 7pm.

Come out and support a great local organization, a fantastic independent theater and see some amazing indie 3-D films and music videos from all over the world.

The 9th Annual LA 3-D Movie Festival
December 14th through 16th, 2012
Downtown Independent Theater
251 S. Main Street, Los Angeles 90012


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L.A. Auto Show opens today and what to expect.

November 30, 2012 at 3:58 pm in Blogging (in) LA, Downtown, Driving, Events, Transportation

Ford World 2012 LA Auto Show

So much to talk about so will try to bring it down to a Reader’s Digest condensed version.  I will also try to bring you up to date as well as what you missed during Press Days which were this Wednesday and Thursday.

First of all, if you are looking for exotics fuhgetaboutit, there are none.  The entire class is represented by Galpin’s stock of Aston Martins.  Very nice cars, but not the boat load of Ferraris, Lambos and Rolls of years past.  That’s what happens when the L.A. show grows so big with a focus on green cars it alienated that fun bunch of fantasy cars. Read the rest of this entry →