Court tells Lutheran school it’s okay to expel lesbian students

Today’s LA Times reports that the 4th District Court of Appeal, in a unanimous ruling, has granted the right to a Riverside Lutheran high school to expel two 16-year-old female students for having “a bond of intimacy” that was “characteristic of a lesbian relationship.”

The court ruled that the school was not a business and therefore did not have to comply with state anti-discrimination laws that apply to businesses.

The lawyer representing the Lutheran school said the ruling properly defends the school’s right  to “teach Christian values in a Christian setting pursuant to a Christian code of conduct.”

The lawyer for the two girls said he would ask the California State Supreme Court to overturn the ruling.

Pardon me, mister, but can you spare a ginormous parking spot?

Got space in your backyard, parking lot, warehouse, or secret underground lair and want to make an easy $50 a month while helping out an awesome cause? The folks with “The 1 Second Film” are calling for you:

$50 Art Bus Needs Parking (Downtown)

Non-profit collaborative art project searching for safe, secure parking for our bio-diesel art bus.
The bus is 32ft long + trailer/caboose is 40ft. We can take the trailer off if your spot does not have room.
We can pay $50 a month, and/or offer film credit and web advertising as part of The 1 Second Film project.

In a nutshell, the 1 Second Film will be 24 frames of footage, followed by an hour of credits listing all of the $1 and up donors alongside a documentary of the making of the film, with all profits going to the Global Fund for Women

From pictures up on their Flickr site, it looks like some taggers found the van at its current parking spot and had their way with it.  which, fortunately, the crew was able to clean off… and will hopefully become of the credit sequence. Continue reading Pardon me, mister, but can you spare a ginormous parking spot?

Found Alive: Dutch Chocolate Tiles in DTLA

The hidden treasures in downtown LA never cease to amaze me. Over on Dinosaurs and Robots, current guest blogger Kevin Kidney has pointed out this old Dutch Chocolate Shop that was built around 1913-14. The place looks amazing, with custom tiles from floor to ceiling. Things like this weren’t too uncommon way back when, but new one off businesses rarely throw down the loot to build out something like that these days. The coolest thing however, is that this place still exists. Unfortunately it’s not being used as a kick ass Dutch Chocolate Shop as much as a rundown storage space for boxes and grocery crap. There’s a few more recent photos on GiddyGirlie’s flickr stream which are both awesome and depressing at the same time. Check out Kevin’s post for more details on this place, and I echo his call for someone to step in with some cash and restore the place before it gets ruined for ever.

Win Tix to Pepper, Shwayze & more at Club Nokia 1/29

Hawaiian dacenhall-punk-poppers Pepper bring their dance-inducing bubble-hop-rasta to  Club Nokia in downtown LA. Along with hybrids Shwayze, who graft turntablism, hip-hop & singer-songwriter styles together, this should be a great show, supported by The Supervillians and Passafire. People who always say “I like all kinds of music. Except country,” will prolly really enjoy this one.

Want in? Tell me what you think the most bizarre musical style-blend could be: klezmer with New Wave? Cumbia with Tuvan throat singing? Opera and hyphy? We’ll pick a couple winners to go rock out at the show.

45 Year Old Woman Missing

45 year old Susan Szegedi has been missing since January 20, 2009. LAPD is asking the public for help.

Susan Szegedi was last seen on January 20, 2009, when she left her residencin the 400 block of North Gower Street in Los Angeles, (LAPD Olympic Area).

Szegedi requires medication, which she has been without since she vanished.  Her family believes she may be distraught over the recent loss of a friend.  Szegedi has uncharacteristically not made contact with her friends or family.

Szegedi is a forty-five year old Caucasian woman with brown hair, brown eyes, 5’7” and approximately 145 pounds.  She is known to wear a pearl necklace.

Szegedi is believed to be driving her 2001 gray Honda Civic, California license number 4KYW571.

If you have seen or have any information regarding the whereabouts of Susan Szegedi, please contact the Los Angeles Police Department, Missing Persons Unit, Detective Bruce Kuehl at 213-485-5381.After hours or on weekends, calls may be directed to a 24-hour, toll-free number at 1-877-LAPD-24-7 or by texting CRIMES (274637) and beginning the message with the letters LAPD.  Tipsters may also submit information on the LAPD website  www.lapdonline.org. All tips are anonymous.

Happy Lunar New Year!

In part because of yesterday’s dust-up here (the other part being, work), I completely forgot to mention that Monday, January 27 was the first day of the lunar new year or, if you’re Vietnamese, Tet.  This year, we let go of the Year of the Water Rat and usher in the Year of the Ox or Water Buffalo.  These are the strong, silent, hard-working symbol of the zodiacs.  If you were born in roughly 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961 1973, 1985, or 1997, this is your year.  Obama, I’m looking at you.

Where the West celebrates its new year with a brief, one day December 31-to-January 1 hangover (y’all are doing this wrong), we have a week long community celebration with booze, non-stop food, and (the best part) little red envelopes full of money.  Sidenote:  If you see a bunch of Asian people right around this time lining up at your local bank, this is why: new bills. Crisp, fresh-from-the-mint dollar bills symbolize a fresh start and good luck.  I loved receiving new Tet bills, but always was stingy with how I spent it, the same way Charlie Bucket was stingy about his eating his one fifth portion of chocolate on his birthday. So sad.

To celebrate the New Year, Chinatown will host the annual Golden Dragon Parade on Saturday.  Festivities start at 10am, the dragon parade starts at 2.  This gives you plenty of time to wander the streets and hit up the very likely overcrowded Empress Pavillion, CBS Seafood (tip: try the takeout side, immediately adjacent to the restaurant, instead), or other delicious foods made especially for the New Year.  Gung hay fat choy! Chúc mừng năm mới!

NBC LA Lets the Stories Breathe

Oh, NBCLA.com. I know you’re still in beta. But, you’ve quickly grown to become my favorite site for news. Especially local news. Especially local news that contains pictures. I like pictures. A lot.

It is worth pointing out that the “Trucking Duck” story at #1 is three days older than “A Really Big Bust.” So these rankings will probably change.

I love you, NBC. I love you, internet.

Getting Back To Nature In Franklin Canyon Park

With the break from the rain we got this past weekend, it was the perfect time to get back out on the hiking trails. Admittedly, I’ve been going through a lazy spell for too long and haven’t been hitting the dirt as often as I’d like. Hoping to jump start a change, I headed over to Franklin Canyon Park this past Sunday with a group of friends and our dogs. Surprisingly, I only recently discovered the oasis that is nestled between Studio City and Beverly Hills. Since I’ve only been there twice now, and took the same route both times, I have much of the 605 acres to explore.

The abundance and accessibility of nature in Los Angeles is one of my very favorite things about living here. Like so many of L.A.’s outdoor havens, Franklin Canyon Park lets you “get away from it all” without going very far from home. Aside from the occasional helicopter or plane, you really don’t hear other city noises. It’s very green and there is even water, which dates back to the early 1900’s when William Mullholland was bringing water to L.A. Two reservoirs and a duck pond are only a couple of the park’s unique features.

Read on for more info and a few photos

Classic Eats #2: Downtown Delights Did Not Disappoint!

Classic Eats Evening #2 was a rip-roaring success! We had about 18 people for most of the evening, some who had been to Union Station many times, some who had never been. Philippe’s was also a hit, plenty of room, lots of yummy food and a star sighting to boot! Thanks to all who came and for the Union Station factoids.

Save the date: Saturday February 28 is Classic Eats #3. We’ll have a poll out soon.

Cross the tracks to see more photos of the gang and find out who the celebrity sighting was…

  Continue reading Classic Eats #2: Downtown Delights Did Not Disappoint!

Will Sam Zell be increasing the cost of newspaper home delivery?

Sam Zell appeared at UCLA Anderson School of Business a couple weeks ago. Beforehand, Kevin Roderick noted that the invite boasted of Zell’s real estate and general business ventures, but barely anything about the Tribune, let alone the Los Angeles Times. This may have been to avoid false advertising – a detailed recap of the event by Nirav at Seeking Alpha is lengthy, but elicits only one brief item on the newspaper business:

Zell also spoke about his Tribune purchase. He says the newspaper model is broken. It costs more money to have papers home-delivered but you pay less for that service. He explained he would change that model and that would increase the revenues. Let’s see if that’s true.

Which begs the question for remaining LA Times subscribers… how much more would you be willing to pay to keep home delivery?

High Art Dining at a Private Home with Chef David Weidman

For year’s David Weidman’s unmistakable laughter has punctuated every Silver Lake & Echo Park get-together from bar-b-ques to birthday parties, and whether he’s delivering one of his signature cheesecakes with glass candy or brandishing pork chops with a flourish, an invite to one of his dinners is a much-coveted chance to dine chez one of LA’s coolest underground chefs. He’s hosting another one of his special dinners at a private home in early February and there are a few spots left; I thought you guys should probably know about David if you don’t already. Here’s a video of him creating a few lavish dinners.
[youtube]http://youtube.com/http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rID_EmK1yRA[/youtube]
For this dinner Feb. 7, the menu will include stuffed mushrooms and crab cakes; wild green salad with poached pears and candied pecans; macaroni with goat cheese, caramelized garlic, crushed almonds and a Cabernet reduction; salmon with Thai basil; and a tarte tartin with vanilla ice cream and coffee. And OMG it’s only $25 per person! Perfect for an early Valentine’s Day treat, and as someone who’s both enjoyed a Ghetto Gourmet party as well as worked one, I can tell you David’s evenings are absolutely on par with those. Wanna rsvp? Send me an email at lucindamichele (at) metblogs (daht) com and I’ll hook you up.

Equality Summit or: GayCon 2009

“If the progressive movement were a firing squad, it’d be in a circle.”

-the wonderful Eva Paterson, Keynote Speaker at the Equality Summit

A day or two after Prop. 8 passed, a huge protest congregated in front of the Mormon Church on Santa Monica.  Afterwards, they streamed past my Century City building on their parade back to the safety and comfort of West Hollywood.  I watched this great scene with one of the senior partners at the firm, a 60 year old gay man.  He said what I was thinking: “What should we do?  Do we run down there?”  Then he said, “I’m too old for this.  I’m going to give money.  You march.  I marched 30 years ago, I helped get you here.  Now, it’s your turn to do something for us.”

I took part of my turn this past Saturday. While Matt was on the other side of the Convention Center, I attended the statewide Equality Summit in the same locale, organized by Equality California.  Essentially the activists’ version of a corporate retreat, complete with crap continental breakfast-type food, the Equality Summit was billed as “a gathering of community leaders committed to winning back marriage equality in California, to network, share information and resources, and plan next steps.”  Personally, I hoped for discussion on how to unite the plethora of post-Prop. 8 groups that currently are engaging in a variety of pissing contests over strategy and territory.  I also hoped that there would be discussion about uprooting the seeds of the marriage equality problem – homophobia.  But, as you’ll see, hope springs eternal.

Continue reading Equality Summit or: GayCon 2009

Idealism Meets Cynicism at Go Green Expo Los Angeles

I’m at the Go Green Expo Los Angeles in the Convention Center when I notice the plastic water bottles.  At the speaking event entitled “Broadcasting the Green Message,” the panel consists of best-selling author Josh “the Lazy Environmentalist” Dorfman, Boise Thomas, co-star of the “Alter Eco” television program on Discovery’s Planet Green, and Sherry Beall, host and producer of “Healthy Planet, Healthy Me!” on local Pacifica radio station KPFK. They’re sitting up on a dais, and have brought their own personal, reusable water bottles. Yet, prominently placed in front of each of them, with its label pointing at us, is a plastic water bottle, the King of the Landfill. Underneath the nearby speaker’s podium, which is transparent, are more water bottles.

Go green? after the jump

Ghost Restaurant of Union Station: Harvey House

thank you Vix
photo by Vix

Thanks to Vix over at her “History, Los Angeles County” blog I’ve discovered yet another restaurant at Union Station. At first, I assumed Traxx had been built within the old “Harvey House,” but upon inspection it appears as if Vix’s photos of the deserted Harvey House date from 2007, while Traxx opened in 1997.

courtesy of Harvey House fan site

Apparently Harvey House is now used primarily for wedding receptions and the like. This evening while we’re at Traxx for Classic Eats I hope to sneak in to the former Harvey House location and snap some pics.

I’m also intrigued by Union Station’s Union Station’s environs’ former occupants, the original citizens of LA’s first Chinatown (now relocated several blocks to the northeast) and am grooving on this great collection of images of relics unearthed from beneath the station, from opium bowls to Bromo-Seltzer bottles.