ALL Medical Marijuana Dispensaries to be outlawed by City of LA

imagesYup.  You heard it right.  The LA City Council… in a rash, pretty much draconian proposal, wants to outlaw access to medical marijuana unless you are part of a collective and work there, i.e. grow your own.  In effect, this would close down all the dispensaries operating now.

If you are a seriously ill patient, or someone who doesn’t have the time to grow your own…. forget about getting easy access to your medicine.  This new ordinance would also outlaw edibles and concentrates, items that every single cancer patient I know uses. It would prohibit the sale of medical marijuana and any edibles.

If you care about this at all…. please write your city council person today and request that they reject this new ordinance.  It is titled, “Third Revised Draft Ordinance Establishing Regulations Regarding Medical Marijuana Collectives”.  Go to: here ( scroll to “my neighborhood” to find your council person.  Eric Garcetti is President of the City Council… write him and let him know your views… and Eric, I hope you are reading this.  We need input and a fair draft of this ordinance by patients, citizens, dispensary owners…. not just the City Attorney and the police department.  This proposal violates all the rights patients have worked so hard to achieve.

Continue reading ALL Medical Marijuana Dispensaries to be outlawed by City of LA

Griffith Park Fire

monica sent me a pic of the griffith park fire from the 5/134... on TwitpicA fire that broke out in Griffith Park that the LAFD first reported an hour ago as 0.5-1 acre in size acres has grown to five acres according to the the most recent Twitter update 45 minutes ago from @LAFD on Twitter.

The picture of the fire as seen from the 134 overpass above the 5 Freeway comes from my friend Patricia (taken by her friend Monica) who posted it on Twitter around the same time as the LAFD’s last update.

UPDATE (10.01): LAist is reporting that it took firefighters 59 minutes to contain the blaze. There were no reported injuries or structural damage, and the cause is under investigation.

Does A Theater Closing Alone In Downtown Make Any Sound?

Sadness. I’ve just learned from Ed Fuentes at Blogdowntown that the Laemmle’s Grande 4-Plex theater on Figueroa beneath the Marriott Hotel (where Christopher Walken danced in a certain Fatboy Slim video) is slated to shut down October 25, coincidentally just two days before the opening of the Regal Cinemas LA Live Stadium 14.

Fuentes quotes Laemmle Director of Operations Kevin Gallagher: “It’s always been difficult to bring people downtown and even though the image of the city changing, we felt it was best to close the doors.”

The comments to the post echo my dissapointment. But I take some consolation that at least they didn’t close because of me. Laemmles had no difficulty bringing me and my wife Susan downtown from Silver Lake. Long unenamored with the Arclight $tyle of movie-going (and the gridlock getting there), Laemmle’s Grande was a cherished alternative. A bit seedy and frayed and firmly lacking in the latest cinema technology, sure. But none of that mattered.

It has been our theater of choice for going on three years. We could get there in 10 minutes, conveniently park across the street for $2 and relish the $6 matinee ticket prices, which made bad movies suck a little less… like “Public Enemies,” the last movie we saw there.

With the exception of one or two trips to the Vista every movie we’ve been coaxed into seeing since we first found the place in 2006 has been viewed there in the Marriot’s basement — with good popcorn, no screaming kids, no crowds, and by and large among people who know good movie theater etiquette. It was like a best-kept secret — too best kept, I guess (but not for lack of me crowing about it here back in November 2006).

I’m going to miss this place tremendously. In fact, since you won’t catch me navigating the chaos of Regal’s new LA Live pleximania, I’d hazard to say with its closing we’ll be going out for movies less and waiting to stay in and see them on Blu-Ray more.

Definitive New 35mm Restoration of RASHOMON at the Nuart

RashomonI try not to take for granted the vast number of cool events that happen in Los Angeles. I know that a screening of an almost 60 year-old Japanese movie doesn’t sound like the sort of thing that you can only find in L.A., but it is! The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences is presenting a stunning new restoration of Akira Kurosawa’s classic “Rashomon,” taken from a 35mm print created in 1962 from the original camera negative.

The truth of the matter is that because the heart of the film industry is here in Los Angeles, so is the heart of film restoration efforts. Film restoration is extremely tedious and costly, and many of our film treasures are being lost at a rapid rate. Because are we lucky enough to be in a city where much of the restoration is done, occasionally beautifully restored films are publicly screened here!

In this case, we’ll get to see the groundbreaking Kurosawa masterpiece Rashomon, starring Toshiro Mifune in the role that catapulted him to stardom. The film depicts the rape of a woman and the apparent murder of her husband through the widely differing accounts of four witnesses, including the rapist and the dead man (through a medium). The stories are mutually contradictory, leaving the viewer to determine which, if any, is the truth. Rashomon has become synonymous with the unknowability of truth, and spawned the term the “Rashomon Effect.” regarding the subjectivity of perception on recollection.

Regarding this particular restoration:

While the [35mm print from 1962] print itself was in good physical condition, the source material from which it was made was extremely battered. Due to the extensive printing and handling it had received over its lifetime, many shots were already starting to shrink and warp, and there were numerous scratches, dust, and dirt in the damaged negative. Scanned at 4k resolution, that 47-year-old print has been meticulously cleaned both digitally and by hand, complete with a new, seamless soundtrack. This essential restoration has been made possible by the Academy Film Archive, the National Film Center of the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo and Kadokawa Pictures, Inc., with funding provided by Kadokawa Cultural Promotion Foundation and Martin Scorsese’s Film Foundation.

Rashomon opens Friday, October 2, 2009 at Landmark’s Nuart Theatre, showing through Thursday, October 8 for an exclusive one-week engagement. Showtimes: Fri-Sun at 12:00, 2:30, 5:00, 7:30 & 10:00; Mon-Thu at 5:00, 7:30 & 10:00. Landmark’s Nuart Theatre is at 11272 Santa Monica Boulevard, just west of the 405 Freeway, in West Los Angeles. Program information: 310-281-8223;

Win Tix to The Horrors & Japanese Motors Thursday Night!


Well well well, we’ve just got a metric s**t-ton of concerts going on lately! It’s because I just can’t say no to all these bitchen’ shows. This one–The Horrors came on the scene a few years ago, but their latest album is a bit of a growth beyond their original sound which drew a little much on Joy Division & Nick Cave. Their latest album, Primary Colors, adds a shoegazey windtunnel of effects and pop-gloss hooks to their oeuvre, coalescing the wall-of-sound effect you can get off everything from SDRE (sorry, no tix for that kids) to the Silversun Pickups’ more esoteric tracks with…hmmm…Roxy Music or Psychedelic Furs. Yep. So, they’re good. Japanese Motors are locals whose “Single Fins & Safety Pins” single was a fixture on Indie shortly before its demise (no connection, I’m sure) and it was swell. No pun intended. Ha! Ha! Sorry.

Wanna go? Just post an excerpt from the most pompous record review you can find, in the comments (along with source URL or attribution). Because I know I suck at this music blogging crap and I’d like to be in good company. Nobody should ever get paid for writing music reviews*. Good thing I’m not.

Show info is here.

Continue reading Win Tix to The Horrors & Japanese Motors Thursday Night!

American Apparel will fire 1800 undocumented workers

American Apparel will fire “about 1800 workers in coming days– more than a quarter of its workforce” in Los Angeles, according to an article that appeared on the NY Times site minutes ago.

The firings are a result of the Obama administration’s efforts to crack down on illegal immigration by forcing companies to fire undocumented workers instead of staging workplace raids.

According to the article, the investigation of American Apparel began 17 months ago under President George W. Bush, but has become regarded by the the Obama administration as a “showcase” for its work to reduce illegal immigration.

24 free museums this weekend

CAFAMThis weekend will be a good time to explore a museum that’s on your cultural to-do list, or to discover one you weren’t aware of, thanks to the straightforwardly named Museum Marketing Roundtable, an organization formed by museum marketing professionals in the LA metro area.

Twenty-four museums in Los Angeles and surrounding areas will offer free admission this Saturday and Sunday, October 3rd and 4th. Some will participate on both days, while others will offer free admission on only one of the days. Check for details.

Some of the museums in LA offering the deal are MOCA, Autry National Center, California African American Museum, CA Science Center, Craft and Folk Art Museum, Fowler and Hammer Museums at UCLA, Museum of Latin American Art, Natural History Museum of LA County, Paley Center for Media and the Skirball; as well as the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena.

The most tempting for me? Myth and Manpower: Graphics and the California Dream, at the Craft and Folk Art Museum (across Wilshire from LACMA,) looks at the role of graphic design to “communicate ideas and shape human behavior” vis à vis “myths surrounding the Golden State.”

First hand account from that LAX flight yesterday

Yesterday I posted about a flight being detained at LAX because of suspicious activity, and later it was announced it was a disturbance with a passenger who wouldn’t listen to flight attendant instructions. Well apparently Cruftbox was on that flight and posted a first hand account of what happened in the comments. He writes:

I was on the plane, in the back row.

The guy really had to go to the bathroom and didn’t listen to the flight attendants telling him to sit down. We were first in line to take off and it forced the plane to leave the runway.

The guy also caused trouble at the gate, so the plane headed back to the gate to take him off. Once they discovered he had been speaking arabic and that it was Yom Kippur the crazy begun.

The plane filled up with LAPD, TSA, and FBI. Paranoia began with the passengers quickly. I met the bomb testing guy. We all had to deplane while they went over the whole plane with dogs and lots of people. We got rescreened and got back on the plane. 4+ hours later, the plane took off.

All because a guy couldn’t wait until after takeoff to pee.

So there you have it.

Win Tix to Datarock Tomorrow Night at the El Rey!

totally bitchen
totally bitchen

I’ve always liked this electro-pop duo with their nerd flourishes and 80s fetishes. Playful, funny, can’t-get-it-out-of-your-head tracks and matching tracksuits make this gig a don’t-miss if you wanna dance your a** off on a humpday. And who doesn’t want to do that?!

To win tix, tell me your favorite nerdy 80s item, be it your prized hand-built x-wing fighter model, the original Speak-n-Spell, or your Rubik’s cube still in its original box. Not a geek? Fake it, Mr/Ms. “I’m Reading Blogs Right When I Get To The Office But I’m Still Not A Nerd.”

Show info is here.

Second Annual ID Film Festival this week in Little Tokyo

The second annual ID Film Festival, dedicated to contemporary digital films that explore and celebrate identity within the diverse Asian/Pacific Islander community, will present an international and local lineup of films this coming week/end, October 1-3 at the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles.

The festival will premiere several Hong Kong films, in addition to showcasing Asian American films from the “Class of 1997”: Michael Aki and Eric Nakamura’s Sunsets, Rea Tajiri’s Strawberry Fields, Chris Chan Lee’s Yellow, Quentin Lee and Justin Lin’s Shopping For Fangs — all groundbreaking works in Asian American cinema.

But what excites me is the really special round table taking place on closing night (Saturday, October 3, 2009) with Michael Aki, Chris Chan Lee, Quentin Lee, Justin Lin, Eric Nakamura and Rea Tajiri at 9:30PM after the free 8PM screening of Shopping For Fangs. The round table will be moderated by Giant Robot’s Martin Wong. (The round table is sponsored by Giant Robot and You Offend Me You Offend My Family.) And if that weren’t enough, there’s a free afterparty with sake provided by Sho Chiku Bai.

But don’t wait ’til closing night to check things out! There’s a bunch of other cool stuff during the film festival, so take a look at their entire schedule online and find out how to order tickets in advance.

Did Your Well of Inspiration Dry Up When You Dried Out?

You don’t need to be Dylan Thomas or Dorothy Parker to understand that the writing bone is all too often connected to the gin drinking bone. So what happens when you sober up? How do you foster the creative spirit if you’re not loaded? Writers in Treatment has an upcoming panel devoted to that predicament.

On October 13 at the Skirball, WIT and Hazelden present Chasing the Muse (when you are stone cold sober). Hosted by William Cope Moyers, with filmmaker actress/singer Katey Sagal; writer/creator of Sons of Anarchy, Kurt Sutter; novelist Michelle Huneven; and journalist/author Mark Ebner, the conversation will range from sources of inspiration to the role of recovery in the creative process. Ray Bradbury once said “You must stay drunk on writing so reality doesn’t destroy you.” Yes, but how?

The panel is $25 and you can register online here.

And there is a dessert reception afterward because inspiration is even better when followed by dessert.

LAPD Response Time Open Thread

This is all hearsay and speculation and whatnot but I’ve been hearing a lot of people complaining about both an uptick in crime near their houses, as well as a serious increase in response time when they call the LAPD to report said crime. I’m hoping to have a little more solid reporting on this shortly but in the meantime I thought I’d ask you folks if you’ve had any experience with either of these issues recently so I can compare issues around town. I live in Venice and apparently we just had our designated patrols cut from over 30 officers to less than 10 for the entire area. In the past 24 hours I’ve spoken to two residents who have called the police because of disturbances right outside their house (one called the local dispatch one called 911) and in both cases officers took over an hour to respond. Members on the forums over on Yo Venice are discussing an increase in robberies. So, is this just something happening around me or is the rest of the city seeing similar changes?

Win Tix to Old Crow Medicine Show Tomorrow Night!

These guys and their patented brand of Ameri-rock-ana have taken them from busking in Nashville to the Grand Ole Opry and A Prairie Home Companion! They’ll be playing at the Ford, so it’s going to be a lovely night under the stars with these good old (young?) boys. Wanna go? Tell me the name of YOUR Americana-style band in the comments below (I’m asking you to make one up, dude who’s whining that he’s not IN a band) and we’ll select a few winners to see the show.

Info on the show is here.