All posts by panasonicyouth

Vegan, activist, cyclist, blogger, community manager, photographers, and total nerd. :)

Bikerowave seeking new location!

Even though I’m an East-sider, I have frequented the Bikerowave fairly often. I did a couple Cubcamp rides and the now-infamous CubCamp Extra Credits Ride (Santa Barbara to Silverlake), which left from the Bikerowave. And in a world of ever-increasing capitalistic endeavors in our bicycle scene, it’s nice to know that there’s still a not-for-profit bicycle collective that exists solely to help people get on bicycles, regardless of how much money they have. (Props, of course, to both the Bicycle Kitchen and the Bike Oven, too!)


Workin on bikes at the Bikerowave
Workin' on bikes at the Bikerowave (Photo credit: Alex Thompson, licensed through Creative Commons.)

  Continue reading Bikerowave seeking new location!

So, Los Angeles, how do you like your winter season?

Palm Trees outside Union Station
Palm Trees outside Union Station, photo taken by yours truly!

That’s right, guys. It’s now February and Los Angeles has now experienced maybe–maybe–two weeks worth of winter. According to the National Weather Service, yesterday was a wonderful 77 degrees in downtown Los Angeles, with the rest of our fine city peaking in the mid 80s. In the middle of winter.

How are you enjoying our notoriously fine weather?

LAUSD spared teacher layoffs (for the time being)

LA Daily News reports that Los Angeles Schools Chief Ramon Cortines announced that the Los Angeles Unified School District will not be laying off any teachers throughout the end of the school year.

Huzzah! Right? Right?

Not so fast:

But Cortines said he does not want to make the cuts now because state lawmakers have not yet crafted a deal to address the state budget deficit, and he doesn’t want to disrupt classrooms halfway through the school year. He also noted a high number of district teachers have expressed interest in early retirement.

In a written statement to teachers, faculty, staff and the community, Cortines warned that this decision only delays the inevitable need for layoffs down the line.

“To guide us in our difficult decision making, we will have a plan to present to the Board of Education and community by the end of February 2009,” Cortines wrote. “I want to be clear that this plan will not be comfortable and will result in layoffs at every level of the district.”

Bummer. Thankfully my brother just got out of the LAUSD, but it’s a sad state of affairs when we’re laying off teachers. Any of you a teacher in the LAUSD? Any have less than two years worth of experience? (That’s who the layoffs are targetting.

KCET soliciting media on your commute methods

Found this over at the wonderful LA.Streetsblog and felt that it’s a fascinating chance for those of us who commute to work by alternative means to have our methods given some attention.

(Note: I am not a douchey “I HATE ALL CARS” commuter and I also don’t think this project should exclude those who drive to work. By all means, everyone should participate!)

KCET’s “SoCal Connected” division is doing a piece on commuting in the large and lovely city of Los Angeles. They’re asking people to either submit photos or a video of your commute method, the distance, and the length of time it takes for you to get there.

Continue reading KCET soliciting media on your commute methods

LGBT Action Fair Highlights Why Prop 8 Passed

Simply put, the major forces behind the No on 8 campaign ignored all of the grassroots organizations that could have truly helped marriage equality become a reality.

Yesterday’s action fair was organized by quite a few grassroots organizations and heavily promoted through JoinTheImpact’s activist network. All of this was also advertised under a national protest against DOMA: the federal Defense of Marriage Act. Signed into law in 1996 by then-President Bill Clinton, it prohibits same-sex marriages from EVER being recognized by the federal government, effectively delegating the decision to individual states. President-elect Barack Obama promised during his campaign to repeal the law and the event was organized to remind Obama (and his supporters) of the promises made.

Display of LGBT activist pins at the LGBT Action Fair
Display of LGBT activist pins at the LGBT Action Fair

Continue reading LGBT Action Fair Highlights Why Prop 8 Passed

LAPD Chief Recommends Discontinuing Bike License Program

(Ok, so this is my first “real” post).

Damien over at Streetsblog just broke the news that, thankfully, Police Chief William Bratton has recommended that the LAPD discontinue our fractured bicycle license program and the stilted enforcement of it that has followed.

In the chief’s own words:

I recommend that we follow other large municipalities and discontinue our bicycle licensing program. Additionally, I have directed that Emergency Operations Division develop correspondence implementing an immediate moratorium on the enforcement of Los Angeles Municipal Code (LAMC) section 26.01 requiring that all bicycles within the City be licensed. It is important to note that per Information and Communications Services Bureau, they were only able to identify five such citations issued by Department personnel. If this recommendation is approved, the Department will move forward with eliminating the City’s bicycle licensing

requirement (LAMC section 26.01).

As someone who spent nearly two weeks trying to get a bike license after I saw my fellow riders get slammed with fairly expensive tickets for not having one, I am elated that our police chief is finally making some much-needed sense. The tickets, which carried a fine of $160, became a new department priority back in August and I was personally a witness to the absurdity of the ticket process on a Midnight Ridazz ride, where ridazz were harassed for not having licenses.

Since that incident, I was once pulled over by an LAPD officer and asked to show my bike license. (No, seriously. Seriously.) Of course, I’d already been to the Parker Center downtown in Skid Row Central Division three times before that and managed to finally catch the department prepared the third time. (Yes, you read that right. Two previous times I’d tried to obey the law and license my bike and the Parker Center simply did not have a single license to give out. !!!!!!!!!!!)

If the system were more organized, available online, available everyday, available at every police station, and wasn’t used to harass riders, I might support it. But it was enforced without logic and without public safety in mind.

If the department does discontinue the program: Good riddance.

You can read the full report here. (pdf)

O HAI! A Metblogs Introduction

Hello, my trusty internet web blog! My name is Mark Oshiro. You may have seen me ’round the comments on this site; or perhaps you remember my own little bit of attention back in November; maybe you know me from my job as community manager/photographer over at that one site; or perhaps you’ve followed my other unhealthy obsession.

If you don’t know me at all, which is probably the case for 98% of you, O HAI! Anyway you look at it, there’s a common theme: Good lord, I love the internet. So when there were open calls for writers for LA Metblogs, I jumped at the chance to work alongside people I’ve come to know and respect. And here I am, your newest writer for LA Metblogs!

I’m hoping that I can bring my own unique experience of living in LA (I was born here) to you guys in the hopes of connecting us and creating a greater understanding of this large, (sometimes) intimidating, and (always) fascinating city.

Hello all! My first REAL post will be on Sunday. So if you go to the DOMA/anti-prop 8 rally in West Hollywood on Saturday and you see my grimey face trying to snap photos, say hello. :)

And now, a giant picture of said face:

Thanks for the opportunity, and I’m excited! EXCITED!!!!1!!1!1!