Category Archives: News

The Grove – “Screw Your Power Crisis”

In the comments on an earlier post about the current heat/power crisis, reader Matt points out that the stores at The Grove are the worst offenders in town. They have their air on full blast and their doors wide open trying to entice customers out of the courtyard into the icy coldness of consumerism. While this is a commendable tactic in a “get more people in the store” standpoint, it really blows from the “who cares if half the city loses power, we might make an extra $45 sale!” perspective. Does the city have any regulations about this kind of thing? I mean generally I wouldn’t care what a store does but if any of those 175,000 people who lost power yesterday were in the dark so that Crate & Barrell can get a little more foot traffic, well, that’s bad. And how much money is the city spending asking people to not run washing machines during the day, maybe someone could call over there and ask them to close their doors already? I’m going to be even less psyched about this if the state starts in with the rolling blackouts thing and I know it’s American Girls fault.

ALF Visits Bel Air

No, not that ALF, this one. Basically these are the guys that break into labs and set animals free. There’s obviously more to it that that, but that’s the basic jist of it. It should be noted that unlike any other organization there is no central leadership in the ALF, anyone who does anything to help further the cause of stopping tests on animals is said to be an ALF member. It’s super popular with idealistic high shcool and college kids, and there are endless punk rock bands who have written songs supporting them.

_41161261_alfpa203ind.jpgAccording to the ALF Press Office, some people, perhaps members of the UCLA Primate Freedom Project set out the other night to scare Lynn Fairbanks, who works at UCLA testing drug addition, criminality and violence on 725 monkeys in her care. (On a side note the PFP notes that “…it is shocking that a researcher is using animals to study social problems unique to humans. Ask Fairbanks about alcoholism and bank robberies in monkeys.”) I say they set out to scare her, because the press release states that they left a moletov cocktail on her door step and unless I have no idea what I’m talking about (which is always possible), moletov cocktail’s are pretty much usless unless thrown at something causing them to break and ignite. Anyway, that’s not the interesting part – this morning the LAFD Blog points to an FBI Press Release saying this was a “terrorist attack”, but also suggesting someone had the wrong address. The FBI release doesn’t name names, but does reference an “unintended target” and says “Investigation has determined that a residence in the neighborhood is the frequent target of protests by animal rights groups.”

Sounds like they went to the wrong house to me, but is this really a “terrorist attack”? Or is it just a few people who took something way too far. The ALF creedo posted clearly on their site says that theirs is “…a nonviolent campaign, activists taking all precautions not to harm any animal (human or otherwise).” which would pretty much rule against them trying to kill someone which seems to be implied in the FBI Release. And what if it is, is the FBI going to swamp high schools and start rounding up students who have ALF stickers and patches on their book bags, or start questioning the kids who hang on Melrose with Crass t-shirts? I mean really, are people who set lab rats free in the same boat as Al-Qaeda or Hamas?

Blasts in Mumbai

I really hate making these posts, but there’s been more attacks in a city where we have a metroblogging site. Reports are still conflicting but several trains in Mumbai (aka Bombay) were bombed and the death toll is growing. The folks at Metroblogging Mumbai are reporting help info, and local news there as they get it. Right now, people are still trying to figure out what just happened. Metblogger Selma writes:

“There are injured and dead people lying on the tracks. No police in the picture, no fire brigades. Its the local people, the shopkeepers and the people wo live close to the house who are coming into help. Carrying bodies both alive and dead in bedhseets. Some tiny bundles, perhaps with limbs within, or maybe children.

***

Whom were you trying to target? The working class men who struggle for an inch of space in local trains? The working women who knit and cut vegetables in trains on their way home? Young, dreamy students discussing exams and love? The babies accompanying their mothers, smiling back at the women around them?

Our thoughts are with them.

Earthquake Weather

Everyone I’ve run into for the past day or so has commented on the still and eerie “earthquake weather”.
And it does feel weird out… so I was wondering… Is the weather connected to the earth shaking? Something deep and primal must be set off in us humans when the days are hot, still and hazy. Then it suddenly changes with the wind kicking up something fierce. Earthquake weather…. can’t be real, right?
Continue reading Earthquake Weather

Feds: Local Robberies May Indicate Impending Terror Attack

Sign of the Apocalypse?

CBS News is reporting that US Official believe that the United States will be hit by another terror attack by the end of the year, and as evidence point to:

the holdup of a string of Torrance, Calif. gas stations last summer. Muslim converts who bonded together in prison planned to use the robberies to finance attacks on 20 Army recruiting stations.

More info on last August’s robberies can be found at the US Department of Justice and NBC 4 News, among other sources.

Additional suspected terrororist activity in Toledo, OH and Atlanta, GA led the Feds to this conclusion. The CBS piece goes on to say that while a next attack will likely not have as many casualties or be as spectacular as 9/11, there’s still reason to be prepared.

If four (plots), including the one in Canada, have been uncovered in just 11 months, officials fear there are inevitably other plots that have not been and are maturing even now.

BREAKING: Last Minute Injunction Filed & Dismissed Over Diebold Voting Machines in LA

This is very interesting, according to BradBlog some folks from the Peace & Freedom Party as well as the Green Party filed a last minute injunction over “questionable use” & placement of Diebold electronic voting machines as well as uncertified software and internet connections on those machines. It also seems that just before 7PM that injunction was dismissed. The full report is here, but this isn’t the only popping-up-at-the-last-moment issue, it also sounds like some of the machines are giving out wrong ballots.

Further, another troubling detail about Diebold’s touch-screen systems in the county was revealed on Friday of last week when The BRAD BLOG received an email indicating that one voter at least — Michael Shure, a political commentator on Sirius Sattelite’s The Young Turks radio program — who voted on the Diebold touch-screen machines was given the incorrect ballot.

Shure, who lives in CA’s 36th congressional district noted that his touch-screen ballot gave him the option to vote for Rep. Henry Waxman, who is running unopposed in his U.S. Congressional primary, instead of the Winograd/Harman race which should have been on his ballot.

“Unbelievable,” Shure wrote in his email. “Had I not known, as I am sure many voters don’t, who my Rep. was, and what district I live in, I would have been voting for someone else.”

So, if you are voting tomorrow and your polling place has these machines, might not be a bad idea to bring your sample ballot so that you know who you should be allowed to vote for.

Debating for Sheriff

LASD-big-badge-outdoor3.jpgThis is a long drawn out story but the long and short of it is that the Full Disclosure Network set up a debate series with the people running for Sheriff of Los Angeles county. County Sheriff Captain Ray Leyva, Captain Ken Masse (ret), Lt. Don Meredith and Sgt. Paul Jernigan all took part in it while Sheriff Baca declined. Through some back and forth that I’m still not sure I understand taping of one segment may have been sabotaged, and cable channel #35 that was supposed to air it backed out at the last moment. L.A. Cable Channel #36 will be airing the pull piece today between 3-4PM, but Full Disclosure also has the full thing up online that you can watch at any point (hopefully before you vote tomorrow). [It’s embeded steaming video that is a touch buggy, but watchable – but a downloadable MOV or MPG would be so much nicer *hint* *hint*] Issues discussed include early prison release programs, if the Sheriff’s Department should be a social services or law enforcement agency, concealed weapons and gun control, retaining deputies, jail violence and illegal immigration. Definitely worth watching.

Gas rage?

The AP is running a story about how people are getting upset over the price of gas and taking it out on gas clerks. Everyone has been complaining about gas prices for a while, so I guess it was a matter of time for people to start making a bit deal out of the one or two bad apples who have behaved violently against gas clerks. As if the guy behind the counter is the person who is in charge of worldwide oil prices…

LOS ANGELES – Tempers are rising along with gas prices. Gas stations across the country report that drivers are taking out their gas rage against big oil by yelling at clerks and cashiers and sometimes driving off without paying.

No detailed statistics are kept on incidents of gas rage. But the National Association of Convenience Stores said anecdotal evidence indicates they have increased since prices began climbing in February.

Police in Los Angeles and San Diego — the city with the highest gas prices in the nation — haven’t noticed any violent trends toward gas station workers. But there have been gas-related crimes around the nation. [full story]

The Daily News Makes Me Want To Puke

My landlord subscribes to the LA Daily News and no matter how many times he’s told them that he only needs one paper a day, they frequently deliver two. Rather than just toss the second copy he often leaves it for me to check out. I usually read the first few lines of the whatever is on the cover (without taking it out of the plastic even), realize that I already read whatever their main story is online the day before and toss it.

Last week he pointed out a story I’d missed by Josh Kleinbaum called ‘bloggers byte back at LAPD’s online foray‘. After getting past that oh-so-clever-yet-circa-1992 headline pun I found an article about “bloggers” reactions to the LAPD Blog. Since this is something I know a thing or two about I quickly read the article hoping to get a viewpoint that I had missed from some other Los Angeles Bloggers who were notable enough to get their names in the ol’ paper. Except I wasn’t so lucky. Not a word from a single LA blogger you might have heard of, but instead plenty of snark quoted from the likes of “Sassy Sue” on MySpace.com (they didn’t provide a link), or anonymous posters on suicidegirls.com. It’s like they went out of their way to only get quotes from people you’ve never heard of, and with no direct links quotes you couldn’t even check out yourself. I was going to write something about it at the time but decide to just ignore it assuming it would just go away.

Unfortunately for everyone who decides to sit down and read this thing, as if on some kind of bashing crusade, the are at it again this week. Only it gets SO much worse. Today the LAFD blog points out a piece by Mariel Garza called ‘LAPD blog just bogs down the net‘ which is so full of inaccuracies it’s not even funny. Do these people have a fact checker over there? I’m guessing no. As I read the piece I was wondering if I should fisk it, pointing out line by line every mistake they made or just pick a few of the bigger ones to highlight. (UPDATE: The LAPD has posted their own reply to this column here)

Continue reading The Daily News Makes Me Want To Puke

Lawsuit filed over downtown mystery blob

Back in February the Daily News told us that a mystery blob was eating downtown. Turns out Irvine-based St. James Oil Corp *might* be the mad scientist behind this monstrosity and was just named in nine count criminal complaint. That’s not really news, I mean, if you mess up and create a blob which eats city streets and causes the evacuation of about 130 people you can expect to have some charges filed against you. Here’s the news – what kind of trouble can you get in for a mess like this? Well the first charge, sending ‘heated injected liquid’ into the streets, drains and Ballona Creek, that one will cost them FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS. The other eight charged could be UP TO ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS each. Doing the math on that? This fiasco could cost this oil company somewhere in the neighborhood of $13K. Wow, I bet they accountants are crapping their pants over that one. Let’s recap here – 35 apartments were evacuated and people were kept out of their homes for days, a section of Olive Street was closed for months while it was cleaned, stabilized and repaved, and the legal ramification is $13K. Also, according to today’s Times “Officials in the state Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources earlier said St. James had agreed to pay for the cleanup pending an investigation into whether the company was responsible for the leak.” Ah, pending investigation.

More on the CCW fight in CA

I’ve posted several times about the CCW laws in CA and how they need to be reformed. Earlier this month I posted about a new online forum for California CCW issues with breakouts by county as well as for the whole state. The idea is that the more information that can be collected (as Jim March had been doing) and the more people talk about the issues, the more chance something will be changed. The forums have been up for just over a month and now have over 200 members and there’s already quite a bit of info there. The issue of course is that currently there’s no standard for who can get a CCW and who can’t. Rather than a law which states that anyone who applies for a CCW and meets a set of requirements (such as official training, background checks, etc) will get one (much like a drivers license), CA’s laws currently leave the decision up to one person. This has led to a good number of lawsuits, as well as widespread speculations that in some counties applications by wealthy or famous people get approved while those filed by the not so wealthy or famous aren’t. Or not at all if person calling the shots doesn’t feel like it. Or all the time if they do. This means that if two people with the exact same qualifications/just cause apply for a CCW there’s a good chance one might be approved and the other might not simply because of what their home address is, or who they know, or who they don’t. Or worse, someone with less of justification might be approved while someone with more clear need for such a license would be denied. Personal feelings about CCWs asside, it’s hard to argue against a fair baseline standard in favor of the on-the-whim decision system we have in place now. Hopefully these forums will help continue to get the word out and fix this broken system.

Rowena Community Vision – get involved

Further info on the ins and outs of development in Silver Lake –

Rowena Community Vision (RCV) has obtained copies of the MNDs (explained below) for the proposed condo developments at 2844 and 2920-2930 Rowena Ave (12 units and 55 units respectively). Action must be taken before May 10th.

What is an MND? For most zone changes and subdivisions
(including condos), City Planning publishes a report
known as a Mitigated Negative Declaration, or MND. 
The MND outlines ways in which potential negative
impacts of development on a community could be
“mitigated to a level of insignificance.” ¬†

Under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA),
the public is then given a limited period of time in
which to respond if it feels that City Planning’s
suggestions fall short.  It is our right and
responsibility to speak out if we feel changes should
be made since we will have to live with the additional
traffic, noise, visual and cumulative impacts on our
neighborhood.
Continue reading Rowena Community Vision – get involved

Yoga For Every Body – reopened in new location

My favorite yoga studio, Yoga For Every Body, has moved from Ventura Blvd (near Boneyard Bistro) and is now open.

The new studio, built off owner Nancy’s home, is replete with gorgeous bamboo floors and three full rope walls (if you’ve never used ropes for yoga you’re really missing out). They are officially open and this is the first week of classes.

Schedule is below. Email for info: yogainfo AT yfeb DOTcom.

Yoga For Every Body
5623 Mammoth AVe.
Valley Glen 91401

1 Block west of Woodman
2nd house north of Burbank
(there is an Irish bar, Ireland’s 32 on the corner)
Continue reading Yoga For Every Body – reopened in new location