Los Angeles Opens New Hygiene Center on Skid Row; Local Activists Not Impressed

Mayor Eric Garcetti and an assortment of city councilmen rolled out the proverbial red carpet for themselves on Monday in Skid Row, for the new opening of a brand-new "hygiene center." The curiously named "ReFresh Spot" (what is this, a new juice stand?) contains six showers and eight toilets, the first time in a decade that the city has added new public restrooms to Skid Row.“Homelessness is a crisis of housing and public health," said the mayor in a statement, "and the ReFresh Spot shows that when the community and city work together, we can help the most vulnerable Angelenos meet their most basic human needs.”But not everyone was so pleased with the grand opening. As part of the festivities, the mayor handed a certificate of commendation (which local elected officials hand out like candy on Halloween to any dry cleaner or volunteer they cross paths with) to a local activist with the Los Angeles Community Action Network (or L.A. CAN) known as General Dogon."You know what?" said Dogon as he commandeered the microphone. "This award is just like the mayor and his cronies." At that, Dogon began to rip the commendation to shreds. "It’s worthless. Because ... the toilets that you bringing, it’s 10 years late and it’s 300 too short!"The mayor cringed. A few people in the audience cheered. Dogon continued: "For the last 16 years, you been in leadership of City Council, you have directly criminalized Skid Row. And I cannot accept this. This ain’t nothing compared to what we been going through and what we need.""I agree," said the mayor, smiling uncomfortably.In the past, public toilets on Skid Row have been used for criminal purposes — drug use and prostitution — according to law enforcement officials. Which is why the new $450,000 facility will come with a maintenance and security crew. Officials hope to expand the center next year, adding more toilets and showers as well as a laundry machines. According to the most recent Continue Reading

Glass Animals land in Los Angeles high on the people power of ‘How To Be A Human Being’

By Peter Larsen | [email protected] | Orange County Register PUBLISHED: September 14, 2017 at 6:18 pm | UPDATED: September 15, 2017 at 3:02 pm Glass Animals are a British indie rock band from Oxford whose second album, “How To Be A Human Being,” brought them onto the world festival circuit this year and to the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017. Photo by Pooneh GhanaDave Bayley of Glass Animals performs at Coachella Music & Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club on Friday, April 14, 2017, in Indio, Calif. (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP) SoundDrew MacFarlane of Glass Animals performs at Coachella Music & Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club on Friday, April 14, 2017, in Indio, Calif. (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP)Dave Bayley of Glass Animals performs at Coachella Music & Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club on Friday, April 14, 2017, in Indio, Calif. (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP)Dave Bayley of Glass Animals performs at Coachella Music & Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club on Friday, April 14, 2017, in Indio, Calif. (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP)Joe Seaward of Glass Animals performs at Coachella Music & Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club on Friday, April 14, 2017, in Indio, Calif. (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP)Glass Animals are a British indie rock band from Oxford whose second album, “How To Be A Human Being,” brought them onto the world festival circuit this year and to the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017. Photo by Pooneh GhanaShow Caption of Expand As the British indie rock band Glass Animals toured for one year and then another behind its debut album, singer Dave Bayley found himself fascinated by random people he met on the road and the stories they shared. “You just end up meeting lots and lots of people,” Bayley says by phone from his home in Oxford, England. “You meet people who work at the venue. You get a taxi to go do a Continue Reading

Fashion trucks are driving a new trend into Los Angeles

Monique Cruz's Selvedge Dry Goods truck was among the fashion trucks the American Mobile Association brought to CSULB as part of a new truck pop-up shop events at the school, in Long Beach, CA., on Tuesday, February 11, 2014. (Sean Hiller/ Staff Photographer) Jeanine Romo, left, and Stacey Steffe, right, show their fashion truck as it is parked on Sunset Blvd.Tuesday, March 11, 2014, Hollywood, CA. (Steve McCrank / Staff Photographer) Show Caption of Expand By Richard Guzman | [email protected] | Press Telegram PUBLISHED: March 26, 2014 at 8:06 pm | UPDATED: September 1, 2017 at 3:25 am They’ve taken their game plan directly from the food truck phenomenon that rolled into the L.A. area more than five years ago. They spruce up their trucks with bright colors, cool graphics and catchy names as they tweet out information about when and where they’ll pop up next. But instead of serving fusion tacos, organic burgers or lobster rolls, they’re hawking fast fashion as part of the latest business trend to hit the streets: fashion trucks. “We’re promoting being mobile, a new way of shopping and a creative way of bringing the product to the customer,” said Monique Cruz, who owns Selvedge Dry Goods, a vintage clothing boutique she runs out of a fixed-up cargo truck. She opened about a year ago with an investment of less than $10,000. Part of the retrofit included a small wooden staircase that leads to the interior of Selvedge Dry Goods, which, thanks to its inventory, has the feel of a very small Urban Outfitters or Wasteland. It was one of the five fashion trucks that recently parked at Cal State Long Beach’s campus for an outdoor shopping event. Cruz is now preparing to return to CSULB on April 7 and 14 for another day of mobile fashion dubbed “Springchella.” The events will include seven retail trucks aimed at students in need of some desert-friendly fashion before heading out to the Coachella Valley Continue Reading

The Los Angeles Times Announces Food Bowl: Annual LA Food Festival In May

Food Bowl will celebrate the diversity of Los Angeles through 31 days of food in May. Photo: The Los Angeles Times The Los Angeles Times announced Tuesday the launch of the Food Bowl, a month-long festival celebrating the city’s dynamic and influential food scene, taking place throughout the month of May. The announcement was made during a special brunch at Spring in downtown Los Angeles, attended by VIPs and culinary influencers. Guests enjoyed a number of dishes including Oeufs Farcis (deviled eggs topped with mustard seeds, paprika and chives) and Fruits Exotiques (a vanilla panna cotta with passion fruit and mango coconut meringue topped with lime zest.) (left to right) The Los Angels Times food editor Amy Scattergood, critic Jonathan Gold, Test Kitchen director Noelle Carter and deputy editor Jenn Harris attend the launch event for Food Bowl in downtown Los Angeles, Feb. 7, 2017. Photo: Jennifer Johnson Centered in Los Angeles, the festival will bring together the best in local dining experiences while promoting social awareness about food waste and hunger. LA’s largest culinary event to date, Food Bowl will include special programs with internationally renowned chefs making rare U.S. appearances, including Massimo Bottura, chef-owner of Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy, and founder of Food for Soul; Fergus Henderson, chef and founder of St. John in London; Rosio Sánchez, chef-owner of Hija de Sánchez in Copenhagen, and Magnus Nilsson, chef at Fäviken in Sweden, with more to be announced. Chef Tony Esnault of Spring Restaurant prepares dishes for the launch event for the Food Bowl. Photo: Jennifer Johnson The Times Food staff, including Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Jonathan Gold, editor Amy Scattergood, deputy editor Jenn Harris and test kitchen director Noelle Carter, will curate and host signature events during the festival. Building on the success of the Taste and Continue Reading

See these 7 bands for free at Night on Broadway in Los Angeles

By Richard Guzman | [email protected] | Press Telegram December 30, 2017 at 7:07 am One night. 9 blocks. 75,000 people. Get ready for the third annual Night on Broadway, a day (and night)-long street party and concert set for Jan. 27 that will include 10 stages of music, art exhibitions and performance artists on the street and inside six historic theaters. The free celebration is part of L.A. City Council member José Huizar’s decade-long “Bringing Back Broadway” initiative, which has focused on revitalizing the street that was once the center of entertainment and retail in Los Angeles via making it easier to restore historic buildings and giving the area more pedestrian access. “With January marking the end of our 10-year Bringing Back Broadway initiative, which has surpassed our expectations in revitalizing one of the City of L.A.’s most historic streets, we definitely wanted Night on Broadway 2018 to be epic,” Huizar  said in an email interview. The festival just finalized its lineup, but here are some of the highlights of Night on Broadway. (Note that performance times and stages have yet to be announced). The B-52s The classic alt-rockers recently packed Pershing Square with a free performance there this year as part of the park’s Summer Concert Series. Expect another high energy show from these veterans known for hits such as “Love Shack,” “Roam” and “Rock Lobster.” La Santa CeciliaGrammy winning alt-rockers La Santa Cecila started as buskers on Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles. Now the group is one of the event’s headliners. The band mixes alt-rock with Latin and world music, so expect a party lead by charismatic front woman Marisol Hernandez. Raul Pacheco and the Immaculate Conception This is a side project for Ozomatli guitarist Raul Pacheco made up of an ensemble of several talented local musicians. The band opened Night on Broadway’s main Continue Reading

The Port of Los Angeles had a year for the record books

As the leading trade gateway in North America, the Port of Los Angeles has always been an economic engine of Southern California and a major contributor to the national economy, with about 1.6 million jobs across the United States connected to our cargo trade and operations. This past year was no different. In fact, 2017 was historically significant in several respects. For the second year in a row, the port will report record-setting cargo volumes, racking up the highest container volumes in our 110-year history. In November, our container terminals and labor workforce moved more than 924,000 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units, the busiest month ever for a Western Hemisphere port. In the midst of record cargo growth these past two years, port emissions continue to decline. The latest Air Emissions Inventory Report shows diesel particulate matter in and around our port complex decreased by 87 percent since 2005, evidence that balanced economic growth and environmental stewardship don’t need to be mutually exclusive goals. Our cargo growth has been a direct result of a concerted effort over the last three years on supply chain optimization. This collaboration with the cargo stakeholder community has paid off in significant ways. Record cargo numbers are providing us the opportunity to invest more in our port infrastructure, from both a brick-and-mortar and a technology standpoint. Our “Digital Infrastructure” efforts in 2017 included a game-changing initiative to digitize critical data that will help cargo owners, rail and trucking companies track their containers and more effectively plan for land-side transport. Combined with ongoing terminal upgrades, we are making great strides in efficient cargo movement across our port supply chain. Higher cargo efficiency and container volumes also help fuel further investment in our visitor-serving L.A. Waterfront — and we are doing just that. Established in 2015, the Port’s Public Access Investment Continue Reading

Los Angeles Pride Parade morphs into ‘Resist March’

By Lucy Nicholson LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Tens of thousands of people dressed in rainbow attire and waving protest signs walked en masse through Los Angeles on Sunday in a "Resist March" against U.S. President Donald Trump, an event that took the place of the city's annual Pride parade. The 3-mile (4.8km) walk began in Hollywood and culminated with a rally in gay-friendly West Hollywood featuring Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader of U.S. House of Representatives, the city's liberal Mayor Eric Garcetti and drag queen icon RuPaul. "We're people," said Mary Demasters, 29, who wore a rainbow cape draped over her shoulders and a rainbow sticker on cheek. "We deserve to be treated like people, all of us, no matter what our differences are. We're all people." Reflecting this year's emphasis on the common ground of liberal causes, including LGBT rights, Demasters carried a placard that read: "When you come for one of us, you come for all of us." The event brought together a range of groups at the forefront of the country's most contentious political issues, including Planned Parenthood, Black Lives Matter, the American Civil Liberties Union and GLAAD, an LGBTQ media advocacy organization. "This was not the year for parades. This was the year to take to the streets and march," said Stephen Macias, a spokesman for the organizers, highlighting the wave of protests across the country since Trump's election in November. "The march is still about celebrating our community but it's also about recognizing the climate we live in and the delicate balance around civil rights," Macias said. The decision to shift the event's emphasis drew criticism from some in Southern California's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and "queer" community, who say the one day of the year set aside to celebrate their LGBTQ identities should not be given over to other political causes. It marks the second year in a row that Los Angeles Pride organizers have faced dissension. In Continue Reading

Made in America Festival rocks Los Angeles: 29 arrests on Day 1 of music fest

A group of sexy dancers backed Iggy Azalea as Rita Ora joined her on stage. Kendrick Lamar shared the spotlight with label-mate Schoolboy Q during his set. Afrojack got the crowd jumping, and Imagine Dragons closed out the evening. The first night of the inaugural Budweiser Made in America music festival in Los Angeles went off with few problems, despite concerns from residents about possible security and traffic issues. Lamar noted the unique setting, saying, "I've been touring the world, and I ain't never done a festival in the heart of Los Angeles." Other acts performing Saturday in sunny Grand Park included Metric, Sublime with Rome, rapper YG and rockers Capital Cities. Authorities made 29 arrests Saturday, including six for felony narcotics, according to Los Angeles Police Sgt. Andrew Neiman. Seven people were transported to local hospitals for unknown reasons, he said. Founded in Philadelphia by Jay Z in 2012, the Budweiser Made in America concert brings top acts to urban centers. This is the third year the Philadelphia show has been held at Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The inaugural Los Angeles show is at Grand Park, a green space between city hall and the Music Center. Mayor Eric Garcetti championed the Made in America event, fast-tracking it through city approvals. "There's no question there will be economic benefit" for the city, he told reporters. The mayor is among the 35,000 people expected to attend the multi-stage show in the park, which opened two years ago and is being used for the first time for a large, ticketed event. Police will be present in force, and several streets in the area are closed to accommodate the concert. Concert promoter Live Nation paid the city $500,000 to cover setup and security costs, Garcetti spokesman Yusef Robb said. It also promised to pay for cleanup and any property damage, he said. Officials anticipate the festival to be an economic boon for the city, Robb said, Continue Reading

Endeavour takes 12-mile trek through the streets of Los Angeles

In thousands of Earth orbits, the space shuttle Endeavour traveled 123 million miles. But the last few miles of its final journey are proving hard to get through. Endeavour’s 12-mile crawl across Los Angeles to the California Science Museum hit repeated delays Saturday, leaving expectant crowds along city streets and at the destination slowly dwindling. Officials estimated the shuttle, originally expected to finish the trip early Saturday evening, would not arrive until 6 a.m. PDT or later Sunday. At times on Saturday it seemed the only thing moving was the shuttle’s fast-changing ETA. JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images The shuttle which flew more than 115 million miles in its two-decade career. The day started off promising, with Endeavour 90 minutes ahead of schedule. But accumulated hurdles and hiccups caused it to run hours behind at day’s end. The problems included longer than expected maintenance of the rig carrying the shuttle and physical obstacles within the shuttle’s wingspan including light posts, building edges, and most of all trees. In a scene that repeated itself many times, a small tree on the narrowest section of the move brought the procession to a stop, forcing crews to find creative ways to dip a wing under or raise it over the tree without having to cut it down. Some 400 trees had been removed to avoid such situations, but officials said most of the trees that gave them trouble could not be cut down because they were old or treasured for other reasons, including some planted in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Patrick T. Fallon/AP Spectators take pictures as the space shuttle Endeavour. The crowd had its problems too. Despite temperatures in the mid-70s, several dozen people were treated for heat-related injuries after a long day in the sun, according to fire officials. But it was a happy, peaceful crowd, with firefighters having only to respond to a sheared hydrant and a small rubbish fire, Continue Reading

Police storm Occupy Los Angeles, Occupy Philadelphia

Police in Los Angeles and Philadelphia stormed Occupy Wall Street encampments in both cities Wednesday, demanding protestors leave demonstration sites that had become two of the movement’s largest after evictions upended others across the country. Dozens of officers in riot gear flooded down the steps of Los Angeles City Hall just after midnight and started dismantling the two-month-old camp two days after a deadline passed for campers to leave the City Hall lawn. The raid had a military precision and officers in helmets and wielding batons moved in and began making arrests after several orders were given to leave the small park. PHOTOS: THE 99% OCCUPIES AMERICA The raid in Los Angeles came after demonstrators with the movement in Philadelphia marched through the streets after being evicted from their site. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa raised public safety and health concerns in announcing plans for the eviction last week, while Philadelphia officials said protestors must clear their site to make room for a $50 million renovation project. Defiant Los Angeles campers who were chanting slogans as the officers surrounded the park, booed when an unlawful assembly was declared, paving the way for officers to begin arresting those who didn’t leave. In the first moments of the raid, officers tore down a tent and tackled a tattooed man with a camera on City Hall steps and wrestled him to the ground. Someone yelled “police brutality.” Teams of four or five officers moved through the crowd making arrests one at a time, cuffing the hands of protesters with white plastic zip-ties. A circle of protesters sat with arms locked, many looking calm and smiling. Opamago Cascini, 29, said the night had been a blast and he was willing to get arrested. “It’s easy to talk the talk, but you gotta walk the walk,” Cascini said. In Philadelphia, police began pulling down tents at about 1:20 a.m. EST after giving demonstrators three warnings Continue Reading