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News, The Informer L.A. City Attorney Will Hire Outside Counsel to Defend NIMBY Lawsuits

L.A. City Attorney Will Hire Outside Counsel to Defend NIMBY Lawsuits

City Attorney Mike Feuer announced this week that his office would no longer use his own lawyers to represent the city in lawsuits against private developments. Instead, his office will hire outside counsel – and send the bill over to the developers.  "The city attorney will hire and manage the...…
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News, The Informer Could This Simple Idea Fix L.A.'s Voter Turnout FAIL?

Could This Simple Idea Fix L.A.'s Voter Turnout FAIL?

Congratulations, Los Angeles! You had the lowest voter turnout of any county in California during the November 2014 elections. Just over 1.5 million of you cast ballots – 15 percent of residents, or 31 percent of all registered voters. Compare that to our flower-wearing brethren in San Francisco, where 53...…
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News, The Informer 10 Things Santa Should Get L.A. For Christmas

10 Things Santa Should Get L.A. For Christmas

First, a disclaimer: this blog post was written by a Jew, with minimal understanding of the man called Santa Claus, except the understanding that he is a jolly fat person who gives people things for free. Well, Los Angeles sure needs some things. Here are 10 items on L.A.'s Christmas...…
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News, The Informer Koreatown Activist Grace Yoo Will Run to Unseat L.A. City Council President Herb Wesson

Koreatown Activist Grace Yoo Will Run to Unseat L.A. City Council President Herb Wesson

There are long-shot candidates who incumbents worry they'll have to actually campaign, and there are full-blown quixotic exercises in futility. Which is Grace Yoo? The longtime Koreatown activist announced yesterday that she's gathered the required 1,000 signatures to qualify for the March 2015 ballot, where she'll attempt to unseat the...…
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News, The Informer How "Superman of Renters" Daniel Bramzon Revolutionized L.A.'s Eviction-Defense Industry

How "Superman of Renters" Daniel Bramzon Revolutionized L.A.'s Eviction-Defense Industry

Department 94 is unlike any other courtroom in Los Angeles. Most courts are quiet, orderly affairs. Parties show up on time and speak when spoken to. Department 94 is different — one part game show, one part DMV on a Monday morning. Located on the seventh floor of the Stanley...…
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News, The Informer How eBay, Amazon and Alibaba Fuel the World's Top Illegal Industry — the Counterfeit Products Market

How eBay, Amazon and Alibaba Fuel the World's Top Illegal Industry — the Counterfeit Products Market

Over the last year, Craig Crosby has bought more than 250 items on eBay. The 6-foot-3 ex-cop with bushy white hair and a white mustache — a cop's mustache — keeps each item in its own Ziploc bag, carefully labeled as if evidence from a crime scene, because in a way...…
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News, The Informer 5 Things People Love About Thanksgiving That Are Actually Awful

5 Things People Love About Thanksgiving That Are Actually Awful

America's second-favorite holiday (after Christmas, obviously) is nearly upon us — Thanksgiving, a day that bears the full weight of a nation's expectations. And yet the bountiful meal often carries with it a bitter aftertaste of disappointment. Flights will be delayed, turkey will be overcooked, family members will get drunk...…
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News, The Informer Is This Ballot Responsible for Patty Lopez's Bizarre Upset Over Raul Bocanegra?

Is This Ballot Responsible for Patty Lopez's Bizarre Upset Over Raul Bocanegra?

The provisional ballots are still being counted (no rush guys, seriously), but it sure looks like unknown Patty Lopez is going to defeat powerful incumbent State Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra. She's sitting on a 419 vote advantage, about one percent ahead of Bocanegra.  Barring an enormous cache of Bocanegra votes hiding...…
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News, The Informer Election Results: California, November 4, 2014 (Updated Live)

Election Results: California, November 4, 2014 (Updated Live)

It's election night in America, and Jerry Brown is up for an unprecedented fourth term as governor of the great state of California. Will he defeat Republican and fake homeless man Neel Kashkari? Will State Superintendent Tom Torlakson win re-election over school-reform upstart Marshall Tuck? Will Sheila Kuehl defeat the...…
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News, The Informer California Voter Guide for Nov. 4, 2014: L.A. Weekly

California Voter Guide for Nov. 4, 2014: L.A. Weekly

Want to meet new people worth having over for poker or with whom to swap your second-hand novels? Try your voting precinct's active voters — also known as neighbors. There are about 1,000 of you per precinct, and it's always interesting to see who's out and about from your enclave...…
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News, The Informer LAUSD Official Says He'll Refile Sex Harassment Suit Against Superintendent Ray Cortines

LAUSD Official Says He'll Refile Sex Harassment Suit Against Superintendent Ray Cortines

Scot Graham, the LAUSD employee who sued Superintendent Ray Cortines in 2012 for sexual harassment, says he will refile that suit now that the elected seven-member LAUSD School Board has rehired Cortines.  "Last week, the board of the LAUSD announced the re-hire of Ramon Cortines and sent a clear message...…
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News, The Informer Bobby Shriver Campaigns With Anti-Vaxxer Cousin Bobby Kennedy, Jr.

Bobby Shriver Campaigns With Anti-Vaxxer Cousin Bobby Kennedy, Jr.

With the election a mere five days away, Bobby Shriver looked to get a bit of the old Kennedy magic by campaigning with his cousin, Bobby Kennedy, Jr., in the San Fernando Valley. Kennedy is a well-known environmental lawyer and activist, and for a while he was considered to be...…
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News, The Informer Labor Union Titan Maria Elena Durazo Leaving L.A. County Fed

Labor Union Titan Maria Elena Durazo Leaving L.A. County Fed

Arguably the most powerful unelected official in Los Angeles – Maria Elena Durazo – is stepping down as head of the L.A. County Federation of Labor and taking a job as vice president for immigration, civil rights and diversity at UNITE HERE, a union for hotel, restaurant and casino workers. ...…
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News, The Informer Is Sheila Kuehl or Bobby Shriver Less Bad at Handling $26 Billion?

Is Sheila Kuehl or Bobby Shriver Less Bad at Handling $26 Billion?

Sheila Kuehl and Bobby Shriver don't seem to like each other much. The two candidates vying to replace Zev Yaroslavsky on the powerful L.A. County Board of Supervisors appeared on KCRW's Which Way L.A.? broadcast last week. Reporters were allowed to remotely listen in to the recording session. Before the...…
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News, The Informer John Deasy Might Run For Public Office

John Deasy Might Run For Public Office

Newly freed from the shackles of running the second largest school district in the country, former LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy took part in a conference call this morning, answering reporters' questions for the first – er, second, if you count his Morning Edition interview he did earlier. See also: LAUSD...…
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News, The Informer LAUSD Chief John Deasy Resigns

LAUSD Chief John Deasy Resigns

The long soap opera starring L.A. Unified Superintendent John Deasy and the 7-member school board is finally over, as the embattled Deasy tendered his resignation this morning, after the board ratified a separation agreement. In a surprise twist, Deasy's interim replacement will be the man whom Deasy replaced in 2011...…
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News, The Informer Harry Major Took in Ex-Cons for Sex and Friendship. Then He Turned Up Dead

Harry Major Took in Ex-Cons for Sex and Friendship. Then He Turned Up Dead

Harry Major was ready to die. The 82-year-old retired Hollywood High School English teacher had been preparing Steve Schulte for the job of executing his will, and gave him strict instructions: no funeral. "No memorial, no funeral. Just burn the carcass," Major told Schulte. "You know, we live too long...…
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News, The Informer LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy Appears Headed for the Exit

LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy Appears Headed for the Exit

We've written the "John Deasy's days are numbered" story so many times, the words have lost all meaning. However, it sure looks like Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy's days are, in fact, numbered. Like, in the single digits. The seven-member LAUSD board, which sets overall district policy...…
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News, The Informer The 10 Most Shameful Things to Admit in Los Angeles

The 10 Most Shameful Things to Admit in Los Angeles

Los Angeles is one of the most diverse cities in the world. Unfortunately, that diversity doesn't always extend to its opinions. This is a city that has virtually no Republican Party to speak of, that has banned plastic bags in supermarkets and condomless porn (while the state of California has...…
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News, The Informer L.A. Hotel Workers May Get Huge Pay Increase to $15.37

L.A. Hotel Workers May Get Huge Pay Increase to $15.37

The Los Angeles City Council is set to vote today on what could be a huge windfall for hotel workers, raising their minimum wage to the oddly specific $15.37 an hour.  But a number of business groups, including the L.A. Chamber of Commerce, the Central City Association, and the Valley...…
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