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Sam Slovick 

News, The Informer Up From the Streets: A Scene From Occupy L.A.

Up From the Streets: A Scene From Occupy L.A.

Woodrow Coleman came all the way from Long Beach to see the Arab Spring bloom in downtown L.A. The African-American septuagenarian with deep-set brown eyes and a woolly white tangle of beard sports a well-worn baseball cap that suggests he has something money can't buy -- poverty. "For a change,...…
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News, The Informer Pavement Occupies L.A.: The Revolution Unfolds (VIDEO) (NSFW)

Pavement Occupies L.A.: The Revolution Unfolds (VIDEO) (NSFW)

Sam Slovick is sleeping down at City Hall to report firsthand on Occupy L.A. For continued coverage, visit SamSlovick.com. "Mic check, mic check," a voice booms from the PA system in front of City Hall in downtown L.A. I move into a tent on the south lawn outside the Mayor's...…
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News, The Informer Pavement Occupies L.A.: The Many Voices of the Movement (VIDEO)

Pavement Occupies L.A.: The Many Voices of the Movement (VIDEO)

Sam Slovick is sleeping down at City Hall to report firsthand on Occupy L.A. For continued coverage, visit SamSlovick.com. There are many voices to be heard in the movement. The nightly general assembly meets on the south steps at 7:30pm where wide-ranging ideas and proposals are heard. The ideas centering...…
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News, The Informer Hotel Hell: The Ford Hotel Is Given New Life (VIDEO and PODCAST)

Hotel Hell: The Ford Hotel Is Given New Life (VIDEO and PODCAST)

For a podcast of this column, click here. Travelle Robertson takes no notice of a large black woman in a bright orange T-shirt exhibiting her substantial bare breasts to passing traffic as he walks Gladys Street near Sixth Street downtown. He's numb to the madness -- he'd seen it all...…
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News, The Informer Invisible Skins: Aboriginal Americans Get Visible in Griffith Park

Invisible Skins: Aboriginal Americans Get Visible in Griffith Park

Johnny Jackson is an urban Native American. He is clean-cut, well-spoken and looks young for his 21 years. At the moment, he is sitting in a small tent with his mom and sisters, preparing to don his traditional regalia and sing and dance at a powwow in Griffith Park. Cover...…
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News, The Informer Angel of Peace: Homies Unidos and the Art of Handgun Alchemy

Angel of Peace: Homies Unidos and the Art of Handgun Alchemy

"I could be kicking it in my projects right now," says Albert Sanchez, intermittently making eye contact and shoe-gazing on the patio at La Fonderie, a bronze and steel foundry on Glendale Boulevard in Silver Lake. "I live in Ramona Gardens projects in East L.A." The 17-year-old with shaved head...…
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News, The Informer Anger Management: Mauricio Cruz Fights the Power on the Job

Anger Management: Mauricio Cruz Fights the Power on the Job

Mauricio Cruz doesn't like to talk about himself. He's a gentle person with big, brown eyes, seemingly incapable of malice. "I always tell the truth, so no one can talk behind my back," he offers quietly in a small office on Van Nuys Boulevard. The 24-year-old documented Nicaraguan immigrant, at...…
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News, The Informer Rome Viharo and the Future: Storytelling, Shamanism and How Social Media Replaces Government

Rome Viharo and the Future: Storytelling, Shamanism and How Social Media Replaces Government

Rome Di Giulio arrived at the Ribbit Tree Dojo on Old Topanga Road for the Topanga Film Festival's transmedia workshop in his signature Darth Vader T-shirt and Bermuda shorts. A forward thinker who places no restraints on his creative vision, Di Giulio describes the transmedia genre as "a story .....…
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News, The Informer In a Glass House: Police Policing the Police with TEAMS II Technology

In a Glass House: Police Policing the Police with TEAMS II Technology

Los Angeles is a capacious megalopolis that begins at Tijuana and ends at San Francisco. A rugged portion of that geography falls under the jurisdiction of the Los Angeles Police Department, serving some 4 million people in the almost 500 square miles of L.A. proper. From Rodney to Rampart, the...…
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News, The Informer The Tattooer's Apprentice: Art Emancipates PostModern Cholo (VIDEO)

The Tattooer's Apprentice: Art Emancipates PostModern Cholo (VIDEO)

The synchronicity between the opening of MOCA's "Art in the Streets" show and L.A. law enforcement's crackdown on graffiti hasn't gone unnoticed by postmodern cholo and tattooer's apprentice Sal Sanchez. Recent arrests of street artists Invader, Smear and Revok are on Sanchez's radar. "The city of Los Angeles is cracking...…
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News, The Informer Precious: Rescued Pitt Bull, Looking for Love

Precious: Rescued Pitt Bull, Looking for Love

Precious is such a bitch. The compact young blonde struts the patio inside the iron gates just behind the Modernica furniture factory in downtown's Industrial District. Precious is subtly clever, looking for vulnerability: She'll push your buttons, then put you in check just to let you know who's in charge...…
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News, The Informer Life After Life: Decades Behind Bars Can Make You a Better Man (VIDEO and PODCAST)

Life After Life: Decades Behind Bars Can Make You a Better Man (VIDEO and PODCAST)

For a podcast of this column, click here. A man squints in the afternoon sun, taking in a warm breeze on the porch of a meticulously maintained two-story home at the intersection of downtown and South Central. Laughter echoes from the street, an ice cream truck jingles, kids meander home...…
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News, The Informer Charlie Gets Out: Gender-Bending Performer Braves His 'Hood (VIDEO and PODCAST)

Charlie Gets Out: Gender-Bending Performer Braves His 'Hood (VIDEO and PODCAST)

For a podcast of this column, click here. Charlie Romero is a small, exotic island just off the east coast of Echo Park, nestled in a sea of tidy bungalows in East L.A. "I'm a hot mess," Charlie confesses. He's wearing a candy-striped, polyester-blend tank top and capri pants. The...…
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News, The Informer San Simon's Revenge: Carlos Offended the Underworld God, So Now He's Ducking the Cops (VIDEO and PODCAST)

San Simon's Revenge: Carlos Offended the Underworld God, So Now He's Ducking the Cops (VIDEO and PODCAST)

For a podcast of this column, click here. Carlos is cocooning. The sound resonating inside the pupal casing of his mind is the dull thud of shock. He's been here before, when he was a kid. Now 19, the handsome, young, undocumented Mexican-American is dodging bullets and beat cops again,...…
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News, The Informer Temple of Scream: Relishing the Horror of a Hollywood Franchise

Temple of Scream: Relishing the Horror of a Hollywood Franchise

Deep in the far reaches of Montebello, in a secret temple, a young monk arranges sacred objects on the altar with exacting specificity. Each item is invested with hallowed significance and placed in its preordained place. The sacrosanct enclave, on the second floor of an unassuming apartment building, just around...…
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News, The Informer Homeless in Venice: Travelers Come for the California Dream and Stay for the Concrete (VIDEO)

Homeless in Venice: Travelers Come for the California Dream and Stay for the Concrete (VIDEO)

It's another postcard day at Venice Beach, the Washington Square Park of L.A. Aging kooks and crackpots in an eternal time warp freely express themselves like it's 1967. There's a guy in a leopard bikini with the rubber snakes, a dude in a white turban on skates with a guitar...…
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News, The Informer The Lost Tribe: Weathering the Storm in the San Fernando Valley (VIDEO)

The Lost Tribe: Weathering the Storm in the San Fernando Valley (VIDEO)

Molly doesn't seem to mind the torrential downpour across the street from Sun Valley Park on a Sunday morning. The svelte young brunette makes her way down a sidewalk, through a maze of drenched cushions and blankets. She finds some scraps of soggy food and wags her tail. She's part...…
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News, The Informer The Free Association of Anarchists Plan to Unleash a Weapon of Collective Organization (VIDEO)

The Free Association of Anarchists Plan to Unleash a Weapon of Collective Organization (VIDEO)

Tobie Castle is one of the last to arrive at Chuco's on Sunday morning. The 17-year-old self-proclaimed socialist/anarchist street punk came from East L.A. to Inglewood with a comrade for the sixth meeting of the Free Association of Anarchists. He's spring-loaded in a black leather jacket, black boots, jeans and...…
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News, The Informer Taking the Bait: What Happens on TruTV's <em>Bait Car</em> Happened to Guillermo

Taking the Bait: What Happens on TruTV's Bait Car Happened to Guillermo

Guillermo came to L.A. from the village of Soyapango, El Salvador, when he was 4 years old. His belly swollen with parasites, he rode on his uncle's shoulders as they navigated a well-worn trail in the night jungle to avoid the heat. Guided by a rope and a vision, they...…
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News, The Informer Freeway Rick Ross: From drug-trafficking and CIA connections, to a biopic directed by Nick Cassavetes, the former 'Donald Trump of crack' becomes the patron saint of South Central

Freeway Rick Ross: From drug-trafficking and CIA connections, to a biopic directed by Nick Cassavetes, the former 'Donald Trump of crack' becomes the patron saint of South Central

The wad of crumpled $20 bills stashed under Ollie North's pillow had Freeway Rick Ross' fingerprints all over it when the CIA got caught slanging rocks in South Central back in the '80s. Grimy, crumpled and smeared with ghetto tears, the deal bought Freeway Rick a very public trial. His...…
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