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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Was rising Democratic star Raul Bocanegra, left, undone by a weird ballot that favored obscure Patty Lopez?
  • Was rising Democratic star Raul Bocanegra, left, undone by a weird ballot that favored obscure Patty Lopez?
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 under a desk or a dramatic recount by the Los Angeles County Registrar of Voters, Lopez is going to Sacramento. 

It's easily the political upset of the year in California — Bocanegra, by all accounts California's Assembly Speaker-in-waiting, every inch the Democratic Party establishment figure, upset by Lopez, a mild-mannered LAUSD employee and political nobody born in Michoacan, Mexico, for whom English is a second language (she speaks with a heavy accent). 

"It’s the Latino version of Mr. Smith goes to Washington," says Democratic strategist Michael Trujillo. "Ms. Lopez goes to Sacramento. It’s the Univision version."

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday, November 21, 2014

Alcohol & Spirits

Weekend DUI Crackdown Targets Hollywood

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Fri, Nov 21, 2014 at 3:34 PM
DAVID BAILEY/FLICKR
  • David Bailey/Flickr
Here's a story you don't want to tell your family at the Thanksgiving dinner table: You got busted for drunk driving.

The Los Angeles Police Department actually wants you to avoid that embarrassment. To that end, it's warning you about where and when its officers will be looking for DUI suspects this weekend.

The LAPD says that "research shows that traffic collisions involving an impaired driver can be reduced by up to 20 percent when well-publicized DUI checkpoints and proactive DUI patrols are conducted routinely."

Here's the 411:

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FILE PHOTO OF THE AVN AWARDS BY NATE "IGOR" SMITH/L.A. WEEKLY
  • File photo of the AVN Awards by Nate "Igor" Smith/L.A. Weekly
Even though efforts to legislate mandatory condom use in California porn have failed repeatedly in recent years, that hasn't stopped the state Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) from making rules of its own.

See also: Porn's Condom Law Goes Down

The problem, as the L.A.-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation sees it, is that it has been years since Cal/OSHA began the process of putting condom-use into its rule book. The AHF earlier this month, with the help of five former performers who are HIV-positive, protested the slow pace of regulation.

See also: Porn Stars With HIV to Protest Lack of Condom Rules

And, yesterday, as the industry was celebrating its AVN Awards nominations, the organization claimed victory:

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MICHAEL LOCKE/L.A. WEEKLY FLICKR POOL
  • Michael Locke/L.A. Weekly Flickr pool
L.A. is one of the most expensive cities in America when it comes to paying rent or buying a house.

But the folks at real estate website Zillow have at least a little good news for us today. They say L.A.'s relatively low number of homes for sale is on the rise. The market is loosening up.

See also: L.A.'s Sucky Housing Affordability Is Getting Worse

Inventory in Los Angeles is up nearly 20 percent compared to last year, Zillow says. Even better, if you ask us, is the news that inventory for the lowest-priced homes is up 27.3 percent compared to 2013. In the so-called "middle tier" of homes, we're talking 25 percent more listings, says the site.

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DAVE HERHOLZ/FLICKR
  • Dave Herholz/Flickr
L.A. has the worst traffic in America anytime of the year, rain or shine.

So it should come as no surprise that the folks at traffic app firm Inrix have concluded that "Los Angeles tops the list of the country’s most congested cities this Thanksgiving season," according to a statement.

See also: Los Angeles Traffic Sucks The Worst (Again)

The worst portion of the nightmare, of course, will be Wednesday afternoon before Turkey Day, between 3 and 5 p.m., says Inrix.

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Education

UC Tuition Could Surpass $15,000 a Year

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Thu, Nov 20, 2014 at 3:00 PM
UCLA
  • UCLA
In 1960 the California legislature essentially approved then Gov. Pat Brown's Master Plan for higher education, which included the tenet that a world class education should be accessible for all California children who show promise.

The University of California system has lived up to its calling as a destination for top-flight students, but accessibility has nearly disappeared, denying Brown's legacy for the millennial generation.

See also: U.S. News & World Report Says UCLA Is a Top 10 Global University

The University of California Board of Regents today put another nail in the coffin of accessibility by voting 13-7 to increase tuition, if necessary, but 5 percent a year through the school year 2019-20.

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FILE PHOTO BY MARK COGGINS/FLICKR
  • File photo by Mark Coggins/Flickr
A 23-year-old Southern California man pretended to be a girl on a social media app in order to woo a 15-year-old girl and ultimately have sex with her, L.A. prosecutors alleged this week.

Michael Anthony Byrne of Canyon Country was arrested Monday and remains behind bars downtown in lieu of $175,000 bail, according to the L.A. Sheriff's Department.

The District Attorney's office says he was charged Wednesday with "two counts of oral copulation of a person under 16 and one count each of meeting a minor for lewd purposes, sexual penetration by foreign object and unlawful sexual intercourse."

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PETE SOUZA FOR THE WHITE HOUSE
  • Pete Souza for the White House
UCLA researchers said this week that President Obama's widely expected initiative to expand amnesty for those in the United States illegally is good for the pocketbooks of Americans.

The UCLA North American Integration and Development Center (NAID) says in a summary of its new report, "From the Shadows to the Mainstream," that "all scenarios for increasing the scope of potential beneficiaries would generate significant economic growth, benefiting not only immigrants, but also the U.S. economy as a whole."

Obama's executive action on immigration is expected to provide some legal protection for as many as 5 million of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States.

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NEWSTODAY/YOUTUBE
  • NewsToday/YouTube
Recently posted YouTube video (below) captures an L.A. Department of Water and Power worker tossing a cat more than a story to the ground after the feline was rescued from a power pole recently.

The imagery is disturbing for some animal lovers, and it has prompted questions about why the city employee didn't just lower the "cherry picker" bucket he was in to a safer elevation before letting the cat go free.

The worker is heard saying that the feline was "clawing" him.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Tech

This New Texting-&-Driving Technology Could Save Your Ass

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Wed, Nov 19, 2014 at 8:04 AM
DRIVE
  • DRIVE
If Los Angeles is still the capital of car culture, it's also the town where texting and driving clogs up traffic and, worse, causes terrible accidents.

A California technology entrepreneur who was part of Apple's Siri development team thinks he has a solution, a device that makes you keep your hands on your steering wheel.

DRIVE is a small gizmo that attaches to your steering column and reads out your texts and emails for you. You can respond, but not unless both hands are on the wheel.

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