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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Drugs

Expect Lots of Marijuana on Your Presidential Ballot

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Thu, Oct 2, 2014 at 7:03 AM
FILE PHOTO BY NANETTE GONZALEZ/L.A. WEEKLY
  • File photo by Nanette Gonzalez/L.A. Weekly
The legalization of recreational marijuana will be a huge issue on your 2016 ballot in California. It's a presidential year, and pro-pot forces are expecting a larger-than-normal turnout at the polls.

The Washington, D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project already made waves in recent days by announcing it would "begin raising funds to help place the measure on the November 2016 ballot."

See also: Full Legalization of Marijuana Could Come to California in 2016

But the MPP wasn't the first organization to eye November, 2016 ballot in California, and it certainly won't be the last:

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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 banned foie gras and Kosher-for-Passover Coca-Cola). Things that would be perfectly acceptable in other cities are treated as downright horrifying here.

Here, then, are the 10 most shameful things to confess to in Los Angeles (Mind you, dear reader, LA Weekly, Voice Media and this blogger wish no shame upon anyone; rather, these are things that other Angelenos will make you feel ashamed of, either implicitly or explicitly):

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Helicopter Command Pilot Stuart Lomax soars above an LAPD bust, Dodger Stadium, the Hollywood Sign, Santa Monica Pier, sprawling hillside mansions and Downtown L.A. as part of the world's largest airborne law enforcement operation.  At all times during daylight hours, at least two LAPD helos circle the 468.7-square-mile city.

Lomax calls what they see from aloft "like a silent movie" in which the airborne crews act as the eyes for police who are chasing, tracking or arresting suspects or responding to calls on the ground: 

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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Politics

Eric Garcetti Ups the Jargon, Vows to "Follow from the Front"

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Wed, Oct 1, 2014 at 3:38 PM
Eric Garcetti on stage at CityLab conference - VIA CITYLAB
  • via CityLab
  • Eric Garcetti on stage at CityLab conference
See update from Sept. 30 below: Garcetti backtracks. 

First published at 6 a.m. Sept. 29:

Mayor Eric Garcetti took the stage Monday at the Atlantic's CityLab conference and did what he does best — talked fluently for nearly 20 minutes without really saying anything. The event is hosted by the Aspen Institute and Bloomberg Philanthropies — it's sort of a second-tier Davos — so Garcetti adopted the high-minded jargon of the international elite.

Walter Isaacson, head of the Aspen Institute, set the tone with his first question: "What does it mean to be a public CEO rather than, quote, a mayor?" If your answer is, "That's nonsense," then that's why you weren't invited to speak. Garcetti answered that a public CEO is "open-sourced," and then compared himself to Elon Musk, which was the right answer.

Garcetti said only one thing that was genuinely embarrassing when held up to scrutiny...

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KEITH SKELTON/FLICKR
If someone told you an L.A.-area community made the top 10 in a ranking of America's fastest-growing cities, you might guess that it was Irvine, Glendale or even Santa Clarita.

Nope. This will really surprise you. Not only does this community lack a contemporary mall and upscale housing, it's not even a city, technically speaking.

We're talking about good old fashioned East L.A. proper:

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JIM WRIGLEY PHOTOGRAPHY/FLICKR
  • Jim Wrigley Photography/Flickr
Long before a spring Southern California rampage that killed seven, including himself, 22-year-old Elliot Rodger was reported to authorities as a possible mental case.

But that didn't stop him from legally purchasing the guns he used during his attacks in Isla Vista, near UC Santa Barbara, last May.

See also: Isla Vista Rampage Means Tighter Gun Laws Could Be Considered in California

Gun control advocates immediately revived efforts to try to prevent the mentally unstable from obtaining firearms. This time they were successful:

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Yesterday's news of the first case of Ebola diagnosed on U.S. soil probably has you a bit hypochondriacal today—checking your temperature, noting a slight frog in your throat.

Well, it's possible you are sick. It's almost impossible that it's Ebola.

See also: How Not to Get Ebola

The folks at Sickweather, an app and website that gives you real-time information on local illnesses based on social media data mining, say L.A. is in the midst of a cold-virus wave:

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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Crime

Mayor of Bell Gardens Shot

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Tue, Sep 30, 2014 at 4:32 PM
ADRIAN MIDDEL/FLICKR
Updated at the bottom with confirmation of Crespo's death and details about what allegedly led up to the shooting.

The mayor of Bell Gardens, a small city in southeastern L.A. county, was shot and wounded today, a sheriff's official told L.A. Weekly. The municipal website of Bell Gardens identifies the mayor as Daniel Crespo.

The attack was reported this afternoon in the 6300 block of Gage Avenue in that town, she said. L.A. Sheriff's Department officials were headed the scene.

It's not clear what precipitated the violence:

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The first case of Ebola diagnosed inside the United States was confirmed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Texas Department of State Health Services officials today.

The patient arrived from Liberia Sept. 20, sought treatment in the Dallas area Sept. 26 after feeling ill for a couple days, and was isolated on Sept. 28, said Thomas Frieden of the CDC. The person was tested for Ebola, and results came back positive today.

So now that a patient in a fellow Southwest border state has the world's most-feared virus, what can you do to avoid it?

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Environment

California Bans the Bag

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Tue, Sep 30, 2014 at 1:09 PM
REUSE IT OR LOSE IT VIA STUDIOPEPEYCAROL/FLICKR
The single-use plastic bag will go the way of the iPod and become extinct under a statewide law signed today by Gov. Jerry Brown. And thus, California becomes the first state in the nation to ban the bag.

As you know, we already banned such plastic bags both in the city and county of Los Angeles, so we're used to driving around town with a stack of paper bags in our trunks. The legislation by L.A. area state Sens. Alex Padilla, Kevin de Leon and Ricardo Lara will basically apply our ban to the rest of California.

Well, not just yet:

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