Monday, October 31, 2011

Eli Broad, lover of L.A. art and equality in education. - NEW YORKER
  • New Yorker
  • Eli Broad, lover of L.A. art and equality in education.

Opponents of the burgeoning charter-school industry like to paint it as a corporate wolf in "reform" clothing -- stealing money from struggling district-run schools while receiving an even steadier cash flow from billionaires.

And the latest cash prize from L.A. philanthropist Eli Broad probably won't quiet them any.

But it should. The stipulations attached to Broad's new annual giveaway are exactly the kind of goals reformers need to be luring charter companies toward:

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Vernon Mayor Hilario Gonzales
  • Vernon Mayor Hilario Gonzales

There's a major shake-up today at Vernon City Hall, as Mayor Hilario Gonzales and City Attorney Michael Montgomery have each submitted their resignations.

Gonzales was part of the three-member council majority that agreed to hire Montgomery permanently two weeks ago. That decision kicked up a storm of protest, and the dispute seems to have helped finally push Gonzales out the door.

This comes as Vernon is still struggling to reform, after nearly being shut down earlier this year...

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Michael Montgomery: Time to wake up
  • Michael Montgomery: Time to wake up

Pressure is building on the Vernon City Council to rescind the hiring of Michael B. Montgomery as the full-time city attorney.

Last week, the Vernon Chamber of Commerce and ethics adviser John Van de Kamp criticized the hire, noting that the council voted without first putting the issue on the agenda -- a major no-no.

Now, state Sen. Kevin De Leon is getting in on the act.

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  • Torben Hansen

Days after California's largest doctors' group urged full legalization of marijuana across America, the American Society of Addiction Medicine went in the other direction, stating, " ... We oppose any changes in law and regulation that would lead to a sudden significant increase in the availability of any dependence-producing drug ... "

Bummer, man.

The group went all Dr. Drew on pot, arguing that it is ...

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Archbishop Gomez fights for his right to religious freedom. - ASSOCIATED PRESS
  • Associated Press
  • Archbishop Gomez fights for his right to religious freedom.

Archbishop Jose H. Gomez, head of the Diocese of Los Angeles (the nation's largest), thinks democracy is dead in this country.

Yeah, well, join the club. But where Gomez parts philosophies with Occupy L.A. is who to blame for all this democratic dysfunction: Instead of banksters, the archbishop points to gays and their supporters as the kink in the system. Also, the pro-choice crowd.

How does he figure?

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Artiside Laurent at the Advocate's 40th anniversary bash in -- where else -- West Hollywood. - BILLYHIC.BLOGSPOT.COM
  • billyhic.blogspot.com
  • Artiside Laurent at the Advocate's 40th anniversary bash in -- where else -- West Hollywood.

Artiside "A.J." Laurent, 70-year-old writer and activist, died at his L.A. home on October 26 "after a long illness," the San Diego Gay & Lesbian News reports today.

Choosing to spend his young adulthood in Los Angeles, Laurent was thrown into a culture of hate and segregation. Carving out a gay-friendly community in largely conservative Southern California was not an easy task in the 1960s and '70s: Unlike in San Francisco, where the co-existent flower-power movement lent some peace and love to the struggle for sexual equality, Los Angeles proved a bit more hostile.

If not for activists like Laurent, co-founder of LGBT newsletter The Advocate...

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Obama is not your bud. - DEA
  • DEA
  • Obama is not your bud.

Admit it: You got all excited when President Obama opened up an online petition process -- promising to respond to top signature-getters -- and one advocating the full-legalization of marijuana went to the top of list.

The president would have to respond. So he did. Quietly. Over the weekend -- when no one was paying attention.

And he blew it off. In fact, he had Richard Gil Kerlikowske, the White House Drug Czar, respond. Here's what he said about the petition to "Legalize and Regulate Marijuana in a Manner Similar to Alcohol:"

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Griffen Kramer in uniform. - CHUCK KIRMAN/VENTURA COUNTY STAR
  • CHUCK KIRMAN/Ventura County Star
  • Griffen Kramer in uniform.

Update: "David Nernberg, Friend of Kramer, Arrested for Involuntary Manslaughter."

Griffen Kramer, an 18-year-old senior at Thousand Oaks High, died this Halloween weekend. He was found lifeless yesterday at a friend's house in Agoura Hills after spending Saturday night there, according to the Ventura County Star.

His dad, Erik Kramer, is a football great who played on various NFL teams from 1987 to 1999; the younger Kramer had followed in his dad's footsteps as a backup quarterback for the Thousand Oaks school team.

The Chicago Bears Tweeted their condolences to Erik, the team's former quarterback, this morning:

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Getting down up in the air. - KGET
  • KGET
  • Getting down up in the air.

Remember that couple who "performed" sex while in mid-air, parachutes dangling from their backs?

Turns out they didn't do anything wrong.

(If that's the case, we see a potential business model here: Sex-skydive tourism; mile-high for a day).

The stunt happened earlier this month north of L.A., in the skies above Taft, California, when ...

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Lee Baca, under fire. - DAVID MARKLAND
  • David Markland
  • Lee Baca, under fire.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca claimed recently he wasn't aware of the inmate-beating issues at his jails, even though they've been generating headlines since the late 1990s.

Over the weekend the Los Angeles Times pulled that excuse out from under him.

The paper reported that it got its hands on documents that pretty much prove that ...

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