9 L.A. Flashpoints


The Witch’s Work, 10/24/07: A tough photo to shoot. Rancho Bernardo resident Oscar Afshari surveys what is left of his five-bedroom home, which he had finished remodeling just two weeks before the Witch fire hit. Exhausted after interviews with TV camera crews and overwhelmed by his loss, he sat with head bowed on the spot that was once his porch.


Malibu Burns Again, 10/21/07: L.A. County firecopter No. 11, in an awesome display of smoke-and-water acrobatics, drops its load on the canyon fire.


Spector Vision, 9/18/07: Phil Spector in his Benz on the day a Superior Court jury first told Judge Larry Paul Fidler that it was unable to reach a verdict. The judge ordered the jury to try again, but the panel never achieved consensus. (Read Steven Mikulan's year-end Phil Noir here)


Pothead, 8/16/07: Glendale P.D. Sergeant Tom Lorenz waves evidence of an illegal marijuana farm discovered by a police helicopter in the drought-ridden Verdugo foothills. Growers toted water on mountain bikes from a fire cistern to the plants, estimated to have a street value of $10 million.


Striking Poses, 11/5/07: Outside Paramount Studios on the first day of the Writers Guild strike, which has yet to be resolved.


May Day Do-Over, 5/17/07: After L.A.’s May Day melee, when LAPD officers struck immigration demonstrators and journalists with batons and foam “projectiles” at MacArthur Park, marchers and police gather downtown to try it once more, this time without the violence.


Crossing the Line, 1/13/07: Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Councilwoman Janice Hahn tour the Del Amo Market in the “forbidden line” area of L.A.’s Harbor Gateway. It was the day a rally was held for peace and unity between blacks and Latinos, after a 204th Street Gang member allegedly shot and killed 14-year-old Cheryl Green.  The girl's death prompted a gang crackdown.


Dog Day, 8/3/07: Reality star Duane “Dog the Bounty Hunter” Chapman shouts “Viva Mexico!” at his book signing at Borders in Hollywood, on the day a Mexican court dropped illegal-detention charges against him. Chapman had delivered Max Factor heir Andrew Luster to U.S. authorities after capturing the convicted rapist in Puerto Vallarta.


Posh Arrival, 7/13/07: On the day David Beckham arrives at the Home Depot Center to meet the press, Victoria Beckham flashes some pink.

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