A Valley smackdown is brewing for tonight's 6 p.m. density Town Hall at the Beverly Garland Holiday Inn in Studio City, with scores of pissed-off San Fernando Valley residents from five different Neighborhood Councils in the Valley confronting Antonio Villaraigosa's administration over its quiet plans to bring several skyscrapers and massive new density to unsuspecting neighborhoods.
By Daniel Hernandez
Pedro Guzman, the Lancaster man who was wrongfully deported from the L.A. County jail system, filed suit against the federal government on Wednesday, claiming his deportation into Tijuana violated his constitutional rights and endangered his life.
(Pedro Guzman with Carbajal, announcing the suit. Photo courtesy ACLU)
For 89 days, Guzman, who is mentally disabled, was literally lost in Tijuana after his deportation. The government did little to help his mother Maria Carbajal as she walked the tough neighborhoods of the Mexican border city looking for Pedro, as the LA Weekly reported last July. Guzman eventually reappeared at the Mexicali border crossing, 100 miles east of Tijuana. He told his family he had walked to Mexicali, eating out of garbage cans and drinking canal water.
Brushing aside allegations that Charles Bukowski was a Nazi sympathizer, the Los Angeles City Council approved the designation of Buk's former bungalow on De Longpre Avenue as a cultural landmark on Tuesday -- sparing it from demolition. Though the effort to save the house was successful, Buk's legacy took its share of hits in the process. In her fight against the cultural landmark designation, the bungalow's current owner, Victoria Gureyeva, called Bukowski "Hitler number two," and threated to "bring the whole Jewish Westside into the debate" against Bukowski. Gureyeva's Nazi charges stemmed from a 2003 article in the Hollywood Investigator by former Bukowski acquaintance Ben Pleasants, which claimed, among other things, that “the idea that [Bukowski] could betray Hitler by being Jewish was too much for him to bear.”
You can read more about the Nazi charges and the effort to save the bungalow in the Weekly's story "Bukowski's Ruin?"
By Max Taves
Anybody hoping to see some change within UTLA—L.A.’s powerful teachers union—will probably have to wait another three years. The union’s president, A.J. Duffy, and most of his slate of like-minded, hand-picked unionists, got returned to office by wide margins yesterday.
Duffy received about 59 percent of vote, trouncing Linda Guthrie (24 percent), Becki Robinson (16 percent) and Barbara Eisen-Herman (<1 percent).
Less than 21 percent of the 42,952 teachers in the sprawling LAUSD voted. Even fewer members voted for president. Maybe they just didn’t like their options. If you read our story this week, Duffy’s competitors weren’t offering any radical break.
By Max Taves
A judge handed UCLA a big victory over its animal-rights tormentors in Los Angeles Superior Court yesterday. The judge’s order won’t be made public until sometime today, but here are the two most immediate effects:
1) The personal information of UCLA researchers and administrators who were listed as “targets” on Web sites of animal-rights extremist groups—UCLA Primate Freedom Project, the Animal Liberation Brigade and the Animal Liberation Front—must be taken off those sites.
2) Five animal rights protesters are now subject to a temporary restraining order that bans them from coming within 50 feet of UCLA researchers’ homes during the day, and within 150 feet at night. The ban applies to Linda Faith Greene, Hillary Roney, Kevin Olliff, Ramin Saber, and Tim Rusmisel. Notably, only these five were restricted, not all the protesters UCLA was pushing for.
John Hueston, lawyer for the UC Regents, says researchers like Arthur Rosenbaum (an incendiary device was placed under his car by radicals but it failed to ignite) and Edythe London (her house was bombed with a Molotov cocktail device) can now sleep without overnight protesters screaming through bullhorns: “Burn this motherfucker down!”—apparently one of the group's favorite chants.
By Max Taves
Two weeks after animal-rights extremists fire-bombed the home of a respected primate researcher, UCLA is fighting back—legally, of course. The university is “suing extremists to stop a campaign of terrorism, vandalism and menacing threats directed at faculty and administrators who conduct or support research involving laboratory animals.”
At a Santa Monica courthouse today, the university is expected to seek a temporary restraining order and a permanent injunction against three animal-rights groups: the UCLA Primate Freedom Project, the Animal Liberation Front and the Animal Liberation Brigade, and five individuals associated with these groups.
According to UCLA, “The suit alleges that the defendants have invade researchers’ privacy, interfered with business practices and intentionally caused emotional distress, among other unlawful activities.”
Three times since June 2006, according to UCLA, animal-rights radicals have left explosives near the homes of UCLA faculty, who use or oversee research that uses animals. Last August, the Weekly covered their attacks on Jules Stein Eye Institute researchers (see story), who the radicals claimed - erroneously - were mistreating monkeys during research to combat a severe human eye disorder. The same month, the group claimed its first victory when Dario Ringach, an associate neurobiology professor, quit doing animal research at UCLA out of fear over threats made by the extremists. Ringach, who associates say was pursuing important research of benefit to society and following widely accepted - and legal - protocols for his research, has dropped from sight.
Between December 2005 and March 2006, Sam Slovick did a stunning series of cover stories for the LA Weekly that took readers deep inside the everyday tragedies and triumphs found on Los Angeles's Skid Row. These articles have played an integral role in the public and private debates over what do about what LAPD Chief Bratton describes as "the worst social disaster in the country."
Now, they are the genesis of a five-part documentary written and directed by Sam, and sponsored by Good Magazine, that debuts today on Myspace. We couldn't be prouder of Sam and the light he's helped shine on this issue.
We'll post links to other sections of the documentary as they go online.
Also check out Sam Slovick's LA Weekly coverage of Skid Row below:
And by "listen," I mean "look" or "read."
LA Weekly's political cartoonist and equal opportunity offense machine Mr. Fish was listed by Best Life magazine as #1 in a list of "the 10 most important voices to listen to this election cycle."
Here's some of the nice stuff they said:
A police officer guards SWAT Officer Randal Simmons' white hearse in front of the Crenshaw Christian Faith Dome on Vermont Ave.
Dozens of colorful wreaths surrounded the entrance to the church. The funeral began at 11 a.m.
Thousands of officers including members of the Jackon, New Jersey Police were on hand. The record number of attendees estimated at 10,000 easily surpassed the 3,500 crowd that attended the funeral of Los Angeles Police Chief William H. Parker in 1966.
Former Police Chief Daryl F. Gates (left) received a standing ovation inside the church after Chief William Bratton introduced the various dignitaries, including City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and former Police Chief Bernard Parks. Gates created the SWAT team in 1967.
All photos by Christine Pelisek. More after the jump.
Thousands of mourners and a swarm of media are expected at Friday morning's funeral for fallen Los Angeles Police Department SWAT Officer Russel Simmons, who was shot to death on February 7 in a horrific shootout in the San Fernando Valley.
LAPD officials are predicting an overflow crowd and one of the largest LAPD funerals since the funeral of Chief William H. Parker in 1966.
Scheduled to attend are Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, LAPD Police Chief William Bratton and Los Angeles Fire Chief Doug Barry as well as hundreds of out-of-state and local officers and firefighters.