L.A. Weekly’s Slush column is an aggregated, link-filled look at L.A. news and culture — what people are talking about, balking about, posting on social media and IRL (in real L.A. life).
ONCE UPON A TIME AT AMOEBA HOLLYWOOD
It is a glorious abyss and a civic treasure. You could max out your credit card on the cut-out bin alone. It is the only record store with a Portuguese Fado section, a Viking black metal section, and most likely, a Portuguese Viking black metal fado section. We are speaking of the venerable Amoeba Records of course, which is now the subject of a joint lawsuit filed by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation and the Coalition to Preserve LA. City officials gave developers the go ahead for a 26-story apartment tower, but now opponents are arguing that the site needs to be preserved as part of Los Angeles’ cultural legacy. “The city is giving short shrift to the historic significance of Amoeba by completely ignoring the rich and lengthy cultural history associated with this iconic corner of Hollywood,” said foundation president Michael Weinstein in a formal statement. The plaintiffs claim that the “culturally significant murals associated with significant artists,” make the property eligible for listing on the California register of historic place, but they may want to check with the owners of Amoeba, who sold the property in 2015, and are in the midst of searching for a new location in the Hollywood area. We’ll be following this one closely.
COOL NEW APP
The dog days of summer are upon us, and with everyone ramping up the aircon, there will be occasional power outages. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has developed a new app that will keep residents in the loop regarding outages and what the time frame will be for fixing them. To access the alert system, visit the LADWP website and subscribe to “Outage Alerts,” where you can receive information in English and Spanish on up to three local areas. Cool (even if we haven’t been this week) right?
DODGER BLUE REDO
The most glamorous place in baseball is headed for a makeover. The Dodgers organization announced $100 million in upgrades on Tuesday, just in time to host the 2020 All-Star game. The third oldest stadium in the majors will receive a number of improvements, with the goal of tying the outfield concourse into the rest of the stadium. The new plaza will feature food and bar options, expanded restrooms, standing room atop the outfield bleachers, as well as a play area for the youngest Dodger fans, all framed by a brand new entrance. Bridges between the plaza and the pavilions will make it possible for fans to traverse the entire stadium for the first time in the stadium’s 57-year history. New elevators and escalators are planned to provide relief from scaling those thigh burning staircases. Additionally, a statue of pitching great Sandy Koufax will be joining the statue of Jackie Robinson. KTLA has the renderings here. And don’t worry, despite some new food options, they ain’t messing with our Dodger dogs!
We’ve all done it, and we all need to stop doing it — texting and driving. According to Zendrive’s latest data studies, distracted driving has been tied to an increase in collisions as well as a 30-year high in pedestrian fatalities, with an estimated 6,227 people nationwide losing their lives at the hands of drivers who were likely checking their likes on IG or swiping left on Tinder. An incredible 47 percent of drivers admitted to using their smartphones for 10 percent or more of the time they drive. Studies have shown that drivers who text are even more dangerous that drunk drivers. They tend to drive more slowly, brake slower in an emergency, and are far more likely to crash. For every hour the average Angeleno spends behind the wheel, they spend approximately five minutes of that time engaged with their phone instead of concentrating on the road. At a 60-mph clip, that translates to five miles of driving blind, or at very least dangerously distracted.
LAGGING L.A. PROJECTS
The much talked about, forever in the planning stages proposed L.A. Metro line (Sepulveda Corridor Project) from the San Fernando Valley to the Westside to LAX just got a hefty price tag. Depending upon the type of rail (monorail or heavy), and the date of completion, the project could run as high as $14 billion. There are 28 smaller projects being planned for completion in time for the Olympics in 2018, but the entire proposed route may not be up and running until mid-century. Planned to operate atop and alongside the 405, many of us will be old and grey by the time this project is a reality- old and grey from sitting on the 405.
In other L.A. transit news, it looks as though the Sixth Street Viaduct project has hit some major delays. The half billion viaduct connecting Boyle Heights to downtown is now scheduled to open in March 2022, nearly two years later than previously estimated.
HOME (NOT SO) SWEET HOME
“Not in my backyard.” That’s the common refrain when anyone brings up the idea up constructing a homeless shelter in L.A. and it’s currently ringing loudly in the ears of the Whittier City Council as they move forward in an attempt to build a shelter along the 605. By voting in favor of $300,000 in funding from the County of Los Angeles, tales of homeless zombies soon made its way through the proposed neighborhood. The homelessness problem is only getting worse, and while downtown L.A. is getting the media attention, all of the surrounding cities are experiencing much of the same epidemic. The Whittier Daily News reports that the 19 communities that makeup Southeast Los Angeles have experienced a 10 percent jump in homelessness since 2018. Last September the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rendered a decision that barred the criminalization of homelessness when no other choices were available. Whittier isn’t the only community to raise concerns, as citizens in Sherman Oaks and Koreatown have also fought recent plans for homeless shelters. It seems as though wherever a proposal for a homeless shelter is made, the push back is immediate and vehement. Everyone agrees there’s a problem but even those vocal about wanting to see solutions, don’t want to deal with it themselves.
Read about how Proposition HHH funds are helping some homeless in L.A. right now in this week’s cover story.
WE’RE TOO OLD FOR THIS