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  • Beer festival season starts this weekend

    Beer festival season starts this weekend

    Beer festival season is getting going in a big way this weekend with events, parties and special releases happening across Los Angeles. From favorite local beer bars celebrating anniversaries to your chance to sit atop the Iron Throne of Westeros while sipping "Game of Thrones"-inspired beer, there’s...

  • Porridge and its (dis)contents: Congee, jok, haleem and what Grandma ate

    Porridge and its (dis)contents: Congee, jok, haleem and what Grandma ate

    Last week, we visited Porridge + Puffs, chef Minh Phan’s monument to the warm, oozy bowls of happiness that obsess so many of us this time of year, when temperatures plunge into the 50s at night, backyard trees groan with citrus and the waves are a bit too chilly to surf. Winter in Los Angeles...

  • No good bagels in L.A.? Think again -- here are 7 great ones

    No good bagels in L.A.? Think again -- here are 7 great ones

    It’s not easy to get a great bagel in Southern California. It's easy enough to get a bagel, but too many of them are just bread in another shape, by another name. But it’s not impossible. There are a handful of shops that turn out solid, satisfying bagels, and a few that make genuinely delicious...

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  • Man shot dead on Westlake sidewalk

    Los Angeles police detectives are investigating the fatal shooting of a man Sunday afternoon in Westlake. Officers responded to a call of shots fired at 1:45 p.m. and found the victim on the sidewalk near Beverly Boulevard and Benton Way, LAPD Sgt. Dave Rich said. The man, who was in his mid-20s,...

  • Michelle King is new superintendent for Los Angeles Unified School District

    Michelle King is new superintendent for Los Angeles Unified School District

    For months, a high-profile head-hunting firm searched the nation for a new superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District. On Monday evening, the Board of Education gave the job to a candidate who was part of the district all along: Chief Deputy Supt. Michelle King.Some education experts...

  • San Francisco Supt. Carranza withdraws from consideration to head L.A. schools

    San Francisco Supt. Carranza withdraws from consideration to head L.A. schools

    San Francisco schools Supt. Richard Carranza, a leading candidate to head the Los Angeles Unified School District, has pulled out of consideration, according to a spokeswoman for the Bay Area district.Carranza said he wanted to focus on unfinished efforts in San Francisco, according to the San...

  • Souk Shawarma in downtown L.A. has 7 kinds of shawarma, including vegan, duck and shawarma in a bowl

    Souk Shawarma in downtown L.A. has 7 kinds of shawarma, including vegan, duck and shawarma in a bowl

    Some people discuss shawarma and hummus like they discuss politics. There are often strong opinions, raised voices and lively debates over all that toasted pita bread. When you walk into the new Souk Shawarma in downtown Los Angeles, you may be looking for the vertical spits typically found at...

  • Armed suspect taken into custody after holing up in Westlake apartment

    Armed suspect taken into custody after holing up in Westlake apartment

    A reported gang sweep by police shut down a Westlake neighborhood for roughly two hours early Thursday when a man targeted in the operation barricaded himself inside a home, authorities said.  The sweep began before 5 a.m. in the neighborhood around San Marino and Hoover streets, police said. Officers...

  • Man's body pulled from MacArthur Park Lake

    Man's body pulled from MacArthur Park Lake

    The body of a man was recovered from MacArthur Park Lake on Monday and the cause of death may be drowning, police said. The 30-year-old man was found in the lake about 7:18 a.m. in the 2000 block of West 7th Street in Westlake, said Sgt. Stacey Vandersall of the Los Angeles Police Department’s...

  • L.A. school official criticizes and seeks to limit leaks about superintendent search
    L.A. school official criticizes and seeks to limit leaks about superintendent search

    An important drama involving the Los Angeles Board of Education -- selecting its schools chief -- is playing out in private, and officials this week said they are determined to keep it that way, even though some details are getting out.

    Exactly nine district people know precisely which individuals...

  • Police seek witnesses in fatal stabbing of homeless man featured in Times story
    Police seek witnesses in fatal stabbing of homeless man featured in Times story

    Police are looking for witnesses in the fatal stabbing of a 66-year-old man who lived under the 101 Freeway underpass at North Alvarado Street.

    About 11 a.m. Monday, Charles Smith was found with apparent stab wounds, said LAPD Det. Ray Martinez. Smith was last seen alive about 11 p.m. Sunday. Martinez...

  • L.A. school board to hold second round of interviews for superintendent
    L.A. school board to hold second round of interviews for superintendent

    The Los Angeles Board of Education on Tuesday will begin its second interview session with candidates seeking the job of superintendent for the nation’s second-largest school system.The closed-door meeting is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. And board members also could conduct interviews — or a discussion...

  • L.A. school board to take first look at candidates for superintendent
    L.A. school board to take first look at candidates for superintendent

    The Los Angeles Board of Education on Tuesday is expected to move from the theoretical to the nitty-gritty in its search for the next leader of the nation’s second-largest school system.

    After a brief session in public, the seven-member board plans to go behind closed doors to review questions...

  • 'Wood Boy Dog Fish,' a world-premiere at the Bootleg Theater
    'Wood Boy Dog Fish,' a world-premiere at the Bootleg Theater

    “Wood Boy Dog Fish,” Rogue Artists Ensemble’s world-premiere at the Bootleg Theater, is not so much as play as a theatrical bombardment, a dizzying fusion of sound, lights, puppets, masks and music that has us wondering where to look next.

    Playwright Chelsea Sutton, in collaboration with the ensemble,...

  • Search for new L.A. schools chief shifts focus to individual candidates
    Search for new L.A. schools chief shifts focus to individual candidates

    The search for the next leader of the Los Angeles Unified School District entered a new phase this week as an executive search firm officially closed a two-week public input period, putting more focus on individuals who might want the job.

    It will be up to the seven-member Board of Education to...

  • Plan Check is throwing a Gudetama party, and Hello Kitty isn't invited
    Plan Check is throwing a Gudetama party, and Hello Kitty isn't invited

    Hello Kitty gets all the glory. The not-exactly-a-cat Sanrio character has captured hearts around the world, but what about Gudetama? Plan Check Kitchen + Bar is showing some love to the new guy with a special Gudetama menu. He is an egg after all; a lazy, unmotivated egg, but an egg nonetheless....

  • Beck and Bratton wager sandwiches again, this time on Dodgers and Mets
    Beck and Bratton wager sandwiches again, this time on Dodgers and Mets

    Consider it “The Great Pastrami Bet: Round Two.”

    In a move signaling that great sandwiches -- and great sandwich competitions -- can transcend time and sport, Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck and New York City Police Commissioner William J. Bratton have once again placed a bet with each other...

  • Having a ball in MacArthur Park
    Having a ball in MacArthur Park

    Hugo Ramirez photographed "Spheres of MacArthur Park" in early September, about a week after the debut of the public art project.

    Expecting a handful of beach-ball-sized orbs, Ramirez was impressed by the size and number of spheres floating on MacArthur Park's lake. 

    "It was an awesome sight, and...

  • L.A. school board ironing out kinks in search process for new superintendent
    L.A. school board ironing out kinks in search process for new superintendent

    Even nailing down a process for choosing a Los Angeles schools superintendent proved complicated this week. The Board of Education met behind closed doors for three hours Tuesday night, most of the time in conference with an executive search firm.

    The goal was to hammer out how to find the next...

  • L.A. Unified school board meets with superintendent search firm
    L.A. Unified school board meets with superintendent search firm

    The Los Angeles Board of Education is meeting Tuesday evening with the firm it hired to lead the search for a new superintendent of schools. The meeting was scheduled to take place between 5 and 6 p.m. in closed session, according to one senior official, but the open session was held first.

    The...

  • A charter school expansion could be great for L.A.
    A charter school expansion could be great for L.A.

    Slightly more than a fifth of all students in the Los Angeles Unified School District are currently enrolled in charter schools. That number would rise to nearly half of the district's students if the early ambitions of a group of charter organizations and their benefactors come to fruition.

    The...

  • It's September, but Oktoberfest is already here: 5 in the L.A. area
    It's September, but Oktoberfest is already here: 5 in the L.A. area

    It might be pushing 100 degrees out, but Oktoberfest season won’t wait for something as inconsequential as the weather. The stein-hoisting celebrations of Bavarian culture (and beer) begin this weekend and continue around the Southland until the end of October. Here are five local Oktoberfest parties...

  • L.A. Unified board to interview 2 superintendent search firms, discuss teacher's lawsuit
    L.A. Unified board to interview 2 superintendent search firms, discuss teacher's lawsuit

    The quest for a new leader of the nation’s second-largest school district is expected to inch forward Tuesday, as school board members hope to interview two executive search firms during the regularly scheduled public meeting at district headquarters.

    As of mid-morning Tuesday, the two companies...

  • The art project filling MacArthur Park Lake with thousands of painted spheres
    The art project filling MacArthur Park Lake with thousands of painted spheres

    If all goes according to plan, by the time Tuesday morning rolls around, the lake at MacArthur Park will be bursting with an estimated 2,500 colorful spheres. Hand-painted by roughly 10,000 volunteers around the Los Angeles area — principally schoolchildren — the project, organized by the L.A.-based...

  • Candy-colored spheres bring MacArthur Park's lake alive
    Candy-colored spheres bring MacArthur Park's lake alive

    When artist Ed Massey imagines the lake at MacArthur Park in five days, he sees a field of candy-like multicolored gumdrops — red, blue, pink, green and yellow — afloat upon an urban sea.

    Massey's confectioner's dream began to materialize Saturday as volunteers arrived at the park in a small fleet...

  • Disrupting the conventional at Joshua Petker's Ashes/Ashes
    Disrupting the conventional at Joshua Petker's Ashes/Ashes

    In Joshua Petker’s flaming crimson painting “Monster & Cop,” a menacing cartoon policeman wielding a fat bludgeon scowls at a tall pile of errant brushstrokes of brightly colored paint. Painting is cast as the title’s wayward monster, seemingly without purpose but in need of official monitoring.

    ...

  • Historic Wilshire Royale apartments to be renovated by new owner
    Historic Wilshire Royale apartments to be renovated by new owner

    The Wilshire Royale, one of the best-known historic apartment buildings in Los Angeles, has been acquired by Sherman Oaks real estate investors who plan to upgrade the property near MacArthur Park.

    MWest Holdings paid $32.5 million for the 193-unit complex at the northeast corner of Wilshire and...

  • Nearly 9 in 10 students drop out of unaccredited law schools in California
    Nearly 9 in 10 students drop out of unaccredited law schools in California

    To Omar Medina, a security officer working the graveyard shift, attending Northwestern California University School of Law seemed like the ideal way to fulfill his dream of becoming a lawyer.

    Unlike traditional law schools with high tuitions and entrance requirements, Northwestern California offered...

  • The survival of public education is at risk. Here's what LAUSD needs to do.
    The survival of public education is at risk. Here's what LAUSD needs to do.

    The Los Angeles Unified School District has at most a year to replace Ramon C. Cortines as superintendent. This is a crucial time for the district, which has weathered many controversies in the last decade. It is also a crucial time for American public education, which has been under assault for...

  • L.A. Unified cancels golf tournament at Trump-owned course
    L.A. Unified cancels golf tournament at Trump-owned course

    Los Angeles school district officials have canceled plans to hold a fundraising tournament at the Trump National Golf Club in response to comments made by Donald Trump about immigrants.

    The L.A. Unified School District has asked the club, located in Rancho Palos Verdes, to return its $7,500 deposit....

  • L.A. Unified retreats on higher graduation standards
    L.A. Unified retreats on higher graduation standards

    The Los Angeles Board of Education on Tuesday retreated from new, more rigorous graduation standards out of concern that huge numbers of students would fail to earn diplomas.

    The board previously had required students, starting in 2017, to receive a C or better in a set of college preparatory courses...

  • Man did not point gun at officers, LAPD says in new account of shooting
    Man did not point gun at officers, LAPD says in new account of shooting

    A man shot and wounded this week by Los Angeles police in Westlake had not pointed a gun at officers, despite an initial report by the LAPD that he had, the department said in a press release Saturday afternoon.

    Jason Bangle, 39, was shot Tuesday about 10 p.m. in the 600 block of South Coronado...

  • Man shot by police after pointing gun at officers in Westlake, LAPD says
    Man shot by police after pointing gun at officers in Westlake, LAPD says

    A man was shot in the stomach by police Tuesday night and another was arrested in Westlake, police said.

    The man who was shot, who has not been identified, was hospitalized in critical but stable condition, Los Angeles police Sgt. Frank Preciado told reporters.

    No officers were hurt.

    The incident...

  • Salvadoran Angelenos celebrate Archbishop Oscar Romero's beatification
    Salvadoran Angelenos celebrate Archbishop Oscar Romero's beatification

    Carmen Sanchez fought back tears as she waived her tiny Salvadoran flag in MacArthur Park.

    "I've waited for this day a very long time," the Westlake resident said. "Finally, this person who sacrificed everything for his pueblo will get the recognition he deserves."

    On Saturday, she joined a crowd...

  • Angelenos to celebrate Oscar Romero's beatification
    Angelenos to celebrate Oscar Romero's beatification

    Hundreds of Salvadoran immigrants and social justice advocates are expected to participate in a special service and procession in Los Angeles on Saturday afternoon to celebrate the beatification of slain Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero, taking him one step closer to sainthood.

    The service is...

  • Datebook: Experimental shoes, art by vets, stories about immigration
    Datebook: Experimental shoes, art by vets, stories about immigration

    Over-the-top shoes. Works produced by military veterans. And a series of collaged paintings that chronicle the lives of modern-day gold prospectors on the San Gabriel River. Plus: works that touch on personal stories of immigration and a painter’s otherworldly forms. Here’s what we have coming...

  • Gunmen in Westlake triple-shooting claimed gang ties, police say
    Gunmen in Westlake triple-shooting claimed gang ties, police say

    Three people were shot during a carjacking in the Westlake neighborhood of Los Angeles early Wednesday, police said.

    The gunfire broke out about 3 a.m. at Coronado and Temple streets when two men identified themselves as gang members to three men in a white Chevrolet Cavalier who were dropping...

  • Voters go to polls today to decide L.A. school board races
    Voters go to polls today to decide L.A. school board races

    Voters are going to the polls in Los Angeles on Tuesday to decide three school board races that will affect the direction of the nation’s second-largest school system.

    The campaigns have been dominated by independent spending. Outside groups have poured in $5.1 million, compared with less than...

  • Man arrested after holding at least one hostage in Westlake
    Man arrested after holding at least one hostage in Westlake

    An armed man who barricaded himself inside a central Los Angeles apartment Sunday night and held at least one person hostage was taken into custody after a short standoff, authorities said.

    Police received a report  about 7 p.m. of a man brandishing a gun in the 200 block of South Carondelet Street...

  • Dayworkers help at school garden to highlight fruits of their labor
    Dayworkers help at school garden to highlight fruits of their labor

    Most mornings, day laborer Guillermo Perez heads to the Home Depot near MacArthur Park to look for work. If he's lucky, he brings home $100.

    Last week, Perez gave up the prospect of a paycheck one morning to volunteer at a local elementary school. For five hours, beneath a dark sky that threatened...

  • 'Baywatch' star Jeremy Jackson arrested in Westlake stabbing
    'Baywatch' star Jeremy Jackson arrested in Westlake stabbing

    Former “Baywatch” star Jeremy Jackson was arrested over the weekend on suspicion of fleeing after stabbing a man in Westlake, only to be found the next day prowling the same neighborhood, police said.

    Jackson, who also goes by the last name Dunn, was taken into custody Saturday for assault with...

  • Blaze damages vacant building near downtown L.A.; no injuries reported
    Blaze damages vacant building near downtown L.A.; no injuries reported

    Flames tore through a vacant three-story building west of downtown Los Angeles on Sunday night, authorities said.

    The fire was first reported around 10:30 p.m. at 1201 Huntley Drive in the Westlake neighborhood, said Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey. It was initially reported...

  • 'Mama' of Mama's Hot Tamales made a name for herself, now protege won't let her use it
    'Mama' of Mama's Hot Tamales made a name for herself, now protege won't let her use it

    The name "Mama" was given to Sandra Romero like a job title, back when she first began working in MacArthur Park.

    In a neighborhood plagued by gangs, drugs and lawlessness, it took Romero more than a decade to earn the respect that came with such a moniker.

    It was 2001 and through Mama's Hot Tamales,...

  • Students would benefit if L.A. Unified kept curriculum, Pearson exec says
    Students would benefit if L.A. Unified kept curriculum, Pearson exec says

    A top official from Pearson said Thursday that students would benefit if the Los Angeles Unified School District continued to use its curriculum on iPads and other computers.

    The school district this week demanded a refund for the curriculum, which was part of a now-abandoned $1.3-billion effort...

  • Teachers sue to join union without paying for political activities
    Teachers sue to join union without paying for political activities

    An advocacy group has filed a lawsuit seeking to stop teachers unions in California from using member dues for political purposes unless individual instructors provide their permission.

    The effort, if successful, could weaken the influence of these unions by limiting their spending.

    The lawsuit...

  • Fire engulfs top floors of L.A. commercial building; people rescued
    Fire engulfs top floors of L.A. commercial building; people rescued

    A fire ripped through part of a commercial building near downtown Los Angeles on Tuesday evening, briefly trapping two people inside an office until firefighters made a rescue, authorities said.The blaze erupted about 7:45 p.m. on the fifth floor of a six-story building in the 1500 block of West...

  • Happy hour buzz: Pimento grilled cheese and $4 wine at Plan Check downtown
    Happy hour buzz: Pimento grilled cheese and $4 wine at Plan Check downtown

    Long week? We get it. That's why we're highlighting a happy hour every Friday. So cut out early, secure a designated driver, and get your drink and happy hour eats on. 

    If you're a fan of chef Ernesto Uchimura's fried chicken sandwiches and spicy pickles, your favorites are all available for happy...

  • A shift in gang tactics means drive-bys are giving way to walk-ups, observers say
    A shift in gang tactics means drive-bys are giving way to walk-ups, observers say

    A high-profile shooting can taint a gang's business dealings, so the certainty of a walk-up may be preferred to a drive-by.

  • Joe McDonnell, Los Angeles sports media fixture, dies at 58
    Joe McDonnell, Los Angeles sports media fixture, dies at 58

    Joe McDonnell, a Los Angeles sports commentator and talk show host who was known for his once enormous size and magnetic personality, has died, the Angels confirmed. He was 58.

    McDonnell died Friday afternoon at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles, according to family friend and sports publicist...

  • Owner, employees in Koreatown 'pay-to-stay' indictment plead not guilty
    Owner, employees in Koreatown 'pay-to-stay' indictment plead not guilty

    The owner and operators behind a network of four Koreatown-area schools that authorities allege were a front for a “pay-to-stay” immigration scheme pleaded not guilty to federal charges Thursday, according to prosecutors.

    Three people, including owner and headmaster Hee Sun “Leonard” Shim, 51,...

  • L.A. Unified to send layoff notices to hundreds of teachers
    L.A. Unified to send layoff notices to hundreds of teachers

    Hundreds of teachers in the Los Angeles Unified School District will receive layoff notices this month under a budget plan approved Tuesday by the Board of Education.

    The vote does not necessarily mean that the teachers will lose their jobs, but it allows L.A. Unified the option of releasing the...

  • Election sets stage for L.A. Unified battle
    Election sets stage for L.A. Unified battle

    Over the last few months, Los Angeles teachers union leaders have racked up a series of victories. They worked to push out Supt. John Deasy, elect a friendly candidate to the school board and win a ruling against a new evaluation system.

    But after Tuesday's election, the union's leadership is facing...

  • One incumbent trails charter-school backed challenger in L.A. board balloting
    One incumbent trails charter-school backed challenger in L.A. board balloting

    In the three most contested races for the L.A. Board of Education, those candidates with support from a charter group held early leads. Two of those are incumbents -- Tamar Galatzan and Richard Vladovic. The third, candidate Ref Rodriguez, was leading one-term incumbent Bennett Kayser.

    Kayser faced...

  • Sexual harassment claim against L.A. Unified Supt. Cortines refiled
    Sexual harassment claim against L.A. Unified Supt. Cortines refiled

    A school district manager has filed a new sexual harassment lawsuit against Supt. Ramon C. Cortines and the Los Angeles Unified School District.

    The suit, filed Wednesday in L.A. County Superior Court, repeats and expands on previous claims made by Scot Graham. An earlier lawsuit had been dismissed...

  • L.A. teachers union declares impasse in contract talks
    L.A. teachers union declares impasse in contract talks

    The union representing Los Angeles teachers on Wednesday declared an impasse in protracted contract negotiations with the nation's second-largest school system.

    Negotiators for the two sides remain far apart.

    L.A. Unified has offered a 5% raise retroactive to July 1, 2014. United Teachers Los Angeles...

  • L.A. Unified tracks measles shots, reports higher vaccination levels
    L.A. Unified tracks measles shots, reports higher vaccination levels

    Los Angeles school officials have launched an effort to increase and document the percentage of young children who've been vaccinated against measles, including hiring 10 nurses on a temporary basis.

    The plan, presented before members of the Los Angeles school board on Tuesday, focuses on students...

  • Datebook: Model U.N., art of the Middle East and vintage erotica
    Datebook: Model U.N., art of the Middle East and vintage erotica

    A mock U.N. made up of Angelenos, contemporary art from artists with roots in the Middle East, the early erotic works of Tom of Finland, and Larry Clark’s photos for sale — cheap. Plus: textile-like paintings, a group show about love and war, late night in the Los Angeles Arts District and lots...

  • Dunn brothers' Wilshire building acquired by Beverly Hills investors
    Dunn brothers' Wilshire building acquired by Beverly Hills investors

    A Wilshire Boulevard office building erected by one of Los Angeles’ oldest real estate companies has been sold to a Beverly Hills investment fund in an off-market transaction.

    The eight-story building just west of downtown at 1200 Wilshire was built 44 years ago to house the Charles Dunn Co., a...

  • Datebook: Vintage car design, objects of desire, flight of the bumblebee
    Datebook: Vintage car design, objects of desire, flight of the bumblebee

    There is a little bit of everything going on in Los Angeles this week — from a historic exhibition about the arduous process of ending slavery in the United States to a design show that brings together illustrations from the golden age of the American automobile. In between, there are shows devoted...

  • Mexican consulates begin issuing copies of birth certificates

    The Mexican government on Thursday began issuing birth certificates to Mexican nationals living in the United States to help them obtain the identity documents needed to apply for driver’s licenses and work permits.

    In the past, Mexicans were able to get birth certificates only from government...

  • Big drop in number of California students who are suspended, expelled
    Big drop in number of California students who are suspended, expelled

    The number of students suspended or expelled from California schools has plunged, according to data released Wednesday by the state Department of Education.

    The Los Angeles Unified School District, the state’s largest school system, strongly influenced those trends with a dramatic 53% drop in the...

  • Body found floating in MacArthur Park lake; police investigating
    Body found floating in MacArthur Park lake; police investigating

    A body was found floating in the MacArthur Park lake Thursday morning, Los Angeles police said.

    A passerby near 7th and Alvarado streets in Westlake called paramedics about 8 a.m. after seeing a body floating near the lake’s edge, said Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman Katherine Main. The...

  • Creating 'human ladder,' motel residents flee Christmas fire
    Creating 'human ladder,' motel residents flee Christmas fire

    Six people were injured -- two critically -- after fire swept through a three-story residential motel in Westlake on Christmas evening, fire officials said.

    Five of the injured, between the ages of 28 and 73, were taken to hospitals, said Erik Scott, spokesman for the Los Angeles Fire Department....

  • Five people injured in fire at Westlake motel
    Five people injured in fire at Westlake motel

    A fire at a three-story motel in Westlake on Christmas night left at least five people injured, officials said.

    Just after 6 p.m., more than 100 firefighters and 11 ambulances responded to a report of visible flames at JJ Park Motel Residence at 3rd and Bonnie Brae streets near MacArthur Park,...

  • More money needed to fix faulty student records system in L.A. Unified
    More money needed to fix faulty student records system in L.A. Unified

    Los Angeles needs to spend at least $11 million more to deal with problems caused by a new and faulty student records system, officials will tell the school board this week.

    The spending request, which the board will take up on Tuesday, is the latest financial blow related to the records system...

  • Mountain lion spotted in Beverly Park probably dashed across the 405
    Mountain lion spotted in Beverly Park probably dashed across the 405

    A ghostly looking image of a mountain lion, pale and blurry, was caught via home security camera by a resident near Beverly Park, east of the 405 Freeway, last week.

    Though the photo raises alarm among area residents, it also raises questions for local wildlife experts. This could be the second...

  • Missing Mexico students: 'We want them alive,' L.A. activists chant
    Missing Mexico students: 'We want them alive,' L.A. activists chant

    Standing in front of photos of 43 missing students in the Mexican state of Guerrero, activists and community members gathered across the street from the Consulate General of Mexico in Los Angeles on Wednesday chanting: "Vivos se los llevaron, vivos los queremos.”

    “They were taken alive, we want...

  • L.A. apartment gallery Park View bucks trend of big by going small
    L.A. apartment gallery Park View bucks trend of big by going small

    New galleries and exhibition spaces seem to be popping up all over Los Angeles. There's the 4,500-square-foot Mistake Room at the southern end of downtown and the 5,000-square-foot Gavlak in Hollywood. Soon, New York gallerist Michele Maccarone will have a 35,000-square-foot space on Mission Road...

  • Homeless man beaten, stabbed to death; 2 transients charged

    Two transients armed with a stick and a knife beat and stabbed a homeless man to death during a fight in the Westlake neighborhood near downtown Los Angeles on Saturday night, police said.

    “It was two against one,” said Sgt. Raul Pedroza of the Los Angeles Police Department's Olympic Station.

    The...

  • 2 firms that won LAUSD's tech program most active in seeking meetings
    2 firms that won LAUSD's tech program most active in seeking meetings

    More than a year before the Los Angeles Board of Education agreed to an iPads-for-all program, Apple and a leading curriculum company repeatedly sought meetings with school board members, newly released emails and records reviewed by The Times show.

    The communications with the board and representatives...

  • Head of L.A. schools' technology division resigns
    Head of L.A. schools' technology division resigns

    The head of technology for the Los Angeles Unified School District has resigned, the latest fallout from two troubled technology efforts: the iPads-for-all project and a new student records system.

    Ron Chandler, the chief information officer, headed technology programs for the nation's second-largest...

  • In this innovative kindergarten class, A is for 'Action!'
    In this innovative kindergarten class, A is for 'Action!'

    The palm trees are made of construction paper, the waves of shiny fabric. The actors wear straw hats, sunglasses and loud Hawaiian shirts.

    They lean back in lawn chairs, legs too short to touch the ground. One holds a goblet, the other a picture book. In the background, Madonna sings of "La Isla...

  • Frank Mankiewicz dies at 90; Democratic insider was RFK aide, led NPR
    Frank Mankiewicz dies at 90; Democratic insider was RFK aide, led NPR

    Frank Mankiewicz, the son of a Hollywood legend who made his mark in the grittier worlds of Democratic politics and broadcast media, serving as press secretary to Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, presidential campaign manager for Sen. George S. McGovern and chief of National Public Radio during its bumpy...

  • L.A. school board ratifies contract for Cortines to lead district
    L.A. school board ratifies contract for Cortines to lead district

    The Los Angeles Board of Education on Tuesday ratified a contract for Ramon C. Cortines to serve as superintendent through June.

    The vote was 7-0 and was conducted without discussion. Cortines will be paid at an annual rate of $300,000 per year, $50,000 less than his predecessor John Deasy, who...

  • On his first day, Cortines feels a 'sense of urgency' at L.A. Unified
    On his first day, Cortines feels a 'sense of urgency' at L.A. Unified

    Ramon C. Cortines' first day in his latest tour at the helm of Los Angeles Unified started in a familiar fashion: early, with his first meeting at 7 a.m.

    That was practically indolent for Cortines, who is known to schedule meetings for 6 a.m. But on this Monday at least, the 82-year-old administrator-in-chief...

  • LAUSD tracking system for special-needs students faulted in new report
    LAUSD tracking system for special-needs students faulted in new report

    Problems with Los Angeles Unified School District's new student tracking system led to widespread issues in identifying special-needs students and placing them in the correct programs, a report released Monday concluded.

    The court-appointed monitor overseeing the L.A. Unified's long-running effort...

  • National Coffee Day: How to get a free cup, plus more specials
    National Coffee Day: How to get a free cup, plus more specials

    There really is such a thing as a free cup of coffee. Well, there is on National Coffee Day on Monday. To celebrate, here are a few ways to get your hands on a free cup of joe, plus more specials to get your caffeine fix going. 

    The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf took over Union Station on Monday by decorating...

  • L.A. school board to meet Tuesday; likely to discuss Deasy's future
    L.A. school board to meet Tuesday; likely to discuss Deasy's future

    The Los Angeles Unified School District has tentatively scheduled a special closed-door session for Tuesday, during which the future of Supt. John Deasy is likely to be discussed.

    The 4 p.m. meeting was not entirely a surprise because the possibility of a closed session had been previously announced....

  • L.A. Unified settles suit with student data software vendor
    L.A. Unified settles suit with student data software vendor

    The Los Angeles Unified School District paid $3.75 million Thursday to settle a lawsuit with the vendor of a software system designed to track attendance, grades, schedules and other student data, officials said.

    The agreement, which was disclosed by the district Thursday, came after a two-year...

  • L.A. school district will double staff helping with iPad rollout
    L.A. school district will double staff helping with iPad rollout

    In response to problems with providing iPads to all students, teachers and campus administrators, the Los Angeles school system will double the number of people who will help with technical and instructional issues.

    Getting such aid to L.A. Unified schools and teachers was one key recommendation...

  • Datebook: Dreamy stop-motion, German cinema and Andy Warhol's shadows
    Datebook: Dreamy stop-motion, German cinema and Andy Warhol's shadows

    German films of the 1920s in L.A., animated wonders and a poet's circle in Pasadena, plus Andy Warhol in downtown, a Latin American documentary series and an entire festival devoted to exploring the overlap between art and science. It's all happening this week in our big, bad, traffic-choked city:

    ...

  • New report on L.A. Unified's iPads reflects problems with curriculum
    New report on L.A. Unified's iPads reflects problems with curriculum

    An evaluation of the iPads-for-all project in Los Angeles schools found that only 1 of 245 classrooms surveyed even used the costly curriculum. 

    The analysis, conducted by an outside firm, also highlighted other problems, including the pace of the rollout last year at 47 schools in the Los Angeles...

  • Datebook: Painting, performance and film as art season gets into gear
    Datebook: Painting, performance and film as art season gets into gear

    With openings in just about every corner of the city, the art industry is going bananas this week as the fall season gets underway. This means social practice in Santa Monica, video about film failures in Westwood, textiles in Mid-City and Chicano art in East L.A. There’s also assemblage, abstraction,...

  • L.A. school board OKs contract to destroy emails, raising concerns
    L.A. school board OKs contract to destroy emails, raising concerns

    The Los Angeles Unified School District took steps this week to enforce rules under which emails are deleted after one year, raising concerns about whether important public records would be destroyed in the process.

    The action comes two weeks after the district released emails from 2012 that showed...

  • Graceful cast saves 'Life and Sort of Death of Eric Argyle'
    Graceful cast saves 'Life and Sort of Death of Eric Argyle'

    At first, “The Life and Sort of Death of Eric Argyle” by Irish playwright Ross Dungan gives the impression of a short story that somehow fell into the submission pile at Son of Semele theater — whereupon director Matthew McCray gamely gathered his ensemble and staged it anyway.

    The eight players,...

  • L.A. school board member Ratliff pushes for release of iPad report
    L.A. school board member Ratliff pushes for release of iPad report

    Los Angeles school board member Monica Ratliff will seek the release of an internal probe into the decision to provide iPads to every student in the nation’s second-largest school system.

    Officials had classified the report, by the school district’s inspector general, as a confidential investigation...

  • Former L.A. schools official Aquino defends conduct over iPads contract
    Former L.A. schools official Aquino defends conduct over iPads contract

    The former Los Angeles schools official at the center of scrutiny over the district's $1.3-billion iPad program said Thursday that he acted properly in his dealings with Pearson, the company that provided the curriculum on the devices.

    Former Deputy Supt. Jaime Aquino worked for a Pearson subsidiary...

  • Top L.A. Unified officials worked with Apple/Pearson before iPad deal
    Top L.A. Unified officials worked with Apple/Pearson before iPad deal

    Senior Los Angeles school district officials, including Supt. John Deasy, had a close working relationship with Apple and Pearson executives before these companies won the key contract for a $1-billion effort to provide computers to every student in the nation’s second-largest school system, records...

  • LAUSD's $1-billion iPad effort beset by problems, report finds
    LAUSD's $1-billion iPad effort beset by problems, report finds

    The groundbreaking effort to provide an iPad to every Los Angeles student, teacher and school administrator was beset by inadequate planning, a lack of transparency and a flawed bidding process, according to a draft of an internal school district report obtained by The Times.

    The much-anticipated...

  • McKenna holds slim lead in race for L.A. school board
    McKenna holds slim lead in race for L.A. school board

    Veteran school administrator George McKenna held a narrow lead over political novice Alex Johnson in partial returns Tuesday in the race for a key seat on the Los Angeles Board of Education. The winner of the costly campaign could influence the direction of the nation’s second-largest school system.

    ...

  • L.A. officials urge feds to do more to help immigrant children
    L.A. officials urge feds to do more to help immigrant children

    Several Los Angeles City Council members are calling on federal lawmakers to do more to help the thousands of immigrant children who have crossed the Mexican border alone in recent months.

    L.A. officials plan to introduce a council motion Friday asking the government to provide more aid to help...

  • Home Depot begins selling 3-D printers
    Home Depot begins selling 3-D printers

    In addition to buckets of paint, light fixtures and lumber, Home Depot customers now have access to another tool for home repair -- 3-D printers.

    The hardware supply giant announced a pilot program Monday with 3-D printer manufacturer MakerBot to sell the devices through the store’s website and...

  • Newly planted fruit trees in MacArthur Park uprooted
    Newly planted fruit trees in MacArthur Park uprooted

    Nearly 30 fruit trees planted by kids recently in the MacArthur Park area as part of a summer fruit tree planting project were broken and uprooted late Monday night.

    “It was devastating,” said Lee Schube, spokeswoman for Heart of Los Angeles, a youth outreach organization that’s partnered with...

  • L.A. youths planting plum trees and more in Urban Fruit Trail project
    L.A. youths planting plum trees and more in Urban Fruit Trail project

    The decision was unanimous: The plum tree needed a name.

    "Bob Pastolio!" yelled Maria Flor, a sixth-grader from West Hollywood.

    "Yeah," said Max Oppenheimer, 12, of Los Feliz. "For short, we'll call him Bob."

    The students spent a recent Wednesday afternoon shoveling and sweating in the sun in order...

  • L.A. Unified agrees to pay low-wage workers $15 an hour
    L.A. Unified agrees to pay low-wage workers $15 an hour

    Low-wage workers in the nation’s second-largest school system have won a minimum-wage pay increase to $15 an hour.

    The contract agreement, approved unanimously Tuesday by the Board of Education, will nearly double the wages of some Los Angeles Unified School District workers after two years.

    The...

  • Richard Vladovic to serve again as L.A. school board president
    Richard Vladovic to serve again as L.A. school board president

    The Los Angeles Board of Education selected Richard Vladovic on Tuesday for a second, one-year term as president.

    The vote of the school board, which selects its president, was 5 to 1.

    The president is selected annually by members of the school board and runs the meetings. Most of the duties are...

  • Toddler found wandering alone in Westlake area of L.A.

    A 2-year-old boy was found wandering alone Wednesday afternoon in the Westlake area of Los Angeles, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

    Police said officers responded about 4:45 p.m. to the 400 block of Union Drive after someone spotted the child.

    The officers took the toddler to a...

  • LAUSD OKs budget; spending on teachers, needy students to grow
    LAUSD OKs budget; spending on teachers, needy students to grow

    Marking a new direction in school finance, the Los Angeles Board of Education unanimously approved a $6.6-billion budget Tuesday that features the largest funding boost in years and the first-ever blueprint for spending millions of new dollars to improve the academic performance of the neediest...

  • L.A. school board to vote on reappointing iPad program critic to panel
    L.A. school board to vote on reappointing iPad program critic to panel

    Los Angeles school officials are scheduled Tuesday to vote on whether to reappoint a critic of the iPad project to a committee that oversees the spending of school construction bonds.

    The Board of Education removed architect Stuart Magruder from consideration in May. Board member Tamar Galatzan...

  • LAUSD has enough yes-men; it needs Stuart Magruder
    LAUSD has enough yes-men; it needs Stuart Magruder

    Stuart Magruder probably isn't the most get-along member of the bond oversight committee for the Los Angeles Unified School District. And that's OK. The top priority of a member of the bond committee is not to make friends but to protect fiercely both taxpayer money and the students of L.A. Unified,...

  • L.A. school unions back separate candidates in Board of Education race
    L.A. school unions back separate candidates in Board of Education race

    The two largest school employee unions in Los Angeles are on different sides of a key Board of Education race, as they maneuver for leverage over pay raises, job security and other matters.

    United Teachers Los Angeles opted last week for retired senior administrator George McKenna.

    Local 99 of...

  • After Kings' win, NYC police commissioner honors pastrami bet
    After Kings' win, NYC police commissioner honors pastrami bet

    After the Kings took Game 5 Friday night in a thrilling double overtime win, after the New York Rangers went home, after the cup was kissed and the red carpet removed from the ice, there was still the matter of the pastrami sandwich.

    LAPD Chief Charlie Beck and New York City Police Commissioner...

  • Summer program will provide 4.5-million free meals to L.A. students
    Summer program will provide 4.5-million free meals to L.A. students

    Los Angeles Unified announced plans Thursday to provide roughly 4.5-million lunches over the summer break to more than 520,000 students who typically qualify for free or reduced-price meals. 

    Called the "Food That's In, When School Is Out" program, the district's food services division will serve...

  • McKenna and Johnson lead in early returns for L.A. school board
    McKenna and Johnson lead in early returns for L.A. school board

    In early ballots, George McKenna and Alex Johnson appeared headed to an August runoff to fill an open seat on the Los Angeles Board of Education.

    McKenna was comfortably in front, with Johnson a strong second, well ahead of five other candidates who were bunched together. The first tally typically...

  • L.A. Unified bond oversight panel wants iPad critic reappointed
    L.A. Unified bond oversight panel wants iPad critic reappointed

    The committee that oversees school bond spending in Los Angeles has called for the reinstatement of iPad project critic Stuart Magruder.

    Magruder surrendered his seat last week after the L.A. Board of Education refused to reappoint him to a second two-year term.

    The committee met Thursday -- without...

  • John Marshall High celebrates online academic decathlon championship
    John Marshall High celebrates online academic decathlon championship

    L.A.'s John Marshall High School celebrated winning the national online academic decathlon championship, with a rival team lending support. 

    At Los Angeles Unified School District headquarters Wednesday night, board member Bennett Kayser and Marshall High Principal Daniel Harrison presented the...

  • L.A. Unified shifting 'teacher jails' to homes
    L.A. Unified shifting 'teacher jails' to homes

    As of Tuesday, Los Angeles teachers suspended amid misconduct investigations will be allowed to remain at home rather than report during the workday to district offices — known within the profession as "teacher jails."

    The change, ordered by L.A. Unified Supt. John Deasy, will affect about 250...

  • Alex Johnson dominates fundraising in L.A. school board election
    Alex Johnson dominates fundraising in L.A. school board election

    A relative newcomer to the city education scene has dominated fundraising and spending in the race for an open seat on the Los Angeles Board of Education.

    Through May 17, Alex Johnson, the senior education aide to county Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, had spent nearly $300,000 on his campaign to...

  • Jonathan Gold's best restaurants: Langer's
    Jonathan Gold's best restaurants: Langer's

  • Coalition starts drive to help homeless people leave MacArthur Park
    Coalition starts drive to help homeless people leave MacArthur Park

    Faced with a crush of homeless people as gritty downtown gives way to luxury lofts, a coalition of social service agencies on Thursday launched a push to help down-and-outers sleeping in MacArthur Park get back on their feet.

    The coalition, led by City Councilman Gil Cedillo, set up blue tents...

  • Westlake hardware store owner dispenses tools for life
    Westlake hardware store owner dispenses tools for life

    Bertha Wooldridge is a facilitator and peace agent in a neighborhood west of downtown where gangs are active and residents have few resources.

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