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School community rejoices as LAUSD, union leaders reach historic deal

The Los Angeles Unified School District finally hammered out a deal with labor leaders on Friday, March 4, after a sprawling three-day strike that shut down America’s second-largest school system and disrupted learning for 420,000 students.

The deal was brokered between the district and SEIU Local 99 — the union representing 30,000 bus drivers, custodians, instructional aides, cafeteria workers and special education assistants — with help from Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass.

According to the sch

There’s a dire need for male teachers of color. These men are stepping up

Latino males make up less than 6% of California’s public school teachers and Black males make up around 1% — two shockingly low statistics that have prompted a slew of new initiatives to bring more men of color into the classroom.

“There’s just simply not enough educated, Black or Brown men contributing to education,” said Joshua Shuford, a substitute teacher in the Rialto Unified School District. “Us teachers are taking back the power of freedom, unity and equality, from a system that’s not me

Man fatally shot in Hacienda Heights identified as prominent Catholic clergyman, reports say

A man who was shot to death Saturday afternoon in Hacienda Heights has been identified as an Auxiliary Bishop in the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, broadcast reports said.

Citing Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department investigators, TV and radio stations reported the shooting victim was 69-year-old Auxiliary Bishop David O’Connell.

A suspicious death investigation was underway following the shooting, LASD homicide detective Michael Modica told reporters late Saturday night.

Deputies re

LA is losing the battle against mental illness among its homeless

Dr. Brian Benjamin, a psychiatrist specializing in serving the homeless, was excited to tell one of his regular clients that a shelter spot had opened up, but unfortunately there were 20 murders in that building every day and the Mafia lived there – or so the client told him.

The client, who Benjamin did not name to respect his privacy, suffered from hallucinations, delusions and paranoia as a result of schizophrenia.

“I do think there’s a lot of times where there’s a direct connection between

Monterey Park shooting victim Ming Wei Ma was ‘the heart’ of Star Ballroom Dance Studio

Ming Wei Ma, a dance instructor known as the heart and soul of Star Ballroom Dance Studio, was among the 11 killed in the Monterey Park mass shooting and died trying to protect others, according to friends and reports.

Friends said Ma, 72, was killed at the popular Garvey Avenue studio on Saturday night, Jan. 21, where he and a group of fellow dancers had gathered for a social event on the night of Lunar New Year, which drew thousands to the downtown area. Friends said Ma’s family in China was

Fresh wave of LA City Hall chaos greets new Council with an unrivaled puzzle

Los Angeles City Hall is entering a historic chapter with the swearing in of Karen Bass as mayor on Sunday and four new councilmembers taking their seats, but a whirlwind of fresh chaos is darkening the moment, leaving longtime observers to question how a new city council will get work done amid an unprecedented and “dangerous” spectacle.

The City Council has struggled to function for months as protesters disrupt meetings, demanding the resignation of Councilmember Kevin de León in response to

Antisemitism spikes in LA, but has been steadily rising for years

Los Angeles has seen a spate of antisemitic incidents — from flyers, to graffiti, to freeway banners and Nazi salutes — in the weeks following Kanye West’s attacks on the Jewish people.

But this spike in hate is not emerging from a vacuum.

Data on the number of reported antisemitic incidents indicate a steady increase in Los Angeles County over the past several years.

Los Angeles area antisemitic incidents rose by 29% from 2020 to 2021, according to data compiled by the Anti-Defamation League

Free health care at Torrance Tiny Homes helps residents get housing-ready

When Deric Hawkins was living on the streets in Torrance this summer, he said, he believed he had about five years left to live.

Hawkins, who was homeless for 10 years, had reached a point of mental and physical pain where he thought things would never get better. Then he was offered a spot at Torrance’s Tiny Home Village.

The village, which opened in July, is operated by nonprofit organization Harbor Interfaith Services and provides 60-square-foot “tiny homes” to 40 residents at a time. The v

Paul Krekorian selected as Los Angeles City Council president

Los Angeles Councilman Paul Krekorian has become the legislative body’s new president after his colleagues unanimously voted for him on Tuesday, Oct. 18, to succeed former Councilwoman Nury Martinez, who resigned last week after audio surfaced of her making a series of racist comments.

Krekorian takes the helm during one of the most turbulent times in the council’s history. Martinez’s resignation has done little to mollify the outrage that erupted after recordings revealed a conversation with C

Civil rights, religious leaders join calls for LA officials involved in racist recording to resign

Civil rights leaders urged Los Angeles Councilwoman Nury Martinez to step down from her elected post on Monday morning, Oct. 10, saying her resignation as the panel’s president was not enough after audio leaked the previous day of Martinez using a racist slur when discussing a colleague’s son.

“That’s a great first step but our coalition believes it does not go far enough,” civil rights activist Najee Ali said during a press conference, adding that such slurs don’t belong in politics, “and that

Torrance Tiny Home Village, 2 months in, succeeding so far

The isolation of living in his car for nine years was so severe that when a passerby greeted him one morning, his reply came out as a strained gurgle.

Realizing that he had forgotten how to speak, the now 57-year old, formerly homeless Torrance resident, who requested anonymity for fear that potential employers may shy away from hiring him, started talking to his dog Kenzie for practice. In a decade of homelessness, Kenzie has been his greatest companion – but also a barrier to housing.


The road to affordable housing is paved with confusion

For decades, the City of Santa Monica has maintained a list of individuals waiting for an affordable housing unit, however, the inner workings of the list have been a mystery to residents, and even to those who administer it.

The alchemy of the list combines income level, household size, current living situation, cultural priorities and personal preference but the magic ingredient that determines when someone on the list will move into an apartment is impossible to identify.

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New racist texts emerge from Torrance police officers

Reigniting a scandal that began last December, new racist texts have emerged from Torrance police officers who joked on their telephones about urinating on a Black child, gassing Jews and beating up a woman.

The state Attorney General’s Office launched an investigation eight months ago into allegations that Torrance officers were engaging in racist conduct, including the painting of a swastika on a suspect’s car and sharing racist and homophobic text messages.

But the latest release of 390 tex

Torrance senior mobile home residents seek refuge from rent hikes

When lifelong Torrance resident Sally Ausbourne purchased a retirement home at the Skyline Mobile Home Park more than a decade ago, she never anticipated choosing between paying rent and saving her teeth.

But now, that is the exact predicament she finds herself in. And she is not alone.

The residents in the senior-only 265-lot mobile home park are days away from the second round of rent hikes on their lots – they own their homes but not their land – forcing them to contemplate tough financial

6 killed, 8 injured in fiery crash in Windsor Hills area of Los Angeles

Six people — including three adults, an infant and an unborn child died — and eight other people were injured Thursday, Aug. 4, in a fiery multi-vehicle crash in the Windsor Hills area of Los Angeles.

Los Angeles County Fire Department units were called to the area of South La Brea Avenue and Slauson Avenue, an unincorporated area of Los Angeles, just before 1:40 p.m., near Ladera Park.

Initially reported as a fire, officials discovered as many as six vehicles had collided.

A Mercedes-Benz wa

Long-awaited Wishing Tree Park nears completion in formerly polluted 8.5-acre area in West Carson

• None The Wishing Tree Park will soon open in an area known as West Carson in Unincorporated Los Angeles County, once construction is complete on Thursday, August 18, 2022. A street of homes were demolished at the Del Amo site and the 8.5 acres languished for over 25 years. It will be opening later this year due to the unrelenting efforts of local non-profit, Del Amo Action Committee (DAAC).(Photo by Brittany Murray, Press-Telegram/SCNG)
• None L-R Cynthia Babich and Margaret Manning of the De

Could Newsom’s new mental health court be a fix for local homelessness?

Governor Gavin Newsom has a bold new plan for a court system that he hopes will be a salve for the state’s twin homelessness and mental health crises. The details of his vision have yet to be fleshed out, but its principles are similar to a creative court program already in existence in Santa Monica.

On March 3, Newsom unveiled a proposal for a statewide network of mental health-focused courts called CARE Courts, which stands for Community Assistance, Recovery, and Empowerment. The courts’ goal

San Pedro skaters stoked over reopening of legendary Channel Street Skatepark

The San Pedro skate community is stoked to see its beloved Channel Street Skatepark rise from the concrete ashes.

Two decades after local community members built a skateboarding mecca piece-by-piece — and eight years after it closed — skaters, and other San Pedro residents and officials celebrated its reopening as a legal skatepark with a ribbon-cutting ceremony this week.

The park’s genesis was in 2002, when skaters took a do-it-yourself approach to building bowls, ramps and rails, progressiv

Long drives and short stays define the cycle of mental health holds

When residents witness a mental health crisis — be it threats of suicide, a psychotic episode, or erratic violence — the common response is to call 911. But what happens between that call and the subject’s eventual release is a mystery to many and, unfortunately, often leads the patient back to the streets or situation they came from.

In Santa Monica and across the state of California, acute psychiatric crises are commonly handled with a 72 hour hold. Under the Lanterman-Petris-Short (LPS) Law,

Cheaper and more potent than ever, Meth continues to kill across Los Angeles

The proliferation of zombie-like figures slumped on the City’s streets unfortunately cannot be chalked up to Halloween, but is in many cases closely related to the insidious reach of Los Angeles’s methamphetamine crisis.

In 2018 the explosion of meth in Los Angeles made national news and while public attention may currently be trained on the opioid epidemic or the fentanyl crisis, the problem has not abated since then. In fact the drug has only become cheaper, more potent and in certain instanc
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