Archive for March 20th, 2014

Long, hot winter puts Western fire officials on edge

Local | | March 20 2014, 6:57 PM

As much of California remains in a state of extreme drought, worried eyes are turning toward the coming fire season — which is expected to be particularly destructive.

LA strip club manager elected to Canoga Park council

Politics | | March 20 2014, 6:40 PM

Avi Feinstein, manager of a controversial L.A. strip club, received 47 votes to earn one of two retail/service businesses representative slots on the council.

Weekend Traffic: 405, 91, Foothill Boulevard to see closures

Local | | March 20 2014, 6:17 PM

It's a busy weekend in freeway closures folks. Here's what you should know — from the 91 closing in San Bernardino to DUI checkpoints in Hollywood.

Gallup: Americans put the environment over economic growth

US & World | | March 20 2014, 6:09 PM

The recession had caused Americans to favor the economy over the environment, but that trend reversed itself in Gallup's latest survey.

Landfill search for 'ET' video game is halted

Arts & Entertainment | | March 20 2014, 5:58 PM

New Mexico environmental regulators are blocking two companies from digging up an Alamogordo landfill in search of a rumored cache of what some consider the worst Atari video game of all time.

Happy Birthday Twitter: #FirstTweets from 16 Angelenos

Local | | March 20 2014, 5:57 PM

In light of Twitter's 8th birthday, it's created a "tweet tool" so we can reminisce about our baby tweets. KPCC joined Twitter in January 2008; when did you join?

'We'll eradicate Twitter,' Turkey's prime minister vows

US & World | | March 20 2014, 5:28 PM

Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been in a bitter election battle and launched a verbal assault on social media after recordings surfaced that allegedly tie him to corruption.

Ukraine: EU targets Putin's inner circle, scraps summit

US & World | | March 20 2014, 5:25 PM

President Obama and the European Union introduced new sanctions against Russia on Thursday. Russia announced it had imposed entry bans on U.S. officials.

Central Basin Water District may lose its insurance coverage

Politics | | March 20 2014, 5:23 PM

Central Basin's insurance authority is threatening to pull its coverage because of 'dysfunction' on the water agency's board of directors.

4 questions about the US sanctions on Russia

US & World | | March 20 2014, 5:13 PM

The U.S. and Russia announced tit-for-tat restrictions on each other Thursday. How are the sanctions likely to affect the two countries? We have answers.

2 SoCal fisheries haul in mostly unintended species

Environment & Science | | March 20 2014, 4:48 PM

About 20 percent of all fish caught in U.S. waters are unintended targets. "Bycatch" animals are often killed or injured as a result.

Thrill-seeking teen sneaks to top of 1 World Trade Center

US & World | | March 20 2014, 3:19 PM

Justin Casquejo, 16, scaled scaffolding, took the elevator and then crept past a sleeping guard before climbing a ladder all the way to the top of the antenna.

Awash in cash, drug cartels rely on big banks to launder profits

Business & Economy | | March 20 2014, 3:10 PM

Drug lords face a recurring problem: what to do with all that cash? Time and again, they have managed to launder their fortunes through some of the world's leading banks.

Google says it's beefed up encryption because of NSA revelations

Politics | | March 20 2014, 2:58 PM

Google says it is now encrypting data as it moves between its servers and every session of Gmail will use a secure connection. The government has said tech companies knew the NSA was collecting data.

Mayor Garcetti halts 'flawed' LA Fire Department recruiting | | March 20 2014, 1:55 PM

The mayor's office says the next scheduled Fire Academy class will not be held and no more hiring will be made from the current civil service list.

Court upholds California DNA swabs of arrestees

Crime & Justice | | March 20 2014, 1:30 PM

At issue is a law passed by voters in 2004 requiring that all people arrested in California on suspicion of committing a felony supply a DNA sample to police by way of a cheek swab.

TW Cable execs set to get $135M 'golden parachute'

Business & Economy | | March 20 2014, 1:14 PM

Shareholders are being asked to vote on the packages in a non-binding advisory vote. The details were contained in a securities filing Comcast made Thursday.

Exercise cuts breast cancer risk for all women everywhere

Health | | March 20 2014, 12:34 PM

Evidence has long suggested that exercise may help prevent breast cancer. After looking at cancer risk in 4 million women, French researchers concluded any type of exercise is beneficial.

Carson halts new oil drilling over fracking

Local | | March 20 2014, 12:32 PM

A ban approved by the City Council runs for 45 days but could be extended up to two years while the city studies the safety of various well stimulation methods and its authority to regulate them.

Obama to speak at UC Irvine commencement

US & World | | March 20 2014, 9:58 AM

Earlier in March, students sent the president a video invitation, which was posted online. Obama has accepted the invitation, the university announced Thursday.

Westboro's anti-gay pastor Fred Phelps Sr. dies at 84

US & World | | March 20 2014, 9:29 AM

The Rev. Fred Phelps Sr., founder of the tiny Kansas church known for anti-gay protests and pickets at military funerals, has died. He was 84.

Amazon Prime could be too popular?

US & World | | March 20 2014, 8:45 AM

About 40 percent of Amazon Prime customers told Consumer Intelligence Research Partners that they might consider ditching the service if the price went up.

Report says California targeted by cyber-gangs

Crime & Justice | | March 20 2014, 8:32 AM

A report from state attorney general Kamala Harris calls California the top target in the U.S. for international criminal organizations, which are increasingly turning to cybercrime.

Persian New Year's table celebrates nature's rebirth deliciously

Arts & Entertainment | | March 20 2014, 8:21 AM

Around the world, millions of families of Iranian descent will gather around a ceremonial table to mark the start of spring.

Would you order the grande soy Oprah?

Arts & Entertainment | | March 20 2014, 8:07 AM

Starbucks is partnering with Oprah Winfrey to sell a new tea called the "Oprah Chai." But could you live with yourself if you ordered it?

Australia checking 2 objects in search for plane

US & World | | March 20 2014, 8:00 AM

An air search in the southern Indian Ocean for possible objects from the missing Malaysia Airlines plane described as the "best lead" so far ended for the day without success Thursday but will resume in the morning, Australian rescue officials said.

Drought: We could be recycling graywater right now—why aren't we?

Environment & Science | | March 20 2014, 6:07 AM

While California had the first law on the books permitting home water recycling, homeowners have been slow to adopt it. That may be changing.

State to remove some rodenticides from store shelves

Environment & Science | | March 20 2014, 5:36 AM

"Second generation anticoagulant" rodenticides are effective killers of rats and mice. Unfortunately, they also impact raptors, coyotes, bobcats and mountain lions.

Blood tests for Exide neighbors still more than 2 weeks off

Health | | March 20 2014, 5:00 AM

Los Angeles County was supposed to offer free tests by last fall. A county official says planning took much longer than expected.

Feds look at higher education spending across race and ethnicity

Multi-American | | March 20 2014, 7:30 PM

A Bureau of Labor Statistics study suggests that families' college decisions are based on the parents' income and educational level and not their culture.

Video: Sheriff candidates debate ‘mass incarceration’ and more

Represent! | | March 20 2014, 6:51 PM

As L.A. County faces an influx of jail inmates under California's prison realignment plan, activists on Thursday night will ask sheriff candidates about solutions.

Teacher dismissal system works, scholar says in LA trial

Pass / Fail | | March 20 2014, 4:17 PM

The Vergara v. California trial seeks to strike down state teacher job protections including tenure after 18 months and seniority-based layoffs.

Public shut out of LA schools' iPad software demonstration

Pass / Fail | | March 20 2014, 3:11 PM

An L.A. Unified committee probing iPad purchases has been asking to see the software. Members were finally granted a viewing - but officials kept a reporter out.

Garcetti stops fire department's 'fatally flawed' recruitment

Represent! | | March 20 2014, 2:50 PM

LA's mayor calls in the RAND Corporation as a consultant after learning workshops were held for potential applicants with ties to the fire department.

Air regulators approve Exide's plan to reduce toxic emissions

Pacific Swell | | March 20 2014, 1:54 PM

The company submitted three versions of its risk reduction plan before air officials signed off, though AQMD is still trying to halt lead smelting operations.

In Immigration news: Dozens found in stash house, Piolin's extortion claims rejected, Silicon Valley's lack of diversity

Multi-American | | March 20 2014, 12:49 PM

Five will face federal charges in Pearland stash house - Houston Chronicle More than 110 people were found imprisoned in a squalid stash house, apparently pending payment to the smugglers who brought them to the US.

Los Angeles Times names Kimi Yoshino new business editor

The Breakdown | | March 20 2014, 12:24 PM

Kimi Yoshino came to The Times in 2000 after stints at the Fresno Bee and Stockton Record. Read the internal memo making the announcement.

In SoCal business news: DreamWorks to build $2.4 billion complex Shanghai, Disney's succession plan

The Breakdown | | March 20 2014, 11:36 AM

Speculation heats up on Anne Sweeney's successor as co-chair of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney/ABC Television Group

LA Times parent Tribune launches app that reads news out loud

The Breakdown | | March 20 2014, 9:22 AM

The app, called Newsbeat, streams about 7,000 stories a day. The free app is available for Apple and Android products.

Maven's Morning Coffee: Feinstein doubts legalization of marijuana

Represent! | | March 20 2014, 8:19 AM

Today is Thursday, March 20 and headlines include Sen. Dianne Feinstein talks marijuana, KPCC profiles a whistleblower, and the Democratic Party makes endorsements.

California Drought News: Drying up school attendance

Pacific Swell | | March 20 2014, 7:43 AM

Thursday's drought fortune cookie says, "Dry times bring rare unity." But since that's not very predictive, we crack open another which reads, "You will someday water your ficus with water from your whites."

LA Democrats back Kuehl over Shriver in supervisors race

Represent! | | March 20 2014, 5:28 AM

L.A. County Democrats on Wednesday announced endorsements in key local races, including what's expected to be an expensive battle for a coveted Board of Supervisors seat.

LA Sheriff’s race: The prodigal son who wants to return

Represent! | | March 20 2014, 5:00 AM

Bob Olmsted served in the Sheriff's Department for more than 30 years, following in his father's footsteps. Now he's running for the top job, touting his role as a whistleblower.

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Drought: Could gray water recycling help?

| March 20 2014, 9:24 AM

Gray water recycling could help Californians reduce water usage during the drought, but obstacles are slowing its adoption.

Guantanamo case brings force-feeding issue to federal court

Politics | | March 20 2014, 9:08 AM

Force-feeding in Guantanamo is causing controversy as some argue it just causes pain and others say it is for the health and welfare of detainees.

Profile: Sheriff candidate and 'whistleblower' Bob Olmsted

| March 20 2014, 8:59 AM

We find out more about Bob Olmsted, one of seven candidates running for LA County Sheriff.

Drought hurting California's tricolored blackbird

Environment & Science | | March 20 2014, 8:55 AM

The tricolored blackbird was once the most abundant bird species in southern California. But disappearing wetlands have destroyed much of the birds' habitat and the current drought is making the situation worse.

LA competitor from 'The Voice' goes to SXSW

Arts & Entertainment | | March 20 2014, 8:44 AM

LA native Jessica Childress didn't make it very far in the television competition "The Voice" but she headed to SXSW for a career boost.

State of Affairs: Street repairs tax, Board of Supervisors race, LAUSD school board

| March 20 2014, 8:23 AM

KPCC political reporters discuss the latest in state politics and government including the race for Board of Supervisor, sheriff and an open seat on the LAUSD school board.

Report: California top target for US cybercrime

| March 20 2014, 8:09 AM

California Attorney General Kamala Harris will release a report Thursday looking at the effects international criminal organizations are having on Californians and businesses in the state.

The Loh Down On Science

Do our politics affect our eyesight?

| March 20 2014, 6:00 AM

Mitt Romney goes head to head with ... Mitt Romney.


Filmweek: Muppets Most Wanted, Divergent, Nymphomaniac: Volume I and more

| March 20 2014, 4:31 PM

Larry and KPCC film critics Alynda Wheat and Henry Sheehan review this week’s releases, including Muppets Most Wanted, Divergent, Nymphomaniac: Volume I and more. TGI-Filmweek!

Are vaccine waivers causing the increase in California's measles cases?

| March 20 2014, 10:30 AM

Figures from the California Department of Public Health show that 32 cases of measles have been reported so far this year. That's up from just 3 cases by this time last year. KPCC reports that nearly half of the cases - 14 in total - come from children who were intentionally not vaccinated.

Federal judge questions need for government secrecy shrouding 'no-fly' list

| March 20 2014, 10:20 AM

The constitutionality of the U.S. government's anti-terrorism "no fly" list was questioned by a federal judge during a hearing at the U.S. District Court in Oregon Monday.

President Obama signs executive order allowing expanded sanctions against Russia

| March 20 2014, 10:12 AM

President Obama announced another round of sanctions against Russian officials today. The group contained legislative and executive officials and one bank.