Southern California breaking news and trends

7 things to know before lunch—LA Unified has a playground warehouse, how to help the kelp, the truth is out there about Area 51


1. LA Unified has a treasure-filled warehouse of school supplies (KPCC

Where does LA Unified keep supplies for 650,000 kids? Think big. On a nondescript street in Pico Rivera, an enormous warehouse stands, guarding millions of dollars worth of goods.

Its a treasure of pencils, playground equipment, janitors’ buckets and about 3,000 other supplies to distribute to about 800 schools.

2. Area 51 revealed in declassified CIA report (NPR

X Files marks the spot.

A newly declassified CIA report written in 1992 not only mentions Nevada's Area 51, it places it on a map. The report, essentially a history of the U-2 spy plane program, doesn't speak to alien bodies, but does acknowledge the place as a real-life government facility.

3. How to grow a kelp forest (KPCC)

Scientists, volunteers and fishermen are working, slowly and painstakingly, to restore kelp and biodiversity to a patch of ocean off the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

The $2 million, four-year project aims to replace a small part of the southern California coastal kelp forests, most of which have been lost over the past century. The effort involves removing purple sea urchins that have overrun the sea floor, eating up kelp spores that are trying to take root.

4. In Egypt: 'Day Of Rage' adds to body count (KPCC)

With the Muslim Brotherhood marching in Cairo and other Egyptian cities in a "day of rage" over the deadly crackdown on supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi, this week's alarming body count went higher on Friday.

The government has said it will use live ammunition to protect public buildings and security forces. 

5. 'Bridge Bash' to close 405 freeway (KPCC)

Lately, freeway closures across Southern California have been dubbed with catchy names like Carmageddon and The Rampture. A new one this weekend joins the trend.

It's the "Bridge Bash" and despite the name, it won't be a party for drivers. The I-405 Freeway will close between the I-605 Freeway and Valley View Street in Westminster starting at 9 p.m. on Saturday. The closure will last through 5 p.m. on Sunday, to allow crews to demolish a bridge.

6. Animal style—A gaggle of interspecies activities for your weekend (KPCC)

In honor of the discovery of the "olinguito," KPCC has hatched a hand-raised list of low-cost weekend activities made richer by animal pals.

The Silent Movie Theater hosts the Cute Animal Film Festival, Newport Beach goes whale watching, get a look at Griffith Park from the back of a horse, slow it waaaay down at the Tortoise and Turtle show, and/or commune with the sea creatures at the Aquarium of the Pacific.

7. A $750 million light at the end of the blackout tunnel (Wall Street Journal)

To settle claims that it drove up the price of electricity during the 2000-2001 state energy crisis, Canadian electricity utility BC Hydro Powerex has agreed to pay $750.

Powerex engaged in market gaming by exporting electricity to Canada and then selling it back to California at exorbitant prices, according to testimony submitted by Attorney General Kamala D. Harris.

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