Southern California breaking news and trends

Jets over LA: US Air Force defense training to take place over city's skies

A US Air Force F-16 roars down the runwa

PAUL CROCK/AFP/Getty Images

A U.S. Air Force F-16 lands on the tarmac in March, 2011.

Between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., the U.S. Air Force will participate in "Felix Hawk,''  an air defense exercise which will involve a series of training flights in the Los Angeles area, according to the North American Aerospace Defense Command Region (NORAD).

The exercise includes flights by U.S. Air Force F-16 and C-21 aircraft provided by the 144th Fighter Wing, a unit of the California Air National Guard.

According to Tech. Sgt. Charles Vaughn of 144th Fighter Wing, "Felix Hawk" is an intercept training exercise.

"In this particular case, there will be another unit providing an aircraft that is not responding properly to the authorities," he explained. "[NORAD] will notify a unit to launch an intercept to see if something is wrong, if they just have a radio out, or if it's actually just a non-friendly aircraft in the area."

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Photos: Close-up views of the Hollywood sign's new paint job and facelift

Hollywood Sign

Mae Ryan/KPCC

Painters prime the Hollywood sign in Los Angeles. The crew started working on the project on October 2, 2012.

Hollywood Sign

Mae Ryan/KPCC

Jesus Garibay prepares to scrap off old paint on the "L" of the Hollywood sign.

Hollywood Sign

Mae Ryan/KPCC

Painters bring down primer and Universal White paint to the Hollywood sign on October 26, 2012,

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Mae Ryan/KPCC

The painting crew scraped off an inch thick layer of old paint and graffiti from the Hollywood sign.

Hollywood Sign

Mae Ryan/KPCC

Jesus Garibay pressure washes the "O" of the Hollywood sign. After pressure washing the sign, the painting crew will scrap off the layers of old paint.

Hollywood Sign

Mae Ryan/KPCC

The Hollywood sign is set to be repainted by the end of November 2012.

Hollywood Sign

Mae Ryan/KPCC

The painting crew works for Duggan and Associates Inc.

Hollywood Sign

Mae Ryan/KPCC

Victor Galindo, the foreman, applies primer to the "L" of the Hollywood sign on October 26th, 2012.

Hollywood Sign

Mae Ryan/KPCC

George Solorio organizes hoses used for pressure washing at the Hollywood sign on October 26, 2012.

Hollywood Sign

Mae Ryan/KPCC

The sign is painted in Universal White.

Hollywood Sign

Mae Ryan/KPCC

After the Dumont paper is applied to the steel, it sits for 24 hours to help dissolve the paint and then the team pressure washes the material off.

Hollywood Sign

Mae Ryan/KPCC

Victor Galindo, the foreman, scrapes away old paint from the "L" with a tool that he made specifically for the grooves of the Hollywood sign.


The Hollywood Sign is undergoing a major new paint job and facelift for the first time in 35 years, and we got up close and personal with it. Check out our full photo gallery above.

For nearly a month now, workers have been stripping off layers upon layers of paint and graffiti slathered onto the giant sign in the Hollywood Hills over the decades.

They'll sand down the corrugated steel, apply a primer and spray on a new glossy coat of white paint. (For those who want to duplicate the color in their own homes, it's Sherwin-Williams Emerald Exterior Satin Acrylic Latex paint.)

The sign was first hauled up to the top of Mount Lee as an advertisement for a new land development called "Hollywoodland." In 1949, the "land" portion of the sign was taken down, leaving the shorter, more generic and now more famous nine-letter sign: "Hollywood."

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PHOTOS: Your views of Space Shuttle Endeavour

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Photo by Jose Francisco Moreno

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Photo by Instagram user @babujani

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Photo by Twitter user Zander Lane

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Photo by Instagram user @dj_analogue

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Photo by Tim Marchini

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Photo by Instagram user @babujani

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Photo by Mike Hall

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Photo by Lee Olivares

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Photo by Instagram user @IsaacMoore

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Photo by Deborah Seller

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Photo by Gregory Hedgepath

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Photo by Mike Hall

Shuttle Endeavour UGC

Photo by Gregory Hedgepath

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Photo by Mike Hall

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Courtesy of Amanda Hawk-McFadzen

The scene from beneath Endeavour's wing

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Shuttle Endeavour UGC

Photo by Joel Schroeder

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Photo by glenn.habas

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Photo by Instagram user ali_boo_boo_child

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John Rabe/KPCC

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Photo by Instagram user @rhonysol

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Photo by Instagram user @davidtho

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Photo by Instagram user @ilegend_photographer

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Photo by Instagram user @careheart

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Photo by Elson Trinidad

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Photo by Instagram user @j_phillip_h

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Photo by Instagram user @ilegend_photographer

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Photo by Instagram user @reiy

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Photo by Twitter user Tom Humbarger

Shuttle User Pics

Photo by Instagram user @ilegend_photographer

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Photo by Twitter user Melissa M. Geisler

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Photo by Instagram user @rhonysol

Shuttle User Pics

Photo by Twitter User Emily Lakdawalla


The space shuttle Endeavour will take off on its final mission across the streets of L.A. this Thursday night, and we've got the where, when and how to take your own photographs of the historic trek across the city.

And we want to see your photos of this monumental event! But beware: Getting up close and personal with the shuttle on its last journey won’t be easy. 

Police are closing off the streets and sidewalks near the travel route, so it's up to you to get creative shots of the shuttle as it moves through the city.

Check out our map of the travel route and start thinking about creative locations that aren’t directly along the closed-off streets where you could catch a good view.

The shuttle will make pit stops along the way, so those events will be your best bets for close-ups and shuttle party pics.

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Update: How to take photos of Shuttle Endeavour landing in Los Angeles

The Space Shuttle Discovery, aboard a sp

Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images

The Space Shuttle Discovery, aboard a specially modified NASA Boeing 747, flies over the Washington, DC, April 17, 2012, as seen from Arlington, Virginia.

Space fans and photo nerds will have a great chance to create a memorable photograph this Friday as the shuttle Endeavour glides into Los Angeles. The retired orbiter made 25 trips into space, and Friday will mark its final day in the air. It is expected to enter L.A. airspace at about 11:30 a.m. and is expected to land at LAX by 12:45p.m., weather permitting. 

Check our Twitter or the KPCC homepage for updates.

Here at KPCC we’d like to see your photos of the Endeavour when it soars over Los Angeles and lands at LAX. Check out our photo recommendations below and send in your images to pix@kpcc.org or use the hashtag #KPCCShuttle on Twitter or Instagram and we’ll find it.

Gear: The Endeavour flight will be a once-in-a-lifetime photo op, so you’ll want to bring out your pro-camera gear to capture the historic moment. The shuttle will be piggybacked onto NASA’s modified 747 and flying at around 1,500 feet when it reaches Los Angeles.  At that height, your iPhone just won’t cut it; you’ll be able to capture a little space shuttle speck, but that’s about it.

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Japanese artist turns 400 pounds of salt into art at LMU gallery

Motoi Yamamoto Salt Art 1

Andres Aguila/KPCC

Return to the Sea: Seaworks by Motoi Yamamoto, will be in display at the Laband art gallery in Loyola Marymount University from September 8 to December 8, 2012. On the last day of the exhibit, the public will be invited to help collect the sand and return it to the Pacific Ocean.

Motoi Yamamoto Salt Art 9

Andres Aguila/KPCC

Yamamoto works on his saltscape as visitors take a glance at the piece. Yamamoto says that when he draws, it's like he is meditating.

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Andres Aguila/KPCC

Yamamoto's sandals, supplies and template sit on the floor of the Laband art gallery.

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Andres Aguila/KPCC

Yamamoto fills up his plastic squeeze bottle with more salt. He will use up to 400 pounds of salt to complete his piece.

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Andres Aguila/KPCC

The exhibition will also feature drawings and photographs done by Yamamoto.

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Andres Aguila/KPCC

Students watch as Yamamoto works on his Saltscape art piece at the Laband Art Gallery in Loyola Marymount University. The public is welcomed to view Yamamoto work on his art before it is complete.

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Andres Aguila/KPCC

Carolyn Peter (right), Laband art gallery director, is responsible for bringing Motoi Yamamoto (left) to Loyola Marymount University because she wants to expose people to an "incredible artist and his work."

Motoi Yamamoto Salt Art 10

Andres Aguila/KPCC

A close up look at Motoi Yamamoto's saltscape art piece.


Southern California residents will have the opportunity to view 400 pounds of salt turn into a piece of art.

The Laband art gallery at Loyola Marymount University will feature the Return to the Sea: Saltworks by Motoi Yamamoto exhibit.

Motoi Yamamoto is a Japanese artist who creates large-scale salt landscapes, or saltscapes, using pounds of salt, patience and his talent. He started using salt after his sister died from a brain tumor in 1994 and creating these intricate sculptures served as a coping mechanism for this personal devastation.

Yamamoto started creating large scale salt landscapes in 2002 and this will be his first installation in the Los Angeles Area.

“Bringing a very important Japanese artist from Japan to L.A. to expose his work will hopefully touch the Japanese community, as well as the rest of the community.” said Carolyn Peter, Laband art gallery director.

Peter was the person responsible for bringing Yamamoto to the west coast after searching for something that was different and beautiful.

Yamamoto is enjoying his time in LMU because it is very calm, it’s not too noisy and the people are very kind.

The artist’s saltscape will take up to two weeks to create and the public is invited to view him work from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Aug. 29 to 31 and Sept. 4 to 6.

When Yamamoto is finished with a piece, he said it is like climbing a mountain and finally reaching its peak.

The exhibit will open on Sept. 8 and will run through Dec. 8, when the public can also participate in collecting the pounds of salt and return it to the Pacific Ocean.

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