Southern California breaking news and trends

Echo Park's 'Quinceañera' mural, now half off

Echo Park 'Quinceañera' mural

Photo courtesy of the Eastsider LA

Inspired by the ritual coming-of-age celebration for Latinas, Echo Park's "Quinceañera" mural on Logan Street became the focus of a neighborhood fracas when a new tenant began sandblasting the large-scale piece.

The mural was painted in 1996 by Theresa Powers on of the exterior of Pescado Mojado seafood restaurant, soon to be a Señor Fish location.

Mural removal was halted immediately after the artist, now living in San Antonio, changed her mind about documenting and preserving the piece, the Eastsider LA reported.

The Señor Fish crew, however, got caught in the net of "social networking speculation," notes KCET, prompting response from the offices of District 13, Cultural Affairs, and the Mural Conservancy, despite the operation being in complete accordance with mandates protecting artists rights.

Read More...

Finding fresco: Hidden wall may hold clues to lost da Vinci masterpiece

florence

Photo by Eusebius@Commons via Flickr Creative Commons

The "Salone dei Cinquecento", in Palazzo Vecchio, Florence.

UC San Diego researchers may be one stroke closer to getting their mitts on a missing Leonardo da Vinci masterpiece, they announced Monday. 

For decades, researcher and professor, Maurizio Seracini, has been playing hide and seek (mostly seek) with the lost Leonardo fresco, “The Battle For Anghiari.”  

Last year, his research team, sponsored by UCSD and The National Geographic Society, discovered a hidden stone wall in Florence's Palazzo Vecchio and caused a controversy by drilling into another painting to access it.

Using laser and radar to survey the hall, Seracini found gaps behind a Giorgio Vasari fresco. He believes Vasari's fresco was built on a wall constructed to protect da Vinci's unfinished piece. "Seracini also discovered a telling clue: Vasari included a soldier in the fresco who holds a flag that reads, 'He who seeks, finds,'" notes ABC News.

Read More...

'Obama is Muslim' trends on Twitter thanks to poll of likely Republican primary voters

President And Mrs. Obama Attend Sunday Church Services

Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images

File: President Barack Obama speaks at Vermont Avenue Baptist Church January 17, 2010 in Washington, DC. President Obama spoke during a service in honor of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Talk about the long-debunked rumors that Obama is a Muslim is once again in the cultural zeitgeist, thanks to a new poll showing the majority of likely Republican primary voters in Albamaa and Mississippi don't believe Obama is a Christian. It led to "Obama is Muslim" hitting the top trending topics nationwide, including right here in Los Angeles.

The survey by Public Policy Polling shows that only 14 percent of Albama voters believe Obama is a Christian, while 45 percent believe he's a Muslim and 41 percent aren't sure.

In Mississippi, those numbers are similar but more pronounced, with only 12 percent saying he's a Christian, a 52 percent majority saying he's a Muslim and 36 percent not sure.

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum recently attacked Obama as having "some phony theology," but Santorum later added that he was speaking specifically about Obama's environmental policies not coming from Christian theology, not questioning Obama's religion overall.

Read More...

Fire mired morning commuters on the 118 freeway

118 fire 2008

Photo by Kent Kanouse via Flickr Creative Commons

Sesnon Fire 2008: Photo from Santa Susana Pass looking west from the Rocky Peak exit of the 118 Freeway (October 13, 2008)

Three to five acres of brush burned along the westbound lanes of the 118 Freeway this morning near Chatsworth and the border of Simi Valley.

L.A. County Fire Department responders were deployed in trucks and water-dropping helicopters, drowning out the destruction in under an hour, according to officials.

Traffic delays continued through the morning as crews cleaned up after the morning mess. Freeway lanes reopened before noon, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The fire was first reported at 9:04 a.m. and extinguished just before 10 a.m., said a spokesperson. No structures were damaged or threatened, and the cause of the blaze has not been determined.

 

Read More...

Death by defunding: Academic Decathlon competes for its life against the LAUSD deficit

chalkboard

Photo by Dave Shea via Flickr Creative Commons

In a battle against the $557 million budget deficit, LAUSD is preparing to vote on a bloodbath of possible program cuts this week. 

Facing death by defunding are art classes in elementary schools, tutoring assistance, recreation programs, adult and early education, All-District Honor Marching Band, and the award-winning Academic Decathlon program.

LAUSD, the second-largest school district in the U.S., allotted $400,000 in the current fiscal year to pay for Academic Decathlon regional competitions and coach stipends. 

El Camino Real High School in Woodland Hills, one of the district's top competitors, will be showing its smarts in Sacramento this weekend for the state Academic Decathlon championship. No fewer than 13 schools within the district are qualified for the state competition, reports the Daily Breeze

Read More...