Southern California breaking news and trends

Occupy bathrooms, Occupy pizza: 72 arrested in 'Occupy the Capitol' tumult

California Education Protest

Rich Pedroncelli/AP

Derrick, a member of Occupy San Francisco, sits in front of California Highway Patrol officers dressed in riot gear during a demonstration against cuts to higher education held at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Monday, March 5, 2012. Thousands of students, teachers and supporters marched to the Capitol as part of a daylong protest over state budget cuts to higher education.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Demonstrating against the rising costs of higher education, protesters descended on the state Capitol on Monday for a rally that resulted in 72 arrests. Four people were pinched by police early on, notes the L.A. Times, but the bulk of arrestees were taken in after they refused to leave the premises. Outrage was reserved for business hours only, and the Capitol closed at 6 p.m.

At one point during the day, protesters outside began chanting "let them eat" and "pizza now!" when protesters inside the building were reportedly having difficulty accessing bathrooms and were not permitted food or water once the area was sealed off by authorities.

Gov. Jerry Brown did not make an appearance at the hours-long "Occupy the Capitol" tumult, however he commented, via a spokesperson, that students today "are reflecting the frustrations of millions of Californians who have seen their public schools and universities eroded year after year." Referencing a proposed initiative to raise taxes, he continued, "that's why it's imperative that we get more tax revenue this November."

Read More...

Members of LulzSec, spin-off of Anonymous, arrested in NYC

AP

This May 31, 2011, file frame grab of the PBS website shows what their site looked like after being hacked by LulzSec.

Top members of the computer hacking group LulzSec have been arrested and will face charges in New York, a law enforcement official said Tuesday.

Five people with the group were either under arrest or being sought, the official said. The details of the allegations weren't immediately available, but were expected in court documents that were being unsealed Tuesday morning.

The group also goes by the full name Lulz Security. Hackers associated with the group have claimed to be responsible for a variety of cyber attacks on big companies, law enforcement and government agencies.

LulzSec is a spin-off of the loosely organized hacking collective Anonymous, other spin-offs of which have recently claimed responsibility for exposing the personal information of LAPD brass. Its members attained notoriety last May by attacking the website of the public broadcaster PBS and posting a story claiming that the slain rapper Tupac Shakur was alive and living in New Zealand.

Read More...

Enforcement status unclear for L.A. porn actor condom law, now in effect

condoms

Photo by Robert Elyov via Flickr Creative Commons

Though it reads like a thin, improbable premise on which to build an adult film, a new law has just gone into effect requiring porn actors in Los Angeles to wear condoms -- now all they need is a team of enforcers. Cue the Hot Cops?

An estimated 90 percent of the country's porn films are made in Los Angeles, and ensuring safer sex on set has fallen into the laps of city officials and industry leaders.

"Today really is a milestone in the advance of health and safety for these adult filmmakers," said Ged Kenslea, spokesman for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which lobbied for years for the measure.

When the law was passed in January, City Council gave police, the city attorney, the porn industry and others, a six month period to come up with an enforcement strategy. 

The status of enforcement during the four months that remain is unknown. City attorney spokesman Frank Mateljan said he it was unclear whether police or health officials will begin showing up at shoots.

Read More...

Serpent sightings: Rattlesnakes out of hibernation in SoCal

northern pacific rattlesnake

Photo by Natalie McNear via Flickr Creative Commons

If you can't see the ground, you can't see serpents. Keep this piece of advice in your long pants.

While it's unusual to see so many fangs so early in the year, unseasonably warm temperatures have signaled the end of hibernation for a number of slitherers, resulting in an increase in rattlesnake sightings across Southern California, say experts.

Canyon dwellers are advised to wear pants long that enough to cover the tops of shoes, and to avoid walking in tall brush or grass, or anywhere else you can't see below. Additionally, hikers are urged not trek alone and to bring a phone (even though cell service varies on trails), in case of an emergency, notes KTLA.

During last year's snake awakening, we spoke with park ranger Jackeline Velasquez who explained that rattlesnakes tend to sun themselves on trails and roads during the day, and then move around in early evening as they prepare to hunt.

Read More...

Lenny Dykstra strikes out in L.A. court, sentenced to three years in state prison

Dykstra Charges Baseball

Nick Ut/AP

Former baseball player Lenny Dykstra, left, is led into a courtroom in San Fernando, Calif., Thursday, June 16, 2011. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

Lenny Dykstra, the former fielder for the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies, was immediately taken into custody after being sentenced Monday in a Los Angeles courtroom to three years in state prison.

The Santa Ana-born lefty pleaded no contest to grand theft auto and filing a false financial statement in connection with a plot to lease high-end cars from several area dealerships using fraudulent paperwork, according to court records.

The judge rejected his last minute efforts to change the "no contest" plea and fight the charges, the L.A. Times reported.

In delivering the sentence, L.A. County Superior Court Judge Cynthia Ulfig said the effort to steal cars showed "sophistication, planning." And prosecutors had argued that he did not exhibit any remorse toward his victims. "Mr. Dykstra might not believe he is a criminal, but his actions have been criminal," she said, invoking baseball terminology such as "strikes" and "home run" to underscore her point.

Read More...