Southern California breaking news and trends

It's always sunny in Pasadena: A quiet real estate rise in the City of Roses

pasadena city hall

Photo by Michael Chen via Flickr Creative Commons

The giant MLS in the sky has been shining brightly on the City of Roses, revealing an interesting truth about the real estate market in Pasadena.

Just outside of Los Angeles County, where home prices dropped about ten percent from 2010-2011, there's a realm of real estate that's reportedly on the rise.

Offering small-town conveniences and big city cultural outposts, the "charming refuge 20 miles from Beverly Hills" gives city folk a still-commutable "escape from clamor," all without sacrificing unique architecture, The Hollywood Reporter details in a recent magazine piece.

The median price of houses sold in the wealthy 91105 and 91106 Zip codes rose from $888,500 in 2010 to $907,165 in 2011. "Despite the general market decline, here it's remained pretty strong -- if anything, we're lacking in good inventory," says Ted Clark, a broker at Deasy/Penner & Partners.

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What the hail?! Cold weather storm is freaking out L.A.

snow grapevine freeway

Photo by FrankBonilla.tv via Flickr Creative Commons

The less-than-sunny weather that was supposed to leave on Tuesday has decided to stay a while in Los Angeles and get its head together. Temperature highs in the 50s will be crashing on your couch until further notice.

A cold weather storm is currently freaking out the Southland with a flurry of hail, snow, wind, rain, rip tides, dangerous swells, a bit of thunder and traffic accidents, says the National Weather Service and the California Highway Patrol.

The CHP closed Interstate 5 through the Grapevine on Monday afternoon as light snow began falling on the mountain pass, the L.A. Times reported.

The NWS issued a Winter Weather Advisory for the mountains until 10:00 p.m. Monday. Keep an eye open for snow around 2500-foot elevations, gusty winds from 20-45 miles per hour, and slick roads. For the board-toting beaches-goers, the weather service warns of high surf up to nine feet, and dangerous, quick-moving currents.

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Metro reaches for the emergency brake on South L.A bus line

305 metro bus line schedule map

Screenshot: Metro.net

Transit giveth, and transit taketh away. Metro's 305 bus line, a vital route servicing Willowbrook to Westwood, faces elimination in the not-so-distant glow of the Expo light rail. 

The 305 route tacks across 20 miles of Los Angeles providing direct access to Westside jobs for residents of financial struggling communities in South Los Angeles. Cutting this, and other lines, would mean no more point A to point B commuting, but instead, transfers that will cost more money and time.

"County transportation officials have been trying to eliminate or reduce service on the 305 and other bus lines for more than a year. They have already tackled some lines and last week approved a report that could clear a federal government hurdle allowing them to institute further cuts," reports the L.A. Times.

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Death of Joanna Ramos, Long Beach 5th-grader, declared a homicide

Image via NBC LA

Joanna Ramos, the Long Beach fifth-grader who died just hours after she was involved in a fight with a classmate.

The two girls had planned their after-school fight. When the time came, a few shoves and punches were exchanged, and it was over within a minute. But hours later one of them was dead. And now, Joanna Ramos' death has been declared a homicide by the L.A. County coroner.

The coroner's office was investigating how Joanna could leave the alley near her Long Beach elementary school with a bloody nose and end up dying in an intensive care unit. The circumstances behind it left family, friends and authorities confused and seeking answers.

"I can't say they never happen but I think everyone was completely caught off-guard by this event." Long Beach police spokeswoman Nancy Pratt said Sunday. Previous reports had put Ramos' age at 11, but the coroner's office said she was 10 when she died.

Police, who have interviewed the other girl involved in the fight, were investigating and said over the weekend that no arrests were immediately planned.

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Less-than-totally-perfect weather comes to LA once again

soldelsur/Flickr/Creative Commons

Once in awhile, downtown L.A. sees rain.

Surprised? A winter-like storm was blowing into L.A. County on Monday, bringing a chance of hail and thunderstorms, said the National Weather Service.

Showers may develop later in the day, with the possibility of hail in the afternoon.

Motorists should beware winter weather conditions in the mountains, especially along the I-5 through the Grapevine.

Warmer weather was initially expected to return Tuesday but — surprise again — the chill will persist and highs in L.A. will be only in the 50s.

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