Southern California breaking news and trends

The Simpsons 500-episode marathon begins in Hollywood

20th Century Fox Marketing

Shhhh.... tv.

Like something out of that twilighty show about that zone, one hundred people will begin competing Wed. Feb 8 for the honor of top couch potato as The Simpsons 500 Ultimate Fan Marathon Challenge powers on in Hollywood.

In celebration of show's 500th episode later this month, and in an effort to set a new Guinness World Record for longest continuous television watching, Twentieth Century Fox is moving the marketing team from Century City to the center of Hollywood & Highland to run a 500-episode marathon for super fans.

90 people were selected from online applications to compete, with additional spots coming from random drawings and trivia winners. Rules and regulations are detailed on the main contest page including information about how to become a standby viewer. 

It will take around 200 hours to watch the episodes -- that's just 64 hours short of the scientifically monitored record set for a human to go without sleep in 1965, notes the L.A. Times.

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Miramonte abuse scandal developments: Teacher aide's alleged love letters, and 1 child recants

Grant Slater/KPCC

Miramonte Elementary School scandals get muddier as more is revealed.

There have been two new developments in the Miramonte child abuse scandals, both via the L.A. Times.

First, the Times reports former Miramonte teacher's aide Araceli Luisjuan allegedly wrote three love letters to an 11-year-old boy. The mother told the Times that she made the discovery in June 2009:

"One letter, meant as a short-term farewell note, included a passage that the mother found especially disturbing: 'When I was writing this letter, I was crying. My heart was breaking into pieces," wrote the teacher's aide, who has been identified as Areceli Luisjuan. "Oh! I didn't tell you that I like when you put your arm around my shoulder, and if I told you not to do that it's because I don't want to put you in trouble, but I like it…'"

The distraught mother said the teacher's aide appeared to be in her 50s. Luisjuan was in the process of being relocated to a nearby middle school, hence the parting nature of the letters.

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San Onofre reactor still down one week later

David McNew/Getty Images

One week after a radiation leak prompted a shut down at San Onofre, the nuclear plant's Unit 3 reactor remains offline. 

The reactor was finally cool enough on Monday for workers to install inspection equipment, but it was unclear how long the unit would remain out of service, according to plant operator Southern California Edison and officials at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, reports U-T San Diego

During an inspection, unusual wear was found on hundreds of steam generator tubes pumping radioactive water in Unit 2, however that reactor is still in service. The NRC said tubes showed excessive wear. Edison called the findings preliminary.

Over the past two years, generators in both reactors were replaced with $670 million worth of new equipment manufactured in Japan by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

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Greek Theatre, Hollywood Bowl named best outdoor concert venues in America

greek theater theater griffith park

Photo by BeverlyHillsPorsches via Flickr Creative Commons

Los Angeles' Greek Theatre named best small outdoor venue by Pollstar.

The Greek Theatre took a bow as the “Best Small Outdoor Venue of the Year” at the 23rd Annual Pollstar Awards, with the Hollywood Bowl hitting a high note as the country's "Best Major Outdoor Concert Venue."

An encore honor for both amphitheaters, this is the twelfth win for the 80-year-old Greek taking up woodland residence in Griffith Park's local greenery and the eighth consecutive win for the legendary Bowl.

Owned by the City of Los Angeles, the nestled 5,900-seat Greek Theatre is managed, operated and booked exclusively by LA-based firm Nederlander Concerts while the LA Phil's acoustically superior Hollywood Bowl has been the summer home of 18,000 expectant seats since 1922.

What's the best show you ever saw at the Hollywood Bowl or Greek Theatre?

 

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Martin Bernard Springer is second Miramonte teacher to face charges of lewd acts

Grant Slater/KPCC

Parents of students at Miramonte Elementary School escort they children out of school on February 6, 2012.

Miramonte Elementary School second-grade teacher Martin Bernard Springer will face charges following last week's arrest on suspicion of fondling two girls, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office announced Tuesday. The charges relate to one of the alleged victims. Springer faces a maximum sentence of 12 years in prison.

The girls, approximately 7-years-old at the time of the incidents, were allegedly fondled in the classroom. Like co-worker Mark Berndt who's being held on $23 million after being charged with 23 lewd acts against children, taught his entire career at Miramonte.

In a closed session earlier Tuesday, the LAUSD board unanimously approved the firing Martin Springer, as well as the firing of Hamilton High School music magnet teacher Vance Miller accused of sexual battery against students during the mid-1990s through 2010, as reported by KPCC's Tami Abdollah.

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