Southern California breaking news and trends

Bears gonna bear: 'Troublemakers' may have been falsely accused

Black Bear

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The latest devil-may-care bear to emerge from the San Gabriel Mountains was spotted last week near the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. The woodland interloper briefly shut down the 210 freeway and hooked in Fish and Wildlife officials after scaling a fence, traversing an underpass and running through a golf course.

(UPDATE: An even more recent bear incident is unfolding Tuesday as a scared bear went on the run after it was found hiding in a tree in Granada Hills.)

Bears are frequent visitors to the foothills, and in late spring, the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department issued a "Be Bear Aware" news release reinforcing the message that: "It's Not a Bear Problem, It's a People Problem."

To that end, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife produced some short and offbeat educational videos about how human carelessness is increasing bear encounters, and what can be done to keep black bears safe in their natural habitat.

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Angelenos get help with immigration, criminal record problems at LA legal clinic

SusanBroman via Flikr

A line of people snaked out door of the L.A. Law Library Saturday morning in anticipation of a free legal clinic which organizers said was the largest in the West coast.

They came from all over Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley for help with child custody cases, clearing their criminal records and immigration issues, among other problems.

“As you know almost everything in life now has a legal component to it, and most people cannot afford lawyers,” said Sandi Levin, the library's executive director. “So someone has to be in the business of teaching people how to learn what their rights are, how to navigate the judicial process and how to get access to justice.”

More than two dozen providers of free and low-cost legal services staffed booths at the event. Organizers were expecting about two thousand people to attend.

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KPCC DIGEST AM (Oct. 17)—What parents want from LA Unified, what people see in the LA River, what teens can now do on Facebook

coin slot metal toaster

Photo by Gwen Harlow via Flickr Creative Commons

1. Park life: Small investment in outreach, large impact on activity (KPCC)

A  study released by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine on Thursday suggests that small investments by parks in marketing and outreach can increase park visitors' physical activity. Researchers looked at 50 parks across L.A.. Two-thirds of the parks received outreach training and $4,000 apiece to improve communication about their services.

Physical activity performed by patrons at those parks increased by seven to 12 percent when compared to parks that made no changes.

2. Angelenos and the LA River (KPCC)

Fishing, bird watching, biking and kayaking — listeners shared their favorite L.A. River stories and photos.

We encouraged folks to submit responses via our Public Insight Network in the days leading up to  Found LA: Festival of Neighborhoods. The theme this year: “The River of Your Imagination." See our gallery.

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KPCC DIGEST AM (Oct. 15)—Earthquakes, dry ice explosions, Apple designs on Burberry CEO, will momentum payoff in the playoffs?

white pencils school supplies

Photo by Pietro Izzo via Flickr Creative Commons

1. LA area immigrants helping to solve painful mysteries from Guatemala (KPCC)

A DNA project has been underway to identify bodies from Guatemala’s roughly 45,000 wartime desaparecidos - the disappeared – most of them kidnapped by military during the lengthy civil war, which ended in 1996 after 36 years.

Since 2004, the Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology Foundation has been exhuming and identifying the bodies of desaparecidos, excavating clandestine mass graves and military sites. So far they’ve identified more than 3,000 bodies, about 200 of them through DNA.

2. Who is legally responsible if a building collapses during a quake? (KPCC)

A recent L.A. Times analysis more than 1000 concrete buildings were found potentially at risk of collapse in a major earthquake. Many lack steel reinforcements that would help keep them from buckling.

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KPCC DIGEST AM (OCT. 14)—Backyard lizard detectives, anxious Dodgers fans, no holiday for Congress, solar homes of the future

morning trees sunlight forest

Photo by Frank Wuestefeld via Flickr Creative Commons

1. LA Dodgers playoffs: Anxious fans try to keep hopes up (KPCC)

With the Dodgers down two games to none against the Cardinals in NLCS, fans are doing what they can to keep their hopes up.  As he sat down to breakfast at Rodeo Mexican Grill on Sunset Boulevard, Tony Chavez was feeling what no Angeleno should on a lovely October morning.

"Stressed, depressed, mad, anxious," said Chavez. "I really want them to win.  If they don't, I'll probably be depressed for like a month."

2. Debt deadline kills holiday plans for Congress; 3 days to go (NPR)

This year's Columbus Day falls on Day 14 of the federal government shutdown, which means both the House and Senate will be in session on the holiday. Over the weekend, senators from both parties assumed key roles in the negotiations, after House Republicans and the White House failed to reach an agreement.

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