Southern California breaking news and trends

Susan G Komen reversal of Planned Parenthood funding finds mixed reviews on Twitter

Joshua Roberts/Reuters

In the wake of sharp criticism and widespread backlash over the loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars for clinic breast-health programs, earlier today the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation reversed its decision on Friday to cut funding to Planned Parenthood.

CEO Nancy Brinker released a statement saying the controversial move was not meant to penalize or single out Planned Parenthood, however many believe the situation has been was influenced by abortion-related politics and pressure:

We want to apologize to the American public for recent decisions that cast doubt upon our commitment to our mission of saving women’s lives.  The events of this week have been deeply unsettling for our supporters, partners and friends and all of us at Susan G. Komen.  We have been distressed at the presumption that the changes made to our funding criteria were done for political reasons or to specifically penalize Planned Parenthood.  They were not.


Our original desire was to fulfill our fiduciary duty to our donors by not funding grant applications made by organizations under investigation.  We will amend the criteria to make clear that disqualifying investigations must be criminal and conclusive in nature and not political. That is what is right and fair.


Our only goal for our granting process is to support women and families in the fight against breast cancer.  Amending our criteria will ensure that politics has no place in our grant process.  We will continue to fund existing grants, including those of Planned Parenthood, and preserve their eligibility to apply for future grants, while maintaining the ability of our affiliates to make funding decisions that meet the needs of their communities.


It is our hope and we believe it is time for everyone involved to pause, slow down and reflect on how grants can most effectively and directly be administered without controversies that hurt the cause of women.  We urge everyone who has participated in this conversation across the country over the last few days to help us move past this issue.  We do not want our mission marred or affected by politics – anyone’s politics.


Starting this afternoon, we will have calls with our network and key supporters to refocus our attention on our mission and get back to doing our work.  We ask for the public’s understanding and patience as we gather our Komen affiliates from around the country to determine how to move forward in the best interests of the women and people we serve.


We extend our deepest thanks for the outpouring of support we have received from so many in the past few days and we sincerely hope that these changes will be welcomed by those who have expressed their concern.


2nd teacher arrested at Miramonte Elementary

Teacher Classroom Bondage

Damian Dovarganes/AP

A second Miramonte Elementary School teacher has been arrested.


A second teacher removed from Miramonte Elementary has been arrested, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

The Friday arrest comes days after longtime teacher Mark Brandt was charged with 23 lewd acts against children. 

KTLA's David Begnaud has been reporting on Twitter that there will soon be new disturbing details in the Brandt case.

A press conference is scheduled for noon. We will have more information then. 


Susan G. Komen cures backlash with Planned Parenthood policy reversal?

Susan G. Komen/Planned Parenthood


Susan G. Komen For the Cure foundation announced Friday it would reverse its controversial decision to cut financial support for Planned Parenthood breast exams.

The policy flop comes after days of widespread backlash over the loss of more than $600,000 in grant money for clinic breast health programs.

Many questioned if Komen caved to political pressure, and the unpopular decision even prompted the resignation of a top SGK official, The Atlantic reported Thursday.

Today, Susan G. Komen founder and CEO Nancy G. Brinker said in a statement that the research advocacy group's decision to end funding for providers under investigation was not politically motivated, explains the L.A. Times.

Brinker said the policy was not meant to single out Planned Parenthood, an organization currently under congressional investigation by Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) to determine if federal funding was used for abortion services.


Second Miramonte teacher removed by LAUSD after accusations

Miramonte Elementary

José Martinez/OnCentral

Miramonte Elementary School, where a second teacher has been removed after allegations have surfaced against him.

LAUSD has removed a second teacher from a classroom at Miramonte Elementary School, where another teacher this week was charged with photographing children for sexual thrills.

LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy says the teacher was removed from contact with children after someone made accusations against him on Wednesday. The teacher has not been arrested or charged, according to the L.A. County Sheriff's Department.

“A new allegation came to our attention yesterday, and we referred the allegation to the sheriff,” Deasy told the L.A. Times. “We removed the teacher from the classroom and the matter is being investigated, like when any matter comes to our attention.

“There is no determination from the authorities, and the person could be completely innocent.”

Sgt. Dan Scott of the Special Victim's Bureau said police are working hard on the case.


Jack Sparrow, Catwoman and 'an alien' get into tussle in Hollywood

Jack Sparrow

Getty Images

This is a wax figure of Jack Sparrow.

While not entirely an uncommon practice, it's worth noting in this case that we are bringing you the below AP piece entirely as is. 

"Police say several people dressed as movie characters on Hollywood Boulevard got into a brawl that ended with a man dressed as "Pirates of the Caribbean" character Capt. Jack Sparrow being pepper-sprayed.

Officer Rosario Herrera says it's unclear why the Sparrow character, made famous in the movies by Johnny Depp, got into a fight with people dressed as Catwoman and an alien in front of the Kodak Theatre Thursday evening.

Officers responded to a call that there was a disturbance on the stretch of Hollywood Boulevard known to host costumed characters who hustle tourists for a few bucks in exchange for a photo with a celebrity lookalike.

Sparrow was treated for minor injuries. No arrests have been made."