Southern California breaking news and trends

Motion Picture & Television Fund nursing home makes a glittering comeback

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Photo by Richard Riley via Flickr Creative Commons

The Motion Picture & Television Fund nursing home in Woodland Hills is slated for a comeback. Like a well-plotted twist at the end of Act III, MPTF will immediately begin admitting residents to the famous nursing home after a controversial 2009 decision to close the facility. 

Accused of failing in its charitable responsibility to care for aging entertainment industry workers, residents and families hired legal representation to block evictions as they rolled out a three-year public campaign against the MPTF, explains the L.A. Times

Board members at the time claimed the fund was approaching bankruptcy and had no choice but to close operations

Under new management led by former Panavision Chief Executive Bob Beitcher, the nursing home has consolidated operations and its finances have improved enough to begin admitting new residents, officials announced Wednesday.

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SoCal landfill searched for murder weapon in teen shooting

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Michael Owen Baker/L.A. Daily News

El Camino Real's goalkeeper Francisco Rodriguez was fatally shot last week in Winnetka. (Photo used with permission from the L.A. Daily News)

The search is on for the murder weapon used in the targeted killing of 17-year-old El Camino Real High School soccer player Francisco Rodriguez

Authorities believe the gun may be located in the Calabasas Landfill. Los Angeles police detectives, with help from community volunteers, will search the Agoura Hills waste site beginning midmorning on Wednesday.

Rodriguez was shot and killed on Jan. 11 in the front yard of his San Fernando Valley home in Winnetka. Police say he lured outside by a woman who knocked on the door.

24-year-old Jason Schumann and 19-year-old Elizabeth Ibarra were arrested a few days later. Schumann has been charged with the murder that authorities have said was personally motivated.

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Sativex lights up marijuana debate with FDA

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Photo by Alexodus via Flickr Creative Commons

Sativex, a pot-based prescription drug spray derived not from a synthetic equivalent but from the cannabis plant itself, is jonesing for U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval more than 25 years after the first synthetic THC capsules were swallowed.

Should the medicinal mouth spray get the green light, the world's first pharmaceutical developed from raw marijuana, and similar medicines, could soon find their way to pharmacy shelves, say drug companies, biotech firms and university scientists.

GW Pharma in advanced clinical trials for the drug. The British company wants to push it to the U.S. market as a treatment for cancer pain, and is hoping for FDA approval by the end of 2013.

Containing marijuana's two best known components — delta 9-THC and cannabidiol — Sativex is already approved in Canada, New Zealand and eight European countries in relieving muscle spasms associated with multiple sclerosis.

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500 people walking slowly down a hill: Pacific Standard Time takes on public art

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Photo by Lisa Brenner

Jan 22, 2012: Pacific Standard Time public art piece, "Spine of the Earth"

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Photo by Lisa Brenner

Jan 22, 2012: Pacific Standard Time public art piece, "Spine of the Earth"

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Photo by Lisa Brenner

Jan 22, 2012: Pacific Standard Time public art piece, "Spine of the Earth"

spine of the earth pst

Photo by Lisa Brenner

Jan 22, 2012: Pacific Standard Time public art piece, "Spine of the Earth"

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Photo by Lisa Brenner

Jan 22, 2012: Pacific Standard Time public art piece, "Spine of the Earth"

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Photo by Lisa Brenner

Jan 22, 2012: View of downtown Los Angeles from the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook during the Pacific Standard Time public art piece, "Spine of the Earth"

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Photo by Lisa Brenner

Jan 22, 2012: Pacific Standard Time public art piece, "Spine of the Earth"

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Photo by Lisa Brenner

Jan 22, 2012: Pacific Standard Time public art piece, "Spine of the Earth"

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Photo by Lisa Brenner

Jan 22, 2012: Pacific Standard Time public art piece, "Spine of the Earth"

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Photo by Lisa Brenner

Jan 22, 2012: Pacific Standard Time public art piece, "Spine of the Earth"

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Photo by Lisa Brenner

Jan 22, 2012: Pacific Standard Time public art piece, "Spine of the Earth"

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Photo by Lisa Brenner

Jan 22, 2012: Pacific Standard Time public art piece, "Spine of the Earth"

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Photo by Lisa Brenner

Jan 22, 2012: Pacific Standard Time public art piece, "Spine of the Earth"


Public art had its slow-moving moment in the late-morning sun with a large-scale reinterpretation last weekend of a 1980 Lita Albuquerque earthwork called "Spine of the Earth." 

As part of the Pacific Standard Time multi-institutional, multi-discipline art collaboration across Southern California, the Mojave Desert earthwork was recontexualized as a performance piece for an urban park space in Los Angeles.

Translation: Last weekend, 500 people dressed in red creeped down the stairs from the top of the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook like the slowest Lord of the Rings attack ever. 

Looking like a cross between a PG-rated Human Centipede and a Caltrans conga line, the lava-eqsue art drones chanted and counted as they inched back to earth.

The piece, which should have been visible from the 10 and 405 freeways, began with a parachuter trailing red smoke.

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Unfazed by Taser, officers shoot and kill metal pole-wielding man

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A suspect carrying a long metal object approaches police on Monday at a Carl's Jr. in Monterey Park, CA.

A witness video of a fatal shooting in a Carl's Jr. parking lot on Monday appears to show the third time in three days that Los Angeles County authorites used lethal force on a suspect.

The incident began at the restaurant in the 1200 block of Cesar Chavez Avenue just before 9:30 a.m. on Monday, said the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. 

The suspect, carrying a long metal object, walked "slowly and calmly" to the side of the building before "very nonchalantly smashing in the windows with his weapon," wrote the witness below a YouTube video that aired on network television news. 

After ignoring orders to drop his weapon, police used a Taser on the suspect, which seemed to have no effect. At least one officer opened fire as the suspect began to swing at police with the metal object.

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