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Summer classes? No sweat -- because there's [almost] no school

Doesn’t anybody ever do summer like the Beach Boys any more?

”We’ll all be gone for the summer/We’re on safari to stay/Tell the teacher we’re surfin’/Surfin’ USA.”

They may have no choice this summer; the LAUSD is offering summer classes to perhaps a third of the 225,000 students who enrolled last year — budget cutbacks mean that pretty much only high school students trying to complete graduation requirements and some special ed students get summer school.

A lot of parents and a few students phoned in about the mess this puts them in for electives and other special programs, as well as the simple question of what to do when the kids are at home and the parents are at work. One work-at-home mother says she’s encouraging her son to explore the neighborhood this summer, to play, bike, read — a notion that freaks out other parents who were already astonished that she encouraged her boy to walk the five blocks home from the bus stop.

Nobody has lemonade stands and hammocks any more?

Journalist Gretchen Peters’ astonishing book about the heroin trade in Afghanistan got everybody sitting up and taking notice. It’s financing the Taliban and Al Qaeda’s terror campaigns, and the U.S. will be as hard pressed to break the dangerous drug cycle in Asia as it has been in Latin America — maybe more so. Even though Afghan heroin doesn’t make its way to the U.S., for the most part, the stupendous fortune it puts in terrorists’ pockets does its own damage.

Tomorrow, two U.S. TV journalists are still being held in North Korea — what’s happening to them? And high-profile film producers talk about their trade.

— Patt Morrison