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LAPD Chief Beck: Yes to driver's licenses for illegal immigrants

An impounded car.

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck says California should issue driver's licenses to illegal immigrants, the L.A. Times reports.

This follows previous efforts by Beck to offer less harsh punishments for drivers caught driving without a license, as Beck feels that impound laws have unfairly affected illegal immigrants.

"My personal belief is that they should be able to," Beck said in a meeting with Times reporters and editorial writers. He said that what California has done so far to reduce the problem of illegal immigrants driving without licenses hasn't worked.

"When something doesn't work over and over and over again, my view is that you should reexamine it to see if there is another way that makes more sense," Beck told the Times.

Beck did say that he doesn't believe it should be the same as a regular license, and also that concerns that it could make it easier for terrorists to go undetected need to be addressed.


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Tall, pale, and naked: Nude man in silver car is following women

Photo by Andreas Levers via Flickr Creative Commons

LAPD detectives are seeking a naked man who has been following women in the San Fernando Valley.

The suspect, seen sitting in the buff in a 4-door silver compact car, has reportedly trailed two women from a bus stop and police are trying to deterimine if there have been additional, similar occurances.

"At least one victim noticed the suspect was actually nude in the vehicle," noted an LAPD advisory.

The suspect is described by police as a Caucasian male, age 30-35, approximately 6 feet tall and 190 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with information is asked to call LAPD crime analyst Jim Grant at (818) 374-0040. Witnesses exposed to such indecency should call 911 with a car description and licence plate number.


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Orange County Transportation Authority opposes elimination of federal transit funding

L.A. public transportation may lose all funding if bill H.R. 7 passes into legislation as is.
Chris Yarzab/Flickr/Creative Commons

The Orange County Transportation Authority and other transit authorities across the country are urging Congress to keep federal public transit funding in place. 

H.R. 7 is the bill that would fund a five-year, $260 billion transportation overhaul, with the goal of fixing roads, bridges and other transportation infrastructure. But it includes a provision that would wipe out the federal Mass Transit Account, which public transit officials say would eliminate dedicated funding for public transportation. The Orange County Transportation Authority’s Will Kempton says that if part of the bill is approved, the OCTA would lose $58 million in funding — about 19 percent of its already hurting budget for buses.

"Without that, we are going to be looking at having to go back to the actions that we took in the past two years, of again reducing service and potentially laying off employees as a result of the loss of a major source of operating funding," he said.


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'Live from the Kodak Theatre' is dead; Oscars to reference 'Hollywood and Highland Center'

Photo by mninha via Flickr Creative Commons


The phrase "live from the Kodak Theatre" is dead. Sunday's Oscars will not go location nameless, however. Instead, the 84th Annual Academy Awards telecast will be announced as "live from the Hollywood and Highland Center in Hollywood, California," per the request of the property's landlord the CIM Group, ABC 7 reports.

The forthcoming vague voiceover follows a court approval earlier this month to end Kodak's sponsorship of the 3,300-seat theater. The iconic company signed a naming rights deal for $74 million in 2000, but asked to cut short its contract after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

As for finding a new identity for the glamorous venue, "CIM has engaged Premier Partnerships to search for a new naming rights sponsor. However the process is complicated since a major brand would not want to pay $50 million or more for their name to be on the venue unless they are assured the Academy will keep the Oscars there for the term of the deal. That is yet to be seen," explains the Hollywood Reporter.


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SAG members sue to block AFTRA merger (updated)

Screen Actors Guild President Ken Howard is seen onstage at the 18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards. He lauded the merger then, but there is significant opposition to it.
Mark J. Terrill/AP

Dozens of members of the Screen Actors Guild who oppose a merger with AFTRA filed a lawsuit [PDF] today asking for an injunction to stop the upcoming vote on the proposed merger. Martin Sheen, Ed Harris, Valerie Harper and former SAG presidents Ed Asner and Alan Rosenberg are among the plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

It accuses the Guild’s Board of Directors of breaching its fiduciary duty to conduct a proper study of the effects of the merger on Guild members’ pension and health benefits. 

“They have done nothing of substance to support their claims that the proposed merger will protect SAG member benefits. The average SAG member makes less than $10,000 per year. They need to know that all necessary due diligence was done to protect them," said David Casselman, the attorney representing the plaintiffs.


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