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Redistricting map of Los Angeles proposes a puzzling picture of a possible future

The city's Redistricting Commission has puzzled out a new political picture of Los Angeles that proposes pushing the boundary lines for 15 City Council seats.

Proposed redistricting maps released Wednesday by the 21-member commission show a possible future that would include major shifts across the region, reports the L.A. Times.

Click here to view all of the proposed redistricting maps.

Reactions are varied,spanning from confusion to accusation. Councilman Tom LaBonge calls the boundary changes "very odd" and Councilman Bill Rosendahl calls the proposal an "outrageous case of gerrymandering" against his district. Councilwoman Jan Perry told NBC L.A., "Not only did they draw me out of my own district, they took me out of Little Tokyo, the Historic Core and all of Skid Row." 

If approved, some of the proposed changes would include: taking part of Westchester out of Councilman Rosendahl’s district; Councilman LaBonge taking on the Sherman Oaks, Van Nuys, Encino and Lake Balboa neighborhoods, while shedding Miracle Mile, Hancock Park and Larchmont Village; Councilwoman Jan Perry's district shifting south resulting in a loss of much of downtown but keeping Staples Center and L.A. Live; Councilman Jose Huizar scooping up much of downtown; Councilman Bernard C. Parks keeping Baldwin Hills, acquiring the portion of Westchester lost by Rosendahl and losing the residential portion of Leimert Park; and Councilman Paul Koretz would see his district pushed entirely out of the Valley.


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Motion Picture & Television Fund nursing home makes a glittering comeback

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

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

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

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

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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