A spectacular meteor shower put on a show in the skies above L.A. tonight, and some of it was captured on video (on the next page).
This image might be a recreation. But we like it. Armando Martinez / YouTube
They told you that despite the beautiful waves and well-manicured beach, the water was dirty and you'll catch diseases, and you looked at them as if they were nuts. Remember that?
Well, according to Heal the Bay, all those people were absolutely right. Don't swim near the Santa Monica Pier!More »
Gracie Zheng How do you ignore a massive, active fault in Hollywood?
Please read about L.A. officials' feverish approval of big projects near Franklin and Yucca above and near the active Hollywood Fault.
Updated at bottom with a "before and after map" to show how skyscraper location got moved outside the Fault Rupture Study Area. Description of map corrected at 7 p.m.
It's looking more and more as if key people at L.A. City Hall knew about potentially huge earthquake risks beneath the planned Millennium Hollywood skyscrapers. Now Robert P. Silverstein, a lawyer representing some 40 groups who oppose the towers, is predicting, "This is going to be a political earthquake at L.A. City Hall."
Critics of the twin skyscrapers are investigating who hushed up the potential 7-magnitude quake risk. Outside City Hall today, Silverstein revealed two March 2012 emails obtained through the California Public Records Act and called them "smoking-gun emails."
Ballona Wetlands, the last major tidal marsh in Los Angeles
Jonathan Coffin Ballona's hidden creatures under assault by secret drainage plan Southern California, has been the center of a furious recent debate pitting environmental groups against the Annenberg Foundation and state agencies, who want to construct a huge building there.
Now, a mysterious underground drain system, installed by developer Playa Capital 20 feet beneath restricted, fragile public land, is a new battleground. Ballona Wetlands naturalist Jonathan Coffin discovered manhole-like "risers" built for overflows, which in turn led him to a huge underground drain created beneath the ecosystem -- a place where man's handling of tides, rain and the water table is a delicate scientific question. Somehow, Playa Capital has been quietly draining pond water off public land and into Ballona Creek for years. The baffled Coastal Commission tells L.A. Weekly it is investigating.More »
The horrific spill of 8,500 gallons of blazing gas from an overturned truck at the 2 and 5 freeways that poured through storm drains -- and toward the L.A. River -- spared thousands of creatures in the region's important bird flyway.
Grant Kirkwood Photography A helicopter, upper left, is dwarfed by the vast black plume near the 2 and 5 freeways.
That's right -- Los Angeles River is an important bird flyway. But because of the intense burnoff of gas, there was "little environmental damage," says Andrew Hughan of the California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife. "As far as we can determine, no fuel made its way to the Los Angeles River. The gas burns hot and quickly. Most fuel was destroyed in the fire. A couple gallons of fuel ended up in a sandbar area outside the L.A. River, and was contained in the first 100 feet of the channel." Many had feared an eco-disaster:More »
Jonathan Coffin Gold Banded Spider dancing on its web at Ballona Wetlands.
See Also: "Annenberg Foundation Can't Grasp Disgust Over Its Wetlands 'Interpretive Center' and Dog Pound"
Environmentalists raised angry questions this week about whether lobbyists and PR people for the Annenberg Foundation should be sitting on Westchester/Playa Neighborhood Council -- a new twist in a war over whether heiress Wallis Annenberg should get to build a big visitor center and pet-adoption facility on public land at the Ballona Wetlands.
David W. Kay, a manager at SoCal Edison and president of Friends of Ballona Wetlands, drew first blood in an email to L.A. Weekly, which slammed as "eco-jihadists" respected USC professor Travis Longcore and longtime environmentalist Marcia Hanscom of Ballona Institute. Hanscom played a role in the hard-fought battle to save hundreds of acres of Ballona's wetlands and uplands from developers. Longcore, in the Weekly story linked above, criticized Annenberg's plan to bulldoze and build a center at the wetlands. Kay also bizarrely attacked Hanscom as "the Michele Bachmann of Westside pseudo-environmentalism."More »
Read the full story "Save Ballona or Pave Ballona?" here.
Jonathan Coffin A coyote emerges from the vegetation with the Coyote Bush in Area C of Ballona Wetlands.
Heiress Wallis Annenberg's dream of erecting a 46,000-square-foot visitor center/animal adoption facility at the Ballona Wetlands is under fire from several environmental groups and activists -- a backlash that has fueled a growing debate about paving over a chunk of L.A.'s rare open space.
Annenberg wants to undo part of the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve -- 640 acres carved out a decade ago to stop Playa Vista from burying the mistreated tidal marsh under a layer of $3,000-per-month apartments. Annenberg played zero role in saving Ballona Wetlands. Now she wants to develop boardwalks, trails, signs and a building -- approaching the size of Aaron Spelling's famed mega mansion The Manor -- at Area C, highly restricted public land that acts as a biological buffer zone between man and wetland.More »
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa singed the ban into law yesterday, a spokewoman for his office confirmed:More »
Opponents of the measure say it's a gift to the city's powerful grocery store chains because they'll get to keep the 10 cents per paper bag you'll inevitably pay when you forget to bring your reusable toes to the market:More »
That might not last forever. In fact a UCLA study released today says that we could lose a vast majority of our snow by the end of the century as a result of global warming:More »
Like so many other things at City Hall, there was a lot of bark but no bite, and the ban that was initially approved by the L.A. City Council never really went into effect as the politicians sat on their hands. Now the City Council's Energy and Environment Committee is bringing it back:More »
Howard Cole/LA Weekly
Despite anything that might happen on the field during the darkest of seasons, Dodger Stadium is now and has always been my favorite place on the planet. It's where my father and his father took me to ballgames and it's where a buddy of mine, should he survive me, plans to scatter my ashes by stealth decades from now. It's where I am at most one with.
It's a treat to learn something new about L.A.'s half-century-plus-one-year-old landmark, and thanks to Chaz Perea we have done just that. Perea is the Dodgers' landscape manager, an International Society of Arborists-certified tree expert, who cares for the some 200-plus species of plant life found within the 365-acre Stadium campus.
LAX's runway expansion plans were already facing legal action by community groups and even neighboring governments (Culver City, for one). Now comes the Service Employees Union United Service Workers West, which says it will file a California Environmental Quality Act challenge in court this afternoon.
Nancy-D / LA Weekly Flickr pool
The expansion, mainly a 260-foot taxiway that will split the airport's northern runways and put air traffic just a little closer to residents in Westchester and Playa del Rey, is part of a nearly $5 billion, much-needed modernization of LAX approved last month by the City Council:More »
Walmart has fewer friends in Los Angeles than the Tea Party. While local lefties usually decry the retail Godzilla for its non-union, low-paying ways, they have new reason to hate:
This photo by People of Wal-Mart via Facebook has nothing to do with it. We just like it.
An investigation that started here in Southern California has led to a $81.6 million settlement (and more, below) between Walmart and the federal government for the stores' illegal dumping. Ed Begley, Jr. is jumping for joy:
See also: Grand Opening of the New L.A. River Recreation Zone.
Ted Soqui for LA Weekly
For the first time ever -- well, not really ever, but almost -- the Los Angeles River will be open to kayakers and fishermen (and women). This new era of openness starts Monday, Memorial Day, and lasts through Labor Day.
This welcome mat applies to a 2.5 mile stretch of the river near downtown:More »
You've heard of good and bad cholesterol before, right? Fish oil good, Big breakfast with hotcakes bad. Simple enough.
Al Pavangkanan / Flickr
Maybe not. UCLA researchers this week announced that merely breathing some of the air around here could turn your good cholesterol into bad. And that's before you even hit the drive-thru:More »
Read L.A. Weekly's "The Battle for Malibu Lagoon."
Beware state politicians and UCLA professor Mark Gold, surfers and environmentalists are planning to crash your ribbon cutting ceremony at the controversial Malibu Lagoon restoration project on Friday.
"We are not happy with what happened," Ballona Wetlands Institute co-director Marcia Hanscom tells L.A. Weekly. "So we want [opinion leaders and decision-makers] to know we do not want this to ever happen again. Either at Malibu Lagoon, at the Ballona Wetlands, or anywhere for that matter."
The battle over the Malibu Lagoon pitted environmentalists against environmentalists, which includes Mark Gold, former president of Heal the Bay who supported the restoration project.More »
So the super rich Annenberg Foundation wants to dump a 46,000-square-foot "interpretive center" on the Ballona Wetlands -- one of the last major wetlands areas in Los Angeles. Some folks think it's a great idea. Ballona Institute co-director Marcia Hanscom, who's been fighting to protect the wetlands for decades, has a far different take.
Jennie Warren Marcia Hanscom at the Ballona Wetlands
"It's kind of a shell game here," Hanscom tells L.A. Weekly. "The thing the Annenberg Foundation really wants is a center for dogs and cats."
Yep, that's right. In Hanscom's well-informed opinion, the Annenberg Foundation wants to build a $50-million glorified pet clinic, but dress it up as something else.More »
See also: Black Lung Lofts: Children in hip new housing within 500 feet of L.A. freeways get permanent lung damage.
Trash-Photography / LA Weekly Flickr pool
On some crisp, spring mornings you can almost taste the ocean, even as far inland as downtown. L.A.'s air is magnitudes cleaner than it was in the 1950s, '60s, and '70s, when you could cut a slice and serve it with a dollop of whipped cream.
So a revelation this week by UCLA researchers could come as a shock:More »