South LA loses trees in Crenshaw/LAX Metro line construction

Construction for the new metro rail line on Crenshaw blvd.

Construction for the new metro rail line on Crenshaw blvd.

The new 8.5 mile Crenshaw/LAX light rail line could change the look of South L.A. by bringing an influx of businesses and pedestrian traffic. It could change the South L.A. landscape in another way, too: By cutting down about 100 trees along a two mile stretch of Crenshaw Boulevard between Exposition and 48th street to make room for the train.

Romell Pace, a local who sells shirts at the corner of Crenshaw and Slauson Boulevards, said the trees need to stay.

“Once the trees are removed… it’s going to be slow on business,” he said. “I believe that the trees should stay there because they are landmarks.” [Read more…]

Hundreds get free health care in South LA

Care Harbor's free medical clinic at the L.A. Sports Arena.  Photo credit:  Danielle Tarasuik

Care Harbor’s free medical clinic at the L.A. Sports Arena. Photo credit: Danielle Tarasuik

Hundreds of people lined up Thursday morning to receive free dental care, physicals, and eye exams Care Harbor L.A.’s annual free health clinic. This is Care Harbor’s fifth year organizing a free health clinic, but this year is different. It’s the first time the Affordable Care Act is available to the public. On one side of the LA Memorial Sports arena in South Los Angeles where the event was held, are booths with information on the Affordable Care Act and other health insurance options. People can also start the process of signing up for health insurance. Care Harbor LA’s free health clinic is a four day event and will end on Sunday. Event officials expect that each day will be packed with at least one-thousand people.
Listen to an audio story from Annenberg Radio News featuring patients at the clinic:

StoryCorps records South LA’s diverse stories

StoryCorps kicked off its national mobile tour on Oct. 23 with mariachis, celebrities, and public officials at South L.A.’s California African American Museum. From now until Nov. 16, the StoryCorps mobile booth will be set up in front of the museum waiting to record and share the many stories upon which the vitality of South L.A. is built.

Actors Cheech Marin & Art Evans were in attendance

Actors Cheech Marin & Art Evans were in attendance

StoryCorps is no stranger to South L.A. This is its seventh year visiting greater Los Angeles, and its third time at the California African American Museum. It is also partnering with Pasadena-based radio station KPCC to broadcast some of the stories collected.

“We really love the partnership with CAAM and also KPCC,” Mobile Tour Manager Dina Zempsky said. “These organizations embrace our mission to retain diverse stories. We are back over and over again.” [Read more…]

Fountain facelift at Expo Park’s Rose Garden

Re-dedication of the central fountain at Exposition Park's Rose Garden. Photo by Victor  Figueroa and Julian DeOcampo.

Re-dedication of the central fountain at Exposition Park’s Rose Garden. Photo by Victor Figueroa and Julian DeOcampo.

By Victor Figueroa and Julian DeOcampo

The central fountain at Exposition Park’s Rose Garden has received a $398,131 facelift complete with water-proofing, underground lighting and new concrete seating. At a re-dedication ceremony on Thursday with Councilman Curren Price Jr., park officials said more upgrades could follow, as well as new public programming. “It makes sense for us to up the ante,” said the park’s executive director.

To learn more, listen to this audio story from Annenberg Radio News:

Karen Bass speaks up for comprehensive immigration reform.


Congresswoman Karen Bass talking about immigration reform.

On Saturday July 27, Congresswoman Karen Bass (D-CA) hosted a forum about comprehensive immigration reform at the California Science Center. She discussed the need to fix our broken immigration system, and the need of a pathway to citizenship to create an equal playing field for all people.

Bass, with the help of organizations like Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), broke down the analysis of immigration reform, pointing out the good and bad of the current Senate bill, and how it will stimulate the economy if it were to become law. [Read more…]

Behind the scene at the July 4th fireworks at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum


Fireworks lined up at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum.  Photo by Yijie Liu for Intersections.

Fireworks lined up at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum. Photo by Yijie Liu for Intersections.

Around 9 a.m. July 3rd, a crew from Pyro Spectaculars arrived at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and started preparation for the 11th Annual Fourth of July Fireworks Extravaganza. The 52 minute show will be one of the longest displays in the nation and the largest free 4th of July fireworks in Los Angeles.

The significant show takes 14 crew members and two full days to set up. Over 1,300 aerial devices and about 30 low level devices will be fired. Many of them shoot 600 feet in the air, allowing audiences to see them from far away. The fireworks motors are contained with wooden racks and secured with wooden cleats to prevent tipping.  All the devices are connected to electronic firing equipment operated by the crew. [Read more…]

Coliseum deal could go forward today

The California Science Center Board of Directors could vote at its meeting June 5 to approve the latest terms of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum lease agreement with USC.

If approved by the Board, the agreement would give USC full managing rights at the state historical landmark and guarantee the university 70 percent of the parking spaces in the Science Center’s deck on 25 event days per year (33 if the NFL uses the stadium temporarily). It would also extend USC’s lease from 2054, the expiration date agreed upon in a December 2012 plan, to 2111 — a 98-year deal.

But opponents of the deal spoke out at public forums this week, saying that the loss of parking would take both revenue and visitors away from the California African American Museum , the California Science Center and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. [Read more…]

The King Center Imaging Project at CAAM

Hundreds of digitally preserved speeches, sermons and correspondence of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. will be on view at the California African American Museum (CAAM) May 5 -11, 2013 as part of an unprecedented effort to showcase the work of the civil rights leader.

With the help of JPMorgan Chase and The King Center in Atlanta, a team of more than 300, including U.S. veterans and students, have digitized more than 200,000 pieces of paper, including Dr. King’s I Have a Dream speech, the Letter from Birmingham Jail and his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech. Those documents are now travelling around the country, in an interactive display called The King Center Imaging Project.

JPMorgan Chase organized the project as part of its Technology for Social Good initiative, which provides technological solutions to social organizations across the globe.

“It’s important for JPMorgan Chase to support Dr. King’s legacy because of the important values he committed his life to promoting, such as equality, equal opportunity, and quality education for all,” said Jamie Dimon, chairman and chief executive of JPMorgan Chase & Co. “People like Dr. Martin Luther King are what made America what it is today. The values he espoused are the values that JPMorgan Chase also tries to stand for around the world.”

The exhibition has traveled around the nation visiting such locations as the MLK Memorial Dedications and Congressional Black Caucus in Washington, D.C.; The King Center, Madison Square Garden, NAACP National Convention, Dusable Museum, Wright Museum and many more. This interactive booth encourages visitors to share their own dreams on an illuminated Dream Wall. More information and a full archive of the project are available at 

Volunteers will be positioned near the booth to ensure visitors have the best experience possible. This event is free and open to the public. For more information on CAAM visit  CAAM is located at 600 State Drive, Exposition Park, 90037.  Parking is $10 located in the lot adjacent to CAAM, at 39th and Figueroa Street. The museum will be closed on Monday, May 6th.


Angela Davis speaks to a full house at Urban Issues Breakfast Forum

Line outside the California African American Museum

Line outside the California African American Museum

Standing in line, some speculated that Friday April 19 attracted the largest Urban Issues Breakfast Forum crowd they had ever seen. Three lines wrapped around the California African American Museum: one for VIPs, another for reservations, and a last line filled with hopefuls crossing their fingers for the chance to hear Angela Davis speak.

“We want an end to all wars of oppression,” Davis said to a cheering crowd. “We want freedom for all black and oppressed people now held in U.S. federal and state prison and jails.”

Davis, prominent black scholar, activist and feminist, referred to the prison-industrial complex, the idea that the prison system thrives due to its profitability. This was the topic of her talk as well as a central theme in her newest book, “The Meaning of Freedom and Other Difficult Dialogues.” [Read more…]

Los Angeles gets a federal grant for jobs

Get LA Back to Work campaignJenny Cobb finished teaching her spring semester class with a pang of fear. She felt she had taught her class the best she could, but her performance had nothing to do with future.

“In the summer of the 2011, I was no longer employed due to lay-offs,” said Cobb

LAUSD had laid off another round of teachers that year and she along with hundreds of other teachers were left to spend their summer in search of work. Cobb could not find a job for nearly a year with no luck. She says she was at the end of her rope until she received help from the Workforce Development Program.

“Being lost and uncertain of the future, I felt like life was going nowhere,” said Cobb. “Today I feel like I’m going somewhere.” [Read more…]