All eyez on Tupac Shakur at Grammy Museum

An exhibit about the life and music of Tupac Shakur is on display at the Grammy Museum in Downtown L.A., called “All Eyez on Me: The Writings of Tupac Shakur.” The space reserved for Shakur showcases some of his own studio notes, handwritten lyrics, outfits, and music. Shakur, who was he was shot and killed in 1996 at age 25, changed hip hop through powerful song writing.

All Eyez On Me: The Writings of Tupac Shakur will run through April 22. Visit the Grammy Museum at 800 W. Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles. [Read more…]

Room on the road for bike route to Watts

Can I get a lane? More than 200 people took to their bikes for the Ride to Love.


An East Side Riders member shows off his biker vest. | S. Monte

Lowriders, fixies, and three wheelers all shared the road Saturday during the bike Ride for Love in Watts.

It was “a time to be free in your community,” said Fred Buggs, President of the East Side Riders Bike Club. More than 200 cyclists of all ages cruised from Ted Watkins Park to the Watts Towers, resting at a few notable intersections and pit stops along the way. The event was organized by East Side Riders, Los Riders, United Riders bicycle clubs, and C.I.C.L.E working in collaboration.

People outside their homes and walking along the sidewalks waved and cheered as riders passed through neighborhoods at a steady 5 mph. Many drivers honked and smiled. [Read more…]

Thousands eat, dance, support Crenshaw at Taste of Soul



Monte Hayes,71, had only to walk down the street from his home to check out the Taste of Soul festival for the very first time.

“To me it means, all people of all races are here and it’s like, ‘taste me, I’m good,’” he said.

The 9th annual celebration was held Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and took over a mile of Crenshaw Boulevard from Stocker Avenue to Rodeo Road, where families and friends from all walks of life danced in the street. Attracting 350,000 people this year, the street festival presented by The Sentinel newspaper bills itself as L.A.’s largest.

Signature South L.A. restaurants provided the “tastes,” including What the Funnel, Dulan’s on Crenshaw, Southern Girl Desserts, Post and Beam and Yo Halal’s popcorn.

The festival also brings out a unique blend of soulful sounds and artists each year. This time, the lineup featured Tyrese, Angie Fisher, AKNU, Michelle Williams and many other performers across four main stages, along with young artists featured on the “StarQuest” stage. [Read more…]

South LA councilman Bernard Parks reflects on 50 years of public service

At ease behind a desk in the conference room of his Crenshaw district office, Councilman Bernard Parks sat down recently with Intersections South LA, in shirtsleeves and a tie, surrounded by poster-sized District Eight maps from yesteryear and took stock of his career and legacy of service in Los Angeles.

In July of next year, Parks’ third and final City Council term will come to a close, marking five decades that he has served the City of Los Angeles.

[Read more…]

Allenco to pay for upgrades at South LA oil drilling site

Allenco | Emmanuel Martinez

A gate barricades the AllenCo oil drill site from the street. | Emmanuel Martinez

The Environmental Protection Agency announced an agreement with the Allenco Energy Inc. Friday that will cost the South L.A. oil production facility $700,000 for site improvements after it was found to be in violation of industry standards and receiving hundreds of residential complaints.

This deal is a result of an EPA investigation that uncovered several health and safety violations.

“When a company is operating in extremely close proximity to a neighboring community, it is essential that steps are taken to ensure the safety of the residents,” said Jared Blumenfeld, the EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest division, in a statement. “Today’s order requires Allenco make the investments necessary to comply with the federal Clean Air and Clean Water Acts.”

Also see: City Council votes to halt oil drilling in South LA and throughout city, West Adams neighbors seek to oust oil productionAllenco addresses South LA oil field complaints [Read more…]

South LA gets a taste of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution

The wellness and diabetes group from the Martin Luther King Jr. Outpatient Center has climbed on board to take part in celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s food revolution.

The lesson today, “Fish Made Easy,” included a basic red sauce sautéed with garlic, olives, and basil baked over a white fish and served with what the cooks called “brilliant broccoli.”

Caroline Snow, one of the instructors giving free lessons to community members out of the Big Rig Mobile Teaching Kitchen parked on East 120th Street in front of the medical center, offered simple directions: “We’re using the canned tomatoes sauce here on the rig, but you can use fresh tomatoes and with the summer season coming and growing new gardens its great to pick your own tomatoes, puree them, and use that. Then we’re making the sauce, putting the fish with it and baking it for a few minutes.” [Read more…]

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…]

LA County Office of Education forced Kedren Head Start closure, says Waters

Maxine Waters speaking outside the LACOE meeting on Tuesday. | Stephanie Monte

Maxine Waters speaking outside the LACOE meeting on Tuesday. | Stephanie Monte

Congresswoman Maxine Waters demanded a federal investigation of the L.A. County Office of Education on Tuesday, saying the office strong-armed the CEO of Kedren Head Start to give up its contract and close about 30 centers.

Kedren serves roughly 2,200 children at Head Start facilities located in South Los Angeles communities including Watts.

Waters told families and press gathered outside the Board of Education meeting in Downey that LACOE forced the President of Kedren, John Griffith, to make a decision in less than two hours.

“What they do is intimate the directors of these delegate agencies,” said Waters. “They tell them if they don’t give up their contract, that somehow it’s going to be even worse off for the program.”

See also on Intersections: Children’s Institute to take over Kedren Head Start centers in South LA 

[Read more…]

What’s going on with the principal at Maya Angelou High School in South LA?

Protest outside Maya Angelou High School. | Stephanie Monte

Principal Yolanda Rangel was taken away from Maya Angelou Community High School in South L.A. on March 6. But what happened to her? At this point, teachers, students and parents have more questions than answers — and they are rallying to bring Rangel back. The L.A. Unified School District said her position is under review, but cannot divulge any details except to say she has not been fired or removed.

Rangel began at Maya Angelou six months ago, and cultivated a reputation for bringing order to campus, and bolstering tutoring, health and fine arts programs.

To hear from students and teachers who want Rangel to come back, click play on an audio story from Annenberg Radio News:

Maya Angelou Community High School |


Maya Angelou High School:

Children’s Institute to take over Head Start centers in South LA

Headstart | Stephanie Monte

Families protest the close of Kedren Head Start at its offices in Watts. | Stephanie Monte

Parents, children, and employees gathered outside Kedren Head Start in Watts yesterday to protest Kedren’s move to pull out of L.A. County’s Head Start program, a decision that comes on the heels of news that the County is losing federal funding for the preschool program designed to aid low-income families.

The L.A. County Department of Education said services will continue as usual once Children’s Institute takes over for Kedren. The two are among a couple of dozen program operators in the county. Kedren runs close to 30 centers with many in South L.A., including several in Watts alone.

Keisha Woods, L.A. County’s Head Start director, said programs will still be offered for families from Watts, Burbank and South Park even thought Kedren relinquished its grant.

“Every returning child…will have a space in the program as with their siblings,” said Woods. However, she said the department is still “working out” just where the sites will be and the number of students each can accommodate.

Josie Calderon, a parent and vice president of Head Start’s policy council, said her biggest concern is that there will be almost 300 fewer slots for children.

“Out of 727 children served here, only 450 children will be able to be served,” said Calderon.

Her four-year-old son Jaden keeps busy with a variety of activities at one of Kedren’s Head Start centers in Watts.

“We learn about puzzles, drawing, we have the art area, the play-doh area, the house area, and the library,” said Jaden. If the program, which is close to his home, shuts down, the boy said he guessed he would just “stay home.”

Nina Revoyr, executive vice president of Children’s Institute, said her organization is committed to keeping services in South L.A.

“It’s not that Head Start services in Watts are stopping. It’s that Kedren is not going to be providing them because LACOE is not continuing their funding,” she said. “It’s a natural fit for us to continue to serve Head Start families here in Watts including the housing developments, which I know is a great concern for the families here.”

Kedren’s contract with L.A. County ends June 30.