Obama coming to LA Trade-Tech, South LA high school catches fire + reward for fatal beating

Animo South Los Angeles Charter School catches fire. | Video screenshot from KCAL 9

Animo South Los Angeles Charter School catches fire. | Video screenshot from KCAL 9

Fox LA: Obama is hitting L.A. tomorrow with a stop at LA Trade-Technical College just south of downtown.

LA Times: A roof fire yesterday destroyed the building of Animo South Los Angeles Charter High School on Western Avenue.

NBC: A $10,000 reward is being offered for information about the June attack of a man on the platform of the Metro Blue Line’s Willowbrook station. Wayne Whitmore died of his injuries a week after the beating.

L.A. Times: Ahead of the final election on Aug. 12 for the LAUSD school board’s District 1 seat, the L.A. Times endorses George McKenna.

Daily News: South L.A. is among the areas in Los Angeles where rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea are rising.

World Socialist Web Site: A documentary about stray dogs in South L.A. reveals much more about the region’s challenges.

Bicycling event CicLAvia coming to South LA + Pictures of shoes give new art project sole

Bikers at the last CicLAvia event.

Bikers at the last CicLAvia event.

NBC: Gigantic cycling event CicLAvia will come to South LA in December.

Streetsblog: Artist Kim Abeles helps people understand life in others’ shoes– using the actual shoes themselves.

Hartford Business: A new book follows a South LA entrepreneur as part of its narrative on rebuilding the path to the middle class.

HutchinsonReport: Could a possible smear campaign mar the LAUSD School Board race?

South LA Project Willowbrook wins national art award + LAUSD District 1 runoff election heats up


LA Times: Project Willowbrook, an in-depth assessment of Willowbrook’s artistic and creative flourishing,  won a national public art award.

LA School Report: LAUSD’s runoff election for District 1, which covers South L.A., heats up before its August finale.

ABC: An 8-year-old girl abducted by her biological mother outside a McDonald’s is returned home.


First person: College isn’t for us?


Skylar and Randall playing in her backyard | 1998

This Reporter Corps story published Oct. 13, 2013 recently aired on KCRW as a radio piece produced by Kerstin Kilm and Skylar Endsley Myers. Fast forward to 8:10 to hear Myers talk with her childhood friend Randall about why the two pals ended up taking different paths. 

I opened the door to see my best friend from childhood, Randall, chewing on a pen top, facing me in his baggy jeans. We hadn’t seen each other for nearly a decade. As kids our lives seemed like mirror images and we were inseparable skateboarding, biking and playing basketball on our block of South Central Los Angeles. But something changed in middle school. In eighth grade, while I was worrying about which private high school would give me a scholarship, he was getting arrested for the first time.

How was it that my ace homie growing up–the one who I would run the streets with for hours–ended up on the fast track to prison while I sped toward opportunities? [Read more…]

PTSD in South LA, School Board election apathy + Leimert Park on KCET

Vice News: Are some parts of South L.A. like war battlefields? Some high schools are offering PTSD counseling for students affected by gang violence in their neighborhoods.

LA School Report: Apathy wins the day in LAUSD School Board race, with 10 percent of voters going to the polls for the District 1 election.

LA Weekly: A strange twist in the Grim Sleeper murder case.

LA Times: The city’s foreclosure registry is getting an update. And LA Times Opinion: “The [foreclosed] houses themselves become focal points for a range of criminal activities. Together, they bring down the property values and damage the lifestyles of homeowners barely holding on to their own houses and dignity.”

LA Times: An expanded “neighborhood prosecutors” program from the City Attorney’s office could help South L.A. combat blight.

KCET: Mark your calendars for June 11 at 8 p.m. — KCET is taking a look at the future of Leimert Park, a neighborhood in flux with a new Metro stop planned for 2018.

School Board vote on Tuesday, South L.A. pollution near LAX + new Martin Luther King, Jr. Outpatient Center

School board members | www.laschoolboard.org

LAUSD school board members | www.laschoolboard.org

LA Times: On Tuesday voters will choose the new school board member representing a vast swath of South L.A. The winner will replace Margueritte LaMotte.

LA Times: The California Housing Partnership Corp. has released a report calling for 500,000 additional housing units for L.A. County’s poorest residents.

Long Beach Press Telegram: Residents in South L.A. and other areas east of the Los Angeles International Airport could be inhaling hazardous levels of fine particulates that could lead to health issues such as inflammation, blocked arteries, asthma and heart conditions.

KPCC: The new Martin Luther King, Jr. Outpatient Center had its grand opening this week and will be operating by mid-June. It’s one of several new buildings and services replacing the troubled King/Drew Medical Center.

Los Angeles Wave [OPINION]: The L.A. County Office of Education could be taking steps to close the Wisdom Academy for Young Scientists.

CBSLA: The students at Maya Angelou Community High School voted to name their campus after this literary legend two years ago, and now pay tribute to her legacy.

Global Post: Dr Dre is on his way to becoming hip hop’s richest man, says Forbes. After selling Beats Electronics to Apple, his net worth is expected to shoot up from about $550 million to between $700 million and $800 million.

USC News: Students from South L.A.’s Augustus Hawkins high school visited USC for a day of math-based games led by USC mathematics professors.

Best Start L.A.: Construction of a new park is underway at Avalon and Gage in South L.A. It will measure about a third of an acre.

PR Web [Press Release]: The Special Needs Network gala raised half of its funds for Joe Patton Academy Camp, which it calls “the only free summer inclusion camp in South Los Angeles for kids with autism and related disabilities and their siblings, benefiting more than 300 local children.”

LAUSD avoids South LA parent trigger, School Board race updates + Mercado la Paloma’s creative placemaking

Mercado la Paloma | www.mercadolapaloma.com

Mercado la Paloma | www.mercadolapaloma.com

Hechinger Report: The L.A. Unified School District is agreeing to discus parent demands at South L.A.’s West Athens Elementary School to avoid a hostile parent-trigger petition campaign.

LA Weekly:  “L.A. School Board Race May Actually Be Riveting” as candidates vie for Margueritte LaMotte’s seat representing a vast swath of South L.A.

See previously on Intersections: School board postpones decision on Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte’s vacant seat

KPCC: South L.A.’s Mercado la Paloma is in the spotlight as an example of “creative placemaking.” KPCC hosts a forum about sites like these on May 27.

City Watch: The history of the struggle to bring cable to South L.A., and a vote for net neutrality.

See previously on Intersections: The battle to bring cable to South L.A.


South LA krump dancer, LAUSD teacher jail + Watts Girl Scouts

Krump dancer Krucial from the documentary "Stand" | facebook.com/standmovie

Krump dancer Krucial from the documentary “Stand” | facebook.com/standmovie

USC News: A South LA krump dancer (and USC student) has her story told in a documentary called “Stand.”

The Nation: Crenshaw High choir teacher Iris Stevenson doesn’t belong in the “gulag of administrative detention known as ‘teacher jail.’

LA Times: Two years ago the LAPD, city housing authority and Grape Street Elementary School teamed up to create a Watts Girl Scout troop, which now counts close to 80 cookie-selling members.

RH Reality Check: A woman from South L.A. remembers her family feeling “shamed” for receiving welfare aid, and advocates for repealing the Maximum Family Grant.

USC News: Nelson Mandela appeared at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in 1990; now a commemorative plaque at the Court of Honor bears his name.

KPCC: Michelle Obama’s “Turnaround Arts” program will be offered at 10 of California’s lowest-performing schools, including Warren Lane Elementary in Inglewood and Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary in Compton.

First person: City Year tutor in Watts encourages others to mentor

Vanessa Gonzalez with Superintendent John Deasy and Allison Graff-Weisner | City Year LA

Vanessa Gonzalez with LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy and Allison Graff-Weisner, executive director of City Year LA | City Year LA

By Vanessa Gonzalez

Growing up, I was a shy, self-conscious, but studious girl. I was afraid that I might become involved in gangs—a common occurrence in my neighborhood. My parents tried their best to help with schoolwork, but their limited education and language barriers were challenging for all of us. The lack of books and computers also made it difficult for me to learn.

I struggled with my self-confidence and circumstances, until one person changed my whole perspective. My amazing high school science teacher, Ms. Tam, told me that she genuinely believed in me and that I was capable of accomplishing anything I put my mind to. From that moment on, I was excited about the future and ready to show the world all that I could offer. [Read more…]

OPINION: Brother’s Keepers & #WhiteMenMarching while LAUSD makes school tougher

Obama may aim to help young men of color through his “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative. Meanwhile, here in Los Angeles the school district is raising its high school graduation standards — and will need to make a concerted effort to help its most disadvantaged students.

Young Men of Color forum | Sikivu Hutchinson

Men of Color College Forum at Gardena High School | Sikivu Hutchinson

According to GOP Congressman Paul Ryan, an insidious “inner city culture” has prevented “generations” of “inner city” men from seeking jobs. Evoking the ghost of the GOP past, present and future, shiftless lazy black men with no work ethic are to blame for the high rates of unemployment in the U.S.’ ghettoes. Ryan’s comments were no doubt a desperate attempt to stay relevant and on message after not receiving an invitation to be grand dragon (marshal) of the “nationwide” White Man March.

A few weeks before Ryan trotted out his Black Pathology 101 thesis, President Obama announced that the administration would spearhead a “Brother’s Keeper” initiative to address the dire socioeconomic conditions confronting young men of color. A central focus of the initiative is improving college-going rates for African American and Latino young men, who lag behind women of color in college admissions. Another is reducing Black and Latino mass incarceration.

See also on Intersections: Obama announces My Brother’s Keeper for young men of color

[Read more…]