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LA Observed


LA Observed covers the week's top stories in LA media, politics and culture, sharing breaking news when it's available and tying up loose ends on the topics that Angelenos have been discussing all week.

LA Observed covers the week's top stories in LA media, politics and culture, sharing breaking news when it's available and tying up loose ends on the topics that Angelenos have been discussing all week.
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Santa Monica, CA




LA Observed covers the week's top stories in LA media, politics and culture, sharing breaking news when it's available and tying up loose ends on the topics that Angelenos have been discussing all week.






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Arts District Continues to Attract Investments

Warner Music just moved its employees to a new home in an old factory building in the Arts District. The neighborhood has long been the site of higher-end redevelopments, but this time the attention is on the blocks on its southern end. Several creative companies are shuffling their headquarters and investments across L.A.


LA loses an ally in the fight against violence

Friends, family and fans continue to mourn the loss of rapper Nipsey Hussle, who was shot and killed over the weekend outside his clothing store in South Los Angeles. He’s remembered as, not only a successful artist, with a Grammy nomination, but champion for his Hyde Park neighborhood.


A second crystal meth overdose confirmed at the home of democratic donor

The L.A. County Coroner’s Office has concluded that a man who died at the home of a prominent Democratic donor in West Hollywood overdosed on crystal meth. It is the second such death, at Ed Buck’s West Hollywood apartment, of a similar nature in the last couple of years. The results from 55-year-old Timothy Dean’s autopsy has renewed calls for Buck to be prosecuted. But so far there is no word from the L.A. County District Attorney’s office if that will happen.


California has new transparency laws, and newsrooms are pouncing

Before former Governor Jerry Brown left office, last year, he put his pen to a couple, new transparency laws. Both have to do with public access to internal police investigations and video footage of shootings by officers and deputies. Now that these laws are on the books, dozens of newsrooms across California have joined forces to review those records.


Big changes on the horizon for Santa Monica elections

Think of Santa Monica and there are a number of things that come to mind: an idyllic, beachside setting; a tech-saturated economy; a bastion of liberal politics. That last bit, however, may not extend to voting especially if you ask one county judge. He’s ruled that the city’s at-large voting for City Council is illegal and discriminates against Santa Monica’s growing Latino population.


The end of the neighborhood polling place

Those who cast their ballot in the LA Unified School Board election at a local school or church likely did so for the last time. From now on, you can either vote by mail or go to an official voting center.


The Long Beach Angels?

It’s the team that’s had to deal with a geography and identity crisis for years, with some of the most supportive fans in Major League Baseball. The L.A. Angels of Anaheim, formerly known as the Anaheim Angels and the California Angels could very soon become the Angels of Long Beach. That's unless Anaheim has something to say about it.


Police Transparency Law Gets Stuck in Courts

A landmark bill signed by then-Governor Brown last year is intended to make records of police misconduct available to the public. Predictably, law enforcement unions - and now Attorney General Xavier Becerra - are reluctant to apply the law retroactively, to cases from years past. The latest on how judges are weighing in on the matter.


Natural gas not a part of LA's energy future

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti announced today that the city's utility will not revamp three of its natural gas power plants. It is all part of the Mayor's vision for a cleaner city. But what will this decision mean for your electricity bill?


There's a new way to describe powerful atmospheric river storms

California researchers weren't satisfied with how meteorologists explained weather events such as heavy rains, so they created five categories from "weak" to "exceptional." The new atmospheric river scale can help the public better understand the intensity of strong winds that carry a storm's water vapor over time.


A defiant LA Sheriff marks new era for department

Alex Villanueva made a surprise visit to the L.A. County Board of Supervisors to defend his rehiring of a troubled deputy. That deputy was accused of domestic violence and stalking. But the L.A. County District Attorney's office decided not to prosecute, and Villanueva says he will do the same in several other, similar cases.


How a deal came to be between LAUSD and its teachers

On the sixth day of striking in Los Angeles, LAUSD and its teachers’ union say they have finally reached a deal. Many in the pro-teachers camp are giving a big portion of the credit to one man: Alex Caputo-Pearl. But who is he? And what will he do with his newfound popularity?


As teachers strike, political heavyweights bide their time

The L.A. teachers' strike is now well underway and both sides are waiting to see who will budge. Others are looking to their elected leaders, from L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti to newly minted Governor Gavin Newsom, for help. But can they make a difference, especially with an issue that has so much at stake?


Another death at Ed Buck's West Hollywood Apartment

The L.A. County Sheriff’s Department says it has opened an investigation into a second death, in less than two years, at the West Hollywood residence of Ed Buck. You may not know the name, but Buck is a prominent Democratic Party donor, who has contributed to various California races and causes. He’s also well known in the LGBTQ community.


How close are LAUSD teachers to striking?

It is an anxious time for students and staff over at L.A. Unified. The union representing teachers has promised to go on strike sometime next month, unless the district meets its labor demands. And that means more than 30,000 instructors could do something they have not done since the late-1980s: walk off the job.


Will charging a deputy satisfy DA's critics?

It has not happened in nearly 2 decades. But the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office has filed charges against a law enforcement officer for shooting an unarmed person. The decision, however, has many folks scratching their heads, wondering why other cases with similar circumstances did not garner the same legal response.


The decline of Sunset Magazine

It’s been a western staple for more than a century. But the situation is reportedly pretty dire over at Sunset Magazine. The perennial publication of life in the west has fallen on hard times with dwindling ad sales and corresponding cash shortages. Will new ownership turn things around, or drive the magazine out of business?


A historic day for LA County law enforcement

It hasn’t happened in more than a century. But the sitting sheriff of Los Angeles County has lost an election. How did this happen?


A councilman under a cloud

LA City Councilman Jose Huizar returned to work today for the first time since the FBI raided his home and offices. There is still little to no information about what federal agents took or what they are looking for.


Where the fire started, a checkered past

The Woolsey Fire continues to rage at a little more than a third containment today. Areas in, and north and west of, Malibu are feeling the brunt of the impact. But across the Ventura County Line, headed past Point Mugu, and toward Oxnard, is a plot of land that has a lot of history. And controversy. With fires burning inside the grounds of the former Rocketdyne Field Lab, some folks who live nearby are worried.