Los Scandalous, a Raw Look at L.A.’s Skid Row

Australian filmmaker Shanks Rajendran, whose last documentary was on similar topics in Miami, has turned his eye to Skid Row. Check out this 3 minute trailer which begins with his first night out on the streets.

CHP Officer Brutally Beats Woman ~ 10 Freeway

Motorist David Diaz was driving by and filmed this video (and later added a very aggressive watermark) of a white cop beating a black woman on the side of the freeway a couple days ago.

Map of LAPD Citywide Gang Injunctions

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This map from the LAPD shows all the city’s gang injunctions, from Venice to Harbor City to Highland Park. Useful for knowing what the police are focusing on in your neighborhood, and which gangs are on the city’s radar. Click the map to see the large version.

Hip Hop Taco Truck Wants to Bring Music and Digital Arts to Underserved L.A. Kids

I love taco trucks, and I love hip-hop. It was only a matter of time before someone combined the two, enter HNDP. For the last five years, HNDP has been hosting everything open mics to workshops with youth and artist wanting to grow as individuals and artist. Most recently, they’ve become a full fledged non-profit organization and they’re taking their work to the next level, but they need support. They’ve launched a kickstarter campaign to help get the dream of converting a taco truck into a full blown studio: “With a mobile recording studio we can bring our music and digital arts programs to more under-served youth across the Los Angeles area.”

From their Kickstarter page:
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Celebrating Kings Fans Knock LAPD Drone Out of the Sky

The limits of the LAPD’s new drone technology were put in display outside Staples Center last night as rowdy L.A. Kings fans knocked the unmanned video-recording copter out of the sky and to the ground, where it was destroyed. There has actually been no confirmation that this was an LAPD drone, but witnesses at the scene described it as such.

The “N.W.A. Straight Outta Compton” Movie is Holding Open Auditions, But They’ve Already Begun on YouTube

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This weekend, Producer Ice Cube and Director F. Gary Gray’s N.W.A. biopic will be holding open auditions for the roles of Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, MC Ren, and DJ Yella. The auditions take place in Gardena on Sunday at Noon (complete flyer/info below), but they’ve already begun on YouTube from when the film was announced last year. Either the producers haven’t bothered with YouTube, or (more likely) they weren’t blown away by anything they saw. We went through a few pages of YouTube auditions to give you a sense of what’s out there. Based on what we’ve seen today, the hardest role to cast may end up being Dre.

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L.A. Gang Members on the Front Lines in Syria

The above video purports to be taken on the front lines of the conflict in Syria. Two armed men behind a broken wall introduce themselves as Creeper from the Sun Valley GW-13 gang, an affiliate of Sureños, and Wino from the West Side Armenian Power set. In the video the two men shout out their homies including rapper Mister Criminal from Silver Lake.

The authenticity of this video cannot be confirmed, and which side the pair are fighting on is not discussed or revealed. However, one of the men’s Facebook page shows him dressed in a uniform with a Hizbullah patch. Hizbullah has intervened in Syria on the side of president Bashar Al Assad and against the rebel insurgency. However, the page also shows allegiance to a local Christian organization and several Armenian Power websites.

Note: This post originally had the original video, which has been taken down. The video above is from Pro-Israel group MEMRI and has subtitles they have added.

Oscar on Hollywood Blvd. ~ Photographs by Tom Andrews

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Our favorite living street photographer, Tom Andrews, sends this dispatch from the streets of Hollywood, where Oscar is being installed. Meanwhile, a tuxedoed man stalks the boulevard, four days early and a short-skirted reporter gets ready for the big day…

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First Corrido About El Chapo, Post Capture

Sam Quinones from the Los Angeles Times let us know about the above Corrido written about El Chapo after his capture last weekend, and also provides a quick translation:

This appears to be the first corrido written about the capture of El Chapo. Pretty quick. Pretty rough. Reminds me of some old blues song from Mississippi.

As I write, it’s been up about 20 hours, from what I can tell.

Here are a few parts roughly translated:

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“City Limited” ~ Minimum Wage Billboard Campaign

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Have you seen the “City Limited” billboards up around Los Angeles, including by LAX, on freeways, and in other highly-visible locations? The Ads are simple and stark, but are hoping to start a conversation and raise awareness of working poverty in Los Angeles. Designed to look like the green city limits signs, they instead say “City Limited, Poverty Wage Pop. 810,000″.

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Group: Turn the Silver Lake Reservoir Into a Public Swimming Lake

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The Silver Lake Reservoir Complex Storage Replacement Project is due to come online in 2015, meaning that the Silver Lake Reservoirs will no longer provide water for Downtown and South Los Angeles. To meet tougher state and federal water quality standards, the LADWP is replacing it with the Headworks Reservoir, a new 110-million-gallon buried tank which is thought to be more protected from environmental pollution.

Currently, only the smaller (Ivanhoe) of the two reservoirs is online; the Silver Lake section has been closed for public water use since 2008 because of high levels of Bromate found in both reservoirs.

A group calling itself Swim Silver Lake has launched a website, asking that the public coalesce around the idea of turning the complex into a public swimming area, complete with a beach, swim lanes, etc. Here’s how they present it on the site:

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