Inside L.A.’s other cycling world — no helmet, no cars and not much money for repairs

Earl Garrett, 79, stopped by Paisano’s Bike Shop in South Los Angeles last week to get a new lock for a red two-wheeler that’s also a senior citizen. The Watts resident told me he hasn’t had a car since 1970 and uses his bike for work, like thousands of others…

O.C. anti-corruption task force collapsed amid infighting between federal and local investigators

Back in 2013, Orange County’s top prosecutor and federal authorities set up a task force to root out local political corruption. The timing seemed appropriate: A grand jury report had recently declared that misconduct was “actively festering” in the county’s halls of government. And the district…

L.A. students join students nationwide in another walkout to stem future gun violence

Trinity Erazo and Yesenia Lopez are only 16. But already, they know what it’s like to hide in fear from a campus shooter. The University High School sophomores visited UCLA two years ago for their eighth-grade picnic. But they soon found themselves huddled inside a building and told to lock…

The city of L.A. is seeing an increase in revenue. Where should the money go?

Los Angeles’ economy is producing an increase in city revenue, largely from property, sales and hotel bed taxes. Mayor Eric Garcetti announced a $9.9-billion budget that will rely on that revenue as well as taxes from marijuana and Airbnb sales, and the state’s gas tax. The budget will allocate…

4 men lured teenage girl on social media and committed sexual misconduct, police say

Four men are facing felony charges on allegations of sexual misconduct with a 13-year-old girl from Huntington Beach, authorities said Thursday. Huntington Beach police and prosecutors allege that Dwight Castaldi, 42, of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.; Christian Palmer, 27, of Sacramento; Sohrab Anaraki,…

Cal State leader shelves proposed tuition hike: ‘It’s the right thing to do, but it’s not without risk’

Cal State, the nation’s largest public university system, will no longer consider a plan to raise tuition for the 2018-19 academic year, Chancellor Timothy P. White announced Friday. The decision is a bet that Sacramento will come through in the end. If Cal State loses that bet, it could mean…

The great California cannabis experiment lurches forward

If you find yourself driving in Venice in the next little while, you may notice that the illuminated “Venice” sign at Pacific and Windward avenues that functions as a gateway to the famous boardwalk has sprouted neon cannabis leaves. The sign, which changes seasonally (red and green bulbs at Christmas,…

From the Archives: 1965 Dodgers fans listen to Vin Scully during Angels game

Members of the Dodgers Booster Club at Dodger Stadium listen to Vin Scully describe the Dodgers’ 4-1 win over the Cardinals. Only problem — the Dodgers were playing in St. Louis. These fans were rooting for former Dodgers playing for the Washington Senators during a double header against the Los…

Anger spreads over police killing of black man in Walmart parking lot

At a Walmart parking lot in Barstow earlier this month, shoppers ducked for cover as police opened fire on a black man inside a car. When the confrontation ended, Diante Yarber was dead in a fusillade of what some witnesses counted as 30 shots from officers. Now, his family is…

The power game behind the search for a new L.A. schools leader

The search for a new LAUSD superintendent is happening behind closed doors, but the underlying power politics extend well beyond the room where seven elected Board of Education members are at work.

From the Archives: The mysterious sounds of the Kelso Dunes

Staff writer Charles Hillinger reported in the Oct. 20, 1976, edition of the Los Angeles Times: DEVILS PLAYGROUND, Calif. — Jack Hereford slowly made his way up the steep, seemingly razor-sharp ridge of the giant sand dune. Each step of the way, he sank deep into the sand. He was…

Lawsuit launched against Los Alamitos’ anti-sanctuary law

A small Orange County city at the center of the anti-sanctuary movement in California has been sued for enacting an ordinance that exempts it from the state’s sanctuary laws, which were designed to protect immigrants in the country illegally. On Wednesday, a Los Alamitos pastor, an attorney who…

Should California expand what it means to be ‘gravely disabled’?

When Gov. Ronald Reagan signed the Mental Health Act of 1967, the legislation signaled a new era in the treatment of mentally ill Californians. Also known as the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act, the law recognized that not everyone with a mental illness needed to be confined to a state-run psychiatric…

High-speed rail project vastly underestimated cost of relocating utility lines beneath Fresno

Buried beneath Fresno were some costly surprises for the California bullet train authority, which disclosed Tuesday that the price of utility relocations along a 29-mile section of railway has surged from a 2013 estimate of $69 million to $396 million. Although it was known that moving gas lines,…

Beyond the music, the Coachella you probably don’t know

I went to Coachella and had a swell time, although I overindulged a bit. But it’s not what you think. I went to explore the valley beyond the world-famous music festival, and I ate too many dates. So I missed Beyonce, but I saw Big Donna Fish, who got into…

From the Archives: Traveling to California in the slow lane

In 1982, Marcel and Huguette Robert entered California for a visit. Eighteen months earlier, they had left their Montreal, Canada, home in true pioneer fashion — a covered wagon — traveling 10 to 25 miles a day. After visiting Los Angeles, Marcel and Huguette planned to take two years for…

Barbara Bush dies at 92; popular first lady was also the mother of a president

Barbara Pierce Bush, who helped propel her husband and their son to the presidency and became by virtue of her wit, self-deprecation and work on literacy one of the most popular first ladies in U.S. history, has died, according to a family spokesman. Bush, who suffered from heart and respiratory…

Newscaster Carl Kasell of NPR’s ‘Morning Edition’ dies at 84

Newscaster Carl Kasell, a signature voice of NPR who brought his gravitas to “Morning Edition” and later his wit to “Wait, Wait … Don’t Tell Me!” has died. He was 84. NPR said Kasell died Tuesday from complications from Alzheimer’s disease in Potomac, Md. He retired in 2014. Kasell’s radio…

Los Alamitos gives final approval to exempt itself from state’s sanctuary laws

After more than five hours of public comments, Los Alamitos City Council members gave final approval to an ordinance to exempt the city from the state’s sanctuary laws designed to protect immigrants in the country illegally. More than 200 people showed up at Monday’s meeting, with some lining up…

Sleepy little El Segundo is suddenly on the radar and fighting to keep its small-town identity

El Segundo was created by Standard Oil and is still dominated by the refinery that gave the town its name. The little seaside community – soon to be the new home of the Los Angeles Times – is a peculiar combination of Mayberry and industrial wasteland. And El Segundans are…

From the Archives: Murder suspect caught wearing a hat, not hiding behind it

After frustrating news photographers by hiding behind his trademark hat, L. Ewing Scott was captured behind bars with a miniature camera, which Scott had failed to notice, held by Times staff photographer Howard Maxwell. In May 1955, Scott’s wife, Evelyn Throsby Scott, went missing. In March 1956,…

With a guilty plea, man expresses remorse for death threat against Maxine Waters

A man who in a racist tirade threatened to kill Rep. Maxine Waters, spurred by her criticisms of President Trump, pleaded guilty Monday to a felony charge of threatening a U.S. official. Standing before U.S. District Judge Stephen Wilson in a downtown courtroom, Anthony Scott Lloyd admitted the…

Weinstein stories that sparked #MeToo win Pulitzer Prize

The New York Times and The New Yorker won the Pulitzer Prize for public service Monday for breaking the Harvey Weinstein scandal with reporting that galvanized the (hash)MeToo movement and set off a national reckoning over sexual misconduct in the workplace. The Times and The Washington Post took…

Towers and cameras, not a wall, keep migrants from crossing the border into Arizona

In the high desert east of this border town, the rolling hills topped with mesquite and paloverde trees are a picture of rugged desolation. But there are flashes of movement: Darting between bushes are five migrants who just crossed into Arizona, not far from a road where they could hop…

R. Lee Ermey, ‘Full Metal Jacket’ sergeant, dies at 74

R. Lee Ermey, a retired Marine who made a career in Hollywood playing hard-nosed military men like Gunnery Sgt. Hartman in Stanley Kubrick’s “Full Metal Jacket,” has died. Ermey died Sunday morning from complications related to pneumonia, his longtime manager Bill Rogin said. He was 74. The Kansas…

L.A. police and firefighters rush to join controversial retirement program

The controversial program that pays veteran Los Angeles police officers and firefighters nearly double for the last five years of their careers received a flood of new enrollees in February, records show. The rush to join the Deferred Retirement Option Plan, or DROP program, coincided with a Times…

Immigrants adjust to life in U.S. with determination and humor

When Kibreab Weldegabr, an asylee from Eritrea, bought groceries in the U.S. for the first time, he approached a counter and, reading a display card, asked for “One L-B-S.” The salesperson responded, “You mean, one pound?” No, Weldegabr said, he wanted one “L-B-S.” Eritrea uses the metric system….

Knowledge, research, politics are focus of San Diego March for Science

Some activists registered people to vote. Others urged visitors to stamp their cash with political messages. Daniel McDonald was collecting poop. The UC San Diego researcher was among more than 1,000 scientists, data geeks and everyday people to attend the March for Science at Waterfront Park on…

2 killed, three others are hurt in music studio blaze in Studio City

Two people were killed and three others were injured Saturday when a fire ripped through a music recording facility in Studio City. Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman Amy Bastman said crews found heavy smoke when they responded shortly before 7 a.m. to the blaze at 3779 N. Cahuenga Blvd. Two…

The staggering body count as California newspapers founder, and democracy loses

The body count is staggering. In my 43 years as a journalist, armies of trained bloodhounds have been run out of newsrooms where I’ve worked, victims of layoffs, and buyouts, and battle fatigue. I’ve lost so many hundreds of colleagues, I can’t keep track of where they ended up. These…