Mar 222017
 
Los Angeles Supports Immigrant Communities

Mayor Garcetti signing Executive Directive 20
Photo courtesy of L.A. Mayor’s Office

Mayor Garcetti leads more than 60 mayors in ‘Cities’ Day of Immigration Action’

Los Angeles coordinates nationwide, bipartisan effort to inform and empower immigrant communities

Mayor Eric Garcetti today led the first-ever Cities’ Day of Immigration Action, an effort by mayors in more than 60 cities to mobilize law enforcement, faith leaders, legal advocates, and community organizations in affirming the indispensable role of immigrants in American life, and connecting people with the resources they need to protect themselves and their families.

“Immigration is at the heart of the American story, because people from everywhere have made immeasurable contributions to the diversity, ingenuity, and cultural richness that defines who we are. That is especially true in Los Angeles, and people who have made a home here deserve all of the resources and protection their City can provide,” said Mayor Garcetti, who chairs and founded the United States Conference of Mayors Latino Alliance. “No one in Los Angeles should live in fear of being taken from their home, or separated from their family. I will never stop fighting to protect all Angelenos, and making sure they are given the support they need and deserve.”

In Los Angeles, the Cities’ Day of Immigration Action was highlighted by Mayor Garcetti signing the twentieth executive directive of his administration. The directive, “Standing with Immigrants: A City of Safety, Refuge, and Opportunity for All,” ensures that L.A.’s public servants stay focused on protecting people, serving communities, and saving lives — not inquiring about immigration status or engaging in federal civil immigration enforcement.

The directive expands existing LAPD policies on immigration enforcement to Airport police, Port police and firefighters — and prohibits all city employees from using public facilities or resources to assist or cooperate with federal civil immigration enforcement. It also requires that every city facility and service be made available to all Angelenos without regard to citizenship or immigration status, and orders protections on the confidentiality of information submitted by residents who enroll in city programs and services, unless required by law.

Los Angeles also hosted citywide legal clinics, “Know Your Rights” workshops, and training sessions throughout the day — giving Angelenos a chance to ask questions, and get answers, about immigration processing. Mayor Garcetti met with pro bono legal service providers at the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), and hosted a ‘Know Your Rights’ workshop at the Dolores Mission with immigration advocates, law enforcement officials, and faith and community leaders.

The Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs has issued a Community Resource Guide for immigrant Angelenos — which includes comprehensive know-your-rights information and resources, including contact information for legal service providers and community organizations. The guide can be found at LAMayor.org/KnowYourRights.

Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti said on Instagram: “We are reminding our immigrant communities: We see you. We support you. You are welcome here. And we will do everything in our power to keep you safe.”

Anything L.A.’s comment: Hats off to City of Los Angeles and its Leaders for putting human rights, first!

For more information about the Cities’ Day of Immigration Action in Los Angeles, please visit LAMayor.org/Immigrants. To see the list of more than 60 Mayors and cities participating in 32 states across America, go to http://www.usmayors.org/mayors-stand-for-all/immigration/.

 

 

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Mar 102017
 
“Heisenberg” Joins Mark Taper’s 50th Anniversary Season

PIC: Denis Arndt and Mary-Louise Parker in the Manhattan Theatre Club production of “Heisenberg.” Written by Simon Stephens and directed by Mark Brokaw, “Heisenberg” plays June 28 through August 6, 2017, as part of Center Theatre Group’s 50th anniversary season at the Mark Taper Forum. Tickets are currently available by season ticket membership only. For information and to charge season tickets by phone, call the Exclusive Season Ticket Hotline at (213) 972-4444. To purchase season memberships online, visit www.CenterTheatreGroup.org/Taper.
Photo by Joan Marcus. ©2016 Joan Marcus

 

CENTER THEATRE GROUP BRINGS HIGHLY ACCLAIMED

MANHATTAN THEATRE CLUB PRODUCTION OF “HEISENBERG” TO LOS ANGELES

COMPLETING 50TH SEASON AT THE MARK TAPER FORUM

Denis Arndt and Mary-Louise Parker

Reprise the Roles They Played on Broadway

at the Taper June 28th Through August 6th 2017

 

Manhattan Theatre Club’s acclaimed production of “Heisenberg” by Tony Award and two-time Olivier Award winner Simon Stephens has been announced as part of Center Theatre Group’s 50th Anniversary Season. This insightful and entertaining new play comes to the Taper June 28th through August 6th 2017. Opening is set for July 6th.

Directed by Drama Desk Award winner Mark Brokaw and featuring Denis Arndt and Tony, Emmy and Golden Globe winner Mary-Louise Parker, the creative team for “Heisenberg” includes Mark Wendland (scenic design), Michael Krass (costume design), Austin R. Smith (lighting design) and David Van Tieghem (sound design).

Amidst the bustle of a crowded London train station, Georgie (Parker) spots Alex (Arndt), a much older man, and plants a kiss on his neck. This electric encounter thrusts these two strangers into a fascinating and life-changing game as “Heisenberg” brings to blazing, theatrical life the uncertain and often comical sparring match that is human connection.

 

 

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Feb 222017
 

New Immigration Enforcement And L.A.

Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti made the following statement on DHS Plans for Implementing the President’s Executive Orders on Immigration:

“Stoking fears of mass deportation, turning our backs on refugees and children, denying asylum-seekers the right to see a judge, and showing indifference to suffering are not policies to make us safer — they’re a cruel abandonment of everything we believe as Americans and stand for as Angelenos.

Whether they live in Van Nuys or Virginia, East L.A. or East Lansing — Americans everywhere expect their leaders in Washington to act with the justice, grace, and tolerance that give us our identity. The Administration’s release today of details on how it will implement the President’s executive orders on immigration enforcement reveal plans that run counter to fundamental American principles: Protecting our homeland means focusing on criminals who pose a threat to our safety and security — not turning local police into a deportation force or creating widespread fear by targeting hardworking immigrants who contribute so much to our economy, culture, and spirit of brotherhood and sisterhood. And that no matter who is in power, people who have already built lives in this country — or seek refuge from violent persecution, religious oppression, and other extreme hardships — should never have to live in fear of their families being torn apart, and should be able to count on all of the protections that our Constitution and judicial system provide.

Los Angeles stands firm on those ideals, and I will do everything in my power — in partnership with the City Council, our City Attorney, the LAPD, advocates for immigrants, educators, and members of Congress — to protect and defend the rights of all Angelenos whose families may be unjustly affected by these orders. We will fight for the people who call our communities home, and stay committed to leading with the humanity and openness that define us as a people.” — Mayor Eric Garcetti

Los Angeles’ Mayor’s statement is noble and courageous. At some point however the authority of the City and the State ends and is superseded by the Federal authority.

President Trump’s Executive Orders on Immigration were explained during a press conference on February 21st 2017 by the White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer. A memorandum of the Department of Homeland Security explains which specific groups of undocumented immigrants are priorities for removal. The people who:
(a) have been convicted of any criminal offense;
(b) have been charged with any criminal offense that has not been resolved;
(c) have committed acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense;
(d) have engaged in fraud or willful misrepresentation in connection with any official matter or application before a governmental agency;
(e) have abused any program related to receipt of public benefits;
(f) are subject to a final order of removal but have not complied with their legal obligation to depart the United States;
(g) in the judgment of an immigration officer, otherwise pose a risk to public safety or national security.

During immigration raids, none of the above exempts the undocumented immigrants who don’t pose a threat to national security and who didn’t break any but one of American laws by entering the Country illegally. Some of them have been detained and deported already. While a panic is spreading across the nation, Sean Spicer reassured that: “everybody who is here illegally is subject to removal at any time.” The new immigration guidelines open the door for mass deportations in accordance with “expedited removal” procedures. “Expedited removal” vastly reduces court proceedings, meaning the undocumented immigrants will be either deprived of access to the justice system entirely or have access to appeal or otherwise defend themselves severely limited.

To have the new immigration regulations enforced efficiently, the President is increasing the budget of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Customs and Border Protection, etc. There will be thousands more immigration officers and judges and many more detention centers to expedite deportations.

As far as we know, for now at least, DACA and the protections it provides for illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States as children will remain in effect as the sole exception to the wide-reaching immigration sweep.

When we think of undocumented immigrants, we usually imagine people illegally sneaking into our Country and compromising our safety. We think of these people as “them”, not “us”. As much as this image and reference is true in a small percentage of cases, in the vast majority of cases, it isn’t “them”, it’s very much “us” and about “us”. Why? Because the undocumented immigrants have legally-American and / or American-born families. The new immigration guidelines and enforcement are not just a punishment to undocumented immigrants but a huge disruption to all Americans: American families torn apart, American children not being sent to school, taken to a doctor or vaccinated, crimes not being reported, no eyewitnesses to accidents, significant changes in economy, etc. Many are terrified of a sudden separation of their family. The fear affects the “illegals”, traumatizes their legal families including children and negatively affects normal functioning of the community.

This is only the beginning, what to expect? Increase in psychological problems, crises in several industries, crime, diseases, homelessness, an urgent need for orphanages for American children separated from their parents, not to mention high anxiety in ethnic American citizen communities that anticipate being targeted based on profiling.

Significant and negative impact on local economy will lower our standard of living. High anxiety and fear of authorities will not only disrupt normal functioning of communities but diminish our safety and wellness. If you think about it, the consequences of the new immigration guidelines and enforcement will reverberate throughout the society at large and affect us nearly as much as the illegal immigrants.

Perhaps we should secure our borders first and then deal with the undocumented immigrants already here humanely, in a fashion befitting a nation of immigrants? This way future immigration problems would be prevented, current immigration problems would be solved while the rest of the nation would continue functioning without fear, increase in disease and crime or economic instability. Such a gentler and more diplomatic approach would also strengthen relationships with our neighbors and help preserve the international image of America as compassionate, fair and respectful of human rights. Just a thought.

Anything L.A. Magazine’s Editor, E. Elrich

 

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Feb 112017
 

Sing To Win Complimentary Tickets For “Fun Home”

CENTER THEATRE GROUP TO HOST SING OUT “RING OF KEYS” CONTEST

INDIVIDUALS AND NON-PROFESSIONAL CHOIRS ELIGIBLE

WINNERS WILL RECEIVE TICKETS TO “FUN HOME”

 

In anticipation of “Fun Home” coming to the Ahmanson Theatre, Center Theatre Group will host a Sing Out “Ring of Keys” Contest. Individuals and non-professional choirs are invited to submit video of themselves singing the song “Ring of Keys” from the musical “Fun Home.” Center Theatre Group will present “Fun Home” at the Ahmanson Theatre February 21 through April 1, 2017. Opening night is February 22.

Contest applicants are asked to create a video that is between two and five minutes long which can include an introduction of themselves or their group. Center Theatre Group will provide sheet music in the form of a four-part acapella arrangement of “Ring of Keys” upon request. All submissions must be received no later than Friday, February 24.

All video submissions will be posted to Center Theatre Group’s YouTube channel on Monday, February 27. Judging will occur between February 27 and March 3. The video that receives the most likes will be named the contest winner. The singer or singers in the winning video will receive complimentary tickets to see “Fun Home.”

For more information about the Sing Out “Ring of Keys” Contest, please visit www.CenterTheatreGroup.org/SingOutRingofKeys.

 

 

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Jan 312017
 
Los Angeles For Human Rights

Photo property of L.A. Mayor

L.A. Will Lead With Strength And Open Arms

“We are in a moment that we will look back on and ask ourselves what we did to stand up, speak out, and live up to our values.

That’s why I spent this morning at LAX meeting with Congress members Maxine Waters and Ted Lieu, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials, our Airport Police, and immigration lawyers to discuss the impact that the President’s executive orders are having in our city.

I also met with loved ones of some of those who are being affected — to better understand how the City of Los Angeles can help people through a very difficult, confusing, and painful time. I wanted to assure them that L.A. will honor a uniquely American tradition by always standing as a place of refuge for people of every nationality and faith. When we spoke, I gave my word that I would press federal authorities to uphold commitments they had made to me — that detainees in L.A. would be treated in accordance with judicial rulings that have been handed down regarding the executive orders. I received word this afternoon that three detainees whose loved ones I met with today have been released and reunited with their friends and families.

While this situation continues for others, I have directed my team to do everything possible to connect people to the legal and other resources they may need to reach a resolution. We will also keep working with federal authorities to assist concerned families that may be having a difficult time communicating with — or getting basic information about — loved ones who may still be detained under the President’s order.

We must always protect our country and our people from harm, and should take every necessary measure to secure the homeland. But banning people based on religion or country of origin is not only un-American, it is dangerously counter to our national security. There are effective, rational, humane, and constitutional strategies to keep Americans safe — and that is what we expect the President to offer the American people.

As long as I am Mayor, L.A. will lead with strength, conviction, compassion, and open arms. We are making a difference, and will keep lifting people up — as long as we think less about who’s the most powerful, and devote our time and energy to helping the most vulnerable.”
Mayor Eric Garcetti

 

 

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Jan 282017
 

L.A. Mayor Responds To Presidential Executive Order On Immigration

President Trump’s executive order closing United States’ borders to Muslim arrivals – including Green Card holders! – which took effect immediately, wrecked havoc in the nation’s airports where passengers where stopped and detained. It caused panic in the American Muslim communities and sparked outrage throughout the United States and the world.

Extremist Muslim terrorists don’t “own” a country or a religion. The executive order won’t contribute to national security but inflict pain on families fleeing ravages of war and enflame anti-American sentiments. It won’t make us safer, just the opposite, it may enrage American Muslims and spark domestic terrorism in retaliation.

Mayor Garcetti on the President’s Executive Order on immigration and refugees:

“One of America’s defining legacies in the world is the welcoming of people who arrive on our shores to escape the horrors of war, oppression, and violent persecution. The Executive Order signed today by the President unfairly targets refugees — many of them families with young children — whose lives may depend on the compassion and generosity of the United States.

There is no evidence that this approach will improve national security. Our country is not made safer by turning away from values and traditions that speak to the best of who we are as a nation, and what we believe as a people. ”
Mayor Eric Garcetti

Thank God for the wise leadership of Los Angeles!

 

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Jan 262017
 

American Flag

“An open, welcoming, and compassionate spirit is not just an ideal that we try to live up to – it’s part of the American character. Those are our values in Los Angeles, and we intend to preserve them no matter what happens in Washington, D.C.

The safety and well-being of everyone who lives, works in, and visits L.A. will always be our number-one priority. The idea that we do not cooperate with the federal government is simply at odds with the facts. We regularly cooperate with immigration authorities – particularly in cases that involve serious crimes – and always comply with constitutional detainer requests.

What we don’t do is ask local police officers to enforce federal immigration laws – and that’s an official LAPD policy that has been enforced for nearly 40 years. That is for everyone’s good, because trust between police and the people they serve is absolutely essential to effective law enforcement. Everyone in L.A. should feel safe stepping forward if they have witnessed a crime or been victimized themselves – and immigration status shouldn’t interfere with the cooperation and partnership we need to keep our neighborhoods safe.

Splitting up families and cutting funding to any city – especially Los Angeles, where 40% of the nation’s goods enter the U.S. at our port, and more than 80 million passengers traveled through our airport last year – puts the personal safety and economic health of our entire nation at risk. It is not the way forward for the United States.”

Mayor Eric Garcetti

 

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Jan 232017
 
Economy And Tourism At All Time High In 2016

2016 in Los Angeles

Mayor Garcetti announces a record-breaking year for the L.A. economy

Los Angeles’ economy continued to surge in 2016, breaking all-time records for tourism, travelers at LAX, and cargo volume shipped through the Port of Los Angeles.

Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the new records at Universal Studios Hollywood’s “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter,” alongside Councilmember Paul Krekorian, and leaders from the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, Los Angeles World Airports, and the Port of Los Angeles.

“This is L.A.’s moment. Los Angeles is welcoming more visitors to our city and passengers through our airport than ever before, our nation-leading Port is making L.A. an even more critical trade gateway to the world, and we are experiencing the kind of job growth that we haven’t seen in a generation,” said Mayor Garcetti. “We’re working hard to keep up the momentum, by going after and landing one-of-a-kind attractions like the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. And here’s the best part: there’s even more opportunity on the horizon, and an even bigger role for L.A. to play on the world stage.”

According to the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, the city welcomed 47.3 million visitors in 2016 — an increase of nearly 4 percent over 2015. It marked the sixth consecutive year of record-breaking tourism growth, and moved L.A. closer to Mayor Garcetti’s goal of welcoming 50 million visitors a year by 2020.

“Los Angeles continues to establish itself as one of the most desirable destinations in the world for tourists and business people alike,” said Councilmember Paul Krekorian, chair of the Budget and Finance, and Job Creation committees. “Whether it’s the sunny beaches and scenic landscape, our diverse communities and cuisines, our rapidly growing technology sector or the lure of movie magic as the global entertainment capital, Los Angeles has something to offer everyone who visits. We’re making tremendous investments into LA’s future to ensure it grows into an even greater metropolis that is transit and business friendly, on the cutting edge of innovation and an unparalleled hub of diversity.”

“Global desire for the Los Angeles experience is at an all-time high and we are humbled to welcome a record 47.3 million visitors,” said Ernest Wooden Jr., president and CEO of the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board. “There’s never been a better time to discover Los Angeles and we invite travelers from across the globe to immerse themselves in our thriving culinary scene, unparalleled cultural experiences and celebrated only-in-L.A. attractions.”

LAX also broke its record for total number of passengers for the third consecutive year. In 2016, 80.9 million travelers passed through the airport, an increase of more than 8 percent over last year. Of those travelers, 22.6 million — or more than 28 percent — were international.

“We are creating an airport experience that makes a great first and last impression of Los Angeles,” said Los Angeles World Airports Chief Executive Officer Deborah Flint. “Our focus is on delivering a gold-standard airport that shines with the top-rated airports around the world, by transforming LAX with a $14 billion investment that will bring it into the modern era for today’s traveler.”

The Port of Los Angeles broke a record of its own, moving more cargo in 2016 than ever in its 100-year history. The Port shipped 8.8 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) last year, the most ever by a port in the Western Hemisphere.

“I salute the strong collaboration among the labor workforce, our terminals and the many stakeholders in the supply chain who kept cargo moving speedily and efficiently during a record-breaking year,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “To handle this much volume without congestion issues is an extraordinary accomplishment and bodes well for the future of the San Pedro Bay complex.”

The records come amid an unprecedented period of growth across L.A.’s economy. Since Mayor Garcetti took office in 2013, the City has created more than 140,000 new jobs, cut the unemployment rate in half, and permitted more than 150,000 new businesses. The economy has come all the way back from the Great Recession, and L.A. now has more jobs than it did at the peak before the civil unrest of 1992.

The City has also added numerous high-profile attractions in recent years. Just yesterday, Mayor Garcetti announced that Los Angeles has been chosen as home the new Lucas Museum of Narrative Art — adding another cultural treasure to L.A.’s collection of renowned civic institutions. In addition, the tourism sector has benefited from new investments in attractions like “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” at Universal Studios Hollywood.

“With Comcast NBCUniversal’s unprecedented $1.5 billion investment in the company’s core businesses of production and tourism, Universal Studios Hollywood has achieved record-breaking attendance, created thousands of jobs and had a positive impact on the region’s economy,” said Ron Meyer, Vice Chairman, NBCUniversal.

“The ambitious Epic Transformation of our property has had a remarkable effect on our theme park, and as a major entertainment destination we are thrilled that Universal Studios Hollywood has played such a significant role in driving global tourism to Southern California,” said Karen Irwin, President & COO, Universal Studios Hollywood. “With the popularity of such signature attractions as our behind-the-scenes Studio Tour and ‘The Wizarding World of Harry Potter,’ Universal Studios Hollywood makes the elusive world of movie-making magic accessible to our guests and it’s our pleasure to invite them to peek behind the velvet curtain for these truly authentic experiences.”

 

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Jan 192017
 
President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama makes a point during a National Security Council meeting he convened on Counter-ISIL, at the State Department in Washington, D.C., Feb. 25, 2016. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Mayor Garcetti on President Obama’s Final Day in Office

“I have cherished memories of huddling in the Iowa snow with other early believers in a message of hope and change, knocking on doors in Des Moines to talk to people about a charismatic young senator from Illinois, and celebrating an Election Night that will live as one of the most transformative chapters in the story of our republic.

There was just something about Barack Obama that lit a spark in the American people, and spoke to the nation we aspired to be. As candidate and President, he inspired an entire generation of young people to engage in the civic process and take ownership of their country for the first time.

President Obama has led America with wisdom, integrity, compassion, and grace. I am privileged to call him a friend, honored to have served on his Climate Change Task Force, and grateful that he has been such an extraordinary ally to Los Angeles during his time in the White House. The Obama Administration has been a steady partner with our city, making investments and providing guidance that will leave a lasting legacy in L.A. His leadership has helped us expand our transportation network, house more homeless veterans than any other city, invest in young people who need a second chance to complete their education or enter the workforce, develop new technologies that will deliver the next generation of manufacturing jobs, begin to bring the L.A. River back to life, strengthen relationships between police officers and the communities they serve, preserve our natural heritage by declaring a national monument in the San Gabriel Mountains, and make L.A. the only city in the nation with two Promise Zones. These are powerful achievements that testify to remarkable progress, and speak to what can be accomplished when we unite behind unyielding hope and a fierce determination to bring change.

The Obama presidency will be remembered not just because it represented a landmark moment in our history, but because you can’t listen to the President and First Lady without feeling an abiding love for this country. They inspired us to believe again in the power of government as a force for good — and over the past eight years reminded us why we have to look out for the poor, speak up for the defenseless, and take a stand for working people and Americans who for too long have lacked basic necessities like quality health care they can afford. Angelenos and people throughout our nation and world owe President Obama a huge debt of gratitude — and though his leadership will be missed, we will forever treasure his friendship and look forward to seeing what the next chapter will bring.”

Anything L.A. Magazine joins L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti with its appreciation of Obama’s presidency. Thank you President Obama for a job well done!

According to Gallup, President Obama’s approval rating is well above the average 52%. These are the top-rated U.S. Presidents:
Bill Clinton 66%
Ronald Reagan 63%
Barack Obama 57%

 

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Jan 192017
 
Police Officer Convicted Of Inappropriate Conduct With A Minor

The picture features LAPD Metro Cadets. None of the individuals shown were involved in the case.

CITY ATTORNEY MIKE FEUER SECURES CONVICTION AGAINST LAPD OFFICER FOR INAPPROPRIATE CONDUCT WITH TEENAGE CADET

City Attorney Mike Feuer announced that this afternoon his office secured a conviction in a jury trial involving an LAPD Officer accused of inappropriately interacting with a female teenage cadet under his supervision.

“This was an egregious breach of trust by an LAPD officer responsible for supervising student cadets,” said Feuer. “It is essential to hold the officer accountable for taking advantage of his position to victimize a minor. Our cadets commit to public service. They deserve our respect–and our protection.”

Abel Montes De Orca, 32, was convicted of distribution of harmful matter and illegal destruction of documents or digital images following a five day jury trial. The defendant could face up to one year and six months in jail and mandatory sex offender registration. The judge remanded Montes De Orca into custody and set bail at $100,000. Sentencing is scheduled for Friday, January 20, 2017 in Department 105.

In September 2015, Officer De Orca met the 16 year-old female victim in the case while she was enrolled as a cadet in the LAPD’s Youth Service Officer Program. Through October 2015, defendant De Orca allegedly pursued an inappropriate relationship via text messages and other social media. Many of the text messages were allegedly sexually explicit in nature.

When the relationship was disclosed, the defendant allegedly attempted to delete photos and messages from his phone and personal computer and also advised the victim to delete any evidence of their communication. All devices were seized during the execution of a search warrant and the case was referred to the City Attorney’s office for prosecution.

Deputy City Attorney Lara Drino of the City Attorney’s Family Violence Section successfully prosecuted the case.

 

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Jan 182017
 
“Zoot Suit” Extended Due to Strong Ticket Sales and Popular Demand

L-R: Cast members Jeanine Mason, Jeremy Ray Valdez, Demian Bichir, writer/director Luis Valdez, cast member Rose Portillo and cast member/music director Daniel Valdez on the first day of rehearsal for “Zoot Suit.” Presented in association with El Teatro Campesino, “Zoot Suit” will play January 31 through March 12, 2017, as part of Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum’s 50th anniversary season.
All Uses © 2017 Craig Schwartz

Before Performances Have Begun, Center Theatre Group Announces

“Zoot Suit” WILL extend FOR one week through March 19th

Due to Strong Ticket Sales and Popular Demand

Previews Begin January 31th, Opening is February 12th 2017

“Archduke” Will Be Re-Scheduled to Accommodate the Extension
Performances Will Now Begin on April 25, 2017, at the Taper

Rehearsals have barely begun and Center Theatre Group is already announcing a one-week extension for “Zoot Suit,” due to strong ticket sales. The production will now continue through March 19th 2017, at the Mark Taper Forum. Previews for “Zoot Suit” begin January 31st, with opening set for February 12th. Written and directed by Luis Valdez, “Zoot Suit” is presented in association with El Teatro Campesino.

In order to accommodate this scheduling change, “Archduke” will now begin previews on April 25, 2017, open on May 7 and continue through June 4.

“Zoot Suit” was originally commissioned and developed by Center Theatre Group, playing for nearly a year in Los Angeles first at the Taper from August 6 to October 1, 1978, then from October 10, 1978, through July 1, 1979, at the Aquarius in Hollywood. It went on to become Broadway’s first Chicano play, was made into a major motion picture and became a cultural phenomenon.

 

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Jan 142017
 

The First Electric LADOT DASH Bus

The launch of a new, all-electric LADOT DASH bus (the first of expected fleet of four) was celebrated during a press conference attended by Mayor Eric Garcetti, Councilmember Mike Bonin, and L.A. City Department of Transportation General Manager Seleta Reynolds on January 12th 2017.

The buses manufactured by BYD in Lancaster were purchased by LADOT with the $2.8 million grant from the California Energy Commission, administered by CALSTART.

The new electric bus is 35 foot long, has a range of 150 miles on a single charge, runs quietly, has free wi-fi and is overall fantastic! An electric bus would reduce emissions by 90%, improve the air quality for us all, not to mention have global implications in terms of delaying climate change.

The first electric LADOT DASH bus will provide service to commuters on LADOT DASH Route A (from the Arts District to Central City West). By mid-2017 the additional three electric buses will be added to the fleet.

The prospect of gradually replacing diesel-powered buses with the electric – and so much cleaner – alternative is wonderful news for Los Angeles where we’re very sensitive to air quality. On the downside, the latest isn’t the first attempt to introduce electric buses in Los Angeles. The original attempt (Metro’s) failed. The first electric buses didn’t meet challenges of L.A. steep hills and wreaked havoc with L.A. Metro’s schedule. We’re hopeful that LADOT DASH’s introduction of its first electric bus will be more successful.

 

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Jan 112017
 

Lucas Museum Of Narrative Art

After a thoughtful deliberation, the one BILLION dollars Lucas Museum of Narrative Art has chosen Los Angeles as its home.

What is the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art?
The non-profit museum, which features a bold new architectural design, will be a one-of-a-kind gathering place to experience collections, films and exhibitions dedicated to the power of visual storytelling and the evolution of art and moving images. The museum will present original work by world renowned and emerging artists, cutting-edge digital technologies, and daily film screenings in state-of-the-art theaters, as well as extraordinary educational opportunities for students of all ages. The Lucas Museum will truly be a museum unlike any other. The facility will be designed by the award-winning architect Ma Yansong of MAD Architects.” Read more about the incredible new museum.

What does the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art mean to Los Angeles?

  • 1500+ New Construction Jobs
  • 350+ New Permanent Jobs
  • $1 Billion+ Invested by George Lucas & Mellody Hobson
  • $0 Cost to Taxpayers
  • that’s of course in addition to being an asset to Angelenos, Los Angeles students and visitors from around the country and the world!

L.A. Mayor, Eric Garcetti in response to the welcome news said:

“Art exists to inspire, to move, to educate, and to excite. Thanks to George Lucas and Mellody Hobson, millions of Angelenos and visitors will enjoy an extraordinary collection anchored in storytelling — an art that carries so much meaning in the history and legacy of Los Angeles.

L.A. is gaining a new jewel with the breathtaking Lucas Museum of Narrative Art — and its presence here means that a day at Exposition Park will soon bring unrivaled opportunities to be immersed in stories told on canvas and celluloid, be moved by the richness of African-American history and expression, be awed by the wonders of science and the natural world, take a journey to the world of space exploration, and sit in the stands for a world-class sporting event.

I believed in the vision for the Lucas Museum, and we went after it with everything we have — because I know that L.A. is the ideal place for making sure that it touches the widest possible audience. I am deeply grateful to Mellody and George, and to our educational, governmental, and cultural leaders for their extraordinary support in helping us bring the museum home. Now it’s time to build the vision.”

 

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Jan 062017
 

L.A. City Attorney Breaks Catalytic Converter Theft RingCITY ATTORNEY FEUER TARGETS RING FOR ALLEGEDLY STOLEN CATALYTIC CONVERTERS

Seeks injunction against alleged illegal activity and civil penalties

City Attorney Mike Feuer took aim at two businesses alleged to have been involved in a catalytic converter theft ring. Feuer has filed a civil lawsuit against two Southern California businesses which allegedly repeatedly received or sold stolen catalytic converters and failed to keep proper bookkeeping records to cover the allegedly illicit nature of the fencing operation.

“California has more catalytic converter theft than any state in the nation, a problem that’s plagued L.A. motorists for far too long,” said Feuer. “Today we focus on breaking up the allegedly illegal operations that drive these thefts, and fighting to hold accountable business owners whom we allege don’t play by the rules.”

In just the last four years, LAPD has received more than 4,367 reports of catalytic converters stolen from vehicles, typically resold on the black market. In an effort to curb the growing trend of catalytic converter thefts, the California legislature adopted California Senate Bill 267 in 2009, requiring businesses or individuals who purchase used catalytic converter parts to follow strict record keeping and payment requirements. Unless otherwise exempted, purchasers of catalytic converters are to keep detailed records of the date, name, driver’s license number and description of the parts purchased, and are prohibited from providing cash payments at the time of sale.

In April, 2015, the LAPD formed the Catalytic Converter Task Force (CCTF) to investigate, identify and target the illicit market for catalytic converters in Los Angeles. The City Attorney’s lawsuit alleges that the CCTF identified Gonzales Brothers LLC, an auto parts recycling business located at 12970 Branford Street in Pacoima and Kinsbursky Brothers Supply Inc., a scrap metal recycler in Anaheim which buys scrap metal and parts from sellers across southern California, for alleged violations.

The lawsuit alleges the operators of Gonzales Brothers knowingly purchased thousands of stolen catalytic converters off the black market and resold them to other recyclers, including the operators of Kinsbursky Brothers, for profit. The businesses allegedly avoided required recordkeeping and payment obligations in order to facilitate the fencing and laundering of stolen property.

During a 2015 surveillance investigation, CCTF allegedly observed employees with Gonzales Brothers engage in numerous paperless, cash sales of used catalytic converters, often with known catalytic converter thieves. A subsequent search warrant of the location allegedly recovered tools used to remove catalytic converters, various records and over 300 catalytic converters. None of the records involving catalytic converter sales were alleged to contain the identifying information required by law and investigators did not locate any written agreements with other businesses regarding accepting and recycling converters.

Further investigation by CCTF discovered Kinsbursky Bros. was one of the largest buyers of Gonzales Brothers, allegedly purchasing more than seven thousand catalytic converters over the course of two and half years. Between August, 2015, and September 18, 2015, alone, Kinsbursky Bros. allegedly purchased 23,822 catalytic converters through 364 transactions from a variety of sellers. The lawsuit alleges that none of the transactions included the legally mandated information that Kinsbursky Bros. was obligated to retain. CCTF Officers also failed to locate, and were not provided, any written agreements between Kinsbursky and any other business regarding accepting and recycling catalytic converters, as required by law.

The lawsuit seeks an injunction against the operators of Gonzales Brothers and Kinsbursky Bros., prohibiting further illegal activity and enjoining them from operating as a clearing house for stolen catalytic converters. The lawsuit also seeks civil penalties up to $2,500 for each violation.

City Attorney Feuer encourages motorists to use common sense and consider additional measures to protect themselves against potential catalytic converter theft including:

  • Park your vehicle in well-lighted secured areas and near the entrance of businesses.
  • Engrave your license plate number to the converter to make it traceable.
  • Visit a muffler shop to have converter secured to the vehicle’s frame.
  • Look into different types of catalytic converter theft deterrent systems at your local auto parts store or online.

The litigation is being handled by Deputy City Attorneys Travis Austin and Jaclyn Blankenship.

 

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Dec 302016
 

New Los Angeles Renters’ Protections

Mayor Eric Garcetti took another step toward curbing L.A.’s housing affordability crisis, signing into law the Tenant Buyout Ordinance — a key addition to the City’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO), which is designed to protect Angelenos from runaway rents and displacement from their neighborhoods.

Half of L.A. families live in an apartment covered by the RSO. The ordinance will strengthen renters’ rights by ensuring that landlords inform residents of their relocation rights in the event of a tenant buyout. Previously, tenants could be offered a lump sum to vacate units, without a formal process to educate them about additional sums for relocation assistance to which they may have been entitled.

The new ordinance requires landlords to file buyout agreements with the City, so that staff can better monitor the process. It also permits renters to withdraw from the buyout agreement within 30 days.

“Every tenant in Los Angeles should understand their rights, especially in a tight housing market, and landlords should know their responsibilities,” said Mayor Garcetti. “The RSO is the most powerful tool we have to keep families and neighborhoods together, and this ordinance will help protect vulnerable populations — like senior citizens and immigrants — from displacement. As we work to build new affordable housing, we also must make sure that residents know about protections that are already in place.”

“As Chair of the Housing Committee, I am proud to add another layer of protection for tenants with the Tenant Buyout Notification Program amendment to the City’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance,” said Housing Committee Chair Councilmember Gil Cedillo, who was key in ensuring the ordinance’s passage. “This program requires landlords to inform tenants of their RSO rights before executing a buyout agreement, giving them full disclosure of their rights and protections under the RSO.”

“As I’ve been dealing with a crisis in my district where more than 150 seniors are threatened with evictions, it is clear that it is more important than ever that all tenants fully understand their rights when their landlord wants to move them out of their apartments,” said Housing Committee Vice-Chair Councilmember Paul Koretz.

“The newly adopted Tenant Buyout Ordinance is an important new tool in our efforts to ensure that tenants in Rent-Stabilized (RSO) buildings are fully informed of their rights to remain in their homes and are not coerced into accepting buy-out or ‘cash for keys’ offers,” said Rushmore Cervantes, General Manager of the Housing and Community Investment Development of the City of Los Angeles. “In a time when affordable housing units are scarce, the new ordinance is designed to ensure that tenants can make informed decisions and have the opportunity to seek advice before voluntarily relinquishing their rent-stabilized unit.”

The new ordinance builds upon Mayor Garcetti’s comprehensive plan to strengthen the RSO, which includes strategies to increase awareness of renters’ rights and better enforce existing regulations. Earlier this year, Mayor Garcetti launched an RSO awareness campaign, “Home for Renters.” The campaign reaches out to L.A.’s most vulnerable neighborhoods with thousands of public transit advertisements, door-hangers, informational pamphlets, and online resources that make detailed information about the RSO accessible to both tenants and landlords. The effort was developed by the Housing and Community Investment Department of Los Angeles (HCIDLA) in partnership with Mayor Garcetti’s Innovation Team, which focuses on data-driven projects, and is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Last year, Mayor Garcetti also announced a new online property database, which helps the public easily identify properties that are subject to the RSO. The City Council and HCIDLA are also advancing a new city-wide rent registry, which will help the City proactively enforce regulations on allowable rent increases. To stem the loss of RSO units as the City expands its housing stock, the City is also implementing new State law that requires the replacement of affordable RSO units in new developments.

While the City remains on track to meet Mayor Garcetti’s goal to build 100,000 new housing units by 2021, the Mayor is advancing additional policies to ensure equitable growth in the City’s housing supply, and is doubling down on the production and preservation of affordable housing developments dedicated to low-income Angelenos.

 

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Dec 212016
 

L.A. City Attorney Won’t Tolerate Criminal Gang Activity

CITY ATTORNEY TAKES ON CRIMINAL GANG ACTIVITY AT SOUTH LOS ANGELES STRIP MALL

Hyde Park Shopping Center Allegedly the Epicenter for Drugs, Guns, Assaults, Shootings

Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer announced that his office is taking action against the owner of a South Los Angeles strip mall, and also one of the business owners, in order to curb blatant criminal activity by the Rollin’ 60s Neighborhood Crips. Crimes at the location have increased in number and intensity including last year’s brutal gang homicide of a 19-year old who made the fatal mistake of wearing the wrong colored shoes.

“For too long, residents and business patrons of this community have been held hostage by the rampant gang activity we allege at this shopping center,” said Feuer. “Enough is enough. My office will continue to fight to rid our neighborhoods of illegal guns, drugs and gang conduct that have a devastating impact on our communities.”

The lawsuit names Diamond Property Management, Inc., the owner of a strip mall in the South LA neighborhood of Hyde Park, as well as Mohammad Mansour, the owner of African Tobacco, a tenant business. The property includes a car wash, associated auto businesses, a tobacco shop/convenience store, and a burger stand located at 3312 W. Florence Avenue, near Crenshaw Avenue, and within one mile of four schools, three parks and three churches.

Law enforcement officers have responded to an escalating series of crimes at the property including drive-by shootings, robberies, batteries, and assaults. In the spring of 2015 a teenage boy at the car wash with his mother was confronted and fatally shot multiple times by gang members for allegedly wearing the wrong color shoes. Recent criminal activity includes:

  • In May 2016, LAPD Officers recovered a .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun from a backpack near the tobacco shop. One week later, two alleged members of the Rollin’ 60s Crips were arrested after recovering a fully loaded .357 Smith & Wesson revolver from a paper bag near the burger stand.
  • In August 2016, Narcotics Enforcement Officers arrested three individuals, including a documented member of the Rollin’ 60s Crips, after selling crack cocaine to a law enforcement informant at the property.
  • On Thanksgiving Day 2016, one of the property’s business owners was assaulted in the parking lot of the property resulting in his tooth being knocked out.

The lawsuit seeks an injunction prohibiting gang and criminal activity on the property, physical and managerial improvements to the property including: an internet-connected video monitoring system covering all public areas at the property; improved lighting; secure gating and fencing; improved tenant screening and lease enforcement procedures including earlier closure times for businesses; and armed, licensed security guards.

Since July, 2013, City Attorney Feuer’s Federal and Local Special Abatement Operations Unit has filed 45 actions similar to these and obtained 56 injunctions requiring comprehensive physical and managerial improvements to nuisance properties. In this same time period, the office has also successfully secured the closure of six gang/narcotics locations and recovered over $400,000 in costs and fees.

Feuer also recently established an easy-to-use online method through which residents may report properties with gang and / or narcotics activity in their neighborhoods. He’s asking residents to report these properties by calling his office at (213) 978-8340 or visiting the City Attorney’s website: www.lacityattorney.org. All reports may be made anonymously.

 

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Dec 152016
 

L.A. Economy Is Booming!

Mayor Garcetti Announces That L.A. Now Has More Jobs Than At The City’s Peak Before the Civil Unrest of 1992

The number of jobs in Los Angeles has surged past pre-recession highs, and has even moved past the local economy’s peak before the civil unrest of 1992, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced.

According to the UCLA Anderson Forecast, the local unemployment rate through October has also plunged below both pre-recession and early 1990s levels.

“Los Angeles’ economy is surging — we’re creating jobs, attracting new business and investment, and bringing greater access to economic opportunity for all Angelenos,” said Mayor Garcetti. “I am proud that the number of jobs in L.A. has surged past pre-1992 levels. Now is the time to keep the momentum going. We must continue investing in the people of our city, so that we can create new jobs and prosperity for years to come.”

Mayor Garcetti made the announcement alongside Councilmember Mike Bonin and local business leaders at the headquarters of Dollar Shave Club — an L.A. tech startup that has created more than 250 local jobs and tripled in size over the last two years.

“Our local economy is thriving because we have a Mayor and City Council that have gotten back to basics and focused on cutting red tape and making each neighborhood a wonderful place to live and work,” said Councilmember Mike Bonin. “I am not just proud of the record-setting quantity of jobs in our city, but also of the improving quality of those jobs. By working simultaneously on business-friendly initiatives like cutting the business tax, and worker-friendly policies like raising the minimum wage, we are showing how great cities can work and excel in the 21st century.”

In the last three years alone, the economy has added nearly 135,000 new jobs — surpassing Mayor Garcetti’s first-term goal of 130,000 new jobs, six months ahead of schedule. During the same period, L.A.’s unemployment rate has plummeted — from more than 10 percent in 2013, to just above five percent.

The new employment numbers tell the story of a surging economy, with emerging sectors and new investment that are giving the economy even more room to grow in the coming years.

The local unemployment rate has not only dropped significantly in recent years, but vastly improved against the national average. When Mayor Garcetti took office in 2013, the local unemployment rate lagged behind the national average by nearly three points. That margin has diminished to less than half a point, with a local unemployment rate of 5.2 percent, as of October. The national average is 4.6 percent.

The employment milestones come amid a period of bold investment in economic growth and expansion across Los Angeles. The passage of Measure M in November — which allocates $120 billion to infrastructure investment — will create 465,000 jobs in the coming years.

Over the last three-and-a-half years, Mayor Garcetti has helped create jobs by streamlining development, and working one-on-one to help businesses that want to locate and create jobs in L.A. In addition, he has led the effort to cut the City’s gross receipts tax by 16 percent, a move that has saved more than $45 million for businesses. The Mayor’s reforms at City Hall will continue to eliminate red tape, and make it easier to do business and create jobs in L.A.

“The Los Angeles economy has made significant gains over the past three years, both in lowering the unemployment rate and increasing the number of payroll jobs in the City. Los Angeles now has more jobs than it did prior to the civil unrest of the early 1990s,” said Dr. William Yu, an economist with UCLA’s Anderson Forecast. “Looking forward, human capital is the key to L.A.’s long-term prosperity. At the City level, it is important to continue focusing on policies that expand opportunity and invest in building a workforce that can compete in the 21st century. To achieve a shared prosperity, we should continue and create programs that help to reduce the human capital disparity across Los Angeles.”

 

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Dec 102016
 

2016 Mayor’s Cup Winners

Mayor Garcetti announces winner of 2016 Mayor’s Cup

Team from Cal State Los Angeles takes top prize for small business development resource center

Small Business Strong is the winner of the 2016 Mayor’s Cup, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced today. The team — comprised of undergraduates from Cal State Los Angeles — took top honors for its idea for a traveling small business resource center, which could deliver mentorship opportunities and pathways to capital to underserved, underrepresented, and under-connected small business owners.

The Mayor’s Cup is a competition for young entrepreneurs at L.A. universities to pitch innovative solutions for tackling the city’s biggest challenges. Competitors were asked to develop ideas to address one of two issues: growing L.A.’s economy and civic engagement in neighborhoods. More than 100 teams applied, with the top five competing in the finals.

“The future of entrepreneurial innovation is right here in Los Angeles, and Small Business Strong and the other competitors show that our colleges and universities are full of creative people with ideas that can change lives,” said Mayor Garcetti. “What’s special about the Mayor’s Cup is that we can harness their imagination and skill to achieve something we all believe in — making local government work better for all Angelenos.”

Small Business Strong claimed a $25,000 prize and will work with the Mayor’s Operations Innovation Team for eight weeks to prototype their idea.
The other four finalists were:

  • BIN-LA: Website which complements the L.A. Business Portal to connect small business owners and entrepreneurs to investors in the Greater Los Angeles area.
  • Hygiea: Waste management “Internet of Things” platform outfitting trash cans with sensors and real-time data to provide fill data feedback and suggest efficient routes.
  • Pangaea: Comprehensive professional resource bank with a focus on Black and Latino-owned small- and medium-sized businesses with enhanced search functionality and crowdsourcing.
  • The L.A. Skill-Builders Initiative: Web platform to cultivate entrepreneurial ecosystem by bridging the skills gap between manufacturers and the labor force (including community colleges).

Finalists pitched their proposals to a panel of judges, including: Troy Carter of Atom Factory; Jennifer Lopez of the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space; Brian Lee of The Honest Company and LegalZoom; William Pomerantz of Virgin Galactic; and Diana Trujillo of NASA.

“The Mayor’s Cup is an exciting program that brings together government and entrepreneurs in a way to explore how technology can make the city more efficient and productive,” said David Belasco, Co-Director and Adjunct Professor at the Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies. “We believe that this competition will bring unique ideas to improve the lives of Angelenos.”

The Mayor’s Cup was supported by the Mayor’s Office of Budget and Innovation, LA City Partners, USC Marshall School of Business, The Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at the USC Marshall School of Business, the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at California State University- Los Angeles, the Fred Kiesner Center for Entrepreneurship at Loyola Marymount University, and Cross Campus.

Key partners in this year-long effort include the Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at the USC Marshall School of Business, USC Marshall School of Business, the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at California State University- Los Angeles, the Fred Kiesner Center for Entrepreneurship at Loyola Marymount University, Startup UCLA, FuturizeX at UCLA, LA City Partners, Cross Campus, the Los Angeles Coalition for the Economy and Jobs, the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles, Mitú Network, AmplifyLA, Hacker Fund, Make in LA, LADWP La Kretz Innovation Campus, Hexlab MakerSpace, Nava College Prep Academy, Swipe Out Hunger, LegalZoom, Bixel Exchange, Indie Desk, Startup DTLA, Two Bit Circus, Crush Industries.

 

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Dec 052016
 

LOS FABULOSOS CADILLACS Coming To Microsoft Theatre

LOS FABULOSOS CADILLACS

U.S. TOUR DATES ANNOUNCED

Tickets are currently on sale

Legendary Argentinean band LOS FABULOSOS CADILLACS, in conjunction with Goldenvoice, returns to American stages to present their successful world tour ‘La Salvación de Solo y Juan’. The announcement comes after the epic night the band had at the Latin GRAMMYS where they received two awards in the Best Rock Album and Best rock Song categories for the album that shares the tour’s name.

The band ended their amazing night at the Latin GRAMMY’s in Las Vegas with a spectacular live medley performance of their hits “El Rey Del Swing” and “Matador”, songs that they performed with their characteristic energy and rhythm in a special collaboration with their own sons, who joined the band to play the guitar and drums. The show was without a doubt a great indication of what their fans can expect during the visit to the North American country.

Date confirmed: Los Angeles March 24, 2017 Microsoft Theater

General ticket sale began on Friday December 2nd at 10:00 am PST.

More than 500,000 fans have already witnessed ‘La Salvación de Solo y Juan’ tour in countries like México, Chile, Costa Rica y Ecuador, including a successful appearance last July at the Ruido Fest in Chicago. The band will close 2016 with visits to Colombia and Peru, and the tour will continue next year with stops in the United States and Europe.

‘La Salvación de Solo y Juan’ is a critically acclaimed ‘Rock Opera’ concept album that takes the listener on a 14 song journey through the history of the Clementi brothers. Written by Vicentico and Flavio Cianciarulo, the record was produced by Héctor Castillo, the household name that worked with Gustavo Cerati and David Bowie amongst others. The album sets the return of Los Fabulosos Cadillacs to the stages after a two years absence in Buenos Aires.

Para conocer más de Los Fabulosos Cadillacs visite:
http://www.fabulosos-cadillacs.com.ar
https://www.facebook.com/losfabulososcadillacs/
https://twitter.com/lfcoficial
https://www.instagram.com/lfcoficial/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCj9NboK2k7lboj_AmlPru9Q

 

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Nov 272016
 

LADWP Class Action Customer Billing Settlement

 

COURT GRANTS PRELIMINARY APPROVAL TO LADWP CLASS ACTION
CUSTOMER BILLING SETTLEMENT

 

In a hearing at Los Angeles Superior Court, Judge Elihu Berle granted preliminary approval to the proposed settlement of class action litigation involving customer overcharges and complaints related to the implementation of LADWP’s new customer billing system in September 2013. The system was designed and implemented by Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC).

The settlement that was preliminarily approved by Judge Berle is the product of multiple mediation sessions conducted by the highly respected United States District Judge Dickran M. Tevrizian (Ret.) between the plaintiffs, represented by Landskroner Merriman, LLC and LADWP, represented by the Los Angeles City Attorney and outside counsel.

Under the terms of the settlement, every customer who was overcharged will receive a credit, or a refund if they are no longer an LADWP customer, for the full amount they were overcharged. An independent third-party expert appointed by the Court will review the amount of credit or refund for accuracy. Any customer who disagrees with the amount of the credit or refund can have their claim reviewed by an independent Special Master who will consider the merits of the claim and make a recommendation to the Court. If the customer disagrees with the Special Master’s recommendation, they can choose to have it reviewed directly by the judge overseeing the settlement. This process provides multiple layers of review to ensure every refund or credit is fair and accurate; making good on a promise by LADWP to refund every penny customers were overcharged.

The total amount of overcharges to be credited or refunded is currently estimated at $67.5 million. LADWP and the City continue to pursue legal action against PwC to recover costs associated with the failed implementation of the billing system, including overcharges and legal costs.

“We are very pleased with Judge Berle’s decision today because it moves us a step closer to reimbursing every affected customer every penny they were overcharged,” said David H. Wright, LADWP General Manager. “We remain committed to holding Pricewaterhouse Coopers accountable and are seeking full reimbursement of all of the overcharges and costs caused by the failed system they designed and delivered to LADWP.”

The settlement is still subject to final approval by the Court and a court-ordered schedule whereby every affected customer is notified by mail. A hearing to approve the notice and claim form will be held in mid-December. If all goes according to schedule, customers should begin receiving notification letters in the spring and refunds and credits next summer.

To learn about the status of the settlement and the steps LADWP will follow as set forth by the Court, customers and the public can visit www.LADWPBillingSettlement.com or call 844-899-6219.

 

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