New billboard campaign aims to raise urgency around Los Angeles homelessness

By : SCPR – excerpt (89.3 KPCC includes audio)

The corner of Vine St. and Santa Monica Boulevard is busy at noon with people running after the bus or walking to get a quick bite. But some stopped to look up at a new billboard at the corner of the Hollywood intersection.

“It says HOMELESS,” said Christopher Hart, who stopped to look, “But it looks like where the Hollywood sign is supposed to be.”

It’s one of more than a dozen billboards posted around the city over the weekend, that turn the classic image of the Hollywood sign on the grassy hill on its head… (more)

You have to appreciate the creative use of signs and billboards that take advantage of the LA landscape and wide open streets.


FEMA Rejects Applications for Aid by Wine Country Wildfire Victims

By Emily Turner : cbslocal – excerpt

SANTA ROSA (KPIX) — Many of the Wine Country wildfire survivors made it through that tragedy to now find themselves as victims for a second time. They say now their problem is the government agency meant to help them.

In Sonoma County alone, thousands of houses were destroyed and even more lives turned upside-down in the disaster.Legal Aid of Sonoma County accuses FEMA of rejection for aid without a clear reason, repeatedly losing client’s documents, and a lack of clarity when it comes to their policy.

Legal Aid of Sonoma County accuses FEMA of rejection for aid without a clear reason, repeatedly losing client’s documents, and a lack of clarity when it comes to their policy…(more)

Santa Rosa fire survivors are denied insurance and FEMA aide.

Los Angeles Times owner sells paper to local billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong, ending a long-troubled relationship

: washingtonpost – excerpt

The Chicago-based owner of the Los Angeles Times completed its sale of the newspaper on Wednesday in a surprise move that probably spells the end of its long-troubled relationship with Southern California’s leading news outlet.

The buyer is Patrick Soon-Shiong, a Los Angeles-area physician and a major shareholder of the paper’s former parent company, Tronc. Soon-Shiong is the billionaire founder and chief executive of NantHealth, based in Culver City. As part of the $500 million deal, he will also buy its sister newspaper, the San Diego Union-Tribune

Soon-Shiong, 64, made his fortune — estimated at around $9 billion by Bloomberg — by starting and selling biotech companies and by operating an empire of interlocking enterprises. A surgeon by training, he has no background in newspapers, except as an investor in Tronc. Among his investments is a small stake in the Los Angeles Lakers…

He has vowed to “solve health care” and to “win the war on cancer,” two grandiloquent claims that have made him controversial within health-care circles..

Soon-Shiong advised Donald Trump on health-care issues during the presidential transition last year, and also consulted with former vice president Joe Biden on Biden’s cancer initiative. Soon-Shiong has directed his political contributions primarily to Democrats, including Hillary Clinton in 2016… (more)

The media moguls never quit. This article details the history of the recent turmoil at a major US Newspaper that had a reputation for excellence in journalism.

I run a small, independent magazine. I worry Facebook will kill us off

By Nathan Robinson : theguardian – excerpt

For independent and non-profit outlets, small shifts in algorithms – as Mark Zuckerberg just introduced – can pose an existential threat

Facebook’s recent company announcement should scare anyone who values independent and non-profit media.

In response to mounting criticism over its role in spreading “fake news”, as well as research showing that social media has been making people less happy, Mark Zuckerberg has revealed that the company is overhauling its news feed algorithms to de-emphasize “passive content” from brands and publishers and promote “meaningful interaction” with friends and family instead. Facebook says it wants its users to feel positive after using its service, and will display content accordingly. So more pictures of adorable dogs, fewer links to news sites.

Everyone can support efforts to eliminate fake news and improve user experiences. But for media organizations, Facebook’s approach is troubling. Many outlets depend on traffic from sites like Facebook and Twitter, since social media has become the main gateway through which people access content on the internet. If news organizations are “blacklisted”, or buried at the bottom of news feeds, they could see a significant chunk of their audience evaporate overnight.

There is already evidence of what the changes might do. The rollout of algorithm tweaks in other countries has had serious impacts on certain organizations, with at least one subscription news service losing nearly one-third of its Facebook engagements after the tweak, and Cambodian NGOs complaining that the delivery of public service information was disrupted… (more)

How is that net neutrality working for you so far? Burger King did a great ad that explains how net neutrality works when applied to their business. If you need a good laugh, and who doesn’t, you should love this ad.

By theverge ( video included)

Burger King — a fast-food chain that sells cheap beef — apparently understands net neutrality more than the average member of Congress. The company released an ad today explaining the concept of net neutrality with a stunt that showed what it would be like to have paid prioritization in a burger joint. In the ad, actors playing Burger King employees taunt “actual guests” by making them wait for absurd amounts of time to receive their food — unless they pay huge tolls to get it quickly…(more)

Will the unique culture of Miami’s Coconut Grove survive?

By Suzette Laboy, Associated Press : sfchronicle – excerpt

MIAMI (AP) — With its artsy vibe, lush landscapes and free-roaming peacocks, Coconut Grove has long been known as a bohemian paradise.

It’s also Miami’s oldest neighborhood, established along the shores of Biscayne Bay in 1873 before the city existed. Located nearly 5 miles from what is now Miami’s downtown, its streets are shaded by thick canopies of trees and its housing stock includes some of Miami’s oldest homes.

But as new architecture goes up and its business district revitalizes, Coconut Grove is at risk of losing its unique history and tropical culture. Older homes are being turned into mansions of concrete and glass. Locals are fighting to reduce the size of new construction and preserve green space…

orge Perez, one of the most influential names in Miami real estate, has called Coconut Grove home for over 35 years and says he’s committed to maintaining its historic charm. His company, The Related Group, along with The Terra Group, are behind the new Park Grove project, a 297-unit luxury condo development on the Coconut Grove waterfront. The project features three wavy towers, a restaurant and “lush landscaping that the Grove is known for,” Perez says, along with a park “filled with sculptures that will be very much in the spirit of the Grove.”…(more)

Coconut Grove was one of the choice distinations for Beaux Artists leaving Pinellas Park for greener pastures. They found friendly open-hearted fun-loving easy-going creative spirits there.

Now the Grove is facing the same devastation all cities are as unfriendly groups like The Related Group bring their bag of tricks to gentrify the neighborhoods they want to overtake. One of their tricks is to make deals with local governments to replace public parking with bike rental stations to gentrify neighborhoods.

Don’t know how successful they will be getting people out of their air-conditioned cars in Florida, but I’m sure they will try. I’m also sure the Coconut Grove folks will fight back to preserve what they love the same way we all do.



How Uncle Sam Launders Marijuana Money

By Ellen Brown : truthdig – excerpt

Thirty states and the District of Columbia currently have laws broadly legalizing marijuana in some form. The herb has been shown to have significant therapeutic value for a wide range of medical conditions, including cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, glaucoma, lung disease, anxiety, muscle spasms, hepatitis C, inflammatory bowel disease and arthritis pain. The community of Americans who rely on legal medical marijuana was estimated to be 2.6 million people in 2016 and includes a variety of mainstream constituency groups like veterans, senior citizens, cancer survivors and parents of epileptic children. Unlike patented pharmaceuticals, which are now the leading cause of death from drug overdose, there have been no recorded deaths from marijuana overdose in the U.S. By comparison, alcohol causes 30,000 deaths annually, and prescription drugs taken as directed are estimated to kill 100,000 Americans per year

The Government Has “Unclean Hands” As explained by Dr. Richard Rahn, author of “The End of Money and the Struggle for Financial Privacy”…

The law has focused on banks, but all sorts of businesses accept money without asking where it came from or being required to report “suspicious activity.” As Rahn observes, even governments can be indicted for and convicted of money laundering. Strictly construed (as Sessions insists when interpreting the law), that means the U.S. government itself could be indicted…

The government makes a massive profit off the deal, snatching up to 70 percent of the proceeds of the reporting businesses, as opposed to the more typical rate of 30 percent. It does this by branding marijuana businesses criminal enterprises, which are not entitled to deduct their costs when reporting their income.

This is not only a clear case of the unequal protection of the laws but is a clear admission by the government that it is knowingly accepting illegal funds. The government is a principal beneficiary of a business the government itself has made illegal… (more)

Now that cannabis is legal in California, one wonders if a prescription is needed to procure the medical brand of CBDs that does not get you high, but, could relieve pain. It seems as if you may purchase salves and lotions, but, taxes may apply without the prescription. Will check that out. You may purchase stock in Cannabis Sativa Inc. (CBDS) at any rate. It’s cheap now, around $6.30 a share.

End These Lies

2017: Posters from the SF Women’s Rally. Looking forward to seeing some new ones this year.

Music and lyrics by Tommy Deschaine, photos by Zrants
Share with everyone.

2018: Protesters gather near Trump’s Florida home, bow their heads.


NEW YORK (AP) — In Palm Beach, Florida, home to President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, several hundred people gathered carrying anti-Trump signs as they prepared to march as part of Saturday’s planned protests.

Across the globe, people hit the streets on the anniversary of Trump’s inauguration, marching against his policies and in support of the #MeToo movement against sexual assault and harassment.

In Palm Beach, a group of women wearing red cloaks and white hats like the characters in the book and TV show “The Handmaid’s Tale” marched in formation, their heads bowed…(more)

Send us your pictures from any marches you attended, let us know where you were and we’ll try to post them. This is a national movement.