June 24, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

Westside Wrap News Briefs

BEVERLY HILLS – The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will take “dramatic steps to alter” its membership following criticism of all 20 acting nominations going to white performers for the second consecutive year, academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs said Monday night. In a statement released by the academy, Boone Isaacs said she was “both heartbroken and frustrated about the lack of inclusion.

“The academy is taking dramatic steps to alter the makeup of our membership. In the coming days and weeks we will conduct a review of our membership recruitment in order to bring about much-needed diversity in our 2016 class and beyond,” Boone Isaacs said.

The move to change the composition of the academy’s membership is not unprecedented, Boone Isaacs said. “In the ‘60s and ‘70s it was about recruiting younger members to stay vital and relevant,” Boone Isaacs said. The statement came hours after writer/director Spike Lee, who received an honorary Oscar in November, and actress Jada Pinkett Smith, whose husband was left off this year’s Oscar nominations list, announced they would boycott next month’s Oscars due to the lack of diversity among the nominated performers.

BEVERLY HILLS – A truck driver was fatally injured Jan. 15 in a crash in Beverly Hills on the same stretch of a steep roadway where two LAPD officers were killed in separate accidents involving trucks. The crash in the 800 block of Loma Vista Drive was reported at 8:18am, according to the Beverly Hills Police Department. The trucker, who was in his 20s, was trapped in the wreckage for about a half-hour and died at a hospital about 10:30am, said coroner’s Assistant Chief Ed Winter. His name was withheld pending notification of his relatives. The crash closed stretches of Loma Vista Drive and Doheny Road until about 4:30pm. On March 7, 2014, a dump truck collided with a Los Angeles Police Department cruiser on the same stretch of roadway, killing Officer Nicholas Lee and injuring his partner. On May 9 of the same year, off-duty LAPD Detective Ernest Allen was killed when a concrete mixer collided with his vehicle on the same street.

MARINA DEL REY – A San Diego County man remained jailed without bail Wednesday on suspicion of gunning down a 17-year-old girl in the parking lot of a Marina del Rey shopping center in a botched robbery that may have involved marijuana. Cameron Frazier, 21, was arrested Monday by members of the FBI Fugitive Task Force outside his residence in Vista in connection with the Jan. 6 killing of Kristine Carman, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Carman lived in Houston, Texas, and was visiting relatives in the Southland.

CENTURY CITY – The 20th Century Fox that sold off its 260-acre backlot 50 years ago in a Hail Mary attempt to save the cash-strapped studio is today adding upwards of 1.1-million square feet to its campus at 10201 W. Pico Boulevard. 20th Century Fox, sitting on a 52.9-acre lot, has filed for new facilities with the Los Angeles Department of City Planning, indicating that improvements include creative office space; a specialty stage; and facility support, retail amenities and utility buildings. Fox has also applied for a master conditional-use permit that would allow the sale of alcoholic beverages at three new restaurants planned on the lot, as well as four existing venues, according to Urbanize L.A.

MARINA DEL REY – A 66-foot sailboat caught fire outside the Marina del Rey breakwater Sunday afternoon, prompting the rescue of six people, authorities said.

The vessel was reported ablaze at 4:12pm, according to Los Angeles County Fire Department Capt. Brian Jordan. None of the people rescued from the boat by lifeguards were injured in the blaze, which was quickly extinguished by firefighters, Jordan said. The fire sent black smoke billowing from the yacht, Jordan said. It was unclear what would happen to the boat, which remained anchored outside the marina after the fire was doused.

SANTA MONICA – Teens in the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica’s Keystone Club will sleep-out next weekend to raise awareness about the city’s homeless. About 150 teens aged from 13 to 18 are expected to participate in the rain-or-shine event that aims at educating teens and the community about the issue of homelessness and raise funds and donation items to aid the local homeless. Participating youth will sleep outside on the Club’s fenced in black top along with adult staff. Each teen will represent nearly five homeless people. According to the City of Santa Monica, in 2015 the number of homeless men, woman and children in Santa Monica was 738.

SANTA MONICA – Two mountain lion kittens recently were discovered in the western end of the Santa Monica Mountains, National Park Service officials said Jan. 14. The female and male kittens, now known as P-46 and P-47, were implanted with tracking devices after researchers located their den in a remote area. “We continue to see successful reproduction, which indicates that the quality of the natural habitat is high for such a relatively urbanized area,” said Jeff Sikich, a biologist for Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. “But these kittens have many challenges ahead of them, from evading other mountain lions, to crossing freeways, to dealing with exposure to rat poison.” Sikich said he suspected that P-19, the mother, may have given birth based upon the way her GPS locations were localized during a three-week period, indicating that she was likely living with her kittens. The den was well-hidden among large boulders and thick brush. Since 2002, the National Park Service has been studying mountains lions in and around the Santa Monica Mountains to determine how they survive in an increasingly fragmented and urbanized environment. Funding for mountain lion research in the Santa Monica Mountains is provided in part through private donations to the Santa Monica Mountains Fund.

VENICE – Mayor Eric Garcetti resisted a call Jan. 14 for the Police Department to release video of an officer fatally shooting a homeless man in Venice. Police Chief Charlie Beck has recommended that prosecutors file a criminal charge against Officer Clifford Proctor for the May 5, 2015, shooting of 29-year-old Brendon Glenn. A group of civil rights activists held a news conference today calling on Garcetti and the LAPD to release the video, and calling for full disclosure of all video from surveillance cameras or police body cameras in use-of-force cases. Speaking on the KNX Newsradio “Ask the Mayor” program, Garcetti resisted the call to release the video, saying the case is under review by the District Attorney’s Office. He said the city will be holding hearings to review policies for the release of videos, but he said the city has to take into account the privacy rights of crime victims.

WEST LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles City Council agreed Tuesday to pay a total of $24.3 million to settle a pair of wrongful conviction cases filed by two men who each served more than two-dozen years in prison for murders they did not commit. The council voted in favor of paying $16.7 million to resolve a lawsuit filed by Kash Delano Register, who spent 34 1/2 years behind bars after he was arrested at age 18 and wrongly convicted of killing a man in West Los Angeles. Register had been convicted of the April 6, 1979, shooting death of 79-year-old Jack Sasson in West Los Angeles. A key witness in the case, Brenda Anderson, testified that she saw Register at the crime scene. Register was found guilty despite claims by his girlfriend that she was with him at the time. Register said in a statement today that he “can’t get these 34 years back, but I hope my case can help make things better for others, through improving the way the police get identifications or other reforms.”

WEST LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles police officials and city leaders Saturday officially marked the opening of police office and community space in the Del Rey neighborhood. The 5,000-square-foot facility, at 12312 Culver Blvd., will serve communities in LAPD’s Pacific Division, which includes Del Rey, Mar Vista, Oakwood, Palms, Playa Vista, Venice and Westchester. In addition to 52 work stations for Pacific Division officers, the center has community meeting rooms that can be used by youth programs or to hold events, along with a children’s library, according to officials with Brookfield Residential. The home-construction company donated a large, multi-room trailer, and renovations were done with donated materials and labor. City Councilman Mike Bonin, who represents the area, and Police Commissioner Steve Soboroff, will join LAPD officials for the 9:30am ribbon-cutting ceremony.

WEST LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles City Council has agreed to pay nearly $1 million to a former Westside motorcycle officer who said he was retaliated against by the Los Angeles Police Department for not participating in an illegal traffic ticket quota system. The payment, recommended by the Los Angeles city attorney’s office, was approved unanimously by the City Council Jan. 14, although Councilman Bob Blumenfield was absent, the Los Angeles Times reported. The $950,000 agreement resolves a 2014 lawsuit filed in L.A. County Superior Court by Dan Gregg, a former officer with the LAPD’s West Traffic Division, who alleged his supervisor, Capt. Nancy Lauer, required officers in the division to write a set number of traffic tickets during each shift, establishing a quota system that violated state law. Gregg said in the lawsuit that he was denied a promotion after complaining about the alleged quota system.

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