Alex's Feed
Jun 27, 2015

Requests for ice cream and flush toilets at Nevada’s Burning Man stirs firestorm

By Alex Dobuzinskis

(Reuters) – U.S. land managers have asked operators of Burning Man to provide them with VIP accommodations and flushable toilets in the Nevada desert during the annual counterculture festival, triggering a political firestorm on Friday.

The demands drew the ire of two U.S. lawmakers from Nevada who described the requests, which also included a standing supply of ice cream, as excessive.

Jun 24, 2015

Homeless man featured in viral video died of alcoholism in Los Angeles alley

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A 56-year-old homeless man who became the focus of a nearly $150,000 crowdfunding campaign after he was shown giving away food in a viral video has died in a Los Angeles alley of chronic alcoholism, a coroner’s official said on Wednesday.

Online video creator Josh Paler Lin featured homeless man Kenni Thomas Nickel in a YouTube video titled “How Does a Homeless Man Spend $100?” which has been viewed more than 38 million times on the site since being posted in December.

Jun 24, 2015

Lawyers challenging California teacher tenure cite ‘dance of lemons’

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – California’s tenure system for
public school teachers shields the jobs of ineffective
instructors in a “dance of the lemons” that disproportionately
harms minority students, attorneys for students argued in
appeals papers filed on Wednesday in support of a lower court

The arguments submitted to the state’s Second Appellate
District follows a ruling a year ago by a Los Angeles judge who,
in a case known as Vergara v. California, struck down state laws
granting tenure and other protections to public school teachers.

Jun 24, 2015

American Apparel details allegations of sexual misconduct by ousted CEO

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Clothing company American Apparel Inc (APP.A: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) has accused ousted founder Dov Charney of using ethnic slurs against workers and keeping videos on a company server of himself in sex acts with models and employees, recently filed court papers show.

American Apparel’s board of directors suspended Charney as CEO a year ago, citing his misuse of company funds, violation of company policy and misuse of corporate assets, and in December the board terminated him.

Jun 12, 2015

California curtails some longstanding water rights over drought

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – California’s water board, facing a devastating four-year drought, on Friday curtailed some longstanding water rights for agriculture and other uses in Northern and Central California for the first time in nearly 40 years, officials said.

The curtailment affects more than 100 so-called senior water rights holders, including farmers and water districts, with most of those located near the Sacramento River, the State Water Resources Control Board said in a statement.

Jun 12, 2015

Wildfire in drought-parched Northern California threatens small town

By Alex Dobuzinskis

(Reuters) – An out-of-control wildfire raging through a Northern California forest as the state battles a devastating drought has forced authorities to warn about 250 people to evacuate or prepare to leave their homes in a remote town, officials said on Friday.

The fire in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest follows an outbreak of lightning-sparked blazes in neighboring Oregon that prompted authorities to warn residents that drought and low mountain snowpack could lead to a destructive fire season.

Jun 10, 2015

Activists demand Los Angeles officer be charged over shooting

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Civil rights activists called on Wednesday for criminal charges against one of two Los Angeles police officers in the shooting death of an unarmed black man, after the city’s police commission found the officer had violated department policy.

The August 2014 shooting death of 25-year-old Ezell Ford, who a family lawyer says suffered from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, led to sporadic protests in the city and increased tension between police and some members of the African-American community.

Jun 5, 2015

Man accused of having wife slain near Los Angeles for $500 in 1992

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A 42-year-old man has been charged with murder in the 1992 Los Angeles-area fatal shooting of his wife when both were teenagers, with prosecutors accusing him of paying his drug dealer $500 to stage a street robbery and commit the killing.

Morrad Ghonim appeared in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Friday and pleaded not guilty. Prosecutors have said they may seek the death penalty if Ghonim, who is held without bail, is convicted.

Jun 4, 2015

Tar balls close Southern California beaches, oil spill link probed

LOS ANGELES, June 4 (Reuters) – A second stretch of Southern
California shoreline has been closed after masses of tar balls
washed ashore, and authorities said on Thursday they were
looking into whether the sticky blobs were linked to a recent
oil pipeline spill.

The shoreline closure in Long Beach, south of Los Angeles,
follows a similar problem last week on a 6-mile (10-km) stretch
of beaches just to the north in the South Santa Monica Bay area.

Jun 4, 2015

California Senate approves hotly debated physician-assisted suicide bill

June 4 (Reuters) – The California Senate approved a
physician-assisted suicide bill on Thursday that would allow
some terminally ill patients to obtain medication to end their
lives, even as opponents criticized the bill as dangerous.

California lawmakers unveiled the bill in January in an
effort tearfully welcomed by a woman whose 29-year-old daughter,
Brittany Maynard, moved from California to Oregon last year to
end her life after she was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.