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February 5, 2012 | By Gideon Brower
The Smoking Deaths billboard isn't famous. It's not the Hollywood sign or Rodeo Drive. Tourists don't come to town clamoring to see Disneyland, Grauman's Chinese Theatre and a billboard that counts up annual smoking deaths. But if you live in West L.A. anywhere near the 405, you know the sign. You've seen it looming over Santa Monica Boulevard, quietly toting up the number of Americans who've kicked the bucket after years of sucking on cancer sticks. The Smoking Deaths billboard is black, with big white letters that say "Smoking Deaths This Year.
October 31, 2011 | By Martha Groves, Los Angeles Times
Matthew Dunn, 34, flashed his best Popeye the Sailor grin as he boarded the van from Venice Beach to the Westside winter shelter. Julie "Julez" Arispe, 42, roused from a beer-induced slumber on the grass near Windward Avenue, clambered aboard with her guitar and bags of belongings and launched into an upbeat rendition of Janis Joplin's "Mercedes Benz. " With darkness bringing a damp chill to Ocean Front Walk one recent evening, both appeared relieved at the prospect of a hot meal and a cot inside the West Los Angeles National Guard Armory, about 7 miles inland.
October 15, 2011 | By Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times
After a two-year renovation, the iconic Hotel Bel-Air in West Los Angeles reopened to a spirited protest by about 300 activists and former union workers who were laid off when construction began in 2009 and were never rehired. As guests arrived, they were greeted by the demonstration Friday afternoon organized by Unite Here Local 11, whose leaders contended the hotel used the multimillion-dollar upgrade to force union workers out. The union activists were joined by protesters from Occupy L.A., who rode two buses from downtown Los Angeles, where they have been demonstrating against corporate greed.
September 16, 2011
'Happy, Happy' MPAA rating: R for sexual content including brief graphic nudity Running time: 1 hour, 28 minutes, Norwegian with English subtitles Playing: At Landmark's Nuart Theatre, West L.A.; Regency's South Coast Village 3, Santa Ana
August 5, 2011
'The Future' MPAA rating: R for some sexual content Running time: 1 hour, 31 minutes Playing: At the Landmark, West L.A.; Laemmle's Playhouse 7, Pasadena
June 9, 2011 | By C. Thi Nguyen, Special to the Los Angeles Times
The tagline for Coffee Tomo, a cafe that opened a few weeks ago off the main drag of Sawtelle Boulevard's mini Japan Town, might be: coffee specialists and slightly manic pretzel innovators. Think fresh-baked, intricately structured pretzels stuffed with red beans and cheese. The walls of the brand new, immaculate shop are clean white and dark brown wood — "the color of coffee," explains owner Kibum Sung. Sung is a former landscape architect who designed every element of the shop.
May 20, 2011
'L'Amour Fou' MPAA rating: Not rated Running time: 1 hour, 43 minutes, French with English subtitles Playing: At Royal Theater, West L.A.; Playhouse, Pasadena; Town Center, Encino
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