Freelance Reporting: Los Angeles
Based in my hometown of Los Angeles, California, I specialize in the coverage of governments, institutions and policies across multimedia platforms (print, radio, digital). I actively seek opportunities that combine my interests in watchdog journalism and politics in order to elevate unheard voices and contribute to the building of a more informed and engaged society.
Freelance Reporting: Los Angeles
Long before the coronavirus pandemic exacerbated inequalities in Los Angeles, slashing working class jobs and forcing longtime renters out into the streets, Chinatown residents were facing an economic crisis of their own. For more than a year now, tenants from at least seven different apartment buildings in or near Chinatown have been fighting against the threat of eviction and displacement due to rising rents.
Lincoln Heights -- The $19-million-dollar project to renovate the North Central Animal Services Center is closer to completion. But the work will be finished almost a year behind schedule in the wake of unforeseen construction delays and complications.
Last week's 30th-anniversary commemoration of the fall of the Berlin Wall featured a 20,000 square-foot kinetic artwork created in Lincoln Heights. "Visions in Motion," by Los Angeles artist Patrick Shearn, undulated in the air near Berlin's landmark Brandenburg Gate as part of the events celebrating the Peaceful Revolution.
Eagle Rock -- Eagle Rock Boulevard will be getting a $16.2 million makeover intended to create a safer, sustainable and more attractive destination. But it will be several years before any changes take place.
The Malibu Times
During its March 9 meeting, the Malibu City Council discussed a variety of issues including county fire department fees and the proposed ordinance to require locking dumpster bins citywide. LA County Fire services developer fee Council voted unanimously, 5-0, to continue being a part of the county's fire services program.
The coronavirus continues to dominate news headlines. With California currently leading with the highest number of identified coronavirus cases nationally, local governments are working with county agencies and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to plan for what's to come. The City of Malibu is currently preparing a pandemic response plan in preparation of a potential outbreak.
The design of Malibu's temporary skate park, which the planning commission approved on Feb. 3, was changed again during the city council's Feb. 24 meeting at the request of developers Scott Gillen and Robert Gold. The park is still slated to open in May 2020.
Council Member Mikke Pierson has removed his planning commission appointee, Kraig Hill, from his position. During the city council meeting on Monday, Feb. 24, Pierson announced that Malibu resident and attorney David Weil will be replacing Hill on the commission. During public comment, multiple residents spoke in favor of Hill, opposing his removal.
During its monthly meeting, the California Coastal Commission discussed a decades-old blocked public pathway preventing access to the western end of Latigo Beach. On Feb. 13, the commission agreed on a settlement with the respondent, Tivoli Cove Homeowners Association (HOA), to restore public access to the beach.
The seemingly perpetual lineup of cars, trucks and motorhomes parked on the ocean side of Pacific Coast Highway at Las Tunas Beach was back this week after all vehicles had been ordered to move due to a multiagency clean-up effort along the roadway earlier this month.
The Los Angeles Times published an article in December 2019 revealing controversies surrounding whether Wishtoyo Chumash Foundation founder Mati Waiya is actually of Native American-let alone Chumash-heritage. Wishtoyo Board of Directors President Carole Goldberg said the controversies surrounding Waiya's identity will not affect or change Wishtoyo's role in the Malibu community moving forward.
The long-debated Civic Center Way project, originally initiated in 2016, was once again discussed during the Malibu City Council's Monday, Feb. 10, meeting. In December, the Malibu Planning Commission added numerous, controversial modifications to the project. On Monday, in an uncommon act, city staff came before the city council to appeal those modifications.
The California Coastal Commission will hold its monthly meeting this week at Long Beach City Hall from Wednesday, Feb. 12, to Friday, Feb. 14. Most Malibu-related agenda items will be concentrated on Thursday, Feb. 13. On Thursday, the coastal commission will hear an appeal regarding an approved demolition and construction project of a single-family residence on Latigo Shore Drive.
The City of Malibu Cultural Arts Commission is encouraging local artists to submit works to its upcoming community art exhibit, "The Birds and the Bees, A Celebration of Spring in Malibu." Artworks will be displayed in City Hall from March 23 to May 29.
Local teens and their parents have spearheaded public advocacy for the Malibu skate park project, regularly attending city council meetings to get both the temporary and permanent skate parks-which are moving along concurrently-approved. On Feb. 3, the Malibu Planning Commission voted, 5-0, to approve the temporary skate park design, moving the project forward.
The public is invited to a formal farewell on Saturday, Feb. 8, before a decades-old Valley oak tree, known as the "Witness Tree" is to be cut down. The famous "Witness Tree" at Paramount Ranch, an oak featured in hundreds of films, weddings and special events, is yet another victim to the 2018 Woolsey Fire--heat from the flames permanently damaged the tree, preventing recovery.
In an effort to find solutions to increasing rates of homelessness, the City of Malibu is considering a number of potential options, including a safe parking program, temporary shelter and affordable housing. The ideas were discussed during a special city council meeting on Jan.
The years-long La Paz Ranch development project, which proposes commercial offices and retail uses along with outdoor public spaces, received a facelift at the Jan. 21 Planning Commission meeting-12 years after receiving permits and without a single brick laid. The project originally received development approvals from the Malibu City Council back in 2008.
All Malibu dumpsters will be required to have locked lids by the summer of 2020. On Jan. 27, city council voted, 5-0, to bring back an ordinance requiring locking lids on dumpster bins at all times. The ordinance covers bins for commercial waste, organic waste and recycling.
Two Malibu High School seniors, Jade and Lana King, are introducing Our First Vote (OFV) to the Malibu High School campus. "Our First Vote is a peer-to-peer, nonpartisan youth activist organization created in order to inspire our nation's youth to participate in democracy," according to an emailed statement by Jade and Lana King.
Update: 2:45 p.m.:] Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva reported on Sunday afternoon, Jan. 26, that authorities believe there were nine people named in the manifest as aboard the helicopter that crashed in Calabasas on Sunday morning, killing retired basketball star Kobe Bryant. There were no survivors.
Malibu residents might have seen rising smoke near Las Flores Canyon on the morning of Jan. 16, but the flames were not an act of nature. According to LA County Fire Department officials, firefighters administered controlled flames on the fire department's Camp 8 property in order to dispose of pre-cut brush.
In order to address homelessness in Malibu, Council Member Mikke Pierson made a motion during City Council on Monday, Jan. 13, to schedule a special meeting to discuss the issue. In 2019, the increase in homeless individuals in California was higher than that of all other states combined, according to a statement released by the U.S.
Malibu skateboarders are one step closer to getting a temporary skate park while a more permanent option is worked out. City council voted, 5-0, on Monday, to authorize a professional services agreement with American Ramp Company for the design of the temporary park. Papa Jack's-Malibu's former skate park-closed in October 2011 when its lease expired.
The City of Malibu is one step closer to implementing nighttime parking restrictions on two segments of Pacific Coast Highway (PCH)-one near Las Tunas Beach and one near the Malibu Pier. On Monday, Jan. 13, the City Council voted, 4-0, to approve the resolution.
Malibu voters should look out for one major local item on their November 2020 ballots. On Monday, Jan. 13, city council members voted, 5-0, to declare the city's intent to include a binding, district-based voting option in the upcoming elections. In a letter dated Oct.
After lengthy discussions regarding the proposed use of the Malibu Playhouse as a recording studio, commissioners voted, 5-0, to approve a resolution to memorialize the community theater-granting it a permit to operate for the time being-with specific conditions.
Malibu city officials are looking for community volunteers to help with the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority's (LAHSA) annual homeless count on Jan. 22. "The federally mandated homeless count is crucial to providing accurate data from the field needed to inform funding, resources and activities to address homelessness across the county," according to a city statement.
Malibu residents can expect changes to the way they vote in 2020. The new changes come as a result of the 2016 California Voter's Choice Act (CVCA), a law allowing specific counties to adopt a new election model designed by the state. Currently, 15 counties across the state are participating.
The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA) announced in a Tuesday, Dec. 17, Facebook post that two young male mountain lions-P-78 and P-79-have been added to its study of big cats in the region. According to the post, which was written by Public Affairs Officer Ana Beatriz Cholo, P-78 was captured in the central portion of the Santa Monica Mountains on Dec.
On Dec. 22, the Session of Malibu Pacific Church announced the resignation of Pastor Greg Hughes as head of staff. Joining the church, which was then called Malibu Presbyterian, in December 2000, Hughes has served as a senior pastor for 19 years. His final day will be Sunday, Feb. 9.
During his first year in office, Governor Gavin Newsom signed more than 1,000 state laws, hundreds of which will go into effect in 2020. New California laws cover topics including, but not exclusive to, the environment, workplace, housing, data privacy and guns. Take a look below to see how new changes might affect Malibu residents.
On Dec. 17, Malibu LEAD, a newly formed fundraising entity for all Malibu public schools, announced Tobin Lankford as the winner of its logo contest competition. Lankford is the owner of Unify Through Art, a clothing company specializing in streetwear.
The nude body of a woman, described as being in her 30s, was found lying in the shallow waters of Malibu Lagoon at 12:47 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 20. The woman was pronounced dead on the scene, Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff Juanita Navarro-Suarez wrote in a statement.
On Thursday, Dec. 5, the Malibu Association of Realtors (MAR) hosted its 73rd annual installation dinner at the Bel-Air Bay Club. Honorees included 2020 MAR President Ani Dermenjian and the 2020 board of directors.
On Monday, Dec. 16, SoCalGas awarded the City of Malibu the 2019 Climate Adaptation and Resiliency grant, which aims to help cities and counties reduce the impacts associated with climate change. The city earned one of two $50,000 planning grants the utility awards to city governments within SoCalGas' service jurisdiction.
On Monday, Dec. 16, the United States Supreme Court decided not to hear Martin v. City of Boise, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals case from September 2018. The case protects the homeless' right to sleep in public spaces if city governments have no other sleeping spaces available in local shelters.
On Friday, Dec. 13, the California Coastal Commission concluded its three-day meeting at King Gillette Ranch in Calabasas with visits to Malibu Bluffs Park and the Topanga Ranch Motel at Topanga State Park to hear about proposed projects for both sites. The commission invited members of the public to meet them at the designated stops after the public hearings.
On Monday, Dec. 9, Representative Ted Lieu of California's 33rd congressional district, which includes Malibu, was hospitalized at the George Washington University Hospital in Washington, D.C. after reporting chest pains. Lieu, 50, underwent a successful surgery Dec. 10 to have a stent placed in one of the arteries of his heart.
At Monday evening's city council meeting, council members discussed asking California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara-who is scheduled to hold a public meeting in Malibu Jan. 16-to pursue rewarding Malibu residents who have improved the fire resilience of their homes with lower insurance rates. On Dec.
Malibu City Council voted unanimously, 5-0, Monday night to approve a $67,000 project to install five water bottle filling stations across the city. The construction of the project will be executed by Zusser Company, Inc.
A project initiated in 2016 that will bring roadway and pedestrian improvements to the .7 mile stretch of Civic Center Way between Malibu Canyon Road and Webb Way is one step closer to breaking ground, following a public hearing during the Monday, Dec. 2, Malibu Planning Commission Meeting.
We sat down with JJ Weihl from Berlin-based band Fenster to talk about their latest album, "The Room," and past projects. https://kcrwberlin.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/22June-Amplified-Fenster-1-online-audio-converter.com_.mp3 By Flora Adamian We sat down with JJ Weihl, one of the founders of Berlin-based band Fenster, to talk about their latest album, "The Room," and past projects.
CityLab Berlin is a new space for startups, scientists and civil society to create digital projects for the city. We spoke with Nicolas Zimmer from Technologiestiftung Berlin, Carolin Silbernagl from Betterplace Lab, and Berlin's Governing Mayor Michael Müller to learn about the initiative.
For this week's Amplified, we spoke with soprano Christina Harslem to learn more about the rewards and challenges of performing as a street musician. https://kcrwberlin.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/June8-ChristinaHarslem-online-audio-converter.com-1-1.mp3 By Flora Adamian Berlin street musicians play everywhere, from street corners to public transportation.
On June 6, music collective African Acid Is The Future will feature Tuareg musician Moctar Mdou in a show at Volksbuehne. We talked with founder Maryama Luccioni about the collective's origin stories, plus a glimpse into Moctar's music ahead of the show.
New rules in Görlitzer Park, a less commercialized MyFest and more: How is the city prepping for May Day? We talked to Sara Lühmann, a spokeswoman for the Bezirksamt Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, to find out.
https://kcrwberlin.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/26April-ExpropriationDebate.wav By Flora Adamian Housing activists in Berlin have made headlines around the world with a radical proposal: Expropriation. The Berlin initiative "Deutsche Wohnen & Co Enteignen" (in English, "Expropriate Deutsche Wohnen & Co"), targets large real estate companies that own more than 3,000 apartments in Berlin.
Berlin-based artist and illustrator Christoph Niemann recently unveiled a new mural at the Wannsee train station. The mural depicts all aspects of the suburb, from sunny lakeside swimmers to the house where senior Nazi officials planned the Final Solution in 1942.
Photo features muralist and chairman of the East side Gallery Artists' Initiative, Kani Alavi, Berlin Wall Foundation Director, Axel Klausmeier, and Senator for Culture and Europe in Berlin, Klaus Lederer. Photo by Flora Adamian https://kcrwberlin.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/22NOV-Profiles-EastSideGallery.wav By Flora Adamian Despite being a popular tourist destination, Berlin's East Side Gallery has long faced an uncertain future.
Milkfarm, Eagle Rock's only artisan cheese shop, is a dangerous place. From the Bandaged Bismark to the Brie de Meaux, one can imagine even the most disciplined vegans struggling to walk in and out without giving the carefully constructed French ham ficelle sandwiches a double-take.
To the Occidental community, The senior leadership of The Occidental Weekly - after months of consideration and discussion - has decided to return to our publication's original name, The Occidental. We are reclaiming our identity as The Occidental to better reflect our expanding newsroom, dissociate ourselves from the alternative-weekly model and align ourselves with the journalism ...
It is no secret that journalism is at a tipping point - financially unstable newsrooms continue to downsize, profit-driven parent companies lay off full-time journalists and popular publications are shutting down at a frightening rate. College publications, such as The Occidental Weekly, are lucky to have a cushion that prevents such downsizing.
Occidental, we need to grow up. When controversies or conflicts arise, we cannot resort to cyber-bullying and harassment. Frankly, it's immature. It's no secret that the Occidental community needs to improve the ways in which individuals and groups engage in dialogue, and recent events have shed light on many of our deepest flaws: our draw...
In taking the position of Editor-in-Chief, I expected the stresses of deadlines, dreary late nights and incessant Google Calendar alerts. Less-expected, however, was the continuous challenge of obtaining sources for stories. It's my fourth year on this campus, and if there's one thing I've learned to be certain, it's that every Occidental Tiger has an ...
Lemon Poppy Kitchen is a wonderfully versatile café. It's the perfect brunch spot for groups, but the business' free wifi also makes it a tempting study spot if you'd like to get some work done while you nourish yourself. The "Plachinta Breakfast" is a personal favorite.
Under the hot afternoon sun, vendors touting everything from soap to American Girl doll clothes transformed the JSC quad into a craft market last Thursday. From 4-6 p.m. crowds of excited students, faculty and staff dashed from one booth to another looking at the one-of-a-kind artwork, jewelry, apparel and crafts that Occidental community members had ...
A string of local robberies, thefts and assaults in the past few months have left some students at Occidental concerned about their safety. According to the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), while crime in Eagle Rock has decreased over the last 20 years, the number of violent crimes and property crimes in the Northeast Division-which ...
The Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at Occidental hosted several events aimed at educating students on the Palestinian perspective of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in honor of "Palestine Awareness Week," for the first time in the campus's history. "We just want students to be more educated on this issue because a lot of the conversation ...
A ceramic eagle flies over a bed of puppies, a floral vase and a miniature watering can. On the next wall, a finely sculpted cupid-like figure in a basket slides off a mountain of ceramic slime. Across the gallery, an enormous, towering wave composed of paintings envelops the room.
Students entering the Green Bean for their daily dose of caffeine this February will immediately notice the vibrant artwork displayed across the walls. Wire chains suspend a trifold board collaged with newspaper articles, and two monochrome portraits of young girls involved in the Civil Rights movement command attention from the back wall.
Former graduate hall coordinator Joel Gutierrez was hired Nov. 25 to replace Dominic Alleto as the new assistant director for Intercultural Affairs (ICA). Gutierrez is the first permanent ICA professional staff member to be hired following the exit of Alleto, Assistant Dean Paula Crisostomo and Program Coordinator Sean Ford.
John O'Neill '14 is looking to join the likes of Jack Kemp '57 and Alphonzo Bell '85 as another Occidental graduate serving in public office. O'Neill is running as a non-partisan candidate for the Los Angeles City Council in District 14, which consists of all or parts of the Downtown, Boyle Heights, Eagle Rock, El ...
For students searching out study spots on Sunday evenings, a peek inside Berkus Hall 243 reveals an unexpected scene: students freestyling and rapping along to artists such as Tupac, Kanye West, MF Doom and 50 Cent. This energetic group is Occidental's Hip-Hop Knowledge and Subculture club, established this semester.
All three permanent staff members of the Intercultural Community Center (ICC)-Assistant Dean for Intercultural Affairs Paula Crisostomo, Assistant Director for Intercultural Affairs Dominic Alleto and Program Coordinator for Intercultural Affairs Sean Ford-have departed since the end of last semester. The current staff is using the departures as an opportunity to make departmental changes that have ...
Jomama Jones walked confidently across the stage with the saxophone blaring, lights shining and crowd screaming. She wore full, natural hair, a blue glitter dress and a killer smile. But all the flamboyance and flashiness was only a part of the spectacular show that is "Radiate," performed to a full audience in Thorne Hall on ...
Students who enter Occidental's Weingart gallery encounter the unexpected combination of former First Lady Nancy Reagan in watercolor to their right and black-and-white photographs of bread-dough sculptures to their left. Even more startling on the white-walled exhibit is a painting of Reagan planting a kiss on '80s television star Mr. T's cheek.
BY FLORA ADAMIAN Special to Asbarez Last month, the Glendale Unified school board named Lisa Kaprielian as Richardson D. White Elementary School's new principal. With more than 20 years of experience in education, Kaprielian has worked diligently to climb the administrative ladder.
BY FLORA ADAMIAN Special to Asbarez GLENDALE-The Armenian National Committee of America-Glendale chapter held a press conference at the Americana at Brand at 11 a.m. Thursday to update the community on the status of the shopping center's refusal to provide space for an advertisement for the upcoming Armenian Genocide documentary, "Architects of Denial."
BY FLORA ADAMIAN As a Glendale native and Armenian-American, I often think of this city as a refuge of sorts - the safe haven that Armenians flock to as a result of decades of global unrest.
A 12-day missing person investigation ended in tragedy last week after a local woman's remains were discovered in the area where she was first reported missing. Julia Christine Snyder, a 53-year-old Malibu woman, was being mourned across the city and remembered by friends who posted social media tributes as a "loving and kind soul," an "amazing, sweet, lovely lady" who was "as beautiful inside as outside."
An investigation is ongoing into a helicopter crash that occurred in the Santa Monica Mountains on Sunday morning, Jan. 26, claiming the lives of all nine passengers aboard, including NBA superstar and longtime Los Angeles Lakers player Kobe Bryant.
On Sept. 10, 2016, members of the Occidental Conservative Club (previously the Occidental Republican Club) placed 2,997 American flags along the academic quad in remembrance of the lives lost in the 9/11 attacks on U.S. territory. Less than seven hours after being placed in the ground, protesters concerned with the violent history and symbolism of ...