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Inside Los Angeles

Inside Los Angeles (Aug 13th, 2019)

☀️ Tomorrow should be the hottest day of the week. The high/low will be 86/64 downtown, 77/63 near the coast, and 95/66 in the valley.

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1. Culver City has approved a temporary rent freeze and will consider permanent rent control options amid LA's ongoing housing affordability crisis. The city council voted to give tenants protection from eviction in properties built before February 1995. They also limited annual rent increases in those buildings to 3 percent. The mayor of Culver City, Meghan Sahli-Wells, said the rent freeze was necessary to provide security for tenants as the city discusses a larger rent control initiative. The group Protect Culver City Renters believes new Amazon, Apple, and HBO offices in the area will overwhelm the housing market and push vulnerable, lower-income residents out. – LA TIMES

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2. For LAist, Elina Shatkin reviewed The Bell, the Taco Bell-themed hotel pop-up that took over the V Palm Springs this weekend. There are plenty of photos of gourmet Taco Bell offerings and an eclectic room with bright colors and a sauce packet pillow, but Shatkin's review is worth reading in full because of what she noticed between Day One and Day Two. When she first arrives, the Bell's guests are primarily social media influencers, glued to their phones, looking for the best wall to use as the background for a picture that will look good in Clarendon. The following day, the real Taco Bell fans showed up, the ones who weren't invited to spread manufactured enjoyment. As Shatkin writes, "What I saw was the difference between people who are paid to like something and people who actually like it..." – LAIST

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3. A shootout on the 215 freeway in Riverside left one California Highway Patrol officer and one suspect dead and two other officers wounded. The incident began when the suspect was pulled over in his white GMC truck. When the officer decided to impound the truck – for reasons investigators are now looking into – the suspect opened fire with a rifle. Several other police units eventually responded and fatally shot the suspect after a gun battle that lasted several minutes. The CHP officer killed has been identified as Andre Moye. Gov. Gavin Newsom tweeted he "will be remembered for his commitment to service and the community of Riverside County." – KTLA

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4. A report from the LA County Inspector General's office sharply criticized Sheriff Alex Villanueva Monday. Inspector General Max Huntsman said Villanueva has "delayed, hindered, ignored and in some cases denied outright" requests for information related to shooting incidents and staff discipline. Huntsman also expressed concern about the sheriff's move to rehire deputies who had been terminated for serious indiscretions, including domestic violence charges and making false statements to investigators. In response, Villanueva says he is following guidelines for transparency established between the Inspector General's office and his predecessor, Sheriff Jim McDonnell. – KCET

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5. Animal rights activists rallied this weekend at the Los Angeles Zoo, urging the transfer of Asian elephant Billy to a sanctuary. Kiersten Cluster of Elephant Guardians of Los Angeles says the one-acre enclosure that Billy has lived in for 30 years has resulted in "stress and trauma" only seen in elephants held in captivity. The zoo says it is committed to the health of its animals and does not plan to transfer Billy. The "Free Billy" rally was held to commemorate World Elephant Day, which was Monday, Aug. 12. – KFI AM 640

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6. According to a guest survey, Universal Studios Hollywood is considering making its signature studio tour an "optional add-on" experience. Under the plan, an additional ticket on top of a park admission would be required to take the tour, which has been a staple of the theme park since 1964, and currently features encounters with Jaws, King Kong, and the Bates Motel from "Psycho." Universal Studios has not released any specific statements on the matter, so the likelihood that the "add-on" plan will be instituted is unknown. – REDDIT

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7. A federal judge has ordered that a lawsuit from the National Rifle Association against the city of Los Angeles can move forward. The NRA is challenging a law requiring any contractors hired by the city to disclose ties to the advocacy group. The NRA has alleged that the city law, passed in February, violates the First Amendment. City Councilman Mitch O'Farrell called the litigation "an act of desperation." – NBC LOS ANGELES

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8. Two LA Coffee Bean locations will host a "Friends"-themed Central Perk pop-up starting this Friday. The Coffee Beans – on the Third Street Promenade and at the corner of Beverly and Robertson Boulevards in West Hollywood – will be temporarily transformed into the Manhattan coffee house frequented by Monica, Rachel, Chandler, Joey, Phoebe, and Ross. The pop-ups will feature plenty of "Friends" memorabilia, an orange couch for selfies, and special mugs that say "How You Brewin'" and "We Were on a Coffee Break." This September marks the 25th anniversary of the premiere of "Friends" on NBC. – HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

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9. Beverly Grove's Sushi By H has closed its doors. Owners Kuni and Haru Iwata have made the decision to return to Japan to be with an ailing parent. They made the announcement on their website, thanking long-time customers for "letting us be a part of your lives." – SUSHI BY H

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10. If you're all mixed up and don't know what to do with your Tuesday night, The Grammy Museum is hosting "An Evening with 311." Hopefully you're down for some new tunes, though. The band plans to come original with songs from their new studio album "Voyager." If you don't stay home, the event at the Clive Davis Theater will also feature a conversation between the band and MTV VJ Matt Pinfield. – EVENTBRITE 

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Jonathan Harris is a Los Angeles-based writer. Previously, he wrote for The Huffington Post, TakePart.com, and the YouTube channel What’s Trending. He’s a frequent performer at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Hollywood. Follow him on Twitter @countrycaravan.

Editor: Kim Lyons (Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside).

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