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Inside Los Angeles

Inside Los Angeles (Aug 23rd, 2019)

☀️ Sunny this weekend with a high/low Saturday of 82/65 in the LA basin, 75/63 at the beach, and 89/66 in the valley.

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1. Los Angeles police are cracking down on scooter violations, with a sharp uptick in the number of citations being issued to riders this summer. According to the LA Times, tickets written for scooter malfeasance in June was up 1,815 percent over the same month in 2018. The top violation, accounting for nearly two-thirds of all tickets issued, was riding a scooter on the sidewalk. Riders of Birds and Limes are supposed to stay in the street close to the right-hand curb, or in bike lanes, to avoid collisions with pedestrians. Most of the tickets this summer have been handed out in Hollywood, downtown or the Westside, and will cost the culprit $197. – LA TIMES

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2. LA County is considering a ban on flavored tobacco, a move aimed at decreasing e-cigarette use among teenagers. The ordinance being considered by the Board of Supervisors would prohibit any flavored tobacco products from being sold in unincorporated areas, and would require existing tobacco shops throughout the county to get new business licenses. Vaping is considered a public health concern for young people despite it being generally safer than traditional cigarettes. Nicotine use of any kind has been shown to hinder brain development in teenagers, and to potentially cause addiction issues and mood disorders. – KTLA

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3. FOLLOW FRIDAY: ALISON MARTINO (@alisonmartino)

Be prepared: as you scroll through Alison Martino’s Twitter feed, you will be left stunned at how much one person can physically do and at how little of this city you see on a regular basis. In just the last week, Martino has had dinner at Nate’n Al Delicatessen in Beverly Hills, posted a scathing review of the Century City Mall, attended the public hearings to bring back the Rocky & Bullwinkle statue in West Hollywood, and saw Herbie Hancock at the Hollywood Bowl. I’m exhausted.

Fortunately, Martino seems to have an inexhaustible battery and a nearly unmatched passion for the City of Angels. As the curator of Vintage Los Angeles, she’s contributed to pieces about the city for Los Angeles Magazine, Spectrum News, and was labeled "The Guardian of Old Hollywood's History" by West Hollywood Magazine. She more than earned that label with her remarkable work in 2018 detailing Hollywood’s transformation to the late 1960s for Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time In Hollywood.”

Martino’s Twitter feed is the perfect place for vintage imagery of LA’s past and an of-the-moment look at its present. And for those who want an even closer glimpse at her perspective of the city, she says she’s planning bus tours for 2020.

Martino appears alongside other fascinating Twitter personalities on The LA Twitter 100, a curated list we’d be delighted if you’d subscribe to.

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4. French restaurant and Echo Park institution Taix has sold its property to develop a "large housing and commercial project." Taix will close for a time to accommodate the development of a six-story housing complex and 13,000-square-foot retail space. Owner Mike Taix assured his staff and concerned diners, however, that there would still be room for a smaller version of the historic restaurant on the site when construction is complete. He said he decided to sell after the cost of maintaining the original building, and paying for higher food and labor costs, became too much to manage. Taix opened downtown in 1927 and relocated to Echo Park in 1962. – THE EASTSIDER

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5. Dear Readers: I decided to do some original reporting on the streets of LA yesterday by attempting to acquire a Popeye's Chicken Sandwich. As you may already be aware, Popeye's Louisiana Kitchen has a new chicken sandwich that is apparently quite good, sending fans of Chick-fil-A and Bojangles into a frenzy and making for one of the most internet-y discussions of the year. While there are several Popeye's locations in Los Angeles, it isn't nearly as plentiful as, say, Taco Bell or Jack in the Box, which means the sandwich is selling out all over the city and creating theme park-level wait times.

At 3:30 p.m. yesterday afternoon, I was greeted with a long line at the Popeye's at South La Brea Avenue and West Jefferson Boulevard, and informed that the wait for a chicken sandwich would be 45 minutes. Having other items on my agenda, I simply did not have that long to wait. But, I was determined, given my minutes of pre-planning, to still eat a chicken sandwich. I'm not proud to say it – but I ended up at KFC. The photo below commemorates my failure. The experience and the flavor, as you can imagine, were quite disappointing. Perhaps next week, when time allows, I can get my hands on the sandwich that has captivated our city.

Have you tried a Popeye's chicken sandwich yet? If so, reply to this email and let me know how it compares to Chick-fil-A and Wendy's, and how long you had to wait to get it.
 

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6. The North Hollywood Recreation Center has opened LA's first self-cleaning public restrooms. The facilities clean themselves (by soaking the entire room in water) after every 30 uses, lock automatically at night, and will only dispense a certain amount of toilet paper to each user. The two restrooms cost Los Angeles Recreation and Parks $185,000, a little bit more than installing traditional restrooms, but it's expected to save money in the long run by eliminating the need for human janitors. – ABC7

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7. Gas prices have been dropping in LA County all summer and just reached their lowest average price since March 26. It now costs an average of $3.575 for a gallon of self-serve regular, which may not seem like a great bargain, but consider that it was an astronomical $3.91 as recently as May. Gas prices have also been dipping in Orange County, where a gallon of regular is now $3.548 on average. – NBC LOS ANGELES

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9. Santa Monica's "Twilight on the Pier" concert series is back through Sept. 25. The series includes free concerts every Wednesday night from 7 to 10 p.m. on multiple stages – you can see performances over the next month from Helado Negro, Disco Shrine, and Hollie Cook. There's also a dedicated comedy stage and, of course, plenty of beer and snacks. – SANTA MONICA DAILY PRESS

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10. Malibu radio station KBUU 99.1 is now operating on solar power. City officials wanted to make the change after the power lines burned up during last November's Woolsey Fire, cutting off a critical line of communication to local residents. The change was made with support from the Malibu Foundation, which is also helping to set up emergency communications for the local high school and City Hall. – MALIBU TIMES

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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.

This newsletter is edited by Inside senior editor Bobby Cherry, a Pittsburgh-based journalist who's always on social media. Reach him at bobby@inside.com.

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