TODAY’S ESSENTIAL NEWS
» L.A. County Deputy DA Jonathan Hatami Announces Bid To Unseat DA George Gascón Los Angeles County deputy district attorney Jonathan Hatami has announced that he will be running for George Gascón’s District Attorney seat in 2024. Hatami gained national prominence after his vivid onscreen presence in The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez, a 2020 Netflix documentary series about the 2013 torturing and slaying of an 8-year-old boy in Palmdale perpetrated by the boy’s mother. He also prosecuted a recent, horrifically similar case of a 10-year-old boy named Anthony Avalos who was tortured and killed by his mother after admitting that he might be homosexual. “When George Gascón ran for DA, he supported defunding the police & eliminating Metro & school police,” Hatami said Saturday on Twitter. “He continuously pushed dangerous rhetoric endangering the lives of many officers. His team called police ‘barbarians & referred to them as ‘killers,'” the tweet continued. Gascón has been heavily criticized in the past year, and last summer a high-profile attempt to recall the District Attorney—covered heavily by LAMag’s Jason McGahan—failed as organizers were unable to collect enough signatures to place the proposal before voters. [ABC]
» Pepper Spray Use Continues in L.A. County Juvenile Halls and Camps, Despite Ban Almost five years after the use of pepper spray was officially banned in juvenile detention centers in L.A., NBC4’s investigative team has discovered that it is, in fact, still being used—allegedly leading to the recent firing of the Los Angeles County Chief of the Probation department. The use of pepper spray in juvenile halls was supposed to have been phased out by the end of 2020 with millions of dollars spent on de-escalation training for guards. “I voted to phase out pepper spray. But I think what shocked me at that board meeting was that the probation chief did not know that training was not being put into play,” said L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger. In 2018, NBC reported that pepper spraying had increased by 154 percent in the previous three year period, and it has not stopped since then. [NBC]
» Amazon May Buy Distressed AMC Theater Chain in Seismic Hollywood Streaming Shift According to Intersect, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has begun to explore acquisition strategies for the distressed movie theater chain AMC. Amazon may aim to use AMC’s nearly 600 theaters to promote Amazon Prime movies for awards contention. The once-mighty AMC theaters has hit a patch of tough times during the COVID-19 pandemic and its stock has continued to sink since then from $34 just a year ago to a measly $4.65 on Tuesday, which means Amazon could scoop up the failing chain for just a few billion. Some analysts have suggested that Bezos may just play vulture and wait to see if the company goes belly up before swooping in on their assets. Regardless, the end of an era for moviegoing in America is imminent. [Intersect]
» Here Are the 2023 James Beard Award Finalists for Los Angeles From Best Chef Gilberto Cetina Jr. to Emerging Chef Rashida Holmes and Outstanding Pastry Chef Margarita Manzke, L.A. boasts a proud list of finalists in the James Beard Foundation Awards this year. The finalists were announced Wednesday after the panel of judges in charge of the 2023 Restaurant and Chef awards released its long list of semi-finalists back in January. EaterLA has got the full list: [EaterLA]
» Lucas Museum in Los Angeles Slated to Open in 2025 After officially breaking ground in the spring of 2018, the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, founded by filmmaking pioneer George Lucas, is set to open its doors to the public in 2025. The billion-dollar museum, designed by Ma Yansong, one of China’s most prominent architects, is being built in Exposition Park just across the street from USC, Lucas’s alma mater. So, the question is: What exactly is narrative art? The answer: Who knows? But apparently it includes a collection of some 100,000 paintings, book and magazine illustrations, and works by Norman Rockwell, Frida Kahlo, Judy Baca and more. [NY Times]
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ONE MORE THING
How To Coachella: Fine-Tuning Your Look For Hot Desert Days and Nights
Gearing up for Coachella is a perfect mash-up of flossin’ and survival. The annual music mecca in Indio, California, attracts people from all over the world who come to see first-rate talent in the hot, hot, heat of the desert, while also aiming to look their finest. Among the headliners this year are Frank Ocean, Blackpink, Rosalía, Björk, Blondie, Gorillaz, and Bad Bunny, who will perform with dozens of other artists on multiple stages over two weekends in April.
“I start planning my outfits months in advance,” says Sierra Jessup, a 20-year-old college student from Palm Springs. “I usually go for a beachy vibe, but I’m thinking of whipping out some cowboy boots this year for photo ops, then changing into my Converse.”
“Cowboycore” is the hot look for women at this desert affair—a combination of a favorite pair of broken-in cowboy boots matched with the festival’s now-classic “brachella” look: a bikini top offset by faded fringed cutoffs.