Morning Brief: Suspect in Kristin Smart Case Pleads Not Guilty

Also Mayor Garcetti proposes a UBI pilot program, and more

» Paul Flores, the San Pedro man who was arrested last week and charged in the 1996 disappearance of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo student Kristin Smart, pleaded not guilty to murder on Monday. His attorney claimed new evidence discovered in Flores’s backyard is ambiguous, saying, “If we even call it evidence, it is so minimal as to shock the conscience.” [KTLA]

» In Mayor Garcetti’s State of the City address he proposed a $24 million universal basic income pilot program. The program would provide monthly payments of $1,000 to $2,000 to select households for one year.  [KTLA]

» Rep. Maxine Waters told an interviewer that advocates for racial justice should be “confrontational” if Derek Chauvin, the police officer who killed George Floyd, is acquitted. Waters stated later that she is “nonviolent” and suggested critics were acting in bad faith. Nonetheless, the judged in the Chauvin case stated the comments might open a door for the defense to appeal.  [The Hill]

» Two senior staffers at MOCA have quit over a “hostile work culture” and “resistance to diversity initiatives” at the museum. Senior curator Mia Locks and H.R. director Carlos Viramontes are described as “key leaders” within the museum, which has yet to reopen to the public after closing due to the pandemic. [Los Angeles Times]

» A man arrested for assaulting an elderly Korean American couple is believed to be the same individual who was recently shown in a viral video threatening Japanese American Olympic athlete Sakura Kokumai. Michael Vivona reportedly punched the elderly couple in their faces as they visited Grijalva Park in Orange.  [KTLA]

» A former Hollywood Foreign Press Association president sent an email to HFPA members and staff describing Black Lives Matter as a “hate movement.” Phil Berk served as head of the Golden Globes-awarding body for eight terms. Several recipients immediately responded to the email, criticizing its content and clarifying that it did not reflect the official views of the HFPA.  [Los Angeles Times]


» Boba Tea Fans Brace for a Shortage as the Nation’s Few Remaining Pearls Get Slurped Customers could be left with bubble-free tea until international shipping delays clear

» Advocates Want to Know Why Dr. Drew Was Nominated for L.A.’s Homeless Commission The celeb doctor and repentant COVID denier has attributed California’s homeless crisis to unpunished drug addiction and untreated mental illness

» Oscars Picks: Here’s Who Should Take Home the Big Prizes This Year Our resident critic salutes the cinematic standouts of Hollywood’s most dismal year, from Chadwick Boseman to Carey Mulligan


smize cream
Courtesy Smize Cream

Getting to the Bottom of Tyra Banks’s Smize Cream

For those unfamiliar, the term “Smize” is a portmanteau (invented by Tyra, natch) of the words “smile” and “eyes,” to refer to the act of “smiling with your eyes.” It’s a bankable phrase that has become an integral part of Tyra’s brand, a term Tyra has shouted at ANTM contestants, milked in instructional internet videos and referring to on daytime talk shows for years. Tyra, ever the businesswoman and wordsmith, must have realized that “Smize Cream” kind of rhymes with “ice cream,” and a sweaty half-rhyme is as good a reason as any to start an entire ice cream brand!


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