05-25-2018  11:59 am      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

Attorney General Forms Hate Crime Task Force

The task force will study hate-motivated crimes and review existing legal protections for victims ...

Portland Art Museum Celebrates Art Museum Day with Free Admission on May 25

Portland Art Museum joins art museums across North America, with great works of art and public programs ...

June Key Delta Community Center Hosts May Week ’18 Health Fair May 26

Event includes vision, glucose screenings, medication disposal and car seat installation ...

Mississippi Avenue Giving Tuesday

On Tuesday, May 22, 10 percent of proceeds from participating Mississippi Ave. businesses will go to SEI ...

'Smart' gadgets: Ways to minimize privacy and security risks

NEW YORK (AP) — Revelations that an Amazon Echo smart speaker inadvertently sent a family's private conversation to an acquaintance shows the risks that come with new technologies.According to Amazon, the Echo's Alexa voice assistant misheard a word as "Alexa" — a trigger to activate...

The Latest: 3 injured in hit-and-crash in downtown Portland

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Latest on hit-and-crash in Portland, Oregon (all times local):11:20 a.m.Police say three women have been injured in a hit-and-run crash near Portland State University.Portland police Sgt. Chris Burley say the vehicle hit the women while they were on a sidewalk...

'Smart' gadgets: Ways to minimize privacy and security risks

NEW YORK (AP) — Revelations that an Amazon Echo smart speaker inadvertently sent a family's private conversation to an acquaintance shows the risks that come with new technologies.Amazon blamed an "unlikely" string of events, and the company already has many privacy safeguards built into the...

Former NAACP leader exposed as white faces fraud charges

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A former NAACP leader in Washington state whose life unraveled after she was exposed as a white woman pretending to be black has been charged with welfare fraud.Nkechi Diallo, known as Rachel Dolezal before she legally changed her name in 2016, was charged this week...

OPINION

Racism After Graduation May Just Be What's on the Menu

Dr. Julianne Malveaux says that for our young millennials, racism is inevitable ...

Prime Minister Netanyahu Shows Limits of Israel’s Democracy

Bill Fletcher, Jr. on racial politics in Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s uneven treatment of African immigrants ...

Golfing While Black Is Not a Crime

Grandview Golf Club asks five Black women to leave for golfing too slow ...

Discovering the Best of Black America in 2018

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis discusses the DTU Journalism Fellowship & Scholarship Program ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Former NAACP leader exposed as white faces fraud charges

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A former NAACP leader in Washington state whose life unraveled after she was exposed as a white woman pretending to be black has been charged with welfare fraud.Nkechi Diallo, known as Rachel Dolezal before she legally changed her name in 2016, was charged this week...

Students hand back in yearbook after racial slur is pictured

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Students at a coastal Georgia high school are being asked to hand back in their yearbooks after a racial slur made for some bad memories.The Savannah-Chatham County school district tells news outlets that the publisher has recalled the Windsor Forest High School yearbook...

Column: Jack Johnson's biggest crime was being black

Jack Johnson's biggest crime was being an unrepentant black man who beat up white men for a living.High-flying and flamboyant, he refused to live by the unwritten rules of American society in the early 1900s. That made him a target, and that eventually cost him his freedom after being convicted of...

ENTERTAINMENT

Famed chef Mario Batali's Vegas Strip restaurants will close

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Mario Batali's three Las Vegas Strip restaurants will shut down July 27, officials said Friday, as the celebrity chef faces sexual misconduct allegations from multiple women.Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group partner Joe Bastianich sent a letter to nearly 300 workers...

The Latest: Weinstein takes books on theater, film to arrest

NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on the sexual misconduct probe of film producer Harvey Weinstein (all times local):11:40 a.m.Harvey Weinstein was in and out of custody so quickly in his rape case, he probably didn't have time to read the books he brought with him.The film mogul carried three...

Handcuffed Weinstein faces rape charge in #MeToo reckoning

NEW YORK (AP) — It was the moment the #MeToo movement had been waiting for: Harvey Weinstein in handcuffs.His face pulled in a strained smile and his hands locked behind his back, the once-powerful Hollywood figure emerged from a police station Friday facing rape and criminal sex act...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

For CEOs, .7 million a year is just middle of the pack

NEW YORK (AP) — Chief executives at the biggest public companies got an 8.5 percent raise last year,...

Former NAACP leader exposed as white faces fraud charges

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A former NAACP leader in Washington state whose life unraveled after she was exposed...

Police: Suspected restaurant gunman had no criminal record

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The man suspected of shooting three people inside an Oklahoma City restaurant before...

Putin says US exit from Iran deal could trigger instability

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Friday that the U.S. exit from the...

Explosion at Indian restaurant in Canada wounds 15 people

TORONTO (AP) — An explosion caused by a homemade bomb ripped through an Indian restaurant where children...

Netherlands, Australia hold Russia liable for downing MH17

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — A day after international prosecutors said they had unequivocal evidence of...

John Rogers and Daisy Nguyen Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The City of Angels is on edge as the hours tick off until "Carmageddon" - the shutdown of a 10-mile stretch of one of the busiest highways in the United States, on one of the city's busiest summer weekends.

Will it bring traffic to a standstill like a scene out of a summer disaster movie? Or fail to come to pass, like other apocalypse predictions?

Everyone will find out soon enough as authorities prepare to close Interstate 405 for 53 hours beginning Friday night. Around the afternoon rush hour, the city will activate its emergency operation center before highway officers begin blocking access to on- and off-ramps. Then they'll close freeway lanes one by one until they reach a full shutdown by midnight.

Non-emergency street maintenance and repair projects will come to a halt. Police, firefighters, paramedics and traffic engineers will be on standby to respond to any crisis that may arise.

For weeks, officials have issued grim warnings about the closure in the same tones reserved for floods and threatening wildfires.

To prepare the public for the closure, they flashed signs on freeways as far away as San Francisco reminding drivers over and over: Stay off the 405 July 16-17. They recruited celebrities with large followings on Twitter, such as Ashton Kutcher and Kim Kardashian, to get the message out.

Facebook agreed to direct some 6.6 million driving-age people in the greater Los Angeles area to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's Facebook page detailing the latest traffic conditions this weekend.

Transportation experts said the publicity campaign seems to be working.

They now predict that while there will likely be some backups on other freeways and on surface streets near the 405, the weekend shouldn't end in massive gridlock.

"It's going to be fine, people had a lot of warning," said Lisa Schweitzer, a professor of urban planning at the University of Southern California.

Experts compared the shutdown to other big planned events, such as the 1984 summer Olympics, Los Angeles Lakers championship parades and Michael Jackson's memorial service two years ago.

The disastrous traffic jams predicted for each of those events never materialized. People knew to stay off the road. In fact, city residents marveled that, during the two weeks of the Olympics, traffic was actually much lighter than usual.

"For the 1984 Olympics, by repeating how complex and difficult it's going to be, some people chose not to travel, to take public transit or go away for vacation," said Martin Wachs of the Rand Corp. think tank.

That could be the case again this weekend. Not that some people aren't still worried, as closing that section of the 405 for such a long time is pretty much unprecedented.

Judy Feldman of New York and her husband had planned a trip to Southern California long before they learned of the closure. They planned to spend the weekend going into the city.

Now, all she's been hearing has been one message about their plans: "No, I wouldn't do that."

Their planned trip to the popular Getty Center museum is out, as it's located right in the middle of Carmageddon and will simply close down that weekend. So will the nearby Skirball Cultural Center.

"We'll be glad when Monday is here," said Skirball spokeswoman Mia Carino, who is cautiously optimistic that she'll be able to drive to work that day.

Feldman and her husband still hope to get to Los Angeles to take in other museums.

Transportation officials say the closure is necessary to replace the 50-year-old Mulholland Bridge as part of a $1 billion project to widen a perpetually bottlenecked segment of the 405.

That stretch goes through the Sepulveda Pass, which connects the San Fernando Valley to Los Angeles' West Side.

They say a full closure is necessary to demolish one side of the span, and they picked this weekend to minimize impact to traffic on a workday. They expect another closure next year to replace the other half.

On a typical July weekend, about a half-million vehicles use that section to get to such major destinations as Los Angeles International Airport, UCLA, Beverly Hills and numerous popular beaches.

To discourage driving, the city is offering free rides on the subway and certain bus lines and adding more commuter train service. Hotels and restaurants are offering discounts.

Around town, some people are organizing neighborhood walks, bicycle rides and even "Carmageddon" parties.

Joann Killeen, who lives near the 405, is going to attend such a party Saturday at her next-door-neighbor's house.

"We're going in our garages and looking for old Scrabble boards and Monopoly games and we're going to bring potlucks and just be silly from about 5 o'clock until midnight," she said.

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