FROM Ron Finley
Gangsta gardener South LA's "gangsta gardener" Ron Finley wants to bring locally-grown food to areas that desperately need it, and to change ideas about what it takes to make a healthy community. But his lush garden near the Farmdale Expo Line station is under threat because the property has been sold to investment company Strategic Acquisitions, which wants to redevelop the entire site. It was sold to them by the bank that repossessed the property. Ron Finley in his garden in South LA Photo by Avishay Artsy DnA hears about Finley's efforts to raise the money to buy the property back, and gets a tour of his garden in South LA, from its sidewalk bursting with banana plants, sunflowers and a canopy of woven branches in which to shoot the breeze, to the hidden Eden in an empty swimming pool in his backyard, filled with plants in pots, old sinks, a wagon and other receptacles that capture Finley's imagination. "My whole thing for the way I garden here and in urban areas is not for production, not for maximum yield, it's for beauty," he tells DnA. "Every sense in your body can be affected in the garden and that's what I want to do."
Summer On The LA River The Los Angeles River is officially open for the summer. Now you can boat, fish, birdwatch and camp there through Labor Day, and some say this is only the beginning. City officials and the Army Corps of Engineers are working on a plan to restore the L.A. River and essentially turn it into a huge park. But a new report estimates it would cost the city more than a billion dollars. Is it realistic to hope that someday we’ll have a lush, green, 51-mile river teeming with life running through L.A?
Can Guerilla Gardeners Transform Food Deserts? Two years ago, LA Times columnist Steve Lopez reported on Ron Finley, a resident of South Los Angeles. In what’s often called a healthy-food “desert,” Finley had planted a vegetable garden for himself and his hungry neighbors. But the food was growing on the city-owned strip of land between the street and the sidewalk, and Finley was ordered to cease and desist. City Council President Herb Wesson promised to change the anti-food law. Now—two years later—Lopez finds that nothing has changed.
Gangsta gardener, a donut dough-bate, 'The Last Magnificent' Artist and community activist Ron Finley discusses how he’s changing South LA, one garden at a time. Chef Jeremiah Tower talks about starring in “The Last Magnificent,” a new documentary about his role as one of the defining figures in the early days of California cuisine. Plus: Laura Avery stuffs her “Good Food” tote full of green garlic, while Evan and The Sporkful’s Dan Pashman get into a heated dough-bate about donuts.
Uber at the LA Times, Preserving LA, 'The Handmaid's Tale' Uber moves into the Times Mirror Square complex in downtown LA. Preservationists want Frank Gehry to incorporated a mid-century bank into his mixed-use project on Sunset. And Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale uses color and costume to make a dystopian story visually stunning.
Border wall builders, private art museums, Stamen Design An LA city councilman wants companies who want to do business with LA to disclose if they're also working on the US-Mexico border wall. Forget old-school bar graphs and pie charts -- depicting data has become an art form. And another private art museum opens soon in Los Angeles, but this one takes you into the fascinating world of freemasonry.
James Comey is fired: Reaction from Senator Kamala Harris, Rep. Adam Schiff Does the firing of FBI Director James Comey signal a constitutional crisis? Will there be a special prosecutor named? How will the FBI investigation proceed? We hear from California Senator Kamala Harris, California Congressman and ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff, and others.