Metro adding another link to South L.A. train network

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Work is starting today on a light rail line that will connect the Metro Green and Expo lines. The project will fill a gap in the South L.A. public transportation network. But opponents say the construction could have a devastating effect on L.A.’s black business corridor. They wanted the line built underground. The Crenshaw line will run eight-and-a-half miles from the Expo Line Crenshaw station to the Green Line Aviation/LAX station. The project is funded largely by Measure R, a half-cent sales tax approved by voters six years ago. It’s expected to cost about $1.3 billion, and work is due to wrap in 2019…If you’re unemployed in California, you also might be out of luck if you have questions for the state’s Economic Development Department. A new report says EDD staffers are answering between just 10 and 17 percent of the calls received by the agency. Most callers are routed to a recorded voice that directs them to the agency’s website, or to an automated phone service that answers some basic questions. But many people only call the agency after they’ve already tried those options…chopperThe new federal budget bill includes long-awaited legislation aimed at reducing helicopter noise in L.A. It calls for mapping new routes to avoid homes and looks at making pilots fly their birds at higher altitudes. It could also require news organizations to adjust their practices. All good news for L.A., right? Well, not necessarily. Groups on both sides of the issue are already criticizing the new law. Pilots say it’s arbitrary, and neighborhood activists say it has no teeth…SHRIVERFormer Santa Monica Mayor and Kennedy clan member Bobby Shriver is expected to officially jump into the race for Third District L.A. County Supervisor today. Shriver, 59, is the son of Sergeant Shriver and Eunice Shriver, the sister of the late President John F. Kennedy. His sister is former California First lady Maria Shriver. Longtime Third District Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky is being forced out by term limits.. Shriver will be facing off against former state lawmaker Sheila Kuehl, former Malibu mayor Pamela Conley Ulich and West Hollywood Councilman John Duran…furthurAnd finally, a converted school bus that came to symbolize 1960s psychedelia is on the road to recovery – if its owners can raise about $300,000. Furthur belonged to Ken Kesey, author of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” His band of Merry Pranksters took the 1939 International Harvester on a cross-country trip in 1964, handing out free LSD along the way. The journey was chronicled in Tom Wolfe’s “The Electric Koolaid Acid Test.” Kesey, who died in 2001, abandoned the bus to a swamp on his Oregon farm. But his son has pulled it from the muck and started a foundation to raise money to restore the vehicle.