Today’s News: Marching for peace in Santa Monica; Brown pores over budget numbers; Bruce Lee tribute

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Peace Walk. Some Santa Monica residents took to the streets last night to call for peace and healing in the wake of a series of shootings in the Westside city. The demonstrators retraced the path taken by John Zawahri, the young gunman who killed five people before being shot to death by police at Santa Monica College.

The Peace Walk was organized by the Pico Youth and Family Center and Saint Anne’s Church. Santa Monica School Board Member Oscar De La Torre said the show of solidarity was part of the community’s healing process. “It cleanses our public space. I think we need to be able to respond with something that’s positive, that brings the community together,” De La Torre said. “This is a united community, a very beautiful community, and we don’t want to be defined by the negativity of violence.”

Many marchers said the shootings in Santa Monica – and the Zahwri incident in particular – have been further reminders of the need for tougher gun control laws. KABC

Number crunching. The California legislature has wrapped up its work on the new state budget, approving an on-time spending plan. But the spending levels aren’t set in stone yet. Gov. Jerry Brown has until July 1st to sign the budget. Until then, he’ll be taking a close, line-by-line look at the numbers and keeping his veto options open. Assembly Democratic leaders say they are not expecting any drastic changes. But USC political analyst Dan Schnur says just because the Governor and Democratic leaders reached an agreement, that doesn’t mean Brown’s completely satisfied with the result. Capital Public Radio.

Valley fever.
A federal judge will hear arguments today about whether a naturally-occurring airborne fungus presents enough of a health danger that thousands of state prison inmates in the San Joaquin Valley should be moved. Almost three-dozen inmate deaths and hundreds of hospitalizations have been blamed on the fungus, which causes an illness known as valley fever. The federal court-appointed official who oversees prison medical care in California says the problem is so bad that inmates who are particularly susceptible to the disease should be moved out of Avenal and Pleasant Valley state prisons. The state is opposed to moving the inmates. AP

Bus bugs. More than 100 Metro bus riders have signed a petition demanding that the transit agency figure out a new way to keep its vehicles free of roaches and other vermin. The drivers say they’re getting ill from Metro’s repeated use of pesticides. More than a dozen bus operators have filed workers compensation claims saying that they’ve been sickened by the spraying. Others have quit. The drivers claim they’ve suffered dizziness, nausea, breathing problems and eye irritation from the chemicals. Metro officials say precautions are taken to make sure that drivers’ exposure is minimal. L.A. Times

Silva case. The family of a man who died after being beaten by Kern County Sheriff’s deputies has filed a federal civil rights claim against the officers involved and the department. The claim is the first step toward filing a lawsuit. The Kern County coroner says 33-year-old David Silva died accidentally of hypertensive disease in a scuffle when he resisted arrest. But Silva’s family accuses the officers of beating him to death and then covering up the incident. The case has received a lot of attention because several witnesses filmed it on their mobile phones. Two of those witnesses were detained until they turned over their phones with the video to police. Bakersfield Now

Neighborhood fixture.
Chinatown celebrated its 75th anniversary this weekend by unveiling a monument to one of its best-known adoptive sons. An 8-foot-tall statue of martial arts star Bruce Lee will be on temporary display in Chinatown’s historic Central Plaza. Lee moved to LA in the 1960s while playing Kato on the “Green Hornet” TV show. He opened a martial arts studio on Chinatown’s north side. The Chinatown Corporation is raising money for a permanent installation in the neighborhood. L.A. Times