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The Dream Continues: 2019 Los Angeles Training Camp

LOS ANGELES SENTINEL — 
The Los Angeles Rams announced their complete 2019 Training Camp schedule, which will feature 7 open practices at the University of California, Irvine. Rookies report to UCI on Wednesday, July 24 and the remainder of the team will report to camp on Friday, July 26 (player arrival and availability information will be shared with the media at a later date).

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Courtesy Photo

By Sentinel News Service

The Los Angeles Rams announced their complete 2019 Training Camp schedule, which will feature 7 open practices at the University of California, Irvine. Rookies report to UCI on Wednesday, July 24 and the remainder of the team will report to camp on Friday, July 26 (player arrival and availability information will be shared with the media at a later date).

Fans Must Sign Up for Free Tickets at therams.com/trainingcamp

2019 Rams Training Camp Schedule:

DAY DATE TIME PRACTICE HIGHLIGHTS

Sat Jul 27 4 p.m. Kickoff Festival
Giveaway: 2019 Rams Schedule Magnet

Sun Jul 28 4 p.m. Vamos Rams Day
Giveaway: Rams Knit Scarf

Exclusive sale of “Vamos Rams” merchandise & live performance from a Latin band

Mon Jul 29 4 p.m. Legends Reunion Day
Giveaway: Poster featuring Rams Legends & limited NFL 100 merchandise

More than 50 former players representing six decades of Rams will be in attendance. A special discussion panel with Legends will be featured.

Tues Jul 30 4 p.m. Youth Sports Day
Giveaway: Rams Compression Arm Sleeve

Rams will celebrate student-athletes and the stars of today and tomorrow.

Fri Aug 2 2 p.m. Everyday Heroes – Honoring Military Members, First Responders and their Families
Giveaway: Rams Challenge Coin with Bottle Opener

Sat Aug 3 4 p.m. Family Day
Giveaway: Rams Shoelaces

This day will feature a practice with the Los Angeles Chargers.

Sun Aug 4 2 p.m. Training Camp Finale
Giveaway: 2019 Rams Schedule Magnet

Additionally, as part of a Training Camp tradition, the full roster will be available for a limited time after practice for autographs.

Note: All giveaways will be distributed to Training Camp attendees while supplies last.

Tickets are required for each day of Camp. While Training Camp is free and open to the public, all attendees must possess a valid ticket for entry. Fans must register for a free ticket at therams.com/trainingcamp or on the Rams Mobile App. (Note: Ticket registrations also will be available onsite.)

The fan activation area will open two hours prior to every practice. Gates to practice will open 90 minutes before and select players and position groups will sign autographs after all open practices.

All practices are free and open to the public and will feature live entertainment, an interactive look at the Rams’ new home to open in 2020, daily giveaways, Alumni autograph opportunities, family-friendly activations and more! Tickets will be required to receive giveaways (while supplies last).

The team will host a “Kickoff Festival” for fans on Saturday, July 27 and the day will include interactive games, giveaways and appearances from Rams Cheerleaders, Legends, and team mascot Rampage.

Additional training camp information plus details on the themed practices, registration for player autograph signings, Rams Rookie program, giveaways and the booster club tailgate are available at www.therams.com/trainingcamp. Weather and field conditions are evaluated daily, so all dates and times provided are subject to change, including autograph sessions.

Fan Parking Information and Prohibited Items

Parking will be available to fans in the Mesa Parking Structure (next to the Bren Events Center) and nearby lots 14, 5 and 70 (located near the intersection of Bison Ave and California Ave). Fans are encouraged to purchase parking passes in advance at a discounted rate of $13 per vehicle online at www.parking.uci.edu/rams. Parking purchased in-person on the day of practice will cost $16 per vehicle. Fans cannot bring alcohol, food (exceptions for special dietary needs), pets (service animals are permitted), video cameras or weapons. Please be aware that UCI is also a smoke and tobacco free community.

This article originally appeared in the Los Angeles Sentinel

Animals

L.A. City Council Confirms Denise M. Verret as Zoo Director of the Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Gardens

LOS ANGELES SENTINEL — Los Angeles City Council confirmed today the Mayor’s nomination of Denise M. Verret to serve as the new Zoo Director of the Los Angeles Zoo. Verret previously served as the Zoo’s interim Zoo Director while a nationwide search was conducted by the Mayor’s office, and she will assume her new role immediately.

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Verret Now Serves as the First African American Female Zoo Director of an Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) Accredited Institution (Courtesy photo)

By Sentinel News Service

Los Angeles City Council confirmed today the Mayor’s nomination of Denise M. Verret to serve as the new Zoo Director of the Los Angeles Zoo. Verret previously served as the Zoo’s interim Zoo Director while a nationwide search was conducted by the Mayor’s office, and she will assume her new role immediately.

“It’s been a pleasure to work with Denise as the interim Zoo Director,” said L.A. Zoo Commission President Karen Winnick. “Her passion and concern for the well-being of the animals, her dedication to the Zoo’s mission, and her leadership and organizational skills that make Denise a great choice to be our new L.A. Zoo Director.”

As the Zoo Director, Verret will oversee the well-being of more than 1400 animals and nearly two million visitors each year. Verret will continue the Zoo’s mission of being a leader in conservation and saving animals from extinction and a champion of the highest standards in animal welfare. A top priority will be the implementation of the Zoo’s Vision Plan, a comprehensive redesign and redevelopment of the Zoo’s existing 133-acre site to replace outdated buildings and infrastructure and transform the Zoo into something that is uniquely Los Angeles.

“I would like to thank Mayor Garcetti and the Los Angeles City Council members for their vote of confidence in my serving as the next Zoo Director of the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens,” said Verret. “As the Los Angeles Zoo continues to evolve, I’m humbled to be working alongside the best and brightest staff and volunteers as we strive to make the Los Angeles Zoo an institution that thrives and is relevant and meaningful for all people from all backgrounds.”

Prior to serving as the interim Zoo Director, Verret held the position of the Zoo’s Deputy Director since 2000. During her 19-year tenure, Verret provided executive leadership over a variety of functions and major operations including Finance, Administration, Information Technology, Human Resources, Admissions and Guest Relations, Capital Projects, Planning and Development, Public Relations, and Education and Interpretive Programs. Among Verret’s many achievements include directing the development of the Zoo’s Strategic Plan, Vision Plan, and the Business and Marketing Plan. Verret began her City career in 1988 at the Office of the City Administrative Officer (CAO) until she promoted to the L.A. Zoo. Verret earned her Bachelor of Science in Administrative Studies at the University of California Riverside.

Verret serves as example to her zoological peers by becoming the first female African American Zoo Director of an Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredited institution in its history. The AZA is a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums since 1924 that has been accrediting zoos and aquariums since 1974. Verret has been very active in the AZA having served on the Business Operations, Annual Conference Program, and Nominating committees. Verret currently serves as an AZA accreditation inspector, as well as a member of the Government Affairs and Diversity committees.

“As the first female African American Zoo Director of an AZA-accredited Zoo, I have the opportunity to be an example for all women of color to dream big and aim high for leadership roles in their profession. As I accept this position, I am reminded of the strong, driven female mentors who paved the way for me, and I’m honored to continue the tradition of helping to lift up women to advance their career which enriches and diversifies our city.”

This article originally appeared in the Los Angeles Sentinel. 

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Business

NBC4 Names Renee Washington Vice President of News

LOS ANGELES SENTINEL — With over 20 years of working in television, Renee Washington has produced content at different stations in major markets across the country, including New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and more. She found her new home at NBC4 Southern California almost a year ago and last month was named their vice president of news.

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Renee Washington, the new Vice President of News for NBC4. (Photo Credit – Terri Rosales NBC4)

By Shannen Hill

With over 20 years of working in television, Renee Washington has produced content at different stations in major markets across the country, including New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and more. She found her new home at NBC4 Southern California almost a year ago and last month was named their vice president of news.

“The culture and community are really good here,” said Washington. “NBC embraces advancement and diversity, and everyone has been so supportive.”

Growing up in Indiana, Washington always watched the evening news with her family. It was something that she looked forward to every day and knew that she wanted to contribute to. Her first idea was to be a reporter in the nearest big city, Chicago, but life took her to another route.

“I had a broadcasting class in college where we went outside in a snowstorm and I realized that I was not cut out to work outdoors,” said Washington. “So, when I did an internship at a television station, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. They put me in a rotation of all the different departments at the station and that is how I figured it out.”

The last stop on Washington’s internship rotation was shadowing a newscast producer. She realized that there is a lot of power, control and impact working as a producer. Over the past 20 years, Washington has worked in television as an associate producer, producer, executive producer, assistant news director, and now vice president of news. Washington oversees almost every aspect of the news content on NBC4, from managing the content creators, to deciding how content is developed, produced, and distributed on different platforms. She also works in promotion, branding, and community affairs for NBC4.

When it comes to content, Washington tackles some heavy issues, including homelessness, drug addiction, and mental illness. She launched her biggest production at NBC4, Streets of Shame, this past October to not only bring awareness to homelessness, but to also show solutions and go after people who are responsible for making a difference. Streets of Shame shows the impact of homelessness throughout Los Angeles with video footage, statistics, tax costs, and more. They also show this information to city officials on camera and interview them about how they can be more effective in helping the homeless.

“I always wanted to be someone who could give the voiceless a voice. That’s why I wanted to get into television,” said Washington.

Washington is also working on some initiatives this summer. Starting July 15, NBC4 will start a two-week campaign, in partnership with Ralph’s, to raise money for School on Wheels, a nonprofit that helps homeless students. Along with School on Wheels, NBC4 has an initiative throughout this month called Supporting Our Schools where they will collect school supplies and donations for students in need. Next month on Aug. 17, the station will also have their Clear the Shelters event where people can adopt a pet for $20 and NBC4 will pay for the vaccinations.

For more information about the summer initiatives, visit www.nbclosangeles.com and Washington can be found on Instagram @nbclarenee.

This article originally appeared in the Los Angeles Sentinel

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Crime

LA School Board Votes to End Random Searches

LOS ANGELES SENTINEL — The nation’s second-largest school moved Tuesday to end random metal-detector searches of students at secondary schools, a daily procedure that critics called ineffective, intrusive and offensive. The board of the Los Angeles Unified School District directed Superintendent Austin Beutner to develop an alternative plan for school safety that eliminates the use of random searches by July 2020.

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By The Los Angeles Sentinel

The nation’s second-largest school moved Tuesday to end random metal-detector searches of students at secondary schools, a daily procedure that critics called ineffective, intrusive and offensive.

The board of the Los Angeles Unified School District directed Superintendent Austin Beutner to develop an alternative plan for school safety that eliminates the use of random searches by July 2020.

“Administrative random searches are incredibly invasive, dehumanizing and communicate to students that they are viewed not as promising minds but as criminals,” board member Tyler Okeke said.

The daily searches were instituted in 1993 in the wake of several mass shootings at schools around the country and a perceived increase in violence involving firearms and other weapons on campuses.

They involved random students being checked with hand-held metal detector wands.

Critics, however, said the searches weren’t really random but disproportionately targeted blacks and other minorities. Dozens of speakers opposed the searches at the board meeting.

“You don’t have to people feel like criminals in order to keep our schools safe,” said David Turner of the Brothers, Sons, Selves Coalition. “Our young people need love, our young people need protection, they do not need to be treated as if they are the problem.”

Some board members dissented.

“A fair, nondiscriminatory, and respectful wanding program provides increased safety for students and staff,” Scott M. Schmerelson said. “It may not be the perfect tool, but until a reasonable and effective alternative is proposed, I sincerely believe that random wanding serves as a deterrent for students who may consider bringing a weapon to school.”

A coalition called Students Not Suspects issued a report last year that concluded the random searches didn’t turn up any guns and only a tiny fraction of them produced any weapons at all. The report said the searches also pulled students out of class and cost the district more than $1 million a year.

The school district has more than 730,000 students and more than 1,000 schools.

This article originally appeared in the Los Angeles Sentinel

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Economy

SoLa Impact’s Annual Scholarship Awards Ceremony Concludes at USC

LOS ANGELES SENTINEL — SoLa Impact and its non-profit affiliate, the SoLa I CAN! Foundation, along with its philanthropic partner, Romeo Miller, awarded nearly $100,000 in financial aid grants to twenty-seven deserving students at its annual scholarship awards ceremony yesterday held at the University of Southern California. All of the recipients demonstrated academic excellence, strong community service, and plan to pursue higher education in the fall. Among friends and family of the SoLa Scholars as well as leaders in philanthropy, entertainer Romeo Miller, producer Arabian Prince, and Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, all spoke about their strong connection to the community.

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Martin Muoto, Founder and Managing Partner of SoLa Impact, and Gray Lusk, Co-founder and Managing Parter of SoLa Impact, with scholarship recipient Ayanna Adams. (Courtesy Photo)

SoLa Impact and its non-profit affiliate, the SoLa I CAN! Foundation, along with its philanthropic partner, Romeo Miller, awarded nearly $100,000 in financial aid grants to twenty-seven deserving students at its annual scholarship awards ceremony yesterday held at the University of Southern California. All of the recipients demonstrated academic excellence, strong community service, and plan to pursue higher education in the fall. Among friends and family of the SoLa Scholars as well as leaders in philanthropy, entertainer Romeo Miller, producer Arabian Prince, and Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, all spoke about their strong connection to the community.

“We are very proud to provide much-needed financial aid to these aspiring students that would help them pursue higher education and break the cycle of poverty,” said Sherri Francois, Director of Social Impact at SoLa. “There is still much work to be done for the South LA community, but we are confident that our Scholars program will continue to encourage residents to achieve their dreams.”

SoLa had initially granted $67,500 in financial aid, but Miller later pledged an additional $1,000 to each student’s SoLa scholarship, bringing the night’s grand total to $94,500.

“As I listened to the compelling and heartfelt stories of the more than deserving scholarship recipients, I realized how blessed I am and wanted to do something to celebrate and motivate them to stay their course of success,” shared Romeo Miller.

At the ceremony, SoLa Impact also shared powerful videos describing the obstacles and hardships each recipient had to overcome. Among the SoLa Scholars: roughly ninety percent are from low-income families; fourteen are the first in their families to attend college; eight have experienced homelessness or were in the foster-care system; four are system involved or have an incarcerated parent; three are single mothers; and several have escaped domestic violence or gang violence on the streets.

“SoLa Impact is going way beyond providing critical affordable housing across South Los Angeles,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. “They are enabling young college-bound residents to dream big, while inspiring them to give back to the community from which they came.”

“Our non-profit affiliate, SoLa I CAN!, continues to extend the mission of SoLa Impact, which is focused on uplifting the communities in which we operate,” said Martin Muoto, Founder and Managing Partner of SoLa Impact. “The SoLa Scholars program will help enable our young residents to receive quality education and job opportunities regardless of where they started in life.”

This article originally appeared in the Los Angeles Sentinel. 

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Business

Universal Music Faces Federal Lawsuit For Recordings Lost In 2008 Fire

LOS ANGELES SENTINEL — Representatives of several artists who lost master recordings in a 2008 fire at Universal Studios have filed a class action lawsuit seeking at least $100 million in damages, according to multiple media reports.

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Universal Music Publishing Group in Santa Monica, California.

By City News Service

Representatives of several artists who lost master recordings in a 2008 fire at Universal Studios have filed a class action lawsuit seeking at least $100 million in damages, according to multiple media reports.

The rock bands Soundgarden and Hole, country-rock singer-songwriter Steve Earle and the estates of rapper Tupac Shakur and rocker Tom Petty are among those suing Universal Music Group over the fire in its Los Angeles vaults that allegedly destroyed master recordings made by those and other artists.

It is the first legal action taken since a June 11 New York Times Magazine article noted that a fire on June 1, 2008 destroyed thousands of archived recordings dating back to the 1940s and including such iconic artists as Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Bing Crosby and Judy Garland and rock-era performers such as Chuck Berry, Ray Charles, Elton John, the Police, Nirvana and the Roots.

Both the article and the lawsuit allege neither the affected artists nor their representatives were informed of the losses.

The lawsuit, filed jointly Friday in U.S. Central District Court in Los Angeles by attorneys with three separate law firms, states Universal Music owes their clients, and others to be identified later, half of a confidential settlement Universal Music Group negotiated with its sister company, Universal Studios, to compensate for the losses, estimated in the court papers to be at least $150 million, the Los Angeles Times reported.

According to the lawsuit, the artists are also entitled to a share of an insurance settlement Universal Music received for the fire losses. It also accuses Universal Music of breaching its contracts with artists by failing to properly protect the master recordings, which yield higher quality reproductions.

“UMG concealed its massive recovery from plaintiffs, apparently hoping it could keep it all to itself by burying the truth in sealed court filings and a confidential settlement agreement,” the lawsuit alleges. “Most importantly, UMG did not share any of its recovery with plaintiffs, the artists whose life works were destroyed in the fire — even though, by the terms of their recording contracts, plaintiffs are entitled to 50% of those proceeds and payments.”

Officials with Universal Music have declined to comment on the lawsuit, but have previously said the losses were minimal and promised “transparency” about the fire and the resulting damage. UMG representatives have also criticized the New York Times article, saying it was riddled with “numerous inaccuracies, misleading statements, contradictions and fundamental misunderstandings of the scope of the incident and affected assets.”

Universal Music is the largest record company in the world. It is owned by Vivendi, the French media conglomerate, which reportedly has been looking to sell up to 50 percent of the company.

This article originally appeared in the Los Angeles Sentinel

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Business

Union Votes to Authorize Possible Strike Against Grocery Companies

Los Angeles Sentinel — Raising the threat of the first Southland grocery strike in nearly 16 years, unionized grocery workers overwhelmingly authorized its union to call for a work stoppage unless a contract agreement can be reached, union officials announced. “Southern California grocery workers voted in large numbers, and overwhelmingly rejected the unfair terms that have been proposed by Ralphs, Albertsons and Vons,” said John Grant, president of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 770.

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(Courtesy photo)

By City News Service

Raising the threat of the first Southland grocery strike in nearly 16 years, unionized grocery workers overwhelmingly authorized its union to call for a work stoppage unless a contract agreement can be reached, union officials announced.

“Southern California grocery workers voted in large numbers, and overwhelmingly rejected the unfair terms that have been proposed by Ralphs, Albertsons and Vons,” said John Grant, president of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 770.

The voting was conducted Monday and Tuesday, Grant said. Exact tallies of the vote were not immediately released.

Albertsons/Vons/Pavilions issued a statement saying, “The outcome of the strike authorization vote does not change anything related to this process. We remain committed to negotiating a contract that is fair to all parties, including our employees, and will continue to work to achieve that.”

Ralphs issued a similar statement and said, for now, “it is business as usual in Ralphs stores.”

The strike authorization vote means union negotiators have the power to call for a strike, if deemed necessary, but it does not automatically mean a walkout will occur.

Grant said the union plans to meet Thursday with picket captains to discuss “various forms of economic protest” to oppose the failure of negotiations and to try to “get these companies back on the right path to provide a fair contract.” The job actions could include asking customers to boycott stores, Grant said.

Meetings are pending next week involving the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor to discuss authorizations for the member unions to honor possible picket lines, Grant said.

The next bargaining sessions involving the union and the companies are scheduled for July 10, 11, and 12, Grant said.

The contract between the union and the companies expired in March. That pact was approved by workers in 2016 and included annual raises for most workers, along with increased pay for entry-level cashiers and concessions on holiday pay and retirement age, union officials said at the time.

On Wednesday, union officials said the most recent contract offer made by the grocery companies included wage increases of less than 1 percent and nearly 25 percent cuts in cashier wages.

The labor dispute raises fears of a repeat of the 2003-04 Southland grocery strike that dragged on for 141 days. That work stoppage was estimated by some analysts to have cost the supermarket chains as much as $2 billion, with locked-out workers losing $300 million in wages.

This article originally appeared in the Los Angeles Sentinel
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