Walk north on Riverside Drive on the edge of Silver Lake as cars barrel by in steady succession.

Pass the elementary school and follow the steel fence, bent and broken. There may still be silk flowers tied to its frame. Or a banner bearing the photo of a young woman’s face.

Keep going.

Turn at the stoplight and head up the onramp, the one that only locals know. The highway will appear. On the right are pine trees, dirt, discarded bottles, bits of trash. At the top of the embankment rests a small wooden cross.

Bree’Anna Guzman’s bruised body was found here.

And this is the path her mother takes on moments she wants people to remember: the day Bree’Anna was born. The day she went missing 22 years later. The day police told a mother that the dead girl in the brush was hers.

It is not a joyful trek, but Darlene Guzman has found it can be peaceful.

After years of raging at the world, blaming herself, withering inside — a deliberate, public walk feels honest and loud and productive.

When your daughter is killed, you’ve got to find ways to survive.

::

This is the sequence Darlene plays on repeat:

Bree’Anna isn’t feeling well. She has a sore throat and is asking for tea. She wants to rest.

It is the day after Christmas, 2011. About 6:45 p.m.

Suddenly, Bree’Anna is getting dressed. She’s putting on a magenta T-shirt and a gray sweater. She’s wearing jeans and tan boots. And perfume. She wants to buy cough drops and meet her boyfriend, maybe grab some fast food.

Her 5-year-old daughter Janelle is playing with bubbles in the tub. Bree’Anna’s 11-year-old sister Rachel is there too. In the bedroom is Bree’Anna’s other daughter, Jayde, who is 1.

Darlene hands Bree’Anna a $5 bill. She doesn’t like her daughter’s boyfriend. But she shrugs. It’s the holidays.

OK, she nods. When you get back, maybe we can watch a movie, Darlene says.

Bree’Anna assures her she’ll return soon. Then she walks out of their unit, down a flight of stairs and into the street.

The scene ends there. But Darlene’s mind can’t help but give herself extra lines.

Don’t go, Bree’Anna.

You’re not feeling well. Why don’t you just hang with us tonight?

Please.

Stay.

::

The day after Easter in 2011, a girl named Michelle Lozano was found wrapped in plastic bags and stuffed in a container. The 17-year-old lived less than a mile from the Guzmans in Lincoln Heights.

When Bree’Anna went missing eight months later, the neighborhood was on high alert for a serial killer. Her stepfather took to looking for a body, riding his bike along the Los Angeles River, checking in dumpsters.

But Darlene led daily search parties for a daughter she imagined was alive and in need of help. She mentally prepared to support Bree’Anna through rehab or therapy.

She printed thousands of fliers and loaded up friends and family members into the back of a borrowed truck. They hopped on highways, exiting to canvass neighborhoods and question store owners.

Have you seen this girl? Can we hang a flier in your window? Will you call if you hear anything?

Darlene sported a T-shirt with Bree’Anna’s face and confronted gang members. She hung banners and gave out her personal cell number.

Firing off emails to acquaintances as far away as New York, Washington, Colombia, Spain, Australia — she made a plea. Please print the attached handout. Make copies. Post them anywhere, everywhere.

Dozens of strangers called. I saw your daughter. The details were always off. Wrong height, a description that didn’t make sense.

As overwhelming as it all was, Darlene liked having tasks to focus her frantic energy and wandering mind.

And it wasn’t just busywork.

“I thought I would find her,” she recalled years later, her voice a shaky whisper.

::

In the brush of an onramp to State Route 2, a body was discovered on Jan. 26, 2012. It was so decomposed that investigators could not make an immediate identification.

A Gemini tattoo on the back of the victim’s neck helped.

Bree’Anna and her mother had gotten the matching symbols a few birthdays ago.

Authorities would later link Bree’Anna’s and Michelle’s killings through forensic evidence.

But when Darlene heard the helicopters and commotion in her neighborhood that morning, she thought nothing of it. It was exactly one month since her daughter disappeared, and she was planning a vigil that night to reinvigorate interest.

When a TV reporter surmised that Bree’Anna’s body had been found just three miles from her home, Darlene called the station.

“How dare you!” she said. “You don’t know! We’re sitting here beside ourselves right now!”

Somehow a photo of the scene was posted on social media. Darlene saw bare legs and feet caked in dirt.

And then she got a phone call. Detectives wanted to talk.

From inside a squad car, Darlene took in grim faces and gruesome words.

None of it registered.

“Am I supposed to cry?” she asked. “Go crazy? I’m not feeling anything.”

Afterward she asked a friend to take her somewhere she could be alone. She ended up at a house in the San Fernando Valley.

From there, she called family members who responded with screams.

“I said, ‘I gotta go, I just gotta go now,’ and I hung up. Once I vocalized it and said it’s her, I just started crying, weeping,” she said. “Every cell in my body was aching and hurting.”

::

For a while, the sidewalk below their balcony was a trail of candles. Darlene would sit outside and gaze down at the teddy bears and cards and photos and flowers.

At some point they all faded away.

She took a job packing rings into boxes at a downtown Los Angeles jewelry manufacturer. She had studied business management and worked as a bookkeeper but wanted an activity that felt robotic. Put on earphones, keep your head down, fill the order.

She had been 23 when Bree’Anna was born. Still in college, living with roommates, facing parenthood alone. Her own relationship with her mother was distant.

But she and Bree’Anna began a new narrative. They fought like sisters, laughed like friends. Shared secrets and body ink. Hoisted up each other’s dreams.

Darlene married Richard Duran, who raised Bree’Anna as his own. The couple had three more children, Matthew, Amanda and Rachel.

After she and Richard split, Darlene knew Bree’Anna could be relied on to help her siblings get ready for school, make dinner, oversee homework, bake birthday cakes. Bree’Anna was the one who compiled mixtapes of Cyndi Lauper and Madonna to sing to in the car, who hosted dance-offs and made ice cream sundaes.

The killing sent Darlene adrift. She barely ate. Snapped at her children. Smoked weed, tossed back bourbon. Wept.

She pressured herself to keep Bree’Anna’s story relevant, to force the media, authorities and anyone with a possible clue to continue paying attention. She spoke as often as she could about a girl who longed to be a pastry chef and played confidant to a wide circle of friends.

When an anniversary came up, Darlene held vigils, sent out reminders. With every year, interest seemed to wane. “I’m still here!” she wanted to shout.

LAPD detectives promised the case would be solved, but substantial rewards for information went unclaimed.

Without a killer to hold accountable, Darlene shouldered the guilt. Why hadn’t she stopped Bree’Anna from leaving that night? What kind of mother would let this happen?

It wasn’t until the fall of 2015 that Darlene saw herself through her surviving children’s eyes. She needed to change.

She entered a treatment center in Highland Park. For the first time, she had one-on-one sessions with a grief counselor.

“He told me: ‘It’s not your fault. You’re not alone. Bree’Anna wants to see you able to breathe.’

“‘All those days you had her with you in your life, you had those reins and you were in control. Grab them and do it again. She doesn’t want to see you like this.’”

The words held power and something slowly shifted. Darlene had closed herself off. She wanted to be open.

::

She got the call in May, two days after what would have been Bree’Anna’s 28th birthday.

A 32-year-old man who once lived in the neighborhood was arrested on suspicion of killing Bree’Anna and Michelle.

Geovanni Borjas was eventually charged with two counts of murder, two counts of rape and one count of kidnapping. Authorities said he was acquainted with Michelle and worked at an Eastside medical clinic that Bree’Anna frequented. A familial DNA search linked him to the crimes.

Darlene had trouble comprehending the news. Her body shook, led by shock, then joy, gratitude, relief.

She plans to attend the trial and will stay for as much as she can handle.

“I owe it to her,” she said. “To be there til the end. These years have placed me in a spot that I can’t turn back from. I have to keep going forward.”

::

A couple of weeks after the arrest, Darlene and her 16-year-old daughter Rachel drive a quiet road that winds throughout a sprawling Glendale cemetery.

Like the path that leads to where Bree’Anna’s body was found, this one offers solace, an opportunity to tell a girl that she is not forgotten.

They soon arrive at a simple headstone embossed with gold hearts and tucked into the earth. Beside it lies a small white sign Darlene left not long ago with a handwritten note.

My love, justice is on its way.

corina.knoll@latimes.com

Twitter: @corinaknoll

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After five years that brought major changes to San Bernardino, the struggling city is officially out of bankruptcy.

The city’s plan for emerging from bankruptcy — which was approved earlier this year by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Meredith Jury — became effective June 15, officials said this week. The city, facing a $45-million budget shortfall, had declared bankruptcy in August 2012.

In the years-long process since, San Bernardino has seen its fire department and other services outsourced, its staff cut by hundreds and its public services neglected. Meanwhile, it has struggled to cope with increased violence that officials have attributed in part to an under-resourced police department.

Here are some things to know about the end of the bankruptcy process, what it means for the city and what might be next.

1. Now that it is out of bankruptcy, San Bernardino must begin paying its creditors

The city’s plan of adjustment became effective June 15. That means the city can begin paying its creditors under the terms outlined in that plan, which was negotiated over several years.

Its details have been known for some time.

Most significantly, the plan preserves pension benefits for employees and retirees, though employees will have to contribute more to their pension plans, benefits were modified for new employees and retirees will lose some health benefits they were promised.

Some bondholders and unsecured creditors will be paid only 1% of what they were owed.

Dusk settles on Baseline Street in San Bernardino in February 2015. On June 15, 2017, the city officially emerged from bankruptcy, but it will probably continue to struggle to bring in revenue. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

2. The city’s budget woes are far from over

In a memorandum on the city’s most recent proposed budget, City Manager Mark Scott put it this way: “While the city’s momentum has improved significantly, it would be overly optimistic to suggest that decades of decline can be reversed overnight.”

The bankruptcy plan, Scott noted, “is very realistic in showing only modest budgetary growth” over a 20-year period.

The city’s poverty rate is high — about 33% of its residents live in poverty — and its average household income is low, making it difficult for San Bernardino to generate the revenue it needs to pay for years of backlogged services.

But city officials say they are slowly making progress toward some of their goals.

The City Council is expected to approve a $160-million operating budget for the coming fiscal year at its meeting Wednesday evening, along with a $22.6-million capital improvement budget, which will help with street repairs, city park improvements and other much-needed projects.

The operating budget also allows for some additional staff in various departments.

Sandra Hall of San Bernardino marches with about 200 community members in a Peace Walk to honor the victims of homicides and call for an end to gun violence on May 19, 2016, in San Bernardino.
Sandra Hall of San Bernardino marches with about 200 community members in a Peace Walk to honor the victims of homicides and call for an end to gun violence on May 19, 2016, in San Bernardino. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

3. With the end of bankruptcy, San Bernardino is hoping to rebuild its police department and address its struggles with violence

San Bernardino has long been affected by high levels of violence, and last year it recorded its worst homicide rate in decades. So officials have focused on boosting the police department, which saw significant staffing cuts in recent years.

Under the city’s proposed budget, about $76 million has been dedicated to funding the department — up from about $70 million last year.

“We’re gearing up to have a police department that’s better resourced,” Scott said in an interview Wednesday.

The city is in the process of replacing about one-quarter of an aging fleet of police vehicles, Scott said. And it is hoping to fill a large number of vacant officer positions — but that is no easy goal, given the time and resources it takes to recruit and train new police officers.

The department’s resources have been boosted by a number of grants, including a federal grant announced late last year to offset the cost of hiring 11 officers.

The city is also in the process of implementing a new violence reduction program, and officials are in the late stages of recruiting someone to administer it, Scott said.

4. City officials are hoping the end of bankruptcy prompts people to take a second look at San Bernardino

City officials would like people outside the city to see its potential rather than its troubles. They tout the the fact that it is home to Cal State San Bernardino and San Bernardino Valley Community College, its relatively low-cost housing and lower costs of doing business.

As the city’s proposed budget this year stated:

“Opportunities for first-time home buyers, entrepreneurs, investors and employers are vast; one only needs to see the potential.”

But bankruptcy has cast a cloud over many of the city’s aspirations. Now that it’s lifted, officials are hoping outsiders will take a new look at the city.

“The thing I’ve run into is that people have not understood how they are going to do business with a city in bankruptcy,” Scott said. They ask, “ ‘Will you keep your staff? Will you be able to follow through on your obligations?’ ”

“Now,” he said, “we’re able to say to people, ‘We’re like any other city.’ ”

He added: “It’s time for us to show off that we can be a reliable place to do business…. It’s up to us now to perform.”

paloma.esquivel@latimes.com

Twitter: @palomaesquivel



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The opioid epidemic continues to devastate Americans, and a new report shows that it has only gotten worse in recent years.

In 2014, abuse of prescription painkillers such as OxyContin and street drugs such as heroin sent users to hospitals at record rates. That is true in emergency rooms, and even more true in rooms for patients who have been admitted to the hospital.

The report, released Tuesday by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, reveals that the rate of emergency room visits resulting from problems with opioids roughly doubled over a decade. Inpatient stays also grew, by 64%.

Here are some of the key findings:

Hospital admissions

• Patients who suffered overdoses or other problems with opioids were more likely to be admitted to a hospital than to be treated and released from the emergency room.

• For men, the rate of hospital admissions rose from 146 per 100,000 in 2005 to 225 per 100,000 in 2014.

• Women started out with a lower rate of opioid-related admissions, at 128 per 100,000. But over the ensuing decade, they just about caught up, ending at 224 admissions per 100,000.

• Though the nationwide hospital admissions rate was higher for men than for women in 2014, most states had higher admission rates for women than for men. The exceptions that year were California, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. (Data were missing for Alabama, Alaska, Delaware, Idaho, Mississippi and New Hampshire.)

• Over the 10-year period, the rate of hospital admissions rose 55% for men and 75% for women.

Emergency room visits

• The nation’s emergency rooms also saw a dramatic increase in patients harmed by opioids.

• As with inpatient admissions, the rate of ER visits was higher for men than for women. But unlike inpatient admissions, the gap between the sexes did not close over the decade studied.

• In 2005, 100 out of every 100,000 men visited an emergency room for treatment related to opioids. By 2014, that rate rose 103%, to 203 per 100,000.

• Meanwhile, in 2005, 79 out of every 100,000 women visited an emergency room for opioid-related treatment. By 2014, that rate rose 95%, to 153 per 100,000.

• Among the 30 states that reported data on ER visits by gender, 23 had higher rates for men and seven had higher rates for women.

Age differences

• The age groups most likely to be admitted to a hospital were adults between the ages of 25 and 44, followed very closely by adults ages 45 to 64.

• By 2014, members of the younger group were being admitted at a rate of 321 per 100,000, a 55% increase over 2005. Meanwhile, in 2014, members of the older group were admitted at a rate of 317 per 100,000, up 64% over the same period.

• The group with the biggest increase in hospitalization rate was adults ages 65 and up. For these senior citizens, the admission rate rose from 134 per 100,000 in 2005 to 248 per 100,000 in 2014.

• When it came to opioid-related ER visits, there was a bigger gap among age groups. Adults ages 25-44 started out with the highest visitation rate (161 per 100,000 in 2005) and saw it more than double (to 336 per 100,000 in 2014).

• ER visits followed a similar trajectory for adults ages 45 to 64. In 2005, there were 90 visits per 100,000 people, and that rate more than doubled to 188 visits per 100,000 people by 2014.

• Children and young adults ages 1 to 24 were third-highest group for opioid-related ER visits, followed by senior citizens and infants under 1 year.

State differences

• The researchers ranked the states according to their 2014 rates of inpatient stays for each age group and both sexes. In this analysis, Massachusetts was the only state to rank in the top 25% in all of these categories.

• Connecticut, Maryland and Washington state ranked in the top 25 for both sexes and for three of the four age groups.

• The researchers did a similar analysis for rates of opioid-related emergency room visits in 2014. For ER visits, Maryland was the only state to rank in the top 25% in all age and sex categories.

• Massachusetts and Rhode Island also ranked in the top 25% for both sexes and for three of the four age groups.

California

• In California, the rate of hospital admissions due to opioids in 2014 was nearly the same for men (169 per 100,000) as for women (168 per 100,000).

• Senior citizens were admitted to hospitals at a rate of 303 per 100,000, while adults ages 45 to 64 were admitted at a rate of 286 per 100,000.

• In 2014, men went to ERs at higher rates (169 per 100,000) than women (144 per 100,000).

• Californians between the ages of 25 and 44 were the most likely to seek treatment in an ER in 2014 (229 per 100,000), followed by Californians ages 45 to 64 (215 per 100,000).

• For opioid-related hospital admissions in 2014, California ranked in the top 25% for senior citizens. It was in the bottom 25% for people ages 1 to 24, and for people ages 25-44.

• For opioid-related ER visits in 2014, the Golden State ranked in the top 25% for senior citizens.

deborah.netburn@latimes.com

Do you love science? I do! Follow me @DeborahNetburn and “like” Los Angeles Times Science & Health on Facebook.

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A leader of a South Los Angeles gang that has terrorized the community with murders, robberies, extortion and drug trafficking was sentenced Monday to 21 years and 10 months in federal prison, officials said.

Tyrine “Lil’ C-Bone” Martinez, 36, pleaded guilty last year to several felony charges, including racketeering conspiracy, conspiracy to commit murder, illegally possessing a firearm and selling crack cocaine, according the U.S. attorney’s office.

He was among 72 defendants charged in an indictment targeting the Broadway Gangster Crips.

In his plea agreement, Martinez admitted to being a leader of the violent hit squad known as the Gremlin Riderz, a clique of the Broadway gang, pushing subordinates to engage in violence and disciplining those who did not follow gang rules.

He also admitted to conspiring to kill Andre Griffin, a fellow Broadway gang member who had spoken to police about a 2012 shooting that killed an innocent teenager and struck three others, including a 10-year-old girl and her mother.

“As a leader of the Gremlin Riderz,” officials wrote in Martinez’s sentencing memo, the “defendant served as the prototype of why and how gangs destroy communities (most often their own) through violence, intimidation, fueling crack cocaine addiction and by contriving a self-serving and morally corrupt ‘code.’”

U.S. District Judge S. James Otero also ordered Martinez, whose criminal career began with a robbery at age 16, to spend 10 years on supervised release after serving his sentence.

esmeralda.bermudez@latimes.com

@LATBermudez



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The LA Pride parade is usually a celebration for the LBGTQ community. But this year, organizers are returning to its political roots with the Resist March.

“We’re getting back to our roots,” Brian Pendleton, a board member for Christopher Street West, the nonprofit that organizes the annual event, told The Times in March. “We will be resisting forces that want to roll back our rights, and politicians who want to make us second-class citizens.”

Here’s a look back at the parade’s history and its memorable moments.


1970

The first LA Pride Parade

The first parade took place in Hollywood — at a time when gay sex was actually illegal in California. It was organized to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall riots, an uprising triggered by a police raid of a gay bar in New York City.

The LBGTQ community in L.A. also had experiences with police brutality. Officers beat gay patrons and arrested 14 for same-sex kissing — which was illegal during the time — at the Black Cat on New Year’s Day 1967. That event sparked gay-rights protests.

The first LA Pride Parade took place along Hollywood Boulevard on June 29, 1970. (Associated Press)

1973

The parade is a no-show

The parade skipped a year in 1973 due to infighting among the organizers, “offensive” parade floats and opposition from some bar owners, according to The Advocate.

1978

‘Defeat Briggs’

Parade attendees protested the Briggs Initiative, a proposed measure that would have banned LGBTQ people from working in California public schools.

Young men chant against the Briggs proposition during the Gay Pride Parade held on Hollywood Boulevard.
Young men chant against the Briggs proposition during the Gay Pride Parade held on Hollywood Boulevard. (Christopher Hardy / Los Angeles Times)

1980s

The parade moves to West Hollywood

The parade moved to Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood — now one of the biggest LGBTQ-friendly cities — after the community incorporated.

1990

AIDS epidemic

An AIDS advocacy group staged a die-in, forming chalk outlines to represent people who died of AIDS.

Parade participants stage a die-in at San Vicente and Santa Monica Boulevard.
Parade participants stage a die-in at San Vicente and Santa Monica Boulevard. (Lisa Romerein / Los Angeles TImes)

2008

Same-sex marriage win in California

Attendees celebrated the California Supreme Court decision to legalize same-sex marriage in the state. But later that year, Californian voters approved Proposition 8, which eliminated the right of same-sex couples to marry.

Robin Tyler and Diane Olsen celebrate the Supreme Court decision to legalize gay marriage by riding on a wedding float together on June 8, 2008.
Robin Tyler and Diane Olsen celebrate the Supreme Court decision to legalize gay marriage by riding on a wedding float together on June 8, 2008. (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)

2011

NOH8 and Prop. 8

The NOH8 movement — and many other LGBTQ organizations — jumped into action when Proposition 8 was enacted in California. The campaign, created by celebrity photographer Adam Bouska and his partner Jeff Parshley, rallied for marriage equality and gay rights by using images of people wearing duct tape over their mouths, symbolizing their voices being “silenced.”

NOH8 participates during the LA Pride Parade on June 12, 2011.
NOH8 participates during the LA Pride Parade on June 12, 2011. (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)

2016

‘Equal dignity’: Same-sex marriage becomes a right

The U.S. Supreme Court’s historic ruling on same-sex marriage is highlighted during the 2016 parade. (There had been an impromptu celebration in June of 2015, hours after the court’s decision.)

Couple Lulu Garcia and Dani Garcia kiss during the annual LA Pride Parade in West Hollywood. This was their first pride parade.
Couple Lulu Garcia and Dani Garcia kiss during the annual LA Pride Parade in West Hollywood. This was their first pride parade. (Harrison Hill / Los Angeles Times)

2016

Pulse shooting creates a somber tone

Last year’s parade took place just a few hours after a mass shooting at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., in which 49 people were fatally shot. The 29-year-old gunman, Omar Mateen, had spoken in the past of his hatred for gay people.

87548842

The typically joyous LA Pride Parade in West Hollywood took on a somber tone Sunday in the wake of the massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., that killed 49 people. (Dillon Deaton / Los Angeles Times)



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The LA Pride parade is usually a celebration for the LBGTQ community. But this year, organizers are returning to its political roots with the Resist March.

“We’re getting back to our roots,” Brian Pendleton, a board member for Christopher Street West, the nonprofit that organizes the annual event, told The Times in March. “We will be resisting forces that want to roll back our rights, and politicians who want to make us second-class citizens.”

Here’s a look back at the parade’s history and its memorable moments.


1970

The first LA Pride Parade

The first parade took place in Hollywood — at a time when gay sex was actually illegal in California. It was organized to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall riots, an uprising triggered by a police raid of a gay bar in New York City.

The LBGTQ community in L.A. also had experiences with police brutality. Officers beat gay patrons and arrested 14 for same-sex kissing — which was illegal during the time — at the Black Cat on New Year’s Day 1967. That event sparked gay-rights protests.

The first LA Pride Parade took place along Hollywood Boulevard on June 29, 1970. (Associated Press)

1973

The parade is a no-show

The parade skipped a year in 1973 due to infighting among the organizers, “offensive” parade floats and opposition from some bar owners, according to The Advocate.

1978

‘Defeat Briggs’

Parade attendees protested the Briggs Initiative, a proposed measure that would have banned LGBTQ people from working in California public schools.

Young men chant against the Briggs proposition during the Gay Pride Parade held on Hollywood Boulevard.
Young men chant against the Briggs proposition during the Gay Pride Parade held on Hollywood Boulevard. (Christopher Hardy / Los Angeles Times)

1980s

The parade moves to West Hollywood

The parade moved to Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood — now one of the biggest LGBTQ-friendly cities — after the community incorporated.

1990

AIDS epidemic

An AIDS advocacy group staged a die-in, forming chalk outlines to represent people who died of AIDS.

Parade participants stage a die-in at San Vicente and Santa Monica Boulevard.
Parade participants stage a die-in at San Vicente and Santa Monica Boulevard. (Lisa Romerein / Los Angeles TImes)

2008

Same-sex marriage win in California

Attendees celebrated the California Supreme Court decision to legalize same-sex marriage in the state. But later that year, Californian voters approved Proposition 8, which eliminated the right of same-sex couples to marry.

Robin Tyler and Diane Olsen celebrate the Supreme Court decision to legalize gay marriage by riding on a wedding float together on June 8, 2008.
Robin Tyler and Diane Olsen celebrate the Supreme Court decision to legalize gay marriage by riding on a wedding float together on June 8, 2008. (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)

2011

NOH8 and Prop. 8

The NOH8 movement — and many other LGBTQ organizations — jumped into action when Proposition 8 was enacted in California. The campaign, created by celebrity photographer Adam Bouska and his partner Jeff Parshley, rallied for marriage equality and gay rights by using images of people wearing duct tape over their mouths, symbolizing their voices being “silenced.”

NOH8 participates during the LA Pride Parade on June 12, 2011.
NOH8 participates during the LA Pride Parade on June 12, 2011. (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)

2016

‘Equal dignity’: Same-sex marriage becomes a right

The U.S. Supreme Court’s historic ruling on same-sex marriage is highlighted during the 2016 parade. (There had been an impromptu celebration in June of 2015, hours after the court’s decision.)

Couple Lulu Garcia and Dani Garcia kiss during the annual LA Pride Parade in West Hollywood. This was their first pride parade.
Couple Lulu Garcia and Dani Garcia kiss during the annual LA Pride Parade in West Hollywood. This was their first pride parade. (Harrison Hill / Los Angeles Times)

2016

Pulse shooting creates a somber tone

Last year’s parade took place just a few hours after a mass shooting at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., in which 49 people were fatally shot. The 29-year-old gunman, Omar Mateen, had spoken in the past of his hatred for gay people.

87548842

The typically joyous LA Pride Parade in West Hollywood took on a somber tone Sunday in the wake of the massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., that killed 49 people. (Dillon Deaton / Los Angeles Times)



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Go down the few blocks of Fairfax Avenue that constitute the Little Ethiopia neighborhood of Los Angeles, past the antique shops and markets and repeating restaurants of the cozy, vibrant, cluttered-sidewalk community, and you’ll find Meals by Genet, which for the last 17 years has operated as a kind of culinary oasis.

Open the front door to chef-owner Genet Agonafer’s restaurant, a dining room that seems both a local fixture and oddly incommensurate with the neighborhood. White tablecloths. Starched napkins fanned in wine glasses. Candlelight throwing shadows on museum-white walls hung with framed art. Juxtaposed with the serene bistro aesthetic is Agonafer’s traditional Ethiopian cooking: platters covered with injera, the dark-lavender-colored teff flatbreads that function as plate, utensil and accompaniment, and loaded with colorful zones of vegetables and stews and condiments, all eaten by hand.

And at the center of almost all of the platters on the tables — as if by a kind of gravitational pull — is Agonafer’s doro wot, the intense, long-cooked, chile-spiked chicken stew that is so intrinsic to Ethiopian cuisine that, says Agonafer, in the arranged marriages that are still commonplace in her native country, “the guy, before he even looks at you, he tastes the doro wot: It’s that important.”

She considers both her pot and her situation, seasoned with traditional spices and irony. “Here people eat very healthy,” she says of many Angeleno diners who come to her restaurant looking for traditional Ethiopian food and are often surprised to find so many vegan dishes among those that form the backbone of the cuisine. Much of traditional Ethiopian food also happens to be gluten-free, she points out, including all that injera. “It’s also about awareness. I used to smoke four packs a day too; I never thought it was bad for you!”

As she talks — in motion, in her kitchen, or at rest, seated at one of the immaculate tables in her dining room — Agonafer is at once amused and circumspect, as if she’s been long accustomed to taking, well, the long view. “Being vegan actually helped me,” she says of the last few years of that journey. “I used to go crazy — how am I going to be vegan and not have dessert? Now I’m gluten-free, I’m this-free, I’m that-free.” Her voice trails off, laughing.

1053 S. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 938-9304, mealsbygenetla.com

amy.scattergood@latimes.com

@ascattergood

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Forty years ago, a 13-year-old girl clutched a heart charm her friend gave her as a prosecutor made her describe in explicit detail to a grand jury her alleged rape by director Roman Polanski.

On Friday, Samantha Geimer testified in the criminal case for the first time since that day, this time pleading with a judge to sentence Polanski, 83, to time served, so that her family can be released from the media spectacle that has haunted her life since that day.

Geimer, 54, said freeing the fugitive director of his international warrant would be “an act of mercy to myself and my family.”

She said she did not want her grandchildren exposed to what she and her sons have faced for decades now.

“I imagine that if Roman wins another Oscar or Roman eventually passes away, as we all must, I will not be able to go out my front door and my granddaughter will get an introduction to how horrible this can be,” she told a pack of reporters and camera crews outside court in a scene that underscored the continuing fascination with the case four decades later.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon, like previous judges in the case, had already ruled against sentencing Polanski until he turns himself in on U.S. soil, and he gave no sign that the legal odyssey was coming to an end.

Polanski pleaded guilty to unlawful intercourse with a minor in 1977 and was sent to the state prison in Chino for a 90-day psychiatric study that he believed was his sentence. He was released after 42 days after the prison psychiatrist deemed his crime “playful mutual eroticism.” That finding was in stark contrast to Geimer’s uncontested claims that she was drugged and repeatedly tried to ward off Polanski’s advances before he forced her to have anal sex to avoid a pregnancy. Judge Laurence J. Rittenband called the report a whitewash.

Under intense public scrutiny, the judge reneged on his promise, telling the attorneys in chambers that he would send Polanski back to prison for the remaining 48 days, after which the director would have to voluntarily deport himself or face a much lengthier sentence.

Polanski fled, getting the last seat on the next British Airways flight to London.

Ever since, his lawyers have alleged numerous acts of misconduct by the court, arguing he would not get a fair hearing if he returned.

In 2008, a documentary, “Roman Polanksi: Wanted and Desired” explored the allegations and reignited interest in the case. The next year, he was arrested in Switzerland and spent nine months in prison and under house arrest before Swiss officials denied the United States’ extradition request.

On Friday, his attorney, Harland Braun, argued to unseal testimony from 2010 by the original prosecutor, Roger Gunson, who has said that Rittenband acted in bad faith. Braun said he hoped he can use the affidavit to get the Interpol warrant lifted so that Polanski can travel freely outside the United States.

“His concern is that if he’s traveling with his family, he gets arrested,” Braun told reporters.

Gordon said he would issue a written ruling on the motion.

Since the beginning, Geimer has said she did not want Polanski to serve time, but simply admit his wrongdoing.

At a news conference after the court hearing Friday, she said she was offended when she read his 1984 autobiography, in which he described their encounter as consensual.

In 1988, she sued him for sexual assault and battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress and false imprisonment. The trial judge in the case found “substantial evidence of oppressive conduct by Polanski and a strong likelihood that a jury would find despicable conduct on the part of Polanski.”

He settled with Geimer in 1993. Documents in the file are missing, but on a record of the day’s proceedings were circled notations of “250,000 + 500,000 + maybe 500,000” and the words “settled” and “confidential.” In 1995, her attorneys were back in court trying to collect $500,000.

She said on Friday that the settlement did not influence her decision to speak on Polanski’s behalf and that she was offended by the notion she “was bought and paid for.”

Geimer described the ordeal she faced from the moment the charges went public, when Polanski was the acclaimed director of “Chinatown” and “Rosemary’s Baby” whose wife and unborn child had been murdered by the Manson family. At the time, his attorney promised to dig into her sexual history and use of drugs.

“Judge Rittenband asked if my mother and I were a mother-daughter hooker team in court. . . .When this happened, my mother and I were lying gold diggers who were attacking poor unfortunate Roman. It was a much different story. I was [called] a drug-doing Lolita that had cornered him into this. And I was lying.

“Now he endures it. Now everyone calls him a pedophile and says terrible things about him, which aren’t true. The insults have switched, but I have empathy for the way he’s treated because I was treated the same way when this first happened.”

Asked why she didn’t considered Polanski a pedophile for the crime, Geimer said, “I was almost 14, I wasn’t 10. . . . I was a teenager.”

She said she has felt that the media have wanted her to play the role of victim for the last 40 years, even though she had long ago gotten over it.

“I just wasn’t as traumatized as everybody thinks I should have been.” To other sex crime victims, she said: “Do your best to recover. Don’t let people tell you can’t recover.”



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Compton College, which lost its accreditation more than a decade ago during a time of serious administrative failure and widespread corruption, has been granted initial accreditation status and is one step away from winning back its full standing.

In a meeting late Wednesday, the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges reviewed recent evaluations and agreed to the initial status — a major acknowledgement of the college’s efforts to rebuild.

“On behalf of the commission, I wish to express our appreciation for the significant scope and quality of work that Compton College undertook,” Richard Winn, the commission’s interim president, wrote in a letter to Compton College leaders.

Compton’s troubles began to draw serious public attention in May 2004 when the state — in a rare action — took over the college in an effort to restore it to financial solvency. The takeover followed an investigation by the state chancellor’s office amid concerns about the school’s accounting practices. Federal and local authorities were investigating possible corruption.

Compton College’s accreditation was revoked in 2005, and state legislators also stripped the college’s board of trustees of its power. In 2006, Compton became a satellite campus of El Camino College in Torrance.

Over the years, trustees have worked to regain their influence and oversight responsibilities. In February, the board won back the authority to govern itself. The accrediting commission visited in March to evaluate the campus. In its report, the evaluation team commended the partnership with the El Camino district as well as the level of student engagement in campus initiatives and the participatory governance process.

State and local officials are celebrating the initial accreditation as the end of a difficult era for the community of Compton and the California Community Colleges. The college system is the largest in the country, with 114 colleges serving 2.1 million students each year.

“This is an extraordinary accomplishment and joyous moment,” said Cecilia V. Estolano, president of the California Community Colleges Board of Governors. “The accreditation commission recognized the remarkable progress on the part of faculty, staff, administrators, students and community leaders.”

The Compton district covers about 29 square miles, serving residents of Compton, Lynwood, Paramount and Willowbrook, as well as portions of surrounding neighborhoods. Since it was founded in 1927, it has educated generations of students and became a community point of pride. Compton has been referred to as California’s historically black college, and the city’s mayor, Aja Brown, has spoken about how her mother received her nursing credential there.

With this week’s decision, Keith Curry, provost of the El Camino Compton satellite campus and the Compton District CEO, becomes president of Compton College — the first of many changes, school officials said. Curry and leaders of El Camino College are developing a transition plan to make Compton College an independent school again. The college also must submit a special report to the accrediting commission within a year.

“Thank you to all of our community leaders — at the federal, state and local levels — for your steadfast support,” Curry said. “We look forward to continuing to provide comprehensive educational programs and support services to our diverse communities.”

rosanna.xia@latimes.com

Follow @RosannaXia for more education news

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It’s difficult to say exactly when the excitement started to build about this super horse destined to be the only undefeated winner of the Triple Crown.

Some might say it was as soon as this son of Bold Reasoning and My Charmer was put up for sale as a yearling and bought for $17,500.

Or was it when the clocker at Saratoga recorded his workout but refused to put down the real time because it was so fast no one would believe him.

Or was it his devastating win as a 2-year-old in the Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park by almost 10 lengths.

Or maybe it was the night after the Champagne when trainer Billy Turner sat in a bar and told a reporter, “If he doesn’t win the Triple Crown, I haven’t done my job.”

Turner laughs when remembering that night.

“I couldn’t believe he wrote it,” Turner said. “Talk about sweating bullets. Talk about pressure.”

Saturday afternoon, when the winner of the Belmont Stakes crosses the finish line, it will mark the 40th anniversary of Seattle Slew’s magnificent run to glory. As good as he was on the track, he was equally as great as a sire with offspring such as A.P. Indy and Slew O’ Gold.

He touched many lives and became a true national celebrity. He had lots of personality. He liked things his own way. But he also had his soft side.

It all started when Karen and Mickey Taylor joined with Sally and Jim Hill and bought one of the greatest racehorses in American history.

“They told me I wasn’t going to put that camper on the grounds of Churchill Downs,” Mickey Taylor said. “They asked me when I was coming and I said we weren’t.

“We’re about halfway over to the barns and they call [director of horseman’s relations Julian] “Buck” Wheat and tell him ‘You can tell Mr. Taylor he can do anything he wants.’”

Would Taylor have gone through on that threat?

“I guess we’ll never know,” he said.

Mickey Taylor said the problem was that Slew was tranquilized twice when he was shipped to Los Angeles and hadn’t recovered. Jim Hill, the vet, said that was nonsense.

Pretty much everyone regrets running him in that race.

Slew ran seven more times before he retired, winning five of them. The biggest win was the 1978 Marlboro Cup where he beat Affirmed in the only race with two Triple Crown winners in it.

Slew went off to the breeding shed with great success. He stood at Spendthrift Farm and Three Chimneys Farm.

The Taylors and Hills had a falling out over the assets of the horse, resulting in litigation in 1997.

“It was very painful,” Sally Hill said. “That was about as tough a thing as I’ve ever had to face.”

Slew started having medical problems and in 2000 had surgery to alleviate pressure on his neck.

“I looked after him 27 years, 9 months and 18 days and the last three years of his life,” Mickey Taylor said. “I was with him every day [the last three years], except for one day when my mother passed away.”

In April 2002, the Taylors moved him to Hill ’n’ Dale Farm to live out his last days.

Slew had a companion his last couple years, a black Labrador called Chet, named after Mickey Taylor’s father.

“Slew didn’t like dogs,” Mickey Taylor said. “If there was a dog in his stall he wasn’t there long. But he was different with Chet.”

On May 7, Slew was slipping away. Mickey went to find Chet to bring him to the stall to see Slew, where Karen and his longtime groom Tom Wade were waiting.

“Slew is laying down in Karen’s arms,” Mickey said. “Chet walks in and he looks up and they make contact, eye to eye. Slew raised up on his sternum. I turned Chet loose and he just stood there.”

Chet then went over and licked Slew, who reciprocated. They went nose to nose and licked each other again.

“Something passed between Slew and Chet,” Karen Taylor said. “It was like they were talking.”

Slew put his head down in Karen’s lap, closed his eyes and passed away.

It was exactly 25 years to the day that Seattle Slew won the Kentucky Derby.

john.cherwa@latimes.com

@jcherwa



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