LA Has 4,000 Illegal Billboards, But City Looks On Helplessly

LA Has 4,000 Illegal Billboards, But City Looks On Helplessly

In 2002, LA banned any new billboards from going up in the city. Since then, an estimated four thousand have been put up by advertising companies who have ignored the law, which obviously the city’s billboard inspectors—”a tiny, and some say incredibly inept, group”—have never bothered to enforce.

Ex-Sub-Prime Borrowers Live In Tent Cities On LA Outskirts

[via Boing Boing]

LAX Terminal Evacuated Due To "Suspicious Comment"

LAX Terminal Evacuated Due To "Suspicious Comment"

20 Southwest Airlines and 2 U.S. Airways flights were delayed after a LAX terminal was evacuated for two hours due to a “suspicious comment” made by a passenger on SWA Flight 1182 from El Paso. We were unable to find out what exactly the “suspicious comment” was, but UPI suggests that it had something to do with explosives in his luggage. The LAPD bomb squad was called, but no explosives were found.

Best Buy Still Embracing Deceptive In-Store Kiosks

Best Buy Still Embracing Deceptive In-Store Kiosks

Best Buy still uses a secret internal website to deceive customers, according to the L.A. Times. The website appearing on in-store kiosks resembles Best Buy’s official site in every way, except for the prices. Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal was surprised to hear that his investigation failed to end Best Buy’s bait-and-switch, telling the L.A. Times: “We thought Best Buy had addressed this. That’s what they said to us. Apparently that’s not the case.” A tipster in Virginia also reports the continued existence of the secret website.

http://consumerist.com/2007/12/21/the-lawyer-for-the-family/

The lawyer for the family whose daughter died after CIGNA declined to pay for her liver transplant said that he will urge the DA’s office to press manslaughter charges against CIGNA for having “maliciously killed her.” [AP]

Firebrand, The TV Show That's Just Commercials

Firebrand, The TV Show That's Just Commercials

Firebrand is a new TV show is just 60 minutes of commercials. “CJs” will introduce the ads, interview the stars, and provide banal banter. The show was started by an MTV co-founder, who said, ” “We’re changing the model again… We took promotion videos no one wanted and ran them.” The show runs late-nights on the ION network in LA, the place where all things devoid of substance are born.

As CIGNA Insurance Waffles On Liver Transplant, Girl Dies

As CIGNA Insurance Waffles On Liver Transplant, Girl Dies

CIGNA denied a girl’s liver transplant, saying it was “experimental,” then changed it’s mind after 150 family, friends, and nurses association members protested outside CIGNA headquarters. But the reversal was too late, Natalee Sarkisian, 17, died last night at UCLA medical center. The insurance company had initially agreed to pay for the liver transplant, but then after Natalee developed a lung infection, then got a bone marrow transplant from her brother, delayed, and then denied coverage, the family says. She was in a vegetative state, battling leukemia. In an email sent out shortly before Natalee died, the insurance company wrote, ” … CIGNA HealthCare has decided to make an exception in this rare and unusual case and we will provide coverage should she proceed with the requested liver transplant.” Score another one for the bean counters.

Local Franchise Authorities Keep Cable Operators In Line

Cable companies must constantly prove their worth to local franchise authorities. The authorities grant the cable providers permission to operate, and can whip them into action for failing to meet basic customer service standards, as reader Darren shows.

The Best Alternate Airports In America

The Best Alternate Airports In America

Flying to one of America’s numerous satellite airports can be faster and easier than charging into a congestion clogged airport that suffers delays on the sunniest days. Travel guru Peter Greenberg and his staff compiled a list of unlikely airports that can save you from the long lines and endless waits that plague traveler’s nightmares.

Report Says Property Values Could Decline By $1.2 Trillion

Report Says Property Values Could Decline By $1.2 Trillion

An especially gloomy report by the U.S. Conference of Mayors says that property values across the U.S. could decline by $1.2 trillion next year, slashing tax revenue by $6.6 billion.

Landlord: Quick, The 90-Year-Old Kicked The Bucket, Lock Up Her Stuff So We Can Rent Her Apartment!

“>Metroblogging Los Angeles]

LAX Meltdown Caused By A Single Network Interface Card

LAX Meltdown Caused By A Single Network Interface Card

The card, which allows computers to connect to a local area network, experienced a partial failure that started about 12:50 p.m. Saturday, slowing down the system, said Jennifer Connors, a chief in the office of field operations for the Customs and Border Protection agency.

AMC Theater Apparently Smells Indescribably Bad

AMC Theater Apparently Smells Indescribably Bad

Yes, you are a great theater. You have large, new accommodations that really make the 7.50 I spend on a showing feel different from watching it on my laptop or friend’s TV. Your parking is usually free and you constantly have showings for stuff I’m into.

20,000+ International Passengers Stranded In LAX

At one point, airlines were given clearance to get fuel and food, but many airlines didn’t take advantage of it, for whatever reason.

We're On CBS2 Los Angeles Tonight

Just did a phone interview with CBS2 in LA. Looks like they’re picking up our Geek Squad sting operation story. The piece might air at 6, but it could be later, too. We know many of you are sick of hearing about it but there’s a whole bunch of America that hasn’t. A still image of monsieur Popken with a crackly phone conversation playing underneath shall be their reward.

Sprinklers Douse Travelers At LAX

Sprinklers Douse Travelers At LAX

A water pipe broke, dousing travelers and workers and causing an evacuation at Los Angeles International Airport Sunday. Fun! From CBS:

At the Southwest Airlines check-in counter, computers were covered in plastic. The baggage claim area on the lower level was cordoned off, and sawdust and puddles of water lined the floor.

Advertising's Next Big Idea: Sign Spinners!

They spin the signs on their hands, around the back, under the legs, flip em’ over the head, and so forth. Everyone once in a while they stop the sign so its message can actually be read.

Cingular Spends 1.8 Million Dollars A Day Upgrading The LA Area. Just The LA Area.

Cingular Spends 1.8 Million Dollars A Day Upgrading The LA Area. Just The LA Area.

“The past two years were unprecedented — investing almost $1.3 billion to deliver a quality wireless experience to our customers here,” said Andy Shibley, vice president and general manager for the company’s Greater LA market. “Our wireless network is world class and second to none. The major expansion we completed was an extraordinary achievement that enables us to provide exceptional service for our customers today and into the future.”

According to the press release they’ve concentrated their efforts, in part, on Pismo Beach, which we remember from a Bugs Bunny cartoon. Now Bugs can talk on his cell phone if he forgets to take a left at Albuquerque. —MEGHANN MARCO