Urban News

By DENNIS DAILY, United Press International   |   Dec. 24, 2002 at 4:00 AM
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(LOS ANGELES) -- Like all American urban areas, Los Angeles has its classic "missions" and soup kitchens. One of the best known is the Los Angeles Mission. That venerable helping hand tells United Press International that once again this holiday season, a lot of well-known Hollywood and TV stars will be on the serving lines, helping the homeless.

Among those lending a hand will be Frank Bonner (from the old "WKRP" television sitcom), Miss Black California, Miss Black America, Ken Howard (of "Jordan's Crossing"), Daisy O'Dell (from "Band of Brothers") and Jeremiah Alley (of "New World Disorder").

The area in and around the mission has been renamed "Hope Central" for the week.

More than 2,500 pounds of honey-glazed ham will be served, along with 250 gallons of macaroni and cheese, 250 gallons of vegetables and more than 500 apple pies.

The mission plans to serve more than 4,000 homeless this week.

(CINCINNATI) -- The Ohio Supreme Court says Cincinnati was wrong in keeping secret the details of a recent deal with Washington. The court, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer, says that when the city of Cincinnati kept private the plans for a settlement with federal regulators to end bias in police dealings, it stepped outside the law.

In a 5-1 decision, jurists ruled that Cincinnati should have released a draft of a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department to the Enquirer when that paper asked for it in March.

The final settlement plan was announced in April by Cincinnati Mayor Charlie Luken. The agreement was forced after a rising tide of racial problems in the Queen City came to a head during several days of rioting in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood.

In the ruling, the court said that the Enquirer had a right to the information to enhance citizen understanding of the actions, involving the monitoring of the police department by the Feds.

(SAN FRANCISCO) -- The San Francisco artscape has a new addition ... emerging from the ground. Not unlike a massive sculpture in Washington called "The Awakening," San Francisco has gotten a huge work of art that is partially buried in the ground. The West Coast work, called "Cupid's Span," is a representation of a huge bow and arrow that is not only pointed toward the ground, some of it is buried. But the part that is visible is awesome.

The work is 60 feet tall and is made of painted fiberglass and stainless steel. It's been placed on what the San Francisco Chronicle calls a "sliver of pedestrian park that borders the Embarcadero, at the end of Folsom Street.

The designers are Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen. Both are well-respected creators of large art pieces. Oldenburg is in his 70s, his partner in her 60s.

By the way, "Awakening" on Washington's Haines Point covers a huge amount of ground and are the face, arm, knees and leg of what would be a gigantic man, were he out of the ground, walking upright. Some spectacular photos of the artwork have been taken when that area is occasionally underwater. The shots show what looks like an angry giant emerging from the sea under those conditions.

(PHILADELPHIA) -- Court officials in Philadelphia say that a former police captain has been found innocent on several misdemeanor charges. The Philadelphia Inquirer says former Capt. Joseph J. DiLacqua was exonerated on charges that he orchestrated the cover-up of a drunken-driving accident involving a fellow officer in 1998.

The non-jury trial for the former officer was held in the city's Criminal Justice Center. DiLacqua, 43, was found innocent of obstruction, tampering with public records and related charges. The Inquirer says the courtroom was filled with the former officer's friends and backers; attendees burst into applause when the verdict was announced.

Prosecutors had claimed that DiLacqua and a fellow policeman had conspired to stage a traffic accident in order to create an excuse for damage to the unmarked car of a third officer, who allegedly damaged the city-owned car while intoxicated.

The plan was to have had the car placed up against a light pole and then to create paperwork claiming that the officer was forced off the road by another driver.

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