Los Angeles

Luke Runyon / KUNC

Fear can be a powerful motivator.

The mention of one plausible future scenario along the Colorado River is enough to make some water managers in the West break into a sweat. It’s called the Compact Call, and even though it’s never happened — and is years away from ever happening — its invocation conjures up dystopian imagery of a southwest battling over scarce water supplies.

Edwin van Buuringen / Flickr

Reservoirs that store water along the Colorado River are projected to be less than half full later this year, potentially marking a historic low mark for the river system that supplies water to seven U.S. states and Mexico.

Forecasters with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation expect the river’s reservoirs -- Lakes Mead and Powell among them -- to be at a combined 48 percent of capacity by the end of September. That would be one of the lowest points ever for the combined water storage.

Kim Gordon’s memoir “Girl in a Band” starts with the end. A concert in Brazil that would mark the end of her 30-year career as the bassist and singer for the experimental rock band Sonic Youth. And the end of her 27-year marriage to band mate Thurston Moore.

“Maybe that was the part (of the story) that was most in people’s mind so it was kind of good to get it over with,” said Gordon, 64, from her home in Los Angeles. “I guess I usually plunge into things that make me nervous, you know, kind of without thinking. It’s just easier if you just do it. And in the same way, when I’m on stage sometimes I feel most relaxed. I don’t know, it’s a weird thing.”

Courtesy of Renee McMahon

“The first time I heard it was actually when I woke up and a trailer for the film was on Facebook and my voice was in it,” said Angela Parrish.

Unless you’re living on a deserted island, you’ve probably seen the same trailer.

La La Land, a musical about an aspiring actress and musician struggling to make it big in Los Angeles, is being praised by audiences and critics alike. It’s also getting University of Northern Colorado graduate Parrish - who sings the opening song, “Another Day of Sun” - a lot of attention.

Goro Toshima / Sundance Selects

Once upon a time, when every city had newspapers that mattered, a great columnist could help a city define and understand itself. Great columnists got their readers – and their cities – talking about who and what they are. Writers like Herb Caen in San Francisco, Jimmy Breslin in New York, Tom Gavin in Denver.

Jonathan Gold of The Los Angeles Times seems to be that kind of writer – and he does it through food. Not the fine dining, newspaper restaurant critic kind. Gold writes about food trucks, taco joints in strip malls – and all sorts of not-upscale restaurants.

In Los Angeles, more than a thousand people sleep on the street in cardboard boxes and tents — just a mile away from City Hall.

This is Skid Row, and compared to the affluent downtown areas that practically surround it, the area is like a different planet. Fifty blocks of sidewalk are jammed with people who live on the street, with all of their worldly possessions crammed into shopping carts and crates.

Cuban-American actress Elizabeth Peña has died at age 55. She played dramatic roles in movies such as La Bamba and Lone Star and appeared in sitcoms including Modern Family.

Peña died Tuesday after a brief illness at a hospital in Los Angeles, according to her agent.

A massive expansion of classroom technology has come to a grinding halt in Los Angeles.

The LA Unified School District had planned to buy some 700,000 iPads for its students and teachers. The Apple tablets would include learning software built by publishing giant Pearson. But Superintendent John Deasy announced earlier this week he is canceling the contract and restarting the bidding process.

Sylvia Mendez says the only reason she wanted to go to an all-white school in California's Westminster District in the 1940s was because of its beautiful playground. The school that she and other Latino students were forced to attend didn't have monkey bars or swings.

"I was 9 years old," she says. "I just thought my parents wanted us to go to the nice-looking school."

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has been banned for life from the NBA after he made racist comments.

Sports bans aren't new.

In 1990, New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner was banned from day-to-day management of the club by Major League Baseball Commissioner Fay Vincent.

Steinbrenner was reinstated in 1993.

Sterling is 80. He comes from another time and is not only the senior NBA owner –– since 1981 –– but also, although probably this won't surprise you, historically the very worst owner in all of sport.