RSS

Category Archives: Uncategorized

Good Kid in a Mad City

Growing up is hard enough. Imagine having to worry about being shot at while walking the streets of your neighborhood. It was a reality for Kendrick Lamar. Now 23 years old, he’s sharing his story of keeping an upbeat attitude in an often-dark place.

Born and raised in Compton, California, a city where violence, drugs, and gang activity looms, Lamar knows what he must do to make it out. He’s found his voice on the microphone as a hip-hop artist, and people are beginning to listen.

Eminem’s manager, Paul Rosenberg, first took notice of Lamar late last year. Rosenberg tipped off rapper Dr. Dre, who gave Lamar a shout-out while on a Los Angeles radio station. Now things are moving fast.

This past January Lamar had his first sold out show at the Key Club in Los Angeles. Dr. Dre has included him on his much anticipated release Detox. Equally impressive, Lamar has landed on the cover of one of music’s most respected magazines, XXL. It’s a sign that the industry is watching and waiting.

Lamar tells me he began singing about his city, his struggles, and his survival at the age of 13. Now years later, he has nearly 300 songs, and must narrow it down to 12 for an album release. When asked which are his favorites, song titles like “The Hard Part 2,” “Cut You Off,” “Average Joe,” and “Faith” roll off his tongue. According to Lamar, all the songs have a message. Whether it’s about the ills of negativity, or the senseless loss of his uncle to prison, Lamar sings with a raw, honest, and sometimes angered voice. Many of his lyrics come from what he’s seen and experienced growing up in Compton.

His parents, who are still married, moved to Los Angeles from Chicago in the 1970’s. Lamar says his dad was always there for him, and admits the tight relationship likely saved his life, and gave him security to fall back on when he pushed the edges and lost focus.

While there has been a big drop in homicides in the city of Compton in the last couple of years, (some say due to better communication between police and residents), Lamar believes it is still not perfect; calling himself “a good kid in a mad city.”

I got a chance to spend the day with the young man who is, by the way, very charming. He and I walked the streets of Compton, visiting the Social Services building where he and his family collected welfare back in the day. We drove by his family’s first apartment, a building where he says he saw drug deals go down on a daily basis. We even stopped by his high school, a place he admits he “actually misses.” I also wanted to see Lamar in the studio. When we arrived, we found a small dark disheveled room in the back of a small house. It has been his place to record for years, and while it is not perfect by any means, sort of like the city of Compton, Kendrick Lamar hopes to help change that with his music.

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Am I really doing this?

13.1 miles=Half Marathon

It’s the distance I used to drive as a teenager from my house (in the country) to the small SC town of Estill.

13.1 miles

It’s almost like walking from Santa Monica to Hollywood.

That’s what I’ve pledged to walk. 13.1 miles. Please JOIN me!!! If you can’t join, can you please help support me??

Why you ask? Check out the following letter and info to find out. There’s a lot of cool stuff. THANKS.


Hi,

I am excited and scared!

I have committed to do something that isn’t easy, but will be very rewarding. Along with other volunteers,I will be walking 13.1 miles next month in the LA Rock-n-Roll Half Marathon to raise much needed funds for a non-profit I started this year called Lu Parker Project. Our projects are already helping homeless animals and at-risk teenagers in Los Angeles.

In the last couple of months:

*Along with local teenagers, we re-designed the entire lobby at South LA Shelter.
*We created a more appealing area outside the shelter by planting plants and gardening. (I even mowed the lawn!)
*We bathed and groomed nearly 20 shelter dogs so they would be more presentable for adoption.
*We have helped place over a half a dozen homeless dogs and cats into new homes.

South LA Shelter Lobby
Abbie, a rescue from South LA ShelterUrban Arts Crew paint murals


We did all the above with NO funding, but it’s difficult to continue this way. That’s exactly why many of us have committed to walking the upcoming half marathon.

Please help us by donating anything you can. ($5, $50,..even more if you can) We promise you will see results! Here’s my personal page:

My Fundraising Page

Thanks,

Lu Parker


For more info on JOINING OUR TEAM, or to sponsor a walker, click below.

www.active.com/donate/luparkerproject

To SUPPORT ME individually, please click below.

www.active.com/donate/luparkerproject/luparkerproject

Please check out our website: www.luparkerproject.org

To read more about the race: http://los-angeles.competitor.com/

*To send a tax-deductible donation by mail, send your check to Lu Parker Project, 5042 Wilshire Blvd. Box 389, LA CA 90036

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Heal the Bay–UPDATED

*******UPDATE********

KTLA Los Angeles’ “Heal the Bay” Special With Lu Parker & Micah Ohlman airs SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2010 at 8pm.

Los Angeles, CA (September 17, 2010)— Lu Parker, Emmy-Award winning journalist and animal welfare advocate, along with KTLA anchor Micah Ohlman, will be hosting a must-see, telecast “Heal the Bay”. The hour-long special will give viewers a shocking glimpse into the pollution of our beloved Southern California Coastline as well as the animals so strongly affected by it. Miles and miles of trash and debris along a once pristine coastline is more than an environmental eye sore but also causing detrimental affects to our animal and sea life.  The show highlights the ugly truth about what is happening with our oceans, oceans harmed by humans and suffering from a disease of debris.

Viewers are able to learn the simple things they can do to cure our coast and save our seas as well as have the chance to meet the inspiring individuals dedicated to helping the endangered marine life and coastline, from the open waters to our shores and our valleys. In addition, viewers will see how local neighborhoods and schools are influencing even the littlest of helpers to make a huge difference. 

Join hosts Micah Ohlman & Lu Parker of KTLA News, THIS SATURDAY NIGHT at 8pm on KTLA 5 Los Angeles to help “Heal the Bay!”

 

Hosting HEAL THE BAY Special

Hosting HEAL THE BAY Special

 

Today was a nice break from reporting on the streets, and a good lesson on paying attention to our environment.  

I was honored when I was asked to co-host this year’s HEAL THE BAY special along with Micah Ohlman of KTLA Channel 5.  We shot the show today at Paradise Cove in Malibu.  What an amazing spot to spend the day!

The show will highlight the issues surrounding our oceans and California coastline.  We discussed everything from the importance of recycling, to picking up trash, even teaching our neighbors and friends to get more involved with conservation.  As a society we waste so much, but if we take a second to look at what we can do to help, it’s quite easy.

Today I decided that I will make a big effort to stop using plastic bags.  I will attempt to take reusable bags to the grocery store from now on.  Of course, I’m sure I will forget several times, but I really want to start making a change.  Recently, my boyfriend and I stopped buying plastic water bottles in bulk.  In fact, we rarely use a plastic water bottle anymore. Instead we have switched to reusable bottles.  While it was his idea, and seemed difficult in the beginning, it turned out to be easy.  Just think how many bottles we’ve avoided wasting in the last six months alone.

Can you think of something you might like to do to help?  Got any ideas?  If you want more information go to Heal the Bay

HEAL THE BAY Special airs on KTLA September 21, 2010.  KTLA 

 

 

Hard day at work. :)

Hard day at work. 🙂

 

 

Wait for the Jib

Wait for the Jib

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Crew...

The Crew...

 

 

Kimberly working hard

Kimberly working hard

 

 

 

Jason on the move

Jason on the move

 

 

Frank checks the lighting

Frank checks the lighting

 

 

 

              

 

Crew...Looking for shade

Crew...Looking for shade

 

Micah, me, Don, Karen (Heal the Bay), John 

Micah, me, Don, Karen (Heal the Bay), John
 
2 Comments

Posted by on August 12, 2010 in environment, Inspirational, Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , ,

From Homeless to High School Graduate

How many times have you heard or said these two words? “I can’t!”

It’s easy to say and often times a great excuse for not doing something in life.  Whether you are looking to change jobs, go back to school, or even get out of a bad relationship, the words can paralyze you.  I admit I have learned the “I can’t” lesson from my own experiences, but was reminded today that none of it was necessary.

The person who reminded me was a teenager from Los Angeles named Kenneth Chancey, but this 18 year old is not just any teenager.  You see, this kid has experienced more difficult situations that you and I may ever encounter in our lifetime.  For most of his school years, Kenneth has been homeless.  He tells me he has bounced around from foster home, to homeless shelter, even admitting to once living in a van with his family.  With all that baggage, Kenneth never gave in, and today he walked on stage to accept his high school diploma.  I was there as a reporter, and have to tell you it was a beautiful sight.  Kenneth could have said “I can’t” but instead he said “I will.”  Here’s his story.

arthomelesscnn

 

Click here to find out more about Kenneth

 
 

Tags: , , ,

16 on the streets of LA

whellShe had sweaty palms.  I was stressed out.
 
It’s the best way to describe my first experience riding in a car with a 16 year old behind the wheel.  It happened recently, and even though I had offered my boyfriend’s daughter the chance to drive my car for practice several times, she had never said yes, until now. I realized once we got in the vehicle, and the doors closed, I was now officially a grown-up.
 
If you have ever driven the streets of Los Angeles, you know there is no rest for the weary. Drivers are aggressive, and often times it feels like you are in a constant struggle to survive from one point to the other trying to avoid a honk in your ear, or a scratch on your bumper.
 
On this beautiful sunny day, we two girls, one experienced, the other new to the art of driving, got brave, and put the car in drive.  One of her first statements to me was, “Okay, show me what to do.”  I had a hard time answering it.  I awkwardly responded, “Remember your blinkers. Check.
Fix your mirrors. Check.  Put it in gear.  Check.”  With that, she was now in control.  Sort of. 
 
We laughed as she drove slowly and cautiously along a residential street, her foot still figuring out the brakes. With her hands, 10 and 2 on the steering wheel, we approached our first stop sign. At this point, I realized how focused she was on doing everything right, but it also made me realize how unaware I am when I drive.  Often, there’s no time to come to a complete stop.  It’s just one of many sad reminders that I would realize on this journey.
 
Two minutes later, while sitting at a stop sign trying to figure out who goes first, we get our first horn.  She freezes.  I become anxious, and want to yell, “Can’t you see this is a new driver?” The guy behind us has no time for it, and beeps again. We take off, but ever so gingerly so now he is, of course, on our bumper.  Where is everyone going in such a hurry?  I know I’m guilty of it too, but on this day, it made me realize maybe we can sometimes slow down and see what’s happening in front of us.  Maybe for a moment, we can practice patience.  As expected, the angry driver zooms around us. Now we are free to cruise alone, well, that’s until I get the brilliant thought that it would be a good idea to turn onto Sunset Blvd.  
 
Sunset Blvd is a new jungle of sights and sounds.  She says to me, “There’s so much to concentrate on.” She’s right.  I remind her of how being a defensive driver is key to safety.  It’s advice my Dad told me when I was her age, but as the phrase came out of my mouth, I realized once again, it’s not what I actually do. How can I be a defensive driver behind the wheel when I’m texting friends, checking email on my blackberry, or even putting on makeup?
 
At this point, we have practiced right and left turns.  We have done a U-turn (That was scary), and we have driven on narrow residential streets. After stopping at a local store to practice parking, I suggest pulling out onto a three lane road from the parking lot.  (Not such a great suggestion.)  It’s funny to think back on it now, but in reality, we both would have liked to have disappeared at this point.  But it’s also where we meet one of those rare patient, calm LA drivers. After several attempts to merge unsuccessfully, mainly due to people not giving her any space to pull out, it happened.  A small white car stopped, allowing us pull out into his lane.  It wasn’t pretty.  In fact, it was slow and awkward, but once she straightened out the tires, and we both started breathing again, the lane opened up and we were cruising Sunset Blvd once again.  Just us girls, one experienced, the other new behind the wheel, but in that brief moment, the streets of Los Angeles didn’t seem so scary after all.
 
In the end, she had learned some new driving skills, and I walked away learning the lesson that we all need to pay more attention to what we do and don’t do behind the wheel, how we treat others along the road, and what it means to trust.
 
 
2 Comments

Posted by on March 31, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

Don't Judge The Cover

Imagine giving birth to a baby, only to have someone take it away, and then put you in a cage?  

It’s unimaginable but it happened to one new Mom.

I received an email on this beautiful Saturday morning that broke my heart, and reminded me of the importance of not judging what a person or an animal looks like.  The email asked for help to find a home or foster for a young Basset Hound who was dumped at the Carson Shelter along with her 8 newborn puppies.  They explained that the owners dropped her off with no explanation.  

The puppies were taken away from the mama dog and put at a location where they could be nursed to health.  Meanwhile, Mama (I named her that just now) has been left in a cage at the shelter wondering how did things go so bad, so quickly?  The email explained how Mama even sits in the corner looking at the ground all day.  When I opened these pictures, I couldn’t believe it.  The one of her looking in the corner with urine in the background on what’s suppose to be a bed, killed me!

11hound211hound311hound

The pictures of Mama are not perfect.  She is extremely skinny.  Her bones are showing, and her eyes are sad with eye boogers still visible.  This dog needs some TLC and a home.  And while she may not look perfect, it made me realize how bad my dog Monkey looked when I first met him.  

Monkey had been run over by a car and was missing hair due to surgery.  He too was extremely skinny and lanky, but I saw an amazing soul through his eyes and gave him a chance.  Now he is a healthy and happy 52 pound hunk of love.  

img_0385-150x1501monkey-1

Please reach out and help Mama.  If you know of someone who is looking for a Basset Hound or someone who would be a great foster, please pass on the info.

I know there are thousands of homeless animals.  I wish I could take them all home.  Living in a cage sucks,especially when your children have been taken away too.

Mama needs your help.  Thanks.

Click here for Carson Shelter Info

Carson Shelter Impound # A4086942 310-523-5966

_______________________________________

UPDATE:  2/21/10:  I received the following today….

Thanks so much to everyone who responded to our plea to help that poor girl.  the great news comes via  Stacy of the Barking Lot  (www,thebarkinglot.net) in San Diego.  They rescued the Mom AND all of her puppies – they all had mange just to make the story even sadder –  per Stacy, they are all happily united and sharing a big crate stuffed with blankets and toys. We’re still not sure why they were separated – and somehow the puppies ( which were 6-7 weeks old) were labeled as “Aggressive” – not sure I’ve seen dangerous puppies before but maybe Stacy will keep us informed to see how it all goes – Thanks Stacy … and thanks to all of you for apssing the story around – networking is what makes this happen – even if you can’t rescue yourself, you  still play a part in it.

 
 

Toy = Free Nail trim

dog-with-long-toenails-by-shortsands

Donating a toy at Christmas is nothing new, but this year there’s a twist, at least at one local vet office. My friends at Brent-Air-Animal Hospital are holding a toy drive for the next 14 days. In return they will give your dog a FREE nail trim. If you donate 3 or more toys, they are offering a FREE dog exam. Spread the word!!

It’s easy…and in the spirit of Christmas!!!!

Brent-Air Animal Hospital
11560 W. Olympic Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90064
310-478-0011

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 11, 2009 in Inspirational, Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , ,

Article of Good News

Jane Goodall in the wilds of Beverly Hills

November 1, 2009 | 8:52 pm

Comedian Craig Ferguson pretty much got it right Friday night at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, when he told the folks at the Jane Goodall Institute’s global leadership awards: “It’s nice to be here with people who actually do things rather than just tell jokes on television.” Or who just throw dinners congratulating one another for being so darned swell.

I’ve been to a few dinners at the BW that fit the latter description; the Goodall event fell into the “do things” category, certainly when it came to two particular honorees. They were sitting at my table, and they’re so young that they drank juice while everyone else drank wine.

Shadrach Meshach lives in Tanzania, where Goodall began her seminal work with chimpanzees. In grade school, he joined up with Goodall’s Roots and Shoots program, grassroots work for animals and the environment. Eventually he began bicycling to Tanzania’s refugee camps for Congolese, persuading hunters to stop killing endangered chimpanzees for meat and showing them how to raise chickens and vegetables instead. He has been breaking other cultural norms, too – he’s an African young man, a teenager, trying to improve women’s lot in life in the belief that that that will improve the world. He sat quietly on my right, taking in the plush ballroom and the lavish table settings. He has been out of Tanzania twice, once to Orlando, Fla.,last year, for a Jane Goodall young people’s summit, and now here, to Beverly Hills — not the average visitor’s experience of the United States.

Erica Fernandez came here from Michoacan with her farmworker family when she was a child. Now she’s a full-scholarship sophomore at Stanford; her family still works the fields in Oxnard, she told me, where, as a high school student, she campaigned to keep an LNG facility from being built there. She’s studying matters related to her commitment, environmental justice, and hopes to go to Harvard Law.

Among the grownups honored by Goodall was John Zavalney, already an award-winning LAUSD teacher and science advisor who became a kind of “stand and deliver” hands-on instructor, teaching biology, ecology and environmental science at Foshay Learning Center. Working with wild creatures rescued by animal welfare workers or confiscated as they were being smuggled into the U.S., Zavalney introduced inner-city students who had never even visited the beach to the wider world of forests and jungles and tidelands and savannas, using these living classroom lessons.

Of course, such awards have to feature some celeb names among the winners – in this case, actress and animal lover Betty White and super-green guy and actor Ed Begley Jr., both of whom delivered the kind of funny remarks that everyone counts on to provide a bit of leavening to other speakers’ serious stuff.

The public policy award went to mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, “the greenest mayor” L.A. has ever had, announced Begley, who is a big public transit user. Villaraigosa’s was to have been the evening’s first award, but the mayor evidently arrived late, and it was pushed down to later in the program. [Small-world department: The terrific waiter at my table had been a Cathedral High School classmate of Villaraigosa’s.]

The mayor, as I reported in July, met Goodall on his trip to Africa, accompanied by Lu Parker, his girlfriend, KTLA-TV anchor and former teacher and Miss USA pageant winner. On Friday evening, he arrived solo to accept his award. Parker, he said, wasn’t there because she was working.

If you’ve never been to one of these dinners, the silent auction is a regular pre-dinner fundraiser and curtain-raiser. This time, along with the usual wine and hit-DVD and spa packages being offered, guests bid for artwork by chimpanzees.
Later, once people had been softened up by the wine and the vegetarian meal – Goodall told me a few months ago that cutting back on meat eating is one of the most significant things humans can do to improve the globe’s health and survivability — bidding opened on a one-off item.

For a bid of $25,000, Goodall Institute board member Addison Fischer won the right to name the next primate refugee to arrive at Goodall’s chimpanzee rehab center in Congo. He wasn’t spilling the beans on his choice, but the buzz in the ballroom was weighted heavily in favor of “Jane.”
— Patt Morrison

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 2, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

A Night for the Dogs

Supporting LA's Animals

<img src="https://luparkerblog.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/get-attachmentaspx1.jpeg?w=222&quot; alt="Supporting LA's Animals" title="get-attachmentaspx" width="222" height="300" class="size-medium wp-image-1134"

Check out this LINK: One Dog at a Time

 
1 Comment

Posted by on October 6, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

Have you ever seen it? I have.

I am so proud of progress these days when it comes to animal welfare. I know much more is needed not only in our city, but around the country, but today’s announcement makes me happy, because it will shed more light on the senseless acts of pet owners.

It’s a crime to leave an animal locked in a car. I see it all the time on hot days. It blows my mind every time. Please pass on the word, and don’t allow your friends or family to do it. You wouldn’t leave your Mom, Dad or child locked in a hot car, then why your pet? They trust you. They depend on you. Follow through with that promise, and if you see a dog stuck in a car, you should contact your local police. It’s a crime! Thanks for your help.

dog_eng_5x7-copy-thumb-400x285-31912
For more info:091009a.htm

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 11, 2009 in opinion, Uncategorized

 

Tags: , ,