Tag Archives: ktla

Why a Red Bucket?

A Stallion Named Finbar

It’s a story of love and commitment. Not human to human, rather human to horse. I saw the process up close recently, and cannot seem to shake the thought of what I witnessed.

The horses I met through the non-profit called Red Bucket Equine Rescue, based in Huntington Beach, California all have a story. The majority of those stories are not ones you want to hear. They include abuse, neglect, starvation, even death.

But Susan Peirce, the woman behind Red Bucket tells me she is ready to fix the problem. In the last two years, the group which is 100-percent volunteer has saved 80 horses from slaughter, and has found 32 of them forever homes. Part of their mission is to restore trust in humankind and to find the horses safe, loving homes. They use positive reinforcement, compassion and consistency to bring these horses back to life.

But of course, every group needs our help. Red Bucket Rescue has been told they have to move from their current location. That means they have dozens of horses that need to be moved to a new location nearby that has land, but no shelter. It costs approximately 400 thousand dollars a year to keep the rescue running. The costs add up due to medical bills, shelter, food, and training. Red Bucket needs your help.

For more info on what you or a local business can help out with, please visit Red Bucket Equine Rescue.



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What a day!!!

I typically write a blog in the early morning hours over a big cup of coffee, but today it’s the opposite. I couldn’t wait to share my day with you.

It started early with a 5am wakeup call to get ready to head to KTLA studios to do a story on a three legged dog named MONTY. This 2 year old is looking for a new home after being shot and left in the desert to die. Please spread his message of courage.

Later in the morning, I headed over to the La Brea Tar Pits for the Best Friends Pet Super Adoption. Monty and his foster met me there and we introduced Monty on stage. I also met a lot of cool people, and ran into lots of my favorite rescue groups and LA City Shelter friends. By the way, Monty wasn’t the only dog at the event with only 3 legs. I saw at least three others.

Once I left the Tar Pits, I headed to the valley to check out World Fest. I had been asked to speak there weeks ago, and thought it sounded like an event I would enjoy. It was. Everything from vege food, to eco-friendly products, rescue groups, live music and dancing. It sort of reminded me of my college days: long skirts, sandles, music, good food, and no worries. World Fest was oozing good vibes.

While I walked around with my dog Monkey, we saw some interesting things including a food booth selling BBQ, but not the kind you are thinking…Ha! As a Southern girl and vegetarian for the last 25 years, I thought, “Now that is interesting!!!” I didn’t stay long enough to taste it. Maybe next time.

Couldn't help but take a picture!


Then as I am leaving, who do I see but this little guy!!! Are you kidding me? He looks like my dog but a quarter the size. I had to stop. Joey, I am told was run over and didn’t get the proper care to help his hind legs. They are nearly paralyzed completely. In the dog pen, he sort of drags them behind him. I wanted to see him in his wheelchair. Once I did, I fell in love even more. You would too! Joey is a little sweetheart. He’s curious, gentle, and moves pretty dang fast on two legs. I’m not sure what I plan to do with his picture, but I felt compelled to share his story. There are others like Joey at a place called Dharma Rescue. They specialize in helping senior pets and animals with special needs. They seem like angels. Wanna help me find Joey a forever home? If so contact me at or Email me.


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Makes Me Very Sad

This week, I received a call from a group entitled Animal Defenders International. Within 48 hours I would be covering a story about alleged elephant abuse.

As an animal advocate myself, I feel like I am pretty educated on animal issues, but this story was an eye-opener for me. As I logged each frame of the video, I was pained. It was so difficult to watch and re-watch the images, but I knew I had to tell this story.


No matter the outcome, or the allegations, or the statements, elephants were hit. Baby elephants were hit for no apparent reason.

Animal Defenders International says the practices are not illegal, and will likely never stop unless there is a public outcry, or the media steps up to share the stories. For more information, and to get educated on the facts visit Animal Defenders International

This is a bull hook. It's similar to what's being used in the video.

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Posted by on May 11, 2011 in Journalist, opinion, Uncategorized


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Superman Reminded Me

Many years ago before I was a journalist, I was a high school teacher. At the young age of 24, I was teaching 18 year old Seniors in the public school system in South Carolina. It sounds so ridiculous now, but back then I didn’t think twice about it. I was fresh out of Graduate school, and ready for my first classroom experience. Honestly, I don’t think about it much these days, but I was reminded this week when I saw the new film Waiting for Superman. The film is written and directed by Davis Guggenheim, the same man who brought us An Inconvenient Truth. The title sort of throws you off until you see the film, which highlights the plight of the public school system here in the United States. An educator, featured in the film, who grew up in a poor neighborhood, says he was always secretly waiting on Superman to swoop in and save his family and community.

Looking back on my students, I bet many of them dreamed of the same Superman idea. A majority of them came from broken homes, and communities where education was not a priority, so why should they pay attention and stay in school?

It’s the age old debate. How do we keep our kids in school and keep them motivated when it’s hard enough to get them to class?. Once there, as the film points out, they’ve got a 50-50 chance that their teacher will actually be a decent teacher. According to Guggenheim, the system is so broken, bad teachers are allowed to stay, even if it’s been proven they are performing poorly in the classroom. Everybody knows who they are, but there’s nothing administrators can do. The film points to union contracts and tenure, saying they often give teachers a solid spot in the classroom. Good or bad.

Looking back, as a teacher I likely scored points for enthusiasm and creativity. I didn’t have years under my belt to know how to deal with lets say, discipline issues, but I know I had passion. I wanted to inspire. Eager beyond words, I was early to work every day. I found that many of my students who were from low income, and single family homes, would come to school early too. Eventually I realized these kids were showing up early, not because they wanted to be at school, but simply because they needed a friend, a confidant, a teacher, anyone.. They just needed someone to listen.

I didn’t teach long, less than 3 years, but I have never forgotten the lessons I learned from the profession. My students taught me that sometimes you don’t have to be perfect, you just have to try. You don’t have to know all the answers, you just have to be willing to talk it out. And most importantly, they taught me to listen even when I didn’t want to.

Waiting for Superman, which opens in theaters in Los Angeles and New York today, reminded me that no matter what profession we have chosen for life, there is always at least one student out there waiting for us to reach out and hold his/her hand. If each of us helps at least one child, we are one step closer to healing the system.


Posted by on September 24, 2010 in Journalist, opinion


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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.


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


Lu Parker

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

To SUPPORT ME individually, please click below.

Please check out our website:

To read more about the race:

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


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Heal the Bay–UPDATED


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

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


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You gotta love Live TV!

For several weeks I’ve been working on an investigative story focused on Puppy Mills.  What I discovered was appalling and sad.  My exclusive story for KTLA revealed sick dogs, and dogs living in cages just large enough to turn around in.  While the video is disturbing to watch, the information could save thousands of animals.  Plus, what happened on set at the end of my story was a FIRST for me as a journalist.  Talk about getting nervous for the camera! 

Click here to view my Exclusive Report













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That's TV

My view of the dangerous water

Four major storm systems have slammed Los Angeles this week.  I have reported in it for days. From La Canada-Flintridge where mudslides are a threat, to Swift Water Rescues by the LAFD, it’s all unpredictable.  

Today I followed firefighters as they searched the rushing waters for two potential victims. It ended up being a false call, but the day was full of action.  The fast-moving water that filled the basin was amazing to hear and see up close.  Firefighters telling me it was likely flowing at 15 mph.  That may not sound like a lot, but he continued by explaining that at 3mph, the water can knock you off your feet.  At 8-10mph, it’s like being hit with a baseball, and at 15mph, it’s fight for your life.

I have included personal video of that water today while on scene.  It was intense to be around.  I have also included a quick “walk and talk” of what would have been my live shot tonight, but we were bumped due to a car pursuit.  We missed going live by 2 minutes.  Hey, that’s TV.  Gotta love it!!!!!  I sure do.

Click here to see \”behind the scenes\” during my reporting today!!!

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Posted by on January 21, 2010 in Journalist, opinion


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My 1st LA TIMES Blog

Halloween was fantastic as usual, but extra special this year. See blog below!!!!!

LA Times Blog

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Posted by on November 6, 2009 in Fun Stuff, Inspirational, opinion


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Reporting on Michael Jackson


What we saw as we got to Jackson's house.  Media circus.

What we saw as we got to Jackson's house. Media circus.

Working as a journalist, as in life, you never know what will be thrown your way. Today it was the unexpected death of pop star Michael Jackson. While driving into work this afternoon, I assumed we would be covering extensively the death of Farrah Fawcett since she had passed away earlier in the day. No sooner than I thought that, I heard over the radio that Jackson had been rushed to UCLA Medical Center –Cardiac Arrest.  

Minutes later I was in the KTLA newsroom which was already buzzing with activity. Reports were coming in from everywhere that Jackson’s condition was not good, and soon it was apparent he wouldn’t make it. Many media outlets began to confirm the news including the LA Times.  Los Angeles Times

I was assigned to Jackson’s rented estate near Bel Air. It was the location where the 911 call came from.  Media, fans, tourists, and even neighbors were gathering.  On the way there, I landed an interview with a Los Angeles Fire Captain who said he could talk on camera.  We quickly redirected and headed downtown to City Hall.  Fire Captain Steve Ruda told me paramedics made it to Jackson’s home within 3 minutes of the 911 call.  

After that interview, I was sent to a press conference held by a former Public Relations Rep who knew Jackson and said he wasn’t surprise by today’s shocking news. He told the press he saw the downward spiral coming for years.  Once that interview was complete, I was again sent to the home near Bel Air where Jackson has been living for some time.  When my crew and I arrived, it was a media circus.  The enclosed picture doesn’t do the scene justice, but between local, national and international news crews to the paparazzi, and even the noticeable presence of LAPD, it was intense!

It was now time to write my story and get it edited.  Two hours later, I went live from outside the gates (which still had Christmas wreaths hanging from them?) at 10pm, and again at 10:40pm.  

Afterwards, I was approached by a journalist who reports for a German television station called Focus TV.  She and her crew (local freelancers) interviewed me about being an American Journalist on such a big story.  Again, another twist to an already weird day.  I found it strange to hear my account of the day’s activities, but realized as I was talking that I truly love what I do.  If you work, or have ever worked in the media, you know what I’m talking about.  It’s the rush we all get on big breaking stories.  It’s the off-the-cuff reporting, the unknown that makes you realize why you love to tell a story.

But then as the night wrapped up, and I was on my way home, I couldn’t help but reflect on Michael’s legacy, music, and influence.  As his music played over and over again on my car radio, I realized once again, life is fragile and fast.  Do what you love, and do it well.  Michael sure did!


Crew that interviewed me for German TV.
Crew that interviewed me for German TV.
Inside the live truck.  Photographer Michael and I choosing clips from our interview.

Inside the live truck. Photographer Michael and I choosing clips from our interview.


Gates outside Jackson's home (Christmas wreaths)

Gates outside Jackson's home (Christmas wreaths)


Posted by on June 26, 2009 in Journalist, opinion


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