Compiled by Gary Walker

Man stabbed during Drum Circle

A stabbing inside the Venice Beach Drum Circle has broken a lull in the sporadic violence plaguing the freewheeling music and dance party.

A man who was stabbed during the regular Sunday evening spectacle was transported to UCLA Medical Center with a single stab wound to his upper torso, according to police.

Officers arrested a suspect at the scene at approximately 6:45 p.m., LAPD Sgt. Manny Hernandez said.

“There is a second suspect, and we’re very close to making an arrest,” he added.

Police began closely monitoring the Drum Circle and issuing citations for open alcohol containers last spring. In March and April 2014, officers encountered groups of participants who refused to disperse after nightfall, with some even throwing glass bottles at officers and rushing police lines.

Veteran Drum Circle participants say groups of unfamiliar and frequently intoxicated young men are to blame for the unruly behavior.

Locals Gift Ambulance to Mexico

Lorenzo Antonio Salazar (left), a fire chief in Mexico, bonds with LAFD firefighter Roger Rubio Photo by Jorge M. Vargas Jr.

Lorenzo Antonio Salazar (left), a fire chief in Mexico, bonds with LAFD firefighter Roger Rubio
Photo by Jorge M. Vargas Jr.

A fire station in a suburb of Guadalajara, Mexico, is getting a new ambulance and some much-needed firefighting equipment thanks to efforts by the Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club, Marina Del Rey Hospital and the Los Angeles Fire Department.

LAFD Battalion Chief Armando Hogan presented Ajijic/Lake Chapala Fire Chief Lorenzo Antonio Salazar with the ambulance on April 20 during
a ceremony at Fire Station 5 in Westchester.

The donation has been in the works since Playa-Venice Rotarian Jim Vuchas visited the group’s sister club in Ajijic/Lake Chapala two years ago.

“I was taken by the lack of equipment. If there was a fire in Ajijic, they had to pretty much let it just die down because they had units but they didn’t have any fire hoses. So we took it upon ourselves to get in touch with the Los Angeles Fire Department to see if we could help them,” Vuchas said.

Rotarians obtained the ambulance, and Marina Del Rey Hospital outfitted the vehicle with a defibrillator machine and various medical supplies.

Through an LAFD initiative called Los Bomberos (The Firefighters), L.A. firefighters have provided Ajijic / Lake Chapala firefighters with training and $40,000 worth of equipment that included boots, pants, jackets, helmets, hoses and nozzles.

“In Los Angeles, they’re very strict about our gear. Once it’s torn or outdated, we have to change it. But our outdated gear is still very good and they can still use it,” Station 5 fire-fighter Adrian Vasquez said  .

LAFD Chief Patrick Butler, the son of a Mexican immigrant, said the U.S. often takes its first-rate firefighting equipment for granted.

“With the support of our communities and folks like the Rotary Club, we can lend that extra helping hand to folks in Mexico, which makes us a better society,” Butler said.

Through a translator, Salazar thanked all involved.

“This donation will help 54,000 residents in the area of Lake Chapala, and out of those 54,000 people approximately 4,000 are Canadians or U.S. citizens who have retired and live in Mexico,” Salazar said. “We get approximately 250 to 300 calls a month, and at least 100 of those are medical emergencies.”

Salazar and Ajijic / Lake Chapala firefighter Mario Alberto Gonzales drove the ambulance home to Mexico the following day.

TEDx Returns to LMU

Loyola Marymount University hosts its third annual TEDx conference on Saturday, with this year’s event featuring a 10-speaker bill headlined by Atari founder Nolan Bushnell.

TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design. TEDx conferences are independently organized events modeled after the popular TED lecture series run by the nonprofit Sapling Foundation.

Saturday’s event begins at 10 a.m. on campus at Murphy Hall. Tickets are $45. Call (310) 781-0963.

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