Firefighter Saves Pup with Mouth-to-Snout Resuscitation

Santa Monica firefighter Andrew Kline revives Nalu the poodle while responding to an apartment fire on March 21
Photo courtesy of the city of Santa Monica

A Santa Monica firefighter used CPR to save the life of a poodle he rescued from an apartment fire in the 1800 block of 7th Street on the afternoon of March 21.

Fire crews pulled a hose into the two-bedroom unit and quickly extinguished the blaze, which had already consumed the kitchen and a small room behind it, according to an incident report.

They also found a small dog that wasn’t breathing, prompting firefighter Andrew Klein to initiate CPR —“my mouth to his nose,” he told KTLA News — until the pup regained consciousness.

Fully recovered, Nalu the poodle visted the fire station with his rescuer on March 23.

— Joe Piasecki

Waters Pushes Back After O’Reilly Dig

Fox News pundit Bill O’Reilly raised eyebrows on Tuesday after hurling a racially charged insult at Congresswoman Maxine Waters, whose district includes Playa Vista, South Del Rey and parts of Westchester and Playa del Rey.

On air, O’Reilly outright dismissed the content of a Waters speech by mocking her hair as a “James Brown Wig” — an insult widely regarded as both sexist and racist throughout the Twitterverse and beyond.

O’Reilly has since issued an apology, stating that “Waters is totally sincere in her belief system and although many Americans disagree with her extremism at times, she deserves a hearing and should not be marginalized by political opponents.”

For her part, Waters has taken the high road, tweeting: “I am a strong black woman. I cannot be intimidated, and I am not going anywhere.”

— Joe Piasecki

Del Rey Murder Prompts $50,000 Reward Offer

Police are hoping that a $50,000 reward for information identifying the killer of a Del Rey woman will help generate new leads in the case.

Juana Marit Sandoval, 56, was found dead on Feb. 17 in a parking lot adjacent to Marionwood Drive in Del Rey. Sandoval died of blunt force trauma to the head, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office.

More than a month after Sandoval’s murder, homicide investigators say the reward offered by the Los Angeles City Council has generated a few leads that they are pursuing.

“Slowly but surely we are getting some information. Not as much as we hoped yet, but we’re getting some,” LAPD Det. Angel Gomez said.

Councilman Mike Bonin, whose district includes Del Rey, sponsored the motion for the reward.

“The person or persons responsible for this crime represent an ongoing threat to the safety of the people of Los Angeles,” his motion states.

Police say Sandoval resided nearby in Mar Vista Gardens. The public housing complex, once the home of the Culver City Boyz gang, has seen the level of gang activity, shootings and homicides drop in recent years. But last year there was a small uptick in shootings there, and officers with the LAPD’s Pacific Division have tried to make inroads with community members by taking part in community events.

“My concern is in that area people are not as likely to come forward and cooperate with the police,” Gomez acknowledged.

Gomez said police are unsure whether Sandoval’s murder was gang-related.

Police are asking anyone with information on the case to call LAPD Homicide at (213) 382-9470 or (877) LAWFULL (529-3855).

— Gary Walker

Vandals Once Again Strike Vietnam POW/MIA Mural

One of the guys who tagged up the Vietnam POW/MIA mural on Pacific Avenue in Venice last May is in prison; a second suspect faces a hefty prison term if convicted.

What happens next? Even before restoration work could get started, some miscreant tags up the mural again.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s investigators, who have jurisdiction over the mural because it’s on Metro-owned land, say they were notified of the new graffiti on March 17.

“This graffiti is not related to the graffiti from last year and appears to be more gang-related,” Los Angeles County Sheriff’s spokesman Ramon Montenegro said.

The mural, painted 25 years ago by a homeless Vietnam veteran who was living in his van at the time, contained 2,273 names of service members killed or missing in action. The long-neglected mural was already in disrepair when taggers struck just before Memorial Day, blotting out many of those names, and a guerilla effort to clean up the graffiti further damaged original paint.

The Venice Chamber of Commerce has been raising funds to support a restoration of the mural by the Venice-based Social and Public Art Resources Center (SPARC).

“We are investigating and will use all of our available resources to find the perpetrators of this new crime and bring them to justice,” Montenegro vowed.

— Gary Walker

Santa Monica to Rally for Transgender Rights

To mark the International Transgender Day of Visibility, local progressives are holding a rally for transgender rights at noon on Saturday, April 1, on the steps of Santa Monica City Hall.

The Santa Monica Democratic Club, Stonewall Democratic Club, Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights and The Church in Ocean Park’s Young People Creating Change (YPCC) initiative are sponsoring the rally.

In a statement, the Santa Monica Democratic Club’s Sion Roy said the event comes in opposition to President Trump’s reversal of Obama’s direction that transgender students should be able to use the restrooms that match their gender identities.

— Joe Piasecki