Record Number of Tourists Visited Los Angeles Last Year

March 14, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Tourists visited Los Angeles in record numbers last year, injecting billions of dollars into the local economy, according to a newly released study commissioned by the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board.

The 41.4 million people who traveled to the city in 2012 represented a 2.5 percent increase over the previous year.

Local and international visitors to Los Angeles spent $11.9 billion on lodging, dining and transportation combined, with shopping, entertainment and other activities bringing the spending total to $16.5 billion, according to Micronomics, the firm that did the research.

Leisure and hospitality was the strongest performing industry when it came to job creation, with a growth of 10,000 new jobs in that sector. Tourism activity also supported 324,000 existing jobs.

Another $14 billion in secondary spending was also attributed to the tourism industry, with the total economic impact of the tourism industry put at $30.5 billion, according to the report.

Tourism activity also generated 26.62 million hotel room nights, as well as $1 billion in tax revenue for the county.

“This report really demonstrates the powerful impact of an increase in just one sector of our local economy tourism,” said Ernest Wooden, president and CEO of the tourism board. “The growth seen in visitation to Los Angeles in 2012 has led to a corresponding growth in employment and local tax revenue.”

Eat to Dream: Study Shows Dietary Nutrients Associated with Certain Sleep Patterns

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“You are what you eat,” the saying goes, but is what you eat playing a role in how much you sleep? Sleep, like nutrition and physical activity, is a critical determinant of health and well-being. With the increasing prevalence of obesity and its consequences, sleep researchers have begun to explore the factors that predispose individuals to weight gain and ultimately obesity. Now, a new study from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania shows for the first time that certain nutrients may play an underlying role in short and long sleep duration and that people who report eating a large variety of foods – an indicator of an overall healthy diet – had the healthiest sleep patterns. The new research is published online, ahead-of-print in the journal Appetite.

“Although many of us inherently recognize that there is a relationship between what we eat and how we sleep, there have been very few scientific studies that have explored this connection, especially in a real-world situation,” said Michael A. Grandner, PhD, instructor in Psychiatry and member of the Center for Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology at Penn. “ In general, we know that those who report between 7 – 8 hours of sleep each night are most likely to experience better overall health and well being, so we simply asked the question “Are there differences in the diet of those who report shorter sleep, longer sleep, or standard sleep patterns?”

To answer this question, the research team analyzed data from the 2007-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. NHANES includes demographic, socioeconomic, dietary, and health-related questions. The sample for the survey is selected to represent the U.S. population of all ages and demographics. For the current study, researchers used the survey question regarding how much sleep each participant reported getting each night to separate the sample into groups of different sleep patterns. Sleep patterns were broken out as “Very Short” (<5 h per night), “Short” (5–6 h per night), “Standard” (7–8h per night), and “Long” (9 h or more per night). NHANES participants also sat down with specially trained staff who went over, in great detail, a full day’s dietary intake. This included everything from the occasional glass of water to complete, detailed records of every part of each meal. With this data, the Penn research team analyzed whether each group differed from the 7-8 hour “standard” group on any nutrients and total caloric intake. They also looked at these associations after controlling for overall diet, demographics, socioeconomics, physical activity, obesity, and other factors that could have explained this relationship.

The authors found that total caloric intake varied across groups. Short sleepers consumed the most calories, followed by normal sleepers, followed by very short sleepers, followed by long sleepers. Food variety was highest in normal sleepers, and lowest in very short sleepers. Differences across groups were found for many types of nutrients, including proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.

In a statistical analysis, the research team found that there were a number of dietary differences, but these were largely driven by a few key nutrients. They found that very short sleep was associated with less intake of tap water, lycopene (found in red- and orange-colored foods), and total carbohydrates, short sleep was associated with less vitamin C, tap water, selenium (found in nuts, meat and shellfish), and more lutein/zeaxanthin (found in green, leafy vegetables), and long sleep was associated with less intake of theobromine (found in chocolate and tea), dodecanoic acid (a saturated fat) choline (found in eggs and fatty meats), total carbohydrates, and more alcohol.

“Overall, people who sleep 7 – 8 hours each night differ in terms of their diet, compared to people who sleep less or more. We also found that short and long sleep are associated with lower food variety,” said Dr. Grandner. “What we still don’t know is if people altered their diets, would they be able to change their overall sleep pattern? This will be an important area to explore going forward as we know that short sleep duration is associated with weight gain and obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Likewise, we know that people who sleep too long also experience negative health consequences. If we can pinpoint the ideal mix of nutrients and calories to promote healthy sleep, the healthcare community has the potential to make a major dent in obesity and other cardiometabolic risk factors.”

East LA Boot Camp Worker Arrested for Injuring Children

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Two instructors at a boot camp businesses in East Los Angeles have been arrested by detectives from the Sheriff’s Department Special Victims Bureau under suspicious of hitting and beating almost a dozen minors, some as young as 12 years old.

The Sheriffs Department on Wednesday identified the suspects at Edgar Alvarado and Ruben Romero, instructors at “Recon 180” which uses a paramilitary structured program to discipline and instill leadership in teenagers.

The physical abuse is believed to have occurred between 2010 and 2012 at a training facility in the Angeles Crest Mountains, and at Recon 180, located on the 1000 block of Goodrich Boulevard.

Alvarado is also accused of inappropriately touching one of the two female victims. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office has charged Alvarado with three felony counts of Willful Injury to a Child Causing Great Bodily Injury, one felony count of Corporal Injury to a Child, and one felony count of Sexual Battery, and Romero with three misdemeanor counts of Battery.

Detectives believe there may be additional victims, any one with information is asked to contact the LA Sheriff’s Department Special Victims Bureau at (877) 710-LASD(5273) or via the Department’s website at

Lincoln Heights Man Accused of Molesting Dental Patients

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A 36-year-old dental assistant and Lincoln Heights resident who worked at offices in Bellflower and Rosemead was in custody Tuesday on suspicion of molesting a 15-year-old girl during dental visits over the past six months, authorities said.

Saul Robles was arrested at work March 5 and is being held at the Men’s Central Jail in Los Angeles in lieu of $320,000 bail, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff’s online booking records.

Robles worked for Smile Care Dental, which has offices in Bellflower and Rosemead, for four years and has been a dental hygienist in the Los Angeles area for the past six years, according to a sheriff’s department statement.

The victim notified her parents of the abuse and they contacted authorities, officials said.

Robles’ was due at the Rio Hondo courthouse in El Monte April 5, according to sheriff’s records.

Detectives asked for the public’s help in finding other possible victims and urged anyone with information to call the sheriff’s Special Victims Bureau at (877) 710-5273.

Suspect in Murder of East LA Man Turns Himself In

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An alleged Compton gang member was arrested on suspicion of shooting and killing a 43-year-old man who had come out of his East Los Angeles home to inspect damage to a fence hit by a vehicle, authorities said Monday.

Marco Blanco came out of his home in the 900 block of North Rowan Avenue about 8:35 p.m. on March 10 and was shot in the upper torso and declared dead at the scene, said sheriff’s Lt. Dave Dolson.

Jonathan Francisco Valle, 22, fled on foot, then turned himself in and was booked at the sheriff’s East Los Angeles Station. He was held on $1 million bail. A weapon was recovered.

Openings in Greater Echo Park Elysian Neighborhood Council

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The Greater Echo Park Elysian Neighborhood Council has three open seats on its Board of Governors, two in District Five and one in District 3, according to Tad Yenawine, CIO of the neighborhood council. Persons over the age of 16 who live, work or otherwise have an interest in the district are eligible to run for the positions, he said. Candidates are required to attend a meeting on 7 pm meeting on March 26  in the Logan Street School auditorium and announce their candidacy. Candidates will be asked to make a short presentation to the Board that will vote to confirm new board members, who will be seated immediately, Yenawine said. For more information on eligibility, visit the GEPENC website at

March 14, 2013 Issue

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