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    Creating a joyful jack o'lantern by featuring the sweet face of one Hello Kitty?

    Whether you'd start with her iconic bow, or her perfect oval nose, is up to you, but truth time: You're probably beginning with her famous accessory, an item that instantly tells any viewer that they're looking at the Sanrio celebrity.

    But, of course, there are many Sanrio characters to immortalize upon various pumpkins.

    Getting those pumpkins, though, will involve visiting a place with a plentiful amount of pumpkinry to choose from, and Tanaka Farms, in Irvine, is one such fabled location.

    And beginning on Saturday, Sept. 22? The historic agricultural spread's pumpkin patch will debut for the season, a season that will run right up to Halloween Eve.

    That's right: The final day is Oct. 30, 2018, so procure your pumpkin before you need it on Halloween Day.

    The theme of the patch?

    Sanrio, of course, which shouldn't surprise anyone who has visited Tanaka Farms in recent months. Several Sanrio favorites are now serving as Tanaka Farms ambassadors, but do note that Hello Kitty will only be appearing on opening day.

    Weekends? They will be super-extra busy, believe it, so you'll need to get a parking pass online before you go. They're required. Price? Five bucks.

    Entry is four dollars, and some of the activities, like the petting zoo, are separately priced.

    For all of your need-to-knows before calling upon one of the most Sanrio-riffic spots in all of Orange County, visit the Tanaka Farms page pronto.

    And, again, if you plan a weekend visit, do get that parking pass in advance, as lots (and lots) of people do show up for the under-the-sunshine pumpkin fun.



    Photo Credit: Tanaka Farms

    A Sanrio-fun pumpkin patch debuts at Tanaka Farms in Irvine on Sept. 22, 2018.A Sanrio-fun pumpkin patch debuts at Tanaka Farms in Irvine on Sept. 22, 2018.

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    California is full of places to celebrate the stunning scenery, wildlife and history preserved by the National Park Service.

    Photo Credit: NPS

    California has a lot to offer when it comes to its parks and historic sites.California has a lot to offer when it comes to its parks and historic sites.

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    Hollywood celebrities show off their Dodger blue.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    New Los Angeles Laker, JaVale McGee, takes in the game between the Colorado Rockies and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on September 19, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)New Los Angeles Laker, JaVale McGee, takes in the game between the Colorado Rockies and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on September 19, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

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    Credit freezes and unfreezes with the three major credit reporting agencies will now be free for consumers as a federal law passed in response to the Equifax data breach goes into effect Friday.

    Beginning Sept. 21, consumers can freeze their credit file with TransUnion, Experian and Equifax without paying any fees. Credit freezes helps prevent identity thieves from opening lines of credit or taking out loans in your name because lenders can't access your credit score or report. 

    Only a handful of states had laws in place prohibiting credit bureaus from charging consumers a fee for freezing and unfreezing their credit report. 

    The nationwide free-freeze provision was included in a larger bill rolling back banking rules that were enacted to prevent a recurrence of the 2008 financial crisis that brought millions of lost jobs and foreclosed homes. Congress voted in May to dismantle parts of the 2010 Dodd-Frank legislation, a move that critics argue will increase the likelihood of future taxpayer bailouts. 

    The bill also allows parents to freeze credit on behalf of their children under the age of 16 and extends free fraud alerts from 90 days to one year. Fraud alerts are placed on credit files to inform lenders that a consumer may be a victim of identity theft, requiring businesses to take extra steps to verify the consumer's identification before extending credit. 

    Credit bureaus will be required to freeze an account within one business day of a request made over the phone or online, and within three business days of an application received through the mail. 

    More than 140 million people in the U.S. were affected by a data breach at Equifax in 2017. Hackers stole data that included customers' names, birth dates, Social Security numbers, addresses and some driver's licenses numbers, CNBC reported. The breach remains the largest exposure of personal information in history, according to The Associated Press

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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    For the first time since their divorce, the ex-wife of Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell is speaking out about what she described as emotional and physical abuse she says she suffered at the hands of her then-husband. 

    In a lengthy blog post published this week, Melisa Reidy-Russell detailed allegations of physical mistreatment and "emotional and verbal abuse."

    "The first time I was physically mistreated by my spouse, I was in shock," Reidy-Russell wrote. "I couldn’t wrap my head around what just happened…Why did he get so angry? What did I do for him to want to put his hands on me? Of course I forgave him & assumed it would never happen again."

    In wake of the post, Major League Baseball placed Russell on administrative leave Friday, saying it "takes all allegations of Domestic Violence seriously." 

    “With the new details revealed in today’s blog post by Ms. Russell, Mr. Russell has been placed on Administrative Leave in accordance with the Joint MLB-MLBPA Domestic Violence Policy," the league wrote in a statement. "We are hopeful that this new information will allow us to complete the investigation as promptly as possible.”

    The Cubs said the team supports that decision.

    “We take allegations of domestic violence seriously and support the League’s decision to place Addison Russell on administrative leave given new details revealed today," the team wrote in a statement. "We will continue to cooperate with the League’s investigation so the appropriate action can be taken.”

    The post, titled "You no longer have a secret, you have a story," marks the second time such allegations have surfaced against the Cubs star. 

    Just before the couple filed for divorce, Reidy-Russell published a highly-publicized Instagram post accusing her husband of infidelity. Though the post was eventually deleted, a comment from one of her friends alluded to domestic violence allegations.

    At the time, Russell denied the accusations.

    “Any allegation I have abused my wife is false and hurtful,” Russell said after the first Instagram post was published.

    Major League Baseball reportedly launched an investigation into the claims at the time, but the Chicago Tribune reports Reidy-Russell declined to cooperate with that investigation. 

    Russell has not publicly commented on the latest allegations. Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein will address the team before Friday's game against the White Sox, and will talk to media. Russell is not expected to be at the ballpark for the contest.  

    According to Reidy-Russell, the Cubs star cheated on her "with so many different women" and emotional and verbal abuse was "an everyday thing."

    "Being blamed for just about anything that went wrong, name calling, intimidating me with personal force, manipulating me to think I was the problem, destroying my personal things, threatening me to 'send' me & our son home to my parents as if I was privileged to be living in our home," she wrote. "Basically, I felt like I was nothing, a nobody & I was nothing without him, & I couldn’t do anything without him."

    Reidy-Russell wrote the abuse grew worse over time and "grew to new levels."

    "Friends would express their concerns with me but I would assure them that I was okay, he lost his temper & wasn’t himself," she wrote. "Everyday began to be a struggle to fake the convincing smile of a happy wife I grew accustomed to."

    Reidy-Russell wrote she decided to leave after Russell "betrayed" her again in April 2017. 

    "About a month after leaving, I returned for a visit so my son could see his father, also in hopes that maybe, just maybe I’d see a change in my husband," the post read. "But, as I expected our visit was a nightmare, I swore to myself it would be the last time he’d lay his hands on me & it would be that last time I’d let my son be a witness to it. A week after flying home, I finally made the call and took legal action to start our separation."

    Reidy-Russell's attorney announced in June 2017 that she had filed for divorce, noting that it was "her desire to pursue a resolution that is, first and foremost, in the best interest of the parties' son, and which occurs in a swift, amicable, and private fashion." 

    The Tribune reports the couple's marriage was officially dissolved in a Florida court Aug. 30. 

    "If you are reading this and you can relate, please know & never forget how loved you are," Reidy-Russell wrote. 

    If you or someone you know is in need of assistance, the National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) and more resources can be found at thehotline.org.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    In this file June 9, 2017 file photo, Addison Russell of the Chicago Cubs is seen on the bench before a game against the Colorado Rockies at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois.In this file June 9, 2017 file photo, Addison Russell of the Chicago Cubs is seen on the bench before a game against the Colorado Rockies at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois.

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    If Halloween is approaching, then it must be time for another retailer to pull its Halloween costume for bad taste.

    This year the early offender is an online lingerie store that has removed a sexy “Handmaid’s Tale” costume from its website after receiving massive backlash on social media.

    The show, which was based on the book by Margaret Atwood, was set in a dystopian America where women were forcefully used as surrogates and sex slaves.

    The product description for Yandy’s “Brave Red Maiden” costume makes a direct reference to the critically acclaimed Hulu drama, USA Today reported.

    "An upsetting dystopian future has emerged where women no longer have a say," the description reads. "However, we say be bold and speak your mind in this exclusive Brave Red Maiden costume."

    Many social media users commented on the misogynistic aspect of selling a costume about female oppression. Some also noted the irony that this product was removed when many stores continue to sell offensive race- and culture-inspired costumes. 

    This is not the first time that Yandy has marketed a Halloween costume that might provoke backlash.

    Last year, the company began selling its “Reality Star in the Making” costume for $59.95 with a product photo featuring a pregnant Kylie Jenner look-alike in a short, tight white dress.

    The description promises to “boost your show’s ratings” with the help of a "faux pregnant belly."

    Yandy’s questionable product choices are a part of a long retail Halloween tradition of selling controversial costumes.

    In 2017, Walmart and several other retailers took down a “World War II Evacuee” costume, which included a green beret, a blue dress and a satchel. The item caused an outrage because of its resemblance to Jewish Holocaust victim Anne Frank. Amazon, however, continues to carry the product on its website.

    Walmart also had to pull its $4 “Razor Blade Suicide Scar Wound Latex Custom Makeup” kit in 2016 after receiving complaints that the kit supported self-injury.

    In the same year, online retailer Costumeish faced a social media outcry in 2016 after posting a “Parisian Heist” costume parodying Kim Kardashian’s robbery in Paris. The listing sported a bound and gagged model who looked like Kardashian dressed in a white bathrobe and wearing a huge ring.

    Time reported that social media users also accused the Disney online store of racism in 2016 after it attempted to sell a costume of a character from the “Moana” movie. The Maui costume included a brown bodysuit and tattoos, which would make the wearer dress up as a person of color. Disney later apologized and quickly took the costume off its website.

    Like those companies, Yandy seems to be reflecting on its decision to sell the handmaid costume after the retailer said it received many “sincere, heartfelt response, supported by numerous personal stories.”

    A statement on Yandy’s site, which has since replaced the red cape, mini dress and bonnet ensemble, apologized for the offensive costume. The company called the incident “unfortunate” and said it was not their “intention on any level.”

    “Over the last few hours, it has become obvious that our 'Yandy Brave Red Maiden Costume' is being seen as a symbol of women's oppression, rather than an expression of women's empowerment,” the statement reads. “Our initial inspiration to create the piece was through witnessing its use in recent months as a powerful protest image.” 



    Photo Credit: Courtesy of Hulu
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    There's nothing sexy about rape, some online commenters noted.There's nothing sexy about rape, some online commenters noted.

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    True story: Some people are putting pumpkins out on the porch, while you're thinking about holly and lights.

    Others are stocking up on caramels as you're making sure you've got plenty of peppermint in the cupboard.

    And as Halloween kicks into ghoulish gear, early word of one of the holiday season's most whimsical ways to celebrate is shimmering before our eyes: Christmas in The Wizarding World, the annual fa, la, la lark at Universal Studios Hollywood, has its 2018/early 2019 dates.

    Not only dates, of course, but some sparkly details have been revealed.

    So gaze into your frosted crystal ball, the one sitting in the middle of your already-on-display table wreath, and learn more about the most happy Harry, merry Potter party in all of the (SoCal) land.

    Opening date for Christmas in The Wizarding World is Saturday, Nov. 17. It'll twinkle on, with treats aplenty for the tum, eyes, and ears, right through to Jan. 6, 2019.

    Some of the festive features you can expect, dear wizards of the kingdom of LA-adonia?

    Snowfall, each night, is one look-up wonder, as are the "dazzling light projection spectacular" on Hogwarts Castle.

    Yuletide decorations will adorn the ye olde shoppes of Hogsmeade, and if you're strolling the village at the right moment, you may encounter the Frog Choir, which, yes, involves a troupe of enchanted amphibians joining together in cheerful song.

    As far as the tree-ready, tabletop, wear-your-school-colors merch? There are several ornaments to choose from, and snowglobes, and more items that speak to the sweetness of the season.

    Also sweet?

    The Hot Butterbeer, which remains a popular sip come the close of the calendar.

    There are other vittles that speak to the traditions of wintertyde, so count on seeing a number of Christmassy eats at Three Broomsticks, as well as the year-round favorites found on the menu.

    Is saying "fa, la, la" like saying a very special spell?

    Best utter it a few times, close your eyes, then wave your want on the 17th day of November, when one of the most illuminated expressions of the holidays alights, with the grace of an owl, at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood.

    Also returning to the theme park for the holidays? Grinchmas (cue the laughs). Also happening now, and ahead of Halloween, and just after, too? Halloween Horror Nights (cue the eeks).

    Universal Studios and NBC-owned TV stations operate under the same parent company NBCUniversal.



    Photo Credit: Universal Studios Hollywood

    "Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter" at Universal Studios Hollywood returns on Nov. 17, 2018. The adorable Frog Choir, Hot Butterbear, seasonal eats, and more magical holiday details will spring up around the enchanted land.

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    Hurricane Florence’s 3-day rainfall was a less than .1% probability, "1000-year" event, analysis from The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service found.

    "The fact that this event was greater than 1-in-1000 in such a large area is unusual," said Mark Glaudemans, Geo-Intelligence Division Director at NOAA’s National Weather Service Office of Water Prediction. "It’s one thing to have a heavy storm over your backyard or a parking lot in town. Heavy storms happen all the time in very small areas. But to have a heavy storm that’s this heavy over such a large area is an extreme event."

    This event is not unprecedented, Kevin Trenberth, Distinguished Senior Scientist in the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, told NBC. "A thousand year event is based upon the idea that the climate isn’t changing," Trenberth said. "A lot of what used to be 1000 year events are now 100-year events or seventy-year events or maybe even fifty-year events, in the case of places like Houston," he added.

    Texas’ Hurricane Harvey from last year had some areas with "1-in-500- year" or "1-in-1000-year event" rainfall, NOAA reported. Hurricane Matthew, which made landfall in South Carolina as a Category 1 hurricane, also had areas with greater than 0.1% probability events, though they cover less of the map. The NOAA data in the Atlas 14 map is compared to data from up to 2004.

    Glaudemans clarified the misleading "1000 year event" terminology. The probability is based on the three-day worst case period, and compares the observed precipitation with the expected probability of future precipitation. Simply put, this event has "a one in one thousand chance of occurring in a given year at a given location," he said, noting it does not mean this event will only occur once in a thousand years. "Next year, it can happen all over again," he explained.

    "An event like Florence is extremely rare because you do not normally see tropical cycles with such an intensity, with so much precipitation, make landfall somewhere along the coast," said Dr. Jill Trepanier, associate professor in the Geography and Anthropology Department at Louisiana State University, expertise is hurricane climatology. "However, that rare event can still happen every year and then that rare event no longer becomes rare anymore. With a changing climate, what is rare now will shift."

    North Carolina saw 8.04 trillion gallons of rainfall, NWS Raleigh tweeted on Tuesday. NWS Greensville-Spartanburg responded by noting that for three counties, the estimates for rain are too low. Emergency managers issued a new evacuation order in South Carolina Friday morning, AP reported. Hurricane Florence has caused 42 deaths since it made landfall last Friday.

    "[These 1-in-1000 year events] are becoming increasingly common, unfortunately," Trenberth explained. "They occur in different places, in different times, and the phenomenon is always a bit different. But the fact is, the environment is warmer, it holds more moisture, and so the risk of these heavy rainfall events is going up."

    "When it rains, it rains harder than it used to," he said.



    Photo Credit: Gerald Herbert/AP

    In this file photo, a street sign sticks up from floodwaters in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence in Nichols, S.C., Friday, Sept. 21, 2018.In this file photo, a street sign sticks up from floodwaters in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence in Nichols, S.C., Friday, Sept. 21, 2018.

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    Movie games, as in those living room-based competitions involving friends and slips of paper and quotes and watch-me dramatics, are pretty common nowadays, and definitely around movie-making Southern California.

    After all, with cinemas and television and streaming and the myriad ways to see films, both new and vintage, we do all seem to know a lot of quotes.

    And if you've ever wailed "you're tearing me apart!," an utterance from one of moviedom's most dramatic and heartfelt moments, but haven't ever seen James Dean speak the original line, then your chance has come, for "Rebel Without a Cause" will be back, in multiple Southern California theaters, on Sunday, Sept. 23 and Wednesday, Sept. 26.

    Of course, enjoying director Nicholas Ray's oh-so-quotable gem, a true titan of teenage films and a perfectd slice of mid-century cool, isn't just about hearing the lines you already know well. 

    It's about admiring the timeless performances, with James Dean, Natalie Wood, and Sal Mineo turning in complex character portraits.

    It's about seeing a cinematic work of art that went on to influence other angst-y, deeply emotive films about adolescence and young adulthood.

    And, yes, it is about seeing Griffith Observatory on the big screen, in one of its best-known starring roles. When you think about it, the observatory was also a teenager when the 1955 movie was made, or nearly: It was built in 1935.

    What to do after seeing the classic film, which is presented by Fathom Events and TCM? If you're close to the Griffith Park gem, why not toodle up and stop by the "Rebel Without a Cause" Monument, which is located outside the observatory?

    Plenty of locations have been seen in plenty of films, but few places have as tight a relationship with an on-screen story as Griffith Observatory does with this enduring "Rebel."

    Where to get your tickets? Don't be torn apart: Find them at Fathom Events.



    Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

    James Dean, Natalie Wood, and Sal Mineo star in the iconic teenage '50s-famous flick (as does, oh yes, Griffith Observatory). See it on Sept. 23 and 26 at select theaters.James Dean, Natalie Wood, and Sal Mineo star in the iconic teenage '50s-famous flick (as does, oh yes, Griffith Observatory). See it on Sept. 23 and 26 at select theaters.

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    Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was joking when he discussed wearing a wire to secretly record President Donald Trump and does not believe Trump should be removed from office through the use of procedures outlined in the Constitution's 25th Amendment, according to sources familiar with his conversations.

    The sources were responding to a New York Times report that Rosenstein, in the tumultuous spring of 2017, had discussed with other Justice and FBI officials the possibility of recruiting members of Trump's Cabinet to declare him unfit for the job and that he offered to wear a recording device during conversations with the president, NBC News reported.

    In a May, 16, 2017 meeting at a secure facility at the Justice Department — one week after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey — Rosenstein argued with Andrew McCabe, then the acting director of the FBI, about the president, according to a senior Justice Department official.



    Photo Credit: AP

    Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein watches as President Donald Trump leaves a roundtable event on immigration policy at Morrelly Homeland Security Center, Wednesday, May 23, 2018, in Bethpage, N.Y.Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein watches as President Donald Trump leaves a roundtable event on immigration policy at Morrelly Homeland Security Center, Wednesday, May 23, 2018, in Bethpage, N.Y.

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    Some of the most vocal proponents of the #MeToo movement and droves of other women have come to the defense of Christine Blasey Ford after President Donald Trump questioned her credibility and wondered why she didn’t report her sexual assault at the time she said it happened.

    In a slew of unrestrained tweets Friday, Trump contended that if the attack Ford said happened at the hands of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was “as bad” as she claims, she would have “immediately” reported it to local authorities. He asked her to produce the report to prove the details of her alleged assault and wondered, “Why didn’t someone call the FBI 36 years ago?” 

    The president's brazen comments sparked the birth of a new trending hashtag, #WhyIDidntReport, and inspired victims to reveal their own stories of assault and share their reasons for not telling anyone about the violence.

    One of those victims was Alyssa Milano, who has helped propel the #MeToo movement into the national spotlight in the last year. She threw her support behind Ford and told Trump to pay attention to the stories being told.

    “I was sexually assaulted twice. Once when I was a teenager. I never filed a police report and it took me 30 years to tell [my] parents,” the actress wrote on Twitter.

    #WhyIDidntReport jumped the top of Twitter’s trends in the wake Trump's claims, with social media users challenging the president’s assertions.

    Several women shared incidents they said happened when they were young children, saying they didn’t know what had happened to them at the time. Others said they felt ashamed or embarrassed about their role in the situation, thinking they “asked for” the assault or didn’t do enough to stop it themselves.

    Others described feeling powerless against their attacker, saying they felt they had no one to report the assault to, that those they did tell didn’t do anything or that they would suffer further harm if they spoke out. 

    Ford has accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were teens in the 1980s. She said he pinned her on a bed, groped her, tried to undress her and held his hand over her mouth when she tried to scream. Ford said in her interview with The Washington Post that she didn't tell anyone about the incident until 2012, when she was in therapy sessions with her husband.

    Kavanaugh has denied the claims, but the allegation has halted his confirmation proceedings. 

    Trump himself has been accused of sexual assault as well, by at least 19 women. One of those known accusers, Jessica Leeds, claimed Trump groped her breasts and put his hand up her skit on an airplane in the early 1980s. She told The New York Times she did not report the incident at the time because she had experienced that behavior from men before in the 70s and 80s. 

    "We accepted it for years,” she told the Times of the behavior. “We were taught it was our fault.”

    The White House has said the allegations against Trump are "false."

    But the #WhyIDidntReport testimonies being shared on social media fall in line with national statistics on sexual violence. 

    About two out of every three sexual assaults go unreported to police, according to the anti-sexual violence non-profit RAINN, which stands for Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network. Reasons for not reporting the assault to police include fearing retaliation, believing police would not do anything to help, believing it was a personal matter, having already reported it to a different official and believing it was not important enough to report. 

    The organization also operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800-656-4673)

    The Bureau of Justice Statistics also reports that a majority of rapes and other sexual assaults aren't reported to police. Between 2006 and 2010, an average of about 211,200 rapes and sexual assaults went unreported each year. 

    But even if a victim does report their assault, the likelihood that the perpetrator will be held accountable is slim, according to RAINN. Out of every 1,000 rapes, only 57 cases lead to an arrest and 11 cases will be referred to prosecutors. Only seven cases will lead to a felony conviction.

    Ashley Judd, who accused disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment and claimed he hurt her career after her rejections, also tweeted her own #WhyIDidntReport.

    “The first time it happened, I was 7. I told the first adults I came upon. They said “Oh, he’s a nice old man, that’s not what he meant.” So when I was raped at 15, I only told my diary. When an adult read it, she accused me of having sex with an adult man,” Judd wrote.

    Men shared the hashtag too, supporting women victims and also offering their own stories. Many said they feared they wouldn’t be believed if they came forward with their accusation.

    One out of every 10 rape victims are male, according to RAINN.

    And nearly half of transgender people are sexually assaulted in their lifetime, according to the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey.

    Sexual assault can leave long-term effects on victims, including post-traumatic stress disorder, severe anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts, according to the Joyful Heart Foundation, an anti-sexual assault group founded by "Law and Order" actress Mariska Hargitay.

    Most women who are raped — 94 percent — experience symptoms of PTSD in the two weeks following the rape, according to RAINN. And 30 percent experience symptoms in the nine months after.

    About 70 percent of sexual assault victims experience moderate to severe distress, a larger percentage than for any other violent crime, according to RAINN.

    Ford, in her Post interview, said she has suffered "long-term effects" from the assault and has sought treatment for it.

    One Twitter user named Kirsten King, a writer, reminded readers that those participating in the #WhyIDidntReport hashtag are "reliving their trauma to try and teach folks to extend long overdue empathy and protection. The folks posting are only a drop in the bucket – so many people aren't (and may never be) ready to relive that trauma." Her tweet garnered more than 3,800 likes by Friday evening.

    The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 provides people in distress, or those around them, with 24-hour support. The Crisis Text Line allows people to text 741-741 to connect with crisis counselors.



    Photo Credit: AP Images, Files

    These file photos show Alyssa Milano (left) and Ashley Judd.These file photos show Alyssa Milano (left) and Ashley Judd.

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    Ever walked down the aisle of a train?

    Chances are you've seen someone playing a handheld game, or solitaire on their phone, or even sitting over a miniature Scrabble board with a friend.

    Games and trains have been around since the invention of trains — spoiler alert, games came first — and whether you show with a deck of cards for your trip, or the very latest download of the just-released MMO, you know that travel has a way of flying when you're engaged in some strategic maneuvers.

    But what if those games popped up before you ever reached the train platform or tracks?

    What if you came across dozens of cabinet games, the kind that ruled malls and grocery stores and everywhere back in the 1980s, in the ticket concourse?

    Well, you'd be in Union Station, probably, and it would definitely be Sept. 22 or 23, 2018.

    For a full-on Retrocade Experience is popping up, for two days only, and if you secure a wristband, you'll score two hours of free play on games like Donkey Kong and Street Fighter.

    "First come, first served" is the theme with the wristbands. Just so you know. And now you know.

    Also? For those with Pac Man skillz, there's a tourney each day, from 5 to 7 p.m., and the winner will walk away with a sweet, sweet trophy. The cost to participate is five bucks.

    Mr. Churro will be there, if you want to buy a churro to nosh upon, and there shall be beverages and candy for purchase, too.

    And if you're more of a pinballer, you're in luck: The ding-ding-ding of the bumper-beautiful machines will also add to the allure of the wayback days.

    Details? Eat up all the glowing dots, while heading in this direction, and find your high score now.



    Photo Credit: © Ryan McGuire via Canva.com

    You're super-into classic cabinet games and historic train stations? Ohhh, you're in luck: The Retrocade Experience is bleeping and blurping at Union Station's Ticket Concourse on Sept. 22 and 23.You're super-into classic cabinet games and historic train stations? Ohhh, you're in luck: The Retrocade Experience is bleeping and blurping at Union Station's Ticket Concourse on Sept. 22 and 23.

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    The Redondo lobster fest is on, with live music, drinks, and of course, live Maine lobsters starting Friday.

    The Lobster Rock Festival -- not to be confused with a festival dedicated to the B52's popular hit "Rock Lobster" -- lets residents and those fascinated with crustaceans can stop by SeaSide Lagoon Friday through Sunday.

    The South Bay tradition kicked off Friday at the beach-like spot located at 200 Portofino Way in Redondo Beach, off of N. Harbor Drive. 

    Bands performing include: Tomorrow's Bad Seed, Kaleo Wassman (of the band Pepper), Dan Kelly (Fortunate Youth), Save Ferris, Hoist the Colors, Freelstone, Yachtley Crew, Twisted Gypsy (Fleetwood Mac cover band) and Petty or Not (Tom Petty cover band).

    The fest features 25 different types of beer and wine, games, and lots of fresh lobster.

    General admission is $30 on the day-of, or lobster-lovers can buy them presale for $20.

    Parents, do note the 21 and over hours listed below:

     

    • Friday 5-9 p.m. (strictly 21+)
    • Saturday 12-9 p.m. (strictly 21+)
    • Sunday 12-8 p.m. (all ages)


    Photo Credit: KNBC-TV

    Put your claws up if you love lobster! The Redondo Beach Lobster Rock festival kicked off Friday through Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018.Put your claws up if you love lobster! The Redondo Beach Lobster Rock festival kicked off Friday through Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018.

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    Warner Bros. and director Todd Phillips gave a tantalizing sneak peek at Joaquin Phoenix's interpretation of the "Joker" Friday.

    In a video posted on Twitter, Phoenix is seen in a "camera test," smirking as the Joker's likeness flashes across his face.

    Then you see the clown paint.

    It's chilling and thrilling all at once. 

    Alec Baldwin recently pulled out of playing Bruce Wayne's father in the "Joker" movie.

    Robert De Niro also is part of the cast in the Warner Bros. movie, which is due in theaters in October 2019.


    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

    Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck in “Joker,” from Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures and BRON Creative. A Warner Bros. Pictures release. Photo by Nikos TaverniseJoaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck in “Joker,” from Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures and BRON Creative. A Warner Bros. Pictures release. Photo by Nikos Tavernise

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    Shaking off the week is one thing.

    We might head for a bike ride, or to yoga class, or to spend time with our dad, or to take a walk in the park.

    But moving from one season into the next?

    That feels a little more monumental, like it has some heft, and locating the appropriately awesome doorway from summer to fall seems as though it might be as difficult as shaking off a dozen weeks.

    It's not hard, though, in fabulous Frogtown, the well-loved, community-cared-for, avant-garde-y (but relaxed) enclave near the Los Angeles River in the Elysian Valley.

    Art is at the funky heart of this water-adjacent area, an area known for being incredibly come-one, come-all to the wider SoCal region, when the matter of enjoying art, the evening, and each other is at hand.

    And that will be at hand on Saturday, Sept. 22 from 4 to 10 p.m., when the 11th annual Frogtown Artwalk returns, with charm, flavor, and rad stuff to soak in through eyes, ears, and your senses.

    A lot of highlights are packed into those six hours, but look for "studio tours and curated performances" from artist Michael Todd and musician Mia Doi Todd (indeed, they're father and daughter).

    The LA River Corgis open the event with a 20-minute walk, and so much other goodness will follow, including an interactive light installation near the river, live dance, live music, a place for kids to play with chalk, hula hooping, oodles of art on view, and other expressions of those called to make and share idea-inspiring, heart-growing things.

    Again, this is all free, save for any art purchases or food you'd like to buy. And, oh yes, Frogtown is known for its vivacious vittles, too.

    Call this all a bit low-key, too, and not particularly splashy nor showy. And yet this event is not understated in the warmth or joy department, nor in the sense that Frogtown continues to be as Frogtowny as ever.

    Why do we make such a claim? It truly keeps to its artist-supportive character, year in and year out, through the return of each and every artwalk. Call it a close and creative neighborhood that continues to thrive in our mega-metropolis.

    And call it the perfect place to leave summer for autumn. The start of fall happens on Sept. 22, making the event a beautiful doorway into what's next.



    Photo Credit: Frogtown Artwalk

    The Frogtown Artwalk rolls, with creativity, optimism, community-cool, and river-adjacent beauty, on Saturday evening, Sept. 22.The Frogtown Artwalk rolls, with creativity, optimism, community-cool, and river-adjacent beauty, on Saturday evening, Sept. 22.

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    U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke and Sen. Ted Cruz faced each other in the first of three planned debates Friday in what has become a neck and neck race for the Texas senate seat.


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    Have a desire to call upon ever food hall in town, in the region, in the state?

    The sort of savory-to-sweet spots that boast breads of quality, desserts on the high end of delectable, vegetarian offerings punchy with spicy wow, and cheesy, meaty, fill-up foods, too?

    It's a gourmand goal of lots of people nowadays, as the food hall scene continues on the up and up and up. Best add to those multiple ups, for the latest stroll-around 'n sup to-do is popping up, starting on Sept. 22, at the Sportsmen's Lodge in Studio City.

    Say hello to the Valley Urban Market, a "weekly open-air food experience" featuring the flavorful foodstuffs of Hearth & Olive, Lobsterdamus, Dina's Dumplings, and several more local favorites. 

    Founded by "longtime friends and native Valley girls Megan Gefsky, Deborah Saly, and Jordan Grohl," the every-Saturday Valley Urban Market will include, in addition to a line-up of stylish yet nummy noshes, "comfortable seating, a DJ, a photo booth, air-brush tattooing, balloon art and more."

    The cost to enter the Studio City snack fest? It's five dollars, and a portion of each entry will be donated to the Valley Food Bank. Do bring extra bucks for all of the bites you'd like to try, of course.

    Will there be a lot of 818-a-tude and valley pride, among the vendors, cuisine-creative pros, and those who show to give attendees a super day out in the sunshine?

    Count on it: This will be an under-the-sky food hall that has its roots firmly planted in the SFV.

    If you dig supping 'round the San Fernando Valley, and la vida Ventura Boulevard, and discovering new dining possibilities in your semi-immediate neck o' the woods, and you're a true-and-through food-hall-ie, check it out : Valley Urban Market debuts on Sept. 22.



    Photo Credit: Hearth & Olive

    Find foodie goodies galore at the Sportsmen's Lodge, each Saturday, at this pop-up market.Find foodie goodies galore at the Sportsmen's Lodge, each Saturday, at this pop-up market.

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    It's Time for the Legends of Dodger Baseball. 

    The Los Angeles Dodgers announced on Friday that they will honor former players Don Newcombe, Steve Garvey and Fernando Valenzuela as part of the inaugural class of the "Legends of Dodger Baseball," during a pregame ceremony in 2019.

    The announcement comes ahead of legendary Dodgers Spanish Language broadcaster, Jaime Jarrín's Ring of Honor induction ceremony, an honor that none of the aforementioned players have achieved yet. 

    In lieu of the Ring of Honor, the Dodgers have created the "Legends of Dodger Baseball," to recognize players that have made an impact on the franchise both on and off the field. It's no surprise that the team choose players who are still a part of the team in an official capacity. 

    Newcombe rejoined the organization in 1970 as the team's Director of Community Affairs, and became a special advisor to the chairman in 2009. 

    Garvey spent 15 years working for the Dodgers in the Community Affairs department and as a consultant for community relations. He is frequently in attendance for most home Dodgers games, and greets fans and signs autographs outside the left field pavillion throughout the season.

    Valenzuela returned to the Dodgers organization in 2003 as the Spanish Language radio color commentator joining Jaime Jarrín and Pepe Ýñiguez. In 2015, he joined Spectrum SportsNetLA as the color commentator on the television feed.

    All three legendary players will recive a plaque honoring their achievements that will remain on permanent display inside Dodger Stadium.

    "We’re excited to launch the Legends of Dodger Baseball, and there couldn’t be more perfect franchise representatives to make up our inaugural class than Don, Steve and Fernando," said Mark Walter, Dodger Owner and Chairman, in a statement released by the team. "This group epitomizes what it means to be a Dodger, not only with their incredible careers on the field but also through their dedicated service to the Los Angeles community." 

    Added Dodger President and CEO Stan Kasten, "The Legends of Dodger Baseball program is the first of many new developments that we plan to roll out as we approach the 2020 All-Star Game, including the creation of a permanent home to celebrate the great players, personnel and moments that have helped make the Dodgers one of the most storied institutions in professional sports."

    The Dodgers will recognize Newcombe, Garvey and Valenzuela prior to Sunday’s Dodgers-Padres game.



    Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images

    Former Dodgers players Rick Monday, Don Newcombe, Sandy Koufax and Steve Garvey are honored at a Dodger Game in 2017. Newcombe and Garvey will join the Legends of Dodger Baseball club in 2019.Former Dodgers players Rick Monday, Don Newcombe, Sandy Koufax and Steve Garvey are honored at a Dodger Game in 2017. Newcombe and Garvey will join the Legends of Dodger Baseball club in 2019.

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    Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz had a chance to show off his often praised debating skills tonight in his first match-up against Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke, the El Paso congressman running a strong campaign against him.

    Cruz is trying to win a second term in the U.S. Senate in a race that the Cook Political Report on Friday rated a toss-up. New polls show the competition tightening with a Reuters-Ipsos poll on Wednesday giving O’Rourke a two-point lead in a typically reliable red state. Countering those indications is a Quinnipiac poll had Cruz ahead by nine points.

    O’Rourke is a three-term congressman. He has raised more money than Cruz, a presidential hopeful in 2016 against now President Donald J. Trump, drawing national attention to the race.

    O’Rourke, who became an El Paso city councilman in 2005, is hoping to become the first Texan elected to the Senate since 1988.

    Tonight’s hourlong debate is the first of three the men are scheduled to participate in. Here are some of the evening’s highlights.

    “This is why people do not like Washington, D.C.”
    A particularly sharp exchange between the two men came as they addressed police shootings of unarmed black men, one of which occurred about two weeks ago when a white off-duty Dallas police officer shot her black neighbor, Botham Jean, to death in his own apartment. Police Officer Amber Guyger, who has been charged with manslaughter, has told investigators that she mistook his apartment for hers.

    Cruz accused O’Rourke of calling police officers modern-day Jim Crow, a reference to local laws that enforced racial segregation in the South, and deemed the description offensive.

    “That is not Texas,” he concluded.

    “What Senator Cruz said is simply untrue,” O’Rourke responded. “I did not call police officers modern-day Jim Crow.”

    Video of O’Rourke’s town hall on Wednesday at Prairie View A&M University, a historically black college in Prairie View, Texas, shows him talking about a system that he said suspects a person based solely on the color of their skin, that searches, stops or shoots someone based on the color of their skin.

    “It is why some have called this, and I think it is an apt description, the new Jim Crow,” he said.

    Cruz, when asked whether he thought the police shootings a problem, said that everyone’s rights should be protected, but blamed irresponsible and hateful rhetoric for shootings of police officers — among them the killing of five Dallas police officers in 2016. He accused O’Rourke of repeating things he knew were not true, including accusing white police officers of shooting unarmed African American children, and said that The Washington Post had fact checked the claim and found it to be untrue.

    “This is why people do not like Washington, D.C.,” O’Rourke said. “You just said something that I did not say and attributed it to me.”

    “What did you not say?” Cruz asked.

    “I’m not going to repeat the slander and mischaracterization,” O’Rourke said.

    “You’re not going to say what you did say?” Cruz asked.

    “This is your trick in the trade, to confuse and to incite based on fear and not to speak the truth,” O’Rourke said. "This is a very serious issue."

    The Washington Post did examine a quote from O’Rourke but did not rate it given varying interpretations that were possible. The quote: “Black men, unarmed, black teenagers, unarmed, and black children, unarmed, are being killed at a frightening level right now, including by members of law enforcement without accountability and without justice.”

    Cruz's dignity and President Trump
    During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump attacked Cruz viciously, suggesting that Cruz’s father had been involved in the assassination of President John Kennedy and tweeting an unflattering photograph of Cruz’s wife, Heidi, and threatening to “spill the beans” on her.

    How did Cruz, who later endorsed Trump and praised him, respond to critics who said he had lost his dignity.

    Cruz called his father his hero and his wife his best friend and the most beautiful woman on the planet.

    After the election, he faced a choice and decided to work with the president on cutting taxes and regulations and creating new jobs.

    “So yes, I could have chosen to make it about myself, to be selfish and say, ‘You know what, my feelings are hurt so I’m going to take my marbles and go home.’ But I think that would have been not doing the job I was elected to do.”

    O’Rourke said that how Cruz responded when the president attacked him personally was his business. But the congressman also raised allegations that Trump had colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election and said he had attacked the country’s institutions.

    “We need a U.S. senator who will stand up to this president, “ O’Rourke said.

    “True to Form”
    When the men were asked what they admired about their opponent, O’Rourke said he knew how hard Cruz worked, the time he had spent away from his children and the sacrifices he had made. He said he had no question that despite their differences, Cruz wanted to do the best for America.

    “So I thank you Sen. Cruz for your public service,” O’Rourke said.

    Cruz agreed that the time away from their children was a sacrifice for both men and that O’Rourke was passionate, energetic and believed in what he was fighting for. Then Cruz compared O’Rourke to Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who he said advocated socialism, higher taxes and expanding government.

    “You’re fighting for the principles you believe in and I respect that,” Cruz said.

    “True to form,” O’Rourke responded.

    “Thoughts and prayers”
    The men clashed over how to protect students from shootings in school, both referring to the killings at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas, in May.

    Cruz called for more armed police officers in school, and rejected any new gun control measures.

    “There is something deeply wrong that we have these shootings. There are a lot of things behind it that have nothing to do with government. They have things to do with things like removing God from the public square, like losing the moral foundation of much of our society, like losing the binds of community and family.”

    O’Rourke argued that bringing a firearm into a classroom would not make students safer.

    “Thoughts and prayers, Sen. Cruz, are just not going to cut it anymore,” he said. “The people of Texas, the children of Texas, deserve action.”

    “More armed police officers in our schools is not thoughts and prayers,” Cruz answered. “I”m sorry you don’t like thoughts and prayers. I will pray for anyone in harm’s way but I also will do something about it.”

    Differing Views on Drugs
    On drugs, Cruz said that O’Rourke, while on the El Paso City Council, had called for a national debate on legalizing all narcotics, including heroin and cocaine.

    “There is consistent pattern when it comes to drug use that in almost every single instance Congressman O’Rourke supports more of it,” Cruz said.

    Cruz said that the issue was personal; his older sister died of a drug overdoes.

    O’Rourke, who was arrested for drunken driving in 1998, said that he wanted to end the war on drugs and to end the prohibition on marijuana.

    “To be clear, I don’t want to legalize heroin and cocaine and fentanyl,” he said.



    Photo Credit: Tom Fox-Pool/Getty Images

    Democratic U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke makes a point as Republican Sen. Ted Cruz waits his turn during a debate at McFarlin Auditorium at SMU on Sept. 21, 2018, in Dallas, Texas.Democratic U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke makes a point as Republican Sen. Ted Cruz waits his turn during a debate at McFarlin Auditorium at SMU on Sept. 21, 2018, in Dallas, Texas.

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    Six members of a Mexican Mafia-linked street gang were convicted in a federal racketeering scheme that could send them to prison for life, prosecutors said Friday.

    Officials described the gang that operated out of Santa Fe Springs and Whittier as a dangerous organization that caused misery in several communities.

    "These convictions are part a larger case that illustrates our dedication to improve our communities by combating the mayhem caused by violent criminal gangs," said United States Attorney Nick Hanna in a statement.

    Enrique "Boxer" Holguin, 56, was described as a senior member of the Canta Ranas gang. Authorities said he had direct communication with David Gavaldon, a Mexican Mafia member, currently serving a life sentence in state prison after being convicted of murder, authorities said. Holguin played a key role acting on behalf of Gavaldon and setting up a group of Mexican Mafia-affiliated inmates who controlled illegal activities inside the California Institute for Men in Chino, prosecutors said.

    Holguin was also convicted of an attempted assault of a fellow inmate thought to be a police informant.

    Donald "Wacky" Goulet, 31, collected taxes, once committed a violent home-invasion robbery and was tasked with helping Gavaldon expand the gang's territory into Riverside, authorities said.

    Emanuel "Blanco" Higuera, 33, a member of the Brown Brotherhood, another gang controlled by Gavaldon, was found guilty of trafficking drugs on behalf of the gang, officials said.

    Monica "Smiley" Rodriguez, 40, was described as one of Gavaldon's secretaries, who passed gang-related messages between Gavaldon and gang members, and acted as Gavaldon's eyes and ears on the street, prosecutors said.

    Alexis "Lex" Jaimez, 30, a foot soldier, was involved in a an assault that left a victim with severe, permanent injuries, authorities said.



    Photo Credit: U.S. Department of Justice

    Accused Mexican Mafia Member David Gavaldon is seen in this photo in CDCR custody with the EME and Canta Ranas gang tattoos. He allegedly gave orders to other members while inside the California Institute for Men in Chino.Accused Mexican Mafia Member David Gavaldon is seen in this photo in CDCR custody with the EME and Canta Ranas gang tattoos. He allegedly gave orders to other members while inside the California Institute for Men in Chino.

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