Ralph’s-near Western/Wilshire 

By Trissean McDonald

The Painted Brain Academy has come to its last day on March 25, 2016. The Academy decided to close out with a trip to Ralph’s grocery store. However, it wasn’t the type of field trip that was expected. The actual atmosphere at Ralph’s, located at 670 South Western Avenue Los Angeles, California 90005, seemed rather hostilely defensive.

Hostile in the sense that, the store manager and security actually called authorities in front of me without giving an actual reason as to why. Several employees made attempts to stop me from collecting valuable information related to homeless and mentally ill individuals that frequent the store. Do they actually affect the customers shopping experience or the work of employees?

However, I managed to speak with an anonymous employee who was actually serving food at a cart vendor. The employee said that there are not many encounters that she has had with homeless people or individuals she deems as mentally ill. Nevertheless, she’s adamant about treating people like herself. She utilizes wisdom and “tries to discern” everyone’s potential dangerous quality she encounters.

It may be rather advisable for several of Ralph’s employees to start “treating others like themselves” as well. I did not violate any laws. However, I harassed both by the store’s security and manager. The store manager did not have on a name tag making him seem rather anonymous. He even went to extreme measures to have me arrested by calling the local authorities who didn’t even show up.

The manager alleged that I was “harassing the customers.” However, no customer was interviewed. If an employee declined to be interviewed or was even busy, I moved on to the next potential individual who was ok with being interviewed. Then I realized, if I was dismissed without question by the store manager, how are some individuals that are mentally ill or homeless treated when trying to hold a mutual conversation with another customer or employee?

Asking and probing for public information that’s not detrimental towards the store or employees, shouldn’t be dismissed without any given explanation as to why.


MaCArther Park’s contaminated water 

By Trissean McDonald

Strolling through MacArthur Park, my party and I managed to interview a Hispanic male who may have perhaps been in his 50s. His name is Raymond. Raymond’s English was quite limited. The information that he gave to us wasn’t really elaborative. However, when asked about the MacArthur Park’s lake water without hesitation he conveyed his concerns. It is “dirty.”

Raymond, although disturbed by the egregious putrefaction of the lake, frequents the area at least 2 times a week for the past 5 years. He has a bit of a bitter-sweet relationship with the MacArthur Park area.

Travis, a member within my investigative party, spoke with Michael McCarten. He is a freelance photographer who specializes in animal photography. He displayed his concerns of the water and the environment of the lake. How he thought it was affecting the abundance of the birds’ wildlife.

Travis showed Michael a sample of the lake’s water that he personally collected. Michael was indeed disgusted. He said that it’s hazardous to the society and the health of the animals. Michael is originally from the San Jose region, noting that today was his first time he’s ever been to the lake.

Lastly, the team interviewed Anthony Frontino. He is from the Hillcrest area of San Diego who was visiting Los Angeles. This was his second time visiting the park. Frontino response, when asked about the lake was in unison with the other two. Unanimous in response. It is horrendously disgusting. Does not the city care about the environment of our wildlife and how the polluted water is affecting their livelihood?

Trissean McDonald