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CurbedWire: Every Single One Of These Is About Freedom, Sorta

DOWNTOWN - Apparently our colorist is a font of real estate information. Also mentioned yesterday sometime between foil and rinsing - folk singer Michelle Shocked is the latest celeb to purchase a place in the Eastern Columbia. Maybe not quite as exciting as Johnny Depp, but the woman won a lawsuit to take ownership of her record label against Mercury Records by invoking the anti-slavery amendment. That, my friends, is what we call gumption. And doesn't downtown needs a little bit more of that? [Curbed Hotline]

LOS ANGELES - Quelle Scandale! Former USC real estate professor Barry Landreth was sentenced to six years for an investment scam. Apparently the good prof convinced his students and others to invest in bogus commercial developments "in Chicago and Las Vegas with promised returns of 190% within 30 to 45 days. Instead of investing the money, however, he used it, among other things, to buy a Cadillac Escalade." When we were an adjunct professor at USC, we forced our students to play video games and blog. They have no idea how lucky they are. [CurbedWire Inbox/LA Times]

ECHO PARK - LA Weekly writer Daniel Hernandez reports from the frontlines of this year's Fourth of July fireworks at Echo Park Lake. His findings? Reporting from the frontlines of fireworks in Echo Park is akin to war reportage but with remarkably less death. Its also 100% illegal, 100% ignored by the LAPD and LAFD, and dammit, "lighting illegal fireworks is basically an expression of American independence, in the raw." You can take my roman candle when you pry it from my cold, dead hands! [LA Weekly]