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LA Bloom: Gardens and mindfulness

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Hirokazu Kosaka is a Buddhist priest and an artist, but when I visited him last week at the Japanese American Cultural Cultural and Community Center in Little Tokyo, he sounded more like he was into construction, or gardening. Four 18-wheelers had just dumped loads of pebbles on the plaza outside the center on San Pedro Street. On the edge of the enormous circle, Kosaka …

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Will you ride LA’s new Expo Line?

800px-Expo-la_cienega

There was a grand opening over the weekend for the Expo Line, the new light rail line route connecting downtown L.A. with Culver City. There was music, dance performances, lots of speeches by politicians, and free rides offered to passengers on Saturday and Sunday. But today the Expo Line has its first real test, as paying passengers boarded it to go to work. I …

Issues, News, Politics, Recent Shows, Warren Olney »

All Aboard the Expo Line

Warren Olney

Westside commuters are getting their first chance to take rapid transit all the way downtown, but what about getting from home to the station and back and paying for parking? Also, LA County’s elected County Assessor denies doing favors for campaign contributors. We hear about investigations of possible bribery and campaign money laundering. And how about them Clippers? On our rebroadcast of today’s To …

Arts & Culture, Headline, Interviews, Issues, la riots, Politics, Recent Shows »

Special programming: 20 Years after the riots

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All week we’ve been talking about the Rodney King riot of 1992, America’s worst civil disturbance in the 20th Century.  April 29 marks exactly 20 years since LAPD officers were acquitted of charges of using excessive force. All five special episodes are linked below.
The Rodney King beating was videotaped by a bystander and broadcast on newscasts worldwide. Two weeks later, a 15-year-old black girl, …

Arts & Culture, Featured, Interviews, la riots, News »

Father and son photographers remember the LA riots

Cartwheel

“We followed the smoke.” That’s what famed L.A. photographer Gary Leonard told me when I asked him how he and his photographer son, David, covered the 1992 L.A. riots. I think the photos they took show how Los Angeles looked and felt during the civil unrest, a city coming apart at the seams where scenes of violence, destruction and sheer weirdness played out on …

la riots, Recent Shows »

Los Angeles before it erupted

Warren Olney, Raphael Sonenshein, Erin Aubry Kaplan, Bonghwan and Rubén Martínez

All week we’ve been airing programs about the Rodney King riot of 1992, America’s worst civil disturbance in the 20th Century. Now, we’re just three days away from April 29, exactly 20 years since four white LAPD officers were acquitted of charges of using excessive force. We hear about the mood of tension that pervaded the city at that time and how various people …

Featured, News »

Politics Friday: 5 stories you may have missed this week

KimKardashian

As you’ve likely noticed, we’ve been busy reflecting on the 20th anniversary of the LA Riots, but the presidential campaign has kicked into high gear. Here are some of the stories you may have missed this week.

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Listeners Remember: ‘It was a really scary and confusing time’

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Listener Loanie Huynh Fulton remembers being eleven-years-old when the LA Riots broke out. She says, “It was  a particularly tense time in terms of social interactions and in some sense there was a lot of racial profiling going on among students. ”

Arts & Culture, Featured, la riots, Video »

What movie best captures early ’90s LA?

We recently posed that question on Facebook, as we prepared this week’s special coverage of the 20th anniversary of the Rodney King riots. Listeners responded with a slew of great suggestions that helped shape yesterday’s show about the riots and pop culture, as well as a few curve balls. Here’s what you said:
Lawrence Kasdan’s 1991 drama “Grand Canyon,” featuring Kevin Kline as an immigration …

Arts & Culture, Featured, la riots »

Cultural touchstones of the LA Riots

Warren Olney, Greg Phillips, Anna Deavere Smith and John Singleton at KCRW

On today’s anniversary edition of Which Way, LA?, we look at music, movies and literature that reflected – and in some cases predicted – the 1992 Los Angeles riots. We hear from filmmakers John Singleton and Charles Burnett, author Gary Phillips, writer and actress Anna Deavere Smith, musicians Ozomatli and others about the cultural touchstones of riots-era Los Angeles. Listen below:

Arts & Culture, Featured, la riots »

Ozomatli’s LA Rebellion playlist

Ozomatli bandmembers at KCRW

Ozomatli may be known as a party band, but they say they are a “direct product of the LA Riots.” KCRW DJ Raul Campos talks with Ozomatli band members, Will Abers and Justin Poree about Los Angeles, their music and the LA rebellion. Here’s the full tracklist of the LA Riots as told through music — listen to the interview below.
“White Riot” by the Clash… …

Arts & Culture, Featured, la riots, News »

Wanda Coleman reads: ‘The Riot Inside Me’, ‘Soon Ja’, ‘After the Rampage’

Poet, Wanda Coleman

Wanda Coleman grew up in Los Angeles in Watts in the 1960s. She witnessed the 1965 Watts Riots, and the 1992 Rodney King riot. We invited her into the KCRW studios to share some of her poetry, which we are also playing on air this week as we look back on the civil unrest. “The Riot Inside Me” was published in 2003 and Coleman …

la riots, Recent Shows, Warren Olney »

Impact of the Rodney King riot on the built environment

Warren Olney

This the third part of a week of programs on the violence, causes and aftermath of the Rodney King riots that devastated so much of Los Angeles 20 years ago. More than 50 people were killed, thousands were injured. Estimates of property damage were in excess of $1 billion. Today, we learn how some architects and designers responded to the “deep sense of evil” …

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Listeners Remember: ‘Most people were scared’

Ted Brennan now

KCRW listener, Ted Brennan had just gotten out of the army when the 1992 riots broke out. He was with the National Guard and was deployed from San Diego to Los Angeles to help patrol the city. He said that the community welcomed the National Guard when they rolled into Koreatown. Listen to his story below.

If you want to share your story, please do! …

Arts & Culture, Education, Featured, la riots »

Slideshow: Inside Inner-City arts

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KCRW producer Frances Anderton talked with the kids at Inner-City Arts about their experience with the school, the building and the Los Angeles Riots. The building stands in stark contrast with the surroundings. You can hear that conversation here:

On today’s show, Warren talks about LA’s “built environment” before and after the 1992 riots. Check out a slideshow of Inner-CityArts below:

(Photo credits: Inner-City Arts; Iwan …

Arts & Culture, la riots, Video »

Listeners Remember: ‘I was playing with Lou Reed when everything went weird’

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KCRW listener and bassist Michael Blair shares his memory of the LA Riots on our Facebook page.

I was playing with Lou Reed when everything went weird. During sound check we could feel something happening around town. And we saw the news as well. Really frightening. And so sad. We were on the “Arsenio Hall” TV show the next day. Lou and Arsenio decided we …

la riots »

From the archives: July 8, 1992 –The new Korean Americans

Warren Olney

 Which Way, LA? was born out of the LA Riots as a place for Angelenos to talk about current issues. Take a listen to one of our early shows, which takes us into Koreatown in 1992.
 
In Los Angeles, the family of Soon Ja Du, the Korean grocery who was convicted of shooting and killing a young African American girl in her grocery store, has …

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