Environment, Interviews, News, Summer »

Summer Road Trips: The Lava Tube at Mojave National Preserve & Kelso Dunes

Posted June 29, 2012 by | 14 Comments | ]


It’s summer and that means many of you probably want to get out and do a little exploring. I’m talking filling up the tank, grabbing the map out of the glove box (or turning on your mobile GPS navigation system) and taking a classic road trip to a place you’ve never visited. But of all the roads and destinations to take, which ones should …

News, Politics »

Politics Friday: 5 things you may have missed this week

Posted June 29, 2012 by | 1 Comment | ]

While you were still trying to recover from the news of the Tom Cruise/Katie Holmes split, here are some other stories you may have overlooked.

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

What the health care ruling means for California

Posted June 28, 2012 by | 17 Comments | ]
Warren Olney

Now that “Obamacare” has been upheld by the US Supreme Court, Mitt Romney wants it repealed by Congress. But even if he wins the White House, that’s not very likely. President Obama has called for implementation to be speeded up, and that’s what’s in store for California, with 4.6 million additional people now eligible for insurance coverage. Where’s the money? Are there enough doctors? …

economy, News »

Louis CK bypasses the ticket brokers, who probably aren’t laughing

Posted June 28, 2012 by | 6 Comments | ]
Photo by Bil Zelman

KCRW stocked up on ice cream – four kinds – for a visit of one of the funniest guys on television. And he left without even a scoop.
But Louis CK did take time this week to sit down with The Treatment’s Elvis Mitchell to talk about his remarkable career and his recently hatched plan to skip the brokers and sell tickets to his comedy …

LA Noir, Politics, Warren Olney »

Supreme Court overturns Stolen Valor Act in case originating in L.A. County

Posted June 28, 2012 by and | 1 Comment | ]

Does the First Amendment guarantee of free speech extend to lying about being a military hero? In a 6-3 decision handed down today, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that it did, invalidating the 2005 Stolen Valor Act in the process.

The case centered on Xavier Alvarez, who as a member of the Claremont-based Three Valleys Municipal Water District board, claimed to have won the Congressional …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, News, Politics »

A new play challenges homophobia in Uganda

Posted June 27, 2012 by | 4 Comments | ]
Self-portrait. Photo: Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine

We’ve seen a lot of advances for gay rights in the United States, from the president announcing his support for same-sex marriage, to an appeals court striking down the Defense of Marriage Act.
But while those battles continue domestically, gay rights advocates are increasingly concerned about rampant homophobia abroad.
Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine is a noted Hollywood actor and photographer, and has played roles in Blood …

economy, Environment, News, Recent Shows, Warren Olney »

Stockton files for bankruptcy

Posted June 27, 2012 by | 3 Comments | ]
Warren Olney

Stockton has “cut off an arm to save the body” — stopped bond payments, slashed employee benefits and adopted a “survival budget.” It’s now officially the largest American city to go bankrupt. Will others follow? What’s the impact on the statewide economy? Also, a measure to ban hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, by oil companies in California has passed another legislative committee. Are the fears …

Interviews, Issues, Politics, Sonic Trace »

Sonic Trace: Understanding Mexico’s presidential election

Posted June 27, 2012 by | 5 Comments | ]

We met Luis earlier this month when he began his journey to figure out why the Mexican election should matter to him — an undocumented teenager living in Los Angeles. Luis was born in Mexico, but came to LA as a baby and feels more American than Mexican. On today’s “To the Point” we heard Luis’ story.
The election is this weekend in Mexico and …

Arts & Culture, News »

Remembering Nora Ephron, filmmaker and funny, funny writer

Posted June 27, 2012 by | 2 Comments | ]

Writer and filmmaker Nora Ephron died yesterday from complications from leukemia at age 71. Director Rob Reiner worked with Ephron on films including “When Harry Met Sally.” He told KCRW’s Steve Chiotakis yesterday that Ephron’s greatest strength as a writer was her mastery of the subtleties of how men and women interact. Reiner says some aspects of the Meg Ryan character in “When Harry …

Environment, News, Summer »

What’s your favorite road trip?

Posted June 27, 2012 by | 4 Comments | ]

KCRW has been looking for great road trips for series that will air all next week on KCRW 89.9 FM. We began by asking listeners for summer road trip suggestions on KCRW’s Facebook page. Below are some that caught our attention, but you can check them all out here. Then tune in all next week during morning edition to hear some road trips for …

Arts & Culture, economy, Environment, Politics, Summer »

Behold LA’s New Civic Center Park

Posted June 27, 2012 by | 12 Comments | ]

I was at L.A.’s City Hall the other day when I took this photo of the nearly complete Grand Avenue Park. Opening ceremonies, featuring music and dance performances, are scheduled for July 28th and 29th.
The 12-acre expanse of lawns, fountains and performance spaces  sweeps from the foot of the Music Center on Grand Avenue to the front door of City Hall on Spring Street. …

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

A Republican Super PAC in California

Posted June 26, 2012 by | 3 Comments | ]
Warren Olney

California voters are turning away from political parties in droves, and Independents are deciding most statewide elections. Now former Republican officials and fundraisers have gone outside the party to create a Super PAC, trying to retain enough seats to support business interests in the Assembly and Senate. They’ll settle for moderate Democrats. Will big money destroy the two-party system in California? Also, will the …

Issues, News, Politics »

Geopolitics comes to LA billboards

Posted June 26, 2012 by | 64 Comments | ]
Billboard in Atwater Village

How often do you see a geopolitical naming dispute half-a-world-away play out on L.A.’s billboards?  Check out the photo of this billboard I took on the corner of Hoover and 20th Street just west of downtown Los Angeles. I’ve also seen the same sign in L.A.’s Atwater Village neighborhood.
What’s the story? For years Iranians and Arabs have been arguing over what to call the …

Arts & Culture, Education, News »

Blind youth compete in National Braille Challenge

Posted June 25, 2012 by | 12 Comments | ]

This past weekend, kids from around the country gathered in Los Angeles to compete and show off their reading and writing skills – in Braille. It’s like a Spelling Bee, but for kids who are blind.
Sixty kids, from first graders through high school seniors, come to the Braille Institute of America to compete in five contests – spelling, reading comprehension, proofreading, Braille speed and …

economy, Politics, Recent Shows »

Supreme Court’s immigration ruling leaves legal questions

Posted June 25, 2012 by | 3 Comments | ]
Warren Olney

Stockton, the river-port city south of Sacramento, has twice topped Fortune magazine’s list of America’s most miserable places to live. On Wednesday, it might become the nation’s largest city to declare bankruptcy. We hear what that means for public safety and other services most cities take for granted. On our rebroadcast of today’s To the Point, the Supreme Court has thrown out some of …

Arts & Culture, economy, Education, Environment, Issues, Politics, Summer »

Can private funding save public institutions?

Posted June 25, 2012 by | 0 Comments | ]
Brannan Island was scheduled for closure, but will be operated by a private company

Last week it was announced that California State Parks would contract out the running of three of its 278 parks to a private Utah company. The state budget squeeze has 70 of the state’s parks slated for closing, but at least 30 of them will now remain open due to a mix of private and non-profit funding that’s replacing money cut from the state’s …

Issues, Politics, Video »

Politics Friday: 5 things you may have missed this week

Posted June 22, 2012 by and | 5 Comments | ]

While you were busy getting relationship advice from Fox’s new lifestyle magazine, Romney and Obama were talking immigration and Todd Palin was getting ready for a new reality show. Here are some political stories you may have overlooked this week.

Arts & Culture, News, Sonic Trace, Summer »

KCRW at Dwell on Design

Posted June 22, 2012 by | 2 Comments | ]

If you aren’t busy standing under LACMA’s levitated mass this weekend, check out KCRW’s booth at Dwell on Design, a program at the L.A. Convention Center from June 22-24.
KCRW’s booth (#270) will feature the edgy and imaginative illustrations from a recent contest to design a sound booth for KCRW’s new series Sonic Trace, which was created by Anayansi Diaz-Cortes and Eric Pearse-Chavez and features …

Bad Driving, News »

Survival guide to the 405 closures

Posted June 22, 2012 by | 5 Comments | ]

Work begins tonight on the demolition of Wilshire Boulevard on and off-ramps to the 405, which is supposed to continue for a year. Some call it “Rampture,” Shortcuts calls it hell. Either way it’s going to be a nightmare for commuters and it’s going to hit L.A.’s West Side the hardest, affecting drivers on their way to the Veterans Administration complex,  UCLA and The …

Interviews, Issues, LA Noir, News »

Living next to Whitey Bulger

Posted June 22, 2012 by | 14 Comments | ]
Mugshots of James Bulger and Catherine Greig, US Marshals Service

Remember that sweet old guy in Apt. 303? Well he was picked up for murder and racketeering…
It’s been a year since FBI agents swooped down on brutal Boston mob boss Whitey Bulger and his lady friend, Catherine Greig in Santa Monica. They’d led a quiet life there since going on the lam back in 1995. Writer Gideon Brower (and KCRW freelance producer) happened to …

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