Arts & Culture, Featured »

Why we like fizz in our wine when we celebrate: An unscientific explanation

I long ago abandoned the need to make plans on New Year’s Eve. Amateur hour, right? Why not get a good bottle of something and stay home, with loved ones? (Or just you, if no one merits special consideration?)
Maybe this decision had something to do with age, or maybe it had to do with meeting Randy Clement at Silverlake Wine, which opened around the …

Commentary, Environment, Featured, News »

New Year’s Eve at the Smoking Deaths Billboard

Every December 31st, huge crowds of people all around the world gather to welcome the New Year. They huddle together in barren public squares, exhausted and freezing, in the belief that if enough people do something unpleasant at the same time that makes it worthwhile.
I’ve never been tempted to join them. Why would I, when a neighborhood near my own home has a public …

Arts & Culture, economy, Issues, Today's News »

Today’s News: Cliff’s edge; New Tribune Co.; Bowl basics


Budget blow. Negotiations in Washington, D.C., over the so-called fiscal cliff have huge implications in California. If lawmakers can’t reach a deal before the clock strikes 2013, Californians – like everyone else – will see their federal income taxes rise. Social security taxes will also go up. The state Legislative Analyst has predicted failure to reach a deal could mean an $11 billion hit …

Arts & Culture, economy, Issues, Today's News »

Today’s News: Church abuse files; LA crime rates; Clippers roll


Naming names. The fight over secret church files dealing with sexual abuse cases isn’t over yet. The L.A. Roman Catholic Archdiocese’s $660 million settlement with abuse victims included an order that the files be made public. Previously, a judge ruled that the names of officials – including Cardinal Roger Mahony – should be redacted to avoid further embarrassment for the church. But an L.A. …

economy, Environment »

Many environmental non-profits need help – so who to give to?

December is the time when lots of us go through our checkbooks and decide how much to donate to charity – and who to give that money to. In California, lots of our money goes to environmental advocacy groups – the people making sure our beaches stay clean and our air stays breathable.
On a sunny December morning in Malibu, Nancy Hastings gazed out at her …

Arts & Culture, economy, Environment, Food, Issues, Today's News »

Today’s News: 1,500 guns; Bird flap; Grand Central redo


Gun dump. A pair of gun buyback events netted more than 1,500 firearms, including several dozen assault weapons. The number might have been even higher had the city not run out of gift cards. L.A. typically holds its gun buyback events in May, but they were moved up in hopes that collective anguish from the Newtown shootings would spur more people to give up …

Arts & Culture, Featured »

When freeways meet fine art

Traffic jams, sketchy underpasses, and towering grey walls. Southern California freeways aren’t exactly known for their physical charm.
But earlier this month, a new kind of freeway overpass was inaugurated over the 210 in Arcadia. Designed by British artist Andrew Leicester, it is all slinky curves and basket weave patterns.
Could this mean a new era for freeway design?

Arts & Culture, Featured, News »

Gutting or greening the cat? Preservationists meow about the new Felix

Felix the cat has been gutted–or is it greened? It depends on who you ask.
The 1956 neon sign at the corner of Figueroa and Jefferson downtown is hard to miss. And it’s expensive to light: the folks at the Chevrolet dealership that hosts the giant cat say it was costing upwards of 12 grand a month to illuminate. Replacing the neon tubes with LED, …

Arts & Culture, Education, Issues, Today's News »

Today’s News: Murder alleged in fatal chase; Start of Kwanzaa; SCI-Arc Pavilion


Deadly chase. Four people are being held on suspicion of murder following a crash that took the lives of an 11-year-old boy and a 25-year-old woman during a police pursuit in Pasadena. The chase lasted only about 30 seconds. Authorities say a driver refused to pull over for a traffic stop last night and then plowed his SUV into a minivan waiting to make …

Arts & Culture, Issues, Today's News »

Today’s News: Wet and wild; Christams Eve events; ‘Phonehenge’ finale


Holy night. There are a number of holiday events set around Southern California for this Christmas Eve, some religious, others more festive. More than 20 performing groups are set to participate in the three-hour Los Angeles County Holiday Celebration event beginning at 3 p.m. at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Performers include the Los Angeles Ballet, the Gay Men’s Chorus of LA and the Salvation …

Arts & Culture, Headline, Sonic Trace »

Sonic Trace: Where are you from? Why did you stay?


KCRW’s Sonic Trace is a story-telling project that begins in the heart of Los Angeles and crosses into Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. The project gathers stories from immigrants across Los Angeles in a portable soundbooth, La Burbuja (The Bubble) to create an oral history mosaic of Los Angeles.
Some of these are collected below. The stories range from the challenges of adapting to a new …

Arts & Culture, Featured »

One Thing: Media


 We asked eleven of our sharpest local observers what they thought were the most important stories and trends of the year. From politics and music to faith, literature and film, they weigh in on the one thing that shaped 2012.
Editor and Publisher of Veronica Villafañe  on the one thing that made an impact in media in 2012 as networks realized that ”they really need to address …

News »

State Sen. Kevin de Leon talks gun control and the NRA


The National Rifle Association ended its week-long silence following the school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, saying today that the answer to stopping school violence is posting armed guards at every campus. In a widely anticipated news conference, NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said tougher gun laws won’t stem violence in our society. California State Senator Kevin de Leon listened in. De Leon, who …

Arts & Culture, economy, Issues, Today's News »

Today’s News: ‘Occupy’ lawsuit; Gun safety; Bicycle sharing


Post-Occupied. A little more than a year after they were forcibly evicted from a City Hall park, Occupy L.A. protestors are suing the city and county of Los Angeles. The lawsuit says officials violated the plaintiffs First, Fourth and Fourteenth amendment rights to assembly, association and freedom from unlawful seizure. The Occupy demonstrators were rousted November 30th last year – two-and-a-half months after setting …

Arts & Culture, Featured, News »

Wishing you a very happy Punk Rock Christmas!


I’m just subversive enough in my middle age that the constant thrum of relentlessly cheery Christmas carols pumped into our collective psyche this time of year makes me verrrry suspicious. Luckily, I’m resistant. (Being a card-carrying member of the Rev. Billy’s Church of Stop Shopping helps.)
This is why I dig the spirit behind the Christmas music of David Philp. Philp is the husband of …

Arts & Culture, Featured, News »

Sparkleblob: Holiday entertainment for everyone


It’s not easy finding holiday entertainment that both kids and adults can agree on. But here’s an idea: a bizarre puppet show featuring an ice-skating dinosaur, telenovelas, a disco dreidel, and the L.A. River.  It’s Sparkleblob, the brain child of Julianna Parr, who also runs a weekly craft night at Akbar, a popular Silver Lake bar. That’s how several of the regular puppeteers and producers of …

economy, Environment, Featured, News »

Chopping down a Christmas Tree at Nancy’s Ranch


So you’re standing in a lot in front of Home Depot and you’re looking at the trees leaning against a chain link fence and thinking to yourself…this is not how it’s supposed to be. I am supposed to go out into the snow and trudge through the woods and cut down a tree.
It may be Valencia, CA. And it may be 75 degrees out, but you can …

Arts & Culture, Education, News »

Glorya Kaufman brings dance to USC

USC’s Glorya Kaufman School of Dance will train aspiring dancers and choreographers, and is being funded by LA philanthropist Glorya Kaufman.  But ballerinas don’t usually go to college. While most young adults spend their college years switching majors, drinking beer and generally figuring out what to do with their lives, this is a prime professional time for dancers. So why is USC spending millions of dollars …

Featured, News »

One Thing: Health Care


We asked eleven of our sharpest local observers what they thought were the most important stories and trends of the year. From politics and music to faith, literature and film, they weigh in on the one thing that shaped 2012.
Dr. Glenn Braunstein, Chair of the Department of Medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and Vice President of Clinical Innovation, says the Affordable Health Care Act is the …

Arts & Culture, Headline »

One Thing: Faith


 We asked eleven of our sharpest local observers what they thought were the most important stories and trends of the year. From politics and music to faith, literature and film, they weigh in on the one thing that shaped 2012.
Provost at Claremont Lincoln University, Philip Clayton says the “birth of interreligious identity” is the one thing that impacted faith and religion in 2012, explaining …

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