Arts & Culture, economy, Interviews, News »

Can a gay boycott of Russian vodka work?

Posted July 31, 2013 by | 5 Comments | ]

By now you’ve probably heard about the Stoli boycott. Gay bars in West Hollywood are joining an international effort to stop serving Russian vodka in general as well. They’re protesting recent anti-gay legislation passed in Russia.
The people calling for the ban – which started with columnist Dan Savage and now includes West Hollywood City Councilman John Duran – say they hope it sends …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, News »

A textured look at modern China

Posted July 31, 2013 by | 40 Comments | ]

There’s lots of news each day from and about China, but it’s rare that any of the broad brushstrokes we read and hear in the news introduce us to real people grappling with real issues.
This is why I happily and hungrily devoured a great new book, Chinese Characters: Profiles of Fast-Changing Lives in a Fast-Changing Land.  What is it like for low-wage immigrants trying …

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

Today’s News: Grant means more teachers for LAUSD; Four fired over child abuse death; Dodgers are rolling

Posted July 31, 2013 by | 96 Comments | ]

Teacher infusion. L.A. Unified will hire more than 700 new teachers as a result of $20 million donation from the Arkansas-based Walton Family Foundation. The money will pay for teachers nationwide – but L.A. will get more than any other city.
Teach for America is the recipient of the donation. The New York nonprofit says the gift will help it recruit and train more than …

Interviews, News »

Private flying for the rest of us?

Posted July 30, 2013 by | 3 Comments | ]

I dream of flying by private jet every time I lug suitcases into LAX. But it’s a fantasy I’ve always considered way out of reach, a luxury reserved for the richest one percent. Or is it?
The aviation company BlackJet, which recently added L.A. to its list of cities and is backed by Hollywood players like Ashton Kutcher and Will Smith, aims to make private …

Commentary, economy, News, Sports, Zocalo Public Square »

What California can learn from Yasiel Puig: Don’t hold down the young

Posted July 30, 2013 by | 88 Comments | ]
Yasiel Puig at bat. Photo by kla4067/ Creative Commons/ Flickr

There’s a nasty California disease spreading so fast that even our baseball teams have caught it.
Last year, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim kept their best player, then-20-year-old Mike Trout, in the minor leagues for the first month of the Major League Baseball season. This year, the L.A. Dodgers held down their most talented player, 21-year-old Yasiel Puig, for the first two months. Both …

Commentary, Video »

Is that a drone in your backyard?

Posted July 30, 2013 by | 6 Comments | ]
Photo by La Citta Vita/ Creative Commons / Flickr

The other day I was sitting in my garden doing what I normally do there, weeding. Lulled into the calm that comes with pulling little roots out of the ground, I was in a near Zen state when an unfamiliar buzz interrupted the calm. Like a muted swarm of bees, the sound entered my space in a hurry, and set me looking around, trying …

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

Today’s News: Forum makeover could lift Inglewood; Responding to child abuse; Farmers short on pickers

Posted July 30, 2013 by | 102 Comments | ]

Forum redux. The new owners of the once fabulous Forum in Inglewood are aiming to restore the aging venue’s former glory. They’ll announce plans today for a multi-million-dollar makeover and a 2014 reopening featuring the Eagles.
Madison Square Garden Company says the remade Forum will open for business next January. The New York-based entertainment company says the Eagles will be the first in a steady …

Interviews, News, Politics »

LA Mayor Eric Garcetti on fixing potholes, and whether Bob Filner should resign

Posted July 29, 2013 by | 87 Comments | ]

Today marks the launch of Operation Neighborhood Blitz, an initiative to take LA’s pothole problem seriously and fix up the streets. Repair trucks will visit each LA neighborhood council area twice a year to find potholes and fill them.
The program is in line with Mayor Eric Garcetti’s campaign focus of getting “back to the basics.” The pothole problem isn’t new – it was also …

Arts & Culture, News »

The LA angle on Frank Lloyd Wright

Posted July 29, 2013 by | 99 Comments | ]
Lloyd Wright - Civic Center

“Never Built” is a fascinating new show at the A&D Museum in mid-Wilshire featuring fabulous, sometimes visionary plans for Southern California that never happened. As part of KCRW’s Design and Architecture coverage, we produced this four part  series  on some of the most fascinating projects that were never built. 
Falling Water is multi-level masterpiece nestled into the lush green woods of western Pennsylvania; it’s truly in tune with its …

economy, Issues, Politics, Today's News »

Today’s News: Businesses could pay higher jobless tax; Protesting at the border; Surf contest ends in a melee

Posted July 29, 2013 by | 7 Comments | ]

Unemployment shortfall. Governor Jerry Brown is pushing a bill that would erase California’s $10 billion unemployment insurance deficit by raising payroll taxes on businesses.
California has been saddled with one of the highest jobless rates in the country in recent years. To sustain the state’s unemployment insurance program, California has had to borrow money from the federal government.
But with unemployment edging down 8.5 percent, Brown …

California Elections, Education, Issues, LA Noir, News, Politics, Race for Mayor, The Mixer, The New Mayor »

The Mixer: Hollywood grows up, DWP employees sit out (with pay)

Posted July 26, 2013 by | 107 Comments | ]

This week, the Mixer searched low and high to get to the truth. We went to the depths of a city utility, where some people took advantage of a disability rule to take extra paid sick time. We went high in the sky, as in skyscraper, to talk about density, and whether Hollywood needs to be taller for its current role.
Hillel Aron joined us …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, News »

In defense of Jeffrey Deitch

Posted July 26, 2013 by | 103 Comments | ]
Outgoing MOCA Director Jeffrey Deitch

The embattled director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Jeffrey Deitch, formally announced his resignation Wednesday. It has been long anticipated and many of his critics are breathing a sigh of relief.
But despite his managerial and political mistakes, it turns out not everybody is pleased to see him go.
Frances Anderton, host of KCRW’s show Design and Architecture, has found perspectives on his tenure that …

Arts & Culture, Education, News, Zocalo Public Square »

Did you know it’s illegal to cut the arts in California?

Posted July 26, 2013 by | 6 Comments | ]
By emrank/ Creative Commons/ Flickr

I started my career as an instrumental music teacher in 1957. This was in the in the Ontario-Montclair School District. Since then, I’ve been a music consultant, teacher, supervisor of a visual arts program, elementary school principal (I lost my mind for 8 years), founding principal of an elementary school with the arts as core curriculum (Buena Vista Arts-Integrated School—it’s still thriving nearly 20 …

Politics, Today's News »

Today’s News: DWP staff is getting unlimited sick days; Lawsuit raises heat on Calderons; Activision freedom

Posted July 26, 2013 by | 12 Comments | ]

DWP generosity. When most people use up their allotment of sick days, they either go to work or don’t get paid. But that’s not so at the L.A. Department of Water and Power.
The L.A. Times reports that a 32-year-old DWP policy allows workers at the public utility to take off unlimited sick days beyond the agency’s 10-day cap, and still get paid.
Since 2010, DWP …

Arts & Culture, Issues »

Today’s News: Push to halt ticketing at broken meters; Green light for Hollywood towers; Deitch out at MOCA

Posted July 25, 2013 by | 99 Comments | ]
parking meter

Parking peeve. Finding a broken parking meter used to be good luck for L.A. drivers – a free pass, so to speak. But since a new law went into effect at the beginning of the year, parking at a malfunctioning meter could earn you a ticket. Now that could be changing.
The City Council’s Transportation Committee voted 4-0 yesterday to recommend rescinding the broken parking …

Interviews, News, Politics »

LA City Council approves Millennium Hollywood project

Posted July 24, 2013 by | 89 Comments | ]
The Millennium Hollywood dual-skyscraper development project.

Despite the loud objections of many residents, the Los Angeles City Council has unanimously approved the massive Millennium Hollywood dual-skyscraper development.
The city council voted 13-to-0 in favor of the Hollywood Millennium project, which features one-million square feet of office space, stores, a hotel and two 35-story or more skyscrapers that would dwarf the 13-story Capitol Records tower between them on Vine Street.
Today’s city council …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, Issues, News »

Afternoon Delight: In a band? Instruments stolen? Who you gonna call?

Posted July 24, 2013 by | 106 Comments | ]
A Flock of Seagulls

The ’80s band A Flock of Seagulls is best known for their wild hairstyles, and for their hit “I Ran (So Far Away)”.
But this week they made headlines again, after someone stole their van, with about $70,000 worth of equipment inside. The rented van was taken at around 2 a.m. Sunday from the Comfort Inn in Downey. The van was found empty in Santa …

Arts & Culture, News, Video »

YouTube’s new LA studios brings Silicon Valley dollars to Hollywood creators

Posted July 24, 2013 by | 99 Comments | ]
The video wall in the lobby of YouTube Space LA.

It’s been a banner month for television on the Internet. Netflix shows “House of Cards” and “Arrested Development” got some major Emmy Award nominations. And the Writer’s Guild announced a change in their awards rules, letting online series compete with TV shows in some categories. Both are signs that online video is starting to pose some competition to the networks.

YouTube is part of that …

Issues, News, Recent Shows, Warren Olney »

Is your empathy colorblind? Studies say, no.

Posted July 24, 2013 by | 149 Comments | ]
Demonstrators gather outside the federal courthouse in Los Angeles last weekend for a vigil in memory of Trayvon Martin. Photo by Avishay Artsy

The awareness, sensitivity, and understanding that lets us feel others’ pain — in a word, “empathy” — is a hard thing to force.
But it may also be a hard thing to forego. Social science researchers have increasingly homed in on empathy, or the lack thereof, as one explanation for problems as complex as the racial disparities in health and justice. What’s been termed “the …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, News »

Jeffrey Deitch said to be stepping down from MOCA

Posted July 23, 2013 by | 490 Comments | ]
Herakles, The Archer by Bourdelle at LACMA seems to be taking aim at MOCA. Photos: (L) Ron's Log, (R) Zeetz Jones

Looks like MOCA is about to lose its controversial leader. Multiple news outlets are reporting that Jeffrey Deitch will be stepping down. The museum is expected to make an official announcement tomorrow.
Deitch came to LA back in 2010 and quickly got under the skin of several insiders. But he also won over supporters for attracting a younger crowd, including a record number of people …

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