Environment, Interviews »

Echoes of 1969 in the Santa Barbara oil spill

Posted May 20, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
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Cleanup continues along the central California coast, after a broken crude oil pipeline Tuesday ruptured and spewed oil down a storm drain and into the Pacific Ocean.
Vessels have deployed three sets of floating booms to try to keep the two slicks from spreading, while other boats are skimming oil from the sea surface.
Officials say up to 105,000 gallons may have leaked out, and about 21,000 …

Arts & Culture »

Photographer Tyler Shields tackles race and media in “Historical Fiction”

Posted May 19, 2015 by | 1 Comment | ]
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Photographer Tyler Shields doesn’t claim to be making big political statements, but his recent series Historical Fiction puts America’s Civil Rights era in bright bold color.
The photos explore dark moments in history, including the deaths of Marilyn Monroe, James Dean and Martin Luther King Jr., with many of them honing in on moments that confront the country’s racist past.
Shields has taken heat in the past for some provocative photos of Hollywood starlets. His …

Arts & Culture, Interviews »

The rock ‘n’ roll legacy of a Sunset Strip hotel

Posted May 18, 2015 by | 2 Comments | ]
Robert Plant at the "Riot Hyatt."

The debauchery and nihilism of the 1970s rock scene is perfectly captured in the Andaz West Hollywood, a hotel on the Sunset Strip that was then called the Continental Hyatt House and later the Hyatt on Sunset.
Bands like The Doors, The Who, The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin all spent time at the “Riot House,” trashing their hotel rooms, starting fires and convincing their …

Arts & Culture, Interviews »

RuPaul on a career in drag, self-expression and having fun

Posted May 15, 2015 by | 1 Comment | ]
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There’s ComicCon, and AdultCon, FilmCon and James Caan. This weekend at the Los Angeles Convention Center, there’s DragCon – that’s drag as in drag shows.
The two day convention that starts Saturday is being billed as the “art of drag, queer culture and self-expression for all.”
Men dressing as women is nothing new. But it’s not the taboo that it once was, as it’s gained a …

Arts & Culture, Interviews »

A star-studded birthday: Griffith Observatory turns 80

Posted May 14, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
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One of LA’s most beloved and iconic landmarks turns 80 years old today.
Griffith Observatory sits atop Mount Hollywood, gleaming white and visible from miles around.
It’s a true LA tourist attraction, away from the glitz of Hollywood, but very much a part of it as well.
Films such as “Rebel Without a Cause,” “The Terminator” and others have had scenes filmed there.
The graphic designer and documentary …

Arts & Culture, Environment »

Exploring the wilds of Los Angeles with bird-watcher Scott Logan

Posted April 30, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
Scott Logan from Wild Wings Backyard Nature, watching birds at Franklin Canyon Park. Photo by Avishay Artsy.

This Saturday, May 2nd marks Bird LA Day – a citywide celebration of all things birds, with nature walks, a bird sketching workshop and a picnic along the LA River. I met up with birding enthusiast Scott Logan at Franklin Canyon Park, located in a beautiful canyon above Beverly Hills, in the eastern part of the Santa Monica Mountains.
“All these birds, they just offer clues. You watch …

economy, Interviews, News »

A former reporter wins a Pulitzer – for journalism

Posted April 23, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
Daily Breeze reporters Rebecca Kimitch, left, and Rob Kuznia celebrate in the newsroom after winning a Pulitzer Prize for stories on corruption in the Centinela Valley Union High School District. (Robert Casillas / Daily Breeze)

Exciting news came earlier this week for some local journalists. The Los Angeles Times won two Pulitzer Prizes for cultural commentary and for drought reporting. And The Daily Breeze, based in Torrance, won a Pulitzer for local reporting for an investigation into a cash-strapped local school district.
It was the first-ever Pulitzer win for the South Bay paper. Reporters Rob Kuznia and Rebecca Kimitch and …

Arts & Culture, economy, Interviews, News »

Actors’ Equity and the minimum wage debate

Posted April 22, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
Anthony Byrnes, host of "Opening the Curtain" on KCRW

National leaders of Actors’ Equity have rejected a recent vote by rank-and-file union members in Los Angeles’ stage acting community.
They will impose a $9 hourly minimum wage for members who perform in Los Angeles County theaters, unless they perform in theaters of 49 seats or fewer, or if it’s a membership company, or if the show is self-produced.
The issue has pitted the national stage actors’ …

Interviews »

The effort to declare Armenian massacres a “genocide”

Posted April 21, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
Armenian community march during Armenian Genocide Commemorative March at Little Armenia, Hollywood on April 24, 2011 in Los Angeles. Photo by Hayk Shalunts via Flickr/CC

The White House says President Obama will not use the word “genocide” on Friday, when he commemorates the 100th anniversary of the massacre of more than a million Armenians at the hands of Ottoman Turks.
Armenian-American groups are expressing anger over today’s announcement.
Congressman Adam Schiff – whose district includes the largest population of Armenians in America – said today he’s “deeply disappointed” in Obama’s decision.
“We …

Interviews, News, Politics »

Earthquakes, fracking and LA

Posted April 13, 2015 by | 1 Comment | ]
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Did you feel the earthquake last night? There were actually two of them, a magnitude 3.5 quake, centered two miles north of Inglewood, and that one followed a 2.5 magnitude quake a few hours earlier near Baldwin Hills. The shaking rattled some homes and some nerves. Twitter and Facebook feeds lit up, with some of folks asking if the quake was a result of …

Arts & Culture, Interviews »

Moroccan Jews celebrate Mimouna in LA

Posted April 10, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
The Mimouna Festival, marking the end of Passover, is celebrated in a special tent in Jerusalem.  Photo by Albert Nathan via Flickr/CC.

Saturday marks the eighth and final day of Passover, the Jewish holiday that celebrates the Hebrew slaves’ exodus from bondage in Egypt.
There’s a Jewish custom called Mimouna that’s observed in Morocco at the end of Passover, that brings Jews and Muslims together for a unique interfaith festival.
The Levantine Cultural Center in LA is hosting an event for it tomorrow. Its executive director Jordan Elgrably …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, News »

The Pan Am mystique lives on – in Pacoima

Posted April 3, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
Uniformed attendants Roger Garcia and Holly Gray check passengers into this mock journey to the past.

Want to relive the golden years of aviation? In a warehouse miles from Hollywood, you’ll find a high-class tribute to the beloved airline, Pan Am.
KCRW’s Steve Chiotakis took on a trip on the Pan Am Experience.

Every other Saturday night, customers line up outside a warehouse in Pacoima to relive a nostalgic experience.
As a small boy, said Anthony Toth, “I started collecting airplane models, and …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, Issues, News »

Putting the “n-word” on trial

Posted April 2, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
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In American language, there are few words as controversial and divisive as the “n-word.”
A word that rhymes with trigger, and – how apropos – because that’s indeed what it does. It triggers a response – mostly racial, but also societal.
There’s no good to it outside of historical context. Educated people have learned that the word is awful. And hurtful.
History and context, however, is what TV producer Kyle Bowser has …

Interviews, News »

The ever-evolving Passover haggadah

Posted April 2, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
A page from the classic 1940 Haggadah made by Polish artist Arthur Szyk.

Jews mark the first two nights of Passover with a seder, a ritual meal that recalls the Jewish people’s freedom from slavery in Egypt. The word “seder” means order, and while there is a general order to the songs and prayers that precede the feast, these days you’ll find a wide variety of seders to meet your needs.
For example, take Ashley Sullivan, a recent …

Interviews, Issues, News »

Israel a model for California in desalination

Posted March 27, 2015 by | 1 Comment | ]
These pipes filter sea water, separating the clean water from the extra-salty brine, which is then sent back into the ocean.

California Governor Jerry Brown today approved a plan to spend $1 billion on addressing the state’s historic drought. That includes funding for flood protection, water-recycling projects and programs expanding drinking water supplies in small and poor cities.
Another option for increasing the state’s water supply is desalination – the process of turning salt water into drinking water – and it’s making a comeback. Santa Barbara …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, News »

Photos: Rock ‘n’ roll billboards of the Sunset Strip

Posted March 26, 2015 by | 1 Comment | ]
"Rock 'N' Roll Billboards of the Sunset Strip"

 
The Sunset Strip has long been a destination for bands who play LA. Think the Whiskey, the Roxy or the Riot Hyatt.
But the journey down the strip has also been a mecca for those bands – on billboards.
The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Donna Summer, Marvin Gaye, and many others.
Usually the billboards come and go with little fanfare. But one photographer decided to capture …

economy, Environment, Interviews »

Why are California’s gas prices so volatile?

Posted March 24, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
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State lawmakers today tried to fill-up on knowledge of why gas prices have been all over the place the past few months. And how refinery issues have affected recent spikes.
Prices in January were near four and five year lows. Then they jumped by a dollar in some cases in the course of just a couple of weeks.
Part of that is the recent explosion at …

Arts & Culture, News »

Interactive iPhone app debuts at “CicLAvia the Valley”

Posted March 20, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
CicLAvia offers cyclists and pedestrians a chance to experience a car-free Los Angeles. Photo by Avishay Artsy

CicLAvia – the festival that lets bicyclists and pedestrians take over city streets – will be held in the San Fernando Valley on Sunday, March 22, 2015.
CicLAvia opens up parts of the city for people to experience without cars. Since 2010 it’s been held in downtown LA, South LA, Boyle Heights, along Wilshire Boulevard and other areas, but Sunday will be the first time …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, News »

‘Sacred Faces’ finds inspiration in religious imagery

Posted February 20, 2015 by | 1 Comment | ]
"Chuang Yen Monastery, Carmel, NY.  I came back a second day to photograph more of  the figures.  Anruddha Thera sits on the Bohdi pathway leading up to the temples.  His serene face charms everyone who sees him."

Whether it’s a crucified Christ’s downcast eyes, the serene smile of the Buddha, or the quixotic grin of a Hindu god, Jewish photographer Andy Romanoff has a way of capturing the ineffable beauty of religious imagery, and the striking similarities in the iconography of different faiths.
“Why have we all decided to do it this way? Almost from the first moment we know about human …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, News »

SNL – 40 and loving it!

Posted February 16, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
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This past Sunday, Saturday Night Live celebrated its 40th anniversary in a three and a half hour special. Celebrity actors like Tom Hanks, Steve Martin, Billy Crystal and Alec Baldwin made cameo appearances, musicians like Paul McCartney, Kanye West, Paul Simon, Miley Cyrus and others played songs, and veteran SNL cast members like Jimmy Fallon, Chris Rock, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Mike Myers, Dana Carvey, …

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