Arts & Culture, Interviews »

Summer reads from Carolyn Kellogg of the LA Times

Posted July 3, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
july4books

As the July 4th weekend begins, we asked LA Times staff writer Carolyn Kellogg to offer some recommendations of the best books to take with you to the beach.
She met up with KCRW’s Lisa Napoli at the Echo Park Boathouse to share her top three picks.
Wendell Steavenson, “Circling the Square”
Linda Rosenkrantz, “Talk”
Etgar Keret, “The Seven Good Years”

Arts & Culture, Interviews »

Nicholas Winton dead at 106, saved hundreds of children during the Holocaust

Posted July 1, 2015 by | 1 Comment | ]
Nicholas Winton holds a child in a train station in Prague in 1939. Winton helped save more than 650 childen by getting them out of Czechoslovakia before the Nazis arrived.
Courtesy Nicholas Winton

British humanitarian Nicholas Winton has died. He was 106 years old.
Winton was a British stock broker in the 1930s, who organized the rescue of hundreds of mostly Jewish children from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia.
It happened right as Allied forces were getting ready to fight in World War II.
One of those kids was the mother of KCRW’s Kim Masters, who interviewed Winton about 7 years ago in …

Arts & Culture, Interviews »

An artist and father explores the idea of sharing

Posted June 19, 2015 by | 1 Comment | ]
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How do you teach your child to share? It’s a challenge that every parent confronts. After all, the word “mine” is one of the first words to come out of a toddler’s mouth, and children see their toys as extensions of themselves.
The artist Joel Tauber has been wrestling with this issue. He and his wife Alison have two kids: Zeke, who’s 5, and Ozzie, …

News »

That time San Diego hired a rainmaker – and it poured

Posted June 16, 2015 by | 1 Comment | ]
A 1922 photo of Charles Hatfield making his chemical formula for rain. (Courtesy of San Diego Public Library)

Rain is water, and water is life. And, boy, do we not have enough water in California these days. Rain is also political. And prayer-worthy.
Four years ago, Governor Rick Perry in the state of Texas, famously asked the lord for rain.
One hundred years ago, in dehydrated San Diego, the city council approached someone less omnipotent for the wet stuff – sewing machine salesman and self-proclaimed …

Interviews, News, Politics »

Police violence and the case of Ezell Ford

Posted June 10, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
Candles burn at a memorial for Ezell Ford in Los Angeles as protestors demonstrate as people gather to protest after two grand juries decided not to indict the police officers involved in the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. and Eric Garner in New York, N.Y. on December 05, 2014 in Los Angeles, United States. (Photo by Mintana Neslihan Eroglu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images) | Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Los Angeles Police Commission is being criticized by both community activists and the police union, for its ruling yesterday that one officer violated department policy, but another was justified in firing his weapon at Ezell Ford, an unarmed, mentally ill black man.
In ruling that Officer Sharlton Wampler’s use of deadly force in the death of Ford last August violated LAPD policy, the commission …

Arts & Culture, Environment, News »

The last-ditch effort to save the Prado Dam mural

Posted June 2, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
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Supporters are rallying to save the iconic bicentennial mural on the Prado Dam spillway in Corona, which is set to be removed Thursday.
The faded mural on the Prado Dam is a regular sight for drivers heading into Corona on the eastbound 91 freeway. It was painted by Corona High School students as part of a competition to mark the nation’s bicentennial.
The U.S. Army Corps …

Arts & Culture, Interviews »

Lucy Jones live-tweets and fact-checks “San Andreas”

Posted May 27, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
A still from the film "San Andreas"

Hollywood is hoping its latest disaster flick will shake things up at the box office.
“San Andreas” stars Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson and Paul Giamatti, about a series of giant western earthquakes.
Los Angeles and other areas in the state are decimated. Buildings topple, fires are everywhere, and the destruction is massive. And the quake is so big that it triggers other quakes across the country.
We know Hollywood loves …

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 …

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