Arts & Culture, economy, Featured, Interviews, News »

Housing prices cause many to flee big cities

Nickel Diner in downtown Los Angeles. Photo by Ryan Vaarsi via Flickr/CC.

We got official word earlier this month about something most of us in LA already knew. Housing is ridiculously expensive here.
A new study by the listing site Redfin found middle class families in the area can only afford about 12 percent of homes on the market. Housing prices are up, while incomes in the area are stagnant. And that’s leading a lot of folks …

Arts & Culture, Featured, Food, Interviews, News »

Fine dining finds a place at Coachella

LA Thai restaurant Night+Market offers chicken larb and party wings at Coachella. Photo via Food Is The New Rock.

Another several days of music and desert camaraderie continues later this week, as the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival hits its second weekend.
Tens of thousands of music fans descended on Indio to enjoy the music with dancing and drinking. All that motion and walking can certainly work up an appetite. And that’s where high-end culinary offerings are trying to fill the void.
As we’ve …

economy, Education, Headline, Interviews, News, Politics »

No DWP hikes, early 405 opening, and a business tax cut


Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti delivered his first state of the city address tonight, saying that the problems facing L.A. are not new – but, he said new solutions are needed.
“It is time for a modern mayor to help build a new city government, focused on four cornerstones: a well-run government, a strong economy, a high quality of life, and public safety,” Garcetti said.
Garcetti …

Arts & Culture, Education, Headline, Interviews, News, Politics, Runaway Production »

Runaway production: Inside the ‘Poacher’s Convention’

Utah's booth at the Association of Film Commissioners International conference at the Hyatt Regency in Century City.

Hollywood is no longer the go-to place for shooting feature films and TV shows.
Just eight percent of big budget Hollywood films were made in LA in 2013, down from 65 percent in 1997.
And from 2005 to 2013, California’s share of one-hour TV series dropped from 64 percent to 28 percent.
Why the big exodus? States like Georgia, New York and Louisiana, and countries like the …

Arts & Culture, Commentary, Featured, Interviews, News, Politics »

Bill Maher on political satire and Twitter

Bill Maher and the Twitter bird

These days, comedy and satire have few boundaries. And the vast echo-chamber of the internet has made any boundaries left, even blurrier. Where tasteful boundaries do exist, and are crossed, the blowback can be not-so-funny.
Take Stephen Colbert, who made a joke on his satire show – in his conservative persona – praising the owner of the Washington Redskins for creating a foundation about Native …

Arts & Culture, economy, Headline, News »

PHOTOS: Inside the ‘Straight Outta Compton’ movie casting call


It’s been more than 25 years now since the groundbreaking rap group NWA released the controversial album “Straight Outta Compton.”
The record is widely credited as launching the gangsta rap genre. Now, two of the group’s members, Ice Cube and Dr. Dre, are producing a film about the band’s rise to fame.
KCRW’s Avishay Artsy went to an open casting call for the film “Straight Outta …

economy, Environment, Food, Interviews, News »

Imperial Valley slaughterhouse closure worries locals


Imperial County in Southern California produces food for much of the country. The economy there depends on agriculture and cattle.  Reporter Caitlin Esch has more on why the planned shutdown of a local beef processing plant is threatening to upset an entire region.

Cattleman Bill Brandenburg walks around a feedlot in Heber, California, a small town just a few miles north of the Mexico border. …

Arts & Culture, Education, Featured, Interviews »

That’s Amazing! The legacy of Huell Howser


It’s been more than a year since we lost Huell Howser. The folksy, twangy, host of KCET’s California’s Gold traveled all across our state – to every nook and cranny – looking for the stories of everyday people.
Starting next week, there’ll be an exhibit to celebrate his public TV travelogues and his love for all kinds of out-of-the-way places.
The exhibit will be called — …

Arts & Culture, Environment, Featured, Food »

Clara Cakes, a teen-run vegan bakery

Clara Polito, 17, founder of the vegan bakery Clara Cakes

Clara Cakes is a Los Angeles vegan bakery, run by 17-year-old Clara Polito. While most teens are busy studying – or partying – Clara has created something of her own mini-food empire.
She’s thrived with the support of LA’s underground music scene. She started selling her baked goods at The Smell, an all-ages music venue in downtown LA, when she was around 13, so she …

Arts & Culture, Environment, Headline, Interviews »

All the world’s a stage

01 wild Up at the Santora (650x433)

It used to be that attending a concert consisted of buying a ticket, taking a seat and watching the same thing as everyone else in the room. But a recent spate of shows in the Southland have taken performance off the stage — and into public places like train stations and historic buildings, letting viewers wander around.
This week artist Emily Mast will be staging …

Arts & Culture, Featured, Interviews, News »

The scary-sounding “mor” in evil characters’ names

Harry Potter's nemesis, "The Dark Lord" Voldemort.

Yes, it’s Monday. The dreaded words starts with the letters M-O-N, which also includes the Middle English word for moon – Monen Day.
But how about the syllable M-O-R? There’s an odd similarity among the names of bad guys in movies and books.
Sherlock Holmes had the criminal mastermind Professor Moriarty. Harry Potter had “The Dark Lord” – Voldemort. And there was Morbius the Living Vampire …

Arts & Culture, Featured, Interviews, News »

Trail to Hollywood sign temporarily closes

View from behind the Hollywood sign, reached by Hollyridge Trail. Photo via

This week it’s going to get a little harder to get an up-close view of the Hollywood sign.
The entrance to the Hollyridge Trail near the Hollywood Sign will be closed for about five weeks, starting Tuesday.
The city of Los Angeles is about to erect a heavier and bigger gate that’s harder for people to jump over.
Residents are celebrating. Tourists are grumbling. And it’s all …

Environment, Featured, Interviews, News, Politics »

Can fracking cause earthquakes in California?

The Lost Hills oil field in the California's San Joaquin Valley. Photo by Richard Masoner via Flickr/CC.

Could yesterday’s “Shamrock Shake” have been triggered by fracking?
That’s what three L.A. City Council members want to know.
Councilmen Paul Koretz, Mike Bonin and Bernard Parks today called on city staff to investigate whether oil and natural gas drilling methods helped trigger the magnitude-4.4 earthquake.
The motion calls for collaboration between local and state energy officials and the U.S. Geological Survey to look into whether a …

Arts & Culture, Education, Featured, Interviews »

St. Patrick’s Day has local businesses seeing green

St. Patrick's Day Pooping Leprechaun at JoAnns Stores. Photo by Mike Mozart via Flickr/CC.

Before today was Earthquake Day in LA, it was St. Patrick’s Day. Although getting rudely awakened by a magnitude 4.4 shaker certainly can mimic some of the hard knocks you had planned for tonight.
Which, in a lot of places, will consist of green beer, corned beef, potatoes and a hint of Irish. And booming business for green t-shirt makers, sports teams and bars and …

Arts & Culture, economy, Education, Environment, Featured, Interviews, News »

A brighter vision of LA’s future


Late last year, a blue ribbon panel called the LA2020 Commission said Los Angeles was “barely treading water,” has “failing schools,” suffers from a “crisis of leadership” and called the city’s outlook bleak.
It cited all the things we already know: unrelenting traffic, poverty, and a lackluster job growth strategy.
But that’s not the only opinion out there.
A new report that looks farther into LA’s future …

Arts & Culture, Education, Featured, Interviews »

A film festival devoted to architecture and design


In the movies, you see architecture and design generally play a supporting role. They provide the backdrop to complement the mood of the story and the characters.
Sometimes however, those things take a starring role, in films where the story IS the design and architecture… and the hope, passion and tears that go into creating objects and buildings.
More than two dozen such films will be …

economy, Featured, News »

Is the business card dead?

Photo by Jim Larson via Flickr/CC

Business cards are the tangible equivalents of “hey I’m important!” And, “here’s how you can get in touch.”
Perhaps you have a collection of flat, rectangular reminders of people you’ve met over the years. But wait. This is 2014. Everything’s digital!
So why haven’t business cards gone the route of the dinosaur, when every other tangible business item has?
“I think that they’ve survived because no one’s …

Featured, Interviews, News, Politics »

Israel and California leaders sign pro-business agreement

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu walks off stage after signing a pact to strengthen economic and research ties between California and Israel at the Computer History Museum on March 5, 2014 in Mountain View, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spent the day in Silicon Valley meeting with high-tech leaders.
He also signed an agreement with Governor Jerry Brown to promote trade, research and economic development.
California and Israel have had such pro-business agreements dating back decades.
Brown’s office said today’s deal will connect Israeli venture capitalists with California technology researchers.
The agreement also lays the foundation for California to work with Israel …

economy, Headline, Issues, News, Politics »

Vaping ban passes LA City Council

Vaping at the Vapor Lodge in Orange, CA. Photo by Lindsay Fox via Flickr/CC.

“Vaping” – the practice of smoking e-cigarettes – is about to be a lot more restricted in Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles City Council today banned “vaping” inside bars, nightclubs, restaurants and other public areas where tobacco smoking is restricted.
Vaping lounges and stores will be exempted from the ban.
Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, a co-sponsor of the ban, says the council is taking a sensible, fair approach …

Arts & Culture, Education, Featured, Interviews »

Can an app improve baseball players’ batting?


Radio is an auditory medium, but for right now, let’s focus on the eyes.
Researchers at UC-Riverside have come up with an app-based program designed to help you see better.
They’ve actually put their app to the test on the school’s baseball team, and found players who practiced with the game, called Ultimeyes, improved their vision by 31 percent, and batted better at the plate.
Aaron Seitz …

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