Environment, Interviews, News, Politics, Warren Olney »

Governor Brown: On His Way to Paris for Climate Change Summit

Posted December 2, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]

This week, Governor Jerry Brown heads to Paris for the United Nations summit on climate change. As the representative of the eighth largest economy in the world, he will likely be greeted more as a de facto head of state than just a governor.
Still there are limits to what a California delegation can do. In an interview on Which Way LA? with Warren Olney, …

Health Care, News »

Training for the medical trauma of war in LA

Posted June 15, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
Trainees work on a dummy body. (Photo: Evan George)

Everyday, some 500 people pass through the emergency room doors of LA County + USC Hospital. If you’re one of those patients, you may unknowingly be helping the Navy prepare for war.
For the last 13 years, the service has operated a monthly boot camp called the Navy Trauma Training Center. It puts Navy medics – or “corpsmen” as they’re called in the Navy – as well as …

Issues, News »

Police blasted over Venice shooting

Posted May 8, 2015 by | 4 Comments | ]

Police and city officials met Thursday night with residents and activists in a standing-room-only town hall, two days after police fatally shot an unarmed homeless man near the Venice boardwalk.
Emotions were running high in the Westminster Elementary School auditorium. Voices were high too. Several times, audience members shouted down the officials who were trying to make introductory remarks.
City Councilman Mike Bonin said the fatal shooting …

Arts & Culture »

10 things to tell New Yorkers before they move to LA

Posted May 4, 2015 by | 6 Comments | ]

As trend pieces go, the latest New York Times style piece “Los Angeles and Its Booming Creative Class Lures New Yorkers” managed to jam all the classic cliches into one column. And even create a few new ones along the way. We’ll let others do the debunking.
What is true, however, is that plenty of New Yorkers move to L.A. every year for myriad reasons. …

News »

Disney ‘magic bands’ make Tomorrowland real

Posted March 13, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
Photo by  
 Chris Harrison/CC/Flickr

Picture yourself in line for Space Mountain. The wait is taking longer than expected. Without warning, Jack Sparrow and Snow White rush you with a coupon for a free ice cream and a Disney hug.
 It’s as if the park itself could sense your frustration rising and dispatched characters to keep you happy.
That’s not futuristic; that’s reality thanks to the company’s new wrist band technology, …

Arts & Culture, Interviews »

Keeping cowboy culture alive in Compton

Posted March 5, 2015 by | 3 Comments | ]

Southern California is an industrialized megalopolis, but its agricultural history continues in some unlikely places. One of them is the City of Compton, where a few cowboys still ride their horses — on trails but also through city streets.
For years, the center of cowboy culture was “The Hill,” a stable at Figueroa and 131st streets, until it mysteriously burned down 3 years ago. Since …

Arts & Culture, economy »

Could LA’s artists be priced out?

Posted December 2, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]

Here’s a new way to measure just how hard it is for working artists to survive in Southern California’s increasingly expensive rental market.
In August, developer Related Co. opened an affordable housing development in downtown Santa Monica with 10 apartments reserved exclusively for low- to mid-income artists. The live-work studios rent for $439 to $888 per month and were awarded via a lottery. By late October, not …

Environment, News »

In the desert, ‘clean energy’ is a dirty word

Posted November 25, 2014 by | 3 Comments | ]

On a rural stretch of Navajo Road outside Apple Valley, a mile or so from the nearest neighborhood of ranch homes, sit two shiny new farms that could be the future of the Southern California desert. Inside an eight-foot chain link fence are row after row of industrial-sized solar panels. Outside the fence, native brush and desert critters show what the land looked like before the …

News »

The end of 12-step programs? How Obamacare is changing rehab

Posted October 1, 2014 by | 6 Comments | ]
Photo: View of Cliffside Malibu, a private addiction center

In the last 75 years, American medicine’s approach to addiction has gone through an evolution. Once seen as a moral weakness, a crime and a behavioral problem, the experts were mostly former addicts turned self-help leaders. Professional associations in the medical field didn’t see a role for doctors. Now substance abuse is widely considered a medical disorder.
That change has been gradual, but it was …

News »

Obamacare starts bringing relief to low-income drug addicts

Posted September 10, 2014 by | 2 Comments | ]

New coverage pays for drug addiction treatment services like Methadone, but access to detox centers remains limited.
“It’s Dark Thirty out there,” says Tamara Nunez after I follow her into Matrix Institute, a clean but shabby two-story addiction clinic in Mid-City Los Angeles. It’s Five-Thirty A.M. and even though the sun is just coming up, ten patients are already waiting in line. Nunez is dressed in a …

Arts & Culture, News »

Fight for the ‘heart’ of Silver Lake

Posted August 7, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]

A battle is raging over the look, and some say the heart and soul, of one of L.A.’s hippest intersections – the block known as “Sunset Junction” in the Silver Lake neighborhood.
West Hollywood developer Frost/Chaddock plans to build three multistory apartment buildings at the intersection of Sunset and Santa Monica boulevards. The projects would include 324 units and a 5-story building, eclipsing the mostly one- …

California Elections, News, Warren Olney »

A rare race for LA Sheriff

Posted June 2, 2014 by | 2 Comments | ]

Los Angeles County voters have a rare opportunity this primary election: bringing a new sheriff to town.
There’s almost never been a race for LA Sheriff without an incumbent on the ballot. And no sitting sheriff has ever been defeated in an election— not even the late Sherman Block, who was re-elected even after he died during his 1998 campaign.
Out of seven candidates running to …

Arts & Culture, Environment, News »

Can South LA alleys become pedestrian-friendly parks?

Posted January 29, 2014 by | 11 Comments | ]
2014-01-22 02-54-26 -0800

This is your typical South LA alley: The pavement’s crumbling, lots of graffiti, some scattered garbage, dogs yipping at any sound of footsteps. You might see panhandlers or the occasional group of teens walking home from school but few people use the alleys as thoroughfares.
There’s a lot more activity at night, according to LAPD Officer Daniel Marrufo.
“Whether it be prostitution, drug use, drug sales, …

News »

Do e-cigarettes hook us or help us?

Posted September 19, 2013 by | 20 Comments | ]
Vaping. Photo via by planetc1/ Flickr/Creative Commons

This week I inhaled Unicorn Blood for the first time. That’s not some Satanic drug ritual or a Harry Potter-themed beverage — it’s one flavor of nicotine liquid, or “e-juice” among the hundreds you can buy for an e-cigarette. What’s it taste like? Skittles and black tea. I also tried Nightwatch (coffee and doughnuts), Nice Melons, Harvest Berries, and Papa’s Cough Medicine.
If that sounds …

Arts & Culture, News »

The story behind the March on Washington soundtrack

Posted August 28, 2013 by | 49 Comments | ]
Joan Baez and Bob Dylan at the March

We all know music was essential to the civil rights movement, but what is it like to be the musician who opens for Martin Luther King Jr?
After I performed and did my part, Dylan and I walked away and we were just walking around and we were kind of sitting on the edge of one of the monuments behind the Lincoln Memorial smoking, just …

Bad Driving, News »

North Korean ‘underground railroad’ leads to Torrance

Posted August 21, 2013 by | 0 Comments | ]

LiNK is a group based right here in Southern California that helps North Korean refugees escape through an underground railroad and resettle them in South Korea or the United States. They also give scholarships, tutor English and provide asylum services to the refugees. So far, the non-profit has rescued and resettled more than 100 North Korean defectors.
The group also wages a campaign for hearts and …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, Issues, News, Politics »

YACHT releases anti-surveillance manifesto ‘Party at the NSA’

Posted August 15, 2013 by | 26 Comments | ]

L.A.’s electro-pop outfit YACHT teamed up with L.A.-based comedian Marc Maron to protest the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs the old fashioned way — with a protest song. “Party at the NSA” is a pay-what-you-want download. According to the band, all profits will be donated to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit digital rights group.
Band members Claire Evans and Jona Bechtolt joined KCRW’s Steve …

News »

Push for Echo Park gang injunction spurs civil rights outcry

Posted August 9, 2013 by | 9 Comments | ]

Don’t expect consensus among neighborhood leaders and residents on whether Echo Park needs a gang injunction, as evidenced by our readers’ comments this week. But the debate is over at L.A. City Hall.
Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer has finished studying the details of the proposed injunction he inherited from his predecessor when he took office in July. His spokesman said Friday that Feuer …

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 …

Interviews, Issues, la riots, News »

What does Latasha Harlins teach us about Trayvon Martin?

Posted July 17, 2013 by | 4 Comments | ]
(L) Latasha Harlins (R) Trayvon Martin

In 1991, 15-year-old Latasha Harlins walked into a liquor store to buy a bottle of orange juice; she was fatally shot. Twenty years later, Trayvon Martin was killed on his way home from a 7-11 with an iced tea and a package of skittles. He was 17. The shooters in both cases were not dealt jail time. And that’s not where the similarities end.
The …

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