Featured, Headline, News, Politics »

Armed and concealed in Orange County

Posted September 18, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Since Orange County relaxed its laws governing concealed weapons, thousands of people have applied for what's called a conceal carry weapons permit, also called a CCW. Here a candidate for such a permit practices his marksmanship on an Orange County shooting range. (Photo: Saul Gonzalez)

Like other firing ranges in Orange County, these are very busy days for Evans Gunsmithing, a shooting range in the City of Orange in Orange County where gun owners both practice their marksmanship on targets and take firearms safety classes.
“I used to offer one 16-hour class a week. I am now basically offering two of them a week,” says veteran weapons instructor Greg Block. …

Arts & Culture, economy, Education, Featured, News, Politics »

Does assimilation mean the end of gay neighborhoods?

Posted September 4, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
West Hollywood Gay Pride Parade in 1984, the same year the community, located between Los Angeles and Beverly Hills, incorporated. After its establishment, West Hollywood fought for an LGBT civil rights agenda that's moved from the fringe to the mainstream (Photo: Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection)

On a Saturday night on West Hollywood’s Santa Monica Boulevard, the sidewalks, dance clubs, bars and restaurants are packed. The crowd is made up of mostly men; mostly gay, joyfully, proudly and unapologetically gay men. This is West Hollywood after all, the community that’s been called America’s “Gay Camelot” because of its place in American gay life and culture.
It’s been a LGBT enclave in Southern California for decades. …

economy, Featured, Headline, Interviews, News »

Summer jobs from the strange to the wonderful

Posted August 22, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
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Summer is supposed to be the season for rest and relaxation, a time to leave the cares and pressures of our jobs behind. But, of course, lots of work gets done over the summer, interesting and important work that’s often tied to the rhythms of the season. KCRW met an eclectic group of people who hold down some unusual jobs during the summer. In …

economy, Headline, Issues, News »

What happens when the ‘Pillowcase Rapist’ lives next door

Posted August 21, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
One of the signs that have been up in the Antelope Valley showing an archival photo of Christopher Hubbart and demanding that he leave. In the 1970s and 80s, Hubbart raped women across California. He was also the first person admitted to California's sexually violent predator program. (Photo: Saul Gonzalez)

In Southern California’s Antelope Valley, where suburban sprawl gives way to a high desert landscape of scrub brush and Joshua Trees, there’s a home. The dwelling, which dates to the 1950s, is small, white and unadorned. Its curtains are tightly drawn and wood planks cover some of the windows. The house is thoroughly unremarkable, but inside lives a man who is one of the most …

Environment, Headline, Issues, News »

Am I wasting water?

Posted July 25, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
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California is in the grip of a three year-long drought, a drought that shows no sign of ending soon. In response, water districts across the state are urging their customers to take sensible measures to conserve water.
To convince people to conserve water, agencies like the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power are using both carrots and sticks. The carrots include public education campaigns …

Featured, News »

Is there a link between gentrification and light rail? (Photos)

Posted July 3, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
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Take the train with us.
KCRW  explores the link between building new light rail and subway systems and community development and gentrification.
Do trains really bring more economic opportunity and new residents to neighborhoods, as some people claim?

Environment, Headline, News, Santa Barbara »

A drought in paradise as Santa Barbara struggles with a very dry year

Posted June 16, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
In response to its dwindling supply of water, Santa Barbara City's Council has declared a Stage Two drought alert, requiring a 20% or more reduction in residential and commercial water use. That means the watering of gardens is limited to the early morning and evening hours, the washing or hosing down of pavement is generally prohibited,cars must be washed at commercial facilities instead of homes, and drought notices are required at hotels and restaurants. (Photo: Saul Gonzalez)

Communities across California are  implementing emergency conservation measures to save water during what has become one of the state’s worst droughts.
One of the places most affected by the drought is also one of the state’s richest communities: Santa Barbara.
For decades, Santa Barbara has sold itself as a kind of seaside Shangri-La. It’s a place of beautiful beaches, gorgeous Spanish-inspired architecture and lush gardens. But …

Featured, News, Sports »

Southern California gets ready for the World Cup

Posted June 11, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Local bars like Ye Olde Kings Head will be showing the games. The four-hour time difference between California and Rio de Janeiro means business will be good. Photo: Saul Gonzalez

Every four years, billions of people across the planet, usually divided by faith, politics and language, come together to focus their attentions and passions on the World Cup, the highest profile soccer (or football, if you prefer) competition in the world. This year the World Cup is being held in Brazil, where 32 qualifying national teams will play at 12 different stadiums across the …

California Elections, Headline »

What to know about the ‘down ballot’ races when you vote

Posted May 27, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
There are an enormous number of candidates on the June 3 ballot. Just the statewide races include Governor, Lt. Governor, Secretary of State, Controller, Treasurer, Attorney General, Insurance Commissioner, Superintendent for Public Instruction and various seats for California's Board of Equalization. There are also two statewide ballot initiatives. But that's not all! There are also all of the county by county elections in the state. (Photo: Saul Gonzalez)

Do you recognize any of the following names: Akinyemi Agbede, Joe Leicht, Alma Marie Winston? No? They’re among the 15 people running for the state’s highest office, Governor of California.  There are eight more people running for Lt. Governor, seven candidates for Attorney General and eight on the ballot for Secretary of State.
The June 3rd election is just around the corner. It’s a day …

Arts & Culture, Headline, News »

Transition to digital leaves Hollywood without film

Posted May 8, 2014 by | 9 Comments | ]
The Vineland Drive-In Movie Theater is on of the last surviving drive-ins in Southern California. It has a retro, well-worn feel to it, but the Vineland's converted to projecting its movies digitally instead of on film. "We were forced to transition to the digital system because they are going to stop making 35 millimeter print, so either you change, or you won't get any movies eventually, say Juan Gonzalez, the Vineland's general manager. (Photo: Saul Gonzalez)

Hollywood is in the midst of a titanic technological shift as it moves from shooting and distributing its movies on film, long the raw material of the movie business, to digital formats. While some are prospering as cinema goes digital, others are casualties of the change. There are small armies of people who once worked in Hollywood’s enormous film processing labs. These were the …

Arts & Culture, Featured »

Yahtzee and biscotti: A visit to Southern California’s board game cafe

Posted May 1, 2014 by | 6 Comments | ]
Since it opened last year, Gamehaüs has attracted a loyal local following and become a must-stop place for board game enthusiasts, blogger and designers visiting Los Angeles. For a $5 dollar cover charge, people can sit-down and play as many games as they want for as long as they want. Many come here as a way to find old-fashioned entertainment and human contact beyond their digital devices. (Photo: Saul Gonzalez)

We’re betting that in your home or apartment there’s probably a tabletop board game, like “Monopoly,” “Candy Land,” or “Clue,” somewhere.
Maybe it’s one under the couch in the den, or you have several stacked in small towers in a hall closet. If you haven’t played in a while and those games are gathering dust, you might think board games were relics, made obsolete by …

Featured, Issues, News »

California works to get drivers’ licenses to the unlicensed

Posted April 23, 2014 by | 3 Comments | ]
Unlike a conventional California driver license, the one issued to undocumented motorists will have distinguishing marks, most prominently "DP" will be stamped on it, standing for driving privilege. Some undocumented drivers and immigration rights activists have expressed concerns that motorists could be singled out for possible deportation or police harassment if stopped and asked to show the new license.  Unrelated to the new law, some California cities, like Los Angeles, have special rules in place that prevent police asking about people's immigration status. (Photo: Saul Gonzalez)

There’s a big change coming to California’s driving rules. Because of  the passage of Assembly Bill 60, or AB 60, by January 1st of 2015, the Department of Motor Vehicles will make drivers’ licenses available to people regardless of their immigration status in the United States. The law is a reaction to the huge number of unlicensed drivers in California, many of whom are …

Arts & Culture, Featured, News »

Exploring the noir halls of LA County’s Hall of Justice

Posted April 3, 2014 by | 5 Comments | ]
The Hall of justice

For most of the 20th Century, one building was synonymous with crime and punishment in  Los Angeles County, downtown L.A.’s Hall of Justice. The building, which opened in 1925, was where both the county’s D.A. and sheriff had their offices. The mammoth building saw some of Southern California’s most infamous criminals held and put on trial, from 1930′s era gangsters and gunmen to more …

economy, Headline, News »

California’s new Latino plurality

Posted March 26, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
The rate of growth in California's Latino population is starting to slow. Population experts say that's become a decrease in immigration, both legal and illegal, from Mexico and Central America and Latino families in this country choosing to have fewer children. (Photo by Saul Gonzalez)

This month, March of 2014, California will quietly break a population history, with Latinos surpassing whites as the state’s largest racial or ethnic group. Latinos become the single largest racial or ethnic group in California at 39.9% of the population. Whites now come in second at 38.8%. Looking ahead, demographers say the state’s Latino population will grow and increase relative to whites and other ethnic …

Environment, Featured, Headline, News, Politics, Water and the Drought »

Inside Mission Control: Southern California’s water management system

Posted February 20, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
Colorado_Aqueduct_publicity_booth_1930

Your water takes a very long journey before it comes out of your tap. It travels through thousands of miles of pipes and aqueducts, enormous open-air and underground reservoirs, and a network of treatment plants that ensure the quality of our drinking water.
Southern California’s vast water delivery and storage system also has a kind of mission control center. Think NASA’s Johnson Spaceflight Center, but for …

Headline, News »

Building the Wilshire Grand: L.A.’s tallest tower

Posted February 10, 2014 by | 10 Comments | ]
Some workers on the Wilshire Grand Project will spend the next two years helping to build the skyscraper. Although much has changed in how skyscrapers have been built over the past century, a lot of it still comes down to muscle, sweat and strong backs. (Photo by Saul Gonzalez)

Serious construction is about to begin on something big in downtown Los Angeles: a building that when completed will be the tallest skyscraper west of the Mississippi. Called the Wilshire Grand Tower, it will feature more than 900 hotel rooms, offices and retail spaces. It will be topped by a sail-shaped glass pediment crown. Because of its height alone — 1,100 feet with a …

Environment, News »

Photos: Making LA a bee-friendly city

Posted January 31, 2014 by | 7 Comments | ]
Rob McFarland is the co-founder of HoneyLove, a nonprofit organization with a mission to protect honeybees and promote urban beekeeping. He's seen here harvesting honey from a hive of bees we visited in West Los Angeles. "Bees are the most fascinating creatures" says McFarland. "The more you learn about them, the more they pull you into their world." (Photo by Saul Gonzalez)

In many parts of the world honeybees are in trouble, with their populations in sharp decline. That decline has scientists, environmentalists, farmers and bee lovers worried because of the bees/ importance to pollination and, thus, agriculture.
But there’s some good news: here in Los Angeles the wild bee population is thriving, with as many as a dozen hives per square mile in some neighborhoods. And …

Environment, Headline, News »

The Northridge Earthquake at 20

Posted January 16, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
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This week, Southern California is observing the 20th anniversary of an event that many wish had never happened, but which remains a vivid memory in the minds of hundreds of thousands of people who lived through it.
On January 17th 1994, at 4:31 in the morning,  millions of Southern Californians were awakened by violent shaking and a deafening roar. It was an earthquake, the most …

Headline, News »

Remembering Northridge: Living atop the epicenter of the ’94 quake

Posted January 10, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
XXXX lived 15 feet away from what scientists say was the epicenter of the Northridge Quake, just over the wall behind him.

Next week marks the 20th anniversary of the Northridge Earthquake, a 6.7 temblor that was one of the most powerful to strike an American urban area. The quake toppled buildings, snapped freeways, and sparked hundreds of fires, causing more than $20 billion in damage. It also injured thousands of people and killed 57.
Although most of the physical damage caused by the Northridge quake has …

economy, Featured, News »

One Thing: State Politics

Posted December 26, 2013 by | 1 Comment | ]
OneThing_State-Politics

From politics and music to television, health and sports, what were the most important stories and trends of the year? Nine of our sharpest local observers weigh in on the one thing that shaped 2013. 
Barbara O’Connor talks about California’s positive year. “Our bond ratings have gone up, our unemployment rate has gone down, and now California is being touted as a model for the rest of …

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