Arts & Culture, Featured, Headline, News, Warren Olney »

Stressed out? Unhealthy? Can your city government improve your quality of life?

Posted September 17, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
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Skeptics around the world shook their heads this week at news that the city of Santa Monica is about to get underway with a planned $1 million study of well-being. The city beat out 300 others last year in the Bloomberg Philanthropies Mayors Challenge to create a “well-being project.” What does that mean?
Julie Rusk, the project’s assistant director, says just as Santa Monica has been at the …

Arts & Culture, Headline, Interviews, News »

Rethinking the ‘death industry’ in America

Posted September 15, 2014 by | 4 Comments | ]
Caitlin Doughty, author of "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes & Other Lessons From the Crematory"

No one likes to talk about death. Well, almost no one.
It’s creepy, right? Scary, disturbing, uncomfortable. But one mortician and writer says it doesn’t have to be those things.
Caitlin Doughty is on a crusade to get us to look mortality straight in the eye.
She’s a licensed mortician and funeral director here in Los Angeles.
She joined KCRW’s Steve Chiotakis to talk about her new book, …

Arts & Culture, Featured, Interviews, News »

Preservationists rail against plans to ‘deforest’ Lincoln Boulevard

Posted September 11, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
Some people want the mural preserved

The school that sits at the busy corner of Lincoln and Ocean Park Boulevards in Santa Monica was first built in the 1920s as an elementary school, named for environmentalist John Muir. It’s covered on two sides with a mural of the Muir Woods, painted in his honor back in 1978. For decades now, the structure has housed Olympic High School, a small city-run school for at-risk youth.
After …

Arts & Culture, Featured, Interviews, News »

George Takei: ‘We didn’t want a vanity project’

Posted September 8, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
George Takei at Midtown Comics (Photo ourtesy of Falco Ink)

If you want to make a documentary about George Takei, Star Trek’s Lieutenant Sulu, LGBT activist and meme-maker, it helps to be a Star Trek fan. When he was first approached by “To Be Takei” filmmaker Jennifer Kroot, George Takei and his husband Brad were wary. “We were very skittish at first,” Takei told Kim Masters on The Business, but the couple eventually gave her access to …

Arts & Culture, Environment, Featured, Health Care, Issues, News, Politics »

Why L.A. needs a resilience czar

Posted September 5, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Northridge Earthquake, CA, January 17, 1994 -- An aerial view of destruction caused by the 6.7 magnitude earthquake. Damage costs were estimated at $25 billion. FEMA News Photo
Date	17 January 1994

For the first time in human history, the majority of the world’s population (currently 7.1 billion) lives in urban settings. While urban living offers many attractions — employment opportunities, higher education, entertainment, health care, and public transportation – the changes we make to the natural landscape to accommodate and support our current population often makes us vulnerable to human and environmental threats. And when …

Arts & Culture, Featured, Interviews, News »

A ‘Fashion Police’ writer remembers Joan Rivers

Posted September 4, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Joan Rivers

Fans and comedians alike are mourning today the death of trailblazing comic Joan Rivers, who died today at the age of 81.
Rivers spent more than five decades making us laugh – and think – with her often raucous and sometimes raunchy jokes about people, sex and, of course, fashion.
That last genre was a hallmark of Joan Rivers who made a profession out of calling …

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. …

Arts & Culture, Dogs of LA »

How does dog food get its flavor?

Posted September 4, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Photo credit: Christina Lopriore

Ever wonder who dreams up the flavors in your pup’s doggy bowl? Companies put just as much effort into product testing pet food as they do for ours. And the parallels don’t end there.
Good Food host Evan Kleiman spoke with Mary Roach, author of  “Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal,” about the kibble development process.
When humans decide what to eat, there’s a whole set of cultural …

Arts & Culture, Featured, Interviews, News »

‘Snackable’ art served up by LACMA’s social media maven

Posted September 3, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
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Maritza Lerman Yoes said she was worried when she first joined Snapchat on behalf of her employer, the LA County Museum of Art–believed to be the first art institution to deploy the youth-oriented social media app. Would the brand of irreverence necessary to succeed on Snapchat offend her bosses at the museum?
The answer is, it seems, no: Last week one of the big VPs asked …

Arts & Culture, Environment, Headline, Interviews, Politics »

A boat race along the Los Angeles River

Posted August 27, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
kayak 4

The Los Angeles River often evokes the image of a concrete channel, with perhaps a trickle of water running through it.
The river was paved with concrete in the 1930s to prevent flooding.
It’s been a popular Hollywood backdrop, from John Travolta’s drag-racing scene in “Grease” to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s motorcycle chase in “Terminator 2.”
So the news that outdoor enthusiasts are holding the first-ever boat race there …

Arts & Culture, Featured, News »

How teaching at-risk youth helped this Los Angeles author write her first novel

Posted August 27, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Writer, teacher, activist Cynthia Bond

Cynthia Bond‘s first novel, “Ruby”, was ten years in the making. Life and work and incubation of a story have delayed the completion of many an opus; the fact that “Ruby” tackles racism and brutality must have made it more challenging to write.
Recently published by Hogarth Press, the novel tells the story of Ruby Bell, whose dark past makes her a pariah in her community, and the man who …

Arts & Culture, Headline, News, Politics »

LA Mayor Eric Garcetti on film and TV tax credits

Posted August 27, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Photo of The Hollywood Sign by Eugene Wei via Flickr/CC.

Governor Jerry Brown has signaled that he will sign off on a deal that would more than triple the tax breaks for movies and TV shows filmed in California.
The bill would boost the tax credits to $330 million a year over the next five years.
While the legislation would significantly increase the incentive pool from $100 million, it’s still well shy of the $450 million …

Arts & Culture, California Elections, Commentary, economy, Environment, Featured, Politics, Zocalo Public Square »

It’s not so easy to send a 5-year-old off to a California kindergarten

Posted August 27, 2014 by | 2 Comments | ]
Photo by Mrs.F /CC/Flickr

“Wait, Daddy,” you say.
You are 5, and you have your priorities. You are reassembling the wooden train tracks. You are building an airplane hangar out of MagnaTiles. You have a drawing you need to finish.
“Hurry up, Ben” I always say. Don’t you know that I have too many things to do? Don’t you know I need to put you to bed? Can’t you see …

Arts & Culture, Featured »

Torrance brothers build board game success

Posted August 26, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
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For two Torrance brothers, board games have become more than a hobby. They’ve become a business.
Chris and Johnny O’Neal attended the Gen Con game convention in Indianapolis this month where they sold copies of Boss Monster, the game they created together.
“In this game you play the role of a video-game style boss building a dungeon out of cards and luring heroes into your dungeon …

Arts & Culture, Featured, News »

Celebrating the mighty orchestral soundtrack of Hollywood (and its 21 feet of tubing)

Posted August 20, 2014 by | 2 Comments | ]
The first meeting of the LA Horn Club

Annie Bosler is living the dream. She’s a resident and teacher at the prestigious Colburn School downtown; she’s played with the likes of Paul McCartney, John Williams, and Josh Groban; and now she’s putting the finishing touches on a documentary, a decade in the making, about her life-long passion: the twisty wind instrument with 21-feet of tubing known as the French horn.
Bosler was raised on a cattle farm in South …

Arts & Culture, Headline, News »

The Northridge Earthquake through opera

Posted August 19, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
The libretto follows seven young, diverse angelenos  in the aftermath of total devastation. 
Photo: Long Beach Opera

It’s been 20 years since the Northridge Earthquake rocked Southern California, and now that natural disaster is the setting for an opera that’s having its L.A. premiere at the Ford Amphitheater this Saturday. The opera is called, “I was looking at the ceiling and then I saw the sky” and is by composer John Adams with a libretto by poet June Jordan.
The title, “I was …

Arts & Culture, Featured, Interviews, News »

Film Reviews: Expendables 3, Life After Beth, The Giver

Posted August 15, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
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Our regular Friday film reviewer, Joe Morgenstern, is out this week. So joining us now is Amy Nicholson, film critic for LA Weekly.

Here are trailers for the three movies Amy reviewed:
Expendables 3:

Life After Beth:

The Giver:

Arts & Culture, Featured, News »

Saying goodbye to Colossus

Posted August 15, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Magic Mountain's Colossus. (Photo by: Isadora Kleiman)

The Colossus Coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain will make its final ride on Saturday.
The massive coaster has a 100-foot drop and goes as fast as 60 miles an hour.
But after 36 years of delighting and terrifying visitors, what once was the country’s tallest and fastest wood roller coaster is closing.
Tim Baldwin, editor of the quarterly Roller Coaster magazine, published by American Coaster Enthusiasts, …

Arts & Culture, Featured, Interviews, News »

The enduring popularity of Charles Bukowski

Posted August 14, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Charles Bukowski, 1981. Photo by Mark Hanauer.

This Saturday, August 16 marks the birthday of one of Los Angeles’ most beloved and notorious writers, Charles Bukowski. Were he still with us, he’d be 94.
Bukowski has been called the Poet Laureate of Skid Row. His books, from Ham on Rye to Post Office to Hot Water Music, celebrate the drunks and the down and outs who populated the bars, cheap hotel rooms …

Arts & Culture, Featured »

The first movie star never said a word

Posted August 13, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
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Once a model, Mabel Normand was a movie star before that term even existed. A pioneer in silent films in front of and behind the camera, she captured the hearts of the very first movie-going public at the dawn of the celluloid era.
And yet, she’s all but forgotten today. Except among film historians like writer Jon Boorstin, who found the true story of Normand’s life so inspirational he wrote a novel about her. It’s called …

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