economy, Environment, Headline, Issues, Water and the Drought »

Drought taking a bigger toll on California agriculture

Posted September 29, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
farms-drought

Harvest time is starting to arrive at farms across California. And many of the state’s key crops are expected to be smaller this year than usual because of the drought.
The water shortage has led to shrinking yields of everything from rice, corn and hay to almonds, pistachios and oranges. The drought already prompted an early harvest of the state’s grape crop, which is expected …

Arts & Culture, economy, Education, Environment, Headline, Issues, Politics, Sports, Zocalo Public Square »

Mixer: American identity, deconstructed

Posted September 26, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
friday mixer square

America means many things to many people.
Our nation is an amalgam of ideas from myriad perspectives. And those perspectives often get drowned out in a sea of ideology and noise (see: cable news).
This week, Zocalo Public Square, along with the Smithsonian, is asking what it means to be American. With essays and exhibits ranging from the patriotic to paternalistic, from purple mountains to brown …

economy, Education, Issues, News, Sports, Zocalo Public Square »

Mixer: Locked up, then locked out

Posted September 19, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Mixer_612

This week, the Federal Reserve Board kept interest rates low, and vowed to keep them low for a “considerable time.”
And then there was the wonky we could raise rates down the road if the economy starts moving faster stuff.
The job market, says the Fed, is affected by myriad happenings: An economy that’s still sluggish, and recovering from a Great Recession. An older population. Jobs …

economy, Featured, Headline, Issues, Press Play's Faultines »

Fault Lines: A Trip to the Midnight Mission

Posted September 19, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
"Thomas Martinez works at a hip downtown restaurant and lives in South L.A., but eats at the Midnight Mission when money is fight."

Dinnertime at the Midnight Mission starts at 4:30.
By then, on a sweltering summer afternoon, the line for food at the Skid Row homeless center stretches for nearly an entire block. These days, demand is high at the Midnight Mission, which serves about 3,000 meals a day. By comparison, a typical large, busy L.A. restaurant might serve 1,000. That’s more meals than at any other time …

economy, Environment, Featured, Headline, News »

How green car subsidies help the wealthy and miss those who could use them most

Posted September 17, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Tesla, an EV for those who can afford it.

This is a tale of two zip codes.
First there’s 94582: San Ramon, California. Since 2010, the roughly 38,000 citizens and businesses of this prosperous Bay Area suburb, where the median household income is $140,444, have purchased 463 zero emissions vehicles. Such vehicles receive major state subsidies; nearly $1 million of these subsidies went to vehicle purchasers in San Ramon. But San Ramon doesn’t need the …

California Elections, economy, Issues, LA Noir, Zocalo Public Square »

Mixer: Thread and bread, the cartel connection

Posted September 12, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
friday mixer square

Hundreds of federal agents descended this week on downtown Los Angeles’ Fashion District, making arrests as part of what prosecutors say is a sophisticated operation to launder money for Mexican drug cartels.
Authorities took 9 people into custody, and seized more than $90 million.
Federal prosecutors are calling it “Operation Fashion Police”.
Joe Mathews, from Zocalo Public Square, and Joe Mozingo, who reports for the Los Angeles …

economy, Environment, Featured, Issues, News, Politics, Water and the Drought »

Are we facing a megadrought?

Posted September 12, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Some government buildings have stopped watering their lawns. Photo via Flickr/ CC/ Kevin Cortopassi

California is three years into what some are saying could become a megadrought, a dry spell lasting several decades.
The drought is so dire that a certain golf course in the Montecito area is shipping in nearly $90,000 of water per month for its grass, and one-third of the town itself is shipping in bottled water. Meanwhile, those living in towns like the working-class, farm community of …

California Elections, economy, Issues, LA Noir, News, Politics, Runaway Production, Zocalo Public Square »

Mixer: Tinseltown tax credits and jobs

Posted September 5, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
friday mixer square

On this first Friday of the month, we got a jobs report from the Labor Department. A lackluster one, nationally, for sure.
But here in Los Angeles, there’s some optimism from city officials and state lawmakers about film and television production jobs sticking around instead of being exported to other parts of the country.
The California legislature passed a bill that gives $330 million in tax …

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, Environment, Headline, Issues, News »

Making the case for saving the Salton Sea

Posted September 4, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Salton-Sea

Failure to stop the Salton Sea from drying up would cost the state tens of billions of dollars in lost jobs, sliding property values and damage to public health, according to a new report.
The Pacific Institute’s “Hazard’s Toll: The Cost of Inaction at the Salton Sea,” warns of “catastrophic” environmental changes. Among other things, it says allowing the sea to dry up would release 100 …

economy, Education, Featured, News, Politics »

Can Deasy survive the iPad scandal?

Posted August 28, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Photo via Flickr by Sean MacEntee / Creative Commons

LA Unified Superintendent John Deasy has announced that his $1 billion plan to get iPads for every student is over and that he wants to solicit new bids for the future. This comes after emails obtained by news organizations revealed a cozy relationship between the LAUSD superintendent with Apple and Pearson, which produces educational software.
Can Deasy survive the scandal? Executive Director of the Pat Brown Institute, Raphael Sonenshein told Warren on …

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 | 1 Comment | ]
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 …

economy, Education, Headline, Issues, News, Politics »

Interview with LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy on pausing the $1 billion iPad program

Posted August 26, 2014 by | 3 Comments | ]
The iPad program at LAUSD has been halted following criticism of the bidding process.

The LAUSD’s iPad project has been criticized since the beginning: students could hack them, there wasn’t ample Wifi technology in the classrooms, and teachers didn’t have proper training.
But it’s only now, after reports that school district officials were a little too cozy with Apple and Pearson in the bidding process for the $1 billion project, that LAUSD is pausing the program. ($61 million has been spent …

economy, Environment, Headline, Issues, LA Noir, Politics, Power and Water, Summer, Water and the Drought, Zocalo Public Square »

Mixer: Water levels, down; water shaming, way up

Posted August 22, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
friday mixer square

As the severe drought continues in California, the state’s water authority is now actively imposing fines of up to $500 on people who are wasteful.
The Los Angeles Times reports the city’s Department of Water and Power has increased its patrol of water wasting by quadrupling the number of its city-wide inspectors: from one to four.
Los Angeles has about four million people.
Water tables are at …

economy, Featured, Headline, Interviews, News »

Summer jobs from the strange to the wonderful

Posted August 22, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
SONY DSC

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 …

economy, Issues, News, Politics »

Lawmakers flip ‘kill switch’ to fight cell phone theft

Posted August 12, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
smartphone

Taking the profit motive out of smartphone theft is the motivation behind a bill that’s passed both houses of the state Legislature and is on its way to Gov. Jerry Brown.
The so-called “kill-switch” law would force phone companies to include a feature allowing people to permanently shut down their phones if they are stolen or lost. Consumer activists say the “kill switch” would protect …

Bad Driving, economy, Environment, Headline, Issues, LA Noir, Summer, Zocalo Public Square »

Mixer: Lane-splitting motorcyclists

Posted August 8, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
friday mixer square

I don’t have to tell you how much time we spend in our cars here in Southern California. You’re probably reading this in your car right now.
I hope not.
Because it’s hard (and illegal) enough to take your eyes off the road to avoid crunching the guy in front of you. You also have to look left or right to make sure you don’t cause …

Commentary, economy, Featured »

A new ‘Sputnik Moment’ for California?

Posted July 31, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Aboard battlecruiser Pyotr Velikiy during Northern Fleet exercise in 2005 (Wikipedia)

Here are two words Californians should say to Vladimir Putin: Thank you.
California, with its historic reliance on defense-related industries, never quite recovered from the end of the Cold War. Today, Los Angeles has fewer jobs than it did in 1990. Fortunately, Putin seems intent on
giving us a new Cold War.
Let’s stipulate that Putin’s crushing of dissent at home, his seizing of the Crimea, his …

economy, Headline, News, Politics »

Kashkari goes homeless for knowledge and votes

Posted July 31, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Screengrab: California gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari spent a week trying to learn what it's like to be homeless.

Neel Kashkari, the Republican candidate for governor, has been taking a low profile of late… really low!
In an editorial in today’s Wall Street Journal, Kashkari says he just finished spending a week living as a homeless person to better understand the struggles facing many Californians despite improvement in the state economy.
Kashkari is a multimillionaire who lives in Laguna Beach. But he says he took …

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