economy, Zocalo Public Square »

Inglewood isn’t what you think it is

Posted January 23, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
Space Shuttle Endeavour Move (201210120012HQ) 
Space shuttle Endeavour is seen next to the Randy’s Donuts landmark in Inglewood, Calif.
Photo: NASA

To live in Inglewood is to have people make assumptions about you. Recently, people have been making assumptions about what a new pro football stadium, proposed by the owner of the NFL’s Rams, would mean for us. One such assumption now prevalent in the media is that we’ll embrace it, because we’re assumed to be economically desperate—because Inglewood is “over 90 percent minority” (L.A. …

economy, Education, Issues, News »

How does ‘Quality of Life’ rate in your community?

Posted January 22, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
Watts_California

Newport Beach residents enjoy the highest quality of life in California – and people who live in Watts are on the other end of the scale, with the worst quality of life.
That’s among the findings of a new report that looks at income, life expectancy and educational attainment and scores neighborhoods throughout the Golden State.
The study by the nonprofit Social Sciences Research Council says …

California Elections, economy, Issues, LA Noir, News, Politics, The New Mayor »

Mixer: Is California doing enough for the poor?

Posted January 16, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
friday mixer square

As the budget debate continues over how to deal with the least among us in California, there are calls from the extreme left for Governor Brown, and the legislature, to devote more to those people and social programs that were hit hard in the state budget by the Great Recession, and they haven’t much recovered.
Here in Los Angeles, there are proposals to raise the …

economy, Environment, News »

The bullet train is finally coming. Who are the winners and losers?

Posted January 14, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
SONY DSC

Spend anytime at all in Fresno and you’ll likely see and hear trains. That’s because the tracks of one of California’s busiest freight train lines cuts right through the center of Fresno.
But the railroad everyone is talking about doesn’t exist yet. However, construction of the $68 billion dollar system to run California’s high speed passenger rail, has finally started after years of discussion and planning.
Many in Fresno …

economy, Environment, Issues, News »

More Mexican trucks rolling onto California roads

Posted January 14, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
bordercrossing

The United States, Mexico and Canada negotiated the groundbreaking hemispheric trade agreement known as NAFTA 20 years ago. Now, a controversial and long-delayed part of that pact looks like it’s finally ready to be enacted – and it will have an impact on California drivers.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration – a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation – will soon make a …

Commentary, economy, Zocalo Public Square »

What is the ‘California Dream’?

Posted January 14, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
Venice Beach Sunset photo by Graham/Flickr/CC

Today’s California dream is not your grandfather’s California dream.
So why do we keep telling ourselves that we’re still seeking the same California dream? “California dream” has become a verbal tic in speeches, a graffiti we scrawl on signs and headlines without thinking about its meaning. Democrats and Republicans alike, as they assumed new offices this month, pledged to defend the supposedly enduring California dream. …

California Elections, economy, Education, Issues, Politics »

Mixer: Budget is more of the same, and not much more

Posted January 9, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
friday mixer square

Governor Jerry Brown today released a record $113 billion state spending plan.
Under the proposal, the general fund will increase about 5 percent from the current fiscal year… something the governor says reflects California’s economic momentum.
The governor, however, did not propose many new programs but instead focused on covering growing costs to existing ones.
John Myers is at the California Politics Desk at KQED in San Francisco, and …

economy, News, Zocalo Public Square »

What California can learn from the Rose Parade

Posted January 1, 2015 by | 1 Comment | ]
Photo via Flickr by Prayitno / Creative Commons

It’s not just how nice it’d be to have all the surfaces in Capitol offices covered in flowers (legislators produce enough manure to make such a project sustainable). Or how much more fun it would be to visit government offices if you could bring a barbecue and camp out the night before your appointment (imagine the change at the DMV). It’s that the Rose …

Arts & Culture, economy, News »

Playing Santa to total strangers

Posted December 23, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
IMG_4516

Where do all those letters that kids write to Santa go?  For over 100 years, the US Postal Service has made it possible for people to “adopt” letters from the neediest kids, based on their zip codes–and fulfill their Christmas wishes.
In Los Angeles, ground zero for Operation Santa is the massive postal processing facility on Central Avenue.  Weeks before the holiday, people stream in …

economy, Education, Environment, Zocalo Public Square »

How to keep John Muir’s legacy alive

Posted December 23, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
John Muir Trail, Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx. Photo by Kristine Paulus/ CC/ Flickr.

The pioneering environmentalist John Muir was no great fan of cities. In 1868, he hightailed it out of San Francisco as fast as he could for the Sierra Nevada. He later referred to Los Angeles as “that handsome conceited little town” and similarly skedaddled away pronto to the San Gabriel Mountains. Yet it was in Los Angeles, on Christmas Eve 100 years ago, that …

economy, Interviews, Issues, News, Politics, Zocalo Public Square »

Mixer: Attack on Hollywood; what’s next?

Posted December 19, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
friday mixer square

The FBI confirmed today that North Korea was behind the crippling cyberattack that prompted Sony Pictures to cancel the release of “The Interview,” and President Obama says the nation would respond.
Obama said of the people behind the hack: “they caused a lot of damage, and we will respond.”
While the president didn’t provide specifics, he did say that he thought Sony had “made a mistake” by canceling the movie’s …

economy, Politics »

Watch live: President Obama’s year-end press conference

Posted December 19, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
President Barack Obama boards Marine One at Joint Base Andrews, Md., en route to the White House following a trip to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in Lakehurst, N.J., Dec. 15, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama is expected to deliver his year-end press conference at 10:30 am PT. He is expected to take questions on a wide range of issues affecting us all: Cuba, the Sony hack and threats from North Korea, immigration reform, ISIS, and Obamacare.
The president last faced reporters the day after the mid-term elections, after Democrats faced a series of losses.
Watch here:

Arts & Culture, economy, News, Politics »

California gets ready to license undocumented drivers

Posted December 17, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
SONY DSC

In January, California will begin to offer driver’s licenses to an estimated 1.4 million undocumented immigrants, living and driving in the state illegally.
One of those unlicensed and undocumented drivers is Mexican-born single mother and retirement home worker Evangelina Ramirez. She’s been driving without a license in California for 20 years. “I am driving because it is not a luxury, it is a necessity,” says Ramirez. “I have …

Arts & Culture, Commentary, economy, Zocalo Public Square »

A better, cheaper Disneyland?

Posted December 16, 2014 by | 16 Comments | ]
Photo via Flickr by Glen Scarborough / Creative Commons

On Christmas Eve, it felt like the park was all ours.
When I was growing up in the 1980s, Disneyland was so reliably empty on the day before Christmas that my family often spent December 24 in the “Happiest Place on Earth.” We rode every attraction in the park. Tickets got more expensive each year, but they didn’t break the bank; in 1989, adult admissions …

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

Mixer: Port parties negotiating again

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

We’ve been highlighting the importance of the ports all this week inside the KCRW series Cargoland. And the one thing we keep talking about is the sheer volume of items that pass through those harbors.
But why is the port where it is? And how many people work there and are affected by what happens there?
The news that goes on there means a lot to …

Cargoland, economy, Environment, Interviews »

Cargoland: The billion-dollar trash trade

Posted December 4, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Automobile scrap (photo by Adam Minter)

Did you know one of the biggest exports through the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach is junk?
In economic terms, we call them recyclables. Most are going to China to be reused or refashioned into goods that country will then turn around and sell back to us.
All this week we’ve been hearing about the various activities that take place at the Ports of Los …

economy, Environment, Issues, News »

Fracking fight bubbles up in Santa Barbara Channel

Posted December 4, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
oilplatform

The contentious debate over fracking in California is coming to a head in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.
A Central Coast environmental group is suing the federal government for allowing the use of off-shore fracking to drill for oil and natural gas in the Santa Barbara Channel. The Interior Department has issued dozens of permits that allow oil companies to use either hydraulic fracturing or …

Cargoland, economy »

Cargoland: ‘The best job in the world’

Posted December 3, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Conrad Guzman working as a foreman at the port of Los Angeles. Photo courtesy Conrad Guzman

Conrad Guzman, now retired, lives in his San Pedro house that overlooks his livelihood: the ocean. He worked as a longshoreman and foreman for over 50 years and witnessed the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach transform from an industry literally dependent on the hands of its men to the largest port complex in the United States.
Throughout his career, Guzman was extremely active …

Arts & Culture, economy »

Could LA’s artists be priced out?

Posted December 2, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
arts

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 …

economy, Issues, News, Politics »

Schwarzenegger deal continues to haunt Jerry Brown

Posted December 2, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
reaganbuilding

Have you ever made a deal to buy something, only to have the seller tell you that it’s not actually for sale, after all?
That’s what a group of Texas and Irvine investors say happened to them – and the seller was the state of California.
A trial begins today in San Francisco that will determine whether California has to sell off 11 properties that Gov. …

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