Arts & Culture, Featured, News »

Two unlikely friends, one tragic ending

Posted September 19, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace by Jeff Hobbs

When Jeff Hobbs arrived for his freshman year at Yale, his mother was preoccupied with making curtains for his dorm room. His roommate Robert Peace, on the other hand, had different concerns. His father was in prison, serving time for murders he may or may not have committed. His mother was struggling, as she had been for years, with her low-wage job in a …

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 …

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, 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 …

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, Commentary, Featured »

How do we put fewer Californians in prison? Other states are finding alternatives

Posted September 15, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Photo by Rennet Stowe/ CC/Flicrk

In 2009, overcrowding in California’s prisons had gotten so bad—140,000 inmates crammed into prisons built to house just 80,000—that federal judges ruled it violated prisoners’ civil rights. Under order to reduce the state’s prison population, Governor Brown introduced realignment in 2011, a plan to send nonviolent inmates to county jails and probation departments rather than prison.
This year, a federal court gave California two more …

Featured, Interviews, News »

The vanishing neighbor and America’s changing community

Posted September 12, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
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There’s been a lot of fighting lately. How about we get to know one another?
There was a time when people who lived around you, knew you.
But in today’s social media landscape, we don’t really much talk to anyone, let alone understand who they really are.
So what happened? Why aren’t Americans as neighborly as we used to be?
Marc J. Dunkelman is author of the new …

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 …

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 …

Featured, News »

Obamacare starts bringing relief to low-income drug addicts

Posted September 10, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
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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 …

Environment, Featured, Interviews, News »

The fruit flies of youth

Posted September 8, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
The humble Drosophila melanogaster - the fruit fly.

It sounds like a miracle, but UCLA biologists say they have identified a gene that can slow the aging process when activated.
Working with fruit flies, UCLA scientists have used a gene called AMPK to increase the insects’ life spans by about 30 percent.
One of the team leaders, Associate Professor of integrative biology David Walker, says that when the gene is activated in the intestine …

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, 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 …

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, 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 …

Environment, Featured, Interviews, News, Politics »

Foster children disproportionately identify as LGBTQ

Posted August 27, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
The Los Angeles LGBT Center

Los Angeles is home to the nation’s largest population of foster youth.
A new study out today from UCLA’s Williams Institute and the Los Angeles LGBT Center that finds gay youth are – in big numbers – over-represented in the foster care system.
Lorri L. Jean is the CEO of the Los Angeles LGBT Center and says the study finds 1 in 5 youth in foster …

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 …

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