California Elections, Commentary, Issues, Politics, Race for Mayor, Zocalo Public Square »

Mixer: Pulling lever or pulling teeth?

Posted October 31, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
friday mixer square

Exercising is tough. Voting is (relatively) easy. So why don’t Americans work that out?
Judging by meager turnout, Americans aren’t the most engaged people when it comes to voting… especially in off-year elections.
For last year’s mayoral election in Los Angeles, only about 23 percent of voters turned out at the polls.
Americans over 18-years old and registered to vote, and who haven’t had that right taken away, have …

Arts & Culture, LA Noir, Zocalo Public Square »

Lessons from a veteran haunted house builder

Posted October 30, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
Image via Flickr by liz west/ Creative Commons

I took Stewie out of storage on the first of October. The eight-foot-tall scarecrow with a massive, mutated pumpkin head (he may have grown in the abandoned gardens near Chernobyl) is always the first prop I put up in my Hallowe’en yard display.
I debated for a minute whether “Uncle Albert,” a “groundbreaker” zombie that jerks out after visitors step on a pressure-triggered mat, should …

Arts & Culture, News »

When a walk becomes a pilgrimage

Posted October 29, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
The 500 mile long and winding road

Long before writer Cheryl Strayed hiked the Pacific Crest Trail and published a best-selling book about it, pilgrims were searching for peace and salvation along the Camino de Santiago, a series of roads that wends through Spain and France.
This weekend, “Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago,”  a documentary about this medieval pilgrimage, opens for a week-long screening here in southern California. We talked to Annie O’Neil, who has a …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, News »

Glen Campbell opens up about his battle with Alzheimer’s

Posted October 27, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
glen-campbell-1970-bb35-billboard-650

It’s hard to label musician Glen Campbell in any particular genre. His roots, of course, are deep in country music.
But he was also one of the first artists to crossover from country to pop, landing hits on both Billboard charts.
He even toured with The Beach Boys, acted in a few movies – like ‘True Grit’ with John Wayne – and hosted a variety show, …

Arts & Culture, Zocalo Public Square »

Wrestling with paper to create ocean views

Posted October 27, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Response to Print of Mussel Rocks, California, 2014

This comes to us from Zocalo Public Square. 
A craggy rock emerges in sharp relief out of the ocean. Swarms of birds descend into crashing waves. A blue sky of clouds resembles a crumpled piece of paper, discarded then retrieved. These are some of the striking images in “Response,” an exhibition of photographs by Laura Plageman at the DeSoto Gallery in Venice.
Most of the photos …

Arts & Culture, Interviews »

Psychedelic: Pakistani truck artist brightens the LA roads

Posted October 24, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Truck artist Haider Ali and his finished product

For the last few weeks, Karachi-based artist Haider Ali been working around various spots in southern California, mostly in the parking lot of his hosts at the USC Pacific Asia Museum at Los Robles and Union in Pasadena, spiffing up a Ford cargo van.
In his native Pakistan, Ali is one of a handful of prominent truck artists who do brisk business around the country.  India, he says, …

California Elections »

What you need to know about the Nov. 4 ballot measures

Posted October 24, 2014 by and | 0 Comments | ]
By seeingimonkey via Flickr

Seems like it wasn’t that long ago that we were talking about plans for summer vacation and weekends at the beach.  But now Columbus Day has come and gone; Halloween is a week away; and Election Day is just around the corner.  That means it’s time to take a closer look at some of the issues California voters will be weighing in on next …

Arts & Culture »

How teaching Shakespeare to middle schoolers transformed a struggling actor

Posted October 22, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Mel Ryane and her new book at KCRW

Mel Ryane, a classically trained actor, thought the idea seemed simple enough: Volunteer at a local public school to teach kids an appreciation for Shakespeare. Share the joys of literature and the Bard’s life lessons with kids who might not otherwise learn them. Her time on the stage had to have prepared her for the task–no? Well, it turns out, definitely not. Nothing could have primed Ryane for the terror and …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, LA Noir, News »

How Jewish émigrés impacted the birth of film noir

Posted October 22, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Film still for Double Indemnity (1944), © Paramount Pictures. Courtesy of the Margaret Herrick Library, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Shown from left: Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck.

In the 1930s, as the National Socialist Party gained power in Germany, people around the world did what they could to help Jews escape the Nazi threat. Jewish filmmakers and producers found refuge in Hollywood, and their contributions forever changed American cinema and culture. Those stories are told in several new museum exhibits across Los Angeles.

The 1942 classic Casablanca follows a complicated love story …

California Elections, Environment, Interviews, News, Warren Olney »

Interview with Democratic Candidate for State Controller Betty Yee

Posted October 20, 2014 by | 2 Comments | ]
BettyYee_9666_082

The State Controller is the Chief Financial Officer for the state of California, and is tasked with accounting for every dollar spent. Current Controller John Chiang is termed out this November, having served in the post since 2007, and Betty Yee is the Democratic Candidate for his position. She sat down with Warren Olney to talk about her campaign.
Yee claims that her more than …

California Elections, Politics »

Interview with Republican Candidate for State Controller Ashley Swearengin

Posted October 20, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
Mayor Ashley Swearengin (Photo courtesy for the Fresno Mayor's Office).

In a state dominated by Democratic lawmakers, Fresno’s two-term Republican mayor Ashley Swearengin faces an uphill climb in her race for California State Controller.
A Field Poll from last month had her trailing her challenger, Democrat Betty Yee, nearly 2 to 1, and the share of registered voters in California strongly favors the Democratic Party — Republican voters make up just 28.4 percent of the electorate, while Democrats make up 43.4 percent.
Swearengin admits …

Arts & Culture »

‘Birdman’ soars into theaters

Posted October 17, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
birdman

The new movie “Birdman” stars Michael Keaton, Edward Norton and Zach Galifianakis, and it’s getting rave reviews.
Keaton stars a washed-up action movie actor looking to revive his career with a Broadway play – but it gets really, really weird.
Our regular weekly film critic Joe Morgenstern is out this week, so joining us in his place is LA Weekly film critic Amy Nicholson. She spoke …

Education, Issues »

LAUSD Supt. John Deasy resigns

Posted October 16, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
DEASYjpg

LA Unified Superintendent John Deasy announced his resignation Thursday, following criticism of his plan to put iPads in schools, and a class scheduling problem that placed kids in classrooms with no educational value. Ray Cortines, the district’s former superintendent will take the job on an interim basis.
In a statement, the school board thanked Deasy for his service. “In that period of time, academic achievement rose substantially despite severe economic hardships, and the …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, News »

HBO to offer standalone streaming service

Posted October 15, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
hbo-go

The top premium cable TV channel in the U.S., HBO, will start selling a streaming, web-based feed of the movie channel with all its original programs starting next year, for people who do not have cable or satellite TV.
During an investors’ meeting at the New York headquarters of parent company Time Warner today, HBO CEO Richard Plepler said the move will target 80 million …

Education, Environment, News »

NASA’s JPL opens its doors

Posted October 13, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
_MG_4849

This weekend, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory held its annual open house, inviting the public to explore the grounds of the La Canada-Flintridge facility for two days. This was JPL’s first open house in two years as budget cuts kept the doors shut last year.
Thousands strolled from building to building at the college-sized campus to learn about current missions, future endeavors and poignant reflections of JPL’s history in exploring the …

California Elections, economy, Environment, Issues, News, Politics, Water and the Drought, Zocalo Public Square »

Mixer: Cashing in on political popularity

Posted October 10, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
friday mixer square

President Obama exited Los Angeles just as he came in: making money for Democrats, and migraines for West LA drivers.
In his 24 hours here, the president toured a business in Santa Monica, speaking about an economic recovery for millennials, designated as national monument 340,000 acres of San Gabriel Mountains land and attended two separate fundraisers.
One of which was at actress Gwyneth Paltrow’s home.
Obama has attended 30 fundraisers in Los …

Arts & Culture, News »

Great in any language: Meet the most famous writer and musician from…Estonia

Posted October 10, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
Musician Silver Sepp and writer Kristiina Ehin--Estonia's "it" couple visit LA, and Grand Park

It’s not every day you get invited to meet people from Estonia, much less people who comprise Estonia’s power artistic couple: its most famous writer and in-demand musician.  Where is Estonia?  I myself had to look at a map (N of Latvia, W of Russia,) but after meeting the accomplished writer Kristiina Ehin and her husband of three years, Silver Sepp (yes, Silver is his …

California Elections, economy, News, Warren Olney »

Interview with Neel Kashkari

Posted October 9, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
Neel Kashkari in the KCRW studio with Warren Olney.

Republican candidate for Governor Neel Kashkari says he feels good about his chances. That, despite being behind in the polls (Gov. Brown is leading 57-36 percent) and having a lot less money than the incumbent ($680 thousand to Brown’s $20 million).
Below, he speaks to Warren Olney on Which Way LA? and tells him,  “We’re focused on getting our message out, more voters think the state is headed in the wrong direction …

Arts & Culture, News »

A communal experience, delivered over the airwaves – in between English and calculus class

Posted October 8, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
IMG_3833

It’s second period on Friday at Grover Cleveland Charter High School in Reseda, a school of 3,000 students, faculty and staff about an hour’s drive north of downtown LA in the morning rush. Students, aka the cast and crew of KCAV News, stream into the campus TV studio and get to work, putting the final preparations on their weekly news show.
In a matter of minutes, they rehearse, …

economy, Education, Health Care, Interviews, News »

‘A Path Appears’: Nicholas Kristof’s reasons for optimism

Posted October 8, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Nicholas Kristof at KCRW. Photo by Avishay Artsy

Every attempt at making the world a better place for people, starts with – you guessed it – people. What a surprise, right? We, as human beings, affect other human beings.
But that way-oversimplified thesis means nothing if not for good deeds and philanthropy, heart, and, of course, a dose of money too. How everyday people are creating paths to a better world.
A new book …

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