Arts & Culture, Featured »

Loving your neighbor, one laundry load at a time

Rev. Nat Katz makes sure the laundry love keeps flowing.

Most of us are familiar with the concept of food banks and soup kitchens which serve the poor.  A movement sparked out of Ventura, Calif., offers a twist on that: making it possible for people with limited funds to do their wash for free.
It’s called Laundry Love, and it’s happening all over the country.  Typically, it’s organized by a church, mosque or synagogue that wants to engage …

Arts & Culture, Environment, Featured, Interviews »

Blue mind: Why we love water

"Life on The Beach" by Motorito via Flickr/CC

One of my favorite things to do after a stressful work day is drive up the Pacific Coast Highway – to Point Mugu – and plant my rear-end in the sand or on a rock, or walk a few feet into the Pacific. The smell of the salt water, the sound of crashing waves – it’s zen for me.
I certainly don’t think I’m alone. …

Arts & Culture, Featured »

Who is your favorite LA songwriter? KCRW’s Anthony Valadez and others weigh in!

640px-Stevie_Wonder_1973

The Mamas & the Papas longed to be “safe and warm” in L.A. Tom Petty sang about a “freeway runnin’ through the yard.” And in “L.A. is My Lady,” Frank Sinatra crooned: “I brought her my wildest of dreams and she came up with the answer.”
The long list of songs about Los Angeles includes odes to cruising on Sunset, experiencing the rare rainy day, …

Arts & Culture, Featured, Food, Interviews, Issues »

Learning about Yiddish life before the Holocaust

Students participating in the Helix Project perform a Yiddish song at a home in Studio City.

If you ask American Jews, or really just most Americans, to picture what it was like to live as a Jew in Eastern Europe in the early 20th century, chances are you imagine a scene from “Fiddler on the Roof.”
The tale by Yiddish writer Sholem Aleichem tells the tale of Tevye the dairyman and his daughters in the poor village of Anatevka.
But the real story …

Arts & Culture, Environment, Featured, Headline, Interviews, News »

Photos: Remembering Pacific Ocean Park

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From the late 1950s to the late ‘60s, Angelenos looking for music, dancing and rides, found the party at Pacific Ocean Park.
The beachside theme park – that jetted out into the Pacific – sat on 28 acres of land at the border of Santa Monica and Venice.
It featured rides created by Hollywood set designers, setting it apart from the standard, ordinary rides at Santa …

Arts & Culture, Featured, Interviews, News »

The strange sounds – and history – of the theremin

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If there’s any instrument that gets misunderstood and under-appreciated in music, it’s the theremin.
Countless bands have employed the warbly, eerie-sounding electronic instrument, from The Pixies to the White Stripes. It was perhaps most famously used by The Beach Boys in “Good Vibrations.”
The theremin was created by a Russian physicist, Lev Sergeyevich Termen. He’s the main character in “Us Conductors”, the debut novel by Montreal-based …

Featured, Interviews, Issues, News, Politics »

The war in Gaza hits home in LA

People hold signs at an anti-Israel protest on July 20, 2014. (Photo: Benjamin Gottlieb)

Hani Jamah is dentist based in San Jose. His  parents are from Gaza and Jamah still has family in the region. He’s been following the war closely, but while recently watching Al Jazeera America, he learned that members of his family had become casualties of the war. On Which Way, LA?  Warren talked to him about the news.
Here’s an edited excerpt from the interview:
I  woke up …

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

Mixer: The state of a border state, where Murrieta marks the spot

friday mixer square

This week, House Speaker John Boehner said it’ll be difficult to monetarily address the flow of undocumented kids across the U.S./Mexico border, until the 2008 law that allowed their travels to the aforementioned place is changed. Boehner said the anti-trafficking regulations that were put in place during the waning year of the Bush administration are being abused, and that he doesn’t foresee much progress …

Arts & Culture, Featured, News »

Taiko drumming: ‘Not just Asian anymore’

Maz Baba

This week, 500 international masters and scholars of Taiko have descended on Los Angeles for an unprecedented gathering.
They’re dissecting every aspect of this unique style of drumming and performance, and this weekend in Little Tokyo, they’ll show their stuff in several public performances.
To mark the occasion, we spoke with Masato Baba, considered to be the best Taiko drummer in the United States. A native …

Arts & Culture, economy, Featured, Issues, Politics »

Sonia Nazario on children crossing the US border: ‘It’s a modern day odyssey’

The Mexican border at Sasabe Arizona
Photo: Phillip Capper via Flickr/ CC

When author Sonia Nazario wrote the Pulitzer Prize winning book  “Enrique’s Journey” in 2006, nobody was paying much attention to the number of children coming across the US border. Now, as the New York Times reports, “more than 52,000 children have been caught crossing the United States border alone since October — double last year’s number.”
Back in March, Warren spoke with Nazario about the book, …

economy, Featured, Issues, LA Noir, News, Politics, Silicon Beach »

Mixer: Reporting from a foreign land is tough – just ask a Brit in LA

friday mixer square

For people who are not familiar with Los Angeles – who aren’t from here, but have to report about the things happening around here, particularly from a media and business standpoint – our neighborhood can be a pretty daunting place.  
All the eccentricities, idiosyncrasies, and moving parts behind-the-scenes make for all kinds of drama fit for an epic Hollywood screenplay.
But in real life, Matthew …

Arts & Culture, Featured, Interviews »

Tom Schnabel remembers jazz musician Charlie Haden

A photo of Charlie Haden from 2008, by Tim Dickeson.

The jazz world is mourning today the death of a great musician. Bassist Charlie Haden passed away at the age of 77, after a long illness.
Haden – a three-time Grammy winner – was born in the Midwest, but came to LA in the 1950s, enrolling at Westlake College of Modern Music.
His music and performances touched on political themes at times, a mirror of the …

Featured, News »

Use a smartphone? Thank Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla, circa 1890

Here’s a question: when was the last time you picked up your smart phone?
Chances are you have one. And you probably last glanced at it – well, maybe you’re looking at it now.
One of the people you can thank for that miracle of telephony is Serbian-American inventor Nikola Tesla. And today is his birthday. He would’ve been 158.
To celebrate, we asked Marc Seifer, who …

economy, Featured, Headline, News »

Wearables: cool gadgets or another distraction?

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Wearable technology is one of the hottest trend in gadgets right now. What’s is wearable technology exactly? Think Google Glass, Fitbit and Nike Fuel Band, and these devices are oftentimes referred to as wearables.
Amazon UK just launched a wearable technology store this week, selling fitness trackers, smart watches, and wearable cameras. Sales of wearables are expected to top $1.5 billion this year and be …

Arts & Culture, Featured, News »

Origami physicist fuses art and science

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Dr. Robert J. Lang abandoned his career as a physicist to become a full-time origami artist, but that doesn’t mean he turned off the scientific part of his brain.
He describes his artistic process as one of the foremost artists in the craft as “almost mathematical, very geometric.  I take the subject and try to break down the subject mentally into component pieces and then …

Arts & Culture, Featured, Interviews, News »

Escape from LA in Edan Lepucki’s “California”

Edan Lepucki at KCRW

Edan Lepucki’s debut novel, California, follows a young couple as they leave an apocalyptic Los Angeles for the wilderness to try to make it, away from what’s left of society.
It’s a book that deals with, obviously, escape. But also survival, family, camaraderie (or not), and grace under fire.
Lepucki’s book has already gotten lots of attention with a little help from an unlikely champion, the …

Featured, News »

What’s the future of the Santa Monica Airport?

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For months, “No Jets” signs have been cropping up in the front lawns of homes all around Santa Monica. It’s the visual cue for one side of a legal battle that’s raging.
City leaders and some homeowners who complain of noise, pollution and unsafe conditions want the Santa Monica Airport closed by July of next year. The Federal Aviation Administration has said “no way.”
Last week, airport …

Featured, News, Warren Olney »

California Highway Patrol beating: How will the department respond?

Screenshot of a CHP officer beating Marleen Pinnock on the 10 Freeway last week.

When thinking of police brutality in Los Angeles, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) is not usually top of mind.
But after a video showing a CHP officer beating an unarmed woman on the eastbound side of Interstate 10 near La Brea Avenue went viral this weekend, local civil rights leaders say they’re concerned about a pattern of abusive behavior within the department.

Arts & Culture, Featured, News »

Art in space! Echo Park gallery designs satellite art

Art Satellite - iam8bit x ClydeSpace 001

Here in Los Angeles, art is by no means confined to the walls of galleries and museums.  There are murals and billboards, parks and oceanfront boardwalks.
But one LA couple is sending their artwork to the final frontier – space.
They designed the exterior of a satellite that’s scheduled to launch from Kazakhstan at 8:58 a.m. PST on Tuesday.
Jon Gibson and Amanda White are the owners …

Arts & Culture, Featured »

Film reviews with LA Weekly’s Amy Nicholson

Tammy-5

There are plenty of movies that’ve taken place on the road. It’s a familiar set for Hollywood. Think “Rain Man,” “Due Date,” and of course, “Thelma and Louise.”
There’s a new one now open in theaters in LA. “Tammy” stars comedienne Melissa McCarthy in a road trip movie with McCarthy and her cursing, hard-drinking grandmother played by Susan Sarandon.
LA Weekly film critic Amy Nicholson fills …

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