Environment, Water and the Drought »

Pioneering drought tolerance at a California cemetery

Posted May 28, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
IMG_5609

Cemeteries are synonymous with lush, green and well-watered lawns – even in drought-ridden Southern California. But the state’s first mandatory water restrictions are starting to have an effect on all that green. Rosemead’s Pioneer Cemetery in Savannah Memorial Park is experiencing the challenge of cutting down on water firsthand.

Savannah Memorial Park board member Beverly Morten is on a mission to save water by bringing …

Issues, News, Politics »

A rush to end legal divide on motorcycle lane-splitting

Posted May 28, 2015 by | 4 Comments | ]
lanesplitting3

It can be a jarring experience…you’re sitting in your car or truck in heavy freeway congestion and a motorcyclist speeds by you between the lanes of traffic, passing within inches of your rear-view mirror.
Is what that motorcyclist is doing legal? Should it be legal?
Well, it’s called lane-splitting, and it exists in regulatory gray area. It’s not technically legal, but it is condoned by the …

Arts & Culture, Interviews »

Lucy Jones live-tweets and fact-checks “San Andreas”

Posted May 27, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
A still from the film "San Andreas"

Hollywood is hoping its latest disaster flick will shake things up at the box office.
“San Andreas” stars Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson and Paul Giamatti, about a series of giant western earthquakes.
Los Angeles and other areas in the state are decimated. Buildings topple, fires are everywhere, and the destruction is massive. And the quake is so big that it triggers other quakes across the country.
We know Hollywood loves …

Environment, Issues, News, Santa Barbara, Today's News »

Wanted: cleanup volunteers for Santa Barbara oil spill

Posted May 26, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
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If you live around the large 10-square mile oil slick in Santa Barbara County, and have wanted to help in the cleanup efforts there, your light just turned green.
And, while you may be ready to hit the beach with buckets and shovels in hand, you can’t just show up.
You have to be at least 18 years old and fill out a registration form. And then once you’re …

economy, News, The Minimum Wage »

Is raising the minimum wage really the best policy?

Posted May 22, 2015 by | 1 Comment | ]
Minimum Wage rally

This week, LA city council voted almost unanimously to raise the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020. For labor activists, this was a big win. And for politicians, it signaled a commitment to getting workers out of poverty. Business owners disagreed. But surprisingly, some labor economists disagreed as well.
Is it possible that raising the minimum wage isn’t actually the best path toward …

Issues, News »

Attack spurs call for tougher animal cruelty penalties

Posted May 22, 2015 by | 1 Comment | ]
sealion

Tougher penalties could be imposed on people who act cruelly to animals in California. And the push to do that stems from a disturbing incident that occurred in Orange County just last month.
A bipartisan group of state lawmakers has introduced a bill that would add a possible $5000 “restitution” fine for people convicted of animal cruelty. That’s on top of the current $20,000 maximum …

Food, News, The Minimum Wage »

How will restaurants fare with the higher minimum wage?

Posted May 20, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
Hassan Del Campo owner of Manifesto Cafe

With minutes to go before the first diners arrive, the small kitchen of The Larchmont is busy. Wild leeks are being chopped while pans heat up on the stove. It may seem like business is good, but Tuesday’s decision to raise Los Angeles’ minimum wage has got some in this kitchen worried that increased labor costs will hit them hard.
“It’s an industry with a …

economy, Politics, The Minimum Wage »

Putting LA’s new minimum wage in context

Posted May 20, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
fastfood workers

The nearly unanimous vote was 14 to 1 Tuesday in the LA City Council in favor of raising the minimum wage.  Mike Bonin, who represents most of the Westside, said raising the wage to $15 was “the least we can do. It is the very least we can do.”
Los Angeles Daily News reporter, Dakota Smith explained that this makes Los Angeles becomes the largest city in the …

Arts & Culture, Interviews »

The rock ‘n’ roll legacy of a Sunset Strip hotel

Posted May 18, 2015 by | 2 Comments | ]
Robert Plant at the "Riot Hyatt."

The debauchery and nihilism of the 1970s rock scene is perfectly captured in the Andaz West Hollywood, a hotel on the Sunset Strip that was then called the Continental Hyatt House and later the Hyatt on Sunset.
Bands like The Doors, The Who, The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin all spent time at the “Riot House,” trashing their hotel rooms, starting fires and convincing their …

News, Politics, Sports »

New soccer club makes a pitch for Sports Arena site

Posted May 18, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
sportsarena

The Los Angeles Football Club won’t field a team until 2018 – but today the fledgling soccer team is announcing plans for a $250 million, 22,000-seat stadium that would replace the L.A. Sports Arena.
The complex would include a conference center, restaurants and a soccer museum, and it would be the country’s most expensive privately funded soccer stadium.
Construction would be financed by the team’s celebrity-heavy …

Arts & Culture, Interviews »

A star-studded birthday: Griffith Observatory turns 80

Posted May 14, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
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One of LA’s most beloved and iconic landmarks turns 80 years old today.
Griffith Observatory sits atop Mount Hollywood, gleaming white and visible from miles around.
It’s a true LA tourist attraction, away from the glitz of Hollywood, but very much a part of it as well.
Films such as “Rebel Without a Cause,” “The Terminator” and others have had scenes filmed there.
The graphic designer and documentary …

Environment, Issues, News, Power and Water, Water and the Drought »

Long-term forecast is for more very hot days in L.A.

Posted May 14, 2015 by | 1 Comment | ]
The sun rises over electric power lines in Encinitas, California.

If you think Southern California has a lot of hot days now, just wait.
That’s the upshot of a new report from climate experts at the UCLA Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.
The report, published in the Journal of Climate, says that if nothing is done to control greenhouse gas emissions, the number of extreme heat days – over 95 degrees – could triple or …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, News »

How women were the unsung heroes of the Mexican Revolution

Posted May 13, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
Soldadera: Leandra Becerra Lumbreras, the year before her death at age 127

The artist Nao Bustamante was already working on a show about soldaderas, the women who fought with and ably assisted the troops in the Mexican Revolution, when she learned about Leandra Becerra Lumbreras–said to be the oldest survivor of the conflict that began in 1910.
She arranged to take her crew to Mexico to interview this woman who said she had fought the war “with her tortillas,” …

Arts & Culture, Environment, Food, News »

How Orange County got its name… and lost its oranges

Posted May 13, 2015 by | 2 Comments | ]
Citrus packing companies used intricate labels like this one to
distinguish their products. They were placed on sealed crates of
oranges, grapefruit, and lemons, which were purchased by wholesale
buyers across the country. (Credit: Tustin Area Historical Society)

A hundred years ago, California citrus was described as a “second gold rush.” It helped shape the state’s prosperity and identity. Millions of orange trees once grew in Orange County — but only a few remain.
When the name Orange County was first proposed, there weren’t very many oranges. Most locals were growing grapes and raising hogs, but in an effort to better promote the area, …

economy, Issues, News »

Santa Monica rolls out an unwelcome mat for Airbnb

Posted May 13, 2015 by | 1 Comment | ]
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The Santa Monica City Council has enacted tough restrictions on short-term rentals – cutting off a source of income for homeowners who’ve been using online sites like Airbnb to rent their properties to tourists.
Santa Monica will now ban rentals of entire homes or apartment units for less than 30 days. People can still rent out rooms or so-called “mother-in-law” units, but they’ll have to …

Arts & Culture, News »

California’s new production tax program aims to keep and create jobs

Posted May 12, 2015 by | 1 Comment | ]
SONY DSC

A big budget movie called “San Andreas” is coming out just in time for the summer blockbuster season. It’s a film with a very California storyline: Monster earthquakes strike the state, flattening both Los Angeles and San Francisco.
California may play a starring role in San Andreas, but most of the movie wasn’t shot in Golden State. It was shot an ocean away in Queensland, Australia. That’s because the …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, News »

Getting up close and personal with the upfronts

Posted May 11, 2015 by | 1 Comment | ]
Fox's "Empire" is one of this year's big success stories.

A KCRW TV Interview Roundup
In the world of network television, this week is a big one. The annual upfront presentations by all the major networks are happening at different locations throughout New York. This is the time when press and advertisers gather to listen to TV executives present their new shows and schedules for the upcoming season and encourage media buyers to make their ad …

Environment, Issues, News, Water and the Drought »

California sets environmental rules for desal plants

Posted May 7, 2015 by | 1 Comment | ]
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Desalination – turning ocean water into drinking water – is getting a lot of attention as California struggles through the fourth year of drought. Desalination plants have the appeal of tapping into a seemingly limitless source of water. But they can take a heavy toll on the environment, killing fish and other marine life as the suck in ocean water. They also spew greenhouse …

Environment, Water and the Drought »

The California drought crisis is everyone’s fault

Posted May 5, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
The drought at the  Uvas Reservoir. Via Flickr/CC

My grandfather used to tell the story of traveling from Bakersfield to San Francisco by boat as a boy in about 1910. First up the Tulare Lake, then up the San Joaquin River, and through the Delta. In those days, water in California’s San Joaquin Valley must have seemed inexhaustible.
Then, the lakes were drained and the rivers dammed; the valley floor was plowed and …

Arts & Culture »

10 things to tell New Yorkers before they move to LA

Posted May 4, 2015 by | 6 Comments | ]
newyorkla

As trend pieces go, the latest New York Times style piece “Los Angeles and Its Booming Creative Class Lures New Yorkers” managed to jam all the classic cliches into one column. And even create a few new ones along the way. We’ll let others do the debunking.
What is true, however, is that plenty of New Yorkers move to L.A. every year for myriad reasons. …

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