Used to be that vaccinations were considered to be a normal part of childhood. But for a lot of kids, that’s no longer the case.
State law says parents must vaccinate their children against measles, whooping cough, polio, chicken pox and a host of other diseases. But parents who object because of their personal beliefs can get exemptions. And those exemptions are soaring.
An analysis by …
President Barack Obama’s approval ratings have sunk to a record low in California.
The Golden State has been a consistent source of support for Obama ever since he first ran for the first White House. But a new Field Poll finds that only 45 percent of voters in the state hold a favorable view of Obama’s job performance right now. That’s a five percent drop …
Arts & Culture, Environment, Interviews, Politics »
The Los Angeles River often evokes the image of a concrete channel, with perhaps a trickle of water running through it.
The river was paved with concrete in the 1930s to prevent flooding.
It’s been a popular Hollywood backdrop, from John Travolta’s drag-racing scene in “Grease” to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s motorcycle chase in “Terminator 2.”
So the news that outdoor enthusiasts are holding the first-ever boat race there …
Arts & Culture, News, Politics »
Governor Jerry Brown has signaled that he will sign off on a deal that would more than triple the tax breaks for movies and TV shows filmed in California.
The bill would boost the tax credits to $330 million a year over the next five years.
While the legislation would significantly increase the incentive pool from $100 million, it’s still well shy of the $450 million …
California Elections, Education, Issues, News »
The state Legislature has approved a ballot measure that would ask voters two years from now whether California schools should ditch English-only instruction. It’s the latest in a series of victories for Latino lawmakers in Sacramento this Legislative session.
If Gov. Jerry Brown signs the measure and voters approve it, students who speak a foreign language could receive instruction in their native language, at least …
The LAUSD’s iPad project has been criticized since the beginning: students could hack them, there wasn’t ample Wifi technology in the classrooms, and teachers didn’t have proper training.
But it’s only now, after reports that school district officials were a little too cozy with Apple and Pearson in the bidding process for the $1 billion project, that LAUSD is pausing the program. ($61 million has been spent …
Environment, Issues, News, Politics »
A half-built Target store and shopping center going up in Hollywood will be staying in its current, unfinished state for the foreseeable future.
L.A. officials have reluctantly ordered Target to halt work on the project at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Western Avenue.
The order follows a court ruling that found that city officials improperly approved the project. The issue is height: Community groups sued …
Environment, Issues, News »
The temblor that rocked California’s wine country this weekend gave researchers at U.C. Berkeley a chance to gauge the effectiveness of an experimental earthquake alert system. They say it worked.
Ten seconds before Napa and surrounding areas began to shake, an alarm started squawking inside a Berkeley lab.
The system is not yet available to the public. State officials say it should be ready in the …
economy, Environment, Issues, LA Noir, Politics, Power and Water, Summer, Water and the Drought, Zocalo Public Square »
As the severe drought continues in California, the state’s water authority is now actively imposing fines of up to $500 on people who are wasteful.
The Los Angeles Times reports the city’s Department of Water and Power has increased its patrol of water wasting by quadrupling the number of its city-wide inspectors: from one to four.
Los Angeles has about four million people.
Water tables are at …
economy, Interviews, News »
Summer is supposed to be the season for rest and relaxation, a time to leave the cares and pressures of our jobs behind. But, of course, lots of work gets done over the summer, interesting and important work that’s often tied to the rhythms of the season. KCRW met an eclectic group of people who hold down some unusual jobs during the summer. In …
In Southern California’s Antelope Valley, where suburban sprawl gives way to a high desert landscape of scrub brush and Joshua Trees, there’s a home. The dwelling, which dates to the 1950s, is small, white and unadorned. Its curtains are tightly drawn and wood planks cover some of the windows. The house is thoroughly unremarkable, but inside lives a man who is one of the most …
Environment, Issues, News »
Plastic bag manufacturers are making a last-ditch effort to block a proposed law that would ban single-use plastic bags statewide.
The bill passed an Assembly Committee last week and appeared to be headed for passage. But opponents have managed to delay a key vote, which could set up a renewed battle over the proposed ban.
The San Jose Mercury News reports the bag industry has spent …
Arts & Culture, News »
It’s been 20 years since the Northridge Earthquake rocked Southern California, and now that natural disaster is the setting for an opera that’s having its L.A. premiere at the Ford Amphitheater this Saturday. The opera is called, “I was looking at the ceiling and then I saw the sky” and is by composer John Adams with a libretto by poet June Jordan.
The title, “I was …
A record number of out-of-state students have been admitted to the U.C. system this fall. That doesn’t sit well with some Californians, but it’s awfully good for the university purse.
The University of California reportedly stands to reap an estimated $400 million in extra cash revenue this year from out-of-state students. More than a fifth of incoming U.C. freshman are from other states or countries. …
Interviews, News, Politics »
While things have calmed down considerably in Ferguson, Missouri, in the last day or two, the people of that St. Louis suburb are still up-in-arms about the death of teenager Michael Brown.
Protestors maintain Officer Darren Wilson was not justified in shooting and killing the 18 year old, who eyewitnesses say had his hands up and was unarmed.
In the wake of protests in Ferguson, critics …
Environment, Issues, News »
Faced with declining attendance and a plunging stock price, SeaWorld announced today that it will build new, larger environments for killer whales at its theme parks. SeaWorld also says it will contribute &10 million to fund additional research on the animals along with programs to protect ocean health and whales in the wild.
SeaWorld plans to build a 10-million-gallon tank at its park in San …
It hasn’t garnered the same attention as the death of Michael Brown, but there are echoes of the Ferguson, Missouri, case in the death of another unarmed black man right here in L.A.
Ezell Ford was shot to death Monday evening in the Florence area in a confrontation with two LAPD gang officers who tried to question him in what they call an investigative stop.
Updated August, 12, 2014.
Prolific comedian and actor Robin Williams has died at age 63. He was found unresponsive in his Marin County home, in an apparent suicide.
Appearing on KCRW’s The Treatment, Williams said he was an outsider who found a craft he loved. “I like doing supporting parts the best, you’re not carrying the burden of the movie. And you can make a character and do all …
Environment, Issues, News »
Manhattan Beach officials are getting ready to revisit some controversial restrictions on fishing off that city’s pier. They’re concerned that anglers are drawing great white sharks to the area.
A month ago a shark caught on a fisherman’s line bit a surfer. That prompted the City Council to temporarily ban fishing from the pier and sparked a heated debate between pro and anti-fishing camps.
California Fish …
Bad Driving, economy, Environment, Issues, LA Noir, Summer, Zocalo Public Square »
I don’t have to tell you how much time we spend in our cars here in Southern California. You’re probably reading this in your car right now.
I hope not.
Because it’s hard (and illegal) enough to take your eyes off the road to avoid crunching the guy in front of you. You also have to look left or right to make sure you don’t cause …