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Two LA television stations will share spectrum in pilot program

By dhammza / Flickr/ Creative Commons

Two LA broadcast television stations have agreed to act as guinea pigs for an experiment aimed at freeing up more airwaves for use in wireless broadband services.
KLCS, a public broadcaster owned by LA Unified School District, and KJLA, a small multi-lingual programmer, will share a single channel in a pilot program run by the Federal Communications Commission.
For viewers, both channels will appear in their …

Arts & Culture, Featured, Interviews, News »

Are movie trailers too long?


The National Association of Theater Owners has come out with new guidelines, calling for movie trailers to be no more than two minutes long.
That’s 30 seconds shorter than the typical preview right now.
And the guidelines say that a trailer cannot be shown more than five months before a movie comes out.
These guidelines are supposed to apply to movies that open on or after October …

Arts & Culture, Featured, Interviews, News, Politics »

Tom Sherak, LA’s film czar, dies

Tom Sherak, the head of the Los Angeles Entertainment Industry and Production Office. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

Tom Sherak, the former Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president, died today at age 68 of prostate cancer.
“He died at home surrounded by his family giving him hugs, kisses and love,” according to a statement from his family. “Tom is, was and always will  be our loving husband, daddy, papa, brother, friend and ‘go-to guy. He blessed this Earth for 68 incredible …

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John Scott to replace Lee Baca as Los Angeles County Sheriff

Orange County Sheriff's Department Undersheriff
John Scott

Orange County Sheriff’s Department Undersheriff John Scott will replace Lee Baca as Sheriff of Los Angeles County.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors appointed Scott today.
He has 36 years of law enforcement experience.
He retired from the LA County Sheriff’s Department as the division chief of custody operations and joined the Orange County sheriff’s force.
Baca is set to retire at noon Thursday.
Baca and his department …

economy, Education, Featured, Interviews, Issues, News, Politics, Warren Olney »

Deasy: Firing bad teachers costs up $450,000


Opening volleys have been fired in a lawsuit that aims to change the rules for teacher tenure in California and make it easier to fire ineffective instructors. The lawsuit – Vergara vs. the state of California – was filed by an education reform group on behalf of nine public school students. L.A. Schools Superintendent John Deasy was the first witness called by the students’ …

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Biopics and ‘Boyhood’: All the Buzz from Sundance


The Sundance Film Festival is underway in Park City, Utah.
KCRW’s Eric Roy discussed some of the notable films coming out of the festival with John Horn, film writer for the Los Angeles Times.
Film buying has been slow but is starting to pick up, according to Horn. Sony Classics acquired the international rights to “Whiplash,” the festival’s opening night feature film; Focus Features acquired the …

Environment, Headline, Interviews, News »

The Northridge Earthquake and Seismic Risk, 20 Years Later

northridge-earthquake (1)

At 4:31 a.m. on January 17, 1994, the Northridge earthquake shook Southern California.
“I actually fell out of bed, it moved the bed out from under me,” said Caroline Veach, a Sunland resident.
The quake cost $20 billion in property damage — the most expensive U.S. natural disaster until Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans in 2005.
“My most vivid memory was the pitch darkness and the loud …

Arts & Culture, Featured, Interviews, News »

Gary Shteyngart’s Little Failures


Writer Gary Shteyngart is best known for his novels Super Sad True Love Story and Absurdistan – and, of course, his experiments with Google Glass.
Now he’s trying his hand at something new: The art of the memoir. His latest book is called Little Failure, and it documents what it was like to emigrate to Queens, New York from the Soviet Union when he was …

Arts & Culture, Featured, Interviews, News »

MOCA’s French twist

The new chief of MOCA

His name is Philippe Vergne, and it’s official: He’s MOCA’s new director. He’ll come to Los Angeles from New York, more specifically, the innovative DIA Art Foundation. (Same old stomping grounds as LACMA’s director, Michael Govan.)
The French-born Vergne was the choice of the search committee charged with replacing the embattled Jeffrey Deitch. Among those selecting Vergne were four prominent artists who stepped down from MOCA’s …

economy, Headline, Interviews, News, Politics »

A first look at Governor Jerry Brown’s proposed state budget

Governor Jerry Brown, explaining his revised budget for California. Photo by Andrew Nixon.

A copy of Governor Jerry Brown’s state budget proposal has been leaked. Brown is proposing a $106.8-billion general fund and is calling for “fiscal restraint,” including a plan to cut the state’s long-term debt by more than $11 billion.
The Sacramento Bee posted a copy of the 271-page budget summary. Brown now plans to unveil his proposed budget on Thursday morning, rather than Friday, as …

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The cronut, and other words of 2013 to chew on

The ubiquitous cronut.

At a loss of words in this new year? Let’s exercise some synapses. Maybe your resolution is through exercise, to define your abs or biceps.
That’s fine. But we’d like to define some words that came to prominence last year. Think of it as a verbal selfie. (If we had a bitcoin for every time we heard that word).
Grant Barrett is a lexicographer who specializes …

Arts & Culture, Featured, Interviews, Politics »

Naomie Harris on playing the ‘intimidating’ role of Winnie Mandela

Naomie Harris, in the role of Winnie Mandela.

The recent death of Nelson Mandela continues to shine the spotlight on his fight for civil rights in his native South Africa. His rise to power in that country was slow, and his family shared in the victories and defeats along the way.
One person in Mandela’s life stands out: his former wife and mother of his children, Winnie Mandela. She stood by her husband’s …

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

Fusion Ethiopian cuisine for a Julian-calendar Christmas

Azla makes a gluten-free injera, the staple bread which doubles as a utensil in Ethiopian cuisine

Nes Abegaze and her mother, Azla Mekonnen, spent this past weekend preparing for Christmas. No, they’re not wickedly late, nor ridiculously early. The food they were cooking is for Tuesday, which, thanks to the Coptic Church’s use of the Julian calendar, is Ethiopian Christmas.
There were two major twists on the meal they were preparing: For one thing, the food is for consumption at the …

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Dungeons & Dragons goes over the hill

The Green Dragon, painted by a Dungeons and Dragons fan

This month, a popular game turns 40 years old. Happy Birthday, Dungeons & Dragons!
It’s hard to imagine how a board game has influenced movies, books and video games, yet, this game has crossed the threshold of dark basements and invaded pop culture today.
For those unfamiliar with Dungeons & Dragons, before it was a video game, it was a board game. To play, a group …

Headline, Interviews, Issues, News, Politics »

One Thing: Local Politics


From politics and music to television, health and sports, what were the most important stories and trends of the year? Nine of our sharpest local observers weigh in on the one thing that shaped 2013. 
“There’s probably no city in the country now whose labor movement is as strong and effective as the LA labor movement,” says Raphael Sonenshein, Executive Director of the Pat Brown Institute at …

California Elections, economy, Education, Environment, Featured, Interviews, Issues, LA Noir, News, Politics, Race for Mayor, The New Mayor, water »

Mixer: Our Year in Review

friday mixer square

The year is coming to a close and we look at some of the biggest stories of 2014.
There were a couple of high profile shootings underscored security and response at public places across LA.
One tragic day in June turned an idyllic Friday in Santa Monica into a horrible day for people in around the Santa Monica College campus.
That’s when a man who grew up not …

Arts & Culture, economy, Featured, Interviews, News »

What’s it like to work through the holidays in L.A.?

Donald Everett, 58, is originally from Boston.

If you’ve set foot inside a mall, shopped online, bought a Christmas tree or otherwise flexed your purchasing power this holiday season, chances are good that you’ve been helped in some way by a seasonal worker.
All sorts of businesses, from big box stores to online retailers to mom-and-pop boutiques, beef up their workforces at the end of the year to meet the holiday rush …

Education, Featured, Interviews, News »

At-risk youth offered DJ and music production skills


Many teenagers dream of becoming a DJ or music producer. A local nonprofit is trying to make that dream come true for Los Angeles teens that are on probation or in the foster care system.
“I ain’t never played with music before. This is my first time. I like it,” said Terrence, a 13-year-old from Berkeley. “This inspired me to do it again.”
Terrence lives at …

Headline, Interviews, News, Politics »

Aaron Kushner’s Grand Plan for Expanding the OC Register to LA

Aaron Kushner

The parent company of the Orange County Register is looking to expand its reach by launching a new daily newspaper – here in LA.
Aaron Kushner, the CEO of Freedom Communications, says the new paper will be known as the Los Angeles Register.
Kushner says the paper will share sports content and other stories of regional interest with the OC Register.
But he says the new paper …

Arts & Culture, Headline, Interviews, News »

The celebrated icon of the Virgin of Guadalupe

A mural of the Virgin of Guadalupe enveloping Pope John Paul II adorns a wall in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Laurie Avocado via Flickr/CC)

Latino Catholics around the world are celebrating the Virgin Mary. Or as she’s known to them: the Virgin of Guadalupe. Her feast day is today, Dec. 12.
It’s a special and holy occasion to millions, who believe, according to Catholic tradition, that a vision of the mother of Jesus appeared to a peasant in Mexico City hundreds of years ago and asked him to build a …

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