California Elections, Politics »

How politicians spend and fundraise in California

Posted October 21, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
President Obama in Silicon Valley. Photo via Flickr/ Steve Jurvetson/ CC

Political spending in California is not as high as in states with more contentious races, but party leaders still see the state as a place for some serious fundraising.
In the lead-up to the November elections, an estimated $8.2 million has been spent on political ads in California. That’s not a lot compared to states facing more heated races. Florida, Texas, Illinois and Pennsylvania have …

California Elections, Featured, 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 …

Headline, Interviews, News, Politics »

State Senate President pro tem Kevin De Leon speaks with KCRW’s Warren Olney

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

The incoming president pro tem of the California state Senate is usually sworn in during a quiet ceremony in Sacramento.
But, last tonight, more than 2,000 guests attended a $50,000 gala inauguration bash for Los Angeles Democrat Kevin De Leon at the Walt Disney Concert Hall.
They celebrated De Leon becoming the first Latino to lead the state Senate in more than 130 years.
The California Legislative …

California Elections, economy, Environment, Featured, 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 …

Headline, Issues, News, Politics, Sports »

NFL football? Stop me if you’ve heard this before…

Posted October 10, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
CA.1115.farmers.field.

Football season is well underway, but for the 20th straight year, professional gridiron is off the grid in L.A. On again, off again talks to bring team to L.A. have led to nothing – frustrating fans, city officials  and billionaire business leaders who want to build a stadium to host an L.A. team.
But Mayor Eric Garcetti remains optimistic. The mayor told KNX radio yesterday …

Bad Driving, Commentary, economy, Environment, Headline, Interviews, Issues, LA Noir, Politics, The New Mayor, Zocalo Public Square »

Mixer: Is LA making traffic inroads?

Posted October 3, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
friday mixer square

I don’t know where you are right now… but if you’re reading this, chances are you’re close to a web page that will show a geographic freeway map of Los Angeles.
And the 10, 110, 101 or 405 may not be cooperating with your travel plans.
But is it getting better, or are Angelenos still languishing in congested ridiculousness, with no end in sight?
Laura J. Nelson …

Arts & Culture, economy, Education, Environment, Headline, Issues, Politics, Sports, Zocalo Public Square »

Mixer: American identity, deconstructed

Posted September 26, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
friday mixer square

America means many things to many people.
Our nation is an amalgam of ideas from myriad perspectives. And those perspectives often get drowned out in a sea of ideology and noise (see: cable news).
This week, Zocalo Public Square, along with the Smithsonian, is asking what it means to be American. With essays and exhibits ranging from the patriotic to paternalistic, from purple mountains to brown …

Featured, Headline, News, Politics »

Armed and concealed in Orange County

Posted September 18, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Since Orange County relaxed its laws governing concealed weapons, thousands of people have applied for what's called a conceal carry weapons permit, also called a CCW. Here a candidate for such a permit practices his marksmanship on an Orange County shooting range. (Photo: Saul Gonzalez)

Like other firing ranges in Orange County, these are very busy days for Evans Gunsmithing, a shooting range in the City of Orange in Orange County where gun owners both practice their marksmanship on targets and take firearms safety classes.
“I used to offer one 16-hour class a week. I am now basically offering two of them a week,” says veteran weapons instructor Greg Block. …

economy, Environment, Featured, Issues, News, Politics, Water and the Drought »

Are we facing a megadrought?

Posted September 12, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Some government buildings have stopped watering their lawns. Photo via Flickr/ CC/ Kevin Cortopassi

California is three years into what some are saying could become a megadrought, a dry spell lasting several decades.
The drought is so dire that a certain golf course in the Montecito area is shipping in nearly $90,000 of water per month for its grass, and one-third of the town itself is shipping in bottled water. Meanwhile, those living in towns like the working-class, farm community of …

California Elections, economy, Issues, LA Noir, News, Politics, Runaway Production, Zocalo Public Square »

Mixer: Tinseltown tax credits and jobs

Posted September 5, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
friday mixer square

On this first Friday of the month, we got a jobs report from the Labor Department. A lackluster one, nationally, for sure.
But here in Los Angeles, there’s some optimism from city officials and state lawmakers about film and television production jobs sticking around instead of being exported to other parts of the country.
The California legislature passed a bill that gives $330 million in tax …

Arts & Culture, Environment, Featured, Health Care, Issues, News, Politics »

Why L.A. needs a resilience czar

Posted September 5, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Northridge Earthquake, CA, January 17, 1994 -- An aerial view of destruction caused by the 6.7 magnitude earthquake. Damage costs were estimated at $25 billion. FEMA News Photo
Date	17 January 1994

For the first time in human history, the majority of the world’s population (currently 7.1 billion) lives in urban settings. While urban living offers many attractions — employment opportunities, higher education, entertainment, health care, and public transportation – the changes we make to the natural landscape to accommodate and support our current population often makes us vulnerable to human and environmental threats. And when …

Arts & Culture, economy, Education, Featured, News, Politics »

Does assimilation mean the end of gay neighborhoods?

Posted September 4, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
West Hollywood Gay Pride Parade in 1984, the same year the community, located between Los Angeles and Beverly Hills, incorporated. After its establishment, West Hollywood fought for an LGBT civil rights agenda that's moved from the fringe to the mainstream (Photo: Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection)

On a Saturday night on West Hollywood’s Santa Monica Boulevard, the sidewalks, dance clubs, bars and restaurants are packed. The crowd is made up of mostly men; mostly gay, joyfully, proudly and unapologetically gay men. This is West Hollywood after all, the community that’s been called America’s “Gay Camelot” because of its place in American gay life and culture.
It’s been a LGBT enclave in Southern California for decades. …

Headline, Issues, News, Politics »

Are Californians beginning to sour on President Obama?

Posted September 2, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
obamaincalifornia

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 …

California Elections, Education, Issues, LA Noir, Politics, Zocalo Public Square »

Mixer: School’s in, iPads out

Posted August 29, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
friday mixer square

The Los Angeles Unified School District has scrapped the $1 (B) billion effort to provide all students and teachers with iPad tablets and laptops.
Embattled Superintendent John Deasy says he wants to gather new bids for future phases of the program.
Which is spin for this plan isn’t working.
The change comes in light of alleged improprieties in the awarding of the original contracts with Apple and …

economy, Education, Featured, News, Politics »

Can Deasy survive the iPad scandal?

Posted August 28, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Photo via Flickr by Sean MacEntee / Creative Commons

LA Unified Superintendent John Deasy has announced that his $1 billion plan to get iPads for every student is over and that he wants to solicit new bids for the future. This comes after emails obtained by news organizations revealed a cozy relationship between the LAUSD superintendent with Apple and Pearson, which produces educational software.
Can Deasy survive the scandal? Executive Director of the Pat Brown Institute, Raphael Sonenshein told Warren on …

Arts & Culture, Environment, Headline, Interviews, Politics »

A boat race along the Los Angeles River

Posted August 27, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
kayak 4

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 …

Environment, Featured, Interviews, News, Politics »

Foster children disproportionately identify as LGBTQ

Posted August 27, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
The Los Angeles LGBT Center

Los Angeles is home to the nation’s largest population of foster youth.
A new study out today from UCLA’s Williams Institute and the Los Angeles LGBT Center that finds gay youth are – in big numbers – over-represented in the foster care system.
Lorri L. Jean is the CEO of the Los Angeles LGBT Center and says the study finds 1 in 5 youth in foster …

Arts & Culture, Headline, News, Politics »

LA Mayor Eric Garcetti on film and TV tax credits

Posted August 27, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Photo of The Hollywood Sign by Eugene Wei via Flickr/CC.

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 …

Arts & Culture, California Elections, Commentary, economy, Environment, Featured, Politics, Zocalo Public Square »

It’s not so easy to send a 5-year-old off to a California kindergarten

Posted August 27, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
Photo by Mrs.F /CC/Flickr

“Wait, Daddy,” you say.
You are 5, and you have your priorities. You are reassembling the wooden train tracks. You are building an airplane hangar out of MagnaTiles. You have a drawing you need to finish.
“Hurry up, Ben” I always say. Don’t you know that I have too many things to do? Don’t you know I need to put you to bed? Can’t you see …

economy, Education, Headline, Issues, News, Politics »

Interview with LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy on pausing the $1 billion iPad program

Posted August 26, 2014 by | 4 Comments | ]
The iPad program at LAUSD has been halted following criticism of the bidding process.

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 …

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