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 Which …

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 | 3 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 …

Environment, Headline, Issues, News, Politics »

Half-built Target project could face the wrecking ball

Posted August 26, 2014 by | 5 Comments | ]
targethollywood

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 …

economy, Environment, Headline, Issues, LA Noir, Politics, Power and Water, Summer, water, Zocalo Public Square »

Mixer: Water levels, down; water shaming, way up

Posted August 22, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
friday mixer 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 …

Issues, News, Politics »

Cracking back at a cocaine sentencing disparity

Posted August 22, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
crackcocaine

The state Legislature has approved a law that would reduce sentences for crack cocaine to the same levels as powder cocaine.
The law addresses concerns that unbalanced cocaine sentencing laws punish low-income communities and minorities. It comes four years after President Barack Obama signed the Fair Sentencing Act, which eliminated 100-1 disparities in sentences for crack and powdered cocaine convictions.
Crack cocaine is considerably cheaper than …

Headline, Interviews, News, Politics »

Mixer: How much is too much policing?

Posted August 15, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
friday mixer square

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 …

Featured, Interviews, News, Politics »

‘Why do you have to post that stuff?: LA’s Iranian diaspora responds to the arrest of Washington Post journalist

Posted August 14, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Jason Rezaian, Tehran Bureau Chief for the Washington Post, was arrested three weeks ago on unspecified charges by the Iranian authorities (Photo credit:  Jason Rezaian's Twitter page).

The arrest of Jason Rezaian – the Washington Post’s Tehran Bureau Chief — his wife, and two other journalists in Iran three weeks ago has sparked an international outcry for their immediate release.
Here in Southern California, Rezaian’s detainment is both troubling and, in many ways, predictable for the Iranian-American community.
Referred to “Tehrangeles” by local residents, L.A. is a nexus for Iranians in the U.S., with an estimated half a million …

Issues, News, Politics, water »

Water wrangling goes down to the wire in Sacramento

Posted August 13, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
calaqueduct

Gov. Jerry Brown says he and Legislative leaders are making progress on a plan to replace an $11 billion water bond on the state ballot with a less expensive version.
But time is running short. A deal will have to be struck by the end of the day or the current bond goes before voters in November.Brown and Democrats are pushing a $7.2 billion plan …

economy, Issues, News, Politics »

Lawmakers flip ‘kill switch’ to fight cell phone theft

Posted August 12, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
smartphone

Taking the profit motive out of smartphone theft is the motivation behind a bill that’s passed both houses of the state Legislature and is on its way to Gov. Jerry Brown.
The so-called “kill-switch” law would force phone companies to include a feature allowing people to permanently shut down their phones if they are stolen or lost. Consumer activists say the “kill switch” would protect …

Issues, News, Politics »

Climate crusader Steyer tops political donor list

Posted August 8, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
STEYERS

Among political donors, it appears Bay Area billionaire Tom Steyer has the deepest pockets of them all.
OpenSecrets.org says Steyer and his wife Kathryn gave $20.4 million to political causes in the 2013-2014 election cycle. That’s more than double the total of the No. 2 person on the list, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg – also a member of the billionaire’s club.
It could just …

Headline, Issues, News, Politics »

Bill aims to take the profit out of mugshot websites

Posted August 5, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
mugshots_cropped

Perhaps you’ve seen those websites that specialize in mugshots…They’re usually good for a laugh, unless your face happens to be a part of the rogue’s gallery. But state lawmakers are not amused: A bill that would require websites to remove booking photos – for free – has passed both houses of the state Legislature.
State Sen. Jerry Hill of San Mateo authored the bill. He …

Environment, Issues, Politics, Power and Water, The New Mayor, Zocalo Public Square »

When LA’s infrastructure fails, who pays?

Posted August 1, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
friday mixer square

Tens of millions of gallons of water poured down Sunset Boulevard and onto the UCLA campus Tuesday, the result of a rupture in a massive, high-pressure water line more than nine decades old.
Hundreds of cars that were parked in underground decks were flooded and ruined, and at least a half dozen buildings on the college campus suffered various degrees of damage.
The court inside of …

economy, Headline, News, Politics »

Kashkari goes homeless for knowledge and votes

Posted July 31, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Screengrab: California gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari spent a week trying to learn what it's like to be homeless.

Neel Kashkari, the Republican candidate for governor, has been taking a low profile of late… really low!
In an editorial in today’s Wall Street Journal, Kashkari says he just finished spending a week living as a homeless person to better understand the struggles facing many Californians despite improvement in the state economy.
Kashkari is a multimillionaire who lives in Laguna Beach. But he says he took …

economy, Issues, LA Noir, News, Politics, Zocalo Public Square »

Mixer: High LA rents; are wages keeping up?

Posted July 25, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
friday mixer square

As cities go across the country, Los Angeles isn’t the most expensive. Rents are not as exorbitant as San Francisco or New York, but they’re pricey enough.
Average rents have been on a skyward trajectory for the few years following the financial and housing crisis. And that has people in town scrambling for cheaper areas of town in which to live.
Joe Mathews is California Columnist for Zocalo …

Featured, Interviews, Issues, News, Politics »

The war in Gaza hits home in LA

Posted July 22, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
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 …

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