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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 | 2 Comments | ]
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 | 6 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 and the Drought, 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 and the Drought »

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 …

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