economy, Interviews, Issues, News, Politics, Zocalo Public Square »

Mixer: Attack on Hollywood; what’s next?

Posted December 19, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
friday mixer square

The FBI confirmed today that North Korea was behind the crippling cyberattack that prompted Sony Pictures to cancel the release of “The Interview,” and President Obama says the nation would respond.
Obama said of the people behind the hack: “they caused a lot of damage, and we will respond.”
While the president didn’t provide specifics, he did say that he thought Sony had “made a mistake” by canceling the movie’s …

Arts & Culture, Zocalo Public Square »

Were postcards America’s first social media?

Posted December 19, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
05.012Gifford

My great-grandmother, who was born in the 1880s, passed away when I was about 11 years old. Looking back, it is fairly obvious now that she was a hoarder on a colossal scale, but since this predated reality television, we tended just to say she was a packrat. As we cleaned out her house in rural Missouri, there was something special waiting: two boxes …

Arts & Culture, Commentary, economy, Zocalo Public Square »

A better, cheaper Disneyland?

Posted December 16, 2014 by | 15 Comments | ]
Photo via Flickr by Glen Scarborough / Creative Commons

On Christmas Eve, it felt like the park was all ours.
When I was growing up in the 1980s, Disneyland was so reliably empty on the day before Christmas that my family often spent December 24 in the “Happiest Place on Earth.” We rode every attraction in the park. Tickets got more expensive each year, but they didn’t break the bank; in 1989, adult admissions …

Commentary, Zocalo Public Square »

Why shutting down the freeway was the perfect way to protest Ferguson

Posted December 15, 2014 by | 3 Comments | ]
Photo by Craig Dietrich 
#HANDSUP! Justice for Ezell Ford and Solidarity With Ferguson

After grand juries in New York and Missouri failed to indict police officers who killed unarmed black men, protestors across the nation vented their outrage by shutting down roads. In our own freeway metropolis, marchers temporarily shut down the 110 and 101 freeways, blocking two of Los Angeles’ central arteries.
Why freeways? Why not buses, streetcars, parks, lunch counters, or other ordinary spaces that have …

Arts & Culture, News, Zocalo Public Square »

Hunting for Merced’s cultural treasures

Posted December 15, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Grupo Folklorico Juan Colorado performing dances from Jalisco.2

A wall of sound often emanates from an open classroom at the Merced Lao Family Community Center. It’s bagpipe-like and pulsating—the sound of a half-dozen boys practicing the qeej (pronounced gheng), a bamboo reed mouth organ played at Hmong funerals, other ceremonies, and social events.
At Hmong New Year, these young musicians will perform traditional songs on the qeej, the music coming into harmony with …

Issues, News, Zocalo Public Square »

Mixer: Protests and policing – marching ahead

Posted December 12, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
friday mixer square

Protests continue across the country and here in California against high-profile police killings of unarmed black men and boys.
The decisions by grand juries not to indict the officers who killed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner on Staten Island in New York, have touched off a heated debate about police-community relations.
There have been some violent confrontations and arrests in Los Angeles and the Bay Area over the …

Arts & Culture, Zocalo Public Square »

Does LA need more airports?

Posted December 11, 2014 by | 2 Comments | ]
Photo via Flickr/CC/Angelo DeSantis

Los Angeles International has long been the Rodney Dangerfield of airports. It gets no respect—and with good reason. Dated, overcrowded, and inefficient, LAX’s primary redeeming characteristic is the mild Southern California weather. When J.D. Power & Associates rated LAX as the third-worst airport in the U.S. in 2010, many Angelenos probably assumed there was a mistake and asked themselves: “Two airports are lower on …

California Elections, Cargoland, economy, Issues, LA Noir, Zocalo Public Square »

Mixer: Port parties negotiating again

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

We’ve been highlighting the importance of the ports all this week inside the KCRW series Cargoland. And the one thing we keep talking about is the sheer volume of items that pass through those harbors.
But why is the port where it is? And how many people work there and are affected by what happens there?
The news that goes on there means a lot to …

Arts & Culture, Commentary, Zocalo Public Square »

What ‘A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night’ says about California

Posted December 3, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
a_girl_walks_home_alone_at_night_33027-202x300

Sure, California has everything. But where would you find a murderous, Farsi-speaking, chador-wearing vampire riding her skateboard around an oil city?
Kern County, of course.
If a place could win an Academy Award for acting, I’d nominate Kern for an Oscar.
A young director named Ana Lily Amirpour—who grew up in Bakersfield, a child of Iranian immigrants—recently released a low-budget but critically acclaimed film, A Girl Walks …

economy, Environment, Zocalo Public Square »

Photos: Fishing off the Santa Monica Pier

Posted November 26, 2014 by | 2 Comments | ]
DSC_0292

On the lower deck of the Santa Monica Pier—below the Pacific Park solar-powered Ferris wheel, Inkie’s Pirate Ship ride, and oceanfront West Coaster—there’s a quiet community of fishermen and women.
Many tourists from the top deck stare at the anglers with awe. Fishing is these folks’ art. And it looks much easier than it actually is. The Santa Monica Pier fishers don’t make much. One …

Arts & Culture, Commentary, Zocalo Public Square »

Generations come together at the Thanksgiving table

Posted November 25, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Photo: Ben Franske Wikipedia

I think back to the first Thanksgiving I spent with my infant daughter three years ago, which was also the last one I spent with my grandmother. The multigenerational gathering at my childhood home in Alhambra, mixing Chinese, Vietnamese, and American traditions, is not only etched in my memory, it’s immortalized in a digital photograph.
In the photo, my mom is holding my nearly 4-month-old …

California Elections, Education, Issues, News, Politics, Zocalo Public Square »

UC to California students: take a hike

Posted November 21, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
Mixer_612

The governing body of the University of California voted this week to go ahead with a plan to raise tuition for five straight years.
As expected, UC President Janet Napolitano and a majority of the Board of Regents voted to raise tuition by five percent each year. Board members who voted for it say current funding levels are insufficient to maintain the quality of a UC education.
We …

Issues, News, Politics, Zocalo Public Square »

Photos: Getting coverage at a pop-up Obamacare center

Posted November 21, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Salcido11

If California has a capital of Obamacare enrollment, you’ll find it at a Los Angeles mall next to a Sears, on the second floor of 3650 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
This is the office of Crenshaw Health Partners, in the heart of the Crenshaw district. As the second open enrollment period under Obamacare gets underway, you’ll be seeing pictures of people signing up for …

California Elections, economy, Health Care, News, Politics, Zocalo Public Square »

Mixer: Health of healthcare reform, a checkup

Posted November 14, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
friday mixer square

Millions again are expected to sign up for their health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
They are prodded by an individual mandate that says they must do that. Starting next year, employers will join in on being prodded to offer coverage.
A lot of folks who found it difficult or too costly to get insurance are now able to do that.
But Republicans, fresh off their …

Arts & Culture, Commentary, Environment, Zocalo Public Square »

The true-life (insect) cannibals and murderers of LA

Posted November 13, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Pseudacteon amuletum. Photo credit: Phyllis Sun/ Natural History Museum of LA

As you get into your car in the parking lot of the Trader Joe’s in Silver Lake, you might just be within arm’s reach of cannibals. Not the human kind – but the insect variety.
Inside a wasp that is buzzing around a nearby bush dwells a bug known as the twisted wing parasite. These tiny insects are genetically close to flies and resemble nothing …

Commentary, News, Politics, Zocalo Public Square »

Mexicans stand by their missing students

Posted November 12, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Photo by Elías Nahmías, a filmmaker based in Mexico City.

Forty three students from a small rural teachers’ college in Mexico’s mountainous southern backwater have jolted this nation out of its decade-long immunity to a proper outrage to mass violence, and threatened to hijack President Enrique Peña Nieto’s triumphant narrative that Mexico was back on track, destined for First Worldliness. These poor students did this, tragically, by disappearing, at the hands of local security …

Commentary, economy, Education, Issues, Zocalo Public Square »

The military drawdown means more vets will be looking for work at home

Posted November 11, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
2008 Vet Job Fair in Redford, MI sponsored by State of Michigan, Military Veterans Services (Photo via Debra Drummond/Flickr/CC)

As the military drawdown in Afghanistan continues, the United States will add an additional 80,000 veterans from the Army alone to the civilian workforce. This is on top of the normal annual rate of separations from military service. On this Veterans Day, let’s think about all of America’s soldiers who are receiving pink slips.
Members of the military receive rigorous training from a very selective …

Arts & Culture, Commentary, News, Zocalo Public Square »

Finding Martin Luther King, Jr. at the thrift store

Posted November 10, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
From right to left: G. Homer Durham, Martin Luther King, Jr., Ralph Abernathy, an unidentified participant, Rev. Louis Eaton and Msgr. Robert Donahoe at Goodwin Stadium, Arizona State University. Martin Luther King addressed an audience of 8,000 people on the topic "Religious Witness for Human Dignity."
June 3, 1964
Photo by: MRD #2, Monsignor Robert Donahoe Collection, Arizona Collection, Arizona State University Libraries

I have always been a picker. When I was a kid, this meant searching the desert near my home in Douglas, Arizona, for old bottles and interesting rocks. Later in life, after I moved to Phoenix, my collecting interest turned to record albums. My husband had gotten me interested in jazz, and I began haunting local thrift stores in search of old LPs featuring …

California Elections, Commentary, Issues, Politics, Race for Mayor, Zocalo Public Square »

Mixer: Pulling lever or pulling teeth?

Posted October 31, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
friday mixer square

Exercising is tough. Voting is (relatively) easy. So why don’t Americans work that out?
Judging by meager turnout, Americans aren’t the most engaged people when it comes to voting… especially in off-year elections.
For last year’s mayoral election in Los Angeles, only about 23 percent of voters turned out at the polls.
Americans over 18-years old and registered to vote, and who haven’t had that right taken away, have …

California Elections, Commentary, Zocalo Public Square »

How to get everyone to vote

Posted October 31, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
vote

I did not receive the warmest welcome from my colleagues four years ago, at my very first meeting of the Falun Election Commission. In fact, most members of the authority in Falun, the Swedish city of 57,000 where I live, were surprised I had called a meeting at all.
“What is this all about?” a colleague asked me. “The next elections are in four years …

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