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

Mixer: High LA rents; are wages keeping up?

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 …

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

Mixer: The state of a border state, where Murrieta marks the spot

friday mixer square

This week, House Speaker John Boehner said it’ll be difficult to monetarily address the flow of undocumented kids across the U.S./Mexico border, until the 2008 law that allowed their travels to the aforementioned place is changed. Boehner said the anti-trafficking regulations that were put in place during the waning year of the Bush administration are being abused, and that he doesn’t foresee much progress …

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

L.A. graffiti artists inspired by 400-year-old books (Photos)

Foreground: wall at ESMoA’s “Scratch” exhibit curated by Defer, featuring Cryptik, Patrick Martinez, Saber, Prime, Big Sleepz, and Gajin Fujita. Background: wall curated by Eyeone, featuring Gorgs, Tanner, Kozem, and Swank
Courtesy Getty Research Institute

When Johnny Cash covered Nine Inch Nails, he revealed the beautiful dissonance of kindred spirits from two different worlds interpreting a single piece of art. “Scratch,” a new exhibition opening tomorrow at the ESMoA art laboratory in El Segundo, puts that same sensibility on display through the work of street artists inspired by rare books from the 15th to 18th centuries.
In 2012, art collector …

Commentary, Headline, Zocalo Public Square »

Reflections on the Santa Monica College shooting, one year later

SMC community members set up a memorial for those killed. (Photo: Avishay Artsy)

Terror arrived at my college a year ago this month. On June 7, 2013, a man, wielding a .223 caliber assault rifle and a handgun and strapped with 1,300 rounds of ammunition, killed his brother and father in Santa Monica and set their house ablaze. Then he commandeered a passing car, shot up a bus and sprayed bullets across an intersection, before ordering the …

Arts & Culture, Featured, Headline, Politics, Sports, Zocalo Public Square »

Is Donald Sterling a product of Los Angeles?

sterling

Late in Quentin Tarantino’s 1994 film Pulp Fiction, Marsellus Wallace—a criminal boss played by Ving Rhames—banishes prizefighter Butch Coolidge (Bruce Willis) from Southern California. “You lost all your L.A. privileges,” Rhames says with lethal menace, and Willis leaves the Southland on his motorcycle.
If only it were that easy to kick Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling out of L.A. But, alas, Tarantino’s film is …

Arts & Culture, Featured, Zocalo Public Square »

Do you belong somewhere?

Photo by Matthew Rutledge/CC/Flickr.

Forty-four years ago—well before the advent of the mobile phone, Wi-Fi, and social media—fabled futurist Alvin Toffler predicted a “historic decline in the significance of place to human life.” No country has proven him more right than the United States.
Let’s face it. We are a nation of commitment-phobes, always eager to liberate ourselves from life’s constraints. Unhappy with your family of origin? Form a family …

Arts & Culture, Zocalo Public Square »

LA bus videos that inspire you to breathe during your commute

bus

Whenever I am swinging my arms — a simple warm-up exercise as part of the practice of qigong, which cultivates energy by aligning mind, breath, and body — I imagine that I look like a repenting soul performing self-flagellation to random passersby.
I’ve mused for a long time about creating an urban opera involving scenes of bus riders spontaneously starting to hurl their arms in …

Education, Featured, News, Zocalo Public Square »

Where are the safety-net programs for low income college students?

Photo by j.o.h.n. walker/ via Flickr/ CC

If I were to get pregnant, I would know just where to go for help: the local offices of Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), the federally funded food and nutrition program; Planned Parenthood; and the Family Resource Center. All three are places where I stood in line for hours with my siblings as a child growing up in Watts. But finding local resources to …

Arts & Culture, Featured, Zocalo Public Square »

The perilous life of a camera operator

From the Slates for Sarah Facebook page.

Less than two weeks ago, I found my Facebook feed flooded with remembrances of 27-year-old Sarah Elizabeth Jones, a second assistant camerawoman who was struck by a train and killed in a terrible set accident in Georgia. My mind reeled for days. In my 10 years as a camera assistant in New York, from 1981 to 1991, I was endangered many times. But I …

Commentary, Environment, Featured, Zocalo Public Square »

Fed to the lions: Marius the giraffe and conflicting zoo cultures

Via Wikipedia: Copenhagen Zoo, Frederiksberg, Copenhagen, Denmark.

A few years ago, I attended a biannual convention of zoo nutritionists in Oklahoma for the book I was writing. Hanging out one night at the hotel bar with a group from around the United States, we got to talking about a practice in some European zoos that sounded shocking. It was called carcass-feeding, and like most Americans, I had never heard of it. …

Featured, Zocalo Public Square »

Quitting the NFL cold turkey

Photo by Parker Knight/ Flickr/ CC

Sunday’s national holiday has me feeling stressed out. The holiday, of course, is the Super Bowl, as likely to clear the streets and bring family together as Christmas. But this year it reminds me of all the insults I received when I wrote about my decision to boycott the NFL this season. One reader called me a “Nancy,” several called me a “nerd,” and someone …

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

Sweet, high art at the Museum of Donuts

The museum of Donuts in Ontario.

I’m used to the reaction now: a snicker, a raised eyebrow, and a pause, as they wait for the punch line.  My husband, Jan, and I couldn’t possibly run something called the Museum of Donuts in Ontario, California, could we?
In fact, we could and we do.  We turn donuts into art and hang them from the walls on the downstairs floor of our apartment, …

California Elections, Commentary, Headline, Politics, Zocalo Public Square »

Is it even possible to be an informed citizen?

Photo via Flickr by Loco Steve/ CreativeCommons

To be an engaged, informed citizen in California is to be hopelessly behind in your reading.
We’re told that we need to follow the big issues in California, that we need to be informed about policy debates, and that policymakers want our feedback on major proposals.  It all sounds reasonable enough, until you see the homework. The governor stresses the importance of his budget, but …

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

Deck the halls with California holly

Photo via Flickr by docentjoyce/ CreativeCommons

In Nancy Dale’s 1986 epic tome of Southern California native plants, “Flowering Plants,” she has this to say about toyon—aka California holly, Christmas berry, or, if you’re a botanist, “Heteromeles arbutifolia”: “It is thought that masses of this native shrub growing on the hills above Hollywood gave the community its name.”
This idea of floral origins for Hollywood is romantic. It’s also not true. Hollywood …

Commentary, Environment, Featured, News, Video, Zocalo Public Square »

Remembering the Baldwin Hills Dam disaster

Firemen escort flood victims in Baldwin Hills in the aftermath of the Baldwin Hills Dam disaster. They wade through the street using a safety rope. Photo dated: Dec. 15, 1963. 
Photography by Joe Rustan, courtesy: Los Angeles Public Library

 
My grandpa bought me a Honda 50 minibike for my 10th birthday. It was 1972, when the sight of a 10-year-old driving a motor bike raised few eyebrows, and I rode that Honda all over the Westside neighborhood where I lived at the time. I roared up and down the alley behind the UCLA married students’ housing on Sawtelle Boulevard and around the church …

Featured, News, Zocalo Public Square »

Feeling political strife in Thailand in Los Angeles

2010 photograph of a "Red Shirt" protest at Ratchaprasong intersection, an area in downtown Bangkok which was occupied by the red shirts between April 3, 2010, and May 19, 2010.

As you may have seen in the news, political strife in Thailand has reached a boiling point again. In the capital, Bangkok, hundreds of thousands of people recently took to the streets in a huge protest against actions by the governing political party. Some protestors stormed government buildings and media stations. The pro­government group also gathered, and fighting took place. Police attempted to contain …

Commentary, Environment, Featured, Zocalo Public Square »

City government is the problem – not Sriracha

Photo by tedeytan/ Flickr/CreativeCommons

Last week, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge ordered the Irwindale, California plant that produces the highly popular “rooster sauce” Sriracha to cease operations that could be emitting odors that are “extremely annoying, irritating and offensive to the senses warranting consideration as a public nuisance.”
Too bad the judge didn’t apply the same logic to the city government of Irwindale and shut it down …

Commentary, Featured, Zocalo Public Square »

Donuts for votes, and other ways to get people to go to the polls

Donut shop via Flickr by navets/ CreativeCommons

Until a change in the city charter 20 years ago, voters in some parts of Los Angeles were able to take stubs from their ballot, present them to local independent donut shops and receive a free dozen donuts, paid for by local Democrats.
Is it time to bring back donuts for votes? Certainly, the city is full of ideas in the wake of this year’s …

Arts & Culture, Commentary, Zocalo Public Square »

Can art save lives?

The Keiskamma Altarpiece, shown here at UCLA, is a powerful declaration of hope and solidarity in the fight against HIV/AIDS. (Photo courtesy http://makeartstopaids.org/ )

Twenty-five years ago, I was foraging through a museum bookstore and came upon an eye-catching title: “AIDS: Cultural Analysis/Cultural Activism.” The word “AIDS,” rendered on the cover in large font, seemed more than slightly dangerous in 1988, when so many lay sick and dying and there were no effective treatments on the horizon. Equally attention-grabbing was the book’s cover photograph of “Let the Record …

Commentary, Featured, Politics, Zocalo Public Square »

Should LA be the capital of California, and would that end corruption?

Sacramento Capitol Building at night. Photo via Flickr by Michael Dunn / Creative Commons

One thing that unites Americans, pretty much wherever they are from, is the conviction that their own state is singularly corrupt. Most states, if not all, have their harrowing stories of arrested governors or legislators, and local political folklore is filled with hair-raising corruption scandals. Just in the past few weeks, in California, State Senator Ron Calderon got stripped of all his legislative assignments, …

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

BROUGHT TO YOU BY