California Elections, economy, Environment, 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 …

Bad Driving, Commentary, economy, Environment, 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, 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 …

economy, Education, Issues, News, Sports, Zocalo Public Square »

Mixer: Locked up, then locked out

Posted September 19, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
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This week, the Federal Reserve Board kept interest rates low, and vowed to keep them low for a “considerable time.”
And then there was the wonky we could raise rates down the road if the economy starts moving faster stuff.
The job market, says the Fed, is affected by myriad happenings: An economy that’s still sluggish, and recovering from a Great Recession. An older population. Jobs …

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

Mixer: Thread and bread, the cartel connection

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

Hundreds of federal agents descended this week on downtown Los Angeles’ Fashion District, making arrests as part of what prosecutors say is a sophisticated operation to launder money for Mexican drug cartels.
Authorities took 9 people into custody, and seized more than $90 million.
Federal prosecutors are calling it “Operation Fashion Police”.
Joe Mathews, from Zocalo Public Square, and Joe Mozingo, who reports for the Los Angeles …

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 …

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 …

Arts & Culture, California Elections, Commentary, economy, Environment, 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, Environment, 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 …

Bad Driving, economy, Environment, Issues, LA Noir, Summer, Zocalo Public Square »

Mixer: Lane-splitting motorcyclists

Posted August 8, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
friday mixer square

I don’t have to tell you how much time we spend in our cars here in Southern California. You’re probably reading this in your car right now.
I hope not.
Because it’s hard (and illegal) enough to take your eyes off the road to avoid crunching the guy in front of you. You also have to look left or right to make sure you don’t cause …

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, 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 …

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

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

Posted July 18, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
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, News, Zocalo Public Square »

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

Posted June 6, 2014 by | 5 Comments | ]
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, Zocalo Public Square »

Reflections on the Santa Monica College shooting, one year later

Posted June 6, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
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, Politics, Sports, Zocalo Public Square »

Is Donald Sterling a product of Los Angeles?

Posted April 29, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
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, Zocalo Public Square »

Do you belong somewhere?

Posted April 25, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
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

Posted April 10, 2014 by | 3 Comments | ]
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, News, Zocalo Public Square »

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

Posted March 17, 2014 by | 3 Comments | ]
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, Zocalo Public Square »

The perilous life of a camera operator

Posted March 14, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
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 …

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