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 »

Photos: The Rocketeers of the Mojave Desert

Posted December 15, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
SONY DSC

Call it the Cape Canaveral of the desert. Twice a year, hundreds of amateur rocket enthusiasts with the Rocketry Organization of California gather on a dry lake bed in the Mojave to assemble rockets and launch them thousands of feet into the wild blue yonder.
The gathering, called ROCstock (tagline: “peace, love and rockets”), is part science fair, part party, part celebration of ingenuity and engineering …

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, News »

How ‘Tradition’ became a classic: Celebrating ‘Fiddler’ at 50

Posted December 12, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Lines of people swarmed the box office as soon as Fiddler opened/photo: Photofest

The Tony award-winning Broadway show turned Oscar-winning film, “Fiddler on the Roof,” didn’t look from the start to be a work that would endure for decades. It took the team who wrote the work, based on the 1905 writing of Sholem Aleichem, a number of attempts to massage it into the classic it became. “Twelve things a day,” was the mantra after early lackluster reviews in pre-Broadway tryouts, as …

Arts & Culture, Environment, Interviews, Issues, News »

Design solutions for climate change

Posted December 12, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
04_ASPBaanWatervilla2

There may be passionate debate about it in political circles as to whether it’s happening, or what’s causing it, but scientists almost completely agree: climate change is real, and will lead to rising sea levels and more extreme storms.
So how do we, as people, adapt?
Obviously, logic would tell us to try to stem the initial damage somehow.
But we, as people, also have to create things to …

Arts & Culture »

Bookworm: Favorite fiction of 2014

Posted December 12, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
collage_books

Last year was a good one for book lovers. KCRW’s Bookworm, Michael Silverblatt joined Madeleine Brand on Press Play to talk through some of his favorites from 2014. “I don’t consider them the best,” said Silverblatt, “I consider them my favorites. I would have to read everything to know what’s the best.”
These five books include moving tales of death, revelation, growing up, terror and what it feels like to be …

News »

The dawning of the age of… the drone

Posted December 12, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Photo by Lima Pix/Flickr/CC

Commercial drone flyers, enthusiasts and regulators are coming to L.A. this weekend for the first ever Drone Expo. It’s open to the public and features speakers, flying demonstrations, and drones for sale. And the chance to “meet the next Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak,” says Keith Kaplan, CEO of the Tesla foundation, which runs the organization behind the event, the non-profit Unmanned Autonomous Vehicle System …

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 …

Health Care, Issues, News »

Rate of unvaccinated kids starts declining in California

Posted December 10, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Immunization

More California kindergartners got their immunization shots before starting school this year than last year, reversing a decade-long trend.  The number of parents who filed “personal belief” forms exempting their kids from getting vaccinated dropped 20 percent this school year.
The Sacramento Bee reports the decline corresponds to the introduction of a new form that requires parents to get a doctor’s signature that acknowledges they’ve …

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