Environment, News »

Can hydrogen cars beat electric?

Posted October 20, 2014 by | 2 Comments | ]
Driving his hydrogen-powered Mercedes-Benz SUV test vehicle, Loki Efaw, an IT manager at a bank, is a rare breed . There are only about 200 hydrogen cars on the streets of California. Efaw chose to lease the car, which is part of test by Mercedes,  because of his environmental convictions and interest in trying new technologies. (Photo: Saul Gonzalez)

California has big plans for hydrogen fueled vehicles in the coming years as part of its effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fight climate change.
If your high school chemistry didn’t stick, here are some hydrogen facts: Sitting first on the periodic table, it’s the most abundant element in the universe, the raw material responsible for thermonuclear reactions in stars, including our sun. And, of course, when …

Arts & Culture, Environment, 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, 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, economy, Education, Health Care, Interviews, Issues, News »

Skid Row artists display their work at MOCA

Posted July 18, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
SKID ROW feature

Downtown LA’s Skid Row hosts the largest concentration of homeless people in the country.
KCRW’s Press Play  covered the city’s latest efforts to address the growing number of people affected by homeless.  The recent Department of Veterans Affairs scandal has motivated many, including First Lady Michelle Obama, to scrutinize how we care for our country’s homeless veterans.
Local officials are trying to change their approach to homeless …

Environment, News, Santa Barbara »

A drought in paradise as Santa Barbara struggles with a very dry year

Posted June 16, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
In response to its dwindling supply of water, Santa Barbara City's Council has declared a Stage Two drought alert, requiring a 20% or more reduction in residential and commercial water use. That means the watering of gardens is limited to the early morning and evening hours, the washing or hosing down of pavement is generally prohibited,cars must be washed at commercial facilities instead of homes, and drought notices are required at hotels and restaurants. (Photo: Saul Gonzalez)

Communities across California are  implementing emergency conservation measures to save water during what has become one of the state’s worst droughts.
One of the places most affected by the drought is also one of the state’s richest communities: Santa Barbara.
For decades, Santa Barbara has sold itself as a kind of seaside Shangri-La. It’s a place of beautiful beaches, gorgeous Spanish-inspired architecture and lush gardens. But …

News, Sports »

Southern California gets ready for the World Cup

Posted June 11, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Local bars like Ye Olde Kings Head will be showing the games. The four-hour time difference between California and Rio de Janeiro means business will be good. Photo: Saul Gonzalez

Every four years, billions of people across the planet, usually divided by faith, politics and language, come together to focus their attentions and passions on the World Cup, the highest profile soccer (or football, if you prefer) competition in the world. This year the World Cup is being held in Brazil, where 32 qualifying national teams will play at 12 different stadiums across the …

California Elections »

What to know about the ‘down ballot’ races when you vote

Posted May 27, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
There are an enormous number of candidates on the June 3 ballot. Just the statewide races include Governor, Lt. Governor, Secretary of State, Controller, Treasurer, Attorney General, Insurance Commissioner, Superintendent for Public Instruction and various seats for California's Board of Equalization. There are also two statewide ballot initiatives. But that's not all! There are also all of the county by county elections in the state. (Photo: Saul Gonzalez)

Do you recognize any of the following names: Akinyemi Agbede, Joe Leicht, Alma Marie Winston? No? They’re among the 15 people running for the state’s highest office, Governor of California.  There are eight more people running for Lt. Governor, seven candidates for Attorney General and eight on the ballot for Secretary of State.
The June 3rd election is just around the corner. It’s a day …

Arts & Culture, News »

Transition to digital leaves Hollywood without film

Posted May 8, 2014 by | 9 Comments | ]
The Vineland Drive-In Movie Theater is on of the last surviving drive-ins in Southern California. It has a retro, well-worn feel to it, but the Vineland's converted to projecting its movies digitally instead of on film. "We were forced to transition to the digital system because they are going to stop making 35 millimeter print, so either you change, or you won't get any movies eventually, say Juan Gonzalez, the Vineland's general manager. (Photo: Saul Gonzalez)

Hollywood is in the midst of a titanic technological shift as it moves from shooting and distributing its movies on film, long the raw material of the movie business, to digital formats. While some are prospering as cinema goes digital, others are casualties of the change. There are small armies of people who once worked in Hollywood’s enormous film processing labs. These were the …

Arts & Culture »

Yahtzee and biscotti: A visit to Southern California’s board game cafe

Posted May 1, 2014 by | 6 Comments | ]
Since it opened last year, Gamehaüs has attracted a loyal local following and become a must-stop place for board game enthusiasts, blogger and designers visiting Los Angeles. For a $5 dollar cover charge, people can sit-down and play as many games as they want for as long as they want. Many come here as a way to find old-fashioned entertainment and human contact beyond their digital devices. (Photo: Saul Gonzalez)

We’re betting that in your home or apartment there’s probably a tabletop board game, like “Monopoly,” “Candy Land,” or “Clue,” somewhere.
Maybe it’s one under the couch in the den, or you have several stacked in small towers in a hall closet. If you haven’t played in a while and those games are gathering dust, you might think board games were relics, made obsolete by …

Issues, News »

California works to get drivers’ licenses to the unlicensed

Posted April 23, 2014 by | 3 Comments | ]
Unlike a conventional California driver license, the one issued to undocumented motorists will have distinguishing marks, most prominently "DP" will be stamped on it, standing for driving privilege. Some undocumented drivers and immigration rights activists have expressed concerns that motorists could be singled out for possible deportation or police harassment if stopped and asked to show the new license.  Unrelated to the new law, some California cities, like Los Angeles, have special rules in place that prevent police asking about people's immigration status. (Photo: Saul Gonzalez)

There’s a big change coming to California’s driving rules. Because of  the passage of Assembly Bill 60, or AB 60, by January 1st of 2015, the Department of Motor Vehicles will make drivers’ licenses available to people regardless of their immigration status in the United States. The law is a reaction to the huge number of unlicensed drivers in California, many of whom are …

Interviews, News »

Jaron Lanier: ‘The Internet is worse’ than Congress

Posted April 23, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
Jaron Lanier with his khene outside the KCRW studio.

For best-selling author Jaron Lanier, society’s dependence on digital networks kindled the economic recession and is responsible for the declining middle class. “What’s happening here is that we’re centralizing all the wealth with whoever has the biggest computer,” Lanier said, adding that the “Internet is worse [than Congress].”
Lanier is a computer systems expert, futurist, music composer, and virtual reality pioneer. He sold a start-up to Google …

Education, Interviews, Issues, LA Noir, Politics »

Mixer: Sheriff’s union dust-up and school money comes-up

Posted April 4, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
friday mixer square

Cindy Chang from the LA Times and Vanessa Romo from LASchoolReport.com joined us to mix it up today.
There’s a strange battle going on within the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs, and now a judge has gotten involved.
Last month, newly elected president Armando Macias was kicked out and a different president installed.
But Macias refused to give up his seat, bringing at least two union board members with …

Arts & Culture, News »

Exploring the noir halls of LA County’s Hall of Justice

Posted April 3, 2014 by | 5 Comments | ]
The Hall of justice

For most of the 20th Century, one building was synonymous with crime and punishment in  Los Angeles County, downtown L.A.’s Hall of Justice. The building, which opened in 1925, was where both the county’s D.A. and sheriff had their offices. The mammoth building saw some of Southern California’s most infamous criminals held and put on trial, from 1930′s era gangsters and gunmen to more …

economy, News »

California’s new Latino plurality

Posted March 26, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
The rate of growth in California's Latino population is starting to slow. Population experts say that's become a decrease in immigration, both legal and illegal, from Mexico and Central America and Latino families in this country choosing to have fewer children. (Photo by Saul Gonzalez)

This month, March of 2014, California will quietly break a population history, with Latinos surpassing whites as the state’s largest racial or ethnic group. Latinos become the single largest racial or ethnic group in California at 39.9% of the population. Whites now come in second at 38.8%. Looking ahead, demographers say the state’s Latino population will grow and increase relative to whites and other ethnic …

Arts & Culture, News »

#CouchXSW: How to enjoy the best of SXSW Interactive, without leaving home

Posted March 7, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
256_SXSW

Bummed you’re missing the 21st Annual SXSW Interactive Festival this weekend? Don’t be. You can enjoy the best of what SXSW Interactive has to offer without getting up off the couch. So brew a fresh pot of coffee and prepare to be enlightened. When your friends get back from Austin next week, they’ll be jealous that you learned just as much as they did without having to …

Environment, News, Politics, Water and the Drought »

Inside Mission Control: Southern California’s water management system

Posted February 20, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
Colorado_Aqueduct_publicity_booth_1930

Your water takes a very long journey before it comes out of your tap. It travels through thousands of miles of pipes and aqueducts, enormous open-air and underground reservoirs, and a network of treatment plants that ensure the quality of our drinking water.
Southern California’s vast water delivery and storage system also has a kind of mission control center. Think NASA’s Johnson Spaceflight Center, but for …

News »

Building the Wilshire Grand: L.A.’s tallest tower

Posted February 10, 2014 by | 10 Comments | ]
Some workers on the Wilshire Grand Project will spend the next two years helping to build the skyscraper. Although much has changed in how skyscrapers have been built over the past century, a lot of it still comes down to muscle, sweat and strong backs. (Photo by Saul Gonzalez)

Serious construction is about to begin on something big in downtown Los Angeles: a building that when completed will be the tallest skyscraper west of the Mississippi. Called the Wilshire Grand Tower, it will feature more than 900 hotel rooms, offices and retail spaces. It will be topped by a sail-shaped glass pediment crown. Because of its height alone — 1,100 feet with a …

News »

Mixer: More than a case of mistaken ID in Dorner-related shooting

Posted February 7, 2014 by | 4 Comments | ]
friday mixer square

It’s been a year to the day since Los Angeles Police officers shot at a pickup truck in Torrance they thought belonged to fugitive and ex-LAPD officer Christopher Dorner.
Dorner had been fired from the force, written an internet manifesto alleging a culture of discrimination and intimidation, and went on a killing spree against those he believed were behind his firing.
The pickup truck, which was …

Arts & Culture, News »

Los Angeles in a new light

Posted February 7, 2014 by | 14 Comments | ]
Photo by Hector Sanchez via Flickr/ CreativeCommons

In a move to make LA more energy-efficient, the city has been changing the light bulbs. Since 2009, over 140,000 sodium-vapor street lights were switched to new LED ones in the first phase of the world’s largest lighting retrofit.
According to Forbes, “The City of Los Angeles estimates it will see at least $7 million in electricity savings and $2.5 million in avoided maintenance costs …

Arts & Culture »

Remembering Philip Seymour Hoffman

Posted February 2, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
Philip_Seymour_Hoffm480x172

Philip Seymour Hoffman, one of the most talented actors of his generation died Saturday from an apparent heroin overdose. The 46-year old actor appeared in more than 50 films over the course of his career, and won an Oscar for “Capote.”  As The Atlantic writes, “He could puff himself up and play larger than life, but his specialty was to find the quiet dignity …

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