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The web reacts to the FCC’s vote for net neutrality

Posted February 26, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
Photo by Blaise Alleyne/CC/Flickr

This morning the FCC voted to uphold net neutrality rules, ensuring that Internet service providers will treat all websites and web traffic neutrally. Basically, you can rest assured that you will be able to watch your HBO shows just as seamlessly as your favorite Netflix shows.
The FCC determined that Internet service providers will now be classified under Title II of the Telecommunications Act, which regulates services like …

News »

Conflict over the Nixon Presidential Library

Posted February 17, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
Richard Millhouse Nixon was the 37th president of the United States. He built his early political career as a conservative and staunch anti-communist, but as president he went on to normalize relations with communist China and establish the Environmental Protection Agency. He was known for his keen intellect and deep interest in foreign policy, but critics say he could also be ruthless and paranoid when it came to his political enemies. (Photo: National Archives)

If you love 20th Century American history or are just a political junkie, visiting the Richard Nixon Presidential Library & Museum in Yorba Linda is a little like being a kid in a candy store. The library is an enormous storehouse of memorabilia related to the personal and political life of the man who went on to become America’s 37th president. Beneath the public areas, …

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

Mixer: The Haves and the Have Nots

Posted February 6, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
friday mixer square

We’re just into 2015, and here we are, talking about the presidential candidates for 2016. In speech after speech, Republican and Democratic candidates are weighing in on income inequality and the wealth gap. Or, as Jeb Bush called it this week, the “opportunity gap.”
A new multimedia series for Capital & Main launched this week, in a cross-California analysis of poverty and an increasing income …

California Elections, Issues, News »

DMV voter registration? It should be automatic

Posted February 6, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
dmv2

The Motor Voter Law was passed by Congress way back at the beginning of President Bill Clinton’s first term to make it easier for people to sign up to vote. It requires motor vehicle departments around the country to use driver’s license and ID card applications as voter registration forms.
But a report released yesterday by the public policy group Demos found that the Motor …

News »

As the bullet train picks up speed, neighborhoods fight back

Posted February 3, 2015 by | 7 Comments | ]
There are two routes being studied to get the train between Palmdale and Burbank. One involves essentially paralleling California State Route 14 in a series of bridges and tunnels, and then bringing the train through the communities of Sylmar and San Gabriel so that it eventually reaches Burbank. Another possible route for the high speed rail system, called the Eastern Corridor, means tunneling through the Angeles National Forest and building a bridge across the Tujunga Wash, seen in the photo above.  Another tunnel would then be dug under the community of Shadow Hills so that the train can get to a station in Burbank. (Photo: Saul Gonzalez)

After years of discussion and planning, California has finally started construction on its high speed rail system, which is supposed to connect Los Angeles and San Francisco by the year 2029.
There are countless engineering challenges ahead for the project, but there also challenges when it comes to dealing with communities potentially in the path of the bullet train. How do you choose a route that’s …

News »

Photos: Breaking ground for California’s bullet train in Fresno

Posted January 7, 2015 by | 1 Comment | ]
SONY DSC

After decades of talking about it and years of planning and preparation, California officials gathered in Fresno this week for a ceremonial groundbreaking for the state’s $68 billion bullet train project.
When finished in 2029 (or so it’s hoped) the train will connect San Francisco and Los Angeles, whisking passengers from one city to another in 2 hours and 40 minutes. The first 29 mile-long …

Arts & Culture, economy, News, Politics »

California gets ready to license undocumented drivers

Posted December 17, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
SONY DSC

In January, California will begin to offer driver’s licenses to an estimated 1.4 million undocumented immigrants, living and driving in the state illegally.
One of those unlicensed and undocumented drivers is Mexican-born single mother and retirement home worker Evangelina Ramirez. She’s been driving without a license in California for 20 years. “I am driving because it is not a luxury, it is a necessity,” says Ramirez. “I 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 …

Cargoland, economy, Environment, Interviews »

Cargoland: The billion-dollar trash trade

Posted December 4, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Automobile scrap (photo by Adam Minter)

Did you know one of the biggest exports through the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach is junk?
In economic terms, we call them recyclables. Most are going to China to be reused or refashioned into goods that country will then turn around and sell back to us.
All this week we’ve been hearing about the various activities that take place at the Ports of Los …

Cargoland, News »

Cargoland: San Pedro’s search for respect and development on the waterfront

Posted December 2, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
SONY DSC

If you think of the port community of San Pedro, likely the sights and sounds of its waterfront come to mind, from massive freighter ships moored to their docks as their cargo gets unloaded by enormous cranes to the sounds of seagulls circling above fishing vessels sailing into port, the birds hoping that they’ll share in the catch of the day.
Beyond its waterfront, San Pedro …

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 …

Environment, News »

Can hydrogen cars beat electric?

Posted October 20, 2014 by | 3 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 | 2 Comments | ]
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 | 7 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 …

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