California Elections, Commentary, economy, Interviews, Issues, News, Politics, Press Play: Making LA, Silicon Beach, The New Mayor »

Making LA: Government

Posted July 2, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]

The greater metro LA area has about 16 million people. Ten million of those — more than a quarter of the state’s residents — live in LA County, the most populous county in the country.
And LA County encompasses not just the city of LA (population 4 million, second only to New York), but 87 other independent cities.
That’s a lot of government. And as a …

News, The Minimum Wage »

The battle to raise the minimum wage in Los Angeles

Posted May 19, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
Minimum Wage rally

Update: The LA City Council has voted 14-1 in favor of drafting a plan to raise the minimum wage.

At a recent event at Los Angeles’ City Hall to honor L.A.’s small business owners, Mayor Eric Garcetti trumpeted the city’s economic achievements during his time in office.
The audience, business owners listening to Garcetti, sat politely; but just under the surface there was anger and anxiety about proposals …

Arts & Culture, News »

California’s new production tax program aims to keep and create jobs

Posted May 12, 2015 by | 1 Comment | ]
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A big budget movie called “San Andreas” is coming out just in time for the summer blockbuster season. It’s a film with a very California storyline: Monster earthquakes strike the state, flattening both Los Angeles and San Francisco.
California may play a starring role in San Andreas, but most of the movie wasn’t shot in Golden State. It was shot an ocean away in Queensland, Australia. That’s because the …

Issues, News »

Police blasted over Venice shooting

Posted May 8, 2015 by | 3 Comments | ]
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Police and city officials met Thursday night with residents and activists in a standing-room-only town hall, two days after police fatally shot an unarmed homeless man near the Venice boardwalk.
Emotions were running high in the Westminster Elementary School auditorium. Voices were high too. Several times, audience members shouted down the officials who were trying to make introductory remarks.
City Councilman Mike Bonin said the fatal shooting …

Arts & Culture, LA Noir »

iPhone-wielding gawkers blinded by whiteout on Sunset

Posted April 27, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
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Locals have long called the scary-looking dilapidated structure at the corner of Sunset Blvd. and Bates Ave. the Bates Motel, though that’s not really its name. It just reminds people of the iconic motel in Hitchcock’s Psycho.
The former Sunset Pacific Hotel has been long-abandoned. Back when he was a City Councilman, Mayor Eric Garcetti called this one of the most troublesome properties in the city. …

Environment, Water and the Drought »

California farmers struggle during the drought

Posted April 27, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
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“Last year our holding pond dried up for the first time,” said Dawn Birch farmer in 3 rivers California, “and we went for eight weeks without a drop of water.” She said that they had to take out a bunch of their apple trees, because they drink so much water. She now buries their drip lines, so the water goes directly to the roots. “I think …

Environment »

Nepal earthquake: How to help

Posted April 26, 2015 by | 8 Comments | ]
IFRC/Carl Whetham, Kathmandu, Nepal

Updated: May 12, 2015
Another earthquake struck Nepal on Tuesday, just three weeks after the massive 7.8 quake that killed more than 8,000 people. Tuesday’s 7.3 temblor already caused a rising number of deaths, and flattened some buildings, which had withstood the previous earthquake.
Below is the original post with a list of relief organizations working to help Nepal.
Google has launched a People Finder tool to connect victims with relatives …

Commentary, Interviews, Issues, News, Politics »

Mixer: The word “genocide,” and its importance to Armenians

Posted April 24, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
friday mixer square

From Kim Kardashian to the Pope, the cause to recognize the Armenian genocide has gotten vocal support in recent weeks, leading up to today’s centennial anniversary.
Armenians point to solid evidence from historians that genocide, at the hands of the Ottoman Turks, indeed took place. But Turkey claims it was not genocide, only killings that took place during turmoil amid a relocation effort. The United States, a …

News »

California’s nearly forgotten history of resettling Vietnamese refugees in 1975

Posted April 22, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
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Forty years ago this month, the final shots of the Vietnam War were being fired. In the besieged city of Saigon, desperate South Vietnamese, who had allied themselves with the Americans, were looking for a way to get themselves and their families out by airplane, helicopter or boat.
A hasty rescue effort dubbed “Operation New Life,” organized by the U.S. government would eventually bring more than 130,000 Vietnamese …

Arts & Culture, economy, Environment »

How your garden tells the story of immigration in Southern California

Posted March 19, 2015 by | 5 Comments | ]
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The buzzing of leaf blowers, weed whackers and lawnmowers are part of Southern California’s sonic landscape. And the people usually holding those machines are Latino immigrant men, who call themselves jardineros, Spanish for gardeners. It’s their labor that gives curb appeal to so many homes, keeping lawns neatly trimmed, hedges pruned and weeds at bay.
The story of the jardineros also reveals the long relationship between immigration and the …

Arts & Culture, News »

Do you remember ‘We Are the World’?

Posted March 6, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
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On March 7, 1985, singers and songwriters heeded a certain call, and released a monumental song.
‘We Are the World’ – written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, and produced by Quincy Jones and Michael Omartian – was recorded for an organization called USA for Africa (USA standing for United Support of Artists).
The studio tracks were laid down over the course of several days 30 years ago at two …

News »

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 | ]
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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 | ]
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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 | ]
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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 | ]
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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 …

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