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 …

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, Commentary, Environment, Zocalo Public Square »

The true-life (insect) cannibals and murderers of LA

Posted November 13, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Pseudacteon amuletum. Photo credit: Phyllis Sun/ Natural History Museum of LA

As you get into your car in the parking lot of the Trader Joe’s in Silver Lake, you might just be within arm’s reach of cannibals. Not the human kind – but the insect variety.
Inside a wasp that is buzzing around a nearby bush dwells a bug known as the twisted wing parasite. These tiny insects are genetically close to flies and resemble nothing …

economy, Issues, News, Warren Olney »

Will LA crackdown on Airbnb?

Posted November 12, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
Pictured: Joel Mandelkorn and Mandee Johnson's living room in their Del Rey apartment. The couple rents their second bedroom out on AirBnB.

Vacationing in Los Angeles can be pricey. Hotel rooms can cost hundreds of dollars, and living conditions at hostels — long the dominion of young backpackers– don’t appeal to all travelers.
Airbnb seems to offer a solution. The social networking site, which connects vacationers with short-term rentals, has exploded in popularity. There are 14,000 listings currently available in LA, up from 4,000 just two years ago.
But current laws governing the hospitality business are …

Arts & Culture, Dogs of LA, economy, Environment, Health Care, Interviews, News »

Rethinking the future of Auschwitz

Posted November 6, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
"Thinking the Future of Auschwitz" | IDEA Office | www.ideaoffice.net

The word “Auschwitz” has come to mean more than just the concentration camp in Poland. It’s shorthand for the horrors of the Holocaust, and proof of man’s capacity for extreme inhumanity to man.
But nearly 70 years after the Second World War ended, there’s an ongoing debate among historians, architects and archaeologists about how to properly preserve the site of the atrocities, specifically the neighboring …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, News, Sports »

After Chivas USA disbands, new MLS franchise emerges in Los Angeles

Posted October 31, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Soccer balls were distributed to reporters to celebrate LA's new soccer team.

Major League Soccer officials have announced that a new franchise will begin playing in Los Angeles in 2017. The team replaces Chivas USA, which disbanded this week after a difficult 10 years.

For now, the new L.A. team is known simply as Los Angeles Football Club (the “working title,” in Hollywood parlance). The league said it wants fans to help pick the name, logo and …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, News »

The obsessive collectors of Southern California

Posted October 24, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
David Boulé, California orange enthusiast. Photo by Gary Leonard

Sometimes collecting becomes more than a hobby. A new series of short films called Monomania L.A. profiles people who’ve obsessively collected everything related to a single aspect of Los Angeles history, from the California orange to the Santa Monica beach.

Call them “monomaniacs.” People like David Boulé, who for some reason, buy one thing, and then another thing like it.
“I have the collectors gene,” Boulé …

News »

Dancing pallbearers at Boyd Funeral Home

Posted October 13, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Sharply-dressed employees of Boyd Funeral Home of Los Angeles. Photo by Avishay Artsy

In a tough part of South Los Angeles, where gang violence is commonplace and the homicide rate is high, Boyd Funeral Home is changing the way death is marked. Music blares from the hearse, and pallbearers dressed in top hats and tails dance the casket down the church aisle.
Freelance radio producer Kathy Tu recently went to a funeral service conducted by Boyd Funeral Home, …

Arts & Culture, Interviews »

Los Angeles says bye-bye to flat-top skyscrapers

Posted September 29, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
View of Los Angeles' downtown skyline. Photo by jondoeforty1 via Flickr/CC.

Los Angeles is home to 745 of the state’s 1,700 high-rises, and it is the only city in America that requires flat rooftop helipads. But as of today, that rule is no longer in effect.
LA Mayor Eric Garcetti joined Councilman Jose Huizar and fire Chief Ralph Terrazas at the top of the AT&T Center building to announce the changes to the 1974 rule.
The revised …

economy, Environment, Issues, News, Politics, Water and the Drought »

Are we facing a megadrought?

Posted September 12, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Some government buildings have stopped watering their lawns. Photo via Flickr/ CC/ Kevin Cortopassi

California is three years into what some are saying could become a megadrought, a dry spell lasting several decades.
The drought is so dire that a certain golf course in the Montecito area is shipping in nearly $90,000 of water per month for its grass, and one-third of the town itself is shipping in bottled water. Meanwhile, those living in towns like the working-class, farm community of …

News »

Obamacare starts bringing relief to low-income drug addicts

Posted September 10, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
NUNEZJPG

New coverage pays for drug addiction treatment services like Methadone, but access to detox centers remains limited.
 
“It’s Dark Thirty out there,” says Tamara Nunez after I follow her into Matrix Institute, a clean but shabby two-story addiction clinic in Mid-City Los Angeles. It’s Five-Thirty A.M. and even though the sun is just coming up, ten patients are already waiting in line. Nunez is dressed in a …

Arts & Culture, Environment, Health Care, Issues, News, Politics »

Why L.A. needs a resilience czar

Posted September 5, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Northridge Earthquake, CA, January 17, 1994 -- An aerial view of destruction caused by the 6.7 magnitude earthquake. Damage costs were estimated at $25 billion. FEMA News Photo
Date	17 January 1994

For the first time in human history, the majority of the world’s population (currently 7.1 billion) lives in urban settings. While urban living offers many attractions — employment opportunities, higher education, entertainment, health care, and public transportation – the changes we make to the natural landscape to accommodate and support our current population often makes us vulnerable to human and environmental threats. And when …

Dogs of LA, News »

What do you have in common with your dog?

Posted September 4, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
jennifer_rich

As part of KCRW’s Dogs of LA mapping and storytelling project, we’ve collected anecdotes about the hobbies, hairstyles, and bad habits Angelenos share with their pets.
“We have anxiety disorder in common,” said Jennifer Ritch, who lives in Venice resident with her “purebred mutt” Emma. “She’s a bit of a worrier, and so am I. A bit impulsive sometimes. A little hypersensitive, which I tend to be.”
Perhaps owners are attracted …

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 …

Interviews, News, Politics »

‘Why do you have to post that stuff?: LA’s Iranian diaspora responds to the arrest of Washington Post journalist

Posted August 14, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Jason Rezaian, Tehran Bureau Chief for the Washington Post, was arrested three weeks ago on unspecified charges by the Iranian authorities (Photo credit:  Jason Rezaian's Twitter page).

The arrest of Jason Rezaian – the Washington Post’s Tehran Bureau Chief — his wife, and two other journalists in Iran three weeks ago has sparked an international outcry for their immediate release.
Here in Southern California, Rezaian’s detainment is both troubling and, in many ways, predictable for the Iranian-American community.
Referred to “Tehrangeles” by local residents, L.A. is a nexus for Iranians in the U.S., with an estimated half a million …

Issues, News »

Growing up in the Baldwin Village ‘Jungle’

Posted August 11, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Photo by Andre Ellis

In 1977, my parents moved my two siblings and me into a second-story, 3-bedroom apartment on Santo Tomas Drive in the Crenshaw area of Los Angeles.
It was one unit within a one-square mile section of apartments informally called “The Jungle.” The area included apartment buildings with whimsical names like Coco Capri and The Islander and boasted swimming pools, large living spaces, courtyards with palm …

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 …

Arts & Culture »

Who is your favorite LA songwriter? KCRW’s Anthony Valadez and others weigh in!

Posted July 25, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
640px-Stevie_Wonder_1973

The Mamas & the Papas longed to be “safe and warm” in L.A. Tom Petty sang about a “freeway runnin’ through the yard.” And in “L.A. is My Lady,” Frank Sinatra crooned: “I brought her my wildest of dreams and she came up with the answer.”
The long list of songs about Los Angeles includes odes to cruising on Sunset, experiencing the rare rainy day, …

Arts & Culture, Environment, Interviews, News »

Photos: Remembering Pacific Ocean Park

Posted July 23, 2014 by | 11 Comments | ]
1

From the late 1950s to the late ‘60s, Angelenos looking for music, dancing and rides, found the party at Pacific Ocean Park.
The beachside theme park – that jetted out into the Pacific – sat on 28 acres of land at the border of Santa Monica and Venice.
It featured rides created by Hollywood set designers, setting it apart from the standard, ordinary rides at Santa …

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