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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, Headline, 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 But as of today, that rule is no longer in effect.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, Featured, 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 …

Featured, 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, Featured, 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, Headline, 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 …

Featured, 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 …

Featured, 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, Headline, 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, Featured »

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, Featured, Headline, Interviews, News »

Photos: Remembering Pacific Ocean Park

Posted July 23, 2014 by | 10 Comments | ]
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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 …

Arts & Culture, economy, Education, Headline, 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 …

Arts & Culture, Featured, News »

Taiko drumming: ‘Not just Asian anymore’

Posted July 18, 2014 by | 4 Comments | ]
Maz Baba

This week, 500 international masters and scholars of Taiko have descended on Los Angeles for an unprecedented gathering.
They’re dissecting every aspect of this unique style of drumming and performance, and this weekend in Little Tokyo, they’ll show their stuff in several public performances.
To mark the occasion, we spoke with Masato Baba, considered to be the best Taiko drummer in the United States. A native …

economy, Featured, Issues, LA Noir, News, Politics, Silicon Beach »

Mixer: Reporting from a foreign land is tough – just ask a Brit in LA

Posted July 11, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
friday mixer square

For people who are not familiar with Los Angeles – who aren’t from here, but have to report about the things happening around here, particularly from a media and business standpoint – our neighborhood can be a pretty daunting place.  
All the eccentricities, idiosyncrasies, and moving parts behind-the-scenes make for all kinds of drama fit for an epic Hollywood screenplay.
But in real life, Matthew …

Featured, Interviews, Issues, News, Politics »

LA County CEO William Fujioka to step down

Posted June 26, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
Outgoing LA County CEO William Fujioka

Los Angeles County CEO William Fujioka says he will retire in November, after more than seven years as the county’s top official and more than 40 years in public service. Fujioka says he planned to leave five years ago, but the Great Recession led him to postpone his leave.
He spoke to KCRW’s Avishay Artsy about whether the County is better off now than it …

Arts & Culture, Environment, Headline, News »

An olfactory guide to Los Angeles

Posted June 25, 2014 by | 3 Comments | ]
KCRW's Steve Chiotakis, left, takes a big whiff of East LA from a scent strip held by artist Brian Goeltzenleuchter.

What does your neighborhood smell like?
It’s not a question we ask ourselves often, and yet it’s something we notice every day. Is it the smell of sea air, freshly-cut grass, car exhaust, bacon-wrapped hot dogs, urine, or something else?
Los Angeles artist Brian Goeltzenleuchter posted a survey online and received dozens of responses. He used that information to create 11 scents that correspond to different …

California Elections, economy, Environment, Issues, LA Noir, News, Politics, The New Mayor »

Mixer: Tripping on sidewalks and all those pot shops

Posted June 20, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
friday mixer square

A Los Angeles City Council committee has voted to conduct a pilot program to replace some problem sidewalks, with a material that’s a bit more resilient and porous.
Those are things like rubber, crushed asphalt, or decomposed granite.
Adrian Glick-Kudler, senior editor at Curbed LA, says the idea is that the more porous the material, the more water that material will allow to seep into groundwater …

Arts & Culture, Featured, Headline, Interviews, Politics »

What’s the big f*&#ing deal with the F-word?

Posted June 17, 2014 by | 3 Comments | ]
LA Mayor Eric Garcetti at the LA Kings rally at the Staples Center on Monday, June 16.

The F-bomb that Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti dropped on the city on Monday has quickly blown up into a debate over what politicians should be allowed to get away with these days.
Speaking in front of thousands of fans at a public rally celebrating the LA Kings’ Stanley Cup victory, Garcetti told everyone there are two things an elected official should never do in …

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