economy, Environment, Headline, Issues, News, Politics, Sports »

Beds for bucks: L.A. mulls major tax breaks for hotels


The L.A. City Council considers giving nearly $180 million in tax subsidies to two big downtown hotel projects. And that could be just the start. The biggest immediate beneficiary would be the long-delayed Frank Gehry-designed Grand Avenue project, which includes housing retail and restaurants, in addition to a hotel. The development would receive $138 million over the next 25 years, according to the L.A. …

Featured, Sonic Trace »

Tracing Points: 5 immigration stories you missed this week

(U. S. Army photo by Sgt. Barry St. Clair)

Each week, we put you on the map with immigration and transnational culture stories you might have missed throughout the week. And if you’ve come across any articles worth mentioning, write to us or tweet us @SonicTrace_KCRW.
 Secure Communities program up for review
The program that sends immigrants, who are booked for local crimes,  to immigration officials is being looked into by Homeland Security Secretary Jeh …

Education, Environment, Headline, Issues, News »

Head of the L.A. NAACP is a casuality of Sterling affair


The president of the L.A. chapter of the NAACP has resigned over questions about the organization’s ties to disgraced Clippers owner Donald Sterling. Sterling was banned for life from the NBA this week after being caught on tape telling a female friend that he didn’t want her bringing blacks to games. The NAACP then rescinded a humanitarian award it planned to give the 80-year-old …

economy, Environment, Featured, Interviews, Issues, Politics, Warren Olney, water »

L.A. banks billions of gallons of water in San Gabriels


About six billion gallons of water poured into San Gabriel Mountain reservoirs during last week’s storm, according to the L.A. County Public Works. That was the largest single deposit of water into local storage facilities in more than two years. It’s enough water to supply more than 150,000 people for a year. Some of the county’s dams are now mostly filled, and water from …

economy, Education, Environment, Featured, Headline, Issues, News, Politics, Sports »

Brown’s budget reflects improving California economy


Governor Jerry Brown is unveiling a budget proposal this morning that reflects California’s improving fiscal picture, with more money targeted for schools healthcare and social services. The governor also wants to increase the pace of paying down the state’s debt and stash money away in a rainy day fund. Brown’s $155 billion blueprint would increase general fund spending by eight percent, repay $11 billion …

Arts & Culture, Featured, Food »

We wish you a merry radish: California Oaxacans celebrate an unusual Christmas tradition

A nativity scene in radish.  Mostly.

No one knows just why, over 116 years ago, the people of Oaxaca began celebrating Christmas by carving radishes into whatever struck their fancy.  Maybe it was a bumper crop of this root vegetable, which, by the way, isn’t even indigenous to the Mexican state. (“Neither is Santa Claus,” said Gabriel Martinez, a writer and brewer who lives in Santa Monica.)
Regardless, it’s impossible for …

Arts & Culture, Headline, Interviews, News »

The celebrated icon of the Virgin of Guadalupe

A mural of the Virgin of Guadalupe enveloping Pope John Paul II adorns a wall in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Laurie Avocado via Flickr/CC)

Latino Catholics around the world are celebrating the Virgin Mary. Or as she’s known to them: the Virgin of Guadalupe. Her feast day is today, Dec. 12.
It’s a special and holy occasion to millions, who believe, according to Catholic tradition, that a vision of the mother of Jesus appeared to a peasant in Mexico City hundreds of years ago and asked him to build a …

Arts & Culture, Featured, Headline, Interviews, News, Sports »

For Chivas USA fans, no place feels like home

Members of the Black Army 1850, a Chivas USA supporter
group, cheer on their team in the final minute of the game. (Photo: Avishay Artsy)

Los Angeles is home to two Major League Soccer teams.
The LA Galaxy is in the playoffs again and competing for its third straight title. LA’s other soccer team, Chivas USA, isn’t faring as well.
The team is on its third coach in less than a year, and there’s been high turnover among players and staff. Charges of racism and discrimination on the part of the team’s management …

Featured, Sonic Trace »

Sonic Trace: Does the ‘Dream 9′ have a strategy?

Lizbeth Mateo and her mother.

Lizbeth Mateo is a 29-year-old Mexican citizen who was raised in Los Angeles. She is a college graduate and considers the United States her home – even though she doesn’t have papers and isn’t legally supposed to be in the U.S. It’s not an easy situation, but one which a young group of activists are trying to change. They call themselves “Dreamers” and have …

economy, Featured, Issues, Politics, Today's News »

Today’s News: Businesses could pay higher jobless tax; Protesting at the border; Surf contest ends in a melee


Unemployment shortfall. Governor Jerry Brown is pushing a bill that would erase California’s $10 billion unemployment insurance deficit by raising payroll taxes on businesses.
California has been saddled with one of the highest jobless rates in the country in recent years. To sustain the state’s unemployment insurance program, California has had to borrow money from the federal government.
But with unemployment edging down 8.5 percent, Brown …

Education, Environment, Featured, Headline, Issues, Sports, Today's News »

Today’s News: Developer shrinks Vine Street towers; LAUSD buys 30,000 iPads; Journalist killed in crash


Hollywood towers. The developer behind a pair of planned residential and hotel towers near Hollywood and Vine has agreed to reduce of the height of the buildings by about 25 percent.
Millennium Partners told the L.A. City Council’s Planning and Land Use Committee that it plans to build shorter, bulkier structures to address neighborhood concerns that the towers were too imposing. Under the new blueprint, …

Arts & Culture, Environment, Featured, Headline, Interviews, News »

Oaxacan street artists bring Mexican muralism to Los Angeles

In Los Angeles, we mark our neighborhoods with symbols of ethnic and cultural pride. And murals are strong representations of those identities. From South L.A. to Venice, and from Boyle Heights to Hollywood, street art tells us a lot about the people who live in those parts of town.
Bricia Lopez brought in a pair of Oaxacan muralists known as Colectivo LaPiztola to paint the …

Arts & Culture, economy, Headline, Issues, News, Today's News »

Today’s News: Prayers for the new pope; County healthcare challenge; ‘Oz’ casts a spell


Conclave prayers. An overnight prayer vigil will be held at downtown L.A.’s Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in advance of the selection of a new pope. The College of Cardinals is scheduled to begin meeting tomorrow in Rome to elect a successor to Benedict XVI. The Archdiocese of Los Angeles says that every hour during the vigil there will be a recitation …

Education, Environment, Headline, Issues, Today's News »

Today’s News: Dorner tips keep coming; Backing off ‘Three Strikes’; LAUSD weighs layoffs


Manhunt continues. The search for suspected murderer Christopher Dorner is now going full bore on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. Authorities raided a hotel in Tijuana, Mexico yesterday where they thought the fugitive ex-cop might be hiding. But it turned out to be just another dead end. Multiple police agencies are investigating more than 800 tips about Dorner. Officers in Big Bear have …

Arts & Culture, Featured, Sonic Trace »

Photos: The Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe


Today is the day of the Virgin of Guadalupe. Across Mexico – and the world – devotees flock to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the heart Mexico City to celebrate and pay tribute to the patron saint that Catholics call the Queen of Mexico and the Empress of the Americas.
Los Angeles is the second city with the largest of population of …

Arts & Culture, Featured, Headline, Sonic Trace »

Sonic Trace: Tavehua, Los Angeles & Tavehua, Oaxaca

Julian Gonzalez in Santa María Tavehua, Oaxaca jamming on tuba. Photo by Carmen Vidal

Los Angeles is home to one of the most diverse populations in the world. The largest number of people in the city is of Latino origin. But there are many ethnic groups within Latin-American culture. Like the enclave of Zapotec villagers from Southern Mexico who have migrated to LA’s Koreatown. KCRW’s Sonic Trace series has been focusing on Zapotecs who come from the tiny village …

Arts & Culture, Featured, Sonic Trace »

Sonic Trace: A Zapotec raised on the streets of Los Angeles


Los Angeles is home to one of the most diverse populations in the world. The largest number of people in the city is of Latino origin.  But there are a lot of different ethnic groups within Latin-American culture.  Like the enclave of Zapotec villagers from Southern Mexico who have migrated to LA’s Koreatown.  We’ve been focusing on migrants, who come from the tiny village of Santa Maria Tavehua.
This is Nico’s …

Arts & Culture, Featured, Sonic Trace »

Sonic Trace: Elsa, an artisan in Oaxaca on her craft and her home


Santa Maria Tavehua is a tiny village in the hillsides of southern Mexico.  They are known for their ceramic arts made from an indigenous orange clay.  For centuries, the people of Tavehua made pots and plates, cups and bowls to barter and trade among themselves.  In the modern economy, their work shifted to decorative pieces, specifically these little bunnies playing instruments.  In recent decades, …

Arts & Culture, economy, Featured, Sonic Trace »

Sonic Trace: Koreatown turns Korexico


Since the 1970s, Los Angeles has become a hub for Mexico’s indigenous Zapotecs – a culture that predates the Spanish conquest of the Americas. All week, Sonic Trace is exploring the connection between Santa Maria Tavehua, a tiny village in the hillsides of southern Mexico, and L.A.’s Koreatown – where more than half the village now lives. This is a story is about putting down roots. …

Arts & Culture, Featured, Sonic Trace »

Sonic Trace: Julieta, an LA-Born Zapoteca

Since the 1970s, Los Angeles has become a hub for Mexico’s indigenous Zapotecs – a culture that predates the Spanish conquest of the Americas. Sonic Trace has launched a five-part series that explores the connection between Santa Maria Tavehua, a tiny village in the hillsides of southern Mexico, and L.A.’s Koreatown – where more than half the village now lives. In this story, we hear from …

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