Environment, Headline, News »

The Northridge Earthquake at 20

northridge-earthquake (1)

This week, Southern California is observing the 20th anniversary of an event that many wish had never happened, but which remains a vivid memory in the minds of hundreds of thousands of people who lived through it.
On January 17th 1994, at 4:31 in the morning,  millions of Southern Californians were awakened by violent shaking and a deafening roar. It was an earthquake, the most …

Education, Headline »

Inside the world of LA’s ‘Teacher Jail’


Earlier this week, Los Angeles Unified School District teachers rallied to protest what they call “teacher jail.” These are the places LAUSD instructors and other school staff are sent when they’re accused of some sort of classroom misconduct and are under investigation by school authorities and law enforcement. That inappropriate conduct can range from yelling at a student to sexual abuse.
Currently there are 260 …

economy, Featured, News »

A tale of two California economies

American tumbled down such a deep economic hole during The Great Recession, the UCLA experts say it will take years to fully recover with present economic growth. (Photo by Saul Gonzalez)

Today,  UCLA’s Anderson School of Management released its annual forecast on what’s ahead for the national and state economies. Looking into their collective crystal ball, the UCLA experts see an economy in recovery, but one that’s healing very, very slowly. GDP growth will average 1.9 percent this year, 2.9 percent in 2014, and 3 percent in 2015. The U.S. jobless rate should  fall to 6.9 percent …

Arts & Culture, Featured »

Photos: Rethinking LA’s mural ban


Updated Thursday August 29: 
The City Council voted Wednesday to lift the city-wide ban on murals.  From the LA Times:
The new rules, which must come back for an expected final approval next week, will permit new murals in business and industrial zones as long as artists register projects with the city and pay a $60 application fee. Commercial messages are prohibited and works must remain …

Featured, Headline, News »

Fast and furious in Fontana


Cars are a big part of Southern California life and culture. That’s stating the obvious. But how do we know the cars we buy and drive really match the performance promised by manufacturers and dealers in television commercials and showroom sales pitches?
Enter the automobile critic. It’s his or her job to get behind the wheel of new cars  and see if the vehicles match …

Headline, News »

Afternoon Delight: A visit to JPL’s ‘clean room’


Southern California has quite a history in space flight. Much of it involves building the spacecraft that put astronauts into orbit.
We all know those astronauts have to suit up for their journey.
What you may not know, however, is that in order to get to the place where the spacecraft are built, you first have to suit up yourself. And the place where you do …

Arts & Culture, Headline »

Where to find Summer Shakespeare in Southern California


During the summer months, Shakespeare becomes as American as mom, baseball and apple pie. That’s because as the temperature warms, the Bard’s plays are performed in hundreds of Shakespeare festivals and Shakespeare in the Park productions across the country. Productions range from the opulent to the threadbare. But all of them are motivated by an abiding love for Shakespeare and dedication to sharing his …

Featured, News »

Voyager 1 exits the Solar System

This is an image taken by one of the Voyager spacecraft a few years into its mission to explore the outer planets. It shows Jupiter with some of its moons in the foreground.

Remember 1977?  Disco music, episodes of “Starsky & Hutch,” the swearing-in of President Jimmy Carter and the death of Elvis? There were also the launches of the unmanned space probes Voyager 1 and 2 during that year.
The two American spacecraft, controlled out of Southern California’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, were sent on first of their kind missions to explore our solar system’s outer planets: Jupiter, …

Arts & Culture, Headline, News »

The secret life of the Goodyear Blimp

The Spirit of America blimp covers more than 80 events a year, from professional and college sporting events to the Oscar and Emmy awards. Goodyear has barter arrangements with broadcasters, trading the use of the blimp for aerial footage in return for on-air commercial spots. The most difficult events to fly over for the blimp pilots are golf tournaments. The players don't like the shadow the airship casts over the golf green and the sound of the engines. Photo: Saul Gonzalez

Personally, I think you have to be a pretty hard person not to be a little enchanted by the sight of a blimp or dirigible floating in the sky. In an age when air travel has become ho-hum and associated with annoyance and aggravation, blimps harken back to a more romantic era of flight, when breaking the bonds of earth was nothing short of …

California Elections, economy, Education, Featured, News, Politics, Race for Mayor, Warren Olney »

Friday ‘House’ Mixer: So what are we being asked to vote for anyway?

L to R: Warren Olney, Saul Gonzalez and Steve Chiotakis

Just a few more days before you go to the polls.  Let’s review, shall we?
We’re in the final stretch, so here’s some information you need to know about the candidates and propositions before you punch, pull or bubble-in that ballot.
KCRW’s Warren Olney, host of Which Way, LA? and To The Point joined us, as did KCRW reporter Saul Gonzalez, who’s been covering some of the campaigns …

Arts & Culture, Featured, Interviews, News, Sonic Trace »

A big weekend for Spanish literature in Los Angeles

Lea LA is this weekend.

L.A. is a profoundly Latin American city, with countless historical and cultural ties to the Spanish-speaking world. Those ties include a common language. Spanish is spoken by over 40 percent of L.A. residents, making it the second-most spoken language in L.A. after English.
Remember, even saying the words “Los Angeles” (or if you want to get fancy and historical about it, El Pueblo de Nuestra …

Headline, News »

Sgt. Ryan Craig and Traumatic Brain Injury

Most mornings, Sgt. Craig can be found in Casa Colina's gymnasium, walking the treadmill.  Shot in 2010 in Afghanistan and having undergone seven surgeries, he still has fragments of the bullet in his head. "I'm a medical miracle," he says with mordant humor. (Photo by Saul Gonzalez)

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) has been called the signature wound of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In past conflicts, combat doctors couldn’t save a soldier or Marine who had been struck in the head by a bullet or had a roadside bomb go off next to him. Now, many of those troops can be saved thanks to battlefield medicine and surgery. But what …

California Elections, Featured, Headline, Issues, News »

What you need to know about Prop. F and Prop. D, L.A.’s battling marijuana propositions

Medical marijuana clinics are allowed to operate in California because voters passed Proposition 215 in 1996. The initiative allowed the establishment of marijuana collectives in the state for people using cannabis as a way to relieve pain  Since then, California cities, like Los Angeles, have struggled to regulate the marijuana dispensary industry.

Earlier this morning, the California Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, ruled that communities have the right to ban medical marijuana clinics from operating in their city limits using local zoning and land use ordinances. Currently, about 200 California communities maintain such bans using their zoning authority. Los Angeles, where cannabis clubs are as common as Starbucks, isn’t one of the places with a …

Featured, News »

Photos: Rescuing stranded sea lions

The natural habitat of California sea lions, or Zalophus Californianus, ranges from southeast Alaska to central Mexico. Their breeding season is usually between May and August. Females appear to choose their mates as they travel through breedng territories, known as rookiers, established by males.

In the parlance of zoology, they’re called Zalophus Californianus, but you probably know them better as California sea lions. And there are thousands of these marine mammals dwelling along the Southern California coastline, announcing their presence with their characteristic barking and cavorting in the water. But in recent months, record numbers of young California sea lions have been found sick and malnourished in local waters, and …

Featured, Politics, Race for Mayor »

How much power does the mayor of L.A. have?

Just a few steps away from the L.A. mayor's office in City Hall is the Los Angeles City Council chamber. There are 15 people on the City Council, and they have formidable powers that L.A. mayors have to face, such as the power to reject the mayor's budget.

The next mayor of Los Angeles will get a salary of just over $232,000 a year, an expansive corner office on the third floor of City Hall, and the opportunity to live at Getty House, the official mayoral residence in L.A.’s posh Windsor Square neighborhood. The Tudor-style residence, by the way, comes with seven bathrooms… if you care about that sort of thing.
But what …

Featured, News »

Chuchgoers respond to the Los Angeles Archdiocese scandal

St. Andrews Catholic Church in Pasadena

Yesterday, in every church in the Los Angeles Catholic Archdiocese, parishioners were read a letter from L.A. Archbishop Jose Gomez. The Archbishop described newly released files on clerical sex abuse as “terribly sad and evil” and acknowledged that local church authorities have to confront “terrible failing” when it came to how abuse cases were handled.
The Archbishop’s apology comes two weeks after the release of some internal …

Featured, News, Politics »

James Hahn: Life after being L.A.’s Mayor

James Hahn, former mayor of LA

Lyndon Johnson, no stranger to the pressures and controversies of public office once said, “When the burdens of the presidency seem unusually heavy, I always remind myself it could be worse.  I could be a mayor.” This from a guy who was wrestling with the Vietnam War and conflicts over the Civil Rights Movement!
It’s not easy being a mayor, particularly of a sprawling metropolis …

Arts & Culture, Featured, Headline, LA Noir, News »

City lights versus starry skies

When you live in a big city like Los Angeles, you know about  noise, air and water pollution. But light can be a pollutant as well – its glow far outshining the light from the Milky Way above. In the battle between city lights and starry skies, the city lights win. As part of this international struggle, the county of Los Angeles is about …

economy, Featured, Food, Headline, News »

Photos: LA street vendors

Juan Antonio Hernandez and his wife Sofia own a fruit cart usually parked near USC. They have all their permits from the Department of Public Health and don't understand why they can't legally sell their products in the City of L.A.

The last couple of years, we’ve all heard a lot (maybe too much) about Los Angeles’ hipster gourmet food trucks and how the trucks have made the city the tastemaker of the American street food scene.
But what’s gotten much less attention is L.A.’s other street food community, the thousands of mostly poor immigrants who sell food from sidewalk pushcarts and small portable kitchens around …

Education, Featured, Headline, News »

Photos: Pauley Pavilion comes back

The view from the floor. Along with basketball, Pauley will also be home to UCLA's volleyball and gymnastic competitions as before. It will also host concerts, rallies and campus special events.

This week, UCLA unveils the new Pauley Pavilion after the completion of a two-year long, $136 million dollar renovation project. For sports fans, Pauley is holy ground for collegiate athletics, especially when it comes to basketball. It’s the place, after all, where legendary coach John Wooden led his men’s basketball team to 10 NCAA national titles in 12 seasons. In fact, between 1965 and 1975, UCLA …

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