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Greater LA Profile

Greater LA

English, Social, 1 season, 178 episodes, 3 days, 3 hours, 5 minutes
About
Host Steve Chiotakis connects you to the people and places of Southern California.
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How has LA homelessness changed in over 8 years?

KCRW’s departing reporter Anna Scott talks about the gains and setbacks in housing and homelessness — after eight years covering the beat.  Zach Galifianakis talks about the nonprofit Comedy Gives Back, reflects on his own Hollywood career, and explains why comedy is tougher than dramatic acting.  To mark Greater LA’s last show, we re-air part of the first-ever episode, in which Steve Chiotakis visits a giant car shredder between the Ports of LA and Long Beach.
1/12/202436 minutes, 52 seconds
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Angelenos are crowding clown shows — ‘an act of counterculture’

When you hear the word “clown,” you probably picture a hacky kid’s entertainer. Well, a group of super-talented LA-based performers are trying to change that. The Broad’s “LA Intersections” is an upcoming festival-style exhibit of the music and spoken word scenes of LA. Punk rocker Keith Morris speaks to the importance of LA music history. Gathering around the table for a meal can ease America’s loneliness crisis, says Natasha Feldman, author of “The Dinner Party Project.”
1/10/202424 minutes, 15 seconds
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Sale of Skid Row grocery store aims to bring racial healing

A convenience store in Skid Row is changing hands from the community-oriented Korean American family that runs it — to a Black-led nonprofit. “Existencia,” a new work by the experimental performance troupe Diavolo, explores the chaos and community that resulted from the 1994 Northridge earthquake. In an era of “hurriquakes,” heat waves, and fires, The Academy Museum screening series “Beware the Elements! Natural Disasters on Film” looks at the real-world implications of disaster films.
1/9/202424 minutes, 47 seconds
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Finding love and beauty at Mosaic Tile House in Venice

Cheri Pann and Gonzalo Duran have transformed their Venice home into The Mosaic Tile House, a living artistic tapestry reflecting their love story. Kate Berlant wants audiences to know that her semi-autobiographical show, “KATE,” is theater, not stand-up. It begins on Jan. 17 at the Pasadena Playhouse. At Regen Projects in Hollywood, Catherine Opie’s exhibition, “harmony is fraught,” features over 60 photographs of LA spanning three decades.
1/9/202424 minutes, 37 seconds
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Will ‘Ambassadors’ help LA metro riders feel safer?

Food journalist Mona Holmes discusses how the LA restaurant scene fared in 2023 and anticipates dining trends for the new year. In response to complaints about customer service and mass transit safety, Metro is hiring hundreds of people to offer warm welcomes and help to passengers. The Autry Museum’s “Reclaiming El Camino” details the hardships Native populations faced under European settlement, and highlights Indigenous resistance.
1/5/202424 minutes, 38 seconds
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Forget Hinge and Tinder? LA singles try ‘Love Isn’t Blind’

At an East Hollywood bar, a once-a-month comedy show features four men competing for the heart of a bachelorette, as the host whips out jokes and games. “Renewing the Dream: The Mobility Revolution and the Future of Los Angeles” is a new book about how LA is developing alternatives to getting around by cars.
1/4/202424 minutes, 5 seconds
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Once-quiet landslide zone is starting to move. SoCal residents are worried

Last winter’s rains accelerated a slow landslide in Rancho Palos Verdes, leading to cracked homes and trail damage at a popular reserve. What will El Niño do? David Duchovny isn’t just an actor — he’s a musician, director and author. His latest novella, “The Reservoir,” is set in the early days of COVID in NYC. An OC congressional race in the upcoming elections could tip the political scales in the U.S. House of Representatives.
1/3/202431 minutes, 39 seconds
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Helpers replay special: Miracle Messages, Las Fotos, Underdog Community

For people experiencing homelessness, it can be tough to stay in touch with friends and family. The nonprofit Miracle Messages aims to make it easier. Las Fotos Project teaches photography to young women and gender expansive youth from communities of color. And they don’t just use phone cameras. Underdog Community Project is a mutual aid group of volunteers and trained veterinarians who help unhoused Angelenos keep their pets happy and healthy.
12/28/202322 minutes, 35 seconds
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Animals replay special: Shrimp farming, bear boom, cats on hikes

TransparentSea Farm in Downey produces nearly 1 million shrimp a year. That’s great for some of LA’s top seafood restaurants, but how do the prawns feel?In sleepy Sierra Madre, an uptick in bears has spurred the city to declare the animal a “public safety threat.” But locals and officials aren’t sure how to handle the ursine explosion.You often can’t tell cats what to do, much less put leashes on them and take them on walks. But that’s just what LA Times writer Lila Seidman did, and continues to do.
12/27/202324 minutes, 37 seconds
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Replay: Looking back on 100 years of Tinseltown’s Hollywood Sign

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Hollywood Sign. It’s been at the center of scandals, PR stunts, and more during its time perched up on Mount Lee. In 1978, the Hollywood Sign was in a sad state, so rock legend Alice Cooper spent $27,000 to buy an “O” to honor his friend Groucho Marx. Other celebs followed. Artist Zach Fernandez marked California’s marijuana legalization by turning the Hollywood Sign into “Hollyweed.” It was tough to pull off due to security around the sign.
12/26/202325 minutes, 7 seconds
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‘Santa Claus Conquers the Martians’: Failed film is hit theater show

Year after year, a Fullerton theater sells out a camped-up comedy about Santa Claus on Mars. The stage show is based on a 1964 B-movie. At least 15 productions of “A Christmas Carol” exist in SoCal, and each theater adds a twist to the play. Vendors at DTLA’s Piñata District say people from as far as New York go there to buy supplies like corn husks and nativity scenes for Christmas.
12/22/202322 minutes, 24 seconds
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LA Breakfast Club: ‘Everybody is on the same level,’ regardless of background

Since 1925, members of the Los Angeles Breakfast Club have been meeting bright and early to sing songs, solve puzzles, and eat ham and eggs. In 2024, a new California law will establish a retirement fund for mixed martial arts fighters. A similar law has been in place for boxers since the early 1980s. U.S. Postal Service mail carrier Lesly Gonzalez works 10-hour days leading up to Christmas. Does the heavy workload dampen her holiday spirit?
12/21/202323 minutes, 50 seconds
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For many LA Latinos, making tamales is core to the holidays

An affordable housing developer got $114 million from Gov. Newsom’s Homekey program. Now, with little to show for it, legal and financial problems are mounting.  Federal labor regulators are looking to forcibly reopen six Los Angeles area Starbucks locations, and labor researcher Saba Waheed says it just might happen. For many in the Latino community, the act of making and eating tamales offers a sense of togetherness during the holiday season.
12/20/202325 minutes, 4 seconds
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Driverless cars: Is it safe to be a passenger?

Since October, the robotaxi company Waymo has been offering driverless rides in Los Angeles. Greater LA’s Steve Chotakis tried one out for himself. KCRW also looks at safety concerns of these vehicles, and Waymo’s head of city policy and government affairs shares the company’s future plans.
12/19/202324 minutes, 48 seconds
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Fake snow, ice rinks: Which LA areas are creating a white Christmas?

LA aficionados Patt Morrison and Fritz Coleman discuss where and how Angelenos can experience winter holiday charm despite the temperate weather.  Musician Arturo Sandoval discusses what makes a Christmas song “swing,” his relationship with Dizzy Gillespie, and his December 23 show at Disney Concert Hall.
12/15/202323 minutes, 29 seconds
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Diamond Bakery, Jewish LA institution, closes after 7 decades

The Fairfax District’s Diamond Bakery, iconic to generations of Jewish Angelenos, closed this month after 77 years. Its recipes will live on. David Edward Byrd designed some of the most iconic psychedelic concert posters during the 1960s and 70s. “Poster Child” is a new book that looks at his personal journey and many posters. At Lisson Gallery, Hugh Hayden’s new exhibition features strange, surreal sculptures and photographs placed in bathroom stalls. It runs through January 13, 2024.
12/14/202324 minutes, 59 seconds
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Sustainable ideas for Christmas gifts, decoration, and food

As people look for eco-friendly solutions to non-recyclable wrapping paper, furoshiki, the Japanese art of wrapping packages in cloth, is becoming more widely adopted. Gifts for loved ones don’t have to be expensive or brand new. Consider buying from your local thrift store, upcycle an imperfect and pre-loved item, or make something by hand. And to further cut down on holiday waste, KCRW offers tips for sustainable decorations and the holiday dinner menu.
12/13/202323 minutes, 59 seconds
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CARE Court: Who is it for, how does it work?

Governor Gavin Newsom’s CARE Court, a new mental health program, opened in LA on December 1 to uncertainty, conflicting concerns, and high hopes. This fall, a new major is available at UCLA’s campus: Disability Studies. The aim is to decrease stigma, highlight ableism, and create a more accessible world. After six years in Anaheim, Japanese baseball phenom Shohei Ohtani will play for the Los Angeles Dodgers after signing a 10-year, $700 million contract.
12/12/202325 minutes, 4 seconds
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LA kids grow climate optimism through composting

A composting program at The Wesley School helps the planet, with an added benefit: teaching kids to be hopeful about participating in climate action. The nonprofit Street Symphony will turn Skid Row into a music festival and community resource fair on December 10 for its Re/Sound Festival. A new exhibition at the Palm Springs Art Museum showcases the work of the trailblazing photographer “Kali,” whose psychedelic prints of SoCal life weren’t appreciated until long after her death.
12/8/202325 minutes, 4 seconds
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Cal State faculty strike for ‘dignified wages,’ mental health services

The one-day Cal State LA faculty strike is the third of four planned statewide this week. Sunset’s bright purple Cafe Tropical, which shut down suddenly last week, was known for its excellent Cuban food and its role as a safe haven for those in recovery. From a zookeeper he met on Twitter to musician Phoebe Bridgers,Brandon Stosuy’s latest book features 115 essays, poems, and stories on sadness and crying.
12/7/202332 minutes, 27 seconds
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San Gabriel Mountains: Volunteers aim to reverse tourism-driven pollution

The San Gabriel Mountains are the largest open public space in Los Angeles, but some of the range’s most popular spots are covered in piles of trash. SoCal is experiencing more droughts, wildfires, and rising sea levels — but UCLA’s Alex Hall believes LA can still be turned into one of the world’s most sustainable megacities by 2050. The OC Hall of Fame’s class of 10 includes a range of artists, athletes, and developers. Some of the inductees’ ties to the county are loose, at best.
12/6/202324 minutes, 29 seconds
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Amid Gaza conflict, LA restaurateurs hope to bring unity through food

In a town like LA that takes its food scene seriously, local chefs say coming together and breaking bread has taken on new meaning as the war in Gaza continues. Musician and photographer Henry Diltz captured rock history magic while hanging out with CSN&Y in the 1960s, and he’s sharing it all in his new photography book.
12/5/202324 minutes, 5 seconds
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Volunteering on Skid Row — and across LA — during all seasons

Want to contribute on Skid Row? Missions need your help, and not just in December. The Mutual Aid LA Network provides a central hub where Angelenos looking to help can find the best volunteer opportunity for them. Paula Poundstone has been making people laugh for over 40 years through her stand-up, writing, and podcasting. The Angeleno is performing in Long Beach this Saturday.
12/1/202324 minutes, 18 seconds
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Less religious, more diverse: Today’s homeschooling movement

Homeschooling has long been common for religious families and those with aversions to public school, but the pandemic seems to have widened its appeal. A new law asks California schools to incorporate media literacy lessons into English, math, science, and social studies curriculums. Los Angeles-based artist Kelly Akashi reflects on her Japanese American family history during World War II for an exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego.
11/30/202324 minutes, 41 seconds
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TikTok’s ‘grocery goblin’ offers a guide to food stores in LA

Vanessa Anderson says grocery stores are “anthropological treasure troves” — which is why she’s trying to visit every single one in LA. Curator Anuradha Vikram talks about AI’s integration into labor and art, what the tech means for creativity, and the implications of widespread data scraping. During the 1980s, ACT UP LA advocated for greater awareness of the AIDS epidemic. Now the organization is collecting 100 testimonies from its former members.
11/28/202324 minutes, 49 seconds
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Meet a modern-day falconer, one of a few hundred in California

Urban falconer Adam Baz has carved out an interesting career for himself and his four birds of prey in a city with a lot of pigeons and crows to chase.Rob Bisel has earned eight Grammy nominations for engineering, producing, and writing songs for SZA's album “SOS.” He talks about collaborating with the artist.Ownership of the Bolsa Chica Mesa, a six-acre plot of land just north of Huntington Beach, was transferred to native Tongva and Acjachemen tribes after ancient remains were found.
11/28/202324 minutes, 36 seconds
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LA bakers sprint to meet Thanksgiving pie demands

Thanksgiving week is one of the busiest times of year for professional pie bakers. The hours are long and the payoff is big. We’ve all got family holiday traditions. Three KCRW listeners share their favorite unusual Thanksgiving celebrations. This holiday weekend is a perfect time to hike around LA due to cooler temperatures and red-orange autumn foliage. Cris Hazzard, aka The Hiking Guy, shows you where to go.
11/22/202324 minutes, 39 seconds
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Bees, spiders, ants: Harvesting big ideas from tiny creatures

Honeybees have long been the face of the “Save the Bees” campaign, but according to bee researchers at UC Irvine, they aren’t the only bees who need help. Zach Phillips, the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden’s “Bug Guy,” takes KCRW on a walk around the grounds to get some sights and sounds. UCLA scientists say the way ants build their nests might help humans improve traffic and transportation logistics.
11/22/202325 minutes, 3 seconds
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Chinese American artist shares lifelong effort to unravel ‘cultural amnesia’

Larry Li was inspired to create “Ask Your Ma About ‘89” after learning a harrowing story about how the Tiananmen Square protests affected his family. Free drinks, female attention, and fabulous parties are some of the upsides for super good-looking men in LA. But that’s not the whole story. Germans founded Anaheim in 1857. Chinese immigrants then built much of the city and developed a bustling Chinatown district. Today, few remnants of Anaheim’s historic Chinatown remain.
11/20/202324 minutes, 48 seconds
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LA makes progress toward renewable energy goal

By 2035, LADWP plans to provide all power without coal or gas — just hydroelectric, geothermal, hydrogen, solar, and wind. They also vow no harm to low-income ratepayers. One workshop in Downtown LA has been tuning, restringing, and repairing broken instruments for LAUSD students for six decades. It’s among the last of its kind. Jeff Boynton, a Highland Park native and lifelong artist, is a “circuit bender,” making music by toying with the circuitry of old electronic devices, like children’s toys.
11/16/202325 minutes, 3 seconds
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For below-the-line workers, when will work pick up?

Now that both the SAG and WGA strikes are over, how are below-the-line workers in Hollywood faring?  Following big wins for SAG-AFTRA and WGA, members of IATSE — the union representing below-the-line workers — are preparing for their own negotiations. A new exhibit at LACMA is displaying more than 150 creations of textile art and modern abstraction that span over a century.
11/16/202324 minutes, 37 seconds
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Book club spent 28 years reading ‘Finnegans Wake,’ they’re still confused

A book club that started at a Venice library in the 1990s spent almost three decades reading “Finnegans Wake.” Singer Engelbert Humperdinck’s new documentary premieres tonight in Hollywood, focusing on his career spanning more than 70 years. For 17 years, LA Skins Fest has been offering a platform for Indigenous filmmakers from around the world to showcase their stories.
11/14/202325 minutes, 4 seconds
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Relief is on the way: LA Metro adds bathrooms, you'll need a phone

Metro is doubling the number of public bathrooms on train lines from three to six. Despite the urgent need, some commuters are complaining that they require a phone to use. The fire in Tustin’s WWII Navy blimp hangar is still smoldering a week after it ignited. Schools and parks are closed due to asbestos in the ash and smoke. In “Keys to the Kingdom,” an eight-part audio documentary, co-hosts Matt Gourley and Amanda Lund highlight the lives of people who work as theme park characters.
11/13/202324 minutes, 32 seconds
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End of LA’s bail system draws applause and critiques

Weeks after the end of cash bail for non-violent and non-serious crimes, reformers and LA Superior Court say the system is working. But the change has its critics. For the past year, researchers at UCLA have been working to understand hate — one of our most complex emotions — by way of neuroscience, sociology, social media, music studies, and more. Comedian Alex Edelman has brought his one-man show, Just For Us, to LA for a limited run. It explores antisemitism, microaggressions, and so much more.
11/9/202324 minutes, 19 seconds
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Actor John Stamos on his most important role: dad

After 188 days, some good news in Hollywood. The Screen Actors Guild negotiators have unanimously approved an agreement with the studios. In “If You Would Have Told Me,” John Stamos talks about his Orange County childhood, Hollywood career, and fame's ups and downs.
11/8/202325 minutes, 16 seconds
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‘Ustedes no están detenidos’: LA groups welcome migrants from Texas

Since July, the state of Texas has sent nearly 1,000 asylum seekers to Los Angeles by bus. Local faith-based and non-religious groups are welcoming them. In 2016, Highland Park’s Judson Studios took on a years-long effort to create the world’s largest stained glass window. It’s chronicled in the new documentary Holy Frit. You often can’t tell cats what to do, much less put leashes on them and take them on walks. But that’s just what LA Times writer Lila Seidman did, and continues to do.
11/7/202324 minutes, 49 seconds
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Still no contract for Medieval Times union. What's taking so long?

Almost a year after forming a union, performers at Medieval Times have been unable to win a contract. Such delays are common — new unions can go years without progress. The Florentine Codex contains over 2,500 pages of text and images detailing Nahua civilization from the Indigenous perspective. It’s available digitally thanks to UCLA and the Getty. In Santa Ana, a recall election to oust progressive Jesse Lopez is moving forward, despite being flagged for legal issues and a possible lawsuit from the councilmember should she lose.
11/6/202324 minutes, 35 seconds
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Electric v. gas cars: Strong opinions fuel CA drivers

One in four cars sold in California is now electric. EV drivers say switching saves money and the planet. Gas drivers are worried about running out of power. John Densmore, known as the Doors’ drummer, is out with a new book called The Doors: Unhinged Jim Morrison’s Legacy Goes on Trial. Amateur perfumers and nature lovers Jack Kelly and Natalie Coffen lead “scent saunters” through Griffith Park and Franklin Canyon Park. Enjoy the wild smells of LA!
11/2/202332 minutes, 12 seconds
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Hollywood Forever Cemetery: Life amid death is on full display

Hollywood Forever Cemetery is home to dozens of feral cats, peacocks, turtles, and fowl that provide visitors with an “antidote to death.” Where did they all come from? Rick Castro has been photographing since 1986. A new show at Hollywood Forever Cemetery highlights decades of his queer, fetish, and fashion images. LA bakeries are preparing “pan de muerto,” a traditional Mexican “bread of the dead” that’s eaten to celebrate Día de los Muertos.
11/1/202324 minutes, 38 seconds
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Celebrate Halloween with a real-life mummy, cursed park, and full-time witch

Elmer McCurdy had a troubled life and died in a shoot-out. His body got embalmed, became part of a traveling crime museum, then was bought by an amusement ride operator. LA’s Griffith Park is one of the largest urban parks in the country, and urban legend claims that it wouldn’t exist without a twisted 18th-century curse.  Sometimes called the “Pagan version of Halloween,” Samhain is a time to soothe and be soothed by the “unquiet spirits” of ancestors past. 
10/31/202325 minutes, 1 second
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Vine to cafeteria line: Inside SoCal’s growing farm-to-school movement

California is investing millions to change the way kids eat at school. Learn how one SoCal program is turning kids on to fresh produce, one watermelon at a time. The Where Has All The (affordable) Housing Gone? exhibit at the Beyond Baroque Gallery in Venice features photography, poetry and a giant map to examine the policies that led to the removal of nearly 1,500 rent-controlled units in the beachside neighborhood. Despite Gov. Gavin Newsom’s veto of the “Cannabis Cafe Bill,” West Hollywood lounge PleasureMed is reimagining the way users can experience cannabis, dining, and sex positivity.
10/30/202324 minutes, 48 seconds
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Thousands of Angelenos could see their rent jump 7% in 2024

Rent-stabilized tenants in LA could see an increase in February as high as 7%. Landlords say it’s necessary to keep up with expenses. The Museum of Latin American Art hosts its annual Día De Los Muertos festival on Oct. 29. This year’s theme, Hecho con Amor, celebrates the diversity of Latin American cuisine. The nonprofit ActiveSGV’s ArroyoFest will shut down six miles of the 110 freeway from Lincoln Heights to South Pasadena for cyclists and pedestrians on October 29.
10/26/202325 minutes, 7 seconds
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How to have peaceful interfaith dialogue amid Israel-Hamas conflict

NewGround promotes relations and dialogue between Jews and Muslims in Los Angeles. The group calls itself “a convener.” running trainings and classes promoting interfaith engagement. LA is in the height of spooky (and spider) season, so the Nature Nexus Institute is holding a “Spooky Critter Crawl” to highlight some of the city’s creepiest residents. An LA start-up is tackling a problem that developed in tandem with the invention of polyester: how to divert clothes from the landfill when you’re done wearing them.
10/25/202329 minutes, 10 seconds
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Actors’ Gang: Decades later, punk rockers are still making theater accessible

The Actors’ Gang’s new show, “Methusalem,” is directed by Brent Hinkley. He and fellow co-founder Tim Robbins discuss the show and the group’s legacy. Measure J requires LA County to allocate funds to incarceration alternatives and community/youth programs, instead of police. Some community groups say they still haven’t seen the money.
10/24/202325 minutes, 1 second
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Will El Niño bring more rain this year? Either way, be prepared

Each week on KCRW’s The Anti-Dread Climate Podcast, hosts Caleigh Wells and Candice Dickens-Russel answer a listener’s environmental question and give advice on how they can help the planet. As SoCal looks to fall and winter, scientist predictions say El Niño weather patterns will bring heavy rains, but climate change is making it tricky to predict. In 1973, Knott’s Berry Farm became the first theme park to transform itself completely for the Halloween season. Since then, many other parks, in SoCal and beyond, have followed its lead.  
10/23/202325 minutes, 7 seconds
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Burbank’s ‘horror row’ celebrates Halloween year-round

Spine-tingling thrills, oddities, and costumes. A handful of small businesses in Burbank are keeping things scary beyond Halloween. The three co-directors of the 1980 parody film “Airplane!” recount their careers’ humble origins and the movie’s “endearing” comedy legacy. LA-based engineering and design nonprofit Miyamoto Relief is hosting “The Night of 1000 Drawings,” which raises money for reconstruction in Kyiv.
10/19/202324 minutes, 12 seconds
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Absent LAUSD kids are trickling back to class. Thank attendance counselors

LAUSD student absences soared during the pandemic. Slowly, in large part due to school attendance counselors’ tireless work, kids are returning to class. Tom Morello, a political activist and Rage Against the Machine guitarist, is partnering with a nonprofit to launch music programs at schools across the country. Alex Da Corte’s solo exhibition, The Daemon, transforms the Matthew Marks Gallery into a 1960s house with a conversation pit and a splash of surrealism.
10/18/202324 minutes, 48 seconds
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Aetna Street encampment residents say ‘Inside Safe’ hasn't worked as promised

The Aetna Street Collective came together three years ago to advocate for a tight-knit unhoused community facing harassment and street sweeps. Scribble, a Highland Park-based nonprofit, launched on Oct. 3 to provide affordable therapy, music shows, game nights, tai chi classes, and more. Neighborhoods historically cut off from government-backed home loans continue to suffer the consequences. That includes smaller and less diverse bird populations. 
10/17/202327 minutes, 33 seconds
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Child-free and loving it: Meet these LA women

Three women in LA share their reasons to forgo parenting: more freedom, more travel, and more time to focus on their careers and passions. What’s up with the Dodgers? Despite winning 100 games during the regular season, again, the Dodgers’ were eliminated in the first round, again. Along Beach Boulevard, from Rosecrans to Orangethorpe, is Buena Park’s Koreatown, a name that’s only been official for a few weeks.
10/16/202324 minutes, 55 seconds
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Who gets priority for affordable housing? Mayor Bass has new rules

Unhoused Angelenos in temporary shelters will get priority for many city-funded affordable housing units — under policy shift enacted by Mayor Karen Bass. UCLA Professor Justin Torres’ new novel, Blackouts, is a “socratic dialogue” between an unnamed narrator and a dying man. It’s also a finalist for the National Book Award. Big Bear’s Oktoberfest has been running for 53 years, attracting locals and people from all across SoCal for revelry, beer, and the chicken dance.
10/12/202329 minutes, 30 seconds
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Nazis stole art from LA family. They spent decades getting it back

A new exhibit at the Skirball Cultural Center details the story of one Jewish family’s fight to reclaim art that was stolen by Nazis. Walter Mosley is known for writing crime novels. But his latest book, Touched, is science fiction. It involves the Big Bang and threats to the planet. One of the laws that Gov. Newsom recently signed will give fast food workers higher wages, more on-site safety, and their own council. Meanwhile, he said cannabis cafes violate smoke-free workplace protections.
10/11/202326 minutes, 1 second
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Jewish and Palestinan Angelenos try to cope with attacks in Israel and Gaza

LA has large populations from both the Israeli and Palestinian diaspora, and many are reeling from Hamas’ attacks near the Gaza strip and the Israeli government’s retaliation. As burglaries and robberies rise at LA’s cannabis shops, owners double down on security measures. The Made in LA biennial features 39 local artists from various neighborhoods and backgrounds. Some of the work centers on quotidian scenes of domestic life.
10/10/202324 minutes, 24 seconds
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South Central Run Club redefines health in an underserved community

The South Central Run Club is using the sport to build up community and wellness in the neighborhood. A year ago, three LA City Council members had an insiders’ talk about how to control Los Angeles’ redistricting. The racist audio was leaked, decimating trust in local government. Sacred Places Institute is a community-based organization working to protect land and water that once belonged to Indigenous tribes in California.
10/9/202324 minutes, 21 seconds
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Vernon green-lights hundreds of new apartments. City’s population could quadruple

Vernon, an industrial city with a population of just 222, is poised to add up to 874 new units of housing. This weekend at The Ford theater, The Milk Carton Kids will host the LA Folk Festival, where “misfits” and folk musicians can connect. At Burbank’s IKEA, an art residency inspires people to get creative with furniture, monkey wrenches, and maybe even meatballs.
10/5/202331 minutes, 58 seconds
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LA sees renewed activism for tenants’ and workers’ rights

This past weekend, tenant advocates, labor unions, workers, and renters marched in Downtown LA to demand good wages, better employee benefits, and housing security. Curators Diana Nawi and Pablo José Ramiréz traveled across LA to put together the Hammer Museum’s biennial show, Made in LA. It features works by 39 local artists.
10/4/202323 minutes, 52 seconds
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Is life coaching a scam? ‘The Dream’ podcast investigates

In the latest season of her podcast “The Dream,” skeptical journalist Jane Marie investigates the legitimacy of the life coaching industry. For the last 50 years, Robert Sanchez (a.k.a. Pnutman) has been a vendor at Dodger Stadium. He shares how he got the job, and climbed the ranks from selling soda to peanuts — and even pizza.  The Tom of Finland Foundation will be holding an Art & Culture Festival this weekend at SoHo Warehouse. All art shown will nod to founder Tom of Finland’s erotic work.
10/3/202324 minutes, 57 seconds
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El Sereno GreenGrocer honors the tradition of tienditas

Two El Sereno residents opened a market to give their neighbors access to affordable and healthy food, plus a sense of community. For just 12 days, Hadestown is returning to Los Angeles – the city where two producers began to develop the original album into a hit musical. Jordan Brandman was a former Anaheim City Council member who resigned amid scandal and eventually became a whistleblower. He died over the weekend.
10/2/202324 minutes, 16 seconds
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‘Cultural atlas’ preserves local history as LA rapidly transforms

A new, three-year collective history project from the nonprofit Clockshop is gathering stories and memories from rapidly changing communities along the LA River. The iconic Roxy Theatre turned 50 this month. Neil Young kicked off the anniversary celebrations, and Rickie Lee Jones will keep them going with a performance in October. Artist Jane Tsong’s Underflow LA is a project is showcasing underground river sounds from across the city.
9/28/202331 minutes, 24 seconds
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At LA Ukelele Festival, versatile instrument cultivates unity

Last weekend, about 1,000 people gathered at the LA International Ukulele Festival in Torrance to celebrate the little instrument with a big following. Yunte Huang’s final book in his Rendezvous with American History trilogy focuses on the remarkable life of Chinese American actress Anna May Wong. The LA Public Library has acquired thousands of unpublished celebrity pictures by John Verzi. They were auctioned off to the library after the postal worker’s death in 2018. 
9/27/202324 minutes, 52 seconds
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There’s nothing cheesy about the Pizza Strike Fund

The Pizza Strike Fund is a grassroots effort to feed Hollywood writers and actors. Volunteers have delivered over 2,500 cheesy and meaty pies to picket lines since May. Nick Offerman is best known as an actor (Parks and Recreation), but he’s also an author. His latest book, Where the Deer and the Antelope Play, is coming out in paperback. For 15 years, the Hola México Film Festival has been bringing the best of Mexican cinema to Los Angeles. Now they’re celebrating with a big quinceañera party. 
9/26/202333 minutes, 43 seconds
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AMPTP reaches tentative deal with WGA. What about SAG?

The Writers Guild of America has reached a tentative agreement with the AMPTP after months of strikes. What does that mean for SAG-AFTRA? The LA Unified school board is voting on a policy that could prevent charter schools from moving onto the campuses of some traditional public schools. Mooncakes are traditionally eaten to celebrate the annual Mid-Autumn Festival, one of the key holidays in Chinese culture. Here’s where you can buy them in LA. 
9/25/202324 minutes, 35 seconds
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Jewish rehab center teaches baking skills to build community

Beit T’Shuvah, a Jewish rehab facility, teaches people how to bake challah as a form of community building. The experience has special meaning during the High Holy days. As fall begins, LA will see big restaurant openings, including a world-renowned taquero and venues by Michelin-starred chefs. This week, renowned bass player Stanley Clarke began a three-year residency at the BroadStage. He gave SMC students a master class, and will perform on September 23.
9/21/202333 minutes, 6 seconds
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At LA museum, you can play on a synthesizer used by The Beatles

The Vintage Synthesizer Museum draws keyboard fans to Highland Park for classes, vibey sound baths, and a chance to play on its rare synth collection. A lucrative industry has formed around moving rent-controlled tenants out of their homes. A new investigation from LA Public Press looks into it. Analia Saban’s new show, “Synthetic Self,” explores technology and global warming-related anxiety. It’s located at two LA galleries: Sprüth Magers and Tanya Bonakdar. 
9/20/202327 minutes, 36 seconds
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John Waters wants to make you feel good about yourself

John Waters talks about his exhibit at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures and his boundary-pushing films. High school students from Boyle Heights built a hydrogen-powered race car and competed against teams from all over the world over the weekend. How did they fare? Rashaad Newsome’s new exhibit “Hands Performance” explores the history of queer Black cultural expression and how it’s shaping the future.
9/19/202324 minutes, 49 seconds
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Hope House provides safety to trans people who need housing

After facing discrimination and loss, Sara Reyes found temporary refuge at the HOPE house, a transitional program run by The TransLatin@ Coalition. More than a quarter of TV shows and films had queer representation in 2022, according to GLAAD. With Hollywood at a standstill, will that momentum continue? Julio Aranas came to the U.S. at age 8 without papers and now is a successful real estate agent. Gustavo Arellano says the American dream is an immigrant mindset.
9/18/202324 minutes, 50 seconds
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Topanga Beach surf culture: Competition breeds violence. But that’s changing

Surf culture has an aggressive side, especially at premiere destinations like Topanga Beach. Some folks are working to change that. The novel “California Golden,” set on the sandy beaches of 1960s Malibu, shows what happens when a trailblazing surfer neglects her two daughters. Black walnut trees are essential in LA’s ecosystems and indigenous cultures. Some residents are pushing to preserve and repopulate them.
9/14/202324 minutes, 32 seconds
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Why is CA slow in enacting indoor heat protections for workers?

Heat is a year-round problem for some indoor workers in SoCal. State and federal officials have proposals to require AC access and cool water on the job. Over the past decades, hundreds of public housing units in LA have been demolished or sold to private developers. Why? The community journalism site KNOCK LA investigated. This weekend, the Academy Museum will debut newly restored versions of the iconoclastic filmmaker Gregg Araki’s cult 1990s trilogy.
9/13/202328 minutes, 17 seconds
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California’s on the cusp of decriminalizing magic mushrooms

If signed into law, a new bill would make it legal to possess small doses of naturally occurring psychedelics. At Occidental College, “The Iridescence of Knowing” is an exhibit showcasing works made on Tongva land by generations of artists.
9/12/202324 minutes, 9 seconds
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‘Forced outing’ policy: Parental rights activists v. LGBTQ community

Orange Unified School District is the latest in the state to require schools to notify parents if students come out as transgender. What’s driving these policies? With 18,000 seats, the now 30-year-old Honda Center has been home to the Anaheim Ducks hockey team and hosted concerts by Gwen Stefani and others. Kristin Hersh has been a frontwoman for the bands Throwing Muses and 50 Foot Wave. Her solo work is an acoustic departure for the indie darling.
9/11/202327 minutes, 59 seconds
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Watts community strives for peace after fatal shootings

Can Watts — the community famous for its political organizing and trucemaking — come together in the face of renewed violence? The owner of NoHo Printing and Graphics is now suing the LAPD for damages — more than a year since the department’s SWAT team destroyed his shop.
9/7/202323 minutes, 17 seconds
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Angelenos are buying restaurant leftovers to fight climate change

Food waste is part of any restaurant business. An increasingly popular app helps connect the leftovers — for a cheap price — with Angelenos who aren’t too picky. LA’s first bus route opened in 1923. A century later, the system still provides essential transportation to many Angelenos. For the first time since 2012, renowned text artist Jenny Holzer is back in LA – and her new LED pieces feature AI-generated text.
9/6/202324 minutes, 11 seconds
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With AI, Hollywood work will require new skills

Workers throughout Hollywood are weighing the pros and cons of AI, which could disrupt careers of everyone from makeup artists to lighting techs to animators. UCLA’s Labor Center hosted a summer boot camp for future organizers, further cementing Los Angeles as the vanguard of the new labor movement. Last Thursday, the ACLU won a lawsuit against Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer to disclose the racial data of cases he prosecuted.
9/5/202323 minutes, 53 seconds
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LAPD budget goes up, despite Angelenos’ calls to defund police

Surveys show Angelenos have ambivalent opinions about the LAPD. But the local government keeps giving the department more money. Guatemala last week elected Bernardo Arévalo as president. His campaign centered on anti-corruption and political reform. What do Guatemalan Angelenos think of him? From September 2 to 23, the American Cinematheque is hosting weekly screenings of films that feature public transit in LA, including “Speed” and “The Italian Job.”
8/31/202324 minutes, 36 seconds
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Aliso Canyon is supposed to shut down. Officials might expand it

SoCalGas wants to expand gas storage capacity again at the site of the largest methane leak in U.S. history. Porter Ranch residents beg the state to say no. LA’s universal basic income pilot program “BIG: LEAP” provided a life-changing safety net for many Angelenos. What happens when that money goes away?
8/30/202323 minutes, 50 seconds
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Black ravers are optimistic about more diversity in the music scene

Black fans of electronic dance music say they love raves for the mentality of peace, love, unity, and respect. But they wish the scene were more diverse. Is the tide turning? In her forthcoming book, journalist Rosanna Xia explores how rising tides might inspire Californians to rethink their relationship with the sea. In “Time’s Mouth,” author Edan Lepucki follows three generations of Californians who’ve dealt with inherited trauma and more.
8/29/202325 minutes
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Farmworkers face storm-damaged homes, unemployment. Nonprofits aim to help

A new air quality rule requires the biggest commercial ovens in SoCal to become fully electric. It’s the first industrial regulation of its kind in the U.S. Alianza Nacional de Campesinas and Polo’s Pantry are giving household products, water, and food to SoCal farmworkers who are struggling, especially after Tropical Storm Hilary. As a tribute to the anniversary of Ruben Salazar’s death, Orange County is recognizing August as Chicano Heritage Month. What does that designation mean?
8/28/202323 minutes, 43 seconds
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Alice Coltrane’s family members reflect on her impact today

This weekend would have been jazz musician and spiritual leader Alice Coltrane’s 86th birthday. Her family celebrates and remembers her legacy. The extinction of large, Ice Age mammals coincided with the arrival of humans, according to researchers who studied bones from the La Brea Tar Pits and Lake Elsinore. Black Restaurant Week is back and bigger than ever, focusing on diverse offerings of LA’s Black-owned eateries, food trucks, and coffee shops.
8/24/202323 minutes, 57 seconds
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Will LA’s Oaxacan community get neighborhood recognition?

Pico Boulevard is home to dozens of Oaxacan businesses. Now, less than a year after an LA City Councilmember disparaged Oaxacans, locals want city recognition. In her new book, “Strip Tees: A Memoir of Millenial LA,” Kate Flannery gives an insider's look at the problematic rise of scandal-plagued American Apparel. The Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery’s annual showcase of mid-career grant recipients returns for the first time since the pandemic.
8/23/202323 minutes, 41 seconds
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Hollywood’s below-the-line workers: Not striking, still financially hurting

Many of Hollywood’s behind-the-scenes crew members support actors and writers striking, but they feel left out of the conversation as they’re struggling financially. With school back in session, two LAUSD teachers discuss the challenges they’re facing, like students losing social skills and skipping classes. ParaCliffHangers aims to adapt rock climbing experiences so people of all physical abilities can participate.
8/22/202324 minutes, 27 seconds
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LA City Council approves controversial plan to turn hotel into homeless housing

In a win for Mayor Karen Bass, LA’s City Council voted 12-2 to purchase the Mayfair Hotel in Westlake and convert it to transitional housing. A new podcast by journalist Sonari Glinton examines how broken systems allow some criminals to get away with the unthinkable.
8/21/202323 minutes, 37 seconds
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Animal actors still need care as Hollywood strikes continue

LA’s iconic hillside stilt houses have been destroyed in many disaster movies, but in real life, they offer residents a thrilling perch in the clouds. As the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes roll on, animal actors are finding themselves with a lot of time on their paws. Their handlers are trying to figure out how to get by.
8/17/202324 minutes, 21 seconds
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To help residents of fire-ravaged Maui, send cash, not clothes

Southern Californians have donated lots of supplies to help those displaced by the Lahaina fire. Shipping containers are full, but there are other ways to help. Ivy Pochoda’s latest novel, “Sing Her Down,” focuses on two formerly incarcerated women making their way to and through LA in the early days of the COVID pandemic. Art historian Thuy N.D. Tran aims to shed light on a lost “golden era” of South Vietnamese modernism by piecing together collective memories from the diaspora.
8/16/202328 minutes, 11 seconds
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51 miles, 6 days: What this group discovered when walking LA River

With COVID slightly up in LA, residents are wondering about masking up again and getting boosted. John Eastman, a former Chapman Law School dean, faces nine counts in an indictment accusing him of designing the plan to reverse Joe Biden’s presidential victory. An ecologist, an urban planner, a conservationist, and a filmmaker spent six days exploring all 51 miles of the LA River — even the sections without paths.
8/15/202324 minutes, 38 seconds
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All 4-year-olds may now enroll at LAUSD. Will parents say yes?

Los Angeles Unified has opened a new grade to all 4-year-olds called universal transitional kindergarten. Who’s enrolling, and why are some choosing not to? AP African American Studies became an official course at Dorsey High School in Crenshaw last year, and soon it’ll expand to the rest of LAUSD. Schools around the state are feeling the effects of climate change. Now, after heavy parental lobbying, LAUSD plans to “green” 30% of all its campuses by 2035 to create more shade.
8/14/202323 minutes, 44 seconds
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Joshua Tree: History, weirdness, short-term rentals dilemma

Born in Mississippi but drawn to the West, Minerva Hamilton Hoyt was behind the push to make Joshua Tree a special place on the map. The millions of people who visit Joshua Tree have an abundance of vacation rentals to choose from — but that also means challenges to the local community. For eight years, Ken Layne has been keeping desert wanderers company with his esoteric musings about the lore, legends, and landscape of the Mojave — via his periodical and radio show Desert Oracle.
8/10/202325 minutes, 9 seconds
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Hollywood strike’s ripple effect, LA tenant harassment, LA Art Book Fair

As the Hollywood writers’ strike drags past 100 days, the financial pain is widespread for business owners and tradespeople who need production to earn a living. In 2021, LA passed a law to ban tenant harassment, which can be used to displace tenants from their rent controlled units. But the city has done little to enforce it. The LA Art Book Fair returns to the Museum of Contemporary Art this weekend. It’s the first time the fair is being held in-person since 2019.
8/9/202328 minutes, 56 seconds
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Most shrimp in US is imported. Downey business is farming its own

TransparentSea Farm in Downey produces nearly 1 million shrimp a year. That’s great for some of LA’s top seafood restaurants, but how do the prawns feel? Goats are being used more often to clear vegetation and prevent wildfires. But some say the immigrant workers who manage them 24/7 aren’t getting a fair deal. You can help the Natural History Museum count bats and learn more about their roosting behaviors in urban Los Angeles.
8/8/202324 minutes, 39 seconds
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Ticketless Taylor Swift fans still party outside SoFi for Eras Tour

Outside SoFi stadium, fans who didn’t have tickets to Taylor Swift’s concert still find a way to sing, dance, and exchange friendship bracelets. In a new podcast, two Amoeba Music staffers share their discoveries about favorite albums from the iconic record store’s collection. Anaheim’s former political leaders Harry Sidhu and Todd Ament are alleged to have been involved in a “potential criminal conspiracy,” according to a new report. 
8/7/202323 minutes, 26 seconds
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‘It's ouchies, for sure’: Financial and emotional costs of being a bridesmaid

This is the year of extravagant “revenge weddings,” and members of the nupital party are paying the price in money, time, and emotional energy. Chicano Batman, often known as “LA’s house band,” will perform at the Hollywood Bowl this weekend for the first time. You can head to El Segundo to hear a 13-piece big band while dancing the night away at the sixth annual Summer Swing Nights, which runs August 4, 5, and 6.
8/3/202325 minutes, 39 seconds
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Can a new park help cut smog in one of LA’s most polluted neighborhoods?

Students in Ramona Gardens, one of LA's most polluted neighborhoods, are helping create a green space that will act as a barrier between homes and the freeway. When it comes to climate questions, KCRW listeners wanted the most help with recycling. Here’s a list of what you can and can’t recycle, plus the bottom line on plastic bags. Koreatown’s Beverly Hot Springs is a spa fed by natural hot springs. A developer has bought it and plans to build housing units and retail in its place. 
8/2/202324 minutes, 38 seconds
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How recycling works — and its limits

What daily climate questions do you have? Help with the recycling bin was by far the most common response. Here are some answers. Paul Reubens, famously known as Pee-Wee Herman, died from cancer on July 30. Friends and collaborators remember the joy he brought to many lives.
8/1/202324 minutes, 56 seconds
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Comedian Kristina Wong is helping feed union members on strike

Eviction filings in LA County are at their highest level in recent years. An August 1 deadline for some indebted renters could mean even more tenants forced out. With the SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes lingering into summer, more actors and writers need economic aid. The World Harvest Food Bank has teamed up with comedian Kristina Wong to help. If the Anaheim Angels want to hold on to star player Shohei Ohtani, they’ll likely have to pay more — and win more. 
7/31/202324 minutes, 43 seconds
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From Hollywood to hotels, striking workers share a mission this summer

LA’s hotel workers, actors, writers, and Teamsters are all throwing their weight behind striking workers in a way that hasn’t been seen in town for decades. Some of the world’s best surfers will compete at the U.S. open in Huntington Beach starting this weekend. The nine-day festival includes freestyle motocross, concerts, family-friendly activities, and giveaways. Spiral croissants are having a moment on the food scene in LA and all over Instagram. One baker in Pasadena is bringing her own Iranian flavors into the mix.
7/27/202324 minutes, 33 seconds
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Using — and removing — shade as a political tool

Amid climate change, shade is increasingly important — and so is the question of who can access and control it. On July 21, the Santa Barbara News Press filed for bankruptcy, leaving employees, creditors, and the community wondering what happened to the over 150-year-old paper. In separate exhibitions, artists Suchitra Mattai and Acaye Kerunen create powerful images of their ancestors and their visions of the future — by weaving colorful fabrics, fibers, and textiles.
7/26/202325 minutes, 3 seconds
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Bear boom hits Sierra Madre, not all locals are warm and fuzzy about it

In sleepy Sierra Madre, an uptick in bears has spurred the city to declare the animal a “public safety threat.” But locals and officials aren’t sure how to handle the ursine explosion. Henry Hoke’s latest novel, “Open Throat,” was inspired by LA’s own big cat P-22 and Nick Cave’s song “Hollywood.” It’s told from the perspective of a mountain lion. Sick sea lions have washed up on beaches due to a toxic algae bloom. San Pedro’s Marine Mammal Care Center is keeping visitors out to make space to nurse these animals back to health.
7/25/202329 minutes, 16 seconds
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Coliseum symbolizes ambition for LA, from 1923 to today

Since 1923, LA’s Roman-inspired stadium has hosted key moments in U.S. history, including Olympic Games, plus visits from international luminaries and U.S. presidents. Ahead of the 1932 Olympics, LA officials planted tens of thousands of Mexican fan palm trees around the city of Angels — to help beautify the burgeoning metropolis and solidify its place on the world map. Those trees may be dying soon. As the need for mental health services grows, Fullerton is testing a new way to de-escalate police encounters by bringing social workers into the 911 mix.
7/24/202325 minutes, 6 seconds
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‘World of Barbie’ is about self-expression and storytelling

This summer’s ramp-up to the “Barbie” movie’s release has made her and her signature pink inescapable. One “immersive experience” in Santa Monica takes it even further. Actor and singer Darren Criss is performing at the Ford Theater this weekend. Expect the show to be a sing-along dance party. Every year, starting in late July through September, the Griffith Observatory holds monthly “Star Parties,” where you can look at the night sky through dozens of different telescopes.
7/21/202324 minutes, 42 seconds
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Would Dodgers Gondola reduce traffic? Not all Angelenos buy in

Conflict over a proposed aerial gondola to carry fans to and from Dodger Stadium is heating up. Is it a traffic solution or a dubious development plan? Fast food workers at McDonald’s are organizing against low wages, tough working conditions, and the highest levels of homelessness of any workers in LA. Hundreds of Filipinos in LA will march to the Philippine Consulate on Sunday to protest President Marcos’ State of the Nation address. Why do Filipinos in LA care about this?
7/19/202326 minutes, 41 seconds
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Migrants should ‘be received in a dignified way,’ says LA activist

Gov. Greg Abbott has sent a third bus — carrying 30 migrants — from TX to LA. What are the experiences of these asylum seekers, and who’s helping them in LA? As excessive heat becomes more common in Los Angeles, some local officials say air conditioning should be a necessity, not a luxury.
7/18/202324 minutes, 54 seconds
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How to make LA cooler amid heat waves? Change pavement color

As summers get hotter, the City of LA is trying to keep neighborhoods cooler by painting streets with lighter colors. And it actually works. De Los, launched this month, aims to cover stories written by and for Latinos in LA and beyond. The content will all be free. Disneyland must follow Anaheim’s minimum wage law, an appellate court recently ruled. That means all employees at the theme park will soon be earning a minimum of nearly $20/hour. 
7/17/202324 minutes, 1 second
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SAG-AFTRA actors’ strike brings Hollywood to a grinding stop

With the writers’ strike in week 10, SAG-AFTRA actors are walking off the job at Friday 12 a.m. What does this mean for workers, studios, and media consumers? Three art shows to check out this summer: “Wishing Well” supports research for a rare genetic disorder; “Variations on a Theme” shows different rules artists employ in their craft; “20” celebrates the 20th anniversary of David Kordansky Gallery.
7/13/202324 minutes, 40 seconds
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$250/night to ‘glamp’: More private property owners find extra income

Upscale camping, or “glamping,” took off during the pandemic. Now anyone with a property and beautiful tent can add to their profits during the camping season. Cris Hazzard, aka “The Hiking Guy,” recommends some great camping spots around LA for the adventurous among us. Who ventures to the great outdoors? It’s not always as diverse as the natural flora, which is exactly what Outdoor Asian is trying to change in Southern California.
7/12/202324 minutes, 55 seconds
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André Chambers channels ‘Merman’ spirit into his work as ER nurse

The new short film “Merman” follows nurse André Chambers as he explains navigating racism and homophobia from an early age, and finding a place for himself in the world. Camarillo’s Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology houses more than 1 million preserved bird eggs — one of the largest collections in the world. The 1994 “Crime Bill” stripped people in prison of eligibility to access federal Pell Grants for college education. This July, that changed. 
7/11/202324 minutes, 40 seconds
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Can AI be funny? It’s no joking matter to comedians

A local comedian developed a game show that taps into our anxiety about AI while trying to answer one question: Can computers make us laugh? The Santa Monica Police Department is now using drones to appear as “first responders” at crime scenes. Some privacy rights activists are concerned. A judge recently blocked the city of Fullerton from enforcing a ban on people parking their recreational vehicles (RVs) on the streets without a permit. It’s a victory for advocacy groups such as Housing is a Human Right Orange County, but will it last?
7/10/202324 minutes, 6 seconds
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Beverly Hills could see hundreds of new apartments due to ‘builder’s remedy’

A developer using a California law known as the “builder’s remedy” plans to construct as many as 1,000 apartments in Beverly Hills. City officials are not happy. Miki Dora was a legendary Malibu surfer in the 1950s-70s — and a con man who led the FBI on a global manhunt. The latest season of the “Lost Hills” podcast tells his story. Cancer for College is an organization that says it’s given more than $5 million to students with cancer, plus cancer survivors who missed school because of treatments. 
7/6/202324 minutes, 20 seconds
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Old EV batteries: Effective place to store solar power?

Renewable energy is sparse at night, and EV batteries stop holding a full charge long before they’re worthless. One company is solving both 1problems at once. Silent film actress Alla Nazimova threw the biggest parties in 1920s Hollywood. Romy Nordlinger brings her back to life in the new “Garden of Alla.” Welcome to dog hell, or as human Americans call it, Independence Day. If fireworks caused your pet to flee in a panic, here’s what you can do.
7/5/202324 minutes, 47 seconds
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Hotel workers feel pain of inflation, strike for better wages

Thousands of SoCal hotel workers are on strike to demand better pay and benefits. More than 60 hotels and Unite Here Local 11 haven’t reached a new contract. This July 4, LA Chief Heat Officer Marta Segura advises Angelenos to find shade, wear light-colored clothing, take cold showers, and – sorry – avoid alcohol. The Huntington Beach City Council recently moved ahead with a plan to restrict books deemed “obscene” at public libraries.
7/3/202323 minutes, 46 seconds
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LA celebrates 2 new lesbian bars: Honey’s at Star Love, The Ruby Fruit

LA’s last lesbian bar closed in 2017. Now, two new bars for queer women have opened in East Hollywood and Silver Lake, and they’ve been packed. At two Pride events in LA, KCRW asked queer-identifying people what’s on their minds as several states have been trying to enact anti-trans and anti-drag legislation. Author Susan Straight’s latest project, 1,001 Novels: A Library of America, was her attempt to find the “real” U.S., far from the blue and red states of TV news.
6/29/202327 minutes, 23 seconds
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What could happen to voice actors if AI does their jobs?

Voice actors work on cartoons, commercials, video games, and more. Now that artificial intelligence makes cloning voices easier, jobs are in trouble, even as other jobs may be created. Musician Jessy Lanza has turned a move from Canada to LA into a love letter to the city, with a little help from her artistic director partner, Winston Chase. In the third clay biennial at Craft Contemporary, California artists showcase work embodying their connection to land and water.
6/28/202325 minutes, 3 seconds
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Will LA and OC hotel workers walk off the job on Independence Day?

Unionized hotel workers in Los Angeles and Orange Counties are demanding raises, saying they can no longer afford to live in the cities where they work. At a summit today and Wednesday in LA, political leaders, activists, and philanthropists are discussing the challenges and needs facing immigrants. The original El Cholo, the Mexican restaurant in Mid-City, turns 100 this year. The dishes served by waiters in white shirts and black ties trace the history of a changing city.
6/27/202324 minutes, 41 seconds
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More of Southeast LA adopts rent control thanks to women activists

A movement to bring tenant protections Southeast LA started with conversations about a very different topic: family planning. James Kim’s new fiction podcast “You Feeling This?” focuses on love and connections in LA. The stories are about real Angelenos who live in Montebello, Long Beach, and more. Many motels along Beach Blvd. are now known for prostitution and drug dealing. Anaheim, Buena Park, and Stanton are looking to revitalize the strip.
6/26/202324 minutes, 34 seconds
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1 year after end of Roe v. Wade, what’s happened since and what’s ahead

A year after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, which guaranteed the right to an abortion, Sue Dunlap, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood LA, talks about the changes she’s seen and the threats to come. California providers are navigating a thorny and shifting legal landscape as they care for out-of-state patients
6/22/202324 minutes, 31 seconds
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Housing development won city approval in 2005. Locals still fight it

A housing development approved in 2005 is just beginning construction, and local residents want to delay it until the 20-year approval expires. Bernie Taupin’s new show at Choice Contemporary gallery highlights lyrics from songs he wrote for Elton John. 
6/21/202324 minutes, 12 seconds
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Reaching altered states of consciousness via art and tech

A growing movement of boundary-pushing art installations and cutting-edge devices seek to induce altered states. No drugs required. With summer officially starting this week, Heal the Bay has released their annual beach card to help people find the cleanest beaches around SoCal. Anaheim voters will decide in a special election whether or not to bump the minimum wage for hotel workers to $25. The union representing the workers isn’t happy.
6/20/202323 minutes, 54 seconds
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Marking Juneteenth with reparations, music, (red) food

As California’s reparations task force wraps up, professor Cheryl Grills reflects on their findings, and activist Kavon Ward looks to the “land back” movement for change. “The Cape Coast Castle Symphony” by composer Joyce Solomon Moorman was written in response to a visit to Ghana, and is now a part of LA Juneteenth celebrations. Angels & Saints PoBoys offers traditional New Orleans cuisine. Its owner, chef Roneka “Neek” Conley, shares why feeding the soul is at the core of Juneteenth. 
6/19/202324 minutes, 57 seconds
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To cope with climate change, community can help

If you’re scared or sad about our warming planet, the best solution is to solve the climate crisis. But in the meantime, sharing feelings can help you cope. At this weekend’s Garagiste Festival, upstart micro producer winemakers from across California are coming together to share their wares. Artist Faith Ringgold, age 92, has created oil paintings, sculpture, quilts, and more. Her work is on display at the Jeffrey Deitch gallery.
6/15/202323 minutes, 55 seconds
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Another day, another LA City Council member charged with crimes

LA Councilmember Curren Price has been charged with 10 counts of embezzlement, perjury, and conflict of interest. He will step down as council president pro tempore and withdraw from all committee assignments. Former third baseman Ron Cey may have left the Dodgers, but he’s staying active, putting out a new book and a podcast this year.
6/14/202324 minutes, 21 seconds
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Thick Thrift: LA marketplace is exclusively for plus-size shoppers

Finding second-hand clothing in extra-large sizes can be frustrating. LA’s first all plus-size flea market is here to help. The word “queer” insinuated someone’s sexual “deviance” in the 19th century. Now it’s used proudly to refer to the LGBTQ+ community. KCRW traces this evolution. This month, environmental educator Jason Wise is leading a free series of hikes that unpack the hidden queerness in LA’s natural landscape.
6/13/202324 minutes, 5 seconds
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CA will say goodbye to (new) gas-powered leaf blowers

California will ban the sale of new gas-powered leafblowers next year. They’re a nuisance to those who hear them — but prized by those who use them. The new newspaper Street Views includes original reporting, practical guides for people navigating homelessness, and first-person accounts from encampment residents. OC supervisors voted last week 3-2 to only allow U.S. government and military flags to fly on county property. That means no rainbow flag for Pride Month.
6/12/202324 minutes, 20 seconds
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Amid changing abortion laws, OC clinic workers seek union protection

Reproductive health workers nationally have been turning to unions for support since the fall of Roe v. Wade. Planned Parenthood in Orange County could be next. Unions across industries are staging more strikes and showing more solidarity, prompting some experts to forecast a “hot labor summer.”
6/8/202324 minutes, 15 seconds
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Will LA see more ‘social housing?’

California and LA are seeing major pushes for “social housing,” which is government-supported, not owned by a for-profit entity, and is affordable to people of different income levels. Public housing used to be enormously popular in Los Angeles, but that changed amid a surge in anti-communist sentiment in the 1950s. Underdog Community Project is a mutual aid group of volunteers and trained veterinarians who help unhoused Angelenos keep their pets happy and healthy. 
6/7/202325 minutes, 32 seconds
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Some VA benefits get in the way as veterans try to secure housing

Some disabled veterans are shut out of supportive housing due to VA disability income. It’s a catch-22 that reflects larger challenges in filling subsidized units. Across from LA City Hall, a vacant lot has signs that boast, “Good things are coming!” The signs have been there for a decade. What’s going on? As summer approaches and Angelenos head toward the beach, it turns out that lots of sharks are swimming in the waters off the SoCal coast, says a CSULB study.
6/6/202324 minutes, 32 seconds
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Are you doing any good by throwing food waste into green bins? Yes

If you put food scraps into a green bin with your yard waste, are you truly helping the planet? For LA residents, the answer is definitely yes.  With over 80% of major event ticket sales in California, Ticketmaster/Live Nation has a stronghold on the industry. State Senator Scott Wilk is leading a bipartisan charge to change that. Some 30,000 unhoused kids may be living in Orange County, says a new report from an OC grand jury.
6/6/202324 minutes, 43 seconds
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Meet the bumble bee Census counters

As bumble bees decline, local volunteers fan out to find them. Together they’ll create the California Bumble Bee Atlas to help guide conservation decisions. June ushers in Pride month and with it celebrations and remembrances. Brody Levesque of the Los Angeles Blade gives a survey of SoCal happenings. Eater’s Mona Holmes explains where to grab breakfast, lunch, dinner — and maybe even dessert — on your next Central Coast adventure. 
6/1/202325 minutes, 16 seconds
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Quantifying your garbage footprint — to reduce it

Sometimes the best way to cope with anxiety over the climate crisis is to focus on something you can control. So why not start with your trash? The beloved video store Vidiots reopens its doors this week with a bigger collection of film rarities, and a new movie theater. Artist Keith Haring is known for painting radiant babies and barking dogs through simple line work. His first-ever LA museum exhibition is now at the Broad Museum.
5/31/202324 minutes, 43 seconds
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Small businesses near Hollywood studios feel financial pain of writers’ strike

Small businesses that support the film/TV industry are feeling the economic ripple effects of the ongoing Hollywood writers’ strike. A proposed expansion of the city’s “adaptive reuse” ordinance could make it easier to transform unused commercial and office buildings into residential units. A litter of three female mountain lion kittens was found in the Simi Hills. Can they capture the public’s imagination like P-22, not to mention survive as long?
5/30/202324 minutes, 4 seconds
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Which wild plants can you find and eat in LA?

After a record-breaking rainy season, LA’s hills are blanketed in fresh, green foliage. That’s great news for local foragers who spend their free time harvesting edible plants. A local designer, a clothing line using dyes from plants, and an environmental group are collaborating to make clothes using these invasive plants. Festive and messy jacaranda trees are usually blooming this year. But it’s already late May, and some Angelenos are wondering where those purple leaves are.
5/25/202324 minutes, 58 seconds
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Slow state payments push child cares to the brink

Last year, the state approved hundreds of millions of federal dollars to help child care providers through the pandemic. Eight months later, most payments haven't arrived. Set in California and Florida, TC Boyle’s latest novel “Blue Skies” finds humor plus hope in the climate change crisis. As the WGA strike continues, a Santa Monica-based nonprofit is distributing grocery gift cards to writers who are struggling to make ends meet.
5/24/202340 minutes, 31 seconds
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Catalytic converter thefts: Car owners, cops, insurance adjusters try keeping up

Catalytic converter thefts more than tripled in LA County last year, and some victims are replacing the $3,000 car part just to have it stolen again. So Yun Um’s new documentary “Liquor Store Dreams” explores her upbringing in and around her family’s Hawthorne business, plus her complicated relationship with her immigrant parents. The Nickel Diner opened in 2008 in its “Skid Row adjacent” Downtown LA digs. After a pandemic and inflation, it’s shutting down this weekend.
5/23/202325 minutes, 51 seconds
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Get to know LA’s Iranian communities — by car

LA boasts the largest population of Iranian immigrants in the world. Learn how they’ve shaped the area’s landscapes and neighborhoods with a new car tour. LA City Council members on Thursday committed an unprecedented $1.3 billion to the homelessness crisis. Is that enough to make a visible dent? Rep. Katie Porter’s bid for Senate is adding drama in California’s 47th district, with OC Democrats scrambling to find a strong contender.
5/22/202325 minutes, 17 seconds
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Could unrest from writers, directors, and actors bury Hollywood?

After more than two weeks of striking, film/TV writers and their supporters are finding new ways to keep up the energy at the picket lines. WGA West Vice President Michele Mulroney says they’re prepared for a lengthy strike to meet “desperately” needed goals. More labor unrest could be on the horizon in Hollywood, as actors and directors ramp up their own negotiations.
5/18/202324 minutes, 44 seconds
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Ren Faire ‘brats’ help keep SoCal’s 16th-century party alive

Kids are carrying on the tradition at the Original Renaissance Pleasure Faire, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year. Artist Sarah Rosalena’s new show “Standard Candle” focuses on women’s uncredited work that explores the cosmos and Native American traditions. Joshua Tree resident Andrea Zittel has crafted personal uniforms for herself since the early 1990s. A new exhibit at the Regen Projects showcases 48 handmade garments. 
5/17/202324 minutes, 25 seconds
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Can restoration efforts lure steelhead back to Malibu Creek?

Scientists and fly-fishers work to return the endangered Southern California steelhead to its native waters in Malibu Creek by removing invasive fish and an obsolete dam. USC goes all in on artificial intelligence with a $1 billion “Frontiers of Computing” initiative, which focuses on computer science literacy and ethics. A tiny hillside farm in Lincoln Heights is using regenerative farming practices to create healthy, affordable produce for the community.
5/16/202324 minutes, 27 seconds
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Prop HHH is now on track to exceed its housing goals

Prop HHH, the LA voter-approved $1.2 billion homeless housing bond measure, has been slow and costly. But six years in, thousands of units are finally opening. In East West Players’ “On This Side of the World,” theater-goers hear stories of Filipinos immigrating to America. An OC public defender is alleging that deputies used the same drugs as evidence in two separate intent-to-sell cases for men in adjoining hotel rooms.
5/16/202324 minutes, 22 seconds
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Inside LA’s vibrant Asian American and Native American theater scenes

Asian American artists in LA are working to break apart the “Asian American monolith” by telling more nuanced stories and experimenting with form. LA-based Native American theater creators are also having a moment. Larissa FastHorse and DeLannaStudi talk about what this means and why it took so long.
5/11/202324 minutes, 11 seconds
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Lonely? Here’s your guide to making friends in LA

Feeling lonely is normal. It’s also a sign you’re looking for community. Here’s a list of practical suggestions for making friends in LA. Americana artist Doug Levitt has traveled over 120,000 Greyhound bus miles, turning stories he’s heard into songs for his album “Edge of Everywhere.” Dozens and dozens of kites will take flight over downtown LA’s State Historic Park this weekend as the People’s Kite Festival makes its high flying return.
5/10/202329 minutes
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Karen’s Diner: Angelenos eat up waiters’ terrible service

Part restaurant, part in-your-face comedy show, Hollywood pop-up Karen’s Diner is where staff scream at you. Terrible service is actually a selling point here. “Romeo and Juliet Suite” hits the stage and the screen this week in Benjamin Millepied’s multimedia production of the timeless love story. 826 LA mentors guide kids through the process of telling and publishing their own stories.
5/9/202324 minutes, 2 seconds
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LA’s biggest air polluters must be more transparent, new bill demands

Residents in southern LA County face increased asthma and cancer risk. One state legislator is trying to bring them relief by closing air pollution loopholes. Workers in LA’s massive fashion district fought to rewrite a new community plan that will shape the development of downtown LA for decades. Orange County drivers who shuttle people with disabilities around the region have walked off the job after six months of failed union negotiations.
5/8/202323 minutes, 54 seconds
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‘Extremely powerful place to be’: Hundreds make Manzanar pilgrimage

For many years, Californians have converged on Manzanar to remember the Japanese Americans who were incarcerated there during World War II. A new community science project from NASA and UCLA is teaching the public to listen to and identify the sounds of “space weather.” Young Storytellers teach and mentor students in LA and beyond in the art of storytelling, bringing the tales of kids in underserved communities from idea to stage.
5/4/202324 minutes, 24 seconds
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Will the future of dating apps rely on AI?

The dating app Snack helps its users cut through the small talk by employing artificial intelligence to have conversations with their matches for them. After 152 years, Calle de los Negros – site of the most lethal act of racial violence in LA history – will finally get the memorial it deserves. Artist Coady Brown’s new show “Rabid Heart” at Shulamit Nazarin Gallery focuses on deeply saturated, sometimes intimate scenes of female and androgynous figures.
5/3/202324 minutes, 23 seconds
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‘Gone to the Wolves’ brings LA’s 1980s metal scene back to life

In John Wray’s new novel “Gone to the Wolves,” the characters travel from Florida swamps to the 1980s Sunset Strip to Norway –– all in the name of metal. More than 11,000 film and TV writers hit the picket lines today to demand higher pay, better working conditions, and more. KCRW hears from a set dresser, plus a stunt driver and actor. Some 71,000 people died from fentanyl overdoses in 2021, according to the CDC. Orange County’s civic leaders are looking for ways to do something about it.
5/2/202327 minutes, 28 seconds
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Can LA get its CARE Court system running by December?

LA County, the epicenter of the state’s mental health crisis, is rushing to be one of the first with a CARE Court that could require treatment for mental illness. California is facing an unprecedented mental health crisis that has been decades in the making. KCRW takes a look at how we got here and whether there’s a remedy.
5/1/202324 minutes, 9 seconds
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LA poised to be leader in sustainable aquaculture and ‘blue tech’

From kelp farming to underwater robots, Los Angeles is becoming the Silicon Valley of the sea. For people experiencing homelessness, it can be tough to stay in touch with friends and family. The nonprofit Miracle Messages aims to make it easier. Tracy Ann of KnowRealityPie is the winningest pie maker ever at KCRW’s Good Food Pie Fest. And it all began with trying to recreate her mom’s recipes.
4/27/202324 minutes, 8 seconds
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Tipping is confusing. Here are tips to do it right

As more restaurants ask for tips and service fees, it can be hard to know where gratuity really counts. KCRW offers your go-to guide. The City of LA is writing new rules to keep pandemic-era outdoor dining going strong. But restaurants say they’re still too strict and expensive. 
4/26/202324 minutes, 37 seconds
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City Nature Challenge: Help biologists discover rare species

The City Nature Challenge began as a friendly rivalry between LA and San Francisco. Now millions of people globally are helping biologists by taking photos of their local plants and animals. Local governments must provide green bins for California residents. What to put in there, how to keep the waste from getting gross? KCRW answers your questions. Downtown LA’s Grand Central Market has remained an LA institution since 1917. How has it managed to stick around so long? By embracing change.
4/25/202324 minutes, 59 seconds
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Why Armenians in LA are moving back to their native country

SoCal has long been home to Armenian Americans, but now more of them are migrating in the other direction to build stronger ties to their heritage in Armenia. The Hillside Villa apartments in Chinatown were under a city covenant to provide housing for decades. That covenant has expired and tenants are fighting for a way to stay. A 700-foot section of train tracks in San Clemente is still vulnerable to landslides and sand depletion.
4/24/202324 minutes, 27 seconds
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This beatboxer shows you how to make art out of your breath

Shodekeh Talifero is a beatboxer, composer, and “breath artist.” Before he hits the Broad Stage this weekend, he’s teaching Santa Monica College students about breath and movement. Former LA Mayor Richard Riordan died this week. The businessman-turned-politician led LA after the Rodney King uprisings and through the 1994 Northridge earthquake.
4/20/202323 minutes, 43 seconds
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Community land trusts: Idea for affordable housing catches on in LA

LA’s community land trusts aim to keep housing affordable by letting residents own the buildings they live in. They’re also a radical experiment in living cooperatively. LA County’s mental health hotline is 988, but long wait times and bureaucratic rigmarole have hobbled the program, leaving many without help when they need it most. The LA Times Festival of Books is returning for its 27th year of programming. On April 22-23, they’re featuring over 500 writers, poets, celebs, musicians, and more.
4/19/202324 minutes, 11 seconds
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Abortion doulas want to protect the right to bodily autonomy

A group of doulas with the Los Angeles Abortion Support Collective are organizing to protect abortion access as states respond to the overturning of Roe v. Wade. The Queen Mary has stayed afloat for almost 90 years. After a multimillion dollar renovation, it’s now open to the public again. What keeps people coming back? And what does it take to stay in business? 
4/18/202324 minutes, 13 seconds
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Tough guy Danny Trejo wants you to eat well, care for others

“Trejo’s Cantina” features stories about Danny Trejo’s time on the streets, in prison, and on film sets — plus recipes for non-alcoholic drinks and “Fight Night Nachos.” The California Air Resources Board keeps car companies honest by checking whether vehicles’ pollution levels are as low as reported — at a new emissions lab. Irvine officials plan to pay $284 million to shut down an asphalt plant despised by some residents. And the resulting cleanup may cost them even more. 
4/17/202324 minutes, 14 seconds
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Born & Razed: Downey’s changing economy, demographics, and art scene

Dave Alvin formed Americana band The Blasters in Downey with his brother Phil, then went solo in the 1980s, but returned to show KCRW around. In the 1990s, Downey rapidly shifted its demographics to become mostly a Latino area. It was then labeled “Mexican Beverly Hills,” but longtime residents say that’s unfair. A nonprofit gallery in downtown Downey has been instrumental in developing an art scene in the city. Now it faces possible closure.
4/13/202325 minutes, 51 seconds
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LA gas plant will switch to hydrogen: Environmentalists are worried

One of LA’s gas power plants will start burning hydrogen to meet clean energy goals. The controversial decision has some worried about air quality and explosion risks. LA’s mosquito population has been on the rise for a decade, but a winter of rain has created better conditions than ever for the bloodthirsty creatures. Which city has the best burrito in California? San Francisco has a super-sized version, San Diego incorporates fries, LA has dozens of types from around the world. 
4/12/202324 minutes, 8 seconds
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Can growing weed indoors be more environmentally-friendly?

Los Angeles is the epicenter of indoor cannabis cultivation in Southern California, but how intensive is it on our environment, and is there a better way? In the San Fernando Valley and South LA, council seats have been left empty in the wake of multiple City Council scandals. But a special election and a new appointee mean they’ll soon be filled. Laguna Beach has long been known as an “art colony,” but rising prices are pushing artists out of once-affordab
4/11/202324 minutes, 3 seconds
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Can CA’s most notorious prison become modern rehab center?

Gov. Newsom announced plans to transform San Quentin into a Norwegian-style restorative environment. That would require overcoming gangs, racial divides, and structural inequality that runs deeper in the U.S. than Scandinavia. The pros and cons of electric vehicle purchases are getting murkier with coming changes to federal incentives. Is it time to make the switch?
4/10/202324 minutes, 14 seconds
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Easter Sunday: LA drag queens to protest anti-LGBTQ legislation

Wear your Sunday best. At Drag March LA, scheduled for Easter Sunday, drag queens take the stage to protest the rise in anti-LGBTQ legislation. LA’s Rashida Holmes and Greg Dulan are James Beard Award finalists. The pandemic may have played a part in their nominations. One of LA’s most iconic art institutions just got a big makeover. The Hammer Museum in Westwood now occupies an entire city block on Wilshire Boulevard. 
4/6/202324 minutes, 2 seconds
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LA’s Homeboy Threads: Recycling clothes, creating jobs

A new business focused on training formerly incarcerated people is now diverting thousands of pounds of clothes from landfill each month. Director Colin K. Gray’s “Unzipped” follows housed and unhoused residents of Venice, California in the struggle for the soul of the neighborhood. Renters and activists in Buena Park have put a measure in front of the City Council to make them just the second city in Orange County to enact rent control.
4/5/202331 minutes, 23 seconds
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Looking back on 100 years of Tinseltown’s Hollywood Sign

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Hollywood Sign. It’s been at the center of scandals, PR stunts, and more during its time perched up on Mount Lee. In 1978, the Hollywood Sign was in a sad state, so rock legend Alice Cooper spent $27,000 to buy an “O” to honor his friend Groucho Marx. Other celebs followed. Artist Zach Fernandez marked California’s marijuana legalization by turning the Hollywood Sign into “Hollyweed.” It was tough to pull off due to security around the sign.
4/3/202325 minutes, 6 seconds
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Leadership in LA’s alcohol scene: Women are giving it a shot

As women rise to positions of authority within LA’s alcohol industry, they are using their experiences to support one another and create welcoming spaces. Americana at Brand, the elusive local internet celebrity, talks about his niche brand of humor, how he memes, and his abiding love of the account’s namesake mall. On baseball’s opening day, the Dodgers will host the Arizona Diamondbacks, as walking vendor Robert “Peanut Man” Sanchez starts his 50th season selling food to fans.
3/30/202331 minutes, 52 seconds
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Robert Luna: No more ‘us vs. them’ Sheriff’s Department mentality

Robert Luna takes charge of the LA Sheriff's Department amid concerns about crime, deputy gangs, and poor jail conditions. Can he turn the department around?
3/29/202325 minutes
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Sad and sick of storms? Doctor explains seasonal affective disorder

Back-to-back winter storms in Southern California have got us feeling the blues. Could it be seasonal affective disorder? Tensions are rising in the Orange Unified School District boardroom, and the stakes are as high as defending democracy and protecting children. While Gov. Newsom stopped short of calling the drought over, the state is rolling back several mandates as rivers and dams replenish.
3/28/202325 minutes, 59 seconds
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‘Skip the Small Talk’: Like speed dating but for making friends

Are you having a hard time making friends as an adult? Speed friending events are popping up across LA to help folks connect. Balboa Island’s ferry has been making the trip back and forth across the harbor since 1919, but new state environmental mandates may sink it. Near LA, DDT is contaminating an area of the seafloor that’s larger than the city of San Francisco. Scientists and policymakers are racing to find solutions.
3/27/202324 minutes, 36 seconds
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No more fence around Echo Park? Residents have divided opinions

Two years after police cleared a large homeless camp and the city fenced Echo Park Lake amid massive protests, a new council member wants to bring down the chain link barrier. Reactions are mixed. A new exhibit at the Honor Fraser Gallery explores the history of drag. It features more than 40 artists who work in photography, painting, film, performance, and animation. LA County has seen record amounts of rain and snow this season, which means waterfalls are flowing. Here are some of the best hikes to see them.
3/23/202324 minutes, 44 seconds
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Can LA capture enough stormwater to meet residents’ needs?

SoCal’s drought restrictions are over for now, but this winter’s rainwater won’t last long. LA County captured lots of stormwater, but not enough to provide lasting relief. May 1 is the end of the contract between Hollywood studios and film/TV writers who are represented by WGA. This week, the two sides started negotiating. Las Fotos Project teaches photography to young women and gender expansive youth from communities of color. And they don’t just use phone cameras.
3/22/202324 minutes, 44 seconds
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LAUSD strike begins. What’s ahead for workers, students?

Two teachers — from an elementary school and a high school — explain why they’re striking in solidarity with LAUSD workers such as custodians and bus drivers. Plus, how to get resources for surviving the strike, and what’s driving this conflict? Louise Nevelson was one of the most iconic sculptors of the 20th century. LA’s Pace Gallery is showing her larger, monochromatic wooden sculptures as well as colorful collages.
3/21/202323 minutes, 46 seconds
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On eve of likely LAUSD strike, how’s community bracing itself?

KCRW hears from parents, teachers, LAUSD’s Jackie Goldberg, and SEIU’s Lester Garcia as the district sits on the verge of a three-day shutdown. Following unprecedented amounts of winter rain, Orange County is struggling to save hillside housing and railways.
3/21/202324 minutes, 21 seconds
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LA street vendors fight for legal access to busiest spots in town

Sidewalk vendors in LA are suing the city for access to no-vending zones as part of a broader push to make vending a viable legal business opportunity. The Actor’s Gang has been bringing theater classes to California prisons for over a decade, now some alumni of the program have written and will perform an original play.
3/16/202323 minutes, 57 seconds
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USC, UCLA women’s hoops teams in NCAA tournament: What to expect?

Both USC and UCLA’s women’s basketball teams surpassed pre-season expectations by making the NCAA tournament. But how far can fans expect them to advance? Longtime LA politician Mark Ridley-Thomas finds himself on the wrong side of a 19-count federal corruption trial. He’s arguing his behavior was “unethical,” not “illegal.”
3/15/202323 minutes, 56 seconds
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Inglewood Church wants to tag-team with Hollywood to spread hope

A local Inglewood church backs an entertainment company and studio to spread a message of hope. Residents in the San Bernardino Mountains are still digging out from the snow. Now another storm bringing rain complicates the situation. In “L.A. Painter: The City I Know. The City I See,” artist Karla Klarin shares essays and images spanning 40 years in the City of Angels.
3/14/202324 minutes, 24 seconds
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Can Bass’ ‘Inside Safe’ homelessness effort overcome messy rollout?

Mayor Karen Bass’s efforts to shelter unhoused Angelenos is scaling up fast. But some participants say the rollout has been messy and confusing. There’s no Oscar for Best Location. If there were, a San Fernando couple might win. They own the laundromat featured in the movie “Everything Everywhere All At Once.” The state of California recently sued the City of Huntington Beach over failure to follow its mandate to build affordable housing. Huntington Beach sued right back.
3/13/202324 minutes, 35 seconds
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Corgi racing: Which fluffy pup will be champ at Santa Anita?

The Corgi Nationals attract thousands of people to Santa Anita Park racetrack to watch 100 stumpy-legged dogs race … or maybe just play. Illegal gambling venues called “casitas” are popping up around Southern California. The real people making money, though, are members of the Mexican mafia. North Hollywood High School’s science bowl teams cleaned up at last weekend’s regional competition, and are now headed to the nationals in DC to defend their title.
3/9/202323 minutes, 37 seconds
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‘Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992’ takes expanded look at King riots

Three decades after bringing “Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992” to the stage, Anna Deavere Smith returns with a new cast and expanded vision. The Survivors Healing Garden offers a safe space for people who’ve been affected by crime and may be experiencing complicated feelings of anger, grief, and hopelessness.  
3/8/202324 minutes, 29 seconds
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Green sauce: These kids are both HS grads and small business founders

Students at Dorsey High School learn real-life business skills by creating and marketing an avocado-based sauce. Sales are strong. Maybe it’s the avocado-pit alien logo? “Don’t Fence Me In” at the Japanese American National Museum takes a unique look at the quest for normalcy by adolescents in concentration camps during World War II. A century ago, Florence Casler developed buildings in a booming LA. She left her mark on the city and the male-dominated real estate business.
3/7/202323 minutes, 42 seconds
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How COVID years transformed play about Michael Jackson

One (very unauthorized) play about the king of pop had its performance schedule cut short by COVID-19. Now, the show is back on. But like all of us, it’s changed. Since 1976, the Kim family has owned the Gardena Cinema, one of the last single-screen movie theaters in Southern California. But times have changed, and now they have to move on. Deaths among homeless people have increased sharply over the past decade in Orange County. Supervisors want more data from the unhoused. Activists want more action.
3/6/202324 minutes, 13 seconds
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Plan to fight education inequity in LA: What’s it achieved in 2 years?

Two years ago, LAUSD funded a plan aimed at closing the achievement gap between Black students and their peers. Now the impact is visible in the high school experiences of two sisters. Culver City has eliminated honors English classes for ninth and 10th graders in an effort to increase racial equity for students. Not all parents are happy. The world is heavy these days, but art doesn’t have to be when dealing with tough subjects. Two gallery shows in LA are good examples.
3/2/202323 minutes, 49 seconds
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Doing home improvements? Inflation Reduction Act can help

The Inflation Reduction Act includes billions of dollars for people to make climate-friendly improvements to their homes. Here’s how to qualify for it. Staying warm in LA recently hasn’t been easy or cheap. Angelenos share how they’ve been weathering this freezing winter. LA has plenty of soups — traditional and unique fusions. Here’s where to get Vietnamese pho, Japanese ramen, clam chowder, vegan pozole, and more.
3/1/202324 minutes, 3 seconds
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‘2 separate economies’ in CA leads to senator’s call for living wage

Senator Steve Padilla’s SB 253 requires officials to calculate how much people need to earn to pay for basic needs in each California county. At two ICE facilities in California, detainees are on a hunger strike. They earn a dollar a day for eight-hour work shifts. Each year, kids in foster care and from low-income backgrounds receive free new dresses and suits for prom from the nonprofit Glamour Gowns Suit Up (GGSU). 
2/28/202324 minutes, 30 seconds
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Where is LA River headed as floods become more unpredictable?

The LA River has been a flood management system for decades. But worsening storms and a call for more park space have sparked debate about how to change it. Big Bear and Mammoth Lakes have had many feet of snow dumped on them in the past few days. How are they handling the deluge? With Dianne Feinstein not seeking re-election, the two frontrunners seeking her Senate seat made their cases in Orange County. 
2/27/202324 minutes, 9 seconds
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Thousands of miles from home, Ukrainians in LA reflect on war and spread art

A new residency for Ukrainian artists in LA allows six filmmakers and art historians to take a break from Russian shelling and soak up LA’s art and culture. More rain is on its way to the LA area this weekend. A new report shows the 2018 ballot measure to improve stormwater capture hasn’t had a big effect. Artist Yolanda Gonzalez is having a career-spanning exhibition at the Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) in Long Beach.
2/23/202324 minutes, 10 seconds