Steve Chiotakis talks to Los Angeles journalists about the week's leading news stories.
A bad tax day for California
For many Californians, Tax Day this year means writing a check to Uncle Sam. President Donald Trump, and the GOP’s new tax laws, are hitting high tax states, such as California and New York, extremely hard. Is there anything you can do?
12/04/2019 • 7 minutes 47 seconds
New Sheriff, New Chutzpah
Alex Villanueva has a mandate and he does not care who – or what – gets in his way. At least, that’s how the newly minted Sheriff of L.A. County has positioned himself during his first few months in office. Villanueva won in an election last November and that political victory has given him an awful lot of autonomy when it comes to running his department. But he's not free from scrutiny, and there’s been plenty of it this year.
29/03/2019 • 9 minutes 18 seconds
Disney plus Fox equals what for LA?
In less than a week from now, Disney and 20th Century-Fox will be one. It is by far the biggest entertainment merger in recent memory, and anxiety is high on the Fox lot. There are jobs in accounting, marketing and beyond that could soon be rendered redundant under a Disney umbrella. What will happen to those employees and the Fox brand?
15/03/2019 • 8 minutes 6 seconds
Democrats lean left, socialism leans in
Bernie Sanders and his 2016 campaign helped usher in a new generation of politicians and brought several progressive ideas to the Democratic Party platform. But that's not enough for the Vermont Senator. He has his eyes on 2020.
22/02/2019 • 8 minutes 57 seconds
Bullet Train Plans Go Off the Rails
Plans for the high-speed rail project originally meant to connect L.A. and San Francisco - are now derailed. At least, so it seems. Governor Gavin Newsom said in his State of the State address this week that he was going to shorten its construction to connect only Merced and Bakersfield. But the Governor is now resisting how most news outlets - and President Trump - have characterizes his plans.
15/02/2019 • 8 minutes 30 seconds
Getting past the sour note
There’s another big awards show this weekend in Los Angeles. And this one, like some others, is trying to move past controversy that concerns inclusion. The Grammy Awards actually expanded the number of nominees competing in the 4 big categories, all in hopes of getting more gender and racial diversity. But will that work?
08/02/2019 • 9 minutes 5 seconds
President Trump’s intelligence team went to Capitol Hill this week for their yearly update to the Congress. But Trump did not like what they said and how it was covered. So he contradicted them and blamed the media for mischaracterizing their comments.
01/02/2019 • 8 minutes 39 seconds
A California soaking, but will it stick?
Some parts of Southern California got more than five inches of rain this week, in a series of storm systems that hit the area one after the other. What climate scientists describe as an atmospheric river is behind the weather pattern that brought those torrents of rains and even unusual blizzard conditions in higher elevations. The rain put a big dent in the drought. But, as you’re probably well-aware, the rain can stop for months and months and – voila! – here we are, in a big drought again. So what’s behind this pendulum swing, and what can state officials do about capitalizing on the precious water that falls?
18/01/2019 • 8 minutes 48 seconds
The march toward a teachers strike sounds familiar
Higher salaries, larger class sizes, more counselors, librarians and nurses. Those are just some of the demands that members of United Teachers, Los Angeles - the union that represents teachers' at LAUSD - are asking for. And if you think those demands sound familiar, that is because they are the same things teachers in other parts of the country have asked for in the past few years. But now a strike seems imminent and that is raising concerns about how students will be affected.
11/01/2019 • 8 minutes 51 seconds
Governor Moonbean and his reform record
Jerry Brown is still the Governor of California. But not for long. He’s termed out – and on his way out – in January, when Gavin Newsom is set to take over as the state’s chief executive. Brown has been in public service for nearly half a century and when you service that long, you build a reputation for yourself. He’s known as being fiscally responsible. However, his legacy infrastructure projects – from high speed rail to water tunnels – have been mired in controversy, so far. So, when it comes to criminal justice reform, just how will the Governor be remembered?
21/12/2018 • 9 minutes 12 seconds
Heading for the fire exit
Thousands of Californians are spending the holidays deciding what to do next after devastating wildfires. The Camp Fire – in northern California – took out nearly an entire town, killing at least 86 people. And the Woolsey Fire, closer to home, left 3 people dead, chewing through nearly 100,000 acres in L.A. and Ventura Counties. Ken Pimlott knows those names all too well. He heads up the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, and today is his last day on the job.
14/12/2018 • 8 minutes 42 seconds
Enter Gavin Newsom
A look at how California's new governor may interact with the legislature.
07/12/2018 • 10 minutes 26 seconds
Repainting the Sheriff's department, tan and green
Barring any unforeseen changes, there will be a new L.A. County Sheriff at the start of next week. Alex Villanueva defeated sitting Sheriff, Jim McDonnell, in this month’s midterms after running a partisan campaign that lead to the first ouster of a sitting Sheriff in more than a century. Villanueva told KCRW this week that his goal is to rid the department of officials that, he said, contributed to a corrupt culture under previous leadership. But there is a lot of concern about what that will look like and if recent reforms could be rolled back.
30/11/2018 • 8 minutes 42 seconds
The fires rage on in our own backyard, and in Northern California, encompassing tens of thousands of acres each. In L-A and Ventura Counties, the Woolsey Fire has scorched everything in its path. To the north, in Butte County, the Camp Fire has charred and destroyed even more acreage, of trees, brush and everything else, north of Sacramento, and the town of Paradise is a scene of utter devastation and heartbreak.
16/11/2018 • 14 minutes 33 seconds
Will California voters show up?
Across the country, early voting for Tuesday's midterm election has been happening in record numbers, but here in California, the numbers aren’t that impressive. So, who can we count on to show up on Tuesday when polls open?
02/11/2018 • 8 minutes 41 seconds
Why kidney dialysis is at the heart of California’s most expensive ballot measure
The measure that’s raked in the most money on California's November ballot is not over rent control or the state’s recently passed gas tax – it's about kidney dialysis
26/10/2018 • 9 minutes 30 seconds
The Politics of Immigration: North and South of the Border
NPR's international correspondent Carrie Kahn and KPBS military reporter Steve Walsh join host Steve Chiotakis to give the latest from both sides of the wall.
26/10/2018 • 10 minutes 54 seconds
Crossing borders, in mind and in the flesh
The U.S. border with Mexico has become a linchpin in American politics under the administration of Donald Trump.
12/10/2018 • 19 minutes 1 second
Two California Senators, One Supreme Court Justice
With key votes expected by Maine Republican Senator Susan Collins and West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, Brett Kavanaugh is likely to be confirmed as the next Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Two Senators who don’t support Kavanaugh represent California: Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris. And both have played pivotal, if limited, roles in the confirmation and hearing process up to this point.
05/10/2018 • 8 minutes 52 seconds
Ten Years Later, Any Lessons Learned?
Ten years ago this month, Wall Street – and every other economic barometer – was in free fall. And that financial crisis was also a housing crisis. Some of the worst areas hit were communities all along Southern California’s I-15 freeway, from Rancho Cucamonga in the north… to Lake Elsinore in the south. So what happened, and how's life along the 'Foreclosure Alley' now?
21/09/2018 • 9 minutes
The Power of Projection
How has Trump been able to - so effectively - dance around scandal after scandal?
24/08/2018 • 8 minutes 39 seconds
The Golden State burns bright red
The acreage keeps ticking up on a stubborn wildfire burning in a part of California that hasn’t in several decades. At last check, the Holy Fire has charred more than 18,000 acres. And with containment sitting in the single digits, it’s not looking like this will be put out soon. The fire is threatening homes and causing a host of other problems for residents living near the flames and downwind.
10/08/2018 • 8 minutes 37 seconds
Who decides when cops open fire?
The LAPD has shot and killed 2 innocent people in the past several weeks during police activity. The tragedies have prompted apologies from the Chief of Police and possible legal action. They have also spurred a broader conversation around when police officers should use their weapons, especially when there are a lot of people around.
03/08/2018 • 9 minutes 17 seconds
Social media giants take a few punches
Facebook and Twitter took some big losses this week after reporting some less-than-projected earnings. The numbers coincide some recent changes made by both social media giants, including the beginnings of a crackdown on who can post and what they can say. Is being the adult in the room bad for business?
27/07/2018 • 8 minutes 42 seconds
California is burning, again
Just a couple of weeks ago, temperatures hit all-time record highs in a number of places and, with heat, comes the possibility of ignition.