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Join KPCC's AirTalk with host Larry Mantle weekdays for lively and in-depth discussions of city news, politics, science, the arts, entertainment, and more. Call-in number: 866-893-5722
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    Bay Area Plans Major Expansion Of Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

    A power cable from a vehicle charging station is seen plugged into the side of a Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid August 25, 2010 in San Francisco, California. ; Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

    AirTalk®

    Eight years ago, there were no electric cars for sale in California.

    This winter, Assemblyman Phil Ting (D - San Francisco) plans to introduce a bill that would ban gas- or diesel-powered cars by 2040.

    The state set aggressive goals to dramatically cut carbon emissions, and putting electric vehicles on the road is one way to reach that goal—vehicle emissions currently account for 37 percent of statewide emissions. Also, a bill banning gas-powered cars marks a shift away from subsidies and goal setting. As a way to reach another state goal of 1.5 million emissions-free cars on the road by 2025, the state offers subsidies for electric vehicle purchases.

    There are other external forces at work here: namely, Europe is tiring of diesel-powered vehicles, and electric vehicles are in demand in China. China has already set rules for automakers to expand production of electric and alternative-energy vehicles if they want to keep selling gas-powered vehicles, and it’s working on a ban. France, Norway, India and the U.K. are also considering bans.

    The big question is whether the auto industry will beat lawmakers to the electric car future. Since many carmakers have already planned to either curb or end production of gas-powered cars long before 2040. So, does California need to mandate that future, or support the industry and consumers as the free market moves the industry that way?

    Guests:

    Joel Levin, executive director of Plug In America, a nonprofit group headquartered in Los Angeles  that advocates for electric vehicles

    Wayne Winegarden, senior fellow at the Pacific Research Institute, a free-market policy think tank

    This content is from Southern California Public Radio. View the original story at SCPR.org.


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    Gaby Hoffman (left) and Jeffrey Tambor (right) in season 4 of the Amazon television series "Transparent."; Credit: Jennifer Clasen

    AirTalk®

    In its original eight-year run, recently revamped television show “Will & Grace” won 16 Emmys, adding acclaim to popularity as the first hit sitcom with two gay male leads.

    Often referred to as the “Will & Grace effect”, the show played a large role in reducing homophobia in its audience. A 2006 study found that exposure to the gay characters in “Will & Grace” had the same effect as interpersonal contact in viewers who did not regularly interact with members of the gay community. And now that television is more diverse than ever, shows like “Transparent”, “Black-ish”, “Modern Family” and “The Middle” regularly introduce audiences to characters from different cultural, social, economic and racial/ethnic backgrounds.

    AirTalk wants to hear from you. Has a television show ever made you question or reevaluate a personal opinion? What TV shows introduced you to new perspectives while you were growing up? Which shows are pushing you out of your comfort zone now?

    Guest:

    Victoria Johnson, associate professor of film and media studies and of African American studies at UC Irvine; author of “Heartland TV: Prime Time Television and the Struggle for U.S. Identity” (NYU Press, 2008)

    This content is from Southern California Public Radio. View the original story at SCPR.org.


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    The 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards - Red Carpet

    Producer Harvey Weinstein attends The 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 29, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.; Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for TNT

    AirTalk®

    As the sexual misconduct scandal involving disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein continues to develop in Hollywood, we’re hearing more and more people share their own personal experiences with sexual harassment, and those stories are coming from the average, everyday social media user to political workers in Sacramento.

    More than 140 women who work at California’s Capitol, ranging from lobbyists and staffers to political consultants and even lawmakers, have signed a letter speaking out against what they say is a “pervasive” culture of sexual harassment that transcends party lines and job descriptions. Across social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter on Monday, with the aim of showing solidarity as well as painting a picture of just how widespread sexual harassment is in our culture, many users shared details their own stories of sexual harassment with the hashtag #MeToo. Others simply chose to post ‘#MeToo’ with no explanation at all.

    If you have experienced sexual harassment, at what point did you decide to share your experience? What factors ultimately led you to decide that you were comfortable to speak up, or that it was time to do so? Was it more difficult sharing it with certain people than others? How did you process your feelings that got you to a point where you felt like you could share?

    Guest:

    Jeanne Clevenger, PsyD, clinical psychologist with a private practice in Pasadena who specializes in maternal mental health and other women’s issues

    This content is from Southern California Public Radio. View the original story at SCPR.org.


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    Multiple Wildfires Continue To Ravage California Wine Country

    A downed power line and the remins of a home and a car are seen in the Larkfield-Wikiup neighborhood following the damage caused by the Tubbs Fire on October 13, 2017 in Santa Rosa, California.; Credit: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

    AirTalk®

    Fire crews in Northern California are still working to fully contain and figure out what caused rampant wildfires that torched thousands of acres in wine country and elsewhere, but early reports say that it’s possible faulty power lines and electrical equipment could have played a role.

    According to a review done by the Bay Area News Group that a look at radio traffic on emergency personnel frequencies found at least 10 places firefighters responded to because of calls about sparking wires or transformers.

    This is not a new issue. Utility companies’ maintenance of their equipment has come up in the past with regards to sparking and spreading wildfires. PG&E was just fined more than $8 million for not maintaining a power line that started the Butte Fire in Amador County two years ago. It paid $1.6 billion in fines and other fees in 2010 after the San Bruno gas explosion.

    Investigators are still looking into what caused the fires and have not yet come to a conclusion on what it was.

    Guest:

    Paul Rogers, San Jose Mercury News reporter covering science and the environment; he is also managing editor of KQED’s Science Unit; he tweets @PaulRogersSJMN

    This content is from Southern California Public Radio. View the original story at SCPR.org.


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    SYRIA-RAQA-CONFLICT

    Rojda Felat, a Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) commander, walks with her group's flag at the iconic Al-Naim square in Raqa on October 17, 2017.; Credit: BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images

    AirTalk®

    A U.S.-backed alliance of Syrian fighters said Tuesday they had seized control of the northern Syrian city of Raqqa.

    The city has been considered the headquarters of the Islamic State’s “caliphate” since 2014. Raqqa first fell from Syrian government control a year earlier. Raqqa was the site of many ISIS beheading videos, including that of the American journalist James Foley by “Jihadi John.” The city is mostly destroyed, and many lives were lost in the four-month battle over its control.

    So the big question is: what’s next? Will dislodging ISIS from the territory create the same problems that led to its rise in the first place? Larry speaks to a reporter on the ground in Istanbul and an analyst for more details.

    Guests:

    Emily Wither, correspondent for Reuters TV based in Istanbul; she tweets @ewither

    Frederic C. Hof, director at the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East; his focus includes Syrian conflict and U.S. policy in the Middle East

    This content is from Southern California Public Radio. View the original story at SCPR.org.


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    US-CRIME-MANHUNT-COP KILLER-PRESSER

    Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck gives a briefing on the case of Christopher Dorner, a fired LAPD officer wanted for three killings on February 7, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.; Credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

    AirTalk®

    Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck joins Larry Mantle for his monthly check-in.

    Topics they will discuss include:

    Guest:

    Charlie Beck, chief of police of the Los Angeles Police Department

    This content is from Southern California Public Radio. View the original story at SCPR.org.


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    Great Wall of Los Angeles

    Part of "The Great Wall of Los Angeles" by Judith Baca; Credit: Kevin Ferguson/KPCC

    AirTalk®

    Chicana Artist Judith F. Baca describes herself as a political landscape painter.

    Growing up by the Los Angeles River, she remembers when a 40-year-long concrete project along the landmark was completed, and she got the idea to change the way people saw the wall there. And so, Baca’s project was born in 1976.

    Today, The Great Wall of Los Angeles is a half-mile long mural with more than 400 of professional and aspiring artists who’ve worked on the project guided by Baca. It’s the world’s longest mural, and was inspired by the work of three major figures in the Mexican muralist movement, Los Tres Grandes: José Clemente Orozco, Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros. The project was a way to introduce at-risk L.A. youth to the art world, teach them about collaboration, and is seen as a window into the concerns of the community during the mural’s development.

    The book, “BACA: Art, Collaboration & Mural Making,” edited by Mario Ontiveros, showcases more than 200 images of the wall, as well as the inspiration and execution of one of L.A.’s most notable landmarks. Ontiveros joins Larry Mantle today, to discuss its significance, and what we can learn about how and why The Great Wall of Los Angeles was made.

    Mario Ontiveros and Judith Baca will be speaking about the new book this Sunday, October 22, at 3:00pm. The event takes place at Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena. For info, click here.

    Guests:

    Judith Baca, professor of Chicana/o Studies at UCLA; LA-based Chicana visual artist, and subject of the new book, “BACA: Art, Collaboration & Mural Making” (Angel City Press, 2017)

    Mario Ontiveros,  editor and a contributor to the new book, “BACA: Art, Collaboration & Mural Making” (Angel City Press, 2017); he is also an assistant professor of art history at Cal State Northridge

    This content is from Southern California Public Radio. View the original story at SCPR.org.


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    Violent Clashes Erupt at "Unite The Right" Rally In Charlottesville

    White nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the "alt-right" exchange vollys of pepper spray with counter-protesters as they enter Emancipation Park during the "Unite the Right" rally August 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia.; Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

    AirTalk®

    In response to violent protests in Charlottesville and Berkeley, Los Angeles Councilman Mitch Englander has proposed city restrictions on items people can bring into public demonstrations.

    As reported by the Los Angeles Times, prohibited items would include plastic bottles containing alcoholic, non-consumable, toxic waste or flammable liquid, as well as pepper spray, drones, wooden planks and improvised shields. The proposal is on its way to city attorneys who are drafting the new law before final approval. When Englander amended the proposal during Tuesday’s council meeting, he said that police recommendations could determine other items added to the ban.

    Civil rights attorney Carol Sobel challenged the legality of the ban for blocking items from protests that are otherwise permitted. Sobel said that prohibiting shields would make it easier for police to injure protesters.

    American Civil Liberties Union senior staff attorney Peter Bibring questioned drones as part of the ban. He said drones are sometimes used to document protest turnout.

    Larry speaks to Englander and UCLA Law Professor Eugene Volokh today for more details on the pros and cons of a potential ban.

    Guests:

    Mitch Englander, Los Angeles City Councilmember representing District 12, which comprises the Northwest San Fernando Valley

    Eugene Volokh, professor of law at UCLA

    This content is from Southern California Public Radio. View the original story at SCPR.org.


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    TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY HORACI GARCIA MA

    Senegalese girls participate in a rugby match along with other youths at the "House of Rugby" sports and cultural center, in Yoff, a neighborhood of Dakar, on October 17, 2011. ; Credit: SEYLLOU/AFP/Getty Images

    AirTalk®

    Molly Melching is the founder of Tostan International.

    Headquartered in Dakar, Senegal, Melching and her organization are most well known for advancing human rights in the region – specifically awareness of female genital cutting, and childhood and forced marriage. Meaning “breakthrough” in Wolof, Tostan organizes community programs on health, hygiene, literacy and other human rights issues.

    Through those programs, more than 7,200 villages in six West African countries ended practices of female genital cutting and childhood marriage.

    Host Larry Mantle talks to Melching about her work and mission.

    Guest:

    Molly Melching, founder and creative director of Tostan, a non-governmental organization headquartered in Dakar, Senegal, that promotes sustainable development in Africa

    This content is from Southern California Public Radio. View the original story at SCPR.org.


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    Denver Nuggets v Los Angeles Lakers

    Wilson Chandler #21 of the Denver Nuggets splits the defense of Lonzo Ball #2 and Thomas Bryant #31 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the second half of a preseason game at Staples Center on October 2, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.; Credit: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

    AirTalk®

    With most of LA’s focus during this year’s NBA offseason squarely on Lakers’ first round draft pick Lonzo Ball, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that, when the purple and gold take the court on Thursday night for their regular season opener against the Clippers, there will be four other players to watch on the court when the game tips at 7:30 p.m. PST.

    The young Ball, whose play was encouragingly solid during the preseason, is just one piece of a bigger puzzle that the Lakers’ brand new front office is already working on solving this season.

    The Lakers have not won more than 27 games since the 2013-2014 season. Their last playoff appearance was in 2013. Over those years, they have been stockpiling young talent with early first round draft picks like Ball, fellow guard Brandon Ingram, and forward Julius Randle. This offseason, they also added journeyman center Brook Lopez to add some veteran experience to the young squad and help further shore up their post play.

    Now, with Laker legend Magic Johnson overseeing basketball operations and newly-minted general manager Rob Pelinka at the helm, the team is looking to right the ship and get back on track to a playoff berth. Both Ball and Ingram have high expectations in the Laker backcourt, which could potentially be one of the most athletic and dynamic in the NBA. Another young forward named Kyle Kuzma is also quietly turning heads while the spotlight shines on others.

    But the long-term challenge is real. The Lakers compete in the Western Conference, a grueling gauntlet of teams that includes the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder, who are looking to make waves with their big offseason signings, and the defending champion Golden State Warriors.

    What can we expect out of the Lakers this year? Do you expect them to make the playoffs? Will Lonzo Ball live up to the hype? Who are some of the lesser-known players to watch? What are you most excited to see this year?

    Guest:

    Rob Pelinka, general manager of the Los Angeles Lakers

    This content is from Southern California Public Radio. View the original story at SCPR.org.


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    US-POLITICS-SCIENCE-SHAKEALERT

    Margaret Vinci, manager of the Seismological Laboratory at California Institute of Technology points to a shake alert user display on a laptop screen, set for a limited release on June 1, 2017 at the Caltech Seismological Laboratory in Pasadena, California.; Credit: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

    AirTalk®

    With its innumerable benefits aside, living in Southern California also means living with the constant possibility that an earthquake could strike, whether it’s a smaller temblor or the dreaded "Big One."

    When quakes do happen, it should come as no surprise that making preparations for your home, family, and belongings ahead of time are of utmost importance. But it may also come as no surprise that, as a survival expert told the L.A. Times, most people aren’t ready for a big quake.

    In light of today’s "Great California Shakeout," a statewide drill to test preparedness for a major earthquake, here’s some news you can use by talking with emergency preparedness experts about being ready before an earthquake strikes. What do you do when it does? What preparations should you make in advance in your home and to your belongings? What do you need to have in your emergency kit? How do you prepare your family evacuation plan?

     

    For more on preparedness, check out this interview our sister show Take Two did with a local survival preparedness expert.

    Guests:

    Frances Edwards, professor of political science and director of the Master of Public Administration program at San Jose State University; she is a Certified Emergency Manager and former director of emergency services for the cities of San Jose and Irvine

    Mina Arnao, president and CEO of More Prepared, a company based in Hawthorne, CA specializing in emergency preparedness planning and supplies

    This content is from Southern California Public Radio. View the original story at SCPR.org.


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    Travelers In The West Hit The Road Flocking To Destinations To Witness Monday's Eclipse In Totality

    With a sign showing full camp grounds, cars drive into Grand Teton National Park on August 19, 2017 outside Jackson, Wyoming.; Credit: George Frey/Getty Images

    AirTalk®

    Some Americans are trading in their traditional stationary lives for a life out on the open road.

    The change — adopted mostly by single women and senior citizens — is involuntary and is the result of the 2008 Great Recession.

    Award-winning journalist Jessica Bruder immerses herself in this fluid community in her most recent book, “Nomadland.” Bruder bought a van and traveled more than 15,000 miles to live amongst the nomads and hear their personal stories.

    How have you dealt with economic challenges? What sacrifices have you been forced to make?

    Jessica Bruder will discuss her book, “Nomadland” this Saturday, Oct. 21 at Skylight Books in Los Angeles. The event starts at 5 p.m. For info, click here

    Guest:

    Jessica Bruder, journalist and author of the new book, “Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century” (W. W. Norton, 2017)

    This content is from Southern California Public Radio. View the original story at SCPR.org.


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    US-TRANSPORT-TECHNOLOGY-UBER-AUTO

    A biker passes a pilot model of the Uber self-driving car on September 13, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.; Credit: AFP/AFP/Getty Images

    AirTalk®

    If a driverless car is hurtling towards a pedestrian and has the option of swerving out of the way and killing the passenger, what should it do?

    What if there are two passengers and only one pedestrian? What if the pedestrian is a child? It’s a twist on the Philosophy 101 trolley problem, but it’s a dilemma that driverless cars may one day encounter.
    In an attempt at creating a moral framework for these decisions, MIT researchers set up a site called the Moral Machine, where people could decide who lives or decides in theoretical driverless car accident scenarios. In partnership with researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, those MIT researchers took the subsequent data and created an artificial intelligence that could learn from these results and make similar ethical decisions.

    But is crowdsourcing morality the best way to create an ethical guideline for driverless cars? Or is this an example of tyranny of the majority? How should we code the morality of driverless cars?

    Want to be a part of the moral machine? Try it out here.

    Guests:

    Pradeep Ravikumar, associate professor in the Machine Learning Department at Carnegie Mellon University; he is one of the researchers that developed a voting-based system for ethical decision making

    James Grimmelman, professor of law at Cornell Tech; he studies how laws regulating software affect freedom, wealth and power  

    This content is from Southern California Public Radio. View the original story at SCPR.org.


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    Amazon Unveils Its First Smartphone

    Amazon.com founder and CEO Jeff Bezos presents the company's first smartphone, the Fire Phone, on June 18, 2014 in Seattle, Washington.; Credit: David Ryder/Getty Images

    AirTalk®

    The corporation that has changed many of our shopping habits is looking for a second headquarters outside of its Seattle homebase, and cities all across North America are falling over themselves to win the opportunity to be Amazon’s second home.

    Southern California cities are no exception. The cities of Irvine, Santa Ana, San Diego are all expected to put in bids for the 50,000 jobs that the expansion would offer.

    Another contender is the city of Pomona, which is partnering with Cal Poly Pomona and the Fairplex to submit a bid. ​The Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation submitted a bid on behalf of L.A. County with nine distinct sites proposed. Details are sparse, but this is their statement.

    The city of Los Angeles is also interested, but Mayor Eric Garcetti has yet to offer more details.

    Today is the deadline for cities to submit their bids.

    Guests:

    Nathan Bomey, reporter for USA Today who’s been following Amazon’s search for a second headquarters

    Elizabeth Chou, city hall beat reporter for the LA Daily News who’s been following cities in Southern California and their bids to win the prize

     

    This content is from Southern California Public Radio. View the original story at SCPR.org.


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    Santa Monica Mountains

    An area of the Santa Monica Mountains recreation area, which currently encompasses Runyon Canyon Park all the way to Point Mugu. ; Credit: fredo/Flickr Creative Commons

    AirTalk®

    Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) announced Wednesday he is re-introducing the Rim of the Valley Corridor Preservation Act.

    As reported by Southern California News Group, the bill would add 191,000 acres to the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreational Area, and would connect urban and natural landmarks, as well as different socio-economic communities. Schiff’s co-author on the bill is Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), which may mean a better chance of the legislation going through this time.

    Schiff’s previous version of the act was introduced in 2016 with Sen. Barbara Boxer, but died soon after. Affected areas would include some parts of the Los Angeles River, the Arroyo Seco in western Pasadena and the San Rafael Hills.

    Schiff speaks to Larry Mantle today to discuss the potential impact of the legislation.

    Guest:

    Adam Schiff, U.S. Congressman (D-Burbank) representing California’s 28th district which stretches from West Hollywood to the eastern border of Pasadena, and from Echo Park to the Angeles National Forest includes; he introduced the Rim of the Valley Corridor Preservation Act with Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)

    This content is from Southern California Public Radio. View the original story at SCPR.org.