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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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    US-LAW-DRUGS-HEALTH-JUSTICE-MARIJUANA

    A salesman prepares an order of marijuana products at the Perennial Holistic Wellness Center which is a medicinal marijuana dispensary in Los Angeles, California on March 24, 2017.; Credit: MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images

    AirTalk®

    California is just weeks away from legalizing recreational marijuana sales and we want to know what the cannabis business landscape will look like going forward.

    What makes the situation in California tricky is that medical marijuana has already been legal here since 1996, so many pot businesses (known in the industry as “legacy” businesses) have already been operating here, both legally and illegally, for about two decades. Now recreational cannabis is being decriminalized and a new legal and regulatory framework is coming into place. For some smaller businesses, navigating the regulations and applying for the necessary licensing will be a costly endeavor. How will these legacy businesses fare as new regulations come into place and as new players come into the market.

    Speaking of which, legalization means that there will be new, big players, including management and investment firms, entering the fore with a corporate approach. It also means a different, more mainstream kind of pot business in California. Think pot shops with large windows and easy-to-browse strains.

    There will also be medicinal dispensaries transitioning to the recreational market. And some, like LA’s “pot czar” Cat Packer, want to make sure that communities of color, which have been disproportionately affected by the criminalization of pot, will be able to establish businesses and reap the benefits of legalization.

    How will these competing players negotiate and navigate the regulations and policies in place? How do those policies affect which kinds of businesses are successful? What will the cannabis business landscape look like post-legalization – one year from now? Ten years from now?

    Guests:

    Steve DeAngelo, founder of Harborside Farms and executive director of Harborside, one of the largest marijuana dispensaries in the U.S.; he’s the CEO is FLRish Inc., a vertically integrated cannabis company; he is also the president of the ArcView Group, a cannabis investment company

    Adrian Sedlin, CEO of Canndescent, cultivator of high-end cannabis

    Casey O’Neill, founder of HappyDay Farms in Mendocino and vice chair of development of the California Growers Association, a trade group that promotes independent farms and businesses

    Adam Bierman, co-founder and CEO of MedMen, a cannabis management and investment firm based in Los Angeles

    Melahat Rafiei, she runs the Santa Ana Cannabis Association, a trade group of all the permitted cannabis businesses in Santa Ana

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


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    US-JUSTICE-GAY RIGHTS-MARRIAGE

    Charlie Craig (L) and his spouse, Dave Mullins (C), talk to the media outside the US Supreme Court as Masterpiece Cakeshop vs. Colorado Civil Rights Commission is heard on December 5, 2017 in Washington, DC.; Credit: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

    AirTalk®

    In one of the most watched Supreme Court cases of the year, the nine justices heard lengthy oral arguments this morning in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, a case that looks at issues involving questions about free speech, religious freedom, and civil rights.

    At the center of the case is a Denver-based cake shop whose owner refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple on the grounds that it would violate his religious beliefs. The same-sex couple argues the owner violated Colorado law against discrimination by refusing to make the cake.

    After the oral arguments concluded on Tuesday, it appeared that the High Court was largely divided on the issue, with Justice Anthony Kennedy expected to be the deciding vote. Kennedy didn’t do much in terms of tilting his hand during the arguments, suggesting at one point that if the court ruled for the cake maker, it would open the door to business putting up signs saying they don’t cater to same-sex couples and that would be “an affront to the gay community. He also said that the state of Colorado had not been tolerant of the cake maker’s religious beliefs.

    What more did we learn from oral arguments? How are the justices likely to rule?

    Guests:

    Jonathan Keller, president and CEO of the California Family Council, a Christian-based non-profit educational organization, which filed an amicus brief on behalf of the petitioner Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop Ltd.

    Jenny Pizer, senior counsel and law and policy director at Lambda Legal, a law firm that specializes in defending LGBT rights; they filed an amicus brief along with a number of other organizations in support of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission

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


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    US-WEATHER-FIRES-CALIFORNIA

    Firefighters battle a wildfire as it burns along a hillside near homes in Santa Paula, California, on December 5, 2017.; Credit: RINGO CHIU/AFP/Getty Images

    AirTalk®

    A brush fire broke out along the 405 Freeway at Mulholland Drive shortly before 5 a.m. on Wednesday, burning uphill through brush and threatening homes.

    The Skirball fire is the latest to join a list of wildfires raging in Southern California since yesterday.

    Join AirTalk on the latest.

    Guests:

    Priska Neely, KPCC reporter at the site of the Skirball Fire

    Sharon McNary, KPCC reporter at the site of the Thomas Fire

    Michelle Faust, KPCC health reporter

    Meghan McCarty Carino, KPCC commuting and mobility reporter

    Libby Denkmann, KPCC reporter who was covering the Creek fire yesterday

    Emily Guerin, KPCC reporter who was covering the Thomas fire yesterday

    Adolfo Guzman-Lopez, KPCC reporter at the site of the Skirball Fire

    Jill Replogle, KPCC reporter at the site of the Thomas Fire

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


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    ISRAEL-US-PALESTINIAN-CONFLICT-EMBASSY

    A picture shows the exterior of the US embassy in Tel Aviv on December 6, 2017.; Credit: JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images

    AirTalk®

    According to reports, President Trump is planning to start the process of moving the american embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, as well as to recognize the city as the capital of Israel – a decision that has raised alarm among leaders in the Middle East, as well as some U.S. foreign policy experts.

    Trump is still expected to defer the immediate move of the embassy for another six months, but his announcement today to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital will have major repercussions, since the Palestinian Authority hopes that East Jerusalem will one day be the capital of a future Palestinian state. The Palestinian Authority has threatened to pull out of any peace negotiations if Trump makes the announcement. Some foreign policy experts have also said that any pronouncement on the status of the volatile city of Jerusalem will bury a chance at peace in the region.

    Some groups in Israel and the U.S. have welcomed the move, saying it’s a recognition of reality and a diplomatic tactic that might force otherwise stalled peace negotiations.

    We listen to Trump’s address and debate the repercussions of his announcement.

    Guests:

    Miriam Elman, associate professor of political science and research director in the Program for the Advancement of Research on Conflict and Collaboration at Syracuse University

    Brian Katulis, senior fellow focusing on U.S. national security policy in the Middle East for the Center for American Progress, a left-leaning think tank in Washington, D.C.

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


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    International Church of Cannabis Opens Its Doors In Denver, Colorado

    Church organizer and founding member Steve Berke of Denver, Colorado checks the ages of some of the first members of the public to visit the International Church of Cannabis in Denver, Co. on April 20, 2017. ; Credit: Marc Piscotty/Getty Images

    AirTalk®

    As California prepares to being sales of legal recreational marijuana for adult use on January 1, 2018, both people in the industry and those who watch it know that the state is heading into uncharted territory.

    While considerable policy work has been done to lay the foundation for things like tax structure, zoning laws, and enforcement, there are still more questions than answers, and many of those questions won’t be answered until legal sales of cannabis begin in earnest.

    The good news is that Colorado and Washington legalized recreational marijuana for adult use in 2012 and have several years of lessons that California will no doubt be using to guide its own legal marijuana policy and deal with issues that have come up in those two states like potency issues with edibles, consumer health and safety, law enforcement dealing with stoned drivers, advertising for cannabis products, and even something as simple as where people can actually consume their legal cannabis. There’s also the issue of weed tourism -- out-of-state residents who show up to purchase and consume marijuana legally -- and the impacts that can have on the economy and on society in general.

    So, what lessons can Colorado and Washington teach us about the challenges California may face in the short and long term? What have been the biggest challenges and how have legislators and policymakers worked to solve them? What kind of tax revenue are those states bringing in?

    Guests:

    Bob Young, reporter covering marijuana for The Seattle Times; he tweets @PotReporter

    Alicia Wallace, national marijuana policy and business reporter with The Cannabist at The Denver Post; she tweets @aliciawallace

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


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    Hillary Clinton Campaigns In Crucial States Ahead Of Tuesday's Presidential Election

    Khizr Khan speaks during a campaign rally with Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at The Armory on November 6, 2016 in Manchester, New Hampshire. ; Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

    AirTalk®

    At the 2016 Democratic National Convention, Khizr Khan and his wife Ghazala gave a speech about their son, Humayun, who was killed in a suicide attack in Iraq in 2004 and posthumously awarded a Purple Heart.

    The speech was about their family's story, Muslim faith and patriotism, and in one memorable moment, Mr. Khan held out his personal copy of the U.S. Constitution and offered it to then-presidential candidate Donald Trump to borrow. Appearing on TV, Trump criticized the Khans —including Ghazala, for standing silently next to her husband as he spoke— and compared their family's sacrifice to his "sacrifice" creating jobs and having business success. He was, in turn, widely condemned for criticizing a Gold Star family.

    Khizr Khan has written a memoir called An American Family: A Memoir of Hope and Sacrifice. The book tells the story of how the Khans came to America from rural Pakistan, and how Khizr and Ghazala raised their three sons in Maryland.

    Khizr Khan will be speaking about his new memoir, “An American Family,” tonight, at 7:30pm at the Library Foundation of Los Angeles in Downtown L.A.

    Guest:

    Khizr Khan, author of the new book, “An American Family: A memoir of hope and sacrifice”; his middle son, U.S. Army captain Humayun Khan was killed in 2004 while stopping a suicide attack in Iraq, and was posthumously awarded a Purple Heart and Bronze Star

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


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    Vehicles pass beside a wall of flames on the 101 highway as it reaches the coast during the Thomas wildfire near Ventura, California on December 6, 2017.; Credit: MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images

    AirTalk®

    Fires continue burning throughout Southern California.

    As winds strengthen, the fire in Ventura County is pushing towards populated areas. In the meantime, the Skirball Fire has burned 475 acres and Bel Air residents are under mandatory evacuation. We check in with the latest on the fires.

    Plus, the city attorney of Los Angeles joins us to discuss illegal price gouging in the wake of evacuations. And did you get an emergency alert last night? We talk about how the emergency alert system in California works and how you can keep yourself informed.

    This segment is being updated.

    Guests:

    Robert Garrova, KPCC reporter at the site of the Skirball Fire; he tweets @robertgarrova

    Adolfo Guzman-Lopez, KPCC reporter at the site of the Thomas Fire; he tweets @AGuzmanLopez

    Kelly Huston, a deputy director with California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services

    Charlie Eadie, principal with Eadie Consultants, a Santa Cruz-based firm specializing in helping communities rebuild after disasters, including fires

    Mike Feuer, City Attorney of Los Angeles

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


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    Embattled Minnesota Sen. Al Franken Speaks On His Political Future From The Senate Floor

    Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) (C) and his wife Franni Bryson (L) arrive at the U.S. Capitol Building December 7, 2017 in Washington, DC. ; Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

    AirTalk®

    Minnesota Sen. Al Franken says he'll resign in the coming weeks.

    He's repeatedly apologized as several women accused him of sexually inappropriate behavior, and as his support from fellow Democrats evaporated.

    The Minnesota lawmaker took to the Senate floor to say, "I may be resigning my seat, but I am not giving up my voice." He says he'll addressing issues as an activist.

    Franken says he can't go through a Senate Ethics Committee investigation and effectively represent his state at the same time.

    With files from Associated Press.

    Guest:

    Elizabeth Dunbar, reporter at Minnesota Public Radio who's been following the story

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


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    Southern California Wildfires Forces Thousands to Evacuate

    A home is consumed by fire during the Thomas fire on December 7, 2017 in Ojai, California. The Thomas fire has burned over 115,000 acres and has destroyed 439 structures.; Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

    AirTalk®

    The Thomas Fire raging in Ventura County grew to 132,000 acres overnight, prompting new evacuations.

    Mandatory evacuations were added late Thursday for parts of Fillmore, Carpinteria and Summerland, along with several unincorporated parts of Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.

    Read the full article here.

    Guests:

    Stephanie O’Neill, Ojai resident who's been covering the Thomas fire at various outlets; she is a former KPCC reporter and lives in Ojai; she tweets @ReporterSteph

    Amita Sharma, investigative reporter at KPBS; she has been following the Lilac fire; she tweets @ASharmaKPBS

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


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    COLOMBIA-MARIJUANA-PROTEST

    An activist smokes a joint during a protest in Bogota, on August 1, 2017.; Credit: RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty Images

    AirTalk®

    No matter how much you love them, every significant other, family member or roommate likely comes with a habit or two you wish they would break.

    When the issue is something as small as forgetting to put the toilet seat down or leaving their shoes all over the house, it could be overlooked – but what happens when the problem is their pot habit?

    As 2018 approaches, California is putting the final touches on regulating the state’s newly legalized recreational marijuana industry. LA’s City Council approved a set of rules for the new businesses Wednesday, including how shops applying for licenses will be inspected and where they will be able to open within city limits. Regardless of your personal views on recreational marijuana, usage is going to become much easier and more normalized.

    Have you ever been in a close relationship with someone who didn’t share your views on recreational marijuana? How did you to make your relationship work – or were your diverging opinions too much to bear?

    Call us at 866.893.5722 to weigh in.

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


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    Bitcoin Continues To See Unprecedented Growth

    A visual representation of the digital Cryptocurrency, Bitcoin alongside a selection of fiat currencies on December 07, 2017 in London, England.; Credit: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

    AirTalk®

    The infamous cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, has exploded into mainstream.

    Recent market estimates value the digital currency at $16,000 – which is about $1,000 higher than it was last year.

    Additionally, websites like Expedia.com – and even Microsoft – have begun accepting Bitcoin as a method of payment.

    Even still, some continue to hold on to their reservations and say they expect the “Bitcoin bubble” to burst. Given its recent success, do you consider Bitcoin to be a good investment opportunity? Why or why not?

    Guests:

    Meltem Demirors, director of  Digital Currency Group, an investment firm based in New York

    John Authers, senior investment commentator at the Financial Times

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


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    Jesuit Priest Father Greg Boyle poses outside the

    Jesuit Priest Father Greg Boyle poses outside the "Jobs for a Future" employment center he runs for Latino gang members who want out of a life of crime and gangbanging 18 December, 2000 in the East Los Angeles neighborhood of Boyle Heights.; Credit: MIKE NELSON/AFP/Getty Images

    AirTalk®

    Father Gregory Boyle knows a thing or two about second chances.

    The Jesuit priest has built his life around offering them to those that most of the rest of society might overlook or dismiss. As the founder of Los Angeles’ Homeboy Industries, Father Greg offers a second lease on life to former gang members and the recently incarcerated, connecting ‘homies’ and ‘homegirls,’ as he calls them, with services like substance abuse treatment, tattoo removal, mental health counseling and employment services. And when you’ve spent almost three decades doing what he has, you get to see firsthand what someone can accomplish if given a second chance and a good nudge in the right direction.

    In his latest book, “Barking to the Choir: The Power of Radical Kinship,” Father Greg looks back on the lessons he’s learned as he approaches 30 years at the helm of Homeboy Industries, which now boasts many social and businesses ventures as its own. He talks about the homies and homegirls whose stories have touched his life – the former gang member and inmate trying to kick his drug habit and start over, or the man trying to find a way to forgive his family after they abandoned him as a child – and how we can learn lessons from them about perseverance, compassion, forgiveness, and the power of unconditional love.

    Father Greg will be speaking about his book in a series of events this week:

    Guest:

    Father Greg Boyle, founder of Homeboy Industries; author of the new book, “Barking to the Choir: The Power of Radical Kinship” (Simon & Schuster, 2017)

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


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    Southern California Wildfires Forces Thousands to Evacuate

    Flames come close to a house as the Thomas Fire advances toward Santa Barbara County seaside communities on December 10, 2017 in Carpinteria, California.; Credit: David McNew/Getty Images

    AirTalk®

    The Thomas Fire that broke out a week ago in Ventura County is now the 5th largest in California history.

    The fire has grown to 230,500 acres, or 360 square miles — nearly the size of San Diego. The fire is still just 15 percent contained and has already destroyed more than 750 buildings, burning six more in Carpinteria on Sunday. Guest host John Rabe speak with KQED’s Steve Cuevas, and reporter Stephanie O’Neill on the latest on the Thomas fire.

    Also, AirTalk will check in from New York on the pipe bomb explosion in the subway. The suspect has been identified, and officials are investigating as an act of terrorism.

    Guests:

    Steven Cuevas, bureau chief of The California Report at KQED; he’s covering the Thomas Fire in Santa Barbara

    Stephanie O’Neill, reporter in Ojai covering the Thomas fire; she tweets @ReporterSteph

    Rebeca Ibarra, assistant producer and reporter at WNYC; she’s been following the story

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


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    Steve Bannon Joins Alabama Senate Candidate Roy Moore At Campaign Rally

    Republican Senatorial candidate Roy Moore speaks during a campaign event at Oak Hollow Farm on December 5, 2017 in Fairhope, Alabama.; Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

    AirTalk®

    We’re expecting another whirlwind week in politics this week.

    Tomorrow is the long-anticipated special election between Republican candidate Roy Moore and Democratic candidate Doug Jones. Moore, of course, has been embroiled in a series of allegations of sexual assaults involving teenagers that date back decades ago. Moore has denied all of the accusations.

    Guest host John Rabe speaks with an Alabama reporter about the Moore/Jones race, as well as our political analysts Jack Pitney and John Iadarola for analysis on the special election. We also parse through other political stories, including the resignations of Congressmen Al Franken and Trent Franks, and Megyn Kelly’s morning interview with women who have accused President Trump of sexual misconduct.

    Guests:

    John Hammontree, managing producer of Reckon Alabama, the investigative and in-depth reporting unit at AL.com, the news site that covers the state of Alabama; he tweets @johnhammontree

    Jack Pitney, professor of politics at Claremont McKenna College; he tweets @jpitney

    John Iadarola, host and creator of ThinkTank, part of The Young Turks Network; he also serves as a weekly co-host for The Young Turks weekly live show; he tweets @johniadarola

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


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    Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office Holds Annual Confiscated Gun Melt

    Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell addresses a news conference at the Los Angeles County Sheriffs' 22nd annual gun melt at Gerdau Steel Mill on July 6, 2015 in Rancho Cucamonga, California.; Credit: David McNew/Getty Images

    AirTalk®

    The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department keeps a secret list of deputies with a history of misconduct.

    Sheriff Jim McDonnell has been fighting to get this so-called “Brady list” into the hands of prosecutors. The issue is that these officers testify in court. And prosecutors need to tell criminal defendants if there’s evidence that would undermine any of these officer’s credibility as witness.

    The Sheriff’s Deputies union has been pushing back against the Sheriff, saying that giving prosecutors access to the list would harm deputies and could cast doubt on criminal prosecutions that they’ve been involved in. The California Supreme Court has taken up the case and is likely to come down with a decision next year.

    Very few people get access to this list, but last week, the L.A. Times did a long investigation of the 2014 list from the Sheriff’s Department. We talk to two of the reporters to hear what they learned.

    We reached out to District Attorney Jackie Lacey and the Sheriff's Department. They were unable to join us on-air. 

    Guests:

    Frank Stoltze, KPCC correspondent who covers criminal justice and public safety issues

    Maya Lau, reporter on the metro desk covering the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department for the Los Angeles Times

    Corina Knoll, staff writer at the Los Angeles Times

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