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The Los Angeles City Council approved a request by the owner of a Hollywood apartment building to turn it into a boutique hotel. How often are tenants being evicted by developers under the Ellis Act? And what does the decision reveal about the city’s efforts to solve LA’s housing crisis? Then, Xeni Jardin talks about the big change in a Facebook algorithm that has news organizations nervous. Next, the life and work of Futurist Alvin Toffler. Also, a new documentary called “Breaking a Monster” captures the meteoric rise of the young metal band Unlocking the Truth. The subtitle might have been ‘be careful what you wish for’. And finally, total student debt in America is $1.3 trillion. With that much money on the line, we know who the losers are – students who either can’t afford to pay the loans back or remain saddled with high debt payments for decades. But who are the winners? Who’s making money off this surge in student debt?

Banner Image: Los Angeles, Ca. Photo: Tom Hart

Producers:
Matt Holzman
Anna Scott
Jolie Myers
Christian Bordal
Sarah Sweeney

Tenants Rights Advocates Lose Another Battle Against a Developer 8 MIN, 8 SEC

The Los Angeles City Council approved on Wednesday a request by the owner of a Hollywood apartment building to turn it into a boutique hotel. Tenants rights advocates had been fighting the plan. They say city officials talk a good talk when it comes to affordable housing, but then they turn around and approve projects that get rid of affordable housing. How often are tenants being evicted by developers under the Ellis Act? And what does Wednesday’s decision reveal about the city’s efforts to solve LA’s housing crisis?

Guests:
Emily Alpert Reyes, Los Angeles Times (@LATimesemily)

More:
Tenant activists lose fight against Hollywood building's conversion into a hotel

New Facebook Algorithm Makes News Orgs Nervous 8 MIN, 13 SEC

Facebook has become one of the world’s biggest sources of news, and news outlets have come to rely on them for eyeballs. Now Facebook is going to change its algorithm so that users’ news feed will focus on content posted by friends and family, and the news business is not happy about it. In other Facebook news, a representative for the social media giant told a reporter that the company uses users’ phone location to recommend new friends. The spokesperson quickly retracted the statement, but users are still skeptical.

Guests:
Xeni Jardin, BoingBoing.net (@xeni)

More:
Facebook changes story, now says phone location not used to recommend friends

Remembering Futurist Alvin Toffler and Forecasting the Future of Futurology 10 MIN, 2 SEC

Futurist Alvin Toffler has died at his home in Los Angeles. He was 87. Toffler authored a trilogy of best-selling books, beginning in 1970 with “Future Shock”, which sold 15 million copies and is still in print today. In that book, Toffler made incredibly accurate predictions about how science and technology would shape humankind. He forecasted cloning, the invention of the internet and cable TV, and the massive popularity of the personal computer. Futurists are still trying to predict how innovation will shape our society today.  

Guests:
Daniel Burrus, tech futurist and innovation expert (@DanielBurrus)

More:
Burrus Research
Toffler, Author of ‘Future Shock,’ Dies at 87

'Breaking a Monster' Captures Unlocking the Truth’s Meteoric Rise 12 MIN, 16 SEC

Just one year after a video of the band Unlocking the Truth playing in Times Square went viral, they were signed to a $1.8 million recording contract. They played at SXSW and Coachella. They opened for Metallica and Guns N’ Roses. It was a meteoric rise for three black 13-year-olds from Brooklyn. A filmmaker named Luke Meyer followed them with his camera through it all, and the result is a documentary called “Breaking a Monster.” The subtitle might have been ‘be careful what you wish for’.

Guests:
Luke Meyer, Director

More:
Breaking a Monster

Who Got Rich Off the $1.3 Billion Student Debt Crisis? 7 MIN, 10 SEC

President Obama has agreed to forgive more than $170 million of debt owed by former students of the for-profit Corinthian Colleges. The company filed for bankruptcy last year. Many students had sued, saying their degrees were worthless, that the colleges weren’t teaching basic courses and many weren’t accredited. Looking at the bigger picture, total student debt in America is $1.3 trillion. With that much money on the line, we know who the losers are – students who either can’t afford to pay the loans back or remain saddled with high debt payments for decades. But who are the winners? Who’s making money off this surge in student debt?

Guests:
Lance Williams, Center for Investigative Reporting (@LanceWCIR)

More:
WHO GOT RICH OFF THE STUDENT DEBT CRISIS

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