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FROM THIS EPISODE

Researchers at UC Davis are looking into gun violence, something researchers at the federal level have been unable to do because of the heated politics around guns. What are they investigating? Also, trees are dying in California because of the drought, fueling fires and other problems. Next, a look at the past and future of Times Mirror Square downtown, which Tribune Media plans to sell to a developer. In our regular Friday film segment, critics give their thoughts on the new Pixar release and a creepy new documentary. And finally, why aren’t young people going to the movies in big numbers anymore?

Banner Image: Houston Gun Show

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

California Researches Gun Violence 10 MIN, 43 SEC

California is taking gun violence research into its own hands. In the state budget passed this week, the California legislature included $5 million to create a gun violence research center. That doesn’t sound like much money, but it’s a big deal because for the last 20 years, federal agencies, like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, have been prevented by Congress from researching gun violence. Three years ago, more than 100 scientists signed a letter asking the CDC to resume studying ways to reduce gun violence. President Obama ordered the agency to do so. But Congress continues to block funds for this research and federal agencies are mostly trying to stay clear of the controversy. What can the Golden State do?

Guests:
Garen Wintemute, UC Davis

Tree Deaths, Fires and the Drought 9 MIN, 15 SEC

The Scherpa fire raging north of Santa Barbara doubled in size overnight. It’s now 4,000 acres and growing. Pushed by strong winds, the fire is also being fueled by overgrown hillsides and canyons untouched by fire for nearly 60 years. With wildfire season upon us, forest service officials are concerned that Scherpa is just a preview of what’s to come this summer and fall.  One of their major concerns is dead trees, which feed wildfires. It’s estimated that last year nearly 30 million trees died in California because of the drought and a disease called Sudden Oak Death. What other impacts will we see?

Guests:
Yana Valachovic, University of California Cooperative Extension

The End of An Era for Times Mirror Square? 5 MIN, 48 SEC

It could be the end of an era for the iconic Los Angeles Times building downtown. The newspaper has been in the same art deco structure near City Hall for more than 80 years. Now, Tribune Media plans to sell it to a Canadian developer called the Onni Group. They won’t say for how much. If the deal goes through, the Times headquarters could be renovated into a new office and retail complex. It’s not clear if the paper would stay or move. Either way, Times Mirror Square holds a very different place in the city than it once did. We look at the property’s past and present.

Guests:
Nathan Marsak, historian and author

Friday Film Roundup 10 MIN, 51 SEC

This was a difficult week of news, but this weekend offers plenty of new film releases for a hours of relief, including “Finding Dory” and a creepy documentary about competitive tickling. Our critics give their takes.

Guests:
Christy Lemire, What The Flick?! (@christylemire)
Miri Jedeikin, Movies with Miri (@mirithejedi)

Why Aren’t Young People Going to the Movies Like They Used To? 7 MIN, 46 SEC

The film “Finding Dory” is expected to bring in a massive $115 million for Disney when it opens this weekend. That is a lot of money, but impressive opening weekend numbers like that obscure the fact that the number of movie tickets sold this year is down, especially among younger people. Why aren’t millennials going to movie theaters as much as young people of decades past?

Guests:
Matthew Belloni, Hollywood Reporter, Billboard (@THRMattBelloni)

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