A dispute between longshoremen and shipping companies has created a backlog that’s leaving cargo ships sitting offshore waiting to be unloaded, and export goods languishing on the docks. What’s the fight about, and what’s the wider impact -- especially on California’s delicate citrus industry? Then, in our weekly web roundup, a look at the scary-slash-promising possibility of “The Internet of Things,” a future point when all our appliances and even our bodies are connected online. In our film segment, a look at the Oscar nominees in animation, foreign film, and other less talked-about categories. And finally, legendary DJ Art Laboe is off L.A.’s airwaves for the first time in 60 years...at least for now.
FROM THIS EPISODE
There’s a crisis at the nation’s West Coast ports. An ongoing dispute between longshoremen and shipping companies has led to a suspension of unloading cargo ships. That means huge boats are sitting just offshore, waiting to unload containers filled with products from Asia, while California goods that are supposed to be exported are languishing on the docks. What’s the fight about, and what’s the wider impact?
The shutdown at the ports is costing some $1 billion a day, and California’s citrus growers are feeling the pain. It’s a $2.4 billion-a-year business, and while most perishable fruits and vegetables are flown out, oranges are still shipped the old-fashioned way. We get a firsthand account of how badly the business is being hurt.
Tom Wollenman, LaBue Citrus
We’re getting closer and closer to the day when our cars, appliances, and even our own bodies are plugged into the Internet at all times. The idea is referred to as “the Internet of things.” It means our refrigerator can warn us when we’re almost out of milk, or our washing machines can order more laundry soap directly from Amazon. But also, our cars can tell our insurance companies exactly how fast we drive and our FitBits can send health information directly to our HMOs. This all could make our lives a little easier, but also scarier. We talk about that and more in our weekly web roundup.
What most people know about the Oscar race for best animated feature is that the Lego Movie never made it to the starting line. But the mourning period is done: the teeth have been gnashed and the garments have been rended. It’s time to talk about the movies that did get a nod, including some foreign stunners and a big-budget sequel that may have surpassed the original. That and more in our weekly film segment.
Dj Art Laboe has been a fixture of L.A. radio for more than 60 years...until this week. His show, The Art Laboe Connection, has been taken off L.A.’s airwaves as part of a programming overhaul. HOT 92.3 - with an oldies format - is now Real 92.3, a hip hop station. Fans are not happy: An online petition to get Laboe back on the air already has more than 8,000 signatures. He was the first DJ to spin West Coast rock n’ roll, and he invented the request and dedication and the term “oldies but goodies.” We hear about why he’s such a broadcast legend in Southern California.
Harvey Kubernik, music journalist and author
More From Press Play with Madeleine Brand
The decline of American manufacturing During the presidential campaign, Donald Trump called out a steel manufacturer for closing a plant in Indiana and moving it to Mexico. The plant still closed and jobs were lost. We speak with a reporter who spent a year documenting the closing of the plant, and tells the story of one woman who worked her way up to supervisor and then had to train her Mexican replacement.
Why is it so hard to publish stories critical of powerful men? One of the main reasons the Harvey Weinstein stories didn’t get out sooner was that the Hollywood press couldn’t -- or wouldn’t -- publish them. KCRW’s Kim Masters has a story about another big executive: Amazon’s Roy Price.
Can Kevin de Leon unseat Sen. Dianne Feinstein? California Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon announced his challenge to Senator Dianne Feinstein. He is capitalizing on a fury in the state against the president, and painting Feinstein as too accommodating of Trump.
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