We start today with a peek behind the LAPD’s latest crime stats. Violent crime is up 27% across the city. Why? Then, a recluse who quietly amassed a $3 million fortune recently died and left donations to several Skid Row organizations. Who was he? Next, it looks like the city is on the hook for a large chunk of the cost of revitalizing the Los Angeles River. How will we cover it? Then, the new film Woman in Gold focuses on artwork stolen by Nazis during World War II -- we look at the real-life drama behind the story. And finally, 99-seat theaters in Los Angeles are under fire for not paying minimum wage. We look at the dispute.
FROM THIS EPISODE
Violent crime is up 27 percent across the city so far this year, compared to the same period last year, according to new numbers from the Los Angeles Police Department. Within that, the biggest spike has been in aggravated assaults. And the neighborhood that’s seen the biggest jump is in and around Skid Row. There, violent crime’s gone up 73 percent, almost three times more than in the rest of the city. What’s driving the numbers?
Despite the new crime statistics, there’s also good news from Skid Row today. About 30 organizations in the area found out they will each be receiving $100,000 from one generous donor. It’s not Oprah. It’s not David Geffen. It’s a previously unheard-of recluse named Delmer Clarence Kallberg. We learn more about Kallberg, his life, and why he made this gift.
Last year, the Army Corps of Engineers decided to recommend a one-billion dollar restoration plan for the cement flood control channel known as the LA River. The proposal said the city would pay half and the feds would pay half. The plan would restore habitat, widen the river, create wetlands, and provide access points and bike trails along an 11-mile stretch north of downtown. But since then, the pricetag for the plan has gone up and the Army Corps now says the city will be on the hook for most it. We speak with a city official who’s been involved in the development of the LA River restoration plan for many years.
A new film comes out next week about art stolen by Nazis, and one woman’s nearly decade-long fight to retrieve it from the Austrian government. Woman in Gold tells the story of Maria Altmann, the niece of Adele Bloch-Bauer and subject of one of Gustav Klimt’s most famous works. It’s a stunning painting, with Adele’s dark hair and serene face atop a waterfall of gold. And it turns out, the historical drama over the work is still playing out in the courts. We speak with a guest who’s working on recovering stolen art.
Randol Schoenberg, Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust
Actor’s Equity, the union that represents stage actors and managers, wants to crack down on Los Angeles’ 99-seat theaters. The union wants these smaller venues to start paying a minimum wage. Since the 1970s, these 99-seat theaters have been operating with a waiver from the union to not pay. This has enabled them to proliferate across the city. Members of the union began voting today on the new agreement, and it’s divided the theater community. We learn about the dispute and what’s likely to happen next.
More From Press Play with Madeleine Brand
California case: free speech v. abortion rights Crisis pregnancy centers are generally run by pro-life groups that aim to convince pregnant women not to get abortions. A California law requires that employees tell their clients that the state offers free and low-cost abortions and other family planning services. Now a group of these centers is arguing that the law violates their freedom of speech.
Does copyright law cover graffiti? Clothing company H&M did a fashion shoot in Brooklyn featuring models standing against a gray wall painted with black waving lines. The graffiti was the work of an LA-based street artist, who wanted compensation. H&M responded by filing a lawsuit against him, then dropped it a few days later.
Taylor Mac takes on U.S. history in 246 songs, two dozen costume changes Taylor Mac will perform his “24-Decade History of Popular Music” starting Thursday in LA. It’s divided into four shows on four separate nights. It’s about this history of oppression and activism in the U.S. -- from 1776 to present day.
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