Which Way, LA? The Question that Won't Go Away 23 years ago, the fires of the Rodney King riots were burning and the sirens wailing when KCRW first asked, WWLA? We've been through fires, floods, earthquakes and massive social, cultural and economic change. While this is the last program titled WWLA? the question still needs to be asked. We talk with a group of important and thoughtful people about what LA has become and about the challenges to be faced in the future…as we continue.
Then and Now: Is LA Still the Car Capital of the World? Urban planners got some bad news today. Ridership on public transit in Southern California is on the decline, despite the billions being spent in recent years to build light rail and subway lines. Why aren't more drivers leaving their cars at home, as traffic gets more congested than ever? Meantime, there's a shortage of money to repair aging roads, bridges and other parts of the infrastructure. We look at the impact on the state's economy.
Does California Have a Double Standard for the Public's Protection? Porter Ranch and Vernon are mirror images of each other. In one, schools have been closed and thousands of residents are being moved away by the polluter—just months after a natural gas leak was discovered. In the other, residents complained for years about health risks to school children from exposure to lead and arsenic from a battery recycling plant— until the federal government finally stepped in.
Is 'Warfare' a Thing of the Past at the LAPD? Video of police misconduct wasn’t as common 25 years ago as it is today. The spectacle of LAPD officers beating Rodney King was a wake-up call, but didn’t persuade a jury in Simi Valley. When the cops received not-guilty verdicts, the city exploded. We hear from veteran officers who say they’ve changed. What about their tactics? Have they gained the trust of marginalized communities and people of color?
The City of LA Pays Millions to Wrongfully Convicted Men The City of Los Angeles will pay $24 million for the wrongful murder convictions of two men who spent years of their lives in prison because of proven misconduct by the LAPD. The City Attorney says going to court would cost even more.
What's Behind the Yosemite Name Changes? The Ahwahnee Hotel is about to become the Majestic Yosemite; The Wawona will be known as the Big Trees Lodge. Names that go back generations are being changed because of a trademark dispute between the National Park Service and a New York concessionaire that failed to renew its contract. Outraged residents and visitors are asking how that can happen
Race Relations: Then and Now WWLA? began its 23-year run in the wake of an incident so complex we still haven’t decided what to call it. The Rodney King 'riots?" The "uprising?" The "civil disturbance?" As WWLA? winds down, we look back and measuring what’s changed and what hasn’t. One major component was race relations. Have we learned, as Rodney King famously put it, to “just get along?” As always, that question has many different answers.
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