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FROM THIS EPISODE

In a major earthquake or some other disaster in LA County, cops and firefighters in 88 cities should be able to talk to each other. But the federal government has suspended funding for a single communications system to replace 40 separate networks. It's all about claims that giant new cellphone towers on fire stations will increase the risk of cancer in local neighborhoods.

Also, LA Unified wants to eliminate free pre-school for kids in poor families—saving $36 million from a budget of $7.3 billion.

Photo: Andrew Magill

Producers:
Benjamin Gottlieb
Andrea Brody

Cell Towers, Radiation and Public Safety 18 MIN, 48 SEC

Since September 11, 2001, LA County and its 88 cities have been talking about connecting every cop and firefighter in a single communications system — in the event of an earthquake or other major disaster. But, with a network in mid-construction, federal funding has been frozen. We hear why, speak with a first responder and get perspective from a cancer researcher.

Guests:
Patrick Mallon, LA-RICS Authority (@TheLARICS)
Lew Currier, Local 1014 (@local1014)
Jonathan Samet, USC Institute for Global Health (@USCGlobalHealth)

LAUSD Considers Canning Early Education Program 6 MIN, 16 SEC

LA Unified's School Readiness and Language Development Program is designed to prepare low-income children for kindergarten. It's free to their families at a cost to the District of $36 million a year. The full budget is $7.3 billion, but Superintendent Ramon Cortines has called for cutting the program to save money. Some 10,000 kids could be affected. The elected board is debating the cut, faced by one audience wearing yellow T-shirts with the words, "College Begins in Pre-K." UC Berkeley professor Bruce Fuller is author of Standardized Childhood: The Political and Cultural Struggle for Early Education.

Guests:
Bruce Fuller, UC Berkeley

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