LA's Museum of Contemporary Art apparently can't spend $8.75 million of philanthropist Eli Broad's matching funds because the Museum didn't raise any matching money of its own last year. Last week, curator Paul Schimmel either resigned or was fired. Is LA's world-class modern art museum on shaky financial grounds? What about its international reputation? Also, white Abolone — once a staple of California's fishing and restaurant industry — is on the brink of extinction. On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, should women soldiers be assigned to combat?
FROM THIS EPISODE
Financial problems at LA's Museum of Contemporary Art drew the attention of the State Attorney General when trustees paid bills with endowment money earmarked for other purposes. Two years ago, LA billionaire Eli Broad promised to match funds raised by the museum up to $15 million. In the first fiscal year of the bailout, the museum raised $6.25 million, leaving $8.75 million of Broad's money for the fiscal year that just ended. How much has MOCA raised to match it? Zero. MOCA has also undergone months of staff turmoil, culminating in last week's firing — or resignation — of Chief Curator Paul Schimmel, who's credited with giving the museum a first-class international reputation.
The waters off Southern California used to teem with white abalone, a large sea snail that clings to the rocks and has to be pried off with devices like crowbars. In 1990, they were legally protected from over fishing. Since then, matters are so much worse that extinction is a real possibility. Kevin Stierhoff at the Southwest Fisheries Science Center in La Jolla was lead author of a recent study for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Kevin Stierhoff, NOAA's Southwest Fisheries Science Center
About 16 percent of America's military is now composed of women. In Iraq, more than 130 have been killed, more than 800 wounded. Since World War II, two women have won Silver Stars — one by clearing insurgents from two trenches with hand grenades and killing three more with her M4 rifle. But she was a military police officer acting in an emergency. America's female soldiers served on the front lines in Iraq, and they're doing the same thing in Afghanistan. No American women are assigned to combat. Anne Coughlin has filed a lawsuit to challenge that. A professor at the University of Virginia School of Law, she and some students started the Molly Pitcher Project. We hear about a dispute that's raging from the courts to the Pentagon to the Halls of Congress.
Anne Coughlin, University of Virginia School of Law (@UVALaw)
Anna Mulrine, Christian Science Monitor
Claire Russo, Council on Foreign Relations
Wilma Vaught, Women in Military Service for America Memorial Foundation