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FROM THIS EPISODE

Massive fires are all too common in southern California. We hear what's unusual about this week's blazes. Is Mt. Wilson in danger? Also, can Mayor Villaraigosa invigorate his office by putting his gang czar in charge?  On our rebroadcast of Today's To the Point, the US is faced with a possible flu epidemic this fall, and plans are being made for extreme emergencies. If medical facilities are overwhelmed, who gets access first? Who makes that decision? What can be learned from what happened after Katrina just four years ago?

Banner image captured by the Mt. Wilson TowerCam on August 31 at 2:37pm © UCLA Department of Physics and Astronomy

Reporter's Notebook Shake-up at the Mayor’s Office, Update on Gang Program 13 MIN, 19 SEC

One of the most respected staff members at Los Angeles City Hall is Robin Kramer, who’s leaving as Mayor Villaraigosa’s chief of staff. Kramer, whose experience at City Hall dates back more than 20 years, served in the same capacity during Richard Riordan’s first term. Her replacement is Reverend Jeff Carr, who has built the Gang Reduction and Youth Development Program into a going concern.

Guests:
Connie Rice, Advancement Project in Los Angeles (@ConnieRicePCN)
Raphael Sonenshein, California State University, Los Angeles (@SonensheinPBI)

Main Topic Wildfires Blazing Through Southland 13 MIN, 20 SEC

Fires as large as those blazing tonight in the Southland are usually spread by Santa Ana winds blowing in from the desert. These are a different story. Among the facilities shut down for the past few days is the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in LaCanada-Flintridge. Another one of the major landmarks threatened by the Station Fire is the observatory on Mt. Wilson

Guests:
Bill Patzert, Jet Propulsion Laboratory (@NASAJPL)
Dave Jurasevich, Superintendent, Mt. Wilson Observatory
Harold "Hal" McAlister, Director, Mount Wilson Observatory

Main Topic Hurricane Katrina and Medical Choice in Extreme Emergencies 27 MIN, 31 SEC

Just four years ago, Hurricane Katrina cut off electricity to New Orleans' Memorial Medical Center. Emergency generators failed. The temperature was 100°, there was no fresh water or sewage, and flooding around a heavily damaged building created major problems for evacuating patients. Doctors were forced to conduct triage. Their decisions are still being debated today, with potential consequences for the coming flu epidemic this fall.

Guests:
Sheri Fink, Staff Reporter, ProPublica
Peter Kovacs, Managing Editor, Times Picayune
Marianne Matzo, Chair of Palliative Care Department, University of Oklahoma College of Nursing
Uwe Reinhardt, Princeton University (@uwejreinhardt)

War Hospital

Sheri Fink, MD

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