Mixer: Our Year in Review

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MixerBannerThe year is coming to a close and we look at some of the biggest stories of 2014.

There were a couple of high profile shootings underscored security and response at public places across LA.

One tragic day in June turned an idyllic Friday in Santa Monica into a horrible day for people in around the Santa Monica College campus.

That’s when a man who grew up not more than a few blocks away in the area – John Zawahri – shot and killed his father and brother at their house, carjacked a ride to the campus, shot and killed three other people there… and then was confronted by police who shot and killed him.

Later – in November – another shooting attack at LAX left one TSA agent dead, and several other agents and an airport passenger injured.

23-year old Paul Anthony Ciancia is charged with 11 counts in the case, including murder.

Former LA Times reporter Andrew Blankstein is now an investigative reporter with NBC’s crime and homeland security unit. He covered both those stories.

Another really big story in Southern California was a tragedy that took place in the high desert earlier this year.

A Palmdale boy, 8-year old Gabriel Fernandez, had fallen through the cracks of the state’s social welfare system. The boy died after his mother and her boyfriend allegedly abused and tortured him. And after – time and time again – authorities were called to investigate.

Oswaldo Borraez is a reporter for Univision and joined us to talk about this issue.

This year marked 100 years of ‘there it is; take it’.

When DWP chief William Mulholland oversaw the siphoning of water from the Owens Valley into LA’s fast-growing San Fernando Valley.

In the century since, there’s been lambasting and litigation

And, this year, commemoration of that milestone – whatever you believe it to be.

KCRW’s Madeleine Brand reported on this story for us.

The utility that oversees all that LA water – the Department of Water and Power, or DWP as it’s known in these parts – has been under a whole lot of scrutiny this year.

From its workers who are paid more than other city workers… to union members getting involved in the LA mayors’ race… to money geared toward a couple of trusts that were set up years ago that no one seems to know why.

Gene Maddaus is a writer and reporter for LA Weekly, and a regular on the Mixer, who also joined us.

Thanks to all our guests talking about this big stories of the year. How they covered them, where those stories are going… and – most importantly –what they mean to you.

Here’s to mixing it up in 2014.