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At UC Santa Barbara, a freshman lacrosse player's feet had to be amputated after a campus outbreak of bacterial meningitis. More than 5000 students were inoculated for that disease at Princeton with a vaccine not yet approved in the United States. Should that happen at UCSB? What about less dangerous viral meningitis at UC Riverside and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo? Also, surprising findings about air pollution in various LA neighborhoods.

Image-for-WWLA.jpgOn our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, massive open online courses—or MOOC's-- held the promise of higher education for millions who can't now afford it. Despite big investment from Stanford, Harvard, MIT and Silicon Valley, MOOC's have not lived up to their billing, but they're not going away. We hear about new ways of using the Internet to meet a worldwide demand for focused learning.

Banner image: Ryosuke Yagi
Making News School Board Debates Special Election to Fill LaMotte's Seat 5 MIN, 59 SEC

Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte died unexpectedly this month, leaving a vacancy on the LA Unified School Board. She represented the South and Southwestern parts of the city with a high concentration of black and Latino students. Tomorrow, the remaining board members will whether to replace her by appointment or a special election for a term that doesn't run out until July of 2015. Jessica Levinson teaches election law at Loyola Law School, and she's the newest member of the City Ethics Commission. She joins with her own views as an elections observer.

Jessica Levinson, Loyola Law School (@LevinsonJessica)

Main Topic College Officials Cope with a Rare Disease 12 MIN, 4 SEC

Finals ended the first quarter at UC Santa Barbara last week, and many students have left the campus. But there's still concern about the bacterial meningitis that broke out there last month. A freshman lacrosse player's feet had to be amputated, and some parents were demanding that the Centers for Disease Control allow students to be inoculated with a vaccine not yet approved in the US. At Princeton University in New Jersey, 5000 students started getting those shots last week. At Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and at UC Riverside there have been cases of viral meningitis, a much less severe form of the illness.

Sharon Bernstein, Reuters (@SharonBernstein)
Richard Olds, UC Riverside (@UCRiverside)

Reporter's Notebook Particulates in Los Angeles 6 MIN, 6 SEC

LA's notorious air pollution is dropping in part because the vehicle fleet is getting a lot cleaner. That's especially true on the affluent Westside, where people buy new cars more often. But a neighborhood in Mar Vista, near the Santa Monica Airport, is a startling exception. North Westdale has ultra-fine particles that cause asthma, heart attacks, strokes and various birth problems in about the same concentration as Boyle Heights, which is surrounded by freeways. Suzanne Paulson headed a joint study by UCLA's Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences and the Institute for the Environment and Sustainability.

Suzanne Paulson, UCLA (@UCLA)

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