A New Mayor Inherits the Ambitious Task of Kicking a City’s Car Habit
Here are a few things you probably think you know about Los Angeles: It is a freeway-riddled, car-dependent traffic jam where nobody walks past their driveway. This is the cartoon version of L.A., a cheap shorthand of stereotypes and decades-old perceptions that the city has struggled to shake.
There was something both amusing and disheartening to George Wolfe about the fact that the Los Angeles River was not, according to the federal government, technically a river. As the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers saw it, the L.A. River was “non-navigable,” meaning the waterway would never float a boat or host swimmers. This meant that it didn’t have to be kept clean like a “real” river, and would be held to a lower standard of environmental protection.
A countywide effort to transform vacant lots into wildflower fields.
Fritz Haeg is looking at a house on Google StreetView and contemplating its front yard. Haeg is an artist who's perhaps best known for his works converting grassy suburban front yards into so-called "edible estates" of vegetable gardens. But it's not an edible garden he imagines for this front yard. It's a field of wildflowers.
The Museum of Jurassic Technology views reality through a special lens.
It is easy to become disoriented in the Museum of Jurassic Technology. This small museum in Culver City, California, is full of dark hallways, dim nooks, and secluded corners. Its exhibits elicit a sense of dislocation as well. Their meaning can be as hard to discern as the veracity of the objects on display.
How police and media helicopters navigate the crowded airspace of L.A. when a suspect's on the run.
It's the sort of escapade Los Angeles has long been known for: a man in a stolen car with an AK-47 drives dangerously through the streets of rush-hour L.A. with a tail of about 8 police cars directly behind, and even more following a short ways back. The driver had allegedly carjacked the vehicle from its owner earlier that day – a slightly less concerning crime than the homicide he allegedly committed in July. The car's electronic tracking system had alerted police to its location and a chase ensued for more than an hour – at relatively low speed – through the city.
Facing budget cuts, transit agencies building new rail projects are struggling to make the trains run on time—or at all.
Public transit needs public funding. And that goes way beyond the fare box. Local, state, and federal dollars are the lifeblood of public transportation projects in the United States. But with the country in recovery from the recession and states cutting back programs to close budget holes, support for public transit looks to be grinding to a halt.
Students in the Los Angeles Unified School District may soon be attending football games and band concerts in buildings with the name of corporate sponsors plastered on them. The school board has agreed to sell the naming rights to its buildings in hopes of raising much-needed revenue, but the plan has its detractors.
STEVE INSKEEP, host:
In Los Angeles, the school district's cafeterias and sports fields will soon be brought to you by some of the world's biggest companies. The district is turning to corporate sponsors to help fill major budget holes, which makes parents and some school officials uncomfortable.
Dan Cerny was winning by millions of points when his shiny metal ball slipped past his flippers and into the hole for the second time. He still had a third and final ball, but so did each of his three competitors in this bracket of the city's newest organized sport, the Los Angeles Pinball League.
Cerny was dominating a pinball machine titled Rollergames, which is based — as much as a pinball game can be — on another completely disparate but comparably fringe organized sport known as Roller Derby. Cerny's score had reached more than 4 million at this two-thirds mark in the game, while his competitors at this Echo Park pinball arcade had been left behind in the mere hundreds of thousands.