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Press Play with Madeleine Brand

KCRW

Host Madeleine Brand looks at news, culture and emerging trends through the lens of Los Angeles.

Host Madeleine Brand looks at news, culture and emerging trends through the lens of Los Angeles.

Location:

Santa Monica, CA

Networks:

KCRW

Description:

Host Madeleine Brand looks at news, culture and emerging trends through the lens of Los Angeles.

Language:

English


Episodes

When to reopen classrooms? Debate continues among school staff, parents, lawmakers

3/5/2021
Governor Gavin Newsom today signed a bill that sets aside nearly $7 billion for schools that reopen for in-person instruction by the end of March. It had bipartisan support in the state legislature — but lots of pushback from teachers unions in the state, including United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA). Some parents of color are outraged, saying UTLA does not speak for them. Some parents in South LA are planning a back-to-school protest next Saturday in response. Also in February, the Pew...

Duration:00:51:53

Manhattan Beach, Bruce’s Beach, and race

3/4/2021
Two Black men, Gage Crismond and Brick Howze, were surfing near Manhattan Beach pier when a white man paddled to them and called them racial slurs. Other white surfers told them that Manhattan Beach is a locals-only beach and that they should surf somewhere else. They shared what happened on social media, and as more people commented, they organized a “Peace Paddle” to promote surfing as a sport for everybody. Also in Manhattan Beach, a park called Bruce’s Beach has been the site of racial...

Duration:00:50:02

Is California reopening too fast?

3/3/2021
Seven counties across California, including San Francisco, moved into a less restrictive tier this week in Gov. Gavin Newsom’s reopening plan. Indoor dining can resume at 25% capacity, stores can welcome more customers, and movie theaters and gyms can reopen. More counties, including LA, could leave the purple (most restrictive) tier in the coming weeks. But public health officials warn that reopening too quickly could undo the progress we’ve made.

Duration:00:51:48

With COVID numbers down, what’s next for LA?

3/2/2021
The FDA issued emergency use authorization for Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccine over the weekend, and the Biden administration says it could start arriving today. There’s a sense of optimism in LA County, which is now looking at pre-winter surge numbers. The seven-day positivity rate is about 3%, which is the lowest since the early days of the pandemic.

Duration:00:50:53

Ethics of COVID vaccine shopping

3/1/2021
Johnson & Johnson says it will ship out nearly 4 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine this week — after the FDA authorized it for emergency use on Saturday. It’s a single shot and doesn’t need to be stored in special freezers. However, it’s slightly less effective at preventing severe COVID-19 symptoms than the two-shot Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. That small difference in efficacy is opening big ethical questions. Will some people opt to wait for the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine? Will state...

Duration:00:50:51

Pandemic perk? Less influenza this season

2/26/2021
The CDC says across the entire country, flu activity is minimal. In California, only a tiny percentage of tests have come back positive. Dr. Tara Vijayan of UCLA says the last time a patient of hers had the flu was February 2020. “Many of us suspect that the mitigation efforts that are underway to prevent coronavirus are actually helping substantially with influenza.”

Duration:00:50:55

Science behind ‘Zoom fatigue’

2/25/2021
“Zoom fatigue” is a generic term for feeling drained after sitting in front of any kind of video conference for much of the day. That’s according to Jeremy Bailenson, founding director of Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab. He says using Zoom is like being inside an elevator with people who are all staring at you for the whole ride. He shares tips for making these calls more comfortable, such as hiding “self view” and minimizing the window so it doesn’t take up your entire...

Duration:00:49:25

Why rapid at-home COVID tests are still pending FDA approval

2/24/2021
Innova Medical Group, based in Pasadena, has developed a test people can buy over the counter and use at home. It costs $5 and produces results in about 30 minutes. It’s complete with a nasal swab, chemical solution, and paper-like strip. Innova Medical Group has been waiting for FDA approval since August.

Duration:00:50:26

What’s in California’s new $7 billion COVID relief package

2/23/2021
Governor Gavin Newsom today signed a $7.6 billion stimulus package for California. Millions of residents will receive $600 checks. There’s money for small businesses, and relief for child care providers and college students. The package passed with broad bipartisan support in both chambers, and comes at a time when Newsom is sparring with the legislature over school reopenings.

Duration:00:49:09

When might Southern California reach COVID herd immunity?

2/22/2021
Coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths have all been declining in LA County. Dr. George Rutherford, professor of epidemiology at UC San Francisco, says cases in Southern California are dropping quickly because of naturally acquired immunity from so many infections, and people are wearing masks and social distancing. “The rollout of vaccines has sort of tipped the balance. And I think we're going to continue to see this as long as things don't go wrong,” he adds. Rutherford also...

Duration:01:01:15

Why museums are still closed while other businesses have reopened in California

2/19/2021
Indoor museums are still closed — while malls, tattoo shops, hair and nail salons have been open since Gov. Gavin Newsom lifted parts of the state’s stay-at-home order last month. There’s now an odd scenario: The gift shop is open at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), but the museum itself is not. KCRW talks about the pandemic’s impact on museums with the executive directors of the Museum of African American Art in Baldwin Hills and the Wende Museum in Culver City, plus a New...

Duration:00:50:27

Reopening California schools: Public officials v. teachers unions

2/18/2021
The Biden administration and the CDC say it’s safe for teachers to return to classrooms before they’re vaccinated. California Governor Gavin Newsom agrees. In LA County, teachers will be eligible for the vaccine starting March 1. LAUSD Superintendent Austin Buetner says elementary schools might be able to reopen if 25,000 teachers and staff get their shots. Meanwhile, United Teachers Los Angeles says it can’t support reopening until in-person staff members are vaccinated and LA County is...

Duration:00:50:41

What climate change means for America’s aging power grids

2/17/2021
The central and southern U.S. is still reeling from a winter storm that brought snow, ice, and the coldest temperatures in decades. Millions of Texans woke up this morning still without power. Texas, which operates its own power grid, has not been able to keep up with the demand for heat. California also has had blackouts from wildfires and heatwaves. They’re all examples of how the country’s aging power grids can’t keep up with the growing number of weather disasters related to climate...

Duration:00:49:56

Blue Shield takes over vaccine distribution

2/16/2021
Governor Gavin Newsom is partnering with Blue Shield and Kaiser to distribute COVID-19 vaccines. The contract with Blue Shield is now public, and the goal is to administer 3 million doses a week starting next month. “It centralizes a system that is very fragmented. So you will see a lot of pulling together there and having one entity deciding where the need is, versus it being distributed to counties, and then counties deciding where the need is,” says Melody Gutierrez, state government and...

Duration:00:50:26

Recapping Trump’s second impeachment trial

2/12/2021
Maryland Democratic Congressman Jamie Raskin, the lead House impeachment manager, gave closing remarks on Thursday in the second Senate trial of former President Donald Trump, this time on the charge of inciting an insurrection. “How can we assure that our commander in chief will protect, preserve and defend us and our Constitution if we don’t hold a president accountable in circumstances like this? What is impeachable conduct if not this?” Raskin said. Over the past four days, House...

Duration:00:51:00

Why COVID is spreading in some LA courts

2/11/2021
Hundreds of employees and several judges have tested positive for coronavirus — and courts are still open for in-person trials. Americans are dealing with more political division than ever before, says a new survey from American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. New film “Little Fish” tells the story of a couple struggling to remember their love story during a pandemic that wipes away memory. And Dana Point, renowned sea-life destination, has been named America’s first Whale...

Duration:00:48:51

What’s fueling attacks on elderly Asian Americans in NorCal?

2/10/2021
Elderly Asian Americans in the Bay Area have been targets of violence in the past few weeks. In one video, a suspect runs up to an 84-year-old San Francisco resident — who was originally from Thailand — and violently shoves him to the ground. That man died of his injuries. In Oakland’s Chinatown, a 91-year-old man was approached from behind and sent flying to the pavement.

Duration:00:50:12

Judge blocks many of George Gascón’s criminal justice reforms

2/9/2021
On Monday, a judge blocked LA District Attorney George Gascón from enforcing one of his major promises: ending the use of prison sentencing enhancements in thousands of criminal cases. The judge’s order stemmed from a lawsuit brought late last year by the union that represents hundreds of LA County prosecutors. The union argued that Gascón’s reforms required them to break state law.

Duration:00:48:58

COVID variants vs. vaccines

2/8/2021
The U.K. variant of COVID-19 is doubling every 10 days in the U.S., according to a report out Sunday. Dr. Anthony Fauci says this variant could become the dominant strain in the U.S. by the end of March. The U.S. has also seen worrisome mutations from South Africa and Brazil. What does this mean for vaccine rollout?

Duration:00:50:02

Disability rights activists push to get COVID vaccines earlier in California

2/5/2021
People ages 65 and up can get the coronavirus vaccine now in California. After all, they’re more likely to die of COVID-19 than any other group. But people with serious disabilities — who are younger than 65 — have the same risk too. They’re no longer prioritized. Earlier this week, a state vaccine advisory panel rejected a push from disability rights advocates to let them join people 65 and older in the vaccination line now. One meeting this afternoon could change that, however. KCRW...

Duration:00:50:45