October 26, 2010 -- The election is just one week away! Be sure to spend election night with me and KPCC's Frank Stoltze - our special live coverage begins at 8 pm.
And though there are just a few days left in the race, don't expect those negative ads to stop anytime soon... Today, both Democrat Jerry Brown and Republican Meg Whitman appeared on stage along with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger at the Women's Conference in Long Beach. "Today" show host Matt Lauer asked if they would "make a pledge that you would end the negativity."
The audience sure liked the idea - they roared with approval and many gave the idea a standing ovation. After some discussion, Brown said he would agree to pull all of his negative ads if Whitman did.
But his Republican opponent said she would not agree to remove advertisements that focus on Brown's political track record. "Here's what I will do," she said, "I will take down any ads that could even be remotely construed as a personal attack, but I don't think we can take down the ads that talk about where Governor Brown stands on the issues."
Her response brought boos from the crowd.
"I think it's important because I am new to politics," Whitman said. "People need to know where I stand and also, Jerry Brown has been in politics for 40 years and there's a long track record there and I want to make sure people really understand what's going on here. And I'm not doing it in a mean-spirited way. I just think it's important for people to really understand what the track record was in Oakland, what the track record was as governor."
The Rose Parade announced its new grand marshal today... It's none other than Food Network star Paula Deen. The 63-year-old chef and cookbook author will ride in the 122nd parade and toss the coin before the kickoff at the Rose Bowl game.
Deen says the parade and game have been longtime New Year's traditions at her house. She says getting to be the marshal is a dream come true.
I'm wondering if she'll whip up a special new recipe to mark the occasion. Do you have special New Year's recipes? Feel free to share in the comments section below.
October 25, 2010 - The election is a little more than a week away now and it looks like there have been some tectonic shifts at the polls. Now Democratic gubernatorial candidate and former governor Jerry Brown has a commanding lead against Republican and former eBay CEO Meg Whitman.
That's according to a new USC/LA Times Poll. Jane Junn was the poll's research director and she says Brown wins more support on immigration issues but that things are closer on economic issues. Take a listen:
Be sure to tune into KPCC election night. KPCC's Frank Stoltze and I will be hosting an election night special - the fun starts at 8.
Today the Log Cabin Republicans told a San Francisco appeals court that the government has not proven that allowing openly gay service members would be troublesome to the military. The group is asking the court to allow an order barring "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" from being enforced.
A three-judge panel is considering whether to extend a freeze on a trial judge's order forcing the government to suspend the policy. Last week, the panel imposed a temporary stay reinstating the policy.
Log Cabin was given until today to present arguments for why the policy shouldn't be enforced while the appeals court considers the government's appeal of the ruling.
If you'd like to hear how one local photographer has captured some of the personal effects of "don't Ask, don't tell,' click here.
Finally, I'd like to bid a fond farewell to one of my favorite gadgets of all time - the Walkman. These personal cassette players rocked so many of us back in the day. But sadly, today Sony announced that it ceased production of the device in Japan.
The Walkman will still be produced in China and distributed in the U.S., Europe and some Asian countires. Digital Walkmans (Walkmen?) are also being made with models that display lyrics.
My favorite Walkman memory has to be the trip I took to Palm Springs with my good buddy Katie Gitelson in junior high. I listened to the only cassette I think I owned at the time - the English Beat's "Special Beat Service" at least 100 times over that weekend. I still know all the lyrics to that album by heart.
What's your favorite Walkman memory? Please share in the comments below.
October 19, 2010 -- A few days ago, I blogged about the San Gabriel mayor who got arrested for purse snatching and driving with a woman hanging on to his SUV... Well, now that mayor is resigning. Albert Huang says he needs to focus on his family and on the legal fallout of his case. Take a listen:
Tonight the City Council will meet to discuss his resignation. Authorities still haven't formally charged him although they are investigating the case.
In other political gaffe news... You know that the gubernatorial race has gotten heated, but now it's gotten, well... just a little hilarious.
Meg Whitman's campaign spokeswoman Sarah Pompei meant to tweet about a local law enforcement association's endorsement of her candidate. Instead, she sent out a video of a cross-dressing Asian man rocking out in a negligee, garters and thigh-high stockings. Oh, and glasses.
October 18, 2010 -- Today Governor Schwarzenegger held a ceremony to commemorate a bill he signed that goes after human traffickers by requiring large businesses in California to make public the ways they try to eliminate human trafficking from their supply chains. The bill applies specifically to California-based businesses with more than 100-million dollars in worldwide gross receipts.
Actress and human rights activist Julia Ormond fought for the bill. She says you can see the results of some of the worst human trafficking and slavery in most homes. Take a listen:
In sports news, Los Angeles Lakers part-owner Earvin "Magic" Johnson has sold his share of the team for an undisclosed amount. Johnson, who says the move was a "bittersweet business decision," sold his share of the team to Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, executive director of the UCLA Wireless Health Institute and a professor at UCLA.
The Crystal Cathedal has filed for bankruptcy after months of struggling with $55 million worth of debt. The OC-based megachurch was started in the mid-50s by Robert H. Schuller. It's also the birthplace of the "Hour of Power" televangelist broadcast.
Earlier this year they had to order major layoffs and cut the number of stations airing the "Hour of Power." They also sold property to stay afloat. The church has 10,000 members. It apparently owes vendors about $7.5 million -- part of the reason they cancelled their famous "Glory of Easter" pageant.
October 15, 2010 -- HIV in the porn industry has emerged as a big news topic again this week. AIDS healthcare advocates say LA's multi-billion dollar adult entertainment industry should be shut down until condoms are used in sex scenes. Their call comes after a porn actor was diagnosed HIV positive earlier this week.
Brian Case with the AIDS Healthcare Foundation wants the LA City Council to stop issuing film permits to adult video producers until safer practices are standard. Take a listen:
Adult video producers say their actors are tested frequently - and that HIV infections are rare. If you're interested in this story, take a listen to a piece I filed on it for NPR earlier this year.
A rather bizarre story out of San Gabriel today... The MAYOR of the city was arrested after a purse-snatching and a wild ride through the streets with a woman desperately clinging to his SUV.
Albert Y.M. Huang says it's all a big misunderstanding and he'll prove himself in court. He was released on $100,000 bail this morning.
Police were called to a restaurant at 1:30 in the morning after getting reports of a couple fighting. The mayor and the woman were bickering over money in the restaurant's parking lot. Apparently the mayor took the woman's purse and later got into his car. The woman reached through the passenger window while standing on the SUV's running board as Mayor Huang sped away.
Huang drove more than a quarter mile with the woman clinging to the side of the SUV. A security guard noticed the SUV and detained Huang and the woman until officers arrived. And no, Huang was not intoxicated and thankfully, the woman wasn't seriously hurt.
It's baseball season... And if you've been listening to KPCC you know which team I am rooting for!
Baseball-partisan House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Philadelphia Phillies booster Senator Arlen Specter have placed a big bet on the teams' upcoming playoff series. The winning lawmaker will get a load of chocolate from the loser.
Pelosi has put San Francisco's Ghirardelli chocolate on the line; Specter is offering up Pennsylvania's Hershey's. Specter says he's not sure which will be sweeter: a third-straight World Series appearance by the Phillies or eating Ghirardeli chocolates while watching it. Pelosi asked Specter to send her dark Hershey's chocolate when
the Giants win, predicting her team will go all the way.
I say, San Francisco's chocolate is better... So is our team - Go Giants!