Southern California breaking news and trends

KPCC DIGEST AM (Oct. 17)—What parents want from LA Unified, what people see in the LA River, what teens can now do on Facebook

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Photo by Gwen Harlow via Flickr Creative Commons

1. Park life: Small investment in outreach, large impact on activity (KPCC)

A  study released by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine on Thursday suggests that small investments by parks in marketing and outreach can increase park visitors' physical activity. Researchers looked at 50 parks across L.A.. Two-thirds of the parks received outreach training and $4,000 apiece to improve communication about their services.

Physical activity performed by patrons at those parks increased by seven to 12 percent when compared to parks that made no changes.

2. Angelenos and the LA River (KPCC)

Fishing, bird watching, biking and kayaking — listeners shared their favorite L.A. River stories and photos.

We encouraged folks to submit responses via our Public Insight Network in the days leading up to  Found LA: Festival of Neighborhoods. The theme this year: “The River of Your Imagination." See our gallery.

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KPCC DIGEST AM (Oct. 15)—Earthquakes, dry ice explosions, Apple designs on Burberry CEO, will momentum payoff in the playoffs?

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Photo by Pietro Izzo via Flickr Creative Commons

1. LA area immigrants helping to solve painful mysteries from Guatemala (KPCC)

A DNA project has been underway to identify bodies from Guatemala’s roughly 45,000 wartime desaparecidos - the disappeared – most of them kidnapped by military during the lengthy civil war, which ended in 1996 after 36 years.

Since 2004, the Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology Foundation has been exhuming and identifying the bodies of desaparecidos, excavating clandestine mass graves and military sites. So far they’ve identified more than 3,000 bodies, about 200 of them through DNA.

2. Who is legally responsible if a building collapses during a quake? (KPCC)

A recent L.A. Times analysis more than 1000 concrete buildings were found potentially at risk of collapse in a major earthquake. Many lack steel reinforcements that would help keep them from buckling.

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KPCC DIGEST AM (OCT. 14)—Backyard lizard detectives, anxious Dodgers fans, no holiday for Congress, solar homes of the future

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Photo by Frank Wuestefeld via Flickr Creative Commons

1. LA Dodgers playoffs: Anxious fans try to keep hopes up (KPCC)

With the Dodgers down two games to none against the Cardinals in NLCS, fans are doing what they can to keep their hopes up.  As he sat down to breakfast at Rodeo Mexican Grill on Sunset Boulevard, Tony Chavez was feeling what no Angeleno should on a lovely October morning.

"Stressed, depressed, mad, anxious," said Chavez. "I really want them to win.  If they don't, I'll probably be depressed for like a month."

2. Debt deadline kills holiday plans for Congress; 3 days to go (NPR)

This year's Columbus Day falls on Day 14 of the federal government shutdown, which means both the House and Senate will be in session on the holiday. Over the weekend, senators from both parties assumed key roles in the negotiations, after House Republicans and the White House failed to reach an agreement.

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KPCC DIGEST AM (Oct. 11)—Blue bandwagon, Nobel Peace Price, mail-order drugs, GOP courts Latinos, bye Scantron

Chadburns Ships Engine Order Telegraph Naval Museum

Photo by Steven Depolo via Flickr Creative Commons

1. LA Dodgers playoffs: What you need to jump on the blue bandwagon (KPCC)

The Dodgers are playing for a championship again. There are those who can recite the OBP and WARP of every player on the field, and then there are those who may just now be jumping onto the blue bandwagon.

For those late to the game, KPCC's Ben Bergman has some basics for the Dodgers vs. Cardinals National League Championship Series, which starts at 5:30 p.m. Friday night.

2. Republicans courting Latinos in California and other key states (KPCC)

Republican officials are wooing Latinos in Calif., hiring a first-ever Hispanic state director to shore up the GOP presence beyond the temporary campaign offices of election season. At a Santa Ana luncheon on Thursday, new state director Francis Barraza introduced herself to Republican Latino leaders from the region.

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KPCC DIGEST PM (Oct. 10)—Astronaut Scott Carpenter, Angels Flight tree branch, Eric Garcetti reflects on 100 days, fake fidos

Derby Spectator

Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

1. Angels Flight operators used tree branch to override safety system before accident (KPCC)

Federal safety investigators said in a report issued Thursday that the railway's operators of the historic Angels Flight had broken off a branch from a nearby tree and used it to permanently depress a button so that the cars on the 298-foot track would restart during unintended stops.

No one was hurt Sept. 5 accident on "the shortest railway in the world," though six people had to be helped from the line's two cars.

2. LA Mayor Eric Garcetti looks back at his first 100 days in office (KPCC)

This week saw L.A. mayor Eric Garcetti's 100th day in office. While that isn't a lot of time for an elected official to get much done, it's enough time to gauge how people feel about the job he's doing.

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