AirTalk for February 16, 2010

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California: broke and broken?

How do you fix a broken government? In the wake of last summer’s budget crisis, Repair California was leading the charge to put Constitutional reform on the November ballot—until they ran out of cash, Friday. Another group will continue advancing proposals through the state legislature. What changes are needed to make the state run smoothly? Have Californians lost their appetite for dramatic reform? What are the consequences of inaction?
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The end of a public radio era: Ruth Seymour leaves KCRW

She’s been at the helm of KCRW since 1978, back when the station was operating out of a building at John Adams Middle School in Santa Monica. Last November, Ruth Seymour sent ripples through the public radio world and beyond, when she announced she would retire at the end of this month. Under Seymour’s management, KCRW has been unique in the landscape of American radio, playing a mix of music, home-grown current affairs talk shows, and NPR newscasts. Seymour has been called “a grand eccentric,” but she simply refers to herself as individualistic – either way, the airwaves won’t be the same without her. Larry talks with Seymour about her indelible stamp on the LA radio scene and her plans for the future.
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Jury duty strikes financial fear

The recession is making it harder for Californians to serve jury duty, as jurors are finding it difficult to take leave from work for $15 daily compensation. In Los Angeles County, more than a quarter of qualified jurors were released last year on financial hardship grounds. And in one three-week trial, the jury was so disgruntled that attorneys from both sides of the case agreed to let the judge decide. Have you been forced to serve jury duty despite financial hardship? How should the system be changed?
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North Korea through the looking glass

North Koreans don’t just have a political system—they love and honor the state as mother and Dear Leader as father. Or so says the Korean Central News Agency. In The Cleanest Race, B.R. Myers examines Korean self-perception as embodied in full-color images, films, novels and myths—and why the West has it all wrong when it comes to North Korea.
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The man behind KPCC's new studios

KPCC- Southern California Public Radio has grown tremendously since becoming the Southland's only 24/7 public radio news service in 2000. The newsroom has grown from 3 to over 30 journalists, and broadcasting coverage has expanded into Orange County, the Inland Empire, and the Coachella Valley. Now KPCC has a new broadcast center in Pasadena to better serve its listeners. Larry talks with the man who made the new studios possible.
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