AirTalk for August 17, 2010

Mercer 9710
Response to the LA Times analysis of teacher performance in the Los Angeles Unified School District has been lively. Although the paper has invited the 6,000 elementary school teachers assessed to submit comments to be published alongside their rating, teachers’ union leader AJ Duffy is calling for a boycott of the Times. Is it appropriate for the paper to name names? Will the database benefit parents, or misrepresent the hard work of LA educators?
Mercer 9663

The reluctant gun owner

Conservatives believe in gun ownership and personal liberty. Liberals want gun control and societal benefit. These are considered givens in the political landscape. Or maybe not. Sonia Wolff is a novelist and proud liberal… who recently decided to buy a gun that she keeps at home for protection. In an editorial in the Los Angeles Times she talked about the difficult transition from gun control advocate, to gun owner. Is gun ownership blurring across ideological lines? Or are some gun-control advocates throwing in the towel? Are you a reluctant gun owner?
Mercer 9697

Pakistani community responds to flooding

Record-breaking monsoon rainfall has caused devastating floods in Pakistan, destroying millions of acres of farmland, wiping out villages and leaving millions – estimates range from 5 to 20 million – without homes. The death toll as of Monday had reached more than 1,600. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon called this the worst disaster he has seen, and urged the international community to speed up delivery of food, medicine and shelter to victims, many of whom have received no aid so far. How is Los Angeles’ Pakistani community – which numbers around 150,000 - responding to the needs of friends and family members affected by the disaster?
Mercer 9711

Obama’s LA visit creates traffic nightmare

President Barack Obama’s motorcade took just 10 minutes to make the drive from LAX to a fundraiser in Hancock Park yesterday afternoon. This miracle of Los Angeles traffic left thousands of motorists and pedestrians stranded as the secret service closed streets around the city, raising the ire of many Angelenos. The gridlock lasted into the evening, prompting some residents to call for an investigation because the visit was for a fundraising event and not state business. Were you stranded on the streets of LA during yesterday’s visit by Obama? Is the inconvenience of being stuck in traffic worth the security of the Commander in Chief?
Mercer 9661
For more than 40 years, Rosalynn Carter has been working to try to improve the lives of Americans living with mental illness – a group she feels has been neglected and often stigmatized. In Within Our Reach: Ending the Mental Health Crisis, Carter chronicles her work to further mental-health research. She calls for parents to instill confidence and compassion in their children at an early age to thwart sickness. But can mental illness be prevented? And, even though scientific breakthroughs are occurring, what stands in the way of better public mental health?
Find an archived Episode: