AirTalk for March 25, 2011

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Over 19,000 Los Angeles city workers woke up this morning to learn that a new health and pension deal had been struck between unions and the city. The tentative agreement announced yesterday by Mayor Villaraigosa, Councilman Eric Garcetti and other city officials, calls for employees to contribute more to health care benefits and for an end to furloughs for most workers covered. The three year pact is being touted as a landmark deal that will save the city $400-million and impact about half of L.A.'s municipal workers. The plan does not include cops and fire fighters, but the Mayor hopes it will be a template for future negotiations. The deal still needs to be ratified by union stakeholders. Will they sign on? Or might union members balk at the increase in contributions? In the first year, the deal would only save the city $69-million, which is still far short of the city's projected $350-million debt -- should workers be giving more?
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The science of human nature

Bestselling author David Brooks is known for his insightful commentaries on modern life and for synthesizing complex scientific research on human nature. For the first time he attempts to do this through the lens of fictional characters. Early reviews are lauding his innovative use of storytelling to weave a compelling and informative look at the power of community. Can fiction show us more about ourselves than pure facts? What was it about his research into love, character and achievement that compelled him to turn to fictional characters?
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KPCC film critics Henry Sheehan and Tim Cogshell join Larry to review the week’s new film releases including Sucker Punch, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules, White Irish Drinkers, Peep World, Potiche and more. TGI-FilmWeek!
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Hidden mysteries of Hollywood’s greatest backlot

In Hollywood’s golden age the movie studios were known as “dream factories.” And back then, the biggest and best was Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The studio’s iconic roaring lion graced the same screen as such legendary performers as Garbo, Astaire and Gable. In fact, it’s estimated that before 1970, a fifth of all the movies made in the U.S were shot on the vast, sprawling MGM backlot in Culver City. Now a new book gives you a behind-the-scenes look at an era of movie making that made Southern California synonomous with the filmmaking industry. “MGM: Hollywood’s Greatest Backlot” is an illustrated history of the most famous and mysterious studio the industry has ever known.
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