Recently on Town Hall Journal

Downtown Progress and Korean Air

This week, TOWN HALL Journal welcomes Yang-Ho Cho of Korean Air, who tells us why, despite tough economic times, Korean Air is poised to break ground on a billion-dollar hotel and office complex on the site of the Wilshire Grand Hotel. Foreign money has long played an important role in shaping Los Angeles, and our Vault segment takes us back to 1988, when fifty percent of downtown was foreign-owned, mostly by Japanese corporations. We’ll hear from Christopher Stewart of the Central City Association, who saw a revitalized, world-class downtown in L.A.'s future, thanks to an influx of global capitol. But twenty-two years later, have we fulfilled that promise?

The Long Slow Climb of Economic Recovery

President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco (FRBSF) and possibly the next Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Dr. Janet Yellen, gives her observations on the US economy. Yellen's prognosis is best described as tempered optimism. She does not agree with speculations that high federal budget deficits partnered with low interest rates are cause for concern. Instead, she articulates why the fear is understandable but misguided.

The Smart Grid of the 21st Century

Have you heard about Smart Meters? Are you aware of the Smart Grid? How about the $4.5 billion of federal funding earmarked for modernizing the nation's grids to make them smarter? Concerned about energy needs, efficiency and alternatives to fossil fuels? Then, this week's TOWN HALL Journal is for you! Tune-in when Chairman, President and CEO of Edison International, Ted Craver, discusses the Smart Grid, Smart Meters and what they mean to Edison customers, our economy and our climate. Craver articulates the difference between the existing grid and the Smart Grid and how Smart Meters will allow real-time data on individual energy use to redirect the system so energy is used more efficiently. He also addresses the holy grail of electricity - storage. Craver posits how properly storing energy through the use of lithium batteries or next generation storage devices will reduce the carbon footprint of energy because less energy will be consumed during transmission. He also addresses the risk of cyber-terrorism which increases by virtue of having a digital network. The Vault segment takes us back to 1980 when Dr. Marshall Alper, Manager of Solar Energy Program for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) discussed the need for a Smart Grid and Smart Metering. The Street Segment addresses consumer concerns around privacy issues as monitoring our energy use in turn provides data on our activities while at home. If you are curious about the next phase of energy, this program provides the comprehensive overview you'll need to understand the 21st Century Grid.

You Count, So Be Counted: 2010 Census

There are many misperceptions and rumors that surround the census causing many Angelenos to be wary of completing it. Constitutional decrees aside, the bottom line is an undercount equals lost revenues to our state and city. Because of the 2000 undercount, Los Angeles lost over 200 million dollars during the last decade. Given our current financial crises, we certainly can't afford another undercount. In this week's TOWN HALL Journal, listen in when Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, California Community Foundation President, Antonia Hernandez, and local Census leaders cite the benefits of an accurate count. City National Bank's Sr. Vice President of Community Reinvestment, Sal Mendoza, illustrates the point well by noting if California receives $1 back from the federal government for each $1 we give, that means an increase of $1 billion to the state each year. Panelists also remind us that Los Angeles has one of the largest homeless populations including the newly homeless - families who recently lost their homes. The panel notes that the Census isn't just for poor people. It takes into account the needs of all Americans and determines funding for infrastructure, education and emergency and disaster preparedness. The Vault Segment this week features Antonia Hernandez when she was the President of the Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund (MALDEF). Hernandez discusses the rising power of the Latino vote and the detrimental effects to the Latino population because of the 1990 Census undercount of 1 million in California. Finally, the Street Segment takes listeners to Skid Row and the efforts being made there to accurately count its population. Your needs matter, so tune-in and send-in your Census!

How Los Angeles Recovers

With Moody's Investors Service reducing its opinion of LA's finances from stable to negative, many Angelenos have been asking, "How will LA recover?" Join us for TOWN HALL Journal when City Controller, The Hon. Wendy Greuel, presents several reasons why we're in this trouble and solutions to get out. Though coming to the job at what others consider an inopportune time, Greuel finds the current challenges to be the very catalyst for change. She opines that it's only when we no longer hope for miracles are we able to make tough choices and long-term recovery can begin. She suggests that we didn't arrive at these problems overnight and to solve them we need more jobs and different revenue streams. At the same time, we need to encourage the businesses that traditionally flourish here to stay. As she puts it, "Would New York ever let Wall Street leave?" The Vault Segment takes us back to 1979 and 1984. In the first segment, Public Employees for Lower Taxes was represented by TOWN HALL speaker Sam Sperling, who called for public employees to reject pay increases if they are not conducive to keeping government stable. He urged public employees to think of their long-term interests. In 1984, then Chief Administrative Officer for Los Angeles - Keith Comrie - stated that only when citizens feel cuts in public services will they be willing to pay increased taxes. Finally, the Street segment asks Angelenos what services they think should be cut or kept. You won't want to miss what your fellow citizens think should be done.

State of the Arts

Despite plundering financing for arts education, there is reason to remain optimistic for the classic arts, or so believes Paula Kerger, CEO of PBS. In her recent TOWN HALL appearance, Kerger pointed out that the United States spends less on the arts than any other comparable nation and that arts education is critical to boosting cognizance and esteem in the youth; not to mention fueling the creative industries, a key element in the economic vitality of Los Angeles. Though attendance at US museums is weaning, there is a burst of activity in the arts through new media outlets. Though only 35% of Americans patronize the arts, one in six download or stream a classical arts performance or imagery via multimedia portals. Kerger is hopeful that the PBS strategic plan will continue to draw new audiences while giving old ones more options for interaction. This week's Vault segment includes a glimpse into the future from Sky Dayton in 2000. At the time, Dayton was the Chairman of EarthLink and predicted an era when wireless technology would be ubiquitous and users would be able to access anything online from everywhere they went. Lastly, Journal producers asked Angelenos what Art Class meant to them growing-up and how it shaped their lives. If you're concerned about the future of our creative economy, arts education and the role of arts in our city, tune-in to TOWN HALL Journal for the "State of the Arts."

3D - Everything Old is New Again

The unprecedented success of Avatar has created a new but reminiscent wave in the movie industry. With the popularity of its revolutionary 3D technology and recent announcements that Sony is manufacturing 3D televisions while Discovery networks announces its 3D channel launching in 2011, TOWN HALL wondered if 3D is the latest gimmick or a true evolution of the entertainment industry. We also wondered which woos moviegoers - the story or technology? This week, host Judy Muller interviews Jim Chabin, President of the International 3D Society about Avatar and the future of 3D. She also checks-in with David Ansen, film critic for Newsweek magazine and artistic director of the Los Angeles Film Festival about which is the bigger draw, technology or story? He lends his point of view on what 3D technology means for the future of entertainment. Our Vault Segment takes us back to 1986 when the colorization of movies was the technology trend creating the most buzz and controversy. Finally, we eavesdrop on what contemporary moviegoers consider a worthwhile viewing experience. In honor of the Oscars, we present this insight into the evolution of technology in film.

The Daring Young Men and Women of the US Military

One of the may mottos of the US Military is "To Win Hearts and Minds." Though the phrase make smack of war propaganda, it is practiced by the military. Throughout the history of warfare, the US has a long tradition of taking care of the citizens of occupied or invaded countries. Author Richard Reeves tells one such story in his book "Daring Young Men: The Heroism and Triumph of the Berlin Airlift," which tells the tales of the military men who delivered supplies and lifelines to the people of West Berlin. In a campaign that was supposed to last 30 days and lasted more than a year, these brave service men battled harsh conditions and the remnants of war to help those who were previously trying to kill them. Reeves wrote the book in response to the reports of military behavior during the Abu Ghraib scandal. Tune-in to hear this fascinating and not widely known story of post World War II Berlin. In our Vault Segment, we hear from three different Joint Chiefs of Staff one of whom warns the US about Osama bin Laden one year prior to September 11th, the second assures us of safety after 9.11, and the current one, Admiral Mike Mullen, who speaks about long military deployments. For the Street Segment, we ask if the draft should be reinstated. We think you'll be surprised by the answers. If you support the troops, please tune-in and listen to stories of their bravery.

The Pursuit of Innovation

Have you ever considered how scientific innovation impacts our lifespans and livelihoods? Are you concerned that the current state of our high school science and math programs will somehow make the United States lose its global competitive edge? Tune-in when TOWN HALL Journal presents the CEO of the ninth largest pharmaceutical company - Eli Lilly and Company's Dr. John Lechleiter. Hear what he has to say about the current state of innovation in the country. Dr. Lechleiter articulates the current difficulties facing pharmaceutical companies from funding to finding innovative researchers to calling for an ecosystem of innovation that provides America with the ability to maintain her competitive edge. The Vault segment features the previous Eli Lilly CEO, Sidney Taurel, who discusses the societal implications of an extended lifespan of 10 years and the power of "Super Seniors." Finally, local teachers talk about what they're doing to make sure we maintain our lead in math and science including how Loyola High School completely revamped the order by which they teach science from an agrarian model to a 21st century model. If you're concerned about our competitive edge, don't miss this program!

Top 10 Risks of the 21st Century

The second season of TOWN HALL Journal resumes with the "Top 10 Risks of the 21st Century," as identified by Joseph Plumeri, President and CEO of Willis Group Holdings, one of the largest insurance companies in the world. Plumeri names obvious risks like terrorism and not-so-obvious risks like globalization. Plumeri points out that the interconnectivity of his industry, banking and global commerce all contribute to the current economic crisis. Other notable risks include product tampering, pandemics and cyber security. From the TOWN HALL Vault comes a collection of "Risks at the Time," which spans from 1974-1996 and includes insights from Donald Rumsfeld, then CEO of GD Searle & Company. Finally, our street segment features local small business owners who address the risks facing them. If risk is your business, or your business is at risk, be sure you tune-in!