The Latest | Southern California breaking news and trends

KPCC DIGEST AM (Sep. 18)—Tom Bradley terminal takes on travelers, Stephen Hawking takes on suicide, Malibu takes on rehab

Photo by Grant Palmer Photography via Flickr Creative Commons

1. Welcome to the new LAX Tom Bradley terminal (KPCC)

The new Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport officially opens to the public Wednesday. The $1.9 billion renovation project features 18 new gates — half built to accommodate larger, new-generation aircraft — and at least 60 shops and restaurants.

This is only Phase I.  Phase II, scheduled for completion in 2015, includes demolition of east side gates, new boarding bridges, and secure corridors between terminals.

2. Angeles National Forest wanted for new recreation area (KPCC)

U.S. Rep. Judy Chu of Pasadena wants to solve litter, graffiti and safety problems in the San Gabriel Mountains and Angeles National Forest by including them in a new national recreation area that would also include urban foothills and the San Gabriel River and Rio Hondo corridors.

The U.S. Parks Service studied the concept and concluded the recreation area should not include the mountains or the 655,000-acre forest. Chu disagreed, and said she would draft legislation to create the nation's largest federal recreation area.

3. A sneak peek inside the Broad (KPCC AudioVision)

MOCA and the Walt Disney Music Hall are getting a new neighbor: The Broad.

The new contemporary art museum —a 120,000-square foot space with porous skylights that form a honeycomb-like exterior — is financed by philanthropist Eli Broad and his wife Edythe. It will house more than 2,000 works of art from their collection and is set to open in late 2014.

4. Battle brewing between Malibu residents and pricey drug rehab centers (KPCC)

Not all drug rehab programs are created equal. In Malibu, such treatments — offered by rehab centers like Cliffside, Summit, and Milestones — cost up to a hundred thousand dollars a month and provide perks like massages, lap pools, daily therapy sessions, and perhaps most importantly, privacy.

Malibu residents, however, aren’t so enthused; they say the burgeoning rehab industry is causing all kind of problems in the area, including zone violations and unwanted disturbances.
5. Anaheim seeking permanent police chief (KPCC)

Little more than a year after a pair of officer-involved shootings sparked protests and rioting, the city of Anaheim has scheduled a community meeting Wednesday to get input into the search for a new permanent police chief.

Fourteen months ago, Anaheim saw nearly 1,000 angry protesters fill downtown streets when they couldn't get into a city council meeting held to discuss the officer-involved shooting deaths of Manuel Diaz and Joel Acevedo.

6. Stephen Hawking backs assisted suicide for the terminally ill (NPR)

Cosmologist Stephen Hawking, who has lived for years with the progressive and debilitating motor neuron condition known as Lou Gehrig's disease, tells the BBC that he favors assisted suicide for people with terminal illnesses.

Hawking, 71, who uses a wheelchair and speaks through a computer speech synthesizer activated by his eye movements, said: "We don't let animals suffer, so why humans?"

7. Sir Elton John makes music with USC students (KPCC)

Sir Elton John performed a small, free concert at USC this week. About 40 Thornton School of Music students were selected to perform on stage.

The Grammy legend with deep roots in L.A. —  his 1970 U.S. debut at the Troubadour is considered one of the most significant concerts in rock ‘n’ roll history— played five new songs from his new record due Sept. 24, plus hits "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" and "Bennie and the Jets."

8. Death recommended for killer of 4 women with matching initials (KPCC)

A jury has recommended the death sentence for Joseph Naso, a 79-year-old former photographer convicted of the decades-old murders of four Northern California prostitutes with matching initials — Roxene Roggasch, Carmen Colon, Pamela Parsons and Tracy Tafoya.

Victims were strangled and dumped in rural areas. Prosecutors, presenting grisly photos of the lifeless bodies, let a timer tick down from two minutes to zero — the time it takes an asphyxiated person to die.