The Latest | Southern California breaking news and trends

KPCC DIGEST AM (Oct. 17)—What parents want from LA Unified, what people see in the LA River, what teens can now do on Facebook

Photo by Gwen Harlow via Flickr Creative Commons

1. Park life: Small investment in outreach, large impact on activity (KPCC)

A  study released by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine on Thursday suggests that small investments by parks in marketing and outreach can increase park visitors' physical activity. Researchers looked at 50 parks across L.A.. Two-thirds of the parks received outreach training and $4,000 apiece to improve communication about their services.

Physical activity performed by patrons at those parks increased by seven to 12 percent when compared to parks that made no changes.

2. Angelenos and the LA River (KPCC)

Fishing, bird watching, biking and kayaking — listeners shared their favorite L.A. River stories and photos.

We encouraged folks to submit responses via our Public Insight Network in the days leading up to  Found LA: Festival of Neighborhoods. The theme this year: “The River of Your Imagination." See our gallery.

3. Federal workers head back to jobs as government reopens (NPR)

Hundreds of thousands of federal workers on furlough for two weeks are going back to work after Congress approved a late-night deal Wednesday to fund the government and stave off default.

"Now that the bill has passed the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives, the president plans to sign it tonight and employees should expect to return to work in the morning," Sylvia Mathews Burwell, director of the Office of Management and Budget, said in a statement late Wednesday. She told employees to check the Office of Personnel Management's website for updates.

4. Obama says shutdown damaged US economy (KPCC)

President Barack Obama says the government shutdown "inflicted unnecessary damage" to the U.S. economy and damaged America's credibility around the world. Obama spoke from the White House hours after signing legislation to reopen the government following 16 days of a partial shutdown. The deal came the night before the nation's debt limit was facing a breach.

Obama said the shutdown slowed economic growth, and said the way that business is done in Washington has to change.

5. The amazing backstory of Jaime Jarrín: Spanish voice of the Dodgers (KPCC)

He's a Hall of Fame broadcaster, who like his colleague Vin Scully, has elevated the profession to an art form. Jaime Jarrín  is the Spanish voice of the Dodgers and he's been calling games for the team for 55 years.

While Jarrín's trademark style is familiar to legions of Spanish-speaking and bilingual fans, there's much more to his story. Like, for example, he used to play soccer as a student in his native Ecuador.

6. Schools: 'What do parents want?' (KPCC)

L.A. Unified School District is holding series of community meetings to hear from parents and others about how to spend an additional $188 a year in special funds the district will be receiving each year to help low-income, English-learner and other disadvantaged students. And they're getting an earful.

"We want smaller classes," said one parent."We want nurses. We want counselors. We want bathrooms that work. I mean real basic stuff, and why don’t they have it?"

7. Facebook changes policy, teens can now choose public 'audience' (The Verge)

Facebook announced it will now allow users under 18 to post publicly, reports The Verge. "Until today, users aged 17 and under could only post updates that their friends, or in some cases, friends of friends, could see — ostensibly because it helped protect them. The feature likely won't entice any Facebook-loathing teens into using the service, but creates a level playing field where there wasn't one before."