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Office of the Inspector General investigation, SoCal Edison tree cutting, the science of dogs




A tree-trimming crew hired by Southern California Edison clears branches from an old pine away from power lines on Sacramento Street in Altadena on March 8, 2019.
A tree-trimming crew hired by Southern California Edison clears branches from an old pine away from power lines on Sacramento Street in Altadena on March 8, 2019.
Sharon McNary/KPCC

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Office of inspector general investigation

( Starts at o:56 ) 

The Office of the Inspector General at the Los Angeles Unified School District is the type of government agency that any taxpayer — not just those with kids in school — would want working well. Hunting for signs of waste, fraud, and misconduct, the OIG monitors $9.6 billion dollars in spending by the nation's second-largest school system each year — roughly the amount of money the state pays into the California State University system every year.

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Ken Bramlett, the Inspector General of the L.A. Unified School District (left), attends a school board meeting on Tues., June 5, 2018.
Ken Bramlett, the Inspector General of the L.A. Unified School District (left), attends a school board meeting on Tues., June 5, 2018.
Kyle Stokes/KPCC News

Controversial mural redux

( Starts at 8:36 ) 

If you've driven by the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools — formerly the Ambassador Hotel—you've probably  seen it: 

A profile of the legendary Hollywood actress Ava Gardner, ringed in orange-red and blue rays. Last December, it was almost taken down because critics said it reminded them of the World War II Japanese battle flag and was offensive to Koreans. The L.A. Unified School District HAD agree but free speech advocates and anti-censorship artists pushed back and it stayed. NOW, a whole NEW coalition of artists, curators, and local museum staffers is advocating for the mural to be painted over or substantially altered. So what happens now?

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The controversial mural of Hollywood legend actress Ava Gardner, by muralist Beau Stanton, situated at the Robert F. Kennedy Community School, that will be removed after local Korean American groups objected to it saying its sun rays bear a resemblance to the rising sun of the imperial Japanese battle flag used in WWII, in Los Angeles, California on December 13, 2018.
The controversial mural of Hollywood legend actress Ava Gardner, by muralist Beau Stanton, situated at the Robert F. Kennedy Community School, that will be removed after local Korean American groups objected to it saying its sun rays bear a resemblance to the rising sun of the imperial Japanese battle flag used in WWII, in Los Angeles, California on December 13, 2018.
MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images

Child Care Bill

( Starts at 20:43 ) 

For any parent, finding quality — and affordable —childcare can be a daunting task. In California, people often turn to in-home daycare, operated by small business owners.  This group of mostly self-employed people of most childcare providers in the state. A new bill proposed by Assemblymember Monique Limon of Santa Barbara would allow unions to organize these workers.

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SoCal Edison tree cutting gets pushback

( Starts at 14:10 ) 

California's recent wildfires have become more deadly and destructive than in past years. Some were sparked by trees touching live power lines. Southern California Edison wants to reduce that fire risk. But the utility's newly aggressive plan to cut back and remove trees is getting a lot of pushback from tree owners. KPCC's Sharon McNary has more. 

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Dog Science!

( Starts at 27:22 ) 

Over the weekend, "Dogs! A Science Tail" opened up at California Science Center. The exhibit gives insight into what it's like to be a beloved four-legged canine, and how they came to be our best friends.

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https://www.instagram.com/p/BvKk4DbgJEt/

RIP Tom Hatten 

( Starts at 41:15 ) 

Saturday also marked the passing of a local television institution. Tom Hatten died Saturday at the age 92 and his passing marks a remembrance not just of him but of a time in local TV that we'll likely never see again.

Guest:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfI5BWu5ye4

Unclaimed funds

( Starts at 47:03 ) 

You might have some money waiting for you. I know - it sounds like one of those spam emails you get. But no - this is real. The California State Controller's office says it's sitting on about $ 9.3 billion dollars worth of unclaimed property. State law requires the forgotten funds to be transferred to the controller's office if it's gone unclaimed for about three years.  Last month, 33 THOUSAND people reclaimed nearly $24 MILLION dollars worth of property. That includes 800 in San Francisco, 600 in Fresno and about 215 right here in Pasadena. If you're interested in checking for yourself, the State Controller has a website. Just go to Claimit.ca.gov.