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One Serious Problem Gone (Jewish Journal, February 1, 2012)

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The City Council's Shameless Pander (The Wide Angle, October 20, 2011)

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Stout Awards Honors Olney, Morrison and Mantle (The Wide Angle, October 20, 2011)

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Dance With Who Brung ‘Ya (Jewish Journal, September 28, 2011)

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Jury Got It Right in the ‘Irvine 11’ Case (The OC Register, September 23, 2011)

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'Irvine 11' Muslim student protesters found guilty on both charges (KPCC’s Airtalk, September 23, 2011)

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Voting Rights Act Outdated in Modern Day LA (The Daily News, August 21, 2011)

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What Los Angeles Can Teach the UK (BBC News World, August 15, 2011)

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When Did Carrying An ID Become A “White Thing”? (The OC Register, August 15, 2011)

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Bill Crafts Disneyland Version of History (The Sacramento Bee, July 14, 2011)

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An Education Game Changer (The Wide Angles, July 12 2011)

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A Flotilla of Fools (The Wide Angle Blog, July 8, 2011)

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Advocacy, the Academy and Mushy Thinking (The Wide Angle Blog, July 1, 2011)

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Tragic Fiction comes to Life (The Wide Angle, June 23, 2011)

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Coalition Sues to Keep Circumcision Ban Off Ballot (The Jewish Journal, June 22, 2011)

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The Circumcision Wars (The Wall Street Journal, June 3, 2011)

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Male Circumcision Ban Proposed in Santa Monica (The Jerusalem Post, May 25, 2011)

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Right Goal, Wrong Strategy (The Wide Angle Blog, May 11, 2011)

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The Bus Has Left the Station (City Journal, April 1, 2011)

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UCLA Leads the Pack (The Wide Angle Blog, March 29, 2011)

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Mixed Race Marriages and Our Attitudes (The Wide Angles, March 25, 2011)

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The Uncle Tom Accusation, Again (The Wide Angle Blog, March 18, 2011)

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A Forward Looking Decision in Civil Rights (The Wide Angle Blog, March 9, 2011)

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A Rising Wave of Anti-Semitism (Los Angeles Times, September 16, 2009)

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The Wide Angle, A Community Advocates Blog (July - September, 2009)

July… August… September…

Israeli Consul General, Palestinian Lobbyist Reach Mock Peace Agreement (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, May 6, 2009)

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Critical Issues Seminar—Mock Peace Summit in conjunction with the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy and KPCC (KPCC's Airtalk, April 29, 2009)

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In Battle Between Teachers, LAUSD, It’s the Kids Who Lose (Daily News, March 6, 2009)

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L.A. at the Tipping Point (www.RonKaye.LA, February 13, 2009)

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Theatrics by the Teachers (Daily News, February 8, 2009)

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Chicago Vs. Los Angeles Their Supe Is Obama’s New Education Man. Our Supe is Nice But… (LA Weekly, January 23, 2009)

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Critical Issues Seminar—Millennials Remaking America with KPCC (KPCC's Airtalk, January 21, 2009)

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The Good News About Gaza in America (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, January 21, 2009)

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What Oakland Should be Protesting (Los Angeles Times, January 19, 2009)

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Calling All Radical Reformers to LAUSD (Daily News, December 14, 2008)

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Attention Politicians: Pandering Won’t Fly (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, November 12, 2008)

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Presentation to Ayaan Hirsi Ali of Ziegler Prize for Courage of Conviction (Japan American Theatre, October 22, 2008)

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The Problems and Potential of South L.A., A Dust-Up Exchange between Joe R. Hicks and Earl Ofari Hutchinson (Los Angeles Times, August 11-15, 2008)

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Find Fresh Ideas to Battle Hate, Letter to the Editor (Los Angeles Times, August 4, 2008)

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Fast Food Freeze is a Good Choice for South LA by Jan Perry, Los Angeles Times, August 4, 2008)

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Do You Want Poppycock With That? by Tim Rutten (Los Angeles Times, August 2, 2008)

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Fast-food Moratorium is Meddling (Los Angeles Times, July 31, 2008)

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Critical Issues Seminar on the Role of Race in the 2008 Elections in conjunction with the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy and KPCC (KPCC's Airtalk, June 27, 2008)

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Shalom is not Funny (Letter to the Editor, Los Angeles Downtown News, June 23, 2008)

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A Dangerous and Precedent Setting Intrusion (Jewish Journal, June 13, 2008)

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“Ziman and Lee” (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, May 16, 2008

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We Don’t Need More Gabfests on Diversity (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, May 2, 2008)

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Families Deserve More than a Moratorium (Los Angeles Times, Blowback, April 10, 2008)

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On Any Given Sunday, Rev. Wright is Wrong (www.theroot.com, March 26, 2008)

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Obama’s Minister (KPCC’s Airtalk, March 18, 2008)

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LA Gang Violence Spikes (Associated Press, March 6, 2008)

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Critical Issues Seminar on The State of the Black Civil Rights Movement Today in conjunction with the Los Angeles Public Library and KPCC (KPCC's Airtalk, February)

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Asking Too Much (Los Angeles Times, January 31, 2008)

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Playing a Frayed and Faded Race Card (Jewish Journal, January 18, 2008)

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Limiting Fast Food Outlets---Path to Better Health? (KCET’s Life & Times, December 20, 2007)

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The State Bar and Revealing Data on Minority Passage Rates (KCET’s Life & Times, December 18, 2007)

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Divisions in the Jewish Community—Talking About Jerusalem (KCET’s Life & Times, December 12, 2007)

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Do Los Angeles’ Anti-Gang Programs Work? (KCET’s Life & Times, December 6, 2007)

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Sharpton Leads Call for Federal Investigation of Hate Crimes (Los Angeles Times, November 17, 2007)

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Race Card Backlash (Los Angeles Times, October 30, 2007)

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Critical Issues Seminar on Charter Schools in conjunction with the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy and KPCC (KPCC's Airtalk, October 5, 2007)

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The Private Lives of Public Officials (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, October 2, 2007)

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“Smart Growth” and Los Angeles Planning (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, September 20, 2007)

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Civil Rights in Louisiana (To the Point, KCRW-FM, September 20, 2007)

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The Racial/Ethnic Educational Achievement Gap (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, September 12, 2007)

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Board Vote Not Aimed At Students (Los Angeles Daily News, September 9, 2007)

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Healthcare Reform and Politics (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, September 5, 2007)

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The Constitution and Sex Offenders (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, August 30, 2007)

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‘Profiles in Courage’ ( Jewish Journal, August 24, 2007)

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Where’s the Fire? (Washington Post, August 2, 2007)

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Race and Politics in a Changing South LA (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, June 20, 2007)

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Gangsta Rap and its Impact (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, June 13, 2007)

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Mexican Americans and Drunk Driving (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, June 6, 2007)

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Baseball and the Decline in African-American Players (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, May 30, 2007)

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Los Angeles Unified’s New Board (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, May 23, 2007)

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Hollywood and its Impact on Political Discourse (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, May 16, 2007)

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New Times and the NAACP (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, May 9, 2007)

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Downtown Homeless and the LAPD (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, May 2, 2007)

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Immigration and the new Sanctuary Movement (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, April 25, 2007)

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The Teachers’ Union and School Reform, (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, April 18, 2007)

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Drop the Race Card (Washington Post, April 15, 2007)

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The Takeover of the Times (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, April 11, 2007)

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The Governor’s Health Care Plan (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, March 28, 2007)

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Racism in the LA Fire Department? (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, March 14, 2007)

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Critical Issues Seminar in conjunction with the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy and KPCC (KPCC's Airtalk, February 26, 2007)

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“Has the Nanny State Gone Too Far?” (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, February 28, 2007)

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“Justice Takes A Beating In Long Beach Racial Hatred Case” ( Jewish Journal, February 16, 2007)

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“Gang ‘Marshall Plan’ - Will It Work?” (KCET’s Life & Times’ Kitchen Table Conversation, February 14, 2007)

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“Living Wages or Dying Businesses?” (KCET’s Life & Times Kitchen Table Conversation, January 31, 2007)

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“Gangs of New York and LA” (Jewish Journal of Los Angeles, January 26, 2007)

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KCET’s Life & Times transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding “The Future of the Middle Class in Los Angeles” (Life & Times, January 17, 2007)

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“Does Abe Foxman Have An Anti-Anti-Semite Problem?”, (New York Times Magazine, January 14, 2007)

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KCET’s Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding “Military Recruitment on Campus---Right or Wrong?” January 3, 2007

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KCET’s Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding “Is There An Assault on Christmas?” December 13, 2006

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Racism Claims a Stretch" (Daily News, December 1, 2006)

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KCET’s Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding “What is Racism Today?” November 29, 2006

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"Racism in Entertainment", (KCRW's "Which Way LA?", November 27,2006)

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KCET’s Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding “Border Fence---Boondogle or Barrier?” (life & Times, November 15, 2006)

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“LA’s Jews and Other Minorities---Oh How They Danced” (Los Angeles Jewish Journal, November 11, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding "Racial Profiling and a National ID Card" (Life & Times, October 18, 2006)

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Critical Issues Seminar in conjunction with the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy and KPCC (KPCC's Airtalk, October 9, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding "Immigration Debate Divides Conservatives" (Life & Times, October 5, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding "Drugs in Sports" (Life & Times, October 3, 2006)

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Award Dispute", KPCC's Airtalk, September 15,2006

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"Two Faced On Terrorism", Los Angeles Times, September 14, 2006

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Award to Islamic Leader Hathout Stirs Dispute", KCRW's Which Way LA?, September 14, 2006

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KCET's Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding "California's High School Exit Exam?", ( Life & Times, August 23, 2006)

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"4 Los Angeles Latino Gang Members Convicted of Anti-Black Conspiracy" (Los Angeles Times, August 2, 2006)

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"Muslim Council's Bias All Too Clear" (Los Angeles Daily News, August 1, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding "UCLA's Minority Admissions, (Life & Times, July 19, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding "Celebrity Causes--Ego or Altruism?", ( Life & Times, July 13, 2006)

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Did Anti-Semitism Take Root at the South Central Farm? (Jewish Journal, June 23,2006)

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KCET's Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversations regarding Immigration and Employment (Life & Times, June 21,2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of news segment on the South Los Angeles Farm controversy (Life & Times, June 6, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of Kithcen-table Conversation regarding the Mayoral takeover of the Los Angeles Unified School District (Life & Times, June 6, 2006)

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Letter to the Editor regarding Race, Religion, and Demographic Change (Los Angeles Times, June 4, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding Hybrid Cars and Energy Conservation (Life & Times, May 23, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding Teen Sex (Life & Times, May 18, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding Black Brown Tensions in LA (Life & Times, May 2, 2006)

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Debate education policy, not race (Los Angeles Times, April 22, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding Fatherless Parenting (Life & Times, April 11, 2006)

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Border Protests Not Fight for Civil Rights (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, April 7, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding Black-Brown tensions (Life & Times, April 4, 2006)

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Civil Rights? How About Lawlessness? (Los Angeles Times, April 1, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding Immigration (Life & Times, March 30, 2006)

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Differing Views of Race in L.A. Collide in 'Crash' (Los Angeles Times, March 2, 2006)

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Disputed Film Draws Muted Response (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, February 10, 2006)

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Blacks vs. Latinos at Work (Wall Street Journal, January 24, 2006)

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The Munich Concern Is Us--Not Film (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, January 20, 2006) with Dr. Michael Berenbaum

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NAACP Leader Turned Heads By Backing Tookie (Baltimore Sun, January 15, 2006) Joe Hicks quoted

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Munich Portrays Real World Issues (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, December 23,2005), with Dr. Michael Berenbaum

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New Farrakhan Embodies Old Message (Los Angeles Jewish Journal, October 21, 2005)

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Levees Let Loose An Ugly Flood of Black Paranoia (Los Angeles Times, October 2, 2005)

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Lessons From the Ruins (LA Weekly, August 12, 2005)

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Let's Make A Diploma Mean Something (Los Angeles Times, August 27, 2005)

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Police Beating of Minister Disputed (Los Angeles Times, August 27, 2005)

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We Only Burned Ourselves, Baby (Los Angeles Times, August 7, 2005)

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Knee-jerk Activists and Their Tantrum Politics (Los Angeles Times, July 24, 2005)

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"Crash" Is No Picture of the Real Los Angeles (Los Angeles Daily News, June 24, 2005)

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Hit Film Paints Inaccurate Picture of Diverse LA (89.3 KPCC Perspectives, June 23, 2005)
Joe Hicks, the vice president of Community Advocates, says the hit movie Crash ...
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Jackson Trial Reaction Shows How Unimportant Race Is in US (Los Angeles Daily News, June 19, 2005)

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"Reel Life" (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, June 10, 2005)

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Joe Hicks talks about the election results (89.3 KPCC AirTalk, May 18, 2005)
with KPCC's Larry Mantle and reporter Adolfo Guzman Lopez, Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, Raphe Sonenshein, Bill Rosendahl, Rick Caruso, Antonia Hernandez, , Joel Kotkin and D.J. Waldie.
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  David A. Lehrer
Joe R. Hicks
 
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KCET’s Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation “Has the Nanny State Gone Too Far?” February 28, 2007


Val Zavala>> They call it the nanny state. All those government laws that regulate behavior like no smoking, no wearing perfume and, of course, all those warning labels. My favorite is the one on a stroller that says "Remove Child Before Folding". But are we going too far? Probably nothing has been the focus of increased restrictions as much as smoking. Here in southern California, the city of Calabasas attracted wide attention for its prohibition on smoking not just inside, but outdoors.

For a provocative discussion, we brought three people together at our Kitchen Table. David Lehrer of CommUnity Advocates; Calabasas City Councilman Barry Groveman who pushed the anti-smoking law through; and Brian Doherty from Reason Magazine who believes government regulations are intruding on our personal lives. Our segment is funded by Ralph Tornberg.

David Lehrer>> Barry, you were the author of the smoking regulation. Excuse me, not a ban in Calabasas. Just in brief, what does that regulation do?

Barry Groveman>> It's a law that says that you can smoke, you can sell cigarettes, but you can't smoke in places where people congregate. It is a control ordinance so that we can -- look, society is getting very complex. There's a lot of people with a lot of interests and concerns and needs and we have to balance that.

In the old days of the Old West, you could fire a gun and the bullet could come down and it wouldn't hit anybody. Now it will because we have a lot of people living in the city. Same thing here. People have asthma, they're sensitive to smoke, they're worried about it. We simply said to smoke, but like at the airport, do it in a designated area. Because we didn't ban anything and we worked hard not to, we've gotten the Chamber of Commerce locally to support it and the restaurants to support it.

David Lehrer>> It is banned in the parks, right?

Barry Groveman>> No, you can theoretically even smoke in the park if nobody is around, but how are we ever going to figure that out? The real rule is that you can't smoke when others are present. It's giving people the ability to say, "Would you mind putting it out?" because they now have some courage behind that. And people are good citizens and they're doing it.

David Lehrer>> So what's your objection?

Brian Doherty>> I think the civil way that he mentioned works better because I think it's a bad principle and I would hope most Americans, a country founded on the principle of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, would agree that it's a good principle that the law should not interfere with personal choices you make even if they harm you for any reason other than causing direct provable harm to others, especially in public places which is the significant thing about the Calabasas ban, which makes it the most severe if you don't like it or most far-seeing if you do like it of all smoking bans in California as it applies to almost all open public spaces.

There is not any science that establishes that transient exposure to secondhand smoke in an open public space of the sort that's the Calabasas law is mostly dedicated to causes any long-term health problem. It really is a case of merely legislating something that bothers people.

Barry Groveman>> But let's look who's behind what I'm arguing. The American Heart Association, apolitical, well-regarded. The American Lung Association, the medical doctors of California. One example I'll give you, I'll pull one out. Dr. Derrick Ragivan is the Chief of Clinical Studies of cancer at the Cleveland Cancer Institute, number three in the country. I asked him this question about inside-outside.

He said to me that, in their clinical studies based upon surgery evaluations -- this is not theory now. This is the clinical doctors doing surgeries on lungs -- he said it is their view and his view that it is worse to get secondhand smoke than breath it as a cigarette smoker. I said, "How could that be?" and it's helpful to understand the answer.

The answer was the heat of the plume of the cigarette causes a reflex in the lung which causes the smoker to cough. They learn to avoid the cough and they get accustomed to it. When you breath it at room temperature or outside, it's cooler or cool. It doesn't trigger the reflex and they are finding the cigarette smoke from secondhand smokers goes very deep into the cells of the tissue.

That's how they can distinguish between a smoker and a nonsmoker and that's why it doesn't matter whether it's outside. It may be worse, but I don't think the average citizen wants to take that chance. You're arguing that there's not enough evidence and the evidence is overwhelming. And who's behind you, I'd like to ask also?

Brian Doherty>> Dr. Michael Segal from Boston University School of Public Health who is a dedicated opponent of smoking absolutely believes that, in the workplace, it totally needs to be banned which I don't agree with, by the way, but he happens to. He thinks that these sort of outdoor smoking bans and he actually uses this phrase, "make a mockery of the whole movement to protect workers because there is no evidence that transient exposure in public places causes serious health."

Barry Groveman>> So you found a gun. What organization --

Brian Doherty>> -- no, he's a guy. The Boston School of Public Health, a dedicated opponent of smoking, a dedicated supporter of anti-smoking laws.

Barry Groveman>> Does the Boston School of Public Health support it? Are you identifying them as --

Brian Doherty>> -- no, I'm quoting him as an expert who someone out there on the internet could look up and begin actually digging to the bottom of this.

Barry Groveman>> I don't mean to argue with you. I'm just saying, if the Boston School does tell us, that would be interesting.

Brian Doherty>> I don't know if that's the case or not. I just know what I know.

Barry Groveman>> Because it's not. If it's just one individual, how does that person stand up to the American Lung, the American Heart, California Medical Association? How do they stand up to that?

Brian Doherty>> Merely because they all want to ban smoking.

Barry Groveman>> Why? They're not making any money on it.

Brian Doherty>> Because they don't like people to smoke. The movement is not about public health. It's about making people not smoke.

Barry Groveman>> Who funded his studies?

Brian Doherty>> It's not for nonsmokers. You're way down the slippery slope of the notion that the state has to control every single aspect of personal and family life.

David Lehrer>> Where are you on the issue of trans fats? Trans fats have clearly been shown to be harmful to --

Brian Doherty>> -- sure. Just like saturated fats, which we eat far more of than trans fats, because we like them.

David Lehrer>> So would you be in favor of revealing content of trans fats and saturated fats in restaurants? I'm sure you're opposed to a ban.

Brian Doherty>> Yeah, most of them already do. Most of them already do. Of course, I'm opposed to a ban. It's another step in the direction that, while I think you don't agree with the trans fat ban, I would maintain that the ideology behind the Calabasas smoking ban is the same one, the notion that the state does have a right to control or have a say in behavior. That's really a personal business.

Barry Groveman>> No, you're totally mischaracterizing it. I do agree with some of what you just said, but it doesn't have anything to do with the smoking ban. I made it really clear that, to me, where we have an interest in protecting people, and all cities do, is when they are being threatened with something harmful that is involuntary. There's a major distinction there. When you talk about the trans fats --

David Lehrer>> -- well, if you go to a restaurant, you don't know whether they do use trans fats.

Barry Groveman>> Well, that's why I am in favor very much of the disclosure. That is very clear. I would even like to see the numbers given or the letters given on the condition of the restaurant to reflect that. Then people can choose and the market will effectuate the outcome.

Brian Doherty>> I'm glad you agree that, in this, people should be able to choose.

Barry Groveman>> But it's voluntary. You don't have to go to a restaurant on your way to work.

Brian Doherty>> You're correct.

Barry Groveman>> You don't have to eat somewhere in order to have a job, but you do have to walk through a building and go to the movies or want to go to a park and enjoy the same rights. There is no right to smoke, by the way. There is a right to be safe.

Brian Doherty>> Why isn't there a right to smoke?

Barry Groveman>> There's no right to smoke.

Brian Doherty>> Why shouldn't there be?

Barry Groveman>> Why shouldn't there be?

Brian Doherty>> Is there a right to walk? Is there a right to skip?

Barry Groveman>> The inalienable rights, the Bill of Rights, the United States Constitution, in every state including this state, there's no right to smoke, but there's a right to be safe.

Brian Doherty>> Where is the right to be safe in the Constitution (laughter).

David Lehrer>> We have no right to continue this conversation beyond the few minutes allotted to us. I want to thank you, Brian, and thank you, Barry. I think we've cleared the smoke on this very tough issue.

 

 
   
 
 
   

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