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Voting Rights Act Outdated in Modern Day LA (The Daily News, August 21, 2011)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

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


Val Zavala>> Are you more likely to eat fast food if there's a Burger King on every block? Well, one Los Angeles City Councilwoman says yes, and that's why Jan Perry is proposing to put a stop to any more fast food restaurants opening in South Los Angeles. She says it would improve the health of the people who live there, but would it?

For a debate on the fast food ban, we brought three people together at our Kitchen Table. Aurora Flores is a public health advocate who supports the fast food ban. Onkar Ghate is with the Ayn Rand Institute. He says the ban would violate the free market and individual choice. David Lehrer of CommUnity Advocates kicks off our conversation.

David Lehrer>> We're here to talk about an interesting subject that is more complicated than it appears on the surface, the presence of fast food in South Los Angeles and an ordinance that's pending before the City Council. Aurora, could you just explain briefly what the ordinance is about? And it says for a given period of two years or so?

Aurora Flores>> It's for a year with a two six-month extension.

David Lehrer>> No more fast food.

Aurora Flores>> No more fast food.

David Lehrer>> Is there a lot of fast food in South Los Angeles?

Onkar Ghate>> Oh, yeah, definitely. Compared to West Los Angeles, the number of fast food restaurants compared to other restaurants is significantly greater, so that's definitely true.

David Lehrer>> What is your feeling about the initiative, the moratorium?

Onkar Ghate>> I'm against it. I don't think this is the responsibility of the government to tell people what they should be eating. The purpose of the legislation is to say, well, we are making unhealthy food choices. We're going to restrict your food choices, so you're going to make healthier ones.

I don't think that's the government's responsibility. I think it's the individual's responsibility to say this is the diet I want to eat. This is what I'm willing to spend on my diet. These are the restaurants I want to go to. Then to figure all that out for himself and then to do it.

David Lehrer>> Is there a particular difficulty for residents of South Los Angeles to get the healthy food that Onkar says, if they want, they should be getting?

Aurora Flores>> Most definitely. You know, I work at the accelerated school in South Los Angeles. They just filmed a documentary on the lack of access to fresh food. One of the students had to take a bus on a three-hour ride to Third and Fairfax to the nearest Whole Foods to her home to be able to purchase good quality vegetables and fruits.

David Lehrer>> So between South Los Angeles and Third and Fairfax, there was no place --

Aurora Flores>> -- it took her three hours to get to a quality, affordable -- not affordable because it really isn't for a community of low income.

David Lehrer>> Yeah, Whole Food is not affordable (laughter).

Aurora Flores>> It's not, but is certainly the best quality.

Onkar Ghate>> I think that points to one of the reasons there are so many fast food restaurants in that part of town compared to other areas. That is the fact that it's fast and that it's cheap. There's a lot of people in those areas, a lot of single parents, single moms, who need fast food.

They don't have the time to spend three hours in a restaurant. They've a lot of other chores and errands to run and they don't have the money to spend at a Whole Foods. That's one of the reasons that you don't see those kinds of things in an area that's lower income.

David Lehrer>> But why do we lower our level a bit from Whole Foods? I mean, don't most of these businesses locate where they locate because they view a demand and have studied to find that there is a demand in the neighborhood? So fast foods are present because, apparently, there's a demand for fast foods as opposed to suddenly they weren't just dropped in there because somebody decided they want to be mean to people in South Los Angeles.

Aurora Flores>> Well, you know, there's also a demand for grocery stores in this neighborhood where there is a lack of grocery stores. There's been a flight of supermarkets for many years now in this community, but I don't see them coming to the neighborhood either. I don't know the reasons why they are not coming to this area.

David Lehrer>> So wouldn't that be an answer, then, to encourage markets to come to South Los Angeles rather than discourage fast foods?

Aurora Flores>> There certainly have been incentive packages for markets and other types of sit-down establishments to come to this neighborhood, but again, we're not limiting peoples' choices by putting a moratorium on fast food outlets. It's just stopping the proliferation of unhealthy food.

David Lehrer>> Now are you offended by the notion of government telling people what they can and can't eat?

Onkar Ghate>> Yeah, and I think it is a restriction on peoples' choices. Any time you say I'm going to restrict the supply of something, the reason you're doing that is so people don't make that choice.

They make some other choice because now it's a hassle to go to a fast food restaurant. It's no longer fast. There's huge lineups at the drive-in. So people say, okay, I'm going to go somewhere else, but that's not what they would choose to do if they were free to make the choice. So you're actually restricting peoples' freedom.

I think it's interesting when you look at the grocery stores, for instance, why they're not in the area. I think it's a combination when you look at the economics of it of two things. There's not as much demand for the kinds of products and for huge grocery stores that you see in other areas, and because of the crime. The crime makes it economically worse for them to be in those areas. It's hard for them to make a profit.

So if I were a Council member, the biggest thing I would do, and I think this is the government's responsibility, is to crack down on crime in these areas. You would see businesses and more high-end businesses where the product is really valuable. If they're vandalized, if they're subject to robberies, if people come in and rob them, they just choose not to open.

David Lehrer>> How do you respond?

Aurora Flores>> Well, I'm not going to argue with him. I mean, in terms of, you know, crime and having to do something also about that issue in our community. But I can tell you that there is a demand for groceries and better quality food because I work with these communities and I hear it every day. I hear it from families and I hear it from students. They're tired of seeing junk food in their neighborhood and they want equal access to healthy food.

David Lehrer>> Part of the response of the market, haven't most of these fast food facilities established menus with more healthy foods than they had five or ten years ago? You can go to McDonalds and get salads and you can go to other fast food joints and get a variety of things, not just trans fat fries, hamburgers and whatever else they're offering, chicken.

Aurora Flores>> I believe some of them have salads now on their menus.

David Lehrer>> You don't frequent them enough. I can tell (laughter).

Aurora Flores>> No, I do not.

David Lehrer>> And the county recently issued a report about obesity among young people. One of the suggestions of their findings is that it's class-driven. If you look at lower socioeconomic status people and you look at the single family households and the inability to move around, that they tend to be higher levels of obesity.

They didn't mention the proximity of fast food establishments, but it seems to be a very complicated phenomenon and the accessibility of fast food is just one aspect of a very complicated social phenomenon.

Aurora Flores>> Yes, most definitely. There are multiple factors associated with childhood obesity, so the proliferation of fast food restaurants, of junk food, lack of physical activity, of course, lack of safety places for children to play, you know, not enough physical activity hours in school. I mean, there are many, many different factors associated, so it's going to take a lot of different approaches to curb the epidemic.

David Lehrer>> And you think this is one?

Aurora Flores>> I think this is one.

Onkar Ghate>> I don't think it is. I don't think it should be, more importantly. I don't think it's government's responsibility to crack down on obesity because obesity hurts the person who's obese. It doesn't hurt someone else, and he has a choice in regard to that. If he's gaining weight, he has a variety of options, restricted diets, exercise --

David Lehrer>> -- speaking of gaining weight, we're going to stop talking and start eating. Thank you both for coming in today. We really appreciate it.

Onkar Ghate>> Thank you.

 

 
   
 
 
   

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