Friday, July 31, 2009

Patt Morrison for Mon 8/3/09


Monday, August 3, 2009

1-3 p.m.


1:00 - 2:00



2:00 – 2:40

Hated & Despised, Insurance Companies Still Play a Role in Healthcare Reform

Even as they’re almost universally hated, every American with health coverage must rely on insurance companies to receive and pay for the most basic of medical services.  Last week House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Democrats are bracing for “carpet bombing, shock and awe” from insurance companies directed at advocates for health care reform.  Will big insurance companies derail a new national health care program?



Rep from American Association of Health Underwriters



Elizabeth McGlynn, associate director & a principal researcher at RAND Health



2:40 – 3:00

Life Down on the (Illegal) Farm: Growing California’s Biggest Cash Crop

At the root of it growing marijuana for sale on the illegal black market isn’t unlike farming any other major crop—careful attention to your plants and plenty of water, soil and fertilizer.  That’s where the similarities end—keeping your marijuana farm well-hidden, protecting yourself against the possibility of an armed raid on your crops and dealing with the gang-infested world of drug sales means that pot growers are not ordinary farmers.  We talk to the operator of a large marijuana farm about his role in California’s biggest cash crop.



Anonymous marijuana farmer in Northern California


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Patt Morrison for Fri, 7/31/09


Friday, July 31, 2009

1-3 p.m.




1:00 – 1:40




1:40 – 2:00

Time to Declare Victory and Go Home?

Iraq doesn't garner much attention these days, in the shadow of Afghanistan and after U.S. troops officially handed off control of the control of Iraqis on July 1st, but American forces are still due to remain in the country for another 2 ½ years.  That timetable is too long, according to one senior military advisor—an American colonel suggests that we "declare victory and go home" entirely by next summer.  Is there anything left that the U.S. can accomplish in Iraq?





2:00 – 2:40

Hollywood Roundtable: Runaway Production

Twenty-five productions have qualified so far for a film incentive program signed into law earlier this year. The state tax credits are meant to help keep productions in California, but will they work?  What is the impact of runaway production on local service providers? And what about those high-dollar incentives offered by other states - too much for too little? 



Amy Lemisch, Director, California Film Commission

Call her: (323) 817-4111          back-up: (323) 860-2960 x111


Ken Sharp, Vice President, Modern Props, Inc.

Call him:



Eddie Marks, President, Western Costume Co.


Additional guests: TBD



2:40 – 3:00





Air quality advisory for Friday

313 N. Figueroa Street, Room 806 * Los Angeles, CA 90012 * (213)
240-8144 *

For Immediate Release:
July 30, 2009


Air quality will be unhealthy for sensitive individuals in the Santa
Clarita Valley

LOS ANGELES - According to the South Coast Air Quality Management
District, the air quality will be unhealthy for sensitive individuals in
the Santa Clarita Valley from tomorrow until further notice.

Los Angeles County Health Officer and Public Health Director, Jonathan
E. Fielding, MD, MPH, advises people living or working in the Santa
Clarita Valley with heart disease, asthma or other respiratory disease
to minimize outdoor activities. Schools that have children with
sensitive conditions, including heart disease, asthma, other chronic
respiratory diseases, should not participate in PE or outdoor physical
activity and should stay indoors as much as possible.

The Department of Public Health is committed to protecting and improving
the health of the nearly 10 million residents of Los Angeles County.
Through a variety of programs, community partnerships and services,
Public Health oversees environmental health, disease control, and
community and family health. Public Health comprises more than 4,000
employees and an annual budget exceeding $750 million. To learn more
about Public Health and the work we do, please visit

# # #

County Receives National Recognition for Records Project

Picture (Metafile)


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                  

July 29, 2009                                                                   CONTACT:        Marcia Ventura (562) 462-2726 or                                                                                                                                                Eileen Shea      (562) 462-2648




Los Angeles County’s new “LA Vitals System” received national recognition from the National Association of County Recorders, Election Officials and Clerks (NACRC) at its Annual Conference in Nashville, TN, this past weekend.  On July 25, 2009, Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk (RR/CC) Dean Logan addressed conference participants and accepted the “2009 Best Practices Award” for Los Angeles County’s submission “LA Vitals System: Enhancing Customer Service While Saving Taxpayer Dollars”.

The “Best Practices Award” is awarded by NACRC to programs that deal effectively with the ever-changing demands and challenges to modernize records and that meet new standards through innovative and cost-efficient solutions without raising taxes.  The new “LA Vitals System” is a modern integrated computer database system that has enhanced the County’s capacity to archive, search, and protect the County’s vital records (e.g. birth, death, and marriage records) and will now help to streamline operations that file approximately 265,000 vital records and issue an estimated 700,000 certified record copies annually.  “Our Department is committed to providing the most efficient and effective service possible, including design and implementation of new technology as a solution, to enable us to meet the growing and complex needs of our customers who are seeking accessible and timely vital records”, said Logan.  “The “LA Vitals System” and NACRC’s recognition is a great example of our commitment and success to that end,” added Logan. 

Under the previous vitals system, staff handled manual/paper-based customer requests, utilized stand alone cash registers, processed 2,000 paper applications daily, and used outdated mainframe technology.  Inefficiencies in cash control and document processing, along with the availability of newer and more technically proficient upgrades, made the Department’s 20 year-old vitals system obsolete with limited functionality.  Vital records that were stored on film or paper format could take as long as 3 weeks to process. 

The new automation and use of modern technology now allows a more streamlined vital records ordering and delivery process for both public and staff end users through a virtually paperless system.  The “LA Vitals System” greatly improved all areas of vital record processing from providing customer copies via the web, counter or mail, to storage and retrieval of the images through the online program, to the electronic cashiering interfaces and to detailed reporting.

More importantly, the “LA Vitals System” was developed in-house by the RR/CC and managed to achieve a cost avoidance of more than 10 million dollars, by doing so.  “As our economy continues to change it is imperative that we seek out cost-effective solutions that allow us to work smarter while utilizing every available resource to save money,” concluded Logan. 

Highlights of the “LA Vitals System”
·       Major Technology Upgrade
·       Developed and maintained with the Department;
1       Low cost development $400,000;
2       Ongoing maintenance savings as proprietary system; and
3       Increased capacity to audit and archive Birth, Death and Marriage records.

·       New Modules and Functionalities
·       Customer Kiosk allows for online requests;
1       Electronic applications and signatures;
2       Automated cashier/copy process;
3       Mail tracking enhancements; and
4       Web based index viewing for customers.

·       New Efficiencies
·       Greater control of money collected with database driven cashier interface, linked to Finance for easy reconciliation and collections;

1       Detailed tracking of all requests and storage of customer data and signatures;
2       Electronic routing of requests allowing for efficient use of staff time;
3       Use of the Internet or Kiosk-based application request modules rather than having to fill out lengthy paper applications; and

4       Implementation of Credit/Debit payment method.

For more information about Los Angeles County’s “LA Vitals System” download the presentation and awards submission online at and click on the “Publications” tab or click directly onto the following links to view or download the “LA Vitals System” presentation and awards submission:

Persons requiring multilingual assistance in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Tagalog/Filipino, or Vietnamese can call (800) 481-8683.

# # # #

For more Information, visit or follow us on Twitter Picture (Metafile)
RR/CC Press Releases also available via RSS Feeds Picture (Metafile)- subscribe at

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Patt Morrison for Thursday, 7/30/09


Thursday, July 30, 2009

1-3 p.m.





1:06 – 1:19

Villaraigosa—Vacationing on the Taxpayers’ Dime?

The Mayor is on his second vacation since being inaugurated for a second term on July 1st. A think tank paid for his first trip to South Africa, but what about his traveling LAPD detail? His office remains mum about his current trip to Iceland.




Eric Spillman, reporter, KTLA 5; he has filed a California Public Records Act request to learn more about the costs of Mayor Villaraigosa’s trips



1:21 – 2pm


2:06 – 2:30

Where's the Truth behind the Financial Mess?

Finding the truth behind the economic crisis and the collapse of major financial institutions is the new job of former California State Treasurer, Phil Angelides.  As chair of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, he's committed himself and the other members "to pursuing the facts and uncovering whatever is underneath whatever rock…. And hopefully avoid this kind of thing happening again in the foreseeable future."  With a topic as highly charged as this one, can he keep ideology and partisanship at bay and find the real answers?



Phil Angelides, chair of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission.  He is former California State Treasurer.



2:21 – 2:30

Where's the Truth behind the Financial Mess?



2:30 – 2:58:30


Maybe one day we’ll look back on them like P.O.G.s or Beanie Babies, but iPhone apps are currently all the rage. From ‘Cannabis’—an app that helps locate the closest drug dealer, and one that sounds an alarm as drivers approach police speed traps, to iFart and PullMyFinger (and the subsequent iFart-PullMyFinger lawsuit), Patt takes stock of the wide world of iPhone.




David Pogue, Technology Reporter and Columnist, New York Times



Jonathan Serviss

Producer, Patt Morrison Program

KPCC 89.3 FM / Southern California Public Radio

NPR Affiliate for Los Angeles

626.585.7821 /


New Fitness Zone Dedication in South Whittier



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                        CONTACT:  Angie Castro, (213) 703-2823                                                                          





HealtHY recreation top priority at MAYBERRY park



            SOUTH WHITTIER (July 29, 2009) – Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina will be joined by South Whittier health and fitness participants -- local seniors, women’s aerobics team and “healthy recreation” day camp children to dedicate the new outdoor Fitness Zone at Mayberry Park in South Whittier as part of their park’s healthy recreation program. 


WHAT:           Dedication of new Fitness Zone.  The outdoor gym installations include Equipment similar to what is found at health clubs, and offer strength training, flexibility and cardio workouts for a variety of ages and fitness levels.


The new Mayberry Park Fitness Zone marks the 10th installation in Molina’s district as part of a public-private partnership with the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation, Kaiser Permanente and Trust for Public Land, and is part of the County Parks’ mission to provide healthy recreation programming for county residents. 


"In many communities throughout the county, parks are our backyards – where we congregate, play and exercise," said Molina.  “The new Fitness Zone is a welcome addition to the park’s healthy recreation and wellness program, and one which our “healthy living” participants welcome with great enthusiasm.”


"Kaiser Permanente wants to ensure good health extends beyond our doors.  Healthy communities and a healthy environment are critical to individual health and wellness. Creating them has always been central to our mission," said Roberta Tinajero-Frankel, Kaiser Permanente Community Benefit Manager.  "To that end, Community Benefit will provide $900,000 in Healthy Eating/Active Living grants over a three-year period to the Trust for Public Land to support the installation of Fitness Zones as part of park development and revitalization."  


WHEN:           Thursday, July 30, 2009 at 10:30 a.m. 


WHERE:         Amelia Mayberry County Park, 13201 E. Meyer Road, South Whittier, 90605


WHO:              - Supervisor Gloria Molina

                        - Mayberry Park Senior Club - Healthy Seniors

                        - Women’s Aerobics team

                        - Health recreation day camp children

                        - Trust for Public Land

                        -  Kaiser Permanente

                        -  Trader Joe’s


VISUALS:       Women’s aerobics team demonstration; and “health and fitness” participants demonstrate circuit training in the Fitness Zone.      -end-

Two County hospitals rated among America's best



For Immediate Release                                             Contact:          Michael Wilson

July 29, 2009                                                                                       213-240-8059




Los Angeles County Public Hospitals Make “America’s Best”

Ranking by U.S. News & World Report



LOS ANGELES, Calif.  – Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center (Rancho) and the Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center (LAC+USC) have made the list of “America’s Best Hospitals” in an annual ranking of the nation’s elite medical centers by U.S. News & World Report.  Both hospitals are run by the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (DHS).


Rancho once again made the “Top 20” list of Rehabilitation Hospitals where it has remained for two decades – and the only rehabilitation hospital in California to have that distinction.  LAC+USC made the “Top 50” list of Ophthalmology Hospitals.


The U.S. News ranking, now in its 20th year, differs from other rankings by looking at how well a hospital handles complex and demanding situations, and involves surveys completed by 10,000 physicians nationwide.  A total of 4,861 hospitals were considered for the survey, but only 174 hospitals (less than 0.4 percent of the total), were ranked in one of 16 specialties, including cancer, heart and heart surgery, kidney disorders, urology, neurology and neurosurgery.


Scoring criteria included reputation, mortality index, patient safety, and care related factors such as nurse staffing, and available technology, however in the ophthalmology, psychiatry, rehabilitation and rheumatology specialties hospitals were ranked on reputation alone.


“This ranking illustrates that our world-class clinical care has earned the respect and admiration of our national peers,” said Rancho Chief Executive Officer Jorge Orozco.  “All of Rancho’s highly trained and dedicated health care providers share in this prestigious recognition of our work and mission.”


“We are extremely proud of the high-quality care that our public hospitals provide to the residents of the County,” added DHS Interim Chief Medical Officer Robert G. Splawn, MD.  “Both of these remarkable hospitals, which have trained generations of physicians, continue to raise the bar in clinical outcomes through research and innovation.”


Of the 174 hospitals ranked in one or more specialties, 21 qualified for Honor Roll by earning high scores in at least six specialties. More information is available at


State Budget -Summary of Estimated Impact to LA County es (As of today, Est. $244.4M in Major Funding Reductions for FY09-10) - 7/29/09




Executive Summary of the Estimated Impact to the County

FY 2009-10 Final State Budget


Wednesday, July 29, 2009; 9:00 a.m.


The Governor has signed the amendments to the Budget Act of 2009 approved by the State Legislature on July 24, 2009.  However, the Governor used his line-item veto authority to make $489 million in additional spending reductions to close a $24 billion budget deficit.  Based on our preliminary analysis of the vetoed items, we offer an executive summary of impact to the County of Los Angeles:


Suspension of Proposition 1A:  The suspension would allow the State to borrow $2.0 billion in property tax revenue from local governments statewide, with repayment of this loan not due until 6/30/2013.  The County impact is estimated to be $360.9 million in FY 2009-10, specifically affecting:


County General Fund:

  • $301.9 million loss


Special Districts:

  • $44.0 million loss to the Fire Department - Special District Funds
  • $4.6 million loss to the Library Special District
  • $7.8 million loss to the Dept. of Public Works (DPW) Flood Control District
  • $2.7 million loss to Dept. of Public Works, various Special Districts (lighting, roads, waterworks, & garbage disposal)


Notes: * The Budget includes language which allows for the securitization of State borrowing and requires repayment of certain securitization costs.  This provision mitigates the impact of this loan on County operations. 


* Budget bill language is included in ABx4_14 and ABx4_15.

Time Extensions of Redevelopment Projects:  The final budget package extends the statutory life of all redevelopment projects in the state by one-year, in exchange for a $1.7 billion transfer of property tax increment revenues in FY 2009-10, and $350 million in FY 2010-11, to relieve the State’s obligation to fund public schools.  The County would begin being impacted in 2019 by the diversion of property tax revenues specifically due to the one-year extension of redevelopment.


·         $313.7 million loss from a 1-year extension of County (net present value)


Notes: * Impact is based on the existing 304 redevelopment projects within the County.  Based on the existing projects time limits, the County will begin realizing a loss of property tax revenues in 2019.


             *Budget bill language is included in ABx4_26

Highway User Tax Account (HUTA):  The final budget package included a proposal to loan $1.7 billion ($986 million in FY 2009-10 and $745 million in FY 2010-11) from the local share of gasoline tax revenues from local governments to the State.  However, this proposal was not taken up on the Assembly Floor and is currently not considered part of the adopted FY 2009-10 State Budget. 

Major Funding Reductions:  As of Tuesday, July 28th, the final FY 2009-budget package contains an estimated $244.4 million in reductions to various County programs in FY 2009-10, including: 


Social Services:

  • $114.2 million reduction to the County’s CalWORKs Single Allocation funds ($375 million reduction statewide in Single Allocation funds)  which are used for employment and child care services;
  • New due to VETO:  $37.1 million reduction to County’s Medi-Cal Administration, of which $1.1 million impacts Children and Family Services
  • New due to VETO:  $17.7 million reduction to the County’s Title IV-E Waiver


Mental Health:

  • $ 36.0 million loss from the elimination of funds for the Mental Health Managed Care Program;
  • $ 12.4 million loss from the deferral of AB 3632 Program payments for services provided to Severely Emotionally Disturbed children;


Public Health:

  • $ 22.1 million loss from the elimination of funding for the Substance Abuse Crime Prevention Act of 2000 funds (Proposition 36);
  • $ 7.1 million loss from the reduction of Drug Medi-Cal Program Rates;


     Justice and Public Safety:

  • $8 million loss due to reduction in courtroom security services related to court room closure
  • $4.6 million loss due to elimination of the reimbursement of retiree health care for court security personnel


Note:  * Most major funding reductions are included in ABx4_1, ABx4_4, ABx4_5, and SBx4_13


Medi-Cal Program Reduction Proposals:  The budget includes a proposal to reduce the Medi-Cal Program by $1 billion upon receipt of Federal funds. 


While these are not direct losses to the County, the Department of Health Services (DHS) indicates that this proposal eliminates potential solutions to mitigate a DHS budget deficit in FY 2009-10.  Specifically, DHS would not be able to access:


  • $70 million from the increased FMAP rate attributed to the Safety Net Care Pool; and


  • $97 million from funds available under the existing Medi-Cal Waiver. 


  • Budget bill language is included in ABx4_1.

Other Significant Budget Items:  The FY 2009-10 budget contains other proposals that may impact the County, but detailed information continues to be unavailable.  These proposals include:


  • $ 323.2 million reduction statewide to the Medi-Cal Program identified as an “unallocated cut.”  It is unknown how this would affect County operations and/or recipient services – Potential impact to Department of Health Services.


  • $ 153 million reduction statewide to the CalWORKs Program.  It is unknown what components of the program would be affected – Potential impact to the Department of Public Social Services.


  •  $ 18.4 million reduction statewide to private Disproportionate Share Hospitals.  This proposal would affect the Department of Health Services but the impact is unknown at this time.



Other VETOED Items:  Governor Schwarzenegger used his line-item veto authority to make additional reductions in state spending for FY 2009-10 that may impact the County, however detailed information continues to be unavailable.



·         New due to VETO:  $52.1 million reduction statewide to the Office of AIDS.  It is unknown at this time how these reductions will impact the County


·         New due to VETO:  $50 million reduction statewide to Health Families.  It is unknown at this time specifically how these reductions will impact the County.



Michael Jackson hearing



July 29, 2009


Michael Jackson (BP117319 and BP117321)  

Aug. 3 Guardianship and Estate Hearings


Reporters covering the guardianship and estate hearings for Michael Jackson cases at 8:30 a.m. Monday, Aug. 3, 2009, in Department 5, Stanley Mosk Courthouse, 111 N. Hill St., Los Angeles, must validate their seat reservation no later than 7:55 a.m. that morning in Room 222, second floor -- latecomers may lose their claim to a seat in the courtroom. Judge Mitchell L. Beckloff denied media requests for still and video photography of the hearing.

News organizations on the Public Information Office’s media-seating list for the July 13 Jackson hearing need not register or call to verify their reservation.  (A new media-seating list will be developed for future Jackson case hearings.)

Reporters’ use of personal recorders in the courtroom is prohibited -- even for note taking. They may use laptops and personal electronic devices, such as BlackBerrys, to email or text information during the hearing as long as the devices are held flat at lap level with their audio- and image-capturing features turned off at all times.

A closed-circuit telecast of the Department 5 hearing may be viewed in Room 222 by people who could not be seated in the courtroom. The court’s transmission shall not be recorded or made available for rebroadcast. Electronics, such as Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), laptops and cell phones, may not be used in the overflow room and must be turned off and stored out of sight. 


  • Post-hearing news conferences will be outside the courthouse near its Grand Avenue entrance on the fourth floor.
  • Hallway interviews are strongly discouraged.
  • Photography is forbidden in all courthouse hallways and public spaces except designated media areas where cameras must face the wall.
  • Hallway noise must be kept to a minimum in order not to disturb courtroom proceedings.

 # # #


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Patt Morrison for Wednesday, 7/29/09


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

1-3 p.m.





1:06 – 1:30



1:30 - 1:58:30

Do We Care Too Much About Flipper?

The designation "Dolphin Safe" on canned tuna has become a familiar one on every supermarket shelf, and it's essential to a tuna brand's success. But the "Dolphin Safe" fishing method that's most widely used today ends up killing far more other fish and sharks than the dolphins it saves. Is saving a relatively small number of dolphins (not a currently threatened species) worth the loss of more vulnerable aquatic species? And is tuna fishing itself sustainable, anyway?



David Shiffman, Masters in Marine Biology candidate at the College of Charleston in South Carolina and co-author of the marine biology blog SouthernFriedScience


Mark Palmer, Associate Director of the International Marine Mammal Project at the Earth Island Institute



2:06 – 2:19

Power to the People (and the Regulators)!

Yesterday (Tuesday) the House Financial Services Committee approved legislation that would leg regulators ban incentive pay at banks and give shareholders a vote on bonuses.  As part of the long-term fixes to the financial sector promised by Congressional Democrats, the increased power to shareholders and regulators is meant to tilt the playing field away from executives.  But with stiff opposition from Republicans and questionable support from the White House, can the new measure against excessive Wall St. pay be successful?








2:21 – 2:30

China Cuts up America’s Credit Card

After two days of the Strategic & Economic Dialogue talks between the United States and China, the message from a concerned Chinese delegation was simple: control your spending.  When a country with an $801 billion investment in the U.S. expresses concern about huge budget deficits, Americans are forced to take notice and that seemed to be the case during the high-level meetings between economic officials from the two countries.  What is the state of economic relations between the U.S. and China?




Robert Cassidy, former Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Asia & China & chief U.S. negotiator on China’s 1999 accession to the WTO





2:30 – 2:58:30

I Love it When You Talk Retro

So I was playing back-seat bingo with this leader-of-the-pack type when the black-and-whites pulled up to the bluff and totally read us the riot act! When my pops picked me up from the clink he looked at me and said, “What would Emily Post say?” What a SNAFU! Are you lost? Not hip to the slang? We talk retro today on Patt Morrison and learn what these terms mean and where in the world they came from.



Ralph Keyes, author of “I Love it When You Talk Retro: Hoochie Coochie, Double Whammy, Drop a Dime, and the Forgotten Origins of American Speech”



Jonathan Serviss

Producer, Patt Morrison Program

KPCC 89.3 FM / Southern California Public Radio

NPR Affiliate for Los Angeles

626.585.7821 /