Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Patt Morrison for Thursday, March 10, 2011


Thursday, March 10, 2011

1-3 p.m.





1:08:30 – 1:19:30




1:26:15 – 1:37

L.A. community colleges chancellor vows to recoup misspent monies

Last week the Los Angeles Times published its damning series about waste, shoddy workmanship and shady financial dealings in taxpayer-financed construction projects in the Los Angeles Community College District. That alleged wheeling and dealing was made possible by a series of voter-approved bond measures that sent $5.7 billion from tax payers to the Community College District. Yesterday in a letter to faculty and staff, LACCD Chancellor Daniel LaVista admitted to some of the district’s failings and promised to recoup some of the lost money and revamp broken systems. How deep did the problems run, and how much of the total cost to taxpayers can be recouped?



Daniel LaVista, Chancellor of the Los Angeles Community College District




1:42:30 – 1:54

“Big History” project aims to make traditional classroom curriculum a thing of the past

In high school we took a history class, a science class (biology, physiology, or chemistry), a geography class and perhaps some kind of religious or cultural anthropology class.  Four different disciplines, four different classes, four different teachers, four different sets of curriculum.  But what happens when elements of all of those classes overlap, and instead of getting one big, comprehensive view of how the world works, students are left with fractured lessons and materials?  There is an experiment that is about to launch in a few 9th grade classrooms across the country, in schools that will come from rich and poor school districts and include private schools and magnets, that might radically change the way high school curriculum is shaped.  Called the Big History Project, with the backing of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, it’s an introduction to the big ideas of methods of science and history, packaging the big ideas of the cosmos and the history of the human race into one lesson plan.  It could revolutionize the way we teach high school…will it work?



Robert Bain, chair of secondary teacher education & associate professor of educational studies & history at the University of Michigan




2:08:15 – 2:19:30

Sharkfin soup bill bites back

Conservationists and some Chinese American leaders are clashing over California Assembly Bill 376, which would ban the possession and distribution of shark fins throughout California. The bill, introduced last month by Assemblymen Jared Huffman and Paul Fong, would prevent hundreds of restaurants from serving shark-fin soup, a 1,800-year-old Chinese delicacy that can cost up to $100 a bowl and is a mark of prestige at traditional weddings and banquets. Supporters of the bill say that increasing demand for the dish is a major cause of declining shark populations, and also promotes the illegal fishing practice known as “finning,” which involves cutting off the fins and tail of living sharks and tossing them back into the sea, where they ultimately starve to death. Opponents of the ban, which is also supported by a number of Asian American chefs and activists, say it tramples hundreds of years of Chinese tradition.



Assemblyman Paul Fong, D-22nd District (Mountain View); co-author of the bill to ban the possession & distribution of shark fins




2:26 – 2:37




2:43 – 2:53:45

Just Cook for a Just Cause – a young man’s recipes help the homeless

Thirteen year old Patrick Minassians and his eighth grade class were challenged by their teacher to ‘pay it forward’ by finding a concrete way to help their community. Patrick, who loves soccer and math, also has a passion for cooking. As his mother Mary puts it, “He is simply obsessed with good food, good recipes and healthy eating. He is my little nutritionist.” And so Patrick put the two together – the challenge and his skills in the kitchen - and collected 50 family recipes into a cookbook which he sells online, with the proceeds going to Union Station Homeless Services in San Gabriel. A budding entrepreneur or philanthropist?  Patrick tells his story as he joins Patt in studio.


PATT: Patrick has raised $2,000 to date, and the first run of the book is sold out. They are currently ordering more. If you would like to purchase one of Patrick’s cookbooks, you’ll find a link on the Patt Morrison page at KPCC – DOT – ORG. All purchases will help Union Station’s programs for their homeless community members.



Patrick Minassians, student at Flintridge Prep. His cookbook is Just Cook for a Just Cause.



Rabbi Marvin Gross, CEO of Union Station Homeless Services, the largest social service agency in the San Gabriel Valley helping homeless and very low-income adults and families.




Jonathan Serviss
Senior Producer, Patt Morrison
Southern California Public Radio
NPR Affiliate for Los Angeles
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