Friday, September 23, 2011

Patt Morrison for Monday, September 26, 2011


Monday, September 26, 2011

1-3 p.m.



1:06 – 1:30: OPEN


1:30 – 1:58:30

Now that the red light cameras are gone, should yellow traffic lights be longer?

Now that the city of Los Angeles has ditched its red light cameras, City Council members are instead looking to manipulate traffic light times in an effort to improve safety and reduce ticketing. Last week the city council proposed studying the effects of increasing yellow light times at 32 intersections where red light cameras used to automatically photograph and ticket drivers running the red. The city of Loma Linda extended lights in 2009 and while there aren’t any stats yet on whether it improves safety, it did reduce tickets by 90%. Still, city and county engineers are wary—they say tinkering with traffic is more complicated than that and worry about moving cars through a shorter green light. Would you be a safer driver if you had just one more second to sail through that yellow? Would it change the way you drive? And is it about fewer tickets or increased safety?



Jay Beeber, director of Safer Streets LA


Rhodes Rigsby, Mayor of Loma Linda, which lengthened their yellow light times in 2009 and saw tickets decrease by 90%


Rock Miller, national vice president for the Institute of Transportation Engineers and principal engineer with Stantec Consulting


*The LA Department of Transportation and the LA County Public Works declined our requests for an interview


  • Currently, most yellow lights in LA County are 3.2 seconds long. It’s determined by a formula so it’s proportional to the speed limit
  • One concern about extending yellow lights is cutting green lights. Some engineers fear this will make fewer people move through an intersection and


2:06 – 2:30

Marijuana and crime: do they go hand and hand?

Conventional wisdom often dictates that drugs and crime go hand-in-hand, but a new report by the RAND corporation calls into question that logic, at least when it come to marijuana. The Santa Monica-based think tank conducted what they called a thorough and independent examination of crime rates near medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles and their findings are a bit surprising, if not counterintuitive.  The study showed that crime rates actually increased after the pot shops were shut down. Yes, you read that right, the crime rate increased. The city attorney’s office didn’t mince words when asked by the L.A. Times to react to the news, calling the findings “highly suspect and unreliable” and based on “faulty assumptions, conjecture, irrelevant data, untested measurements and incomplete results.” So based on that reaction, it seems unlikely that any of the medical marijuana dispensaries that were shut down will be reopened any time soon, but if the results of the study are accurate should they be? A spokesperson for the LA County Sheriff’s Office argues their numbers indicate that the crime rates actually decrease in surrounding neighborhood when the dispensaries are removed.  So whose numbers are accurate? How was the RAND study conducted and were all the relevant factors considered?  If the science holds, does it mean that the “gateway drug” is a gateway into nothing more than very hungry couch potatoes? Does this research give more credence to the push for legalization of the drug? If so, it may not be an easy case to make.  According to a new poll by the Public Policy Institute of California, 51% of voters oppose the idea. 



Mireille Jacobson, the lead author of the medical marijuana study conducted by the RAND Corporation



Los Angeles City Attorney and/or Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

Representative from NORML or the LA Times


2:30 – 2:39: OPEN


2:41:30 – 2:58:30
1493 – When worlds collided

Though populated by numerous indigenous peoples, the pre-Columbian “new world” was geographically isolated from more advanced European civilization. For 200 million years prior to Columbus’ famous expedition in 1492, the Americas had completely different flora and fauna from the rest of the world. With Columbus came radical change and the effects were stunning and long-reaching. Charles C. Mann’s new book, 1493, chronicles the “ecological imperialism” of European conquests. Using DNA testing, mathematical simulations and other modern technological tools, Mann explores the monumental biological, ecological, political and social changes that exploration and colonization had on both continents. What happens when non-indigenous species, customs and ideas arrive in a new ecosystem? Which changes more, the colonized or colonizers?     


PATT: Tonight [MONDAY] at 6pm, Charles Mann is appearing at ALOUD at the Los Angeles Central Library.



Charles C. Mann, author, 1493; his book 1491 received the U.S. National Academy of Sciences' Keck Award for best book of the year.



Lauren Osen

Southern California Public Radio - 89.3 KPCC

626-583-5173 / 626-483-5278


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