Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Airtalk for Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Contact: Producers Karen Fritsche & Jasmin Tuffaha




Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

11:06 –11:20

11:20 –11:40
Topic: L.A. City Council considers new pension plan that raises retirement age and cuts pension benefits Following Governor Brown’s signing of state pension reform legislation last week, the Los Angeles City Council is considering a plan for cutting pension benefits of newly hired civilian employees, which half a dozen unions will likely oppose. City administrative Officer Miguel Santana, a top budget official at City Hall, released the proposal yesterday (Tuesday) suggesting the normal retirement age be raised from 55 to 65 and that maximum pensions be reduced from 2.16 percent of a worker’s salary, multiplied by the number of years worked, to 2 percent. Santana stated the changes would save up to $70 million within five years and as much as $309 million over a decade. The retirement ages for newly hired police officers and firefighters would not be changed under the proposal. The newly announced plan has already been denounced by Bob Schoonover, president of the Service Employees International Union Local 721, who said his organization was even prepared to go to court to fight it. How fair or unfair is it to require newly hired civilian employees to wait until the age of 65 to retire?

Guest: Bob Schoonover, president of service employees international union local 721

Guest: Mayor Villaraigosa and/or Miguel Santana

11:40 –12:00

Topic: Director Robert Lorenz steps out of Eastwood’s shadow for ‘Trouble with the Curve’: Filmmaker Robert Lorenz’ name has rolled past in the credits at the end of many movies that millions of people have seen. Lorenz is best known for assistant directing and producing movies with his partner, iconic actor and director Clint Eastwood. His partnership with Eastwood has been a fruitful one, yielding such movies as “Million Dollar Baby,” “The Bridges of Madison County,” “Space Cowboys” and “Gran Torino.” Some of their collaborations have also been recognized by the industry - “Mystic River” and “Letters from Iwo Jima” earned them a pair of Academy Award nominations. Lorenz has been widely regarded as Eastwood’s right-hand man for years, and now, with Eastwood winding down his career, Lorenz has stepped into the director’s chair for the upcoming “Trouble with the Curve.” The new movie stars Eastwood, Amy Adams and Justin Timberlake and the tells the story of an aging baseball scout who is coming to terms with the twilight of his career working in the sport to which he has dedicated his life and reconnecting with is his semi-estranged daughter along the way. What can a first time director learn from an icon like Eastwood? What are other successful Hollywood producing teams?

Guest: Robert Lorenz, director of “Trouble with the Curve”; also worked with Clint Eastwood as a producer and assistant director on “Million Dollar Baby,” “The Bridges of Madison County,” “Space Cowboys,” “Gran Torino,” “Mystic River,” “Letters from Iwo Jima” and others

12:06 – 12:33
Topic: Go to the head of the class - and the visa line:  Legislation sponsored by House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) would offer 55,000 visas per year to foreign-born graduates of American universities with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering and math.  These highly-prized “STEM” graduates, says Smith, are an asset to U.S. businesses and innovation and should be prioritized when it comes to green cards, rather than taking their skills and knowledge back to their home countries.  But critics of HR 6429, known as “The STEM Jobs Act,” object to giving some immigrants preference over others who may not have the advantage of an advanced education.  A competing bill, HR 6412, sponsored by Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-California), would grant STEM visas to the “best and brightest” without cutting back on visas  for others.  Should the U.S. give highly-skilled immigrants a boost to the front of the line?  Or should it keep the playing field level for all education levels?

Guest: Elton Gallegly, Republican congressman from California and chairman of the House Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement
Guest: Zoe Lofgren, Democratic congressman from California and ranking member of the House Immigration Policy and Enforcement Subcommittee

Topic: Patt Morrison with the Big Man on Campus: LAUSD’s John Deasy: It’s about one month into the new school year, but LAUSD has already come under fire for a variety of issues. In a UCLA study released in April, it was revealed that black male LAUSD students had the highest risk of suspension in the state, with over 20 percent of students being suspended at some point in their LAUSD academic career. LAUSD and the Associated Administrators of Los Angeles recently announced a tentative one-year agreement will incorporate student test data as a factor in evaluating principals and assistant principals. Is that an effective way to rate teacher performance? The Miramonte scandal that rocked the school is still ongoing, two lawsuits filed by Miramonte Elementary parents against LAUSD are on hold. Is LAUSD sending too many kids to court for minor offenses? In the last three years, school police issued more than 33,000 tickets for vandalism, tardiness and disrupting the peace. Patt Morrison will chat with LAUSD’s Superintendent John Deasy about all of these issues and your questions.

Guest: John Deasy, LAUSD Superintendent
IN STUDIO           



Karen X Fritsche
Producer - AirTalk with Larry Mantle
NPR Affiliate for Los Angeles
89.3 KPCC | 89.1 KUOR | 90.3 KVLA
Desk: 626-583-5164 | Studio: 866-893-5722

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AirTalk is Best Talk & Public Affairs Program, LA Press Club 2011; host Larry Mantle is SPJ/LA's Distinguished Radio Journalist of the Year 2011


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