Wednesday, March 27, 2013

AirTalk for Thursday, March 28, 2013

Contact: Producers Joel Patterson, Jasmin Tuffaha,



Thursday, March 28, 2013

11:06 –11:20



11:20 –11:40

Topic: Mutiny on the high-speed rail project:  California’s high speed rail project has faced opposition from several constituencies throughout the state. But its toughest criticism yet comes from longtime proponents of the project who say that too many political compromises are undermining legal safeguards, among other complaints. One former high-speed rail backer recently filed a civil suit seeking to halt the project due to financial mismanagement. How will this division impact the future of California’s bullet-train? What is the California High Speed Rail Authority’s response to the criticism? Will high-speed rail get back on track?



Guest: Ralph Vartabedian, LA Times reporter



Guest: Dan Richard, Chairman - California High Speed Rail Authority



11:40 –12:00

Topic: How much are you willing to spend to extend your pet’s life? Dog owners today spend an average of $655 dollars a year on health care for their pets, up 50% from a decade ago. Health care costs for cats are up nearly 75%. Why is this? For one, veterinary medicine has advanced significantly in recent years, and so there are options for pet owners that just weren’t available 10 years ago. Veterinary hospitals have specialty doctors offering everything from oncology treatments to MRIs, these days very little is out of reach. Meanwhile, we seem to be treating our pets like family more than we ever have before, and we’re willing to go to greater lengths to care for them than ever before. But how far is too far? Individual specialty procedures can cost tens of thousands of dollars, and owners without pet insurance (which is still rarely purchased) will spend upwards of $1,000 per day to keep a pet in treatment, just to see the treatment fail. Is there a price that’s just too far? Are families only making the pain of losing a pet worse by adding a financial burden? Are veterinarians making the choices more painful by offering expensive treatments?


Guest: James A Serpell, (pron: TBA) Director, Center for the Interaction of Animals and Society at University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.



12:00 –12:20



12:20 – 12:40

Topic: LA restaurateur goes on Twitter tirade against no-shows: Imagine planning a delicious dinner party then suddenly your committed guests turn into no-shows and don't even call to cancel. Well restaurants deal with the problem on a nightly basis, but one Beverly Hills eatery has had enough. This past weekend, Noah Ellis of Vietnamese spot Red Medicine called out half a dozen Angelenos who made reservations for the hottest night of the week, then failed to materialize. In a statement, Red Medicine says, "We lost 20% of our total reservations on a Saturday, and a huge chunk of our prime-time bookings.... We understand emergencies happen, but most diners who no-show most likely don't think twice about it." They said the Twitter flaming won't be a regular practice, but they want to bring attention to the problem. Are we just less polite or thoughtful when it comes to dealing with businesses? We wouldn’t just no show to a dinner party, why would we do so with a restaurant? If restaurants adopted this more widely, would it prevent people from “no-showing?”

Guest: TBD


12:40 – 1:00

Topic: Changing sexual mores in the changing Arab world: Writer, journalist, and broadcaster Shereen El Feki spent five years exploring how the Arab world is changing, but she does it in the context of sex. El Feki felt sexual politics permeated the Arab world and affected its religion, politics, economics and culture. Although she focuses on Egypt, El Feki set out to understand public opinion on sex. She found religious laws that restrict nudity during sex, a Saudi Arabian man who was beaten and imprisoned for speaking about sex publicly, and young women with mutilated genitals to suppress sexual desire. The public also disapproves of homosexuality and single mothers, and many believe that husbands may beat their wives if they refuse sex. El Feki wrote her new book, “Sex and the Citadel: Intimate Life in a Changing Arab World” from her perspective as a Muslim woman with a Western education. In her book, she wanted to give voices to Arab women through interviews with virgins, housewives, and activists, and El Feki hopes that political change will eliminate sexual taboos. Are these views concerning sex rooted in history, culture, and religion? Do you think there’s the potential of change? And how does the Arab world’s view of sex compare with the Western world?

Guest: Shereen El Feki, (pron: shuh-REEN el FEH-kee) Author, “Sex and the Citadel: Intimate Life in a Changing Arab World;” Journalist; Vice-Chair, United Nations’ Global Commission on HIV & Law; Ph.D. in molecular immunology

Via ISDN                                                 


Warm regards,

Jasmin Tuffaha    office: 626.583.5162 

Producer, “AirTalk with Larry Mantle” 


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