Monday, March 25, 2013

Updated AirTalk for Monday, March 25, 2013

Contact: Producers Joel Patterson, Jasmin Tuffaha, Anny Celsi & Allen Williams



Monday, March 25, 2013


11:06 –11:25

Topic: SCOTUS Preview: Prop. 8, DOMA, and affirmative action: The Supreme Court is having a busy week, with two hearings scheduled on cases concerning marriage equality and an announcement today that the court will take on a Michigan affirmative action case. The hearing for Hollingsworth v. Perry, which addresses California’s Proposition 8 is set for Tuesday. On Wednesday, the court will rule on United States v. Windsor – the Defense of Marriage Act case. Hollingsworth v. Perry challenges the constitutionality of California’s ban on same-sex marriage. If the justices declare Prop. 8 unconstitutional, the ruling could affect similar laws in other states. Wednesday’s decision about whether or not to federally recognize all marriages will also carry serious weight. DOMA defines marriage as between a man and a woman, and prevents married same-sex couples from receiving more than 1000 federal benefits. Will the Supreme Court rule in favor of state’s rights, or gay rights? Does popular opinion have an effect on Supreme Court rulings? Should it? Eyes are on anticipated swing voters – Justice Anthony Kennedy and Chief Justice John Roberts – what factors will go into the court’s decision?


Guest: David Savage, Supreme Court reporter for the Los Angeles Times




Guest: Frank Newport, Editor-in-Chief, Gallup polling




11:25 - 11:30

Topic: UCLA fires basketball coach Ben Howland after early exit from NCAA tournament:

Guest: After a 20-point loss to lower-seeded Minnesota in the second round of the NCAA tournament on Friday, UCLA fired basketball head coach Ben Howland after ten years at the helm of the one-time college basketball superpower. But insiders see Howland’s firing as less of a punishment for the early tournament exit, and more of a move necessary to regain the prestige of UCLA basketball infused in the program by legendary coach John Wooden. In fact, Howland’s Bruins won the Pac-12 conference championship this year, and he took the team to the Final Four of the NCAA tournament three years in a row (2006-08), but Sunday’s firing is a powerful statement from the university that they want more. Coaches are already lining up for the prestigious job, with Virginia Commonwealth's Shaka Smart and Butler's Brad Stevens tipped as possible contenders. Was UCLA right to dismiss Howland? Will the school give the next coach the time, support, and resources to restore their program to its former glory? Who should lead the Bruins basketball program in the wake of Howland’s firing? Are the good ol’ days coming back, or is the legendary Wooden era at UCLA gone forever?


Guest: A. Martinez, co-host of Take Two on KPCC





Topic:  Does dual-immersion learning pay off in better test scores? [temp head]

Proposition 227 all but eliminated bilingual education in California schools in 1998. The law mandated that English be used as the primary language to teach non-English-speaking kids in schools. In recent years, a different form of secondary language acquisition has been gaining traction in Los Angeles public school system. They are called "dual language immersion" programs: classes are taught almost entirely in Spanish, Mandarin or another language, and they are designed to benefit both children who are learning English as a second language as well as those who are native English speakers. KPCC's Early Childhood Development Correspondent Deepa Fernandes has a piece today looking at one such program at Foster Elementary School in Baldwin Park. School officials there, mirroring what many researchers have found, say that kids in their dual language programs outperform those who are taught in just English-only classes. If dual language immersion programs are so successful, why aren't more California schools adopting them? What are some of the challenges and drawbacks? What are the benefits?


Guest: Karen Cadiero-Kaplan, (pron: kah-DAIR-oh) Director of the English Learner Support Division at the California Department of Education




Guest: Roger Lowenstein, founder and executive director of Los Angeles Leadership Academy, a public charter school in Lincoln Heights that practices dual language immersion.


IN STUDIO                        Backup cell: 213-705-9153   


Guest: Karen Nemeth (NEM-meth) , co-founder of Language Castle. She is a dual language immersion consultant who works with school districts across the the country.




12:06 – 12:20

Topic: Fresh and (not so) easy for British grocer to make it in the States: The British company Tesco had high hopes for its Fresh and Easy chain of grocery stores in Southern California. The store is a smashing success in its homeland, and the goal for Tesco was to position Fresh and Easy as an alternative to Trader Joe’s in California. Like the Southland favorite, Fresh and Easy specializes in prepackaged meals and fresh produce. To further ingratiate itself, Fresh and Easy spent years researching American consumer habits, even going so far as to shadow customers while they shopped at their local grocer. But things aren’t looking too good for the interloping competitor. For several reasons, Fresh and Easy has failed to connect with Americans in a significant way. Experts attribute the disconnect to some of the products the store sells, which are still quintessentially European, or the fact that produce comes in bags and can’t be purchased individually. Also, Fresh and Easy hit a snag with labor activists for being anti-union, since they depend on unmanned self-checkouts in all of their stores. The company also seemed to overshoot when it built its huge distribution center in Riverside County, and it failed to specialize its merchandise given the location of its stores. As a result, the chain is operating at a $2 billion loss. Is there a Fresh and Easy in your neighborhood? Were you impressed with the stores, or turned off? Why do you shop where you shop? What are you looking for in your local grocer?


Guest: Jim Prevor (PREE-vor), of, a website and blog dedicated to the food marketing business




12:20 – 12:40

Topic:  Do countries that are lax on tax drag the European Union down? Now that Cyprus has reached a solution to its debt crisis, announcing that it will levy a tax on his biggest, mostly offshore, investors, its less well-heeled citizens can relax.  Not so the rest of the European Union; other countries with an equally weak tax structure could conceivably throw the union into chaos yet again if their banking systems near collapse. Like the state-to-state differences here, each country in the EU has its own income, corporate and banking tax systems and there’s a tacit understanding that they won’t undermine each other. And while the patchwork of taxation didn’t cause the EU crisis, in cases like Cyprus it certainly exacerbates the situation.  There’s been talk of reforming the rules to make things more equitable across borders, but any substantial change is a long way off.  Will countries with a more robust economy, such as Germany, continue to hold up the roof for the EU?  Should all EU countries be forced to bring their tax rates up to the level of their neighbors?  Once the deluge of economic emergencies is over, what’s next for the euro?


Guest: Scheherazade Rehman, Ph.D.,  Director, European Union Research Center and Professor of International Finance at George Washington University




12:40 – 1:00

Topic: Hunt for Dorner reward heats up: Three parties are fighting for the $1.2 million reward for the capture of ex-LAPD officer Christopher Dorner, but some donors are withdrawing their pledges. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa first announced that the reward would go to “information leading to Mr. Dorner’s capture,” but officials later amended that to “capture and conviction.” The police received thousands of calls, but the parties who believe they should receive the reward are Jim and Karen Reynolds, who were tied up by Dorner and later called the police, and Rick Heltebrake, who was carjacked by Dorner and then called the police. What was the intent of the reward money? Are these parties eligible to the money or were they fulfilling their civic duty? Would the issuing of the reward money have changed the outcome this case at all? How legally binding are pledges from donors? Who is ultimately responsible for issuing the reward money?


Guest: TBA



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