Featured, The Takeaway »

China Soon Could Dominate the Global Economy—but Leading It Will Be Tougher

By | November 17, 2017

For China, pursuing global economic leadership is not just a goal. It’s an imperative.
That was the message from panelists at a Zòcalo/UCLA Anderson School of Management event, “Is China Prepared to Lead the Global Economy?” at the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy in downtown Los Angeles.
China is seeking global economic leadership, panelists said, as Chinese President Xi Jinping made clear at the recently …

Featured, Poetry »

My room was a palace of stickers/ & small stuffed toys #poem

By | November 17, 2017

*This poem includes text in italics from “Drug War on Doorsteps All Over Ciudad Juárez,” by Stephen Holden and “Ciudad Juárez, a Border City Known for Killing, Gets Back To Living,” by Damien Cave, both published in The New York Times.
Natalie Scenters-Zapico is the author of The Verging Cities (Center for Literary Publishing 2015) and Lima :: Limón (Copper Canyon Press, forthcoming). She has won …

Connecting California, Featured »

What Californians Can Learn From South Korea’s Nuclear Cool

By | November 13, 2017

Can Californians learn to be as cool as Koreans in the face of nuclear annihilation?
Visiting Seoul last week, I asked people how they stay sane while living within range of North Korea’s weapons. After all, Kim Jong Un’s capital, Pyongyang, is just 120 miles from Seoul—the same meager distance protecting San Diego from Los Angeles.
Seoul’s regional population is now 25 million, about half of …

Featured, Poetry »

I was part of his vision of a wind-whipped Schwinn #poem

By | November 10, 2017

It was a beginning like any other which isn’t
quite the way it was. With beginnings,
where to start? The house that was my first
was a house that Daddy brought to Virgil
atop a flatbed truck. He made his boys fix
it to the foundation, then do whatever else
was necessary to create a kind of permanence.
I wasn’t there then. Then I was, driving Daddy
through the old neighborhood where the …

Connecting California, Featured »

How Data Is Making California’s Water Wars Worse

By | November 6, 2017

If you thought California’s famously bitter water wars were hard-fought, just wait until you see our water data wars.
Californians fight over water because we all need it and there is rarely enough to satisfy the full needs of many competing interests—farmers and fishermen, environmentalists and industry, state and local water agencies, and, of course, residents. In this way, California water history mirrors that of the …

Featured, Poetry »

You & me knew/ this would happen eventually #poem

By | November 3, 2017

We cross the Vincent Thomas bridge
in our Hyundai Santa Fe. We’re on our way
to my grandparents’ house
& then the market to get husks for the tamales.
Our car begins to shake
& the ground beneath seems to wiggle.
It is time for the bridge to collapse
after 83 years. Cars begin careening
off, some hang over the edge like they’re about
to go skydiving but not quite ready to jump. Some …

Featured, In the Green Room »

Zócalo Talks Treason, Chocolate, and L.A.’s New Vitality With KCRW’s Warren Olney

By | November 1, 2017

Warren Olney, the dean of Southern California journalists, is the host and executive producer of the nationally syndicated public radio program “To the Point” originating from KCRW in Santa Monica. Previously a prominent TV journalist, he also hosted “Which Way, LA?”, KCRW’s signature daily local news program, from 1992 until 2016. Before moderating a Zócalo/KCRW “Critical Thinking With Warren Olney’” event, titled “What Does Treason …

Connecting California, Featured »

California’s Fear of High-Rise Living Is Blocking Our View of the Future

By | October 30, 2017

Want to spook your neighbors this Halloween? Don’t bother with big displays of goblins, ghouls, or ghosts. Instead, just decorate your door with a picture of an eight-story apartment building.
Californians are famously fearless in most things. We devote ourselves to extreme outdoor sports, buy homes near earthquake faults, and launch startups and make TV pilots against all odds. But in the face of tall buildings, …

Featured, Poetry »

Could it be jubilant/ to come apart? #poem

By | October 27, 2017

Stitch up the trees,
tripping over
the end of time.
Could it be jubilant
to come apart?
Earth to fire to air
in a brilliant instant,
nuclear alchemy
splitting the bone.
I try to remind myself
how petty we are
in the face of life’s evaporation.
Captured by tides:
resistance // embrace.
An ocean growing slowly between us.
Spouting from secret wells,
glimpses of terror
at 2:30 p.m.: will you leave will you
love will you believe in me even now.
These small stakes …

Essay, Featured »

How Tea Became a Weapon in Darjeeling’s Ethnic Struggle

By | October 25, 2017

Darjeeling tea is a world-renowned product that reliably flows from India’s highlands, where it has been grown for more than a century. But since early this summer, none of it has reached global markets.
A newly revived independence movement has cut tea exports, stopped the region’s tourism, and shut down schools. The Gorkhaland movement asks for independence from the state of West Bengal. Activists have …