Will California’s AB 186 Create Safe Spaces to use Heroin and other Opioids?

written for Inspire Malibu

April 25, 2017

LOS ANGELES – Like other states in the U.S., California has seen a spike in overdoses as a result of heroin and prescription painkillers. While the news cycle appears to have moved away from the country’s opioid epidemic, the problem persists. In 2015, an estimated 33,000 people fatally overdosed on heroin or opioid medication, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

read more

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Post-Truth and the Politics of Evangelicals: A Discussion with Christopher Stroop, Ph.D., an Ex-Evangelical Christian and Modern Russian Historian

March 24, 2017

Tumultuous, as a description for the first two months of Donald Trump’s Administration, falls short. Terms like missteps, chaos and, as of late, collusion are now ubiquitous in the mainstream press, but they’ve become small explosions drowned out by the roaring inferno that’s engulfed American politics.

read more

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Post-Truth and the Politics of Evangelicals: Complete Q&A Transcript with Christopher Stroop, Ph.D.

QUESTION: What’s it like growing up in an evangelical enclave?

CHRISTOPHER: In my case, this was mostly a middle to upper-middle class, white evangelical milieu, but when I say I lived in an enclave, I mean that my social world consisted of practically, entirely, people from church and Christian school. The churches we went to…we changed churches a few times through my childhood. Some were Baptists, Wesleyan, nondenominational, but supported by the Missionary Church, Independent Christian Church. The Christian school, too, was an interdenominational school, pretty much protestant one, though with a lot of Baptists and a lot of Baptist trappings. We basically lived in that parallel world. A lot of the things that we consumed came from those parallel Christian structures and institutions, like contemporary Christian music, Christian bookstores, literature. I did have some windows into the outside world because it’s not like we had no secular books and things of that nature, magazines in the house. But I didn’t know any Jews, for example, until I went to college, except for those who had converted to Christianity. I knew a handful.

read more

Criminalizing Overdoses: A bad Idea Laced with Good Intentions

Written for Inspire Malibu

March 21, 2017

Nestled between Columbus and Cincinnati, Washington Court House, Ohio, a town with little more than 14,000 residents at last count, is now charging drug overdose survivors with “inducing panic.” The misdemeanor, which can result in a $1,000 fine and up to 180 days in jail, is levied immediately after first responders save a victim’s life, in most cases, with naloxone, a drug that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose.

read more

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Angela Shelton: A Comedienne’s History with Race

September 17, 2016

left: Angela Shelton and Frances Callier

LOS ANGELES – “I identify as black,” says Los Angeles based writer, actor and comedian Angela Virginia Shelton. “I don’t mind being called African American because I think that’s polite and appropriate, but my personal position on it is that I’m not an immigrant. I say black and I always have because I’m an American.”

read more

Tagged , , ,

Twist’s Six Rules for New “Travelers”

February 14, 2017

NORTH HOLLYWOOD, Calif. – There’s been a national romance with hopping freight trains, crisscrossing the country and watching the American landscape unfold live and in person since the Great Depression.

read more

Tagged , , , , ,

Undermanned and Overworked: Air Traffic Controllers at LAX Need a Break

November 18, 2016

LOS ANGELES – Air traffic controllers at Los Angeles International Airport are undermanned, overworked and passenger safety is a constant concern. Responsible for incoming and outgoing aircraft while simultaneously managing every move of taxiing aircraft, a controller’s job at busy hubs, like LAX, is not for the timid. Thousands of lives are at stake and there’s zero room for error.

read more

Tagged , , , , ,

Pesticides & Politics: California’s Recreational Marijuana Industry

written for Inspire Malibu

February 28, 2017

LOS ANGELES – Before the ink on new marijuana laws has even dried, there are looming signs of trouble. To coin a phrase, where there’s smoke, there might be a federal raid underway.

read more

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Wage Theft in Koreatown: Living on Less in the City of Angels

December 15, 2016

LOS ANGELES – Landlocked in the middle of city, Koreatown is dense and diverse. In less than five-square-miles, it’s the most populated neighborhood in the city, housing an array of cultures made up of lifelong L.A. denizens to young people just arriving from other parts of the country. Though for many low-income, minority residents, like 46-year-old Umberto Gutierrez, an undocumented immigrant, working and living in K-town means coping with exploitation.

read more

Tagged , , , , , ,

Rent Spike and a Wage Dip: Living and Working in Los Angeles

September 3, 2016

STUDIO CITY, Calif. – Freelance photographer and writer, Allen Nalasco, walks in the dim, early morning hours to make his Thursday shift as an assistant manager of a neighborhood sporting goods chain.

read more

Tagged , , , , , ,