THE BILLIONAIRE KOCH BROTHERS—THE MOST POWERFUL CONSERVATIVES YOU’VE NEVER HEARD OF
One of the week’s primary must reads is Jane Mayer’s New Yorker article on the Koch Brothers who are bankrolling conservative think tanks, causes, and the tea party movement. Fortunately for non-subscribers, the New Yorker has let it emerge from behind the magazine’s irritating paywall.
Then on Sunday in the New York Times, Frank Rich, followed up with a column on the issue of his own.
LA TIMES LISTS THE “GOOD” TEACHERS
As you know, there has been—and continues to be— much controversy over the LA Times’ Grading the Teachers series. Yet, like it or loath it, it is important to note that the one thing the series by the two Jasons—Jason Song and Jason Felch—has undeniably done, is to bring the discussion into the open and keep it there.
On Sunday, the series continued with a story about those teachers whom the Times’ analysis deemed to be the most effective, including list of 100 top 3rd, 4th and 5th grade teachers, chosen using the so-called value added evaluation.
I got a note from journalist/columnist Rebecca Schoenkopf that one of the 100 is her mom, and that she’s over-the-moon proud.
MORE GIRLS ENTERING THE JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM, A REPORT FINDS, & CALIFORNIA JUVENILE FACILITIES AREN’T PREPARED TO DEAL WITH THEM
A new report released by the Berkeley Center for Criminal Justice finds that greater numbers of girls are entering the justice system nationwide in general and in California in particular—which means LA County most of all. Yet the report found that the system is not is not at all equipped to deal with the ways that girls’ underlying issues, traumas, needs (if they are to make it successfully out of the system) are often quite different than those of boys. Thus, in too many cases, says the report, programs aimed at girls are few or nonexistent.
“It’s the tyranny of numbers. There are more boys than girls in the juvenile system and where the numbers are, that’s where the money goes.” said Barry Krisberg, Distinguished Senior Fellow, Berkeley Center for Criminal Justice
Read the full report here.
A thank you to the Crime Report for drawing attention to this information.
WHILE WAITING FOR THE SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT TO RELEASE SALAZAR RECORDS, LA TIMES ROBERT LOPEZ LOOKS AT SALAZAR AND THE LAPD
Robert Lopez has been among the main journalists who have used the Public Records Act to request access to the boxes of LASD paperwork detailing the death of Ruben Salazar. In the meantime, Lopez looks at other aspects of the context of his death, in particular Salazar’s increasingly contentious relationship to the LAPD. Here’s a snip of Lopez’s Sunday LAT article.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is considering releasing thousands of pages of official documents that could shed light on Salazar’s slaying. But LAPD records obtained by The Times and interviews with Salazar’s friends and colleagues show that the newsman had clashed repeatedly with the department as the Mexican American civil rights movement roiled L.A.’s Eastside.
“The system didn’t like what he was reporting,” said Philip Montez, 81, the Western regional director for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights at the time and a Salazar confidant. ….
TEMPLE GRANDIN—THE MOVIE
Okay, this last one is not a must read, but a must see.
For HBO to have had the courage to make a movie that has as prominent part of its description the words “humane slaughter houses” is remarkable enough. But it felt like a near miracle that they pulled off a bio pic about the wildly gifted animal behavior scientist and author, Temple Grandin, who also happens to be autistic—and whose mother was repeatedly urged to institutionalize her permanently when she was a child.
I’m a huge fan of Grandin’s work. (Her book, “Animals in Translation,” in particular, is one of my favorite nonfiction works of the last few years.)
However, when I saw there was a movie made about her life, I approached it with trepidation, assuming it would be some kind of over-sentimentalized piece of clap-trap, a nauseatingly nice “feel-good” story about the plucky autistic girl.
Instead it was this utterly amazing, out-of-the-ordinary film about one of our nation’s most brilliant, courageous and unusual women. Thankfully it was repeatedly honored at the Emmys Sunday night.
Trust me, it deserved it.
I tell you all this to urge you to get it from NetFlix and watch it. I promise you that you won’t be sorry. It really is that good.
AND PROVING THAT JIMMY FALLON HAS BEEN PRACTICING THIS SONG IN FRONT OF THE MIRROR FOR AT LEAST A COUPLE OF DECADES…..
Okay, one more Must See that has zero social justice content, but was a whole lotta fun to watch at the Emmys’ opening. (And I note that Roderick at LA Observed concurs. By the way, the actual music starts at the 2:30 mark.)