Member-supported news for Southern California
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Support for LAist comes from:

Authorities Say Illegal Casinos Known As ‘Casitas’ Are Everywhere In LA And The Mexican Mafia Is To Blame

Published March 7, 2023 at 9:08 AM PST
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Getty Images North America
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - NOVEMBER 15: Patrons test their luck with a card game slot machine at the renovated Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino November 15, 2006 in Hallandale Beach, Florida.

Authorities Say Illegal Casinos Known As ‘Casitas’ Are Everywhere In LA And The Mexican Mafia Is To Blame

LAT Backroom Casinos 3.7.23

Matthew Ormseth, reporter for the Los Angeles Times, recently wrote a piece titled “Hidden, illegal casinos are booming in L.A., with organized crime reaping big profits.” Officials say they can be found practically everywhere, hidden in plain sight. These casinos are known as “casitas,” which is Spanish for “little houses.” According to authorities, the Mexican Mafia, a prison-based group in Southern California, is behind the illegal businesses and they’re cashing in on the profits. Ormseth joins guest host Austin Cross to explain more and discuss what the implications could be.

‘Carrot & Stick Economics:’ How Will The Biden Administration’s Investment Into The Private Sector Mean For The Economy?

Biden Carrot Stick Economics 3.7.23

In an effort to exercise more of its power in specific markets, the Biden Administration is investing in private sectors like car manufacturing and healthcare to help meet some of his policy goals. In the automotive industry, the Inflation Reduction Act has offered electric vehicles subsidies that have notably caught the interest of Audi, with the German car manufacturer considering a U.S. plant to take advantage of said subsidies. In turn, the Biden Administration would help improve EV infrastructure in the country and get more blue collar jobs in the process. In the world of healthcare and pharmaceuticals, Eli Lilly will cut prices for some older insulins later this year and immediately give more patients access to a cap on the costs they pay to fill prescriptions. The Biden Administration had looked to install a cap at $35, using the power the federal government has as the biggest healthcare consumer in the country to decrease costs overall.

Joining us today on AirTalk to discuss President Biden’s ‘carrot and stick’ approach is Jonathan W. Welburn, researcher at the Rand Corporations focusing on economics & game theory, and Sam Glick, leader of the Health & Life Sciences practice at Oliver Wyman, a US consulting firm.

Missing That Crucial Ingredient? Don’t Panic – Substitute!

Food Substitutes 3.7.23

We’ve all been there: you’re baking a cake for that special someone’s birthday, or halfway through preparing the main dish for a dinner party. Everything is going great until you realize you’re missing a vital ingredient, one you thought you couldn’t do without. Do you panic? Reluctantly run to the store, even though you really don’t have the time? Or do you seize the moment and get creative? Today on AirTalk, we are talking all about food substitutions–what to do when your pantry betrays you–with George Geary, chef, teacher and cookbook author. We also hear from listeners about the best and worst substitutes they made in a pinch!

Looking At The Impacts Of Sanctions On Russia One Year After Invasion

Russia Sanctions Impact 3.7.23

Russia is now the world’s most heavily sanctioned country, according to U.S. officials. The ruble did in fact take a temporary dive and has been slipping again in recent months, but it’s clear the sanctions didn’t pack the instantaneous punch that many had hoped.

U.S. Treasury Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo stressed in an interview that the Western sanctions are only one “tool as part of a larger strategy” and that the U.S. continues to adjust its sanctions to outmaneuver Russia’s own shifts in strategy. The sanctions, imposed largely through executive orders, are meant to punish Russia and block its access to the international financial systems and bank accounts that it needs to finance its war effort. Export controls also limit its access to computer chips and other products needed to equip a modern military. Joining guest host Austin Cross to discuss is Benjamin Schmitt, senior fellow at the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy at the University of Pennsylvania, member of Stanford University’s International Working Group on Russian Sanctions, and former European energy security advisor at the U.S. Department of State.

With files from the Associated Press

Understanding Jazz Pioneer And Musical Virtuoso Wayne Shorter’s Contributions To The Genre

Wayne Shorter Obit 3.7.23

Wayne Shorter, an influential jazz innovator whose lyrical, complex jazz compositions and pioneering saxophone playing sounded through more than half a century of American music, died on Thursday at age 89.

Shorter, a tenor saxophonist, made his debut in 1959 and would go on to be a foundational member of two of the most seminal jazz groups: Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers and the Miles Davis Quintet. Over the next eight decades, Shorter's wide-spanning collaborations would include co-founding the '70s fusion band Weather Report, some 10 album appearances with Joni Mitchell and further explorations with Carlos Santana and Steely Dan. Many of Shorter's textured and elliptical compositions - including “Speak No Evil," “Black Nile," “Footprints,” and “Nefertiti” - became modern jazz standards and expanded the harmonic horizons of jazz across some of its most fast-evolving eras. Shorter's work has been performed by several popular symphonies including Chicago, Detroit and Lyon along with the National Polish Radio Symphonic and Orpheus Chamber orchestras. In his career, Shorter has had more than 200 compositions and was a Kennedy Center honoree in 2018.

Today on AirTalk, we’ll talk with jazz musician and West Coast Director of the Herbie Hancock Institute for Jazz Dan Seeff, about Shorter’s influence on jazz as a genre, why so many of his compositions became jazz standards, and how future artists will continue his legacy and pay homage to him in their own music.

With files from the Associated Press

A Work Spouse Makes Sense At Work…Can It Exist Outside That Framework?

Work Spouses 3.7.23

A 2020 study out of the University of San Francisco found that people with so-called ‘work spouses’ are happier at their jobs than those who don’t claim to have a workplace significant other. When the pandemic hit, many workplace spouses had to endure months and maybe years of distance, their special bond limited to Zoom class or slack messages. But that’s changing as more and more offices return to a hybrid schedule. The marriage metaphor may seem silly. While it’s certainly meant it jest, it also can nod to the closeness of workplace relationships that develop from years and decades of working alongside your colleagues, who often endure the ups and downs of a job in real time.

Joining us today on AirTalk to discuss the phenomenon of a work spouse is associate professor of management at the University of North Florida Rachel Frieder.

Stay Connected