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

Why California’s EDD Is Still A Mess And What Can Be Done To Address The Problems

Published May 16, 2023 at 8:54 AM PDT
A 'Help Wanted' sign is posted beside Coronavirus safety guidelines in front of a restaurant in Los Angeles, California on May 28, 2021
FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images
A 'Help Wanted' sign is posted beside Coronavirus safety guidelines in front of a restaurant in Los Angeles, California on May 28, 2021. - For Californians still unemployed due to the pandemic, fighting to receive their benefits remains as the Employment Development Department sifts through millions of backlogged requests.

Why California’s EDD Is Still A Mess And What Can Be Done To Address The Problems

CalMatter EDD 05.16.2023

Thousands of Californian’s continue to fight for unemployment benefits after losing their jobs during the pandemic. The huge wave of job losses created a backlog in requests that the state still hasn’t recovered from. Approximately 5 million Californian’s are wrapped up in this backlog at the state Employment Development Department, which has paid out $188 billion in unemployment benefits since the start of the pandemic. Not only are unemployment cases taking on average 139 days to process, but the state has hundreds of thousands of cases of fraud and nearly 1 million workers have been wrongly denied their benefits. What is the latest on California’s unemployment logjam?

Joining us today on AirTalk is Lauren Hepler, investigative reporter for CalMatters who’s latest piece is “I’m a hostage’: Why California’s COVID unemployment mess isn’t over yet, and Dan Walters, long-time California politics observer with CalMatters. 

We reached out to the California EDD but did not hear back before the time of broadcast. We also reached out to the state auditor’s office which declined taking part in the conversation.

‘Guess Who’s Back:’ Lakers Face Off Against Denver Nuggets In Western Conference Rematch

Lakers WCF Preview 05.16.2023

This season Lakers has been a tale of two teams, from forcing superstars Lebron James and Anthony Davis to play with role players who didn’t make sense around them, to eventually finding the requisite complimentary skill to go on a tear after the Feb. 9 trade deadline. Since then we’ve seen the team deal with some injuries, but nonetheless they've propelled themselves to a playoff berth as the 7th seed in the Western Conference, their dreams still very much alive as they face the 1st seed Denver Nuggets in the conference finals. This series is a rematch of 2020 postseason, where the Lakers beat the Nuggets in 6 at the Orlando bubble– will we see basketball history repeat itself?

Today on AirTalk, we talk to Lakers beat reporter for The Athletic, Jovan Buha, about the Lakers rise from the ashes and what to look out for this series.

As Bed, Bath And Beyond Says Goodbye, We Revisit Other Beloved Bygone Retailers

Late Lamented Stores 05.16.2023

Last month, the mega home goods retailer Bed Bath & Beyond filed for bankruptcy after the company failed to secure funds to stay afloat. The retailer, which was founded in 1971, will continue operating 360 stores until June 30th, when they’re expected to close all of their remaining stores. For decades, the company has offered a vast selection of sheets, towels and gadgets unmatched by department store rivals. It was among the first to introduce shoppers to many of today’s household items like the air fryer or single-serve coffee maker. Today on AirTalk, we’re talking not just about Bed Bath & Beyond but other iconic retailers that have fallen from grace. Remember Barneys? Radioshack? Blockbuster and Borders? We’re joined by Mark Cohen, director of retail studies at Columbia Business School to discuss why certain retailers go under and the special place many of them hold in our memory.

With files from the Associated Press. 

A UCLA Startup Hopes To Make A Dent In Climate Change By Removing Carbon From The Ocean

UCLA Carbon Capture 05.16.2023

To avoid the worst of climate change, we have to look beyond reducing our carbon footprints to actually removing carbon from the atmosphere. This process, called carbon capture, has seen a lot of innovation, with some significant developments happening in our own backyard. Last year, Caltech announced a startup called Captura that removes carbon from the ocean in a process called direct ocean capture. Now UCLA has gotten into the business, debuting project SeaChange, which will remove more than 40 tons of carbon from the air every year. Picture the ocean as a giant sponge that soaks up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This technology removes some of that carbon from the ocean, leaving more room for carbon from the atmosphere to be absorbed by the sea. How does the technology work? Is it possible to scale it? And how does it fit into carbon capture efforts more broadly? Joining us to discuss is Dante Simonetti, associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering and associate director of the Institute for Carbon Management at UCLA and Michael Craig, Assistant Professor in Energy Systems at the University of Michigan.

UC Irvine Is Building A First Of Its Kind All-Electric Hospital. Could It Pave The Way For More Like It?

All electric Hospitals 05.16.2023

UCI Health is building a first-of-its-kind all-electric medical campus. It's under construction now and is slated to be fully operational and running in 2025. The Orange County Register reports that the over 800,000 square foot campus will be powered by a central utility plant, which uses electric and solar power. UCI officials say the equipment must be thoroughly vetted to make sure it's working properly. Today on AirTalk, we discuss the project, the specific challenges with building a carbon-neutral hospital, and what it could mean for sustainable infrastructure moving forward. Joining to discuss is Joe Brothman, director of facilities and general services at UCI Health, and Daniel Kammen, UC Berkeley professor of energy and director of the Renew­able and Appro­pri­ate Energy Lab­o­ra­tory.

New Book Details Life & Playing Career Of NBA Superstar LeBron James

Lebron Book 05.16.2023

A new book by former Sports Illustrated and Los Angeles Times feature writer Jeff Benedict gets into the life and legacy of the NBA’s most covered superstar, LeBron James. For the book, he interviewed more than 200 people and used primary source documents to offer a detailed description of his life as a kid all the way up to his move to the Lakers. This biography follows Benedict’s previous projects, such as the New England Patriots-centered “The Dynasty” and his book “Tiger Woods,” focused on the life of the famous golfer.

Today on AirTalk, Larry speaks to author Jeff Benedict about his newest book, “LeBron,” and the process it's taken to get an accurate portrayal of the sports icon without having spoken to the man himself.

Stay Connected