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LAUSD parents on strike, California police transparency laws, cleaning up Yosemite

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A view of Half Dome and the Yosemite Valley in Yosemite Nationall Park, California.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
A view of Half Dome and the Yosemite Valley in Yosemite National Park, California. A team of volunteers is helping pick up the trash that has piled up since the partial government shutdown furloughed park staff

The shutdown continues while volunteers clean up national parks

President Trump invited congressional leaders to the White House for more negotiations to reopen the government, but not much happened. The two sides are still deadlocked. Meanwhile, agencies are running out of money and our national parks are drowning in trash. In California, Sequoia and Kings Canyon have been closed off entirely because of this. Joshua Tree and Yosemite have remained open, largely thanks to a team of volunteers who are helping pick up the garbage and maintain the park. People like climber Ken Yager.


  • Ken Yager. He's the president of the Yosemite Climbing Association, and he's been organizing clean-ups with his staff and volunteers to keep the park beautiful. 

Transparency laws 

As of January first, more police records are now available to the public in California. That's because of new state laws going into effect this year. Until now, California had a reputation for being one of the most secretive states in the nation when it comes to police conduct. KPCC's Senior Investigative Reporter Annie Gilbertson talks about the significance of those changes.


Annie Gilbertson, KPCC Investigative Reporter 

LA Unified parents weigh in on potential strike

The fight between the union representing L.A.'s school teachers - United Teachers Los Angeles - and the L.A. Unified School District has reached a breaking point. Teachers want more pay, more resources and smaller classrooms, but officials say the district cannot afford to meet all demands. If an agreement cannot be reached, the first LAUSD teacher's strike in nearly 30 years will happen on January 10th. That reality has raised a lot of questions for parents with kids in the system, who have to decide whether to send their kids to school, or keep them home. We speak to two parents whose kids attend L.A. Unified schools. 


  • Brenda Miller has two small children at Arroyo Seco Museum Science Magnet school in L.A. 
  • Evelyn Aleman is the parent of a freshman at Grover Cleveland, a combination charter-magnet High School in Reseda. 

Task force on the Woolsey Fire

Nearly two months after the Woolsey Fire broke out, those affected by the disaster are still in the first phases of recovery. But as many work to clean up and rebuild, the city of Malibu and Los Angeles County are launching investigations into the cause of the fire  and the response to it.


  • LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl 
  • Rick Mullen, Malibu city council member and a captain with LA County Fire.  

The legal marijuana market - one year later 

It's been just over a year since California began regulating the sale of recreational marijuana. But the rollout has been a bit rocky: Around $2.5 billion of legal cannabis was sold in 2018. That's about $500 million less than the year before when just medical marijuana was legal. And the extra tax revenue that pot proponents promised? That fell short of state projections too by about $150 million. So how did we get here? And how might things change in the coming year? Hezekiah Allen was the executive director of the California Grower's Association.  He now chairs a co-op focused on cannabis production.


  • Hezekiah Allen, cannabis consultant
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