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Celebrating Our Favorite Holiday Traditions

Published December 23, 2021 at 8:54 AM PST
Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Getty Images North America
Tim Connaghan as Santa Claus attends the 89th Annual Hollywood Christmas Parade on November 28, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.

COVID-19 AMA: FDA Authorizes Merck’s Pill, Changing Definition Of “Fully Vaccinated,” And More

COVID Update 12.23.21

In our continuing series looking at the latest medical research and news on COVID-19, Larry Mantle speaks with Dr. Shruti Gohil professor of medicine and associate medical director for epidemiology and infection prevention at UC Irvine’s School of Medicine.

Topics today include:

Celebrating Our Favorite Holiday Traditions

Open Phones Favorite Holiday Traditions 12.23.21

Family traditions, especially around the holidays, are supposed to bring us together and help us identify ourselves as a group belonging to one another. But in the era of COVID, and particularly this holiday season with the emergence of Omicron and the rising case numbers it has created, it can be challenging to get everyone together in a single place to help keep those traditions alive.

Today on AirTalk, we want to hear about your favorite family holiday traditions. What makes them special to you and your family? Are they passed down from generations before? Or are they new traditions that you’ve created, maybe as a result of having to be at a distance due to the pandemic?

Remembering Trailblazing Author, Californian Joan Didion

Remembering Joan Didion 12.23.21

Joan Didion, the revered author and essayist whose precise social and personal commentary in such classics as “The White Album” and “The Year of Magical Thinking” made her a uniquely clear-eyed critic of turbulent times, has died. She was 87.

Didion's publisher Penguin Random House announced the author's death on Thursday. She died from complications from Parkinson's disease, the company said. Along with Tom Wolfe, Nora Ephron and Gay Talese, Didion reigned in the pantheon of “New Journalists” who emerged in the 1960s and wedded literary style to nonfiction reporting. Didion received a National Humanities Medal in 2012, when she was praised for devoting “her life to noticing things other people strive not to see.” For decades, she had engaged in the cool and ruthless dissection of politics and culture, from hippies to presidential campaigns to the kidnapping of Patty Hearst, and for her distrust of official stories.

Today on AirTalk, we remember Didion’s life, work and impact with Alissa Wilkinson, senior culture writer at Vox & author of the forthcoming book “We Tell Ourselves Stories?,” and Susan Orlean, author & staff writer for The New Yorker.

One Year After His Election, LA County DA George Gascón On The Short, Long Term Effects Of His Reforms

Gascon Event 12.23.21

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón has grabbed local headlines for the progressive criminal justice reforms he's implemented since his election in late 2020. Gascón is a former LAPD officer who rose through the ranks to become assistant chief of LAPD, then went going on to serve as chief of police in Mesa, Arizona and in San Francisco, and then as San Francisco D.A. before he was elected as D.A. in L.A. Gascón ran as a reformer, promising to reduce sentences for violent crimes and to not prosecute certain low-level misdemeanor offenses, and while he has followed through on those promises as D.A., not everyone is on board. There has been concern among some in law enforcement, families of crime victims and even prosecutors in his own office about whether his new policies are actually in the best interest of public safety, which in part has resulted in two recall efforts, the first one failed and the second is ongoing.

One year after his election, KPCC/LAist criminal justice correspondent Frank Stoltze sat down with L.A. County D.A. Gascón for over an hour to look back on his first year in office, explore the effects his reforms have had so far and how he thinks they will change the criminal justice system in future years and hear how the D.A. responds to those who say his reforms put the safety of the public at risk.

The portion of this conversation that aired on AirTalk was edited for time. You can find the full discussion between Frank Stoltze and D.A. Gascón here.

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