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EDD Update: New Report Details Difficulties With Administering Payments & More

Published August 10, 2022 at 10:25 AM PDT
A woman wearing a facemask enters a building where the Employment Development Department has its offices in Los Angeles, California on May 4, 2020.
FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images
A woman wearing a facemask enters a building where the Employment Development Department has its offices in Los Angeles, California on May 4, 2020.

EDD Update: New Report Details Difficulties With Administering Payments & More

LAO Report On EDD UI Program 8.10.22

A recent report done by the California Legislative Analyst’s Office detailed some issues that we’ve seen in the state’s Employment Development Department, which is the entity that administers unemployment insurance to Californians. In this report, it details the department’s prioritizing of tackling fraud as opposed to administering payments, an issue that folks have noted on our program before.

Today on AirTalk, we talk about LAO the report with Chas Alamo, fiscal & policy analyst for the California Legislative Analyst’s Office, and Daniela Urban, executive director of the Center for Workers' Rights.

The State Of Mosquitos In Southern California Right Now And The Dark Road We May Be Buzzing Down

End Of Summer Mosquitos 8.10.22

If pesky mosquitos are buzzing around your house and yards, you’re not alone. There are two populations you need to worry about in the region. That’s Culex mosquitoes, which is native to the region and Aedes mosquitoes, which are not. The Culex can carry the deadly West Nile Virus. The Aedes can carry a variety of dangerous diseases like dengue, chikungunya, Zika, and yellow fever. They’re believed to have made their way in 2001 and are often known as ankle biters. These invasive mosquitoes tend to increase their prevalence (and annoyance) right around this time in the summer. Experts say to be proactive in trying to prevent breeding grounds and bites, but there is concern about how mosquito populations are evolving and the potential for future epidemics or even pandemics spread by the dangerous pests. Anais Medina Diaz, public information officer at the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District, and Omar Akbari, an associate professor of cell and developmental biology at UC San Diego, join guest host Sharon McNary to discuss.

More Drinkers Are Grabbing Non-Alcoholic And High ABV Beers, What’s Behind The Trend?

Draft Beer Trends 8.10.22

Whether you prefer a Voodoo Ranger Imperial IPA, which has a 9 percent alcohol content or non-alchoholic Heineken, you may be part of a growing trend. Over the past 4 years, beers with an ABV percentage higher than 8 have seen a 5 percent increase in market sales. Even though non-alcoholic beers make up less than one percent of the overall beer market in the U.S., its chain retail sales have increased by 27 percent since 2019. Why are people moving towards opposite ABV poles? Has the pandemic affected this in any way? What does mean for the future of the light beers?

Today on AirTalk, we’re joined by freelance reporter specializing in food and beverage, Kate Bernot and vice president of SoCal Cerveceros, a latino-based homebrew club, where she heads up an all women brew crew, Laurie Gutierrez to discuss the current trends in beer-drinking and the possible futures for craft beers.

California Is One Of Just 10 States That Don’t Screen For Dyslexia In Young Children -- Why It Doesn’t, And Whether It Should

EDU Dyslexic ECED 8.10.22

In California, just over half of 3rd graders fail to meet the state’s benchmarks for reading and writing. Students fall behind for multiple reasons, but state education leaders point to the most common learning disability -- dyslexia. Advocates and parents say dyslexic students fall through the cracks in the current system, missing out on the chance to get help when it would make the biggest difference. California is one of 10 states that does not require schools to assess students for dyslexia. A lack of attention early can compound problems later. Students are primarily learning to read in the first few years of school. As they get older, though, reading is used to learn, not just in English classes, but all of them — social studies, science, math. Reading and writing is the way students must demonstrate what they know. There have been several attempts to mandate universal screening in early elementary grades. The most recent is Senate Bill 237. But still, some education experts are concerned about the potential for a screening tool to misidentify students who are English language learners as dyslexic.

Today on AirTalk, we dive into the latest installment in KPCC and LAist’s series on dyslexia in California by looking at why the state, often seen as a progressive leader in fields like education, does not require screening for dyslexia, what efforts are being made to change that, and the concerns that some in education have about the potential for a screening test to create unintended consequences.

With files from Mariana Dale and LAist. To read Mariana’s full story at LAist, click here.

Some 800,000 Californians Likely Qualify For Public Service Loan Forgiveness, But They Don’t All Know It

PSLF Waiver Eligibility 8.10.22

Have a few student loans and work in the public sector? You may be eligible to have those loans forgiven. The Public Service Loan Forgiveness — or PSLF — program offers student debt relief to borrowers who complete 10 years of loan payments while working in public service or for a qualifying 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Some 800,000 Californians are likely eligible for the program, and yet fewer than 15,000 residents have actually had their loans forgiven. Why have so few golden staters made use of the program? One leading theory is that many simply don’t know about it. Leaders of the Campaign for California Borrowers' Rights in conjunction with state and county leaders have started a campaign dubbed “The California Student Debt Challenge” to educate both qualifying borrowers and their employers about the program.

But they’re running up against a deadline. There’s just a few months left before the government's expanded public service loan forgiveness program for student debt is set to expire. The changes have made accessing and utilizing the program substantially by loosening restrictions and allowing borrowers to count payments that previously did not qualify, among other changes. Today on AirTalk, guest host Sharon McNary speaks with KPCC and LAist senior reporter covering college pathways Jill Replogle, and Cody Hounanian, executive director at the Student Debt Crisis Center, about the new campaign, and how qualified borrowers can access the program.

With files from Jill Replogle and LAist.

To read Jill's full story at LAist, click here.

Wild Donkeys, Long Thought To Be A Pain In The A** To Death Valley Ecosystem, Are Actually Helping Keep Mountain Lions Alive

Burro Study 8.10.22

Wild donkeys -- or burros -- have long been considered pests to the environment in Death Valley. They can be ornery, have a tendency to destroy vegetation, take precious resources from other native species, and even contaminate water supplies with their feces. At first, sounds like a pest that needs to be removed, right? And for years, that’s exactly what many conservationists and wildlife experts wanted -- these pains in the ass removed to protect these native ecosystems. But a new paper out from researchers working with the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County suggests that these burros, long believed to be a nuisance, might actually be a key part of the ecosystem that keeps our beloved mountain lions alive and thriving.

Today on AirTalk, we’ll speak with Erick Lundgren, lead author of the paper and postdoctoral student at Aarhus University in Denmark about what he and his team found in their research and why wildlife experts might have been wrong about these burros all along.

From Graying To Hair Loss, The Physical And Emotional Transformation Of Hair As We Age Can Be A Journey

Going Gray 8.10.22

Our hair is often a key characteristic that defines our physical selves. Curly or straight, edgy hair colors from pink to blue. It’s a physical trait, but it’s also an expression, one that starts to change as we age. Women have long been known to hit the salon ever so often to cover up their graying roots in order to maintain a youthful persona. The pandemic spurred change when salons shut down and many were forced to come face to face with what they’d been trying to mask. Now we’re seeing a trend of folks opting to stick with gray, whether it’s for ease of management or simply because they like it. Some are calling it the latest beauty trend. Deborah Carr, director of the Center for Innovation in Social Science and professor of sociology at Boston University where she studies different aspects of aging, joins guest host Sharon McNary to discuss.

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