My New Year’s commentary aired on 97.5 KBU, radiomalibu.net, and elsewhere on the web, and posted here:
A hearty Happy New Year, with a fervent peace and good will to all, though I frankly offer this with faint hope, for it seems to me that despite wishes to the contrary, peace and good will, everywhere, continues on the wane.
Still, there is a modicum of hope, which I’m pleased to express based here on KBU, as I have from myriad media outlets where I have toiled over the last half century plus.
Whatever, then and now, the ringing in of the New Year is a time I feel for looking back as well as looking forward.
Indeed. I recall quite vividly the new year 56 years ago when I was a fledgling journalist for WQXR, then the radio station of the august New York Times, working odd hours and on holidays.
Back then in addition to scripting a 5 minute broadcast every hour, on the hour, I also wrote the news crawl for the famed Times Square ticker tape.
This entailed walking from my desk in the news room on West 43rd street a half block to the triangular Times building in Times Square, up three flights, to hand deliver my script to the typist banging out the blaring headlines.
New Years was the toughest day of the year, for to turn my copy in I had to elbow my way through the pushing and shoving crowds to get to the landmark tower.
More challenging was timing the salutation I had scripted, HAPPY NEW YEAR, to flash on to the ticker tape at the exact moment the ball on the flagpole touched down in view of the celebrating multitude.
There were no super computers back then programming the display to the millisecond. It was done with dumb luck.
I still get shivers as I watch on television the ball descend in Times Square, albeit at midnight New York time, 9 P.M on the coast. By midnight in Malibu I’m asleep
So much for looking back. As for looking forward to 2016, hope still persists on the world stage, for which I leave others to comment on, though of course I have opinions.
As the tag of this radio spot states, my purview is the city observed, how spaces and places are shaped or misshaped to serve or hinder human endeavors, in particular in Los Angeles and my Malibu.
So for 2016 that means on the Southern California scene, among other things, following the fate of the revitalization of the L.A. River; whether architecture and planning can craft a livable, sustainable city; and how best to protect our threatened environments.
Also, and most critical, I intend to monitor whether our current political constructs- the city councils, the commissions and bureaucracies –are up to the challenge, whether they can act in the pubic interest and not their own. And of course I will be casting a wary eye on the avaricious private sector.
We are talking here of respecting the culture, context and climate of communities. More specifically, locally, whether measure R should be pursued or is there a better way; does Legacy Park have a future; what now for the Civic Center? Is there any hope for affordable housing, the homeless, and an independent Malibu school district?
For the answers, tune in …