Irvine City Council Expansion and District Maps

Irvine, the largest city in California to have at-large city council members, is undertaking the process of amending the city charter to create distinct city council elections districts from which the candidates would run. The charter amendment would also add 2 seats to the City Council. Returning to the show for the larger share of the hour is demographer Justin Levitt, retained by Irvine’s City Council, to update us on that process, wherein the City of Irvine is drawing these 6 council districts for the voters’ approval on the Spring 2024 Primary election ballot. The November 2024 general election vote would include voters in 3 of those districts. Residents of Irvine are welcome to participate in this process by spending time at:

Music credits: Chimora, “Africano Americano,” Sounds of Africa – album; and Hideto Sasaki – Toshiyuki Sekine Quartet, “Turquoise Twice” Stop Over – album.

Dear Me * Women.Life.Freedom * Tribute to Mary Ann Gaido

For the larger share of the show are two childhood friends, building something special together. Saara Dang of Sage Hill High School, and Rohan Soni of Orange County School of the Arts – are partners in creating the app dearme.mentalhealth a project that assists youth in managing the challenges of chronic illness and mental health. The app is a platform for anonymous journaling. In the second segment (approx minute 47:30), we check in with local Iranian American activist Guita Sharifi about the Women.Life.Freedom rally this Sat in DTLA; 9-16th, 2-4 pm, at 200 N Spring Street. Other events around SoCal are planned leading up to that event. Volunteers can call 818-943-6276. She also posted us on The Mahsa Act HR 589, under consideration in the US Congress. We then close the show (approx. minute 52:20) with a tribute to civic leader extraordinaire Mary Ann Gaido, whom we lost 9-6-23. For those who wish to pay their respects… the Funeral Mass Service for Mary Ann Gaido will take place at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church, 9 Hillgate, Irvine, CA 92612, Friday September 15th, 2 PM. Reception to follow. The family invites attendees to bring a photo or written memory to add to a display. Cards of condolence can be mailed to John and Peggy Gaido, Mary Ann’s son and daughter, at 5071 Berean Ln Irvine CA 92603. Donations in Mary Ann’s memory may be given to: Kennedy Commission for Affordable Housing, Sisters of St Joseph of Orange, Barclay Theatre, School of Nursing at UCI, or the Sierra Club.

Music credits: Chimora, “Africano Americano,” Sounds of Africa – album; Mindrangam and Indian Hand Drum; Benjamin Clementine, “Condolences,” At Least for Now – album; and Nadine Sierra performing “Take Care of this House,” composed by Leonard Bernstein, Pennsylvania Ave – album.

Raising Not Erasing the Lachine Corridor Toward Artsakh

Returning to the show is Vic Gerami, editor and publisher of the Blunt Post, host and producer of the “Blunt Post with Vic” on Radio KPFK, and documentary filmmaker of the feature film “Motherland.” Given that the Republic of Artsakh is in greater tatters than when he last was on “Ask A Leader,” given that the media is watching a little bit more closely the mud show at Burning Man, or Barbie – that media appears to be missing some salient points about the disputed territories in the Armenian and Azerbaijani area. It is useful to return to sources who attend to existentially threatened nations. Vic explains about the 8 month long blockade in the Lachine Corridor, breakdowns what analysts are getting wrong, and offers a template about how to achieve and understanding of other fronts without feeling exhausted or helpless. For a moment that exercise took place in Irvine’s City Council chambers last winter.

Music credits: Chimora, “Africano Americano,” Sounds of Africa – album; Armen Martirosyan with Armenian Jazz Band – “Eastern Blues.”

Eye of the Storm; Facing Climate and Social Chaos with Calm and Courage

Dr. Terry LePage, research chemist, transitional minister, and hospice chaplain, brings her brand new book: “Eye of the Storm: Facing Climate and Social Chaos with Calm and Courage.” It is a profound manual, which covers novel as well as recognizable domains. Copies can be ordered at: NOTE: the correct email to reach Terry LePage directly is 

Music credits: Chimora, “Africano Americano,” Sounds of Africa – album; Angélique Kidjo, “Sweet Lullaby,” Every Mother Counts – album.

Refugees’ Thermostat and Chocolatier’s Thermometer

Our guest for the full hour is Olya Yaloza, chocolatier originally from Lviv, Ukraine, now setting up life and her enterprise here in OC. The host first met her at the World Refugee Day earlier this summer. As she explained what it was like to produce some of the finest chocolates one could find anywhere in the world, and to have to uproot from providing that choicest of treats, giving up her personal investments in that business – it became apparent that her story ought to be heard. That refugees are over-achievers is an adage that listeners will hear again today.

Music credits: Chimora, “Africano Americano,” Sounds of Africa – album; DakhaBrakha, “Carpathian Rap,” broadcast in KEXP Studios.

Irvine’s Ranking in First Year of Homeownership Costs AND UCI MIND’s 34th Annual Alzheimer’s Conference

Today’s guests are in financial spaces then brain places. In the first segment, Doug Ressler manager and analyst at Yardi Matrix, explains how Irvine is such an expensive home ownership proposition, the first year costs considered. This analysis was in partnership with Point2homes. Then we’re off to the annual tradition of the UCI MIND leading edge science about Alzheimer’s Disease (approx. minute 31:00); UCI MIND’s director of education Megan Witbracht brings their 34th annual conference in Irvine themed, “Sex and Gender in Dementia Research and Care,” and will be held Friday August 25th, 8am-3:15 p.m. Irvine Hilton OC Airport 18800 MacArthur Blvd., or virtually on your screen. Details for attending:

Music credits: Chimora, “Africano Americano,” Sounds of Africa – album; Sax cover Justin Past “Our House,” and Sanga Noona performing “Georgia on My Mind.”

Citric Acid Pens Some More Gems

We’re not done with labor issues or Jan 6, oh no. That and more are under examination in the latest Citric Acid; An online Orange County Literary Arts Quarterly of Imagination and Reimagination, out this very month. Talking about that today for the full hour are our two guests: founding editor Andrew Tonkevich, and contributor Anthony Pignataro. All the latest delectable submissions are available for your reading pleasure at:

Music credits: Chimora, “Africano Americano,” Sounds of Africa – album; YouTube Lari The G, “Santa Ana in the Summer Time,” Ft Scrizzy Santana.

Striking While The Unions Are Hot AND Irvine Cycling

In the thick of strike-mode is our first guest Ada Briceno, Co-President of UNITE-HERE Local 11, representing over 30,000 hotel workers, 60 hotels in Los Angeles County, Orange County and Arizona.

In the second segment (approx. minute 29:00), Youssef Kaddeche, transportation commissioner for Irvine City Council member Kathleen Treseder, talks e-bikes in around town; the software and the hardware of it all.

Music credits: Chimora, “Africano Americano,” Sounds of Africa – album; Gershwin Piano Quartet, “An American in Paris;” and Jimmy Scott performing, “Nothing Compares 2 U.”

“Avenue Q” AND “La Havana Madrid”

Today’s guests are theater people with The Wayward Artist and the South Coast Rep, with plays we can all see in the next couple of weeks right here in the OC. We’ll begin with Craig Tyrl, Artistic Director of The Wayward Artist to talk about “Avenue Q,” which runs until this Sunday, July 30th at the Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana. Details are available at: In the second segment (approx min 20:20) playwright, actor, and singer Sandra Delgado talks about how she built her own immersive experience of a play “La Havana Madrid” which runs til Aug 4th at SCR’s Outside, at Mission San Juan Capistrano. Details are available at: Both productions have the host’s stamp of approval.

Music credits: Chimora, “Africano Americano,” Sounds of Africa – album; Avenue Q, “There’s a Fine, Fine Line,” sung by Stephanie D’Abruzzo; Malavoi, “Ti Djo’,” Salsa Mundo – album.

Friendship Park Along the Mexican and US Border

Along the US Mexican Border is one particular segment. It’s hot alright on planet earth; and conditions along that slice of the border no less so. Reflecting on the evolution of that space is Ricardo Arana Camarena, director of the food justice project “Cultiva ya!” and co-creator of the community garden project around the binational garden of native plants on the Mexican side of Friendship Park. It’s a special part of the border is a mere 105 miles from this live broadcast. In the absence of John Fanestil, Executive Director of Via International and long-time leader of Friends of Friendship Park, Ricardo anchored the coverage of the software and the hardware in that *space*.

Music credits: Chimora, “Africano Americano,” Sounds of Africa – album; El Santo Golpe, “La Cosecha,” NYCT-7036 – album.