At The Border AND In The Theater – La Posada and The Nutcracker

Sometimes we just need to cover a lot of ground, starting with Adriana Jasso, Human Rights Advocate based in San Diego, California. She speaks in her capacity as the Program Coordinator for the U.S./Mexico Border Program of the American Friends Service Committee, at various open-air detention sites in San Diego County. During the annual tradition of La Posada, Adriana takes stock of what the inn actually looks like. The extended portion of this interview can be heard in a separate sound file. Please refer to that post on this same day.

In the second segment (approx. minute 34:00), Susan Jaffe, the artistic director and interim executive director of American Ballet Theater, has some special takes as her company performs “The Nutcracker” at the Segerstrom Hall, Dec 8th-17th, choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky. Tchaikovsky’s score is performed live by Pacific Symphony. Ticket details are available at:

Music credits: Chimora, “Africano Americano,” Sounds of Africa – album; Adeste Fideles, “Vayamos Cristianos,” en español, Canto Católico Christmas Carol Album; Hal Leonard Choral, “Three Jazzy Nutcrackers,” (SATB Choir, a cappella) – arranged by Paul Langford.

This is an extension of the interview with Adriana Jasso. The host sought personal context for what it feels like to be providing aide amidst refugees’ wide range of needs.

Irvine City Business

Over the full hour we cover an ambitious City of Irvine update with Branda Lin, Irvine Planning Commissioner; and Adam Cavecche, the supervising Principal Council Executive to Irvine City Council Member Kathleen Treseder. On the municipal menu are: the failed single use plastics ordinance, warehouse creep, Irvine’s lobbying rules, the civil servant exodus, and the level of city commissioners’ training. For future coverage will be how Irvine Watchdog’s sights are set on city business on both the primary and general election ballots. A long table is set for this expansive buffet of topics.

Music credits: Chimora, “Africano Americano,” Sounds of Africa – album; Béla Fleck and The Flecktones, J.S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio No. 41, BVW 248, “Ich Will,” Jingle All the Way – album.

Collective Trauma Perpetrated on Ukraine

Natasha Frolova, associate professor and crisis psychologist in the Dept. of Psychology and Social Work at Dnipro National University in Ukraine, speaks as a Fulbright scholar in residence at UC Irvine, working with trauma social scientist Roxanne Cohen Silver. She has the full hour to chart the dimensions of trauma experienced in Ukraine as she continues to build onto approaches toward addressing trauma on both the individual and the societal levels.

Music credits: Chimora, “Africano Americano,” Sounds of Africa – album; Andriy Khlyvnyuk x The Kiffness, “Chervona Kalyna.”

“Almond, Quartz, and Finch” by Lisa Bunker

For the full hour is Lisa Bunker; writer, transgender activist, former New Hampshire state legislator, and fellow community radio aficionado. Based now in Sacramento, they are currently on the book tour circuit with their latest book, “Almond, Quartz, and Finch,” published by New Wind. Available at: or your favorite independent book dealer. Someday, it would make a wonderful a film in a theater near us. Meanwhile, this conversation is one more serving at this week’s feast.

Music credits: Chimora, “Africano Americano,” Sounds of Africa – album; Sandunes, “Follow Me,” The Ground Beneath Her Feet – album.

Irvine City Council Changes on March 2024 Ballot AND “Rotterdam”

In his capacity as a member of the Irvine City Council, Larry Agran returns to talk about the special measure before Irvine voters on the March 2024 primary ballot. This special municipal election measure would amend the city’s charter to expand the number of council members to serve on the City Council and create of districts in which they would run. Top of mind is how the City plans to engage voters down ballot, amidst the much anticipated drama of open legislative races at the top of the ballot.

In the second segment (approx. minute 36:40), Craig Tyrl returns this time with The Wayward Artist’s current production of “Rotterdam” which he’s directing, running through 11/19, at the Santa Ana artist’s Village, in the Grand Central Art Center 125 N Broadway. Details about how they’ll wrap their sixth season: The Wayward Artist presents Pirates vs. Leprechauns, a theatre for young audiences musical comedy by Craig Holland. Performances begin Friday, December 8th and run through Sunday, December 17th, Pirates vs. Leprechauns.

Music credits: Chimora, “Africano Americano,” Sounds of Africa – album; Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” Scored Suite performed by Nate Heller; and Anis, “Pensées amères,” La Chance – album.

The Sound of Art Inside a Prison

Gabe Rosales, UCI Criminology, Law and Society Ph.D. candidate, professional musician, and advocate – has a whole lot to tell us about bringing music to the carceral setting, particularly at Richard J Donovan State Prison. We hear about the remarkable yields, when a system chooses rehabilitation over punitive measures, a fertile continuation of the reforms discussed with UCI professor Keramet Reiter on AAL 10/3/23. Meet Gabe in his own words “I have toured on a private plane over Europe. I have done drugs in a room by myself for days. I have cleaned toilets and been pepper sprayed in jail during the worse race riots in OC jail history. I have meditated in silence 16 hours a day for weeks in the mountains of California. I have been cornered on the streets of Los Angeles by thousands of riot police with the Occupy LA movement. I have marched with the American Indian Movement to the Jumping Bull house for the first official Leonard Peltier day in South Dakota. I have been lucky enough to see my writing published. I have had the honor of working with the BEST musicians on the planet. The meaning of life is to give life meaning, so use your time wisely. I am just getting started.” Useful places to visit include: and

Music credits: Chimora, “Africano Americano,” Sounds of Africa – album; Kioea, “Lion’s Mane,” Stand Tall – album.

Deep-breathing Our Way Around the Cybersphere

For the full hour we get more tricks than treats from Bryan Cunningham – UCI Law professor, Executive Director of UCI’s Cybersecurity Policy and Research Institute, practicing attorney, and vigorous Twitter Space contributor. Admittedly only an introduction to the pernicious workings of disinformation, misinformation, and even mal-information, the host hopes to resume this discussion, covering the concerning trends post 10/7. Bryan offers listeners a few topics to investigate, including the Mitrokhin archives and Operation Infektion.

Music credits: Chimora, “Africano Americano,” Sounds of Africa – album; Thomas Koppel, “Overture: Train Ride into the Belly of the Beast,” Messe For Et Tilfælde – album.

Witnessing The Armenian Genocide, Now

Returning to the show, this time together, are: Dr. Ara Apkarian, UCI Distinguished Professor of Chemistry; and Dr. Kev Abazajian, Professor of Physics & Astronomy and the Director of the Center for Cosmology at UCI. Ara and Kev have a lot on their minds with the geopolitics taking place, from the campus to the Caucasus. They speak truth to power – a tale of two University of California chancellors weighing in on international catastrophes. Then on to the remarkable gesture of the recent visit of former member of the Turkish Parliament, Garo Paylan, whose laps around Southern California this month, included one right here in Irvine. Mr. Paylan, among one the few Armenians elected to the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, has been speaking about levers within the grasp of Armenians around the world. This program considers his points as well as his broader audience, amidst the staggering incidences of genocide, globally. Listeners are directed to additional sources for information and action: and (nationally); and (locally).

Note: the host erred in not including the title emblazoned on the encased partially burned tapers taken from various churches being overtaken in Artsakh in the fall of 2020. The title is “Piece of My Heart.”

Music credits: Chimora, “Africano Americano,” Sounds of Africa – album; Vahagn Hayrapetyan Trio, “Yes Kez Siretsi,” – live at the Tsitsernakabert.

“Death In a Nutshell” in the Armchair Anthropology Series

Returning to the show is Roxanne Varzi, UCI anthropology professor, and award winning author, filmmaker, and playwright. She is rolling out a whole new creative enterprise: the Armchair Anthropology Whodunit Series, “Death in a Nutshell,” a murder mystery, is the first book in a series. This genre offers another way for her to examine and interpret anthropologists’ assumptions and roles in the study of humans. Of course there’s more under her microscope.

Music credits: Chimora, “Africano Americano,” Sounds of Africa – album; Demanda E Despejo (Bartosz Weber Remix, feat. Rogério Martins).

On The Presidents’ Watch AND “Quixote Nuevo”

UCI political science professor Matthew Beckmann returns to talk about the impossible job of the American presidency amidst legislative currents, some of which flow right up to a bluff. Watch next summer for his latest book: “The President’s Day; Every Day Work in an Impossible Job.” In the second segment (approx. minute 37:00) is playwright and director Octavio Solis, with his play now being performed at the South Coast Repertory, “Quixote Nuevo.” The show runs now til Oct 28th at Segerstrom Theater at Segerstrom Center for the Performing Arts in Costa Mesa. The Rep is in a celebratory mood; this richly re-told story of a classic is a fitting performance to herald their 60th season.

Music credits: Chimora, “Africano Americano,” Sounds of Africa – album; Las Cafeteras, “If I Was President;” David R Molina-composer and performer, “Rusting Soul I and II.”