What's The Point Of A Neighborhood Watch?
The Trayvon Martin shooting focused new attention on neighborhood watches. George Zimmerman served as a self-appointed neighborhood watch captain and says he shot Martin in self defense. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the first neighborhood watch program and there is some evidence to suggest that neighborhood watch programs can be effective in reducing crime, if done right. Host Neal Conan talks with Curtis Sliwa, founder of the Guardian Angels, and with a criminologist about the do's and don'ts of neighborhood watches.
Op-Ed: Stop Enabling Homelessness
A federal judge last year issued a preliminary injunction banning Los Angeles police from confiscating and destroying the belongings of homeless people on Skid Row. In an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, Carol Schatz argues that the ruling effectively allows anyone in the area around skid row to turn public sidewalks into personal storage spaces for mattresses, overflowing plastic bags and shopping carts. She says the law, intended to protect the homeless, puts them in greater danger. Some who would have otherwise sought shelter, she wrote, aren't doing so. On this week's Opinion Page, host Neal Conan speaks with Schatz about her piece, "Enabling Homelessness on L.A.'s Skid Row."
New York's Beloved, Despised 'Damn Yankees'
The New York Yankees may be the most polarizing team in sports. "In the matter of the Yankees, there is no neutral ground, no Switzerland," Rob Fleder writes in the introduction to a new collection of essays titled, Damn Yankees: Twenty-Four Major League Writers on the World's Most Loved (and Hated) Team. And, he says, it often has little to do with sports. In the new book, writers share their personal stories, from one New Yorkers' deep connection to the team, even through the worst seasons, to the finer points of Derek Jeter's swing. Neal Conan talks with journalist Charlie Pierce and writer Dan Okrent about the personal stories they contributed to the new book, and why so many people have such strong feelings about the New York Yankees.
Another Step On The Road To Change In Myanmar
This month's elections in Myanmar, also known as Burma, handed Aung San Suu Kyi's party an overwhelming victory. Imprisoned in 1990, Suu Kyi won the Nobel Peace prize and many other awards as an opposition leader from the National League for Democracy. Her release from house arrest in 2010 and victory in the latest election have sparked new hope among many people in Myanmar. And the pace of change in recent months has been striking. The United States has also eased some sanctions, but many questions remain about the future Southeast Asian country. Host Neal Conan talks to former NPR foreign correspondent Michael Sullivan about the past, present and future of Myanmar.