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Monday, June 15, 2009

SOCAL CONNECTED’ INVESTIGATES CHILD SUPPORT IN DOWN ECONOMY, THEN FOCUSES ON GREEN JOB OPPORTUNITIES

‘SOCAL CONNECTED’ INVESTIGATES CHILD SUPPORT IN DOWN ECONOMY, THEN FOCUSES ON GREEN JOB OPPORTUNITIES IN SEASON ONE FINALE AIRING THURSDAY, JUNE 18 AT 8:00 PM

KCET’s Award-Winning News Program Has Encore Broadcast as Part of Primetime Friday Night Line-up that Includes ‘Washington Week’ and ‘Bill Moyers’ Journal,’ on Fridays at 8:30 PM
LOS ANGELES – June 12, 2009 – SoCal Connected examines the plight of divorced dads struggling to keep up with child support payments and the effect that has on families. The California Department of Child Support Services – the largest in the country – is being swamped with "modification requests" from economically downsized dads who say they can’t afford to pay the same amount of child support.

We meet a father of three who once had a good-paying job selling heavy machinery. He now makes just $14 an hour and has to live with his mother. His ex-wife works at a sports bar on weekends where her tips are down dramatically. He succeeded in getting his monthly payment of $1,302 reduced to just $255.


But blue collar couples aren’t the only ones affected. An attorney – the divorced father of two boys – used to make $500,000 a year. His child and spousal support was set at $23,000 a month. He says he can’t afford to pay anywhere near that amount now because his practice is off 40%. He’s facing contempt proceedings filed by his ex-wife, who says she and the children can no longer afford to live in Southern California. He gives a tour of what was once the family home, which he’s turned into his law office to save money.

"He Said… She Said" is just one of the stories in this Season One finale of SoCal Connected airing Thursday, June 18 at 8:00 p.m. Correspondent Vince Gonzales also gives us a rare insider’s look in the courtroom and private consultation cubicles at L.A.’s Department of Child Support Services, where modification requests are considered and paternity tests are so commonplace, there’s even a separate area where moms, dads and kids wait to have the procedure done.
Next, SoCal Connected presents a special segment on green collar jobs.

For this segment, Correspondent Angie Crouch explores the efforts to create a green job workforce and take advantage of an expected boom in the renewable energy economy. Crouch visits a training center in East LA which is teaching a wide range of individuals—including former gang members and ex-Hollywood actors—green job skills such as solar panel installation. The former gang members participate in this program through a collaboration between the LAUSD and Homboy Industries, a gang intervention organization. SoCal also introduces us to eSolar in Lancaster, a solar power facility, and speaks with its chairman, Bill Gross, about the facility’s potential to produce both jobs for an economically depressed Antelope Valley and energy for upwards of 400,000 homes. In addition, SoCal catches up with long-time Southern California writer Joel Kotkin, an outspoken critic of green jobs, who argues that all the talk about a booming green jobs economy is just "hot air" and not a realistic expectation. In addition to airing on SoCal Connected, this segment will appear as part of PBS’ Blueprint America, a multi-platform, year-long initiative examining infrastructure issues throughout America and the world.


The series and its companion Web site at www.pbs.org/blueprintamerica consist of content produced by national PBS shows, local stations and original documentaries distributed nationally on PBS.

For the season finale, Marcos Villatoro reminds us of all the good things in summer in Southern California, even during tough times.
"He Said… She Said" is reported by Correspondent Vince Gonzales and produced by Angela Shelley with Associate Producer Alexandria Gales. "Blueprint America: Green Collar Jobs" is reported by Correspondent Angie Crouch and produced by Saul Gonzalez. Bret Marcus is executive producer of SoCal Connected; Val Zavala serves as anchor
SoCal Connected, recent winner of two Golden Mikes, including Best News Public Affairs Show, and the regional winner of the Edward R. Murrow Award for Best News Documentary, airs Thursdays (8:00 – 8:30 p.m.) and Fridays (8:30 – 9:00 p.m.) exclusively on KCET.

For more information, to view episodes online or to post comments, please visit www.kcet.org/socal.
SoCal Connected is made possible through the generous support of The L.K. Whittier Foundation dedicated to improving the quality of life by supporting innovative endeavors in the fields of medicine, health, science and education; The Ahmanson Foundation serving the Los Angeles community since 1952; Jim and Anne Rothenberg; The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation; the Elizabeth Hofert-Dailey Trust; by US Bank and by UCLA. Additional funding for this episode is provided by Boeing.





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