KCET's Award-Winning 'SoCal Connected' Takes Another Look at L.A.'s "Drop" Initiative and an Innovative Program Dealing with Postpartum Depression; Plus the First Pope to Retire in Centuries

Airing 5:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. Nightly


Los Angeles, CA - February 25, 2013 - This week, SoCal Connected investigates a controversial program that was designed to keep cops and firemen on the job, but may in fact be costing the cash-strapped city a lot of money. The DROP program allows some city employees to "double dip" by receiving a salary and a pension at the same time. Judy Muller reports there are now some city employees earning over a million dollars. Next, Vince Gonzales investigates postpartum depression and finds that suicide is now the leading cause of death among young mothers. Finally, as the Pope prepares to step down at the end of the month, SoCal Connected will present reports from Rome on the challenges for the next Pope.


MONDAY, February 25

Correspondent Judy Muller investigates LA's "DROP" (Deferred Retirement Option Plan) program for LAPD and LA City Fire Personnel. The program, enacted a few years ago, effectively allows members of both organizations to 'double dip' the system, receiving both a salary and their pension at the same time for the last five years on the job. Muller examines how over 3,000 officers have been able to use DROP - and how many LA citizens are unaware of this pricey so-called "Retire for a Day" loophole.


Then, Madeleine Brand speaks to Washington Post reporter Aaron Blake about the sequester that is set to take effect on March 1st.


TUESDAY, February 26

Los Angeles is the first city in the US to offer a program for low-income and minority women suffering from postpartum depression. Correspondent Vince Gonzales examines why women of certain demographics and socio-economic backgrounds are at a higher risk for the disorder and how Los Angeles is at the forefront of pioneering programs to help them.


Also, Madeleine Brand interviews Raphael Sonenshein, Executive Director of the Pat Brown Institute at California State University, Los Angeles, about the city elections set to take place at the beginning of March.


WEDNESDAY, February 27

Following the success of the ethno-archaeological book "Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century," SoCal Connected anchor Val Zavala profiles what the lives of those featured in the book look like and examines how the authors took an archaeological approach to modern 'material culture.'


Afterwards, Madeleine Brand interviews "Enlightened" screenwriter Mike White about his thoughts on the prevalence of violence in Hollywood - and who he thinks should take the blame.


THURSDAY, February 28

In honor of Pope Benedict XVI's retirement, SoCal takes a look at the legacy he will leave behind.


Then, Madeleine Brand interviews Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lawrence Wright about his new book on Scientology, "Going Clear."



SoCal Connected, winner of a Peabody and two duPont Awards, 17 Emmy® Awards, 19 Golden Mikes, 41 LA Press Club Awards, two Gracie Awards, and three regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, including Best News Documentary and Los Angeles Magazine's "Best New Local TV Program" of 2009, airs nightly at 5:30 p.m. with encores at 10:00 p.m. exclusively on KCET. For more information, to view episodes online or to leave comments, please visit www.socalconnected.org.


SoCal Connected is made possible through the generous support of The Ahmanson Foundation serving the Los Angeles community since 1952; Jim and Anne Rothenberg; the Maddocks Brown Foundation; The John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation; and The California Endowment. 



On-air, online and in the community, KCET plays a vital role in the cultural and educational enrichment of Southern and Central California. KCET offers a wide range of award-winning local programming as well as the finest public television programs from around the world. KCET currently produces the Emmy®, duPont-Columbia and Peabody Award-winning SoCal Connected, a hard-hitting prime-time nightly television news program that examines the issues and people of Southern California. Throughout its 48-year history, KCET has won hundreds of major awards for its local and regional news and public affairs programming, its national drama and documentary productions, its quality educational family and children's programs, its outreach and community services and its website, kcet.org. KCET is a donor-supported community institution. For additional information about KCET productions, web-exclusive content, programming schedules and community events, please visit kcet.org.



Ariel Carpenter or Ayn Allen

KCET Communications Department

747-201-5243; acarpenter@kcet.org

747-201-5886; aallen@kcet.org


Michelle Marron or Liza Nedelman

MPRM Communications





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