"Never say never" is a phrase that Will Allen freely uses to describe his life. A sort of prodigal son, Allen left his farming roots behind after highschool to become the first African-American basketball player at the University of Miami. While on a professional team in Belgium, he took a morning to help plant potatoes on a teammate's farm.
"Once I touched the soil, something really came alive, I really wanted to start growing food again," he says. "I must have had some hidden passion."
Since then, Allen has taken that passion and turned it into a lifestyle. He is currently the director of urban farming project "Growing Power" west of Milwaukee, and he discusses with Brooke Baldwin the dire state of the nation's eating habits and his hopes for a national return to healthy, homegrown food.
He cites statistics from HBO's "Weight of the Nation" 4-part documentary, the first two segments of which aired last night. "We're in a situation now where obesity is at an all-time high," he explains.
In his new book, he details his so-called "Good Food Revolution" - a farming movement, he says, which has indeed reached the revolution stage and is something he fervently hopes to pass on to later generations.
Christine Romans opened today's music features with “Float On” by Modest Mouse. Sound vaguely familiar? The song is perhaps most well known for Lupe Fiasco's 2010 remake "The Show Goes On," featuring the prominent bass line. Also on Christine's playlist: "Today" by Smashing Pumpkins.
Will Cain's picks for the day included "Santa Monica" by Everclear and "Wouldn't It Be Nice" by The Beach Boys. The oldies band performed their hit "Good Vibrations" at the 2012 Grammy Awards, their first live performance with all surviving band members since 1996.
Marvin Gaye's crooning saxophone tune "What's Going On" was brought to you by Will Allen, urban farmer and author of "The Good Food Revolution." Other guest picks were, from Murray Lipp, "Truly, Madly, Deeply" by Savage Garden, and Bruce Springsteen's "Highway Patrolman," from Kerry Kennedy.
Panelist Margaret Hoover played "Radioactive" by Kings of Leon, and Dr. Sanjay Gupta closed the show with "You Dropped a Bomb On Me" by The Gap Band, hearkening back to the 80s.
Louis Klein is a diehard Saturday Night Live fan. He attended last Saturday's performance hosted by Will Ferrell, and in fact has attended quite a few weekend performances over the last 30 years.
Klein attended the dress rehearsal of the very first SNL production on October 11, 1975, and since then, he says he's been to 665 shows - so many that he has been issued the first-ever "permanent ticket" in SNL history.
Why does he keep going back? "I love it," Klein says. "It started out as something to do on a Saturday."
Now his Saturdays are filled for good, without the long nights spent on the sidewalk in front of Rockefeller Center in line for tickets.
More than 2 million kids are enrolled in charter schools, 32% of which are African American - and of that 32%, more that half attend schools comprised mostly of minority students. This morning, CNN education contributor Steve Perry explains the lack of diversity, saying "We had to convince white people to come to a very good school in the hood."
Perry is the founder of charter school Capital Preparatory Magnet School in Hartford, CT. The demographic of his school has, in the past, been primarily black, poor students–until they were given a quota to provide some semblance of balance. Perry explained the reasoning for the so-called "segregation."
"The children who are typically choosing charter schools are the children who don't have the best education options in the nearby neighborhood, which in many cases are people of color and/or low-income students. They choose the schools they feel are going to give the best opportunity to fulfill what they believe is their true potential. So, many of those families choose charter schools and overwhelmingly they are people of color," he says.
But, he vehemently refutes the segregation claim, saying there is a fundamental difference between choice and segregation.
Abby Huntsman opened today's show with her playlist and a taste of the 90s: "Semi-Charmed Life" by Third Eye Blind, shortly followed by the Red Hot Chili Peppers "Californication" off their album by the same name. The RHCP track topped Billboard modern rock charts in 2000.
Continuing the 1990s trend, Will Reed played some much-appreciated Pearl Jam with "Yellow Ledbetter" from his tracklist. Slated for release on the band's debut album "Ten," the song never actually made it onto a studio album. Nonetheless, "Yellow" reached #21 on mainstream rock charts and managed to become a Pearl Jam classic.
Panelist Ryan Lizza brought some alternative sounds to the mix with "Kim's Watermelon" by Flaming Lips and "Hoppipolla" by Sigur Ros.
The show closed with Brooke Baldwin's music - "Feel It All Around" by Washed Out, and "Intergalactic" by the Beastie Boys. Native to New York City, the Beastie Boys suffered a tragedy a couple weeks back when vocalist and bass player Adam Yauch (known as MCA) died of mouth cancer, after the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April.
An officer's badge may not be the only badge of honor sported by a Los Angeles County police unit. Recently, a secret deputy clique was uncovered within the gang enforcement unit of the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department and marks its members with a different badge: permanent ink.
The "Jump-Out Boys" allegedly tattoo themselves with the image of a skull with glowing red eyes. The skull wears a bandana with the letters "OSS" - short for Operation Safe Streets, the larger initiative which established their unit to clear city streets of gangs. An ace and eight of spades, the so-called "Dead Man's Hand" in poker, fans out to the left of the image, with a skeletal hand brandishing a revolver to the right side. Reportedly, after a member is involved in a shooting, smoke is tattooed over the barrel of their gun - an enduring sort of high-five for a mission accomplished.
The tattoos harken back to other law enforcement "gangs" which branded members in a similar manner, and ultimately, Soledad said, the concern is that the ink glorifies violence - especially considering the unit's task is to comb neighborhoods labeled for "dangerous gang activity" and disarm gang members.
"Los Angeles Times" reporter Robert Faturechi explains.