Ina Jaffe

Ina Jaffe is a National desk correspondent based at NPR West, NPR's production center in Culver City, Calif.

Covering California and the West, Jaffe has reported on nearly all of the major news events, elections, and natural disasters in the region. Currently, she covers issues related to aging. She also reports on regional and national politics, contributing election coverage in 2008, 2010, and 2012.

In addition to captivating and informing listeners, Jaffe's reports have garnered critical acclaim. Her 2012 investigation into how the West Los Angeles VA made millions from renting property while ignoring plans to house homeless veterans won an award from the Society of Professional Journalists as well as a Gracie Award from the Alliance for Women in Media. A few months after the story aired, the West Los Angeles VA broke ground on supportive housing for homeless vets.

Jaffe's 2011 series on rising violence in California State Psychiatric Hospitals was also honored with a Gracie Award as well as awards from Investigative Reporters and Editors and the American Bar Association. Her three-part series on California's Three Strikes sentencing law won the ABA's Silver Gavel Award in 2010, as well as the Sigma Delta Chi award from the Society of Professional Journalists.

Before moving to Los Angeles, Jaffe was the first editor of Weekend Edition Saturday with Scott Simon which made its debut in 1985.

Born in Chicago, Jaffe attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison and DePaul University receiving Bachelor's and Master's degrees in philosophy, respectively.

Pages

Health
3:17 am
Sat June 29, 2013

Despite Alzheimer's, Couple Holds Tight To Old Memories

The Greenes say they take it a day at a time and relish the many long-term memories they've shared for nearly 60 years.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 1:44 pm

Right now, 5 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. One of them is 73-year-old Pansy Greene. She's in the early stages of Alzheimer's, and she and her husband, Winston, want people to know that so far, their daily lives have changed little despite the diagnosis.

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Around the Nation
3:33 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Plug Pulled On California Nuclear Plant, For Good

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 6:29 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

In Southern California, a nuclear power plant that supplied energy to more than a million homes is shutting down for good. As NPR's Ina Jaffe reports, the San Onofre nuclear plant has been idle for repair since January of 2012.

INA JAFFE, BYLINE: The twin, white domes at the San Onofre nuclear power plant have been landmarks on the California coast for more than four decades.

(SOUNDBITE OF PROTESTERS CHANTING)

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Your Money
1:21 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Automatic-Enrollment IRAs Get A Test Run In California

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 8:51 am

With all of the controversy over entitlement reform, there's one thing both sides can agree on: Social Security alone does not provide enough money for a comfortable retirement. For these workers, the Obama administration is proposing automatically enrolling workers in IRAs through their employers.

California adopted a version of this last year. Democratic state Sen. Kevin de Leon sponsored the bill to automatically enroll workers in an individual retirement account. The inspiration, he says, was his Aunt Francisca, who's 74.

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Law
2:25 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

A Mother's Fight Against 3 Strikes Law 'A Way of Life'

Sue Reams campaigned to change California's three-strikes law and help set free her son, Shane.
Ina Jaffe NPR

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 5:19 pm

Since the November election, 240 California prisoners facing potential life sentences have been set free. That's because voters changed California's tough three strikes sentencing law.

As NPR reported in 2009, that law sent thousands of people to prison for terms of 25 years to life for minor, nonviolent crimes. Now those prisoners can ask the court to have their sentences reduced.

One of those set free under the new law is Shane Reams. He owes his freedom in no small part to his mother Sue's 17-year campaign to change the law.

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Arts & Life
1:19 am
Mon April 1, 2013

'A Lovely Feeling': Celebrating Older Women With Fabulous Style

Ilona Royce Smithkin, 93, cut her red hair to make her eyelashes.
Courtesy of Ari Seth Cohen

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 6:50 am

The fashion industry is sometimes criticized for unrealistic portrayals of young women. But if you're a woman older than 60, there are almost no portrayals, realistic or otherwise. Fashion may be something you have to invent more than follow. A blog called Advanced Style focuses on women who've done just that.

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Working Late: Older Americans On The Job
1:55 am
Thu March 14, 2013

A Retired Chicago Cop's Second Act Is At A Barbershop

Richard Piña, 69, with customer Augustin Bustos at Rich's Den barbershop in Calumet City, Ill. Piña, who retired from the Chicago police force 12 years ago, works at his shop four or five hours a day.
Beth Rooney for NPR

Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 6:43 pm

Increasingly, people are continuing to work past 65. Almost a third of Americans between the ages of 65 and 70 are working, and among those older than 75, about 7 percent are still on the job. In Working Late, a series for Morning Edition, NPR profiles older adults who are still in the workforce.

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Working Late: Older Americans On The Job
1:42 am
Wed March 6, 2013

For Midwife, 71, Delivering Babies Never Gets Old

Colorado midwife Dian Sparling, 71, meets with Lisa Eldridge and her baby, Colton James.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 12:30 pm

Increasingly, people are continuing to work past 65. Almost a third of Americans between the ages of 65 and 70 are working, and among those older than 75, about 7 percent are still on the job. In Working Late, a series for Morning Edition, NPR profiles older adults who are still in the workforce.

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Working Late: Older Americans On The Job
1:02 am
Wed February 27, 2013

At 85, 'Old-School' Politician Shows No Signs Of Quitting

Wisconsin state Sen. Fred Risser at the state Capitol.
Narayan Mahon for NPR

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 6:16 pm

Increasingly, people are continuing to work past 65. Almost a third of Americans between the ages of 65 and 70 are working, and among those older than 75, about 7 percent are still on the job. In Working Late, a series for Morning Edition, NPR profiles older adults who are still in the workforce.

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Movies
4:01 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Baby Boomers Return To The Multiplex, And Hollywood Notices

Maggie Smith plays aging opera diva Jean in the film Quartet. Increasingly, movies are turning their attention to older subjects in order to draw in older audiences.
The Weinstein Company

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 8:26 am

If you're not counting the days until the release of Iron Man 3, if you're not sure who Kristen Stewart is, and if the last romantic comedy you saw starred Meryl Streep, you just may be over 50.

That's a segment of the moviegoing audience that may have been neglected once — but no more. A number of films appealing to older audiences, or films that have themes closely related to aging, have been scooping up nominations for Oscars and other awards.

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Working Late: Older Americans On The Job
1:08 am
Wed February 20, 2013

When A Bad Economy Means Working 'Forever'

The recession put a dent in Sims-Wood's savings, and she expects she'll have to stay in the workforce "forever."
Gabriella Demczuk NPR

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 6:34 pm

Increasingly, people are continuing to work past 65. Almost a third of Americans between the ages of 65 and 70 are working, and among those older than 75, about 7 percent are still on the job. In Working Late, a series for Morning Edition, NPR profiles older adults who are still in the workforce.

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Working Late: Older Americans On The Job
1:43 am
Wed February 13, 2013

For One Senior, Working Past Retirement Age Is A Workout

John David, 73, teaches fitness classes to help older people stay healthy and fit. Here he teaches an hourlong class at the 92nd Street Y in New York City.
Shiho Fukada for NPR

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 6:29 pm

Increasingly, people are continuing to work past 65. Almost a third of Americans between the ages of 65 and 70 are working, and among those older than 75, about 7 percent are still on the job. In Working Late, a series for Morning Edition, NPR profiles older adults who are still in the workforce.

Retirement isn't what it used to be, or even when it used to be.

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Around the Nation
2:41 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Workshops Help Families Grappling With Alzheimer's Home Care

The nation's largest provider of nonmedical home care for seniors is now offering training to help family caregivers deal with the challenges of caring for an Alzheimer's patient.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 7:24 pm

There are more than 5 million people with Alzheimer's in the U.S., and most are cared for at home. Now, one company has begun offering training to family caregivers to help them deal with the special challenges of caring for an Alzheimer's patient.

The company, Home Instead Senior Care, is the nation's largest provider of nonmedical home care for seniors. The workshops are free and available to anyone, whether they're clients of the company or not.

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Business
4:08 am
Tue December 25, 2012

Online Sales Increase 16 Percent This Holiday Season

Originally published on Tue December 25, 2012 7:42 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

OK, so the final numbers are not in yet, but it looks like the Christmas shopping season was just OK. There were some bright spots, particularly in online sales.

NPR's Ina Jaffe reports.

INA JAFFE, BYLINE: The frenzy of Black Friday calmed down considerably over the course of the Christmas shopping season. Major chains began offering big discounts as the holiday approached and that'll cut into profits.

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It's All Politics
1:26 am
Fri November 16, 2012

In California, 'Republican' Is Becoming A Toxic Label

Citizens vote in Los Angeles County on Nov. 6.
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 2:12 pm

If the election results were disappointing for Republicans nationally, they were devastating for the GOP in California.

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It's All Politics
1:10 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Underdog Democrat Keeping Things Close In Nevada Senate Race

Democatic Rep. Shelley Berkley greets Republican Sen. Dean Heller before the second of their three debates, on Oct. 11 in Las Vegas.
Julie Jacobson AP

Originally published on Thu October 18, 2012 6:00 pm

Early in-person voting in Nevada starts Saturday, and it's not just the presidential contest that's being closely watched in this swing state.

The race for the U.S. Senate is also seen as a tossup, a bit of a surprise for Republicans, who have counted on retaining the GOP-held seat as they try to build a majority.

Republican Sen. Dean Heller — in office for only 18 months — faces seven-term Rep. Shelley Berkley on Nov. 6.

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NPR Story
5:14 am
Sat September 22, 2012

Obama, Ryan Pitch Medicare Plans To Older Voters

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 8:35 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Both campaigns tried to appeal to older voters yesterday. President Obama and Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan addressed thousands of members of the AARP in New Orleans. Changes to Medicare and Social Security topped the agenda for both, but NPR's Ina Jaffee reports, there was more to these voters reactions to the candidates.

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Around the Nation
1:28 am
Mon September 10, 2012

Los Angeles VA Has Made Millions On Rental Deals

The 388-acre campus of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in West Los Angeles was donated to the federal government more than 100 years ago for use as a home for disabled veterans, but is no longer used for that purpose. In 2007, Building 209, pictured here, was designated as a place to house disabled homeless vets. It is currently abandoned.
Nancy Pastor for NPR

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 5:59 pm

Most Los Angeles residents only know the Veterans Affairs medical center in West Los Angeles as something they glimpse from their cars when they're on traffic-choked Wilshire Boulevard. From the road it looks like a park, but within the grounds is the largest medical facility in the VA's health care system.

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Art & Design
3:21 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

340 Tons Of Art: 'Levitated Mass' To Rock L.A.

A 2011 sketch by artist Michael Heizer shows the walkway visitors will use to pass under the granite boulder at the center of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art's installation. (Click here to enlarge.)
Courtesy of Michael Heizer

Originally published on Thu June 21, 2012 7:39 am

Los Angeles has a new rock star — a 340-ton boulder perched above a long walk-through trench at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The installation, called Levitated Mass, is a new work by artist Michael Heizer that opens to the public on June 24.

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Around the Nation
4:27 am
Sun April 29, 2012

After L.A. Riots, An Effort To Rebuild A Broken City

A fire burns out of control at the corner of 67th St. and West Blvd. in South Central Los Angeles on April 30, 1992. Hundreds of buildings burned when riots erupted after the verdicts in the Rodney King case were announced.
Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Mon April 30, 2012 10:33 am

The Los Angeles riots began 20 years ago Sunday, when a jury acquitted four police officers in the beating of black motorist Rodney King in 1992.

While the ashes were still smoldering, then-Mayor Tom Bradley announced a new organization that would repair the shattered city, Rebuild L.A. Its mission was to spend five years harnessing the power of the private sector to replace and improve on what was lost. While it created a lot of hope, it created even more disappointment.

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Presidential Race
2:40 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Why Does Saul Alinsky Inspire Such Passion?

Professional organizer Saul Alinsky in 1966, on Chicago's South Side, where he organized the Woodlawn area to battle slum conditions. Newt Gingrich has referred to Alinsky numerous times in recent speeches.
AP

Originally published on Tue January 31, 2012 9:17 am

At a campaign event in Jacksonville, Fla., Monday morning, Newt Gingrich dropped a name that he has been using a lot lately.

"I believe in the Constitution; I believe in the Federalist Papers. Obama believes in Saul Alinsky and secular European socialist bureaucracy," Gingrich said.

In Saul Alinsky? Who is this Alinsky guy and why does Gingrich seem to mention him every chance he gets?

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Violence At California's Psychiatric Hospitals
10:01 pm
Tue December 20, 2011

How Do You Hold Mentally Ill Offenders Accountable?

In California, prison inmates who have committed serious crimes and have been diagnosed with a major mental illness can be forced to serve their parole in a state hospital. At Atascadero State Hospital, shown above in this 1999 photo, there are more than 600 such patients. "As a group," says the hospital's director, "the mentally disordered offenders are the most aggressive."
Reed Saxon AP

Originally published on Wed December 21, 2011 8:35 am

Part of an ongoing series

Mental health and law enforcement officials in California are trying to find ways to hold violent psychiatric patients accountable without punishing people for being sick. It's a response to escalating violence in the state's mental hospitals, where thousands of assaults occur annually. Only a tiny fraction of them, however, result in criminal charges.

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Violence At California's Psychiatric Hospitals
10:01 pm
Mon December 19, 2011

In Calif. Mental Hospitals, Assaults Rarely A Crime

Metropolitan State Hospital employees and supporters gathered outside the hospital in Norwalk, Calif., this summer to protest repeated assaults at the hands of mental patients, and what they called dangerous working conditions.
Nick Ut AP

Originally published on Wed December 21, 2011 12:16 pm

Part of an ongoing series

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Election 2012
2:17 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

GOP Candidates Step Up Attacks On Each Other

From left, GOP presidential candidates Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Rick Perry and Mitt Romney participate in the Fox News/Google GOP debate at the Orange County Convention Center in September. Since then, the candidates have gotten tougher on each other.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 1, 2011 5:02 pm

Once upon a time, the Republican presidential contenders seemed to be mostly on the same page. They agreed on who the real enemies were — as Newt Gingrich explained at a debate in September.

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