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.

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1:33am

Wed July 31, 2013
Sports

Pickleball, Anyone? Senior Athletes Play New Games And Old

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 9:23 am

Hazel Trexler-Campbell throws spray-painted horseshoes during the Senior Games in Cleveland on July 23.
Benjamin Morris for NPR

A lot of what you'd see at the National Senior Games looks familiar if you've ever watched the Summer Olympics: There's track and field, basketball and swimming. At the Summer Olympics, however, you will not hear voices in the crowd cheering "Go, Grandma!"

Everyone at these games is over 50, and they play some sports that will likely never appear at the Olympics. Here's a sample:

Pickleball

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1:16pm

Fri July 26, 2013
Sports

Age Hasn't Stopped This Man From Swimming — And Winning

Originally published on Mon July 29, 2013 10:01 am

Graham Johnston, 82, poses for a portrait through an underwater window at the pool on Wednesday. Graham competed at the Senior Games in Cleveland, where more than 10,000 athletes older than 55 are competing in various sports.
Benjamin Morris for NPR

More than 10,000 athletes are meeting in Cleveland for The National Senior Games. Adults older than 55 — and some older than 90 — are running track, riding bikes, playing basketball and competing in many of the sports you might see at the Summer Olympics. In fact there are a few who were Olympians themselves back in the day who say they find that competition is just as satisfying in their later years.

One of those is 82-year-old swimmer Graham Johnston. When he's not racing or getting ready to race, he's in the stands, checking out the other swimmers with an expert eye.

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12:06am

Fri July 5, 2013
On Aging

Seniors Flex Creative Muscles In Retirement Arts Colonies

Originally published on Fri July 5, 2013 2:51 am

Buster Sussman, 86, shown with his art instructor, Randall Williams, is a former real estate reporter who only recently started painting. His paintings were on display at the Burbank Senior Artists Colony.
Ina Jaffe NPR

Some famous writers, painters and musicians have done some of their best work in their later years — impressionist Claude Monet, for one. But at the North Hollywood Senior Arts Colony, older people are proving that you don't have to be famous — or even a professional artist — to live a creatively fulfilling life in old age.

With a fully equipped theater and painting and sculpture studios, there seems to be rehearsals or exhibitions of some sort going on here all the time.

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1:15pm

Mon July 1, 2013
It's All Politics

How To Turn A Red State Blue: California Edition

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 4:11 pm

Republicans celebrated when California Gov. Pete Wilson was re-elected in 1994. But his divisive campaign led to a backlash, especially among the growing Latino population in the state.
Kevork Djansezian AP

All this week, NPR is taking a look at the demographic changes that could reshape the political landscape in Texas over the next decade — and what that could mean for the rest of the country.

Democrats who hope to turn Texas from red to blue are looking to California for inspiration.

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3:17am

Sat June 29, 2013
Health

Despite Alzheimer's, Couple Holds Tight To Old Memories

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

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

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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3:33pm

Fri June 7, 2013
Around the Nation

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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1:21am

Wed May 1, 2013
Your Money

Automatic-Enrollment IRAs Get A Test Run In California

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

iStockphoto.com

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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2:25pm

Wed April 10, 2013
Law

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

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

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

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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1:55am

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

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

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

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

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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1:42am

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

For Midwife, 71, Delivering Babies Never Gets Old

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

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

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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1:02am

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

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

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

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

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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1:08am

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

When A Bad Economy Means Working 'Forever'

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

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

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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1:43am

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

For One Senior, Working Past Retirement Age Is A Workout

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

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

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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2:41pm

Tue January 8, 2013
Around the Nation

Workshops Help Families Grappling With Alzheimer's Home Care

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

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

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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1:26am

Fri November 16, 2012
It's All Politics

In California, 'Republican' Is Becoming A Toxic Label

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

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

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

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1:10pm

Thu October 18, 2012
It's All Politics

Underdog Democrat Keeping Things Close In Nevada Senate Race

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

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

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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2:56pm

Fri September 21, 2012
NPR Story

Obama, Ryan Talk Medicare At AARP Convention

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 4:53 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

In New Orleans today, thousands of senior citizens were treated to two different visions for their future. President Obama and GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan each addressed the AARP.

As NPR's Ina Jaffe reports, they took questions on topics ranging from Medicare to Social Security, and back to Medicare.

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1:28am

Mon September 10, 2012
Around the Nation

Los Angeles VA Has Made Millions On Rental Deals

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

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

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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4:27am

Sun April 29, 2012
Around the Nation

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

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

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

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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10:01pm

Tue December 20, 2011
Violence At California's Psychiatric Hospitals

How Do You Hold Mentally Ill Offenders Accountable?

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

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

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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