GELFAND’S WORLD--The twin hurricane disasters have shed light on the inadequate level of our Local disaster preparedness here in LA. Bluntly speaking, we are not ready for a major earthquake. I would like to present here an approach that could lead to public awareness and survival skills. It involves setting up a citywide volunteer communication system first, and then filling in the details which will involve offering a small amount of training to the public. 

STREET LEVEL REALITY-Los Angeles politicians and developers dread saying the words “gentrification” and “displacement.” In fact, Mayor Eric Garcetti rarely utters the g-word in public.  It causes all kinds of political headaches, so they resort to using code words that are more palatable for public consumption.

BELL VIEW—‘When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, `I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.’-Matthew 27:24 

PLATKIN ON PLANNING-In city planning circles Houston is (in)famous for its lack of zoning laws.  Furthermore, Houston only adopted its first General Plan in January 2017, which means blind market forces continue to determine all of its local land use decisions. The result is that developers can and do build anything they want anywhere, and that includes areas with a long history of flooding.  

EASTSIDER-It seems clear by now that the phrase “climate change” means that we can look forward to erratic and wide fluctuations in our weather for the foreseeable future. Witness sudden years of drought followed by equally sudden massive rain and flooding. Like we experienced recently. It’s a prescription fraught with dangers to our water supply. 

GELFAND’S WORLD--The simple equation is that a garden variety hurricane passing above overly-hot seawater is what is required to create a monster storm.  The transition from category 1 to category 4 or 5 can happen within hours, as we've seen twice just within the past weeks. As the average seawater temperature in the gulf rises year by year -- this is where global warming comes in -- the total number of hurricanes may not rise, but from that total, the number of hurricanes that become monsters appears to be going up. 

CONNECTING CALIFORNIA--No one can know for sure whether any of California’s four National Football League teams—the 49ers, Raiders, Rams, and Chargers—will emerge as big winners in the new season.

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