FIRST PERSON-I have written extensively about the purposefully segregated, inherently inferior public education system in de factosegregated school districts like the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) where there is little attempt to educate predominantly minority students and teach them critical thinking skills they need to get a post-secondary education or well-paying job. I always assumed that expensive private schools did not suffer from the same self-inflicted malady. But I was wrong. 

CALL TO ACTION-On January 4, 2018, Senator Bob Wieckowski introduced SB 831, a bill that would have amended the just-last-year enacted "Granny Flats" sections of state law to require, rather than simply permit, cities, states and other municipalities to provide by ordinance for the creation of "junior accessory dwelling units", or so-called ADUs. 

EASTSIDER-For too much of my life, I’ve been involved with government -- working as an employee of public agencies, representing public employees before administrative bodies, and even running two administrative agencies themselves. That’s why I can’t simply let EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s behavior get a pass. 

NEW GEOGRAPHY--What’s an oligarch to do? The putative tech masters of the universe now face unprecedented criticism from both leftand right. The reasons extend from wanton privacy invasions of the people once described by Facebook’s Mark Zuckerbergas “dumb f***ks” to President Trump’s typically hyperbolic assaults on Amazon’s success at tax avoidance. (Photo above: Jeff Bezos, the founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Amazon, purchased the Washington Post in 2013.)

ALPERN AT LARGE--Word of the day: GASLIGHTING.  This happens increasingly in the United States, and throughout the world, but especially here in California.  Gaslighting, as per Wikipedia, is a form of manipulation that sows seeds of doubt in an individual or members of a targeted group, hoping to make them question their memory, perception, and sanity. 

CAL MATTERS-California Attorney General Xavier Becerra moved today to intervene in a Texas lawsuit aimed at undoing Obamacare. Becerra and 15 other attorneys general joined forces to file their motion to prevent “immediate and irreparable harm,” as Becerra put it, to California and other states.

@THE GUSS REPORT-On any given day, the LAUSD is a trudging bureaucracy. But over the course of a year trying to get it to address a multitude of school safety issues in the wake of nationwide school shootings, including one this school year in LA, the risks to LA school kids is far worse: it is an agency paralyzed by fear of having its security problems exposed, rather than being an agency eager to proactively confront and fix them. 

PERSPECTIVE--According to the Syracuse Post-Standard, data from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) states that: "In 2016 in the Buffalo region, which includes Syracuse, there were 1,103 administrative arrests by ICE.  Of those, 160 were non-criminals. For 2017, there were 396 non-criminal arrests by ICE out of 1,494 total." Four months into 2018, it appears that those numbers are going to skyrocket. 

VOICES--In January of 2018, at a community meeting organized by the Coalition to Defend Westlake (CDW), city planner Craig Weber advocated for the North Westlake Design District (NWDD), stating “It’s important to the city to create an environment that is conducive to walking and does not take a step backward and reorient toward the automobile.”

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