Last updateMon, 24 Nov 2014 7pm

LOS ANGELES Tuesday, November 25th 2014 10:11

  • Are LA’s Walkable Neighborhoods and Bike Lanes Only for the Creative Class?

    Julian Agyeman and Stephen Zavestoski
    WHO WE ARE-The “Complete Streets” concept in urban planning and design has been hailed as nothing less than a revolution. “North America is on the verge of a new paradigm,” writes Mobility magazine. “At the forefront of the ‘street revolution’ is the concept of Complete Streets.” 
  • What’s Really Going On at the VA: Schemes and Frauds Hiding in Plain View

    Sue Frasier
    VETERAN’S VOICE-For several decades now, the schemes and frauds of the Dept. of Veterans Affairs (DVA) have been hiding in plain view. What has already changed is, veterans have found their way onto the Internet to compare notes and to make open discussion on the small details of how the VA…
  • Meanwhile Down at the Nuclear Power Plant, Something’s Going Wrong

    John LaForge
    NUKE WATCH-Weakening radiation standards, a cap on accident liability, reactor propaganda vs improvements, old units running past expiration dates, revving the engines beyond design specs … You’d think we were itching for a meltdown. The Environmental Protection Agency has recommended increased…
  • Is City Council Trying to Destroy LA’s Neighborhood Councils?

    Denyse Selesnick
    MY TURN-We have a situation and I’m not sure how quickly it can be fixed. I have been rather critical of the Neighborhood Council’s for what I see, as lack of real leadership, cronyism, founders mentality etc. Maybe it’s because I see the tremendous potential they have for this City and I get…
  • Jerry Brown's California, Barack Obama's America: Starkly Different Democratic Realities

    William Bradley
    WHO WE ARE-Looking at the political shards left over from Tuesday's election, shadowed so heavily by President Barack Obama's sharp decline from his strong re-election just two years ago, we see two starkly different realities for Democrats in the nation's largest state and the nation as a whole. 
  • UCLA Professor: How to Keep Kids Off the Pot

    Mark Kleiman and Steven Davenport
    CANNABIS WATCH-In the heat of political debate, there's a tendency for supporters of cannabis legalization to deny that anything could go wrong. But even if many of the harms are either entirely imaginary or grossly exaggerated, plenty are real and important. As we move toward legalization, we…
  • The Shame of Inadequate Help for the Homeless … What Do I Tell My Children?

    Sara Roos
    MUSE WITH ROOS-As contributors to the zeitgeist of 21st century LA, my modern family spends endless, mind-numbing hours in a car shuttling between activities. Down from over 20 hours weekly commuting to private elementary school, to under 10 via local public district schools, we have belatedly…
  • Economic Populism: What We Can Do about Ending Wage Stagnation

    Bob Gelfand
    GELFAND’S WORLD-There is a rumor going around, beginning in the Wall Street Journal and continuing with Daily Kos, that there will soon be a unionized auto assembly plant in Tennessee. The story is that Volkswagen is strongly considering recognizing the United Auto Workers as the representative in…
  • If We Can Plant a 220 Pound Lander on a Speeding Comet 310 Million Miles from Earth, Why Can’t We …

    Sara Roos
    ROOS MUSE-In grade school during the Nixon Reign in what could not have been as great a frequency as it seemed, all us little tykes clustered repeatedly onto the grubby carpet in a single classroom, craning our necks way upward to see the TV at the tippy top of a rickety metal cart. We watched…
  • The Theory of Everything: An Unexpected Celebration of Life

    Lenny Isenberg
    FILM-Over the years, time and space have serendipitously come together far too many times at the movies for it to be just happenstance. On these magic yet all too rare occasions my cousin and I bump into each other standing on line in front of a movie theater waiting to see a show. Invariably what…
  • Is Fox News the Smartest Journalism Ever?

    Reece Peck
    WHO WE ARE-Lamenting the decline of journalism is a familiar trope of our media culture. Since a great wave of tabloid TV shows emerged in the late-1980s and cable news gained influence in the 2000s, there has been no shortage of complaints. As anchor Ted Koppel said in 2011, newscasts “no longer…
  • California’s Southern Discomfort: LA Fails to Make the Grade

    Joel Kotkin and Wendell Cox
    IS ANYBODY LISTENING?-We know this was a harsh recession, followed by, at best, a tepid recovery for the vast majority of Americans. But some people and some regions have surged somewhat ahead, while others have stagnated or worse.
  • Was Japanese Citizen Murdered in Inglewood?

    Randall Fleming
    INSIDE INGLEWOOD-On Sunday, November 9 at just before 4 a.m., a shooting homicide occurred in front of the Yoshinoya at 10025 Hawthorne Boulevard—just 1.3 miles south of city hall and the Inglewood Police Department (IPD) HQ. An LA County Coroner spokesperson reached by telephone said that the…
  • The Questions John Roberts Has Never Answered

    Bill Blum
    COURT WATCH-As the Supreme Court prepares to invalidate Obamacare’s federal tax subsidies in yet another assault on the social safety net, it’s a good time to review the promises Chief Justice John Roberts made at his September 2005 Senate confirmation hearing and re-examine the key questions he…
  • The Demographics That Sank the Democrats In The Midterms

    Joel Kotkin
    MIDTERM POSTSCRIPT-Over the past five years, the Democratic Party has tried to add class warfare to its pre-existing focus on racial and gender grievances, and environmental angst. Shortly after his re-election in 2012, President Obama claimed to have “one mandate … to help middle-class families…
  • The Shellacking of Barak Obama and America’s Discontent

    Kay Martin
    LEANING RIGHT-Riding a surge of voter discontent, for all the reasons too long to list, Republicans seized control of the Senate on Tuesday, giving the GOP full command of Congress and promising a contentious final two years of the Obama administration. After months of voter surveys suggested a…
  • Why Politicians Run Knowing They Will Lose

    Chuck McFadden
    CALBUZZ SPECIAL-If the polls are correct, and they usually are, Jerry Brown will demolish Neel Kashkari on Tuesday. In fact, much of the speculation among California pundits these days revolves around a single figure: the percentage of the vote by which Brown will win re-election. Except for…
  • Deja Newspapers: On Getting Canned by the Los Angeles Times ... Again

    Mark Heisler
    MEDIA POLITICS-A funny thing happened on the way to my second column since the Los Angeles Times hired me back. There wasn’t one. They fired me. This isn’t a put-on. I feel like I’ve been here before. Oh, right, I have. 
  • World Kindness Week … Really!

    Denyse Selesnick
    MY TURN-I don’t know about all of you, but even as a political junkie ... I’ve had enough! Enough nastiness. Enough recriminations. Enough political pundit analysis. I was in a quandary what to write about this week, when I received an invitation in my email from good friend Warren Holden, Chair of…
  • Things There are Not Enough of … Like Dark Chocolate … In Our Lives

    Scott Folsom
    LA’S SCHOOLS-Every once in a while, though not often enough, we get out of LA and LAUSD and are exposed to the real world. On Tuesday there was an election – and we were reminded that there is a whole other world out there.
  • Pensions: Pay Now or Pay Much More Later

    Jack Humphreville
    LA WATCHDOG-As part of Mayor Garcetti’s (photo) agenda for fiscal responsibility, the Board of Administration of the Los Angeles Employees Retirement System (“LACERS”) took the long term view when it approved lowering the investment rate assumption to 7.5% from 7.75%, overcoming the objections of…
  • The Ballot and the Bullet

    Holly Mitchell and Laphonza Butler
    GUEST WORDS-Election Day is over and at the time of this writing, before 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 4 neither of us knows who will ultimately be the Assembly member for the 64th District in Los Angeles County. 
  • The Case for Mixed-Use Development

    Rosemary Jenkins
    JUST SAYIN’-I have been a strong proponent of mixed/multi-use facilities for years. The concept is so forward-thinking, so progressive, it is a wonder it has not caught on everywhere by now! 
  • Weather Whines

    Paul Hatfield
    PERSPECTIVE-Let’s put politics aside for the moment. As we creep closer to the rainy season in Southern California (if there is a rainy season), the local weather reporters break out of their Steve Martin/LA Story mode and put on their best dour expressions, then unleash doom and gloom projections.
  • A Twisted, Ironic Saga: The Fight to Save a 100-Year-Old LA House

    John Schwada
    LA OBSERVER-A charming Los Feliz home built 100 years ago - a rare work by A.C. Martin Sr., who had a hand in designing City Hall and is one of LA’s best-known early 20th century architects - seems headed for the dustbin. 
  • Aging Los Angeles: Among the U.S. Cities Going Gray The Fastest

    Joel Kotkin and Wendell Cox
    WHO WE ARE-For years we have been warned about the looming, profound impacts that the aging of the U.S. population will have on the country. Well, the gray wave has arrived. Since 2000, the senior population has increased 29% compared to overall population growth of 12%. The percentage of Americans…
  • The Big US-China Climate Deal: What It Is, and What It Isn’t

    Bill McKibben
    PLANET WATCH-If we want this to be a start, and not a finish, we’ve got to build even bigger and more powerful movements that push the successors of these gentlemen to meet what science demands. 
  • Don’t Be Deceived: City Hall is In No Hurry to Stop Mansionization

    Dick Platkin
    LIVING IN LA-There are many lessons about city government that community activists can draw from 10 years of campaigning to curb the mansionization of Los Angeles’s single family residential neighborhoods. 
  • Big Businesses Thumb Their Noses at Hurting Port Truck Drivers …Everybody Loses

    Rosemary Jenkins
    JUST SAYIN’-Wage suppression, wage theft, unpaid sick leave—the three prongs of the devil’s trident. The devil, you ask? Under-regulated big businesses thumbing their noses at the very workers who make their enormous profits possible. 
  • What Does Amazon Want to Be When It Grows Up?

    Andrés Martinez
    MEDIA POLITICS-Amazon recently announced a staggering $437 million loss over the third quarter. This three-month period included the disastrous introduction of its new smartphone, a misstep for which the company has already had to incur a $170 million write-off. But the bulk of the quarter’s loss…
  • The Long, Elusive Path to That Westside-Valley Transit Project

    Ken Alpern
    GETTING THERE FROM HERE-One of the problems facing those who long for better transportation options, such as a new freeway, rail line, sidewalk or bicycle path is that so many things compete for prioritization. 
  • The Slogan of Our Modern Enlightenment: "Shut Up"

    Ken Alpern
    ALPERN AT LARGE-Well, looks like the paradigm of "progressive", "open-minded", "tolerant" government has given way to a new sort of paradigm--squelching dissent, belittling those who question, and silencing those who speak truth to power. 
  • Settlement Between City and DWP Union: Flawed, but Important First Step

    Paul Hatfield
    PERSPECTIVE-The settlement between the City and the IBEW Local 18 regarding the City Controller’s right to audit the controversial nonprofit trusts represents an important step forward – but only a baby step. Regardless, we owe Controller Ron Galperin (photo) our full support as he continues to…
  • Ebola: Hysteria or Legitimate Panic? And, Jonas Salk's 100th Birthday

    Bob Gelfand
    GELFAND’S WORLD-The only thing getting more attention in the media than Ebola, is criticism of the way Ebola is getting attention in the media. One critical thought that may have some validity is a counterargument argued most coherently by Michael Fumento. His position is that the current outbreak…
  • The People Have Spoken: Fixing Transportation is a Priority

    Ken Alpern
    GETTING THERE FROM HERE-One of the consequences of our longstanding political conundrum is that we face a two-party system that offers taxpaying voters a choice of two unsavory extremes: Republican leadership that is all-too-unwilling to articulate a plan to fund and build a first-rate…
  • Legalization Battles: Alcohol Defines the Politics of Marijuana

    David Sirota
    POT POLITICS-When Colorado voters in 2012 approved a ballot measure legalizing marijuana, the state did not merely break new ground in the ongoing battle over narcotics policy. It also bolstered an innovative new political message that compares cannabis to alcohol. Two years later, that comparison…
  • This is Personal: Purple Heart Finds Its Way Home

    Katharine Russ
    VETERAN’S VOICE-On Veterans Day, Americans across the country honor our veterans for the sacrifices they made to keep America free and safe. This is a tribute to a long time friend and award winning Korean War Veteran, James McEachin. 
  • The New Ruling Class: Silicon Valley's Chips off the Old Block

    Joel Kotkin
    POWER ON-Silicon Valley long has been hailed as an exemplar of the American culture of opportunity, openness and entrepreneurship. Increasingly, however, the tech community is morphing into a ruling class with the potential for assuming unprecedented power over both our personal and political…
  • Liberalism Restored

    Bob Gelfand
    GELFAND’S WORLD-A number of years ago, in the heyday of the George W Bush era, I wrote a long essay called Liberalism Restored. It was written, as this, during a moment in our history when reaction was on the upswing, and liberals were feeling downcast. They were so down, in fact, that they threw…
  • Three Strikes Reform: Proposition 47 and the Fight Against Inequality

    Gary Cohn
    CALIFORNIA EXPOSE-When New York rapper Jay-Z played the Rose Bowl last summer, he surprised 90,000 concertgoers by making a political statement. Before launching into his hit “Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem),” he urged fans to vote for a California ballot initiative that would dramatically reduce…
  • Post Election Politics: Let the Chess Match Begin

    Paul Hatfield
    PERSPECTIVE-The Republicans are now up by two in the US Senate and could very well pick up two more seats (Alaska and Louisiana), giving them 54. With 53 or 54, the GOP will have little worry about one-off defections on some votes that would put Vice President Biden in a position to cast the…
  • Why Berkeley Students Removed Bill Maher As Commencement Speaker

    Lydia O’Connor
    FREE SPEECH … OR NOT-TV host Bill Maher’s controversial comments about Islam have sparked a petition to remove him as the December commencement speaker at the University of California, Berkeley. The Change.org petition, which had gathered nearly 2,000 signatures by Monday afternoon, was authored by…
  • The Real Winner of the Midterms: Weed!

    Karen Dolan
    ELECTION POSTSCRIPT-Want to know the real winner of the 2014 mid-term elections? Weed! The nation’s capital will soon have fun-filled “flower” fests in its lovely parks. Gardens will be green with the grasshopper with no legs. Kitchens will be filled the seductive smell of “space brownies.” 
  • With the Sleaziness, Convictions and Union Deals … Easy to Feel You Vote Doesn’t Matter

    Bernard Parks
    Parks’ Place-It’s about a week until the November 4 General Election and there are some crucial propositions on the ballot, such as Proposition 47 that would allow lesser penalties for those who commit certain felony crimes, Proposition 48 to allow a new casino in Madera county, and Proposition P…
  • Elections Are Over: Can We Finally Fix Healthcare?

    Ken Alpern
    ALPERN ON MEDS-While there are countless messages and spins from the recent and stunning electoral results of Tuesday night, the exit polls showed that the Economy was the top concern of those who voted (and, arguably, those who did NOT show up to vote--including and especially former Obama…
  • California General Election Results: Predictable

    LA Weekly Report
    FINAL NUMBERS:Jerry Brown will be the first four-term governor in the history of California. The septuagenerian incumbent declared victory after his Republican opponent, Neel Kashkari, called to concede. Governor Brown's ballot measures 1 (the water bond) and 2 (the rainy day fund) passed easily,…
  • Still Puzzled by the Bloated Ballot? Here are the Watchdog’s Picks … and the Reasons Why

    Jack Humphreville
    LAWATCHDOG ON CALIFORNIA 2014 ELECTION-It is no wonder why Californians do not vote. With 17 candidates and 7 measures on the ballot, you need to be a well-read student of the political scene in the county and state, especially when it comes to the six state ballot measures. And this does not…
  • Solidarity Forever, or at Least for Now! Which Side of the Fence You are On?

    James Preston Allen
    AT LENGTH-Over the years, some have questioned my support for the local unions of the Harbor Area. In doing so, they have often questioned the very basis for the continued existence of the unions themselves. They say that unions as a whole are antiquated and a throwback to another time and era in…
  • Why the Billionaires Boys Club is Spending Million$ to Defeat Tom Torlakson

    Scott Folsom
    LA’S SCHOOLS-Don’t stop reading because you think you’ve heard or read this one before … It ends in a different place than you expect.
  • Transparency: Oil and Gas Giants are Buying California Elections … Here’s the Inside Scoop on Why

    Ari Phillips
    THINKPROGRESS REPORT-Santa Barbara rose to prominence in the environmental movement after a massive 1969 offshore oil spill drew national attention to the issue and changed the industry forever. Since then, the city and broader region has been a leader in environmental awareness, even as it sits on…
  • Don’t Let Them Silence You: Vote, Dammit.

    Bill Moyers and Michael Winship
    ELECTION 2014-Our country’s oldest and longest struggle has been to enlarge democracy by making it possible for more and more people to be treated equally at the polls. The right to participate in choosing our representatives – to vote — is the very right that inflamed the American colonies and…
  • LA County Cannot Afford Sheila Kuehl

    Jack Humphreville
    LA WATCHDOG-On Tuesday, voters in the County’s Third District will determine if the Board of Supervisors will retain its “conservative approach” to balancing the budget or whether it will be controlled by the leadership of the County’s public unions who are demanding increased salaries and pension…
  • Latina Power in the Obama Administration

    Grace Flores-Hughes
    GUEST COMMENTARY-It’s amazing the number of high ranking Hispanic women appointed by the Obama Administration yet the president’s policies seems so out of tune with that of the largest ethnic group in America – the very one that helped elect him to the presidency not once but twice. Last week, I…
  • How to do Phantom of the Opera the Right Way, Vintage Automobiles, and Other Adult Fun

    Bob Gelfand
    GELFAND’S WORLD-I became aware of the Nethercutt Museum in a chance moment of channel flipping, when I came across Huell Howser's show one evening. I'd never been to this museum until now, and I'm here to report that it's even better than you might imagine. It's definitely worth the trip to Sylmar…
  • Election Prediction: No Real Change Ahead

    Paul Hatfield
    PERSPECTIVE-I write almost exclusively about state and local politics, along with a spattering of other subjects. I have rarely opined on national politics. That’s not going to change other than to say the race for control of the US Senate will not produce a clear winner. 



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