BCK FILE--Amazon founder and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos has pointed an angry finger at the National Enquirers David J. Pecker, accusing the American Media Inc. chairman and CEO of  blackmail and extortion. 

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URBAN PERSPECTIVE--How many times have we seen this act? A woman claims that a prominent African-American celebrity or politician has engaged in sexual misconduct with her. I mean the names of the men who have been hit with the charge can fill up a small telephone book. Virginia Lieutenant Governor Justin E. Fairfax is just the latest in the long list of these men. 

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VOICES--City Hall is supposed to play by the rules.  Our elected officials, City employees and City commissioners have a legal duty to uphold the law.  When they knowingly fail to execute that duty, they need to be held accountable. 

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ONE MAN’S OPINION-When extremism is tearing apart the nation, the time is ripe for us to coalesce around our founding principles.

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SOLUTIONS--Last week, Pacific Gas & Electric, the beleaguered gas and electric provider for some 16 million residents across the state of California, formally filed for bankruptcy protection. It's a move that's long been anticipated:

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AFFORDABLE HOUSING, STUDENT VIEW--The Agora (rendering above), a proposed private 16-story apartment complex, came to town in November, claiming to offer affordable student housing in Westwood.

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ALPERN AT LARGE--As stated before in my previous CityWatch articles (but this is NOT my idea, just state and federal standards for infrastructure projects), major New Starts for infrastructure is something Americans will pay for regardless of where you live. But big projects require Consensus, Planning and Funding...in that order.  

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LAUSD OVERPAYMENT DEBACLE--One would think the Los Angeles Unified School District would want to keep a low profile regarding illegal acts that might draw media attention, but apparently corruption is addictive. As one former drug dealer admitted, “The only thing more addictive than taking drugs is selling them.” Plus, LAUSD has the added hubris of having LA County “judges” on their side providing the District with the comfort of being able to do as it will. 

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PLATKIN ON PLANNING-Curbed LA reported this week that METRO’s transit ridership has continued to decline. METRO not only has long-term declining bus ridership, but also declining rail ridership. These trends are not good, but METRO’s assessment of this situation makes partial sense, even if it continues to ignore its own policies, while promoting LA City land use policies that further undermine ridership.  

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EASTSIDER-Even as we debate whether Charter Schools at LAUSD are public schools or not, the Trump appointed NLRB is deciding whether or not to exempt them from unionization altogether. No kidding. 

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RANTZ & RAVEZ-As we leave January and enter February, we are blessed with lots of water in our lakes and reservoirs and huge amounts of snow in the mountains throughout California. Unlike the many dry years we have experienced for long periods of time in the past, the heavy rains and snow that have caused numerous winter storm alerts and warnings will provide us with plenty of water for the upcoming summer months. We are reminded that our fragile natural resources are not constant and that we must not waste what God has sent from above for us to enjoy throughout the year. 

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EDUCATION POLITICS--Instead of meeting with United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) in the days leading up to the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) strike, Superintendent Austin Beutner and Board President Monica Garcia were in Sacramento in an effort to “drum up lawmaker opposition to the teachers strike.

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