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We speak with fifth-grade teacher Monica Ratliff, who beat overwhelming odds to become LA Unified's newest elected school board member. Also, San Diego's latest public scandal, the Mayor who won't quit to end what a former supporter calls "this horrible, horrible civic nightmare." Plus, a special summer experience: Shakespeare in the Park.

Image-for-WWLA.jpgOn our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, the Senate's immigration reform bill links "a path to citizenship" for undocumented workers to massive spending on border security.  Why do people who live on the border call it a waste of billions of dollars? We look at potential alternatives.

Making News San Diego Mayor Bob Filner in Hot Water 8 MIN, 27 SEC

Bob Filner left Congress to win election last November as San Diego's first Democratic Mayor in 20 years. In Washington, the New York Times says he was known as "notoriously brash and cantankerous." Now, he's in a fight for his political life with one former supporter calling him, "tragically unsafe for any women to approach" and another saying, "he does not deserve to be mayor of this city any longer." Filner's apologized, but he's refused to quit. Steve Erie teaches political science at UC San Diego, where he's director of the Urban Studies Program.  His books include Paradise Plundered: Fiscal Crisis and Governance Failures in San Diego.

Steve Erie, University of California at San Diego

Paradise Plundered

Steven Erie

Main Topic The School Board Member Who Wasn't Supposed to Win 11 MIN, 25 SEC

Monica Ratliff is a fifth grade teacher who, with a $50,000 campaign, beat overwhelming odds and defeated Eli Broad, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the "reform movement" and its $2 million budget. In the studios of KCRW we speak with the newest member of the LA Unified School Board member and ask what she thinks about the so-called "reform movement," iPads, achievement tests and Superintendent John Deasy.

Monica Ratliff, LA Unified School Board

Reporter's Notebook LA's Shakespeare in the Park 6 MIN, 57 SEC

With all the festivals and "productions in the park," Shakespeare is as much a part of summer as the beach or baseball. One of Southern California's most prominent examples is the Independent Shakespeare Company. KCRW's Saul Gonzalez speaks with director Melissa Chalsma about the joys and challenges of producing Shakespeare on a rock bottom budget, and meets some of ISC's actors, including Luis Galindo, who's playing Macbeth.



Saul Gonzalez, KCRW producer (@SaulKCRW)


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