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FROM THIS EPISODE

The station fire is still burning but, barring flares-ups, it'll be contained in a week. We hear about what's left of the Angeles National Forest and what nearby residents can expect in the months to come from flooding and mud slides. Meantime, Mayor Villaraigosa has a new gang czar, and a fire truck falls into a sink-hole in the San Fernando Valley.  On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, Congress is back after the August recess, faced with the same problems it failed to address in July. We hear about healthcare, global warming, finance reform — partisan Republicans and divided Democrats. 

Banner image: Beth Halaas searches for items to salvage in the remnants of her family cabin destroyed by the Station Fire in the Angeles National Forest on the outskirts of Los Angeles. Photo: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

Producers:
Frances Anderton
Sonya Geis

Making News Two Sinkholes in Valley Raise Questions about DWP Pipes 6 MIN, 54 SEC

Early this morning in the San Fernando Valley, firefighters responded to a call about flooding. As they were backing-up their engine, the ground gave way and the 22-ton vehicle fell into a muddy sinkhole. The incident was in Valley Village, just two and a half miles from yesterday’s broken water main in Studio City.  Andrew Blankstein reports for the Los Angeles Times.

Guests:
Andrew Blankstein, Los Angeles Times (@‏anblanx)

Main Topic The August Recess Is Finally Over 26 MIN, 24 SEC

Legislative proposals for healthcare, global warming and financial regulation present major political and legislative challenges, but Capitol Hill may seem like a refuge to some members of the House and the Senate.  Congress returns to Washington with its lowest public approval ratings in 24 years, according to the Pew Research Center for the Public and the Press.

Guests:
Andrew Kohut, Pew Research Center (@pewresearch)
Karen Tumulty, Washington Post (@ktumulty)
Thomas Mann, Brookings Institution (@BrookingsInst‎)
Jennifer Duffy, Cook Political Report (@jennifereduffy)

The Broken Branch

Thomas Mann and Norm Ornstein

Reporter's Notebook Mayor Appoints Night Lights Director to Gang Czar 8 MIN, 44 SEC

Last week, Mayor Villaraigosa’s first so-called Gang Czar was elevated to Chief of Staff.  Now, Reverend Jeff Carr has been replaced by Guillermo Cespedes, who has been heading up the Summer Night Lights program.  He’ll be the Director of Gang Reduction and Youth Development.

Guests:
Guillermo Cespedes, Director of Gang Reduction and Youth Development, City of Los Angeles

Main Topic After the Station Fire 12 MIN, 57 SEC

Everybody knows that the Station Fire has burned over 242 square miles, fully one quarter of the Angeles National Forest, and it’s not over yet. It won’t be fully contained until next week, and fire crews are setting controlled burns to reduce fuel east of Mt. Wilson.

Guests:
Jody Noiron, Forest Supervisor, Angeles National Forest
Richard Halsey, Founding Director, California Chaparral Institute

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