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FROM THIS EPISODE

First, Millennium Towers in Hollywood, now Casden West LA: two major developments touted as helping LA to grow up have been scaled down. Have community values prevailed over wretched excess or has "smart growth" taken another hit from "NIMBYism?" We hear our latest debate on what's best for LA's urban future. Also, we've all looked up at the Goodyear Blimp hovering majestically over the Rose Bowl, Dodger Stadium and the Coliseum. We get a report from ground level.

Image-for-WWLA.jpgOn our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, President Obama has arrived in Senegal with plans to visit Tanzania and South Africa.  We'll hear about America's changing relationship with a continent of vast diversity—about economic growth, democracy and Obama's reputation.

 

Banner image: Casden West LA's rendering of the Sepulveda shops entrance adjacent to the Expo Line station.

Producers:
Evan George
Caitlin Shamberg
Gideon Brower

Main Topic The Ups and Downs of Urban Planning 15 MIN, 56 SEC

Next month the new Los Angeles City Council will vote on the much reduced Millennium Towers in Hollywood, those skyscrapers planned to dwarf the Capitol Records Building. One has been cut from 55 stories to 39, the other from 45 to 35.  Neighborhood groups in West LA are hoping to get the current city council to approve what they call a similar "victory." Massive reductions have been negotiated in the Casden West LA project at the congested corner of Pico and Sepulveda Boulevards. Retail space of 160,000 square feet is down to 15,000. There will be fewer homes in the mixed-use project, and there won't be any supermarket or a new Target after all.

 

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Looking north on Sepulveda Boulevard with the Metro station in the foreground

 

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Proposed Casden West LA, looking from the Expo Rail Sepulveda station

 

Guests:
Adrian Glick Kudler, Curbed LA (@curbedLA)
Jay Handal, West Los Angeles Neighborhood Council
Hilary Norton, Fixing Angelenos Stuck in Traffic

Reporter's Notebook Riding High in the Goodyear Blimp 7 MIN, 17 SEC

In a region synonymous with the history of flight, Southern California's best-known aerial vehicle doesn't have wings, it has fins. How does this best known and most romantic of aircraft really work? Who are the people who keep it flying? KCRW's Saul Gonzalez took a long look at the Goodyear Blimp at the Carson Air Field.

 

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Preparing for take-off

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Ariel view from the blimp

 You can see more pictures taken during the flight on the WWLA blog.

Guests:
Saul Gonzalez, KCRW producer (@SaulKCRW)

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