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New York and New Jersey were not prepared for Superstorm Sandy. That's costing them tens of billions of dollars for homes and roads, sewer treatment and power plants -- on a seashore that will never be the same. As the waters rise and storms get larger, are California's coastal communities ready for the inevitable? What's being done in Newport Beach and Ventura? What's not being done in Malibu?  Also, LA Unified has lost its bid Race-to-the-Top dollars from Washington, but Green Dot charters are still in the running. On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, what if the US goes over the "Fiscal Cliff?"

Banner image: Malibu beachfront homes. Photo by AlBakker/flickr

Main Topic As the Oceans Rise Up, What Must Come Down? 23 MIN, 13 SEC

Students of climate change say that Superstorm Sandy was a wake-up call, not just for New York and New Jersey, but for California as well. And even if climate change is not really caused by greenhouse emissions, there’s no doubt that ocean levels are rising.

Chad Nelsen, Surfrider Foundation (@chadenelsen)
Brian Brennan, California Coastal Commission (@cityofventura)
David Kiff, City of Newport Beach (@newportbeachgov)
Sean Hecht, UCLA Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment (@seanhecht)

Reporter's Notebook LAUSD Loses Big for Race-to-the-Top Dollars 4 MIN, 34 SEC

America's second largest public school district, the LAUSD, has failed to qualify for $40 million in Race-to-the-Top money from Washington, but Green Dot Public Schools — with just 18 charters — is still in the running for $30 million. Howard Blume is education reporter for the Los Angeles Times.

Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times (@howardblume )

Main Topic Negotiations and the 'Fiscal Cliff' 25 MIN, 13 SEC

Image-for-WWLA.jpgAfter the election three weeks ago, leaders of both parties posed for pictures at the Obama White House and vowed to avoid another dramatic confrontation over the so-called "fiscal cliff" looming at the end of the year.  Making a real deal is another matter.  This week, the President is conducting a very public campaign to raise taxes on three million families who make more than $250,000 a year. At the same time, Republicans have been drawing their own lines in the sand. What are the prospects of Democrats and Republicans reaching a deal? Would it be so bad if they didn’t?

Lori Montgomery, Washington Post (@loriamontgomery)
Nancy Cook, Politico (@nancook)
Frank Newport, Gallup Poll (@gallup)
Daniel Gross, Slate (@grossdm)
Doug Holtz-Eakin, American Action Forum (@djheakin)


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