California schools have been counting on federal stimulus money to avoid cutting more programs and laying off teachers. They may be in for a disappointment. We talk with California’s Superintendent of Public Instruction. Also, how recession has studios driving a hard bargain with Hollywood stars. On our rebroadcast of today’s To the Point, G-20 leaders including Barack Obama are proclaiming success. We hear what’s been accomplished and what’s been left out and what’s next for the President at the 60th anniversary of NATO.
FROM THIS EPISODE
Despite predictions that their nations would be divided, the G-20 leaders said today they will take unified action against the global recession. The US and Britain say they got what they wanted. Sarkozy of France says it's “more than we could have hoped for.” Germany's Merkel calls it “almost historic.” We hear what's been accomplished, and what's been left out. For President Obama, it's on to the 60th anniversary of NATO. What's the modern role of history's most successful alliance? How much help will the US get in Afghanistan? Will NATO expansion continue in the direction of Russia?
Charles Kupchan, Council on Foreign Relations / Georgetown University (@CFR_org)
Michael Williams, Professor of International Relations, University of London
Masha Lipman, Political analyst, Carnegie Moscow Center
Education spending is so confusing that different reports contain different numbers for how much California schools might get from $44 billion in stimulus money. But the conclusions are all the same, that there won't be enough to avoid more cuts in programs and a sizeable number of layoffs. At the LA Unified School District, Superintendent Ramon Cortines threatened to quit if the elected board did not layoff 8500 people, including 6000 teachers. The board voted to postpone any action, and Cortines is negotiating with various unions.
For many years, Hollywood studios have been trying to cut back on the superstar compensation that means multiple millions for big names. Now, the recession has provided an opportunity that is transforming the business. Kim Masters is host of KCRW's program The Business. She's also author of The Keys to the Kingdom: The Rise of Michael Eisner and the Fall of Everybody Else.
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Which Way, LA? The Question that Won't Go Away 23 years ago, the fires of the Rodney King riots were burning and the sirens wailing when KCRW first asked, WWLA? We've been through fires, floods, earthquakes and massive social, cultural and economic change. While this is the last program titled WWLA? the question still needs to be asked. We talk with a group of important and thoughtful people about what LA has become and about the challenges to be faced in the future…as we continue.
Then and Now: Is LA Still the Car Capital of the World? Urban planners got some bad news today. Ridership on public transit in Southern California is on the decline, despite the billions being spent in recent years to build light rail and subway lines. Why aren't more drivers leaving their cars at home, as traffic gets more congested than ever? Meantime, there's a shortage of money to repair aging roads, bridges and other parts of the infrastructure. We look at the impact on the state's economy.
Does California Have a Double Standard for the Public's Protection? Porter Ranch and Vernon are mirror images of each other. In one, schools have been closed and thousands of residents are being moved away by the polluter—just months after a natural gas leak was discovered. In the other, residents complained for years about health risks to school children from exposure to lead and arsenic from a battery recycling plant— until the federal government finally stepped in.
Is 'Warfare' a Thing of the Past at the LAPD? Video of police misconduct wasn’t as common 25 years ago as it is today. The spectacle of LAPD officers beating Rodney King was a wake-up call, but didn’t persuade a jury in Simi Valley. When the cops received not-guilty verdicts, the city exploded. We hear from veteran officers who say they’ve changed. What about their tactics? Have they gained the trust of marginalized communities and people of color?
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