Costa Mesa's new city council wants to lay off half its employees, the police chief has quit and a bare bones budget was passed last night in a room full of angry citizens. Is it a prudent reaction to rising pension costs or a crisis manufactured to push a small-government agenda? Also, with Radar LA, Hollywood Fridge and Asian-American Festivals all running at the same time, is Los Angeles a theater town after all? On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, are America's nuclear power plants safe enough?
FROM THIS EPISODE
Political tensions in Costa Mesa have been building since the new City Council sent layoff notices to half the city's employees. Monday, Police Chief Steve Stavely resigned, calling plans to cut his department "unethical and immoral." The council meeting that started last night lasted until one in the morning and, when it was over, a bare-bones budget was passed by a majority of 4 to 1.
Hollywood, the movie capital of the world, is often criticized as not being a theater town. At last week's Tony Awards Party at the Skirball Center, KCRW's Andrea Brody talked with several guests. Sam Anderson, who just finished six years as an actor on Lost, is deeply involved in LA theater, too. For the past three years, he's been co-artist director of the Road Theatre Company in North Hollywood.
Sam Anderson, Road Theatre
America's nuclear power plants are aging. The anticipated lifetime originally was about 40 years, but the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is allowing them to be re-licensed for 20 more. Now a year-long investigation by the Associated Press reports that the NRC works with the industry to weaken safety standards, or fail to enforce them, in order to keep the plants running. Accidents at nuclear plants may be extremely rare, but when they happen, they're devastating. Are regulators in the US doing all that it takes to prevent another Fukushima-type incident from happening here?
More From Which Way, L.A.?
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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