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FROM THIS EPISODE

Councilman Richard Alarcón will be tried for fraud and perjury, but probably not before he stands for election to the State Assembly in less than a month. A judge today said there's "more than substantial" evidence that he and his wife both lied about where they actually live. Also, on the flood-control channel — now partly restored as the Los Angeles River -- kayaking season is over. We talk with a couple who persuaded the Army Corps of Engineers to make kayaking possible and produced a film on the results. On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, the worst backlog in Washington.

Banner image: Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alarcon (seated next to an unidentified woman) calls a hearing to order. Photo © Copyright 2010 Scott Reynolds SIEU International/flickr

Producers:
Anna Scott
Frances Anderton
Caitlin Shamberg

Reporter's Notebook Taking a Ride Down the LA River 12 MIN, 39 SEC

In August, Governor Brown signed a bill that "fundamentally establishes that in the eyes of the State of California, the Los Angeles River is a river, not just a flood control channel; and must be treated that way by Los Angeles County." That's after years of effort by Friends of the Los Angeles River and others. When George Wolfe determined to kayak all 51 miles of the flood control channel, his wife figured he might get arrested. He didn't. But Thea Mercouffer spent four years documenting negotiations with the Army Corps of Engineers and the EPA, which resulted in the documentary, Rock the Boat: Saving America's Wildest River.

Guests:
Saul Gonzalez, KCRW producer (@SaulKCRW)
George Wolfe, LA River Expeditions
Thea Mercouffer, filmmaker

Main Topic Veterans and the VA: Worst Backlog in Washington 24 MIN, 34 SEC

Image-for-WWLA.jpgHere's the kind of decision required of the Veterans Administration: is that traumatic brain injury from high school football or a roadside bomb in Iraq? Questions like that are just one reason the VA is so far behind in processing claims. While President Obama, Mitt Romney and politicians on both sides of the aisle agree that American veterans should get the benefits they deserve, many veterans are frustrated.

Guests:
James Dao, New York Times
Maeve Reston, Los Angeles Times (@MaeveReston)
Patrick Bellon, Veterans for Common Sense (@Patrickbellon)
Allison Hickey, US Department of Veterans Affairs

Main Topic Los Angeles City Councilman Charged with Felony Crimes 12 MIN, 42 SEC

As superior court judge ruled today there's "more than substantial evidence" that Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alarcón and his wife, Flora Montes, committed both perjury and voter fraud. He'll be tried on 17 felony counts. She faces six.

Guests:
Catherine Saillant, Los Angeles Times (@csaillant2)
Raphael Sonenshein, California State University, Los Angeles (@SonensheinPBI)

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