With a lot of advance publicity and smart planning by savvy drivers, "Carmageddon" turned into a happy weekend. "Rampture" will be a different story. All the on-and-off ramps will be closed at the intersection of the 405 Freeway and Wilshire Boulevard – two at a time --for as long as 90 days each. That will mean months of continued disruption where maddening congestion is already a fact of daily life. We hear the bad news — and some good news, too -- for commuters and neighborhood residents. Also, Steve Jobs, Pixar and the last word in digital animation. On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, executive pay and corporate failure.
FROM THIS EPISODE
There are eight on-and-off ramps where the 405 Freeway meets Wilshire Boulevard on the West side of Los Angeles. Built for a different era, they are notorious for dangerous and time-consuming congestion. In the next few months, all of them are going to be closed for reconstruction — two at a time. It's all part of the commuter-lane addition that brought us three days of Carmageddon. The "Rampture" will go on a lot longer.
The late Steve Jobs had the patience of Job when it came to Pixar, which he bought from Lucasfilm for $5 million in 1986. Ultimately, it was Pixar that made Jobs a billionaire, but it took $50 million and a decade to do it. A critic and historian of animation, Charles Solomon is the author of The Art of Toy Story 3.
Charles Solomon, critic and historian of animation
One of the reasons for income inequality in the US is the skyrocketing pay of corporate executives, even when their companies are not doing well. At the same time, the wages of workers are on the decline. Shareholders in Amgen, one of America's largest biotech firms, lost three percent of their investments in 2010, seven percent overall in five years. Located in Thousand Oaks, the company was closing plants and trimming the work force from 20,000 to 17,400. Chief Executive Kevin Sharer had been making $15 million a year, with perks that included two corporate jets. We hear what goes on in corporate boardrooms and what it means for the economy.
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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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