A public park built mostly with private money will open in LA tomorrow. It stretches from the County Courthouse and Hall of Administration on Grand Avenue all the way down the hill to the LA City Hall. It’s designed for a range of uses from family barbeques to musical concerts. But will it become a destination for the rest of Los Angeles? Also, a rebroadcast of To The Point on Penn State and the culture of college football.
FROM THIS EPISODE
Continuing street protest over police shootings in Anaheim turned ugly last night with rocks thrown at officers and fires lit in weedy lots and trash cans. Genevieve Huizar, mother of Manuel Diaz, one of the men killed, pleaded for peace… Huizar says her son was shot in the back and then executed when he fell to his knees. The Anaheim police union says an officer fired in self-defense because Diaz was holding a “concealed object in his front waistband with both hands.”
The NCAA crackdown on Penn State is so harsh that a return to competitive football could take a decade if it ever happens at all. But will it “restore the balance between athletics and academics” by changing “the culture of football?” Don’t bet on it.
The nationwide issue is impunity—driven by money—with TV revenues rising and coaches paid more than college presidents. What about athletes who don’t share the proceeds of bowl games and March Madness? Is “amateurism” a hoax? What would real reform look like?
Joe Paterno’s former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky has been convicted of multiple counts of child sex abuse. Former FBI Director Louis Freeh found a culture of excessive reverence for football and fear of bad publicity. With unusual suddenness, the NCAA has imposed a $60-million dollar fine, reduced numbers of scholarships, and a four-year ban on bowl games. And it stripped the late coach Joe Paterno of 111 wins. The penalties on Penn State are unprecedented for the NCAA—and the intent is to go well beyond football.
Ben Jones, Reporter for StateCollege.com, covering Penn State football and basketball and student
Taylor Branch, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian (@taylorbranch)
Buzz Bissinger, Sports Columnist, The Daily Beast
Murray Sperber, University of California, Berkeley
Tomorrow, the Grand Park will open in downtown Los Angeles. It’s the first real park in that urban environment… four blocks of grassy terraces leading from Grand Avenue down to North Hill Street. On an official tour, KCRW’s Frances Anderton began at the top - on Grand Avenue between the County Courthouse and the Hall of Administration, just above the Arthur J. Will Fountain, which hasn’t been visible for years.
Gloria Molina, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors (@GloriaMolina1)
Mark Rios, Professor of Landscape Architecture at USC (@GrandPark_LA)
Thor Steingraber, Vice President of Programming, The Music Center
Christopher Hawthorne, Los Angeles Times (@hawthorneLAT)