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FROM THIS EPISODE

Facing a massive deficit, Mayor Villaraigosa has called on his base of support, organized labor, to “share sacrifices.” We hear what he means and ask union leaders if they'll go along.  Will there be cuts in services? Plus, another look at two of the nation's most endangered rivers, the Sacramento and San Joaquin. On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, in Latin America and Washington there's pressure to change US policy toward “Communist Cuba.” How far is President Obama willing to go? Will he insist that Cuba change its repressive ways?

Producers:
Christian Bordal
Frances Anderton
Andrea Brody

Main Topic Barack Obama and Fidel Castro's Cuba 26 MIN, 10 SEC

For the first time since 2006, American officials met yesterday with Fidel Castro in Cuba.  Members of the Congressional Black Caucus visited what they described as Castro’s “modest” house and reported that he was healthy and talkative as ever.  Democrat Barbara Lee of California said it’s time for a change. Even some Republicans want relations improved. They and other critics say US policy has been held hostage by Cuban-Americans in Florida, and has failed to get a repressive country to change its ways. Is it the US rather than Cuba that's being isolated from the rest of the world?  Can the President act without the approval of Congress, presuming he wants to?

Guests:
Tom Omestad, Diplomatic Correspondent, US News and World Report
Armando Vilaseca, Commissioner, Vermont Department of Education
Mauricio Claver-Carone, Cuba Democracy Advocates
William Ratliff, Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution
Vicki Huddleston, former Chief of Mission, US Interests Section in Havana

Main Topic Looming Budget Troubles in Los Angeles 18 MIN, 6 SEC

The City of Los Angeles faces a record shortfall of $530 million.  Mayor Villaraigosa won't produce his new budget for two weeks, but he's telling city workers that, if they don't make some concessions, it'll cost them 2800 jobs. He's prepared a videotaped message to members of municipal unions that proposes three cost-saving options.

Guests:
Matt Szabo, Deputy Chief of Staff to Mayor Villaraigosa
Barbara Maynard, Californians for Retirement Security
Paul Weber, President, Los Angeles Police Protective League

Reporter's Notebook San Joaquin, Sacramento Top the List of Endangered Rivers 6 MIN, 47 SEC

The environmental group American Rivers has named the Sacramento and San Joaquin as the most endangered rivers in the United States. It's a PR stunt to focus attention on what Californians already know and have known for decades. The Central Valley and the Delta, where the two rivers come together, are in a mess that threatens fish, agriculture and the state's water supply. Matt Weiser covers natural resources for the Sacramento Bee.

Guests:
Matt Weiser, Sacramento Bee (@matt_weiser)

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