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FROM THIS EPISODE

Gasoline may drop to a dollar a gallon. That's great news for drivers, but what about energy independence and global warming? Should the gasoline tax be raised? We hear a rebroadcast of today's To the Point. Then, major cutbacks at NPR West, the publisher of the LA Times talks about running a bankrupt paper, and why small cities in LA County are often hotbeds of corruption.


Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

Producers:
Sonya Geis
Karen Radziner
Andrea Brody

Making News NPR West Takes a Hit 6 MIN, 8 SEC

National Public Radio has cut seven percent of its workforce and shut down two programs produced at NPR West in Culver City, Day to Day and News and Notes. Paul Farhi is a staff writer for the Washington Post.

Guests:
Paul Farhi, Washington Post

Main Topic Los Angeles Times Publisher Discusses Bankruptcy 11 MIN, 26 SEC

After Sam Zell took over the Tribune Company a year ago, layoffs and early retirements continued at the Los Angeles TimesEddy Hartenstein, formerly with DirecTV, became publisher in August, saying that Zell had promised to give him broad discretion. In October, the paper laid off 10% of the editorial staff.  Last month it lost more staff when the Washington Bureau was consolidated with other papers. On Monday, the Tribune Company declared bankruptcy.  When he became publisher, Hartenstein said he didn't need the job and that if Zell reneged on his word he would quit. Will he?

Guests:
Eddy Hartenstein, Publisher, Los Angeles Times

Main Topic The Price of Gasoline: Good News and Bad 23 MIN, 5 SEC

Since a high of $147 a barrel in July, the price of oil has dropped like a stone.  It’s now about $45 a barrel. Some oil economists say dollar-a-gallon gasoline is possible in the US some time next year. That sounds like good news, but it’s the product of a global recession, which the World Bank today called the worst since the Great Depression.  Would Americans jump back into gas-guzzling SUV’s? What about energy independence and alternative fuels? Should gasoline taxes be increased to combat global warming and promote international stability?  

Guests:
Vincent Lauerman, President, Geopolitics Central
Robert Samuelson, Newsweek and Washington Post
John White, Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technology (@vjohnwhite)
David Kreutzer, Heritage Foundation (@dwkreutzer)

Reporter's Notebook Who's Playing Watchdog in LA County? 9 MIN, 9 SEC

Yesterday in the City of Maywood, Mayor Felipe Aguirre and two other elected officials survived a recall. The mayor is only one of many local officials to face corruption complaints and criminal charges.  Maywood has 30,000 residents with just 7500 registered voters. Eleven hundred voted against the recall, 800 were for it. We hear on the story from Matt Fleischer, senior editor at the LA City Beat, and Robert Stern, president of the Center for Governmental Studies, a non-profit research organization that looks at ethics and campaign financing.

Guests:
Matt Fleischer, Senior Editor, LA City Beat
Bob Stern, Center for Governmental Studies (formerly)

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