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The Bell city officials who were paid outrageous salaries are eligible for outrageous pensions, too, paid in large part by other cities where they worked before. Vernon's former city manager, Bruce Malkenhorst, currently earns the state's biggest pension, $509,000 a year, even though he's under indictment for misappropriating public funds. How did it get that way? On our rebroadcast of To the Point, BP may finally "kill" the oil well this week, but there's dispute about its strategy for long-term cleanup. How long has the Gulf been a dumping ground for regional industry?

Banner image: Mario Sanchez, a resident of the City of Bell, holds a protest placard calling for the ouster of city officials before the start of council meeting on July 26, 2010 in Bell, California. Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images   

Producers:
Darrell Satzman
Karen Radziner
Gary Scott

Main Topic The Gulf Oil Spill and the Long-Term Recovery 26 MIN, 53 SEC

The cap on BP's broken oil well in the Gulf of Mexico has been holding, but that's only temporary. After more than three months, preparations are finally underway for finally sealing it once and for all.

Guests:
Mark Schleifstein, Times-Picayune (@mschleifsteintp)
Paul Kemp, Vice President, National Audubon Society
George Crozier, Executive Director, Dauphin Island Sea Lab
Chris Kromm, Institute for Southern Studies (@chriskromm)
Steven Picou, Environmental Sociologist, University of South Alabama

Making News Congresswoman Maxine Waters Facing Ethics Charges 6 MIN, 30 SEC

A House investigative panel filed charges today against Los Angeles Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters. Unless she negotiates a settlement, she'll face trial in the fall, as will New York Democrat Charles Rangel. John Bresnahan reports on Congress for Politico.

Guests:
John Bresnahan, Politico

Main Topic The City of Bell and the California Pension Crisis 19 MIN, 6 SEC

Outrageous salaries paid to former officials have brought attention not just to the City of Bell, but to neighboring cities and to the way public pensions are structured in California. Former city manager Robert Rizzo's salary was $800,000 and he might be eligible for a $600,000 pension. Former police chief Randy Adams was paid $457,000 by Bell, and his pension could amount to $411,000 a year.

Guests:
Marcia Fritz, President, California Foundation for Fiscal Responsibility
Brad Pacheco, Spokesman, CalPERS
Rick Cole, Ventura City Manager
Bill Boyarsky, LA Observed, Truthdig and Jewish Journal

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