Looming Budget Troubles in Los Angeles
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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?
Barack Obama and Fidel Castro's Cuba ()
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?
- Tom Omestad: Diplomatic Correspondent, US News and World Report
- Armando Vilaseca: Commissioner, Vermont Department of Education
- Mauricio Claver-Carone: Director, US-Cuba Democracy PAC
- William Ratliff: Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution
- Vicki Huddleston: former Chief of Mission, US Interests Section in Havana
Looming Budget Troubles in Los Angeles ()
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.
- Matt Szabo: Spokesman, Mayor Villaraigosa
- Barbara Maynard: Spokesperson, Coalition of LA City Unions
- Paul Weber: President, Los Angeles Police Protective League
San Joaquin, Sacramento Top the List of Endangered Rivers ()
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.
Which Way L.A.? is made possible in part by the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, and the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation, which supports study and research into policy issues of the Los Angeles region.
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