Courtroom Cuts Underway in LA County
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California's court system is the largest in the nation -- and one of the most underfunded. After $1 billion in budget cuts over five years, the downsizing is beginning to cause real pain. Some residents of the San Fernando Valley will have cases tried in Santa Monica. Is it just about money, or are judicial administrators also to blame? Also, Spanish-speaking Pope Francis from Buenos Aires is especially welcome here in LA, where a majority of Roman Catholics are Latinos. And a Silicon Valley start-up tries to outsmart immigration officials. On our rebroadcast of To the Point, the Republican Party struggles to define its identity.
Banner image: The Scales of Justice on the facade of the Los Angeles Superior Court. Photo by kalavinka
Meet the New Pope ()
Some 1.2 billion Roman Catholics now have a new pope, former Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina, who now calls himself Francis, after Saint Francis of Assissi. Christopher Kaczor is Professor of Philosophy and Catholic Theology at Loyola Marymount University.
- Christopher Kaczor: Loyola Marymount University
California Courts Face Financial Starvation ()
The judiciary is California's third branch of government, but the courts now get just one percent of the total state budget. During the past five years, the courts claimed they've lost 65 percent of their funding. This week, Chief Justice Tani Cantil Sakauye delivered her address on the state of the judiciary. "To have your day in court, you need a courtroom and I will say that what we once counted on…is no longer true in California." Starting next Monday, anybody headed to small claims court may have a lot longer trip to make, and that's just one of the changes. Traffic tickets, domestic abuse cases — even adoptions -- could be affected. Are Angelenos ready for the new, smaller court system? Who will be hit hardest?
Can a Silicon Valley Startup Outsmart Immigration Officials? ()
America's limited work-visa program is causing a crisis in the high-tech industry. Just 65,000 work-visas are issued each year and many foreigners educated in the US — sometimes at taxpayer expense — have to stay on waiting lists for years. So, many go home or to other countries, choking off the supply of immigrants regarded as the lifeblood of Silicon Valley. Now there's a plan to anchor a cruise ship 12 miles off shore in international waters, where potential entrepreneurs can live and commute to Silicon Valley on business tourism visas. It's called Blueseed, and Sam Bhagwat is the Chief Financial Officer.
Which Way L.A.? is made possible in part by the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation and the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation.
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