FROM Bill Rosendahl
A Second Look at Neighborhood Councils Created by charter reform eight years ago, eighty-nine neighborhood councils have been formed to encourage participation in civic affairs. Without any authority to make policy, they’ve fought a losing battle against bureaucratic inertia and struggled to make any impact on the fifteen members of the City Council. One very basic issue is who gets to sit on neighborhood councils. Last week, the Council began looking at the recommendations of a Review Commission.
Court Puts the Breaks on Phase Two of Playa Vista The massive Playa Vista development on LA’s West Side already has 5,000 residents and hundreds of office workers. The second phase calls for 2,600 new housing units and more retail and office space, on 111 acres. Last Friday, a three-judge appeals court ordered a halt to all construction on Phase Two.
Cable TV, Competition and Community Service Twenty years ago, cable companies promised to wire libraries, schools and hospitals as part of their public service. Community groups would be connected to local government, senior citizens could talk directly to city hall and politicians would be called to account on programs focusing on politics and government--all in exchange for monopoly franchise agreements with local cities and counties. Although most of those promises have not been kept, many of the franchise agreements remain. Now, even the public service programming may be at risk. In Sacramento, it's a bill to promote "competition" that's racing through the Legislature. Locally, it's Time-Warner , which is taking over from Adelphia and Comcast to become the biggest cable operator in LA and Orange Counties. We hear about the fate of public service on cable TV from local and state officials, and a former cable TV host.