FROM Bill Witte
Is Smart Growth a Dumb Idea for Los Angeles? Twenty years ago Los Angeles passed Proposition U designed to slow city growth by reducing the size of buildings on major boulevards. Smart Growth allows developers to build big if their projects combine housing and businesses - and if they’re close to public transportation.
The Grand Avenue Project, Too Grand or not Grand Enough? Mayor Antonio Villariagosa is all in favor of spending $100 million in taxpayers' money to subsidize the Grand Avenue Project in downtown LA, but County Supervisor Mike Antonovich says it could turn into an "endless subsidy." That issue, as well as the contribution of several acres of public land, will be on tomorrow's agenda for the Los Angeles City Council and the Board of Supervisors. The project, partly designed by Frank Gehry, will be across the street from Gehry's iconic Disney Hall . The project's total value is $2 billion. Why does the public have to come up with $100 million? We hear the pros and cons from LA Times columnist Steve Lopez and others.
Gentrification and Affordability LA's urban centers are subject to migratory movements that are like weather patterns—impervious to rent control, affordable housing trust funds and other kinds of government intervention. Moderate homes and apartments give way to McMansions and condos, occupied by the same kind of people who fled to the suburbs 20 years ago. Last week's LA Weekly explored that pattern. Thirty years ago, there was white flight out of the central city to avoid school busing for integration. That expanded into the flight of the middle class. What nobody realized was that the process might take place all over again in the other direction. Neighborhoods are unrecognizable to the people who grew up in them. Who wins and who loses in "Gentrification City?"
America's top diplomat faces challenges in Asia Whatever happened to America's "pivot to Asia?" That's just one of the questions left hanging since Rex Tillerson's first trip there as Secretary of State. Is the Trump Administration hoping to change Foreign Policy or maintain the status quo?
Cover-up or witch hunt?: The latest on the WH ties to Russia Less than two months into his Presidency, Donald Trump is struggling to get his agenda under way, making it harder himself with tweets that dominate public attention. Meanwhile, important questions are going unanswered: why have staff members and the Attorney General lied about contacts with Russian officials?
Getting answers on phone taps, Russia and leaking The Directors of the FBI and the NSA testified on Capitol Hill today there's no evidence for President Trump's claim he was wire-tapped by former President Obama. We'll hear about that and the investigation into Russian tampering with last year's presidential campaign.