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?"
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.
The Trump agenda: where's the beef? President Trump says big things are happening. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. With James Comey’s public testimony scheduled tomorrow, the President today tweeted his selection of a new FBI Director. Is the Chief Executive all style and no substance? Later, terror attacks in Iran and conflicting claims about who’s behind them.
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?