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?"
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
Venezuela spirals into economic and political chaos Venezuela, a country whose potential for prosperity is unmatched, finds itself on the verge of civil war. What sustains the repressive government? With time running out, guest host León Krauze looks at what the international community can do to pull the country from the edge of collapse.
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.