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?"
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.
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?