FROM Bob Blumenfield
Free WiFi at Los Angeles Parks… Closing in on the Digital Divide? In many places around the country, cities provide WiFi service for all their citizens. That won’t happen for years to come in Los Angeles — if ever. But starting today, WiFi will be offered in six city parks, for free. There will be designated “hot spots” in Venice Beach, Pershing Square, the Griffith Observatory, Echo Park Lake and Reseda Park. Councilman Bob Blumenfield has been a champion of what’s called the LA Community Broadband Network .
California Courts Face Financial Starvation The judiciary is California's third branch of government, but the courts now get just one percent of the total state budget. During the past five years, the courts claimed they've lost 65 percent of their funding. This week, Chief Justice Tani Cantil Sakauye delivered her address on the state of the judiciary . "To have your day in court, you need a courtroom and I will say that what we once counted on…is no longer true in California." Starting next Monday, anybody headed to small claims court may have a lot longer trip to make, and that's just one of the changes. Traffic tickets, domestic abuse cases — even adoptions -- could be affected. Are Angelenos ready for the new, smaller court system? Who will be hit hardest?
The Governor Proposes His State Budget for 2013 Governor Brown today predicted that his latest budget will lead to a surplus at the end of the next fiscal year… Even some Republicans are calling it good news. We’ll hear what it would mean for schools and social programs cut to the bone during the era of deficits. Will there be calls for more spending?
More Budget Cuts and a Bid to Raise Taxes Governor Brown delivered his State of the State speech today to a joint session of the Assembly and Senate. He proposed more cuts he said nobody likes in the budget, but also asked voters to approve a tax increase or face still more reductions. While pushing for reductions in spending, he called for major investments, including a California High-Speed Rail project that's been called unaffordable by a task force created by voters at the same time they approved the project four years ago. The Governor named education as the biggest item in the state budget, and proposed giving local school boards more authority.
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.
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?
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.
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.