FROM Denny Zane
Is LA Still the Car Capital of the World? California's economy depends on transportation, but money is running short to repair an aging infrastructure. Los Angeles got a famously slow start at building light rail and subway systems, but then voters passed Measure R in 2009. Nine billion dollars will complete the Foothill Gold Line and the Expo Line to Santa Monica this spring. There are plans for more. But it turns out that public transit ridership has not been growing. In fact, LA Metro reports it's been on the decline for the past ten years. The same thing is happening in Orange County.
The Expo Line Draws A Gold Rush Metro’s Expo Line is on its way from Culver City to Santa Monica and other parts of the West Side—with the goal of reducing regional traffic congestion. But new train stations are creating gold mines for developers of mixed-use, retail-and-residential complexes—bringing more congestion to places that are already developed. Is “enlightened planning” leading to real-estate profiteering? Should elected officials put on the brakes?
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.
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?