FROM Hillel Aron
The Craziest Ballot Proposals of 2016 California voters could be in for a bumper crop of ballot measures in November. One quippy Democratic campaign strategist said, “The voters pamphlet is going to look like the Encyclopaedia Britannica.” There are initiatives on gun control, minimum wage, taxes on cigarettes, and shrinking public pensions. Also, millions of dollars will be spent on a measure to legalize pot. The pharmaceutical industry has already put $40 million into defeating an initiative that would limit how much the state can pay for prescription drugs, and the plastic bag industry is spending millions to defeat a bag ban. But for every measure that makes it onto the ballot, there are many that never get that far. We get a rundown on the craziest proposals of 2016.
L.A. Rehab Mogul Accused of Dangerous Abuses People often go into drug rehabilitation at difficult moments in their lives. But what happens when the thing that’s supposed to save you is actually going to hurt you? For one drug rehab franchise, that’s exactly what’s being alleged. We talk to Hillel Aron of L.A. Weekly, who wrote an investigation of Chris Bathum , the owner of a number of sober living houses and rehab clinics throughout Los Angeles.
High LA Rents; Are Wages Keeping Up? As cities go across the country, LA isn’t the most expensive - it’s not San Francisco or New York - but it’s pricey enough. And that has people in town scrambling for cheaper areas of town in which to live.
Will a New LAUSD Board President Shake Things Up? Los Angeles Unified School Board meetings aren't always occasions for high political drama. Yesterday's saw a change in leadership with implications for the reform movement, Superintendent John Deasy and LA's new Mayor, Eric Garcetti. Hillel Aron reports for the website LA School Report .
With the Election over, What's Next at Los Angeles City Hall? Despite big money from the unions thought to dominate the politics of Los Angeles, or perhaps because of it, LA City Councilman Eric Garcetti will be the next Mayor of Los Angeles. Garcetti’s unofficial margin was 54 percent to 46 percent for Controller Wendy Greuel — with a turnout estimated at less than 20 percent.
Could the Koch Brothers Buy the LA Times? The Tribune Company, which owns the Los Angeles Times, is up for sale, and rumors are flying — the latest possible buyers being the billionaire Koch brothers, who've been spending big money on right-wing political causes. Hillel Aron broke the story for the LA Weekly .
LAUSD School Board Races There are seven seats on the elected board of the LA Unified School District. Three are up for election tomorrow. Two are likely to end up in runoffs. But there are only two candidates for District 4, incumbent Steve Zimmer and challenger Kate Anderson . Hillel Aron is covering the elections for LA School Report , a website with news and analysis about the LAUSD.
Is the 'Parent Trigger' Finally Being Given a Chance? When parents in Compton tried out the so-called "parent trigger," their petition was thrown out in court. But two weeks ago, the school board in the high-desert town of Adelanto turned over control of Desert Trails Elementary to an outside operator. Last week, a crowd of parents from 24th Street Elementary in South LA showed up to demand immediate, significant change from LA Unified.
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.
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?