FROM Jan Perry
Is Professional Football On-again or Off-again for Downtown LA? Anschutz Entertainment Group, the big multi-national sports and entertainment company that built Staples Center and LA Live, has plans for a new stadium to bring professional football to downtown LA. Those plans were thrown into doubt last year when Denver billionaire Phil Anschutz said AEG was up for sale. But AEG's Chief Executive, Tim Leiweke, insisted they were still on track. Today, Anschutz announced that the company is not for sale after all, and that Leiweke is out of a job -- officially by "mutual consent."
Jan Perry Talks about Running for Mayor After three terms on the City Council, Jan Perry is running for Mayor. One of her former campaign consultants says she's "a one-person coalition," "an African American, Jewish, pro-business Democrat who's had her ups and downs with labor." You can find our interviews with candidates for mayor at KCRW.com/RaceforMayor .
Closing In on Approval of a Football Stadium in Downtown LA For years, the powerful developer AEG has been working to bring the NFL back to Los Angeles with a 76,000-seat stadium downtown. It appears that the wait is all over except for two more meetings by the Planning Commission this week and the City Council two weeks from now. LA Times columnist Jim Newton says, "If there are concessions left to get, now's the time to get them…"
Who Is Represented by the Los Angeles City Council? Final approval of new LA City Council District boundaries is scheduled for next Friday, but two council members and at least one ethnic group are threatening to sue to prevent that from happening. Time was when the Council voted unanimously 99 percent of the time, but reapportionment has created anger and animosity. David Zahniser has been watching the process for the Los Angeles Times .
One NFL Stadium…or Two? With applause from downtown business leaders and union officials, the LA City Council today approved what's called a "non-binding" memorandum of understanding -- 12 votes to zero. AEG, which owns Staples Center and LA Live, can now begin to arrange financing for a football stadium next to them near the intersection of westbound Interstate 10 and the northbound Interstate 110 freeways. It's already been named Farmers' Field for Farmers' Insurance.
What Should Happen to the South Central Farm Site? The South Central Farm is back in the news — a 14-acre community garden, sold by the City of LA in 2003 and bulldozed three years later. The neighborhood was promised that a developer would leave almost three acres for a park, but nothing has happened. Now, councilwoman and mayoral candidate Jan Perry says the park is a bad idea. It's near the Alameda Corridor, which is run by the Harbor Commission and today the Commission referred the issue to the City Council.
Broad's Grand Plans A few weeks back, Eli Broad unveiled the design for his new contemporary art museum , to be built on Grand Avenue opposite MOCA and next door to the Walt Disney Concert Hall. The design, by admired Manhattan architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro , looks like a piece of sculpture in itself and makes a dramatic feature out of its concrete "skin." Frances talks to architect Elizabeth Diller about the light-filled warehouse space for art, and gets the opinions of critic Sam Lubell on the design. But The Broad, as it's being called, is also hoping to transform this part of downtown into a destination. Councilwoman Jan Perry talks about the impact she thinks it will have on the area, and some local residents give their thoughts about what else Grand Avenue is missing. Site on which the Broad Museum will be built The architects call the Broad's diaphanous concrete skin the "veil;" encased inside is the "vault" Inside, visitors will board an escalator that takes them to a fourth floor gallery Art will be exhibited in a column-free, sunlit space that's over an acre in size This fly-through video shows the museum in relation to Grand Avenue's other landmarks
Can Redevelopment Survive Jerry Brown? In Sacramento, Governor Brown and his wife, Anne Gust Brown, live in a loft apartment in an old building restored with redevelopment money. But Brown wants to eliminate all 425 redevelopment agencies statewide. Three billion dollars could then be used to pay off their debt with $1.7 billion left for public safety and schools.
Does the LA City Attorney Need His Own Grand Jury? All over the country, District Attorneys prosecute felony crimes using grand juries to investigate and issue subpoenas. City attorneys, who handle misdemeanors, don’t have such power. But LA’s Carmen Trutanich wants it and the State Senate has voted to give it to him. Some Los Angeles City Council members want the Assembly to say, “No.” We speak with Trutanich and others.
Will New Headquarters Mean More than a New Look for the LAPD? The new headquarters of the Los Angeles Police Department is flanked by the Caltrans building, City Hall and the LA Times. At Saturday's dedication, outgoing Chief Bill Bratton said that's designed to cooperation with other governments, the obligation to serve the community and transparency to the media and the public.
Preparations for Jackson Memorial City officials are expecting huge crowds downtown for tomorrow’s memorial for Michael Jackson at Staples Center. Some 1.6 million people applied for only 17,500 available tickets. The Los Angeles Police Department is coordinating last-minute security operations around the area. Councilwoman Jan Perry represents the 9th District.
Criticism Grows over Cost of Lakers' Parade To celebrate the latest champions of the NBA, the City of Los Angeles has agreed to split the cost of Wednesday's parade with the Lakers. The president of the LA Police Protective League has complained about spending a million taxpayer dollars at a time when city workers face layoffs and furloughs. Councilwoman Jan Perry represents the 9th District, which is home to the Staples Center.
Council To Consider Fast-Food Restaurant Ban in South Central LA City Councilwoman Jan Perry wants to ban new fast-food restaurants in 32 square miles of Los Angeles—including Watts, the Crenshaw District and Baldwin Hills. The LA Business Journal calls it “the largest Big Mac attack the nation has ever seen.” Calistoga up in the wine country and Concord, Massachusetts have done it, but it’s never been tried before on this scale.
Harsh Consequences for Hospitals Dumping Homeless Patients By a vote of 12 to one today, the LA City Council made it a misdemeanor for a hospital to leave a discharged patient any place but his or her residence without the patient’s written consent. It’s a response to recent, highly publicized cases, of so-called “dumping” of patients on the streets of skid row.
Selling Downtown LA's Empty Air The sale of the empty space above buildings has been a device for historic preservation. Instead of tearing them down, developers leave structures in place and build new ones equal in size to the original square footage, multiplied by a certain number of stories. Now, the City of Los Angeles wants to sell the so-called " air rights " above the Convention Center, not to preserve it, but to increase urban density. What sounds like a joke is instead an opportunity to turn the empty space into high-rise residential development. That space converts to seven towers 73 stories high. That's the size of the US Bank Building and it's set to go on sale at $20 a square foot. Is the price right? What about traffic congestion? We ask an urban planner and the councilwoman who represents the area.
LA City Council Votes on Homeless Settlement In a case filed by the ACLU , federal courts ruled that it's unconstitutional for the LAPD to arrest people who sleep on the streets of Skid Row because there aren't enough beds for the homeless. To avoid time-consuming appeals of that ruling, Chief William Bratton worked out a deal with the ACLU to allow sidewalk sleeping--only in a defined area and only at night. Today, by a vote of 10-to-3, the LA City Council turned him down.
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.
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.
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.