FROM Jim Featherstone
Heavy Rains May Threaten Hundreds of LA's Homeless Hundreds of homeless people are living in dangerous places, including storm channels that have been dry during years of drought but which could become raging torrents when the Niño works a massive change in the weather. We get an update on what's being done prepare from James Featherstone, general manager of LA City's Emergency Management Department, and Natalie Komuro, the executive director of Ascencia, which provides homeless services in South Glendale and Northeast LA.
Putting out Fires at the Fire Department The former president of LA's Fire Commission has told the Los Angeles Times, " The public just doesn't understand what goes on " in the fire department. Chief William Bamattre was hired 11 years ago to get racism, sexism and homophobia under control, but the accusations continued. Bamattre was replaced today—temporarily--by Mayor Villaraigosa. Assistant Chief Douglas Barry is an African American with 31 years of service. The job change comes just days after the Mayor vetoed a $2.7 million settlement the City Council made with black firefighter Tenny Pierce, who claimed racist colleagues caused him to eat dog food. City Controller Laura Chick had called for Bamattre to leave after her office audited the Fire Department. Will a minority veteran succeed where Caucasian predecessors have failed?
GOP 'Nukes' the Senate filibuster on SCOTUS nominees Senate Democrats today blocked Judge Neil Gorsuch's appointment to the US Supreme Court… but just for the moment. The Republican majority has changed the rules to force a likely confirmation as soon as tomorrow.
Trump's ethical conflicts pile up as transparency diminishes President Trump's refusal to reveal his income tax returns is just one example of a lack of transparency that could be hiding conflicts of interest. Other conflicts are already obvious from his appointments. And he's being sued for using his job to increase his profits.
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."
Will the march for science politicize objective research? Protesters are gathering all over the country for tomorrow's Earth Day March for Science. Since President Trump has proposed massive cuts in basic scientific research, will the movement be perceived as partisan politics — whether scientists themselves like it or not?