FROM Joe Buscaino
L.A. Tries a New Tactic for Homeless Encampments Homeless encampments in L.A. have almost doubled in the past two years, according to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. And yesterday, the city council took a step to address the issue. Councilmembers approved measures that would make it easier to break up encampments. Under the new rules, homeless people would have 24 hours notice to move their belongings from sidewalks and parks, instead of 72. City crews would also be allowed to confiscate anything bigger than a 60-gallon trash can without notice. Are these necessary measures to keep our streets orderly, or do they amount to criminalizing homelessness?
Can a New Member Shake Up the LA City Council? The LA City Council has been described as "ideologically homogenous," where members who disagree don't vote "no" but call in sick to protect the image of tranquility. In 2009, the members voted unanimously 99.3 percent of the time. Last year it was 97.5 percent. Janice Hahn left the 15th Council District when she was elected to Congress and the runoff to replace her will be held next Tuesday. The district includes Watts, South Los Angeles and a four-block wide, eight-mile long strip of neighborhoods called Harbor Gateway stretching south to San Pedro, Wilmington and Harbor City. The runoff candidates are LA Policeman Joe Buscaino , a San Pedro native who's never run for elected office, and Warren Furutani , who was born in San Pedro but lives in Harbor Gateway. He was an elected LA School Board member for eight years and is currently a Democratic state Assemblyman. Council offices are technically nonpartisan.
Comedian Vir Das offers 'Abroad Understanding' After selling out stadiums in India, comedian and actor Vir Das is looking to break through in the US with his new Netflix special, Vir Das: Abroad Understanding. He tells us about making the jump from Bollywood to Hollywood and how he hopes his pointed humor can redefine expectations in India and America.
Fighting for the soul of the California Democratic Party Over the weekend, Eric Bauman was elected as the new chair of the California Democratic Party. But his main opponent, progressive Kimberly Ellis has not conceded. It was a raucous weekend with Bernie Sanders supporters saying the party is not listening to their concerns.
Brad Gooch: Rumi's Secret Biographer Brad Gooch reveals that he traveled 2500 miles to trace Rumi's footsteps, learned Persian and spent eight years to write Rumi's Secret: The Life of the Sufi Poet of Love.