FROM José Huizar
LA election: Victory for status quo Tuesday’s election in Los Angeles gave a big win to Mayor Eric Garcetti and the city council members up for re-election. Also, voters rejected a measure that would have temporarily stopped development. We get reaction from Councilmember Jose Huizar.
Farewell to a Bridge The Sixth Street Bridge is an architectural icon of Los Angeles, and has been filmed in countless movies, TV shows and commercials. But it's set to be torn down at the beginning of 2016 to make way for a new bridge . DnA joined thousands of others at a farewell festival .
Will the Car Capital of the World Make Way for Bikes and Buses? There's going to be more congestion during the evening rush hour — especially on the Westside — but that didn't stop the LA City Council from endorsing what's called "Mobility Plan 2035." That's the year when hundreds of miles of new bike and bus lanes are scheduled to be completed — in the interests of the environment, public transit and pedestrian safety.
LA City Hall Takes on the Homeless LA's homeless population has increased by 12% according to the Homeless Services Authority . The City Council has established an ad hoc committee on homelessness, which will hold its first meeting tomorrow. Meantime, the Council has tentatively approved two new ordinances making it easier for authorities to break up encampments — and harder for homeless people to keep track of their possessions. José Huizar represents the 14th Council District, which has more homeless people than any other. He's also chair of the new ad hoc committee on homelessness. Photo by Timothy Krause Photo by Timothy Krause Photo by KCRW's Saul Gonzalez
New Homeless Initiative: Will It Finally Be Effective? For years, the city and county have cycled through plans to help the homeless population of Los Angeles, many of whom live in Downtown’s Skid Row. The latest proposal is getting higher marks -- even from some critics who say conditions never seem to improve for the city’s homeless. The so-called $3.7M Operation Healthy Streets program is the latest effort to bring the city and county of LA together to work on this issue. Tonight, city and county representatives are discussing the next steps -- but are the voices of Skid Row locals being heard? And will this new plan stick?
A New Direction for the Sixth Street Bridge One of LA’s landmarks is the Sixth Street Bridge, an 80-year old viaduct connecting Boyle Heights to downtown with a 3500 feet span. Now the bridge is sick—with what’s being described as “concrete cancer”—and back in April we reported that the Bureau of Engineering had put out a call to designers internationally to compete to create an iconic replacement. Alex Ward heads up the Friends of the Los Angeles River, and he describes why he pushed for years to ante up the ambition for the new bridge. Now the City has narrowed down the Sixth Street Viaduct Replacement competition to three teams—HNTB, AECOM and Parsons Brinckerhoff—and last week, at Puente Learning Center in Boyle Heights, they started the first of four public presentations. Among those present was Councilman José Huizar, who represents the 14th district, which includes the Sixth Street bridge. The councilman grew up in Boyle Heights, and describes why the bridge had a meaning for him that made him resistant at first to change. To get an idea of the three bridge concepts, Frances speaks to a representative from each team: Engineer Juan Murillo from Parsons Brinckerhoff; Ron Yee, bridge designer for AECOM, and Theodore Zoli, bridge engineer for HNTB. Although the primary objective for the bridge is to carry vehicles, the designs also include pedestrian walkways, bike lanes and green spaces, and landscape architect Mary Margaret Jones of Hargreaves explains how these features help the bridge become a greater asset to the neighborhoods it connects. Finally, FoLAR co-founder Lewis MacAdams chimes in with his thoughts on how the bridge will bring more attention to the changing river. The Bureau of Engineering, with Cal Trans, will make its recommendation for the winning team in October, after hearing from the public, from political representatives and from the Design Aesthetic Advisory Committee. If you'd like to see the designs for yourself and weigh in, the final public meeting is tonight, Tuesday, September 18, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Boyle Heights Technology Youth Center, 1600 E. 4th Street. Details here . Here are images and animations from all three finalists. Parsons Brinckerhoff with Safdie Rabines Architects and Mia Lehrer + Associates AECOM with bridge designer Ron Yee HNTB, with Michael Maltzan Architecture and Hargreaves Associates All images courtesy of the Bureau of Engineering
The LA City Council Revisits Medical Marijuana Since voters approved medical marijuana in 1996, California cities have been wrestling with how to regulate a substance that's illegal under federal law. Some 70 lawsuits are pending. The State Supreme Court is considering a lower court ruling against state legalization. In the meantime, the LA City Council is considering an outright ban — and another plan — allowing about 100 dispensaries to operate. We get more background, then speak with council members favoring each version.
Will the City of LA Ban Pot Shops? The City of Los Angeles has been struggling over medical marijuana since California voters approved it under certain conditions in 1996. With no regulation at all, 850 dispensaries popped up by 2009. The City Council pared that down to about 300. Now, led by Councilman José Huizar, a total ban is under consideration.
LA Tries to Restore the Tradition of Murals Los Angeles was once the mural capital of the world, but in 2002, art on the walls of private property was made illegal by an ordinance designed to limit commercial signs, including billboards. Since then, some 400 murals have been painted over. A few weeks ago, we spoke with the graffiti artist known as Saber, who paid sky-writers to post the words, "End the Mural Moratorium: Art is Not a Crime" in the air above City Hall. He's part of an effort to restore a historic tradition. Now, City Councilman Jose Huizar has introduced a new ordinance protecting both existing murals and what are now defined as "original works of art."
The 2010 Census Questions Mailed Out Today More than 120 million US census forms will start arriving in mailboxes today. The once-every-decade survey of Americans began in 1790 as a way of divvying up seats in Congress. Now it's also about divvying up $400 billion in federal aid for the next ten years. Los Angeles City Councilman José Huizar represents the 14th District, from Boyle Heights and El Sereno through Chinatown, Little Tokyo, Koreatown and Echo Park to the Mid-Wilshire District.
Budget Havoc Hits State, County and City Governor Schwarzenegger today tried something never attempted before. He produced not one, but two revised state budgets — one bad and the other much worse. One would take effect if voters passed Measures 1-A through 1-E on next Tuesday ’ s ballot; the other if they fail. If the measures do fail, what would be the consequences for health care, policing, firefighting and other essential services?
The Politics of Education Assemblyman Mervyn Dymally has dropped his bill to give LA's elected school-board members a pay raise of 600%, but Measure L on next month's ballot would create a commission to review their salaries, which are currently $24,000 a year. It would also limit members to three four-year terms and limit campaign contributions to $1000 each. In addition, four seats on the board are up for grabs. We get the lowdown from insiders, including former board member, now councilman, José Huizar, who helped put the measure on the ballot.
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.
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
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?