FROM Michael Manville
A possible sales tax hike and the future of LA transit Los Angeles County Supervisors unanimously voted to place a half-cent sales tax on the November ballot . The tax is aimed at making it easier to get around southern California, by generating at least $860 million per year for the county’s light rail network and other transit projects. The tax would continue to fund Metro projects indefinitely. And it needs a two-thirds vote to pass – a hurdle that concerns mass transit proponents, particularly because the ballot will be crowded with other tax initiatives for voters to decide on. Will voters be willing to approve a tax hike without an expiration date? And if so, how much will the proposed transit projects actually alleviate traffic in Los Angeles?
Parking Tickets as a Moneymaking Tool The City of Long Beach has decided to make its parking rules less insane. Currently, street sweeping restrictions start at 4 a.m. , which means getting up before dawn to move your car. These restrictions led to plenty of tickets and plenty of cash in the city coffers. Parking tickets are one of the most reliable fundraising tools a city has, but definitely not the best.
RIFT, A Fight Against Traffic, Creates Rift in Santa Monica Santa Monica is a city of 85,000 people that doubles in size with commuters during business hours. Traffic congestion is changing the nature of the city itself, but growth continues. Now the voters are faced with a measure on the November called RIFT, which stands for Residents Initiative to Fight Traffic. Supporters took just 10 days to raise 10,000 signatures, almost twice the number they needed. RIFT would fight traffic by limiting commercial development.
Securing Public Spaces, Super Wealthy Asians Vehicles are increasingly being used as weapons, as seen in the London Bridge attack over the weekend and in New York’s Times Square last month. The Compton-based company Calpipe is designing security bollards to help make public spaces safer. And novelist Kevin Kwan satirizes the “crazy rich” Asian jet set and their luxurious tastes in his latest book, “Rich People Problems.”
Farewell LA freeways, Peter Shire is back Angelenos don't want more freeways but we seem not to want mass transit either. Metro has killed the 710 freeway extension, and bus and train ridership is down across the region. What's the future of getting around in LA? And, Peter Shire is having a comeback. What attracts a new generation to his playful ceramics and furniture?
Why did Jared Kushner want a back channel with Russians? News broke Friday that President Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor, Jared Kushner, tried setting up a back channel between the Trump transition team and the Russian government. What are the consequences for Kushner, President Trump, and the investigation into Russian meddling?
Revisiting showrunner Steven Bochco on his memoir Steven Bochco, the writer-producer behind record-breaking Emmy winners Hill Street Blues, LA Law and NYPD Blue, fought battles with everyone from out-of-control actors to network censors in his long career. He isn’t afraid to tell those tales in his memoir, Truth Is a Total Defense. This week we revisit the conversation where he shared some of his favorite stories with us.