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.
Why is Trump so behind on filling staff jobs, establishing concrete policies? Yesterday Donald Trump signed a “decision memo” to revamp the air traffic control system. But there was little legislative detail in the plan. There’s not much to other splashy announcements from the White House, including tax cuts and the arms deal with Saudi Arabia. And hundreds of positions are unfilled in federal agencies.
Previewing James Comey's blockbuster testimony Former FBI director James Comey testifies Thursday in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee, but his opening statement has been released. In it, he says he felt pressured by Donald Trump to declare loyalty to him and publicly clear him of any wrongdoing in the Russia investigation.
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.
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?