FROM Patti Berman
Private Profit on Public Land? Rapper Jay Z joined Mayor Eric Garcetti at City Hall yesterday to announce that the Budweiser Made in America music festival will be held at Grand Park over the Labor Day weekend. Garcetti called it "the perfect place, the perfect West Coast home" for an event that began in Philadelphia. He predicted an economic boom for the city. But not everyone shares that view.
The Changing Face and Personality of Downtown Los Angeles Downtown Los Angeles is changing fast, and very soon will see the end of an era. After being owned by the same family since the 1960's, the King Eddy Saloon is changing hands. Located at the corner of 5th and Los Angeles on the bottom floor of the King Edward Hotel, constructed in 1906, it's a gathering spot for blue-collar workers, low-income regulars and residents of Skid Row. It sells hard boiled eggs for less than a dollar and beer for two dollars. That's the consequence of the gentrification of downtown Los Angeles, which means new businesses and new residents. What about the people who are already there? KCRW's Saul Gonzalez took a stool and chatted with people who are facing a sense of loss.
Downtown Walmart Grocery Store Draws Fire, Sparks Excitement It's a fight to the checkout line for those for and against a new Walmart Neighborhood Market planned for downtown LA. The new 33,000 square foot store is expected to go into the bottom floor of a senior housing complex just north of the 101 Freeway, a stones throw from central Chinatown. The world's biggest retailer has been trying a smaller footprint in high-density areas, but up to now has stayed out of LA, instead locating in other big cities like Chicago. Supercenters, those with more than 100,000 square feet, have more of a city hurdle to jump in trying to get built. An LA ordinance requires retailers to provide an economic analysis on how it would affect the job market and nearby businesses. Note: Walmart was invited to participate in today's discussion but their spokesman was unavailable.
Janesville and the American Dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn’t prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. On this Memorial Day rebroadcast of To the Point, we hear what’s happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?