FROM Richard Close
Breaking Point: Housing, density and the future of LA Angelenos will vote next week on Measure S, which restricts development in the city for two years. It’s stirred up a heated debate: Should LA build higher, denser developments near public transit, or stay as a network of neighborhoods with single family homes and small apartment buildings? Press Play hosts a special broadcast live from Hollywood’s Barnsdall Gallery Theatre, exploring how the housing crisis in LA has caused an identity crisis for Angelenos.
Is an App to Blame for Neighborhood Traffic Jams? There's a new voice in town, that of the smartphone app called Waze , which crowd-sources GPS signals from moving cars to guide drivers away from heavy traffic. More and more LA commuters are devoted to Waze to find alternatives to busy freeways. The downside is that narrow streets in some residential neighborhoods are now being turned into highways. That's according to Richard Close, president of the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association. His neighborhood abuts the 405 Freeway in the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains.
Will a Half-Penny Tax Fix LA's Budget? Los Angeles could see a half cent rise in the city's sales tax, if Proposition A is adopted on the March 5 ballot. The city is facing a budget deficit of more than $200 million, and top city officials, including Mayor Villaraigosa, want the sales tax increase to avoid cutbacks in police and other key public safety services. We hear from a reporter covering the story and from proponents and opponents of the measure.
LA Supervisors and Latino Voting Rights After a long and passionate hearing last night, LA County Supervisors rejected a move to radically redraw their district boundaries by a vote of four to one. Gloria Molina and Mark Ridley-Thomas wanted to create a new, Latino-majority district, by drastically changing districts now held by Zev Yaroslavsky or Don Knabe respectively. Yaroslavsky and Knabe opposed both plans, along with Mike Antonovich and Don Knabe. But four votes were required, and Ridley-Thomas finally joined them to produce a majority for a plan by Knabe, which pretty much maintains the status quo. We hear from Ridley-Thomas, Knabe and others. (Supervisor Yaroslavsky declined our invitation to participate in this discussion.)
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.
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.