FROM Ron Kaye
One NFL Stadium…or Two? With applause from downtown business leaders and union officials, the LA City Council today approved what's called a "non-binding" memorandum of understanding -- 12 votes to zero. AEG, which owns Staples Center and LA Live, can now begin to arrange financing for a football stadium next to them near the intersection of westbound Interstate 10 and the northbound Interstate 110 freeways. It's already been named Farmers' Field for Farmers' Insurance.
Post-Election Analysis With just one exception, Los Angeles voters re-elected every City Council incumbent on yesterday's ballot , even though all seven were challenged. With just one exception, every measure the Council put on the ballot passed, too.
Mayor Villaraigosa's Latest Choice to Lead the DWP In last night's speech on the State of the City , Mayor Villaraigosa said the strain of challenges facing LA have "undermined civic unity." He referred specifically to the battle over increasing utility rates, explained as necessary for the Department of Water and Power to switch from fossil fuels to "green energy." He promised to reform the DWP, an agency he said is known more for secrecy than transparency. This week Villaraigosa appointed Deputy Mayor Austin Beutner to become the DWP's ninth general manager in the past 10 years.
Financial Desperation at LA City Hall Former LA Councilwoman Wendy Gruel is now City Controller, the auditor and chief accountant, who studies economic forecasts and tells the Mayor and the Council what to expect. The answer for the next fiscal year is " not much ." Some city revenues will increase, but decreasing property tax will outweigh any gain, leaving a deficit of $484 million. We talk with Gruel and Council President Eric Garcetti.
DWP in Transition Los Angeles' Department of Water and Power is looking for a new general manager after Friday's abrupt departure of David Nahai. He'll be going to work for former President Clinton. Today, the DWP Commission took up a contract that will pay Nahai $6300 a week as a private consultant, the same rate he earned while running the nation's largest publicly owned utility.
Two More Water Mains Burst Two more water mains burst last night in the San Fernando Valley, just days after a fire engine was almost swallowed in a North Hollywood sink hole and a gusher broke through the pavement in Studio City. The Department of Water and Power says there've been dozens of "major blowouts" in the last three months, flooding streets and damaging buildings as well as vehicles.
Shining Some Sunlight on Measure B Measure B on next week's Los Angeles City ballot would authorize the publicly owned Department of Water and Power to build 400 megawatts worth of photovoltaics on warehouse rooftops, parking lots and unused rights of way. That's enough solar energy for 240,000 homes. We hear a debate.
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.
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
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?
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.