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.
What is Trump's plan for Middle East peace? On his first foreign tour, President Trump has promised "peace" between Israel and the Palestinians. Are there any details for re-starting talks that have been stalled for the past three years?
Venezuela spirals into economic and political chaos Venezuela, a country whose potential for prosperity is unmatched, finds itself on the verge of civil war. What sustains the repressive government? With time running out, guest host León Krauze looks at what the international community can do to pull the country from the edge of collapse.
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?