L.A. City leaders may ask voters to approve a half-cent sales tax increase to fix thousands of miles of deteriorating streets and sidewalks. But it’s far from clear whether Angelenos will agree to the tax hike. It’s estimated that 35 percent of the city’s roadways – a total of 8,200 miles – is either failing or close to failing. An even higher percentage of sidewalks are in bad shape. City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana says a half-cent sales hike would generate $4 billion or more for repairs over 15 years. L.A. voters rejected a half-cent sales tax increase last yearthat was designed to help the city recover from the economic downturn. Meanwhile, a proposal to fix streets and sidewalks by raising property taxes was abandoned before it could reach the ballot.
It was an embarrassment for MOCA in 2012 when artists John Baldessari, Barbara Kruger, Cathie Opie and Ed Ruscha quit in protest after popular curator Paul Schimmel was fired. Now all but Ruscha are returning to help direct a new management team at the LA museum. Mark Grotjahn will become the fourth artist on MOCA’s board. MOCA director Jeffrey Deitch – who oversaw Schimmel’s firing – resigned last summer and was replaced by Philippe Vergne, who arrived from New York earlier this month. MOCA will hold a 35th anniversary gala March 29th.
Texas Governor Rick Perry is back in California on another trip to lure businesses to the Lone Star State. It’s his third trip to California since last year. Perry ran an unsuccessful campaign for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012. And he’s widely expected to run again in 2016. Governor Jerry Brown has dismissed Perry’s poaching trips in the past – but Perry says he can point to at least 50 companies that have relocated to Texas from other states in the past year.
The longtime head of struggling L.A. public television station KCET is stepping down. Al Jerome says he’ll leave KCET in six months. His announcement comes on the heels of a financial report that questioned KCET’s ability to survive. The station lost more than $12 million last year. KCET split with PBS four years ago in a dispute over dues. And it’s lost much of its audience since then. KCET is a KCRW underwriter.
A 1,200 mile walk and bike ride will retrace the steps of a wandering wolf whose trek in 2011 across Oregon and California attracted worldwide attention. Members of the Wolf OR-7 Expedition say they hope their journey will help build greater acceptance of wolves as they reclaim lost territories across the West. OR-7 left northeastern Oregon in 2011 in search of a mate. Along the way he crossed territory that had not seen a wolf in decades. The expedition starts in mid-May.