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The billionaire Koch brothers have been big contributors to Republican candidates for many years, but they've said they will not get behind Donald Trump in the presidential race, funneling their donations toward local elections instead. However, there are plenty of big spenders in Hollywood who are ready to drop some dollars on Trump's campaign. Are they willing to openly admit it?

Then, Los Angeles Unified School District has paid out more than $300 million to settle teacher sexual misconduct cases in just the last four years. What is LAUSD doing to prevent sexual abuse?

Also, a City Council committee voted to give nearly $200 million in taxpayer aid to a private developer over 25 years to get the Gehry Grand Avenue project done.

And finally, the ongoing drought has reignited a debate over the future of the Colorado River's great dams.

Photo: Gage Skidmore

Which Hollywood Celebs Support Trump, and Who's Willing to Admit It? 9 MIN, 11 SEC

The Koch brothers have been big contributors to Republican candidates and causes for many years, but the one candidate they've said they will not get behind is Donald Trump. There are plenty of other big spenders, however, ready to drop some dollars on Trump's presidential campaign. He's kicking off his fundraising efforts in Los Angeles Wednesday with an event hosted at the mansion of real estate billionaire, Tom Barrack. The cheapest ticket to attend costs $25,000. Insiders involved in the event have said they there will be some entertainment bigwigs in attendance, but many are reluctant to openly state their support of Trump in liberal Hollywood.

Andy Kroll, California Sunday Magazine (@AndyKroll)

Kroll on Hollywood's most influential (and most discreet) political organizations

Turned Off by Trump, Kochs Focus on Local Elections 13 MIN, 44 SEC

Billionaires Charles and David Koch raised $400 million four years ago in a losing campaign against the reelection of President Obama. This year, the Kochs pledged to raise a war chest of almost $900 million to make sure a conservative candidate wins in November. That's more than the Republican Party itself is likely to raise. But the Koch brothers have been thwarted yet again, this time by the one GOP candidate they've said they won't support: Donald Trump. As a result, the Kochs reportedly have changed their minds about spending any money on the presidential election. Instead, they'll focus on local elections, and on continuing to support a network of conservative organizations they've helped build over four decades – organizations that have successfully helped usher in a Conservative era across the country.

Jane Mayer, New Yorker (@JaneMayerNYer)

Jane Mayer's 'Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right'

Dark Money

Jane Mayer

LA Unified Abuse Settlements Top $300 Million 8 MIN, 33 SEC

The Los Angeles Unified School District has been plagued in recent years by a series of teacher sexual misconduct cases. As a result, the nation's second largest school district has paid out more than $300 million to sexual abuse victims in just the last four years. The payouts aren't for the crimes committed by the teachers, however, they're for LA Unified failing to protect students, by either missing warning signs of sexual abuse or by outright dismissing or ignoring complaints. What is LAUSD doing to prevent sexual abuse?

Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times (@howardblume )

The huge price tag for missing warnings of LA teachers abusing students

Taxpayer Aid Approved for Gehry Grand Avenue Project 7 MIN, 12 SEC

For years, city leaders have been trying to turn downtown LA's Grand Avenue into a vibrant urban center. But the centerpiece piece of that vision has gone unrealized: a pair of towers designed by Frank Gehry, across from Walt Disney Concert Hall. The city took a step toward finally building the towers on Tuesday, when a City Council committee voted to give a private developer nearly $200 million in taxpayer aid over 25 years to get the project done. Does that mean a groundbreaking is coming soon?

Jon Regardie, Los Angeles Downtown News (@DowntownNews)

LA leaders take a major step toward providing taxpayer aid for stalled Grand Avenue project

Drought and the Future of Colorado River's Great Dams 7 MIN, 46 SEC

The Glen Canyon Dam is an enormous structure located near the Utah-Arizona border about twenty miles north of the Grand Canyon. It was built to harness and store Colorado River water for surrounding states, and to generate clean energy to power the region. It stands as a symbol of twentieth century ingenuity, a feat of engineering that allowed towns to thrive in the desert. But in the reality of today's ongoing drought, with water levels at historic lows, not just at Lake Powell behind Glen Canyon Dam, but in Hoover Dam's Lake Mead as well, there's an effort underway to combine the two dams into one. The end result could save 179 billion gallons of water a year, enough for a large population city like Los Angeles.

Aerial view of Glen Canyon Dam and Wahweap Basin of Lake Powell
Photo: Bureau of Reclamation

Abrahm Lustgarten, ProPublica (@AbrahmL)

The water crisis in the West has renewed debate about the effectiveness of major dams

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