The whole state has been hit by heavy weather, with record rainfall in Southern California and record snowfall up north. We look at the aftermath -- from mud-clearance in Laguna Beach to skiing at Mammoth Mountain, which officially has the most snow in the world. Should kids be required to wear ski helmets? Also, official economizer Laura Chick is economized out of her job by incoming Governor Jerry Brown. On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, federal agencies are spending tens of billions of dollars on domestic intelligence, so much it's impossible for anyone to keep track. Is it making America safe from terrorism or creating new threats to Constitutional rights?
FROM THIS EPISODE
As the recent storms picked their way through Southern California, Laguna Beach got 10 inches of rain this week. Evacuation orders were lifted today, but access to some neighborhoods is still blocked by mudslides. The worst of it was downtown, where mud and water flowed into 26 businesses. Kelly Boyd is a Laguna Beach City Councilman and owner of a bar called the Marine Room.
Kelly Boyd, Laguna Beach City Councilman
Laura Chick was an Los Angeles City Council Member whose next office was City Controller, where she polished her reputation as a relentless auditor. When she was termed out, Arnold Schwarzenegger asked her to make sure that $50 billion in federal stimulus money were being properly spent. Now Governor-elect Jerry Brown says he'll abolish her job to save money.
Segment image: Governor Schwarzenegger names Laura Chick to the first-in-the-nation position of Inspector General to act as watchdog over the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds as they are dispersed in California, April 3, 2009
Most Southern Californians may be complaining about heavy weather, but it’s great news for skiers. SkiInfo.com reports that Mammoth Mountain has the most snow in the world, with 16 feet in the past 4 days. That means a lot of people will be hitting the slopes, along with their children.
The Department of Homeland Security is spending tens of billions of dollars on domestic intelligence and is coordinating with state and local organizations. More than 70 so-called "fusion centers" have been established across the country.
Steven Hewitt, Director, Tennessee Fusion Center
Michael German, Brennan Center for Justice (@BrennanCenter)
Brian Jenkins, RAND Corporation (@BrianMJenkins)
Loch Johnson, former Assistant, Church Commission
Loch K. Johnson
More From Which Way, L.A.?
Which Way, LA? The Question that Won't Go Away 23 years ago, the fires of the Rodney King riots were burning and the sirens wailing when KCRW first asked, WWLA? We've been through fires, floods, earthquakes and massive social, cultural and economic change. While this is the last program titled WWLA? the question still needs to be asked. We talk with a group of important and thoughtful people about what LA has become and about the challenges to be faced in the future…as we continue.
Then and Now: Is LA Still the Car Capital of the World? Urban planners got some bad news today. Ridership on public transit in Southern California is on the decline, despite the billions being spent in recent years to build light rail and subway lines. Why aren't more drivers leaving their cars at home, as traffic gets more congested than ever? Meantime, there's a shortage of money to repair aging roads, bridges and other parts of the infrastructure. We look at the impact on the state's economy.
Does California Have a Double Standard for the Public's Protection? Porter Ranch and Vernon are mirror images of each other. In one, schools have been closed and thousands of residents are being moved away by the polluter—just months after a natural gas leak was discovered. In the other, residents complained for years about health risks to school children from exposure to lead and arsenic from a battery recycling plant— until the federal government finally stepped in.
Is 'Warfare' a Thing of the Past at the LAPD? Video of police misconduct wasn’t as common 25 years ago as it is today. The spectacle of LAPD officers beating Rodney King was a wake-up call, but didn’t persuade a jury in Simi Valley. When the cops received not-guilty verdicts, the city exploded. We hear from veteran officers who say they’ve changed. What about their tactics? Have they gained the trust of marginalized communities and people of color?
LATEST BLOG POSTS
Curious Coast: One listener wanted to know more about LA’s indigenous communities, here’s why Araceli Argueta is a lifelong resident of the Los Angeles area, but she still doesn’t consider herself an L.A. native. At least, not in the traditional sense of the word.… Read More
LA’s Tongva descendants: ‘We originated here’ KCRW listener Araceli Argueta wanted to know more about the history of Los Angeles’ indigenous people and submitted this question to Curious Coast. “What Native Tribes’ lands are we on?… Read More