Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa broke his arm on a bike a week and a half ago, and he's more eager than ever to make the city more bicycle-friendly. Santa Monica just might beat LA to the punch. Both cities have plans to close some streets to cars on Sundays with the ultimate goal of encouraging commuting by bike. In cities built for the automobile, what about bicycle safety and interrupting traffic flow for millions of cars? Also, a federal judge says "no" to parts of Arizona's new immigration law. On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, the Bush tax cuts are about to expire, paving the way for another election-year showdown. What are the possible options for individual taxpayers, the deficit and the economy?
FROM THIS EPISODE
Arizona lost a round in court today when Federal District Judge Susan Bolton temporarily blocked two controversial provisions of its new immigration law. One requires legal residents to carry immigration papers and the other requires local police to determine the status of people they stop and think might be in the country illegally. Reporter Nicholas Riccardi is in Arizona for the Los Angeles Times.
Nicholas Riccardi, Reporter, Los Angeles Times
Despite breaking his arm in a bicycle accident, LA Mayor Villaraigosa is promoting bike travel on city streets more vigorously than ever. A week and a half ago, he fell off his bike when a taxi cab pulled in front of him on Venice Boulevard. The cab driver didn't get a ticket, but the Mayor's elbow was broken in eight places. With his arm in a sling, he's now appearing on YouTube with a pitch for making LA streets bicycle-friendly. Meantime, in Santa Monica last night, the City Council agreed to look into an idea that took root in Bogotá, Colombia. There, it's called ciclovía, the Spanish word for "bike path." Around here it's called cicLAvía, with the emphasis on LA. We hear more from the Mayor, the City Council and others.
Tax cuts signed into law by George W. Bush were attacked for making the rich richer at the expense of the Middle Class and for helping to turn a federal surplus into a deficit. They are scheduled to expire at the end of this year and Republicans are warning of the biggest tax increase in history. President Obama wants to let the tax cuts expire in the top bracket, but keep them in place for individuals making $200,000 or less and for couples at or below $250,000.
David Herszenhorn, New York Times (@herszenhorn)
William Gale, Co-director, Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center
Doug Holtz-Eakin, American Action Forum (@djheakin)
Bruce Bartlett, journalist and historian (@BruceBartlett)
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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?
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