A former Marine is accused of killing four homeless men late last month and early this month in Orange County. We talk with District Attorney Tony Rackaukas and hear the story of a man changed by the Iraq war, who often gave money to homeless people. Also, the end of LA's Redevelopment Agency means the end of a project important to Mayor Villaraigosa's CleanTech Corridor. Can Los Angeles still be a center for the “Green Economy” of the future? On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, are Super PAC's good for free speech or bad for democracy?
FROM THIS EPISODE
Former Marine and Iraq war veteran Itzcoatl Ocampo has been formally charged in the stabbing deaths of four homeless men in Orange County from December 20 to January 13. That announcement came today from Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas. After enlisting in the Marines right out of high school, Ocampo came home in 2008 a changed man. We speak with the DA and with reporter Louis Sahagun, who's been following the story for the Los Angeles Times.
Since the state Supreme Court upheld the abolition of Redevelopment Agencies by Governor Brown and the legislature, more than a few potential babies are going out with the bathwater. One is the "CleanTech Manufacturing Center," long planed to anchor Mayor Villaraigosa's so-called Cleantech Corridor.
So called political Super PAC's have been made possible by recent decisions of the US Supreme Court. They have names like "Restore Our Future," "Winning Our Future" and "Make Us Great Again." The latest thing in political finance, these massive war chests supposedly are independent of candidates. But their real purpose is to support particular candidates like Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry. Based on this year's campaign so far, how are they changing the political process?
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?
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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