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Local drivers who think they've seen traffic congestion are in for a weekend that could break records, if anyone's keeping track. From Sherman Oaks to Bel Air, the San Diego Freeway will be shut down from midnight Friday until 5am Monday. How will a half-million vehicles get through the Sepulveda Pass? Also, can cities and counties help keep parks open after the State shuts them down? On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, political change and continuing conflict in the Middle East.

Banner image: After midnight, workers demolish the east section of the Skirball Bridge, while traffic flows on the southbound lanes. Photo courtesy of Metro © 2010 LACMTA

Making News Schwarzenegger's Public Marriage, Private Child 7 MIN, 51 SEC

Today's LA Times carried the story that Arnold Schwarzenegger fathered a child by a household staff member before he was elected Governor. The staff member retired in January, and Schwarzenegger said his wife, Maria Shriver, moved out of their Brentwood estate when he told her sometime after leaving the governorship. In a statement made pointedly on her own, Shriver called it "heartbreaking." Joe Mathews, Irvine senior fellow a the New America Foundation, is author of The People's Machine: Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Rise of Blockbuster Democracy.

Joe Mathews, Host, "Zocalo's Connecting California" (@joemmathews)

The People's Machine

Joe Mathews

Main Topic LA Prepares for the Mother of All Traffic Jams 12 MIN, 24 SEC

"Short-term pain means long-term gain." That's what METRO says about its four-year, $1 billion addition of a carpool lane to the San Diego Freeway from the 10 on the Westside to the 101 in the San Fernando Valley. But two weekends may cause more pain than the rest of the project put together. During the first, from midnight Friday, July 15 until 5am the following Monday, the 405 will be shut down in both directions through the Sepulveda Pass.

Douglas Failing, Metro
Bart Reed, Transit Coalition

Reporter's Notebook State Parks Face the Budget Axe 6 MIN, 20 SEC

In order to save money, the State is going to shut down 70 parks to all visitors starting early next year. How did they choose which ones to close? Can they really keep people out? Ruth Coleman is Director of the State Department of Parks and Recreation.

Ruth Coleman, California's Department of Parks and Recreation

Main Topic Has the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Entered a New Phase? 26 MIN, 45 SEC

Has the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Entered a New Phase?The nightmare scenario that Israel has feared since its establishment came true." "The barrier of fear has been broken."  Those are Israeli commentators on what Defense Minister Ehud Barak describes as "the Palestinians' transition from suicide-bomber terrorism" to "mass demonstrations, deliberately unarmed." They're all quoted in a Washington Post article by Joel Greenberg in Jerusalem. With Middle Eastern regimes under challenge as never before, are the Palestinians adopting a new strategy in their struggle with Israel? How will President Obama respond to claims that the US is losing influence in the region?

Joel Greenberg, freelance reporter
Laura Rozen, Al-Monitor (@lrozen)
Jim Gelvin, University of California, Los Angeles
Uri Dromi, Miami Herald
Mouin Rabbani, Institute for Palestine Studies (@jadaliyya)

The Modern Middle East

James L. Gelvin

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