- Newsmaker: MTA Bus Battle
Five years ago, LA's Metropolitan Transportation Authority willingly signed a federal agreement to avoid a civil rights lawsuit. Four times since then, the MTA has failed to get the courts to rescind the agreement. Today, the MTA Board held a closed-door meeting to consider another appeal. Chairman John Fasana reports that the MTA will continue to improve service while looking into an appeal to the US Supreme Court.
- Reporter's Notebook: Padilla Fined for City Council Campaign Spending
Los Angeles has some of the nation's toughest campaign finance laws. The city's new council president, Alex Padilla, is setting a record for violating them. Robert Stern, president of the Center for Governmental Studies and a leading authority on political reform, maintains that this latest fine, the largest in the ten-year history of the Ethics Commission, demonstrates the efficacy of local spending laws.
California law requires public access to all state beaches. In order to secure permits to build on private land, property owners negotiate with the Coastal Commission to provide public access. Often, the commitment turns out to be only a promise as property owners go so far as to lock gates to stairways and paths they have promised to keep open. Now, in an effort to crack down on such easement violations, the Coastal Commission is considering tough new public access rules. We learn more about this contentious California's land-use issue from the manager of the Coastal Commission's coastal access program and the president of one Malibu homeowners' association.