Measure A on the LA County ballot would raise the sales tax to 8.75%, the highest level allowed in California. Right now, only Alameda County in the Bay Area has reached that peak. Sheriff Lee Baca and LAPD Chief William Bratton claim that will provide 5000 new officers, and they promise a crime reduction of 50 percent. The measure, which faces no organized opposition, needs a two-thirds approval to pass. Jeff Rabin, who covers LA County government for the Los Angeles Times says the pledge of increased public safety, emergency response and crime prevention is a big promise to fulfill.
The City of LA is required by law to clean up its storm drains and stop polluting Santa Monica Bay. Proposition O on November's ballot would raise property taxes to do the job. Like Measure A, the proposition faces no organized opposition, but needs a two-thirds yes vote to pass. Mary Nichols, former secretary of resources under Governor Davis, says Prop O demonstrates a proactive response to problem solving.
- Making News: Arafat's Condition Critical
Late today, Yasser Arafat was said by Palestinian officials to be in serious or critical condition. Israel has given permission for him to be moved to a hospital. Recently, he's been reportedly suffering from several different ailments. Dennis Ross spent many years negotiating with Arafat, as President Clinton's special envoy to the Middle East, considers what the Palestinian Territories would be like without him.
- Reporter's Notebook: Ovitz Testifies
Yesterday, in a Delaware courtroom, Michael Ovitz's own lawyer gave him a forum to complain that he didn't know why he was fired by Walt Disney, when Michael Eisner was always getting into his way. Today, under examination by a plaintiff's attorney, the gloves came off in the shareholders' lawsuit over extraordinary severance pay. That's according to NPR entertainment industry correspondent Kim Masters.