- Newsmaker: Hahn Gives Contract to Company He Once Barred
In the 1990-s, when Tutor-Saliba failed to meet specifications in MTA subways and was judged to have made false claims against the MTA, City Attorney Jim Hahn prevented the company from getting LA contracts. Now, Mayor Hahn has awarded a new contract to the company that has become a major contributor to his campaigns. Bob Stern of the Center for Governmental Studies says, though not particularly ethical, the contract is not illegal.
- Reporter-s Notebook: Santa Barbara Secession Bid
Different economic interests, diverse cultural profiles and accusations of unfair domination have Santa Barbara County-s northern and southern regions considering a political divorce. Nora Wallace of the Santa Barbara News-Press says that, too impatient for the political balance to shift, northern secessionists are pushing for a, distinct new political jurisdiction to be known as Mission County.
LA Wants to Ban Big Box Stores that Sell Groceries
Wal-Mart has big plans for Southern California, including a new super-center near Palm Springs. It has its eyes on the City of Los Angeles, too, despite the opposition of two LA City Councilmen. Although so-called -big box- retail stores generate millions in sales tax for local government, Eric Garcetti and Ed Reyes claim that such stores create traffic congestion, drive mom-and-pop-s out of business and destroy communities. Should big boxes be banned? We hear from spokesman Tom Williams, who says that Wal-Mart-s 1200 super-centers in 45 states across the US serve consumers, pay taxes and make communities better, and from Roxanna Tynan of the Los Angeles Alliance for New Economy, which supports union organization and living wage.