FROM Barbara Stinchfield
Has the Grinch Stolen Santa Monica’s Nativity Scenes? Complaints about over-regulation led Santa Monica to be called “The People’s Republic,” although it’s too prosperous to deserve the label. Now it might lose another designation: “The City of the Christmas Story.” This year, Atheists forced a lottery for spaces in Palisades Park, where life-sized nativity scenes have been displayed for almost 60 years. So, Santa Monica held a lottery. Out of 21 possible spaces, the Atheists won 18 and the Christians just 3. One other space went to Jews to put up a Menora. How have Christians reacted? Hunter Jameson is chair of the Santa Monica Nativity Scenes Committee, composed of 13 churches and the Santa Monica Police Officers Association…
Design by Committee Two weeks ago, landscape architect James Corner attended the splashy opening of Phase II of The High Line , the disused elevated rail-line that he and his firm James Corner Field Operations helped convert into the now famous park in the sky on the Lower West Side of Manhattan. Last week he was in Santa Monica before the City Council presenting the latest design for their new civic park: Town Square and Palisades Garden Walk . But can Corner deliver anything as exciting as the High Line, especially on a site in a quiet part of Santa Monica without any interesting topography or industrial relics to play with? Even worse—could this design-by-committtee process result in a watered-down concept? Santa Monica's cultural services director Barbara Stinchfield, landscape architect Stephen Billings, and columnist Frank Gruber give their thoughts on Corner's design and the community reaction to it. Then local residents Alex Webb, Nina Fresco, Cosmo Bua, Louise Steiner, Richard McKinnon, Genise Schnitman, and Grace Phillips, plus city councilmembers Gleam Davis and Bob Holbrook, chime in about their hopes and dreams for the park. You can see the design presentation online and as part of the exhibition New Park Design in Los Angeles in Hollywood. Banner image: Sketch of the Palisades Garden Walk, designed by James Corner Field Operations Ted Bardacke and others look over Corner's plans for the parks Ralph Mechur and others look at the model of the parks Orange bags with notes on the design were placed on the site by Santa Monica residents ' Merry Norris and others discuss the park plans Lisa Switkin, Fred Fisher, James Corner and Barbara Stinchfield stand on the park's site James Corner and Barbara Stinchfield at the community comment event
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?