FROM Beth Barrett
The Race to Replace Councilman Greig Smith There are seven LA City Council seats on the ballot next week, but only one without an incumbent. The 12th District is in the San Fernando Valley, where Mitch Englander is the establishment candidate against five non-insiders . Englander is the chief-of-staff for Councilman Greig Smith, who's retiring. Smith worked for his predecessor, Hal Bernson. Englander's $440,000 campaign war chest was provided by developers, unions and lobbyists, and his endorsements include the Daily News, the LA Times and former officials including Bill Bratton and Dick Riordan. Beth Barrett is a contributor to the LA Weekly . Information on the 12th District candidates forum , Thursday, March 3 at 7pm
Layoffs and Seniority in the LAUSD Last week, Judge William Highberger ruled that teacher lay-offs planned for three inner-city middle schools would deprive students of their constitutional right to an equal education. Gompers, Markham and Liechty are three of the lowest performing schools in LA Unified. Because the state budget crisis requires cuts, the District sent pink-slips to between 46 and 60% of their teachers. In more affluent neighborhoods, the average was less than 15%. The judge found that educational opportunity would decline disproportionately and ordered the District to find a better way. But it’s not going to be easy because of seniority rules.
L.A. School Board Readies for Budget Battle California faces a deficit upwards of 15 billion dollars. Governor Schwarzenegger’s proposed budget would increase education spending by 193 million—but that won’t pay cost of living increases and some special funding is being reduced. For the LA Unified School District , that means a 353 million dollar shortfall.
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.
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.