FROM Bob Blumenfield
Free WiFi at Los Angeles Parks… Closing in on the Digital Divide? In many places around the country, cities provide WiFi service for all their citizens. That won’t happen for years to come in Los Angeles — if ever. But starting today, WiFi will be offered in six city parks, for free. There will be designated “hot spots” in Venice Beach, Pershing Square, the Griffith Observatory, Echo Park Lake and Reseda Park. Councilman Bob Blumenfield has been a champion of what’s called the LA Community Broadband Network .
California Courts Face Financial Starvation The judiciary is California's third branch of government, but the courts now get just one percent of the total state budget. During the past five years, the courts claimed they've lost 65 percent of their funding. This week, Chief Justice Tani Cantil Sakauye delivered her address on the state of the judiciary . "To have your day in court, you need a courtroom and I will say that what we once counted on…is no longer true in California." Starting next Monday, anybody headed to small claims court may have a lot longer trip to make, and that's just one of the changes. Traffic tickets, domestic abuse cases — even adoptions -- could be affected. Are Angelenos ready for the new, smaller court system? Who will be hit hardest?
The Governor Proposes His State Budget for 2013 Governor Brown today predicted that his latest budget will lead to a surplus at the end of the next fiscal year… Even some Republicans are calling it good news. We’ll hear what it would mean for schools and social programs cut to the bone during the era of deficits. Will there be calls for more spending?
More Budget Cuts and a Bid to Raise Taxes Governor Brown delivered his State of the State speech today to a joint session of the Assembly and Senate. He proposed more cuts he said nobody likes in the budget, but also asked voters to approve a tax increase or face still more reductions. While pushing for reductions in spending, he called for major investments, including a California High-Speed Rail project that's been called unaffordable by a task force created by voters at the same time they approved the project four years ago. The Governor named education as the biggest item in the state budget, and proposed giving local school boards more authority.
Why Don't Facts Matter? "Fake News" may have a long history, but social media and 21st Century politics have brought it front and center. One reason for its appeal and its power is the tendency of so many people to cling to their beliefs — even when confronted with contradictory evidence. Today, another look at the Emotional States of America.
GOP 'Nukes' the Senate filibuster on SCOTUS nominees Senate Democrats today blocked Judge Neil Gorsuch's appointment to the US Supreme Court… but just for the moment. The Republican majority has changed the rules to force a likely confirmation as soon as tomorrow.