FROM Gary Baker
Does LA have tunnel vision? The tunnels of the Downtown Regional Connector in Los Angeles Photo by Avishay Artsy There is a tunnel currently under construction 60 feet below Little Tokyo. It's an S-shaped tube and it's finished in curving concrete, parallelogram-shaped panels that are so elegantly arranged that Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti called it a "sexy tunnel." It's called the Downtown Regional Connector and it will link the Expo, Blue and Gold lines. The tube is being created by a computer controlled machine that drills through the earth and then positions concrete rings in five foot segments. And all this is being done in a way that the project manager says creates very little ground movement. But this is not the only tunnel project in LA. Also in the pipeline are the Crenshaw/LAX Line and two segments of the Purple line (running from downtown west towards Santa Monica). Meanwhile, Elon Musk and his Boring Company are busy boring his own tunnel. Musk has complained loudly about his own LA commute and has suggested various concepts for speeding it up. He once told DnA he wanted to put another deck over the 405. Now he is aiming for a "3D" tunnel network in which vehicles would be lowered down onto rails on an electric skate that would then shoot underground at about 130 miles per hour. "There's no real limit to how many levels of tunnel you can have," Musk explained at a TED Talks event. "You can go much further deep than you can go up... so you can alleviate any arbitrary level of urban congestion with a 3-D tunnel network." Musk recently tweeted out an image of a stretch of tunnel under the parking lot of his company SpaceX in the city of Hawthorne. He says it is 500 feet and should be two miles long in three or four months; and adds that it will hopefully stretch the whole 405 north-south corridor from LAX to the 101 in a year or so. Is it a coincidence that if built -- and it's a big if since this project would involve multiple cities and jurisdictions -- it would run conveniently near his own home in Bel Air? DnA talks to the mayor and a city engineer about LA's boom in tunnel building.
Revisiting showrunner Steven Bochco on his memoir Steven Bochco, the writer-producer behind record-breaking Emmy winners Hill Street Blues, LA Law and NYPD Blue, fought battles with everyone from out-of-control actors to network censors in his long career. He isn’t afraid to tell those tales in his memoir, Truth Is a Total Defense. This week we revisit the conversation where he shared some of his favorite stories with us.
Accusations of lying fly between James Comey and White House During his testimony Thursday, former FBI Director James Comey accused President Trump and other White House officials of lying when they said the FBI was in disarray and its staff had lost confidence in him. President Trump’s lawyer said Comey was wrong -- that the president never asked for his loyalty, and never asked him to back off the investigation into former NSA director Michael Flynn.
How do Trump supporters feel about the Paris Accord? Globally and around the U.S., there are strong opinions whether or not the Paris Climate Accord is a good idea. The American exit is either a horrifying abdication of American leadership or a forceful and long overdue statement about U.S. sovereignty.
Why is Trump so behind on filling staff jobs, establishing concrete policies? Yesterday Donald Trump signed a “decision memo” to revamp the air traffic control system. But there was little legislative detail in the plan. There’s not much to other splashy announcements from the White House, including tax cuts and the arms deal with Saudi Arabia. And hundreds of positions are unfilled in federal agencies.