FROM Gary Toebben
Are California's Environmental Protections Bad for Business? Ronald Reagan advocated small government but, 43 years ago, he signed the California Environmental Quality Act , abbreviated as CEQA. The law has been given credit for both environmental preservation and protection of public health, but it's also accused of being bad for business. Now there's a move to make some major changes before the Assembly and Senate adjourn in less than three weeks.
The Economy, the Environment and the Port of Los Angeles After eight years of controversy, the LA City Harbor Commission has unanimously approved a new cargo facility to transfer containers from ships to train cars instead of trucks using the Alameda Corridor. Bob Foster, the Mayor of Long Beach, calls it a threat to the lives of school kids on his side of the border.
Can LA Make 'Green Zones' Out of 'Toxic Hot Spots?' "Toxic hot spots" include low-income communities where residents, young and old, are exposed to all kinds of unhealthy pollution from small, industrial companies. The Los Angeles City Council is considering a proposal to turn the "toxic hot spots" into "green zones." Called " Clean Up, Green Up ," it's the result, in part of a study completed two years ago by the Los Angeles Collaborative for Environmental Health and Justice.
Mayor Villaraigosa and the State of the City This was the day for Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to put up or shut up with regard to city finances, the Department of Water and Power and relations with the City Council. Just a few days ago, he warned that whole departments might have to shut down for two days a week and that 4000 workers might have to be laid off. Credit agencies lowered LA’s rating. Today, the Mayor presented a new budget and addressed the State of the City .
Safety, Capacity and the Ongoing Battle for LAX’s North Side Marion Blakey, head of the FAA , was in town today at the request of the Greater Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce . It wants Los Angeles International Airport expanded so that LA can stay competitive with other West Coast cities. Passenger safety is also an issue, especially after two jet airliners came within 37 feet of each other last week on the northern part of the airport. We begin the show with Ian Gregor, a spokesman for Marion Blakey.
Props 1A and 1B: Big Money for Transportation? Governor Schwarzenegger spent last week signing bills with George Clooney by his side and Tony Blair appearing by video linkup. Today and tomorrow he'll be putting partisanship aside as he tours the state with top Democrats, advocating a package of propositions on next month's ballot. Phil Angelides won't be going along, even though he backs the same measures. We look at the first two, Proposition 1A and 1B , which deal with the gasoline tax and a bond issue worth $20 billion--all for roads, freeways and public transit. It would be the biggest transportation investment in 50 years.
Is Venezuela becoming a dictatorship? Venezuela may have the world's largest oil reserves, but it's a nation in trouble… economically and politically. Is a populist promise to rescue democracy turning out to be a prelude to dictatorship?
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.