FROM Gloria Molina
California's Double Standard for Public Protection State regulators waited for months before they responded to the Southern California Gas Company's dangerous leak in the San Fernando Valley. They waited for years until the federal government finally forced closure of the Exide Technologies battery-recycling plant near East Los Angeles. Nancy Martinez reports for Eastern Group Publications, with six bi-lingual papers, including the Eastside Sun .
Supervisors to Consider New Jail Plan There's a broad consensus that LA County's antiquated Men's Central Jail needs to be torn down , but there's dispute about what should replace it and who should be housed there. Currently, the Sheriff's Department holds 3000 mentally ill inmates in what's become the biggest mental institution in the US. Tomorrow, the Board of Supervisors is expected to take up several options , laid out by the Vanir construction company, all of which provide beds for 3000 mentally ill prisoners. One would cost more than $2 billion.
Public Lands and Private Oil Wells In 1992, Los Angeles County voters approved Proposition A, providing money to preserve open space. Two years later, the County used Prop A funds to buy seven acres for parkland in the Whittier Hills. But in 2008, the City of Whittier leased it to the Matrix Oil Company, which says oil drilling will provide thousands of jobs and big money. The Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy joined a lawsuit against the project, but settled for a share of the profits. Last week, the County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to oppose the plan. But Matrix and the City of Whittier say the County has no jurisdiction.
A Last Stand for Grand Avenue? The Grand Avenue Project on LA’s Bunker Hill was first envisioned back in the 1960’s as a cluster of world-class cultural institutions along a broad, pedestrian-friendly thoroughfare. Ten years ago, architect Frank Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall gave new life to the idea. Later, he designed a larger plan for the street that never happened. It was replaced by a downsized plan that recently was rejected by the Grand Avenue Authority, chaired by LA Supervisor Gloria Molina. The developer, Related, now has until early next year to come up with a scheme she likes better.
GRAND PARK OPENS Tomorrow, the Grand Park will open in downtown Los Angeles. It’s the first real park in that urban environment… four blocks of grassy terraces leading from Grand Avenue down to North Hill Street. On an official tour, KCRW’s Frances Anderton began at the top - on Grand Avenue between the County Courthouse and the Hall of Administration, just above the Arthur J. Will Fountain, which hasn’t been visible for years.
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.
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.