FROM Jasmyne Cannick
South L.A.'s Food Desert Persists Los Angeles is a place of stark contrasts, even when it comes to access to quality food. While residents in affluent parts of the region complain about congestion at their Whole Foods parking lot, residents of South L.A. often have to drive long distances to find a grocery store that even sells fresh fruits and vegetables. There have been some encouraging and disappointing developments recently. Celebrity chef Roy Choi – of Kogi food truck fame – recently opened up his version of a healthy fast food restaurant in Watts. There were celebrations, lines around the block . Meanwhile, a lot that’s been vacant since 1993 sits nearby. City and community leaders had been trying to get a grocery store to open up there only to see the most recent plan collapse. We check in on all these latest efforts.
New Hospital, New Hope to Replace King Drew Medical Center When King Drew Medical Center opened in South L.A. in 1972 it was more than just a hospital. It was a symbol of hope and empowerment for L.A.’s African-American community. The hospital represented healing for people still recovering from the Watts riots. But over time, that promise faded. King Drew had such a bad reputation it was known as “Killer King.” The hospital was finally shut down eight years ago -- after aLos Angeles Times investigation detailed years of malpractice and mismanagement. This summer, a brand new facility is opening in its place. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital starts treating patients in July. Is it the beginning of a new era?
South Los Angeles or “SOLA?” We start today with a story about the power of perception. Can you change a neighborhood by changing its name? Twelve years ago, the city council tried when it rebranded South Central Los Angeles as “South L.A.” The idea was to free the community from the negative connotations of violence and crime that had become associated with “South Central.” Today, the council decides whether to create yet another name for the area. They’re scheduled to vote whether to make the acronym “SOLA” officially synonymous with “South L.A.” But why? And could it have any real-world impacts on the ground in the neighborhood?
Angelenos React to the Ferguson Grand Jury Decision LAPD Chief Charlie Beck says the trouble in Ferguson reminded him of rioting in Los Angeles in 1992, when four officers were acquitted in the beating of Rodney King. But nothing comparable took place. In Beverly Hills, protesters shut down an intersection of Rodeo Drive; near Leimert Park, several streets were shut down, and about 150 demonstrators found their way onto the 110 Freeway. Jasmyne Cannick, a local commentator on politics and society, went along.
Keeping the Peace and Allowing the Outrage The LAPD says a small group got "out of control" in the Crenshaw District last night, breaking windows, attacking a TV crew and storming a Walmart store. Fourteen were arrested after what police call a "splinter group" broke off from a peaceful protest at Leimert Park. KCRW's Saul Gonzalez sampled neighborhood opinion this morning. This afternoon, Mayor Eric Garcetti and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck told reporters about plans for this evening. While they acknowledged demonstrators' rights to protest peacefully, they said the law will be enforced. LAPD Chief Beck warned that disruption will be met with arrests.
LAPD Legacy Makes Dorner Case More than Just a Manhunt Fired police officer Christopher Dorner is charged with on murdering one cop and he's threatened many more. A thousand of the Los Angeles Police Department, the FBI and other agencies are hunting for him. Two cases of mistaken identity ended in police shooting up cars, and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck now says he'll personally review Dorner's dismissal to make sure there's no validity to his claims.
Council Holds Off on Name for LAPD Headquarters Los Angeles' police headquarters was named for William Parker , chief of the LAPD from 1950 to 1966. He got credit for professionalizing a corrupt and disorganized institution. But critics remember him for racism and a style of policing they compare to an occupying army. The current Police Commission has voted unanimously to give the new police headquarters a different name. Today, the City Council took up the issue , which brought a passionate crowd to City Hall, including columnist Jasmyne Cannick.
Proposition 8 and the Black Community Barack Obama 's expected to produce a record turnout of African American voters in California, and that could have an impact beyond the presidential election. Also on the state ballot is Proposition 8 , which would overturn the State Supreme Court's ruling that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right. Prop 8 supporters say Obama's big turn-out will favor a yes vote, because blacks are opposed to same-sex marriage. But they're also supporters of civil rights. Obama himself is opposed to same sex marriage, but he's also against Prop 8, which he calls divisive and discriminatory. We hear several voices on what's being called the "Obama Effect."
How Did Don Imus Go Down in Flames? Last night, the Rutgers women's basketball team met with ousted talk-show host Don Imus and this morning, coach Vivian Stringer called him "remorseful." Time magazine once named Imus one of America's 25 most influential people. He's in the National Broadcaster's Hall of Fame . But he's out of a job for the moment, for calling the Scarlet Knights " nappy headed hos ." With a record of calling Arabs "ragheads" and Jews "money grubbing," how did Imus last as long as he did? Why did presidential candidates and network news stars appear on his program when he insulted Hillary Clinton and Leslie Stahl? Was Imus worse than other shock-jocks or rappers? Why was last week's comment the last straw?
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.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.