FROM Jeff Gottlieb
With West Nile, Who Are the Real Pests? Los Angeles has seen a decline this year in infections of the deadly West Nile Virus. But Orange County has recorded 94 cases when last year, during this same period, there were just two. One death in Seal Beach, another in Huntington Beach and a third in Santa Ana prove how serious the problem can be.
Bell Scandal Sentencing and Corruption Beyond Today was “the Big One” for the city of Bell, one of California’s poorest cities. Coming up for a sentence on corruption charges, former City Manager, Robert Rizzo, once paid $1.5 million a year, told Judge Kathleen Kennedy he “breached the public’s confidence” by looking more to himself than the community.
AG Jerry Brown Subpoenas Bell Officials over Excessive Salaries Past and present officials made between $800,000 and $1.5 million from the City of Bell, a situation made possible by a special election, for which just 400 people turned out in a city of 40,000. Among the nine officials subpoenaed today is Robert Rizzo, Bell's former City Manger, whose salary was almost $800,000, with benefits pushing his compensation package to $1.5 million. Attorney General Jerry Brown is investigating the salaries which he says "could constitute a violation that would bring into question the entire election." Brown is also the Democratic candidate for Governor, a post he held for two terms in the 1970's and 80's.
Metrolink to Address Safety along the Tracks In the aftermath of the crash with a freight train that killed 25 people in Chatsworth, today's Los Angeles Times reports that the company employing the Metrolink driver has had troubles in other places. Mayor Villaraigosa has called on Metrolink to review all its contracts.
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."
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.
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.
In Janesville, WI, Middle America meets the new American dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn't prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. We hear what's happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.