FROM Mike Bonin
Riding the Expo Line The last time Los Angeles residents were able to take a train to the beach, it was the Red Car in 1953. But on May 20, Angelenos will be able to board an Expo Line train in downtown LA and take it to downtown Santa Monica, just blocks from the pier. The extension was delayed for decades over safety, environmental and funding concerns. But now Metro, the train's operator, is hailing this and other subway extensions as a "transit renaissance" for the region. Is LA moving toward a less car-dependent future? LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, train operator William Smith, and LA Mayor Eric Garcetti Photo: Rob LaFond
The Mobility Plan Gets Another Look at LA City Hall Several projects approved by the LA City Council have recently been stopped by lawsuits — after they were already under way. They include a 22-story apartment building, a Target shopping center and two skyscrapers called the Millennium Towers. Now the Council may rescind, revise and re-enact its controversial Mobility Plan 2035 , in hopes of preventing the same thing from happening again.
City Government and the Sharing Economy Last month, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Airport Commission approved plans for Uber, Lyft and other ride-sharing companies to pick up passengers at LAX. But members of the City Council put up a stop sign, demanding debate and discussion. Yesterday, a council committee heard five hours of heated testimony, as a transformative new technology met politics as usual.
Labor Asks for a Pass on LA's New Minimum Wage? After eight months of often contentious negotiations, last week LA labor unions helped push through a plan to increase the city's minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020. Now they seem to have pulled an about-face on the position that everyone deserves a living wage. They're asking that businesses with unionized work forces be exempt . Why? How might it affect the final draft of the city's new minimum wage ordinance?
Should Cops Be Trained to Deal with the Mentally Ill? The police killing of an unarmed, homeless man has dramatized changes in Venice — once the home of "shabby chic," now rapidly gentrifying like the rest of the Westside. City officials are faced with contradictory complaints: with some residents angry that there aren't enough police and others saying they're too many. We hear local voices, including Councilman Mike Bonin.
Political Warfare over the Sharing Economy Airbnb claims almost 5000 "hosts" are offering rooms, and entire houses, for short-term rental in 80 Los Angeles neighborhoods. The start-up that's raised almost $20 billion in venture capital says it helps travelers to get off the beaten path and artists and other creative owners to stay in their homes — producing a $312 million bonus to the economy of LA alone. But neighbors in Silver Lake, Mar Vista, Venice and the Miracle Mile have other ideas — and they've organized as Keep Neighborhoods First!
Is Venice Losing Its Soul? The Venice Boardwalk is one of LA's most popular tourist attractions, but recently it's been the scene of high profile crimes. Last summer, a car was driven past a barrier post and killed a woman on the pedestrian walkway. In December, a homeless man was beaten on Ocean Front Walk. The LAPD has announced a three-month pilot program , including the increased presence of officers on bicycles. Is Venice's unique culture a still going on or is it a thing of the past?
Councilman Proposes Barriers for Venice Boardwalk After Hit-and-Run Saturday’s hit-and-run incident on the Venice boardwalk left one person dead and 11 injured. It’s being investigated by the LAPD’s Robbery-Homicide Division. The LA Times reports that 38-year-old Nathan Louis Campell, the suspect who turned himself in, might have spent time in a Colorado jail for trespassing and shoplifting. Mike Bonin is the newly elected City Councilman whose district includes Venice Beach.
Overnight RV Parking Raises a Stink in Venice A long-running dispute flared up again last week after a neighborhood watch captain claimed she saw a woman passenger in a large camper dispose of human waste in a gutter. The resident got the license number and called the police as the vehicle pulled away, spilling sewage and toilet paper behind it. That was on the Marina Peninsula, but the cops caught up with the camper blocks away in Venice. The passenger was arrested and then let go, but now City Attorney Carmen Trutanich says he plans to prosecute.
Nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula slowly coming to a head North Korea did not conduct a nuclear test this weekend, but it did show apparent progress in developing a missile that that could strike the United States. The Trump Administration says it has lost its "strategic patience." We hear what that might -- or might not -- mean for North Korea, China and the prospects for diplomacy.
"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."