FROM Ron Kaye
One NFL Stadium…or Two? With applause from downtown business leaders and union officials, the LA City Council today approved what's called a "non-binding" memorandum of understanding -- 12 votes to zero. AEG, which owns Staples Center and LA Live, can now begin to arrange financing for a football stadium next to them near the intersection of westbound Interstate 10 and the northbound Interstate 110 freeways. It's already been named Farmers' Field for Farmers' Insurance.
Post-Election Analysis With just one exception, Los Angeles voters re-elected every City Council incumbent on yesterday's ballot , even though all seven were challenged. With just one exception, every measure the Council put on the ballot passed, too.
Mayor Villaraigosa's Latest Choice to Lead the DWP In last night's speech on the State of the City , Mayor Villaraigosa said the strain of challenges facing LA have "undermined civic unity." He referred specifically to the battle over increasing utility rates, explained as necessary for the Department of Water and Power to switch from fossil fuels to "green energy." He promised to reform the DWP, an agency he said is known more for secrecy than transparency. This week Villaraigosa appointed Deputy Mayor Austin Beutner to become the DWP's ninth general manager in the past 10 years.
Financial Desperation at LA City Hall Former LA Councilwoman Wendy Gruel is now City Controller, the auditor and chief accountant, who studies economic forecasts and tells the Mayor and the Council what to expect. The answer for the next fiscal year is " not much ." Some city revenues will increase, but decreasing property tax will outweigh any gain, leaving a deficit of $484 million. We talk with Gruel and Council President Eric Garcetti.
DWP in Transition Los Angeles' Department of Water and Power is looking for a new general manager after Friday's abrupt departure of David Nahai. He'll be going to work for former President Clinton. Today, the DWP Commission took up a contract that will pay Nahai $6300 a week as a private consultant, the same rate he earned while running the nation's largest publicly owned utility.
Two More Water Mains Burst Two more water mains burst last night in the San Fernando Valley, just days after a fire engine was almost swallowed in a North Hollywood sink hole and a gusher broke through the pavement in Studio City. The Department of Water and Power says there've been dozens of "major blowouts" in the last three months, flooding streets and damaging buildings as well as vehicles.
Shining Some Sunlight on Measure B Measure B on next week's Los Angeles City ballot would authorize the publicly owned Department of Water and Power to build 400 megawatts worth of photovoltaics on warehouse rooftops, parking lots and unused rights of way. That's enough solar energy for 240,000 homes. We hear a debate.
Why Don't Facts Matter? "Fake News" may have a long history, but social media and 21st Century politics have brought it front and center. One reason for its appeal and its power is the tendency of so many people to cling to their beliefs — even when confronted with contradictory evidence. Today, another look at the Emotional States of America.
Will the march for science politicize objective research? Protesters are gathering all over the country for tomorrow's Earth Day March for Science. Since President Trump has proposed massive cuts in basic scientific research, will the movement be perceived as partisan politics — whether scientists themselves like it or not?
White House flip flops: NATO, Syria and China In less than 100 days, President Trump has contradicted himself on a host of foreign policy issues — Syria, NATO, China and Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Is it a strength — or a weakness — for the United States when the world of power politics never knows what to expect?