FROM Ruben Vives
Bridges and Walls: LA River, part 2 The Los Angeles River in downtown is getting new bridges and parks. But with the greening of the river may come “green gentrification.” DnA tours a disused railyard that will be turned into a park, hears about dreams for changes in the Lower LA River and talks to architect Frank Gehry and other stakeholders about LA County’s updated masterplan for the entire 51 miles of flood channel.
Big corruption in tiny town of Maywood, California There’s a corruption scandal in Maywood. Investigators for the district attorney’s office have seized computers and boxes of documents from city hall and the homes of many city officials. Maywood is just one of several small towns along the 710 freeway that’s had a corruption scandal in recent years. Remember Bell, Cudahy, Huntington Park?
What happens to accountability, when fewer people are looking? The L.A. County District Attorney’s office is taking a closer look at the City of Maywood. It executed several search warrants this week at Maywood City Hall, along with some other locations including the home and business of the city’s mayor, Ramon Medina. The raids do follow a recent, state audit that criticized the city of Maywood for poor oversight of its finances.
Hearings Continue for Current and Former Officials of the City of Bell When Randy Adams was negotiating for 770,000 thousand dollars to be the city police chief, he joked in an e-mail about “taking all of Bell’s money.” That’s just one of the ugly revelations emerging from hearings into a scandal that’s made Bell the national poster child for local corruption. Part-time council members were paid 100,000 a year for meetings they almost never attended—all arranged, says the District Attorney, by two principal defendants: former Chief Administrative officer Robert Rizzo and his former assistant, Angela Spaccia. Their compensation amounted to 1.5 million and 850,000 respectively. With all but one council member facing charges and no meeting since last year, who’s in charge?
Maywood, the Little City that Couldn't Maywood is a little-known city of 45,000, mostly Latino, residents in a heavily industrialized part of southeast Los Angeles County. After a vote last night by its city council, Maywood has a new distinction: it's the only city in California to turn over all its municipal functions to another jurisdiction. Ruben Vives of the the Los Angeles Times picks up the story.
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.
The Trump agenda: where's the beef? President Trump says big things are happening. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. With James Comey’s public testimony scheduled tomorrow, the President today tweeted his selection of a new FBI Director. Is the Chief Executive all style and no substance? Later, terror attacks in Iran and conflicting claims about who’s behind them.
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.