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.
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?