FROM Ryan Vaillancourt
Can Los Angeles City Hall Become Business Friendly? How many times have you heard that the City of Los Angeles is not "business friendly?" We hear some anecdotes about what it takes to get building projects — big or small — from the planning stage through to completion. This as a unanimous City Council has voted to merge the Department of Planning with Building and Safety, with planners in charge, starting in January. The goal is to get rid of red tape.
Health Conditions on LA's Skid Row Last year, Federal Judge Philip Gutierrez ordered the LAPD to stop seizing what looked like abandoned property on the sidewalks of Skid Row. That gave homeless people a chance to leave their belongings outside while they went inside for food, showers or social services. Now the County Department of Public Health has ordered a cleanup because of what it calls immediate risks to public health. What about personal property? Ryan Vaillancourt is a staff writer for the LA Downtown News .
'CleanTech Manufacturing Center' a Casualty of CRA Decision Since the state Supreme Court upheld the abolition of Redevelopment Agencies by Governor Brown and the legislature, more than a few potential babies are going out with the bathwater. One is the " CleanTech Manufacturing Center ," long planed to anchor Mayor Villaraigosa's so-called Cleantech Corridor.
The Valley Performing Arts Center Opens: Are LA’s Suburbs Creating their Own Arts Centers? The Grand Avenue project on Bunker Hill is supposed to put Los Angeles on the cultural map of the world. But the Grand Avenue Authority just gave the Related Companies yet another extension of the deadline to break ground on Phase One. In the meantime, the suburbs—where many lovers of culture reside—are building their own centers. Most recently, CalState University Northridge opened the Valley Performing Arts Center to rave reviews. The west side is another source of potential audiences for the Grand Avenue project downtown. Since 2008, west-siders have been attending performances at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica.
City of Los Angeles Squares Off against Governor Brown Last Friday, with just 24 hours public notice, the LA Community Redevelopment Agency met to approve a plan negotiated with the City Council. Some $930 million in CRA money will be transferred to the City to protect it from Governor Brown. In Sacramento this afternoon, Governor Brown met with Antonio Villaraigosa and eight other mayors to discuss the issue. Governor Brown addresses League of California Cities on redevelopment funds
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.
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.