Last updateMon, 14 Apr 2014 9pm

LOS ANGELES Thursday, April 17th 2014 12:45



The U.S. Has Let the Public Square Become a Metaphor and That Can’t Be Good for Our Democracy

Gregory Rodriguez
April 14, 2014
WHO WE ARE-Maidan Square in Kiev. Taksim Square in Istanbul. Tahrir Square in Cairo. Recent democratic movements around the globe have risen, or crashed and burned, on the hard pavement of vast urban public squares. The media largely has focused on the role of social media technology in these movements. But too few observers have considered the significance of the empty public spaces themselves. Comedian Jon Stewart was one who got it. He quipped that if he ever becomes a dictator, he’d “get rid of these [bleep]ing squares” Why? Because “nothing good happens for dictators” in such places. Read More...

Who’s Driving the Bus?

Greg Nelson
Apr 14, 2014
CITY HALL-Last week did not feature the City Council’s finest moments. Maybe it was because the members were bored, lazy, or not paying attention. Maybe it’s because most of them are new, and haven’t learned their jobs yet. Or maybe it’s because they were trying to pull a fast one, and got caught. The first fiasco occurred on Wednesday when the City Council approved ordinances that would have given 8.25% pay increases over the next 18 months to city employees who are not represented by unions, which includes the city’s general managers. Read More...

Eric’s Precarious Budget

Jack Humphreville
Apr 14, 2014
LA WATCHDOG-In the most honest and straight forward budget presentation in the last ten years, Mayor Eric Garcetti presented his “Back to Basics” budget at a Monday morning press conference at City Hall. This $5.1 billion General Fund budget is $250 million greater than last year’s Adopted Budget, representing a 5% increase.  Read More...

California Teens and the New Melting Pot

Bob Gelfand
Apr 14, 2014
GELFAND’S WORLD-I've just spent the weekend working with California teenagers in two very different venues, getting positive vibes in each case. I don't pretend to have the last word about our nation's future, but it's been an enjoyable experience looking at the work of young scientists and young filmmakers.  Read More...

To Your Health

Rosemary Jenkins
Apr 14, 2014
JUST SAYIN’-Over the last five years, Michelle Obama has been able to bring ever greater awareness to the national community about just how essential it is to look after our own health and to start our youngsters on a positive nutritional path from birth. As a result, just over the last five years (by following her lead), we are seeing the rate of diabetes and obesity reduced considerably. Since both maladies have a direct connection to heartdisease and stroke, we are beginning to see significant impact at reducing these illnesses as well.  Read More...

To the LA Police Commission: A few Things I Didn't Get to Say in My Two Public Comment Minutes

James Preston Allen
Apr 14, 2014
AT LENGTH-Most Harbor Area residents missed the historic Los Angeles Police Commission meeting held at Peck Park on April Fool's Day. All joking aside, this was the largest contingent of badged officers I'd seen in San Pedro, at one place, since the Rose Room Bar was raided back in the 1980s. There were almost as many cops as there were citizens, but perhaps that was a good thing since the upper brass got to hear a few choice public comments. It was the first time in recent memory that they've ever ventured down the Harbor Freeway to hold a meeting.  Read More...

Let’s Ban Leaf Blowers in LA… For Real This Time

Odysseus Bostick
Apr 14, 2014
THE BOSTICK REPORT-The high, whiny squeal pierced through the air, cutting the peace like a hot knife through butter. Check that, it wasn’t so much like it pierced the silence. It was more akin to a slowly building soundtrack of insanity. Five of my neighbors hire the same crew of gardeners. They come every Tuesday and unleash a frenzy of sound for at least 90 minutes strong. It’s a lot of noise for just one lawn mower and a leaf blower.  Read More...

What Does It Mean to Be 'So LA?'

Abby Draper
Apr 14, 2014
LA MUSINGS-This weekend, I was talking with an east coast friend, and as I was going on this rant about the importance of ridding yourself of negative energy, he said, "Oh my God. You're so LA now." This isn't the first time this has been said to me recently, so I started to think about things I now do and say that are "so LA," and it's ridiculous (but so amazing at the same time). Here are a few that stand out. Three-years-ago-me would laugh in current me's face if you would have told her this was going to happen.  Read More...

I Remember The Day FDR Died

Bill Moyers
Apr 14, 2014
RETROSPECTIVE- Ed Note: We offer this brief perspective to help remember America’s past so, as Santayana suggested, we don’t have to repeat it.) I remember that day well: the 12th of April 1945. The day Roosevelt died. I was 11 years old and FDR had been president since before I was born. My father came home early from work. He had been sitting high in the cab of his truck waiting for the red light to change when he heard someone on the street shouting: “The President is dead. The President is dead.”  Read More...



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Top 10 Points to an Affordable Los Angeles

Ken Alpern
Apr 14, 2014
ALPERN AT LARGE-There's time for complaining, and there's time for helpful suggestions. I've done plenty of the former, but also believe that without… Read More...

VANC’s Mixer a Magnet for NCs and Pols

Paul Hatfield
Apr 14, 2014
NEIGHBORHOODS LA-Jill Banks Barad is the Energizer Bunny of the NC system. Few can bring together 200 NC board members, stakeholders and some of the… Read More...

Will Neighborhood Schools Become Obsolete?

Diane Ravitch
Apr 14, 2014
EDUCATION POLITICS-This thoughtful article by Emma Brown in the Washington Post shows the debates in the District of Columbia about the future or the… Read More...

I Love Happy Endings!

Denyse Selesnick
Apr 14, 2014
NEIGHBORHOODS LA-Last week, I wrote in CityWatch how disappointed I was in the Los Angeles Emergency Services Bureau (a division of LAFD). I opined… Read More...

Showdown in Nevada. Lessons for LA

Carol Knapp
Apr 14, 2014
VOICES-I've been happy to see that the rural landgrab debacle otherwise known as the "Bundy Ranch vs. the FBLM" has grabbed public attention. The… READ MORE...

The West Traffic Division Shooting and the Price of Freedom

Doug Epperhart
Apr 10, 2014
FIRST PERSON-Last Monday evening, the meeting of the Olympic Park Neighborhood Council was interrupted when a gunman entered the building that houses… READ MORE...

Cal Tech Professor: Fracking Causes Earthquakes

John MacMurray
Apr 10, 2014
SCIENCE VS. POLITICS-I’ll be right up front about it: earthquakes scare me. Small ones are WHEW! moments, like when you realize the guy that just ran… READ MORE...

Compromise is Not a Dirty Word … Let’s Take Jeb Bush as an Example

Rosemary Jenkins
Apr 10, 2014
JUST SAYIN’-By now, most of you know that I am a dyed-in-the-wool, ultra-progressive Democrat. On the other hand, you must give me credit for not… READ MORE...
Neighborhood Politics header

El Sereno Sidewalk is No Longer an Obstacle Course

The Eastsider
Oct 24, 2013
EL SERENO-Last August Billy Branch of El Sereno set up a Facebook page as part of his one-man campaign to get a buckled and broken section of sidewalk on Cudahy Street near Locke Avenue fixed up.  READ MORE...

Valley Alliance Prez Gets DWP Commission Appointment

Stephen Box
Sep 17, 2013
THE VALLEY - The Valley Alliance of Neighborhood Councils (VANC) held its monthly meeting at the Sherman Oaks Hospital, complementing a full agenda with a few moments of celebration as the representatives of the 34 Neighborhood Councils in the San Fernando Valley honored VANC Founder and Sherman… READ MORE...

Kevin James Rocks the LANCC: Urges NCs to Appoint Public Works Liaisons

Stephen Box
Sep 17, 2013
LA NC COALITION - The Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Coalition held its monthly meeting at the Hollywood City Hall and featured Board of Public Works Commission President Kevin James, who has long been a partner with LANCC and the many Neighborhood Councils that represent the four million people… READ MORE...

Mob Democracy

Jennifer Solis
Sep 05, 2013
SILVER LAKE NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL - SilverLake Neighborhood Council got to experience a taste of mob democracy Wednesday night when an 8-8 tie vote failed to support a motion NOT to support the proposed gang injunction aimed at about three hundred members of six criminal street gangs along the… READ MORE...


What If Uncle Leland Had Won?

Joe Mathews
Apr 14, 2014
POLITICS-Here’s a thought exercise for the Leland Yee scandal. What if the investigation had been delayed, or stayed underground, for another year?… READ MORE...

Lawsuit Jungle … Clients Need a 'Bill of Rights'

Sara Warner
Apr 14, 2014
CALIFORNIA JUSTICE-The well-established Los Angeles attorney clearly meant to counter my argument that we need a civil litigation "clients bill of… READ MORE...

Years of Living Dangerously … One Last Pitch for Human Viability

Leonard Isenberg
Apr 14, 2014
MY TURN-Next year it will be 400 years since the Roman Inquisition concluded that Galileo Galilei was wrong and that the earth and not the sun is the… READ MORE...

All Hail Mickey’s 2020 Commission Report: LA’s Salvation - Not

Richard Lee Abrams
Apr 14, 2014
LA POLITICS-Well, Angelenos, we finally have it. Two of the city’s most prestigious downtown law firms, Latham & Watkins with 2,000 attorneys and… READ MORE...

IUSD Board Member Arnold Butler Resigns One Year After Re-election

Randall Fleming
Apr 14, 2014
INSIDE INGLEWOOD-IUSD board member Arnold Butler resigned last Wednesday, April 9. IUSD State Trustee Dr. Donald Brann confirmed Butler's resignation… READ MORE...

Act of Conscience: Teachers Vow Permanent Boycott of Common Core

Jesse Hagopian
Apr 10, 2014
WHO WE ARE-Last spring I was invited to the Earth School in the East Village of New York City to speak at a forum about the lessons of the MAP test… READ MORE...

The Undeclared Political War between California’s Latinos and Asians

Tony Castro
Apr 10, 2014
EDUCATION RIGHTS-A political war may be developing between Latinos and Asians in California over attempts to undo the state’s 18-year-old ban on… READ MORE...

The 77% Lie … and Why Obama Keeps Telling It

Larry Elder
Apr 10, 2014
GUEST WORDS-A quick way to kill debate is to accuse your political adversary of “lying.” Still, it’s hard to figure out what else propels President… READ MORE...







In case you missed it - front pg. header
From CityWatch


Stephen Colbert says what? On Meet The Press.

Ellen does politics!? Late night rehearsal?

Sports report: Insane Ping Pong!! (Don’t try this at home)

OK jocks. Listen up. Here’s how bad it hurts to run 135 miles!

Is this the best commercial in the world ... or what?




Jack Humphreville Promo 1