DEEGAN ON LA- “Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water” was the chilling slogan for the movie “Jaws” many years ago. But just as locals at the beach thought they had their shark problem fixed, yet another swimmer was pulled out of the surf with half her body turned into a shark’s dinner. A few days ago the LA Times announced in its headline, “LA County's Homeless Problem Is Worsening Despite Billions From Tax Measures.” This was less than one week after the City Council approved a plan to house 60 of the area’s estimated 58,000 homeless in a city parking lot.
CORRUPTION WATCH-We are ignoring the mechanism by which a predatory society brings incessant violence upon itself. The United States is one of the most abusive, predatory societies on the planet. Whether a person is sane or not, a person’s national culture is the major factor in whether he or she murders masses of people. These shootings arise from our nature.
VOICES--In nearly every corner of Los Angeles, there are homeless encampments — collections of flimsy tents, usually within mere feet of a school, a park, a business, or someone’s home. Their presence invariably sparks a neighborhood debate, with loud voices proclaiming that “those people” are there by choice.
CAL MATTERS--The essence of California’s pension crisis was on display last week when the California Public Employees Retirement System made a relatively small change in its amortization policy.
PLATKIN ON PLANNING-According to the San Jose Mercury News, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti conditionally supports Senator Scott Wiener’s proposed Senate Bill 827, which has been amply pilloried – for good reasons – at CityWatchLA. The mayor’s one condition is that an amendment to this real estate bill should protect existing rent stabilized apartments from demolition.
FIRST PERSON-For quite a while now I have believed that the longstanding, preprogrammed and well-orchestrated failure of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) (along with other public school districts like it around the state and country) can only be changed for the better by a radical restructuring of its openly entrenched self-serving bureaucracy. It is a system that, by its very nature, has put the interests of its vendors before those of its students, teachers, families, and communities.
WHAT’S HAPPENING WITH Y OUR MEASURE HHH DOLLARS?--City Council President Herb Wesson, who has watched Mayor Eric Garcetti drag his feet for more than a year, building NO units of housing to shelter the homeless with voter-approved “Measure HHH” homeless funds, tweeted out a catchy PR campaign today that in no way moves the dime.
D.C. DISPATCH-Just yesterday in Washington, news broke that Rick Gates had allegedly agreed to cooperate with the Special Counsel’s office in his case against Paul Manafort. Today, Mueller filed new charges under seal against both Manafort and Gates. Mueller is obviously upping the ante to get Gates to fold and for some reason he is stalling. Could Trump be considering offering pardons?