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Real L.A. News from the Virtual World — Pensions, Poisons, Politics and a Remembrance

San Francisco Leaders Join to Find Solutions to Public Employee Pension Crisis

By Elizabeth Y. Stevens, Bay Citizen

A small but powerful group of politicians, union officials and civic
leaders arrived at City Hall this morning for a planned 9 a.m. meeting
with newly appointed Mayor Ed Lee.

Their agenda: Find a solution to the ballooning public employee
pension and health benefit costs that that threaten to swamp the city’s

The unusual working group was convened by investor and philanthropist
F. Warren Hellman, and held its first meeting at Hellman’s office on
December 9, according to one of the group’s leading members. They have
met roughly every two weeks since.


Toxic Tour: All Roads Lead to Boyle Heights

By Investigative News Network

Nestled between the Los Angeles River and the 710 freeway, and often
passed off as just another crime-ridden neighborhood by outsiders, Boyle
Heights is home to a growing concentration of Latino immigrants, many
who lived in and strengthened this community for generations.

Heights became a center for immigrant life in L.A. as early as the
1920s and remained so for decades. It was a place to call home when
other parts of the city wouldn’t open its doors. In the 1930s, its
demographics began to shift when Mexican families started to populate
the area as Jewish and Japanese families moved out. Today, Boyle Heights
boasts nearly 110,000 residents.

Dissected by five major
freeways and neighbor to several industries, the residents of Boyle
Heights face significant amounts of noise, air, industrial and traffic
pollutants every day.  As part of the award-winning “Toxic Tour”
reporting project sponsored by and Spot.Us, this project
will bring you coverage from this underreported community highlighting
the detrimental effects caused by pollution and other harmful
environmental health factors.

Brown’s CRA Abolition Plan Targets Corporate Welfare

By Steven Greenhut, Cal Watchdog

This really could be the beginning of the end for the state’s
redevelopment agencies, those noxious, corporate-welfare-enabling
entities that have wreaked havoc on property rights in California since
the 1950s.

The new governor’s budget plan would eliminate California’s
425 redevelopment agencies and divert the cash that now goes through
them to developers and planners and use it to pay off debt, enhance the
state budget and pay for traditional local services such as schools and
police. This is one of the most fiscally prudent ideas imaginable, and
the best evidence to date that Gov. Jerry Brown might do some welcome
and unpredictable things.

Already, we’re hearing the cries of woe from those who believe that
government central planning is the source of urban revitalization.

(READ FULL STORY and Listen to Martha Montelongo interviewed Greenhut and me about the CRA on KRLA 870 at 11 p.m. Saturday night)

Remembering the Challenger Explosion
25 Years Ago

Michael Szymanski, then a young Daily News reporter, offers a remembrance of that day 25 years ago when he was sent scurrying across the country in pursuit of the story.

“Find something different and call me in an hour,” his editor instructed. “Just do your magic. Go tell me a story.”

Szymanski, now the Patch com reporter for Studio City, recalls his adventures as he went about finding stories that captured the emotions of the people at the Kennedy Space Center as they dealt with the tragedy.


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One Response to Real L.A. News from the Virtual World — Pensions, Poisons, Politics and a Remembrance

  1. Anonymous says:

    Is the Toxic Tour similar to the “Clean Up, Green Up” campaign which aims to eliminate such “toxic hotspots” by encouraging the growth of environmentally-friendly businesses in those areas and by prompting existing businesses to reduce pollution”"”"” I send a trend of non profits now getting into the Green issue because this is where you can get Fed money. Boyle Heights is such a mess its embarrassing. It use to be a beautiful community but now graffitti, trash, illegal vendors have ruined the look and you think you’re in Mexico. Huizar could care less because he feels comfortable living like a pig.

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