Politics, government and public life for Southern California

CA's High-Speed Rail Authority needs loan to mitigate legal delays

A State Assembly budget committee voted Wednesday to approve a loan for the High-Speed Rail Authority. 

The $26.2 million would cover operating costs for the agency that's building California’s bullet train while it seeks to resolve legal challenges over its use of voter-approved bonds. 

In 2008, Californians approved Proposition 1A, authorizing the state to issue $9 billion in bonds to build a bullet train that speeds riders from Los Angeles to San Francisco in  less than three hours.

But critics say the High-Speed Rail Authority’s latest plan for the project won’t provide that fast of a ride.  

“They are claiming that they can still meet the two hours and forty minutes, but they don’t have any evidence to show that,” said attorney Stu Flashman, who’s suing the state on behalf of various cities and environmental groups to stop the project. 


Eric Garcetti avoids schoolyard tussle with Wendy Greuel

Los Angeles Mayor


Mayoral candidates Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel say they both want to debate public education but for now, they can't agree on the logistics.

Wendy Greuel's campaign sent this photo from Camino Nuevo Charter High School via social media Wednesday afternoon with the message: "For me, education is personal, not a political issue. I'm ready to debate today — Eric Garcetti, will you join me?"

Los Angeles Mayor race 2013It had all the hallmarks of a playground throw down: Meet me in two hours and we'll settle this... 

On the heels of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa calling on the two mayoral candidates to step up and communicate their education platforms during his State of the City address Tuesday night, Wendy Greuel stepped up with a challenge to Eric Garcetti.

In a press release emailed at 12:12 p.m. Wednesday, Greuel's campaign invited Garcetti to meet her for a debate at 2:15 at Camino Nuevo Charter High School, where she already had an appearance planned with LAUSD Board President Monica Garcia.

A spokesman for Garcetti declined, saying he would keep his previously scheduled 2 p.m. news conference. 

"This is another political stunt from [City] Controller Greuel," said campaign spokesman Jeff Millman, "just like her claim to have found $160 million in waste, fraud and abuse.  Let's end the political games and get serious about education." 


#DearMayor Live from North Hollywood: What should the next mayor do first?

Dear Mayor Event

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Jacob Shideler tells us what he would like the next mayor of Los Angeles to focus on.

Dear Mayor Event

Grant Slater/KPCC

KPCC forum producer Elaine Cha speaks with Marc Wada, a patron at Republic of Pie in the NoHo Arts District.

Dear Mayor Event

Grant Slater/KPCC

Oakwood High School students Elena Dole, Maxx Vogel and Lily Harris tell the future mayor what they'd like to see done at our event at Republic of Pie in North Hollywood.

Dear Mayor Event

Grant Slater/KPCC

KPCC political reporter Frank Stoltze speaks with David Wurmlinger, an actor, at our Dear Mayor event at Republic of Pie in North Hollywood.

Dear Mayor landing page2:30 p.m.: A final pie to go

That'll do it for our town hall today. Come talk to us next week in Westchester, when we'll be at The Coffee Company. Bring your issues for L.A.'s next mayor, and your appetite!

2:15 p.m.: Dear Mayor, keep Metro's expansion on track

Connie Ho came from Alhambra to talk to us about what she wants from the next mayor, but her thoughts reflect many we heard in NoHo as well. 

"The thing that I want the next mayor to address is public transportation." Specifically, the expansion of L.A.'s Metro system. 

1: 55 p.m.: Dear Mayor, the bus system is getting worse

We've from a lot of people about the need to ramp up L.A.'s public transportation system. But Robert Stokoe, 77, says he doesn't want to see the bus system – on which he and many others rely – suffer as more money goes toward subways. 


Maven's Morning Coffee: Mayor calls for education platform, LAX plans get OK, councilman goes after 'swatting'

Gore congratulates LA, Villaraigosa 06

Christopher Okula/KPCC

In his State of the City address, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa called on the mayoral candidates to present real education platforms.

Good morning, readers. Welcome to the Maven's Morning Coffee -- a listing of the important headlines, news conferences, public meetings and announcements you need to know to fuel up and tackle your day.

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Today is Wednesday, April 10, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:


Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa delivered his State of the City address at UCLA. He used the speech to discuss his legacy and call out Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel for not presenting clear education platforms. KPCC, Daily News, Los Angeles Times. 

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According to LA School Report, following the mayor's speech, Eric Garcetti called for a mayoral debate focused on education. "We agree that education has to be seriously debated in this campaign," a Garcetti spokesman said.


CA bill to limit immigration detentions clears key committee

OC Immigrant Detention

Jae C. Hong/AP

An Orange County Sheriff's deputy keeps a watch over a group of immigration detainees in the medical and dental care area at the Theo Lacy Facility in Orange, Calif., Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2010.

A California lawmaker is reviving an effort to change how local authorities respond when federal immigration officials request custody of a detainee.  

Governor Brown vetoed the so-called Trust Act last year because he said it prevented law enforcement from detaining certain violent criminals. 

A new version of the bill cleared its first committee Tuesday and is heading for a full Assembly vote as soon as next week.

The federal Secure Communities Program requires local law enforcement agencies to report all arrests to federal immigration officials.  If immigration officials suspect a detainee is here illegally, they can ask local agencies to keep them in custody.  
Rosa Aqeel of the faith-based advocacy group, PICO California, says the law is supposed to help detain and deport dangerous criminals, but that’s not how it has worked.
"What’s happened in actuality is that the program has swept up everybody and anyone that comes into contact with law enforcement," Aqeel said, "including someone who gets pulled over for a broken taillight, or a victim of domestic violence who reports the crime."