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State of Affairs: Fight over Ontario Airport, regulation of Airbnb, and the minimum wage




The City of Ontario has filed a legal claim to gain control over the L.A./Ontario International Airport. Some Inland Empire leaders this week criticized a plan by Los Angeles airport commissioners to increase the number of passengers at  the Ontario airport. (L.A./ Ontario International Airport. Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
The City of Ontario has filed a legal claim to gain control over the L.A./Ontario International Airport. Some Inland Empire leaders this week criticized a plan by Los Angeles airport commissioners to increase the number of passengers at the Ontario airport. (L.A./ Ontario International Airport. Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
Stock Photo David McNew/Getty Images

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Southern California Public Radio political reporter Alice Walton and business reporter Ben Bergman join Take Two for our weekly installment of State of Affairs. 

Ben, let's begin with a story about a former politician turned businessman. Austin Buetner, L.A.'s first ever deputy mayor, recently has taken on a new role as the publisher of the L.A. Times. Yesterday he gave a big speech downtown about his plans for the paper. What did he say?

The Times has traditionally played a very large role in Southern California, setting the news agenda for many outlets. But like papers all over the country, they've really struggled. Can they continue to play that same leading role in this new digital era?

We are coming up on the holidays, a very busy time for travel, but right now also a contentious time at the Ontario airport. Ontario is controlled by Los Angeles World Airports but Inland Empire officials say they should be the ones overseeing the airport. In the latest chapter of this fight, Ontario airport commissioners are calling for a sit down meeting with Mayor Eric Garcetti. Alice, what's the latest?

The two of you have done reporting on L.A. City Hall's efforts to regulate sharing economy companies like Uber and Lyft. Now some council members are trying to take on websites like Airbnb and VRBO. These are sites that allow homeowners to rent out their apartments and homes on a short term basis. Alice, what is City Hall trying to do here? Ben, have other cities tried this? 

Let's talk about another nationwide effort that is underway here in L.A. and that is the move to raise the minimum wage. Earlier this week, the Chicago city council overwhelmingly approved a minimum wage target of $13 an hour to be reached by the middle of 2019, joining cities like Seattle and San Francisco. Alice, has there been any movement here since we last talked about this?