Index
Tuesday
Nov242015

INTERNATIONAL: Argentina, presidential election, analysis: "Does Argentina's pro-business vote mean the Latin American left is dead?"; "President-elect Macri promises to reboot Argentine economy"; "New Argentine President Mauricio Macri Faces Tough Road Ahead" ....  

***Following up on earlier item noted here (Argentina, presidential election, end of "Kirchner Era")....

* Washington Post:  "Does Argenetina's pro-business vote mean the Latin American left is dead?"

* Wall Street Journal  "New Argentine President Mauricio Macri Faces Tough Road Ahead" - "Empty government coffers, rampant inflation and powerful Peronist opposition complicate leader's economic overhaul plans"

* Reuters:  "President-elect Macri promises to reboot Argentine eocnomy"

Tuesday
Nov242015

POLITICS/URBAN AFFAIRS: Pew Research Center, new poll/survey: "Voters distrust government in general, but like many specifics, poll finds" ....  

* Los Angeles Times:  "Voters distrust government in general, but like many specifics, poll finds" - From the LAT:

Americans have low levels of trust in the federal government and most find it poorly run and wasteful in general, even as they give high marks to many of its specific programs, according to a new poll.

Nearly six in 10 respondents said they feel “frustrated” by the government and another one in five described themselves as “angry” toward it according to the large-scale survey by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center. About three in four said government is “pretty much run by a few big interests looking out for themselves” rather than “run for the benefit of all the people,” and a similar share said the influence of money on the country’s politics has increased in recent years.

Only about one in five respondents said they feel they can trust the government in Washington to do the right thing most of the time. Large majorities had a low opinion of the honesty of the country’s elected officials. And in recent years, many have also soured on the judgment of their fellow citizens.

As recently as the mid-1990s, large majorities in both parties and among self-described independents said they had “trust and confidence in the political wisdom of the American people.” That view started to decline in the early 2000s, but took a sharp drop starting late in the George W. Bush administration, as partisan tensions mounted. That decline has continued through the Obama administration years, and today only slightly more than one-third of Democrats and Republicans and fewer than one-quarter of independents say they have confidence in the public’s wisdom.

And yet, despite those multiple measures of unhappiness about government and politics in general, large majorities have positive views about much that the government does in specific ..................

Tuesday
Nov242015

POLITICS/BUSINESS: Shoplifter pretrial "diversion program," "extortion"?: "Firm that teaches 'life skills' to suspected shoplifters extorts them, suit alleges"; also, "California prosecutor sues shoplifter pretrial diversion program" ....

***Shoplifter pretrial "diversion program," "extortion"?....

* Los Angeles Times:  "Firm that teaches 'life skills' to suspected shoplifters extorts them, suit alleges"

* Reuters:  "California prosecutor sues shoplifter pretrial diversion program"

Tuesday
Nov242015

L.A. CITY HALL: Development, proposed "Neighborhood Integrity Initiative," editorial: "The battle over L.A.'s skyline" .... 

***Following up on earlier items noted here (development, Hollywood, proposed ballot initiative, moratorium on "mega projects")....

* Los Angeles Times (editorial):  "The battle over L.A.'s skyline" - From the LAT:

Thirty years ago, homeowners and neighborhood groups worried that high-rise towers along some of the city's major boulevards were destroying their low-rise communities and turning suburban Los Angeles into a gritty, traffic-clogged Manhattan. Sympathetic politicians heeded those worries and launched a ballot initiative, Proposition U, to stunt the growth of development in most of the city. The measure passed by a wide margin, fueled by anger at City Hall's failure to manage the boom or acknowledge residents' angst. It remains a significant constraint on developers' ability to build enough housing to meet the population's increasing demand.

Today, Los Angeles is again facing a development-curtailing ballot initiative from neighborhood activists who are concerned about — or outright opposed to — L.A.'s increasing density and urbanization. This time . . . . . . . .

The goal, according to the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative, is to "end harmful speculative and politicized land-use decision-making by city officials." If put into effect, however, the strictures could . . . . . . . .

Nobody would argue that Los Angeles has an intelligent, fair or transparent land-use development system . . . . . . . .

So the frustration underlying the initiative is understandable. And its proponents hit some of the right targets. They want . . . . . . . .

But a ballot measure is a terrible way to do planning. Even worse ...................

Tuesday
Nov242015

POLITICS/TRANSPORTATION: New study, American Highway Users Alliance: "One-third of nation's 30 worst traffic bottlenecks are in Los Angeles area" ....

* Los Angeles Times:  "Study: One-third of nation's 30 worst traffic bottlenecks are in Los Angeles area" - From the LAT:

Every Southern California commuter who has stared through the windshield at stop-and-go traffic can name at least one portion of a freeway that makes rush-hour driving particularly painful. Mostly, they’re the usual suspects: the 405 Freeway through the Sepulveda Pass, the 5 Freeway through Commerce, the 101 Freeway through the San Fernando Valley. But a less common way to analyze which bottlenecks are the worst has turned up a few surprises.

A study released Monday by the American Highway Users Alliance, a nonprofit group that lobbies for interstate highway investment, examined which routes in the United States are the most continuously crowded, 24 hours a day, rather than during peak periods. Eleven of the 30 worst bottlenecks are in Greater Los Angeles. “These are corridors that are continually congested,” said Monali Shah, the director of intelligent transportation at Here Connected Driving, one of the companies that provided GPS speeds for the study. 

According to the researchers, the worst Southern California freeway bottlenecks — and their national rankings— are: ........................