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Mixer: Mayor douses city Fire Department recruiting

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This week, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti ordered an immediate stop to the recruitment of firefighters in the city’s department.
He called the hiring process “fatally flawed” and he’s enlisted Santa Monica-based think tank RAND Corporation to study the process.
That means a scheduled fire academy class with about 70 cadets will no longer be held, and no more firefighters will be hired from the current …

California Elections, economy, Environment, Interviews, LA Noir, News, Politics, The New Mayor »

Mixer: Is LA hungry to close medical pot shops?

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This week, LA City Attorney Mike Feuer and Police Chief Charlie Beck announced an effort to help property owners and real estate agents comply with Proposition D, which banned all but about 100 medical marijuana dispensaries that opened before 2007.
But that’s not the only crackdown.
Four LA dispensaries were raided by DEA agents, along with two homes.
We’re devoting today’s Mixer to the issue of medical …

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Calderon told to step down or face Senate expulsion

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Fellow Democrats say state Senator Ron Calderon must either resign or take a leave of absence within a week or face expulsion. After surrendering to authorities, a handcuffed Calderon stood before a federal judge yesterday and pleaded not guilty to 24 felony counts, including bribery, conspiracy and money laundering. If convicted on all the charges, the potential sentence could total nearly 400 years. Senate …

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Calderon shoe drops and Dodger beating suspects plead guilty

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A federal grand jury has indicted State Senator Ron Calderon and his brother Tom on multiple corruption charges.
The US Attorney’s Office says the Calderons face charges of mail and wire fraud, bribery and money laundering.
Gene Maddaus is a reporter with LA Weekly, and Andrew Blankstein is with the NBC News Investigative Unit based here in LA.

Did we see all of this coming? Especially given the Calderon …

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Marijuana backers back away from California, for now

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A national coalition that led the push for legalizing recreational marijuana in Colorado and Washington has decided to hold off on a similar ballot measure in California this year. Instead, the coalition will wait until 2016 to try to qualify its initiative. Two other groups are gathering signatures in an effort to get legalization measures on this ballot this year. But neither of those …

California Elections, economy, Environment, Food, Issues, News, Politics, water »

Drought relief gets political… and cable companies want to get together

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President Obama spent a few hours in California’s Central Valley today, where he announced drought aid for farmers, food banks and rural communities. After landing in Fresno this afternoon, the president held what the White House called “a roundtable with community leaders.”
The president’s visit comes on the heels of $173 million his administration announced for California drought relief. ($100 million for livestock; $60 million …

California Elections, economy, Environment, Issues, Politics »

Mixer: Waxman out. So who’s next?

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Gene Maddaus reports for the LA Weekly and Seema Mehta reports for the Los Angeles Times.
Longtime West LA Congressman and powerful Democrat Henry Waxman announced this week he will not seek another term, after serving 20 of them on Capitol Hill.
That’s 40 years in Washington.
And now the race is on here at home to succeed him, which is landing some familiar names on the ballot.
Officially, …

California Elections, Issues, LA Noir, Politics »

Mixer: Building for Supervisor and Speaker

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Paul Pringle writes for the Los Angeles Times, and Jeremy White reports for the Sacramento Bee.
Pringle’s story that work had been done by county workers on LA County Supervisor Mark-Ridley Thomas’s house caused the politician to lash out this week on Which Way LA?
The Times story reported that all the work went beyond permissible security improvements. Ridley-Thomas says allegations that he allowed taxpayers to foot the bill for extra work are …

California Elections, Commentary, Headline, Politics, Zocalo Public Square »

Is it even possible to be an informed citizen?

Photo via Flickr by Loco Steve/ CreativeCommons

To be an engaged, informed citizen in California is to be hopelessly behind in your reading.
We’re told that we need to follow the big issues in California, that we need to be informed about policy debates, and that policymakers want our feedback on major proposals.  It all sounds reasonable enough, until you see the homework. The governor stresses the importance of his budget, but …

Arts & Culture, California Elections, economy, Education, Environment, LA Noir, News, Politics, The New Mayor »

Mixer: Resignation and designation

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In the midst of growing criticism about his leadership at his department, LA County Sheriff Lee Baca announced this week he’s stepping down on January 31 from the post he’s held for more than 15 years.
Baca says he doesn’t want to be a distraction going forward.
Baca’s been under intense scrutiny for accusations of abuse at jails and, of course, the indictment of 18 former …

California Elections, economy, Education, Environment, Featured, Interviews, Issues, LA Noir, News, Politics, Race for Mayor, The New Mayor, water »

Mixer: Our Year in Review

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The year is coming to a close and we look at some of the biggest stories of 2014.
There were a couple of high profile shootings underscored security and response at public places across LA.
One tragic day in June turned an idyllic Friday in Santa Monica into a horrible day for people in around the Santa Monica College campus.
That’s when a man who grew up not …

California Elections, Featured, Interviews, News, Politics »

Mixer: Sheriff’s office chicanery and shysters

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LA County Sheriff Lee Baca admits that mistakes were made in the hiring of dozens of officers with histories of misconduct. And a convicted sex offender has sued hundreds of Southland businesses under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
LA Times reporter Robert Faturechi, and Hillel Aron, who writes for the LA Weekly, join us for this week’s Mixer.

An LA Times investigation reports the LA County …

California Elections, Featured, Issues, News, Politics, Sports »

Palmdale ordered to start over with city elections

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An L.A. judge has thrown out the results of Palmdale’s City Council elections and ordered the city to hold a new vote. L.A. Superior Court Judge Mark Mooney says Palmdale must elect its four council members from defined districts, instead of using an at-large voting system, in which office holders are elected citywide. Mooney ruled earlier this year that Palmdale’s at-large system discriminated against …

California Elections, economy, Environment, Headline, Issues, Politics »

Mixer: Burning a hole in your wallet and on the beach

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Tiffany Hsu from the Los Angeles Times and Gustavo Arellano from the OC Weekly joined us.
Yes it’s Black Friday. But we don’t care about the fights going on in the aisles of Walmart. There were gatherings outside, where a couple hundred protesters turned out in a steady rain.
Wal-Mart has long been a target of labor unions because it is a non-union operation. And the group …

Arts & Culture, California Elections, economy, Education, Issues, LA Noir, News, Politics, The New Mayor »

Mixer: Sheriff’s parachute, rideshare apps, and the mayor of Portlandia

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The end of the week means we have analysis of LA stories and politics. Welcome to the Mixer.
Gene Maddaus reports for LA Weekly, Seema Mehta reports for the Los Angeles Times. They joined us to dissect the big stories of the week.
If someone points a finger at you, go ahead and retire. A new report finds that none of the top managers at the LA …

Arts & Culture, Bad Driving, California Elections, economy, Education, Environment, Headline, Issues, LA Noir, News, Politics, Race for Mayor, The New Mayor »

Mixer: The Legislature adjourns: a Sacto Roundup

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We would advise you to stick a fork in Sacramento, but that wouldn’t be nice.
On today’s Mixer, we’ll just say the California Legislature is toast. Over. Fin.
Lawmakers in the state and assembly have passed hundreds of bills this week. Legislation that’s now piling up on Governor Jerry Brown’s desk.
Nannette Miranda from KABC-TV/Channel 7, and Patrick McGreevy from the LA Times joined us to discuss.

A bill that would allow …

California Elections, economy, Education, Environment, Headline, Interviews, Issues, LA Noir, News, Race for Mayor, Summer, The New Mayor »

Mixer: Murals, Millennium, Prisons and Porn

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There’s nothing like a long holiday weekend. But the news knows no days off. So, we talk about the long week in LA on today’s Mixer.
Thanks to Dennis Romero from LA Weekly and Claudia Peschiutta from KNX Newsradio for our robust roundtable.
The LA City Council took a first step this week toward lifting a decade-long ban on murals on privately owned buildings. The measure must still come back for …

California Elections, economy, Education, Headline, Interviews, Issues, News, Politics, Race for Mayor, The New Mayor »

The Mixer: DWP contracts, street repairs and the Sheriff’s race

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On our Mixer this week,  Raphael Sonenshein, Executive Director of the Pat Brown Institute at Cal State LA joined us.
The LA City Council today told city staff to finalize a new agreement between the city and the union that represents about 9 in 10 workers at the Department of Water and Power.
The deal will – over the course of 30 years – save ratepayers …

California Elections, Headline, Issues, News, Politics, Race for Mayor, The New Mayor, Today's News »

Mixer: Mayor Garcetti mixes things up, and suddenly a sheriff’s race

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Today, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti overhauled the Department of Water and Power commission. The mayor said in a statement the new panel will help him shake up the status quo at the DWP to save money for ratepayers.
The four new members to the panel that oversees the Department of Water and Power are former Congressman Mel Levine, foundation director Michael Fleming (who is also KCRW’s …

California Elections, economy, Featured, Headline, Issues, LA Noir, News, Politics, Race for Mayor, The New Mayor »

Mixer: Broken boulevards of broken meters

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We know there’s debt at City Hall. Apparently, there’s also debt on the way to City Hall.
Our guests this week on the Mixer are David Zahniser from the Los Angeles Times and Dakota Smith from the LA Daily News.

After months of campaigning for the city’s top job, the candidates leave behind a trail of IOUs. Eric Garcetti ultimately won that fight, but his main …

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