FIRST PERSON-For anyone who bothers to look -- since school districts like LAUSD make no attempt to hide it -- there is an ongoing history of illegal attacks on, and removal of, thousands of expensive high seniority teachers from coast to coast on clearly fabricated charges. This is happening because they are too costly for school districts that are themselves in dire financial straits due to their own malfeasance. 

EDUCATION POLITICS-The story of LAUSD School Board member and former President Ref Rodriguez gets more pathetic. Hewas arrested recently on suspicion of being drunk in public at a Pasadena restaurant. 

LA WATCHDOG--The Fire and Police Pension System had an unfunded liability of $3.3 billion in 2016.  So why did Mayor Eric Garcetti and the other four members of the Executive Employees Relations Committee (Councilmen Wesson, Englander, Kerkorian, and Koretz) make a decision behind closed doors in February of 2016 to ignore the recommendations of Miguel Santana, the City Administrative Officer, to terminate the very expensive Deferred Retirement Option Plan (“DROP”) that had cost the Pension System $1.6 billion since its inception in 2001? 

GELFAND’S WORLD--From a political standpoint, the Chinese are right to counterattack in the trade war by going after soybeans. That is a direct message to Trump supporters. (Darn! I was intending to write a piece without mentioning this particular president, and there I go right from the outset.)

RANTZ & RAVEZ-If you thought police recruitment and retention of police personnel were facing challenging times, wait until the newly proposed law by anti-police California legislators takes effect in our state.

BCK FILE--As a Southern California pulmonologist and doctor of internal medicine, Dr. Asif Mahmood (photo above, right)has been at the frontline of healthcare in Southern California for 18 years.. The physician says the issue of healthcare has never been more important and he has specific ideas about what’s needed to turn the state around. 

CAL MATTERS-As the capital of the nation’s most complex and populous state, Sacramento is no stranger to protest marches and other forms of political expression. 

ALPERN AT LARGE--SB 827--you know, the Wiener Bill from Sacramento that proposes ending city oversight over zoning and environmental law near rail lines, bus lines, bus stops, and anything resembling transit because, you know ... affordable housing and pro-transit and the homeless crisis, and all that.  Right? 

THE VIEW FROM HERE-California has a housing deficit approaching 4 million homes, and our housing shortage is a huge threat to our state’s diversity, economy, environment, and quality of life. I introduced SB 827 to create more opportunities for housing where we need it  --  near public transportation. SB 827 increases housing density near transit while still retaining significant local control. 

AT LENGTH-Six months ago, the Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka, agreed with my suggestion to hold a public meeting updating the harbor community on the various waterfront plans and projects. I even offered to help him plan it. The date was postponed at least six times and was finally held March 20 at the Warner Grand Theater, the site of the last presentation on the Ports O’Call development. 

CORRUPTIONISM-Answer: for the same reason that so many people are fat. There is a lot of junk information and it makes us feel good. 

FIRST PERSON--Amy Wax.began dealing with- or if you will- stubbornly failing to deal with, what remains the intractable issue of racism in the United States, that continues unabated to negate any possibility of a more perfect and fully integrated union, we might now beatify a dead Martin Luther King 50 years after he was assassinated in Memphis, Tennesee, but I have no doubt that his life might be just as much- if not more- be in danger in a 2018 America as it was back in April 1968. 

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