GELFAND’S WORLD--This year, April Fools' Day was kind of a bust. There have been a few jokes including Jack Humphreville's March 29 column, but things have otherwise been kind of dry in the hoax biz. Perhaps this is because April 1 happened to coincide with Easter Sunday, but I suspect that the main reason has to do with the tsunami of fakery we've been getting drowned under since Trump started his run for the presidency. It's been a real life restaging of Lily Tomlin's famous old line, "No matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up."
ADVICE TO THE COMMITTED-The March for Our Lives was almost entirely organized by the leaders of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The event on Saturday, March 24 drew hundreds of thousands of people to Washington D.C., and it inspired other marches in cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Boston, and Seattle.
GELFAND’S WORLD--I was a little concerned that the number of people showing up for the march against gun violence might be lower than expected. After all, it's been a month since the last mass shooting, and you know how the American people are always being accused of having a short attention span. Instead, the streets were packed and the rally area going from the City Hall to the Music Center was jammed.
PIECEMEALING IN HOLLYWOOD-If you've ever been involved in the approval process for a project in your neighborhood, you know it can be a long and complicated ordeal. Developers, city officials and citizens can spend years arguing over various issues, but there are good reasons to review everything carefully.
TRANSIT TALK--Because I am a transit rider since 1992 in what is many times called a not-transit-rich Los Angeles, I am quite interested in this bill. I am a transit rider because I am worried about air pollution in the Los Angeles Basin which after years of improvement is now slipping backwards toward more polluted. With the Trump Administration and EPA Secretary Pruitt ready to gut mandatory vehicle mileage requirements it seems certain air pollution will now get worse.
@THE GUSS REPORT-Opening day of the 2018 baseball season is on Thursday, but the joy of the diversion of the game and season is no longer enough to shield us from the things that punch us daily. Still, the Dodgers host their nemeses from the north, the San Francisco Giants, an adversary in a battle dating back a century to their days in Brooklyn and Manhattan respectively.
CONNECTING CALIFORNIA--California education finances are an unholy mess—with incomprehensible budget formulas, a new equity funding program that doesn’t produce equity, and cuts to schools even during the current economic expansion. And our state’s so-called education leaders steadfastly refuse to fix the system. (Photo above: Camino Real Charter High wins national Academic Decathlon.)
DEEGAN ON LA-There are over one billion voter-approved dollars and taxes in the pipeline to help our homeless, thanks to Proposition HHH (housing) and Measure H (supportive services). Now comes a new pledge and a slogan that have been added to the rhetorical arsenal. The big picture, however, tells us we still have, according to LA City Council, 25,237 homeless people sheltering on sidewalks throughout the city. Even though there have been dozens of expectations and promises made over the years, the number of homeless is rising. But now there is money to go with the talk.
TRUMP MEETS THE RESISTANCE--The usually hyper-manicured Beverly Hills Park seemed oddly juxtaposed with the bohemian drum circle and a rowdy crowd of hundreds that gathered in the wake of President Trump's Los Angeles March 13 fundraiser. Unlike the smoky air rising from some corners of the event, their message was clear: Trump not welcomed here. With all the chanting, you would be forgiven for wondering if the messaging memo was prepared by Vitruvius – no, not the famous Roman who gave us perfect proportion theory, but the Lego Movie character voiced magically by Morgan Freeman who defended his prophecy thus: "... all this is true because it rhymes."