Posts Tagged ‘Los Angeles’

After gamble backfires, L.A. demands refund from banks

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014
interest-rate-swaps-7

  In the San Francisco Bay area, public transit riders are paying $104 million in higher rider fees to cover the cost of exotic financial insurance known as an interest rate swap. In Detroit, the inability of the city to make interest rate swap payments signaled eventual bankruptcy. So the r...

A voting lottery?

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

Los Angeles is considering turning voting into a lottery. Last year's mayoral election saw a turnout of just 25 percent. The idea is to hold out the potential of winning a cash prize for showing up to do one's civic duty. But why should we care about people who don't care about voting, or are too...

Minimum wage activists set sights on L.A.

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

The concerted push for higher minimum wages in California has spread from the East Bay to Los Angeles. On the heels of a recently approved $15 minimum wage in Seattle, advocates for dramatically increased hourly wages sensed an opportunity to select a fresh target. That's where L.A. comes in. Or...

LA and SF dogfight over transport visions

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014
great streets

In San Francisco, a bus project over a decade in the making finally receives its massive environmental impact report. In Los Angeles, the mayor announces his first executive directive, launching a "Great Streets" program. It's a tale of two cities -- and two visions of the future of urban planning. ...

LA pot politics spreads statewide

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014
Up in Smoke

Thanks to Los Angeles, the politics of marijuana is lighting up in California this election season. Not only are L.A. laws, attitudes and consumption habits influencing neighboring counties, they're impacting the statewide debate. The situation is that Proposition 215, which voters approved...

Mass transit for poor frowned on in Bay Area

Thursday, May 8th, 2014
ba

There's plenty of research that shows that bus rapid transit is far the most cost-effective type of mass transit, with a flexibility that's particularly helpful to the less affluent. This is from a Reason Foundation study released in January about the shortfalls of the traditional, rail-centric appr...

CA cities gain tool to chop retirement benefits

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014
san.dilogo

A cliche in government circles is that there is no "magic bullet" available to address many big, difficult problems. But thanks to a recent action by the California Supreme Court, many local governments now do have a "magic bullet" to reduce their unfunded retirement benefits. On April 30, the co...

Surprising new study scores California sprawl

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

  A new national study is making waves for the way it ranks California cities. No matter how pleasant the weather, residents and visitors alike have complained for decades about sprawl. Highways jam with cars. Convenience stores and strip malls occupy block after block. It's hard to walk to see ...

Coverage of L.A. ‘pothole tax’ never mentions why budget is bare

Friday, April 4th, 2014

The city of Los Angeles' finances are in terrible shape. The city's economy is sluggish and revenue is stagnant. Meanwhile, retirement benefits for retired city workers -- especially police and firefighters -- eat up ever more of the budget. “As of June 30, 2013, the City’s two pension funds,...

L.A. proposal: That’s a pension tax — not a pothole tax

Thursday, March 20th, 2014
dd-poster

This proposal -- allegedly from Los Angeles bureaucrats but almost certainly from new L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti -- got the scorn it deserved on libertarian and conservative websites when it came out Wednesday afternoon: "L.A.'s elected officials should put a half-cent sales tax hike on the November...