Urban Farming — An Idea Whose Time Has Come

Urban Food Deserts

Urban farming is taking root because it makes sense. It conserves dwindling water supplies, makes little plots of land productive, reduces food bills, provides healthy produce free of salmonella and chemicals and gets people off the couch and in motion.

Budget Shocker: L.A. Shows $119 Million Surplus

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Gary Cohn: The reasons for Los Angeles’ comparatively good financial condition include a legal groundwork laid years ago that required specific funding safeguards, recent give-backs from public sector unions and an improving economy.

Villaraigosa Fracks Up?

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Lauren Windsor: The city derives 40% of its energy from two out-of-state power plants in Arizona and Utah. During his speech, Mayor Villaraigosa said that energy would be replaced with wind, solar, and natural gas. Is that so?

LA Mayor “Suave”

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Victoria Defrancesco Soto: Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has broken a cardinal rule three times in the last week. TMZ, the celebrity gossip site has actually bestowed the title of Mayor Suave upon Villaraigosa.

No on Measure J: Time to Stop Ballot Initiative Exploitation

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Anthony Asadullah Samad: NO ON Measure J. Tell your friends, family, even people you don’t like. Vote Obama, Jackie Lacey and NO on Measure J.

L.A. Police Leave Chalking Protesters Alone

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Dan Bluebel: A month after the ArtWalk uprising, Occupy Los Angeles pulled off another act of civil disobedience to protest the arrests of several occupiers and non-occupiers for chalking sidewalks. This time around it was peaceful.

Chalk Walk Protesters Rebuff Villaraigosa

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Cheryl Aichele: Apparently, the City believes their chalking event is legal because they had a permit. However, the box the chalk comes in seems to encourage what the Mayor calls criminal behavior.

Bike Share King: LA’s Antonio 4,000 … Chicago’s Rahm 3,000

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Stephen Box: Los Angeles is in an enviable position where it can select from the best yet it acted rashly and without public participation from the advocates who have been involved all along.

Los Angeles Fire Chief Talks Budget Cuts and Response Time

New York Firefighters Rescue in Worst Storm

How is the Fire Department affected by budget cuts? Chief Brian Cummings of the Los Angeles Fire Department talks to the community about budget cuts and response time.

What Good Is Black History Month?

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Sharon Kyle: I have this gnawing sense that with the exception of official national holidays, the only time our nation honors people with a special day or month is when they are members of an exploited group.

No One In Los Angeles Ever Takes the Blame

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Stephen Box: General Managers, also appointed by the Mayor, find themselves caught between a term-limit restricted Mayor and a Civil Service hard place. Critics claim that they often serve as simple cannon fodder and Mayoral expeditors.

Prisoner Reintegration: Helping Those Trying to Help Themselves

Nyabingi Kuti

Ron Kaye: The conversation that started in Pasadena is long overdue. The failure of locking people for long sentences in overcrowded conditions without effective rehabilitation and support programs was clear a long time ago.

Los Angeles Shows an Alternative Approach to Occupy

occupy la police

Tom Hayden: Compared with the brutal police crackdowns against the Occupy movement in New York City, Oakland and even the pacific Davis campus of theUniversity of California, the Los Angeles eviction last night was almost entirely peaceful. The question is why.

Who Will Be the Un-Bloomberg? What Mayors Should Say About Wall Street

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Tom Hayden: In light of the police actions in New York, Berkeley, Oakland, Denver, Portland and beyond—and as massive national demonstrations are about to take place—it’s not too late for the mayors to use their political stature to speak out about the crises befalling their cities.

Mayors to Obama: Bring War Dollars Home

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Peter Dreier: At its annual conference in Baltimore, the U.S. Conference of Mayors passed a resolution calling for an end to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, saying that the money could be put to better use at home.

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Conference of Mayors May Vote Monday Vs. Wars

Mayor Antonio Villaraigossa

Sherwood Ross: The Conference, which speaks for 1,200 mayors, expresses the pain felt by city officials as urgent domestic needs have been long scuttled so that America’s imperial presidents can wage wars in the Middle East to control the region’s oil.

Senator Loni Hancock Visits Gang Intervention Projects in LA

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Tom Hayden: In a promising development for gang intervention programs, a leading California senator visited several community-based projects in Los Angeles aimed at reducing gang violence through rehabilitation, training and job opportunities.

Enthusiasm Gap? What Enthusiasm Gap?

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Sylvia Moore: Sometimes the ones we love need understanding and time to make things right. Obama has only had less than two years to turn around an economy and society that took the GOP 30 years to destroy. And, he is hamstrung by an archaic, corrupt and dysfunctional political system that desperately needs fundamental structural reform.

California Assembly Outdoes the LAUSD and City of L.A. in Sending Mixed Message with AB 1832

Vote!

Jasmyne A. Cannick: While Californians were fixated on Tiger Woods and the trial of Michael Jackson’s doctor Monday, the State Assembly took a unified step in stifling the voice of the People to bring about change

The Living Wage, Affordable Housing, Subsidies, Public Works, and the Myth of Job Creation

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Ron Kaye: Antonio Villaraigosa once held the promise of being the leader who could bring us to this promised land. Maybe he still can but not as long as keeps on looking to enrich his friends and allies at the expense of others, not as long as keeps looking for his next job, not as long as travels the world rather than attending to his duties, not as long as he keeps thinking the people are fools who will fall for hollow promises.

Real Talk From L.A.’s Top Cop on His Decision to Leave, His Successor, and Black Los Angeles

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I have to admit that I am sad to see L.A.’s top cop leave. While my opinion may not be in the majority as it relates to Blacks here in Los Angeles, Police Chief William Bratton has definitely been my favorite police chief.

Arnold: Aid for Rape Victims Costs Too Much

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Despite Shriver’s political agenda, and amid a raft of budget cuts affecting women and children – including $16 million from domestic violence programs and $50 million from Healthy Families – the rape kit veto underscored the message that women in California count for less in the Schwarzenegger regime.

No Villaraigosa for Governor: LA Needs a Full-Time Mayor

Antonio Villaraigosa

It’s been a while since I’ve been on the same page at the same time with Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. As one of the few black stakeholders who backed his losing bid in 2001, and returned to support him in 2005, only to have to bash him for engaging in token reciprocity with the [...]

Judging Mister Mayor: Los Angeles Magazine’s Rip of Antonio Villaraigosa Put in Perspective

Anthonio Villaraigosa

Los Angeles magazine slapped the word “Failure” across a photo of L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on the cover of its June issue. This was not only a cheap shot, meant to grab attention and sell magazines, but also a misleading assessment of Villaraigosa’s track record after one term. The article expressed disappointment, even bitterness, that [...]

Antonio and the Fine Art of Political Seduction

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The mayor’s first road-show appearance selling his hypothetical $7 billion city budget took me around the corner Thursday afternoon to Providence Tarzana Medical Center where I kibbitzed with leaders of VICA and the United Chambers waiting for the inevitably late Antonio to arrive. Suddenly, as the program began with introductions, someone grabbed me from behind [...]

Antonio’s State of the City: Can’t We All Get Along — It’s Now or Never

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Here’s my favorite line from Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s “State of the City” speech Tuesday: “When challenges seem daunting, it’s always helpful to recall the old Japanese proverb: ‘Adversity is the foundation of virtue.’ ” My personal favorite proverb comes from my mother: “Actions speak louder than words.” I’ve been struggling since last night to put [...]

Response to ACLU Racial Profiling Study: Los Angeles Police Department Never Met a Reform Report It Agrees With

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The nation’s most abusive, and aggrieved law enforcement agency, the Los Angeles Police Department, is still “doin’ what it do” as it presented its response this week to a racial profiling study released to its civilian Police Commission in October 2008. The study, titled, “Racial Profiling & The LAPD,” documents that deep and pervasive racial [...]

Superintendent David Brewer’s Report Card: It’s the LA Times That Fails to Make the Grade

Antonio Villaraigosa and Dave Brewer

The Los Angeles Times has rarely offered a fair and balanced portrayal of the black community. It usually was (is) a strategic player in the witch hunt to depose black leaders, no matter who they were (are). Whether it was former Lt Governor Mervyn Dymally, the late Mayor Tom Bradley, former Police Chief Willie Williams, [...]

Keeping Hope – and Housing – Alive in LA

Wall Street is in meltdown. Banks are collapsing. Developers can’t get loans to build homes. Housing values are plummeting. Millions of Americans are facing foreclosure.

South Central Community Farm: Not Dead Yet

When I lived in New York City, I used to marvel at the weeds that would force their way up through sidewalk cracks. What a will to live, I thought: From clumps of dirt crammed between concrete slabs, these vigorous shoots fended off the hard, slapping heels of a thousand rushing city dwellers, just to [...]

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