In today's pages: Bridges, babies, boxing
Former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright and William J. Perry say John McCain is wrong to suggest throwing Russia out of G-8. Author Jennifer Block pushes home births to the medical establishment. Columnist Tim Rutten offers a requiem for L.A.'s one-time status as a boxing town, and former "Tonight Show" writer Brad Dickson imagines L.A. as run by The Grove creator Rick Caruso:
Transit: Several MTA buses are replaced with streetcars on faux cobblestone roads going nowhere. After a near-catastrophic collision, Caruso deflects criticism by asserting that the fake roads are, statistically, still safer than the Orange Line.
Economy: Caruso balances the city budget. He accomplishes this in part by eliminating all street parking and building city-owned parking structures that charge $8 for the first hour and $6 for each subsequent 15 minutes, with a maximum rate of $179 a day for a lost ticket.
The editorial board says good riddance to the anti-gang program L.A. Bridges, reminds educators to focus on learning, not testing, if they decide to OK a statewide algebra test, and urges SAG to start negotiating so that the industry can start working again.
On the letters page, readers discuss Colombia's hostage rescue operation, which had government operatives posing as NGO officials. Long Beach's James L. Kilgore doesn't think it was so great a move:
In creating a fake nongovernmental organization, it has given license to insurgents and rogue governments all over the world to treat humanitarian aid workers as enemy combatants. In simpler terms, which the editorial board might understand, it is as though it distributed maps of Doctors Without Borders clinics in the Democratic Republic of Congo marked "bomb them."
*Cartoon by Ted Rall, Universal Press Syndicate