Book Review: Jerry Brown, The Man Who Would be President, or a Monk

Bill Boyarsky
Columnist for LA Observed and former reporter, editor and columnist for the Los Angeles Times

Jim Newton’s “Man of Tomorrow: The Relentless Life of Jerry Brown,” explores in unparalleled detail the rich, varied and complex spiritual forces that have shaped the former governor and made him such a challenging political leader.   Newton is editor of Blueprint, the public policy magazine of UÇLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs, and a faculty […]

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Rent Control Issue will Rise in the Aftermath of the Protests

Bill Boyarsky
Columnist for LA Observed and former reporter, editor and columnist for the Los Angeles Times

The immediate cause of the demonstrations in Los Angeles and elsewhere following the police killing of George Floyd is well known—brutality by cops  inflicting racist treatment on African Americans.  But dig deeper into Floyd’s  and other killings and you’ll find   a more complex story. For Los Angeles, it is a story largely shaped by […]

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Garcetti Keeps his Balance on a Tight Rope

Bill Boyarsky
Columnist for LA Observed and former reporter, editor and columnist for the Los Angeles Times

Faced with the challenge of the coronavirus pandemic, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has risen to the occasion.  He’s taken charge, just as local and state chief executives have done around the country, filling the vacuum left by President Donald Trump. You can check this out yourself.  He’s live on local television and on line […]

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The True Story of COVID-19 in LA Must be Confirmed by a Lot More Testing

Bill Boyarsky
Columnist for LA Observed and former reporter, editor and columnist for the Los Angeles Times

Who is suffering most from coronavirus in Los Angeles County?  The affluent or the poor? Whites or people of color?   The answers to these questions are to be found through a rigorous but now inadequate system of testing. Such a system is necessary for identifying and isolating those who have been infected with the disease […]

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CA Primary Presents Big Test for L.A. County’s New Voting System

Bill Boyarsky
Columnist for LA Observed and former reporter, editor and columnist for the Los Angeles Times

After the fouled up Iowa caucuses gave vote-counting a bad name, there will be heavy pressure on Los Angeles County officials to make sure their brand new electronic voting system works for the March 3 primary election. Media attention will be intense.  March 3 is Super Tuesday when California and 13 other states, plus American […]

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Will the LA Mayor Get Emergency Powers to Build Homeless Housing?

Bill Boyarsky
Columnist for LA Observed and former reporter, editor and columnist for the Los Angeles Times

In a proposal likely to touch off a heated debate, Los Angeles City Councilman David Ryu has proposed giving Mayor Eric Garcetti emergency power to build housing for the homeless. It would be a huge grant of authority to Garcetti, now limited by a City Charter that divides power between the 15- member city council […]

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In LA, Where the Homeless are and Where Complaints about Homeless Come from Don’t Match Up

Bill Boyarsky
Columnist for LA Observed and former reporter, editor and columnist for the Los Angeles Times

The fewer the homeless in a neighborhood, the more residents complain about their presence.  As the headline on a study by USC journalists and other researchers put it: “In some neighborhoods hundreds of calls about encampments but only a few people living on the street.” The study, covering the first six months of the year, […]

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Los Angeles County’s Got a New Voting System. Will it Work?

Bill Boyarsky
Columnist for LA Observed and former reporter, editor and columnist for the Los Angeles Times

These are busy times for the many volunteers helping Los Angeles County officials educate voters on a new system for the March 3 primary that will revolutionize voting in the nation’s most populous county. Say good-bye to the familiar neighborhood polling place.  Voters will have to find their way to centralized voting centers or vote […]

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Thoughts on the Recent Legislative Session; The Housing Crisis Unresolved

Bill Boyarsky
Columnist for LA Observed and former reporter, editor and columnist for the Los Angeles Times

While the legislature and Gov. Gavin Newsom had some solid accomplishments in the recent session, they fell short in dealing with California’s great curse of homelessness and the related shortage of housing affordable enough for working people. This is not a surprise. Homelessness and the housing shortage have so far proved immune to any solution.  […]

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Does Trump Really Want to Help the Homeless?

Bill Boyarsky
Columnist for LA Observed and former reporter, editor and columnist for the Los Angeles Times

Tackling the immensity and complexity of homelessness has proved itself beyond the reach of local governments and their taxpayers, even those as generous as Los Angelenos.  That is why President Donald Trump’s threat–or offer–to intervene in California’s struggle against this affliction deserves close skeptical, attention. Is this an unexpected compassionate offer from Trump to use […]

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