Tag Archives: Colin Newton

New Leadership in the Third District

After 20 years on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Zev Yaroslavsky is leaving office.

That leaves his seat on the notoriously entrenched board open, and
candidates are vying to represent the third district, which stretches
from the West Valley to West L.A.

With issues like business development, homelessness and transportation on the
plate, whoever gets the seat will have a lot on his or her hands.

One candidate, former Santa Monica mayor Bobby Shriver, said that an
infusion of new political blood will allow for positive change.

“The current state of play needs significant reform,” he said. “It
keeps you up at night, but it also makes you pretty outraged.”

Former state legislator Sheila Kuehl, also vying for the seat, said
that reform can be significant because of how much the board oversees.

“The county has a lot of responsibilities that people don’t know
anything about,” she said. “Healthcare, mental health, foster kids,
transportation, environment. Just a whole panoply of issues.”

For candidate John Duran, one of the most important responsibilities
of the county is encouraging business.

“Government doesn’t create wealth,” the West Hollywood councilmember
said. “Government relies on other people creating wealth so we can tax
part of it and use that tax money to provide social services.”

Kuelh said that the county itself is a powerful tool for employment.

“We have 100,000 people working for the county,” she said. “That’s an
important workforce. That’s an important aspect for avoiding

But Shriver said the recent relocation of Toyota’s headquarters from
Torrance to Texas was indicative of a greater problem.

“I think we should have competed to keep them here,” he said.

“I think we’ve lost 200,000 jobs here in L.A. In the last 20 years,”
he said. “That’s not the result of the recession; that’s the result of
capital, private capital, leaving the area.”

Kuelh said that developing county public transit could create jobs–and
improve transportation throughout the county.

“I think the light rail is essentially coming back to Los Angeles,”
she said. “It was very different when people could take public

Shriver said that, although an improved transit system would be a boon
for the county, it would be a long term solution.

“The subway to the airport is great, 10 or 15 years in the future,” he said.

A near term solution that worked in Santa Monica was giving Santa
Monica College students free rides on the Big Blue Bus system, Shriver

“Although that hasn’t solved the traffic problem heading east at
night, it certainly has made a significant contribution to offloading
the roads there and decreasing the amount of the money being spent on
new parking structures,” he said.

Duran said that more Metro stops could be a solution, but the process of creating
them often gets bogged down by political red tape.

“To get from the city of Santa Monica to the 405 during rush hour
takes an hour. It is three miles,” he said. “There is no reason that
should exist. But it exists because of political compromise.”

Duran said the county should be doing more to encourage the arts.

“In some ways, we’ve been somewhat neglectful, waiting for students to come to the arts rather than taking arts out to the students,” he said.

“It should definitely be a priority,” Kuelh agreed.

More than that, it’s very possible because L.A. County owns and
operates its own theaters, symphonies, and museums, she said.

“The LAC in LACMA is L.A. County,” she added.

Shriver said that arts have always been an important part of Los
Angeles culture and economy.

“Someone once said that more people in Los Angeles make their living
off imagination than anywhere else in the country,” he said. “We want
to keep that energy here. We want to keep the imagination business
alive and strong. The county should be doing a lot to make that

Election day for the third district seat is June 3. If a candidate
receives more than 50 percent of the vote, he or she will be elected
to the board of supervisors. If no candidate receives 50 percent of
the vote, a runoff will be held in November.


Moderator: Hannah Townsley

Producer: Colin Newton

Anchor: Nelssie Carillo

Reporters: Hannah Townsley, Nelssie Carillo, Judith Retana, Mahina Haina, Adam Schumes and Colin Newton

Social Media Editors: Mahina Haina, Judith Retana, Adam Schumes and Jamie Gonzaga


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Downtown Developments

When thinking about downtown Los Angeles, the Staples Center comes to mind, or maybe the numerous development projects happening right now. What may not come to mind is how the developments affect downtown’s homeless population, which is by far the biggest in the country.

The major changes occurring downtown include building enhancements, new modern-looking housing complexes, and more people.

But just how does the homeless population play in to the development in historic downtown L.A.? Since downtown streets have become a place for the homeless to live, any changes to those downtown streets affect where they will settle next.

A business collaborative task force called Home For Good is trying to resolve this issue in the city. Their focus is to “address homelessness by eliminating it,” said Jerry Neuman, an L.A. attorney and member of Home For Good’s Business Leaders Task Force.

Neuman said that eliminating homelessness would improve the business climate and create incentives for growth and expansion. He also said gentrification affects both the homeless and economic sector downtown. Gentrification is a shift in an urban community toward residents who are wealthier, as well as an increase in property values.

“The gentrification of downtown is having dramatic impacts on the accessibility of where homeless people have to live,” Neuman said. “If you think back about 12 years before the renaissance of downtown, we had about 70 percent affordability downtown, and that number is now reduced to about 30 percent affordability.”

Because of the many new housing developments, business has improved.

“Gentrification, I think, typically is a process,” said Dr. Robert Kent, Chair of CSUN’s Urban Studies and Planning Department. He said that gentrification can affect current downtown residents as well as the homeless.

“You get developers who will go in and rehab these buildings or tear them down and build buildings, build apartments and lofts, and these sort of things for people with the higher levels of income who work in the city and want to live close to the city,” Kent said. “And at the same time, many people who have been living in those buildings, paying relatively low rents, are displaced, have to move to other neighborhoods, or are simply forced out of their homes.”

Neuman said that when the development started in downtown L.A., it set a trend toward further development.

“The city created an adaptive re-use ordinance that allowed a lot of flexibility adapting old buildings into new residential buildings,” Neuman said. “And from that you saw a rush to create more housing downtown and create community development, you kind of have great infrastructure and people are starting to live there.”

Since new business is expanding downtown, Home For Good is working to help homeless people find a place to live without interrupting the new developments.

“What building should be preserved for the homeless, and what building should be part of the rebirth — that is discussed on  a daily basis,” Neuman said. “We keep trying to find opportunities where we can build better projects that permanently support those people who are homeless, and yet not get in the way of the progress that downtown is making.”

Moderator: Judith Retana

Anchor: Jamie Gonzaga

Reporters: Colin Newton, Nelssie Carillo, Hannah Townsley

Production Crew: Mahina Haina and Adam Schumes


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The Power of Words: Mightier Than The Sword?

Linda Lingle has been the founder of a community newspaper, a right-leaning governor of a left-leaning state, and now, a professor of political science at California State University, Northridge.

Her career has always been informed by her understanding that communication is one of the greatest tools of change, something she first noticed during the media coverage of the Watergate Scandal.

“I saw how the power of words could bring down the most powerful person,” Lingle said. “I really loved being a journalist and reporting on others, but I came to believe I could have a bigger impact.”

Lingle entered CSUN in 1971, when she started as a political science major, but graduated with a bachelor’s degree in print journalism. Upon graduating, she moved to Hawaii where she started her own paper, the Molokai Free Press, which was a prelude to her political career. “Starting my own community newspaper and publishing it for four years gave me my start in politics because I got to know people through that experience.”

Lingle says her political career really began when she approached a city council member about a problem: a drinking fountain at a community center for senior citizens was out of order. The council member “brushed aside” the issue, according to Lingle, which motivated her to run against him. She did, and she won. Later, she became the first female mayor of Maui County and eventually, the first female governor of the state.

Lingle saw the press and social media as a way to reach out to the people she represented. “I would get the media in advance of the ideas I was going to put forward,” she said. “I sat down with leadership of the local newspapers and talked with them in advance.”

“Being a journalist has been an advantage because it taught me how to process information, absorb, get to essence and see both sides of an issue,” Lingle said. “That helped me a lot in Hawaii, being republican in a very democratic state.”

Lingle was the first Republican governor of the state in 40 years. “I describe myself as a bleeding heart conservative,” she said, “because I care very deeply for those in society who can’t care for themselves.”

She focused on homeless and mental health issues, and said she campaigned on the basis of community and the future of the state. While governor, she adopted a historic agreement called the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative. In 2030 ,Hawaii will be 70 percent clean energy reliant. Lingle said she got the federal government involved in the project by getting Hawaii’s Democrat representatives to work with her.

“This country is getting more diverse,” Lingle said. “I don’t think you’ll be able to win an election in our country if you’re not able to appeal to different backgrounds.”

For now, Lingle is focused on her work here at CSUN. “I don’t know what comes next, but I’m really enjoying this experience.”

Moderator/producer: Colin Newton

Digital content editors: Jamie Gonzaga and Judith Retana

Reporters: Mahina Haina, Nelssie Carillo, Hannah Townsley and Adam Schumes

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The Next Season: Re-Branding CSUN As A Sports Culture Campus

When it comes to college sports, most people are more familiar with USC and UCLA than Cal State Northridge. UCLA athletes make it on to the cover of national magazines like Sports Illustrated, and USC is famous for its tailgating parties and its NCAA sanctions.

CSUN sports have never gotten that kind of national or even local media coverage, but now, under the leadership of new director Dr. Brandon Martin and with the support of new President Dianne Harrison, the University Athletic Department is pushing to create a successful sports culture on campus, and create a new brand for the university.

“I do think that athletics is a wonderful avenue to get awareness and interest in the university,” CSUN Marketing Professor Tina Kiesler said.

It’s not only important to make that brand known on campus, but also to spread it beyond the university’s borders, Kiesler said. “I think the student athletes are trying to get out across campus and make their presence known, but we also have the athletics department as a crack marketing team that Dr. Martin has, in part, brought in.”

Martin, a former USC basketball star who has years of experience in intercollegiate sports administration, has been the athletics director at CSUN for less than a year.

“I think we have one of the best marketing teams,” Martin said. “They really work long hours, they are in tune with my vision, but most importantly, they are in tune with our student athletes.”

Martin said he has taken a new approach to bringing awareness to the athletic program among students and faculty, using social media, events, and activities before and during games.

This month, the athletic department entered a multi-year partnership with Sport Chalet. The sporting goods retailer will team up with the university, supplying merchandise and offering deals.

But not all resources come so easily. In a public university, where money can be tight, it can be difficult to decide where to allocate limited funds.

Martin doesn’t think it has to be an issue.

“We don’t have to choose between academics and athletics,” he said. “We can optimize and maximize both.”

And students committed to that balance are exactly what the university is looking for.

“That’s the type of student-athlete that I’m trying to recruit,” said Women’s Volleyball Head Coach Jeff Stork. “I want kids who want to excel, and who want to come to CSUN.”

But in the end, marketing and sports culture are just one part of a successful athletics program.

“You gotta win,” Stork said. “That tends to bring more people out.”


Producers: Mahina Haina and Colin Newton

Moderator: Adam Schumes

Anchor: Mahina Haina

Digital Editors: Judith Retana and Jamie Gonzaga

Reporter: Nelssie Carillo



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