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Real public servants are free enterprising individuals who, inspired, embrace challenge, take risks, and create, sometimes big, and often, they create jobs in the process, all out of their ideas, and self initiative...

Friday, February 4, 2011

L.A. City Council takes cooler view of football stadium plans Though some members expressed enthusiasm for AEG's proposed $1-billion NFL facility, the City Council voted to have a financial analyst study the stadium's costs and benefits.

A day after Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and others warmly embraced plans for a $1-billion football stadium downtown, the idea received a far more sober reception Wednesday at a City Council hearing.

Though some council members waxed enthusiastic, others voiced concern that that city might end up giving too much away to the developer, Anschutz Entertainment Group, or cut a deal that aggravates the city's ongoing fiscal crisis.

"We're already on a tightrope," Councilman Paul Koretz said. "One wrong step and we could push the city into bankruptcy."

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During its initial floor debate on the proposal, the council voted to recruit a financial analyst to study the costs and benefits of a new stadium.Click here to read more.
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Botched Paramilitary Police Raids: An Epidemic of "Isolated Incidents"

"If a widespread pattern of [knock-and-announce] violations were shown . . . there would be reason for grave concern." —Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, in Hudson v. Michigan, June 15, 2006. An interactive map of botched SWAT and paramilitary police raids, released in conjunction with the Cato policy paper "Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids," by Radley Balko. What does this map mean? How to use this map View Original Map and Database

Key

Death of an innocent. Death or injury of a police officer. Death of a nonviolent offender.
Raid on an innocent suspect. Other examples of paramilitary police excess. Unnecessary raids on doctors and sick people.
The proliferation of SWAT teams, police militarization, and the Drug War have given rise to a dramatic increase in the number of "no-knock" or "quick-knock" raids on suspected drug offenders. Because these raids are often conducted based on tips from notoriously unreliable confidential informants, police sometimes conduct SWAT-style raids on the wrong home, or on the homes of nonviolent, misdemeanor drug users. Such highly-volatile, overly confrontational tactics are bad enough when no one is hurt -- it's difficult to imagine the terror an innocent suspect or family faces when a SWAT team mistakenly breaks down their door in the middle of the night. But even more disturbing are the number of times such "wrong door" raids unnecessarily lead to the injury or death of suspects, bystanders, and police officers. Defenders of SWAT teams and paramilitary tactics say such incidents are isolated and rare. The map above aims to refute that notion.

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