Friday, March 6, 2009

Smog in the basin

That's KB as in Kaufman-Broad

Got into L.A. yesterday. The sky was so clear, you could even see the mountains. But alas, the smog is back this morning. Not as bad as it was when I was growing up here, but still... I'm not sure where the pollution is coming from since the double-digit unemployment rate should be keeping rush-hour traffic down.

The talk of the town--apart from the Dodgers signing Manny to a $45 million deal and Chris Brown being charged with two felonies for punching and biting Rhianna--is the big scandal at KB homes. It seems Bruce Karatz, who took home more than $232 million as KB's CEO (eat your heart out Manny) was cooking the books and manipulating stock options. Who could blame him? $232 million doesn't nearly go as far as it used to.

And, oh yes. The B in KB stands for KB co-founder Eli Broad, the billionaire venture philanthropist who wants to impose his business model on public schools. Gosh, it seems like just yesterday that Broad was blaming the current world financial collapse on cash strapped homeowners for "using their home equity like an ATM machine."


Almost lost in all the ownership society excitement was Marshal High School teacher/community activist Steve Zimmer's victory in the school board election. Congratulations Steve.

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