1. The seizing of the Watts Health Foundation by state regulators, putting in doubt the future of one of the very few insurance safety nets for the poor. Created in the wake of the ’65 riots, the foundation adopted what former director Clyde Oden Jr. called a holistic approach to central-city problems, going beyond basic health care by operating substance-abuse programs, an HMO network and various business interests. It lapsed into a $20-million debt this past fall, undone by soaring insurance costs and its own ambitions.
2. The unemployment gapbetween blacks and whites — brought up post-9/11, but a fact for the ages.
3. The education gapbetween blacks and everybody else.
4. The test-score gap between blacks and everybody else.
5. The reasons there’s no outrage or large-scale political will to rectify the previous three.
6. The state’s launch of an audit of worst-case California public schools, most of which are in Los Angeles Unified — Thomas Jefferson High and Horace Mann Junior High, to name two. We wish we could say this is good news for long-suffering campuses that have taken the brunt of the educational blame game, but who knows?
7. The sluggish pace of economic developmentin now-or-never areas like the Crenshaw District. We’ve been told progress has been held up by the recession, the riots, and now 9/11 and another recession. Those council folk have got to start earning their money.
8. The escalating homicide rate in South L.A.Guess nobody wanted to spoil the feel-good story about crime being on the decline in other parts of town.
10. Inglewood.Part South Bay proper and part inner city, Inglewood has always fallen through the media cracks, even when the L.A. Timeswas running its zoned sections. As a study in the great possibilities of urban renewal and the dismal failure of local, solidly middle-class government to enact them, Inglewood should be an endless source of stories.