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LOS ANGELES Monday, May 25th 2015 12:20

ONE MOTHER'S PERSPECTIVE

  • WHO WE ARE-Women did it again. The annual Memorial Day tradition of placing flowers on graves of fallen soldiers was begun by women in the South after the Civil War. Who knew? Who now remembers that it was originally Decoration Day? Or that it is a day to decorate the graves of soldiers who fought for a better future. Memorial Day is a great deal…
  • 453 Days Later...

    Tom Rubin
    OFFENSIVE BUT PROTECTED SPEECH-Welcome news this week from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. By a vote of 11 to 1, the court overturned its injunction against the controversial video called "Innocence of Muslims" that it had ordered off YouTube back in February 2014. Here's the background. Actress Cindy Lee Garcia (photo below) was…
  • What LA Educators Should Learn From Bell Gardens High School’s Shocking Turnaround

    Jay Mathews
    VOICES FROM THE SQUARE-Bell Gardens High School in east Los Angeles County was a sorry mess when science teacher Liz Lowe arrived in 1989. It was overflowing with trailer classrooms and graffiti. More than 3,000 students crowded into school buildings surrounding a concrete quadrangle with patches of grass and some trees. Expectations were low. Not…
  • The Clean Sweep Election Finally Happened

    Bob Gelfand
    GELFAND’S WORLD- A few years ago, a group calling itself Clean Sweep argued that the voters of Los Angeles should defeat all the incumbents and replace them with fresh blood. On Tuesday, the results came close. There are two distinct lessons, one of which is quite ominous for elected officials. This election demonstrated the end of voter patience…
  • What Did Tuesday’s LAUSD Election Results Prove?

    Paul Hatfield
    PERSPECTIVE-Did the LAUSD election results signal a change for charter schools? Perhaps. Possibly. Maybe. You can make a decent case that Ref Rodriguez’s victory in District 5 points to strong support for charters. It was a battle between two well-funded candidates with diametrically opposed views on the issue. The effectiveness and fairness of…
  • (Train)ing Ourselves to Confront Modern Mass Transit

    Ken Alpern
    GETTING THERE FROM HERE-It's great to learn that Metro has an excellent new CEO with the hiring of Phillip A. Washington who comes to us from Denver. Following in the footsteps of his predecessors, Roger Snoble and Art Leahy, Mr. Washington has a first-rate reputation to maintain--but his first job will be to pass Measure R-2. Measure R-2 (perhaps…
  • City Controller’s Grandstanding DWP Audit is the Real Waste of Ratepayer Dollars

    Dennis Zine
    JUST THE FACTS-City Controller Ron Galperin’s Grandstanding DWP Audit results were finally released. Unfortunately, the conclusion and political spin that came afterwards from the controller was misleading. Here are the FACTS: The DWP’s Joint Training Institute and Joint Safety Institute are administered by DWP managers and representatives of the…
  • A Place Where ‘Special Interest’ is NOT a Dirty Word

    Denyse Selesnick
    MY TURN-We need to have a new word to differentiate the villainous “Special Interest” that everyone is always complaining about and the “Special Interest” that almost all of politicians and civic and social activists have adopted as a cause. It is impossible to have passion about multiple issues. I know I have mentioned this before, but it seems…
  • Alert! America’s Small Businesses are Being Screwed by Big Business

    Robert Reich
    THE ECONOMY-Can it be that America’s small businesses are finally waking up to the fact they’re being screwed by big businesses? For years, small-business groups such as the National Federation of Independent Businesses have lined up behind big businesses lobbies. (Photo: small businesses in Studio City) They’ve contributed to the same Republican…

 

  • Can Strawberries Help Fight Cancer?

    Christian Cristiano
    WELLNESS-There have been a number of studies over the years that could show evidence of strawberries fighting off cancer. Tong Chen lead a study…
  • Study: The Best Way to Quit Smoking … Bet On It

    Francie Diep
    WELLNESS-Oftentimes, money speaks louder than words. Apparently, that aphorism applies to cigarettes too. A new study finds that money incentives…
  • Exercise Can Help Anxiety … Here’s How

    Christian Cristiano
    WELLNESS-Statistics show that over 3 million American adults suffer from anxiety and there is no evidence that number will be declining any time…




Memorial Day 2015- Freedom Isn’t Free

J. Cole raps on the Letterman show: “Be Free’

The Star Spangled Banner … like you’ve never heard it before

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

LA Coughing Up $2.1 Million to Settle 12-Year Old Billboard Lawsuit

BILLBOARD WATCH - Regency Outdoor, a West Hollywood billboard company that sued the city after being denied permits to put up new billboards in 1999, has agreed to drop the long-running federal court suit in exchange for $2.1 million.
The settlement was made with the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), which had refused to allow Regency to put up new billboards in redevelopment zones in the Hollywood and Exposition Park area. Regency had initially sought $10 million in damages, but in 2008 a judge dismissed that claim and awarded the company $14,000 in reimbursement for costs incurred in applying for the permits.

Regency appealed that decision, and in 2010 the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decided that Regency could pursue its claim for damages.

The CRA is currently in the process of going out of business, as part of the state-mandated dissolution of redevelopment agencies and re-direction of their tax revenues to state and local governments. Ostensibly, the $2.1 million will be paid out of the CRA treasury, rather than the city’s general fund.

The actual cost of the lawsuit could exceed $3 million. According to city records as of March, 2010, the CRA had paid almost $700,000 to outside law firms hired to represent the agency.

The lawsuit is one of several high-profile cases brought by Regency against the city. In 2003, the company won a judgment in federal court forcing the city to allow supergraphic signs along the 10 Freeway and elsewhere. Company lawyers had argued that by allowing murals painted on buildings the city had to also allow commercial advertising. As a direct result of the lawsuit, which threatened to open up the city to an unlimited number of the building-sized vinyl and fabric ads, the city council approved a ban on any new murals.

Regency also sued the city for damages over the planting of palm trees at LAX, claiming that the trees interfered with clear views of several of the company’s billboards. That case went all the way to California Supreme Court, which ruled in 2006 that the city was within its rights to plant and maintain the trees in the public right-of-way.

There were also allegations at the time that Regency had been responsible for the poisoning of some of the trees, but an investigation by then-City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo found no evidence of wrongdoing by the company.

Regency has also been involved in a number of lawsuits this past decade involving other billboard companies. Late last year, a federal court jury found Regency innocent of allegations of bribery of public officials and extortion in a dispute with another billboard company over the granting of sign permits in the city of Lynwood.

But just two weeks ago, a judge ruled that Regency was liable for $2 million in damages in a case involving the Whisky A Go Go nightclub on Sunset Blvd in West Hollywood. The lawsuit brought by the club and another billboard company alleged that Regency had refused to remove its two billboards from the roof of the nightclub after its lease expired and the club negotiated a new lease with the other company.

(Dennis Hathaway is the president of the Coalition to Ban Billboard Blight and a contributor to CityWatch. He can be reached at dennis@banbillboardblight.org) –cw

Tags: Dennis Hathaway, billboards, signs, billboard lawsuit, regency, CRA






CityWatch
Vol 10 Issue 12
Pub: Feb 10, 2012

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