Thu05282015

Last updateMon, 25 May 2015 2pm

LOS ANGELES Thursday, May 28th 2015 6:57

WAGE RAISE RAGE

  • WHO WE ARE-Nearly half of Los Angeles just gave itself a raise. Following a wave of state and local minimum-wage bills and initiatives, Los Angeles became one of the largest cities to dramatically raise its hourly base pay and join Seattle to hit the magic $15-an-hour demand pushed by labor and community groups nationwide. The City Council…
  • ​City Snookered by Westfield Billionaires

    Jack Humphreville
    LA WATCHDOG-In March of 2014, the Herb Wesson led City Council and Mayor Eric Garcetti approved a 25 year, $48 million giveaway to help the $28.5 billion Westfield Corporation finance its $250 million development, The Village at Westfield Topanga. (Photo) But this subsidy championed by Councilman Bob Blumenfield was hardly necessary as The Village…
  • Slick With Denial: ‘Self-Regulation’ and the Latest Oil Spill

    Judith Lewis Mernit
    HISTORY LESSONS IGNORED-On Wednesday, May 20, the day after a Santa Barbara County fire inspector discovered a stream of contaminated crude oil flowing onto a pristine segment of the Southern California coast, a group of researchers published a study linking the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill to a mass die-off of bottlenose dolphins. The 46…
  • Scaremongering about the Patriot Act Sunset

    Jameel Jaffer
    FALSE CLAIMS EXPOSED-In a last-ditch effort to scare lawmakers into preserving unpopular and much-abused surveillance authorities, the Senate Republican leadership and some intelligence officials are warning that allowing Section 215 of the Patriot Act to sunset would compromise national security. (One particularly crass example from Senator…
  • Still the Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave

    Ken Alpern
    ALPERN AT LARGE-It's been another year and another successful Flag Placement at the West Los Angeles National Cemetery. Crawling out of bed in the morning on a holiday weekend to show up bright and early for a show of American patriotism and respect to our veterans and fallen heroes, the region and nation saw yet again how the Boy Scouts, Girl…
  • Retaliation: VA Police Target Veterans

    Robert L. Rosebrock
    LOS ANGELES – Recently, I was interviewed by John Ismay, an Iraqi War Veteran who is the “Veterans and Military Issues Reporter” for Southern California Public Radio. We met at the Los Angeles VA to discuss the never-ending misappropriation of land at this largest VA in the nation, within our nation’s capital for homeless Veterans. We were…
  • 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…




ICYMI-Amy Schumer shows Dave her vagina

Remembering Ann Meara: 1929-2015

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

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

Never the Train Shall Meet

PERSPECTIVE - North is north, and south is south, but never the (bullet) train shall connect.

That would be good news for California.

An article in the LA Times reported some encouraging developments; sort of.  [link]

Transportation agencies in both ends of the state are finally facing up to reality:  a bullet train project in the Central Valley will not provide the impetus the system needs to win the public’s acceptance. They now appear to realize that a major makeover is required for commuter rail in the San Francisco, Sacramento and Los Angeles metro areas.  That’s half a loaf for me.

I’ve always been a proponent for fast and reliable regional rail serving major population centers, [link] such as the Southern California market.  At least the so-called experts recognize the importance of that much, but they are still clinging to a multi-billion dollar train wreck of a plan connecting north and south.

I will lean towards optimism and assume they just might realize the light at the end of the high-speed tunnel is an oncoming train, then convince the federal and state governments to redirect the funding to improving commuter rail.

We won’t need $100 billion to achieve major improvements.  Dedicated track for passenger service, elimination of at-grade crossings and anti-collision technology will allow current diesel locomotives to fly along at over 100 miles per hour.  According to the article, officials realize that high-speed trains would not be able to travel much faster than that in urban areas.

Nevertheless, there is a major flaw with their vision for regional improvements – sharing track with freight.
No way; never; forget about it.

I invite the officials to try riding Amtrak or Metrolink, as I did, between Union Station and Irvine for over a year.  The segment between LA and Fullerton is shared, to a large extent, by commuter and freight trains.  If you want a bumpy ride subject to delays, that is what you will get if you combine the two. Passenger trains will not attract the patronage they need to recover operating costs under those conditions.

Freight traffic will only increase as the economy grows – even at a modest pace.  That will translate to slower speeds and outright delays for commuter trains sharing the same tracks.

Will Governor Brown come to his senses and convince the federal government to drop its support for high-speed rail and allow bonds to be used for regional improvements?

Fast and reliable regional service will do far more to eliminate cars from the 405, 10, 14 and 101 then a 400-mile route through the vast agricultural interior would to get cars off the 5.

(Paul Hatfield is a CPA and serves as Treasurer for the Neighborhood Council Valley Village.  He blogs at Village to Village, contributes to CityWatch and can be reached at:  phinnoho@aol.com) –cw

 

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