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Last updateMon, 03 Aug 2015 6pm

LOS ANGELES Monday, August 3rd 2015 8:21

 IF IT'S BROKEN...FIX IT

Getting Serious about LA’s Sidewalk Repairs: A Five-Point ‘Let’s-Get-On-with-It’ Plan

Ken Alpern
FIXING LA-Last Tuesday night's City Council Board of Public Works and Budget Committees met and allowed a lot of good public input to a series of concerned and available Councilmembers and City officials. The attendance and input were both outstanding--I want to thank Councilmember Mike Bonin, in particular, for allowing the outreach and advice to…

Latino Politicians Putting Climate Change Ahead of Constituents

Joel Kotkin
POLITICS-Racial and economic inequality may be key issues facing America today, but the steps often pushed by progressives, including minority politicians, seem more likely to exacerbate these divisions than repair them. In a broad arc of policies affecting everything from housing to employment, the agenda being adopted serves to stunt upward…

Worlds Apart on Kathryn Steinle: When Political Opportunism Reigns Supreme

John Mirisch
MUSING WITH MIRISCH-The small Swedish Jewish Museum in Stockholm is tucked away on a side street. Discreet signage instructs would-be visitors to push a button which activates a camera, so they can be screened before they are granted entry. The museum's permanent exhibition fills one fairly small room. Most of the objects on display are Jewish…

Garcetti Passes, Wesson Fails

Jack Humphreville
LA WATCHDOG-Our Los Angeles Times has issued midterm letter grades for Controller Ron Galperin (B-) and City Attorney Mike Feuer (B+) and will be posting grades for City Council President Herb Wesson this Sunday and Mayor Eric Garcetti the following Sunday. Our City is facing many difficult issues, ranging from a lagging economy, relatively high…

What LA Really Needs: A Part-time City Council and a Part-time Mayor!

Dennis Zine
JUST THE FACTS-There are so many serious and pressing problems facing the City of Los Angeles and few if any real solutions are being proposed or implemented by our elected and appointed leaders at City Hall. I will start with the current city budget. Former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa had a $7.7 billion total budget in the 2013-2014 fiscal year.…

Why Don’t the City’s Women Managers Hire More Women?

Denyse Selesnick
MY TURN-Perusing the web is a little like the soap operas of yesteryear. You get suckered in! One link leads to another link and then one is exposed to a barrage both facts and idiocy. The reason for this discussion was my attending a July Valley Alliance of Neighborhood Councils (VANC) meeting with the Department of Water and Power. General…

Cleaning Up LA City Hall: ‘It’s What’s Legal That’s the Problem’

Bob Gelfand
GELFAND’S WORLD-Everyone understands that developers own our city government. Sure, there are some officials here and there who are upright and independent, but recent history shows that the developers typically get their way in spite of public opposition. Whether it is a zoning change for an office tower or the required permits for a new mall,…

Not So Fast LA! Let’s Consider the Real Costs of Hosting the Olympics before We Jump In

Greg Nelson
SPORTS POLITICS-On Monday, Boston withdrew from its offer to be the nation’s bidder for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games. In January, Los Angeles finished second to Boston when the U.S. Olympic Committee made its decision. After Boston was selected to polish up its bid before submitting it to the International Olympic Committee for a final decision,…

Party Crashing for Political Access: Schwarzenegger and My Pantsuit

Charlotte Laws
CALIFORNIA ACCESS POLITICS-Party crashing—or gate-crashing, as it is sometimes called—is an art form that I stumbled upon as a teen. I taught myself how to finagle into any event, anywhere, anytime. It required being part private eye, part actress and part chutzpah machine. I had to think outside of the box, throw myself into the role, and whip my…





Art or Ad? LA’s mural law written in gray ink

Escape the Room-Conan goes for the record … and the laffs


LADWP Rates Overview

 

 

  

 

 

 

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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