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LOS ANGELES Tuesday, July 7th 2015 11:33


Pirates at the Port (of Los Angeles)

Jack Humphreville
LA WATCHDOG-The growth of the Port of Los Angeles and its ability to maintain and create good paying jobs and its market share of imported cargo are under siege by external market forces as well as the demand by the San Pedro and Wilmington communities to finance $400 million of public benefits over the next ten years. The Harbor Department, one…

Why I Support 'No Gays Allowed'

C.J. Prince
GUEST WORDS-Last week, a Tennessee retailer made headlines when he took the whole we-won't-bake-cakes-for-gay-weddings thing to the next level. In response to last week's Supreme Court marriage ruling, Jeff Amyx, owner of Amyx Hardware, taped a "No Gays Allowed" sign to his storefront window. Amyx, who is also a Baptist minister, explained to WATE…

Never on Sunday

Paul Hatfield
GREEK VOTE, A PERSPECTIVE-According to the lyrics from the memorable theme to Never on Sunday (enjoy the trailer), it is OK to kiss in Greece except for Sunday. However, on this past Sunday, July 5th, Greek voters invited the EU to kiss them. I need not mention the part of the anatomy, though. Contrary to some extreme views, this does not mean the…

LA Transpo Slowed to a Crawl by Outdated and Ignored Laws

Ken Alpern
GETTING THERE FROM HERE-Reform of the City Charter or its Bylaws is almost certainly in order, but it's no secret that the City of LA … for all its hype about being for "sustainable living" and being "environmentally-friendly" … is burdened by a host of either outdated laws (which encourage inappropriate overdevelopment) or ignored laws (which are…

You’ll Never Guess Why I love Los Angeles

Fred Mariscal
LATINO PERSPECTIVE-I remember the first time I went on a vacation outside of Mexico. We went to Los Angeles when I was 6 years old. I didn’t have to wonder why my dad choose Los Angeles, he knew I wanted to go to Disneyland and meet Mickey Mouse. That first trip we took that summer made me fell in love with this City. Los Angeles has everything a…

Unsolicited Advice for New LA Councilmember David Ryu

Joe Linton
GUEST COMMENTARY-Los Angeles City Councilmember David Ryu. Photo via ryuforcouncil.com It’s July. That means a new budget year for government agencies, where there is some turnover: some new faces, new officers, and new committees. LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas is the new chair of the Metro Board of Directors, replacing LA Mayor Eric…

LA Working on Plan to Plaster the City with Digital Billboards

Adrian Glick Kudler
GUEST WORDS-People in Los Angeles love digital billboards!! We can't get enough of them! Give us more!!! Oh, thank god, the LA City Council is ON IT. Lawsuits have tragically darkened so many of those blinky, flashy ads, but yesterday the City Council's Planning and Land Use Management Committee voted to bring them back big time. They want to…

The Persuaders: California Hospital Association

Bill Raden
CAPITAL AND MAIN SPECIAL REPORT-The nurses who showed up at state Senator Richard Pan’s Capitol office in May were furious. They had been assured by Pan, a Democrat from Sacramento, that he would be on their side when it came time to vote on Senate Bill 346, a charity care measure aimed at providing transparency to the state’s currently murky…

Vacations are a Necessity…Not a Luxury

Denyse Selesnick
Since most of the readers of CityWatch are “high achievers” you have undoubtedly faced the situation where you feel you can’t afford to take a vacation right now because of a million different reasons. Many of these boil down to one…without your presence things will fall apart. Really, they are just excuses … not reasons! Getting away from your…


  • Costco: Free Range Liars!

    Christian Cristiano
    WELLNESS POLITICS-Eight years ago grocery retailer Costco (COST) pledged to transition out of using eggs from chickens in small cages to cage free…
  • 10 Things Over-Thinkers Are Tired Of Over-Thinking

    Lindsay Holmes
    WELLNESS-While writing this intro, I deleted the first paragraph approximately six times. My thoughts ranged from "Just get to the point already" to…
  • Can Procrastination Give You a Heart Attack?

    Christian Cristiano
    WELLNESS-A study posted in the journal of behavioral medicine linked procrastination with hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Specifically…

Thu Jul 16, 2015 @12:00AM
LA Equality Awards RSVP
Thu Jul 30, 2015 @ 6:00PM - 08:00PM
A Taste of Chatsworth

One More Time! Grateful Dead say goodbye.

USA World Cup Soccer win … sealed with a kiss









What Would, Could or Should An Extended Measure R Do?

ALPERN AT LARGE - Governor Brown’s State of the State address can be summarized in a few key bullet points:  we’re in a world of hurt, painful (very painful!) cuts need to be made, the budget won’t be balanced without more revenue, and the need to scale back government needs to be weighed against public works projects that would provide jobs and infrastructure for the state to rebuild (LINK).

A host of other issues remain unaddressed (the role of corporate state residents, the fiscal impacts of illegal aliens, the lopsided number of welfare recipients in our state, pension reform, and other issues), and they might prevent the voters from approving more taxes, but it’s clear that the contrast of our state versus our local transportation planning is stark.

In particular, the concerns surrounding our bullet train appear to be:  We spent a lot on planning, there might be a few glaring flaws about the estimated costs of the train as well as the road/freeway/airport alternatives, and yet it’s still necessary (LINK).  The potential for conflicts of interest and bait and switch appear to be profound, if not fatal, for voters to continue pushing forward with this project.

On the other hand, the complaints that surround the Measure R projects appear to be mostly in the form of “they’re not enough, and the funding is coming in too slow”.  Hence, we have the timely efforts of Assemblymember Mike Feuer to extend the revenue collecting timeframe for at least another ten years, and to legally expedite Measure R projects.

The purpose of Feuer’s legislative efforts is to ensure that the Measure R projects (which, unlike the California High Speed Rail Project, or CAHSR, enjoy a greater transparency and consensus than just about any major transportation effort in the nation) are built faster by using future tax collections as revenues against which to sell bonds, and to address cost overruns in our Measure R projects.

Unlike the CAHSR project, these cost overruns of the Measure R projects have yet to cause the intense voter acrimony against the governmental entity planning and constructing them (Metro).  The engineering, legal, bureaucratic and other delays/fiscal problems have been vigorously confronted by Metro, and by the Expo and Gold Line Construction Authorities.

And with the opening of Phase One of the Expo Line to Culver City this year, the fruits of years of labor appear to be a tangible reality.  Should that be a heavily-ridden line, it cannot help but promote more money and efforts to finishing the other Measure R projects sooner, and not later.

So what would, could or should an accelerated and/or extended Measure R do?

1) Expedite and even add to our local freeway widening/upgrading efforts:  the I-405, I-605, SR-60, I-5 and a host of other freeway projects are moving forward but they can’t be finished fast enough.  Furthermore, perhaps some more Measure R money would attract state and federal money to consider other projects, such as widening the I-5 from the 605 to the 710 freeways.

2) Add more money to street repairs, sidewalk repairs, bicycle lane creation, and other related public works

3) Make sure that the Expo Line Authority has necessary financial and legal cushions should engineering or lawsuit surprises potentially risk delaying this line, which is virtually a widening of the I-10 freeway capacity between Santa Monica, West L.A., Culver City, Mid-City and Downtown L.A.  Phase 2 to Santa Monica efforts are moving rapidly, old structures and rail ties are being quickly removed, and a two-year opening delay that plagued Phase 1 to Culver City likely will not be repeated.

4) While many (including myself) believe it’s a good thing that Governor Brown abolished Community Redevelopment Agencies, there were a few good projects (such as the Foothill Gold Line railcar maintenance yard in Monrovia) that have been put in jeopardy.   The Foothill Gold Line is to the I-210 freeway as the Expo Line is to the I-10 freeway, and both the maintenance yard and an extension of the light rail line as far east as possible is needed for funding from Metro.

5) The biggest flaw in the Green Line to LAX Project is the profound lack of funding that was assigned to it:  $200 million is a nice but glaringly insufficient start, and additional funding is inevitable to make sure it’s elevated and trenched to please the FAA and Metro, to say nothing of the likelihood that Metro will need to work with LA World Airports to add to a connecting LAX People Mover to serve the Century Blvd. Corridor between the Crenshaw/Green Lines and the central airline terminals at LAX.

6) Any additional or expedited funding for the Downtown Light Rail Connector and Wilshire/Purple Line Extension Subways would be as critical to serve the Wilshire Blvd. and Downtown commercial cornerstones of L.A. County as is more funding for the aforementioned Green Line/Century Blvd./LAX rail projects to serve the LAX/Century Blvd. commercial corridor.

7) Finally, the option of reconsidering rail projects, both old and new, would and could and should be enabled by an expedited/expanded Measure R effort.  In particular, the question of whether a southeast L.A. County rail line should be pursued, or shelved in favor of a revisitation of the eastern extension of the Green Line to proceed underground at Norwalk and connect with the Norwalk Metrolink station.  Such a project would provide an important option for L.A., Orange and Riverside County commuters who have no choice but to use the SR-91 and I-105 freeways.

Sacramento and Washington are still sources of matching revenue, despite their fiscal miseries, but setting and underlying the tone for Measure R projects (which, unlike most projects are vetted and enjoy consensus) is something that state and federal politicians want to be part of as much as city/county elected leaders.

After all, the fiscal agonies of the early 21st Century are not mutually exclusive to the equally vital opportunities that the voters and taxpayers want to pursue as well.

(Ken Alpern is a former Boardmember of the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC), previously co-chaired its Planning and Outreach Committees, and currently is Vice Chair of its MVCC Transportation/Infrastructure Committee. He is co-chair of the CD11 Transportation Advisory Committee and chairs the nonprofit Transit Coalition, and can be reached at Alpern@MarVista.org. He also co-chairs the grassroots Friends of the Green Line at www.fogl.us.   The views expressed in this article are solely those of Mr. Alpern.)




Vol 10 Issue 6
Pub: Jan 19, 2012