Thu05282015

Last updateMon, 25 May 2015 2pm

LOS ANGELES Thursday, May 28th 2015 2:58

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

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

The Ridley-Thomas Motion is “Pork Barrel Spending?” Seriously?

EXPO LINE DEBATE - Characterizing the motion by County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas to underground the one-mile portion of the Crenshaw-LAX Line in Park Mesa Heights and return the Leimert Park Village station to the light rail project that failed at the May 26th Metro board meeting, as “pork barrel spending” is astonishing to say the least.

Undergrounding the train at Crenshaw/Slauson, an intersection that currently functions at the worst possible level of congestion (level of service “F”), an intersection that currently has more cars traveling across it than Wilshire/Western is “pork barrel spending?”

Undergrounding the train at Crenshaw/57th Street, right next to View Park Prep School, an intersection that the California Public Utilities Commission staff recommended for grade separation is “pork barrel spending?”

Returning the Leimert Park Village station to the rail project, an international cultural destination that Metro staff states would generate the third-most riders of any station along the line, behind only the LAX station and the Expo Line-Crenshaw Line junction station, is “pork barrel spending?”

Give us a break!

Far from “pork barrel spending,” the Ridley-Thomas motion sought to correct Metro staff’s shortsighted and illogical recommendations to bypass a major international destination and build street-level trains across busy Crenshaw Blvd. intersections for the next 100 years, in the process killing the last African-American business corridor in Southern California and our plans for economic revitalization.

Perhaps the public shouldn’t be surprised that Metro staff has proposed such a ridiculous thing.  This is after all an agency that built a train line that doesn’t go to the airport and recently cut bus service in the name of improving bus service.

But there is a bigger problem with characterizing Ridley-Thomas’ motion as “pork barrel spending” and it isn’t limited to Robert Leabow’s commentary, (link) it also could be heard in the statements of some board members at the May 26th Metro meeting.  That problem is a convenient ignorance of history.

Too many politicians and decision makers want to have a debate about the Ridley-Thomas motion while conveniently ignoring the long history of transportation decisions that have disproportionately harmed communities of color, all of which were done under the stated “greater good” for the region and with the promise of new commercial development that never materialized.

Books have been written about the East LA interchange, the 110 freeway and the 105 freeway.  

While black and brown communities were unsuccessfully fighting the demolition of their homes, businesses and communities, the same politicians voting to send the bulldozers into South LA and East LA were sparing affluent communities like South Pasadena and Beverly Hills.  

We intentionally mention those two communities because today Metro offers both of them not community-killing freeway overpasses or street-level trains, but rather tunnels: a 710 freeway tunnel UNDER South Pasadena and Subway to the Sea UNDER Beverly Hills!  Both projects cost multiples more than the original plans.  Even with the Mark Ridley-Thomas motion, the Crenshaw-LAX Line project is a fraction of the cost of them.

More recently on the Downtown LA-to-Culver City Expo Line Phase 1 project, while all residential communities along the line were fighting against street-level crossings, only Culver City was spared, while Crenshaw, Western, Vermont, Dorsey High School and Foshay Learning Center were placed on the chopping block in the name of “regional progress.”

The Ridley-Thomas motion petitioned the Metro board to reverse the long-trend of public sector dis-investment in South Los Angeles so that this important 100-year rail project would not bypass the Leimert Park Village community or be built and operate in a destructive manner that pushes the Crenshaw community backward instead of forward.

Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised by the result.  The politicians, led by Mayoral candidate Zev Yaroslavsky, were only doing what they’ve always done.

We did not win on May 26th, but we will be back, we are going to win the struggle, and because of our efforts our region and community will get a rail line built wisely … and justly.

(Winnifred Jackson it the President of Hyde Park Organizational Partnership for Empowerment, and Linda Ricks is the Chair of the Crenshaw-Slauson CRA Community Advisory Council.  Both ladies are residents of Hyde Park.) -cw




CityWatch
Vol 9 Issue 44
Pub: June 3, 2011

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