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LOS ANGELES Sunday, July 5th 2015 5:53

 OUR 4TH OF JULY DIFFERENCES

The Declaration of Independence Meant Something Different to America’s Not So Independent Slaves

Amy Goodman
WHO WE ARE-“What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July?” asked Frederick Douglass (photo above) of the crowd gathered at Corinthian Hall in Rochester, NY, on July 5, 1852. “I answer,” he continued, “a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which lie is the constant victim. To him,…

Trumping Trump: Shun the Donald, Boycott His Palos Verdes Golf Course

Bob Gelfand
GELFAND’S WORLD-I believe that it's really Donald Trump's hair. I seem to be unique in this belief. It's nice to be unique in some way, but what bothers me is that I have also been nearly unique, until now, in arguing that Trump should be shunned and boycotted. But times change. It's been a traumatic week both for Donald Trump and for the…

LA’s Sidewalks: Penny Wise and Pound Foolish

Jack Humphreville
LA WATCHDOG-The City of Los Angeles is expected to spend $1.4 billion over the next 30 years to repair our sidewalks pursuant to a Settlement Agreement involving the Willits class action lawsuit that alleged that the City was not in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. While the yet to be disclosed Settlement Agreement appears to…

Is It Really a Golden State or Is It Just One of Those Hollywood Illusions?

Dennis Zine
JUST THE FACTS-Is Los Angeles really part of a Golden State or is it a place to remember as you move to greener pastures? I pose this question following my recent visit to Chicago and other cities east of the Rockies. My travels to the east coast were part of my reserve LAPD duty. I was part of the group of LAPD Reserve Officers escorting the…

Want to Save The Bullet Train, Governor … Get Better Bullet Points!

Ken Alpern
GETTING THERE FROM HERE-George W. Bush had Iraq. Barack Obama has ObamaCare. And Jerry Brown has HIS bullet train. Not OUR bullet train, mind you, but HIS bullet train. And like Iraq, and like ObamaCare, the bullet train that was meant to help all of us, and which was promoted with great fanfare and wonderful intentions, has to survive the test of…

LA: Hit-and-Run Capital of the World May Be Getting an Alert System

Damien Newton
LA’S STREETS - After last week’s warning that CA Assemblymember Mike Gatto’s legislation to create a “Yellow Alert” system was imperiled by Senate Transportation and Housing Committee staff and the California Highway Patrol’s (CHP) objections, there was a feeling of a looming showdown before today’s committee hearing. Assembly Bill 8 would create…

LA’s Citywide Sign Ordinance: By, For and Of Special Interests

Barbara Broide
IRATE PRIVATE CITIZEN’S OPEN LETTER-I write this letter not as a representative of my local homeowners association or neighborhood council, both of which have come out in support of the sign ordinance that limits new signage to sign districts in specified commercially zoned areas and who seek enforcement of and the issuance of citations to signs…

Now Is the Time For True Courage

Abby Zimet
FURTHER-Britanny 'Bree' Newsome - the filmmaker, organizer, activist and aspiring Super-Woman who memorably, determinedly climbed the flagpole at South Carolina's capitol to remove the Confederate flag - has spoken out for the first time about her feat, which she views "both as an act of civil disobedience and as a demonstration of the power…

When Did the American Civil War Really End and … Did Shenandoah Really Save the Whales?

Paul Hatfield
PERSPECTIVE - When did the American Civil War end? Could it really have been late June or early November of 1865? April 9, 1865 is the date widely accepted, and for good reason: it marked the surrender of General Lee’s army at Appomattox, Virginia. It was a foregone conclusion that other field commands would quickly follow suit. In fact, they did,…

 

  • 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…



Sun Jul 05, 2015 @ 5:00PM - 09:00PM
Twilight in the Garden: Little Tokyo Concert Series
Thu Jul 16, 2015 @12:00AM
LA Equality Awards RSVP
Thu Jul 30, 2015 @ 6:00PM - 08:00PM
A Taste of Chatsworth


Fail! Fail! Americans don’t know why we celebrate the 4th of July

Awwww! Tornado separates dog and owner … dog waits!

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

What Were They Really Fighting About?

INSIDE CITY HALL - I starting working for the City Council in 1971 and after 30 years of meetings I thought I’d seen everything.

I almost forgot former Councilman Joel Wachs’ proclamation that the Los Angeles City Council is “the best free theater in the city.”
Last week the scene was a one hour argument over what appeared to be a “mom and apple pie” motion by council members Bill Rosendahl, Eric Garcetti, and Paul Krekorian that called for the Council to adopt a rule that its ad hoc (temporary) committees would abide by the state’s open meetings law as does its permanent standing committees.

What could possibly go wrong?

The problem was the environment in which the motion was made.  

You see Councilman Rosendahl also serves as the vice-chair of the new Ad Hoc Committee on the Proposed Downtown Stadium and Event Center.  

The agenda for the last meeting was posted just 24 hours before the start of the meeting.  That worked great for supporters of the proposed downtown stadium who knew about the meeting well in advance using insider information.

But it was a bum deal for everyone else who waited for the normal public posting of the agenda.  One day isn’t a lot of time to make arrangements for child care, or time off from work in order to attend.

During the meeting committee members found out that the chair of the committee wanted to hold a secret, closed-door meeting afterwards.  A member of the city negotiating team said they needed some guidance regarding sticking points that arose around the Environmental Impact Report.

Rosendahl objected to the closed-door meeting, stating that the public’s business should be done in public.

The deputy city attorney explained that ad hoc committees are exempt from the state law, the Brown Act, because they were just providing advice.  And if they were to reach a conclusion in secret, the recommendations would have to be adopted by the full City Council.  The chair dropped her closed-door session idea, and wouldn’t allow any public discussion of the issue.

If this had been a meeting of a standing committee, the agenda would have to include notice of the closed-door session.  And it would have happened but for Rosendahl’s objections.

Rosendahl’s motion simply called for ad hoc committees to follow the same laws about notification and openness that apply by standing committees.

As soon as the City Council began discussing the motion, the wheels fell off the transparency wagon.

It was clear that this wasn’t a discussion about the Brown Act, but about a council member who has dared to ask questions about the proposed football stadium, and who has attempted to make public the backroom discussions and hidden reports around which the negotiations have been framed.

Most appropriate is the old Japanese proverb that “The nail that sticks out gets hammered down.”

And hammer on Rosendahl is what some of them did.

It was a demonstration of the collective power of the City Council.  Any member who dares to stray from plans that place the interests of the council members, or the influential few who support them, over the interests of the public, find themselves being attacked publicly and privately.

Joel Wachs was one of those who regularly found himself feeling the wrath of “The Club.”

During one redistricting effort, Wachs had 90% of his district taken from him.  He essentially had to introduce himself to new constituents everywhere.

The most effective counterforce is public support for those who take controversial positions with which you agree.  That means messages of appreciation to the supporters, and requests for reversal of stances to those who temporarily misplaced their priorities.  

(Greg Nelson participated in the birth and development of the LA Neighborhood Council system and served as the General Manager of the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment. He also served as Chief of Staff for former City Councilman Joel Wachs. Nelson now provides news and issues analysis to CityWatch. He can be reached at:  gregn213@cox.net .)  -cw

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CityWatch
Vol 9 Issue 55
Pub: July 13, 2011

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