Last updateMon, 27 Jul 2015 6pm

LOS ANGELES Monday, July 27th 2015 6:27


Why Los Angeles Doesn’t Trust City Hall

Jack Humphreville
LA WATCHDOG-The media is having a field day exposing the shenanigans of the Herb Wesson led City Council and Mayor Eric Garcetti. But these backroom deals, when taken as a whole, represent a pattern of corruption which jeopardizes our residential neighborhoods and quality of life, the City’s financial health, and the voters’ trust and confidence…

The Outrageously High Cost of New Drugs Can Make You Sick … Here’s a Possible Cure

Bob Gelfand
GELFAND’S WORLD-The cries of outrage have been heard from coast to coast. A biotech company from Boston has come up with a new drug that treats the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis, and they want to get paid for it. Specifically, they intend to charge $259,000 per year for what the average patient will require. Elsewhere, a new drug that…

LA, You Suck at Parking

Andria Farrell
MAD AS HELL-Many Angelenos leave their cars in the worst places, so I started an Instagram campaign to make them think twice about being jerks. I moved from Connecticut to Los Angeles on a whim six years ago to pursue a career as a makeup artist. I had two suitcases, a couple thousand dollars in my pocket, and a few friends begging me to join…

Broken City Sidewalks, Broken City Promises, Broken City Processes

Ken Alpern
FIX IT POLITICS-Next Tuesday night there will be much discussion about our city's broken sidewalk and how to pay for it. Tired old speaking points and aphorisms will be thrown out, and tired old solutions will be discussed, and courageous fixes for these problems will be ignored ... again. The presentation about sidewalk repairs is from 6-8 pm on…

To TOD or Not to TOD

Richard Risemberg
GUEST WORDS-Transit-Oriented Development is one of the watchwords of the new urbanism, and the progressive development world in general. You know the drill: mixed-use, mixed-income buildings, Complete Streets, access to transit, bicycle facilities, reduced parking requirements, etc etc. So what happens when the suits grant you a giant mixed-user…

High Speed Rail: Off Track In My Backyard

Denyse Selesnick
MY TURN-Every once in a great while an issue comes along that is truly bipartisan. Regardless of political persuasion … everyone hates it! They say that politics makes strange bedfellows and this one is a great example. When voters gave approval to Governor Jerry Brown’s legacy issue … The Bullet Train … approved by voters with a $9-billion bond…

Developer Matthew Jacobs: Demolition Man … ‘Too Late to Stop Fairfax Evictions’

Lovell Estell III
TENANTS RISE UP-Steven Luftman did not have much to feel good about last Tuesday as he stood in the TSA line before catching a flight from Sacramento to Los Angeles. After all, he was in the process of being evicted from his Fairfax District rental under the state’s Ellis Act, a law that speculators often use to kick out long-term renters from…

Crash Course: What You Need to Know about the School-to-Prison Pipeline

Emily Wilson
ARTS AND ACTIVISM-In her latest solo show, “Notes From the Field: Doing Time in Education, the California Chapter” at the Berkeley RepertoryTheatre through Aug. 2, Anna Deavere Smith (photo) looks at the “school-to-prison pipeline.” The term refers to how kids—mostly poor and nonwhite—are being pushed out of school into the criminal justice system…

If We Can’t Trust Mexico to Keep El Chapo in Jail, Then How Can We Trust Them on Anything?'

Ginger Thompson
A CONVERSATION WITH THE DRUG TRAFFICKERS-The slight man at the breakfast table seemed more like an evangelical minister than someone who once brokered deals between Mexican drug lords and state governors. He wore a meticulously pressed button-down, a gold watch, gold-rimmed glasses, and a gold cross around his neck. His dark brown hair was styled…


Reynolds Rap Video: Is this reality or fantasy?

Thu Jul 30, 2015 @ 6:00PM - 08:00PM
A Taste of Chatsworth
Sat Aug 01, 2015 @12:00AM
Fifth Annual Veterans Summer Celebration & Picnic
Sat Aug 08, 2015 @12:00PM - 04:00PM

You’re gonna cry! Kids sing to teacher with cancer

Scarrrry! The Flying Gun

Kid Stuff! Full of chuckles

LADWP Rates Overview







Getting Real About Plastic Bags

NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL OPPOSES BAN ON PLASTIC BAGS - As a quasi-city advisory body to the L.A. City Council, the Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council takes its duties very seriously.  Recently, we voted to oppose the proposed ordinance to ban plastic and paper bags which is scheduled to be heard in the Energy and Environment Committee this week.  Here’s why:
Proponents of the bag ban primarily cite three reasons why they believe it is necessary; they claim it will reduce waste, reduce litter, and “help protect the environment”.  But in researching these claims, primarily being promoted in a so-called “fact sheet” from the Bureau of Sanitation, we found them to be false, misleading, or based on old information.

First, banning free plastic grocery bags won’t reduce waste.  The Statewide Waste Characterization Studies published by the California Integrated Waste Management Board shows that “Plastic Grocery and Other Merchandise Bags” make up just 0.3% of the waste stream in California.   That’s 3/10 of 1%.  

Even if all “plastic grocery bags and other merchandise bags” disappeared tomorrow, it would have absolutely no effect on the amount of waste disposed of in California. And the City isn’t planning on banning all plastic store bags, just a portion of them.  The result will be completely insignificant in terms of the amount of waste generated.

Second, banning free plastic grocery bags won’t do much to reduce litter.  Despite what the misleading fact sheet says, seven recent litter studies from around the country demonstrate that, on average, plastic retail bags make up only 1-2% of litter.  While no amount of litter is desirable, education and recycling is the solution – not regressive bans.  

Recycling rates are rising and can continue to do so – according to the EPA, the recycling rate of polyethylene bags, sacks and wraps in 2010 was 14.7%.  Since plastic grocery bags are 100% recyclable and make up such a small percentage of litter, banning them will have no impact on the total amount of litter that needs to be cleaned up or the cost of doing so.

Third, banning free plastic grocery bags won’t do much to help protect the environment either.  Again, despite what the “fact sheet” says, plastic bags made in the U.S. are not made out of oil, they are made out of ethylene which is produced from ethane which is extracted from natural gas during the refinement process. If the ethane isn’t used to make the other products (primarily plastics) it would need to be stored or be burned off, resulting in greenhouse gas emissions.  Therefore, it is environmentally beneficial to use the ethane to make ethylene and then plastics. Using the ethane to make plastics does not in any way increase our dependence on foreign oil.  

Also, despite claims about plastics being a huge problem for our oceans and sea life, the truth is that there is no evidence that free plastic grocery bags make up any significant portion of the plastic waste that environmental groups are concerned about.  In fact, reports from environmental groups doing beach and ocean clean-ups show that plastic bags make up only about 2% of the debris. [link] This represents the smallest category of trash found.

So what will a ban on free plastic grocery bags actually do?  It will hurt American workers and will hurt the tax payers and consumers of Los Angeles.  If passed, this legislation would eliminate manufacturing jobs that support more than 1,000 families in the Los Angeles Area.  [link]

Further, it would encourage the use of less environmentally friendly reusable bags, [link] which are primarily manufactured and shipped from China and would result in a missed opportunity to expand recycling and create green jobs.  Finally, significant costs would be transferred to consumers.  Those who now reuse free plastic grocery bag for trash, pet waste, etc. will have to buy other plastic bags as a replacement.

The Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council opposed the proposed ordinance to ban plastic and paper bags because it will have no effect on protecting the environment or reducing pollution.  Quality of life, however, will be negatively impacted with higher costs for residents and a huge inconvenience.

The City of Los Angeles has invested heavily in its recycling programs and it would be shortsighted to dismantle a growing plastics recycling infrastructure – and create an expensive new government bureaucracy – by implementing the proposed ban. The City must consider all of the facts and the negative consequences of a ban.  By instead working with manufacturers, retailers and recyclers, the City can develop a common-sense bag policy that’s good for the economy, the environment and working families.

(Jay Beeber is the Chair of the Government Affairs Committee of the Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council. This article was posted most recently at California Political News and Views.) –cw

Tags: Plastic Bags, Ban on Plastic Bags, City Council, City Hall, Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council

Vol 10 Issue 28
Pub: Apr 6, 2012