Fri05222015

Last updateThu, 21 May 2015 9pm

LOS ANGELES Friday, May 22nd 2015 1:28

ONE MOTHER'S PERSPECTIVE

  • WHO WE ARE-Women did it again. The annual Memorial Day tradition of placing flowers on graves of fallen soldiers was begun by women in the South after the Civil War. Who knew? Who now remembers that it was originally Decoration Day? Or that it is a day to decorate the graves of soldiers who fought for a better future. Memorial Day is a great deal…
  • 453 Days Later...

    Tom Rubin
    OFFENSIVE BUT PROTECTED SPEECH-Welcome news this week from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. By a vote of 11 to 1, the court overturned its injunction against the controversial video called "Innocence of Muslims" that it had ordered off YouTube back in February 2014. Here's the background. Actress Cindy Lee Garcia (photo below) was…
  • What LA Educators Should Learn From Bell Gardens High School’s Shocking Turnaround

    Jay Mathews
    VOICES FROM THE SQUARE-Bell Gardens High School in east Los Angeles County was a sorry mess when science teacher Liz Lowe arrived in 1989. It was overflowing with trailer classrooms and graffiti. More than 3,000 students crowded into school buildings surrounding a concrete quadrangle with patches of grass and some trees. Expectations were low. Not…
  • The Clean Sweep Election Finally Happened

    Bob Gelfand
    GELFAND’S WORLD- A few years ago, a group calling itself Clean Sweep argued that the voters of Los Angeles should defeat all the incumbents and replace them with fresh blood. On Tuesday, the results came close. There are two distinct lessons, one of which is quite ominous for elected officials. This election demonstrated the end of voter patience…
  • What Did Tuesday’s LAUSD Election Results Prove?

    Paul Hatfield
    PERSPECTIVE-Did the LAUSD election results signal a change for charter schools? Perhaps. Possibly. Maybe. You can make a decent case that Ref Rodriguez’s victory in District 5 points to strong support for charters. It was a battle between two well-funded candidates with diametrically opposed views on the issue. The effectiveness and fairness of…
  • (Train)ing Ourselves to Confront Modern Mass Transit

    Ken Alpern
    GETTING THERE FROM HERE-It's great to learn that Metro has an excellent new CEO with the hiring of Phillip A. Washington who comes to us from Denver. Following in the footsteps of his predecessors, Roger Snoble and Art Leahy, Mr. Washington has a first-rate reputation to maintain--but his first job will be to pass Measure R-2. Measure R-2 (perhaps…
  • 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…




Memorial Day 2015- Freedom Isn’t Free

J. Cole raps on the Letterman show: “Be Free’

The Star Spangled Banner … like you’ve never heard it before

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

LA’s Guilt Trip: Naming Crosswalks after Our Dead Children

RETHINKING LA - Barry Sanders is the most recent member of LA’s civic elite to be honored for his contribution to society by having his name attached to a piece of LA’s public infrastructure, in this case the athletic field at Anthony C. Beilenson Park.

There was a time when honors such as these were reserved for those who had retired or moved on, bestowed on the honored party as the community looked back on the public figure’s career and legacy of public service.
Now these awards are doled out to active members of the community by commissions, committees, and councils that are still doing business with the honored party, calling into question the integrity of the award.

Of course, there’s an upside to this scenario. If public officials stand a chance of having ball parks and community centers named in their honor, perhaps they will be motivated to build more facilities. They’ll also have a vested interest in seeing them properly maintained, after all, it has their name on it.

While the debate over naming rights to LA’s infrastructure goes on, challenging the process that litters the landscape of LA’s public space with “tags” that memorialize public officials, another process of memorializing those who have made the ultimate sacrifice quietly slips by.

The City of LA has a charming tradition of honoring dead pedestrians, those who have lost their lives in the simple attempt to cross the street.

Sometimes the honor comes with a traffic signal.

Bill Winograd was crossing Hyperion Avenue when he was hit by a car so hard, he flew 25 feet through the air and skidded on the street, dying soon after. His tragic death motivated a City Councilman to prioritize a traffic signal that now stands in honor of a man who had to die in order to get the City of LA to support pedestrians in a densely populated residential community.

12-year-old Emely Aleman and her 10-year-old cousin Angela Rodriguez were attempting to cross Laurel Canyon Boulevard when they were struck by a jeep Wrangler and thrown about 50 feet. Angela survived but Emely died, a tragic loss that motivated there City Councilman to prioritize a traffic signal , prompting Gabriel Avila, her uncle, to declare “It shouldn’t take a life to save lives.”

Sometimes the honor comes with a crosswalk.

Demariya Grant was nine when he attempted to cross Rodeo Road, only to be killed by a hit-and-run motorist. His tragic death prompted the City of Los Angeles to memorialize the incident with the “Demariya Grant Memorial Crosswalk."

Jason Quarker was struck and killed while crossing Jefferson on his way to the 6th Avenue Elementary School, prompting the City of Los Angeles to memorialize his sacrifice with the "Jason Quarker Memorial Crosswalk" at 6th and Jefferson.

This past week, 24-year-old Ashley Sandau was struck by a car and killed as she attempted to cross Rowena Avenue. Her death stirred great debate over the need to calm vehicular traffic through Silver Lake and prompting community members to lobby the Councilman for traffic calming.

Two days later, a pedestrian attempted to cross Normandie when he was killed by a hit-and-run motorist. His death failed to cause a ripple in the media, demonstrating the fact that pedestrian deaths are so common, they fail to qualify as news.

The City of LA has a pedestrian death rate of 7.64 deaths per 100,000 residents. This is more than double New York City’s death rate of 3.49.

Now is the time for LA’s leadership to put down the self-awarded honors and to start giving some respect to the people of LA, starting with a commitment to do more than slap traffic signals over crime scenes that have taken the lives of Angelenos.

The only City Officials worthy of naming rights are the ones that are busy calming LA’s deadly traffic, pushing for Safe Routes to School funding, installing bulbouts and refuge islands, slowing cut-through traffic, and moderating flow with speed tables and chicanes.

When the streets of LA are safer and the tradition of naming crosswalks after dead children is a thing of the past, then and only then will LA’s leadership have earned the right to honor themselves by putting their names on our infrastructure.

(Stephen Box is a grassroots advocate and writes for CityWatch. He can be reached at: Stephen@thirdeyecreative.net. You can also find him on Twitter and on Facebook.) Photo Credit: la.streetsblog.org.
–cw

Tags: Stephen Box, Rethinking LA, traffic deaths, Los Angeles







CityWatch
Vol 10 Issue 28
Pub: Apr 6, 2012

Share