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 IF IT'S BROKEN...FIX IT

Getting Serious about LA’s Sidewalk Repairs: A Five-Point ‘Let’s-Get-On-with-It’ Plan

Ken Alpern
FIXING LA-Last Tuesday night's City Council Board of Public Works and Budget Committees met and allowed a lot of good public input to a series of concerned and available Councilmembers and City officials. The attendance and input were both outstanding--I want to thank Councilmember Mike Bonin, in particular, for allowing the outreach and advice to…

Latino Politicians Putting Climate Change Ahead of Constituents

Joel Kotkin
POLITICS-Racial and economic inequality may be key issues facing America today, but the steps often pushed by progressives, including minority politicians, seem more likely to exacerbate these divisions than repair them. In a broad arc of policies affecting everything from housing to employment, the agenda being adopted serves to stunt upward…

Worlds Apart on Kathryn Steinle: When Political Opportunism Reigns Supreme

John Mirisch
MUSING WITH MIRISCH-The small Swedish Jewish Museum in Stockholm is tucked away on a side street. Discreet signage instructs would-be visitors to push a button which activates a camera, so they can be screened before they are granted entry. The museum's permanent exhibition fills one fairly small room. Most of the objects on display are Jewish…

Garcetti Passes, Wesson Fails

Jack Humphreville
LA WATCHDOG-Our Los Angeles Times has issued midterm letter grades for Controller Ron Galperin (B-) and City Attorney Mike Feuer (B+) and will be posting grades for City Council President Herb Wesson this Sunday and Mayor Eric Garcetti the following Sunday. Our City is facing many difficult issues, ranging from a lagging economy, relatively high…

What LA Really Needs: A Part-time City Council and a Part-time Mayor!

Dennis Zine
JUST THE FACTS-There are so many serious and pressing problems facing the City of Los Angeles and few if any real solutions are being proposed or implemented by our elected and appointed leaders at City Hall. I will start with the current city budget. Former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa had a $7.7 billion total budget in the 2013-2014 fiscal year.…

Why Don’t the City’s Women Managers Hire More Women?

Denyse Selesnick
MY TURN-Perusing the web is a little like the soap operas of yesteryear. You get suckered in! One link leads to another link and then one is exposed to a barrage both facts and idiocy. The reason for this discussion was my attending a July Valley Alliance of Neighborhood Councils (VANC) meeting with the Department of Water and Power. General…

Cleaning Up LA City Hall: ‘It’s What’s Legal That’s the Problem’

Bob Gelfand
GELFAND’S WORLD-Everyone understands that developers own our city government. Sure, there are some officials here and there who are upright and independent, but recent history shows that the developers typically get their way in spite of public opposition. Whether it is a zoning change for an office tower or the required permits for a new mall,…

Not So Fast LA! Let’s Consider the Real Costs of Hosting the Olympics before We Jump In

Greg Nelson
SPORTS POLITICS-On Monday, Boston withdrew from its offer to be the nation’s bidder for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games. In January, Los Angeles finished second to Boston when the U.S. Olympic Committee made its decision. After Boston was selected to polish up its bid before submitting it to the International Olympic Committee for a final decision,…

Party Crashing for Political Access: Schwarzenegger and My Pantsuit

Charlotte Laws
CALIFORNIA ACCESS POLITICS-Party crashing—or gate-crashing, as it is sometimes called—is an art form that I stumbled upon as a teen. I taught myself how to finagle into any event, anywhere, anytime. It required being part private eye, part actress and part chutzpah machine. I had to think outside of the box, throw myself into the role, and whip my…





Art or Ad? LA’s mural law written in gray ink

Escape the Room-Conan goes for the record … and the laffs


LADWP Rates Overview

 

 

  

 

 

 

AEG’s Football Stadium EIR is In: The Public Needs More Time to Review It and Here’s Why

STADIUM POLITICS - AEG’s 10,000 page Environmental Impact Report is four times the size of the Obama Administration’s health care bill, and eight times the size of War and Peace.

If built, some believe Farmers Field would be constructed in 2013 while others are not sure when construction would begin. If Farmers Field is built it would be a part of our skyline for over 40 years. But residents are only being allowed 45 days – just over six weeks – to review what AEG claims to be the most "thorough environmental impact report in history."
As a candidate for Mayor of Los Angeles and a concerned citizen who has serious questions about Farmers Field and the permanent changes it would cause in relation to the Convention Center, I call upon the City’s Ad Hoc Committee on The Proposed Downtown Stadium and Events Center to obtain an extension from the City of the review period by a mere 45 days.

The Ad Hoc Committee is Chaired by Councilwoman Jan Perry. Councilman Bill Rosendahl serves as Vice-Chair. An extension this brief would not disrupt the timetable of the NFL or of AEG’s proposed construction but would allow residents and council members an opportunity to thoroughly review one of the biggest proposals in Los Angeles in recent memory.

Common sense suggests several good reasons for my requested extension. If built, construction of Farmers Field would not even start until 2013 at the earliest. Also, the NFL will not allow serious negotiations or the final sale of a team until after the 2013 Super Bowl. Furthermore, the NFL has been using Los Angeles as a bargaining tool for various team owners for nearly 20 years and does not seem to be in a hurry now. So, what’s the rush?

A quick review of the environmental report confirms a heavy use of public money – something many Angelenos feared all along. While AEG has guaranteed the costs of the stadium and municipal bonds, taxpayers of Los Angeles will be left covering the tab for street improvements, railway extensions and a proposed auxiliary lane for the 101 freeway.

The additional lane for the 101 could cost Los Angeles billions of dollars and AEG has only agreed to pay $2.4 million to study the project. A second source of public funds will go to cover new light rail trains and buses, platform extensions, and capital and operational expenses for increased serviceability – all of which AEG has put on the public’s back.

We have been promised from the beginning by all of our elected officials that no public money would be used. We need additional time to ensure that the people of Los Angeles will not get left holding the bill.

In addition, Sacramento has already provided AEG with an environmental pass. The least our City Council can and should do is provide residents, voters and environmental groups with a reasonable opportunity to review the impact on our local environment.

Transportation ramifications need more analysis. AEG only studied 177 intersections. In a presentation to the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association last year, AEG representatives claimed that AEG would study every intersection from here to Brea. They clearly did not.

AEG also failed to study the combined effects of traffic between Farmers Field and the STAPLES Center or Dodger Stadium. Maybe that means the NBA will agree that the Lakers and Clippers will not play on Sunday during football season (which seems like a stretch to me) or maybe it was an oversight, but either way we need to ask those questions.

And then there’s parking vs. public transportation. Despite big assurances that everyone will ditch their cars and seek light rail, the numbers do not add up. In New York, the home of the most comprehensive public transportation system in the country, no more than 8,000 fans take public transportation to Jets and Giants football games.

Also, AEG’s report used Target Field in Minneapolis and AT&T Park in San Francisco as comparison stadiums regarding their assumption of how many football fans would take public transportation to get to Farmers Field. What virtually every reporter covering the story seemed to miss is that Target Field and AT&T Park are baseball stadiums – Farmers Field is for football.

Football has a tailgating culture that baseball simply does not have and as I told an Associated Press reporter at AEG’s press conference, football fans cannot take their barbeque grills and other tailgating equipment on the subway.

Parking is obviously important to drivers in Los Angeles. Outside parking that allows for tailgating is a significant attraction for football fans. AEG did not study either and we need to know why.

My call for a 45-day extension is based on common sense and common concerns. There is no rush and no legitimate reason why the City’s Ad Hoc Committee on The Proposed Downtown Stadium and Events Center should not seek an extension of the review period by 45 days.

I ask that Councilwoman Perry and Councilman Rosendahl exercise leadership in their roles as Chair and Vice-Chair respectively of the City’s Ad Hoc Committee and side with the taxpayers and the community on this request and allow us more time to review AEG’s EIR which AEG claims is the "most thorough in history."

(Kevin James is an attorney, former Asst. U.S. Attorney, former radio broadcaster and candidate for LA Mayor and occasional contributor to CityWatch. He can be reached at kevinjamesformayor.com)
-cw

Tags: Kevin James, AEG Stadium, football stadium, LA Stadium, EIR, Farmers Field, City Hall, City Council, Mayor, Jan Perry, Ad Hoc Committee, Bill Rosendahl






CityWatch
Vol 10 Issue 39
Pub: May 15, 2012 

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