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 'A PROMISE IS A PROMISE'

Special to CityWatch: Can Jorge Ramos Save The American Immigrant Dream?

Tony Castro
TONY CASTRO’S LA- President Barack Obama’s disappointing failure to champion immigration reform, what The Washington Post called his “immigration train wreck,” may be the consummate example of the failure of the Obama presidency on Latino issues. It is also a tell-tale sign of the potential trouble the Democratic Party could find itself in…

Museum Row’s Billion Dollar Block Party

Tim Deegan
EXCLUSIVE TO CITYWATCH--City planners, developers, community members and other stakeholders are having a block party in the Miracle Mile: no champagne but plenty of stress served to order, depending on who you're aligned with. Issues with development: take a seat. Raising hundreds of millions of dollars for development, take several seats. Here…

What Is It About The Homeless That Makes Us So Angry?

Bob Gelfand
GELFAND’S WORLD--It was a long public hearing at my neighborhood council the other night. Outraged, obviously frightened homeowners were pitted against advocates for the homeless. At least that's how it started, but it's not how it ended. It's curious, but in this contentious culture of ours, it turned out to be possible to have a meeting of the…

Kill the Transit Tax, Kill the Olympics

Ken Alpern
ALPERN AT LARGE-You know, it's indeed possible that there will be enough voters who won't remember (or care about) the current shenanigans and budget games in the City of LA--enough to allow a 2/3 vote to pass a new sales tax measure in November 2016. Then again, maybe enough voters will remember, and the initiative will (like its predecessor…

Headlines Don’t Lie – LA Needs Leadership

Dennis Zine
JUST THE FACTS-I’m talking to you as a man who policed Los Angeles streets for over 30 years and established policy for another 14 years -- two years as an elected Charter Reform Commissioner and 12 years as an elected Los Angeles City Councilman. Take a look at the latest Los Angeles News and Breaking Headlines. They tell a frightening story…

Airbnb Just Floats by the PLUM Committee

Tony Butka
THE CITY-I was going to do my usual flip and cynical kind of a piece on the Airbnb hearing, but the issue is too important, and just maybe, all is not lost. The Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee hearing was scheduled in the Public Works Hearing Room, but so many people attended that they had to move it to City Council Chambers…

Bikeshare Comes to Los Angeles … Sort Of

Richard Risemberg
WAITING ON LA--Here’s photographic confirmation that bikeshare has arrived in LA: Not the City of Los Angeles, though; not quite yet. That’s a live bikeshare station in Santa Monica, on Main Street, next to one of the two bike corrals that grace the block south of Ashland. (There’s another and very busy bike corral two blocks north.) This is a…

The Summer of My Discontent ... LA Version

Denyse Selesnick
MY TURN--I think there is such a thing as the "Dog Days of Summer" since my usual sunny disposition ... glass half full demeanor ... seems to be out of sorts of late. There is a litany of things that are annoying me, aside from the heat. I am disappointed in our local government ... not all of them, but a majority. Like many of you I studied the…

Marilyn Who? Ask Councilman Krekorian or Mayor Garcetti

Richard Lee Abrams
PRESERVATION POLITICS-Who doesn’t like Marilyn Monroe? Councilmember Krekorian, that’s who! Why else would Councilmember Paul Krekorian support the demolition of one of the most significant homes of Marilyn Monroe? With the blessings of Mayor Garcetti, who believes in eradicating as much of Hollywood’s history as possible, and with the support of…





Record Breaking! Josh Groban sings Trump


LADWP Rates Overview

 

 

  

 

 

 

From Parking to Pasadena, We Need Measure J NOW

GETTING THERE FROM HERE - Anger continues to rise throughout our city, county, state and nation over the need to expand and fix our roads, infrastructure, passenger and freight rail system, and our environment—all while questioning the legitimacy of how well and how much we’re spending to achieve that big expansion and big fix.

That anger and questioning is spot-on, but what must not be forgotten is whether our immediate focus should be on what can be fought successfully in the year 2012.

 

It is not only those identifying themselves with the Tea Party who are infuriated at the amount of spending and the amount of borrowing we’re doing from future generations, so the obligation to tax ourselves versus the opportunity to borrow from the future must both be considered.  Therefore, the question of whether we should be able to borrow from future sales tax revenues (Measure J) has to be balanced with the following question:

Are we in a position to immediately raise sales taxes another half-cent to ensure funding and construction of Measure R projects within the next ten years?

Some argue that Measure R should have been a full penny sales tax, because Measure R only guaranteed that its projects would be built over 20-30 years—but that argument (while worthy of consideration) is moot because:

1) We can’t go back in time, and we must focus on our present and future with respect to an action plan.

2) After fighting like hell to get matching federal funds and loans for the past 2-3 years, Mayor Villaraigosa and Metro and the entire Southern California delegation have gotten only pittances from Washington after L.A. County showed its political courage by passing Measure.  It’s therefore time for Plan B.

Plan B…as in Measure J.

Measure J … as in borrowing from future tax revenues without raising more taxes, and as in building decades-overdue Measure R projects now.

Measure J … as in knowing that every penny we get from Washington and Sacramento will ensure that we’ll be able to build projects, and fix our infrastructure, beyond what Measure R prioritizes and guarantees.

Measure J … as in holding our electeds’ feet to the fire to minimize what future generations will have to pay for projects being built today, and to maximize what new projects and fixes can be achieved for these same future generations.

So enter the City of Los Angeles, which for decades has never lost an opportunity to fiscally and legally punish its residents—particularly its homeowners.  For several decades, all sorts of excuses and rationales keep being conveniently provided to raises property taxes, to raise utility fees, and to demand homeowners give up their curbside parking for others who do not pay these taxes and fees.

The latest two kicks in the groin from our beloved leaders at the City of the Angels are:

1) The City threatening to renege on its promise to maintain its sidewalks (while preventing homeowners from cost-effectively paying for the sidewalks themselves), and worsening its tree-trimming delays (while preventing homeowners from cost-effectively paying for tree planting and repair despite the legal risks this lack of repair places on homeowners).

2) The City offering a sweetheart deal to developers, landlords and businesses to weasel out of their obligations to pay for parking for their residents and customers. (Link)

That last one is particularly difficult to swallow, because for those landlords, developers and businesses that don’t have adjacent property to physically locate parking, the opportunity to require ongoing funds to build and maintain local parking structures as an alternative is both fair and flexible … and very much needed.

And while communities of homeowners are screaming louder and louder for Preferred Parking Districts, because these beleaguered homeowners know that renters and customers are being forced to park in front of the homes they’re busting a mortgage for every month, the demand that these landlords and developers and businesses help pay for their sidewalks, tree repairs, residential streets and parkways is also both fair and flexible.

So while more communities, most recently my neighbors in South Mar Vista consider seceding from the City of LA in favor of other cities that treat their taxpaying residents with more respect, perhaps Wendy Greuel and other politicians and planning groups would do well to distance themselves from  Professor Shoup and all the other head-in-the-cloud academics who equate parking with the root of our urban ills.


The CD11 Transportation Advisory Committee has repeatedly opposed free parking, but also repeatedly demanded more parking.  It has also come out in favor of the Expo Line and other mass transit projects while demanding more parking.  Parking and buses and rail and sidewalks have not, and never will be, mutually exclusive.

Measure J allows us to expedite road repair, sidewalk repair, alleyway repair, and even parking improvements if our City has the political will.

And while our NIMBY neighbors in Pasadena continue to reject a decades-overdue connection of the I-710 freeway to the rest of the freeway system (while hideously victimizing Alhambra and their neighbors to the south), they’ll be pleased to know that Measure J allows for transfer of planned I-710 freeway funds to extend the Foothill Gold Line and the Alameda Corridor East project to enhance passenger and freight movements, respectively.

Should the voters approve Measure J this November, the City of LA can finally start fixing its infrastructure, the City of Pasadena can further delay the I-710 freeway to suffering of its neighbors, and the rest of the San Gabriel Valley can enjoy better passenger and freight rail mobility and movement.

And maybe we can build the Wilshire Subway and MetroRail to LAX within our lifetimes.

Measure J:  J as in Jumpstart!

(Ken Alpern is a former Boardmember of the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC), previously co-chaired its Planning and Outreach Committees, and currently is Co-Chair of its MVCC Transportation/Infrastructure Committee.  He is co-chair of the CD11 Transportation Advisory Committee, chairs the nonprofit Transit Coalition, and is co-chair of the non-profit Friends of the Green Line (www.fogl.us).  He can be reached at Alpern@MarVista.org.    The views expressed in this article are solely those of Mr. Alpern.)
-cw




CityWatch
Vol 10 Issue 66
Pub: Aug 17, 2012  

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