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 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…



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!

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

Do You Trust the Gang at Metro to Manage Another 90 Billion of Your Dollars? Say No to the Measure J Slush Fund

LA WATCHDOG - “Would it be a good idea to see how Metro handles the first $40 billion of sales tax revenue before we give them an additional $90 billion?”

You bet it is.

This is reason enough to vote NO on Measure J, the November ballot measure that proposes to extend the life of the “one-half cent traffic relief sales tax” for an additional thirty years to 2069.

If passed by two-thirds of the voters, this extension would provide the politically controlled Metropolitan Transit Authority (“Metro”) with an additional $90 billion, resulting in a 60 year total of $130 billion.  

While we have questioned Metro’s management capability and organizational resources to control so many complex, capital intensive highway and mass transit construction projects that will burden our grandchildren with tens and tens of billions in debt and interest payments, we have not focused on the allocation of 40% of these sales tax revenues dedicated to finance the massive operating losses of the Metro’s bus and train operations and to fund the “Local Return Improvement” program.

25% of the Measure R and Measure J money is mandated to help cover the annual billion dollar plus operating losses of Metro’s inefficient and highly subsidized transit operations.

And while we may not all agree on the politics surrounding the huge subsidies for Metro’s labor intensive bus and rail operations, at least we know where the money is being spent.

That is not so true for the 15% for the sales tax revenue that will be diverted to the County’s 88 cities and the unincorporated areas of the County under the “Local Return Improvement” program.

Local Return projects would include pothole repair, safety improvements for both roads and bridges, the establishment of bikeways, operating subsidies for politically popular transit programs, and various other programs that would normally be funded through the General Fund.

The City of Los Angeles would be entitled to about 40% of the Local Return funds based on its share of the County’s population.  

But as with most items that involve the flow of money in the City, the ultimate use of these funds will be hard to trace.

Last year, for example, Mayor Villaraigosa proposed LA Road Works, a hare-brained scheme where the City would fund the repair of 25% of our lunar cratered streets through an $800 million bond offering secured by over $1.4 billion in future Local Return Measure R revenues.  

But this deal was DOA (dead on arrival) when the City Council and Public Works realized that the City did not even have an operational plan for the Ten Year Maintenance and Repair Program recommended by the Bureau of Street Services in its November 2011 State of the Streets Report.

With this all this new found money sloshing around City Hall, the Mayor and the City Council would love to stuff this dough in their own slush funds that would be used to finance their pet projects and those of their cronies.  

However, in light of the next year’s projected budget deficit of $216 million (a function of the $300 million increase in salaries, benefits, and pension contributions), our “kick the can down the street” Elected Elite may have to devote a portion of this money to filling potholes and repaving and resurfacing our streets.

Of course, this will allow the City to slash the budget of Street Services and use these “savings” to “balance” the budget.

Whether it is a slush fund for pet projects or a “rob Peter to pay Paul” scheme, it is obvious that we cannot trust the Mayor and the City Council to use these Local Return monies in a prudent manner.

No wonder we need a charter amendment that requires the City to “Live Within its Means.”

And before we drown our grandchildren in a sea of debt, it would be an excellent idea to see if Metro and the City utilize the $40 billion already allocated under Measure R in an efficient manner before we vote to give them an additional $90 billion.

Vote NO on Measure J.  

(Jack Humphreville writes LA Watchdog for CityWatch He is the President of the DWP Advocacy Committee and the Ratepayer Advocate for the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council. Humphreville is the publisher of the Recycler -- www.recycler.com. He can be reached at: lajack@gmail.com) –cw




CityWatch
Vol 10 Issue 82
Pub: Oct 12, 2012


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