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Wed, Apr

Are LA’s Big Buck Developers REALLY Smarter than We Are?

PLANNING EVELUTION IN HIGH GEAR--I continue to be overwhelmed and amazed by the audacity and brazenness of our City leaders--not all of them, but most of them.  And their enablers (who are frightfully laden with financial conflict of interest) in the "environmental" and "affordable housing" communities ... while the true community leaders, who are liberal and compromising get effectively told to "shut up and take it, because we're smarter than you". 

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A Marriage that Makes Sense: The Feds Say “I Do” to Google Cars, Lyft and the Hyperloop for LA

GUEST WORDS-Recently I spent two hours in my car and on the subway to travel 40 miles from Agoura Hills to Downtown to attend a transportation conference sponsored by the LA Times at the Los Angeles Central Library. My return trip (not at rush hour) took me one and a half hours. The irony that this journey once took 45 minutes each way did not escape me while I sat listening to numerous heavy hitters on transportation policy talk about the challenges our city will face over the next 10 years. 

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Campaign 2016: California Good for Cash, Not Candidates

NEW GEOGRAPHY--California may be the country’s most important and influential state for technology, culture and lifestyle, but has become something of a cipher in terms of providing national political leaders. Not one California politician entered the 2016 presidential race in either party and, looking over the landscape, it’s difficult to see even a potential contender emerging over the coming decade.

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Woof, Woof. All Aboard! Cats and Dogs Get ‘Ticket’ to Ride … Amtrak

ANIMAL WATCH-After a rocky ride through Congress since 2013, Amtrak has finally announced, “Rover, Come On Over. Pets Welcome Aboard Amtrak.” The ‘Pets-on-Trains’ program is now permanent and allows Amtrak riders to travel with their cat or small dog to more than 500 destinations nationwide, including Los Angeles – Union Station, Pomona, Ontario and Palm Springs, CA. 

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Venice Coalition Fed Up … Tells City Hall ‘Enough is Enough!’

SEE YOU IN COURT-Venice Coalition to Preserve Unique Character (VC-PUCC) filed a lawsuit last week against the City of Los Angeles, which the coalition website charges is complicit in development that is “destroying Venice’s quaint, historic neighborhoods and affordable housing at an alarming rate.” The coalition charges that the city’s actions violate the California Constitution, Coastal Act, as well as local land use protections.  

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The Battle of the Ballot Measures Will Change Your Quality of Life

DEEGAN ON LA-Wealth creation for developers is directly related to how land is used. Their road to that wealth can be greatly helped by the independent zoning decisions made by our politicos, the 15 members of the LA City Council through a process called “spot zoning” and/or “variances” – actions that allow developers to skirt zoning regulations.

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Over-Development Initiative Encourages Playing by the Rules

GUEST WORDS-A Committee of five registered voters in Los Angeles has gained a lot of traction in its effort to place a game changing initiative on the November ballot. The proposed “Neighborhood Integrity Initiative for a Livable Los Angeles” will give voters the power to stop over-sized development for the next two years.

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Why I Say ‘No’ to DWP Rate Hikes

GUEST COMMENTARY-Because of the events surrounding the Aliso Canyon Gas Leak and its effect on the residents and businesses in my district, I know all too well what can happen when vital infrastructure is allowed to age to the point where it fails. Infrastructure cannot be neglected. It requires constant investment and updating. 

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Too Little too Late: The Truth about LA’s $7.6 Billion Pension Adjustment

PERSPECTIVE-As I pointed out in Monday’s edition of CityWatch, the City of Los Angeles booked a $7.6 billion adjustment to recognize the unfunded pension liability owed to the beneficiaries of its public pension programs. It is an admission that the residents and stakeholders of the city are on the hook for very generous retirement benefits offered to municipal employees. For the record, the adjustment does not cover exposure to virtually free health benefits.

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