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Thu, May

LA Development Debate Getting Intense: Opponent Says Neighborhood Integrity Initiative has Fatal Flaw (Video)

A CONVERSATION WITH MOTT SMITH--The Neighborhood Integrity Initiative, which is slated to appear on the November 2016 ballot, has provoked an intense debate on future development in Los Angeles. The Miracle Mile Residential Association, as part of its ongoing effort to inform its residents on the pros and cons of the initiative, has produced several videos on the topic for its MMRA Channel on YouTube. (Photo above: Mott Smith)

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Inspecting Remaining Aliso Canyon Gas Wells a Must

GUEST COMMENTARY-The State Legislature is undertaking emergency action to address the major natural gas leak in the Aliso Canyon fields – a leak that drove thousands of people from their homes last October in search of relief. Senate Bill 380 builds upon an emergency order issued by Governor Jerry Brown earlier this year. It is an urgency measure, which means the Governor can immediately sign it into law once it reaches his desk. 

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City Attorney Sipping that Special Kool-Aid: Won’t let Neighborhood Councils Give Grants to Schools

EASTSIDER-I don’t know if City Attorney Mike Feuer has simply lost control of the City Attorney’s Office, or if he’s been drinking some of the special kool-aid they’re handing out to his staff. But here’s a nutso note on their latest legal bombshell to Neighborhood Councils: 

“If any Board member of a Neighborhood Council has a child in school, the entire Board is not allowed to vote for a grant to any private, non-profit, or LAUSD School!” 

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Charter Schools: New Face of Segregation

EDUCATION POLITICS-Charter schools are, in fact, the new face of segregation, the enabling excuse for exclusivity and alienation. The Charter School movement glorifies the illusion of “choice” even while entitling homogeneity. 

This is borne out in the numbers and confessed every day via parent-to-parent euphemisms: “this school is a better ‘fit',” “‘safety’ is my top priority,” “my child only responds to a ‘nurturing environment',” “smaller class sizes are necessary for my child,” “I want my child immersed in a specialized program.”  

So much sorting and selecting sets up a double whammy for segregation. On one level families self-select according to like-mindedness and socioeconomic comfort level. At the same time the very process of school selection siphons highly involved families away from public district schools. 

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Center Questions Author Goldstein’s Motives in ‘Attack’ on the Wiesenthal Center

TALKBACK—(This is a response to Scott Goldstein’s CityWatch article: ‘Silence in the Face of Evil’.)  Every four years during presidential campaigns, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which never endorses candidates for any political office, receives numerous requests from members of the public to react to statements made by various politicians who they believe have crossed the line. 

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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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