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Friday, June 24, 2005

The Economy is “Fine”

Tonight I received an e-mail from a city hall insider claiming that the Los Angeles Business Journal has decided to move well-known political reporter Howard Fine off his political beat. After seven years covering local politics, Fine will now cover the economy.

The BJ has apparently decided to forgo coverage of local politics, and will not be replacing Fine. The Sister City team will miss Howard, especially since we know he is a fan of our blog. Sources say that Howard even co-wrote his article on Rick Caruso’s resignation based on information posted on Mayor Sam.

Apparently, Fine’s reassignment comes as no surprise since the BJ is undergoing a redesign in an attempt to distinguish itself from daily publications like the Los Angeles Times. In addition to Fine’s reassignment, topical columns by reporters James Nash and Hillary Potkewitz are also being added.

Finally, if any journalists are looking for a gig covering the entertainment beat, I hear the BJ is looking to expand their coverage to compete with entertainment publications like the Hollywood Reporter and Variety.

If you have a tip e-mail mrsbettsyorty@yahoo.com


Anonymous Anonymous said:

Downtown News,Editorial

Recognizing Hahn's Accomplishments
This Friday, Antonio Villaraigosa will be sworn in as the new mayor of Los Angeles, and Mayor Jim Hahn will step off the stage and return to private life. But before he does, Downtown should thank Hahn. This community, and indeed this city, are better than they were when he arrived.

We understand that the mud and dust kicked up in the recent, brutal election makes it difficult to see clearly what Hahn has accomplished over the last four years. Yet time, and the cooling of political passions, will reveal Hahn's legacy to be much stronger than he is credited with at this moment. While he had his shortcomings - and all politicians have their flaws - he also had numerous, albeit less-noticed strengths. History will reveal that James K. Hahn was an effective, if understated leader.

At this time of praise for the mayor-elect, Los Angeles should not forget that were it not for Hahn, Villaraigosa might be the mayor only of the portions of Los Angeles south of the San Fernando Valley. Hahn's leadership in fighting secession in the Valley (and a couple of other scattered communities) cannot and should not be understated. Hahn took charge of the effort, helped raise funds and campaigned fiercely to prevent Los Angeles from being ripped apart along the mountainous seam between the north and the south. He displayed a passion for the city. It was his biggest test, his equivalent to Mayor Richard Riordan's uniting the city and spurring civic pride as Los Angeles rebounded quickly from the damage of the 1994 Northridge earthquake. Hahn passed this test, even if a portion of the disgruntled Valley vote would come to haunt him in the 2005 mayoral race. Keeping Los Angeles whole will go down as Hahn's greatest achievement. It is one that deserves to be recognized again right now.

Hahn also should be remembered and praised for ushering in a new era of policing in Los Angeles. His commitment to public safety resulted in the firing of then-Chief Bernard Parks and the recruitment and hiring of current Police Chief William Bratton. Since the latter's arrival, crime statistics across the city have fallen significantly. While more can always be done, Bratton in turn has hired figures who have helped safety efforts in Downtown. Hahn could have stuck with the status quo, but he took steps to make Los Angeles safer. This move also contributed to his defeat in the recent election.

Hahn's legacy will also live on strongly in Downtown Los Angeles. When he took office in July 2001, the community was in the very early, and tentative, stages of a residential surge. Ineffective or even tepid leadership could have killed the shaky momentum. Instead, Hahn strongly backed moves such as the adaptive reuse ordinance, and the result has been that dozens of decaying, empty buildings have either already returned to life, or will come online soon.

Hahn's decision to embrace the "smart growth" inherent in the Downtown housing revolution, and to hire figures who helped keep up the momentum, will not be fully felt for years, until the time when thousands of new residents are living in the neighborhood, walking to their jobs, and shopping and eating just blocks from their homes. Many have overlooked the cutting edge, good-public-policy aspects of his leadership with regard to Downtown. Dense urban centers are going to be an ongoing solution to a whole host of population density problems.

Hahn has also been impressive and graceful in his defeat, something that cannot be said of all politicians. His decisions, such as postponing the selection of a new planning director, have allowed Villaraigosa to garner traction even before he takes office. And most people are not aware that in the weeks since the election, beginning the day after the ballots were counted, Hahn has made personal phone calls to supporters at all levels - not just the affluent or high-ranking - thanking them for their work. It was a classy move and, like much of what he did, he made those calls out of the spotlight.

June 25, 2005 6:19 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Who wrote that editorial, Janice Hahn?

Jimmy Hahn was able to beat back secession because it was wrong and no one wanted it except a few politically ambitious Valley leaders.

He did it with money that was extorted from lobbyists and business by Stein and his cohorts in exchange for doing business with the City, and it was done with a strong pitch for Hahn in every ad (orchestrated by ... who else but Doug Dowie).

The money that was raised by others such as Councilmembers was used far more judiciously and not in so aggrandizing a way.

Hahn also sold us down the river with the public employees unions, giving them everything they asked for; why else would Miguel and Julie have supported him against Antonio? (It is good that the rank and file knew better and did not follow)

It is our good fortune that they did support Hahn against Antonio, since Antonio is now far less in their debt as he begins to try to take us out of the mess that Jimmy and his Kiddie Korps left behind.

Contracts cost us more because they were awarded to political favorites who kicked in to Mayor/Stein, et al., and the unions have gotten away with murder. Now Antonio has to right the ship and get it back on course.

To glorify Hahn is to ignore the cost to us of his failure to manage and the awful reputation that this City has acquired with business. All major corporations have left, throwing up their hands in disgust. Not one Fortune 500 corporation is housed here. Our City tax laws are antiquated and disfunctional.

We have been business UN-friendly for four years; there are no cranes in this city. Look elsewhere, NY, Chicago, Miami, San Francisco, or any other big city in America. They are vibrant and humming with construction and activity. I have seen but one crane (Century City) as I drive around this city. We are dead on our feet, and the jobs are not there.

That is Jimmy Hahn's legacy. Do nothing, hide under a rock, stay in the bunker mentality. The Gray Davis style of political management. Thank the Lord that it is almost over.

How dare the Downtown News glorify this failure of a Mayor who has cost this City our momentum and our leadership in California and America.

I'm not sure that Antonio can turn this around in four years, but I know he will try. He's already settled a strike and a school crisis and he isn't even in Room 300 yet. How refreshing, how inspiring.

Let's see if the Kiddies can leave that important symbol of what should be leadership without taking the "V's" out of the typewriters.

Move over kids, the adults are coming to run the City again.

June 26, 2005 3:43 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Hey most of those Fortune 500 companies were leaving Los Angeles during Riordan's tenure and yet Dick Riordan did NOTHING!!!

Hahn was smart to focus on the small businesses because stimulating the Small business and making the climate right for those businesses to take place will lead to corporations to house their operations in LA. Also keep in mind that the Corporate structure and business is changing. It's no longer neccessary for a city to survive under big business, instead diversifying and helping small neighborhood businesses allows that to happen. It's worked in Leimert Park, in Westlake and its definitely working in Hollywood.

Another thing you forget to mention is (Even your boy Villaraigosa and Hertzberg stated this) that city's budget has been in a surplus in ALL 4 years Hahn has been in office, yet trimming out wasteful departments.

And another thing that all of these naive yuppies buying these lofts and shit in LA forget is that none of that happened unless Hahn rewrote the mixed use ordinance. Riordan left too many loose ends and made it virtually unbuildable throughout the city (Only keeping it in a couple of buildings Downtown for his developer buddies). Why do you think there's development going on in Mid-Wilshire, Hollywood, even South LA for crying out loud?

June 27, 2005 10:40 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Looks like you scooped all the other blogs! Keep up the good work!

June 27, 2005 11:50 AM  

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