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Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Quack Goes The Duck

As I've previously posted, my feelings towards the harbor commission are just about as sour as three month old milk. I can't wait for something to be done.

I've tried posting many in depth stories from the Daily Breeze, which many of you just attempted to brush off with your "it's a local rag that is sympathetic to their readership and isn't objective" crap.

I've tried to bring multiple activists into the frey so you could have an actual intelligent conversation with some of the key players in the fight, only to see many of you resort to 3rd grade playground antics and name calling.

So, let me try a different approach.

The LA Times notes:

The port's senior managers have kept most of those concerns under wraps. They have also failed to provide detailed information on some facets of the projects to the public and, in some cases, to the Board of Harbor Commissioners, which oversees the port.

Documents obtained under the California Public Records Act and interviews with more than 30 current and former port employees, tenants and residents show:

The port's finance director protested last fall that the agency was drastically overestimating the rate of return on its investment in the Bridge to Breakwater development. But senior managers, who disagreed with his figures, withheld that from the Harbor Commission.

Another senior financial official at the port cautioned that a plan to allow a private firm to develop a marina would shortchange the city. Senior managers never told commissioners of those concerns, but pressed them to approve the deal. The commissioners put the discussion on hold at the request of Villaraigosa.

The city attorney's office advised the port that plans to start construction on part of the San Pedro waterfront before public hearings were held and a full environmental report was completed might violate the law. The port is moving ahead.

I know. Now I'm just soliciting the normal lets bash the LA Times crap. So, I'll try tag teaming and give you a second article on the same subject with the same results. This time from the Daily Breeze:

Work has already begun on the northern portion of the 8-mile stretch along Harbor Boulevard.

But the bulk of the long-term development still faces a lengthy environmental review process before more substantial construction can begin.

And that's where residents still disagree.

So, now you have two of the three. In a bit, I'm sure you'll get the activists commenting on this post, giving you the trifecta.

At some point you'll all have to realize, if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, odds are it is a FUCKING DUCK!

Now, what to do. Antonio showed that he has nuts and put a very controversial pick onto the Airport commission. Why is she controversial? Because she is a NEIGHBORHOOD ACTIVIST who is fighting the system. What does the harbor commission need? A NEIGHBORHOOD ACTIVIST who is fighting the system.

Until you have them in the process, we're all stuck with duck shit!


Anonymous noel park said:

Today's Los Angeles Times article only documents, for about the 100th time, City Controller Chick's observation that "The Port is a culture of secrecy".

Or, as our neighbors in San Pedro like to say, "The Port is a culture of obfuscation."

In the June 26 - July 10, 2003 issue of our local newspaper, Random Lengths News, in an article titled "Sweeping Change", Councilwoman Janice Hahn was quoted in the following paragraph:

Auditors noted that "the tone is set at the top," and Hahn agrees. "We need new leadership," she says. "The tone is fundamentally set by the executive director," but "it's an attitude that goes beyond Larry Keller," she explains. "We need to get a broom and sweep the department clean...I'd like to see some real change, even beyond the leadership to Port staff members."

I have not been Councilwoman Hahn's greatest fan, and I feel quite confident that the feeling is mutual, but she nailed it that time.
Too bad nobody had the guts to do anything about it.

I have this clipping in my file, if anyone cares to see it. Trust me, MAV has it too.

I would strongly encourage bloggers not to miss the article Mayor Frank quoted from today's Times. There is plenty more in addition to those quotes.

We can only hope that this piece of outstanding investigative journalism will help to give MAV the momentum he needs to bring true leadership to the Port of Los Angeles.

July 26, 2005 11:25 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

^Dude, get off you're high horse. AV has is his sleeping with the Unions who work on that port.

Do you really think he'll do anything about it? Tell Foreign ships to run on Electric power? Yeah right

July 26, 2005 3:05 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Mayor Frank you are right on! It's a fuckin duck.

Much of the port staff needs to be replaced! The port managers have ignored the real issues for too long. They are in no way qualified to deal with the magnitude of the mess they themselves made, and they are too chicken shit to admit it.

They'd rather spend their time badmouthing the community activists than doing anything meaningful to address the problems.

I agree, Mayor Frank, the Port needs an activist on its commission.

July 26, 2005 3:30 PM  

Anonymous Janet Gunter said:

Thanks again to the MayorSam blog and Mayor Frank for recognizing the obvious. Let's hope that Mayor Villaraigosa follows through with the same intelligence. We remain hopeful.

July 26, 2005 5:05 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Mayor Sam,

How do you define "neighborhood activist"?

Someone who describes his neighbors as "losers" and "retards"?

Someone who fights hard to stop the establishment of sports fields in the poorest part of town?

Someone who fights instead for the establishment of a park at a busy intersection at the end of the freeway using funds designated to fight air pollution caused by the port?

Someone with a long history of publicly berating his or her neighbors who they don't agree with?

Someone who fought to displace long-standing memorials for marine veterans and workers?

Someone who didn't even have the guts to support neighborhood grocery store clerks when they were locked out of their jobs?

A hypocrite? A liar? The squeakiest wheel? He or she who attends the most meetings, makes the most committees, or takes the most trips on the public's dime?

Someone who gets the most headlines, the most quotes?

Whoever stalls the most? Whoever spins the most (obfuscation = "I don't want more studies, I want more reports", "I'm not against construction, I just want them to stop whatever their planning", "I'm sorry to say that the public has not yet been able to comment on this, and this, sad to say, is the twenty second public meeting that I've had to say this about this project", "Corvettes are regulated and therefore good for the environment, the ports aren't regulated, (I've got these official documents to prove it!) and therefore they are intrinsically evil and I've got nothing good to say about them"?

Neighborhood activist or Neighborhood blowhard?

The one thing a Neighborhood activist should be capable of is listening to as many of their neighbors' different opinions as possible before reaching a decision.

Noel Park and Janet Gunter are completely and utterly incapable of doing that. Their minds closed decades ago and they've been trying to shove their doctrine down our throats ever since. They've been active. They've been our neighbors. But their words, and most importantly, their actions, have been in our best interest.

Placing either one of them would go a long way to show how much a dollar goes in this administration.

July 26, 2005 5:46 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:


July 26, 2005 5:49 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Now there's a Freudian slip if I ever did see one.

July 26, 2005 6:12 PM  

Anonymous Grieg Asher said:

Unfortunately, many of the Harbor Department's senior managers, as well as previous Commissioners, think they represent an independent agency (ie Port of LA), instead of recognizing that they are simply a City Department, who like all City Department's, work for the Mayor and City Council and must answer to the public. Like with other City Departments, the public has a right and a responsibility, to not only provide input on Harbor Department policies, but to ultimately approve the priorities and direction of the Department.
I hope the Mayor will direct his new Harbor Commission to bring the Department back into the City's tent, and to end this charade of self-defined independence. Putting the Public, the Community, back into the management equation of the Harbor, is the only way to end the hostility and the litigation that threatens the very survival of both the Harbor, as well as the adjacent communities. The consent of the governed is a fundamental principle of democracy - a principle that MAV should reintroduce to the Harbor Department as soon as possible.

July 26, 2005 10:34 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Unfortunately Grieg misstates the facts. While the Harbor Department is a branch of the City its responsibility reaches far beyond the parochial concerns of San Pedro and Wilmington, indeed beyond the City of the Los Angeles. In truth the City was give the land and water it currently operates by the State of California by grant in 1911 specifically for the development of a port. The City holds these lands and waters in trust for the people of California. This means all the people and not just those of the City of Los Angeles. Thus, “[T]he consent of the governed is a fundamental principle of democracy” as Grieg states does not involve just the City of Los Angeles per se but involves the whole of the state of California and all of its citizens. Thus the consent of the governed in the case of the port whose lands and waters belong to the whole of the should not just reflect the wants of the local community but the needs of all the people of of the State of California. Hypothetically, if one applied the concept of the consent of the governed by subjecting a port project to a vote of the people, those voting would not be the people in San Pedro, or Wilmington, or the City of Los Angeles, but rather it would involve a vote of the population of the State of California for whom the City holds the lands in trust.

Thus, the Board of Harbor Commissioners is required to consider first and foremost uses consistent with the guidelines set forth by the State of California through the State Lands Commission desinged to sever all the people of the State of California. This is why the Board of Harbor Commissioners was recently order to cease and desist in it plans to purchase property for use as a local park. A park that would, in the opinion of the State, serve only the needs of the local community and without any statewide interest was an improper use of State lands. Also, the State found that the permanent housing of a charter high school on port property was also an improper use of State lands. These instances, in addition to several court cases clearly find that the concept that Grieg put forth by implication, that any action in the port must be consented to only by the communities of San Pedro, Wilmington or the City of Los Angeles, is flawed.

July 27, 2005 12:26 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The Harbor Commission will not ever be able to make appropriate and informed decisions if the Harbor Department employees, especially management level employees, withhold critical information from them. Yet, this failure to properly inform the Harbor Commission is a common practice among port staff - as evidenced in yesterdays LA Times piece.

Furthermore, the Port's insatiable thirst for deceiving the local citizens would simply be spread to all California citizens under the last poster's theory.

Hey, if you can mass-mail a brochure filled with misleading half-truths to the local communities, you can mass-mail the exact same crap state-wide.....and I'm sure the Port does just that.

The jury is still out as to whether the Port is even economically good for the State or the local communities AT ALL. The Public Policy Instute of Californi has indicated that they believe it it's economic costs (of air pollution, of traffic infrastructure, to health, etc.) may outweigh the economic benefits.

July 27, 2005 8:15 AM  

Anonymous noel park said:

Dear 5:46

In all of my years of working on these issues, I have never called anyone a "loser" or a "retard". I find these words extremely offensive, and I do not call people such names.

Anyone who says differently is misinformed.

Falsely accusing someone of using such words is just as disgusting as using them directly.

For shame.

July 27, 2005 12:52 PM  

Anonymous noel park said:

Dear 5:46:

The so-called "Welcome Park" would be paid for from the Aesthetic Mitigation Fund of the China Shipping lawsuit settlement. These funds are set aside to do beautification projects in San Pedro and Wilmington to offset the historic aesthetic impacts of the Port. These funds are separate and distinct from the Air Quality Mitigation Fund resulting from the same lawsuit.

The intent of this project is to replace the present blight of dilapidated buildings and vacant lots at the entrance to our community with an attractive landscaped space.

If you like the present look, cheer up. The Port and the State lands commission have done a very good job of obfuscating the issues and stalling the project off so far. Maybe you will get to enjoy it for another 20 years.

July 27, 2005 12:58 PM  

Anonymous Noel Park said:

Dear 5:46:

As to the monuments, the Port's own design consultants recommended moving them to what they considered to be better locations, which would also have facilitated what they considered to be a better overall design of the surrounding plaza and streets.

As they then seemed to be the only urban design professionals in the process, I supported their professional opinion.

July 27, 2005 1:05 PM  

Anonymous noel park said:

Dear 5:46:

Publicly berating my neighbors?

Anyone who is concerned about who is publicly berating whom has only to look back through the comments on this blog, including, but not limited to, "Full Plate at the Port", which is the last post on the blog at the moment.

July 27, 2005 1:10 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Holy Moses, Noel can't wait to put his worthless two cents into EVERYTHING! Please Lord, make Noel shut the fuck up!!!!!!!! Hey Noel, don't go away mad, just GO AWAY you lying, hypocritical, cretin, faithless whore!

July 27, 2005 1:37 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I find it very telling that the threads about the Port can not stay on point and maintain intelligent dialogue.

There is such an intense fear of community activism, and activists in the Port area. Especially those activists who have been succussful.

Here we have one of the China Shipping ligigants explaining the terms of the stettlement (Noel Park), and someone responds by cursing at him.

I can only assume that the angry individual does not appreciate CEQA law or the judiciary process. But others of us do.

I also believe in activism, and I believe that the Port activists have had some real triumphs. The China Shipping lawsuit is high on the list.

It doesn't look like AV put a neighborhood activist on the Port Commission. But, hopefully his choices will be strong advocates for change who won't be stifled by the current culture of fear that keeps rearing its ugly head on these threads.

July 27, 2005 2:37 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Thank you for your comments Gunter. I see you're blogging anonymously again. By the way, aren't you also an environmentalist who drives a DIESEL MERCEDES! Another hypocrite.

July 27, 2005 2:43 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I am not Gunter. And I really don't care what kinds of cars people drive.

I do care about Port issues.

July 27, 2005 2:53 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Apparently, you PCAC types don't even understand what's been done to you. You spend so much time talking AT people that you have no time left to use powers of observation. You don't have any activist on the Commission nor do you have any environmentalists on the commission. You and your automaton, Janice Hahn, pulled every string possible to keep your main advocate Townsend on the commission and could not succeed. Don't you understand the message PCAC? You're nuts have been cut off and you're still dancing around as if you had them. Your only power under the settlement was advisory and it appears you wil be allowed to continue to advise, it's just that plan on your advce being unheeded. I am a new poster here, but all you have to do is read all of these comments to understand that you PCAC types are unprofessional, uneducated, and unconscience and haven't a clue as to what is actually happening. No offense, but the ship did not just sail, it sailed a month ago and you still think it's in port.

Laughing in Lomita

July 27, 2005 3:55 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Laughing in Lomita - unconscience is not a word.

July 27, 2005 7:25 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:


AV did appoint a strong environmentalist to the new Commission. I'm not sure which one, but I think it's Mendoza.

The Port has been busy cutting the "nuts" off the PCAC ever since it was created. In its infancy, the PCAC had a strong community activist slant, which the Port quickly undermined by appointing more industry members.

Basically, the PCAC has been "unheeded" since its inception.

Laughing in Lomita, you shouldn't be laughing. These issues affect you too, especially the air quality issue.

July 27, 2005 7:42 PM  

Anonymous Grieg Asher said:

Nice try, but you completely missed my point.
I didn't mention anything about "the parochial concerns of San Pedro and Wilmington". What I said is the Harbor Department is a Public agency, with a responsibility to the Public. The City Charter and the State Constitution exist as expressions of the People's will. Government agencies at all levels are servants of the People. The State government, as well as the City government (including the Harbor Department) are not free to do as they will, without the consent of the governed. In our Republic, government agencies exist for the benefit of the People, and that includes the City of Los Angeles' Harbor Department.

July 28, 2005 12:39 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Let's see...

Let's look back a couple of days for Noel's sake..

".....Let me ask you this, do you still profess to represent the majority of San Pedro homeowners, residents, gadflies, or just your personal opinion or organization? Do you think that a community forum that does not include anyone CURRENTLY making money off of port businesses is a place where true conclusions on public opinion can be made? Or is it that you just don't care what the community thinks unless they agree with you. You believe in democracy right?

Your minions have already stated in this blog that business people don't count. Huddle up before you answer.

Nice "loser" comment too, previous anon. Don't you agree, Noel?

July 20, 2005 10:37 AM
noel park said...

If you can't stand the message, attack the messenger.

July 20, 2005 11:12 AM"

Refresh your memory?

July 29, 2005 5:36 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

What's with the Noel fixation. Do you dream about him at night? Go see a psychiatrist.

July 29, 2005 7:34 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Fixated on Noel? You wish. Hard not to comment on this fools pontificating since he comments on EVERYTHING. Problem is nobody can get Noel to SHUT UP! He's like a bad case of the shits with no relief in sight.

July 31, 2005 8:25 AM  

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