Wednesday Hotsheet: Code Blues
The Daily News has an article on how a "San Fernando Valley contractor has shaken Sun Valley for 13 months with what city officials say is an illegal mining operation used to excavate, crush, sort and sell rock." In other words, FOR OVER A YEAR, this guy was operating a "D-9 Caterpillar and diesel rock-crusher . . . in a crater next to" the homes of L.A. residents. The paper reports that "city officials said the contractor dug a 15-foot crater to excavate river rock with a series of belching Caterpillars, crushers, sorters and heavy trucks." Why did it take so very long to shut this down?
Issue 2: Code Enforcement - The Sequel
The City of L.A. now refuses to enforce its own sign ordinances. Want to put up a sign in your yard offering to sell Tarot Card readings? No problem! The City has gone absolutely gutless, and will not lift a finger, saying that the First Amendment allows people to put up whatever signs they want. This is wrong -- courts have always upheld reasonable restrictions on time, place and manner, especially with regard to commercial speech -- and is a cop-out. Perhaps it's time for a City Attorney willing to spend less time campaigning and more time litigating?
Issue 3: Code Enforcement - What City Council Is Doing Instead
Rather than ensuring that our absentee Mayor enforces the City's laws, City Council Members are pretending that they, too, are needed in Sacramento. So, reports the Daily News, "the Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday backed state legislation that would require motorists to use hands-free cell phones." Excuse me, fellahs, but instead of passing meaningless resolutions on bills before other governmental bodies, could you instead please take a few minutes to run our City? You know, the City that pays your salary?
Issue 4: Gita-Gate?
The San Jose Mercury News reports, "Federal authorities should investigate the treatment and death of a 48-year-old Asian elephant at the Los Angeles Zoo, animal rights activists said Tuesday." A group called "In Defense of Animals" wants the U.S. Department of Agriculture to investigate, saying they believe the zoo violated the Animal Welfare Act.
Issue 5: Real Estate Watch . . .
The L.A. Times reports, "Southern California home sales declined to their lowest point in seven years in May, while the median home price was virtually flat for the third month in a row, data released today showed." Prices are always "sticky downwards," as you'll recall from Econ 101. However, excess supply means actual prices -- as opposed to asking prices -- will flatten if not fall. So don't count on a continued massive growth in property tax revenues to bail out the big spenders at City Hall and in Sacramento.
Issue 6: The Photo
It's actually an Indonesian coal mine, not the one in Sun Valley. Think of it as an "artist's conception."