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Sunday, July 30, 2006

The Sidewalk Standard

Eighty-three years.

If the City keeps working at its current pace, that's how long it will take to repair the sidewalks that are currently broken, according to an article in today's L.A. Times.

Here's the math: 5000 miles need repairs, and it costs $240,000 per mile to repair the sidewalk.

The total cost to repair the 5000 miles, therefore, would be $1.2 billion (= 5000 x $240,000).

As you know from previous posts, the City's revenues this year are over $700 miliion greater than last year. Hence, if we spent less than half of the increased revenues on sidewalks -- just $300 million of the $700 million -- we could fix every single sidewalk in just four years (i.e., one term of an elected City official).

Repeat: by spending less than half of the increase in annual revenues on sidewalks, we could repair them all in four years, rather than 83 years.

Now, don't you think that's more important than having City Council Members and the Mayor fly all over the world "working" on matters like visiting Sister Cities, and giving speeches to other policiticans? And shouldn't the Mayor and City Council Members have to show that they can handle basic property management before we promote them to more challenging tasks, like, say, running a school system for 729,000 students?

Do the math.


Anonymous Villaraigosa Video Glassell said:

You Tube Video shows Villaraigosa's true colors. Why did he lie to us?


July 30, 2006 6:02 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Town Hall Information Meetings?
Do you know locations? Good idea to protest CASTRO style LAUSD takeover.

July 30, 2006 6:11 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Not so long ago in parts of the United States, new homes were often sold before their foundations could be laid.

But the home boom is now showing clear signs of waning -- and analysts say that has worrying implications for consumer spending in the world's largest economy.

Most economists agree that housing demand is likely to slow further in coming months, after recent interest rate hikes and soaring energy prices. But few are predicting the abrupt bursting of an overly inflated bubble.

In the past week, a government report highlighted that the number of unsold new homes on sale across the country swelled to a record high of 566,000 last month.

And on Friday, an International Monetary Fund report said that US property prices were "overvalued", just one of the headaches facing Federal Reserve policymakers.

Homeowners have benefited from double-digit annual rises in their property values to go on a credit-fuelled spending splurge. But now the picture is changing.

"Many individuals, who signed a (purchase) contract in what they had believed was a booming housing market, may now be backing out of those contracts," said Phillip Neuhart, an economic analyst at Wachovia Securities.

"Thus, the new home market is likely weaker than new home sales reflects," he said.

Home builders report that sellers are going as far as giving away cars, free kitchen upgrades and holidays to lure reluctant buyers.

The Commerce Department on Thursday said sales of new US homes declined three percent in June to a weaker-than-anticipated annualized rate of 1.131 million units.

News of the latest sales downturn, and the record number of new homes that are languishing unsold, followed an industry report Wednesday that showed existing home sales fell 1.3 percent in June.

On Friday, the government said that US economic growth slowed to just 2.5 percent in the three months to June as consumers turned nervous in the face of sky-high fuel prices and the cooling property market.

Economists are divided on whether the Fed will raise interest rates further at its August 8 policy meeting, but agree that 17 straight hikes of its key fed funds rate have squeezed the home market and buyers' enthusiasm.

The rate has now gone up to 5.25 percent, adding to the pain for more recent home buyers who took out interest-rate-only mortgages in their rush to get on the property ladder.

University of Maryland business professor Peter Morici said that "recession risks remain real and apparent".

"With the housing market cooling, consumers are no longer able to use the equity in their homes to finance ever-larger purchases of clothes, electronics and other goods and services," he said.

Joel Naroff of Naroff Economic Advisors observed that the number of homes on the market is up an "astounding" 39 percent since June 2005.

"From the huge jump in the housing inventory, it appears that anyone who has any hope of getting out has put their home on the market," he said.

Even housing market representatives say that sellers are no longer commanding the handsome premiums of recent years, as prospective buyers take longer to sign on the dotted line.

"Relative to the five-year housing boom, this year is a buyers' market in much of the country," observed David Lereah, the chief economist of the National Association of Realtors.

The government's latest figures support Lereah's outlook, but prices still remain stratospheric in some hot urban areas.

The median price for a new home fell 1.6 percent last month to 231,300 dollars from May. But buyers in New York, San Francisco and Washington would be lucky to find a family home for sale at double that price tag.

July 30, 2006 6:12 PM  

Blogger Walter Moore said:

The free market is making housing more affordable by the minute.

But can't I get any takers on the sidewalk deal?

July 30, 2006 6:45 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Who needs sidewalks? I drive everywhere, and so does everyone else in the city.

July 30, 2006 6:47 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Election fatigue sets in, but it might be fun to read the latest drama at LA-32 Neighborhood Council:

March 10, 2005

Greg Nelson

General Manager


ATTN: Marco Perez , DONE Program Coordinator

Dear Mr. Nelson:

At the request of our Interim President, Mr. Alvin Parra, I am forwarding this correspondence to you. On Wednesday, March 2, 2005, at the LA-32 Neighborhood Council (NC) General Board Meeting, Mr. Richard Acosta was relieved of his duties as LA-32 NC President. A successful motion to censure Mr. Acosta was presented and passed by our board by a significant margin. The board voted eleven-ayes, three-nayes and one-abstention. The motion to censure (attached) was presented by Boardmember Pete Navarro and seconded by Boardmember Enrique Gasca, followed by discussion and the vote. Several boardmembers – during the discussion period – provided testimony describing Mr. Acosta’s misconduct and/or dereliction of duty while acting as President. As a result of our board action Mr. Acosta will no longer be the Chairperson of the Development Committee, or will he be a member of the Executive Board. Mr. Acosta will retain his status as an LA-32 NC General Board member.

At this moment our Executive Board remains intact with three members, Alvin Parra as Interim President, Joe Manzano as Treasurer and myself as Corresponding Secretary.

We are respectfully requesting that any and all correspondence to our NC, General Board members, Executive Board and any of it’s officers be sent to the following address:

LA-32 Neighborhood Council

P.O. Box 32007

Los Angeles, CA 90032

Your department may have received requests from former President, Richard Acosta, to forward LA-32 NC correspondence to his residence or another address. We are asking for you to change the address officially so that our board may properly receive all correspondence in a timely manner. I, Hugo Garcia, in my capacity as Corresponding Secretary, will attend to our mail. Furthermore, we are requesting that all forms of correspondence (letters, emails, phone calls, LA-32 NC Directory, etc.) be modified to remove Mr. Acosta’s name as President and replaced with Mr. Parra’s.

Mr. Nelson, you can rest assured that our board will continue to operate in the most efficient manner possible. We are confident that, under the capable leadership of Interim President Alvin Parra, our NC will most assuredly work to serve and represent the interests of the El Sereno community.

In an unrelated matter, at the same General Board Meeting, our Board voted by a successful motion to formally reinstate Boardmember Reverend Chacon, who had submitted a notice of resignation a few months ago. Reverend Chacon had withdrawn his resignation bid shortly after resigning and continued to attend General Board meetings and participate on the board. We welcome the Reverend back.

If you have any questions or need clarification on any of the above please contact me at your convenience.

Yours in service,

Hugo Garcia

Corresponding Secretary

LA-32 Neighborhood Council

cc: LA-32 NC Board

Alvin Parra, LA-32 NC Interim President

Darren Martinez, City Attorney’s Office

CD-14 Councilmember Antonio Villariagosa

Ricky Ho, U.S. Postal Service

Reverend Manuel Chacon

July 30, 2006 6:53 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Esplain porfavor Walter
???? free market
don ged id

July 30, 2006 6:54 PM  

Blogger Walter Moore said:

To 6:02 -- Thank you for this info. I've put up a post with the link. Good job!

July 30, 2006 7:07 PM  

Blogger Walter Moore said:

To 6:47: LOL. And good point. "Nobody walks in L.A." We do, however, pay millions for slip and fall cases.

July 30, 2006 7:08 PM  

Blogger Walter Moore said:

To 6:54: The free market is the economic system in other cities. Instead of having City Hall fix prices for rent, and give money to developers, actual human beings, using their own money, negotiate for the construction and rental of housing. As a result, cities using this quaint historical system manage, without corruption, excessive taxation or kickbacks, to keep a roof over everyone's head.

July 30, 2006 7:11 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Try living in CD7. People walk but have no sidewalks. I have to thank our great councilmember. Shit is getting worse now that he is nowhere to be found.

July 30, 2006 7:46 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

July 30, 2006 7:46 PM,

Pacoima sucks!

July 30, 2006 8:20 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

We don't need no sidwalks let those mutherfuckers burn!!!!!!

July 30, 2006 8:21 PM  

Blogger Peter McFerrin said:

Mr. Moore, in your 7:11 post you conveniently forgot to mention that City Hall conspires with the city's property-owning minority to limit residential development so as to drive up property values, in the guise of "preserving neighborhood character."

July 30, 2006 10:43 PM  

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