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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Can BFF Núñez Keep MAV From Shooting Himself In The Other Foot?

L.A.-based and statewide enviro groups have been wackier than usual, losing considerable sleep over the rumor that in the next 24 hours Mayor Villaraigosa will fax a letter to Best Friend Forever Speaker of the Assembly Fabian Núñez that could effectively kill Long Beach Sen. Alan Lowenthal’s SB 974 and four years’ worth of legislative work to clean up the Port of Los Angeles by adding a $30 per container fee on goods shipped in through ports of Long Beach, Oakland and Los Angeles.

Word has it that, instead of $500 million being raised annually to immediately electrify the port to alleviate smog, or create grade separations to relieve truck and traffic congestion and raise money to pay for clean engines for the O&O truck drivers, L.A.’s progressive, environmentally positive mayor wants all of the money to build not one, but two new bridges in the port area – a move that all on both sides agree (except, obviously, MAV) in the short term would not only worsen air quality, but increase port congestion and seriously delay any real progress on goods movement – oh, and all this as trade to the ports is expected to triple by 2025… Apparently, the mayor wants to take another legislative shortcut (remember the “Gloria Romero Education Reform Act”?) by tinkering with Lowenthal’s bill instead of proposing a bond measure or bridge building fee of his own. Meanwhile, substantial – and we mean SUBSTANTIAL -- pressure is being applied to the Speaker to speak common sense to his BFF, but it looks like MAV may keep his heels dug in with what the pissed off enviros are now calling his “Bridges Bill,” with the reality being MAV could effectively jettison half a billion $$ annually into The Land Of Nowhere when all the clean air folks pull their support and go screaming off into the night.

If this happens, look for a major and public parting of the ways between MAV and his environmental base. BFF to the rescue?

43 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said:

THIS IS TOTAL B.S.


The Los Angeles Police Department has imposed a moratorium on impounding the vehicles of unlicensed drivers based on advice from the city attorney that such a practice may be unconstitutional.

The decision touches on what has long been a hot-button issue, because many unlicensed drivers who have their cars towed are illegal immigrants who cannot get driver's licenses.

Immigrant-rights groups and some legislators for years have sought legislation granting illegal immigrants some form of a driver's license -- but the bills have been repeatedly rejected, most recently by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

August 28, 2007 4:22 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Finally, Jose is applying his skills to work.

August 28, 2007 4:42 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I hope he builds the bridge, then all the environmentalists can jump off it.

August 28, 2007 5:09 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

dumb Jose. WE need to vote NO NO NO NO NO NO on this. Its bad enough LAPD dont' get paid as much as so many other depts. and assaults against them are up 39% not this idiot wants to pass this. HELLLL NOOOOO Didn't someone say Richman was gay?

The Los Angeles Police Protective League has made a major radio buy to begin running spots that will shed light on the devastating impact that former assemblyman Keith Richman’s state-wide pension proposal would have on police officers, firefighters and teachers.
Richman’s proposal was formally submitted to the California Attorney General and could be placed on the ballot as early as the June 2008 elections. Under the proposal, pensions would be cut by 30 percent to 65 percent for new public employees hired on or after July 1, 2009. As a result, new police officers would have to work longer and would receive a smaller pension than current police officers. The measure is particularly harsh on non-safety employees, requiring them to work until age 65 to receive a drastically-reduced pension. For example, new government employees who work 40 years will retire with a pension of less than half of their working income.

August 28, 2007 5:24 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Who is posting this crap? MAV staffers or Nunez?

August 28, 2007 5:35 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

LOL, I'm predicting the next staffer should spin in at around 6:26 PM. Amateurs.

August 28, 2007 5:49 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Maybe the City Attorney wanted the moratorium on towing the cars of unlicensed drivers since then, Rocky and hiw wife would have gotten his wheels confiscated, too. Now, that would have been pretty funny for him to explain.

August 28, 2007 5:54 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Maybe the cops should apply to be cafeterial workers at LAUSD instead. Per LAT Op Ed, they want full health care benefits even if they only work 3 hours a day, extra cost, min. $40 million. Ah, those school unions.

August 28, 2007 5:58 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Can any of you dum dums stay on topic? Oh, I forgot, you're staffers!

August 28, 2007 6:03 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The city is following the recent ruling of the California Supreme Court.

August 28, 2007 6:04 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Apparently, Lowenthal's Ports Bill is is a very touchy subject with the Speaker and the Mayor!

August 28, 2007 6:09 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

"BFF"??? Ha ha ha ha ha!!! You are a corrupt, conniving, self-obsessed shark swimming with other corrupt, conniving, self-obsessed sharks and you think one of them is going to "have your back" when he can advance himself by stabbing you in the back instead??

Ha ha ha ha ha!!!

August 28, 2007 6:21 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

6:03: What's the topic we're all supposed to stay on? Oh yeah, "I hate Mexicans and the Mayor." Or,

"The Mayor is a Mexican so I hate Mexicans."

Lucky Nunez is a Mexican so you don't have to add another party to hate.

Not to say there is no variation on this theme. There is a Mexican who posts along the lines of "You're an idiot and are criticizing Unger and Arellano just because they're Mexicans, the Jews are making you do it and they're buying our Mayor." And then adds, "I'm not an anti-Semite because my wife is Jewish and she agrees with me that Jews are to blame for everything but she's not a self-hating Jew."

But who is Jose?

August 28, 2007 6:24 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

This has to be Nunez's staff. MAV's peeps would have at least called us assholes or douchebags by now.

August 28, 2007 6:24 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

4:22 THIS IS TOTAL B.S.

=

THIS IS TOTAL BLOG STONEWALLING

I agree, 5:49, "Amateurs".

August 28, 2007 6:41 PM  

Blogger Jack Hoff said:

6:41: No, this is enviro heaven. Land Use on one thread and the Ports Bill on the other. Too bad someone here is more intent on misdirecting the conversation than contributing to it.

Quick correction, S.S. Sam, from what I understand, the bridges in question are to be rebuilt, not built from scratch as what seems to be implied in your post.

Having a fairly high awareness of this bill for a while, I can tell you that the problem from the Valley side is pretty simple, two "new" bridges constructed at a cost of several hundred million dollars will do absolutely nothing to mitigate the air pollution in the Valley -- 25% of which is directly attributable to the Port of L.A. For that reason alone, the Mayor's plan is unwise for the Valley. I'm gonna trust (make that "hope") he'll rethink this one.

August 28, 2007 8:10 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

SS Taylor exercised extreme cultural sensitivity in adding the proper accent marks to Nunez. He gets a gold star!!

August 28, 2007 8:12 PM  

Anonymous Official Staffer Counter said:

4:22
4:42
5:24
5:54
5:58
6:04
6:21
6:24

8 staffer posts in 2 hours!

August 28, 2007 8:32 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Sure, Jack, "enviro heaven" like 6:21 without which no comments can be made on this blog. Trash the Mayor and the Mexicans and then what they're up to this time. Kind of a narrow view, which brings out the opposite crackpots too.

Bridges are important, but maybe the posters wanted to talk about the other issues like impounding cars and cops. Say what about the bridges again? Kind of hard to focus when the emphasis is always implied corruption among shady Mexicans. There are some cases in CD14 that have been documented, but does every "enviro heaven' discussion have to have a prerequisite about what's wrong with Mexicans?

August 28, 2007 8:35 PM  

Anonymous Captain Jack Sparrow said:

Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen (tips hat and winks):

My, my, my. What a coil we have here. For you will all remember in the recent past how many of these electeds that a certain environmental group like, if you will, the Sierra Club, threw out political endorsements like, if you will, pardon the pun, sweets out of a pinata, savvy? But let's not talk about that. Let's talk about something else, shall we?

To begin, I think it rather depends upon which side of the proverbial body of water you stand on. For example, if you are one of the landlocked who follows politics, then this particular situation appears to be one of an all-consuming ambition that must have what it wants, savvy? Or if you are one of the environmentalists, then you might think that the Sierra Club endorsement was given in a rather wholesale manner and them that got the nod took the money and ran, savvy? So much for THAT endorsement, but then again rumour has it that there is one certain individual who uses Sierra Club endorsements for her own political gain. One of the Five confirmed what one of the crew has personally observed, and that is that Our Lady Of Perpetual Shoes takes the pointy toes on her shoes rather seriously she does. She even wore them out to dinner with Don Jose and his Chief of Staff, she did. (whispers) It takes a certain kind of woman to wear shoes like that!!!

Or lets say that you are like me, a tradesman who does business in the port. A proposal such as the one Senator Lowenthal puts forth actually does some good for the City and the area in general. But we pirates (Sparrow, Roberts and Bonnett) have heard that there is something else that quietly sits in the shadow and that is a promise to open up the Los Angeles local economy even more so with Mexico. It starts with the two bridges and ends with the State negotiating its own treaty with a foreign nation, savvy? After all, that's something that a Veep would do.

But something else to consider is that these two clods don't ever do anything that does not benefit one or both. What's in it for Smee Nunez? Union money? Perhaps. Only the union is tired of giving and not getting, savvy? And what favour did Smee Numez do for Villabarbosa that requires such an urgent and substantial turn-around-got-you-now? Introducing him to a certain young lady might qualify. Or it might not. Crew, what say you? (Crew yells NOT)

Perhaps it's payback time since Senator Lowenthal serves on the State Education Committee; was Lowenthal not as supportive of AB1381 as he could have been? Or is it because he's chair of the Legislative Ethics Committee? Or that he is a member of an MTA subcommittee?

(Looks thoughtful) Yes, there appears to be the calling in of a favour. (Grins) Let us see what is exchanged for the favour. I call monies to be given for one thing but spent on something else like bailing out a school district that one cannot control, savvy?

August 28, 2007 8:57 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Hey 8:35, the "item" 4:22 posted is at least three weeks old!

"but maybe the posters wanted to talk about the other issues like impounding cars and cops."

Are U F*'n kidding??

August 28, 2007 9:32 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

"I call monies to be given for one thing but spent on something else like bailing out a school district that one cannot control, savvy?"

The monies expended on the "Great Hole of Los Angeles" is being used to pay off " LAUSD" elections. ( HUIZAR HAD TO BE INVOLVED)

August 28, 2007 9:33 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

S.S. Sam posts something that's actually interesting and the best you clowns can do is rant and rave about confiscation of immigrants' cars by the police and whether Mayor's staffers are responsible for it? If that's such a worthy topic, someone should have the guts to do a regular article post about it. What a waste of time...

August 29, 2007 5:31 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Illegal immigrants have ruined this city. Then we have idiot council people supporting and giving them more then they deserve. If you don't think that's important then move someplace else. LA use to be a great city until the gang banging Mayor and city council liberal idiots ruined it by allowing illegals to behave and break the law as if they have rights. Take a hard look at downtown LA. You would think you were in Beriut.

August 29, 2007 6:17 AM  

Blogger Jack Hoff said:

(Waves from the pier at the Port of Los Angeles, a tear glistening on his ruddy cheek) Sail on, Capt. Jack Sparrow! Godspeed!

Hey, 8:35p, my wife and kids are Latino, so I can only tell you what's wrong with them...Where would you like me to start?

Also, I don't know how you could confuse my "enviro heaven" comment with some kind of pre-required Mexican bashing, but, frankly, I find responding to racist rants on Mayor Sam pretty useless -- only because I find racists pretty useless themselves.

August 29, 2007 8:41 AM  

Anonymous Tom Politeo said:

I've worked environmental issues involving the twin ports in San Pedro Bay since about 1972. I will dance on the grave of the "port investment" or "container" bill, SB 974, if the bill is killed.

The bridges that both LA and LB mayors want to add to SB 974 would only make the problems that are already built into SB 974 obvious. With or without the bridges, this bill is seriously flawed.

Back in about 2002, I was part of a group of San Pedro Bay area port activists who originally sought out then-assemblyman Lowenthal for a container bill that would really help clean up the air, reduce noise and deal with global warming.

The current incarnation of SB 974 will do none of that. Instead, it will further the growth of inland ports and cause cargo to be shipped greater distances to get to market. The bill will help cargo containers travel by rail from our seaports to inland ports, in San Bernardino, Riverside and Victorville. There, after it is processed, much of it will be shipped back to the Los Angeles area by truck.

The trains will head out to the inland valleys full and come back empty. The trucks will travel out to the inland valleys empty and come back full. This will only aggravate the empty backhauls we already have, imposed by a vast trade imbalance with Asia. Four out of five containers that arrive in the U.S. full of product go back empty. As much as 40% of our container movement on land is to haul empty containers.

Doubling or tripling the distance some cargo needs to travel to reach market will act as a multiplier on trade growth, which is already expected to triple itself by 2030. So, imagine moving three times as many containers twice as far. It will have the equivalent impact on land of moving six times as much cargo — or more.

This is no way to deal with reducing toxic emissions, reducing greenhouse gasses, reducing noise and reducing sprawl.

We need to modernize our infrastructure so that rail (perhaps maglev) can move cargo more smartly — and can handle "lone" containers efficiently. We need to improve land use, find ways to build up instead of out — building taller buildings instead of squat, concrete tilt-up buildings that fill up mile after mile of sprawling ndustrial parks.

If the goods movement industry had to finance and pay full price for all the public infrastructure they use, they might actually want to build taller buildings and find ways to reduce land use in their operations.

Having been part of the group of folks who hatched the idea of a container bill, I can say that we all oppose this version and hope it dies. If MAV can add the bridges to the bill, his action may well kill it — and it should. This bill is a good idea turned bad. The bridges only make it worse.

August 29, 2007 9:29 AM  

Anonymous Tin Foil Hat Man said:

I agree with Tom!

Hang on, I'm getting another message from Mars...

August 29, 2007 9:35 AM  

Anonymous Diesel Death Zone Refugee said:

jack hoff:

Actually, Mayor Sam is right.

The Port of Long Beach proposes to build a new Gerald Desmond Bridge parallel to the existing one, and them tear the exisitng one down. The traffic issue is only part of the equation. The next generation of container ships is so tall that they cannot get under the existing bridge. Thus, rehabilitating it is not an option. Budget - $700 million and counting.

The Port of LA has discussed building a second Vincent Thomas Bridge parallel to the existing one. Alas the VT bridge is borderline too low also, so maybe it will be replaced as well. Budget - $1 billion and counting.

In the case of LA, the traffic which makes a new or second bridge necessary can only go to the 110 freeway. The Port accepts no responsibility for what this traffic will do to the 110. That's Caltrans' problem. If you commute on the 110, get ready to find another way.

You are dead right about the air pollution though. If all of this comes about, a lot of people are going to die.

As a person who mistakenly voted for Tony, I would say that he has burned his bridges with environmentalists already. Clearly, he can see where the big campaign money comes from.

August 29, 2007 10:03 AM  

Blogger Jack Hoff said:

Thanks for the clarification, uh, DDZR...

Here's a quick list of supporters signed on to Lowenthal's Ports Bill:

SUPPORTERS

American Lung Association of CA
Coalition For Clean Air
NRDC
Sierra Club CA
American Heart Association
American Cancer Association
Asthma Coalition of L.A. County
Communities For Clean Ports
Coalition For A Safe Environment
CA League of Conservation Voters
Union Of Concerned Scientists
SEIU Local 721 (85,000 members)
...and many others

OPPOSITION

California Chamber of Commerce
Home Depot
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
and...Tom Politeo?

August 29, 2007 1:29 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Somebody should shoot these two illegal alien mexicans who have ruined our city of Los Angeles.

Mayor V croos the bridge back to Tijuana and take Nunez with you

August 29, 2007 2:16 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Everyone over at the Sierra Club knows that Tom Politeo favors fantasy solutions that have zero chance in reality.

All snicker behind his back as he is well known as one of the best pro-smog environmentalists.

Read his post carefully. He is full of complaints, false assumptions and for a guy that knows as little as he does, he is quite possibly a shill for the CA Chamber, WalMart or Home Depot.

I think I am going to phone Rick Taylor right now, so the Home Depot folks can get cracking on Tom's payoff to guarantee status quo.

Sad.

August 29, 2007 2:25 PM  

Anonymous Diesel Death Zone Refugee said:

Thanks jack.

Tom is a good friend of mine, and there is a lot of truth in his comments.

However, my judgment is that we are sort of letting the perfect become the enemy of the good here.

Anything which makes the polluters pay for even part of the cleanup is better than what we have now.

Clearly, the industry wants to direct a lot of this money to build projects which will arguably be part of the problem, not part of the solution. My sense of it is that, if we don't fund some of them this way, they will wiggle around and make the public pay. They will get Arnold to float some more bonds, or figure out some other scam.

I find Alan Lowenthal to be one of the most honest and idealistic politicians I have met. I defer to his judgment that he is getting what can be gotten at this point in history.

Of course, if Tony Villar and his industry sponsors are able to further bastardize the bill to their own ends, all bets are off.

Note that all of those supporters signed off before this latest end run reported by Mayor Sam.

August 29, 2007 3:55 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Politeo is totally on target. This Bill has been compromised into working for industry and against any real effort to reduce the pollution. I pity those living in the regions of the ports. Although we all suffer, they are on the front lines.
Reality Ron

August 29, 2007 4:31 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Yeah, I agree with Ron. Coalition For Clean Air, American Lung Association, and those asthma people are all a bunch of jerks!
Reality Don

August 29, 2007 4:53 PM  

Anonymous Tin Foil Hat Man said:

I agree with Ron and Don and Tom (still).

We don't need this bill to raise $500 million a year to clean the air. All we have to do is raise taxes. Simple solutions, anybody?

August 29, 2007 4:59 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Don, it's not that those organizations are jerks, per se, it's just that Tom Politeo knows so much more than they do.

Reality Jon

August 29, 2007 5:27 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Ron, Jon, Tom, Don, and especially Tin Foil Man, y'all need to shut the f*ck up! Serious. People are f*ckin dying everyday from the port and you assholes aren't doing a DAMN THING OTHER THAN SITTING ON YOUR ASSES AND TALKING ABOUT IT! SO UNLESS YOU GOT A BETTER IDEA THEN SHUT THE F*CK UP!

August 29, 2007 5:36 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Thanks for this Mayor Sam, and particularly for your interest in the diesel pollution issue, which is such a regional threat.

Note Patrick McGreevy's article in this morning's Times, which is basically the same as your post. You beat them by 24 hours, which I guess just demonstrates once again the power of good blogs. Well done.

If anyone believes that these bridges are to be replaced because they are deteriorated, I will be happy to introduce them to the Tooth Fairy.

The bridges are to be expanded to massively increase their truck carrying capacity. How this relates to the ports' alternative spin mantra that the so-called "near dock" rail yards proposed for east Wilmington will "take millions of truck trips off the freeways" I leave to bloggers imaginations.

Jack Hoff:

McGeeevy talks about the Desmond and Heim bridges. I know from personal experience that the Thomas bridge is next for the chop. Wait for it.

August 30, 2007 8:19 AM  

Anonymous Diesel Death Zone Refugee said:

With apologies to Winston Churchill:

The hand which held the dagger has plunged it into the back of its neighbor.

August 30, 2007 8:21 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

5:36 PM:

Well right.

There was a saying during the Cold War:

"After the war, the living will envy the dead."

If the throughput of the ports triples using the same methods used today, this will be true for San Pedro, Wilmington, west Long Beach, and the entire 710 freeway corridor. Uninhabitable.

August 30, 2007 8:26 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Note that Martin Schlageter, of the Coalition for Clean Air, had the last word in McGreevy's article:

"It's a real shame." "It's a concern that the withholding of support could affect the approval of the bill. But I don't think it warrants putting something in that undermines the integrity of the bill."

August 30, 2007 8:31 AM  

Blogger Jack Hoff said:

Out of respect to still-green Mayor Villaraigosa and world class global-warming-green Speaker Fabian Nunez, it should be noted that SB 974 came out of suspense and made it through Assembly Appropriations earlier this afternoon. It will soon go to the Assembly floor for a vote. Word has it that no "oppose-unless-amended-to-include-bridges" letter was sent from the Mayor to the Speaker and it sounds like some amends regarding local control of monies will be included in the bill -- another positive.

Well done, gentlemen!

We're breathing easier already!

August 30, 2007 5:48 PM  

Anonymous DDZR said:

Thank you Jack. Amen.

August 31, 2007 8:54 AM  

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