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Friday, April 25, 2008

What About A Party For The Rest Of Us?




Council District Fourteen has received a request that the City provide certain services and declare this function a Special Event. Approval of this request
will mean that the City will absorb an estimated $162,977 in fees and salary
costs.

I THEREFORE MOVE that the "L.A. Fiesta Broadway 2008" be declared a Special Event, and City departments be requested to waive all fees and costs,except insurance and application requirements.


Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing I love more than a good party; but it seems to me that if the City will be helping to cover the costs of one of the biggest events occurring in the heart of its Civic Center, it should be more culturally inclusive than it is right now.

I know I’m dating myself with this little walk I’m about to take down memory lane, but the history of one of L.A.’s greatest street festivals needs to be told to some of the younger folk (or the new in this town and/or country).

Back in October of 1978, the City of Los Angeles, (with the generous help of the Schlitz Brewing Co., which contributed $100,000 and the National Endowment for the Arts, which gave $40,000) held its first ever “Street Scene” at the L.A. Civic Center. The festival was bordered by Aliso St. on the north, 1st St. on the south, Los Angeles St. on the east and Broadway on the west. Angelenos were able to enjoy a diverse selection of cultural life which included: dance, drama, arts, crafts, music and food.

Sol Marcus, the chairman of the first Street Scene and then vice-president of the city’s Board of Public Works said at the time: “This is the time for Angelenos to gather, have fun, be proud of their beautiful city and see things they never knew existed in the downtown area while enjoying performances by top artists and artisans. We want them to come early, stay late and enjoy”.

Back then, parking for the day at any of the public lots was only $2.50, or you could park for free at Dodger Stadium and take a shuttle bus to the Civic Center.

Some of the acts booked for the inaugural Street Scene: Red Hot Marimba Band, Gypsy International Folk Dancers, California Boy’s Choir, Classical Ragtime Company, Dance A La Carte, Judy Garrett – mime, Korean Ethnic Heritage, Nared the Magician, Living History Theater, California Arts African Ensemble, Ramanlahi Dance Troupe, East-West Players, New American Jazz Ensemble, Dixie Belles, Oscar Nieto Flamenco, Visual Theater Workshop, Arroyo Singers of Pasadena, Ballet Mexicapan, Freddy Fender, R’Wanda Lewis Afro Dancing, Megaw Theater Puppets, Nancy Wilson, the Frankie Valli Revue, Make Believe Unlimited, Spanky Wilson, California Festival Ballet, Chuck Jones Magic, Tierra, Mormon Samoan Choir, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Benny Howell Septet, “Skins” Afro-Cuban percussion, New Artef Players, Danny Rees – Juggler, Watts Prophets Poets, Samoan Fire Dancers, David “Fathead” Newman and the rock group Chicago, just to name a few. Some of downtown’s government buildings such as the U.S. Courthouse and the Criminal Courts Building became stage backdrops for many of the performers. A crowd estimated at somewhere between “over 10,000” (a police estimate) to an unofficial count of 30,000 all gathered in the parking lot of CCB for a light and music show.

By the close of the two-day event on Sunday night, police reported that five persons had been arrested for minor infractions. One person was taken to Queen of Angels Hospital for emergency treatment.

Other stats: There were 10 stages where more than 60 performers displayed their talents; 100 exhibitors featured arts and crafts of many nationalities and 40 booths offered foods from around the world.

Mayor Tom Bradley opened the Street Scene at a ceremony on the steps of City Hall. He told the crowd gathered there that the purpose of the festival was to try to “focus attention on the beauty and vitality of this Civic Center. We are proud of Los Angeles. We think it is one of the premier cities in the world. The people who work in the Civic Center know it intimately but there are people out there who rarely come downtown to see what’s happening.”

Lois Hale, the publicity director for the festival, said the festival was going to stay within its $140,000 budget and that the city was contributing only “in-kind services” to the event through use of municipal employees.

Of course, all good things must come to an end, and in September of 1986, after a violent weekend at that year’s Street Scene during which one person was fatally shot, 40 others injured and 35 more arrested, Mayor Tom Bradley recommended that the festival, which began as a tribute to the city’s cultural diversity – should be stopped.

Police Chief Daryl F. Gates called a news conference at the same time urging that the city-sponsored Street Scene be scrapped unless its organizers were willing to shut down the weekend event before nightfall and to stop booking “problematic” rock acts (Run DMC?).

Zev Yaroslavsky, who was then chairman of the council’s Finance and Revenue Committee proposed that the city first consider banning alcohol from its street fairs as an alternative to discontinuing the Street Scene. But seeing as how the major sponsors were beer and wine-cooler companies who were putting up the by then $700,000 annual budget, that recommendation didn’t go over so well.

Having visited the first Street Scene as a very, very, very, very young ‘tweener and being able to experience Hispanic, African, Asian, Middle Eastern, and many other ethnic influences was so exciting and inspiring to me. The sounds, the sights, the smells of all the different ethnic music, art and foods added to the mystique of Los Angeles as being one big melting pot of all types of people.

What I’d like to know is why the city is spending so much on celebrating just one aspect of our ethnic diversity when there is nothing that I know of (that compares to the vastness of Fiesta Broadway) which celebrates ALL of our ethnic diversities. I want my kids to be able to enjoy a “downtown” festival and be able to eat different types of foods, talk to and see vendors, performers and artisans from all over the world who have settled here in Southern California and specifically in the Los Angeles area, and who have so much to share culturally with all our children. Another learning experience flushed down the toilet by the politicians in charge. Why?

Why can’t we have that back – a festival for all Angelenos of every nationality to celebrate our differences as well as celebrate the (once) great city we live in and the diversity that makes us and our city unlike any other.

I’m just askin’ ….

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26 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Yes, it's another Huizar ethnocentric festival -- an outrageous sum. He's also got Huizar's Winter Wonderland, which is ALL Hispanic cars from his district, including people no one will ever know outside the district, definitely a little TJ event kissing his butt -- when he comes through in a car as the "patron" of the event. At our expense. That's another VERY expensive one.

Then he's got El Grito, which even most Mexicans don't celebrate, they say it's some peasant thing; on top of Cinco de Mayo coming up next week, and the Blessing of the Animals. It's ALL Mexican stuff that the entire city pays for.

Doll, you should add up the events waived from Huizar's district alone and if possible, get numbers from some other "big waivers," like Parks who claims to be financially tight. Hahn used to have tons but cut down lately along with her many very, very long presentations with marching bands.

Those women in Van Nuys yammering on daily about waivers could carry more weight if they added up how many ethnocentric Huizar alone has.

April 25, 2008 7:17 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I'm glad you enjoyed yourself. If only those days could come back. Great writes rocking Valley Doll...

April 25, 2008 7:23 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

A friend of mine works in one of the city departments that are getting cut and for the life of me I don't get why the city council continues to waive the fees. Well, I do, they are arrogant pricks (you too Janice, Wendy and Jan!) The Mayor is boo hooing about the city budget and the council people act like the party never ends. Literally. Someone up there in the horse shoe should take a stand and start convincing his/her colleagues to do the right thing and STOP WAIVING FEES!

April 25, 2008 7:49 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

It's not just the fee waiver. If you add the extra security and trash pickup that lasts for days the true cost to the city taxpayer is more like a $500,000 give-away. But it would not be PC with this council and mayor to even hint that they pay for these city services.

April 25, 2008 9:42 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

ya well the festival of books and westwood film festival get the same treatment on the westside and you don't hear anyone bitchin' about that do you?

April 25, 2008 10:04 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Higby, more racism from you and your bloggers. Like Red Spot, Walter Moore and Higby Valley Doll hates Mexicans too.

April 25, 2008 10:31 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

10:04 is exactly the kind of illiterate cholo Huizar appeals to, and why this city is going down the tubes. For the moron to compare the L A Times Festival of Books to some ethnocenstric event which appeals only to Mexicans in one district, and in some cases only to lower-class MExicans like El Grito and Blessing of the animals, is exactly the sort of thing illiterate Mexicans do.

The Festival of Books is for the whole city, and the organizers even include Mexican and black panels, all kinds of PC stuff, along with stuff for kids and special interests like baseball fans (Tommy Lasorda). It puts L A on the national map, and reminds people elsewhere that we're not ALL a bunch of Mexican cholos running around getting drunk on some ethnocentric festival we swindle the city for.

Doll's point was, there is NO city benefit to this inflated boondoggle nor to any of the Mexican events -- as for Cinco de Mayo, there are plenty of private celebrations all over town, Huizar's is another ego photo op for himself.

The Festival of Books and film related events are what PULL L A UP out of the cultural wasteland, and your comparing this stupid festival to a celbration of books, writing and literacy of all kinds, is exactly what's wrong with MExicans having taken over too much of the city. Now, like YOU they're filled with clear class envy, especially that smarmy Reyes, and they're setting their sites on putting their subsidized housing for the poor, along with the gangs and crime and low-class parades, into Westwood... no one wants your "lifestyle" there, hermano. BUT if you behave yourselves, bring the kiddies to the book fair and have them larn somethin' besides Mexican stuff.

April 25, 2008 10:44 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Mr. 10:04, the literacy hatin', anglo hatin', westside hatin', book hatin' pro-Mexican parade money squandering apologist, might interest you that at your hated Book Festival, Kevin Roderick will host a panel at 3 p.m. on "California, the Great Experiment."

Not as much fun as marching in the streets all day, eating chuurros (well, I like churros) and rotting out your teeth, getting fat and swilling Cervezas and falling down stoned drunk when you get home and claiming you had an excuse. But it has no adverse affects, anyway, except maybe listening to some P C leftists slant the facts -- see, you might like it after all.

Not quite as stupid and pointless as one of Huizar's egomaniacal parades which interest no one outside of the peasants in his own district, but you will surely find enough dumb people to suit your needs. There are some dumb people anywhere. Even reading books.

April 25, 2008 10:58 PM  

Blogger PatCA said:

What's the problem? We've got plenty of money in the budget!

April 25, 2008 11:01 PM  

Blogger PatCA said:

No problemo! We've got plenty of money in the budget to cover it.

April 25, 2008 11:03 PM  

Blogger Michael Higby said:

Uh, I believe Miss Doll happens to be un chica Mexicana herself. Boy you spinners are really stupid.

April 26, 2008 12:01 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

How about we get rid of all waivers? I would be willing to take public transportation or pay to park, but I don't think ANYONE needs a fee waiver. If they want the streets shut down, pay for them. It's that simple. For profit or non-profit makes no difference.

A once-a-year event is plenty for us to pay for. Maybe a 4th of July festival. It's not religious and instead, it's all-American. That should please everyone and we would have tons of money.

April 26, 2008 1:25 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Good one Valley Doll and Mayor Sam. I too am Latino and think this is bullshit and a waste of money. The sponsors of this event are AT&T, BofA, Jeep, Dodge, Burger King, Albertson's but Sleazy Weazy Huizar expects the tapayers to pay. This is for a bunch of drunken ILLEGALS who have already trashed downtown, they will bring their crying 10 kids, leave trash all over and carry Mexican flags. There's a big difference between Mexican-Americans and the slobs called ILLEGALS. Don't get us confused. WE SPEAK ENGLISH. Only insecure assholes put their pictures on flyers like these two fools Antonio and Sleazy.
http://www.hprala.org

April 26, 2008 6:51 AM  

Blogger PetraFried in the City said:

With the kind of problems this City has right now, all so-called 'ethnic heritage' events should be forced to be very multicultural for at least a decade or two.


And NO MORE ****ING FEE WAIVERS! Gawdammit, I can barely afford to subsist in this ****ing town. I'm so sick of "living" in the Company Store From Hell that I'm pretty much reduced to speaking in expletives about it.

Villar, Clowncil -- Get the hell out of my wallet!


(signed) A really pissed member of the 'women and minorities' demographic.

April 26, 2008 8:20 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

wow..Mexican ethnocentric event?????? Do you know the definition of it MORONS? If not, let me spell it out for you-->characterized by or based on the attitude that one's own group is superior...How is this festival ethnocentric, if they are publicizing it all the major news outlets??? Don't you think that's an act of inclusion vs. exclusion? I've attended the event as a Caucasian but don't see my of my white folk, because you all think brown people=cholos...calling Huizar a cholo Councilmember???? although he got himself and his family out of poverty by attending Berkeley and then Princeton law school and is possibly more successful than you racist bigots hiding behind your computers...illiterate? although while posting your comment you misspelled ethnocentric???? no it's not ethnocenstric MORON! All you are showing readers is the new face of racism.....yes go on and attack what you are afraid of...OMG THE MEXICANS ARE TAKING OVER..AHHHHH!!! and call it ethnocentric while defending yourself and the Festival of Books as culturally superior. Hey MORON! Do you know the definition of cultural racism? If not, let me spell it out for you: cultural racism is the practice of
continually interfering in the lives of the members of oppressed races to disrupt their cultures and prevent their development. So the Festival of Books on the Westside where a bunch of us white folk with a whole lot of money live is culturally superior do that dainty Mexican event attended by lower class colored people. WOW NOW ISN'T THAT INTERESTING?????

April 26, 2008 8:34 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

No more fee waivers. Maybe if some of us protested at this event in front of media the councilmembers may listen.

April 26, 2008 8:54 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I work for the City and am in a position where I see the $$$ we are handing out like candy in the waiving of these events - it has made me sick since I began in my position back in 1986. Most of these events like the Marathon can find sponsors and pay their own way. Not only does it cost security in the form of additional police officers; there is trash collection, street sweeping, barricade placing and removal, health officers on OT checking the vendors for violations (should be more out there though) and on and on and on.... In addition my pet peeve is El Grito...which often take place on a week day on City Hall steps - WTH???? It disrupts traffic, bus routes, downtown workers trying to get to or from work...all for some MEXICAN Holiday...last time I looked this was the USA, and we don't have a 4th of July celebration on CH steps...when the clowncil and Tony Villar recognize that LA is part of the US and starts giving respect to OUR National Holidays, and inclusive events - then I will consider thousands, upon thousands of our tax dollars spent celebrating Cinco de Mayo, El Grito, Fiesta Broadway, and on and on.... Can't wait to retire from the City and being front and center to the rape of legal voting taxpayers, to the benefit of illegal (all races) non-voting, non-taxpaying freeloaders!

April 26, 2008 10:02 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The majority of people who live in LA are now totally sick to death with the way the city looks. I agree, it's not about Mexicans in general, but the illegal folks (of all ethnicities.) I personally feel like the Mayor could give a rat's ass about decent hardworking people about to lose their jobs in HIS administration. He will send a letter to the Department of Homeland Security asking that they discontinue raids on illegals, and yet he is raiding HIS OWN workplace by firing over 700 people. I will work as hard as I can to make sure this guy is a one termer if it's the last thing I do. He is arrogant and classless, and what a big mistake it was to vote for him. And his minions like Tom Saenz are just as arrogant and horrible.

April 26, 2008 10:48 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

8:34: You are about as "white" as Huizar and the rest of them, and just because he was the beneficiary of affirmative action to get into some top schools, doesn't mean it doesn't show. We can all tell when people get into and graduate from a college because they deserve it, vs. the color of their skin or DNA.

Cholo is as cholo does, and your Zorro Marxist Alarcon even invited people once to one of these Mexican events by inviting "anyone who swings like a cholo." Which is all of them.

All the Mexicans' districts look like TJ's back streets, and have been derided internationally as looking like the Third World countries they are. Unfortunately, with these images and the reports of ethnic gangs, many foreigners are afraid to come to L A at all: they think that "nice" areas like the westside you hate are in another city, because their mental image of L A is filthy and scary.

(At least Molina has supported restricting roach coaches in the county areas, but the city Mexicans seem to love this Third-World ambiance and lack of sanitation.)

The rambling, hysterical illiteracy of your comment and the gibberish straight out of the MeCHA handbook, shows exactly why no "other" white people ever show up at your peasant Mexican parades even though, as you claim, they're "advertised all over." (Who pays for those ads?)

Look up "ethnocentric," stupid, because every time you deny that one of Huizar's self-promoting Mexican events IS ethnocentric, you argue for why it is.

"Continually interfering in the lives of members of oppressed minorities to disrupt their cultures and prevent their social development."

Wow, Valley Doll and Higby, you've GOT to save this one and feature it as the kind of mouthful of La Raza, "anglo"-hating and baiting rhetoric these people use to justify milking the city for hundreds of thousands of dollars a year for their Mexican festivals.

And boy, the stupidity with which you hate the "white" westside, of "people who have a lot of money," is such a bigoted mouthful like everything else you spew. Sure, all the "anglos" (read, Jewish westside) are loaded with money --
that's why they're finally rising up en masse to protest the increases in taxation without representation or corresponding social services, largely because they've been used as piggy banks to pay for your illegal, uneducated masses who can't pay their share.

There are many middle class people who can barely pay their bills, but value literacy and cultural education as a way to distinguish themselves from YOU and your masses of illiterates.
When it comes to the small percentage of actually wealthy white westsiders, their liberalism has made them passive in the face of your onslaught of population and these attitudes of cultural hostility to our "anglo" society, in the name of bogus MeCHa claims.

These people, as well as more educated and literate Hispanics, blacks and others, put a lot of volunteer effort into putting on events like the festival of books and film festival you hate so much -- giving us a common meeting ground for all cultures, and putting us on the national map as a city which is still actually partly civilized and not just a Third World magnet for uneducated, illiterate Hispanic peasants and the politicians who profit by pandering to them.

Your hatred of the society which has given your illegals refuge for way too long is so ungrateful, ignorant and DESPERATELY PATHETIC.

Your "cultural development" is on display for all to see, and the filthy streets caused by reckless overpopulation by uneducated masses are precisely why real "white" people avoid these festivities. But they're supposed to pay for them and the street clean-ups which are so much more extensive in these areas where no one moves two feet to throw litter into a trash can.

This is the kind of garbage you MeCHas spew in your battles to destroy our state standards when it comes to the school curriculum, yet demand that WE "anglo" taxpayers pay to fund your Semillas del Pueblos and peasant ethno-centric festivals. Your open hatred towards cultural literacy, and literacy in general, only proves your ethnocentric, class and skin color envy, and confirms why it's been a disastrous social experiment to allow so many of you here at all.

Major irony: Now that there are so many of you that you've sunk all of our institutions from schools to ER's and county clinics (so that only a few top private hospitals can even attract specialists for the citizens any more), and your benefactors are too squeezed by the lower real estate market and low dollar to throw money at you people, you're more openly biting the hands that have fed you and just demanding mas, mas. NO mas.

April 26, 2008 11:01 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Jewish Journal features a Bill Boyarsky article, titled Zev Takes on the Developers, but it goes beyond that to something you don't read in the MSN.

Like BB says, the "P C media and politicians" won't mention the fact that's been reported here by readers: AB1818 is being used as an excuse to push the poor, often illegal, masses of "urban slums" like McArthur Park (Reyes' area, and as head of PLUM, he's been talking openly and aggressively about this), into the heart of the westside -- BB names Pico/Robertson and the Valley, but it can be ANYWHERE west and NW.

Therefore, BB notes that the PC media won't talk (yet!) about the class and race issues involved, "but it's important." You BET.

The illegal immigrants, with Reyes leading the charge, are aiming to move into the heart of the westside by misusing the issue of "affordable housing" to demolish zoning laws and Community Plans, and the very foundation of our society: that people work upto being able to buy into certain areas and once they do, their property values are protected or at least not actively harmed, by public policy. (HUGE class-action suit in the making, here.)

Zev is the only one taking the issue on so far -- BB doesn't think he's running for Mayor, but is using his cushy position, where he's set until 2014, to speak out on an issue he pioneered as a City Councilman back in the mid-80's: protecting neighborhoods.

Boyarsky says the Mayor is playing both sides: supporting developers but trying to "make nice" to the westside, mainly Jewish, community, which may be liberal but they're not self-destructively stupid.

(And hey, idiot on Doll's thread who bashes the Westwood/UCLA Festival of Books as a "rich white" event of no more significance to the city than the Mexican Fiesta de Broadway or El Grito: they're the main movers making this city a true world-class city, not a Third World city.)

April 26, 2008 12:09 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Doll, the Festival of Books at UCLA this weekend is the closest we'll come to something that offers something for everyone, cultural and "interest" diversity. Plus great activities for the kids!

The poster comparing this and the film festival in Westwood to the Mexican fiestas is nuts. That film festival draws films from all over the world, provides a window onto it -- so even those who can't travel at all or as much as they'd like, get a sense of another culture through the eyes of an artist/ observer who can convey one unique, significant point of view.

Books can do that, too -- there's an enormously diverse range of panelists and books.

By the way: There ARE more welcoming (to other ethnicities) ethnic events, like at Leimert Park where they have poetry readings and sell African-American wares and art and food, in a festival atmosphere.
That's much better put together and appeals to the "cultured" classes than the peasant fiestas that glorify Huizar and some niche in the Hispanic Catholic religion (like blessing the animals and the various saints' events). The Leimert Park event gets private sponsors and sure doesn't cost US the taxpayers $160,000, not counting clean up. (True, sadly, that the Hispanics don't throw away their trash properly -- they're the main reason behind the call to ban plastic bags, too, even the sponsor admits it's "our poorest areas" that do this (that would include other, non-Hispanic areas), so bags end up in the oceans. Yuk. Again, punish everyone for the behavior of the lower classes whose lifestyles are environmentally irresponsible.

April 26, 2008 1:20 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

That poster defending him so hard must work for Huizar. An insight into his master's mind, especially that LaRaza class- and race- baiting gibberish. Wow. Meanwhile, who needs to fix sidewalks when you can't even see them from the trash and the illegal vending carts.

April 26, 2008 1:23 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Damm
Mayor Sam...
some great writing here on a Saturday afternoon.....
Funny I haven't heard of any layoffs or pink slips up there in top heavy Sacramento??
I keep seeing press releases of appointments by the Gov... Shouldn't these stop and start tighening the purse strings up there too? Banning sodas in schools, banning mylar balloons, and banning the sale of ultrasound machine purchases to private citizens (Cruz-Holmes)show they have too much time on there hands up there.....

Keep up the great writing and commentary on our plight here in the Los Angeles area....

April 26, 2008 1:26 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Well this is a fine kettle of fish!

April 26, 2008 2:09 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Well only one of you got something right...I am female...but hello! didn't you "literate" morons read that I am white....oh maybe its the racist in ya again...am a Mexican MECHA because I attend a "Mexican" event? Wow...um so is this like when whites were considered black back in the old days if they had any black friends or association with them....am I either with you or against you????
Did you also happen to know that its not only Mexicans, but Central and South Americans that attend this event???????? And where exactly did you read that I hate Westsiders, festival of books, or "Anglos"????????????????? Take a moment with your little minds and think that I was making a valid reference to the inability of some people to understand that we are wasting money for both events on both sides of L.A., so don't give me this culture superiority bullshit...

The supposed insider working in L.A. watching tax dollars go "down the drain" why don't you grow a spine and speak up about it, if you are so upset? Cat got your tongue? Stop hiding behind your computer...

As for this guy: "Huizar's self-promoting Mexican events IS ethnocentric, you argue for why it is" ya...um...work on your logical sequence because your not making much sense hun.

Finally, while these politicians MAY be egotistical, arrogant,blah blah blah, this doesn't disqualify all they do...sounds like there are some city hall insiders here that might work under them and just don't have the nerve to say these things to their bosses..need therapy hun?

April 26, 2008 9:25 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

9:25: YAWNingly lame and transparent spin from the MeCHas. No one cares. Not worth another "reply." Thoughts of an illiterate ant. Pitiful what happens when you go to "schools" like Semillas del Pueblo at our expense.

April 27, 2008 6:35 AM  

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