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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Elephant-Zoo vote: It's about $$$ and stealing public land, folks.

Today the City Clowncil votes on whether they feel they can get away with stealing more public $$ and land without anyone noticing.

Under the guise of animal rights, last month Tony 'Guido' Cardenas proffered two council motions aimed at the LA Zoo, one (#08-2850) to halt construction of the Zoo's new $40 million dollar elephant exhibit and outlaw elephant-keeping completely at the Zoo, and the other (#08-2849) to create a task force to study stealing 60 acres of rare public park land in the park-poor San Fernando Valley for an elephant "sanctuary".

Guido originally voted for the new $40 mill elephant exhibit and its hard to imagine that a change of heart is the only thing driving these motions. So what's this all about, then?

In the eyes of the public, this is all about Billy --the Zoo's remaining elephant. Emotions run high with animal activists falling on both sides of the fence. Both sides have their experts lined up for a battle of 'our experts verses your experts'. Public comment will be full of emotional pleas on Billy's behalf.

The real fight, however, is what is in the eyes of the greedy Clowncilmen involved: LeBong, Guido, and the Zorro Marxist, Alar'con'. These motions are all about opportunity. LeBong's been looking for an excuse to steal more of Griffith Park land to expand the Zoo, and Guido conveniently provided the excuse. On the other side, Guido and Zorro want part of that $40 mill, most of which cannot be re-allocated to projects outside the Zoo. So why not have the City go into the Elephant Retirement Home business with the Zoo as the puppet department in charge? Odds are Guido and the Zorro Marxist both have a healthy financial stake and a campaign donor or two in mind for the project.

What is the real bottom line here?

If it's ultimately decided that Billy needs a much larger enclosure, he can be retired to an existing elephant sanctuary somewhere at minimal cost compared to the new exhibit cost. No new sanctuary is needed; no public lands need be taken; and the City does not need to spend our tax dollars on going into the Elephant Retirement Home biz.
...Hell, these clowns can't even provide fundamental services to taxpayers or balance a budget. Now they want to run a circus?

As for the partially-complete exhibit? It could be re-purposed for other animals, again at minimal expense compared to the cost of the new exhibit. In other words: NO STEALING OF PUBLIC LANDS AND MONEY NECESSARY.

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Blogger JustSayAmy said:

I am sitting in city council this morning and Tom LeBonge cannot get a simple sentence out without looking completely befuddled.

What a buffoon.

November 19, 2008 10:47 AM  

Blogger Michael Higby said:

Excellent post Petra.

I've never been super hard core on the animal issues but I do believe we're getting to the point where we shouldn't be keeping animals, at least most of them, in zoos.

I don't think there's a huge issue with having native or even some small animals in a form of captivity where people can see them and researchers can study them.

However most of these African animals, elephants, lions, tigers, etc. in nature require like hundreds of acres and really should be left in the wild or in a sanctuary if they've been domesticated too long.

It makes no sense to build a multi-million dollar home for Billy when there are a number of sanctuaries he could be sent to.

We can re-tool zoos to use technology for people to view animals in their natural state. Billy's preserve could be outfitted with mega solar powered wi-fi cams all over and then that image piped back to a holographic arena at the zoo.

I just really think we've moved beyond trapping this majestic creatures in pens that are like 5% of the size of their territory in the wild.

November 19, 2008 10:53 AM  

Blogger JustSayAmy said:

Watching those elephants rock in stress is evidence that they don't belong there.

Nature did not intend for houses to be on the edge of a fiery wildnerness. But that's exactly where these wonderful animals should be.

November 19, 2008 10:59 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I agree with Michael. I don't go to zoos anymore. The animals are bored. I'm bored. We're all bored. The zoo is boring. Even this comment is becoming boring. Maybe they can rename it the L.A. Zzzzzoo...

November 19, 2008 11:10 AM  

Blogger Petra Fried in the City said:

Personally, I feel for Billy. Elephants are extremely social, while he is alone. Elephants walk tens of linear miles daily while Billy has a few acres in which to move. (1 acre = a square, 208.7 feet on one side; 1 linear mile = 5280 linear feet.)

LeBong just called for a motion to "conservation center for all animals, somewhere in the basin", and to send this back to committee to accomplish this. Makes the Zoo responsible. Adds this to 08-2849, not in lieu of. So now we've complicated the thing even more, and more money can be spent.

LeBong mispronounced "Sylmar".

Cardenas is now talking about buying 100 acres in the foothills of Sylmar from a friend of Alarcon. Cute, eh? Wonder if it's in the burn area. Cardenas just said that the public will pick up the cost in a public/private partnership... what a surprise.

November 19, 2008 11:40 AM  

Blogger Petra Fried in the City said:

Alarcon offered up Lopez Canyon Landfill during the discussion on 08-2849.

Zorro offers this land up constantly like it's his personal property to play with. The closure plan for Lopez Cyn Landfill calls for PARK LAND. Not a union-backed truck driving academy, not Zoo land, but PARK LAND.

The public, both Lake View Terrace residents and Kagel Cyn residents, have suffered with this landfill next to their homes for decades. They were promised park land; the landfill should be park land; the City needs more park land.

November 19, 2008 12:05 PM  

Blogger Petra Fried in the City said:


LeBong: ...Issue is halting an expensive public works project already in process. Public voted for Zoo master plan w/ pachyderm exhibit. City and County bond issue voted for by the public. (Now he's rambling. Again no surprise.) LA is not all other cities. (yah...) Rocktard's letter... anyone have a copy of that? Do the right thing! Calls for everyone to give a damn report!

Cardenas: ...we don't have the funding for both sanctuary and Zoo exhibit. New info has come to light that would have caused LA to not go forward with the exhibit. It's not about exhibits, its about policy. Does not make economic sense. Not fiscally responsible. 14 elephants have died since 1975 (we heard it was 15, not 14.) 6 acres talked about is not all for elephants, 3.5 acres for elephants.

November 19, 2008 12:42 PM  

Blogger Michael Higby said:

Let's hope the rest of the Clowncil outside LeBong, Zorro and Guido have the sense and compassion to steer clear of their schemes and just send Billy off to a sanctuary where he can be with other elephants. Here's a good one: http://www.elephantsanctuary.org/default2.asp

Then we can create a virtual exhibit with his current space that could be quite educational.

November 19, 2008 12:56 PM  

Blogger Petra Fried in the City said:

Missed the final vote on 08-2850 (had to go to a meeting). What happened?

November 19, 2008 2:35 PM  

Blogger Heather said:

What a bunch of crooks and idiots we have in council. How the hell do they sleep at night and their moms no doubt have to be ashamed and disappointed in how they were raised. They have no conscience at the corrupt bullshit they do. These are the weakest politicans in the country right here in LA. They are not respected by anyone and made fun of at a lot of meetings. Can you imagine how embarrassed their kids must be to say that's our parents? Too bad

November 19, 2008 4:18 PM  

Blogger PhilKrakover said:

The matter has been referred to the Budget Committee, where it will be received with a more friendly group than the Parks Committee, chaired by LeBong, who opposes it.

When they report back, it will become an 8 vote item, not the present 10 votes required.

Word is that the Mayor supports not coimpleting the exhibit at the Zoo, so it won't be vetoed.

Tony is on the right track. Le Bong is a blitering idiot and will fold when he sees he is losing the battle.

Cardenas looks like he has the 8 votes, which will halt the waste of millions on the exhibit, send Billy to PAWS, a sanctuary in Northern California, and look for a suitable major habitat to purchae (@ $5-6 million) rather than wast $30 million more.

November 20, 2008 7:09 AM  

Blogger Petra Fried in the City said:

Thanks Phil.

If the City really insists on going into the animal sanctuary biz, then they need to PURCHASE.

Being one of them myself, I don't hesitate when I say that we of the NorthEast SFV are through with public land/funds/services being handed over to private parties. We ain't gonna take it anymore.

Guido wiped the floor with LeBong, didn't he? heh.

As for LeBong, he'll be back with more plans to pave over parts of Griffith Park as 'comfort food' for the public *ss-whoopin' he took. Doofus.

November 20, 2008 8:10 AM  

Blogger PhilKrakover said:

Actually, he's just too f*cking dub to notice his ass just got whooped.

He loves to hear the sound of his voice and goes into rapture with each passing hour.

Tony has his eye on the ball and he is managing this issue well.

There's a cool site near the new Children's Museum; they can bus there, then over to a sanctuary and see some elephants, but happy ones, not bobbing their heads incessantly.

By the way, John Lewis made it all up about it being natural behavior; Joyce Pool made Lewis out to be either ill informed or just plain disingenuous.

We report - you decide which.

November 20, 2008 1:55 PM  

Blogger Petra Fried in the City said:


With all due respect, the 'cool site' near the Children's Museum is likely Lopez Canyon Landfill, the same landfill that has been on fire twice in the past month. This is public land.

See my earlier comments above on what the closure plans are for it, and what the community's response to this idea will be. (Summarized: over their dead bodies.)

Please find another cool spot that is not public land which is already a park, slated to be park land, or would be great park land in a park-poor area. Please.

I'd also like to remind people that the Children's Museum is a private corporation, not public. It is not a City facility. Admission was said to be $8 per child in 2004, I'm sure the price will be much higher when and if the thing is ever finished. So is the bus you suggest also going to be paid for with public dollars while parents must pay $30? $40? maybe $50? to a private corp if they want to take three kids to the museum?

With regards to the Children's Museum, all income from admission charges, concessions, etc go to this private corporation. And it was given the land at Hansen Dam for just $1 per year, while forcing the then-planned Lake View Terrace Library to be cut-in-half. Let me say it another way: the private corp gets the land effectively for free while the kids of Los Angeles get their library that they've been asking for and raising funds for for a decade cut-in-half to accomodate the private corp.

Should I go into how much public money, kids' money, PROP K MONEY and PROP 40 MONEY, has been handed to the private corp that is the Children's Museum? And how little relative fundraising they have done on their end? And that the project is grossly over budget and behind schedule?

What does the City get out of this particular public-private partnership? $1 per year. That's it.

This is the exact kind of public ripoff that cannot and will not be allowed to happen with the Sanctuary project. Please don't even start down that road.

November 20, 2008 4:24 PM  

Blogger PhilKrakover said:

Petra, sorry, the ship has left the dock.

The service to the children of LA, while being delivered in a way that is humane to elephants is the key.

All the stuff about parks, public v. private land or enterprise really doesn't enter into the thinking of any member of the Council

Point is, it is inhumane ot have elephants confined to 10 acres; even one. There are two males up at PAWS right now and Billy would be so happy to see them, and they, he.

Get on the train or get out of the way, this one is on the tracks and moving.

November 20, 2008 8:18 PM  

Blogger Petra Fried in the City said:

Then take a different track to a different part of the City, dude.

And don't even bother to play the "you're against elephants and children" card if one opposes having public land handed over to private corporations. We all see that one for what it is.

November 22, 2008 7:59 AM  

Blogger Rita Of Sunland/Wally Wharton said:

Never thought I'd be doffing my cap to Cardenas, but here I go: (doff doff) Poor Billy should be sent to a HUGE outdoor sanctuary w/other elephants. I hate that whole "...but inner city kids won't get to see a REAL live elephant..." argument. Besides, elephants transmit diseases to kids. How do I know? Cuz half the kids in L.A. suffer from Elephantitus!! WOO-HOO!!

November 22, 2008 5:45 PM  

Blogger PhilKrakover said:

Petra, I don't call these shots, but I do agree with Tony Cardenas that the best place for a local sanctuary is in his district, well, sort of half in his district and half in Zorro Alarcon's district.

They are the deciders (along with the Mayor), so, if you have a bone to pick, pick it with them.

Meanwhile, Billy will get to be with two other males at PAWS. Check it out, it is a fantastic place for an elephant and his head bobbing will be gone ere long. Ruby is doing great there, by the way.

Maybe LaBong will start bobbing his head, after he goes to the woodshed here as a guest of Mr. Cardenas...

November 23, 2008 3:41 PM  

Blogger Petra Fried in the City said:

Just FYI: Billy may get to be with other male elephants, but he will also be castrated which is absolute SOP for sanctuaries. Doesn't bother me any...

Rita, what the hell? Hey - if you want continued NoHomeDepot support for S-T from LVT, consider proffering No Elephant Circuses in LVT support for LVT from S-T. Gracias.

November 24, 2008 9:24 AM  

Blogger PhilKrakover said:

Petra: I went back and re-read your remarks; I was out of line. Sorry. I took you statement about looking somewhere else wrong. You have my apology.

Dave Elliott: Please follow the biblical injunction to:

"Sally forth and multiply thyself."

You are an inconsequential pimple on an elephant's ass and I shouldn't be wasting anyone's time to read anything about you.

Here's a tip: I think Mickey Mouse is actually registered in orange County, so you can't count his vote, or Goofy's, for that matter. Better get 2,000 just to be safe.

November 24, 2008 2:28 PM  

Blogger Petra Fried in the City said:


I don't make threats.

I do however respond to proffered political policy, sometimes fervently.

I'm just trying to point out that this entire idea -- the City going into the elephant sanctuary business during these economic times -- is akin to the Big Three Automakers flying private jets into a Federal bailout meeting. Again, YOU MUST BE KIDDING ME.

Also that the area we've been discussing (Lake View Terrace, Lopez Canyon Landfill) has already had more than its share of broken promises, private-public partnerships that favor only the private entity, and just downright fraud and greed perpetrated upon it. C'en est assez.

One thing we obviously agree upon is LeBong. Did you read today's Daily News article?

November 26, 2008 11:30 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

CM Tony Cardenas may not be all the warm-and-fuzzy guy you make him out to be. If a sanctuary were to be built in his CD, there'd be more construction work to be done, hence, more contracts to award.

Council members live to reward their friends; that is, AFTER they have made sure they continue to hold their office by drumming up voters to join the incumbent's side.

And what area in L.A. is safe from fire dangers that we see too frequently? I don't think SFV is a good choice on that point, aside from everything else.

In L.A. 90041

January 12, 2009 1:05 PM  

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