Whistleblower hotline: (213) 785-6098

Thursday, July 31, 2008

SLAP Town Hall Meeting

This Saturday, Ron Kaye will take his Saving Los Angeles Project (S.L.A.P.) from the steps of City Hall and move it into the challenging realm of nuts and bolts activism.

What is being called a Town Hall meeting could actually be the birth of a potentially dynamic and effective citizen fueled effort, acting outside of the constraints of the Neighborhood Council system, to bring real change to the City as we know it.
Although I have great respect for the NC's, and high hopes for their future, until they either earn the right or seize the power to act in more than an advisory capacity, then my money will ride on any group that has the ability to bring legal challenges, and can respond swiftly to deal with issues affecting their communities.

The beauty of SLAP is that within it, you will find a mixture of NC representatives , along with those who work outside of the system, and many who are just either interested in a particular issue or testing the waters of community participation.

The common goal is the same.

The City of Los Angeles is a mess, and it's going to take a real effort by all of us to turn this ship around.

Roll up your sleeves, it's time to get busy!

S.L.A.P. Town Hall
Saturday, Aug 2nd
2 to 4 pm
3750 N. Verdugo Rd.
Glassell Park

for more info: ronkayela.com

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LAUSD Board Update

At a special meeting this afternoon of the LAUSD (Los Angeles Unified School District) Board of Education, the board voted to approve a bond of $7 BILLION to improve safety and repair aging schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

According to the email version of Tamar Galatzan's Galatzan Gazette (omg how cute!) subscribers to her email newsletter "will receive a more detailed discussion of the bond and its implications for education in the next Galatzan Gazette in two weeks." If you'd like to be on Tamar's mailing list, Denise Campos at denise dot campos at lausd dot net can hook you up.

Hopefully, the Board will dish all the details sooner than I get my next edition of the Gazette.

$7 Billion?

Seriously? Seems like there's an LAUSD bond before the voters every couple of years; and nothing ever really gets better. And don't look now LAUSD, but the Charter Schools are going to be looking for their cut of that pie.

More details as they become available...

UPDATE: Here's the full LAUSD Board report on the bond in all its pdf file glory. Grab a bag of popcorn and a soda... it's gonna be a loooong read.

UDATE 2: Word is that the above pdf file may not reflect updated changes in some figures such as tax rates and charter allowances. We'll try to find an ammended version of the report (or feel free to send me a link) with the correct final figures.

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and Haikula gets her first Mayor Sam scoop!

(not counting the newspapers, which both SUCK ASS!)

Manny is the guy on the right, in case you're a Rams or Raiders fan who doesn't know baseball as well as I do. At any rate, it'll be fun to watch Manny's whopping home runs.

But be careful of what you wish for. The Boston Globe (why couldn't the McCourts make a trade to bring the GLOBE to LA?) has a great pictorial entitled "Manny Being Manny" which means that Ramirez is a slugger, but also a wackadoo.

Who wants to bet that Mayor Mirthala-Retardo is cutting short his fishing trip to welcome Manny to LA and claim credit for it?

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Friend of Alatorre, Villar, Huizar faces Eviction from CalTrans Property

He went before the City Council and had choice words for Zuma Dogg. His CD 14 connections include Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Richard Alatorre and of course the "COUNCILMAN LAST SEEN AS JOSE HUIZAR" among others. A attorney by day he sleeps in state-owned housing for a nominal rent, or should we say "did"?

A couple on months back we posted a rumor connected to the person above,

***........and this from a source in CD 14. A official from CalTrans who oversees State owned properties in El Sereno, South Pasadena, and Pasadena, quickly departed a meeting when informed that an "certain person" was invited. Apparently threats has been made against this official by a person with interest in CalTrans properties.

Now it has been learned that Caltran Tenants Association Rep. Don Jones faces eviction from his Caltrans residence.

Whether this is related to the above incident is still murky at this time, but his past actions reveals a confrontational persona, and a connected one at that.

Posters in the past have made the connection to Jones and the "cast of characters" that make up the LA 32 Neighborhood Council, with a good number of them benefiting from their access to CalTrans porperties that lie along the 710 right a way in El Sereno, South Pasadena, and Pasadena.

More to follow.............

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The "Chief" vs. the "Motor Cop" over "Star Treatment"

Clash of the Egos!!

Even Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa knows where to position himself when the caustic combination of wit, ego and "Boston (BAA-STIN)** Speak" is on "full" from Chief Bill Bratton.

Witness this morning's remarks aimed at the "Motor Cop" turned "Spring Street Rino Councilman" Dennis Zine and his proposed paparazzi restrictions.

"I figured I'd come over and straighten out -- we have no intention of participating in today's hearing. It's a total waste of time. We have sufficent laws on the books that we enforce to deal with this issue," Bratton said, still sweaty from his workout and with a towel hanging around his neck.

"If you notice, since Brittany started wearing clothes and behaving; Paris is out of town not bothering anybody, thank god; and, evidently, Lindsay Lohan has gone gay (sorry Roderick, here are some pics), we don't seem to have much of an issue.

"If the ones that attract the paparazzi behave in the first place, like we expect of anybody, that solves about 90 percent of the problem. The rest of it we can deal with.

"So as far as all this grandstanding and foolishness, waste of city time on this issue -- and the fact that I felt aggravated enough about it to interrupt my workout to come over and set the record straight, LAPD has no intention of participating in this farce."

......and from the "Motor Cop", you can click here to see his response.

All this drama at City Hall before 7:00 AM, only in Los Angeles!!

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Thursday Hotsheet: Around the L.A. blogosphere

Photo by willdude2005

Remember ERSNews? Of course you do. Last summer, the city was captivated by a mayoral affair and investigative journalist Eric Longabardi was working overtime splashing tabloid-style exclusives on his website, annoying Mayor Villaraigosa’s press office, and seeking comment from the elusive Mirthala Salinas. He even knocked on the door of her Studio City condo, to find only a barking dog. The interview wasn’t meant to be.

Then, this past Saturday, she showed up at Longabardi’s doorstep:

I opened the door and there she was. Mirthala, the woman I had been seeking to talk with for so many months. I had tried her on the phone before, but she never called me back. She was there with her new husband, a man named “Yani” who I also recognized. More

What have become of L.A’s libertarians? Indeed, Los Angeles’ physical and political landscapes lend themselves to anti-authoritarianism, and yet, L.A. BlogFathers Matt Welch and Ken Layne have moved on. Others seem to have lost their edge. Joseph Mailander cites an interesting theory as to why, and offers reflection:

Recently I read an interesting passage in my summer reading, Francois Cusset's French Theory, which stated that the small-l libertarians won the battle for the Internet early on, but they lost the subsequent wars when their zeal for self-gratification steadily turned the place into a mere amusement park. Indeed, my experience is, every time you try to bring a modicum of gravitas to the Internet, you get booed off the virtual stage: amusement and insouciance is what the people want, as they wanted only bread and circuses in a previous Imperial time. More

Zuma Dogg reports that Councilmember Jack Weiss has missed the 10-day deadline to respond to a public records request. Stay tuned. Things tend to get interesting when people stonewall these.

Say, have you ever wanted to ask Councilmember Dennis Zine, Father Greg Boyle, Sheriff Lee Baca, and Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky what they’ve been reading this summer? Well, Celeste Fremon did the heavy lifting for you here and here. Friday, she promises District Attorney Steve Cooley, among others.

If you’ve been looking for a three-minute crash course on the history of the Daily News, Ron Kaye has one for you. And, if you’ve never hailed a cab before, Curbed LA links to a convenient guide. After all, starting today it’s legal—in Hollywood and Downtown.

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Ass Clown Award nominations for the month of July

That time of the month again, here are your nominations for the coveted "Ass Clown Award"

1. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
2. Ryan Seacrest
3. Councilman Greig Smith
4. Councilman Jack "A" Weiss
5. The "Zorro Marxist"
6. California State Government
7. Councilwoman Jan Perry
8. CRA
9. "Old Gray Hag on Spring Street...for sale"
10. Grand Avenue Project
11. Don Quixote and friends
12. "Bloggin Burros" **by special request**
13. DONE's "Bong Water" Kim ** by special request, LOL!!**
14. LAPD Chief Bill Bratton **refer to comments above**

As always your thoughts and "bloggin comments" are greatly appreciated.


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Another Villaraigosa Pal In Trouble

Yet another US Senator former Presidential candidate friend of Mayor Villaraigosa is in trouble.  Last week it was John Edwards allegedly having a secret rendezvous with his alleged mistress before jetting off to a meeting with our alleged Mayor

This week it's none other than Massachusetts Senator John Kerry-Heinz who was caught by TMZ allegedly partying with some young co-eds in Beantown. Of course like the folks who spun that Mirthala didn't exist the Kerry troops are spinning that this was a "chance encounter." 

And indeed this was the very same John Kerry-Heinz who Antonio Villaraigosa said was a "strong leader and national hero with solid character."

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The Los Angeles City Council?

Today, the Los Angeles City Councilmembers spoke on ITEM NO. (43)

ITEM NO. (43)

relative to the ongoing labor dispute between the Community Labor Environmental Action Network (CLEAN) Carwash Campaign and carwash business owners.

Recommendation for Council action:

RESOLVE to strongly endorse the efforts of both the CLEAN Carwash Campaign and the carwash business owners to reach a just and decent agreement for all parties involved in this labor dispute, calls on both parties to enter into bargaining sessions and URGE both parties to continue their negotiations in earnest until a satisfactory agreement is reached and to help facilitate this effort, OFFER City Hall or other City property as a neutral location for the parties to meet and negotiate.

Some of the people asking the City Council for help today needed interpreters. They couldn't speak English. A few of the Councilmembers spoke in Spanish, so I can't tell you what they said. But, I can tell you that the people at the car wash are supported by all of the Councilmembers. They voted unanimously.

The City Councilmembers are giving Employers who hire Illegals and Illegals who work at this carwash, the City Hall building to, "meet and negotiate"?! They are helping both parties work things out.

My Son, Jamiel Shaw, II, an American Citizen, was MURDERED by an illegal alien gangbanger! We can't even get the City Council to even talk about Jamiel's Law! They're not offering us the City Hall to meet in. Not one of the Councilmember's will bring Jamiel's Law up for discussion. It's not right. We are treated unfairly and we are completely ignored. Where's the unanimous help and support for American Citizen's in the City of Los Angeles, in San Francisco?

I'm not targeting all illegals. But I am targeting illegal alien gangbangers and the actions of the Los Angeles City Council. The Councilmembers will not talk about Jamiel's Law on the Los Angeles City Council floor. Yet they openly support illegal immigrants, on the Council floor?! It's NOT RIGHT!

Jack Weiss: Quorum Breaker!

Who'd have guessed that (sometimes) City Council Member Jack Weiss was Missing In Action during Item #1 at yesterday's Council Meeting after he, Tom LaBonge, and Herb Wesson disappeared after the earthquake break.

Quorom Breaker!!!
The discussion was the critical, massive increase of the trash fee hike. Apparently it was not important enough for "Candidate" Jack Weiss to be in attendance. (He's infamous for coming into Council chambers for role call and disappearing). And this guy wants to be City Attorney! Pshaw!
Let's not fool one another. Weiss is an arrogant absentee who was told to skedaddle by tens of thousands of his own constituents during this current term. He doesn't want to be a City Councilman any more, if he ever did at all; let's not jeopardize the city by rewarding him with the job of City Attorney.
So there's no better time than to revisit our Jack Weiss MIA haiku:
Where's CM Jack Weiss?
Craves City Attorney Gig.
But rarely shows up
Was nearly recalled.
Weiss has disdain for us all.
He should go away.


Hard this morning to overcome the slumber induce by the 80 MINUTE FILIBUSTER from the lips of the "COUNCILMAN LAST SEEN SPEAKING AS JOSE HUIZAR".

In what was billed as a "TOWN HALL MEETING", the "COUNCILMAN LAST SEEN SPEAKING AS JOSE HUIZAR" went on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on, about what a great future Boyle Heights residents could look forward to if only they were still around after the likes of the Fifteen Group, USC, MTA, and CRA complete their grand plans.

Those hoping to still have a place to live were residents from Wyvernwood and tenants of E.L.A.C.C. (who walked out out halfway through the filibuster) They showed up in the hundreds to state their concerns.

Hundreds of Wyvernwood residents marched to the meeting site at the Puente Learning Center. They expected to have 12 minutes to state their grievances about the proposed development plans by the owners of the Wyvernwood Complex, the "Fifteen Group". But the "COUNCILMAN LAST SEEN SPEAKING AS JOSE HUIZAR" was not taking any Q and A from the audience. Rather, he selected to comment on written questions that were turned in by members of the audience.

This led to two testy exchanges with audience members who quickly were descended upon by Huizar's Thought, err General Services Police. Elena Popp and the "COUNCILMAN LAST SEEN SPEAKING AS JOSE HUIZAR" got into a exchange over the supposed agreement to let Wyvernwood residents speak for 12 minutes about their concerns. This ended with Popp being called a liar by the "COUNCILMAN LAST SEEN SPEAKING AS JOSE HUIZAR".

Later after meeting, Huizar attempted to speak to the Wyvernwood protesters outside the meeting location where they had been protesting but he was met with comments in spanish that caused a hasty retreat.

A fitting ending to evening for the "COUNCILMAN LAST SEEN SPEAKING AS JOSE HUIZAR", so out of touch with the constituents.

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Wednesday Hotsheet for Hot Streets

“You’ve been getting a deal for 50 years from this city”

How’s that for representation? The words of Councilmember Greig Smith as City Council voted 11–1 yesterday to increase the tax you pay for garbage collection to 140% of the current rate. Councilmember Dennis Zine was the sole dissenter. Incredibly, Smith nuked his own argument prior to the vote:

The council and mayor led people to believe that [the trash tax] was only to pay for police. That was never the case.

Exactly! The trash tax money has no particular budget allocation. Therefore, garbage collection has never been subsidized any more than tree trimming, street sweeping, and graffiti removal ever have been. Trust that we’ll replay Smith’s words the next time he’s counting on—oh, I don’t know—your vote.

Most of us felt the magnitude-5.4 quake that struck near Chino Hills yesterday, but did you hear that loud sucking sound an hour later? That was wind leaving Mayor Villaraigosa's sails as Wolf Blitzer asked, “where were you when this earthquake struck?” “Well,” the mayor replied, “w-where I am right now … is in London.”

Memo to Mayor V: the next time you need a vacation, consider Los Angeles as your destination. No, really—it's a great place! You really ought to visit sometime; we have beautiful beaches, not to mention world class cultural institutions, dining, and shopping. As an added bonus, you'll be right here for the next seismic event, be it another temblor or MacArthur Park Melee.

Back downtown, City Council voted 12–0 yesterday to prevent new stand-alone “fast food” establishments from opening in a 32-square-mile area of South Los Angeles. Councilmember Jan Perry’s proposal has been criticized and mocked from coast to coast. Jan Perry claims she’s been called a Nazi, a fascist, a Stalinist, and fat, but the only comment that hurt “was the fat one.” Jan Perry is clearly not listening.

In other news, the city streets continue to heat this week. A murder mystery in Century City, some crazy dude driving 110 miles per hour the wrong way at the 5–405 interchange, and former Los Angeles city commissioner Leland Wong is in big trouble. Today will be 70s at the beaches, 80s inland, and 90s in the Valley. Stay cool, stay safe, and blog away dum-dums!

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

"W." a film by Oliver Stone

Here's the teaser....

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Haiku: Wong's Wang Wrung

Here's an afternoon haiku for those who are tired of the media losin' it over a nothing earthquake:

Bonaventure girls.
Hot "Rub & Tug" services.
For Leland & Troy.

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5.8 shaker hits at Chino Hills. I was on the phone with a client who said "I have to go; there's an earthquake!"

Where were you? Did your cell phone work? Nope, mine didn't. Is LA ready for a bigger one?

From the LA Times:

The quake interrupted a meeting of the Los Angeles City Council, causing the 27-story City Hall to sway just as Councilman Dennis Zine was criticizing a plan to increase trash fees.

"Earthquake! Earthquake! We've got an earthquake," said Zine, as members of the audience began to cry out. "It's still happening."

From Ron Kaye:
Quake hit at 11:45 a.m. and reported to measure about 5.8 on the Richter Scale, which is quite strong but probably not deadly. It lasted about 30 seconds with strong rolls that intensified and was centered in the Chino Hills, 29 miles east of L.A. City Hall.

Council members made a few jokes and continued to talk nonsense. Tom LaBonge finally suggested they discuss evacuation plans to save their lives in case there's another temblor.

From Fox11:

After the shaking subsided, the Los Angeles City Council opted to take a 10- to 15-minute break during its regular Tuesday meeting, but City Hall was not evacuated. The building's elevators automatically shut down and remained inoperable at least an hour after the quake.

A lengthy public hearing by the council on trash fees was interrupted by the earthquake.

City Councilman Dennis Zine was speaking in opposition to the fees when the quake shook the council chamber.

"Well with those earth-quaking comments I'm going to vote no on this," Zine said. "My comments already shook the earth so I think I'm done."

With Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on vacation and City Council President Eric Garcetti attending naval training, Greuel is the acting mayor. She left the council meeting to receive a briefing at the Emergency Operations Center.

"This building is very safe, don't panic," Councilman Greig Smith said after the shaking stopped.


A Theatre Grows in NoHo

Workers seen beginning construction this morning on a new retail/office center anchored by a Laemmle Theatres multiplex near the North Hollywood Metro Station. This development is the final piece of the CRA's "NoHo Commons" project which has brought several hundred apartments and shopping including the legendary HOWS Market to the NoHo Arts District.

(Photo by Jack Witt)

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Coro Alumnus to be Obama's VP Pick?

Both Politico and the Washington Post are suggesting that Coro alumnus, Tim Kaine, may be selected as Senator Obama's running mate. Although Coro alumni have served in every administration since President Eisenhower, this would be the highest level public servant for the venerable leadership development organization. Just weeks ago, he was considered a dark horse in the Veepstakes but his stock continues to rise.


The Virginia Governor went through a Coro training program in Kansas City and is part of a national network of more than 10,000 leaders in local, regional and national/global businesses, nonprofit organizations, governmental agencies and elected public office. Now in its sixth decade after launching in San Francisco, Coro has grown to include centers in six cities: San Francisco (1947), Los Angeles (1957), St. Louis (1972), Kansas City (1975), New York (1980), Pittsburgh (1999), and a new Executive Fellows program in Cleveland (2005).

Kaine, an early Obama supporter whose biography nicely dovetails with the Illinois senator’s, "ranks very, very high on the short list," said a source who has spoken recently to senior Obama aides about Kaine. - Amie Parnes and Ben Smith, Politico

Picking Kaine would seem to satisfy many considerations Obama has recently laid out. During an interview with Tom Brokaw on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday, the presumptive Democratic nominee said he was looking for someone who shares his desire to change Washington politics.

Kaine, a former Richmond mayor, would bring outside-the-Beltway credentials to the campaign. The relationship the two share would seem to fit with Obama's desire, as he said, for someone "with independence -- who's willing to tell me where he thinks, or she thinks, I'm wrong." And the governor probably would bolster Obama in Virginia, where the campaign is making an all-out push. - Michael D. Shear and Shailagh Murray, Washington Post

Coro is a nonprofit, non-partisan educational institute supported by foundations, corporations and individuals. Coro alumni in public office (from California) include U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, Congressman Jerry Lewis, state Senator Alex Padilla, California Secretary of State Debra Bowen and others. Coro Southern California's 2nd Annual Summer Family BBQ will be held next month on August 17th in America's suburb, the San Fernando Valley.

(Full Disclosure - I am a consultant with Coro Southern California and also a former staffer and program participant).

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No politics in new Gang Contracts???

Lets play "Connect the Insiders"...........

Refer to the list of "Advisory Board Members" for the "Legacy LA Project".

Experts on violence intervention: Dr. Astrid Heger, Violence Intervention Program, and Belinda Smith Walker, Girls and Gangs; on redevelopment: Dalila Sotelo, Community Redevelopment Agency; on education: State Superintendent Jack O’Connell and Paula Crisostomo, Occidental College; on environmental sustainability: Larry Smith, Executive Director of Northeast Trees; on community issues: Olivia Rodriguez, Los Angeles Commission for Women; and on marketing: Will Caperton y Montoya, Department of Cultural Affairs.

Steering Committee:
Sister Hilda Alfaro/Church Youth Leaders Santa Teresita Church; Leo Alvarez, Hazard Park Advisory Board; Alma Garcia, Ramona Gardens Community Service Center; Martha Gonzalez, LA Voice; Santa Teresita, Ramona Gardens Community; Scott Johnson, Hazard Park Advisory Board; Monique Moncayo. Hazard Park Teen Program; Tammy Membreno, Barrio Action Youth & Family Center; Veronica Pagan, Murchison Street School – LA’s Best Program and community resident; Hector Verdugo, Homeboy Industries – former Ramona Gardens resident; Raul Estrada, Executive Director, El Centro de Ayuda; David Galaviz, Director Community Outreach, USC Civic and Community Relations (former LHNC President); Sesshu Foster, Bravo Medical Magnet High School

Legacy L.A. staff includes two co-directors for the project, former executive director for the Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock, Jenny Krusoe, who has led the project from its inception, and Maria Lou Calanche, a former resident of Ramona Gardens and currently a professor at East Los Angeles College.

........and who was one of six groups awarded gang intervention contracts by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the "General Secretary of Gang Intervention, Jeff Carr"???. From today's LA Times piece by Phil Willon,

The mayor's office recommended Childrens Hospital Los Angeles for the gang-prevention program in the Cypress Park area; Community Build for the Baldwin Village area; Los Angeles Metropolitan Churches for the Florence-Graham area; People Coordinated Services for the Newton area; El Nido Family Centers for the Pacoima and Foothill area; and Violence Intervention Program for the Ramona Gardens and Hollenbeck area.

......and some from the "cut and paste archives",

Special Interest = Legacy LA Project. One should ask David Galaviz and Eileen Sanchez (she works for VIP) why they attempted to allocate $3,000 to a Project that they have a vested interest in.

The same ingrate "Ellen Sanchez" who is reported to have told the Advisory Board that they should be happy that they are getting something for their community.The same David Galaviz who told the Advisory Board that restoring the Wetlands at Hazard Park would conflict with USC's building program.
July 03, 2008 11:06 AM

Yeah, David and "Ellen" should remember that the meeting in question was video taped. "Ellen" should also remember the responses to her "kind comments".BTW, alot of people are catching on to the scam that is Legacy LA. Once again a "Non-profit" set up to benefit friends of the Mayor and Huizar.
July 03, 2008 11:26 AM

David Galaviz told a community member that their grant request to USC for "wetlands related" activities was rejected due to conflicts that a restored "wetlands" would have with USC's Capital Projects.
July 03, 2008 12:33 PM

....and this,

Earlier in the year, this body voted to support the controversial "Las Villas Project" on the corner of Broadway and Thomas (old Rose Eye Center location). Later on the same night that Councilman Ed Reyes announced the end of the "Las Villas Project", NC members proposed giving money to support a community event for Jenny Krusoe's "Legacy LA Project". Yet at no time did any of the USC employees or Violence Intervention Program staff member Eileen Sanchez recuse themselves from voting, and not cite that their respective employers have a vested interest in the successful completion of the "Legacy LA Project".

So the notion that the Mayor was removing politics from the awarding of gang intervention contracts is a complete farce.

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Tuesday Hotsheet for Hot Streets

“I don't trust any police department to investigate itself”

Heat on the streets! The media sure know how to play Representative Maxine Waters against Southern California. Listening ad nauseam to her batty sound bites yesterday on KFI, you’d think nothing else was worth reporting in this town. By now, you know the story: Inglewood officer-involved shootings have killed three people in three months; Waters wants a federal investigation; yadda yadda yadda. Is anyone demanding a federal investigation into the San Francisco program that released a dozen felons to the streets of San Bernardino County? Or, into how AK-type assault rifles are finding their way into our communities? Or, perhaps, into the apparent lack of oversight that broke L.A. Bridges?

Speaking of which, Jeff Carr, the city’s gang czar has resurfaced. He and Mayor Villaraigosa recommend awarding half-million-dollar contracts to six anti-gang programs, effectively replacing L.A. Bridges:

“This is arguably the most pressing social problem in the city of Los Angeles. What we’ve been doing for the last 20, 25 years hasn’t been working. So we’re trying to do something different.”

Surely, we can question the mayor’s motives in hiring out-of-towners to handle such menial tasks as reversing multi-generational gang culture, fixing transportation, and city planning, but I will credit Villaraigosa for starting fresh (amazingly, there remain councilmembers who support sinking more money into L.A. Bridges). That said, L.A. Bridges should not be swept under the rug. An audit and investigation are long overdue.

The cool dudes over at LAist have documented a successful journey down the L.A. River by kayak. The purpose was to prove that the river is navigable, and thus, a river that can be “revitalized.” Blogger Zach Behrens declares, “we need this river for the people!” but with special interest man Ed Reyes’ involvement, isn’t this akin to Tom LaBonge’s Griffith Park for the people?

Finally, Los Angeles Downtown News threw a party last week to celebrate the winners of its annual Best Of. Those in attendance included many of our favorites; LaBonge, Greuel, and Reyes. According to reports, a highlight came when Councilmember Jan Perry… well, just click for yourself.

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Monday, July 28, 2008

Guess which L.A. City Council Member..........?

Guess which Los Angeles City Council Member was perusing Mayor Sam late on Friday afternoon to see what was on the blogosphere's collective mind?

Jack Weiss? Yeah right.

Tom LaBonge? Are you kidding?

But if you guessed Zman, Dennis Zine, you'd be correct.

ZMan responded to our haiku of frustration about the lack of synchronized traffic lights. They don't seem to exist. And if they do, the city is doing nothing to promote them. Isn't that SO Antonio Villaraigosa?

After a long day of meetings and B.S. Friday presentations in City Council, Zine was actually in touch with real L.A. citizens and their serious concerns. ZMan says that if you're crossing the Valley, "Victory Blvd from Topanga Cyn Blvd to North Hollywood" is where you'll find a great strip of synchronized traffic lights.

SO, we're calling on all L.A. City Council Members! Please drop us a note at BlueStereo@GMail.com and let us know where the synchronized lights are in your Council District.

Thanks again, ZMan!

(Please visit http://www.noblehaiku.blogspot.com/ for concentrated commentaries, usually about Los Angeles.)

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Monday Hotsheet

Lord Broad Promenade

Would you pay $1.9 million for 2,500 square feet in the Eastern Columbia building? How about $5 million for 3,500 square feet in the Biscuit building? Okay, but what if I were to throw in a private elevator? Downtown penthouses are difficult to sell, in part, says the L.A. Times, because the downtown luxury market faces “hefty competition” from projects in Century City, Westwood, and Beverly Hills. I submit that when a Century City penthouse sells for $47 million before the buyer has even seen the view, there is no competition. Let’s judge downtown on its own merits.

Mayor Villaraigosa was all set to deliver a political speech at the Human Rights Campaign gala dinner last Saturday in San Francisco, when he bailed out last-minute. Spokesman Matt Szabo claims the speech would've required the mayor to cross a picket line. Joseph Mailander offers spot-on analysis of this latest calculation in Villaraigosa’s quest for higher office:

The Mayor's team typically hears pitches only canines can hear when it comes to identity politics. This latest fiasco-for-a-few is a case-in-point as to how far the Mayor's team is willing to go to troll for handfuls of Governor votes.

Three downtown parks, three critiques. L.A. Weekly savages the proposed design for Civic Park (pictured above), while the Downtown News heaps praise and pity on Vista Hermosa Park and Pershing Square, respectively.

Finally, 2008 and 2009 are shaping up to be Years of the Pig. Mayor Villaraigosa’s phone and trash taxes, Bill Rosendahl’s parking meters, Janice Hahn’s gang tax, and the M.T.A. sales tax. Now, for you unincorporateds, a Measure S redux; a new and improved L.A. County phone tax that includes text messaging and a trigger to tax internet services, if, and when, the federal ban sunsets. The kicker? You guessed it—it’s billed as a tax cut. Yet another, in a growing list of reasons, to support self-determination for East Los.

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

On Assignment

Just a quick note to let all my loyal fans know that the old, dead Republican Mayor will be "on assignment" for the next two weeks. I may drop in from time to time but the stalwart blogging burro team will keep things going here. Please try to be nice to them. Happy days!


Doug McIntyre Interviews Danielle Bologna & Jamiel Shaw, Sr.

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Villaraigosa is "unaware." Again!

In the San Jose Mercury News, Mayor Villaraigosa's spokesdeceiver Matt Szabo says that the Mayor was "unaware" that his attending an event was going to ruffle some feathers. So, as we hope he did with Mirthala, the Mayor pulled out.

If that doesn't sufficiently perplex you on this last Sunday morning in July, one of Villaraigosa's other spokesdeceivers, Janelle Erickson, must take a lot of antacid with the lies she spews.

In Beth Barrett's article in today's Daily News about the gas guzzlin' ways of City officials, Mizz Erickson said that "the Mayor is leading by example" on this issue. How could anyone reach that conclusion?

If the Micro Mayor is still driving his gas guzzling GMC army tank, how is that "leading by example?" Is she at the point where it doesn't matter what she's being asked, and just rattles positive sounding comments off of her notecards?
We already know that Villaraigosa has no conscience. But the next time anyone wants to get Szabo or Erickson a birthday gift, send them some Maalox or Mylanta, because they must have an upset stomach from doing this for a living.

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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Haiku: Nacht van zaterdag!

From your friends at http://www.noblehaiku.blogspot.com/

Nacht van zaterdag

op zondag is geen probleem

voord bestrijding van!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Priorities (Girl Dub)

Ladies, this is priceless:

John Mc"Crypt Keeper"Cain is up to his Old Man Grumpus ways again.

Back on July 9, he was asked whether he thinks it's fair for insurance companies to cover Viagra for men, but not birth control for women. Here is his response.

Watch and be afraid! BE... VERY... AFRAID!!

Yes, this is the same man who in 2003 voted against forcing insurance companies to cover birth control.

And this is the same senator who claimed in 2007 not to know whether condoms prevented sexually transmitted diseases.

Ladies, I'm sorry; I just don't know what to tell you -- Keep 'em crossed?

(Your fingers, that is... that insurance companies will cover birth control for all women and not just pills for the erectile dysfunctional boys)

Well, it's good to know where John McCain's priorities ...ahem... stand.

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Haiku: Where are the damn synchronized traffic lights???

Mayor squanders cash.
Just sync lights and buy buses!
Stop torturing us!!!

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Priorities Redux

I guess we have to ask again.  What are the priorities of the Council and the Mayor? Banning plastic bags? Paternalistic protection of poor people who Jan Perry feels are too stupid to cut down their consumption of Big Macs without government intervention? Gladhanding for Barack Obama? Keeping hosebag Britney Spears safe from paparazzi?

In the meantime the real problems continue and yet another child is murdered as a result of gang violence.  Crime and violence is getting worse in this city and it's time to do something about it.  Without a safe city, no other issues can be succesfully addressed.

Ron Kaye, stop fighting duplexes and take a look how violence is ruining this city especially in places far from your disturbed suburban bliss.  It's time to pass Jamiel's Law (as a start) and it's time for the leadership in this city to stop burying their head in the sand and get serious and honest about crime.

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Mayor Sam's Hotsheet for Friday

Bad news for the Mayor and the LAUSDA poll commissioned specifically by the Mayor finds that at least 53% of Angelenos feel the City is on the wrong track.  It's even worse for the School Board as 73% of those surveyed feel the Board is doing either a poor or fair job managing the school district.  The poll also shows significant support for smaller schools and charter schools.

The MTA Board of Directors voted to place a sales tax increase on the November ballot in order to pay for Westside transit projects.  Board Members Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich and Duarte City Councilman John Fasana were the only two members to vote against the tax.  County Supervisor Gloria Molina abstained and County Supervisor Don Knabe was absent.  The measure must now receive the approval of the County Board of Supervisors and then a 2/3 vote Countywide in order to go into effect.  Significant opposition to the tax - which primarily benefits only West Los Angeles neighborhoods - exists in eastern and northern cities in the County which could derail passage.  Additionally, a number of transit activists were either disappointed at items not included in the measure or were outright opposed to the spending plans.

City officials are afraid the state may turn to tapping into local funds to help balance the state budget.  The City of Los Angeles is heavily lobbying against such a move considering the fiscal instability of the City at present.  However, representatives from the Govenor's office as well as legislative leaders say there are no plans to go after local funds at present.  But don't expect the Mayor won't use this as another reason to raise local taxes, uh, fees.

If you're looking for something fun to do next Tuesday in Boyle Heights, you can attend Councilman Jose Huizar's town hall meeting featuring the Councilmember and various City department heads.  6:00 p.m.., Tuesday, July 29th at The Puente Learning Center in Boyle Heights.

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What Does San Francisco and Los Angeles Have In Common?


608 Signatures turned in, as of: July 24, 2008

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Haiku: 25 Years Ago Today

from http://www.noblehaiku.blogspot.com/

Too much pine tar on his bat.

Yelled like Zuma Dogg!!!!!

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Mayor Sam's Hotsheet for Thursday

The Mayor's Transit Tax Scam goes before the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's board of directors Thursday.  This is the first step to get on the ballot in November.  Though significant opposition to the tax is gaining steam in the San Gabriel Valley it may not be enough to sink the measure at the MTA board.  However without the active support of politicians in other parts of the County, it will be difficult to get countywide support for the measure which primarily benefits the Westside.  If the MTA board approves the measure it still must be approved by the State Legislature and a number of local legislators are beginning to oppose the measure.

The Department of Water and Power has residents in the Yucca Valley upset over plans to build electrical transmission lines from the Salton Sea through their communtiies to Los Angeles. Residents feel the Department is steamrolling through their community.  At a recent community meeting, DWP General Manager H. David Nahai was booed by residents.  KPCC has a story on the issue with audio of the residents booing Nahai.

A former Los Angeles City Planner is cashing in on his years of experience and connections to join one of LA's most highly placed political consulting firms.  Robert Sutton who spent 36 years with the City is merging his small consulting firm with Berghoff/Englander and Associates.  You may remember that BEA is the firm that controversial former city official Marcus Allen went to work for.  One of the principals in the firm is longtime LA rainmaker Harvey Englander, uncle of Council Member Greig Smith's Chief of Staff Mitchell Englander and a lobbyist for many public contractors in Los Angeles.

The City has been generating more revenues than it has in years.  Yet they can't seem to find the funds to fix the aging Reseda Park Pool and City officials say the favorite recreation facility may close permanently.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Haiku: Jerry Brown in Arnold's Crown?

from http://www.noblehaiku.blogspot.com/

Gavin & Mayor:

Jesters posing as leaders.

Brown for Governor.

Haiku: No Choice Jan Perry


No Choice Jan Perry:

"I'll choose your food. Chew it, too!"

Thinks poor equals dumb.


96% of murder warrants are for criminal aliens in the country illlegaly as is 78% of LA's most wanted list.  A 16 year old was killed during a planned gang fight near Los Angeles High School last week.  Two suspects are accused of trying to kill an off-duty police officer in San Pedro last Friday night.  The Bank of America in Van Nuys was robbed again Tuesday.

Despite that, our City leaders in LA have priorities.  They're banning fast food in South LA.  The police are arresting photographers near Britney Spears' home.  The City Council voted to ban plastic bags Tuesday. 

Yet the politicians on our Clowncil save for one won't touch Jamiel's Law and won't even admit to the crime problems we have. 

It's all about priorities.  So if you're a photographer and see Britney carring a Big Mac in a plastic bag, be sure not to take her photo.

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Mayor Sam's Hotsheet for Wednesday

Something funny happened Tuesday on the way to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and former North Carolina Senator and Presidential candidate John Edwards as they were about to announce yet another $100 million "affordable" housing trust fund - The National Enquirer reported that Edwards was allegedly "caught" visiting his mistress and love child at a local hotel. Ooops! Looks like it won't be Obama-Edwards!

Education officials in California are coming closer to admitting the staggering numbers of school dropouts across the state and it points out the need for serious reform to the education system. Even Mayor Villaraigosa admits that the problem is understated. However the Mayor's politically oriented reforms are too little too late. What's needed is radical change including more charter schools, the breakup of big districts like LAUSD and vouchers.

Candy Spelling, the widow of TV mogul Aaron Spelling (The Mod Squad, Charlie's Angels, Beverly Hills 90210 among many others) is downsizing her home. Mrs. Spelling has moved from her 56,000 square foot 123 room mansion in Holmby Hills to a 16,500 square foot condo on the top two floors of a Century City high rise. Total cost = $47 million.

The Daily News' Dennis McCarthy has the touching story of an 85 year old veteran who volunteers every day to deliver newspapers and good cheer to veterans at the Sepulveda Veteran's Administration Hospital in the San Fernando Valley. Now Steve Palmer - who fought in World War II - is fighting a new battle: leading the charge against plans by the West LA VA to develop part of it's land for real estate development.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The LA River Can Be Navigated!

We mentioned yesterday that the LA River goofballs want to turn the storm channel into one of the world's great rivers and to do so they must prove to the Army Corps of Engineers that it can be navigated.  One of our readers has found the proof that you can pilot the LA!

Ironically as I type an episode of The Beverly Hillbillies is airing on TV Land.  The Hillbillies took a visit to the Los Angeles River to go fishing.  Jed and Granny found the river "just awful" and "pitiful." Granny said that Los Angeles was so ashamed of it's river they "went and poured concrete all around it!"

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City Pimps Out Teens to Neighborhood Councils

Here's another way for the City to get back some of that $50,000 they dole out to every Neighborhood Council - pimp out teenagers to the local advisory panels. Neighborhood Councils who want a teen intern for the summer can pay the City $1500 for 120 hours on an $8.00 an hour teen.

The average burden for an employee who receives no health care and vacation is about 23% for most employers. Typically a temporary agency has a bill rate of about 1.40 of the hourly wage. That means Councils are paying the City approximately an extra $1.50 to $4.00 an hour for the teen workers than if the Councils went the private sector route.

It's great to see the City coming up with creative ways to earn revenue!


Mayor Sam's Hotsheet for Tuesday

Department of Water and Power General Manager H. David Nahai was booed and heckled at a recent community meeting.  No, this wasn't in Koreatown where the lights went out this weekend but in a Riverside County community where the DWP wants to build power plants near the Salton Sea. The Riverside Press Enterprise said E. Wastewater Pluribus was at the mercy of a "boisterous and sometimes angry crowd." 

Goofy Council Member Jan Perry's fast food ban made the pages of the Wall Street Journal.  Perry who believes that low-income Blacks and Hispanics in her District are incapable of making healthy food choices and therefore wants the City to make those choices for them.  As political consultant Alan Hoffenblum told the Journal, "It's very much the example of a nanny state."

Zuma Dogg runs a long screed provided him that accuses City Council Member and City Attorney hopeful Jack Weiss of everything from kidnapping the Lindbergh baby to being the third shot on the grassy knoll.  Most likely the odd piece which also calls on Zuma to appear before the City Council claiming to be the grandson of Jake Gittes, Jack Nicholson's character from the film Chinatown was composed by supporters of Weiss opponent Carmen "Nuch" Trutanich.  I haven't decided whom I'm supporting for this post but do we want someone named Nuch as City Attorney?  Bob Hertzberg you going to run?

The fantasy that the LA River is a waterway like the Danube, Mississippi or even Cosumnes continues.  River activists think that by paddling canoes down the storm drain they can convince the Federal Government the LA is a real river.  This is a combination of idealist hogwash and developer greed - if taxpayers can pay to clean and green the "river" it opens up the land surrounding it to development, much of which with government subsidy.  I'm all for cleaning up the storm drains and where appropriate building public parks or other open space around them but lets stop kidding ourselves.  We aren't going to see steamboats paddling along Riverside Drive anytime soon.

 Los Angeles Fifth District Council Candidate Robin Ritter Simon has set up a Facebook page for her campaign.  According to the candidate her 17 year old son encouraged Ritter Simon to do so and created the page for her.

Big doins in the sleepy little town of San Fernando.  The postage stamp sized municipality completely surrounded by the City of Los Angeles - one whose largest employer is the LAUSD - is the scene of a political brawl to end all brawls.  A group of residents are seeking to recall Councilmembers Jose Hernandez and Julie Ruelas for among other reasons because they voted to approve a controversial development headed by a developer who allegedly bounced a $50,000 check to the city.

Rising gas prices and other factors are driving an increase in bicycling across the city.  Most drivers don't know how or refuse to share the road with cyclists and the problems are piling up.  Here's an interesting look at the situation and what the City is doing about the bike issue.

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Gavin Newsom futures fall sharply

thepartycow, Gavin Newsom, 18th November, 2005 (via Flickr)

San Francisco Chronicle:

The man charged with killing a father and two sons on a San Francisco street last month was one of the youths who benefited from the city's long-standing practice of shielding illegal immigrant juveniles who committed felonies from possible deportation, The Chronicle has learned.

Edwin Ramos, now 21, is being held on three counts of murder in the June 22 deaths of Tony Bologna, 48, and his sons Michael, 20, and Matthew, 16. They were shot near their home in the Excelsior district when Tony Bologna, driving home from a family picnic, briefly blocked the gunman's car from completing a left turn down a narrow street, police say.

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom reportedly blames the N.R.A. for the killings. SFC

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Mayor Sam's Hotsheet for Monday

Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters writes about Mayor Villaraigosa's bait and switch with his garbage tax increases for "more police."  With respect to this and the many other tax hikes the Mayor has planned for you Walters opines that we "would be better served if they (politicians like Villaraigosa) were upfront about their purposes, rather than constructing elaborate fictions that imply voters are too stupid to understand reality."  Gee, ya think?

The new Beckford Parents blog reminds us why a potential $10 billion LAUSD construction bond on the November ballot (the fifth such in the last decade) must not be passed: Belmont Learning Center.  It's laughable that the Mayor is calling this latest dollar sinkhole a "reform minded" bond.  Let's put the same energy into breaking up LAUSD, creating more charter type schools while holding parents, students and educators accountable.

Under the Nahai regime at the Department of Water and Power it sure seems like there are a lot more random power outages throughout the City.  This time, nearly 10,000 customers were without power in Koreatown on Sunday. In the meantime, the rate hikes keep coming.

Writer Sandra Tsing-Loh dressed as the Statue of Liberty talking about her menopause may have been amusing for some of those in attendance at Ron Kaye's Bastille Day Storming of City Hall but I don't know.  There is definitely a place and a call for a protest movement in Los Angeles, however to gain traction I believe it needs a central rallying point and needs to be done somewhat without theatrics or maybe a different type of theatrics.

Is superstar pop diva Britney Spears on the way back to good looks and good health? I don't know, I'll let you decide.

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Mayor's Filipino Faux Pas

On Saturday, the Mayor hosted one of his "Day of Service" events at Los Angeles City College. The scheduled guests included LA Laker Jordan Farmer, Slash of Guns & Roses, and actress Gina Rivera.

Also in attendance was a group of Filipino-American Veterans who had come to be recognized for their heroic efforts in several U.S. Wars.
They had donned their old uniforms and were anticipating a group photo with the Mayor, even bringing along members of the Filipino press to cover the story for publication back in the homeland.

Our sources are reporting that they never got that photo, and wound up leaving the campus very disappointed. "It was sad and disturbing, you could see how excited they were, and how quickly that changed", said one attendee.

And just why couldn't the Mayor take a moment to pose with this honorable group?
Sources say that the Mayor was having too much fun emceeing the festivities, schmoozing with the celebs, and, as you'll see below, dancing with the stars....

In all fairness, the Mayor did give the veterans a shout out from the stage, but this group had come expecting a photo for their archives, and to share with family and friends.


Observations on a Sunday Morning

I had a great time appearing on John Phillips' show on KABC Radio Saturday night.  John was great to hang with and the folks at KABC treated me first rate with my name on the lobby marquee and setting me up in the "green room" prior to going on air.  Dodger baseball keeps John's Saturday night show off the air for a few weeks, but you can always catch John each morning on McIntyre in the Morning.
On the way back from KABC a stop at The Original Pantry restaurant was in order for dinner.  Their salmon is incredible! I didn't know that the restaurant (owned by former Mayor Richard Riordan of course) no longer provides the fresh vegetable platter it had for decades.  This is part of the same nanny state nonsense that took the mustard off tables at The Original Philipe's and the bacon off the hot dogs on Latino vendor carts.  With respect to the first two for sure those traditions went back nearly a century and no one died.  Why all of a sudden now do we need government to protect us?
If you want to run for Mayor against Antonio Villaraigosa this is your issue: crime.  Crime and the perception of rising crime is growing in Los Angeles.  The folks in the Valley and parts of the Westside are pissed about development and that's a strong issue.  However crime cuts deep and is the one thing that will impede the progress of the city on every level.  The Mayor has produced nothing in terms of the crime issue; continuing to raise taxes while showing no real visible on the street increase in LAPD strength.  The candidate that can successfully take on this issue - including embracing Jamiel's Law without making it a racial issue - has a real shot at beating the Mayor.

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Mayor Sam's Hotsheet for Sunday

Mayor Villaraigosa is aruging with LAUSD officials over how many kids are dropping out of the District's schools.  Whether it's 33% (what the District says) or 50% (what the Mayor says) it's tragic. And considering the Mayor's battle is one not to help the kids but one for money and power one can only wonder when the leadership will arise to take our local schools out of the hands of the miserable LAUSD as well as the  Mayor's.

Council Members Wendy Greuel and Jan Perry want DASH bus services to run late downtown.  With the growing population downtown and the attendant eateries, shopping and entertainment venues that are opening more short haul public transportation in the city center is a good idea.  However the City doesn't have the money to provide the service.  So rather than creating "public-private partnerships" which are breeding grounds for fraud, waste and abuse, why not change the law to allow private operators to operate jitney service Downtown.  Market demand will create the service that is needed.  And ultimately it could become a model for the rest of the City.

The transit tax may be in trouble.  The Mayor and County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky want the funds to be spent on Westside transit projects.  The problem is that the tax has to be approved by 2/3 of voters countywide.  Leaders from other parts of the County, led by County Supervisor Mike Antonovich want a piece of the pie.  Folks in Lancaster aren't really interested in paying for the "Subway to the Sea" and residents in the San Gabriel Valley have transportation needs of their own.  Might need to cross this one off the list.

Speaking of taxes, last week we gave you the list of taxes, fees and bonds politicians want you to vote for on the November ballot.  Get ready to add another one.  The County of Los Angeles has their own version of the City's Proposition S, taxing your cell phone calls and text messages

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Real Men Vote for McCain: Top 10 Reasons Why

By Lou Aguilar

1. Barack Obama spent 20 years sitting in church while his preacher and others bad-mouthed the United States of America. Navy pilot John McCain spent five years being tortured in the Hanoi Hilton, and refused a chance to walk out ahead of fellow POWs with more seniority.

2. Obama wants to cut and run from Iraq regardless of conditions on the ground or future consequences. McCain took on the president and secretary of defense in demanding more troops for Iraq, a policy that is inarguably winning the war. He also has two sons who fought in Iraq.

3. McCain supports nuclear power. Obama backs wind energy.

4. Obama wants restrictive gun control because only economically depressed middle-Americans "cling to God and guns." McCain unwaveringly supports the Second Amendment.

5. McCain has deviated from his party's conservative base on several occasions (McCain-Feingold Bill, Gang of 14, McCain-Kennedy Bill, opposition to torture). Obama has voted the left-wing line every single time, and been designated the most liberal Senator in Congress.

6. Obama is willing to meet with hostile state leaders like Ahmadinejad and Hugo Chavez without preconditions. McCain will set conditions first, talk later - maybe.

7. Obama is married to a bitter, angry lawyer who became "proud" of her country for the first time this year. McCain's wife is a beer heiress who founded an organization to provide MASH-style units to disaster-torn world regions. Did I mention that she's a beer heiress?

8. Obama supports higher taxes for a government-run nanny state that will coddle all Americans like babies. McCain trusts people to spend their less-taxed money however they wish.

9. The name John McCain sounds like "John McClain," the action hero played by Bruce Willis in the manly Die Hard series. "Barack Obama"sounds like the kind of elitist villain John McClain has to outwit and defeat.

10. McCain is endorsed by Clint Eastwood, Sylvester Stallone, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Obama gets support from Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon,Oprah Winfrey, Tom Hanks, and every weenie in Hollywood. Plus, Susan Sarandon has vowed to leave the country if McCain gets elected. Case closed.

Lou Aguilar is a fiction writer and former Washington Post video critic, Washington Times television critic, and USA Today reporter.

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