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Friday, December 04, 2009

Outtakes from CD 14: "Weird Times on Broadway", 710 Tunnel News and More

Good morning from the "cut and paste barrio" of "Ciudad de Los Angeles".
As in any initiative that originates from the bowels, correction, office of CD 14 Councilman Jose Huizar, one can expect a turbulent process, mixed with absence of communications and surly staffers.
According to the Los Angeles Garment and Citizen, there are some "big bumps".
DO PLANNERS SEE A BROADWAY WITHOUT MEXICANS?: The evening of November 24 saw Broadway teeming with its usual crowds of Latino/Americans who work, shop or own businesses along the thoroughfare. The meeting of the Bringing Back Broadway initiative— which is being spearheaded by City Councilmember Jose Huizar—drew an entirely different crowd over near 5th & Spring on the same evening, when “final concepts for the design of Broadway’s public right of way areas” were shown off. There were lots of European/Americans at the meeting, with design consultants and public officials among the crowd of 50 or so. The swell set seemed to get a kick out of the plans for a makeover of the Broadway streetscape—wider sidewalks, fancy signs, etc. The proposal also indicated that the folks pushing the makeover don’t care much for Broadway in its current form, even if it is one of the busiest streets around, serving tens of thousands of local shoppers and workers each day. Exactly how do these urban planners and assorted wannabes see Broadway and the folks who work and shop there now? Bringing Back Broadway from what?
This should remind the keen CD 14 observer of the Fifteen Group plans for the Wyvernwood Apartment complex that could see potentially thousands of low iincome families displace. Plus for anyone who was at the Boyle Heights filibuster, errr, Townhall meeting, they saw how Wyvernwood Tenant Advocate Elena Popp, was treated when she attempted to speak up about the Wyvernwood issue.
Back to Broadway, we bring you "Jessica Jabberings" (which according to those who have dealt with her, is nothing new).
JESSICA’S JABBERING: Huizar staffer Jessica Wethington Mclean got huffy during the November 24 meeting, claiming that an item in this column a few weeks back erred in reporting that Ezat Delijani hadn’t made anything more than a verbal commitment to restoring the old theaters his family owns on Broadway. Apparently Delijani did send a letter to the board of trustees of Bringing Back Broadway, saying that he would “restore and rehabilitate” the Palace and Los Angeles theaters to make them “accommodating for regular public use.” That appears to be enough for Huizar to push the city to shell out $56 million or more to build a parking garage that would hold the potential to bring big benefits to Delijani’s holdings in the area. Yet Delijani’s letter appears to leave enough room to drive a legal truck through. What is “regular public use,” anyway? Is a letter to the board of the Bringing Back Broadway legally binding in any case? Wethington Mclean didn’t respond to an inquiry seeking clarification on those points (see related story, “Immigrants Carry 1/3 of Local Economy,” Local Heroes, home page; Commentary, “Beware of False Choices...” home page)…
The Los Angeles Garment and Citizen is not the only news organ to express concerns about the Bringing Back Broadway initiative. Los Angeles Times columnist Tim Rutten had this to say in his missive, which he invokes comparisons to the movie "Blade Runner".
In the film, those "losers" were represented as Asian, Latino and other non-European immigrants. It's a cheap, xenophobic thrill that lent the film some of its appeal in an era made anxious by mass immigration.
It's also an association that inescapably comes to mind when you read the "vision statement" for the proposed Broadway redevelopment. You can search it from top to bottom and never find the word "Latino." What makes that odd is that Broadway has been for decades one of L.A.'s most vibrant shopping streets, though one patronized almost exclusively by working-class Latino immigrants.
Apparently they're invisible to the street's aspiring redevelopers. The authors of this "vision" intone the phrases "eclectic cultural amenities" and "diverse retail options" like a kind of mantra. It is, of course, a euphemistic way of saying, we intend to obliterate Broadway's essentially Latino character -- which has persisted for far longer than the two-decade interlude of glitz in the 1920s and 1930s that the planners hope to revive.
Reading these, one can see some more huffing and puffing in Jessica's near future.
** From Concerned Neighbors of El Sereno regarding the 710 Tunnel Portal

Dear Neighbors,
Thanks to all of you who supported our efforts to get the Tunnel Portal moved out of our residential neighborhood. With the dedication of many volunteers, we gathered almost 900 signatures over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. We also succeeded in getting LA City’s Information Technology & Government Affairs Committee to approve the Resolution at their December 1st meeting. In addition, LA32 Neighborhood Council unanimously approved an action item to support the City Council Resolution. Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council has also issued a document in support of the Resolution.

IMPORTANT: The Resolution will not be presented to LA City Council tomorrow, December 4th as we were previously informed. It will not take place until sometime next week. We will continue to gather signatures on the petitions up until the date of the meeting. We will keep you informed of the new date as soon as we hear. Thanks to all of you who helped gather signatures, attended the ITGA meeting, signed our petitions, and who support this effort.
"Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability,but comes through continuous struggle."- Martin Luther King
** If you need an diversion from politics, I would check this out Saturday.
Book Signing by National Best-Selling Author at Galco’s Only Los Angeles Business Featured in “The Mom & Pop Store” by Robert Spector A discussion and book signing by nationally-renowned author Robert Spector will take place at Galco’s Soda Pop Stop, 5702 York Blvd. in the Highland Park community of Los Angeles on Saturday December 5, 2009 from 12 p.m. noon until 2 p.m.
Galco’s is the only independent business located in Los Angeles County to be featured in “The Mom & Pop Store: How the Unsung Heroes of the American Economy Are Surviving and Thriving.” Spector will autograph and discuss his latest book and why Galco’s is the perfect case study to illustrate how integral independent businesses are to the national economy and that they form the foundation of what makes a neighborhood a community. John Nese, owner of Galco’s, will give a first-person account of the tenacity it takes to be an entrepreneurial business pioneer and how soda pop saved a 100-year-old “mom and pop” business. The book is available for purchase at Galco’s. The event reception will feature a soda sampling and with each book sold a $5-off coupon for any purchase of a case of soda.
The Mom & Pop Store is a personal celebration of independent neighborhood shops, and an appreciation of the men and women whose entrepreneurial vision, passion, persistence, and hard work create the social and economic fabric of our communities.
Galco’s Soda Pop Stop is a unique store that celebrates the freedom of choice and the American spirit of entrepreneurialism. Select from over 450 different sodas in glass bottles and half-forgotten candies (as well as 500 different beers available in the store only).
Just minutes from either downtown Los Angeles or Pasadena, Galco’s is located in the historic Highland Park community of Los Angeles at 5702 York Blvd. (323) 255-7115 www.sodapopstop. com
Your thoughts..............

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Blogger Michael Higby said:

agreed. if they think they're going to bring back Raymond Chandler's Broadway or something like that they're so mistaken.

Do we really need to turn this vibrant, amazing street into another Grove or Americana at Brand or Old Town Pasadena? There are better choices for that in LA such as Valley Plaza in North Hollywood which is the other side of vibrant (dead).

This points to the folly of government lead development and CRA projects. So much waste, fraud and abuse. And this time they're trying to fix something that doesn't need to be fixed. Broadway is wonderful as it is, maybe it would be nice to have the theatres back, but the community that is there owns it.

If the property and business owners want to lead a revitalization let them. But please get idiots like Jose Huizar out of it.

December 04, 2009 9:18 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I am pretty accepting of the posts made by RS-in-cd-14, but I am now starting to side with the critics-

These are too long and jump around in thoughts upon a very loose theme.

The editing of the column, especially proof reading, would be a good idea, too.

But for content, too many weakly-based characterizations and so on. is "50" a number that qualifies for a crowd? The staff of Huizar alone could account for half that number. Not that big, but the anglo-euros being a big deal?

I think that the Jessica angle is one point that gets muddied up in the whole slew of quoted passages that make a job of checking for actual authority being taken in context.

Everone knows Huizar panders to special interests and tries occasionally to delve into the actual "public service" side of the job as CM every once in a while and most of the time he mucks that up. The MMD for example: After the 2007 moratorium was beginning to get some heavy "hardship" usage, Jose proposes the cancellation of the "loophole" and all hell broke lose in applications.

Everyone tried to get in on the profits and get their feet in the door before any ordinance could be effective, and they did.

Unintended consequences. But "trying" was almost an afterthought for Jose. What about the Elephant Hill outcome? Good or bad?

Too many reasons to crticize but not all of the same weight. Here we see all the real and imagined criticism that make reading all this a chore with minimal payoff.

Easier to read the replies and imagine what the text of the posting was about.

In los angeles, waiting to see if we ever get a budget that doesn't obliterate libraries, street cleaning, trash pickup and other "usual" public services that other cities manage.

December 04, 2009 9:21 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I have a building on Broadway and I attended a lot of these meetings. There was defintately a crowd, probably twice as many as 50 at that meeting the other night. Easily 100 people or more when I was there about 6:30pm. Whoever wrote this is making assumptions about things they don't know about if they think this is about making Broadway a mall.

They're not talking about "scrubbing" away the diversity of Broadway with Bringing Back Broadway. There are a couple of owners - one who lives in a different country and doesn't understand Broadway even though he has property here - who think Broadway needs to be a mall with the same crap (Old Navy, Gap, etc.) you can find at all the other malls, but luckily for us Huizar is not listening to them.

I have personally heard Huizar disagree with people who suggest we should make Broadway into another Grove or Americana. That's not what they're going for and that's why the owners support them. Anyway the city doesn't have control over what retail comes or doesn't come. I have retail all over the city and believe me, the retailers decide where they're going to set up shop.

Livening up the whole area and making it a good safe place to spend time helps everyone. Have you ever walked on Broadway after dark? Have you ever been waiting for a bus and almost been knocked over by freeway fast traffic speeding through there? Have you seen the condition of most of the street? It's a disgrace and finally someone is trying to get the city to do something about it.

I don't think they have any intention of making Broadway another generic mall. But it does need to be cleaned up repaired and preserved and from what I have seen with my own eyes and have heard with m own ears, that's what their trying to do.

December 04, 2009 10:35 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Redd Spit.

Do you get all of your postings here from the NELA Yahoo list (the faux "Craig's List" of cushy, cranky NIMBY hillside homeowners with their heads in the clouds above Highland Park), or do you sometimes actually go to other Internet sites?


December 04, 2009 10:39 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Solomon at 10:02.

The few-dozen NIMBY scaremongers of the eastside, helped along by old guard S. Pasadena broken 710 record, have been painting a completely irrational, 19th century picture of what "could" that's fueled paranoia like nothing much else in recent L.A. history

Think "creaking, crumbling Knotts Berry Farm goldmine train ride meets Irwin Allen disaster movie from the 70s, complete with 50-fuel-truck pileups and explosions underground" and you'll get some idea of why the uproar.

City councilmembers basically filed a motion just to shut up the ignorant crybabies, many of them nearly illierate old women who are afraid of their woen shadows. The tunnel was never coming anywhere near most of them, and if it ever does get funded, will come complete with so many f-ing safety precautions that they'll probably only allow one semi to pass through the 4 mile expanse every 30 minutes.

December 04, 2009 10:52 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Jessica of Bringing Back Broadway "huffy"? Say it isn't so. There's nothing like an "urban planner" with no such background pontificating to building owners and merchants "what they really need along Broadway." This is going to be a disaster.

December 04, 2009 1:20 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Thanks for making the "NIMBY" - 200 feet under point, solomon.

I guess to be more precise we'll need to call them: N-U-M-B-Ys

("Not UNDER My Back Yard!")

OR, ever BETTER: "NUMBY-skulls"

As for the South Pasadena types, they'll oppose a future suggestion to complete the 710 in the 25th century using "Star Trek" transporter technology that scrambles the molecules of driver and vehicle at the end of the current 710 and re-assembles them in West Pasadena near the entrance to the 210.

They say it'll cause CANCER in school children along the way, and claim the flying molecules will distract them from their homework.

December 04, 2009 1:20 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

this is hilarious. another one of mayor sam's misunderstandings of the facts. hilarious. not even worth trying to correct the problems here.

isn't the owner of that throw away rag garment whatever in cohoots with some developers investing in property around downtown? ms, your time will be better spent checking up on this editor guy, whatever his name is, i've been hearing lots of shady things about his relationships with developers.

December 04, 2009 3:02 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

CD14 spinner, not building owner, in the house.

December 04, 2009 4:43 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

What is the position of the other elected officials about the 710? Portantino has Northeast L.A. and Pasadena in his district, and I don't think either place wants it, but who does want it? I guess who is behind the whole thing?

December 04, 2009 5:42 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Jessica "jabba the hut" mclain is a joke and jose is even a bigger joke fir hiring her. She gets paid $125,000 year to work on one project that will displace all of joses famly?

December 04, 2009 6:16 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

You guys are right. Let's leave Broadway just the way it is, a cesspool of filth and crime where a once worldclass theatre is nothing but a storage bin for broken TVs and crappy old boxes just waiting for a fire to start, where you hope for a taco stand to come by and waft away the stench of urine and where immigrant workers are exploited for slave wages in sweatshops housed in the tops of dilapidated buildings.

Yes, let's get all romantic about how "great" it is down there and how the proud wonderful Broadway "community" will be washed away if it's cleaned up. Let's do nothing to turn this situation around and let's deride and ridicule the people who try and do something to help prevent a hundred years of history from drowning in a cesspool of crime and filth.

You buncha morons.

Broadway Fake ID sellers

Broadway Sweatshop

Broadway Bathroom

Cameo Theatre

Broadway Retail

Broadway Hallway

Broadway Street Signs

December 04, 2009 10:49 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

10:49 AKA Huizar staffer, you get a citation for endangering others with your wreckless, completely over the top rhetoric.

December 05, 2009 2:17 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I thought the city was on the verge of bankruptcy but Huizar is giving money away to other countries. OUR TAX DOLLARS. Huizar is doing more for other countries then his own district and he thinks he's going to be re elected next year?? This is from his newsletter propaganda

Councilmember Huizar, along with Council President Eric Garcetti and Councilmembers Ed Reyes, Tony Cardenas and Richard Alarcon, pledged a total of $10,000 in aid. By some accounts, Los Angeles is home to the second largest Salvadoran population outside of the nation’s capital

As the former President of the Los Angeles Unified School District, promoting literacy is a key issue for Councilmember Huizar. This week, alongside Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Councilmember Huizar represented the City of Los Angeles at the Guadalajara International Book Fair

December 05, 2009 6:09 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I am 10:49pm - I am not a Huizar staffer but I am a Mexican who used to love Broadway as a kid, and unlike a lot of you, I know what Broadway is really like today. I didn't take those photos but I posted them here because they show the real Broadway left to rot.

It is not the same place it used to be when we were kids, or even teenagers when it was a special place filled with all kinds of interesting things for your family to do and feel safe doing and anyone who says otherwise is the one with over the top rhetoric.

In any other city this place would have been cleaned up years ago. Half the shit that goes on down there is illegal or unsafe or both. It's about time. I say go Huizar, clean it up, then THIS Mexican will go back to Broadway again.

Until that, keep your filth and crime. If I want to visit a third world country, there's one couple of hours away.

December 05, 2009 10:17 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

6:09, As for going to Guadalajara so our local officials including Tony V can "get some culture," both the Weekly and L A Observed have features showing some of our "artists" down there, like Jonathan Gold the food writer who somehow is considered an "artist" or cultural icon or something.

Big photo spread: the local delicacy of big fat fried grasshoppers on a pile of guacamole. Gold, his wife Laurie Ochoa and Turenne are raving over it. I'll keep my own ideas of fries, thank you.

Any city where fried grasshoppers is the culinary pinnacle is suited only for the likes of Gold who also loves pig tripe and intestines in every shape and form.

Anyone able to document what alleged financial benefits we've gotten from LAST year's participation in this book fair? Sounds more like a city employee paid vacation to me.

December 05, 2009 12:35 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

6:16: "fir" is spelled "for". you always had that problem in your typing. it is surprising you even have a job given your inability to spell and your propensities to wreak havoth wherever you go. it'll all catch up to you.

December 07, 2009 11:02 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Mr. V. Marquez,
You have a request from a concerned technocrat, please refer to entry: Dec.07, 2009 7:20 p.m. at

December 08, 2009 6:35 AM  

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