Saturday, January 31, 2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
The Republican National Committee has elected former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele the first black Republican National Committee chairman.
Steele was the most moderate candidate in the field and was considered an outsider because he's not an RNC member. He beat back four challengers, including incumbent Mike Duncan, who was forced to withdraw from the field midway through the balloting in the face of a lack of support.
Old dead, Republican Mayor Sam approves this move. Steele was an excellent choice. Watch out Pelosi!
But - as the bourbon drinking blog cheers - "take a city like say Los Angeles where the mayor actually demonstrates not only compassion but that he's in touch with the city and responds like you would expect a leader to respond."
Excuse me while I barf!
Lets hold in the vomit while we allow Mr. Nola to continue: "Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced that the city and county have hotlines available for people in desperate straits, including job centers, counselors and suicide hotline workers. 'Know we are waiting with a helping hand and an open heart,' he said."
Villaraigosa's comments were made at his latest photo opp concerning the sad case of Ervin Antonio Lupoe who upon being terminated by his employer allegedly shot and killed his wife and five children before turning the gun on himself.
Oh this guy did not do his research!
Council Member Bernard Parks has stepped down from his spot on the Board of Directors for the Metropolitan Transportation Agency after four years on the panel. Likely replacements include Council Members Tom LaBonge, Bill Rosendahl, Herb Wesson and Jose Huizar. The loss of Parks from the Board removes a decent voice of fiscal prudence in favor of free spending politicians who dominate the MTA now.
When the government witholds taxes from your paycheck every week, you are essentially giving them an interest free loan for up to a year. As well you are usually loaning them more money that what your total tax liability is and hence upon filing your tax return you receive a refund that the government has you convinced is free bonus money. It gets even worse - now State Controller John Chiang has ruled you'll get your money back when he gets around to it because the state is broke. Call Chiang and give him a piece of your mind at (916) 445-2636.
Programming changes at KABC talkradio and though the station is heavy on syndicated national programming, the latest round of alterations actually add one hour of local coverage a day including giving Doug McIntyre - who does extensive coverage of local politics - an extra hour a day as well as extending long time local host Al Rantel to a five hour shift during the evening.
George Garrigues, publisher of the Palms-Village Sun has a new book out covering the history of the eclectic Westside community. Not sure if it's another America's Suburb but Los Angeles's The Palms Neighborhood chronicles the community's start as a resort for tony 19th century Angelenos who wanted to escape the heat of Downtown.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Many emails have been circulating on Section 6.2 of the MOU as to whether 14 days advance notice to DWP is applicable to Measure B. The Oversight Committee did not initiate clarification because it is already a ballot initiative. Additionally, DWP denies having any accountability for Measure B. The DWP gives full credit to the Mayor and to the City Council.
In my opinion, NCs that have not voted to oppose Measure B, should decide for themselves if they wish to extend DWP a courtesy notification by adding one day to the normal 72 hours, as advance notice to the DWP Liaison.
As Chair of the NC/LADWP Oversight Committee, I seek the continued implementation of the MOU through established MOU channels. Likewise, should the DWP wish to change the Document, there is an established MOU procedure. Disagreements with DWP's interpretation of the Document and lack of compliance will continue to be brought before the MOU Oversight Committee and submitted to the LADWP.
Soledad S. Garcia
Chair, NC/DWP MOU Oversight
NC/DWP MOU Oversight Committee
"Former Daily News reporter Berth Barrett shows up in the LA Weekly with astory so DN-ish ‹ 'the San Fernando Valley is emerging as the poster childfor middle-class flight' ‹ it even quotes David Fleming."
Uh, actually Barrett quoted Daniel Flaming, an expert on LA's business climate. Not sure if he's an economist but he's not David Fleming, the Wizard of Universal City.
Keep up the good work Kevin. The kleptocracy loves, the kids, not so much.
Update: Kev with his pants down corrects it:
My bad: It's Daniel Flaming! LA Weekly
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
He should also debate Zuma Dogg, David Hernandez, Phil Jennerjhan, Bruce Darian and the rest all here on Gilligan's Island.
Oh sure we know what some of you are going to say. Especially Moore supporters. But the crux of Moore's argument four years ago was that he should have been included in debates with candidates Jim Hahn, Villaraigosa, Richard Alarcon, Bob Hertzberg, Bernie Parks, et al. And he was right.
So you can't be consistent with an argument that some animals are more equal than others and cut out candidates especially Zuma Dogg who has received nearly as much media coverage as Moore as well as Hernandez who has a following. And for sure, as tough as it is for you some of you, the remaining candidates should be included.
Democracy is not pretty.
But, he is not authorized to speak or write for me or the Oversight Committee; he is not a member of the OSC Board or a Board Member of a NC. He has written to DWP as an individual. Procedures for communication between the MOU Oversight Committee were not followed by the DWP Public Relations Administrator.
Relative to the MOU 6.2. It is our opinion that it does not apply in this case because Measure B is not an LADWP issue. Measure B came from City Council and should Measure B pass, the Charter amendments that the Council has had prepared, relieves DWP from the responsibility of accepting, rejecting or modifying Solar plans, business decisions and management decisions. The Ordinance is contained in Measure B. The only Workforce will be the DWP IBEW #18.
DWP General Manager did not know about the Solar Initiative until about six months ago. The DWP Commission President and Board were not informed until three months ago. The President of the Board of Commissioners, Nick Patsaouras resigned in October 08 upon being informed that DWP had been bypassed.
Under normal conditions, energy and water plans are within the purview of DWP. The Department plans for significant issues; they go through the DWP Committee, Board process and provide notification to the public and NCs. Neighborhood Councils are provided the opportunity to give input before a decision leaves the Commission and on to City Council Committees and Council of the Whole. Measure B did not go through this process.
Whereas it is true that it should be an LADWP issue, the fact is that Working Californians (IBEW DWP Union) brought the plan to the Mayor and to members of the Council. President of the Council Garcetti, Chair of Energy and Environment /Energy Committee Perry and Councilmember Greuel moved the solar motion on October 15, 2008. Three weeks later, at the November 7th Van Nuys Council meeting, the Council moved that the Solar Measure be placed on the March 3, 2009, ballot. The Working Californians have Public Relations Consultants handling the outreach and promotion of the Measure. This is not being done by DWP. LADWP CANNOT ADVOCATE FOROR AGAINST MEASURE B.
Recall that had it not been for the LA Times keeping abreast of the City Council solar plan actions, none of us would have known of their intentions to control thethe process and ownership of the Plan. Measure B does not belong to DWP, but to the City Council.
This is my message. Neighborhood Councils have their procedures which are followed accordingly. Measure B is no exception. The Brown Act must be followed to agendize and vote. It is recommended that Forums on Measure B have both sides. For information on Measure B, visit http://votenomeasureb.com/
The San Fernando Valley Business Journal reports that Fifth District Councilmember candidate Adeena Bleich received the backing of the lobbyist group sponsored by the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.
Some say Zuma Dogg was out of control, others say he wasn't but apparently Mr. Saltsburg's commentary on the City's Rent Escrow Account Program was making Council President Eric Garcetti a little nervous and hence he ordered him removed from Chambers. Since I've seen Zuma Dogg boisterous on occasions that Garcetti ignored him so it makes one wonder what the issue was here. And according to witnesses Zuma only got animated after Garcetti shut him up.
Rick Orlov on Villaraigosa has no need to face his rivals. Best quote comes from Ken Draper, "the lack of competition is driving down the role of activists."
Mayor Villaraigosa isn't the only local Mayor to have an alleged extra-marital affair. City of Ontario officials are investigating allegations by attorney Loredana Nesci that Mayor Paul Leon arranged for a tryst at the Double Tree Hotel in Ontario with city contracted employee Diana Huizar (any relation?). Mayor Leon was quoted as saying "it hurts him to see friends who have not forgiven him."
Astroturfing here by those who wish to continue building the controversial elephant exhibit at the LA Zoo and keep poor old Billy the Elephant trapped there. Hmm, who would have an interest in doing that?
Chatter is up again that an NFL team is coming to LA and it could be the San Diego nee Los Angeles Chargers. Though we've heard it before, this time the Wasserman Media Group is involved and these guys seem to have the chops to make the impossible in sports possible. Stay tuned.
Family Guy producer Seth McFarlane decides not to accept an offer from Britney Spears to participate in a proposed bit on the show slamming his dogged rivals, South Park producers Matt Stone and Trey Parker. South Park had recently aired an episode mocking both Spears and McFarlane's show.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Where to for the Super Bowl Councilman Huizar??
Three years ago, rumors had the "COUNCILMAN LAST SEEN PANDERING TO THE SPECIAL INTEREST AS JOSE HUIZAR", fling off to Florida to spend Super Bowl Weekend as a guest of the "Fifteen Group" Real Estate Company. This firm own by the Fink Family is seeking to convert the Wyvenwoood Apartment Complex into a multi-story condo development.
Thus with the big game just days away, lets add to the hype and give some odds on what Special Interest will buy, errrr, be bless with the Councilman's persona on Sunday.
1. Elephant Hill Property Owner: Odds 5-2
Has 8 Million Dollars to lavish on a great Super Bowl after judge ruled against the "COUNCILMAN LAST SEEN LOSING LAWSUITS AS JOSE HUIZAR".
2. Southwest Society of the Southwest Museum: Odds 10-1
This group of vendidos and vendidas our ready to party after today's PLUM on the Griffith Park Historical Designation. But one should look for press release from former Mayor Sam Award Winner Eliot Sekular.
3. Wyvernwood Tenant Supporter Elena Popp: Odds 5000-1
Can football help to "break the bread" between these two protagonists in the Wyvernwood Controversy?
4. Henry Casas House: Odds 30-1
Huizar and Casas can do a Super Bowl PSA on how not to treat a woman when in an agitated state.
5. El Mercado Stupor Bowl Party: Odds 7-2
Thanks to the efforts of the "COUNCILMAN LAST SEEN SUPPORTING LIQURE LICENSE AS JOSE HUIZAR", the Mercado can thank the Councilman while hordes of drunken revilers piss on the community.
6. Fifteen Group: Odds 20-1
One can always go back for sloopy seconds right Councilman?
7. Legacy LA "Super Day Bash" ***(with fifty secret, special guest): Odds $1000-1
Maybe you can also get your own non-profit for a $1,000 dollar donation.
..........and lastly, the "First Annual CD-14 Townhall Super Bowl Bash": Odds "Not likely"**
** Who would want to attend a Super Bowl Party where your comments and questions have to be written, listen to a three-hour filibuster on what a great football fan the councilman is , and then get kicked out by "GSP bouncers for attempting to cheer??
Your comments and thoughts greatly appreciated.
Alger has taken it upon himself to send out email missives to Neighborhood Council members all over town warning them to take heed of notification requirements that many feel don't even apply to Measure B and some that would even prevent some Councils from discussing the measure (based on their schedule) or be forced to consider special meetings, something most board members would not relish.
In the meantime Draper has a hissyfit over some Neighborhood Council leaders' advocacy and the sacred need to protect a "Memoradum of Understanding" negotiated some time ago between the DWP and various NCs in Los Angeles. Joseph Mailander writing at Street Hassle was correct to say that Draper's protocol concerns "sandbagged" the No on B efforts.
The truth is that if the "Memorandum of Understanding" is going to be used in an effort to silence debate and intimidate a portion of NC board members who are reluctant to take on the City, then it's not worth the paper it's written on and NCs should consider something else.
By the way didn't Neville Chamberlain once sign a "Memorandum of Understanding?"
Vote to Officially Carve Up Griffith Park for Special Interests Expected Today
LeBong 'negotiated' the deals in the fifteen minutes before the City Council's Planning and Land Use Management Committee moved the Griffith Park Historic Monument application forward with those last minute changes as part of the package. The duplicitous parties included the Griffith Trust, the Autry, DWP, and the Department of Recreation and Parks.
The Griffith Trust, chaired by the great-grandson of the larger-than-life historical figure, Col. Griffith Jenkins Griffith, is the organization who began the process to have the entire park designated a City of Los Angeles Cultural Historic Landmark. In an LA Weekly article about the need for the application, about Los Angeles' s most visible icon Van Griffith was quoted as saying: "It’s not a theme park. It’s not a movie studio. People don’t want to see it turned into Disneyland ..."
Yet even Griffith himself drank LeBong's koolaid, agreeing to exclude huge chunks of the park in the time prior to the City Council's Planning and Land Use Management Committee (PLUM's) January 12th vote for as yet unknown reasons. Since the changes were at the last minute, there was obviously no public comment on them and there was nothing in writing for anyone to examine, including PLUM committee members (Reyes, Weiss, Huizar) themselves.
During the entire PLUM hearing, wannabe City Attorney Jack Weiss never bothered to even sit up from his perpetual chair slump while Reyes seemed amused by public concern that the park remain whole in the application, in spite of the fact that more than 15,000 people -- 15,000 VOTERS -- signed a petition to safeguard Griffith Park. The evidence pretty much leads one to the conclusion that this so-called last minute wrangling was pre-planned, with the PLUM Committee in on the deal.
As for why Van Griffith allowed LeBong to have his way with his family's gift to the citizens of Los Angeles is anyone's guess, including Griffith's. From the LA Weekly:
The chafing question now, though, is whether the unwieldy preservation plan, jam-packed with City Hall–esque exclusions and qualifications that almost nobody can decipher, will accomplish what homeowners and activists have fought for — a Griffith Park protected forever from chains and large-scale development. Or is the door still open to traffic-generating restaurants, aerial tramways and theme hotels?
“I’m not sure myself,” says Griffith “Van” Griffith, who has spearheaded the defense of the mountainous 4,218 acres, a crown jewel among the nation’s urban parks. “It seems like a kind of gray area floating in limbo. If they wanted to put aerial trams in the zoo, I don’t know what would happen.”
What does this mean for Griffith Park?
As for the clowncilmember who admits to idolizing Walt Disney, the opportunity to formalize such zones of development opportunity in his personal back yard must be LeBong's greatest wet dream ever. So what has been magically 'excluded' without public process from the Griffith Park Historic Landmark application?
Biggest Holes Awaiting Development:
1. Griffith Park land leased to the Autry Museum for the criminal sum of $1 per year.
No matter how you slice it, the Autry Museum is simply a lessee of City park land. However, the Autry behaves as if they own this public land. The Autry's plans for '....their land', quoting Latham and Watkins' cave dweller Bill Delvac read as Disneyland meets the Wild West. Gene Autry's little monument to the fictitious history of the television cowboy is a private non-profit corporation that in 1985 was given a land lease of 10 acres of Griffith Park in a backroom deal proffered by Tom LeBong's predecessor through the Board of Referred Powers, which -- deja vu! -- may one again be raised from the dead to approve the Autry's current expansion plans. The merger agreement between the Southwest Museum Corporation and the Autry's Griffith Park museum promised that the art and rare artifacts displayed in the museum would stay in the SW's Mt. Washington location, keeping the City's oldest museum viable.
Expansion plan phase 1 and 2 nearly triples the size of the Griffith Park facility and takes physical control of the Southwest Museum's billion dollar inventory, while reducing the SW Museum to a community college classroom. A 100' tower (in violation of current zoning), garish advertising, an expanded event venue with another alcohol license, and a parking garage swallow up the remaining green space around the Autry.
2. Toyon Canyon Restoration Area.
In the 1950s, Los Angeles made the decision to shove a municipal garbage dump in the heart of the park, filling in Toyon Canyon with millions if not billions of tons of refuse.
The impact of such an action has been almost beyond mitigation. It destroyed habitat, buried a number of natural streams that provided water to the plants and animals in the area, polluted the ground water and air via the millions of truck trips to and from the facility, and created a methane-filled mountain of potential landslide that today must be carefully groomed and maintained to keep it from sliding onto a popular picnic area below. In fact, there is evidence to suggest that the Bureau of Sanitation, tasked with this maintenance, does not have the correct diameter of pipe installed to handle turbulent-flow runoff at the level needed in Southern California. If true, ignoring the huge environmental devastation this landfill brought to the local ecosystem, families with children at the Mineral Wells Picnic Area may be in physical danger on a regular basis.
Of the many possible, the one true mitigation measure promised to the citizens, both human and animal, was the restoration of the canyon -- now a mountain -- to natural habitat. The official Toyon Canyon Landfill Closure Plan calls for exactly this. Closure and restoration of a landfill to usable land takes decades. Today, partway through the official closure process, endangered bird species such as the shy meadowlark have already returned to Toyon.
In conversations between members of the press and Tom LeBong's office, regarding Toyon, representatives from CD 4 have reiterated the councilman's mounting frustration at "...letting all that land go to waste." To the controversial 2005 Melendrez draft of the Griffith Park Master Plan, LeBong has added full-sized baseball fields with lights, parking, and cable cars running from either the Zoo or the picnic area to the top. "Angel's Flight meets Dodger Stadium", if you will. Although LeBong has had to distance himself from the Melendrez draft due to major public backlash, he still chafes at all that wasted land up there.
Expect these little projects to be back on the table after today.
Dumping things like landfills and City Clowncil-kitch seems to be the ongoing fate of Los Angeles' most iconic piece of land. When the residents of Silverlake decided they wanted to keep their reservoir above-ground where they could enjoy the view and 'passively' recreating around its perimeter, the below-ground tanks planned for Silverlake were unceremoniously dumped into Griffith Park without any public process. "Headworks", lying next to the main equestrian entrance into Griffith Park, had been slated for trails and an equestrian picnic area. The land where DWP will be burying part of Los Angeles' s water system is next to the 134 freeway and LA River and is highly polluted by MTBE. DWP authorities promise the tanks will not leak or be contaminated by the ground pollution. However, the DWP plan calls for directing part of the LA River through the property and back out into the channel.
No comment so far on just how much MTBE if any will be added to the river itself.
Monday, January 26, 2009
In case you missed it over the weekend: "Fraud and Disorder."
Interesting piece in the Times about our March 3rd elections. The Former Fishwrap of Record laments the lack of choices in most of the races or even the lack of a contest. While they say they often agree with the assessments of how fouled up City government is that lesser known candidates make, they often can not find much more than that to make a endorsement of an alternative candidate. So they wind up endorsing the incumbent and realize it often makes them look foolish or inconsistent. Still the Times in conducting courtesy endorsement interviews with all candidates are hoping that perhaps someone will prove them otherwise and therefore will take more time than usual with their process. As well, beyond the usual interviews, the Times plans to hold the open vetting process of Measure B the City didn't and will rely heavily on the comments of it's readers on the controversial measure in coming to a conclusion.
Now that President Obama has signed an executive order that the terrorist prison camp at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba be closed; the next issue is where to put the detainees (which is why I say that Gitmo won't be closed anytime soon; at best there will be modifications to the process there). If you think we have NIMBYs here on billboards and super-sized houses wait until some Congressman gets word that Al Queada is going to be stored in his district. Still Congressman Bill Young of Florida has a great idea where to send them - in Nancy Pelosi's district at Alcatraz.
Tom Hanks has stirred controversy in the Gay community for apologizng for his part remarks that members of the Mormon faith were "un-American" for their support of Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriage in California. A statement released by the actor-director stated that "Everyone has a right to vote their conscience; nothing could be more American. No one should use 'un- American' lightly or in haste. I did. I should not have." Even more interestng reading in the comments at gay blog Towlerroad including claims that Hanks was motivated by the coming release of his film "Angels and Demons" to "Tom Hanks is a dork" to a remark that Mormonism was the "Scientology of the 19th Century."
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Local pols are seeking to gain over $300 million in Obama era money for "infrastructure" projects in the San Fernando Valley. No word what those projects are but no doubt the lobbyists and contractors are lining up to built projects as cost effective as the Orange Line Busway and tbe Belmont Learning Center, to just name two.
If you really want to know what's going on at the OLD GRAY HAG ON SPRING STREET don't read what the Westside White Guy writes, be sure to visit Ed Padgett's excellent Los Angeles Times Pressmans 20 Year Blog, run and penned by the people who print the paper. WWG has some inside buzz as to the possible moving of the Calendar entertainment section to the main news section but according to Ed the speculaton in (Anglo)LAObserved is all wrong.
If you buy something in another state the state of California expects you to pay a "use tax" on the item. The state, hungry for revenue like a crack whore jonesing for her next fix, plans to allow people to "voluntarily" register their purchases online or face potential audits. According to the state Board of Equaliziation the use tax "applies when a person or business in California purchases tangible merchandise from a retailer outside of this state that will be used, consumed, given away, or stored in this state and the retailer does not collect California tax on their sales."
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Working hard for the City following President Obama's inauguration Mayor Villaraigosa took the ceremonial first bite of a Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich at the annual "dineLA" restaurant week photo op this week. While slurping down roast beef and Velveeta, Controller Laura Chick uncovered millions of dollars in waste and lots of potential fraud and abuse in the taking home of city owned vehicles by municipal employees and elected officials.
Mayoral candidate Zuma Dogg (David Saltsburg) appears in an ABC News Nightline piece covering the current state of public access television for the first time out of his character. Along with public affairs television doyenne Leslie Sutton, Saltsburg expresses concern as to potential censorship of programming with the channels moving to City control. I guess that camera crew wasn't really "Matt Dowd's friends" as you know who was posting.
Following an ass kicking in Sunland-Tujunga, Home Depot is now focused on it's day laborer center at it's store in Del Rey; working with Council Member Bill Rosendahl on plans to upgrade the facility. However, local residents are not in favor of day labor centers being forced by the City on local big-boxes such as Home Depot.
A middle-class section of Van Nuys has worked itself up in a lather over being associated with a primarily Latino and working class remainder of the historic San Fernando Valley community and wants to attach itself to Sherman Oaks. The effort, led by unsuccesful Assembly candidate Laurette Healey who has last seen trying to bamboozle Neighborhood Councils over the last shady solar energy ballot plan appears to have zero support in either Sherman Oaks or the rest of Van Nuys.
Opposition from neighboring cities is growing to the construction of a proposed NFL stadium in the City of Industry by Los Angeles developer Ed Roski. Joaquin Lim, the Mayor Walnut has expressed his opposition to the stadium over fears of the arena's impact on his community while Diamond Bar has hired an attorney to attack Industry's Environmental Impact Report. Maybe they could build a Home Depot there instead or move the detainees from Gitmo.
With buzz that he is a leading contender for the GOP Presidential Nomination in 2012 and the usual comparisons to President Obama, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal will be the headline speaker at the National Republican Congressional Committee's annual dinner. Jindal, who takes the spot previously reserved for President Bush, denies he is running for President but has made a tour to at least one early primary state, Iowa, and has been campaigning and raising funds for candidates in other states, part of the usual required groundwork for a run at a party's Presidential nomination.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Among the key findings of the Controller's report::
- The type of required insurance policy for employees with take home vehicles is inadequate and costly. Most employees are unaware of the requirement and do not possess it. This goes unmonitored resulting in increased risk and liability for the City and for the employee who drives the car.
- There are 48 City vehicles for use as loaners when cars are being serviced, repaired, washed or detailed. Twenty-eight of those vehicles are unneeded.
- Gas credit cards issued to elected officials, staff and general managers have a $1,500 per month line of credit (in case of emergency) and there is no way to determine if these are only used for city cars.
- Until around the time our audit began, the City did not monitor usage of cards to fill-up five gallon gas cans. Since that time there has been a 41% drop in usage.
- Since April 2008, the City’s former car auctioneer has owed the City $2.1 million. The City continued to use this auctioneer even after it stopped reimbursing the City. The City Attorney is now preparing a letter to collect the monies owed.
Chick has called for an immediate cancellation of City gas cards as well as overall reforms such as investigating if it's cheaper to reimburse employees for mileage as opposed to providing cars.
Read the whole report, here.
And you thought the City needed more of your money!
Clowncil and Friends - Obama is talking TO YOU.
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
MEMORANDUM FOR THE HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES
SUBJECT: Freedom of Information Act
A democracy requires accountability, and accountability requires transparency. As Justice Louis Brandeis wrote, "sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants." In our democracy, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which encourages accountability through transparency, is the most prominent expression of a profound national commitment to ensuring an open Government. At the heart of that commitment is the idea that accountability is in the interest of the Government and the citizenry alike.
The Freedom of Information Act should be administered with a clear presumption: In the face of doubt, openness prevails. The Government should not keep information confidential merely because public officials might be embarrassed by disclosure, because errors and failures might be revealed, or because of speculative or abstract fears. Nondisclosure should never be based on an effort to protect the personal interests of Government officials at the expense of those they are supposed to serve. In responding to requests under the FOIA, executive branch agencies (agencies) should act promptly and in a spirit of cooperation, recognizing that such agencies are servants of the public.
All agencies should adopt a presumption in favor of disclosure, in order to renew their commitment to the principles embodied in FOIA, and to usher in a new era of open Government. The presumption of disclosure should be applied to all decisions involving FOIA.
The presumption of disclosure also means that agencies should take affirmative steps to make information public. They should not wait for specific requests from the public. All agencies should use modern technology to inform citizens about what is known and done by their Government. Disclosure should be timely.
I direct the Attorney General to issue new guidelines governing the FOIA to the heads of executive departments and agencies, reaffirming the commitment to accountability and transparency, and to publish such guidelines in the Federal Register. In doing so, the Attorney General should review FOIA reports produced by the agencies under Executive Order 13392 of December 14, 2005. I also direct the Director of the Office of Management and Budget to update guidance to the agencies to increase and improve information dissemination to the public, including through the use of new technologies, and to publish such guidance in the Federal Register.
This memorandum does not create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
Following the drama and storming of the Bastille in San Fernando where voters recently outsted two longtime Council members Mayor and school board candidate Nury
The local fishwrap of record seems to be geographically challenged when it comes to identfying communties in Los Angeles. Downtown gadfly Brady Westwaters notes that The Times seems to have identified two Pico-Union neigborhoods as well as a number of other apparent flubs in geo-locating LA's complex network of neighborhoods. So the OLD GRAY HAG ON SPRING STREET intends to put together a plan to address the issue and then invite public comment. Which is more than we can say for the DWP when it comes to Measure B.
Good news for the billboard wackos: The Los Angeles Times reports that two Westside buildings have removed supergraphic advertisings from their sides. One tenant remarked that removing the graphic allowed more light to come into their office, "The difference is almost night and day."
I've said that President Obama should be able to keep his BlackBerry which he has found helps him be more productive. However, security officials within the Federal government are skittish about the idea of a President having control over his email and carrying a device which could conceivably pinpoint his physical location. That being said looks like the President truly is Commander in Chief and Obama will get to keep his handy mobile device, bringing the Presidency up to 2003.
Vice President Biden is already keeping his promise to be the most entertaining Vice President in nearly two decades. Wednesday his attempt at humor apparently didn't sit well with a visibly annoyed President Obama.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Here Joe the Biden tries to make a crack about Chief Justice John Roberts' flub during President Obama's swearing in (which by the way was re-done Wednesday night just to be on the safe side) and clearly the President is not amused.
We want to thank President Obama for giving us the most fun Vice President since Dan Quayle or perhaps even Spiro Agnew. We've gone from VP Darth Vader to VP Your Crazy Old Uncle.
What did Mayor Sam say in 1973? That this city is the envy of all the world? He couldn't have been talking about our Los Angeles!
Here we are. We're the second largest city in this great country of ours. Yet, we are so inept in so many different things. For one, our politicians are truly pathetic. Or maybe it's this city? We have allowed Los Angeles to become a second class city. We've got to stop this non-sense.
I think we must have a shortage of politicians. I think that's why we have politicians who play musical chairs, changing political seats every four years or when their term limits run out. That's got to be it. Why else would we allow this non-sense to go on? If I look at who is holding office today, it's basically the same people that were holding some other office ten or fifteen years ago. These are our career politicians. And you wonder why this city is in trouble? These people
don't have any ideas. They don't have any vision, and they certainly don't have a plan. This city needs new blood, and we need it now!
I have a plan. And it's a plan that has already been put into motion without the good people of Los Angeles even realizing it.
Our Chief of Police is an import. So is our Superintendent of Schools. And so was the previous Superintendent before him an import.
Why can't we import candidates for different offices from all over the country? Just think about the possibilities of having someone from another city govern this city of ours. Exciting? Can you name a few former mayors from other major cities who might do a pretty good job here in our Los Angeles?
What about importing city council members from other cities, too? Our gang sitting right now would definitely have to run a real campaign in order to get re-elected. How many of them have run uncontested campaigns or without much competition? That's got to stop!
We don't even have a two-party system here in this city. We don't even have a two-party system in our state. How come?
Changes are needed. New thinking is needed. We need to start importing new blood into our political process. The people sitting in office right now are inept, and that is putting it mildly.
While I applaud Messrs. Moore and Dogg for their attempt to win the mayor's office, what is really needed is a professional campaign with professional politicians who have a proven track record of success and a real fighting chance to win.
There are many across this country of ours, and we should start importing this talent now!
That's what STUPENDOUS is thinking. What is your thinking?
Leaving DC with some unique memories.
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Adeena Bleich, Ron Galperin, Paul Koretz, Robyn Ritter Simon, Robert Schwartz and David Vahedi are all running to replace Jack Weiss as the 5th District Council Member and none give the City high marks these days. We've heard that from before from so-called "outsider" candidates like Bill Rosendahl, Wendy Greuel and Greig Smith who all shortly after election became the ultimate outsiders. So run against City Hall but when you get elected keep up the battle and you might endear yourself to the people.
Speaking of Wendy Greuel, as we reported before, she's really not happy she failed to receive the endorsement of the City's Engineers and Architects Association who chose to pick her opponent, Nick Patsaouras. Rick Orlov writes that Greuel was upset that the EAA board apparently opted not to interview her prior to issuing their support for Patsaouras.
Mayor Villaraigosa campaigned on building a subway to the sea, fought hard to pass a significant sales tax increase to fund it but can't vote in favor of the project as a member of the board of the MTA due to ethics laws. The Mayor has received campaign contributions from the firm bidding to build the project so he has to recuse himself. So much for ethics reform.
Looks like Gladstone's, the legendary Malibu seafood eatery, has made a deal to open up a branch at LAX. Who owns Gladstone's? Former Los Angeles Mayor and Villaraigosa patron Richard "Obi Won Kenobil" Riordan.
K-Fed is dating delicious blonde volleyball player Victoria Prince and his boys Sean Preston and Jayden James think Vickie is "cool." Sean and Jayden's mom - K-Fed's ex Britney Spears - already has blown a gasket about the relationship and surely isn't going to like her boys' fondness for Daddy's new squeeze.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
LA Times Does a Good Thing
Guess who from CD 14??
Guess who is back today to regale y'all with tales of intrigue, graft, and corruption in the "Cut and Paste Sanctuary of CD 14??
Much has been speculated about my time away from the bloggin political landscape and indeed that time away was well spent in pursuit of other interests.
But on this historic day in the history of our "experiment in democracy", the time has come to re-engage the dialog with all of you in the bloggin world..
Some may ask what has going on in the domain of one "COUNCILMAN LAST SEEN LOSING LAWSUIT REGARDING ELEPHANT HILL AS JOSE HUIZAR"?
Others may ask what role the COUNCILMAN LAST SEEN SUPPORTING RESTRICTIVE HOME OWNER RIGHTS AS JOSE HUIZAR" had in the busing in of students from Wilson High School to support the ICO for hillside properties in Northeast LA??
Or how about the latest "chisme" from the office of one "COUNCILMAN LAST SEEN SUPPORTING LIQUOR LICENSE FOR THE MERCADO AS JOSE HUIZAR"???
How about the dealings with the poster child for new shady non-profit in CD-14, Legacy LA, by the "COUNCILMAN LAST SEEN INVESTIGATING OTHERS AS JOSE HUIZAR"???? ***(By the way props to LA Weekly writer Daniel H. for his article on the secret dealings involving MAYOR POLLOVILLAR's Gang Program).
In the days ahead, one can look forward to more exposes from an re energize Red Spot in CD 14.
To my fellow bloggers, hope all is well and BIG BLOGGIN PROPS to Joe B., Abby and all in the "S-T" on their great victory against "Homeless Depot" (at least in the S.T.)
May the same bless the fine people of the Friends of the Southwest Museum this year.
......and lastly, may 2009 bless one Corina with the return of her last name.
Labels: red spot in cd14
No problems at all from this purple inauguration ticket holder.
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9:30a. In place and set.
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Cleared security in only 30 min. 8:30a.
Union station DC. 7a.
Boarding the Virginia railway express to DC
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Monday, January 19, 2009
3 ladies from Ohio for OBAMA.
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Bush Commutes Ramos-Compean Sentences
On his last full day in office, President Bush commuted the controversial sentences of two former Border Patrol agents convicted of shooting a Mexican drug runner in 2005.
The imprisonment of Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean had sparked outcry from critics who said the men were just doing their jobs and were punished too harshly. They had been sentenced to 11- and 12-year sentences, respectively.
Their sentences will now expire on March 20 of this year.
inauguration eve. Just got my tix
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In the meantime at least two local blogs will have on the ground coverage of the events in DC; LAist has a crew en-route road-tripping while our correspondent Jack Witt landed at Reagan International this afternoon and will begin filing stories Monday.
It's been a while since we've heard from Big Mouth-Elect Joe Biden; the Barack Obama transition team has done a remarkable job of keeping the former Delaware Senator in the shadows. However it had to be too good to be true when the soon to be VP told the New York Times “I’m the most experienced vice president since anybody.” By the way Biden admits he hasn't even seen his new office yet. Oh it's going to be a fun four years!
With just a day left in office Republican lawmakers such as California's Dana Rohrbacher are urging President Bush to pardon Border Patrol Agents Jose Compean and Ignacio Ramos. Even Democrats such as Reps. Bill Delahunt (D-Ma.), soon to be Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) support at least commuting what many feel are excessively long prison sentences. Compean and Ramos were convicted of shooting an allegedly illegal alien drug smuggler on the Mexican border in what some counter was a politically motivated prosecution. Considering how little time left Bush has as President the chances for Compean and Ramos are looking quite slim.
Whatever happened to Mayoral candidate Walter Moore? I haven't received one of his usual pieces he sends out and his campaign blog hasn't been updated in nearly two weeks. If anyone has seen Walter lately please let us know.
The Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association reports that the results of an online poll show that seven in ten people support leaving Billy the Elephant at the Los Angeles Zoo. However it should be noted online polls are hardly accurate. In the meantime the County of LA warns the City that if construction does not move forward on the controversial exhibit meant to house Billy it would be required to refund $5 million in County money spent on the project.
A piece at Bloomberg details that many of the owners of LA's upper priced homes unable to meet their mortgages due to the slumping economy are working to hard to get their homes rented out as locations for both legit and porno film shoots. One location scouting firm says that "more than a dozen calls are coming in each week, up from about two a week a year ago."
Reports are that Sex In The City star Sarah Jessica Parker would like Britney Spears to star in the sequel to film that follows up the hit cable television series. “It’s time to inject some young blood into the movie,” Parker is reported as saying.
As a very young man I witnessed how a renewable energy project – building dams to harness the hydro power of the Tennessee River – provided a powerful economic stimulus that created thousands of what we now call green collar jobs. The Tennessee Valley Authority which I chaired under President Carter transformed the most poverty-stricken part of America into a thriving middle class region.
Years later, as the general manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), the largest and dirtiest public utility in the nation, I got rid of two coal fired power plants while avoiding rate increases. It is my considered judgment that LA’s Solar Initiative, Measure B, is the lowest cost option available for action now to combat global warming and create much needed green collar jobs.
The Coalition for Clean Air, Coalition for Solar and Clean Energy, Los Angeles Federation of Labor AFL-CIO, and the American Lung Association of California have formed a coalition to support Mayor Villaraigosa’s plan to install 400 megawatts of solar power on commercial rooftops here in LA - more than any other city in the nation. That plan, Measure B, has been put before LADWP customers and Los Angeles voters for public discussion, debate and a decision on the March 3 ballot.
Beyond cleaning up our air quality, Measure B will help stimulate our economy by creating thousands of good-paying, green collar jobs people can raise a family on. It includes a preference for solar manufacturers based here in Los Angeles. This means the LADWP, by switching to solar, invests directly back into the City of LA. It also means solar manufacturers, who are building facilities and creating tens of thousands of jobs across the country, will have a significant incentive to locate in Los Angeles and bring those new jobs here.
Faced with a global warming crisis that threatens life as we know it, the opponents say this measure will cost too much. They are wrong. They used numbers based on what the small solar companies are charging to put panels on individual homes – about $9 a watt.
Today the going wholesale price is at or below $3 a watt and going down for the thin film product the LADWP will be using in its solar panels. The best estimate of LADWP installed price is $3.75 watt. When Measure B is implemented, the Department will be buying large quantities of modules and installing them on large commercial flat rooftops. It’s a basic rule of economics: prices come tumbling down when big purchasers leverage their power in the marketplace.
Solar panels, over their 25-year life, will be cheaper than the natural gas power it will replace when it is owned by its utility as LADWP proposes. After the initial installation of solar panels, it is much like a hydroelectric dam and if the city owns the equipment, it gets steadily lower in cost each year as the original investment is depreciated. Solar panels just sit there making clean power and only the inverters that convert it to usable electricity require replacement over time.
Measure B is a giant step forward in the Mayors’ promise of a truly green Los Angeles.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Jack Witt, a contributor to both the Downtown NoHo Times (a member of the Mayor Sam Blog Network) and NoHoArtsDistrict.com will be our correspondent in Washington, D.C. live blogging all the activities and his observations. In addition to his writing and blogging activities Jack is a well known fitness trainer and business leader here in the San Fernando Valley.
Stay tuned for all of Jack's great reports!
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Where were you when the quake happened? What are your memories? Do you think we are better or worse prepared for a similar disaster than we were 15 years ago?
Below are some vintage newsclips from the day's events.
Friday, January 16, 2009
Mayor Teams Up With Lenscrafters to Fight Gang Violence
January 13, 2009 -Los Angeles
In the wake of the killing of an innocent 4 year old child by alleged gang members, the Mayor of Los Angeles has brought forth a combining of government and commerce to stave the problem.
Being the incident occurred in broad daylight and the child was on the sidewalk in plain sight when stuck by a stray bullet fired from a passing red car allegedly at the hands of gangmembers, Mayor Anthony Villaraigosa has come up with a plan in conjunction with Lenscrafters to check and provide free eye exams to all gang members in the City.
Glasses, contacts,and even laser surgery will be given free of charge with costs divided by the City and Lenscrafters. Doing this will prevent these miscalculations by said gangmembers and let our City's children remain safe again.
-Louis Elovitz, MS CorreDespondent
As always, this is government aiming at the wrong target (pun intended). Most gangbangers already have pretty good eyesight or wear corrective lens, etc. They're just really lousy shots!
What NEEDS to happen is they should get free practice sessions at their nearest law enforcement run firing range (ya know, one night a week could be "gang night" like bowling alleys have league nights). It could even be competitive in nature. Rather than shooting at paper targets, set groups who are fighting over turf at opposite ends to face off against each other. Or, just say the word, and I'll get Tony V. to issue them vouchers for use at private firing ranges, on a more flexible schedule.Let's address the problem directly here. Bad aim, not bad eyes... and lets cut down on the prison population some as well as the waste of expensive ammo by making sure rival thugs take each other out in even greater numbers, more accurately. There really are no BAD boys in L.A. -- just bad marksman.
(This rebuttal message was brought to you by the undertakers at Rose Hills and Forest Lawn, as a public service).
-Parque Esqueleto, MS CorreDespondent