Los Angeles Politics HotSheet for Tuesday
Leave it to Los Angeles' Community Redevelopment Agency - headed by former 2nd District Council Candidate Christine Essel - to take a blighted property and make it even more blighted. Case in point is Santa Barbara Plaza in Leimert Park. Back when County Stupidvisor Mark Ridley-Thomas was Clowncilman the plan was to have Magic Johnson - who has a successful record in real estate development - to redevelop the plaza. Instead, somehow the development was shuffled over to a Ridley-Thomas political ally and noting has happened since. The shopping center is boarded up and almost all of the 240 shops have been shut down. This is very similar to Valley Plaza in North Hollywood, such a charlie foxtrot and victim of redevelopment nonsense, even former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney found it a good backdrop for Presidential politics. Romney blamed Obama for the mall's woes; Councilman Paul Krekorian doing due diligence as a loyal Democrat blamed George W. Bush. Both Romney and Krekorian are wrong; Santa Barbara and Valley Plazas are collateral damage of the CRA and LA's dysfunctional political system.
A medical marijuana shop in NoHo has been closed down for not adhering to the City's lottery process for permits. Fair enough. However the City has further gone after the shop for an artistic mural painted on it's storefront and for apparently having letters on it's canopy that are too "tall." We saw recently where a bunch of NIMBYs in Valley Village whitewashed a mural on private property. But in the NoHo Arts District murals are part of the scene and you'd be hard pressed to find a NIMBY living anywhere nearby. With dwindling city resources, perhaps Councilman Tom LeBong may wish to fight other battles.
If there is an argument anywhere for breaking up the ridiculous and failed Los Angeles Unified School District, it's Verdugo Hills High School in the working class community of Tujunga. Failed test scores and the fact that children who attend are taking their lives in their hands have lead parents to fight back, take advantage of new reform laws and seize destiny to hire the school's new principal. While former superintendent Ramon Cortines sided with parents, new sheriff in town, John Deasy, has nixed the plan and installed his own hand picked principal. Deasy, with ties to Mayor Villaraigosa, Bill Gates and Eli Broad, has somewhat of a questionable past; the LA Weekly reporting alleged resume padding by Deasy. The action has been backed up by School Board Member Nury Martinez, who represents the area. Martinez - who recently verbally attacked a concerned parent speaking at a school board member, calling the woman racist (who by the way also happened to be of Hispanic ancestry) - is a real piece of work. Anyone have the over/under on how long it will take Martinez to call the multi-ethnic coalition of parents at Verdugo "racists?"
Labels: carmen trutanich, CRA, john deasy, lausd, medical marijuana, mitt romney, noho arts district, nury martinez, paul krekorian, santa barbara plaza, Tom LeBong, Valley Plaza, verdugo hills high school