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Thursday, July 31, 2014

It's Five Years Later and Time to Ask (Again): Was Zuma Dogg Right About Infrastructure?

With the recent break in a major water main in West Los Angeles that has wrought significant damage upon UCLA, one has to ask (again) has LA densified so much and put so much stress upon it's late 19th/early 20th century infrastructure that it is now crumbling under the weight of all this development?

Almost five years ago to the day I wrote the following at this august blog:
Though I haven't always agreed with Zuma Dogg on development in Los Angeles for some time the erstwhile observer, advocate and now Council Candidate has issued clarion calls about overdevelopment in Los Angeles and its impact on an aging infrastructure.



I had hearkened back to a warning that Mr. Dogg, in his own inimitable style issued a year earlier, in 2008:
And oh yeah, are you adding 35% more roads, police, fire, trash collection AND WATER!!! THERE IS NOT ENOUGH WATER TO ACCOMMODATE ALL OF THIS ADDED DENSITY -- AND YOU KNOW THIS. AND YOU WILL NEED WATER TO COOL YOU OFF BASED ON WHERE YOU ARE ALL HEADED FOR THIS. Besides the infrastructure -- THIS WILL CAUSE A SERIOUS WATER PROBLEM!!! WARNING...WARNING...THIS IS NOT A TEST!!!
That's not supposed to happen.

A huge amount of this development coming from affordable and homeless (such as the controversial Day Street Apartments in Sunland-Tujunga) housing that is incentivized through various city regulations and programs and has created a growth industry around growth? Again, Zuma answered that question way back when George Bush was still President and Donald Sterling didn't have a clue who V. Stiviano is. 

It'll take a minute to type up a comedy review exposing all the shady angles, but basically, if you agree to add 10% affordable housing; a developer can increase density by 20% on your project. 20% affordable housing=35% added density "bonus" (incentive).
Go back seven years and Zuma gives the prescription that should have been filled a long time ago that easily foreshadowed incidents such as the Westwood main break, earlier failures of LA's electrical system and countless other infrastructure debacles in just the last few years.

"B-ruined" (Hat tip to Joseph Mailander)

All of this density is being created without the proper infrastructure to accommodate the added demand.
Back in those days, too, there was another guy with a different kind of a bully pulpit, that is radio talk show host Kevin James, who knew deep the failures and corruption of local government, so much so that he gave up his radio career to run for Mayor and state the case for reform and to bring our infrastructure up to snuff.



James didn't win for Mayor but he earned the role of President of the city's Public Works Commission, the key organization to deal with all of the city's pipes, roads, bridges, wires, etc. He said the right thing during the campaign, but following the Great Flood of Westwood, what did President James have to say?



We've been saying these things for almost ten years now. It is time for the residents to wake up. Or, perhaps you like surfing down Glendon?

By the way, I totally agree with Zuma now on development.

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4 Comments:

Anonymous Rita-of-Sunland said:

The beauty of Zuma Dogg's all-too short war against City Hall--- for all its over-the-top mockery and buffoonery-- was DEAD ON in its detail, scope and inate ability to lay the blame with accuity and precision.

August 01, 2014 7:56 AM  

Blogger Michael Higby said:

Hey, Rita, great to see you over here at Mayor Sam again, it's been too long!

The beauty of Zuma Dogg, which many people did not see because they assumed his rapid fire, mile a minute, stream of consciousness would prevent otherwise, is that Zuma LISTENS. Zuma sat down with hundreds of city employees, activists, community members, reporters, and others had soaked up the information like a sponge.

And then, he has the uncanny and uncommon ability to process and synthesize that information, not only to ring the bell as to the disaster going at present, but to foreshadow what is going, and what does, happen. This was a skill that served him well in his past life as a radio programmer and why he was in demand as a consultant who know how to hone the sound of a station to music that the public enjoyed and consumed.

Because Zuma's tactical approach to activism and advocacy is years beyond and so different from what anyone else was/is doing,had he just shown up in a suit and was mild mannered, it would be lost. The hat, glasses, the dancing, the rapping, etc. got attention and I would say even endeared him to the people of whom he was their worst critic. It certainly got him press coverage. Did he maybe lose credibility with some who didn't get the shtick? Probably. But I think he gained far more than he lost or would have earned otherwise.

August 01, 2014 9:22 AM  

Blogger Zuma Dogg said:

RIIIIIITA!!!! ALL TOO SHORT!?! You mean WAY too long!!!! It was supposed to be a ONE TIME TRIP about Venice..like Gilligan's 3 hour tour. LOL! THANKS, RITA! Michael...thanks so much! Makes it feel less in vein! :)

August 01, 2014 2:20 PM  

Blogger Phil Jennerjahn said:

Poor Zuma Dogg. He gets unlucky with jury selection and wins only $1 in damages for being thrown out of LA City Council meetings repeatedly over the years. Mike Hunt wears a KKK hood to one meeting, gets thrown out, and wins a $250K judgement. Life can be cruel that way sometimes...

August 02, 2014 7:19 AM  

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