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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Los Angeles Politics Hotsheet for Tuesday

Fooled ya!

I wanted to drop in for a moment in case anyone happens to be here checking out our museum of a blog to point out a couple of important facts.

First off, excellent coverage of city issues is going on at Griffith Park Wayist.  Check them every day.

Next, I do intend to offer up a diatribe of why I decided to take a hiatus and most likely I will post that up soon at Griffith Park Wayist.  Though I hope first to contribute something of value.

I am really enjoying the break from blogging.

Finally, we will be back soon.


Sunday, January 17, 2010


After a long five and a half years this blog is going on a hiatus and will not publish new stories nor take new reader comments for the time being.

The reasons for this are many and won't be gone into.  And quite frankly we think we need a break.

When we started Mayor Sam there were few if any blogs covering the inside baseball of local politics. Now there are at least a few that are all doing great work and are run by great people.  Therefore this is a good time for a rest.

There have been many people who have more than contributed to this effort and I could not adequately acknowledge and thank them all in a single post. Let me just say I am truly grateful.  However I must give as many props, kudos and thanks as humanly possible to JoeB, Solomon and Red Spot as the longest and most prolific contributors to this blog, as well as for their friendship.  I do hope they find some place while we are down to continue to share what they have to offer.

While my interest in and passion for LA politics has hit it's nadir I do hope to see many of you "on the road."  At some point I will be back blogging in some form once I figure out what I want to say next.

In the meantime I suggest you turn to Griffith Park Wayist, Village to Village and Ron Kaye LA for a daily dose of excellent reporting and blogging on municipal affairs.

Blog away dum dums (well somewhere else),
Michael Higby
Mayor Sam


Mayor Villarparker at Peace, City falling into Financial Abyss

Mayor Antonio Villar with Lu Parker

"Mayor Villar before meatless Mondays"

If you really needed any more column inches of newsprint to reinforce the premise that the Los Angeles Times aka "Old Gray Westside Hag on Spring Street", is sinking fast into the depths of irrelevancy, then this latest puff piece/profile of Mayor Antonio Villar will surely provide the final "newsprint of evidence" that the "Old Gray Hag" is nearing the "journalistic flat-line" of death.
My first reaction to this PR piece, was to check the byline. For a fleeting moment, I thought that West LA blogger Kevin Roderick had return to his old place of employment. Many of you long time bloggin political observers will remember his infamous "Pop Star Mayor" puff piece that he authored for "West Los Angeles Magazine", some time in the recent political past. But upon further scrutiny, it was City Hall reporter Phil Willon , who was channeling Roderick when reprinting the "talking points" provided by the likes of maybe, Deputy Mayor Matt Szabo, who knows.
Then there are the interesting tidbits about our now, "at a great place Mayor" (maybe he is channeling back on all those great international places he visited on the public dime?). First is his new "meatless Mondays" pledge. Does "meatless Mondays" have an double meaning? Maybe this means in addition to avoiding the "carne y carnitas y pollo", he is also avoiding the "MEAT" of Mike Trujillo? In hindsight, the City of Los Angeles should take an oath of going "MEATless" after Trujillo's consulting of Measure B. I would be the first to sign that pledge.
But what strikes me the most about this supposed piece of informational journalism, is the absence of reality at Getty House and the miss opportunities to ask some probing questions of Mayor Villar.
One can perceive from reading this PR missive, that an virtual moat has been built around the confines of Getty House. While the Villars lavish themselves in acts of narcissism, a city is falling deeper into an financial mess that has dire repercussions for its citizens. The Daily News in yesterday's edition, had an ominous story on $175 million dollar plus deficit that is growing by the day. So while the Villar's celebrate Antonio's new found "greater place of being" many city workers and residents are confronting an lesser state of reality, that includes pay cuts, layoffs and less services.
Reporter Phil Willon also missed an opportunity to ask questions such as these examples. Why is your divorce from Corina Raigosa not been finalize? Why have you asked for delays in the divorces proceeding due to an lack of both, available time and of legal counsel? How is your current relationship helping to improve your public image? What steps are you taking to correct the economic problems at City Hall? Miss opportunities galore indeed in this story.
Thus, as Los Angeles heads towards the edge of falling into an financial abyss that bottoms out in bankruptcy, we can rest assured that the former Antonio Ramon Villar/Tony Villar, now "Mayor Antonio Villarparker" is in a "greater place" while the rest of us Angelinos perpare for an "worst place of reality" at 200 South Spring Street.
Scott Johnson in CD 14.
Your thoughts...................................

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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Councilman Jose Huizar Proud Father of New Baby Daughter

" Councilman Jose Huizar's growing family may become CD 16"

This blogger wishes godspeed to Councilman Jose Huizar, wife Richelle Rios and their latest addition to the family, Aviana Rose, who was born yesterday at Arcadia Methodist Hospital.
Aviana Rose, who is Jose and Richelle's fourth child, weighed in at eight pounds, one ounce. Both mom and dad are reported to be doing well.
Scott Johnson in CD 14
Your thoughts..................


Friday, January 15, 2010

Morning Briefs and Outtakes on the Legality of Residency and other News

" City Councilman Richard "Zorro Marxist" Alarcon laughs at residency laws??"

The "Proletariat Class" of City Councilman Richard "the Zorro Marxist" Alarcon's 7th District have been betrayed!!
Their comrade who claimed to live within the collectivist, working class enclave he presides over, is under investigation by the District Attorney's Office of Public Integrity, for allegedly residing at his wife's "Dacha", which is located in City Councilman Paul Krekorian's 2nd District.
This is not the first time that Alarcon's residency has garnered scrutiny.
In 2007, Alarcon attempted to get his wife's "Dacha" and about 200 other homes moved into his 7th District collectivist enclave, but was rebutted. The "Zorro Marxist" and his "life partner"/wife Montes de Oca then were also expose for the "crime against the people" of wanting to build elitist "Dachas" on their "Nordhoff People's Avenue" land parcel.
Worst, the "Zorro Marxist" attempted to get the "Nordhoff People's Avenue" reclassify from a "busy people's highway designation" to a quiet "collectivist collector street", a move that would have spared Montes de Oca from having to forfeit 2,840 square feet of her lot to the "people land bank"/city, A CRIME AGAINST THE COLLECTIVE INDEED!!
Maybe its time for the Proletariat in the 7th District, to rise up and purge the "Zorro Marxist" and send him off to some "re education gulag" of ethical reform?
** The Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Council, who have become an dysfunctional mess within the last few months according to local sources, is now facing new scrutiny for their lavish expenses. In an audit of neighborhood council expenditures by City Controller Wendy Greuel, the CD 1 "fun bunch" has amassed $12,000 in restaurant bills, $8,000 in cash withdrawals and $300 on laundry among other questionable expenditures.
** City Councilman Jose Huizar is starting off the New Year by transferring $50,000 from the "CLARTS Fund" for undisclosed use. What and how this fund is use, as we head towards the next election cycle in CD 14, should be open and transparent to all. (Council Motion 09-0326 S1 CD 14).
** LAPD Chief Charlie Beck dispelled the notion that LA's gangbangers are getting "too old to bang".
** Assemblyman Kevin De Leon and State Senator Gil Cedillo are in agreement on a deal to swap titles, pending voter approval of course.
** Robert "Bud" Ovrom was confirmed as the new General Manager of the Department of Building and Safety by the City Council.
Scott Johnson in CD 14
Your thoughts.....................

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Los Angeles Political Hot Sheet For Thursday

"The trickle before the Flood??"
We are on bloggin storm watch!!
What will be interesting to note in this upcoming weather event, is the coordination of local agencies and the political leadership response. The rains that are forecast for next week are on the level of the 2004-2005 rainy season which set an all-time record for rainfall in Los Angeles (as recorded in the official Los Angeles rain gauge at USC).
Many will remember then Mayor James Hahn, in his yellow rain gear, responding to trouble spots around the city with then mayoral candidate Antonio Villaraigosa closely behind him in search of photo ops. In one instance Mayor Hahn had just assess the damage in the Garvanza area of CD 14 where homes were "red-tagged" only to see Villaraigosa show up and get camera time in helping one family remove belongings from their home.
Who shall take the lead in the "politics of weather" next week? Will be of interest, only after the top priority of making sure that all are well in the areas of concern.
** While residents in the burn areas eye the puffy clouds of rain in their future, the LA Weekly reports that the Los Angeles City Council puffed away another day in the search of Medical Marijuana reform. Meanwhile the editorial scribes at the "Old Gray Westside Hag on Spring Street came out against legalizing "ganga" in California.
** In CD 14, we have an Rick Coca sighting. Coca who once reported for the Daily News but now is earning each penny in spinning/ communicating the positive attributes of Councilman Jose Huizar (when he is not typing "Coca Puffs" on the blogs). Coca responded to criticism of Councilman Huizar over his delay in announcing a $50,000 reward for information on the murder of an fifteen year old Boyle Heights teen in December, which we noted here at Mayor Sam last week.
** Warning!! This make cause you to shed some tears. LA Times Scribe David Zahniser reports on the potential increase in stress for the "Fifteen within the Horseshoe on Spring Street" as they jockey for their respective political futures.
** Los Angeles County Fire Urban Search and Rescue members are on the way or on scene in Haiti to help in the massive international effort, that is unfolding to help the millions that have been affected by Tuesday's earthquake in Haiti. We wish them godspeed in their efforts.
** Our old bloggin colleague Joseph Mailander has an missive in the current LA Weekly on the "politics of opera" and its potential cost to the Los Angeles taxpayers.
** Lastly, the picture above was taken last June, at what was left of the Hazard Park Wetlands. This after the sensitive habitat was weed whacked in an supposed act of miscommunication. may our upcoming rains help replace what many have given to preserve.
Scott Johnson in CD 14
Your thoughts.........................

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Janice Hahn May Very Well Be Your Next Lt Governor; Florez to Drop?

Signs out of the Central Valley that State Senator Dean Florez is realizing he doesn't have the name ID nor the mojo to wrest the Democratic nod for Lieutenant Governor from Clowncil Member Janice Hahn.

Capitol Alert asks if Florez may now have cold feet, citing her high name ID in Southern California.

No doubt that many voters in LA County know the Hahn family; how many however know how much of a blithering idiot she is?

Through the primary and general elections California's voters will find out; however it may not hurt her chances when they do. Her likely Republican challenger Abel Maldonado isn't much brighter.

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Follies and Doings of a Connected Non-Profit in CD 14

This is a story about a connected non-profit that needs disconnecting from public money and support.
The past follies and actions of the newest "connected non-profit" in CD 14, Legacy LA, has provided posts galore, which we have highlighted the dubious doings of the likes of Southwest Society Member Jenny Krusoe, USC Lobbyist and former Lincoln Heights Neighborhood Council President David Galaviz, former Ramona Gardens Resident (in her opportunist mind) Lou Calanche and the other cast members of connected and wannabees associates.
As the past chairperson of the Hazard Park Advisory Board, which the latest agenda is posted at the left, it was our goal to integrate the Hazard Park Armory and its potential usage into the existing Hazard Park
infrastructure and its programs.
But in my three years as Chairperson, something called "politics" and the resulting catering to their connected associates, now have politicize a public park with so much potential, with serious ramifications for Recreation and Parks, its employees, and how public services are provided city-wide.
Simply, with the city budget heading towards the financial abyss, politically connected non-profits will assume an prominent role in providing services to city residents. But while you can make the case that saving money is of paramount concern...and it is. What quality of services will residents receive from these assorted non-profits, especially when they are connected to those within the political community?
In the case of Legacy LA, these examples should cause major concerns. First, on numerous occasions, I have observed a Legacy LA employee who led bike riding excursions without proper safety gear. Second, in the summer of 2008, a Legacy LA employee, "Monique", who also worked at Hazard Park, tried to persuaded me to go forward with a "teen trip" to Yosemite, that was planned in collaboration with Recreation and Parks, but cancel due to the lack of funding. She stated that we could use Legacy money and no one would known the difference. Third, Rec. and Parks employees had concerns about the "oversight" of the teen program under Monique's direction at Hazard Park. Fourth, Legacy employees are openly competing with Rec. and Parks by using food and trips, in luring youths to their programs at the Armory. Makes you wonder if the likes of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Councilman Jose Huizar really support the public emplyees of Rec and Parks?
Then there are the questions about the hiring process for Legacy LA. Simply, if you supported then Legacy LA's founder Jenny Krusoe, you got a job. Also during one PAB meeting in the fall of 2009, Monique mentioned in her report on the Teen Program at Hazard Park, that they had received free tickets for Knott's Scary Farm from the youth coordinator at the Ramona Gardens Housing Project. Later the sister of that coordinator, was hired for a position where no job fliers were made available to the community. For the record, current Legacy Executive Director Lou Calanche, offer me a job after my forced removal as PAB Chairperson, due to "selected enforcement of term limits". But in the light of the incidents listed above and the fact that I work part-time for Rec. and Parks, I declined.
In retrospect, I look back on my experience as PAB Chairperson with both satisfaction and bewilderment.
Satisfaction that we were able to initiated the Armory dialog with the community, we provided trips to places like El Capitan State Beach and Yosemite National Park, a grant from the Sierra Club allowed us to produced a newsletter detailing the restoration efforts of the Hazard Park Wetlands. Also, I took the initiative to set up the "Friends of Henry T. Hazard Park and Community", a non-profit to help with fundraising for future park programs.
But I also must share my bewilderment over the politicalization of departments like Recreation and Parks. During my term as Chairperson, our PAB was subjected to investigation by Councilman Jose Huizar, over some supposed comments about Legacy LA. Further, an management official of Rec. and Parks (initials M.M.), made inquiries to community activist Art Pulido, regarding any "conflict of interests" between my PAB duties and part-time work for Rec. and Parks, that could lead to my termination.
But what hurt the most were the comments from Hazard Park Director Aaron Shaw at the June 23, 2009 PAB meeting which I was excused from due to work place injury. From the minutes, He openly expressed his displeasure of the PAB in general, but was particularly discontent with the obvious focus of attention in areas where we (PAB) have no business or areas in (like Wetlands restoration?) or in areas where there is no involvement whatsoever in the betterement of our facility and its programs and activities". These comments are disappointing for the fact that the best moment of leadership from the PAB, was preventing the transfare of Aaron Shaw away from Hazard Park, now sadly "Legacy LA/Hazard Park".
** For the record, I ask for time at last night PAB meeting to respond to Aaron Shaw's comments but no reply came from my request.
Links to our past series on Legacy LA,
Scott Johnson in CD 14
Your thoughts...........................

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Los Angeles Politics Hotsheet for Wednesday

City Controller Wendy Greuel has released a report criticizing the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment's oversight of Neighborhood Council spending.  While there have been some well publicized cases of misappropriation of funds by a few NC treasurers for the overwhelming number of Councils they have been far more efficient than the City Council.  When will the Controller criticize their wasteful spending?

Speaking to whether or not Greuel is making a good use of her time she's promoting her first "Women's Dialogue," an event at City Hall featuring a panel of female speakers on "Women and the Environment." This may be a worthy topic and the speakers may be distinguished but can someone please tell me what this has to do with the Controller's Office? And who is paying for it? Please provide us with answers.

Funniest line in a blog post all year (okay I know it's January 13th) comes from Ron Kaye: "Can the Wizard of LA find a brain for Scarecrow Tom LaBonge (who wants to be mayor), a heart for Tin Man Dennis Zine (Controller) and courage for Cowardly Lion Bill Rosendahl (US Senator)?"

Paul Krekorian may have been onto something when he blocked a street widening no one wanted.  The Narrow Streets Los Angeles blog posits that the City could be better off with narrower street.

Congresswoman Grace Napolitano - who has had all kinds of problems of her own - is poking her nose where she really ought not to be.  She is in up in arms over a recent experiment by the Union Pacific Railroad that ran a three and half mile long train.  The point of the test is to see how more efficiently American goods can be shipped to ports in LA without having to use multiple trains or trucks.  All good for the economy and environment.  But blowhards like Grace don't get that.

And finally Phil Jennerjahn's blog officially jumps the shark.  In a recent posting, the former last place Mayoral contender and leader of the Recall Villaraigosa effort seems to think that Paul Krekorian's efforts to block a wasteful and unnecessary taxpayer funded public works program is "socialist." Phil continues to demonstrate that he is, well, special.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Los Angeles Politics Hotsheet for Tuesday

The replacement for The Jay Leno Show?

Did candidate for Lt Governor Janice Hahn jump the gun in announcing that half the City Council has endorsed her bid for the seat? We found alerts in both Google Reader and Google Search with a list of Hahn endorsements but at press time the link to the post was now re-directing to the main campaign website and none of that content could be found.  What gives? Did someone pull back an endorsement?

A Superior Court Judge ruled that the City Council violated the state's open meeting act when voting to turn the South Central Farm into a shopping center.  The Clowncil should have given supporters of the farm, as well as the general public, 72 hours notice to mobilize and speak out.  You may remember this was the farm that Councilman Dennis Zine showed up at in the dead of the night wearing his LAPD uniform and scared the crap out of the farmers.

Secession from the Los Angeles Unified School District is happening but one school at at time.  Applications to take over thirty LAUSD schools by various outside organizations were flowing into the District before a deadline of Midnight Monday evening.  Even the UTLA has applied to take over the schools which is like your abusive spouse buying you an engagement ring as the divorce becomes final.

Paul Krekorian continues to keep campaign promises as he saved some at-risk trees in Sunland-Tujunga which also saved hundreds of thousands of dollars in unnecessary assessments for property owners.  Yet blogger and former Mayoral candidate Phil Jennerjahn continues to bizarrely tag Krekorian as a Socialist.

Now that Jay Leno's 10:00 p.m. talk show on NBC is moving back to late night NBC has to find new programming to fill that hour.  One of the options is yet another program in the "Law and Order" franchise based in LA. Yet producer Dick Wolf already tried this with the 2003 series "LA Dragnet" which featured Al Bundy as Joe Friday. Still if the Law and Order LA does come to fruition imagine all the fun cameos with folks like Mayor Villaraigosa, Tom LeBong and Phil Jennerjahn.

And finally for some reason once again a bunch of folks rode the LA Metro wearing no pants.  Not sure anyone in LA even noticed.

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Monday, January 11, 2010

Janice Hahn Jumps the Gun?

Does Google show information that Janice Hahn's campaign for Lt. Governor posted but then removed? Absracts in Google Search and Google Reader show the following:

"Every day, more Californians are stepping forward to support Janice Hahn for Lt. Governor. So far, eight fellow LA City Councilmembers have endorsed: Eric Garcetti, Jan Perry, Bernard Parks, Tom Labonge, Herb Wesson, Dennis Zine, Paul Koretz, and Bill Rosendahl. Click here to see Janice's endorsement list."

Yet the link http://janicehahn.com/news/hahn-racks-up-endorsements-on-la-city-council/ redirects to Hahn's main web page and the content above is nowhere to be found.

Did someone jump the gun?


At Krekorian's Urging, McGroarty Trees Saved

It is indeed news when a politician keeps a promise; the following press release was issued by Paul Krekorian who must be making Sunland Tujunga feel like they have a real Council Member for a change.

Over here in CD4 we could use the same. Does Paul have a brother?

LOS ANGELES -- Following through on a campaign pledge, Councilman Paul Krekorian on Monday personally appeared before the city's Board of Public Works to urge that 10 trees on McGroarty Street in Sunland be saved from destruction.

"These trees are such an important part of the rural character of the Sunland community," Councilman Krekorian said. "This part of McGroarty Street lies at the base of oak covered hills and these trees blend perfectly with the wooded character of the area. McGroarty Street in this area has very little traffic. It would be a tragedy to lose these trees in order to accommodate a street widening that we will never need."

The board unanimously agreed with Krekorian, voting 5-0 to oppose the removal of the 10 Coast Live Oak trees on the 8000 block of W. McGroaty St.

"I am very pleased that the board stood up for the neighborhood and the natural beauty the Sunland-Tujunga community offers," Krekorian added. "I especially want to thank and applaud Commissioner Andrea Alarcon for her strong advocacy on this issue, and for actually coming out to the community to visit the site and hear our concerns. This is how the system is supposed to work."

The decision saves the homeowner, who would have been saddled with the cost of uprooting the trees, hundreds of thousands of dollars. In addition, the city will not have to bear the brunt of any costs associated with street improvements.

During his recent campaign for City Council, Krekorian pledged to the Sunland-Tujunga community to save the trees, which neighbors said were an integral part of their community.
Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Friday, January 08, 2010

Los Angeles Politics Hotsheet for Friday

While the battle between Carmen Trutanich, Jan Perry and AEG over the expense of the City for the memorial service for Michael Jackson continues one Los Angeles resident has stepped up in a unique way.  Jose F. Vallejo has filed a $3.3 million lawsuit against the Jackson estate claiming as a taxpayer he has standing to make the case.  Should Vallejo be successful any judgment awarded by the Court would go to the City general fund.
SLAP happy plan checking NIMBYs in Los Angeles go apoplectic over billboard advertising but the City of West Hollywood is considering a plan that might put a little cha-ching into the City coffers.  The owner of a building on Beverly Boulevard is offering WeHo $20K a month for the next twenty years, as well as some free public improvements, to hang supergraphics on two sides of the property. 

Here's yet another boondoggle the City is considering - putting a park over the 101 Freeway through Hollywood.  Just to speak to the cost is one thing, the safety is a bigger issue.  If the park goes Nimitz Freeway in the next big earthquake or little kids get cancer from diesel fumes who is going to pay?

Here's yet another rumor from an extremely reliable source.  Southern California ICE spokesflack Virginia Kice allegedly employed an illegal immigrant for years but fired her upon getting the ICE job. Shades of the Clinton cabinet!

Jay Leno may be coming back to late night, perhaps even to the Tonight Show.  With Leno's 10 pm show performing poorly in ratings, as well as the Conan O'Brien Tonight Show, NBC TV affiliates are screaming bloody murder.  Daily Variety reports NBC has confirmed that Leno has been offered either a half hour show at 11:35 daily or to just take the Tonight Show back. 

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Thursday, January 07, 2010

Los Angeles Politics Hotsheet for Thursday

The City of Los Angeles wants to speed up the construction of rail lines and is seeking Obama era stimulus funds to do so.  The Mayor's office wants a proposed Federal program to advance money to the MTA for various projects. Deputy Mayor Jaime de la Vega said, "There are 12 major projects that we believe will provide over 127,000 construction jobs and 2,800 permanent jobs minimum."

With a looming disaster facing the City's pension funds the City Council is looking at getting a hold on the costs going forward.  A proposed ballot measure will drastically scale back the pensions offered to new City employees. According to reports public employee unions are already denouncing the move.

If Chris Essel was the Queen of SB1818 then Councilman Paul Krekorian is it's executioner.  One of the new Councilman's first moves was to propose legislation to limit the scope of the controversial measure.

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Wednesday, January 06, 2010

The New Front Runner for LA Mayor

Councilman Paul Krekorian is off to a flying start in his first full day in office.  As reported by OurLA the Second District Councilman proved that he meant what he said during his campaign and introduced legislation with teeth to limit the controversial state law, SB1818, which seeks to tie the hands of local cities when it comes to development.

That being said Krekorian makes it clear he is serious and intends to deliver for the people who elected him.  Along with some recent excellent hires for his Council staff it will quickly further endear the charasmatic politician to the City of Los Angeles.  We don't know if Paul Krekorian intends to run for Mayor of Los Angeles but with crop of current and former Council Members who plan to run and are generally ridiculed by their constituents - not to mention the crop of gadflies and unknown corporate types who might jump in the race - Krekorian presents a qualified and attractive alternative not only to anything we've already had but to what we could have.

If he keeps it up these next two years, if he wants to be Mayor, he has it.

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A Victory for the Parents

...and a big loss for the teacher's union!

SB4 5x has just passed in the State Senate.

This is the "Parent Trigger" bill as it has been nicknamed. Parents will now be able to demand staff & administrative changes if a school is under-performing. The bill even allows parents to ask a charter school to take over a failing school in a local school district. LAUSD anyone?

The Parent Revolution organization, the tireless promoters of the bill, are celebrating in Sacramento and throughout the state tonight!
The Governor is expected to sign the bill into law tomorrow or Friday.

"Among its most crucial provisions, SB 4 (5X) would let student performance data be used in evaluating teachers and administrators and let parents of students zoned to attend especially low-performing schools transfer their children to other schools, whether in their school district or beyond. I believe parents are best equipped to decide where their child goes to school."-Senator Bob Huff.

Also, thanks to local Sunland-Tujunga education activist Lydia Grant of the ST Neighborhood Council, for calling in reports throughout the week from Sacramento. She and her daughter have had a busy week speaking before every committee involved in passage of this bill, in addition to addressing the Assembly & Senate. Nice work!

Los Angeles Politics Hotsheet for Wednesday

The grown-ups are now officially in charge in CD2.  Councilman Paul Krekorian was sworn in Tuesday.

In light of the attempted Christmas Day underwear bombing LAX has announced plans to step up security.  The airport says it will hire more police officers and buy more full body scanners.  Mayor Villaraigosa told reporters at a presser "If people know they can fly into the safest airport in the United States of America, they're going to want to come here."

The LA Times reported that part of the reason behind the Mayor pushing out former CRA head Cecilia Estolano was her refusal to comply with the Mayor's order to move the agency to less pricy digs.  However not that Estolano is gone a move is underfoot by the property's owner to keep the agency there and, according to CurbedLA, the claim is they would actually save money.  Stay tuned.

Yet another water main break. This time, Tuesday at about 1:00 a.m. in Wilmington, creating a massive flood on North Alameda Street.

Bloggers at Griffith Park Wayist and Village to Village are calling for Neighborhood Council leaders to boycott the Mayor's Budget  Survey.  The feeling is that the survey is a meaningless sham and an opportunity for the Mayor to feign participation and have an out to throw stakeholders under the bus when things get bad.  I will join this call as last year when I took the survey I found it lacking in many ways and the only way to give input was to add comments in the margin.  Spread the word - no survey.

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Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Councilmember Paul Krekorian

It's now official! The City Council has ratified the election results and CD2 finally has representation again! Welcome to the Horseshoe, Paul Krekorian!

Outtakes from CD 14: "2010 = Year of Repair for Councilman Jose Huizar"

Hola and Happy New Year from the "Cut and Paste Capital" of "Ciudad de Los Angeles".
2010 is five days old and just like the last four years under the reign of Councilman Jose Huizar, political controversy is never rare in this cut and paste barrio.
According to media sources, Councilman Huizar was supposed to announce a $50,000 dollar reward on December 30, in the brutal murder of 15 year old Luis Eduardo Perez, who was shot several times, by a female at about 7:30 AM on December 7, 2009, near the 2100 block of east Cesar E. Chavez Avenue.
Family members of the victim and law enforcement officials were set to announce the reward at a press conference, but the event was cancel due to the lack of availability of Councilman Huizar.
This cancellation was reported upon by several media outlets. Further, one local media writer has opined by stating this, "should a murder be out on the streets of our community any longer because a politician is not available to make the announcement?"
Readers of our "Outtakes from CD 14" posts will remember the controversy over the $75,000 reward that Huizar hastily announced in the double murder near Oscar's Bar in Boyle Heights in 2009. Speculation was rampant that one of the victims had ties to a member of Huizar's family.
As in all things that raise to the level of controversial in CD 14 during the reign of Councilman Huizar, one of the mitigating factors is the stonewalling that comes from Huizar's office when media sources seek information on these issues. Huizar's Communication Person Rick Coca, according to local media sources, is well known for not responding to repeated calls for comments on various issues, including both of the reward issues cited above.
But in the spirit of objectivity, Huizar's office did respond to the Los Angeles Times story regarding the stall work at the Ascot Hills Park in El Sereno. Maybe Huizar is looking forward to bigger things in his political future and has disdain for local media sources that include The Voice, Boulevard Sentinel, and the Los Angeles Garment and Citizen Newspapers, who are doing hands on reporting in CD 14?
In retrospect as CD 14 progresses toward 2011, Councilman Huizar should prioritize repairing ties to local media observers and his constituents in general. Many outstanding issues need resolution in CD 14, whether they are the Southwest Museum, Wyvernwood, Ascot Hills Park, Hazard Park Wetlands, Gentrification and simply constituent interaction.
To be objective, Councilman Huizar has outreach to community leaders who have been outspoken in their comments about Huizar's past actions. But as we near the next election cycle in CD 14, the end game and resolution to these issues stated above and others, should be the paramount concern for Councilman Huizar in 2010.
Your thoughts...................


Los Angeles Politics Hotsheet for Tuesday

The Times recaps the staffing changes Antonio Villaraigosa has made within the Mayor's office since winning re-election to a second term.  Realizing he's frittered away most of his time as Mayor Villaraigosa wants to leave a legacy and has made major team changes throwing out deadwood and reassigning his performers to key areas of responsibility over his agenda items, such as moving former Burbank City Manager Bud Ovrom to head up the Department of Building and Safety. Most telling of the personnel move was the dismissal of Community Redevelopment Agency head Cecilia Estolano who refused to adhere to a Mayoral directive to move the CRA's headquarters to less pricier digs and save the City some dough. According to The Times Estolano told the Mayor she'd rather resign than move to a downscale building the Mayor had in mind, telling a Villaraigosa aide "The mayor may want to know that he will lose the CEO of his CRA/LA over this."

In case you were speculating about what mystery illness City Attorney Carmen "The Clown" Trutanich had over Thanksgiving weekend the Times reports it was an attack of gallstone pancreatitis. Nuch tells the fishwrap he's going to have his gall bladder taken out.  Might as well as it appears just as his mentor Steve Cooley, Trutanich had his testicles removed when it comes to prosecuting public corruption.

Curbed LA asks if New York has far more tourists visiting it than Los Angeles, why does Los Angeles have so many tour buses. Gee, this is something I've sat up nights wondering myself.

Don't you get sick of these celebrities who moralize about what we must do for the planet except when it comes to their lives.  For example political scion Robert Kennedy, Jr. who promotes anti-global warming schemes like Cap and Tax but has a carbon footprint the size of Texas from flying private jets and opposes wind power when it is in view of the Kennedy Family Compound in New England.  The latest is U2 guitarist "The Edge" who lectures on environmentalism but wants to build a five mansion complex on a bluff in Malibu.  Perhaps these guys need a lecture from actor Ed Begley, Jr. who actually walks his talk.

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Monday, January 04, 2010

2010 Predictions

Janice Hahn will crush Dean Florez in the Democratic primary for Lt Governor and be poised to take on Republican nominee Abel Maldonado. However remarks made by Hahn during a primary debate with Florez will be taken as anti-Latino and tarnish her image with Hispanics who will flock to Maldonado providing him a margin of victory in a Latino year.

An elected Los Angeles official will be arrested by the LAPD, inside City Hall, caught in the act of a significant felony offense causing a political firestorm throughout the City.

Day to day management of the Los Angeles Convention Center will be taken over by a private company who will eventually make a buyout offer for the facility that the near bankrupt City can not refuse. A similar effort however by The Walt Disney Company to take over the LA Zoo will fail, however Councilman Tom LaBonge will face a stunning political loss when the City Council votes 14-1 to direct staff to find a lessee for the Zoo.

The bloggers behind the Griffith Park Wayist blog will put together an activist network rivaling that of the Saving Los Angeles Project. The group will quickly catch on with a membership base more diverse in age and race than SLAP and move forward in recruiting bicycle activist Stephen Box to run against Councilman Tom LaBonge in the 2011 race.

Former Mayoral candidate Phil Jennerjahn will earn the GOP nomination for the 33rd Congressional District but lose to current Rep. Dianne Watson by the lowest margin ever for a Republican challenger in that significanlty Democratic district.

Blogger Zach Behrens will be hired as an analyst for FoxNews Network and become the "house liberal" for their late night talk show "Red Eye."

Mayor Villaraigosa will team up with celebrity Chef Bobby Flay on an episode of the Food Network's "Iron Chef America" going up against a team of Wolfgang Puck and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

LA District Attorney Steve Cooley will easily garner the Republican nomination for State Attorney General and crush San Francisco DA Kamala Harris in the General Election.

The Los Angeles Dodgers will win the World Series in game five against the Oakland As.

Republicans will gain 7 seats in the US Senate and 35 in the House but not come close enough to recapture control. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will however fail to garner re-election in his home state of Nevada.

The next big thing in the tech world that will be used by political candidates is a site that combines elements of text messaging and a calendar with social networking. The site will allow many grass roots candidates to quickly assemble groups of supporters to drive voters to the polls.

And finally more than half these predictions will not come true.

Recap of 2009 predictions


Los Angeles Politics Hotsheet for Monday

The future of LA neighborhoods?

Janice Hahn really is serious.  She's running for California Lieutenant Governor and has assembled a political dream team led by former Sister City blogger and Villaraigosa consigliere Michael Trujillo and includes fresh from a smackdown in CD2, John Shallman, campaign technology guru Joe Trippi and straight out of the Gavin Newsom debacle, Garry South.

In case you were wondering what City Council members do, they make calendars.  At least that's what Tom LeBong has done.  Heck even former Clowncil loser candidate Chris Essel made up a calendar!

Mulholland Terrace at Griffith Park Wayist serves up predictions for 2010 including the death of the Los Angeles Times and a great golf score for SLAP's Ron Kaye.

Imagine the Los Angeles City Council having accomplished so much in three years they took a pleased look at their results and then the entire Council subsequently retired.  That actually happened 100 years ago this week.

Watching the excellent History Channel program Life After People made me think.  Years of failed government policies turned the City of Detroit into an economic basket case that whole neighborhoods have been abandoned and stand fallow, with nature reclaiming the properties. Could a similar fate be in store for a soon to be bankrupted Los Angeles?

Speaking of failed policies the City of Los Angeles spent millions of dollars to redevelop and bring business to the North Hollywood area, the HOWS Market located next to the Metro Red Line is closing after less than three years in business. Officials from the Mayor's office and the Community Redevelopment Agency are rumored to have called an emergency meeting with the store owners but management is reported as saying nothing will persuade them to remain open; sagging sales are forcing the chain to shutter this location.

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