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Here’s a Google map you may not want to be consulting any time soon – at least without a drink in hand. It’s the one used by Working America‘s Job Tracker feature that shows the locations of American jobs reported to be leaving your community. By punching in a ZIP Code, you’ll be able to see which companies are exporting jobs or laying off employees, as well as those which have been cited for health and safety violations.
Entering one L.A. ZIP brought up the scary-looking map above, along with links spelling out who’s involved and where this labor triage is taking place within a 50-mile radius of the ZIP Code.
Leader of the Pack: Tom Longboat (72) and Dorando Pietri (19) leaving Windsor Castle
When Olympic marathon races first appeared in the 1896 Athens games, the route was a somewhat arbitrarily chosen 25 miles and, contrary to popular myth, had no authentic origin in Greek history. By the time of the 1908 London Olympiad, the length had been even more whimsically extended to 26 miles, 385 yards – the exact distance between its starting point at Windsor Castle and the course’s terminus at a massive, barely completed stadium in Shepherd’s Bush. Among other things, trainers in those days believed it was bad for their runners to drink water while running and instead kept them supplied with shots of brandy, whisky and – in a pinch – strychnine, which was used as a stimulant.
These are just some of the many revelations to be found in David Davis’ Showdown at Shepherd’s Bush: The 1908 Olympic Marathon and the Three Runners Who Launched a Sporting Craze,
Los Angeles was granted its anticipated funding for America Fast Forward, a project aiming to expedite construction of more extensive and functional public transportation systems. The project’s approval is a victory for both the people of Los Angeles and Mayor Villaraigosa, who has been supporting it for years.
America Fast Forward is a provision of a larger transportation bill approved by Congress in late June and signed into law by President Obama last week. The $100 billion package, which received rare bipartisan support, will reduce harmful emissions, fund the construction of mass transit projects in multiple cities and create thousands of jobs throughout the country.
That’s the good news. On the downside, the law — which hardly resembles earlier versions of the legislation — cuts funding for a number of important programs and puts off critical decisions by only providing monies through 2014.
L.A.’s program would initially be funded by the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA),
The Fourth of July parade rolled down Main Street in Santa Monica while I sat at the computer writing this. Only half a block away, I could hear the sirens and the bands and the sound trucks. What kept me here instead of there was a desire to reflect, not celebrate. Twice a year – on Martin Luther King’s birthday in January and now – I think about the state of American democracy.
I believe in democracy. I believe that democracy is the best form of government human beings have devised to date because it allows people to actually make changes in the government when they feel it’s required. Monarchies, aristocracies, dictatorships and oligarchies preclude that option. In Western civilization, this country broke the tradition of absolute power to create a republic – although participation was narrow: Voting was limited to male property owners. Over the next 150 years those rights expanded.
After growing up in L.A., I got used to hearing my hometown disparaged as superficial, anti-intellectual, not a “real” city, celebrity obsessed, etc. etc. It was shocking to me that Los Angeles could be so easily dismissed by people who hadn’t even visited here and seen how great a place it really is. Even deep thinkers from Northern California looked (and still look) down on our town from the ivory towers of San Francisco and Berkeley, as if Southern California doesn’t represent the majority of the people in our state and most of its social and political energy.
And we Angelenos, rather than defend our town, have often accepted the judgment of others – that L.A. isn’t a serious place, doesn’t produce important scholarship, and is well behind the intelligence curve.
Well, if you need a boost to your hometown ego, spend some time at the Hammer Museum’s new show Made in L.A.,