I have been a member of the L.A. Community Redevelopment Agency board of commissioners for nine years. That means I’m one of seven decision-makers overseeing the work of the city’s multimillion dollar economic development agency. All of my experience from those nine years can be summarized in the answer to one question: What is a “good deal?”
When is the investment of scarce taxpayer dollars in private development projects a good idea? I know that the answer for some is “never.” That is not – and has never — been my view, (which is why I have been derided by some as a “redevelopment thug.” Fundamentally, the question of the investment worthiness of private economic development projects is one about good government, and how our government should interact with the private market.
I bring this up now because public subsidies to private industry were in the news again recently.
Recycling may be all the rage these days, but here in L.A. and across the country vast amounts of recyclable goods end up in landfills every year.
Turns out we’re throwing away a lot more than bottles, cans and newspapers. Here’s why: recycling equals jobs.
The recent report More Jobs, Less Pollution: Growing the Recycling Economy in the U.S., commissioned by the national Blue Green Alliance and prepared by the Boston-based Tellus Institute, builds a compelling case for thinking twice before throwing that old carpet into the trash. According to the report, increasing the national diversion and recycling rate to 75 percent by 2030 would create over 2.3 million new jobs.
Reuse and recycling — from collection to processing and manufacturing — is much more labor intensive than landfilling and incineration. Take all of those aluminum cans you redeemed this year,
Editor’s Note: The Press-Telegram holds an annual awards ceremony, “Amazing Women of Long Beach.” This year, the newspaper chose to host the event at the worker-boycotted Hilton Long Beach. Responding to their choice to hold the event there, the Long Beach Coalition for Good Jobs and a Healthy Community chose to host a simultaneous event outside the hotel honoring “Inspiring Activist Women of Long Beach.” Some of the activist honorees were slated to receive an award from the Press-Telegram inside the hotel but declined – choosing to support the boycott instead. Daleth Caspeta – a Dream Act Activist and honoree – shares her experience with The Frying Pan.
“When the Nazis came for the communists, I remained silent; I was not a communist. When they locked up the social democrats, I remained silent; I was not a social democrat. When they came for the trade unionists,
Reading the L.A. Business Journal recently, I was a bit taken aback to see a Page Three piece from Charles Crumpley describing a recent trade mission by local business leaders.
These are common, of course, but their destination wasn’t. Apparently long-time LAANE and labor antagonist Carol Schatz and Chamber of Commerce head Gary Toebben took a trip to Cuba. Not only that, Schatz was a key organizer of the event.
Perhaps more shockingly, this was not her first trip. Indeed, she went back in 2003, when she was the wife of Noam Chomsky.
Okay, maybe that’s a different person, though if memory serves (and as time marches on, it does less and less), Carol’s something of a “red-diaper baby. “
Still, I’ve long wondered about the sanity of many of my friends who visit Cuba looking for inspiration.
Zombies have long provided both escapist fare as well as incisive social commentary. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead (1968) dealt with race relations in America, while his Dawn of the Dead (1978) addressed American consumerism. We’re currently going through another zombiessance, and while AMC’s The Walking Dead may not be Exhibit A, it may be the apotheosis of the current zombie moment. (Or at least it was in season one; don’t get me started on how disappointing this current season has been.)
The show examines how we (re-)build some semblance of a civilization in the wake of a horrifying event that has decimated the country. At its best, it’s filled with the tension that marks a bare struggle for survival; it never lets you forget that death (and worse) is ever-present.
In a recent episode (minor spoiler alert!),
Budget cuts are bleeding the University of California system. Tuition and fees are skyrocketing. Admission rates of California residents declined this year at all but one of the university’s 10 campuses. (California also operates 23 colleges known as state universities.) All this seems a far cry from the university’s trajectory set more than 50 years ago, and it is turning high school students like myself away from the schools that once seemed so appealing.
Now in the heat of college applications season, many seniors are wondering if the U.C.s are worth attending at all. Earlier this week the university’s regents, fearing massive demonstrations, cancelled a San Francisco meeting scheduled to discuss raising U.C. student fees. Today at Cal State University Long Beach, as protesters chanted outside the chancellor’s office, trustees voted to raise state university tuitions yet again.
When tuition hikes are regular news and corresponding student sit-ins and protests are commonplace,
When my parents started to work longer and longer hours to support their five kids, they sat me down and told me I had to start taking the bus to school. At 11 years old, this was the best news I could have imagined. Yes, I had to wake up at 6 am to get ready for school and catch the 212 and 33 bus lines, but that sense of independence I got from being able to “roam” around the city was priceless. (Well, almost…if you don’t include the price of a bus pass.) I learned to take the bus to Hollywood, the Montebello Mall, Santa Monica — places that seemed so far away from home in South LA.
It wasn’t always fun, of course: I have many memories of sitting at the La Brea/Venice bus bench for 45 minutes trying to catch the Line 212 after a long school day. I eventually learned to cope by reading a lot,
While the Frying Pan wholly endorses the goals and the ideals of the Occupy movement, there is considerable diversity of opinion here about how Occupy actually plays out on the streets, sidewalks and lawns across the country. Indeed, there’s quite a bit of diversity of opinion among supporters everywhere.
We worry that now — as cops in Oakland, Portland, Salt Lake City, and now New York move in on occupiers — the focus will shift from income inequality to the right to occupy. This is probably not a step forward for a movement which needs to think about its next steps as well as its end game.
Into this landscape comes a suggestion from Kalle Lasn, the founder of Adbusters and originator of the Occupy movement. He proposes that “it might be time for the protesters to “declare ‘victory’ ” and scale back the camps before winter sets in.”
First my boss at the suburban YMCA told me I was fired as a youth worker. Then he said he had been visited by a federal agent who told him I had an FBI file that was a file-drawer deep. It was 1968 Chicago, and the Democratic Convention was around the corner; parents were freaked that their teenagers would participate.
As good as Clint Eastwood’s new film, J. Edgar is, it neglects to portray the climate of fear that Hoover’s FBI historically created for ordinary American activists, particularly from the 1950s until his death in 1972. From visits to homes by suited men trying to “get information,” to intimations of “subversion” to employers, landlords and colleagues, the FBI wreaked havoc on the lives of thousands of law-abiding Americans in its single-minded campaign to weaken dissent within American society. As explained by Wikipedia,
People clutched their green, numbered tickets for what may have been the most coveted event at the Los Angeles Sports Arena this year. It was still in the early morning hours of Friday, October 21, 2011. The ticket holders were children, teens, parents with infants, students, middle-age folk and senior citizens from various ethnic backgrounds. Some people looked like they took the day off work or class; some looked like they may have underemployed or unemployed, and many may have been homeless. A music concert didn’t draw the 3,571 people from diverse backgrounds to the Los Angeles Sports Arena for four days. It was the chance for free medical care at CareNOW Los Angeles, organized by CareNow, a volunteer-based organization that provides medical services to underserved populations.
I had read about this event last year and was struck by two dueling emotions. On one hand I was deeply touched that doctors,