VOICES--Los Angeles is in the throes of an unprecedented housing affordability crisis, with homelessness at historic highs.  So why does our planning department see fit to allow developers to buy up affordable, rent-stabilized buildings and convert them to luxury, million-dollar condominiums? 

REMEMBER ENRON?--Los Angeles’ escalating housing costs are not due to impartial market forces, but rather, the product of judicially sanctioned corruptionism. Hillel Aron and Jason McGahan, in their November 29, 2017 article, What Happens When Wall Street Is Your Landlord?   describe the personal pain and suffering that is increasingly befalling Angelenos. 

BELL VIEW-This one goes way back. When I was about 8 years old, I got together with my friend up the street, Davy Dexheimer, to play Hot Wheels. We set up a track down Davy’s long driveway and raced our cars against each other. Davy had quite the collection, and one in particular caught my eye. So, when we were packing up our things at the end of the day, I pocketed one small car and headed home. 

RANTZ AND RAVEZ-Without Justice in our society – and particularly in the Criminal Judicial System -- there is a strong tendency by some members of society to resort to misguided vigilante justice or, as it states in Exodus 21:24, to demand an eye for eye, a tooth for tooth, a hand for hand, a foot for a foot. 

EASTSIDER-Everyone knows about the plight of the folks living around Porter Ranch, and how well SoCalGas has treated them. Now it appears that all DWP customers will be receiving a “gift” from the Gas company that we really, really are not going to like! 

YES IN MY BACK YARDERS ON THE MOVE-Of the fifteen bills in the “housing package” signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown on September 29, the one that got the most attention in the media was State Senator Scott Wiener’s SB 35—and for good reason: SB 35 goes a long way toward “putting teeth” in California’s Regional Housing Needs Allocations, the number of housing units that each city’s and county’s zoning must accommodate. Moreover, the bill’s provisions for “by-right” approval of certain multi-family, infill developments both circumvent the California Environmental Quality Act and eliminate negotiations with developers over community benefits.

PLATKIN ON PLANNING-At the height of the previous anti-Russian cold war, roughhewn anti-Communists, like J. Edgar Hoover, wrote long forgotten tracts, like his masterpiece, Masters of Deceit. He told “real Americans” about telltale signs that slick-talking liberals sneaking into their circle of friends might really be clandestine Reds. Picking up his theme, in 1949 RKO Studios produced I Married a Communist, but it was such a dud that the studio renamed the film, The Woman on Pier 13.   A half-century later, acclaimed writer Phillip Roth wrote a sarcastic novel with the same name, “I Married a Communist.”  

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