EASTSIDER-After a recent presentation by DWP about the status of remediation of underground water in the San Fernando Valley, I realized two things; first, they are doing a great job at building facilities to remove the underground toxins in these areas from the useful water for us Angelinos, and second, none of these measures are going to directly increase the water supply to Southern California. Which leaves us with a big question -- how do we ensure our water supply in this desert we inhabit? 

ECONOMY--On January 28, 2018, the Dow Jones stock index closed at a record high of 28,610. Nine days later, on February 6, the Dow index hit an intraday low of 24,198, a drop of over 15 percent. Since then the Dow index has recovered somewhat, along with other stock indexes and the underlying stocks around the world.

FIRST PERSON --On February 12, 2018 at 9 a.m. in the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) before Judge Eileen M. Cohn, at 320 West Fourth St, Suite 630, Los Angeles, CA 90013, the California Attorney General, on behalf of California Teacher Credentialing (CTC), will attempt to culminate LAUSD's more than 10-year war on me using fabricated charges and by moving to definitively take away my teaching credential claiming I am a racist. What follows will be my Opening Statement. 

CONNECTING CALIFORNIA-Here’s the good news in Sacramento: “Lady Bird,” a coming-of-age film set in Sacramento -- and written and directed by the California capital’s own Greta Gerwig -- has been nominated for five Academy Awards, including best picture. 

RANTZ AND RAVEZ-California State Assemblyman Matt Dababneh recently resigned from office leaving the 45th Assembly District seat open for a Special Election. The 45th District covers a major portion of the West San Fernando Valley and the Bell Canyon, Hidden Hills and Calabasas communities.  

When all of my belongings were in storage and I was living out of the second-bedroom of my best friend’s apartment while her son was off at college –unless you knew my situation you had no idea that I was homeless–but I was. That’s why I can tell you now that the 2018 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count is going to be woefully inaccurate and the full magnitude of the crisis underreported if we continue to put the focus only on the homeless that we can see.

PLATKIN ON PLANNING-Last week I heard from a number of readers about my recent CityWatch column critical of California Senate Bill 827. They told me that Scott Wiener’s proposed legislation would inflict far more damage on Los Angeles than imposing taller height limits, eliminating parking requirements, and gutting zoning overlay districts, such as Historic Preservation Overlay Zones (HPOZs). They told me it would also allow the construction of by-right apartment buildings on parcels that the City Council previously zoned for single-family residences. And, it will put the on-going, City Hall-supported gentrification of Los Angeles on steroids. 

MORE THAN THE MIDDLE IS MISSING!--At Scott Wiener’s February 3 town hall in San Francisco’s Outer Sunset neighborhood, I was startled to hear the city’s state senator say that his controversial new bill, SB 827, co-sponsored by Senator Nancy Skinner and drafted by California YIMBY Executive Director Brian Hanlon, was all about fostering the construction of the “missing middle”—“small to mid-sized apartment” buildings that are three to five stories tall with “maybe 8 to 20 units.”

PERSPECTIVE--We've been talking with many of you for over three years now about the fact that high speed trains do NOT belong in our residential communities or sensitive environmental areas. Before anyone gets numb from these constant occurrences or gets bamboozled by CHSRA that it can mitigate this old technology to somehow prevent such occurrences from happening in your Districts, it is time NOW to stop this lunacy called high speed trains from Palmdale to Burbank. 

LABOR WATCH--While online shopping has fundamentally changed retail and several major brands have shut down shops, America is not experiencing a so-called retail apocalypse. Brick and mortar stores still employ almost 16 million retail workers nationwide, and according to Forbes, “90% of consumer spending is still happening in the real world.” In fact, the 2017 holiday season saw the “strongest growth in holiday retail sales since the end of the Great Recession.”

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