SUPPLY-SIDE SHENANIGANS-The real estate research firm CoStar caused a stir in 2017 when it reported a 12.4% residential vacancy rate in Downtown LA. But Steven Sharp published a piece in the LA Times saying that the rate has subsequently dropped considerably. ("Downtown has a high apartment vacancy rate? The rest of LA should be so lucky." LAT, 2/13/2018) Sharp notes that CoStar's data showed a drop to 10.3% in January 2018. He also states the vacancy rate has since declined further to 8.1%, and 4.7% for buildings that have been open for one year or more. 

ALPERN AT LARGE--Ours is a nation united in our revulsion against violence, terrorism (domestic or foreign), and bigotry.  Only the bizarre fringes are accepting of such divisive and dangerous paradigms or actions, but what prevents us from true unity is our willingness (and, perhaps, choice) to hear things that are not being said, and being guilty of focusing on what truly divides us. 

GETTING THERE FROM HERE-The behavior of some on Metro buses and trains, and indeed within Southern California transit agencies, has so disturbed some people who are shocked that there is rudeness on public transportation. This type of rudeness is not restricted to Metro and other SoCal transit agencies but is found throughout the country. 

CORRUPTION WATCH-The massive multi-billion-dollar fraud behind Los Angeles’ homeless crisis has taken a gigantic leap forward with the LA Times’ multi-part editorial which has one basic solution: give billions more dollars to real estate developers. 

GELFAND’S WORLD (BRIEFLY TOLD)--I had suspected that Trump would find some way to walk back the tariffs. He went part way, as he is now claiming that Mexico and Canada will be exempted. But even here, there are strings attached.

RANTZ & RAVES--The City of Los Angeles and its Department of Transportation has for many years neglected to follow the law when it comes to surveying the thousands of miles of city streets for radar speed enforcement.  The law in California requires all cities to routinely survey streets in order for the police to use radar when enforcing speed laws.  

TRASH TALK--What began in the back rooms of LA City Hall between Special Interests Groups, allies on City Council and the Mayor’s Office hit Housing Providers, HOA’s and all Commercial Business in Los Angeles like a 100-foot Tsunami. 

CAPITAL & MAIN REPORT--Up to a million Californians have been convicted of crimes that may no longer exist. Those convictions remain on their records, however, and removing them — especially in Los Angeles County — may take years. Proposition 64, the voter-approved 2016 ballot measure, legalized the recreational use of marijuana and reclassified most state-level felony cannabis offenses as misdemeanors. Some misdemeanors were reduced to mere infractions.(Photo above: Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey with interim L.A. County Sheriff John Scott, in 2014)

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.  

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