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 OUR 4TH OF JULY DIFFERENCES

The Declaration of Independence Meant Something Different to America’s Not So Independent Slaves

Amy Goodman
WHO WE ARE-“What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July?” asked Frederick Douglass (photo above) of the crowd gathered at Corinthian Hall in Rochester, NY, on July 5, 1852. “I answer,” he continued, “a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which lie is the constant victim. To him,…

Trumping Trump: Shun the Donald, Boycott His Palos Verdes Golf Course

Bob Gelfand
GELFAND’S WORLD-I believe that it's really Donald Trump's hair. I seem to be unique in this belief. It's nice to be unique in some way, but what bothers me is that I have also been nearly unique, until now, in arguing that Trump should be shunned and boycotted. But times change. It's been a traumatic week both for Donald Trump and for the…

LA’s Sidewalks: Penny Wise and Pound Foolish

Jack Humphreville
LA WATCHDOG-The City of Los Angeles is expected to spend $1.4 billion over the next 30 years to repair our sidewalks pursuant to a Settlement Agreement involving the Willits class action lawsuit that alleged that the City was not in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. While the yet to be disclosed Settlement Agreement appears to…

Is It Really a Golden State or Is It Just One of Those Hollywood Illusions?

Dennis Zine
JUST THE FACTS-Is Los Angeles really part of a Golden State or is it a place to remember as you move to greener pastures? I pose this question following my recent visit to Chicago and other cities east of the Rockies. My travels to the east coast were part of my reserve LAPD duty. I was part of the group of LAPD Reserve Officers escorting the…

Want to Save The Bullet Train, Governor … Get Better Bullet Points!

Ken Alpern
GETTING THERE FROM HERE-George W. Bush had Iraq. Barack Obama has ObamaCare. And Jerry Brown has HIS bullet train. Not OUR bullet train, mind you, but HIS bullet train. And like Iraq, and like ObamaCare, the bullet train that was meant to help all of us, and which was promoted with great fanfare and wonderful intentions, has to survive the test of…

LA: Hit-and-Run Capital of the World May Be Getting an Alert System

Damien Newton
LA’S STREETS - After last week’s warning that CA Assemblymember Mike Gatto’s legislation to create a “Yellow Alert” system was imperiled by Senate Transportation and Housing Committee staff and the California Highway Patrol’s (CHP) objections, there was a feeling of a looming showdown before today’s committee hearing. Assembly Bill 8 would create…

LA’s Citywide Sign Ordinance: By, For and Of Special Interests

Barbara Broide
IRATE PRIVATE CITIZEN’S OPEN LETTER-I write this letter not as a representative of my local homeowners association or neighborhood council, both of which have come out in support of the sign ordinance that limits new signage to sign districts in specified commercially zoned areas and who seek enforcement of and the issuance of citations to signs…

Now Is the Time For True Courage

Abby Zimet
FURTHER-Britanny 'Bree' Newsome - the filmmaker, organizer, activist and aspiring Super-Woman who memorably, determinedly climbed the flagpole at South Carolina's capitol to remove the Confederate flag - has spoken out for the first time about her feat, which she views "both as an act of civil disobedience and as a demonstration of the power…

When Did the American Civil War Really End and … Did Shenandoah Really Save the Whales?

Paul Hatfield
PERSPECTIVE - When did the American Civil War end? Could it really have been late June or early November of 1865? April 9, 1865 is the date widely accepted, and for good reason: it marked the surrender of General Lee’s army at Appomattox, Virginia. It was a foregone conclusion that other field commands would quickly follow suit. In fact, they did,…

 

  • Costco: Free Range Liars!

    Christian Cristiano
    WELLNESS POLITICS-Eight years ago grocery retailer Costco (COST) pledged to transition out of using eggs from chickens in small cages to cage free…
  • 10 Things Over-Thinkers Are Tired Of Over-Thinking

    Lindsay Holmes
    WELLNESS-While writing this intro, I deleted the first paragraph approximately six times. My thoughts ranged from "Just get to the point already" to…
  • Can Procrastination Give You a Heart Attack?

    Christian Cristiano
    WELLNESS-A study posted in the journal of behavioral medicine linked procrastination with hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Specifically…



Sun Jul 05, 2015 @ 5:00PM - 09:00PM
Twilight in the Garden: Little Tokyo Concert Series
Thu Jul 16, 2015 @12:00AM
LA Equality Awards RSVP
Thu Jul 30, 2015 @ 6:00PM - 08:00PM
A Taste of Chatsworth


Fail! Fail! Americans don’t know why we celebrate the 4th of July

Awwww! Tornado separates dog and owner … dog waits!

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

Art and Politics about to Collide

CityWatch - I lived in Chicago a bunch of years ago and was trying, on one occasion, to get some help from the City for an arts project and found myself stuck … if not in neutral … low gear.  A Chicago Alderman … their version of a Councilman … gave me some advice: “Leave the art to the artists and the politics to the politicians.” I pass that along … free of charge … to the good folks at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art … who find themselves embroiled in a rather messy difference of opinion about where the Fairfax Subway Station ought to go, once Metro gets around to building it.

LACMA has a station location they favor and has been doing some political arm-twisting to get their way. Meantime, a fair chunk of the neighborhood has a different idea about where the station should be built and … as neighbors are wont to do when they are spurned … this group is beginning to make some ‘political’ noise of its own.

A good political hand would likely have gotten the two … and others … together before LACMA found itself publically cornered and vulnerable to the ‘bad guy’ label in this beef.

Architecture writer and community activist began to stir the pot with his LA Times Op-Ed piece a couple of weeks ago:

“It's hardly where you'd expect to find such news, but an environmental impact statement just issued by the L.A. County Metropolitan Transportation Authority for the Purple Line subway contains an ominous report on the status of the arts in Los Angeles. According to the document, before the transportation agency begins digging tunnels through the tar-and-fossil-filled veins of San Pedro sand that lie beneath Wilshire Boulevard, it will aim an above-ground wrecker's ball at three of L.A.'s most vulnerable arts establishments, leveling the city's only architecture museum along with two other gallery spaces that are part of the city's Museum Row.

“In the name of a greater good — extending the subway down Wilshire Boulevard to Westwood and, someday, the ocean — the buildings that house the A+D architecture museum and the Edward Cella Art+Architecture and Steve Turner Contemporary galleries will all be razed. The ill-fated stretch is directly across the street from LACMA's Broad Contemporary and next door to the Petersen Automotive Museum.

“Neither the architecture museum nor the galleries oppose the Purple Line in concept. As gallery owner Edward Cella says, "I have great sympathy for the subway project. It's a dream of all Los Angeles." But that doesn't mean he's happy about the ouster. "I purposely moved my gallery from Santa Barbara to be in this network of spaces next to the A+D, across the street from LACMA, down the block from the Petersen. The context is irreplaceable."  (Read the rest of Greg Goldin’s piece here)

LACMA had to know that razing those galleries would smudge the political canvass so what were they thinking?  And, sure enough, along comes the Miracle Mile Residential Association to oppose LACMA and ask a bunch of tough … embarrassing? … questions.

From the MMRA press release on Monday:

“James O’Sullivan, President, Miracle Mile Residential Association [MMRA] announced today that the organization is working to stop attempts by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art [LACMA] to convince the Metropolitan Transportation Authority [Metro] to abandon the transit agency’s staff recommendation that the Fairfax/Wilshire subway entrance and exit should be located beside Johnie’s Coffee Shop.

“The MMRA also has written a formal request to Metro officials asking that they explain why parcels bounded by Wilshire Boulevard on the north, South Orange Grove Avenue on the east, and South Odgen Drive on the west – which LACMA owns a section of – was selected as the construction staging ground for the Fairfax/Wilshire subway portal. Demolition of this entire block of Museum
Row will displace the A+D Museum, three neighboring galleries, as well as two adjacent 4-unit apartment buildings on South Orange Grove Avenue.

“Metro’s Final Environmental Impact Report on the Westside Subway Extension, released on March 19, 2012, determined that the best location for the Fairfax/Wilshire portal would be immediately west of the iconic Johnie’s Coffee Shop on the northwest corner of Fairfax Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard.

“This site reduces the risk of encountering hazardous methane and hydrogen sulfide laced soils (as well as prehistoric fossils). Importantly, it is also the ideal location for bus transfers on Fairfax and Wilshire and offers the best access to the Farmer’s Market, The Grove, and the densely populated Park La Brea complex.

“LACMA is urging the Metro Board to abandon Johnie’s in favor of a portal on the southeast corner of Orange Grove and Wilshire. The Museum dismisses Metro’s safety and transit concerns because the Orange Grove location, says LACMA attorney Fred Goldstein, “more directly serves the museum." Goldstein also said the greater distance riders would have to walk to-and-from connecting buses was “counting footsteps.” O’Sullivan countered that “counting steps is something that people with disabilities do every day.”

“The MMRA has always supported LACMA’s original plan to have subway riders emerge into the lobby of the historic May Co. at Wilshire and Fairfax.

However, when LACMA and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences negotiated an agreement for the Academy Museum to be located at the May Co., the Academy insisted that the portal be moved elsewhere. This forced Metro to select the Johnie’s portal.

“The whole point of building this subway is to make public transportation easier and more attractive. Forcing folks to walk an extra block-and-a-half to catch a bus at Fairfax and Wilshire just to massage LACMA’s vanity isn’t going to get more cars off the road,” MMRA chair O’Sullivan said. “This is not just bad transit planning, it’s risky, it’s unnecessary, and it’s wrong.”

“MMRA is also concerned about the displacement of the A+D Museum, Edward Cella gallery, Steve Turner Contemporary, and For Your Art.

“MMRA questions why we have to sacrifice these buildings where these small galleries and the A+D museum are located. If Museum Row is to exist and remain vital there must be a place for both big and small. If Metro can accommodate the Academy and move a station entrance from its ideal location at the May Co. building, then Metro can also find a way to spare key cultural institutions in what they themselves call a ‘cultural hub,’” O’Sullivan says.

So, the art folks at LACMA have themselves in a political pickle and best they take my Chicago friend’s advice and find some political skills to get into the mix and bring the neighbors and the one-day-to-be-displaced galleries … and themselves … together.

Certainly LACMA has become a big voice in the hood but it’s not the only player and it’s not without need for support. This is the kind of public battle that can become political baggage if not handled wisely. Even if LACMA’s perspective is the better one. And the time to handle it is now.

INFO YOU MAY NEED:

● Next public meeting on this issue: April 17, 2012 (7p)
Mid City West Neighborhood Council
Transportation Parking & Streetscape Committee
543 N Fairfax Ave (Rm 101)
Agenda

Metro’s Recommendations

Final EIR Impact Report

MMRA White Paper

(Ken Draper is the editor of CityWatch. He can be reached at editor@citywatchla.com) -cw

Tags: LACMA, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, MMRA, Miracle Mile Residential Association, MCWCC, Mid City West Community Council, subway station, Fairfax subway station









CityWatch
Vol 10 Issue 31
Pub: Apr 17, 2012

 

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