TRANSPO LA - With Kate and William finally off somewhere alone and Osama Bin Laden gone from the scene it is time to bring the conversation back to the circus at home. And what better freak show to start with than the P.T. Barnum of our time, The Donald.
Watching Donald Trump as he plays and replays the non-story of President Obama' birthplace and pretends that he is anything other than an apprentice preening for the presidency, I can't help but think of another effort to obfuscate the community's judgment. And as opposed to whether or not the president needs to show us his birth certificate, this issue actually matters.
Unlike the birther fiction, spun by the Obama haters into a deadly twister, it is important to this transit rider and to all Angelenos that Metro choose the best location for the Wilshire subway station in Century City. And just when we thought we might actually get one, along comes a campaign of lies and half-truths custom-made to hold up the train.
With the local Beverly Hills press little more than a mouthpiece for the handful of Beverly Hillbillies hellbent on stopping the line short of Constellation Blvd, it is critical that residents of Beverly Hills as well as the rest of LA County know the truth about the best station location.
Though Constellation would attract the most riders, opponents of the station are shameless in their ongoing voodoo engineering campaign about the danger of tunneling under part of the high school property and a few homes in the southern part of 90210.
The Beverly Hills School Board, which is leading the charge against the best station location, is spending scarce education dollars that should be going to the three Rs to line the pockets of the three Ls -- the Board's shameless lawyers, lobbyists, and PR lackeys. So far, the Board has somehow funneled north of $400,000 into their wrongheaded drive to show Metro who is boss.
How and why the good citizens of Beverly Hills have let the Board get away with this is beyond reason. If it were my tax dollars at work, I'd have long ago used Google, Facebook and Twitter to assemble a crowd in front of City Hall calling for the School Board's exile to Sharm el-Sheikh or somewhere uninviting out in the Mojave.
To the Beverly Hills taxpayers and to others following this ugly fight, I say don't believe what you read in the Beverly Hills Courier and on the website the School Board has created to deceive the public about Constellation Blvd.
The Board and their PR flacks seem to live by the credo, who needs the pesky truth when you can blind them with falsehoods and heated personal attacks on Metro staff? And who doesn't love the Board's favorite canard that Metro is doing the bidding of the Century City developers in proposing a station at Constellation?
Like the TV ads for gas-sipping muscle cars and hybrid SUVs, why focus on facts when you can spin a web of deception that makes for an effective clog in the wheels of the train?
As for the Hillbillies' preferred alternative, Santa Monica Blvd. and Avenue of the Stars, there's no there there. Plain and simple, it is a less desirable station location.
For the sake of all Angelenos and the overdue subway to the Westside, it is time to mute the misguided School Board. Only then, when the Board has lost its city-issued credit card, will we see how far their broken megaphone carries. Constellation Blvd is the best choice for the Wilshire Subway Station in Century City.
(Joel Epstein, an editor at The Urban Times, is a Los Angeles resident and strategic communications consultant focused on transportation, public health and other critical urban issues. For more about Joel visit: JoelEpstein.com This column was posted first at HuffingtonPost.com ) -cw
Vol 9 Issue 36
Pub: May 6, 2011