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SOUTH OF THE 10 - Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva was questioned under oath Wednesday, Nov. 10, by lawyers for Kobe Bryant’s widow in a contentious lawsuit accusing deputies of sharing cellphone photos taken at the site of the helicopter crash last year that killed the NBA legend, the couple’s 13-year-old daughter and seven others.

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COMMENTARY - Many Angelenos took the opportunity offered by working from home during the pandemic to move to a new house – often outside the City and sometimes outside the state. 

No long commutes, no inhaling exhaust fumes while stuck in traffic jams, no threatening gestures from other irate drivers, all while helping reduce global warming. 

For many of us much, if not most, of our work can be completed just as effectively seated in front of our home computers. 

Some meetings require hands-on participation beyond the current capabilities of Zoom or Teams.  Trainings are often more effective in person. 

But it’s hard to stop a robbery in progress, rescue a cat from a tree, perform CPR or fight wildfires remotely. 

Before Zoom, cities usually relied on employee desires for short commutes to ensure their workers reflected those for whom they worked. 

Generally, it has only been at the level of elected officials that residency requirements have been imposed. 

That may be why the Charter of the City of Los Angeles has no such requirements.  Or perhaps the City Attorney’s office nixed it as discriminatory, or perhaps they never considered the ramifications two decades on. 

There is also the aspect of recycling City funds within the community, an aspect of significant benefit for our economy. If everyone buys Chinese-made goods from Amazon or groceries in Palmdale, how can businesses based in Los Angeles thrive? 

To what extent do they or should they pay taxes that support the City (property, sales, hotel, parking, etc.)? 

And while employees of the LAFD and LAPD may enjoy the quality of life opportunities of living in Calabasas or Austin or Hilton Head – be it for cheaper housing, a less ‘woke’ community or to be closer to elderly family members – how does that impact their work in Los Angeles? 

It’s one thing to work from out-of-state on a job that does not entail a physical presence, quite another for those who operate firehoses or chase crooks. 

Even then, there are degrees of impact. 

Is the person commuting on perform a daily basis or weekly? How far? 

In an emergency, how soon can they report to their station? Would some emergencies – roads shut or air travel suspended – impair their ability to report at all? 

Interactions for many in-person jobs benefit when both individuals are part of the same community with similar values and understandings. 

How much is lost when a Caucasian residing in Brattleboro, Vermont has to evacuate Guatemalan residents in Boyle Heights? 

Just living in a homogenous community can limit ability to effectively perform in hugely cosmopolitan Los Angeles. 

Which is more discriminatory – to restrict a worker’s choice of residence or impose another layer of risk on a panicking Angeleno? 

Ultimately the equity lens must be applied on a case-by-case basis. There is no one size fits all. 

And that applies to every employer and every person in every job in the land.

 

(Liz Amsden is an activist from Northeast Los Angeles with opinions on much of what goes on in our lives. She has written extensively on the City's budget and services as well as her many other interests and passions. In her real life she works on budgets for film and television where fiction can rarely be as strange as the truth of living in today's world.)

 

GENERAL JEFF LEAVES POWERFUL LEGACY - (Editor's Note: Jeff Page, "General Jeff", wrote about LA's Skid Row and LA Homelessness for CityWatch for more than 10 years. He wrote from firsthand knowledge, trying to help us understand what most of us cannot comprehend. He will be missed.) 

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PLANNING WATCH - Wall Street works through advocacy organizations, public officials, and blinkered housing and planning specialists, to fine tune its schemes for extracting even more rent and mortgage payments from the working and middle classes. 

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ERIC PREVEN’S NOTEBOOK - As she steps aboard the Board of City Tourism Commissioners, Germonique Ulmer should sail through the fingerprinting and meet with Paul Koretz her Council member requirement with no trouble -- though, she might meet with Nithya Raman, just in case her San Fernando valley home has shifted districts. 

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GELFAND’S WORLD - The Green Bay Packers lost their game to Kansas City on Sunday because Aaron Rogers was too much of a wimp to get the Covid vaccination.

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DEEGAN ON LA—The most powerful woman in Los Angeles city politics reaped her rewards on Friday, November 5. It was a landmark day that saw the rags to riches politico (she represents Council District 6 ) wear three crowns simultaneously:

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SUPPLY CHAIN - Rescuing Christmas from the supply-chain Grinch won’t be easy. To make it happen, policymakers and business leaders need to take an expansive approach, paying attention to logistics beyond our nation’s clogged-up harbors.

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THE DOCTOR IS IN - As much as we all pretty much understand how the COVID-19 pandemic has destroyed much of our civilized, law-abiding history and present-day ills, it's hard not to conclude that L.A.'s so-called "leadership" has presided, if not exploited, the lawlessness that took over during the psychological crisis that's taken most of us to the psychological, if not psychiatric cleaners. 

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RANTZ & RAVEZ - Some Elected and appointed Los Angeles City Hall officials have clearly demonstrated they are out for themselves and lost their commitment to the Voters, Residents and Taxpayers of the once Proud and Internationally known City of the Angels…

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