CORRUPTION WATCH-Will Patrick Soon-Shiong M.D. continue the LA Times’ tradition to print only news that the LA elite desires Angelenos to read … or will he use the paper to address Los Angeles’ dire problems?
What are LA’s problems? Mickey Kantor’s 2020 Commissions stated them very well in December 2013:
“Los Angeles is barely treading water while the rest of the world is moving forward. We risk falling further behind in adapting to the realities of the 21st century and becoming a City in decline…Los Angeles is sinking into a future in which it no longer can provide the public services to which our people’s taxes entitle them and where the promises made to public employees about a decent and secure retirement simply cannot be kept. City revenues are in long-term stagnation and expenses are climbing. Year by year, our City -- which once was a beacon of innovation and opportunity to the world -- is becoming less livable.” (A Time for Truth, December 2013.)
Within the same time-frame, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Allan Goodman was reviewing the Hollywood Community Plan Update [HCPU]. In January 2014, Judge Goodman rejected the HCPU as it had been intentionally based on fatally flawed data and wishful thinking to the extent that it subverted the law. One might think the 2020 Commission would connect the city’s use of fatally flawed data with Los Angeles’ “barely treading water while the rest of the world is moving forward.” Nope! And, four years later, Lies and Myths reign supreme and LA has grown significantly more unlivable.
On January 31, 2018, UCLA’s Institute for Transportation Studies issued its report on the continued loss of METRO ridership, and a few days later, INRIX again ranked Los Angeles as having the worst traffic congestion in the entire world for the sixth year in a row.
In the last year, the Los Angeles area fell 13 slots in the Milken List of Ten Best Cities to #61, while the City’s homelessness mounts to worst in the nation and we Angelenos have another multi-million dollar budget deficit looming ahead.
Yes, Kantor’s 2020 Commission was accurate: “We risk falling further behind in adapting to the realities of the 21st century and becoming a City in decline.”
Will Lies, Myths and Decline Continue to Plague LA?
Will Patrick Soon-Shiong use his ownership to replace the lies and myths emanating from City Hall with facts and logic? The LA Times’ reporters started to look at the issue when they investigated the gifts developers were making to the Mayor and Councilmembers to have their projects approved. For example, $60,000 went from developer Samuel Leung to Garcetti’s charity; Times reporters also uncovered the extensive use of faux-contributors to funnel thousands of dollars to councilmembers.
Then, the matter stopped. It is inconceivable that reporters decided on their own to drop such a crucial matter and remain silent as corruptionism rotted the city. City Hall mavens know very well that there are several gold mines of material being hidden in its bowels.
Will Patrick Soon-Shiong re-read Mickey Kantor’s December 2013 “A Time for Truth”?
Soon-Shiong’s alleged next door neighbor, Austin Beutner, who was for a short time publisher of the LA Times, was co-sponsor of the 2020 Commission; so maybe Beutner can hand the doctor a copy of the report over the back fence. Will the new editor read Judge Goodman’s decision laying bare how the City uses Lies and Myths for major planning?
Will Soon-Shiong speak with groups that did the underlying work in the HCPU legal cases, Hollywoodians Encouraging Logical Planning [HELP] (LASC # BS 138 370) and Fix The City (LASC # BS138 580)?
Will he read the demographic studies showing that Family Millennials are leaving the City? Will he read the UCLA ITS report about the on-going disaster of trying to force mass transit on an unwilling population? Will Soon-Shiong realize that six years of having the world’s worst traffic indicates bad public policy?
Will he realize that destroying single family residential neighborhoods by imposing Granny Flats or SB 827 will drive more Family Millennials away from LA?
Will Patrick Soon-Shiong understand that there are people other than the Davos Set and their lackeys and henchmen who might know what’s going on in LA?
Delegation Can Backfire
When the Pooh-Bahs delegate vital responsibilities to shallow underlings who have no comprehension of the real problems, tipshes (foolishness) results. When the 1% speaks only with the 1%, we get gonifferia (an invented word). When goniffs hook up to plan public policy, then gonifferia becomes an epidemic.
Why Do People Read the LA Times?
My guess is for the same reason that people climb a mountain – because it is there -- but most Angelenos do not bother.
If the LA Times allowed its reporters to practice in-depth journalism based on data and facts, if they were permitted to analyze what is really wrong with LA, then people might pay to read the LA Times.
(Richard Lee Abrams is a Los Angeles attorney and a CityWatch contributor. He can be reached at: Rickleeabrams@Gmail.com. Abrams views are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of CityWatch.) Edited for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.