Circling the News Readers React AND Inform: Library, Composting and Jack-in-the-Development

Even though the branch library is closed, the book drop has been open.

LIBRARY BOOK DROP:

Palisades Branch Librarian Gail Kim notified Circling the News that the book drop at this location will be locked starting at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, December 23 and will not reopen until 10 a.m. on Monday, January 4.

CTN asked if a book was due during that time period, would a patron be fined. She replied, “The library went fine-free on late items on April 1, 2020. However, materials now ‘go lost’ at 30 days after the due date, so plan accordingly and responsibly if you do not want a blocked library card.”

COMPOSTING SURVEY: WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Resilient Palisades, a nonprofit of Pacific Palisades neighbors committed to local, national and global action to address the climate and ecological crisis, wants to know what you think.

According to the EPA’s 2018 Wasted Food Report (published just last month), 60 percent of food waste goes to landfill. As a result, greenhouse gases are produced, get trapped in the air, and are contributing to the climate crisis.

Now LA’s Green New Deal proposes to eliminate organic waste ending up in landfill by 2028.

In the Palisades, we can collectively contribute to this goal and reduce organic waste, such as food scraps, ending up in landfills by composting.

To begin such an effort, Resilient Palisades and its Zero Waste Team requests feedback from Palisadians about food-scrap collection and composting with the following brief survey:

https://s4.intellisurvey.com/pub/compost/

 

 

JACK-IN-THE-BOX REPURPOSING COMMENTS:

Not one community organization supported this project because it was called “bad development” but the L.A. City Planning and Land Use Committee approved it. 
Photo: L.A. City Planning

One reader wrote about the December 10 CTN story: Good article about the PLUM “Hearing” regarding the Jack-in-the-Box project. It is amazing that the developers’ attorney admits everyone in the community is against the project and admits that it violates a law prohibiting residential construction on commercially zoned land within a quarter mile of the beach, and the local Councilmember won’t take a PUBLIC stand on it one way or another. What does that tell you? Yet the PLUM approves the project by a 5-0 vote, and later the City Council will approve it by a “however many members present” to 0 vote.  Just land-use planning in L.A.!

A second reader wrote: “The way the Planning Commission handled their review and discussion was blasphemy. Totally unprofessional.

When it comes to City Council approval …. that will be railroaded too.

Everything is a knee-jerk decision. No overall planning, no master plan, no Coastal Plan …. it is unconscionable!!

Drove up to Santa Barbara last week….. that community is so well planned. The sense of architectural integrity is inspiring.

L.A. is out of control with no vision. That attitude spills over into the Palisades, which is being decimated by the lack of coherent planning.

When will we outgrow the “Wild West” enigma?

 

Another reader sent a December 10 story from City Watch (“Raymond Chan, Former L.A. Building & Safety Head, Charged in Indictment”), which reads: “When a unanimous LA City Council in July 2013 approved skyscrapers atop the 7.0-magnitude Hollywood Earthquake Fault, one might have assumed it was a Hollywood movie plot about corrupt politicians running wild. Who could imagine that our elected officials would openly break the law and endanger thousands of lives in the process?  Sadly, though, fact was stranger than fiction.

“A weary public expects Mayor Garcetti and the City Council to embrace every law-breaking abomination that developers propose. But their approval of the Millennium Hollywood project just north of Hollywood & Vine, since rebranded the Hollywood Center project, was truly one for the record books. Not only were the objections of my client, StopTheMillenniumHollywood.com, and dozens of other community groups and associations ignored, but Garcetti and the City Council refused to heed the objections of two state agencies. The California Geological Survey and Caltrans warned that approving the Millennium project was not only illegal, but reckless.”

The story was written by Pasadena-based attorney Robert P. Silverstein, who sued the City over the project.

He notes that in April this year, L.A. City Hall issued a new EIR that denied any earthquake fault concerns, but then in May, “the United States Geological Survey issued a bombshell study showing evidence of multiple active fault lines crossing the Millennium property. This was followed on July 16, 2020 by a powerful new report from the California Geological Survey debunking the EIR’s conclusions and exposing gross errors and omissions in Millennium’s studies.” The author asks if Chan’s indictment will implicate the current Millennium project proposal.

Chan worked for the city for 33 years, serving as the top executive in the Department of Building and Safety from 2013 to 2016. He was promoted to Deputy Mayor for Economic Development by Garcetti and worked in that role from 2016-17. The entire article can be read here: https://citywatchla.com/index.php/cw/los-angeles/20896-raymond-chan-former-la-building-safety-head-charged-in-indictment.

On November 30, the L.A. Times ran a story (“Ramond Chan, Former L.A. Deputy Mayor, Charged in Federal City Hall Corruption Case”) and quoted a spokesperson for Garcetti: “The behavior outlined in this indictment is reprehensible, and Mayor Garcetti is disgusted to learn that Mr. Chan and the others charged were allegedly involved in this effort to defraud the people of our city. Abhorrent conduct like this severely damages the public’s trust in government, and there can be absolutely no place for it.”

The Times wrote, “So far, the corruption case has resulted in guilty pleas from former City Councilman Mitchell Englander, former Huizar aide George Esparza, one longtime City Hall lobbyist and a pair of real estate consultants. Huizar, who was stripped of his pay and his duties earlier this year, has pleaded not guilty to an array of charges, including racketeering, bribery and money laundering.”

This led the Circling the News reader to wonder, “What other illegal project waits to be discovered?”

(Editor’s note: There’s an interesting November 2018 Preserve LA story, “Special Report: FBI Investigation and Pay-to-Play at Los Angeles City Hall,” which summarizes: “This special timeline of official city information reveals how L.A. City Hall works behind closed doors, on behalf of developers and usually without knowledge of the public, to get around an area’s zoning rules and local plans. Most large developers donate to L.A. elected leaders throughout the backroom process. The 12 developers involved, we show, showered the Los Angeles City Councilmembers, Mayor Eric Garcetti, and even candidates hoping to become councilmembers, with $11.1 million in lobbying wining and dining, campaign contributions, and large cash gifts fed into funds controlled by L.A. City Hall politicians.” 

Two developments might be of particular interest to Palisades residents: Caruso’s 333 La Cienega project and Councilman Mike Bonin’s involvement with Martin Expo Town Center (with Martin Automotive listed as the developer). https://www.2preservela.org/los-angeles-developers-investigation-fbi-city-hall-pay-to-play-jose-huizar/)

The Martin Expo is slated for the corner of Olympic Boulevard and Bundy in West Los Angeles. It is about a block from a Metro rail station, which means that people are not expected to have cars, because they will commute to work on the train.

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