Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I Have Seen the Light...

Seeing the light...

I've seen it, and so has my dog, Rudy.

No, this is not a religious episode, but a full-blown glory of light. Last night, while walking the aforementioned Rudy, I noticed something different. Instead of weak yellow light, barely lighting the Avenues, I saw bright white.

It was so bright that I was actually able to see down the street...and Rudy was able to see the many cats out on their nightly prowl. I know that dogs smell better than they see but Rudy had a field day (or night, per se) and then, that's when it struck me that DWP has been sneaking around our neighborhood and installing the new LED street lights. While this was supposed to happen in November and December, I'm sure they were delayed by the unseasonal rains.

As such, these new lights not only will save energy, they are also of a different spectrum so that light is evenly distributed.

Take an evening walk yourself, and see the difference the "light" makes in the Avenues.

See you around the Avenues!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Street Elves Spotted Working...


According to Herb Wesson's Council District 10 Field Deputy, Albert Lord, the Street Elves are being spotted and are busy at work making curb cuts within the Avenues.

These curb cuts meet compliance with the American Disability Act and help not only the Avenues, but lead the way to our glorious Benny H. Potter Memorial Park which is one of the few ADA parks in Los Angeles.

So, have patience, excuse the dust and maybe you'll spot the Street Elves in your neighborhood as well.  And, hopefully, the Street Elves will get along with the Garden Gnomes during the transition.

See you around the Avenues!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Police Appreciation Tomorrow night at West Adams Avenues Meeting

This is a reminder that February's West Adams Avenue Neighborhood meeting is tomorrow night. But more importantly, bring a neighbor as we will be spending the evening appreciating our Senior Lead Officer Tracy Hauter and her team of officers that work so hard to keep our area and homes safe.

We will also have short updates on happenings around our neighborhood. Oh, yeah...Food too!!!

See you there!

7PM Wednesday, February 9, 2011
The Wilfandel House
3425 West Adams

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Campaign Headquarters Open for Herb Wesson

Incumbent Herb Wesson of Council District 10 has opened campaign headquarters for his re-election.

Join them for the Grand Opening on...
Saturday, February 5, 2011
1:00 -- 3:00PM
4635 West Pico Blvd. (Rimpau and Pico)

(323) 935-HERB (4372)

And remember to VOTE on March 8, 2011

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

West Adams Avenues February Meeting

This is a reminder that February's West Adams Avenue Neighborhood meeting is next Wednesday. But more importantly, bring a neighbor as we will be spending the evening appreciating our Senior Lead Officer Tracy Hauter and her team of officers that work so hard to keep our area and homes safe.

We will also have short updates on happenings around our neighborhood. 

See you there!

7PM Wednesday, February 9, 2011
The Wilfandel House
3425 West Adams

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Council Member Elections for District 10


I volunteered to man the outreach tables (along with Myrna Allen--Region 1 Representative and Stevie Sterns--President) for United Neighborhoods Neighborhood Council on January 23rd, 2011 for an event created to coordinate all of the candidates running for Council Member CD10. This was brought together through the efforts of "The Neighborhood News" and held at Vintage Hollywood Sports Bar and Grill on Washington Boulevard. 

I was very glad to see roughly 70+ people from the community attending. And (regardless of previous reports) I was glad to see ALL running also in attendance, including incumbent Herb Wesson.

While I am proud to say that I can type 125 words per minute--I have to admit that even my fingers and laptop could not keep up. As such, what follows is based off my notes and my personal comments. But aside from that, it is important for each and everyone to get involved; do your research; and vote for the person you feel has the experience and integrity to represent you. Be sure to check out the links after the article where you can find more information about the candidates yourself.


Moderator Damien Goodman, along with 7 residential panelists asked the candidates a series of questions. After which (I was not present), questions from the audience where drawn at random.



(AD) The reason I’m running is simple, having grown up in Brooklyn, I love everything about Los Angeles except the people who are running our local government. We have the highest unemployment rate, we’re spending $1 million a day, have a ½ billion dollar deficit. You’ll view that our incumbent is not here because they view this as a dynasty. There is an extreme need for average people to be elected that are not part of a political dynasty. I have a vested interest in the community without future goals for being a mayor, a governor or a labor leader.

(ARS) I don’t feel safe in my community, if you don’t feel safe why bother to live there; or breathe there. People need to come together to stand <incumbent HERB WESSON just showed up, after being publicly pointed out as not coming--including a sign with his name on an empty seat > I worked with the LAPD for 10 years, I want to feel safe and want people to know that I will focus on safety.

(HW) I want to be a public servant and that is what I have done. I can’t wait to wake up in the morning and do what I have done as your Council Member. I have delivered more in 5 years than any predecessor: 23,000 jobs; smart development that his happening south of Pico; uniting Neighborhood Councils. Developers are wanting to be in this community because of you, you—not government are giving them smart suggestions to make things better. I am the person I hope you will re-elect to this position.

(AK) Representing the unrepresented...safety, and those not represented. I want to protect the interest of our senior citizens; young people...kids. I want to create neighborhoods where we can leave kids in a safe school. I represent one of the top law firms protecting landlords who don’t have a voice, and wanting to create jobs for our district.
(LM) Why not? I'm ambitious and motivated. There is a terrible disconnect, just ask the people on the street 1 in 10, don’t know who their Council Member is. I'd review city finances--what can we and what can we not afford. On job creation...while we have large developments that are bringing jobs, they are only temporary...one year and they are gone. Plus, the roads are horrible.

(CB) Thanks to the Council Member for coming. I'm running because our current Council Member is not accessible; our Council Member needs to be reachable. In addition, this city will be bankrupt in the next year. We have to preserve what we have--especially in CD10. There are 98,000 voters in CD 10, but only 8,000 voted. Elect me.

(AK) I haven’t had the opportunity to know the other communities, but I belie in public safety, and a basic overriding interest in this district. What are the issues? Lack of response from the current incumbent. Problems starts there. I pledge to be responsive and protect the weak and under represented.

(LM) From Mid-City to the corner of Pico and Crenshaw,  I remember the days of the riots and the torn windows and I am glad to see the revitalization of Mid-Town crossing, as a result of Mr. Wesson's proven track record. However, he is not delivering fast enough.  As Chairman of Economic redevelopment Herb Wesson needs to fight, improve and control Jefferson park; gang problems. The key point is get together and work together.
(CB) Mid-City is one area. I had my  first job at Meaty Burgers on Fairfax, and have been here my whole life. Our CD 10 is THE heart of Los Angeles, I say we must stay focused on cleaning up our areas; focus on safety. My heart goes out to the Shaw  family. Public Safety is one of the most important and fundamental reasons we can make this area better, that with jobs and teachers.

(ARS) We are breathing the air our children breathe and live. We are not focusing on safety, it's not just economic development, but cleaning areas...there are still many pockets of dirty areas. Clean those pockets, clean those areas up and make them safer. Herb Wesson is not accessible to the people. We are all here breathing.

(AD) CD 10 is one of the most diverse, different pockets with each having different issues; South obviously is concerned with public safety; other parts like Korea Town are centered around business issues and getting relief--"Do I even want to stay in Los Angeles because of the lack of services; too much traffic; lack of public transportation...all different issues. These are problems that have been going of for a long time. How many exposes, how much more money? What about the money we’ve already been given and how we've used it? There is less tax in Beverly Hills. Where is all this money going?

(HW) I have no problem in answering the question. But to be fair, to Chris Brown, I have no idea who you are? I have never seen you in my district,or some of the other candidates in my district. <It is my belief that Herb provided that statement as a result of being accused as "not being accessible." In my opinion, Herb is accessible and as such knows who are making a diiference in our community.> Althea, I have a button from your nephew and a t-shirt with his picture, I was at your house within 24 hours of hearing of the tragedy. I went to your house with food, chairs and raised funds for the killer’s capture reward. Issues in our community are jobs, public safety, and  providing for kids to better themselves. I have worked tirelessly in the avenues, worked hard at public safety. As a Council Member I need to hear from you as to what you want to do.


(LM)  It's simple less regulation. For example, I run a Christmas Tree Lot--have for years--and I have to get permission from the City to use the lot even though I already have permission from the property owner. It's time to streamline the process and make it easier for business owners to keep and hire employees.

(AD) Statistics show that 60% of the employed are working for small businesses. Permits and  regulations are ruining small business. Why go through `12 to 15 agencies to start your business? How about the tax holiday for new businesses but not current businesses? With new businesses the first 3 to 7 years is the most critical. After three years in business, why be hit with taxes just when you’ve gotten going? We have to listen to our business community.

(AK) In Los Angeles, the environment is hostile for businesses. I have been operating a small business for 20 years, and when the City is losing revenue, the City immediately goes to small business...that's why you see them leaving to other cites. We need to prevent that. Small business needs to be protected

(CB) I am also a small business owner and have been for a long time. I sent a proposal to Mike, Herb’s Deputy, where old cell phones, computers, etc. could be recycled creating more jobs. There are under-utilized programs in Los Angeles where we can create thousands of green jobs, create more city jobs, bring new city jobs and people will stay. Forty million raised for city jobs.

(HW) I agree with most of the members that we need to streamline the process for business from permits and licenses to creating jobs for the future and that is green jobs and biotech. Every time we build a building in Los Angeles, it has to be green. Vineyard Brad Center provided the first green jobs in CD 10.

(ARS)  Los Angeles is not friendly to business, illegal citizens are getting all the jobs and that is wrong. This city is not business friendly. Herb Wesson ran out a million dollar program, because of that, the program is now active in Bernard Park’s district. We need leadership that is honest enough to listen to all the sides.

WHAT IS YOUR POSITION ON HPOZ's (Historical Preservation Overlay Zones)?

(CB) The homes in our communities have been around since 1900's. We all live here and we take care of them. However, it’s impossible to go to work at 6am, impossible not to hit a pothole. It's very important to preserve our roll and protect our districts. Wellington Square is gated--where Herb lives--just to make sure the are preserved. I support I HPOZ, and given the tax breaks in CD 4, would be willing to figure out the same for CD 10.

(AK) I'm all for it. A bunch of beautiful buildings, and preserving the flavor of our neighborhoods. Los Angeles within a city of Los Angeles...very diverse. As such, we need to give tax benefits, partner with private interests, and preserve.

(ARS) We are doing remodeling on our our home. There are parts of communities that need to be upgraded, but hear what people have to say, while keeping things they way they are. Communities are gated communities, because they are scared. I've learned about different things, like they don’t make them the same way they used to. People can and are doing that without being historic. I don’t remember hearing anything about open dialoge, what do you want to change?

(HW) We have a responsibility to maintain our heritage and I fully support HPOZ.  We are not going to be here forever, plus we have buildings designed by famous architects. In my district, we have created three, with another on the way.

(AD) I agree with HPOZ, would add that in terms of the process,  that is far more involved and open and transparent, before the process begins. I would allow for greater notice time and include all organizations.

(LM) I would agree. Victoria Avenue, I'm jealous of them...Professors Row. I love old architecture. They just don’t make them like they used to. If the majority is for HPOZ then so be it. Be transpearant, be open, but not enough people know about it.


(HW) We need to include Neighborhood Councils, streamline and combine departments...that is key for us going forward, to be more efficient. We need to combine more departments, we can save millions there. There will be services that we should be eliminating. Let the convention center be run by private entities.

(CB) Tackling our deficit starts here. Cuts will happen left and right but we can help by taking hard steps, but by focusing together, we can work together as a family. As for CD 10 there are elderly in our district, we need your input, it’s not going to be an overnight thing. We don’t have to be bankrupt, but we can tackle this as a family.

(AD) one of the things that is troubling is that we are the second largest city in the U.S. and it  is going bankrupt. Why are we dealing with this now, with all this money that we have been paying towards taxes? I'd start with a city-wide audit: where is it going; what is coming in. We need to have starting point..."wait we found thirty million dollars."  How? Where? Certainly streamline departments, this has been talked about before. Why are we talking about it again? Ignoring the fact that we've got the highest paid officials in the U.S., it's time to get it done and do your job.

(LM) We need to soul search at the basic level, stop funding ridiculous salaries; all cuts need to happen top-down and not down-up. "Let’s not reduce our salaries or those of our staff." By cutting and limiting services just hurts those in the lower incomes. We need to understand the context of our economic malaise. We have to be honest with the public and this is what we have to do.

(ARS)  Let's be honest, there are hundreds of millions, going to illegal immigration--the big elephant in the room--but not one will talk about it. How are we going to balance the budget when millions are going to illegal immigrants? Open up a dialogue and let’s talk about immigration. Then money coming in and the money coming out, but immigration is the issue and no one will talk about it but me.

(AK) The lack of leadership is what is contributing to what is happening today. Saying you represent someone and you are not, it’s the wrong thing to do. Our children will be left holding the bag. We need to support business; Mr. Wesson refused to take a pay cut. I will take 20% of my pay if elected. What is Wesson doing with all his staff members? If the city cut half of their staff we would balance the budget.

(ARS) I've been involved with churches, Jamiel's Law, at the churches there are issues with gangs (also illegals) that never get discussed.

(HW) I have partnered with Neighborhood Councils and those who want to partner with us. Also have participated with Project Save, worked with poor-at-risk kids where we’ve met in my office on weekly basis. Working with police; doing Safe Pass to high schools, Safe Corridors. Dorsey High School; job training, GED classes, and access to anger management.

(LM) I have attended local meetings at Olympic park--I do not have formal committee involvement. I am a small business owner and , one of the things I like to think is education, I'm a sucker for education. Because I want my children to have same if not better.

(CB) Active member of West Angeles Church, I do electronic waste recycling, spread through all of Los Angeles and Africa, have done work for city of Los Angeles and I'm thirty years old and have been around from day one. The church is my foundation and through education, it is the key to enhancing our district.

(AK) Work with Neighborhood Council, President of Lions, active in my church groups--Catholic.  I have been active with youngsters, role models for them, they can achieve the "American Dream". Want for people to be able to afford educating their children, as this is the land of opportunity.

(AD) For the last ten years, strive in watts area, my interest in education lead me to activism. Other issues, hiring people, children dropping out of education and students graduating without skills, nothing more than expensive day care

As I've said before, I only tried to give you a sample of what happened at this forum. I'm sure there will be more in the future and will post them here. However, it is important to educate yourself and make the decision that is right for you and your family.

Below are links for you to begin...


Herb Wesson
4635 West Pico Boulevard
(Rimpau and Pico)
(323) 935-HERB (4372)