CORRUPTION WATCH-In 1962 when Hannah Arendt wrote about the Jerusalem trial of Adolf Eichmann, she pointed out that great evil can flow from banal, everyday activities, e.g. repetitions of small lies. The Banality of Evil does not deny the individual’s sadistic nature, but rather shows how others fail to see the potential enormity of the evil lurking behind everyday actions.
PRESERVE LA--“Getting It Right,” a stunning report by Berkeley Law and Columbia University researchers, drives a stake in claims by Gov. Brown and legislators that the California Environmental Quality Act, CEQA, has worsened the housing crisis.
RANTZ & RAVES--The City of Los Angeles and its Department of Transportation has for many years neglected to follow the law when it comes to surveying the thousands of miles of city streets for radar speed enforcement. The law in California requires all cities to routinely survey streets in order for the police to use radar when enforcing speed laws.
CAPITAL & MAIN REPORT--Up to a million Californians have been convicted of crimes that may no longer exist. Those convictions remain on their records, however, and removing them — especially in Los Angeles County — may take years. Proposition 64, the voter-approved 2016 ballot measure, legalized the recreational use of marijuana and reclassified most state-level felony cannabis offenses as misdemeanors. Some misdemeanors were reduced to mere infractions.(Photo above: Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey with interim L.A. County Sheriff John Scott, in 2014)
SUPPLY-SIDE SHENANIGANS-The real estate research firm CoStar caused a stir in 2017 when it reported a 12.4% residential vacancy rate in Downtown LA. But Steven Sharp published a piece in the LA Times saying that the rate has subsequently dropped considerably. ("Downtown has a high apartment vacancy rate? The rest of LA should be so lucky." LAT, 2/13/2018) Sharp notes that CoStar's data showed a drop to 10.3% in January 2018. He also states the vacancy rate has since declined further to 8.1%, and 4.7% for buildings that have been open for one year or more.
ALPERN AT LARGE--Ours is a nation united in our revulsion against violence, terrorism (domestic or foreign), and bigotry. Only the bizarre fringes are accepting of such divisive and dangerous paradigms or actions, but what prevents us from true unity is our willingness (and, perhaps, choice) to hear things that are not being said, and being guilty of focusing on what truly divides us.
GETTING THERE FROM HERE-The behavior of some on Metro buses and trains, and indeed within Southern California transit agencies, has so disturbed some people who are shocked that there is rudeness on public transportation. This type of rudeness is not restricted to Metro and other SoCal transit agencies but is found throughout the country.