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* Report posted just a short while ago by the Daily Breeze is that Joseph Radisich today resigned from the Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners.  And, according to the DB, the resignation appears to be abrupt and with no explanation was given as to the reason for his departure.  From the DB:

   Joseph Radisich abruptly resigned today from the Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners without providing a reason, officials confirmed. Radisich, a crane operator and longtime longshore union activist, served for five years on the civilian panel that oversees the Port of Los Angeles. His resignation comes less than two months after Jerilyn Lopez-Mendoza stepped down from the harbor commission so that she could concentrate on a new job.Radisich could not be reached for comment, but the Mayor's Office said his resignation would become effective Tuesday.

****And for those follow Port politics, DB notes that Radisich's nomination in 2005 to the five-member harbor commission came under scrutiny amid questions over whether he lived in the city of Los Angeles.


WHY ARE CITY CONTRACTING WARS SO EXPENSIVE? An explanation as to the "aggravation charge"....

 * As the Board of Referred Powers has spent much of the day today taking up the LAX concession contracts battle, I see that the LA Weekly presents a discussion as to why such battles tend to be so expensive.  The Weekly piece picks up a post at CityWatch last week by former long-time former city staffer Greg Nelson in which Nelson discusses this issue.  From the Weekly:

   Last week, the estimable Greg Nelson, former chief-of-staff to former L.A. City Councilman Joel Wachs and head of the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, explained at CityWatch at CityWatch why city contracting devolves into so much foolishness. (The golf cart concession saga at city golf courses has been similarly ridiculous.)

   Nelson says the city pays an "aggravation surcharge" -- companies tack on extra money to their bids knowing there'll be some sort of political fight even if they win the bidding. The extra money goes to pay lobbyists and PR hacks. The situation was so bad Nelson was able to find many office supplies cheaper at a retail outlet than what the city was paying.

   And why?

***Read the post for Nelson's explanation and his analysis as to the various tactics involved.....


"TRENDY MELROSE AVENUE": Not so trendy any more, reflection of the economy....

* From today's Los Angeles Times:

 "Once-trendy Melrose Avenue shopping area losing its cachet" - "A third of the stores are vacant along one stretch, despite drastic rent reductions. Remaining merchants are complaining of weak sales and are slashing prices to move inventory."

***Interesting analysis/overview as to the impact of the economic downtown on once-trendy Melrose Avenue, but where many businesses have now closed, where many storefronts are now vacant and where, but only few years ago retail space went for $5 to $6 a square foot, commercial real estate agents said, but where prices lately have fallen to $2 to $3 a square foot....



* If anyone thought becoming a partner at Goldman Sachs is a lifetime deal, tihnk again.  New York Times today presents an interesting report on the process of "de-partnering" at the prestigious Wall Street insistution.  From the NYT:

   On Wall Street, becoming a partner at Goldman Sachs is considered the equivalent of winning the lottery. This fall, in a secretive process, some 100 executives will be chosen to receive this golden ticket, bestowing rich pay packages and an inside track to the top jobs at the company.

   What few outside Goldman know is that this ticket can also be taken away. As many as 60 Goldman executives could be stripped of their partnerships this year to make way for new blood, people with firsthand knowledge of the process say. Inside the firm, the process is known as “de-partnering.” Goldman does not disclose who is no longer a partner, and many move on to jobs elsewhere; some stay, telling few of their fate. “I have friends who have been de-partnered who are still there, and most people inside think they are still partners,” said one former Goldman executive, who spoke only on the condition of anonymity. “It is something you just don’t talk about.”


SOCIAL SECURITY: Raising the retirement age for full benefits, possibly not so bad for those who work at desk jobs but what about those whose work is more physically demanding?

* "Retiring Later Is Hard Road for Laborers" - With Social Security reform a frequent topic of discussion and commentary, I see that the New York Times today has an interesting overview/analysis as to how raising the retirement age to 70 would likely have a less-than-positive impact on those who work in more physically demanding jobs.

Worth reading for anyone interested in this issue......