Index
Friday
Jul182014

L.A. CITY HALL: Los Angeles Bicycle Plan, Council District 1, controversy: "Halted Figueroa bike lane project riles cycling activists" ....

* Los Angeles Times:  "Halted Figueroa bike lane project riles cycling activists" - From the LAT:

More than 200 miles of Los Angeles streets have been remade in the last five years, with city officials adding bike lanes where the car alone had long been king.

In many cases, making room for cyclists has meant reducing the space for motorists, causing grumblings in some neighborhoods but doing little to slow the bike lane march. Until now. Over the last 18 months, political opposition has stalled bike lane projects on Lankershim Boulevard in the San Fernando Valley and Westwood Boulevard on the Westside. Downtown commuters have begun to loudly complain about bike lanes in the 2nd Street tunnel, where two out of four car lanes have disappeared. But the bike lane boom has really met its match in an unlikely place — northeast L.A. It was here transportation planners had hoped just three years ago to complete a looping system of lanes connecting Highland Park with Eagle Rock and other nearby neighborhoods.

Last week, City Councilman Gil Cedillo announced he is halting work indefinitely on northbound and southbound bike lanes planned for a three-mile stretch of North Figueroa Street, despite an aggressive two-year campaign by cycling advocates. Cedillo said he feared the loss of a single southbound car lane would slow emergency response times of police officers and firefighters on Figueroa, which runs roughly parallel to the 110 Freeway. He dismissed cyclists as a tiny but vocal segment of the population. And in a letter to activists, he said he would rather focus efforts on improving crosswalks and traffic signals.

Figueroa, like Lankershim and Westwood boulevards, are part of the city's Bicycle Plan, a document that mapped out 719 miles of planned bike lanes. . . . . . ..

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Cedillo contends the bike plan, approved by the council in 2011, was developed by 1,000 people in a city of around 4 million. "That's a very microscopic percentage of people to set an agenda," he said.

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Bicycle advocates have long argued that the addition of dedicated lanes can achieve multiple goals: . . . . . . . .

Opponents argue that too few bicyclists are on the road to justify the loss of so many car lanes and the suffering that comes with lengthier commutes.

The debate has been especially intense in northeast L.A. Activists say Cedillo, who was videotaped voicing support for Figueroa bike lanes during his 2013 election campaign, broke a promise to constituents. One accused the councilman on Twitter of supporting "fast cars and dead kids."

Leading the charge for the bike lanes is Josef Bray-Ali, owner of the Flying Pigeon bike shop on Figueroa and a resident of Cedillo's District 1...................................

Thursday
Jul172014

SACRAMENTO: More info/details, California Controller election recount, Democratic Party, Betty Yee: "Betty Yee gets $50,000 from Democratic Party in recount fight" ....

***Following up on earlier item noted here (California Controller election recount, Democratic Party, support for Betty Yee)....

* San Francisco Chronicle:  "Betty Yee gets $50,000 from Democratic Party in recount fight" - From the Chronicle:

It could be months before the 15-county recount in the state controller's race is completed, but Democratic Party officials are leaving little doubt about which candidate they favor. The state party has dropped $50,000 into the campaign fund for Betty Yee of San Francisco, a Board of Equalization member who led Los Angeles Assemblyman John Pérez by 481 votes when all the votes were counted after the June 3 primary. That's money the cash-strapped Yee is going to need for legal fees and other costs of monitoring the recount called by the former Assembly speaker.

"She's our candidate," said John Burton, the state Democratic Party chairman, noting that party rules gave her the post-election endorsement.

Burton and other party officials don't want to see a long, expensive and divisive recount and worry that every day without a candidate will make it harder to hang on to the controller's seat. The uncertainty also gives Republican Ashley Swearengin, the mayor of Fresno and top finisher in the primary for controller, more time to raise money and get her campaign rolling without any direct opposition.

Legislators also are unhappy with the details of the recount, which is believed to be California's first-ever in a race for a statewide office. With the unprecedented effort creeping along, Assemblyman Kevin Mullin, D-San Mateo, has become the first lawmaker to call for changes. "California is in uncharted territory with the controller's race recount," Mullin said in a statement. "It's imperative to our system of governance that the election process is fair and transparent for all voters and candidates."

Mullin and plenty of other legislators, politicians and academics say the state recount rules are proving unworkable......................

Thursday
Jul172014

POLITICS/SPORTS (Bay Area): Update, continuing saga, Oakland, Oakland A's, Oakland Coliseum, Oakland City Council: "Oakland council revises A's deal amid outrage"; also, "A's owner Lew Wolff is considering Oakland's lease changes" ....

***Continuing saga, Oakland A's, Oakland Coliseum, Oakland City Council....

* San Francisco Chronicle:  "Oakland council revises A's deal amid outrage"

* San Francisco Chronicle:  "A's owner Lew Wolff is considering Oakland's lease changes"

Thursday
Jul172014

L.A. CITY HALL: City employee union, raises, editorial: "No raises for city workers, L.A. -- not yet" ....

* Los Angeles Times (editorial):  "No raises for city workers, L.A. -- not yet" - From the LAT:

The economy is gaining steam, home prices are up and tax revenue is on the rise in California and Los Angeles, giving government some extra money to restore cuts made during the recession. It's understandable, then, that city employee unions — whose members gave up raises and were furloughed during the worst of the crisis — are pushing for pay hikes. But Mayor Eric Garcetti and the City Council have made the right decision in budgeting no across-the-board raises for workers this year while the city tries to eliminate by 2018 an ongoing deficit that has sapped money for street and sidewalk repair and other improvements.

City leaders are now facing the first test of that decision. Last week, rank-and-file police officers rejected a one-year contract that provided more money for cash overtime payments but included no cost-of-living increase for most officers. (It did raise pay for new hires and for about 1,000 officers who recently joined the LAPD at a lower salary, to help with recruiting and retention.) Representatives of the Los Angeles Police Protective League said their members considered the proposal, which withheld raises for 90% of them, "a slap in the face."

To be sure, LAPD officers have made sacrifices in recent years. . . . . . . . .

The police officers' contract is only the first challenge to L.A.'s attempt at fiscal restraint. . . . . .Garcetti and the City Council should stand firm.....................

Thursday
Jul172014

SACRAMENTO: State Personnel Board, investigation, "hiring shenanigans": "Investigation says state managers manipulated system, lied, to cover illegal promotion" ....

* Sacramento Bee (The State Worker):  "Investigation says state managers manipulated system, lied, to cover illegal promotion" - From the Bee:

The State Personnel Board’s more aggressive pursuit of hiring shenanigans and promotion miscues in state government may be bearing fruit: A new report says a state personnel officer manipulated the civil service system to promote an unqualified employee and a manager displayed “blatant dishonesty” to mislead an investigator. Although Tyra Gilmer and Monica Rea have transferred from the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, both still face discipline. They could lose their jobs.

The investigation released this week follows a January lambasting of the department for promoting Angelina Endsley into a job for which she had neither the education nor experience........................