Ξ August 5th, 2008 | → 8 Comments | ∇ 90042, Coming Soon, Highland Park |
After bottling our first attempt at homebrew, the YorkBlvd duo had a bit of time to kill so we fell on our civic swords and attended Thursday’s Townhall meeting hoping for word on the proposed Highland Park Transit Village. I wouldn’t dream of dragging any of you through the tedium that is essentially a political tapdance but here were the highlights:
1. Las Cazuelas catered the event with free tortas and pupusas. This unfortunately was the peak of the action.
2. There will be a community garden in the vacant lot behind the Highland Theater.
3. Hayes and Avenue 59 will be receiving a new roundabout. Councilman Reyes thinks this will achieve a slowdown in traffic (probably accurate) and an increase in spending in our neighborhood (dubious).
4. The empty building at 5601 N. Figueroa will become a community building within approximately 18 months. Councilman Reyes plans to open a field office there as well as other space for community activities.
5. Finally, in the biggest news of the night, a lot of concerns were assuaged regarding the proposed Highland Park Transit Village. First, all parking places will be replaced including enough to accommodate residents and the proposed extension of East Los Angeles City College. The aesthetics issue wasn’t really addressed but Reyes promised the current drawings are far from final. As for the low income housing, the cheapest units will rent out a $450/month (to those who qualify for low income housing). The funniest bit of pandering during the evening came with promises from the councilman that the units were intended to help lower density in Highland Park by giving preference to local residents instead of promoting an influx of renters/owners from other neighborhoods. This sounds nice but is about as plausible and legal as saying “don’t worry, we’re not renting to [insert ethnic group here]. There are plenty of reasons to support this development but lowering density isn’t one of them.
Crime was also a preeminent topic of the evening and Reyes and the LAPD talked up their recent successes in Glassell Park as well as a trend down in violent crime. Still, care to guess how many patrol cars are on duty at any given time for the 30 square miles and over 300,000 residents of the Northeast Division? 12. For those of you not good at math, that’s about one car per 25,000 residents. We may receive a few more once the LAPD completes it’s current hiring spree of 1,000 new officers but those are scary statistics. The reason we’re so under-policed? Money.
Quick note to Councilman Reyes: This is not the fault of other members of the council, the economy, or the LAPD. It’s your job to secure funding for your neighborhood. I don’t care who you’re caught in bed with or how many babies you kiss as long as you bring home the cash. Why do you think Duke Cunningham was and Ted Stevens is so popular in San Diego and Alaska? They are crooked slimeballs, but they’re their constituents’ crooked slimeballs.