Final (Final) Reflection

I have stated in my past writings that “the one constant in the universe is that teenagers are not”. One year for a teenager can span a lifetime for any other creature in its complexity and the change that occurs from commencement to its cessation. I however do not follow this model. I am the same Andrew Mario Huerta now as I was a decade ago when I entered the 3rd grade in terms of my academic preferences, work ethic, and personal quarks. Whether or not this can be called good or bad is irrelevant for this particular blog topic, but it is still important to point out that my time in room 503 has not affected me inasmuch as I (and my fellow seniors) have affected it.

This year’s Advanced Composition/Honors English Literature class has been one of many experiments and it has been a great privilege to be the guinea pigs for future classes. From vocabulary tests and book talks, to Canterbury Tales and Dante’s Divine Comedy; I have enjoyed stirring things up and being allowed to try different approaches to what would otherwise be a very mundane senior English class. I hope our ideas and inputs will be greatly appreciated by next year’s seniors. All of the previous complements being said and done; this year of experimentation had its drawbacks as well. The main problem was that because projects/assignments were made up on the spot during class, it was very difficult to understand what was being asked of us so there was allot of “winging it” when doing said assignments. While this may have turned out well for me, I know that for other students who require more structured and established guidelines, the results were not favorable. There was a lot of scrambling outside of class trying to figure out exactly what were actually supposed to do. Also, for those of us who had Ms. Lahaise last year, it was hard to incorporate new rules for the scribe post and blogs. “If it aint broke, don’t fix it”.

The greatest impact this year has had on me has been the refinement and specialization of my skills with use of technology. Most recently I learned that presentation website “Prezi” is a completely ineffective tool for conveying thoughts and ideas and should never be recommended by Ms. Lahaise to her class ever again. I learned new tools for Microsoft Word such as the table of contents and bibliography features which will make my future writing endeavors much easier. While I have not learned to do anything very “new” with technology, using a laptop/tablet on a day to day basis has led me to work more seamlessly with my technology. The biggest lure for this class is it’s openness with technology. Who would have thought that my first paperless class would be English? Were it not for this computers first, paper second mentality, I would have failed the class long ago from my slow writing and lack of motivation in reading and been absolutely miserable in the process.

This year has also given me a new appreciation for literature, all be it in a non-reading sense. Before this academic year I found reading a novel to be an absolute bore and an inefficient use of my time. While this view has not changed for reading in its simplest sense, I have learned to make the reading experience tolerable if not enjoyable. For example, Le Comte de Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas is the pinnacle of a long and drawn out book for high school students. This book would have been impossible for me to read and fully comprehend had it not been for the facts that I had seen Gerard Depardieu in portray Edmond Dantes in a movie the year before and am very familiar with French culture and history. The entire time I was reading the book I was taking figures from French art and scenes from the movie and creating my own playback full of music and depth. In contrast, last year’s books, The Secret Life of Bees and….I hated it so much I have actually forgotten the name as I write this post….all I had was a book and the words bound by its pages. Other examples are Dante’s Divine Comedy and Siddhartha, which I thoroughly enjoyed because I did not read the novels in as much as I experienced them with images, video, music, and religious history. I could never have enjoyed these books had I just “read” them. This is the same reasoning that leads me to always research the author of a quote before doing a journal, otherwise they are simply random words strewn together to sound profound. So at the end of this, my senior year, I now know that any future book I read needs to include the full package and not just the printed text.

I believe I bashed TED talks sufficiently in last year’s final blog to get my point across so I will simply say that my opinion on the matter has not changed from last year.  I will instead turn to a subject which would seem like an oxymoron since this is a paperless class; writing. I believe my writing skills have suffered this year not because we have written too little, but because I have written too many irrelevances. Last year’s motto when writing was “less is better”, but this year I have felt particularly pressured to fill space in my writings to a point where I have lost the ability to concisely articulate my thoughts and am concentrating of “filler” sentences to make it look long/thoughtful/etc.. I find myself purposefully ranting about a subject when I could make my point and be done with the matter. Whereas last year I would drone over a single sentence, carefully placing each word into a perfect sentence, this year I just type away and hardly take a second look. This too me is a step in the wrong direction and is the exact thing I wanted to avoid when I made the decision against AP Language and AP Literature.

I used somewhat more colorful language when speaking to next years Advanced Composition class of 2013-2014, but I will take this opportunity to make a more general and lasting statement. My advice is simply to be aware that there are no second chances; that you are adults and are capable of being given the choice of sinking or swimming on your own.  

Posted in Education Tagged , ,

Build Big

metrolosangeles1

If one has noticed during the two years in which my blog has existed, my true passion has come out not when talking about war or national elections, but rather when talking about urban policy and development. What is the point of debating the funding of a strong military or business taxes if there is nothing worth protecting or an infrastructure capable of supporting the business? The most important thing about any nation is its metropolitan centers (aka cities). Cities are the cultural, economic, and political hubs which drive a nations pride and standing in the world. Villages and towns come and go, but cities can last for thousands of years because of large pool of talent which resides within them and the ability to adapt to the times in which they exist. This last part has been the theme of my “urban blogs” where I either praise or chide a city for how it responds to the word “new”.

Los Angeles has done somewhat well in this regard but it still faces some of the greatest SELF IMPOSED problems that a city can endure. One of the greatest annoyances which I have noticed in my day to day life is the snail’s pace at which EVERYTHING takes place. One news site/blog site which has helped foster my understanding and knowledge of urban related issues is curbed.com. I came upon the website about a year ago and it has now become a daily destination for my search engine upon returning home from school. One of the things which makes CurbedLA so valuable is that gives users access to a myriad of other related sources. One of these sources is a online newspaper called The Architects Newspaper. A recently published editorial seemed to be written solely for me as it discussed the very causes of this snail pace world and provided possible solutions which I have fully endorsed.

I have mentioned it before in my blog posts and it was the first thing to come up in this editorial that the greatest issue which plagues Los Angeles is its overwhelming bureaucracy. We as citizens complain so much to our elected officials when the sad truth is that often time they have very little say. The author puts it bluntly that “It’s the system, stupid.” One example is the runway expansion at LAX; it has been “approved” 4 different times by 4 different government agencies and is still in limbo because there are still yet more “approvals” that must go through. While this may be beneficial for something controversial and potentially dangerous like giant A380’s flying over heads, it is utterly disastrous for other things which need attending. This type of divided power was set up with the very intention that it would slow things down and divide the power to move things along among many different entities. And while this may have worked in its inception 100 years ago it has no place in the modern 21st century world where it is all about efficiency and streamlining.

A second issue slowing progress in the city is the abuse and misuse of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). While this is a state law and more of a state issue rather than one reserved solely for L.A., this city tends to be the focus of this law as it takes advantage of it the most. While it is important that the environment should be taken into consideration, there is a limit to how much the environmental concerns of a few should hold up the benefits that development can bring to millions.

The picture I have as the centerpiece of my blog is an example of “What could be” if the city government worked to the best of its ability. Every transportation system on this map has been planned and is ready to go, it is however bogged down in the great paperwork, hearing, and study void that is Los Angeles.

 CurbedLA

The Architects Newspaper

LA Metro

Posted in Bi-Weekly Blog, Development, Economics, Politics Tagged , , , , ,

Humanity

slide_292101_2340951_free

 

A warning to my viewers that the images I will post at the end of this blog are very disturbing, but I feel that since my blog is based on my responses to audiovisual content, it is appropriate to show ALL of that content. This is the first time on my blog where I am simultaneously writing about a subject and event while watching what is taking place on my very television screen. Not 30 minutes ago I came home from a normal Monday school day to find my grandmother sitting at the living room dining table while “BREAKING NEWS” and “TERROR IN BOSTON” flashed on the flat screen. Immediately I turned my computer on and began to search for any information I could about what had happened. However as I began I noticed that I was completely calm and even downright indifferent. This is due to the fact that it has now become an almost weekly occurrence where I learn about some terrorist bombing in the world. Dozens dead, hundreds wounded; it never seemed to be real. I was numb from it all.

That all changed however when the picture which now shows at the top of this post, turned full screen on my laptop. I was immediately inundating with feelings of horror, grief, and fear. While I wish with all my heart that the events which caused this image did not exist, they did indeed happen. And I think it is very important that I and my readers see this image and those that will follow after it. I will never forget that on this day, Patriots Day, the blood of patriots stained the sidewalks of a city whose only crime was exercise.

While today was indeed a tragic day, half the world away in Iraq, 55 just as innocent souls were lost during their daily routine. I guarantee that none of my fellow classmates were aware of this fact and will not be tomorrow. I thought it was only fair to find images of that tragic massacre and give the victims some tribute in my blog. However I have not been able to find a single image from that attack and will undoubtedly forget all about it within a week. So the main point of my blog today may seem insensitive at first, but I feel it is crucial that we never cease to lose our humanity. So I say to all my readers that they should not only view the images on my blog, but in the future they should make it a point to see the uncensored version of tragedy. In essence, try to disturb yourself. For if you do not, then I fear the worst for our “civilized” society. The National Holocaust Museum makes great use of this when it shows raw and real images/videos of the horror done to “undesirables” during WWII. I make it a point myself every year to watch uncensored 9/11 images/videos so that I never lose my compassion and drive to do good in the world.

I am not saying to live in fear, just to live in reality. For if that reality is such like today, I pray our humanity will respond accordingly.

Huffingtonoost Boston Explosion News

slide_292101_2341733_free

slide_292101_2340952_free

slide_292101_2340520_free

slide_292101_2340519_free

Posted in Bi-Weekly Blog Tagged , ,

A Child’s World through an Adult’s Eyes

27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" id="ep">

27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" id="ep">

If an alien species were to turn on the television or read the headlines of news articles for the past two weeks, then one would be under the impression that our planet was engaged in a bloody third world war. But then take a walk outside in the streets of Los Angeles or Seoul and one think the world was in a golden age of peace and prosperity. So how can these two radically different realities exist at the same time? This situation, like with most international quagmires, is brought on by the oddest place on earth; The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, more affectionately known as North Korea.

 

Since the installation of a new leader in 2011 there has a constant barrage of threats, provocations, and nuclear talk, but not of actual weapons. However in the past several weeks these things have only increased in intensity to a point where the North is “officially” back in a state of war with the U.S. and that the movie plot of Red Dawn will become a reality. Yet if you talk to the average American or South Korean there is little to no change in their daily lives. The current situation piqued my interest enough where I went found these two videos on CNN showing the stark contrast between the mindset of those who live no more than 40 miles apart. While the “dogs of war howl from North Korean’s televisions screens”, the images coming from their southern neighbors are like any other uneventful Sunday. “The South Korean people are not even interested” said one woman who was interviewed at a cultural event. I find it incomprehensible how this was all from the same day and coming from the same small peninsula.

 

I chose to title this blog A Child’s World through an Adults Eyes because it seems to be that only the imaginations of children could create the situation which currently exists. There must be some secret or fact which escapes me because after watching these videos it seems like the world is a child’s play thing. The thing which both fascinates and frustrates me is the most is the extent of complacency that exists with the current situation. It is a never-ending cycles of all-out war and armistice. Now it is not one side or another that is the child. To my North Korean friends who appeared in the first video I would say that none of who were alive during the Korean War so there is no reason for the animosity. And to my fellow Americans who run the department of defense I would say that telling a county that you would never do anything provocative while simultaneously flying B-52’s, B-2’s, and F-22’s miles from their border. That is just as childish as the provocations carried out by the North.

 

So for all of the people who continue to feed on the rhetoric of both parties and respond in a large fashion I say this; children will do anything to get attention and the best thing to do when in their game is simply not to play it.

Public Sentiment in North, South Korea

North Korea Ready for War?

 

Posted in Bi-Weekly Blog, Military, Politics Tagged , , , ,

Smart Goals

1. I will complete my blog within three hours after typing my first word.

2. I will set aside at least one hour every Friday evening to read for my book talk

3. I will do research for my blog the Sunday before the Monday that it is due.

4. I will have a family member quiz me the night before a vocabulary test

5. I will post each of my blog’s on Facebook after completion for feedback so that I may improve.

Posted in Smart Goals

What Makes a Great Nation?

BAF1_1000

As part of our current section in AP Government on lobbying in the United States, my teacher came up with the marvel idea that we as students would become the lobbyists. Our assignment was to find an interest group which catered to some passion of ours and essentially become the voice of that interest group. Once we had done this, we would present ourselves and our group to the class and then propose legislation that we wished to be passed by Congress. At first I took little interest to this assignment as I (as well of many of my piers) have a general dislike and mistrust of interest groups. But this changed after I came across an organization known as Building America’s Future Education Fund (BAFEF). This group speaks directly to my passion for transportation and infrastructure and does so in an educated, professional, and persuasive manner.

 

The first thing which sets BAFEF apart from many other advocacy groups is that is has a very positive reputation as being a truthful and informed resource to report factual information and propose legislation. BAFEF is often quoted by congressional lawmakers and is actually co-chaired by persons who are well known for their connection to this issue; Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger of California, Governor Edward Rendell of Pennsylvania, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City. However, the main focus of this blog post is not on the organization itself, but a document which BAFEF produced last year. This cumbersome 46 page document is a report titled Building America’s Future-Falling Apart and Falling Behind which sought an explanation as to why the World Economic Forum ranked U.S. Infrastructure #1 in 2005 and then seven short years later bring that number to 14th in 2012. What got me so interested in this report and made it blog worthy was the fact that backs up every statement with fact (referenced of course) and provides a clear cut analysis of the problem, the causes of the problem, the consequences of the problem, and the proposed solution(s).

 

The first section, which analyzes the many problems surrounding our infrastructure and its root causes, comes to the ultimate conclusion that our current predicament is the result of Congresses inability to pass any major legislation. Legislators do not have the will to propose any major spending bill and simply pass short term stop gap measures. And infrastructure, like every other facet of American life in recent years, suffers because of it. The second chapter looks at how other countries do things differently with their infrastructure and how the results compare to that of the United States. This was definitely the most depressing chapter as it shows how investment in national infrastructure has no real cause for opposition in the United States. High speed rail is a one major focus in this chapter and one example which completely staggered me was a comparison between the train systems between China and the U.S.. A current train in the United States will travel from New York to Chicago (711 miles) in 17 hours while a standard Chinese High Speed Rail will travel from Beijing to Shanghai (819 miles) in 5 hours. China has spent 3.3 trillion US dollars on infrastructure projects since 2000. Even Morocco is spending more on its High Speed Rail system than the United States.

 

All of these staggering numbers and comparisons made me ask the question “Don’t we have a Department of Transportation that is supposed to be working on this stuff?” This report does touch on this question and answers it as it does in the beginning of the report; that progress is slave to politics and too often the DOT finds itself catering to a politician’s local needs rather than focusing on a national/regional plan. This solution? Building America’s Future Educational Fund proposes legislation (as that which I am proposing in my own lobby) that will create an independent National Infrastructure Bank that will have the autonomy to focus solely on national infrastructure (this is the national government after all) and do so using a combination of federal dollars and private equity. In the current political atmosphere, there seems no other option than to simply get decisions as far away from the decision makers as possible.

 

I HIGHLY encourage my readers to take a look at this report, even if it is not your passion as it is mine, an educated populous is the first step…..

Posted in Bi-Weekly Blog, Development, Economics, Politics Tagged , , , ,

A Blessing and a Curse for the Freeway City

2012.11_expresslanes1

While I was driving back to Los Angeles Saturday on the 110 freeway from a performance in Long Beach I came across something that I have never seen before; toll roads. I had never expected to see toll roads north of Orange County (or along the entire west coast for that matter) and did not initially know what to think of them. I had seen construction of “top level freeway” for years, but had always assumed that it was some futuristic, general use expansion. I was very wrong. So after getting home I decided to do some research on the matter and write about my conclusions in this blog post in conjunction with another major news story in the world of Los Angeles Transportation. Although I had never seen a toll road until two days ago, I have never felt particularly comfortable with the idea as it encompasses both a financial and moral argument. And after seeing them for the first time and doing my research I remain in the same quagmire.

 

The new toll road, or “Hot Lanes”, opened in early November along an eleven mile stretch of the 110 freeway (from Carson to Downtown Los Angeles). The new express lane system was constructed by annexing the two left carpool lanes on either side as well as erecting new lanes above the existing freeway on a second level. A rough estimate for the completed project was a little under $290 million while the LA Metro plans to take in about $20 million per year from the new expressway. This first piece of information immediately sparked some interest as it take years to simply break even on the project. While this may pay off in the long run, there is no guarantee that this experiment (because technically is it only a one year experiment) will last long enough to produce the desired funds. All is not lost however because these lanes can easily (if several more million is easy) be reconverted back into general use lanes. If the LA Metro was so strapped for cash, perhaps they could make people actually pay for the metro rather than going on the “Honor System”.

 

The second financial incentive for the express lanes is the time that will hopefully not be spent by commuters sitting on a freeway system rather than working. The toll lanes are designed to run between 45-65 mph even during pure gridlock in the adjacent lanes. This means that those who depend on the freeway as their lifeline to a paycheck will not fall victim to its unpredictability. While this may be great for the select group of people who opt to pay for the transponder and transit fees, a major selling point of the project was that it would improve traffic flow for all of the lanes. Thus far however, “traffic in the free lanes has gotten more congested.” This was clearly evident to my eyes. I cannot see how shrinking the number of available lanes would make a freeway less congested. Additionally, the only vehicles that are required to pay for access to these lanes are those with only a single passenger. So essentially, the county of Los Angeles (with substantial federal backing) put all of this time, effort, and money into a project that would only improve the driving experience of a few thousand persons.

 

Finally there is the more emotional and moral side not only to this project but toll roads in general.  There is no question that only well off Angelinos will have the means to utilize the growing number of toll roads in the city which creates an obvious and stark reminder to this fact. Allowing the rich get their own lanes on a public road and breeze by the packed lanes of the “normal” commuter creates a sense of nobility which goes against everything California has previously held hear. I know through my own experience that the sight of such roads (especially when they towered on a level above the freeway) implies a public acknowledgment that “you are rich so you deserve to be separate from the poor folk”. I have always been a huge proponent of public transportation and this new endeavor I fear will spark greater distinctions among social and economic classes.

Express Lanes to Bring “Congestion Pricing” to Harbor Freeway

Everything You Need to Know About New 110 and 10 Toll Lanes

When Metro Locks Subway Gates, Riders Actually Pay to Ride

12,297 Tickets Already for Improper Use of the 110 Toll Lanes

 

Posted in Bi-Weekly Blog, Development, Economics Tagged , , , , ,

Grand Idea for a Grand City

A002L

A011L

A009L

A010L

I have lived in Los Angeles my entire life and for much of that time it seemed as if the city was in some sort of time stasis. While New York City has constructed 41 skyscrapers since my birth while Los Angeles’s grand total comes up to 1 at the L.A Live complex. Why is this? Despite its economic and cultural prowess, L.A. has long lived with a shadow over its downtown that has stigmatized large development. Some say this is because of L.A.’s large geographic area; others point to earthquakes, and still more highlight the historic crime/homeless rate. But the “Downtown Renaissance” ,which started right before the Great Recession, is beginning to pick up steam again as the architectural firm AC Martin released the final renderings of Los Angeles’s new tallest building, the Wilshire Grand Hotel.

 

Once completed in 2017, the Wilshire Grand Hotel will be a prominent and welcome new addition to the L.A. skyline, symbolizing the start a modern 21st century city. This may seem like the press release from the hotels website, but the Wilshire Grand is truly much more than another building. It is a building of many firsts and will hopefully prompt many more of them.

 

One of the most common criticisms I get from tourists is that there is not a single skyscraper that does not follow the rigid and boring single shape design. This is because Los Angeles law requires that all skyscrapers have a helipad for use by emergency personnel during a fire or earthquake. The first thing one notices from the renderings is the sail roof which tops the 1,100 foot tower and its curved, sleek façade. The Wilshire Grand has not broken any laws because rather than submit to the status quo of earthquake resistant buildings, the Wilshire Grand has cleverly integrated a helipad into the sail.  Once people see the beauty of this new structure in the L.A. skyline, it will plant the thought in the minds of Angelinos that we do not have to settle for a second rate downtown in a world class city.

 

I have been to many downtowns; from Shanghai, to Paris, to Chicago. And one thing which connects them all is that their downtowns are all bustling centers of tourism, entertainment, and nightlife. The scene in downtown L.A. could not be more different. Except for the rare occasions when there is a basketball game or award show, Downtown Los Angeles is a virtual ghost town. I could stand in the middle of Grand Avenue on a Friday night without worry of a car coming by for at least 10 minutes. I am not saying that the building of a single new hotel will change this even in the slightest, however like my previous post about Farmers Field; I believe that all revitalizations need a simple catalyst. The Wilshire Grand could be that catalyst.

 

Los Angeles is a unique city because of its enormous size. This has been both a blessing and curse because it has allowed for a very diverse city while at the same time robbing it of a common and central core. I realize that developing in one area usually means taking it away from another and I in no way want to turn L.A. into New York. But Los Angeles is still a young city and we can show the world how to do both. We should not be afraid to try something new. On the subject of building in Los Angeles this fear usually stems from the apocalyptic image of a skyscraper toppling over during an earthquake. This is a 20th century fear that needs to be reevaluated in the new era. It has already been done. Taipai 101 stood as the world’s tallest building from 2004 to 2010 while being located in a more active earthquake zone than Los Angeles and having to face 100+ mph winds each year. A vertical and modern Los Angeles is no longer science fiction. And with the construction of the Wilshire Grand Hotel staring this year, I say, let’s get started.

DTLA Rising

Wilshire Grand Center

Posted in Bi-Weekly Blog, Development Tagged , , , , ,

A New Perspective

I voted sticker

 

I created my blog two years ago as a means to express my views and opinions on the world today since I essentially had no other way of doing so. Since I was not an adult I did not legally have a voice because I could not vote or take any meaningful action on the things I care about. This unique perspective of “An Adults World through a Teenagers Eyes” has been the main focus of my blog since its inception and has contributed to my continued enjoyment in writing it. It is easy to have an outsider’s opinion as a teenager, but in just a few days’ time I will reach the age where my blog will now be about my own “adult” world and not of someone else’s. This will be a bitter sweet moment as will simultaneously gain my valued adult voice in the world and lose my teenagers voice and perspective on the world which I have cherished so greatly. So far on my blog I have talked the talk without being able to put much substance behind it. However, this blog is of great importance because while I still retain the world view that is woven into all of my posts I can finally put my money where my mouth is.

 

My first official act as a legal adult will be to obtain a California I.D. which will allow me to register to vote in time for the March 5 city elections in Los Angeles. This now creates a dilemma because I will have to make choices which have real world implications whereas before I have been restricted to the confines of a student blog. I want my first choice as an adult to be the right one and have been scrambling to familiarize myself with the issues, candidates, and ballot measures of our city. I have visited the campaign websites, watched the debates, and perused news articles and after some soul searching have concluded that what is important to me will lead me to cast my mayoral vote for Councilwoman Jan Perry. I am not voting for Jan Perry because I dislike and am majorly opposed to the other candidates, quite the contrary. Los Angeles would do well to elect any one of the top three candidates running for Mayor. But Jan Perry, who represents the district covering Downtown and South Los Angeles, has stood out from Wendy Greuel and Eric Garcetti as a human being rather than a generic politician.

 

During the recent mayoral debate at UCLA, Greuel and Garcetti made no statement that was not already rehearsed. Every sentence and answer to a question repeated campaign slogans and clichés. Any attempts to get a direct response where met with ambiguity. It is quite possible that I could like either Greuel or Garcetti better than Jan Perry; the problem is however that I know virtually nothing about them. Garcetti touts his record of “transforming” Hollywood and bringing much needed change to his district. I do not know of what progress he is talking about since I have seen nothing but stagnation or even reversal of Hollywood in the past ten years. Jan Perry on the other hand has been a key figure in the complete revitalization of Downtown Los Angeles and development of much neglected South L.A. I have several times seen Perry walking the streets of Downtown while her opponents barricade themselves in city hall. Well known for her walks through skid row, Perry knows specifically what she wants to do for the city of Los Angeles. I have no doubt that Perry will continue to fight for L.A. continued progress and investment in infrastructure, housing, and public safety.

 

The two other major candidates have some of these qualities as well; however the thing which really sets Perry apart from all the rest and seals my vote for her is her candidness and honesty. She is always as honest as human possible, almost to point of bluntness, but that is exactly what we need right now. She is not afraid to be unpopular and has thus far managed the art of being a politician who is untainted by politics. Her grassroots campaign is a major example of this. While Garcetti and Greuel have taken millions from PAC’s, labor unions, and organizations, Perry has maintained a traditional, clean, and honest campaign. I fear that so much special interest money would make it difficult or impossible to take a tough stance on issues facing our city when it is most necessary. Come March 5 I will be voting not for a senator or president, but for a mayor, and the distinction is clear.

I Voted

Jan Perry for Mayor Endorsement

Jan Perry Interview

Posted in Bi-Weekly Blog, Politics Tagged ,

More than Just Football

 

Those who know me well are aware that I am in no way a sports enthusiast, in fact, rather the opposite. There is not a single sporting event I have been too other than to perform there and at home I doubt I have viewed a game (football, baseball, etc.) for more than fifteen minutes. I have been very vocal in my opposition to having a football team at my school and its drain on already scarce resources. And yet, to even my own surprise, I have recently become very passionate and supportive of non-other than an American football stadium. This football stadium is unique in that it is located in the heart of downtown Los Angeles in the L.A. Live complex. The cache however; it has not been built yet.

 

Los Angeles, the Sports and Entertainment Capital of the world, has been without a football team for almost two decades. These two statements cannot possibly be refereeing to the same city, and yet it is city I have grown up with. People had started to become complacent and used to this oddity and that it would last indefinitely. And then several years ago Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) proposed a marvelous idea; to bring a professional football team back to Los Angeles and provide them with a state of the art and redefined sports complex.
So why then am I writing a positive blog post pushing for my readers support on this project? It is because sports in Los Angeles and in particular Farmers Field reach far beyond football. The benefits of this endeavor will affect all of Loa Angeles and not simply the sports industry.

 

As one can see in video which introduces this blog, the proposed package by AEG includes not only the building of Farmers Field, but also a complete redevelopment and expansion of the L.A. Convention Center and the construction of a new plaza at L.A. Live. Construction alone will provide years of steady work for building crews and when completed Los Angeles will go from having the 15th to 5th largest convention center in the nation. The modernization of the convention center will attract a myriad of new events to the city that have previously been turned off by its current condition. The stadium will generate millions in revenue for the city and spur the construction of new hotels and facilities for its patrons. For too long people have avoided this area of Los Angeles and condemned it to deterioration. The plaza will continue the work of L.A. Live to attract tourism and investment to the city of L.A. Farmers Field could be the stepping stone for further redevelopments in Los Angeles and create a world class city for the 21st century that we can be proud of.

 

As with any major development project there are bound to be those who seek its downfall. While some of the concerns may be justified, I highly doubt any such problems will occur. Mayoral candidate Kevin James has suggested on his website that the construction would force the city to pay $300 million in support of the effort. AEG adamantly proclaims it will front all of the money towards the project and I have seen no research to support James’s claim. I highly doubt a multi-billion dollar company would need any assistance from the public. Even if this were so, it would be one of the smartest uses of public money that Los Angeles can make during this time. The other major concern is the impact the stadium will have on traffic, noise, and the poor in the area. The city is already in the process of redeveloping the freeway system around L.A. Live to accommodate large crowds and AEG will also building onsite parking and making efficient use of the new metro system. To those who would complain about noise and light pollution would be I would say to please remember they live in the heart of the second largest city in the country and should not expect the vibe of the Valley. Farmers Field will inevitable create new housing and amenities that will help, not hinder the poor of the area. To all who oppose this project I would say to remember Los Angeles can only better itself.

 

The fight for Farmers Field reminds me of the fight for a city to host the Olympic Games. There will always be fear of things like cost, traffic, and lack of use. These fears have very little chance of coming to fruition and the economic stimulus that the complex would provide to Los Angeles, like the Olympic Games, can provide an opportunity to transform a city. I am proud to call myself an Angelino and Farmers Field will spread this pride to all who dwell in the City of Angels.

kevinjamesformayor.com

farmersfield.com

 

Posted in Bi-Weekly Blog Tagged , , , , , , ,