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Ron Kaye's Weekly

I don't know that the LA Weekly really has the intellectual firepower to weigh in on planning issues anymore. I think, quite frankly, that they know this, and they turn a little too often to the engagingly untempered thoughts of Ron Kaye to supply editorial direction. And I also know that I don't like to see that lack of the Weekly's firepower inflated in the blogosphere, where it means something different than it does in print. The blogosphere, like Kaye, is reactionary; but should Mike Lacey's for-profit Weekly be so shrill as a neighorhood-shaking, community-organizing, reactionary blog is, even when making pointless points?

We already know that Jill Stewart hates the Mayor; we already know that she, like me, like Ron Kaye, and like some others who cannot come near the autocrat, are not fussy for Austin Beutner either; and we already know that Steven Leigh Morris is a dynamic theater critic who moonlights as a civic observer beholden to the malaprop-riddled editorial whims of Stewart. Nonetheless, there is no reason, not even strident partisanship, for trumpeting in print the kind of theater Morris and Stewart are bringing to your neighbors about the CPIO Ordinance. Just watch the Kaye Stewart & Morris firm at work, with the junior partner supplying the key drama:

Morris calls this measure --Community Plan Implementation Overlay -- "the most stealth legislation to sweep through Los Angeles City Hall in recent memory."

Really, now--what precisely does that mean? LA Neighbors United, for one, was all over it. Ron Kaye and Clean Sweep, for another, were all over it. And yours truly was all over it. Stealth?

By calling this "Stealth legislation," Morris objects to the speed of this legislation--legislative alacrity otherwise being our hope rather than our LA experience--and is all but saying in addition that these, our sturdy and collected voices, are not only insignificant, but we don't even count at all! (This is why, I'm sure, all of us spend a few ill-begotten hours a week talking to the city's most nefarious political consultants and also some of its most wobbly-kneed editors.) Despite this coverage, generous by most other measures regarding planning issues, in the Stewart-bizarro-continuum, this just has B-1B bomber stigma dripping all over it, this CPIO Ordinance. It not only happened quickly, even urgently...it also threatens to hand planning issues over to...wait for it...the Planning Department...and City Councilmembers too!

No issue has crippled the Villaraigosa mayoralty as have the planning issues we observe with our own eyes at street level every day: transit hub development gone amok, congestion gone insane, 80-unit condos gone wild in formerly pleasant neighborhoods. Now, thanks to the CPIO Ordinance, we the people get a chance to hold the Wendys and the Toms and the Erics accountable too, even while they might have formerly said, "our hands are tied, we can't do anything, much as we would like to..." which has always been a lie anyway. Nothing stealth about democracy, waiting to happen the second some development stooge tries to pull a fast one in your district.

In the future, you may even find that is is far easier to lean on your ceaselessly bought-off Councilmember than it is to impact a purportedly neutral Environmental Impact Report all by your lonesome. And if you have a posse, all the more influence you'll have. That isn't always true when the land use sharks nibble at the EIRs and leave your input out.