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Another Terrace Morning



Ever the city contrary, San Francisco's new mayor is ramping up efforts to redevelop the blighted old Theater District, with tax breaks and Twitter Inc.

It was a good idea for The Planning Report to interview Joel Kotkin this week about LA's competitive problems. Kotkin is not my favorite urbanist--sometimes he seems positively think-tank stupid, in fact, as when he says "There is very little public discussion or recognition of what’s going on"--but at least he has some facts right. "We are not growing faster than the country for the first time, probably since the 1860s." Also, there's this, about which we can easily concur: " L.A. is, not dramatically, but gradually, slowly fading from world prominence." Whether or not these facts are even problems, we can debate. LA's problems certainly seem to mirror those of...

Michael Trujillo's current round of self-immolation is complete as he loses his Richard Vladovic gig as well. Some chortled with glee all through yesterday at the thought of the demise of a former friend's career, even celebrating the website traffic the news generated at one point. Partying hardest during the fall of an opponent evinces something about character, doesn't it?

Walter Moore was quick to express schadenfreude as well, suggesting Trujillo pick up a leaf blower next--a flirtation with the exact same kind of coded racism that made him a mainstream media untouchable in the last Mayoral campaign.

But lo and behold, Jim Newton, getting a chance to return to his local newsroom roots, has a far better read on the Huizar/Martinez race than anything I've read to date, moving forward from the Trujillo sideshow and right into the District itself. Don't miss it because there's a real, unvarnished fact or conversation with a voter in every paragraph.

And there's also this at the Times on Rudy Martinez and Badgegate: "The sister of a slain police officer whose badge has become an issue in a bruising political campaign criticized the Los Angeles Police Department on Monday, saying it should have pursued a criminal investigation of a man now running for City Council." From the reporting, it looks like the LAPD kept the deceased officer's badge and issued the family a duplicate; the tale is becoming even more sordid, as is the untold story of its path into the hands of Martinez. It strains credulity that the badge would be both revered enough by LAPD that they would issue the grieving family an unsatisfactory duplicate, and then capriciously loaned out to Martinez for the sake of knocking it off as a golf tournament trinket.

Janice Hahn is likely going to get a chance to run for Jane Harman's Congressional seat at last. This is the seat she has long coveted. Debra Bowen is also said to be interested in the seat, and she will win the favor of progressives if she runs. But the district itself is not notably progressive; it's mostly blue collar from the west Long Beach border through San Pedro, and the South Bay drifts toward aerospace libertarian, while Venice is Venice.

A month ago, I posited that enterprise zones don't really work towards true economic stimulation, and tried to explain why they might not. Another study is in that makes the same conclusion. Last year I also spoke a lot about the way our CRA was only too aware of the coming revenue grab and was therefore trying to recast itself as a job-creation agency. Key to that effort locally has been Madeline Janis, who is on our CRA board, and who says in an op-ed that "our CRA has become a national model for using the power of government to improve the quality of life in underserved areas." That seems quite a stretch.

Though he may deserve the attention, does Paul Krekorian really need a ten-inch endorsement from the Daily News? This could have been done in two paragraphs. The editorial page priorities at the paper continue to flounder.

Farewell to Jack Popejoy, Amherst grad and gentle morning voice.