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Mimosas on the Terrace

We can't remember if the Parkies like the Glendale Narrows Riverwalk project--Phase I now set to go--or not. As for me, I think it's a step in the right direction, but merely a step. To me, the River will never be worth a dime more than a birdbath until the concrete embankment is removed and some actual natural segments are restored to it.

Never having heeded the bitter lesson of Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?, construction jobs are the way we legitimize nearly every significant government expenditure in California. In public school construction projects, where the expenditures are at their most costly to the public, it turns out that the seismic standard setters are mostly part of the State's construction lobby. Public schools, including financial catastrophes like Belmont and RKF and community college boondoggles are the State's Big Dig times about ten, but the voters did this to themselves.

The Daily News's Dennis McCarthy and I have something in common: we both had our first newspaper pieces published 30 years ago this month. Since then, he's written about 4,900 plus fishwrap pieces more than I have. Here he promotes his book Here's to the Winners which is a compilation of 62 of his personal favorites. McCarthy's fans can find the book here.

FWIW, I celebrated my own 30-year milestone elsewhere last week, with a remembrance of the first piece, and who I most owed it to--the generosity of a box of old New Yorkers from Sr. Mary Wilfrid at Mayfield Senior School, for whom the school's gym is now named.

Ryan Vaillancourt notes in the Downtown News that the CRA last had its eyes on $574.45 million worth of downtown projects. That pencils out to spending over $10,000 per resident if and when downtown's population reaches 50,000--or about what the average downtown condo owner pays in property taxes to the State in aggregate over three years' time. Of course Councilwoman Jan Perry, following the same Villaraigosa-Garcetti political fundraising formula that has brought the City to the brink of unlovable and irretrievable ruin, wants even more unaffordable transit-hub developments with more token affordable housing units sprinkled inside of them.