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A summary of selected City Hall actions this past week affecting Central Los Angeles. : CITY COUNCIL


* CHINATOWN GATEWAY: Approved a plan to build a gateway in Chinatown to renew interest in a tourist area that has been experiencing a severe economic downturn. The plan calls for an archway to be built over Broadway at Cesar E. Chavez Avenue, the southern edge of Chinatown. Funding will be provided by the Chinatown business community, which has already raised $350,000. First District Councilman Mike Hernandez, who represents the area, said he hopes to announce a groundbreaking ceremony on Chinese New Year, Jan. 15.

* MURAL INSTALLATION: A ceremony is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Tuesday to unveil murals that will be placed over the safety net atop City Hall. The winning murals were painted by fifth-grade students Karina Munguia Mata and Andrew Gallegos from Sierra Park Elementary School in East Los Angeles, Silvia Luna and Maria Ladenza from Crestwood Street School in San Pedro, Nora Resendez and Yalitza Rodriguez from Gridley Street School in Pacoima, and Gerardo Jorge and Yevgeniy Durets from Canoga Park Elementary School.

* PAWNSHOP HOURS: Instructed the city attorney to draft an ordinance that would limit the hours and operation of pawnshops. Some pawnshops are open 24 hours while others have drive-through service where the person pawning an item doesn't even get out of their car. Police and neighbors have complained that these operations attract criminal activity and create nuisances.

* MARCH FOR CITIZENSHIP: Approved the closure of Cesar E. Chavez Avenue from Indiana Avenue to Spring Street, and from Spring Street to City Hall on Oct. 16 for the third Immigrants' March for Citizenship. The street will be closed when the march starts at 9:30 a.m. and reopened when it concludes, in about three hours. It is estimated that 100,000 people will participate in the march.


How South-Central and Eastside City Council representatives voted on selected issues.

* NEEDLE EXCHANGE: Approved a resolution that will allow the operation of needle exchange programs in the city. The resolution by Councilwoman Jackie Goldberg is intended to help prevent the spread of HIV by the contaminated needles of drug users. There are an estimated 200,000 intravenous drug users in Los Angeles, and a relatively low 10% of them are HIV positive. Voting no, Councilman Rudy Svorinich Jr. said the resolution sends a message that the city supports illegal drug behavior. Passed 10-1. Voting yes: Mike Hernandez, Rita Walters, Nate Holden, Goldberg. Voting no: Svorinich. Absent: Richard Alatorre, Mark Ridley-Thomas.

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