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OPINION
July 10, 2012
Re "A bold plan to fight foreclosures," Business, July 6 So the American Bankers Assn. (among others) says San Bernardino County's innovative plan to save thousands of homeowners from foreclosure by using eminent domain will "undermine the sanctity of the contractual relationship between a borrower and creditor. " Let's see: Bankers issue risky mortgages to naive borrowers; bankers irresponsibly and arrogantly tank the American financial system, taking the economy down with it; bankers then foreclose on unemployed borrowers.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 12, 2013 | By Phil Willon, Los Angeles Times
JOSHUA TREE - Along the saw-toothed ridge of Rattlesnake Canyon, crude graffiti invades the crevices that offered shade to nomadic Indians trekking across the Mojave hundreds, if not thousands, of years ago. "Skunk," "oatmeal cookie" and "punx" are scribbled in black spray paint on giant, earth-crushing boulders where ancient petroglyphs may have been etched by the Serrano and Chemehuevi. The damage goes far beyond a few lovey-dovey teenagers carving their initials into picnic tables.
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OPINION
December 13, 2012
Re "Panel orders 100 digital billboards removed in L.A.," Dec. 11 Curtailing the digital billboard blight spreading through our city is certainly a wonderful holiday gift, but what a disgrace that it took a lawsuit by another billboard company to stop our elected City Council members from selling out our quality of life to "avoid lawsuits, generate revenue or pay back political favors. " My hope is that in 2013, the council will make a New Year's resolution to just say no to the billboard companies that put their blind pursuit of revenue over the beauty of our neighborhoods.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 1, 2013 | By Patrick McGreevy, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - During his State of the State address last week, Gov. Jerry Brown detoured from his high praise for state government's recent thrift to take aim at a program that he says wastes hundreds of millions of tax dollars. Brown's previous efforts to scale back or eliminate the $700-million Enterprise Zone Program gained little traction with lawmakers. The program, which gives employers tax credits of up to $37,000 for each hire they make in areas designated as blighted, has survived despite numerous studies concluding that it does little to create jobs or development.
OPINION
December 9, 2008
Re "Pushing back on billboard blight," Column, Dec. 3 My wife and I are graduates of beautiful Hollywood High School. I worked in Hollywood for 25 years. We still live there. The Hollywood Bowl is magnificent. Hollywood was a lovely, world-famous town. Then came the monstrous, overpowering supergraphics blight. Why are people being treated like this in their own hometown? It isn't happening in Santa Monica, Santa Barbara, Pasadena, Paris and elsewhere. I hope for change in what children cannot help but see on their way to and from school.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 26, 1992
Anyone who considers graffiti "art" is sicker than the slack-jawed goons who put it up. Period. PHIL BITTLE San Gabriel
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 10, 2000
Re "Hail Laguna's Taxi Experiment," (Orange County Perspective, Dec. 3): Lagunatics. That's what we call ourselves, and we're proud of it. Living here for almost 30 years, I've come to realize that sometimes it's what Laguna Beach doesn't have that makes it special. Using OCTA funds that could be spent elsewhere is one issue, but encouraging a visual blight like subsidized taxi service will create an ersatz sophistication some of us deem unnecessary. Roving taxis could result in an altered traffic flow, with the taxis cruising and being flagged over in dense traffic a la New York.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 15, 1987
I just finished reading the Commentary ("The Blight of Offshore Oil Rigs," March 8) by Fred Grumm. I was struck by the naivete in his article. How did he get to Santa Barbara where he was privileged to look out upon the ocean and see the offshore rigs? He stated that he drove. His car used gasoline and tires made of petroleum products while he probably used plastic, nylon and other man-made products produced from petroleum as he drove on asphalt roads (again petroleum). Does the gentleman think that to keep a landscape devoid of the offshore rigs is the birthright of Californians while others are forced to give up their landscapes to provide petroleum products for the pleasure of the ones who use the majority of the petroleum?
BUSINESS
November 9, 2008
It is surprising that it took so long to come to this. ("Circuit City powers down," Nov. 4.) This is just one more chain that has missed the key to success: customer service. I was in a Circuit City store about 10 years ago. I found partly empty, dusty shelves and no salesperson in sight. I recently visited another store and waited on purpose to see how long it would take for one of several employees to offer help. It never happened. One was arguing with a customer; two others had a yawing conversation going about last night's party.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 2, 1987
Blight. An ugly word, it conjures images of run-down tenements with peeling paint; broken windows, some boarded up, some not; junkies loitering in the hallways. Or vacant lots, knee-deep in brown, spiky weeds, strewn with rusting-out mattress springs, hulks of old cars, beer bottles, trash. Blight has another face: a modest, attractive, 30-year-old neighborhood with neatly trimmed lawns, fruit trees, well-tended flower beds, new roofs; a proud new condominium project with wide-open spaces of gently rolling, soft green grass, shaded by carefully preserved tall, old trees.
OPINION
December 13, 2012
Re "Panel orders 100 digital billboards removed in L.A.," Dec. 11 Curtailing the digital billboard blight spreading through our city is certainly a wonderful holiday gift, but what a disgrace that it took a lawsuit by another billboard company to stop our elected City Council members from selling out our quality of life to "avoid lawsuits, generate revenue or pay back political favors. " My hope is that in 2013, the council will make a New Year's resolution to just say no to the billboard companies that put their blind pursuit of revenue over the beauty of our neighborhoods.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 17, 2012 | Jessica Garrison and Angel Jennings
For Mary Sanchez, the vacant, foreclosed home across from hers on Abner Street in El Sereno was an assault on the senses and her piece of mind. Gang members and squatters used it as a stash house. The place stank of dead animals. Mice made constant incursions from across the way onto her property, prompting her to get cats to head them off. Weeds in the yard reached as high as her chest. "It was embarrassing," she said. "When people would come over I would say, 'Look for the ugly house with all the stuff in the lawn.
OPINION
July 10, 2012
Re "A bold plan to fight foreclosures," Business, July 6 So the American Bankers Assn. (among others) says San Bernardino County's innovative plan to save thousands of homeowners from foreclosure by using eminent domain will "undermine the sanctity of the contractual relationship between a borrower and creditor. " Let's see: Bankers issue risky mortgages to naive borrowers; bankers irresponsibly and arrogantly tank the American financial system, taking the economy down with it; bankers then foreclose on unemployed borrowers.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 6, 2012 | By Ruben Vives and Kate Mather, Los Angeles Times
A Long Beach man suspected of shooting a code enforcement inspector before barricading himself in his house was taken into custody Thursday after a seven-hour standoff. The shooting occurred around 8 a.m. as code enforcement officers arrived with police backup to serve an inspection warrant at what was described as a "blighted residence" in the 6100 block of John Avenue, Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell said. "This residence has been a problem for code enforcement over the past few years," he said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 19, 2012 | Ann M. Simmons, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles County's barren High Desert has long attracted those seeking seclusion in wide-open spaces, far beyond the reach of power lines, sewer pipes and pavement. For many of these self-described "desert rats," self-sufficiency is a matter of survival and pride: Solar panels and wind turbines provide power, enormous storage tanks provide water and a motley assortment of trailers, outbuildings and vehicles provides shelter from the withering sun. But this "live free" mind-set is coming under increasing attack as county investigators crack down on code violations and nuisance complaints in the far-flung north.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 29, 2012 | Hector Tobar
William Perez has been waiting a long time to tell someone all the sad and crazy things he's seen. Perez runs a crew that crisscrosses Los Angeles and the Antelope Valley doing the dirty but essential job of cleaning up homes that have been foreclosed and then trashed by humans and neglect. "The good news about this place," he told me as we stood inside one such property on Wilmington Avenue in Watts, "is that there's no fleas. " No fleas, but plenty of trash, and an odor most foul.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 6, 1997
Re ("Eyeing an Eyesore," June 26) about Anaheim's ex-Councilman Frank Feldhaus not being happy about the blight in west Anaheim. Unbelievable. Is this the same Frank Feldhaus who voted to give $30 million and the stadium to the Disney company, who voted for $91 million in tax money for a parking garage at Disneyland, who promoted a bed tax increase on the west Anaheim Beach Boulevard motels? When you spend years giving the city treasury away to Disney, you can expect west Anaheim and the rest of Anaheim to be in terrible condition.
BUSINESS
April 22, 2012 | Michael Hiltzik
John Johnson died three months ago, his body racked with malignant mesothelioma, a disease that's almost always caused by asbestos exposure. The Marine veteran had sued dozens of companies he believed shared responsibility for his condition, but he never got his day in court. Here's the horrific question now: Did asbestos industry lawyers deliberately drive Johnson to his death by putting him through a brutal series of depositions so their clients would save money? That's what his family, his doctor and his lawyers assert.
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