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Urban Blight

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 28, 1990
The photograph that accompanied Letters to The Times (July 21) on the subject of graffiti focused on a foreground of graffiti on a wall near downtown Los Angeles. However, in the background there loomed an immense billboard advertising menthol cigarettes. Doesn't this put into perspective what Americans are willing to accept? Aren't such billboards a blight? This doesn't make graffiti less a blight, but tobacco is a killer! Tobacco took 425,000 lives last year (according to an article in that same day's Times)
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ENTERTAINMENT
June 27, 2012 | By Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times Theater Critic
The notion that our unending recession is the worst since the Great Depression is now an accepted media sound bite. Yet to go by depictions in film, theater and television, the down-and-out 1970s makes our hard times look like easy street. In the muscular South Coast Repertory production of August Wilson's "Jitney," which opened Sunday in a second engagement at Pasadena Playhouse, the era that taught us the meaning of "stagflation" becomes a central character, not unlike the way it did in those classic Norman Lear sitcoms of the period.
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NEWS
September 18, 1988 | CRAIG QUINTANA, Times Staff Writer
The ramshackle house had a ceiling patched with cardboard, exposed wiring and faulty plumbing that overflowed toilet and sinks with sewage, but the owner rented the one-bedroom unit to three families with eight small children. Across town, a large apartment building not more than 800 feet from City Hall has an undersized dumpster that spills garbage into the alley. Dotting the blocks in between are perhaps a dozen empty lots overgrown with weeds and strewn with trash.
BUSINESS
December 28, 2006 | Kim Christensen, Times Staff Writer
It was a bum wrap. At least that's what Los Angeles officials concluded after the owners of a partly vacant downtown building agreed to have it outfitted with a bright, skintight orange vinyl advertisement for a high-tech mobile phone. An earlier rendition at the same location, at 2nd and Spring streets, featured a similarly eye-catching automotive ad that apparently eluded the scrutiny of code enforcement inspectors.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 4, 1989 | MICHAEL J. YBARRA, Times Staff Writer
The night before the Allied invasion of Normandy, Milford Bliss parachuted behind enemy lines. After the war, he spent some time traveling around a Europe in ruins. Whole towns "just flattened," he recalled. "It changes your thinking." Last summer Bliss returned to see a continent rebuilt. Buildings that were 200 to 300 years old were repaired so they were as sturdy as ever.
NEWS
July 24, 1994 | JOHN M. GLIONNA, TIMES STAFF WRITER
With a thousand-yard stare, Diane Haywood gazes past the rusty marquee of the Cloud 9 Motel in Cypress, scoffing at the sign's metallic, cartoon-like cloud turned neon nest for a family of pigeons. "Ha! This joint ain't no Cloud Nine, that's for sure," she says ruefully. "Cloud Nine means being on Easy Street, someplace like heaven. This place is more Motel Hell."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 19, 1997
Re "Key Ingredient in Bronx Rebirth: The Picket Fence," Dec. 11: The area of "rebirth" in the Bronx represents probably 1% of the Bronx. That area was abandoned by the city, state and federal governments and businesses starting in the 1950s and was left to burn off, like unwanted growth in a forest for several decades. All President Clinton and his spinmeisters had to do was check out the rest of the Bronx, and parts of Brooklyn, Queens and upper Manhattan to witness the same burn-off tactics taking place today.
OPINION
January 27, 2002
Re "Council Split Over Call to Ban Billboards," Jan. 23: Billboards are nothing more than a crass, vulgar form of commercialism and do nothing but show what a lack of taste and appreciation we have for the beautiful part of the world we live in. They are ugly and a distraction to motorists. At a time in our history when there are so many other forms of media available to business, this form of advertisement has in fact been rendered obsolete. There is no longer a reason to trade the lost beauty of our skyline for the sake of promoting a product.
OPINION
March 27, 2004
Re "L.A. Should Cultivate This Rare Urban Seed," Commentary, March 23: How interesting that we are now at a place, in our forced egalitarianism, that a property owner has fewer rights to his property than a group of squatters. "Can all sides win?" Robert Gottlieb and James Rojas ask. "Yes" is the response, "by relocating the owner." Incredible! How would Gottlieb and Rojas feel about having to deed their homes to squatters who appropriated their properties while they were on vacation, and being forced to relocate?
NEWS
April 26, 1989 | Roger Simon
It all started a few weeks ago when Jesse Jackson applied for a building permit to fix up his Washington home. He bought the home some years ago and has never lived in it. When he comes to Washington from his home in Chicago, which is often, he stays in hotels. If anybody else had applied for a building permit, people would have said: Hey, he's going to fix up the home so he can save a few bucks on hotel bills. But because it was Jesse Jackson, people said: Hey, he must be getting ready to run for mayor of Washington!
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 29, 2005 | Rachana Rathi, Times Staff Writer
The state has intervened in a Kern County land dispute that centers on how and when the government can declare an area urbanized and blighted. A Kern County Superior Court judge last week allowed Atty. Gen. Bill Lockyer to file a friend-of-the-court brief in support of a lawsuit that claims a state statute designed to help revive decaying urban areas is instead being used in a rural land grab by California City officials.
OPINION
March 27, 2004
Re "L.A. Should Cultivate This Rare Urban Seed," Commentary, March 23: How interesting that we are now at a place, in our forced egalitarianism, that a property owner has fewer rights to his property than a group of squatters. "Can all sides win?" Robert Gottlieb and James Rojas ask. "Yes" is the response, "by relocating the owner." Incredible! How would Gottlieb and Rojas feel about having to deed their homes to squatters who appropriated their properties while they were on vacation, and being forced to relocate?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 30, 2003 | Carol Pogash, Special to The Times
In Rome, Paris, Florence and other cosmopolitan cities, the clanking of metal sliding doors, like the revving of motorbikes on cobblestones, heralds dawn's arrival. The metal doors here, however, are more a reminder of urban crime. Saying they give Oakland a war-zone look, the city manager is recommending the banning of metal doors, black iron gates, metal bars, razor wire and barbed wire from storefronts.
OPINION
January 27, 2002
Re "Council Split Over Call to Ban Billboards," Jan. 23: Billboards are nothing more than a crass, vulgar form of commercialism and do nothing but show what a lack of taste and appreciation we have for the beautiful part of the world we live in. They are ugly and a distraction to motorists. At a time in our history when there are so many other forms of media available to business, this form of advertisement has in fact been rendered obsolete. There is no longer a reason to trade the lost beauty of our skyline for the sake of promoting a product.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 16, 2001 | JEFF GOTTLIEB, TIMES STAFF WRITER
What sound does $7 million make? Snap, boom, crunch. At least it does when a 27-ton track loader is gnawing and stomping its way through a two-story tear-down to make way for a bigger, more expensive home in an exclusive Newport Beach neighborhood. Like a giant termite gone mad, the bulldozer first took out the three-car garage, then headed for the rest of the house Tuesday, brandishing its scooper at anything that got close until it ate its way almost to Newport Bay.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 16, 2000 | GREG RISLING, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
In a collaborative effort to clean up parks and schools and improve communities, hundreds of volunteers took part Saturday in the first Global Outreach Day. Across the Southland, children and adults worked side by side to paint murals, erase graffiti and lend a helping hand to senior citizens. The project is part of a worldwide, one-day effort to reduce urban blight in 30 countries.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 27, 2012 | By Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times Theater Critic
The notion that our unending recession is the worst since the Great Depression is now an accepted media sound bite. Yet to go by depictions in film, theater and television, the down-and-out 1970s makes our hard times look like easy street. In the muscular South Coast Repertory production of August Wilson's "Jitney," which opened Sunday in a second engagement at Pasadena Playhouse, the era that taught us the meaning of "stagflation" becomes a central character, not unlike the way it did in those classic Norman Lear sitcoms of the period.
NEWS
March 8, 1988 | ELAINE KENDALL
Second Sight by Mary Tannen (Knopf: $16.95; 259 pages) Ask for this book by author, not by title, because another novel with the identical name is also scheduled for this month. This is the one you'll want--a magical transformation of an ugly, decaying New Jersey industrial town into a place where the least likely of romances can thrive; a cast of characters so atypical that they glow with incandescent vitality, a plot blending mysticism with gritty contemporary reality.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 19, 1997
Re "Key Ingredient in Bronx Rebirth: The Picket Fence," Dec. 11: The area of "rebirth" in the Bronx represents probably 1% of the Bronx. That area was abandoned by the city, state and federal governments and businesses starting in the 1950s and was left to burn off, like unwanted growth in a forest for several decades. All President Clinton and his spinmeisters had to do was check out the rest of the Bronx, and parts of Brooklyn, Queens and upper Manhattan to witness the same burn-off tactics taking place today.
NEWS
August 10, 1997
"On the Blight Side," by Paul Dean, on Aug. 4 hits the nail right on the head. The failure to maintain memorials, statues, monuments and even buildings used every day is characteristic of too many municipalities throughout the Southland. It seems that government is deliberately contributing to inner-city blight. Rather than maintain existing structures, taxpayers wind up footing the bill for replacements because the original was allowed to deteriorate to a level beyond repair. The Hall of Justice is a good example of a beautiful building becoming an eyesore.
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