Daily Breeze Joins the Anti-Feuer Editorial Movement

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This Has Nothing to Do with Global Warming

Slightly closer to home than San Bernadino, the Daily Breeze also seems offended that Assemblyman Mike Feuer would make a link between global warming, air pollution and congestion and that he would actually try to do something about it.

Here’s a novel way to combat global warming: Get Los Angeles County drivers to pay a new tax to combat traffic jams.

Confused? That would be the only reason to vote for Assembly Bill 2558. If the author, L.A. Democrat Mike Feuer, were serious about dealing with either issue he’d come up with a better plan than lumping them together.

Feuer was quoted in the Orange County Register as saying the people in the Los Angeles region have had it when it comes to traffic and air quality. Well, yes. But now he’s talking about three problems: global climate, local traffic and air pollution.

The Breeze is acting like there’s no relationship between these three things, even though it’s pretty well documented that climate change is caused in part by the air pollution created by cars. I think their point is that it will take more than just LA to reverse climate change, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t do anything at all. That’s the kind of thinking one would expect from the Washington Times, not a newspaper in Los Angeles.

Having denied the link between local congestion, air pollution and global warming, the Breeze continues by wondering how increasing transit would help solve global warming.

That’s a tall order for the motorists of one county, even a big one like L.A., especially since the money would be used mostly for public transit. Whether or not you agree that a local tax is the way to try to change Earth’s climate, we trust that you wouldn’t spend the money this way.

Here’s how the scheme, if approved, would work. The L.A. County Metropolitan Transportation Authority would impose a fee, either in the form of a gasoline tax of up to 3 percent or an annual car fee of up to $90, on top of existing fees. Two-thirds of the money would go to public transit, and the rest to "congestion management projects and programs."

There is a case to be made for public transit. Many workers would welcome having alternatives to single-driver commutes, though they need to be convenient and affordable. But such a tax in one county won’t do much of anything

to combat global warming. And gas prices are already at record levels. Such price levels are hardest on the poor.

High gas prices certainly aren’t as hard on "the poor" as high transit prices or reduction in transit services are. And I have bad news for the Breeze, gas prices are reaching record highs every week. A nine cent increase isn’t going to even make much of a dent in total gas costs.

The Breeze closes with this gem:

We oppose AB 2558. Voters probably are much too smart to approve it, but there’s no reason to take the risk. Thoughtful legislators should kill this bill before it gets anywhere.

If the Breeze really wants to be "thoughtful" maybe it could reccomend a better way to come up with the over $200 billion that Metro needs to do its planned expansion over the next 22 years besides user fees for people that use the network?  It seems to be a trend of these columns to oppose legislation needed to fund transit expansion, but none of them seem to have a better idea.

Photo:Fred Camino

  • The SAME exact opinion piece was printed last week in the Long Beach Press Telegram, you can read it here.

    Truly a concerted effort to stop this bill, on such a phony easily dismissed premise too.

    This was my comment in response to the Press Telegram article:

    You fail to see the connection between global climate, local traffic, and air pollution?

    Are you kidding me?

    Public transit has mostly to do with providing bus and rail transportation for low-income workers?

    Is this a joke?

    Let me get you up to speed:

    Cars sitting in traffic emit carbon and other toxins which cause air pollution which leads to global warming. People drive because there are no alternatives. Public transportation is an alternative. Unlike, say food stamps, anyone can ride public transportation, you don’t have to be below a certain income level. More people using transportation alternatives means less people using cars. Less people using cars means less cars idling in traffic which means less carbon and other toxins expelled into the air which means less air pollution which helps the whole global warming problem.

    Let’s hope voters are smarter than you.

  • Yeah, this looks like a concerted campaign to sink this bill. I hope Mike Feuer anticipated the level of push back he’s going to get on this shot across the bows of Angeleno car entitlement.

  • You guys have got to remember that these are relatively small local papers. They will print just about anything that is sent to them that will get readers either nodding, shaking their heads “no”, or simply talking to each other about.

    When I worked in the Assembly, if I wrote a press release properly, the local press would copy and paste what I wrote and print it in their next addition. Typos and all.

    I think that some sort of lobbying group simply sent this “story” to the papers. Get Transit Coalition to write a pro-Feuer article and send it to the local papers as a response – and see what happens.

  • One more thing: there is a lot of highway spending that would occur if Feuer’s bill(s) passed.

  • Yeah, I have no doubt about that ubrayj, it’s just funny to see the same silly article (it really is a terribly written testament) in all these papers.

  • Holy crap – that is almost a word for word copy of the same article!

    WTF?! Are those papers published by the same company or something? That is sort of extraordinary.

    Oh … wait … they are both part of the “LA.com Network”. That explains it. They take content and publish it in different markets.

    Bastards.

    Seriously, write a proper response, add a fake address to each response (make it look like you came from the different media markets). Send your response in, and watch it get published in their “Letters” section!

    Works every time! Just make sure the letter is a good ‘un.

  • anonymous

    The Daily Breeze is located in Torrance, near South Redondo Beach, not Santa Monica.

    The Daily Breeze is owned by the Copley News Service, which is probably the source of the editorial.

  • A guy named Singleton (aka Media News) owns a bunch of newspapers in the region. It was part of a strategy for selling ads regionally. Now a lot of articles and editorials are shared in a cost-cutting move. Daily Breeze is “associated” with this chain.

    The Weekly just printed an article about how this business strategy is nosediving:
    http://www.laweekly.com/news/news/singletons-small-town-la-papers-nosedive/18641/

  • calwatch

    In so many words, the Daily News, Daily Breeze, Daily Bulletin, Press Telegram, Daily Facts, Star News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Whittier Daily News, and San Bernardino Sun are the exact same paper. They print articles from “staff writers” for all of these papers, and they liberally share editorials from each other. The Copley people, after subsidizing a couple of crummy newspapers in the South Bay and the Westside, gave up the towel and sold it to Dean Singleton. One day they might just merge together and become one paper. Already, the Breeze and Press Telegram share copy desks and sports writers, and so do the Sun, Facts, and Bulletin in the “Inland Group”. So you have the “Coastal Group” from Long Beach northward and the “Inland Group” from Pasadena eastward. Newspapers are a dying business.

  • Somehow this has become a thread about newspapers, which is fine with me.

    I think it is funny that “newspapers are a dying business” when the people running them are reaping 20% or greater profits quarterly.

    I think that publicly traded corporate control of newspapers is a dying business.

    People really really like good, real, news. The problem is, they don’t like it at an ever increasing rate for all time.

    There is another network of papers in South L.A. I remember dealing with – Cerritos, Artesia, and Norwalk all had essentially one HQ pumping out multiple “community” papers.

    It made my job as a field rep easy – only a few people to send press releases to!

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