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5 Editorial Thoughts on Beverly Hills, Car Commercials and Other Things…

This weekend, I'm at a training program for the Annenberg Fellowship I discussed last week.  As a result, I didn't have the time to put up any new material for today, but here are some ideas that I wanted to share that for some reason or another haven't been turned in to full stories.  If this feature proves popular, maybe we'll make it a regular feature.

1) You have to wonder at what point the people of Beverly Hills are going to back off the Quixotic quest to keep the Westside Subway from running under their homes and schools.  The Beverly Hills Unified School District is paying nearly half-a-million to fight the Subway even though they're closing their adult education programs, laying off teachers and local taxes are coming in lower than expected.  At some point the cost has to be too high to continue the fight, right?

2) When people talk about the country's financial crisis, they often lament the exorbitant (government supported) salaries that the people who caused most of the damage receive.  As the oil-based economy also collapses, crippling families that see car-dependency as an All-American virtue, it amazes me that nobody has the same feeling for the oil and automobile industries for their role in the coming energy and transportation crisis.  Instead, the anger seems directed at people that aren't car dependent.

3) I stopped doing sarcastic car commercial reviews, but if I were to start again I'd have trouble choosing between the new Highlander commercials which promote the isolating side effect of gigantic cars or the Mercedes Benz commercials where people talk about what lousy drivers they are, but their really expensive car helps stop them from killing family and friends.

4) If I could gamble on Metro Board votes, I would bet the Mark Ridley-Thomas motion on Leimert Station/Grade Separation passes next month.  There might be some amendments to soften some of the language, but the bulk of the resolution will remain as is.  This isn't a statement on the value of the station, but a look at the politics.  The support of Supervisor Mike Antonovich shows that the Republicans (3 votes) on the Metro Board are open to the concept.  One of the reasons that they didn't hold the vote yesterday was because there were three absent voters that could make the difference in the tally, including the Mayor.  If he were planning on voting no, he would have pushed for the vote to be yesterday so he didn't upset his constituents in South L.A., so I'm assuming a "yes" vote for him and his block of votes (4 in total).  Add in the obvious "yes" vote of Ridley-Thomas and that is an 8-7 vote in favor of the motion even if everyone else is opposed.

5) The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition and Bikeside are hosting some cool rides this Sunday.  LACBC's ride is a Northeast/Northwest tour led by Stephen Villavaso.  Bikeside's ride is a tour of the Mar Vista Garden Showcase led by Alex Thompson.  Both look awesome.  Both weren't included in our calendar wrap for the week.

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