Los Angeles: LAPD Central Area Detectives are asking for the public’s help in identifying two robbery suspects whose images were captured on surveillance video committing a robbery at Subway restaurant. On Monday October 1, 2012, two unidentified male suspects entered the location in the 700 block of N. Main Street and ordered a sandwich. Upon reaching the cash register, suspect #1 pulled out a handgun from his waistband and pointed it at the cashier demanding money. Suspect #2, standing by, told the cashier, “You’re taking too long!” Fearing for her life the cashier handed the money to suspect 1, after which both men took the money and left the store. Suspect #1 is described as a male Hispanic, 18-20 years old, with a shaved head about 5 feet 9 inches tall. He weighs about 160 pounds and has a tattoo of “LA” above his eyebrow and an unknown tattoo on his right ear lobe. Suspect #2 is described as a male Hispanic, 35-40 years old, with a shaved head about 5 feet 6 inches tall. He weighs about 180 pounds and has a tattoos on both arms. Both suspects are considered armed and dangerous. Anyone with information on this crime or the suspects is urged to call LAPD Central Area Detective Doug Pierce at 213-972-1213.During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to the watch commander at 213-972-1298, or call 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact …
Posts Tagged ‘ subway ’
Los Angeles Police Department Olympic Division Robbery Detectives are asking for the public’s help in identifying a robbery suspect whose images were captured on surveillance video committing a robbery at a restaurant in the mid-town area of Los Angeles. On June 25, 2012, around 9:10 pm, a male Hispanic suspect entered a restaurant located in the 4200 block of Beverly Boulevard and robbed the store employee, using a handgun. The suspect took cash from the employee then fled the location on foot. The suspect is described as a male Hispanic, about 20 to 25-years-old, stands 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighs about 200 pounds. He was wearing a black and white baseball cap, black jacket, black pants and black shoes. The suspect also had a “Ramirez” or “Ramiro” tattoo on his upper lip. Anyone with information on this crime or the suspect, is urged to call LAPD’s Olympic Area Robbery Detectives at 213-382-9493.During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (CRIMES on most keypads) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Tipsters may also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on “webtips” and follow the prompts.
LOS ANGELES — Hollywood, that mythic land where movie drama was invented, suddenly finds itself caught up in its own real-life drama, one involving high-priced real estate and people taking on City Hall. In this storyline, the issue is whether it is time for a famously spread-out, freeway-centric city’s best known tourist destination to begin looking a little more like New York City by adding a towering skyline and pedestrian-friendly sidewalks. The city Planning Commission recently gave its unanimous blessing to a new Hollywood Community Plan that would allow buildings of 50 stories or more in some areas. The skyscrapers, which planners see someday dotting what they call the Hollywood Corridor, would be linked by a section of subway that runs right underneath the fabled Hollywood Walk of Fame. Planning Commissioner Michael Woo says the proposal is likely to come before the City Council in February or March for the first of several public hearings before a vote is taken. But in the canyons and along the hillsides that make up much of Hollywood’s more quiet residential areas, the plan is already getting a raucous public hearing from people who live in homes that run the gamut from sprawling mansions to century-old crackerbox apartments. Several neighborhood associations are banding together, vowing to fight it. The plan’s opponents worry that bringing skyscrapers to a section of the city that already has seen traffic proliferate with the arrival in recent years of trendy hotels like the W and hot-spot nightclubs like the SkyBar will destroy the ambiance of their neighborhoods as well as compromise safety. They will become prisoners in their homes, they say, their narrow, winding streets blocked day and night by the cars of outsiders while emergency vehicles are unable to reach them. “I love living in Hollywood. I love the craziness,” said Patti Negri, president of the Hollywood Dell Civic Association. “I don’t care when they close Hollywood and Highland for a premiere or when they close the streets for a show at the Hollywood Bowl. That’s why I live here and I’ll take the little inconvenience that goes with it. That’s part of the deal. But this is not part of the deal.” Negri, who has lived for 20 years just up the hill from Hollywood Boulevard and around the corner from the Hollywood Bowl, says this deal would gridlock her neighborhood at all hours, every day, not to mention blocking the neighborhood’s views of the city. If the City Council ultimately approves the plan it would create a blueprint for future development in 25-square-mile Hollywood, an area that is home to 228,000 people as well as numerous production offices, soundstages and tourist attractions. Any new towers would have to meet the city’s strict seismic standards. Although he hasn’t studied it closely enough to say whether it would work, Marlon Boarnet, director of graduate programs at USC’s Sol Price School of Public Policy, says the proposal exemplifies Los Angeles’ “transformation from an automobile-only city to a much more multi-modal city,” one where people live and work in high-rises and use public transportation. “Los Angeles in many ways is going to have to grow up, and I mean vertically,” Boarnet said. “There’s a lot of pressure from population growth, land prices and the fact there really isn’t any more vacant land.” During the past 10 years, Hollywood has grown up to some extent, undergoing a renaissance that has taken it from being a haven for crack dealers, street thugs and prostitutes to one of the trendiest, hippest, most tourist-filled spots in town. Several residents who oppose the plan say they do appreciate that change. Musician Chuck E. Weiss, for one, says he has watched in wonder over the years as gang members have been replaced by families walking their dogs at night. That change, he says, has brought a new, admittedly much more minor problem to the neighborhood where he’s lived in a small, century-old house above the Sunset Strip for 30 years. Instead of sometimes hearing gunfire at night, he finds dog droppings in the street during the day. “But if the tradeoff is dog poop for gangsters, I’ll take that,” he quickly adds. What he and others don’t like is the few large buildings they already have seen proliferate along the Hollywood Corridor. One that comes to mind for many people is the Sunset-Vine residential tower. At 22 stories, it is not nearly as tall as LA’s biggest building, the 73-story US Bank Tower downtown. But at Hollywood’s most famous intersection, and wrapped in gigantic, garish billboards that are plastered across every side of it, it is impossible to miss. “That thing is an abomination. It’s always been a clash with the neighborhood,” said Weiss, echoing the opinions of many. Planning Commissioner Woo said he understands some of those objections. “It’s unfortunate that because a lot of the new buildings are not very distinguished, some members of the community are assuming all the new buildings will be mediocre,” he said. “We’re hoping this plan will encourage architects to design more beautiful, innovative buildings for Hollywood.” Meanwhile, he and other officials are quick to point out that while the plan would allow huge buildings in the already densely populated sections of Hollywood, it would also establish tougher restrictions on high-density development elsewhere. “We’re going to preserve the single-family neighborhoods, absolutely they will be preserved,” said Councilman Tom LaBonge, who represents part of Hollywood. “But in some areas, where the subway stations are, we should be developing high density, and the people who live in that higher-density area will use the subway.” Residents are skeptical of that, many saying the recent influx of nightclub-goers has already clogged their streets with people who drive in looking for free parking. “As a metro rider, I love to use the metro,” said George Skarpelos, who lives in Hollywood Dell and edits the association’s newsletter. “But that doesn’t mean people are going to be forced to use the metro. There’s going to be a lot of traffic. There’s a lot of traffic now, and I can’t imagine there will be a solution other than them saying, `People will work it out.’” The rest is here: Should We Be More Like New York City?
Dr. William Brien was elected to the City Council in 2009 and is now serving his rotation as the vice mayor. Before that he was on the Recreation and Parks Commission and Beverly Hills Unified School District Board of Education. Civic duties aside, Brien is an orthopedic surgeon at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. He is the hospital’s executive vice chairman of the department of surgery and the director of the Cedars-Sinai Orthopedic Center. He is also a former Cedars-Sinai chief of staff. A lifelong Beverly Hills resident, Brien attended Hawthorne and Beverly Hills High. His four children have also attended city schools. Patch recently met with the vice mayor for some coffee and conversation. In part one of our interview with Brien, we discussed the Joint Powers Agreement and negotiations with the school board, the possibility of a subway tunnel going under the city’s only high school and future plans regarding the pensions of Beverly Hills employees. Beverly Hills Patch: What is the status of the latest Joint Powers Agreement , a four-year contract in which the city pays the school district for access to school facilities? Vice Mayor William Brien: The end goal is to come up with a funding formula that can be supportive of the schools and also makes sense for the city. I don’t think the concept of major reductions that meet the other percentages of reductions we’ve had will occur. We recognize the value of the school facilities and also the need that the school kids and district have. What the final funding number will be, I don’t know yet. We need to sit down and get into some of the details with the school district … what their expectations are … in terms of access and use, and what’s going to be available. But I don’t foresee major reductions in this. And certainly we’ll work together to protect the kids in this district … that’s really what we want to make sure we do here. Patch: What are the city’s next steps in opposing a Metropolitan Transportation Authority subway tunnel from going under Beverly Hills High School ? Brien: The reviews that came out basically said [Metro staff] believe that there was a significant safety risk on Santa Monica Boulevard , and there was not a significant safety risk from an earthquake—in geotechnical and seismologic standpoints—from going under the high school. The staff will make their recommendation to the [Metro board of directors] and I’m sure their recommendation will be under the high school. Then it will be up to the Metro board members to decide whether or not they believe that that’s the right thing to do or not. And we’ll see what they have to say on that. I think from the standpoint of the city and school district, I believe that all of us have been unanimous in opposing the subway going under Beverly Hills High School. I believe that there is a reasonable alternative still on Santa Monica. I don’t know whether it’s unsafe or less safe, and whether or not something can be built structurally sound and made as safe with additional dollars if it goes down Santa Monica. I think those are the things that we need to look at. If it’s totally unsafe on Santa Monica, I would not support building it in that area. Patch: Will the City Council and the BHUSD school board join together in an effort to stop Metro from tunneling under BHHS? Brien: I think that we as a city and a school district need to put aside the past rhetoric —because that’s what it was—and actually start looking at the science that was put out and see whether or not the reports are scientifically accurate, factual and really represent the risk or not to the Santa Monica alignment. I think that that’s our job to do now. We actually have data and I’ve said from the beginning I want to see the data. I want to look at this in a scientific way and I want to make that assessment—still opposing going under the high school—but I wanted to see that data and I think that that’s the way you make good decisions. I think that the rhetoric was dismissive and unfortunately unnecessary, and yet we were all saying we don’t want it under the high school. Just some of our voices were not being heard no matter how many times we said that. In the end we now will put together a working group. Council member [Lili] Bosse and I will be looking at this and we will be reaching out to the school board and they will decide who’s going to liaison with us, if they want to liaison with us, and then we’re going to come up with a plan to jointly review [Metro’s] information, I hope. I think the community needs to be able to understand our assessment of Metro’s data. Then we’ll be able to better assess what our options are, whether the final EIR [Environmental Impact Report] is appropriate or not and if there are issues, demand that those issues be addressed. Patch: How much money is Beverly Hills willing to spend to stop a subway from going under the high school? Brien: When you look at these types of issues, No. 1, you identify what your options are. And our options are, not being the decision maker, to oppose things. You have to look at the rationale of how you’re going to oppose that and what is the most successful way by which you can win. Some of that may be based on science, some of that may be based on challenging components of the final EIR. Some of that may be political. You look at all of those and you see which way you can best accomplish what the goal is, which is to not have a tunnel under the high school. At the end of the day you have to do an assessment on how much it would cost and what your chances are to win. At that point you make a decision how much you’re willing to expend. We’re going to spend money on this but at the end of the day, if the court system rules against our wishes and in favor of Metro’s, if that ends up being under the high school, then you start to run out of options. The other issue here though is they don’t have federal funding yet. We’ll see if it happens. To throw away precious school dollars, building dollars, dollars for kids … for the city to spend precious dollars taking away from critical city services—because we’ve made a lot of cuts over the last few years, and any more cuts do affect city services—you’ve got to weigh that in terms of whether or not you even need to spend at all right now. Patch: What is the status of pension plans for city employees? Brien: With regards to pensions, some of it is actually negotiated; some of it is governed by state law through CalPERS and is controlled by the state Legislature. Some things that we might as a city want to change, and maybe even some of our colleagues in the different unions in the city might even agree to change, sometimes you can’t change it because state law trumps that and there’s legislative control over that. I do think that in general, in the state of California locally and in cities around Beverly Hills, people have looked and basically said the current pension structure over the long term is not sustainable for municipalities, for counties and for the state. I think that you have to have some pension reform, and that’s OK. The reality is we need to find, working with our unions, a way to … sustain pensions for our employees that are retired, our employees that are here today and employees that come in the future—in a way that doesn’t bankrupt the city in the next 20 or 30 or 40 years. A dollar saved today has a profound impact over 40 years’ time in the city. What can change going forward for people within [current pension plans] is contribution—the employee contribution can change. And that can impact them. If you take 1 percent employee contribution, where right now the city or municipality is providing all 9 percent of it, that in essence is a 1 percent decrease in [employee] take-home pay because they’re putting money towards their retirement. This interview has been edited and condensed. Be sure to follow Beverly Hills Patch on Twitter and “Like” us on Facebook . More here: Vice Mayor Talks JPA, Metro and Pensions
Original post: Link: Newport-Inglewood Fault Affects Subway Tunneling in Beverly Hills
This article is not about the Century City subway station. Let’s for a moment assume that birds are chirping, children are playing, the sun is shining and everyone is pleased as punch at the Century City alignment. Let’s assume the tunnel is smack dab between Santa Monica Blvd. and Constellation Blvd. and that there are portals on both of those streets. And so we leave the scene, with the happy, well-adjusted commuters, subway users, schoolchildren and surrounding residents, never more to be seen in this article. Heeding the sage advice of Horace Greeley (or the Pet Shop Boys, as the case were), let’s move one station down the line and let’s turn our attentions west to Westwood. Yes, the area that is the home of UCLA, one of our finest educational institutions and an obvious target for subway access. The station planned for the Westside extension’s Purple Line is known as the “UCLA/Westwood” station. If nothing else, the station name alone seems to indicate the station’s intentions of proudly serving the “sons — and daughters — of Westwood.” Even in the world of college rivalries, where USC is getting the benefit of the new Expo line station, this balance makes a lot of sense. From a transit policy perspective, a station at UCLA makes even more sense than that: creating a viable public transportation option to access one of the region’s most important institutions is what public transportation’s all about, isn’t it? USC gets its station, now UCLA gets its station. Let the best team win, right? Not so fast. All this would seem well and good if there were a level playing field. Let’s not forget: this isn’t the U.S. Supreme Court, where the idea of “leveling the playing field” is both taboo and anathema at the same time — as if fairness were not a basic American value. But how fair is a football game when one team is allowed, say, 30 scholarships more than the other team? And just how useful and functional is the “UCLA” station when it’s not really near UCLA? The “UCLA/Westwood” subway station is planned to be located at the intersection of Wilshire Blvd. and Westwood Blvd. The distance between Wilshire and Westwood and Pauley Pavilion, located towards the southwest part of the UCLA campus, which stretches all the way up to Sunset, is about three-quarters of a mile. It’s a major hike, and way beyond all reasonable parameters for subway access. In fact, the distance to the Veterans’ Administration campus is actually less than the walk from the proposed Metro station to Pauley Pavilion. And, by the way, the Veterans’ Administration is itself the site of the next — and, for the time being — final station of the entire extension. Is the Veterans’ Administration a bustling hub of urban activity? Does it have nearly as much activity on a daily basis as the UCLA campus? Not only will the VA be better served by the subway through its own station, it will actually be better served by the UCLA/Westwood station than UCLA itself. Doesn’t make a lot of sense, now does it? Perhaps Metro thought that the naming of the UCLA/Westwood station would solve all its problems. “Hey, we have a UCLA station. See? It says so on the sign over there.” But this “strategy” seems to be the transit equivalent of sticking an “organic — no trans-fat” label on a box of Fruity Pebbles and calling it health food. How is it possible that UCLA got so royally shafted by the subway station location without so much as a peep from the self-styled transit advocates? UCLA gets a station the better part of a mile away from the campus, while USC gets a station close to both the campus and the Coliseum. Heck, the USC campus can actually be reasonably accessed by multiple Metro stations. Where are the protests and where’s the uproar? Where is the Self-Appointed Transit Truth Squad (SATTS) when you really need them? Perhaps they’re all dyed-in-the-wool Trojans? Perhaps they’re Bruins who are so embarrassed about UCLA basketball’s decline that they want to spare fans the indignity of seeing the Trojan basketball team beat the pants off of Coach Wooden’s heirs at Pauley? Perhaps they’re afraid of offending Metro CEO Art Leahy? Despite degrees from both institutions, Art Leahy hardly seems divided when it comes to his own loyalties. As LA Streetsblog wrote in an interview with him: “When entering Metro CEO Art Leahy’s office, you can’t help but notice that he’s a sports fan and a native Angeleno. His wall is decorated with USC football paraphernalia… When staff that happened to graduate from UCLA are in the room, they get ribbed.” Perhaps the location of the station the ultimate way to rib UCLA acolytes: “Yeah, you beat us in football in 2006, but wait’ll you Bruins get a load of where the ‘UCLA’ station is — ha ha ha!” Or maybe the station location is the ultimate payback for UCLA pranksters’ painting Tommy Trojan blue and gold. OK, I admit: that might be pushing it a bit. Of course, Art Leahy, who himself answers to the Metro board, wasn’t trying to give the Trojans yet another competitive advantage, but there aren’t really a lot of better explanations as to why the SATTS isn’t hot and bothered about the UCLA station. So what are the real reasons behind this “UCLA station that’s not a UCLA station”? Let’s begin our attempt to answer this question by stating the obvious: there is no question that a station in the middle of Westwood Village would better serve the UCLA campus and UCLA community and the Village itself, along with continuing to serve the office buildings along Wilshire. The middle of the Village would seem to have everything that Metro purports to value in a subway station, with both ridership and access to one of the most important educational institutions in the region. So why not build the station where it makes the most sense? For one, Metro is suggesting that there are construction-related issues. We’ve heard that the streets in Westwood Village are narrow and it’s difficult to find room for the construction equipment. While that may be true, we’ve also heard on numerous occasions from most of the SATTS that most potential obstacles are but small bumps in the road for Metro. We’ve heard how construction of a subway in an earthquake zone is no problemo. We’ve heard how long-term construction impacts are basically non-existent and how there is no task that Metro and modern engineering are not up to. So the streets in Westwood are narrow: big deal, big shmeal. Ever been to Rome? Or London? Or Paris? Ever seen how narrow some of the streets there are or how some of the subway stations seem to fit into the most irregular spaces? Surely, the engineers at Metro are up to the technical challenges and could figure out how to build a station in Westwood which would actually serve the needs of the UCLA campus, as well as the surrounding areas. But placing the eponymous UCLA station the better part of a mile away from UCLA isn’t just about construction or engineering challenges. One of the other reasons we’ve heard about not building a subway station with better access to UCLA in the middle of Westwood Village was that the westward extension of the subway towards the VA would necessitate tunneling under a cemetery. Again, we’ve heard from the transit crowd that “there are subway tunnels under synagogues, churches, schools, department stores, and dance studios. Heck, there’s even a subway tunnel under the Pentagon.” So why should tunneling under a cemetery preclude Metro from picking an alignment which will actually serve UCLA? Is it a safety issue? Is it a potential noise and vibration issue? We’ve heard from Metro : “Since the first segment of the subway opened in 1993, Metro has received no complaints about noise or vibration due to subway operations. Additionally, in the North Hollywood area, there are sound recording studios adjacent to current subway tunnels.” So the inhabitants of the cemetery can rest assured that their eternal rest will be disturbed by neither noise nor vibrations. And that should mean that the best station location to serve the living should be chosen. Yet flying in the face of the actual geographical location of UCLA and the demographic make-up of Westwood, a number of the transit hipsters have seriously tried to suggest that the intersection of Wilshire Blvd. and Westwood Blvd. is actually the best location for the UCLA/Westwood station. Guess they don’t actually need to access the UCLA campus or care whether the students and faculty can or can’t. It seems like they’re being protective of Metro and thinking politically rather than logically in trying to justify something that really can’t be justified. Their response is that Sepulveda line — someday, somehow — may actually come to serve the UCLA campus. But even if a Sepulveda line to the Valley is actually built someday, somehow, it won’t do much to ameliorate things. Just look at the map. They’re still going to have to tunnel under the cemetery to get anywhere close to UCLA. If they really want to, that is. Perhaps therein lies the true answer. Another “explanation” I’ve heard for not building the UCLA/Westwood station in the center of the center of Westwood Village is that “UCLA students all live on campus and don’t have cars.” Of course, even if this attempt to rationalize the station location blunder were true, then these students would be in even greater need of convenient public transportation to connect them with the rest of the city, especially considering the hundreds of thousands of hours in reduced bus service Metro is imposing upon their bus system and their riders each year. However, we read that a large number of the students who live close to the campus do, in fact, have cars. And we read that those cars create problems in parts of Westwood. As the LA Times wrote earlier this summer: “For decades, Westwood residents — many of them UCLA students — have packed their cars into driveways in such a way that they block sidewalks and spill out into the street. They argue that the makeshift, but illegal, practice is the only way to deal with a critical lack of parking around the campus and in the Westwood Village area.” The Times article reports further that solution to this widespread “apron parking,” which many in the neighborhood consider to be a nuisance, was a draconian program of relentless ticketing. Wouldn’t an accessible subway station be a better solution? As one of the students quoted in the article says, “It’s pretty impossible to get around without a car.” One would think that a convenient Metro station would encourage such students to “leave the driving to Metro.” One would think that a UCLA subway station that actually served UCLA would go a long ways towards alleviating the massive parking problems in Westwood, including those created by apron parking. One would think that a subway station that actually served ALL of Westwood would have massive benefits beyond the currently planned “Westwood adjacent” station location. One would think. But then one would actually have to think. Perhaps the greatest irony is that, in conjunction with Metro’s reduction of bus service throughout the region, we can read in Metro’s own FAQ about the Westside Subway that their advice to would-be commuters to UCLA is to “take the bus.” Writes an anonymous Metro wag on the Metro site: “There is already significant bus service in the Westwood Village area provided by Metro, Santa Monica Big Blue Bus, Culver City Municipal Bus Lines, UCLA Transit and others that provide many connections between Wilshire and the campus.” So essentially Metro is spending billions of dollars on the subway including on the so-called “UCLA/Westwood” station so that people who want to go to UCLA can… take a bus. Way to go, Metro. Why would it be unsurprising to expect the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the “UCLA/Westwood” station to be accompanied by the Trojan Marching Band playing a rousing version of “Fight On.” Metro’s TOD (transit-oriented dissing) of the entire UCLA community, including its students and faculty, could hardly be any worse. If all else fails in determining the proper location for the subway station, let’s put the UCLA/Westwood station location to the Yaroslavsky Test, that nifty transit-oriented version of the Pepsi Challenge. In the words of Metro Board member and LA County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, himself a UCLA grad: “Any schoolchild will tell you that the center of the circle is in the middle of the circle and not at the edge or at the tangent.” Presumably Yaroslavsky’s circle statement also applies to UCLA students and grads, notwithstanding the fact that USC now for the second year in a row has topped UCLA in the U.S. News and World Report ‘s college rankings. And the center is… (Drum roll, please). And so, yes, even according to the rigorous and sophisticated standards of the Yaroslavsky Test, the UCLA/Westwood station should be located in the middle of Westwood Village; in fact, it must be located in the middle of Westwood Village; to be sure, it can only be located in the middle of Westwood Village. Or to use the words of Century City Chamber of Commerce honcho Susan Bursk: “”[When it comes to the location of a subway station], we have one opportunity to get this right.” Metro, are you listening? Or are you only able to hear the stirring tones of Alfred Newman’s “Conquest” from “The Captain from Castille,” as you make the “V for Victory” sign with your right hand, bending your arm forwards and backwards to the music’s relentless rhythm? As much as I delight in the cardinal and gold, perhaps for the sake of transit sanity, we can prevail upon Dr. Bartner to take his band downtown to Metro headquarters. Dr. Bartner, could we please — please — ask you to play “Sons of Westwood”? For the sake of the region. Just this once? See more here: John Mirisch: Fight on for UCLA: Rejecting a Westwood-Adjacent Subway Station