Southern California breaking news and trends

Chinatown ban on big-box stores too late to stop Walmart

Kylie Reynolds

A ban on big-box stores in the Chinatown area is moving onto the L.A. City Council but even if it is ultimately approved, it wil be too late to stop Walmart from moving into the neighborhood.

A proposal to ban big box retailers in the Chinatown area will move forward over the objections of the Planning Commission. However, the ordinance comes too late to stop Walmart from moving into the neighborhood.

In a 2-1 vote Tuesday, members of the Planning and Land Use Management Committee sent the proposal—known as an interim control ordinance—on to the Los Angeles City Council. The ban, which could last from 45 days to two years, would block retailers that have 11 or more locations with standardized merchandise or facades from opening stores 20,000-square-feet or larger in the Chinatown neighborhood.

Councilman Ed Reyes introduced the ban when he learned that Walmart planned to open a neighborhood market at Grand and Cesar Chavez avenues. If the interim control ordinance is ultimately approved, it would not apply to the Walmart location because the company obtained a building permit prior to introduction of the proposal.

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Mayor Villaraigosa accuses Prop 32 campaign of misrepresenting his remarks

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa

Andres Aguila/KPCC

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa believes the Proposition 32 campaign is misrepresenting his remarks to make it seem that he supports the ballot measure.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa lashed out today at the Proposition 32 campaign for suggesting that he supports the measure that would prohibit labor unions from deducting political contributions from members' paychecks.

In a letter to the campaign, the mayor accuses supporters of misusing his remarks on the failure of a state senate bill to suggest that he supports Prop 32. SB 1530  would have made it easier to dismiss teachers involved in drug and sexual abuse cases, but it was strongly opposed by teachers’ unions. In an Associated Press story cited by the campaign, Villaraigosa called the defeat a “cynical political manipulation.”

Those remarks were then picked up and used in a Yes on Proposition 32 commercial posted to YouTube. However, in a letter released today, Villaraigosa said that his comments were taken out of context by the campaign.

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Maven's Morning Coffee: parklets, jail records, fundraising for LA City Council

Mercer 19847

Jeff Gross/Getty Images

LAPD Deputy Chief Terry Hara hopes to be the next councilman of the Ninth District, which includes Staples Center. So far he has outraised all of his opponents.

Good morning, readers. Welcome to the Maven's Morning Coffee -- a listing of the important headlines, news conferences, public meetings and announcements you need to know to fuel up and tackle your day.

The Maven's Morning Coffee is also available as a daily email. Click here to subscribe.

Today is Tuesday, Aug. 21, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:

Headlines

LAPD Deputy Chief Terry Hara has raised $117,000 in his bid to be the next councilman of Los Angeles' Ninth District. The Downtown News takes a look at his candidacy. "For the Ninth District, with the ethnic makeup, if they elect a Japanese American, it’s a statement in and of itself that maybe Los Angeles has gone beyond ethnic politics," Hara says.

The Los Angeles City Council is considering whether to building parklets, which are parking spot-sized parks, reports LA Streetsblog. "The four parklets would join the Sunset Triangle Plaza as examples of the city making use of its abundance of curb-side parking to create open space for all residents," according to the website.

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Lesson of Occupy LA: Protests are expensive

Occupy LA

Mae Ryan/KPCC

The Los Angeles City Council's decision to allow Occupy LA to remain on the lawn of City Hall ultimately cost $4.7 million.

The City of Los Angeles continues to wrestle with the financial implications of its decision to allow Occupy L.A. protesters to camp out on the City Hall lawn for two months last fall.

Today it was the City Council Budget and Finance Committee's turn to examine the $4.7 million it cost to accommodate and then evict the protesters. The cost estimate was recently revealed in a a report from the City Administrative Officer.

“It’s expensive to have a protest,” the CAO’s Tyler Munhall told members of the Budget and Finance Committee.

Occupy L.A. remained on the lawn around City Hall until the LAPD cleared out the encampment last November. Insurance and donations covered about $400,000 of the tab. Councilman Mitch Englander urged his colleagues to remember the report when similar costly situations come up.

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Maven's Morning Coffee: Villaraigosa backs Partnership, Ontario makes play for airport

L.A./Ontario International Airport

David McNew/Getty Images

The city of Ontario is hoping to regain local control of its airport, something strongly opposed by Los Angeles World Airports.

Good morning, readers. Welcome to the Maven's Morning Coffee -- a listing of the important headlines, news conferences, public meetings and announcements you need to know to fuel up and tackle your day.

The Maven's Morning Coffee is also available as a daily email. Click here to subscribe.

Today is Monday, Aug. 20, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:

Headlines

In Rick Orlov's Tipoff column, former Mayor Richard Riordan pushes pension reform and Reps. Howard Berman and Brad Sherman head to the OK Corral.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa hopes the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools lives on after he is out of office, reports the Daily News. However, reps with United Teachers Los Angeles want to see the program end. "We don't see any great rush of teachers to go to these schools. And I am not sure they have realized their goals to the extent it would justify continuing the experiment," according to the head of the union.

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