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Miracle Mile Residential Association Newsletter • November 2015

Miracle Mile
Residential Association

Newsletter • November 2015 • Los Angeles, California                                                                                                    

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Vive la France
 

 

Metro Delays Decision on Wilshire Closures
for Cut-and-Cover Work


 
 

Councilmember Ryu Backs Community Groups
Demanding Traffic and Noise Studies

 
Metro has agreed to do a full study on the traffic impact of their recent proposal to accelerate the completion of the cut-and-cover work on Wilshire Boulevard for the construction of the underground La Brea subway station. Originally, Metro planned to accomplish this task over 22 weekends, but last month they changed course and pushed a proposal to shut down Wilshire Boulevard from La Brea to Highland for seven full weeks to accelerate the portion of the work immediately east of the La Brea intersection to just east of Orange St. The accelerated seven week schedule would be in lieu of 16 weekends. The portion of the cut-and-cover work from Detroit through the actual intersection at La Brea would take place over six weekends regardless of the closure option chosen.
 
At its November meeting, the MMRA Board of Directors voted unanimously not to support the accelerated seven week closure until such time that Metro could produce a traffic study and traffic mitigation plan. “We cannot fly blind,” said MMRA Vice President Ken Hixon. “We need the facts to make an informed decision. It is crucial that we are able to fully weigh the two options and compare their pros and cons, whether it be noise levels or traffic congestion.”
 
Mid City West Community Council and Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council have tabled a decision on the closure options pending the delivery of Metro’s traffic and noise studies. La Brea/Hancock Home Owners and Sycamore Square rescinded their earlier support of the seven week closure and will reconsider the two options once their organizations have had an opportunity to review the studies, which are due in January 2016.
 
 
Click on image to enlarge.
 
On 12 November 2015, Metro and Councilmember David Ryu conducted a community meeting on the closure proposals at John Burroughs Middle School. A video of the meeting has been posted on the MMRA Channel on YouTube [see link below]. At the meeting Metro and construction officials presented a PowerPoint presentation [see link below] that provides details on the two closure options. Councilmember David Ryu spoke at the meeting and emphasized that both he and the community must have all the facts before making a decision. Ryu also challenged Metro to improve their community outreach efforts.
 
The decking Wilshire is a very complex process – as is understanding the two closure options on the table. We encourage residents to watch the video of the meeting so that you can be better informed.
 
 Click on image to view video.

For additional information:


Click on image to view the Metro PowerPoint presentation.
 

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Hats Off to David Ryu • by James O'Sullivan, MMRA President


 


HATS OFF TO COUNCILMAN RYU
by James O’Sullivan, MMRA President

 
When David Ryu campaigned for city council earlier this year he promised to listen to the residents and to put neighborhoods first. He repeated this pledge so frequently that he risked becoming a caricature. All candidates boast of their acute sense of hearing and the depth of their caring for communities. But, as I got to know David over the course of the election, I came to a startling realization: he really means it. He’s sincere. In the past weeks he demonstrated this big time on two different fronts.
 
When alarm bells began sounding up and down Wilshire Boulevard over Metro’s new seven week option to close the street for subway work at La Brea, David’s phone started ringing off the hook. To our delight, he picked up the phone and went to work on our behalf and put a halt to the squeeze play Metro was trying to pull off.  
 
Metro had demanded that Ryu and the Wilshire communities decide on the accelerated seven week plan by November 13. But Ryu refused, saying that neither he nor the rest of us had sufficient information to rationally assess the new proposal. He put out word that no neighborhood needed to make a decision until Metro had done their homework and provided traffic and noise studies comparing both options. And he insisted that he would not make a recommendation either way until the impacted neighborhoods had a full opportunity to advise him of our concerns.
 
Traffic congestion and intrusion is going to result from either option – whether Wilshire is shut down for 22-weekends or the new seven-week closure (plus six-weekends for the decking of the La Brea intersection). This is all a matter of selecting the lesser of two evils.
 
We have known about the weekend closures to deck Wilshire for several years. This was the plan contained in the Purple Line Extension Environmental Impact Report. No one liked it, but it allowed for the underground construction of the subway station in a way that caused the least amount of cut-through traffic and loss of sleep.  
 
The new plan to close Wilshire between Highland and La Brea for seven full weeks (49 days of 24-hour mayhem) instead of 16 weekends caught us completely by surprise. Our immediate concern was for businesses, but we soon realized there was a whole other problem: school children. There are five schools in our area and there was no mention of how Metro would mitigate the impact it would have on parents picking up and dropping off their kids – or for the children who walk or ride bikes to school. We raised this issue with Councilmember Ryu and he understood exactly where we were coming from. 
 
How you can take all the cars off of Wilshire on week days – with thousands of people trying to get to-and-from work – and divert them to Olympic, 6th, or 3rd remains to be seen. Metro’s traffic studies are due in January 2016 and, then – finally – we will all have some real facts to base our decisions on.
 
In another show of support for the neighborhoods, David joined with Councilmembers Koretz, Cedillo and Englander at a joint Transportation and Planning Land Use committee meeting to vote no on a do-over for Mobility Plan 2035, which is currently being challenged in court.
 
David understands that a one-size-fits-all plan can never work for a city the size and complexity of Los Angeles. Most importantly, David listened to those of us who live in Council District 4 and will bear the brunt of this impractical and utopian scheme. This misbegotten plan demands a fundamental change in how we get from point A to point B. At its core is the goal of purposefully creating congestion in order to force us out of our cars and onto bikes and busses. (More about this later as the legal battle play out.)
 
So, thank you David Ryu for stepping up to the plate and hitting another one out of the park on behalf of your constituents – and proving that your oft repeated pledge to listen to the voters wasn’t just a campaign promise.

[Photo above: David Ryu, left; James O'Sullivan, right.]
 

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Councilmember David Ryu Addresses MMRA Annual Meeting


 

Councilmember David Ryu Addresses
MMRA Annual Meeting

 

by Patricia Lombard


On Saturday, November 7th, residents of the Miracle Mile gathered for their 32nd Annual Meeting. CD 4 Councilmember David Ryu [photo above] addressed the Miracle Mile Residential Association in a packed auditorium at the Korean Cultural Center on Wilshire Blvd.
 
“I have been in office now for 130 days,” said Ryu, happy to have the opportunity to check in with neighbors and report his progress on “delivering on the commitments made in the campaign to change the dialogue with City Hall. I will consult with you. I was elected by you. It is my honor and privilege to service you and I promise to be a strong advocate for the neighborhoods.”
 
Ryu invited neighbors to visit him every Thursday at his district office.  He suggested making an appointment and encouraged everyone to visit his new website and to help him prioritize needs in the neighborhood. After his remarks, Ryu stayed for an hour taking questions from the audience about traffic, sidewalk repairs, coyotes, potential noise pollution from anticipated construction of the Academy for Motion Pictures museum at Wilshire and Fairfax, and various ways to reduce speeding on residential streets, with assistance from Miracle Mile Residential Association President Jim O’Sullivan.
 
The impending closure of Wilshire Blvd. for Metro Purple Line Construction was also discussed at length. According to O’Sullivan, MMRA has already voted to oppose Metro’s seven week closure plan for a variety of reasons including the potential impact on local schools and traffic going through nearby neighborhoods. But most irksome to O’Sullivan is Metro’s failure to provide a traffic mitigation plan for the seven week closure option (as opposed to a 16-weekend closure plan, which was studied and approved earlier in the planning process).
 
Ryu said he had taken this issue to the top levels of Metro and was not satisfied with their response. He urged residents to complete his survey and attend the November 12th meeting with Metro to discuss the two closure options [see video of this meeting below].
 
Wilshire Division Neighborhood Prosecutor Mehrnoosh “Nooshi” Zahiri [photo left with James O'Sullivan] followed Ryu on Saturday’s agenda. Ms. Zahiri replaced Capri Maddox, who held the position until last year. She is part of the City Attorney’s office embedded in LAPD’s Wilshire Division to coordinate with local law enforcement and prosecute quality of life cases like property owners failing to keep up their property, violating fire and safety codes.
 
Scott Epstein, chair of the Mid City West Community Council and a volunteer with the Midtown Los Angeles Homeless Coalition, reported on that group’s efforts to connect homeless in the neighborhood with housing, by training volunteers to speak to homeless people about services that might be available. In the last 100 days, Epstein said his group has assessed 90 people, placed 3 people in housing and helped 25 people to gather the documentation they need to start the housing placement process. Volunteer training is conducted every second Saturday of the month.
 
A representative of Tree People closed out the meeting with a presentation on combatting stress in trees due to the continuing drought.
 

 
This article first appeared in the Larchmont Buzz on November 10, 2015. The Larchmont Buzz provides online news from Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire area. Patricia Lombard is the co-editor and publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press will be published in November. Our thanks to Patty for permission to republish this article.
 

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Now Playing on the MMRA Channel on YouTube



Now Playing on the MMRA Channel on YouTube:


Click on image to view video.

 

The 32nd Miracle Mile Annual

Meeting & Town Hall

 

A two-part video of our annual meeting is available on the MMRA Channel on YouTubePart One is 55 minutes in length and features keynote speaker Councilmember David Ryu. Part Two is 66 minutes in length and features Mehrnoosh “Nooshi” Zahiri, Wilshire Division Neighborhood Prosecutor; Scott Epstein, Midtown Los Angeles Homeless Coalition; and Jeffrey Hutchison, Tree People.
 
 Our thanks to the Korean Cultural Center and Einstein Bagels...

 

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MMRA Board Meetings Change to First Tuesday of the Month


 



SPECIAL NOTICE:


Beginning December 2015, MMRA monthly board meetings will take place on the first Tuesday of the month. Previously the meetings were scheduled for the first Thursday of the month. This change was due to a scheduling conflict at the Westside Jewish Community Center, who has so generously provided free space to the MMRA for our meetings.
 
Our next MMRA Board of Directors meeting will be held on Tuesday, 1 December 2015 @ 7 PM, at the Westside Jewish Community Center, 5870 W. Olympic Boulevard. All are welcome.


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County Takes the Lead on Homelessness, L.A. City Playing Catch Up
~ by Tim Deegan


 

 


County Takes the Lead On Homelessness,
L.A. City Playing Catch up
by Tim Deegan

 
Every level of government – Federal, State, County and City – is now focused on the homeless crisis gripping the City of Los Angeles. Odds are that one of the four will come up with a viable plan, but right now there is too much attention being paid to the very top of the pyramid. There’s a lot of blank space leading down to the base where the people experiencing homelessness live.
  
Let’s hope that the County Supervisors and the L.A. City Council can both provide the solutions we need and L.A. will not need to rely on the State Assembly or the Federal Housing and Urban Development. The fact that Julian Castro, Secretary of HUD, was recently here to meet with city and county leaders on this critical issue only reinforces how serious the problem has become.
 
The inside track goes to the County Supervisors who have already launched a “summit on homelessness” complete with hearings and study groups and a schedule of deliverables. The outlier is the State Assembly, where Assemblyman Richard Bloom, whose assembly district covers a wide swath of Los Angeles, has indicated his growing interest in prioritizing the symbiotic issues of homelessness and affordable housing. He could be one of the really good guys – fresh to the problems to be solved.  
 
Federal Government representatives have recently met with a coalition of Supervisors, Councilmembers and the Mayor. But now, faced with the looming Presidential election and a turnover of the administration, we can’t expect the Feds to have the hustle to come through in a lame-duck atmosphere. 
 
That leaves the City Council to pick up a lot of the slack…so let’s hope the good guys stand up. One or two councilmembers should take a leading role to help understand this crisis and forge some solutions.
 
Homelessness is one of the most pressing issues facing our city. And it’s very visible on the streets and sidewalks everywhere in L.A. Fortunately, the County Supervisors are taking action with their homeless summit that is scheduled during the months of October, November and December – a plan which is well underway with projected deliverables, including triage for the most critically mentally ill homeless. All the city has right now is a press release.  
 
These two local elected government bodies, housed within sight of each other at City Hall and the Hall of Administration, share common issues revolving around the homeless crisis. But how can they be on such divergent paths in approaching the problem? One is going forward to provide help; the other seems to be going nowhere. 

The Supervisors’ internal clocks are ticking accurately: they understand the urgency of the situation, especially the mentally ill homeless problem. But the councilmembers’ internal timepieces appear to be poorly wound…with no alarm set. 
 
The contrast between the approaches is stark. The County has launched an active multi-modal “homeless summit.” The City’s “plan,” however, was announced in a press release on January 29, 2015, declaring its determination to “end chronic homelessness, including on Skid Row in Downtown Los Angeles, by the end of 2016.” But has the city’s countdown even started? Do they really think that in thirteen months from now the homeless will have miraculously disappeared?  
 
Or just maybe, are we seeing “Olympic fever.” As in, clean things up so we will be better positioned to win the 2024 Olympics. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will announce the Olympic Host City for 2024 in a ceremony in Lima, Peru in September 2017. Remember when the Chinese shut down all of the coal-burning factories in Beijing to “clear the air” for the Olympics? Will our officials do the same in Los Angeles, attempting to “clear the air” by eliminating the crisis of homelessness just in time for the 2017 decision in Lima? 
 
The civic and political leadership of Los Angeles seems to be mocking the public’s intelligence by promising to provide an “end-date” for solving the people with homelessness crisis. Do they think nobody notices the increase in tent encampments everywhere across our city? Or that not a single city councilmember has even shown the PR common sense to be photographed in a food line serving the homeless? Better yet, why haven’t any of them bothered to stand on camera with homeless people, introducing them to the public, asking for their names and background? 
 
The gulf between the City Hall politicians and people experiencing homelessness is a very wide gap. Someone who is homeless, and possibly mentally ill, looks up from street level and sees the politico making $200,000 a year. The economic gap is unfathomable, so no wonder there is little simpatico. Our City of Gold is being tarnished each time an elected official announces the next hollow solution for the homeless crisis while looking down from the safety of the steps of City Hall.
  
The alarming distance between those that rule and those that are shunned must be narrowed dramatically. Courageous leaders need to step up and demand urgent action from their City Council colleagues. They should not rely on the Secretary of HUD unless they expect us to go into Federal receivership.  
 
At this point, any one of the 15 councilmembers could get the ball rolling. We need to have some motions made, start public hearings, and cast a brighter light on one of the darker aspects of L.A. city life. 
 
Two freshman councilmembers are poised to do great things in this area: Marqueece Harris-Dawson (CD8) [photo right], and David Ryu (CD4). The former is the co-chair of the Homelessness and Poverty Committee, and the latter comes into his new job as an announced expert on chronic homelessness with a strong background in mental health. They need to shake hands and start leading their colleagues out of this morass.
 
Councilmember Harris-Dawson has stated, "As Co-Chair of the Committee I have worked to align the City with the County's timeline to leverage our shared resources to get critical services such as long-term supportive housing and mental health services.” He gets the importance of making it a priority to get our mentally ill homeless into urgent care. 
 
Councilmember David Ryu [photo left] came into office a few months ago saying, “I want to change the dialog in City Hall.” With his background in mental health, Ryu could use his voice and experience and would be a perfect match to work with Harris-Dawson. These two newcomers can make their mark as leaders who are able to help fix a problem their colleagues have been unable to even understand. 
 
Harris-Dawson and Ryu can make and second a motion to hold public hearings on how the recently announced $100 million allocated for the homeless crisis will be used. They can invite people experiencing homelessness and their street-level service providers to come and present public comment on how that money should be spent. 
 
Success hinges on two big “ifs:” First, if the Supervisors, energized by Sheila Kuehl and Mark Ridley-Thomas, are successful with their well-thought out plan to take direct action using the resources of the Department of Health Services, the largest county agency of its kind in the country.  
 
The second “if” relates to how well Councilmembers Harris-Dawson and Ryu will collaborate with each other to build a consensus among their colleagues. The rest of the council needs to recognize them as leaders who can help clarify the issues of homelessness and outline what solutions must be found. It’s time to pass the torch to the newcomers. 
 
A Hollywood ending is definitely possible here. The city needs triage for the mentally ill homeless, housing at the Vetern’s home for homeless vets, sustainable and supportive housing for people experiencing homelessness that will process through a yet-to-be-determined system.
 
All this will take leadership that so far not been too visible in the City Council. And if, by chance, the politicians are meeting behind closed doors – and if they are making progress – now would be a great time for them to share their plans with the public.
 
Tim Deegan is a long-time resident and community leader in the Miracle Mile, who has served as board chair at the Mid City West Community Council and on the board of the Miracle Mile Civic Coalition. Tim can be reached at timdeegan2015@gmail.com.
 
This article first appeared November 10, 2015 in CityWatch and was edited by Linda Abrams. Our thanks to Tim and CityWatch editor Ken Draper for permission to republish it here.

 
For additional information:
 
Los Angeles Times, 12 Nov 2015: Despite Pledge L.A. Has Yet to Declare State of Emergency on Homeless Crisis
 

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Miracle Mile Real Estate • October 2015 Sales


 

Miracle Mile Real Estate
• October 2015 Sales •

 


749 S. Cloverdale Ave. PH #2
condo: 2 bdrm; 2.5 bath
1,808 sq. ft
listed price: $899,000
sale price: $885,000
sale date:10/07/2015



733 S. Ogden Dr. #201
condo: 2 - 2 bdrm; 2 bath
1,493 sq. ft.
listed price: $649,000
sale price: $660,000
sale date: 10/28/2015

5848 W. Olympic Blvd. #302
condo: 2 bdrm; 3 bath
1,356 sq. ft.
listed price: $699,000
sale price: $730,000
sale date: 10/19/2015


5525 W. Olympic Blvd. #402
condo: 2 bdrm; 2 bath
1,179 sq. ft.
listed price: $669,000
sale price: $630,000
sale date: 10/14/2015


832 S. Stanley Ave.
duplex: 2 bdrm; 1 bath units
2,956 sq. ft.
lot: 5,500 sg. ft.
listed price: $1,050,000
sale price: $1,230,000
sale date: 10/23/2015

5815 W. Olympic Blvd.
fourplex: 1 studio; 2 - 1 bdrm, 1 bath; 1 - 2 bdrm, 1 bath 
3,173 sq. ft.
lot: 6,821 sq. ft.
listed price: $950,000
sale price: $1,100,00
sale date: 10/30/2015

818 S. Detroit St.
duplex: 3 bdrm; 2 bath units
3,982 sq. ft.
lot: 6,458 sq. ft. 
listed price: $1,499,000
sale price: $1,516,000
sale date: 10/06/15


932 S. Burnside Ave.
4 bdrm; 3 bath
2,107 sq. ft.
lot: 7.701 sq. ft.
listed price: $1,575,00o
sale price: $1,565,000
sale date: 10/27/15


 

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(...below the fold...)

 UPCOMING EVENTS 


MMRA Board Meeting
TUESDAY
December 1, 2015
@ 7 PM


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Miracle Mile

History Quiz

The Ritz Theatre was the largest movie palace ever built in the Miracle Mile. It was demolished in 1977. Where was it located?




Miracle Mile Farmers' Market
Every Wednesday 11 AM ~ 3 PM

Wilshire Courtyard


Miracle Mile
Residential Association

James O’Sullivan, President
james.osullivan@MiracleMileLA.com

Alice S. Cassidy, Vice President
alice.cassidy@MiracleMileLA.com

Joseph Steins, Treasurer
joseph.steins@MiracleMileLA.com

Ken Hixon, Vice President
Director of Communications
kenhixon@MiracleMileLA.com

Mark Zecca, Chairperson
Miracle Mile HPOZ Committe
mark.zecca@MiracleMileLA.com
 

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Miracle Mile Residential Association
P.O. Box 361295
Los Angles, CA 90036-9495


Email: info@MiracleMileLA.com
Website: www.MiracleMileLA.com
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