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Beverly Hills Recruits High Schoolers To Make Anti-Metro Subway Films
Beverly Hills has is being dragged kicking and screaming into the expansion of the Purple Line—which requires Metro to tunnel beneath Beverly Hills High School—at every turn. And now, they’ve recruited their teens to make inspiring propaganda films against the subway.
The high school's own television station, KBEV, has been commissioned by the Board to film "an informational video warning against the dangers of construction," according to BHHS's own paper, Beverly Highlights.
Metro initially planned to tunnel along another route, beneath Santa Monica Boulevard, but found faultlines that made it unsafe. Metro then switched their plans to tunnel beneath the high school to reach Century City's Constellation Station on Constellation Blvd. The school does not believe that Metro actually found active faults beneath the originally proposed Santa Monica construction site. In fact, they say, their own testing found no faults. Beverly Hills Unified School District board member Lewis Hall told Highlights, "I think Metro expected that because it was complicated, we would not do our own investigation, which we did. We found that their science was all bogus."
The videos, narrated by Hall and made by students, talk about why the school is so adamantly against the Metro's plans, the conflicting seismic reports and their speculation as to why Metro wants to run the subway beneath the school. Hall said he believes that these videos will garner national attention. "The goal is to embarrass MTA to change the route, and to show them they’re being exposed by high school students," he said.
We agree that someone will in fact be embarrassed by these videos, but it won't be Metro.
KBEV's YouTube channel posted three of the videos, all about six minutes in length. They're titled 'Why We Fight,' which as Curbed LA has pointed out, share a name with a seven-part documentary commissioned by the U.S. government in 1940s to show American soldiers and civilians why the U.S. needed to get involved with World War II. So, basically, Nazis are just as bad as the Metro expanding the Purple Line beneath Beverly Hills High School. Got it. (Or maybe it's a nod to the 2005 Eugene Jarecki documentary of the same name about the military-industrial complex, but probably not.)
The first video talks about how BHHS wouldn't be able to build any new buildings and how Metro could potentially face dangers by drilling through oil wells. BHHS has been worried about potential methane gas explosions blowing up their students for years and they previously made an apocalyptic fear-mongering video about this subject. The second video talks about seismic science, and points out reasons why Hall believes Metro's studies are wrong.
If BHHS is right and there are no fault lines and if the original construction plans would be cheaper and better, then what reason does Metro have to insist on tunneling beneath the school? Why would they lie about fault lines? Well, the third and most interesting video insinuates that the real reason for Metro's decision is a conspiracy between Metro and a Chicago developer who owns land that their plan would have to tunnel through. The comments on the three videos have been disabled.
The videos are just one of many tactics BHHS has used to try to fight the Metro. The school district has already spent over $3 million dollars of money voter-approved bond money fighting the Purple Line. Most recently, an article in the Beverly Hills Courier claimed that the subway would make Beverly Hills a target of terrorist groups such as ISIS and that L.A. was endangering children by building the subway. Board of Education President Noah Margo even said that, "In the mind of a terrorist, placing a subway directly under a high school is like pushing a baby stroller into rush hour traffic."
Throughout the videos and these fights, Hall and the school maintain that they're not opposed to the subway, just this particular route for the subway. But if Metro's studies are correct, then this route would be the best and possibly only way.