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City Hall columnists talk Monorails, Dodger Stadium

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Every Monday morning, Rick Orlov of the Daily News and Steve Hymon of the LA Times write their weekly "what's going on at city hall" columns.

Orlov brings an interesting story about City Council Member Dennis Zine, who represents the 3rd District in the West Valley. Zine has been given a cease and desist order from Warner Bros. over a lapel pin he has used for years as a political token to supporters. It is called the "Z-man" badge, inspired by the Superman symbol. Now he has a new lapel pin to give out that resembles an LAPD badge with a large Z in the center and the city seal on the bottom.
Hymon talks at length about Dodger Stadium in what looks like his distaste for having our baseball stadium "atop a hill, removed from downtown proper and surrounded by parking lots" (we couldn't agree more). He goes on to explain that San Diego and San Francisco moved their ballparks downtown near mass transit from the parking lotted suburbs. Then there is this fact: Dodger Stadium has 16,000 parking spaces while the Giant's new stadiums has 3,000.

Both columnists tackled the new transportation plan with Hymon poking fun at it:

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When someone calls to alert me to a "news conference," the term implies that news will be part of the deal. But these days in City Hall, news is kind of an extra -- like a side salad instead of the main course. Take the events of Wednesday morning, when Los Angeles City Councilwoman Wendy Greuel called a "news conference" to deliver this: She had a plan to develop a plan to strategically manage transportation in the city.

Greuel and three of her council colleagues talked for 18 minutes and, quite remarkably, said nothing about what might actually be done to improve traffic. Would roads be widened? Narrowed? Paved with gold?

Wish we could tell you, but news wasn't on the menu.

Orlov found some news out of the non-news with County Supervisor Michael Antonovich, who wants to bring back his idea of putting a monorail down Wilshire Blvd.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is studying the proposal as an alternative to the "Subway to the Sea" proposal by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Metro spokesman Marc Littman, however, said the proposal has been studied in the past and received little support.

"The problem is it goes through three jurisdictions, and Beverly Hills and Santa Monica opposed it in the past," Littman said. "Also, it's along an earthquake fault, which means extra pylons, and there are questions on its limited capacity."

Some of the best debates about transit come out of these crazy monorail proposals.

Photo by SheldonBranford via Flirkr