By Besha Rodell
By Patrick Range McDonald
By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
Her main intent is to reduce the population of stray animals, via larger neutering and adoption programs. Accordingly, she appeared last weekend at a Westwood public gathering, with Knapp, to push for pet birth control and adoption. In her previous job, she was able to reduce the number of strays euthanized by 25 percent -- from 40,000 per year to 30,000. L.A. County‘s animal-control area has nearly triple the stray-dog and -cat numbers of Santa Clara Valley, but Mayeda would like to see a similar improvement, via better management, more neutering and adoptions. She is also considering training and recruiting more volunteers, like those upon whom her previous agency relied.
Meanwhile, even demanding critics say she’s already made a difference.
One of those is Hawthorne City Councilman Mark Schoenfeld, who recently engineered his city‘s rejection of county animal control. “We had numerous complaints from residents that no one would show up for days after a call,” Schoenfeld said. The incident that finally sparked that decision, he said, was when he went to reclaim a senior citizen’s dog from the county-run Carson shelter and found out that it had been “accidentally euthanized” -- or killed. The staffers offered another dog to replace the animal, and Schoenfeld decided his city had had enough. Hawthorne now uses SPCA shelters and hires its own animal-control officers.
But Schoenfeld says that he is “very impressed by” Mayeda, whom he met last weekend. “That one thing she did about the dogs in Lennox was so exceptional. She‘s off to a good start.”
My old friend Marcia Hanscom wrote a couple of weeks ago, criticizing me for saying that most of those attending Alex Padilla’s City Council--presidency victory were lobbyists. I “couldn‘t have been further from the reality,” Hanscom said, adding that many of those present were, like her, “environmentalists.” In fact, however, neither of us seems to have done a lobbyist head count that day.
But had I done one, I would certainly have counted Hanscom. For nearly five years, her constant lobbying against Playa Vista has made her one of the most recognizable visitors to the City Council. And since she appears to be employed by the organization she represents -- now calling itself the Wetlands Action Network -- she is probably as much of a lobbyist (and as good a one, I might add) as the better-celebrated Steve Afriat. Or Neil Papiano.
The only difference is, according to the City Ethics Commission, that unlike Papiano and Afriat, Hanscom’s neglected to register as a lobbyist. It‘s an oversight I’m sure she will soon rectify.
More recently, young L.A. Times architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff waded into the Playa swamp with his own attack on architect Frank Gehry, who has contracted to replace some old industrial buildings on the site with something more sightly. Admonishes Ouroussoff: “[Gehry] can pray that an educated public doesn‘t take his association with Playa Vista as a ringing endorsement of the controversial housing development going up next door, let alone of the destruction of the fragile wetlands underneath it.”
Not to worry. That “educated public” probably knows that there will be more than 340 acres of wetlands and other restored areas when the current phase of Playa is finished, as opposed to the 190 that were there when the project began: none of them to be “underneath” anything but blue sky. This according to all the pertinent site plans and agreements on file. Which suggests that, whatever kind of architecture critic Ouroussoff is, he needs a journalism refresher course.
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