Beverly Hills Versus the Westside Subway | News | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly
Loading...

Beverly Hills Versus the Westside Subway 

Thursday, Jul 14 2011
Comments

Page 4 of 6

"A route underneath the high school was never mentioned," says Beverly Hills Mass Transit Committee member Ken Goldman, who's also president of the Southwest Beverly Hills Homeowners Association.

Councilman John Mirisch says Metro leaders "baited the entire community to support the subway by getting them involved, and then switched [the subway route] when political forces got involved."

Sarah Shaw, a general manager at JMB, again met privately with Jody Litvak in March 2010, and a month later Beverly Hills leaders began to hear rumors that Metro was considering a different route.

click to flip through (6) 6921883.t.jpg
 

Related Stories

  • Barton G Review: A Fiasco From Miami, Now in Beverly Hills

    Emailing with a reader, I mentioned that I was in the midst of reviewing Barton G, the new Beverly Hills restaurant. "I just looked up Barton G," he replied, "and apparently I don't have enough eye masks or plumage to go there." It's true: The marketing for Barton G is...
  • 620-Year Sentence

    A serial robber whose last crime, in Beverly Hills, was witnessed by cops who finally caught up with him was sentenced this week to a whopping 620 years behind bars. Despite that botched attempt in Beverly Hills that put him behind bars, Alonzo Harris, 54, was "extremely violent," prosecutor Jack...
  • 6 Places to Revel in Summer Corn 3

    Nothing says summer like biting into a fresh, sweet cob of corn and letting the butter drizzle down your chin. Piping hot or tossed into a cold salad, corn is extremely versatile and appeals to just about everyone. The season, which is July through October for most varieties, is just...
  • Behind the Scenes With a Political Consultant 8

    Michael Trujillo can't quite shake this cough. He's had it for weeks, picked up on the campaign trail. He needs to meet his mother in the Valley to get one of his old inhalers, which he places on his desk next to a laptop and a bottle of Advil. "There's...
  • More New Port Seafood!

    Say farewell to waiting two hours, or more, at the San Gabriel New Port (two words, by the way, in the title of the restaurant, to distinguish it from the city of Newport) Seafood  – either in the parking lot or hovering over the large crustacean tanks in the lobby...

Brief notes in a Metro log show that Shaw and Litvak discussed "Century City station & alignments." The log says Villaraigosa's ability to nail down a federal loan for his "30/10" concept could help skyscraper owners JMB build their 37-story tower. "Given the economy," wrote Litvak, JMB's leaders "don't know when they would start. If 30/10 happens, construction lay down is a possibility."

At the time, Villaraigosa had grown somewhat obsessed with obtaining the federal loan to build the subway in 10 years. On April 20, 2010, as President Obama was preparing to leave Los Angeles after a visit to Southern California, Villaraigosa rushed to meet him on the tarmac at LAX. He later told news crews covering the president's trip that he hadn't gotten a promise for 30/10 funds — but Obama had appraised Villaraigosa as someone who is "indefatigable and won't take no for an answer."

In September 2010, Metro released a draft environmental study with a surprise: the announcement of the Constellation station "option." The next month, on Oct. 28, Beverly Hills community leaders stormed a Metro meeting, telling Villaraigosa, Yaroslavsky and other Metro board members that the idea of tunneling under Beverly Hills High School was unacceptable.

"We do not want the subway to run under our high school," Beverly Hills City Councilwoman Nancy Krasne told Metro board members.

Since then, school board president Korbatov says, Metro staffers and board members have only shown heightened interest in the Constellation option. "It really troubles me," Korbatov says, "and it troubles my colleagues. They're telling us, 'Wait, wait, the process isn't done yet, we haven't decided yet.' But it seems they have."

Villaraigosa, in particular, is publicly "promoting it. They appear to have made up their minds, but they just haven't formalized it," she says.

The exchange of words has grown ugly. Korbatov says neither Yaroslavsky, who represents Beverly Hills, nor Villaraigosa has visited the high school campus, although invitations were extended to both. Yaroslavsky, in turn, criticizes Beverly Hills Unified, saying, "It's been very difficult in dealing with the [Beverly Hills] school district, because they won't give anyone their development plans."

But David Mieger, the Westside Subway project director, says Yaroslavsky's claim is not true. Beverly Hills Unified made a "good-faith effort to dig through their files and give us whatever they've got." Korbatov calls Yaroslavsky a liar, saying his statement is "uncategorically, 100 percent false."

Yaroslavsky also snaps that a comment made by Korbatov several months ago, that subways are prime targets for terrorists, is "just absurd." He belittles the plan to build subterranean parking at the school, declaring, "I don't think anybody is going to spend money to build an underground garage."

Yaroslavsky has taken no public position on where to place the Century City subway route, but he uses the talking points promoted by Century City boosters. "Any 6-year-old can you tell you where the center of a circle is," he says, and Constellation Boulevard is that "center," while Santa Monica Boulevard is not.

Yaroslavsky even came up with his own slogan: "The center of the center."

Huffs Korbatov: "Zev is very much for the 'center of the center' — their version of it."

For his part, Villaraigosa's spokeswoman Sarah Hamilton says the "mayor has not yet taken a position, as there is currently not enough information available."

But that's not true.

Villaraigosa three months ago made his position clear, publicly embracing the station on Constellation Boulevard at an April 7 Century City breakfast sponsored by the Century City Chamber of Commerce, military contractor Northrop Grumman, the Pollack PR Marketing Group and others.

In a YouTube video produced by Mike Carlin's Century City News and featured on the Chamber of Commerce's website, Villaraigosa busily works the room with a wireless microphone and says, "I think you all know that I'm on record that [the subway station] needs to be right here in the heart of Century City!"

Related Content

Now Trending

  • How to Avoid Being Raped by a Fake Cop

    Unfortunately, being hassled or, worse, sexually assaulted by a fake cop happens often enough that the Corona Police Department is giving citizens tips on how to protect yourself from this scourge. The department is responding to the latest case, which happened sometime last month: A woman says she was pulled...
    4
  • DUI Checkpoints Come to Hollywood, Echo Park This Weekend

    Fall DUI checkpoints have returned to Los Angeles with a vengeance. With Halloween approaching, don't get spooked by that black-and-white in your rear-view. You better drive sober, or not at all, the Los Angeles Police Department warns. To that end, the LAPD wants you to know that its officers will...
  • Dorian Nakamoto Is Crowdfunding His Fight Over Newsweek's Bitcoin Article

    Almost as soon as it appeared, a March Newsweek article that called L.A's own Dorian "Satoshi" Nakamoto "The Face Behind Bitcoin," faced questions about its veracity. See also: Language Doesn't Point to L.A.'s Satoshi Nakamoto as Bitcoin Inventor Chief among the critics was Nakamoto, who said the piece was downright wrong:...
Los Angeles Concert Tickets