Am I the only one who thinks 50 feet from a fault that could crack open like a bad egg is still mighty close? What are they basing this on, some outdated seismic study that's never been proven?
By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
Years passed, and Villaraigosa, LoGrande and Councilman Garcetti arrived on the scene, pushing their density dreams for Hollywood with far taller, bigger buildings containing far more people.
Using incomplete boundaries and fault lines mapped years ago in Hollywood by state geologists, city officials started guessing where the fault did and did not go, approving projects — and failing to conduct strictly required, geological site investigations to make certain no new buildings were erected atop or within 50 feet of the fault.
Then, in July, having no idea of the precise location of the fault, the L.A. City Council blindly voted, 13-0, to approve the twin skyscrapers on a block that’s suspected to fall within or next to the earthquake zone.
The existing state geological maps show dotted instead of solid lines where the quake zone is believed to run below Franklin, Las Palmas, Carlos, Gower and other streets.
Now, Parrish and a state team have stepped in to investigate and map the Hollywood Earthquake Zone and its faults.
As the Weekly reported in July, three other big projects next to or atop the suspected rupture fault have already been granted various approvals by city officials:
—The elegant, massive Blvd 6200 complex with more than 500 luxury residential units and extensive retail between Carlos and Hollywood Boulevard near Argyle Avenue is partly built and may not be fit for habitation if the state discovers that it’s within 50 feet of the rupture fault. If that’s the case, the cost for lawsuits — which might be borne by city taxpayers — could rise into the stratosphere. Of course, the developers could be liable, too. In their environmental impact report, the Blvd 6200 developers insisted that the nearest fault zone to their project by the Pantages Theater was the Newport-Inglewood Fault -- five miles away in Culver City.
—6230 Yucca St., a 16-story mixed-use tower of apartments and retail, appears to sit illegally inside the fault zone. It has not been built but was approved by the apparently clueless, avidly pro-density, L.A. City Planning Commission.
—Argyle Hotel at 1800 N. Argyle, a 16-story hotel with 225 hotel rooms, 6,000 square feet of meeting space and 3,000 square feet of residential space, appears to sit next to the fault zone. It has not been built but was approved by the apparently equally clueless City Planning Department.
Aaron Epstein, 83, has lived in Hollywood since 1934; he owns the charming old Artisan’s Patio on Hollywood Boulevard (City Historic Landmark No. 453) and pitched in $5,000 to sue the city and developer to stop Millennium from being built. His father, Louis Epstein, owned famed Pickwick Bookshop on the boulevard, now gone.
“What upsets me is our … elected officials at City Hall,” Epstein says. “We have six neighborhood council organizations surrounding the project. Five of them have voted against the project.” He notes that just one neighborhood council wanted the skyscrapers — the Central Hollywood Neighborhood Council, dominated by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, whose vice president, Laurie Goldman, is a consultant to the Millennium developers.
Epstein is fed up with City Hall, and says Hollywood’s District 13 City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell is “representing an out-of-state developer,” and if so should “resign from office. He has no business saying he is a representative when he is just voting for whoever makes the biggest contribution to his political campaign.”
Correction: An earlier online version of this story misreported that the Millennium developers produced an EIR claiming that the nearest fault zone to their project was five miles away in Culver City. In fact, that claim was made by the developers of Blvd 6200, which was misidentified as 6200 Blvd.
Am I the only one who thinks 50 feet from a fault that could crack open like a bad egg is still mighty close? What are they basing this on, some outdated seismic study that's never been proven?
This story is missing a very critical element. The reporter didn't seek comments from Herb Wesson, other city council members, Mayor Garcetti or city geologist Dana Prevost. Why? The L.A. Times did the same thing when it covered the council meeting where the Millennium Project was approved. It reported on the huge opposition from residents in the council chambers, but then had no indication that the reporter had asked the council members to comment in defense of their actions. Instead, here we all are, complaining about City Hall corruption, but nobody is demanding accountability from the people accused of being corrupt. Why aren't the journalists at the Weekly and the LAT (and other news media) getting our elected officials on the record? Garcetti's office has dodged the issue, saying he was opposed to the original design but would be monitoring the situation. I haven't seen comments from any other officials. Isn't it easier than ever these days to contact these officials? Hell, send them a questionnaire with the key questions and a box for further comment. Post their responses—or lack thereof—on a website for all to see. Why is this so difficult?
This is a very good account of corruption LA style. Only one thing mars it, the disingenuous sentence about it not being clear who allowed it to get this far. These statements by journalists are puzzling and gratuitous. Unless the writer, who otherwise seems very sharp missed all civics classes it is evident and she otherwise seems to know. just in case - let's do a simple exercise. What was needed to allow the project to go forward. First it was a series of city building and planning ok's. Who gives those? City employes. Who "pulls their strings and signs their paychecks"? In effect, the mayor and city council. Once that dance was completed, who gives the final go ahead? City council with the mayor smiling over them. Who has the strongest voice on a given project and must be on board for it to move forward - the council member of that district. Who would have the greatest influence - the council member of said district while the bulk of the project was done. That would be now Mayor Garcetti. Who gave the final vote to consent to the project? Now Councilmember for the District, OFarrell. Who could have stopped or least delayed it and demanded a law abiding study? The mayor and city council. Where could I learn that? From this article. Loose the hackneyed journalistic pretense, please.
This is a very good account of corruption LA style. Only one thing mars it, the disingenuous sentence about it not being clear who allowed it to get this far. These statements by journalists are puzzling and gratuitous. Unless the writer, who otherwise seems very sharp missed all civics classes it is evident and she otherwise seems to know. just in case - let's do a simple exercise. What was needed to allow the project to go forward. First it was a series of city building and planning ok's. Who gives those? City employes. Who "pulls their strings and signs their paychecks"? In effect, the mayor and city council. Once that dance was completed, who gives the final go ahead? City council with the mayor smiling over them. Who has the strongest voice on a given project and must be on board for it to move forward - the council member of that district. Who would have the greatest influence - the council member of said district while the bulk of the project was done. That would be now Mayor Garcetti. Who gave the final vote to consent to the project? Now Councilmember for the District, OFarrell. Who could have stopped or least delayed it and demanded a law abiding study? The mayor and city council.
Hey, who cares if thousands of people are killed in an earthquake? A bunch of people who don't matter anyway, that's who. Corporations are people too, my friends! Just ask almost-was-a-president Mitt Romney if you don't believe me. All praise the great god Capitalism! Profits for the miniscule few! To hell with the rest!
Mr. Bell is correct. As much as people who witnessed Garcetti through the years, tried to spread the word, people could not believe how bad he would be, and has been, unless they witnessed him in action... .Because had they believed it and known what he has been up to, they would have run out and voted for anyone rather than him to put the breaks on his destruction of Hollywood and then the rest of LA. Unless people witnessed first hand it may have been difficult to believe, because it is almost impossible to believe how regularly Garcetti lies, switches his story to suit the moment (i.e. pandering for votes) , his dictator tactics, ignoring, dismissing anyone who opposed him, including EMS depts. Danger Warnings about this higher density road he was on for Hollywood "People will DIE.. Fires will burn out of control! We can't get to people NOW! This is dangerous and Irresponsible!" He irresponsibly ignored them..Just as he chose to irresponsibly brush off and ignore the active fault line and get Millennium projects passed anyway. . Garcetti is dangerous.. willing to risk lives for the Millennium money that helped get him elected. . ..People may not have believed how he regularly would go into hiding from his constituency, from press, from media from everyone who disagreed with him, until time came to get his 'issues' to city council for his unanimous votes. No one on city council ever had the guts to say no to Eric Garcetti. He got into bed with the wealthiest NYC developer and promises for their futures have been made (i.e. Reyes, LaBonge etc etc etc..watch as they all get cushy post city council jobs from Garcetti). They voted his way over many very controversial Hollywood and City transforming issues, and this little dictator, enabled by the rest of city council, who never said no to him, led the crusade to transform Hollywood and then the rest of LA into mega development high rises and skyscrapers, chaotic, bladerunner cities, his Hollywood Community Plan a template for many other areas in the city that would get his 'vision' in their areas next. There were warnings..Beware! Garcetti's high rise, high density, will be coming to YOUR neighborhood next. Sadly, no, tragically, all the warnings were ignored, and people decided to not vote at all.
As Arthur Miller appropriately said in 'Death of a Salesman'.."Attention must be paid!..Attention must finally be paid!"
We can only hope it's not too late.
Who knows if the people of LA are finally starting to pay attention. With turnout around 20% for City elections -- we have the leaders we deserve. Garcetti believes he's a man of the people because he has a Twitter account. But all the pasted-on smiles, and pretend listening sessions, and phony green ideas can't hide the truth: that Hollywood -- the heart of the City, drenched in history -- was sold down the river to fill his campaign coffers and make a few out-of-town billionaires just a little bit richer. Will this scandal blow the lid off the corruption that fueled the Hollywood "Community" Plan? Will the people of Hollywood stop Garcetti's plan to turn Sunset Boulevard, in the words of his former planning deputy, into a "high-rise office corridor?" Will the City Council finally start to listen to the community? Only if the people of LA start to pay attention.
David Bell, President, East Hollywood Neighborhood Council
People who are familiar with how Garcetti operates understand that the vote approving The Millennium Earthquake Towers would have taken place during an actual earthquake.
The City Council is habitually in violation of Penal Code 86 which makes vote trading illegal and carries a 2 to 4 year prison term per occurrence. While Garcetti was City Council President, the City Council voted unanimously over 99% of the time. That statistic is not possible by chance. DNA provides worst statistics. You cannot have 15 people voted identically over 1,000 times by chance. Just calculate the odds of flipping a coin and having is come up heads 1,000 times in a row -- that is with just 2 sides. The City Council is like a 15 sided coin. The Yes Vote was so certain that the council voting machine automatically voted Yes -- even for people who had left the council chambers.
People give into Garcetti's demand to vote unanimously because if a councilmember does not vote Yes, then he/she will never get anything for his/her district. Councilmembers would rather risk the possibility of thousands of deaths rather than incur the certainty of political demise by voting against the Garceti herd.
No one has to believe me. There is You Tube of Garcetti's bragging about the 99% unanimously voting while the was Council President. Channel 35 archives have the tape. Look at the council votes while Garcetti was Council President
Massive and unending corruption has been Los Angeles' lot for over a decade and it is not going to slow down one bit for a mere earthquake fault line beneath a skyscraper. Garcetti is willing to bet your life that the earthquake does not hit while he's in office.
If O'Farrell does not resign he has to be recalled. As does Garcetti. Both have been funded by Millennium and sold people's lives for Millennium money. As has the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, Millennium is their Diamond Level Donor..and they set up a PAC to assure Millennium supported candidates Garcetti and O'Farrell got elected. And they did. And whose president has been an aggressive advocate for these dangerous projects. He must be fired. All are responsible, along with the rest of the City Council who followed O'Farrell to a unanimous vote approving these projects.,with Garcetti pulling the strings. The Plum Committee, Englander, Huizar, and Reyes (gone now) have to go. Englander brushed off and disrespectfully dismissed all the evidence about the active fault line, while all of MiIlennium lawyers jumped out of their seats and conferred in the back of City Hall in circles freaking out..The Villaraigosa appointed Planning Commission, who approved these projects has to go.Its President, Bill Roschen, Millennium's architect has to go. Laurie Goldman, doing Millennium's bidding, VP of the only NC that voted to support the projects and a advocate/Millennium employee has to go. SIX neighborhood Councils voted to OPPOSE the projects and only three are IN Hollywood. Over 30 other orgs voted to oppose from all across LA and still NOBODY would listen. Millennium paid them all way too much ..This Dana person who decided to ignore the falut line information has to go..Michael LoGrande has to go. The whole corrupt evil planning dept has to go. Fact is, Millennium threw money at all of them at at every City Dept. at every level. They set up camp here years ago and went to town setting the stage for this. Paying off everyone. Even the The Hollywood Cap Park has been used as their negotiating tool, to curry favor for their mega projects from those communities that want that park.. offering them their quimby fees for it.The PEOPLE knew what they were up to, going back to Garcetti's manipulating the passing of the illegal vehemently opposed higher density Hollywood Community Plan, to accommodate his campaign funders massive projects, and other like them in Hollywood. He lied, misrepresented, and denied both the HCP and Millennium projects. HE and the city thought they could get away with this..all on the take lining their pockets with Millennium money while tax payer's pay for all the lawsuits, to enable and accommodate Millennium's skyscrapers in Hollywood and other tall massive developments like them, in what they NOW refer to as DOWNTOWN HOLLYWOOD..pretending Hollywood is a downtown. ..Garcetti's Times Square West., his higher density is already, as predicted, wreaking more murders, knifings, shootings, more crime than Hollywood has ever seen, as he lies about how safe he made it.. Someone either get him into a straight jacket or RECALL HIM, before it is too late and ruins Hollywood and the rest of LA RECALL RECALL RECALL.... ALL OF THEM!!!!
When the City dances with the developers hiding facts that threaten the public safety, heads should roll. Our taxes pay their paychecks and our dollars are being gathered to fund the legal effort to expose this malfeasance. Let's hope there are more Aaron Epsteins out there to match his contribution! StopTheMillenniumHollywood.org
Um, crosby, this all happened under DEMOCRAT-dominated Los Angeles city government. Mitt Romney had nothing to do with the egregious actions that led to fast-tracking this disgusting approval. Neither did George W. Bush, Ted Cruz, Sean Hannity, or Rush Limbaugh. So, please, when expressing your outrage, try to keep at least one foot planted in reality. Thank you.
@pfcrosby I agree except this fiasco was not due to Capitalism. Corruptionism is the cause.
In 1776, Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations explained the need of the Capitalist economic system to have as accurate information as possible. In a capitalist system, all the information about the earthquake zone and fault lines, and the real situation with traffic congestion, the the increased crime and the population exodus from Hollywood would be divulged. People can make intelligent decisions only when they possess the facts.
Corruptionism, on the other hand, is the opposite. Corruptionism requires the suppression of vital data so as to deceive the buyers. In the case of Corruptionism in the LA City Council, the ultimate buyer is the tax payer. One way or another, the tax payer is stuck with the bill for these monstrosities. As we know, Hollywood-Highland lost almost $1/2 BILLION.
If The Millennium Earthquake Tower crashes in 20 years, the LLC or LLP which constructed it will be long gone and it will be left to the tax payer to clean up the mess and to pay off the remaining mortgage since Garcetti generally has the City "co-sign" for the developer loans.
Corruptionism is Garcetti's modus operandi. Almost any Garcetti project is stuffed with material fraud costing the tax payers billions of dollars. When the State abolished the corrupt CRA/LA, Garcetti's favorite city agency, we were left with approximately an $11 BILLION burden. This fraudulent concealment of the traffic impacts and of the seismic dangers of the Millennium is standard operating procedure under Garcetti.
@donaldbryan If there is anyone off in the proverbial ozone here it's you. I never said any of the individuals you mention had anything to do with anything. So if anyone is expressing in appropriate "outrage" or out of touch with reality here it is you. Please don't bother me anymore. I don't wish to waste anymore time on you or your ilk.
@scottzwartz @pfcrosbyWe disagree only on one thing: whether or not corruption (as you describe it, and quite well in my view) is a systemic feature of capitalism. Yours seems to be an idealized version of what we broadly call capitalism. I maintain, on the contrary, that under capitalism, enterprises and individuals (such as Mr Garcetti) have but one motive: profit. All else is subservient to this, including anything which might conceivably be called morality. Even preservation of the capitalist system itself is subservient to this god of capitalism: profit. (This is precisely what Lenin was alluding to when he said "The Capitalist will sell us the Rope that we will hang them with.") Therefore since, as your own example shows, corruption will generally if not always results in higher profits, I maintain that corruption goes to the very soul of capitalism.
@pfcrosby @scottzwartz And I thought I was jaded! There is a significant difference between capitalism and corruption. As Lord Acton said in 1887, "power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely." The corruption comes from unchecked power, not from capitalism.
One way to view Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations is an early attempt to root corruption out of economic life. When the Price System is protected, there individuals know the value of what they buy and sell.
Glass-Steagall Act was legislation which rooted out a lot of corruption. The commercial and investment bankers were kept separate, which stopped the investment bankers from stealing the funds of Main Street.
Also, it outlawed Credit Default Swaps [CDSs]. When CDSs are illegal, no one will buy one -- not because people are good, but because they are legally unenforceable. When will pay $1M for a CDS to pay $100 M if the securitized mortgage bundle fails when the courts will not enforce the CDS? The same guy who sold you the fraudulent securitized mortgages sold you the CDS so he definitely is not going to honor the CDS and pay the $100 M.
Thus, Glass-Steagall kept a lot of corruption out of our Capitalist System (actually it is a mixed system). We now know how much corruption Glass Steagall stopped since it was repealed in 1999 and we've had the Crash of 2008.
The desire for profit needs to be regulated, but the tea baggers have created a climate where regulations are seen as spawn of Satan. There are known regulations which can channel capital into productive enterprises. As long as those with the capital can make more money by creating gigantic frauds, they will not invest capital into productive enterprises.
A huge problem when fraud runs rampant is that frauds also disguise the true cost. Enron Accounting showed how it worked. They made tons a bad deals, but their fraudulent accounting treated fictitious profits as real, and then treated real losses are non-existent. They sold their losses to other companies they created and counted the illusory income from selling their losses as more income and did not report the losses because they now belonged to BS Corp. As a result, no one inside Enron actually knew the trues value of these horrible deals so they kept replicating them under the false belief that they were profitable. It was not the desire profit which was bad, it was the corruption. Ken Lay and other executives were looting Enron.
Enron as a company ceased to be interested in real profits and instead was devoted to reporting non-existent income as real and concealing actual losses so as to make the company appear profitable. They allowed Enron to pay Ken Lay and other huge salaries and the stock to rise. It was a RICO enterprise which was bound to crash. Destroying the company is not capitalism.
We cannot get back on our feet because Obama refuses to reinstate Glass-Steagall (Dodd Frank is worthless). As a result investment banks are putting the money into additional frauds like screwing around with the commodities market -- which is the real cause of "Arab Spring." Wall Street fraud destroyed the world commodities markets so that the Arab regimes could not subsidize the food -- that was a main way Egypt keep peaceful control -- keeping food prices were low. When Wall Street drove up food prices, the Arab governments could not provide enough subsidies and the prices rose causing civil unrest.
Fraud has been increasingly rampant since Equity Funding in 1970 and has reached new highs under Obama who does not even try to stop the never-ending frauds. Geithner is an economic idiot and Obama is an economic moron, and the tea baggers oppose any and all regulations which guarantees that the Koch Bros will be worth $75 BILLION next year while children go to bed hungry.