Villaraigosa's Strange Clean Air Claim

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Fri, May 1, 2009 at 1:00 PM

As L.A. Weekly often reports, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has a habit of making strange claims -- remember how he calls himself the hardest working mayor in America and says, with LAPD Chief Bill Bratton's blessing, that L.A. is as safe as 1956? This week, longtime Daily News scribe Rick Orlov calls the mayor on his recent announcement that L.A. "will continue to improve to become the cleanest, greenest [city] in America."

The only problem is that L.A., Orlov points out, continually ranks at the "top of the list of cities with the most pollution." And as L.A. Weekly's Steven Mikulan noted earlier in the week, "For all the talk about America's 'greening,' 60 percent of us still

live in areas with dangerously high pollution, according to a new American Lung Association report." Mikulan later adds, "For the 11th consecutive report, the three cities with the highest

levels of ozone pollution are Los Angeles, Long Beach and Riverside."

The report may have been the thing that triggered Villaraigosa's recent, odd claim, floating it out there as some kind of counter-public relations statement.

To further show the wackiness of Villaraigosa's remarks -- after all, when you're the worst at something, all you can do is improve -- the Daily News

has published a hilarious, accompanying picture where the downtown

skyline is barely visible through a thick haze of smog. Only in L.A.

Contact Patrick Range McDonald at pmcdonald@laweekly.com.

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