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Tuesday, Jun 6, 2023

L.A. stories

Dissension in the Ranks

If not now for Zev Yaroslavsky, then when?

The county supervisor has yet to declare whether he’ll run for L.A. mayor. And while he has waited, several possible high-profile supporters have deserted him for the campaign of City Attorney James Hahn.

The latest was city commissioner Lisa Specht, who would not comment on her decision. But one politically connected observer who knows Specht said she had grown tired of waiting for a decision from Yaroslavsky, known in some circles as the Hamlet of L.A. politics.

“He’s already gone through three deadlines by which he’s told his friends and supporters he would have a decision,” the source said. “With this race moving ahead so early, it’s no wonder she looked elsewhere.”

Discovering Culture

While many people see the San Fernando Valley as one giant strip mall, there are others who perceive culture and history in that suburban landscape.

In fact, the Los Angeles Conservancy has organized a tour of the “Postwar San Fernando Valley” for later this year to celebrate the area’s architecture from the 1940s to 1970s.

Participants will see such highlights as the neon circus clown sign that has marked Circus Liquor in North Hollywood for the past half-century. The Woodland Hills Trailer Park and Bob’s Big Boy also will be spotlighted.

“People assume the Valley is a cultural void,” said tour coordinator Mary-Margaret Stratton, a lifelong Valley resident. “It’s my personal intent to rectify that view and show that there are also unique and special buildings. It’s not all cookie-cutter, there is some style.”

Asked just what Valley style is, Stratton said, “very eclectic.”

Pedal Power

L.A. Councilwoman Jackie Goldberg survived a bike-lane brouhaha in her effort to win the Assembly seat now held by Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa.

In the weeks before the March 7 primary, hand-painted signs appeared along Silver Lake Boulevard denouncing “Goldberg Gridlock” a reference to her support of a new bike path that displaced a lane previously used by cars. Traffic has backed up like crazy during the morning commute ever since the lane was opened earlier this year.

Roxana Tynan, economic development deputy for Goldberg, said a rival candidate posted the signs.

“It’s a non-issue,” Tynan said, explaining that the project had widespread support. “Come on, you’re going to go after her because she put in a bike lane?”

Goldberg pulled 60 percent of the Democratic vote in the primary and will be the party’s candidate in the November election.

Diaper Directive

Becoming a father has given Supervisor Mike Antonovich a new perspective on politics.

Last week, the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a proposal by Antonovich to have county officials study the feasibility of recycling disposable diapers.

“I’ve had the opportunity to be involved with diaper changing daily,” said Antonovich, whose son is now 11 months old. “Before this, I didn’t realize that 18 billion disposable baby diapers amounting to 4.4 billion pounds of waste wind up in U.S. landfills because they aren’t being recycled.”

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