A few years back, we gathered a team of passionate Angelenos to write a successful landmark nomination for the Los Angeles Times buildings just across from City Hall. It was a wild ride.
Councilmember Jose Huizar sabotaged our nomination, directing the powerful PLUM Committee—from which he had been removed after the FBI raided his home and office—to strip half the buildings from the designation. Canadian developer Onni Group wants to redevelop that portion of the block, and they contributed handsomely to an election PAC for Huizar’s wife, just prior to the vote.
The project has been working its way through the city planning process, while at the same time the FBI’s investigation has been moving forward. In five days, former Councilmember Mitch Englander will be sentenced on public corruption charges.
We don’t know what’s delaying the DOJ from indicting more co-conspirators, but the development project has been slowed by a challenge filed by public interest nonprofit SAFER. The city claims the project is a good one, legal and appropriate. SAFER’s expert witnesses counter that the Environmental Impact Report is packed with deliberate misreadings of the law and outright lies about traffic impacts, pollution and threats to migratory birds, and that the landmark buildings deserve protection.
Tomorrow, Thursday 1/21 at 10am, the PLUM Committee meets to consider SAFER’s challenge to Times Mirror Square. Sitting on PLUM is John Lee, a named co-conspirator in the public corruption investigation against his former boss Mitch Englander.
It’s disturbing and distressing that this is all happening with no scrutiny from the media—not even the Los Angeles Times, whose historic home is facing the wrecking ball. What’s up with that?
If you agree with us that Los Angeles is better than this and that a significant building shouldn’t be demolished under a cloud of corruption, we hope you’ll make public comment. You can send an email today, or call in Thursday morning during the meeting, to ask PLUM to accept SAFER’s appeal and issue a revised EIR.
For all the information you need to make public comment, including links explaining more of the Times Mirror Square and public corruption drama, please visit our blog. And please—pass it on!
yours for Los Angeles,
Kim & Richard