A friend visiting from out of town wanted to play golf today so we headed over to Griffith Park and reached the ninth hole at Harding Golf Course where there’s a snack shop surrounded by a large asphalt-covered area.
A city employee was hosing leaves off the asphalt and had been at his task for a long while from the looks of the mud puddles and mini-ponds forming downhill as he inched forward with his hose.
Isn’t it illegal for you and me to hose down our driveways, or at least regarded as an anti-social waste of water, especially as we are faced with a water shortage crisis later this year and are being forced to pay higher rates so we can drink recycled toilet water one of these days.
Clearly, the rules that apply to ordinary people don’t apply to the city. And that goes for just about everything. including the state open meetings law which city officials are enforcing ruthlessly against neighborhood councils even as the City Council cuts back room deals and routinely holds closed door meetings that violate the law.
My sensitivity to this waste of a precious resource was heightened recently by the continuing series of items at laist.com by Stephen Box on buses and other public agency vehicles left idling for long periods of time, presumably so drivers can stay cool and comfortable in the air conditioning.
He’s taken pictures all over town of city, county and state vehicles left idling, waste=ing fuel that has gotten ridiculously expensive as we all know and polluting the air which is still the nation’s dirtiest as we all know.
One of my favorite examples involves the Orange Line buses that run across the Valley from North Hollywood to Warner Center. They are idling in the picture with the drivers chatting nearby so it’s not the Valley heat that’s the issue.
“The Orange Line buses run from the early hours, throughout the day and
into the night, even after they return to the yard and are awaiting
service and maintenance. Finally, when they are put away for the night
they are turned off,” Box reported:
“When asked why the Orange Line buses are left idling in spite of the
Metro’s policy against idling on layover, Metro Operations and
Supervisors explain that the rule doesn’t apply to the Orange Line.
“When pressed, Metro Supervisors offer explanations such as ‘Engines
that burn CNG run differently and you can’t just turn them off and then
expect them to restart.’ Another Supervisor explained that the buses
burn clean fuel so it doesn’t matter. A driver confided that issues
with “cheap” batteries meant that the buses needed to be started while
in the yard so that if they didn’t start, maintenance could immediately
respond and that they were told by their Supervisors to leave the
Orange Line buses running while on layover so as to avoid stalling the
better environmental reporting than we’re seeing these days in the
newspapers or on television, which may explain why news operations in
both media are losing the battle for hearts and minds to Internet
I’m sure all of you out there must know of many
examples of waste of one sort another by City Hall and other local
government agencies. Don’t hesitate to email about them at
firstname.lastname@example.org so we can put the heat on our “public servants.”
point in raising these examples of flagrant waste of money and
resources and callous disregard of the environmental consequences is
that they represent just the tip of the iceberg of governmental
disrespect for the public.
Our money means nothing to them. It’s not like there is any accountability.
rule of law and the rules of civil conduct mean nothing to them. There
are no consequences as long the public behaves like sheep and can
easily be led by the dogs of political manipulation.
mayor and council’s claim that they have made L.A. the greenest city in
America is a patent lie, one of many they live on. I dare them to give
Controller Laura Chick the money to audit that claim or better yet an
independent panel of academics and environmental experts.
even the L.A. Times, despite its diminished resources, could try to
revive itself by assigning reporters to a truth watch and keep score on
the honesty of our public servants.