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Air Quality District Plan Bodes Well for Cleaner Air p. 4 Carson Forms Coyote Abatement Task Force p. 10 Filmmaker David Ross Says, “I Do” p. 11 Gallery 478 Presents Nuthin’ But the Blues p. 14 GasTax to Fund Paseo Del Mar Repairs Kevin Walker, Community News Reporter O The 99% Take on the RNC By Arun Gupta, AlterNet | Report G Action Network, a local grassroots organization focused on public policy issues. Few anarchists were in evidence, apart from a scrum of fidgety black-clad youth who melted into the rally after drawing stares. It felt like an Occupyrelated event with a giant puppet of Romney tagged with a “King of the 1%,” and chants of “We are the 99%.” Grabbing attention with his preacher’s cadence, Rev. Manuel Sykes, president of the St. Petersburg NAACP, announced, “I’m here to stop the corporate takeover of Under Romney, It Would Be Worse/ to p. 6 September 7 - 20, 2012 iven the spitting rain and gusts, the turnout was better than expected. And given the months of police and press hype that a mob of mayhem-wreaking anarchists would crash the RNC, the protest rally around Mirror Lake seemed more like a festive Sunday in the park. A couple of hundred people milled about as Dave Rovics belted out crowd pleasers like “I’m a Better Anarchist than You.” A handful of buses pulled up and disgorged more protesters who came from far away as Miami, New York City and Wisconsin. The rally and protest was organized by the Florida Consumer The Local Publication You Actually Read Politics is an elaborate chess match. In St. Petersburg one small strike was staged against the Republican National Convention on Aug. 26 that revealed the thrust of President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election strategy. As panicky Republicans cancelled the first day of the convention on Monday, Aug. 27, because of tropical storm Isaac, the focus on Sunday, Aug. 26, was the “RNC Welcome Event” at Tropicana Field. These days no major convention event is complete without a counter-protest, and in downtown St. Petersburg nearly 500 people gathered Sunday to march to the sports stadium and voice their displeasure at what they derided as “the world’s largest cocktail party.” ne million dollars allocated for enlarging Paseo Del Mar were recycled back into the City of Los Angeles coffers after a landslide destroyed part of the coastal thoroughfare. “Before the landslide... there was $1.5 million of the gas tax set aside for a widening project on Paseo Del Mar, just east of the landslide,” said Branimir Kvartuc, a spokesman for 15th District Councilman Joe Buscaino. “After the landslide... obviously that widening project didn’t happen.” Of the $1.5 million set aside in 2009, $500,000 was used pay for a geotechnical study by the engineering firm Shannon and Wilson Inc., after a 600-foot stretch of road fell into the Pacific Ocean this past November. The remaining million was returned to the city once it became clear that widening Paseo Del Mar would take a backseat to dealing with the immediate effects of the slide. Some residents have questioned why gas tax funds weren’t used to strengthen the road following smaller 2009 landslide in the area. Kvartuc said the money in question was specifically designated for the now-cancelled widening project only, not structural augmentation. “Of that $1.5 million originally, only half a million was used,” Kvartuc said. “The rest... was absorbed back into the city for other projects... It didn’t just sit there.” More gas tax funds have been requested to finance mitigation efforts such as the dewatering of waterlogged soil and the installation of stabilizing anchors into the hillside. “For this fiscal year we’re requesting between six and seven million of the gas tax do all of the things that need to be done, including the stabilization, dewatering and all of that,” Kvartuc said. While the immediate cause of the slide is undetermined, according to a geotechnical report released In August by Shannon & Wilson, erosion, groundwater, and gravity are labeled as the primary reasons for the underlying instability. “The results of our observations... suggests that precipitation, irrigation, and to a lesser extent, coastal bluff erosion of the White Point Landslide [was responsible]. Residential development in the area may Paseo Del Mar Repairs/ to p. 1 2

RLn 09-06-12 Edition

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