Thank You USC

Gary Toebben on December 18, 2012 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Last week the L.A.  City Council unanimously approved the largest redevelopment project in the history of South Los Angeles. The University of Southern California’s Specific Plan will create housing for more than 5000 students, new dining and entertainment options and a new fire station. It will also provide $20 million for affordable housing throughout the neighborhoods that surround USC. In total, the 20-year project is expected to create 12,000 construction and permanent jobs and have a $1.1 billion impact on the region's economy. As one neighborhood advocate described in her supporting testimony, “USC will provide unprecedented benefits to the community.”

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Two Big Steps One Forward and One Back for the Economy and Jobs

Gary Toebben on December 4, 2012 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Earlier this year, the Brookings Institution released a report on Los Angeles that identified exports and tourism as key economic engines for the future. The report described "a unique opportunity to reorient the regional economy and reassert the region as a vibrant globally significant market." This past week, Los Angeles took a big step forward and a big step back in following that advice.

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One Boo and Three Cheers for LAX

Gary Toebben on November 27, 2012 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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You may have been one of the people inconvenienced by a labor protest that blocked the entrance to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on the day before Thanksgiving, the busiest travel day of the year. This protest was ill-timed, ill-conceived and without merit. Angelenos traveling to be with families and friends were inconvenienced and delayed by protesters who ironically don't earn their living serving the traveling public at the airport. This charade deserves a universal "boo."

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Thank You for Caring and Investing In Los Angeles

Gary Toebben on November 20, 2012 at 10:15:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Happy Thanksgiving to each of you.

When the Pilgrims gathered together in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621 to thank God and their Native American friends for a bountiful harvest and helping them survive their first year in a foreign land, they began a wonderful national tradition.

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A Trash Proposal That Stinks

Gary Toebben on November 13, 2012 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Tomorrow the L.A. City Council is poised to vote on a new system of waste collection that will affect every commercial and multi-family property owner in Los Angeles and millions of businesses and residents. 

With new state mandates for waste reduction and recycling, some opportunists saw an opening to generate more revenue and reduce the number of trash haulers in the City by moving from the current open permit system to a franchise system.arrowRead More

Proposition 31 No Hype, Just Common Sense

Gary Toebben on November 5, 2012 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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The voters of California will decide the fate of 11 statewide ballot initiatives tomorrow, but only one of those initiatives offers the hope of meaningful government reform.

Proposition 31 will make common sense changes in how decisions are made and money is appropriated in our state capitol. The reforms are the result of thoughtful input from conscientious citizens across the State and research done by nonprofit foundations that came together to address the disfunctionality that plagues Sacramento.  arrowRead More

All Aboard Measure J

Gary Toebben on October 30, 2012 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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We're speeding toward the future on transportation improvements in L.A. County. The opening of the Orange Line extension to Chatsworth, the construction of the Expo Line to Santa Monica, the Gold Line extension to Azusa, the Crenshaw Transit Corridor project and truck lanes on Interstate 5. Without the passage of Measure R in 2008, none of these projects would have happened as quickly. L.A. County voters passed Measure R to authorize a half-cent sales tax to fund $40 billion in transit and highway projects to relieve congestion, create jobs and improve the environment over 30 years.arrowRead More

L.A.'s Integrity will be Voted on Today

Gary Toebben on October 22, 2012 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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I am often asked what the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce means when we say that the City of Los Angeles needs to be more business friendly. On the City Council's agenda today is a blatant example of why Los Angeles has the reputation of being unfriendly to business. The issue is the Walmart Interim Control Ordinance (ICO).  arrowRead More

Stopped Dead on the Runway at LAX

Gary Toebben on October 15, 2012 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Four weeks ago I had a frustrating and embarrassing experience at the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) that underscores the urgency of modernizing our airport and widening the distance between the two runways on the north airfield.  

My wife and I were flying home from a delightful anniversary trip on an Airbus 380 airplane. After we landed on the north airfield, the pilot brought the plane to a dead stop on the active runway for nearly five minutes. The pilot had no other option because there is no taxiway on which to exit an A380, and another plane was approaching the runway to the left over which we had to cross. I felt like the dead skunk in the middle of the road even though I was sure that air traffic control was aware of the situation and had delayed the flights behind us from landing while we sat on an active runway.  arrowRead More

Stand Up for Business on Oct. 17

Gary Toebben on October 9, 2012 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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It is the state of affairs today that elected officials often make their decisions based on who has the loudest voice or the most supporters in the room. In other words, the perceived risk to a political career often trumps economics and good judgment. To be successful in this environment, you cannot merely have the facts on your side, you must show that you can provide political pressure and have civic impact. That is why I am challenging the business community to join us at ACCESS L.A. City Hall on Wednesday, Oct. 17. arrowRead More