The Time is Now

Gary Toebben on January 29, 2013 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Every so often we have the opportunity to make a significant change in the vision and direction of our government. For the voters of the City of Los Angeles, the 2013 election is one of those times. Nine out of 15 City Council seats are at play in this election, and of those nine seats seven will be filled by new officials as the incumbents are termed out or not seeking another term. These newly elected councilmembers will likely serve 12 years in these positions, setting the agenda for economic development, public safety, city services and much more. 

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State Budget a Positive Step for Education

Gary Toebben on January 22, 2013 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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After almost a half-decade of decline in funding for K-12 and Higher Education in California, Gov. Jerry Brown's new budget proposal includes a boost in funding that will have an impact on every student who is attending school in the Golden State. This increased investment in education, coupled with a state budget proposal that is nearly balanced, offers hope that our state is on a path toward economic stability if Gov. Brown and the Legislature will also address key issues that are holding back our economy.

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A Muddy Process for Cleaner Water and Cleaner Beaches

Gary Toebben on January 15, 2013 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Today the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is holding a hearing on a proposed $275 million annual fee that few taxpayers are aware of, but will have a significant financial implication for all public and private property owners throughout the County. Several Chamber members have already indicated that the new fee on their property would cost them more than 1 million dollars per year.

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More than 75 Percent of L.A. Voters Say: Move the North Runway

Gary Toebben on January 8, 2013 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and the Coalition to Fix LAX NOW has received a powerful endorsement to move the north runway at LAX — from L.A.'s voters.  

Ahead of the public hearings to modernize the airport and move the north runway, which start tonight, the Coalition to Fix LAX NOW sponsored a comprehensive citywide poll to hear from L.A. voters on what they think about LAX and moving the north runway. The poll was conducted in December and the findings were released on Monday. The results of the poll were extraordinarily clear: move the north runway. 

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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