The Business Perspective

Cashing in on the Promise of College

Gary Toebben on February 2, 2016 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Each year thousands of qualified high school seniors do not apply to college because they fear the financial barriers are too great and they are unaware of opportunities to secure financial aid. In 2014, the “California Financial Aid Tracker” from Education Trust-West revealed that 40 percent of California’s public high school graduating seniors do not file financial aid applications and leave millions of dollars of financial aid unused. 

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Big Opportunities for 21st Century Investments

Gary Toebben on January 26, 2016 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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When it comes to investing in Los Angeles’ transportation infrastructure, we are in a golden era. The promises of Measure R are becoming a reality with the Regional Connector, Purple Line extension and Crenshaw/LAX line in full construction mode. Expo Phase II, connecting downtown to Santa Monica, is in the final testing phases, and the Gold Line Foothill extension is scheduled to open in March. The long-discussed goal of connecting the Metro system to LAX and transforming the way passengers access the airport terminals is now in the environmental planning stage.

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Ending Homelessness Attracts Hundreds of Caring Citizens

Gary Toebben on January 19, 2016 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Last week, both the City and County of Los Angeles presented plans to address homelessness and invited public comments. The plans appropriately described the growing number of homeless persons and the shortage of affordable housing as a crisis. Each plan outlined suggested expenditures of approximately $100 million per year or $200 million total per year to take bold and comprehensive action. Both plans indicated that existing funds could be re-prioritized to get the ball rolling but that a dedicated revenue stream would be needed to sustainably fund the proposals. Neither recommended a specific revenue source. 

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Playa Vista ó A Lesson in Leadership and Perseverance

Gary Toebben on January 20, 2015 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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This past week, Mayor Eric Garcetti and the City of Los Angeles celebrated the news that Yahoo! Inc. signed a long-term lease at the Collective Campus in Playa Vista. Playa Vista has emerged as a national model for urban living and high tech jobs, but turning back the clock, Playa Vista almost never happened.     

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Letís Move Forward on the Sale of Ontario International Airport

Gary Toebben on January 13, 2015 at 8:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce agrees with Mayor Garcetti that the City of Los Angeles should sell Ontario International Airport (ONT). The business community believes that there is no strategic reason for the City of L.A. to continue to own and operate ONT, as long as the City of Ontario, or some other appropriate entity, continues to operate the facility as a commercial service airport for our region.

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Happy New Year - Hereís What A Great 2015 Would Look Like

Gary Toebben on January 6, 2015 at 8:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Most economists predict that 2015 will be a better year than 2014. That’s good, but my question is “What would make 2015 a great year for Los Angeles County?” What would dramatically contribute to the growth of our regional economy and cause a significant reduction in our unemployment rate?

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LAWA Gives Region A Christmas Present For The Decades

Gary Toebben on December 23, 2014 at 8:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Last week the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners approved a $4 billion plan to dramatically transform LAX's ground transportation, and arrival and departure experience. The commissioners approved plans for a Landside Access Modernization Program that will include an automated LAX Train to connect passengers to the airline terminals from off site locations. 

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Bidding for the 2024 Olympics

Gary Toebben on December 15, 2014 at 11:59:00 pm in The Business Perspective 
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Today, Mayor Eric Garcetti and a small delegation from Los Angeles are in Redwood City, California for a presentation before the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC). The Mayor and his point person on this bid, Casey Wasserman, will have 45 minutes to make the case for L.A. and Southern California to host the 2024 Olympics. The other cities that have been invited to bid are Boston, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco.

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Google Announcement Signals Surge in High Tech Jobs

Gary Toebben on December 9, 2014 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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When Google announced a week ago that it was making a $120 million purchase of 12 acres of land in Playa Vista, the tech world took notice. The land is zoned for nearly one million square feet of commercial space and sits adjacent to the historic hangar in which Howard Hughes built his famous “Spruce Goose” airplane.

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CEQA Abuse Kills Construction Jobs Again

Gary Toebben on December 2, 2014 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Jon Healey with the Los Angeles Times Editorial Board hit the nail on the head last week in his column about how IBEW, the electrical workers union, used a threatened environmental challenge under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) to secure a card-check provision from Kinkisharyo in Palmdale. Then, once the IBEW had that assurance, CEQA was no longer an issue. 

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