Tag Archives: Commentary

Monrovia Redevelopment Project Picketed


Pickets in Old Town Monrovia
Pickets in Old Town Monrovia

Do Gov’t projects have a greater duty to pay prevailing wages?

Monrovia’s latest Redevelopment Project at Myrtle and Olive is being visited by pickets from the Iron Workers Union as one of the contractors is using non-union labor.  Nothing unusual about unions picketing private developers over the use of non-union labor in their projects.

This isn’t a private development.  It is a project that belongs to the Monrovia Redevelopment Agency and being paid out of our tax dollars.   I don’t know if there should be a difference between a private developer or a governmental agency in how they contract out the work needed.

The irony in the use of non-union labor here lies in the history behind this project.  The Myrtle/Olive project was to be a mixed use “affordable housing” development.  Barely 2 years ago a city councilman was in my office and we were talking about the project and he mentioned how the citizens of the city would be happy to see how “affordable housing” was to be incorporated into the redevelopment plans.  (Yes…I raised an eyebrow on “affordable housing” as that is the current buzzword to avoid raising the ugly specter of pruitt-igosubsidized section 8 housing in redevelopment plans).

Affordable Housing.  Sounds good, but who gets to live in it when built?  Maids and gardeners?  Shouldn’t a government agency be looking at wages paid?  Maybe instead of finding ways to keep costs down on one side then spend tax dollars later to subsidize housing needs of the underpaid workers on the other side, the big picture/the whole process should be looked at?  Don’t know what the answer is or should be.   It does seem like a lot of robbing Peter to pay Paul (sorry for the biblical reference).

An embiggenable set of copies of the union material after the jump. Continue reading Monrovia Redevelopment Project Picketed

Where did all the trick or treaters go?


The leftover goodies that went unclaimed at my house.
The leftover goodies that went unclaimed at my house.

Is it just me or were the Trick or Treaters way down this year?  My street has always been a hit or miss so it is hard to tell by our traffic.  I took my youngest out for his last year of trick or treating and we ventured off the street as legend has it one of the streets above us does “only big candy bars”.  Even off the street for the most part it was lighter traffic than usual.

It was scary seeing the other neighborhoods around me.  Barely 1 in 4 homes were handing anything out.  Even fewer homes were decorated for the day with mazes, haunted houses or just great yard art.  Both a big departure from years past.

While I was pondering what happened I noticed on my facebook feed that a metblog writer in New Orleans, Daneeta Loretta had run a post with a similar observation there titled “Silent Night, Hallow Night”.  I guess the economy freak out is much bigger than I thought, certainly much deeper than the signs I see around my little corner of LA.

I heard from my friend Jeff  who turns his house into a “haunted house” and he had over 600 kids visit this year.  My daughter spent hours in line in Old Pas for a Haunted House there.  Old Town Monrovia was packed with kids for their afterschool party that included trick-or-treating.  Did everyone shift from door-to-door in favor of those activities?

How was your  Trick or Treater traffic?  What was your take on the shift in traffic?

(The pic is by me, trusty phone cam, and this year we gave pretzels and I am so glad as I wouldn’t want it to be that much candy left in the house to tempt me).