Thursday, February 26, 2009
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
BOOMBOX from Ely Kim on Vimeo.
Where the Hell is Matt? (2008) from Matthew Harding on Vimeo.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Nice chart from American Banker comparing various U.S. banks' tangible common equity capital ratio (a highly conservative measure of solvency) and Tier 1 capital ratio (a marginally less conservative but regulator-favored approach).
As you can see, the differences are fairly stark at many U.S banks. Straight up, most U.S. banks are at or close to insolvency by TCE measure, which speaks at least as much to the harshness of the test as it does to the actual financial condition of many of the banks.
Nevertheless, by the TCE measure the "safest" (I use that word advisedly) U.S. banks are JP Morgan and U.S. Bankcorp. The riskiest banks are Citi, BNY Mellon, and Wells Fargo.
There are lots of reasons why you should (really!) be critical of TCE as a measure of bank solvency, but there is no doubt that skepticism towards bank capital is deserved, so other measures were always going to come forward.
Credit to paul.kedrosky.com
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Mohamed Hadid, developer of Ritz-Carlton hotels and high-end custom homes, has listed his personal Bel-Air residence at $85 million. The 48,000-square-foot house has 10 bedrooms and 14 bathrooms, a 70-foot infinity pool, 5,000-bottle wine cellar, gym, Turkish sauna and ballroom that seats up to 250 guests.
Friday, February 20, 2009
We are starting to see a resurgence of thefts from mailboxes where the suspect has resorted to breaking into the mailboxes to remove the victims' mail. This action usually preceeds identity theft. Please consider these options to protect your identity.
1. Picking up your mail at the post office
2. When you receive unwanted catalogues call the company and request to be taken off their mailing list
3. Go to ZabaSearch.com and input your name to see what information is available to the public. You can request to have your information removed.
4. Check into companies that specialize in protecting your identity, and sign up.
If you have any questions you can contact Sergeant David Podesta at
(310) 444-0743 or by email at email@example.com
Town Hall Meeting on California's Budget Crisis
· The State eliminated its 42 billion dollar deficit with huge cuts, increased taxes, borrowing, reliance on the federal stimulus package and by paying legislative ransoms to obtain key votes
· LA County government receives 23% of its budget from state funds that are already being cut; another 21% comes from property tax revenues - which are showing "negative growth"
- LA City government gets 23% of its revenue from property taxes; while another 33% of its revenues - sales & utility taxes, permits & fees, business & hotel taxes - are in free fall.
Bringing California's government budgets into balance will have a dramatic effect on the Westside.
® Services will be cut
® Aid to education will go down
® Support for transit programs will vanish
® Taxes will go up
Join our featured speakers
53rd Assembly District Member & Chair of the State Assembly Rules Committee
LA County 3rd District Supervisor
LA City Council Member from the 2nd District & Budget Committee Member
In a discussion moderated by
Special Correspondent for Public Radio Station KPCC
to discuss the Budget Crisis at a Town Hall meeting arranged by the Venice Neighborhood Council
6:30pm - 8:30pm
Thursday, Feb 26th
Westminster Elementary School, 1010 Abbot Kinney Blvd. in Venice
Questions & Answer Session!
No Admission Charge!
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Fed up with Obama's plan, CNBC commentator goes on a rant.
Above you will see a chart of our current recession as compared to the other major stock market crashes from the modern age. If we break the support levels today and reattach to the Great Depression trend line, I will be very worried. . .
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Wed Feb 25, 2009
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
AN ARCHITECTURAL FORUM
A Discussion of Bel-Air’s Distinctive Architecture
Past, Present, and Future
Featuring Distinguished Panelists Including:
Bret Parsons, Author, Colcord Home, and an upcoming book about Bel-Air architecture
Alejandro Ortiz, Architect and Member of the LA City Planning Commission
Michael Buhler, Advocacy Director, LA Conservancy
Dion Neutra, Architect, Former Partner of his father Richard Neutra, and current Director of The Neutra Foundation
Harriet F. Williams, Granddaughter of Architect Paul Williams
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Exact time & location available
Through the association offices
Please reserve your seat at this event by calling The Bel-Air Association office at 310.474.3527
This event is presented free of charge to Bel~Air Association Members as a Community Service of the Bel-Air Association!
Eight of the top 10 were in Western states — California, Arizona, Nevada and Texas. The other two roads were in Florida. And all but the last road on the list were major Interstates.
If you live in the neighborhood, you probably already are aware of the danger that lurks ahead. If you don't, but you're planning on doing some cross-country travel, be alert:
Roads With the Most Fatalities Over The Last 5 Years, By County
1) 346 deaths: I-15 in San Bernardino County, California
Ironically, many fatalities on this stretch of I-15 may be because the road is so straight and wide.
“That road will put you to sleep,” said Baker Fire Station Chief Dan Tellez, whose station deals with all the emergencies along 75 miles of the highway. “And a lot of people tend to be speeding because it's so wide and so straight.”
Alcohol also plays a role in this highway's death toll. “We get a few people driving under the influence, coming from Vegas after partying all night,” Tellez said.
An accident last week killed two people when their car crashed into water barrels lining the freeway.
2) 182 deaths: I-10 in Riverside County, California
Two people were killed and four were injured in a four-car crash here in January, after a pickup truck veered into oncoming traffic.
But don't blame the road design, local officials say.
"Most of it doesn't have to do with the road per se," said California Highway Patrol Public Information Officer Chris Blondon, whose area includes part of I-10 in Riverside. "It more has to do with the drivers. Most of the crashes we see along that area are due to unsafe speeds. They're going too fast for the road conditions."
3) 178 deaths: I-10 in Maricopa County, Arizona
A local musician was killed in September after an 18-wheeler turned over in front of him.
State officials say the road is too narrow for the amount of traffic it now handles. Some parts are already being widened, and the state is asking for $61 million in federal stimulus funding to widen the rest of the road and do minor repairs.
"The purpose of the I-10 widening is to transform it from a rural style highway to an urban one," Arizona Department of Transportation spokesman Timothy Tait said. "Right now it has two lanes in each direction, which is very inadequate for a place like Phoenix."
4) 158 deaths: I-5 in Los Angeles County, California
On Oct. 12, 2007, a speeding truck crashed into a concrete barrier in a tunnel near Santa Clarita, causing a chain reaction of crashes. Three people were killed and 26 vehicles were destroyed in an inferno that engulfed the tunnel. The fire shut down the highway for two days.
This week, a California Highway Patrol report determined that speeding was the primary cause of the accident — at least 13 of the vehicles were going over the speed limit.
But Saia Motor Freight, the company that owned the truck that started the chain reaction, told the Los Angeles Times that poor lighting conditions in the tunnel and inadequately maintained warning signs were to blame. The California Department of Transportation said it has since improved conditions in the tunnel.
5) 153 deaths: I-45 in Harris County, Texas
A man was killed last month when he was speeding and missed a turn on I-45 near Fuqua. The car rolled over at least twice and ended in a ditch, FOX 26 reported.
State officials say the sheer amount of traffic on the road is the main problem.
"[I-45] is a major traffic corridor through the city of Houston. Whenever you have more cars, you're going to have more crashes," said Mark Cross, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Transportation.
The Texas DOT has identified $3 million in safety improvements, such as signs and pavement markings, that it would like to see funded with federal stimulus money.
6) 148 deaths: I-15 in Clark County, Nevada
Two men died in a head-on collision in September, caused by one of the drivers going in the wrong direction on the freeway.
But this road is getting better: Fatalities fell from 39 in 2006 to 19 last year.
Kevin Honea, a trooper with the Nevada Department of Public Safety, attributed the decline in fatalities to increased police activity, which has been particularly focused on this stretch of I-10 going from California to Las Vegas.
“Biggest reason is an increased officer presence out there,” Honea said. “We’ve got a very aggressive group of guys out there.... People see our officers, and they know they had better buckle up.”
Scott Magruder, a spokesman for the Nevada Department of Transportation, said major projects to widen the highway and add an express lane are under way and due for completion next April. Less congestion should improve safety even more, he said, as drivers feel less of a need to weave between lanes.
The state is planning another widening of the road between Tropicana and State Road 160, which would cost up to $250 million. Magruder said funding from the proposed stimulus bill may help pay for that.
7) 131 deaths: I-95 in Palm Beach County, Florida
The driver of a gasoline tanker truck was sentenced to 35 years in prison in December after being found responsible for an accident in which his truck turned over on a car, exploded, and killed four people.
Prosecutors said the driver was going 25 miles per hour over the speed limit and had not taken the mandatory rest breaks for truck drivers.
The Florida Department of Transportation has listed $160 million in additions and repairs to I-95 in its wish list for federal stimulus money.
Tied for 8) 118 deaths: I-10 in Pinal County, Arizona
Local firefighters who respond to calls on the road say a main problem is bored drivers who fall asleep.
"It's probably one of the straightest sections of I-10 there is," said Assistant Fire Chief Jim Morgan of the Casa Grande Fire Department. "This stretch of the road is basically the center point between Tuscon and Phoenix. It's a long-distance trip, and we're at the middle point.... Most people who survive wrecks usually tell us they were getting fatigued."
Tied for 8) 118 deaths: I-5 in San Diego County, California
A pregnant woman was killed in January after another car clipped her vehicle while switching lanes. The offending driver will stand trial for speeding and driving recklessly.
10) 102 deaths: US-1 in Miami-Dade County, Florida
A woman was sentenced to three years in jail in 2007 after making a U-turn that led to the death of a motorcyclist. She was also sentenced for possession of cocaine, marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
By Maxim Lott FOXNews
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Monday, February 9, 2009
The Bel-Air Association invites you to the upcoming
UCLA CANDIDATES NIGHT
For the Los Angeles Municipal Prim
The forum will take place on Wednesday, February 11, 2009
from 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. (5:30 p.m. Reception)
California Nano Systems Institute Auditorium (CNSI)
Please RSVP to (310) 794-6810 or firstname.lastname@example.org by February 9, 2009
An evening of candidates, questions, and answers
and our community coming together!
The Primary Municipal Election for the City of Los Angeles will take place on
Tuesday, March 3, 2009.
The Bel-Air Association’s City Services Committee invites our members to meet the candidates running for the Fifth District position on the Los Angeles City Council.
The City of Los Angeles 5th Council District
ROBYN RITTER SIMON
DAVID T. VAHEDI
This invitation is sent to you by the Bel Air Association, City Services Committee. For more information please call Paulette M. DuBey, our General Manager at 310.474.3527.
The evening will be moderated by Adrienne Alpert, KABC-TV Channel 7.
This program will be re-broadcast on KABC-TV and LA Channel 36 at a later date. Parking is in LOT 9.
Sunday, February 8, 2009
From the LA Times
Efforts by the city of Los Angeles to reduce mansionization in the hillside areas might make sense in neighborhoods where modest homes are being turned into monster homes.
But Curbed L.A. found that the reaction might be different in a place like Bel-Air, where mansions are, well, encouraged. Curbed reports that the rules are unlikely to prevent big homes in Bel-Air. But on the Bel-Air Association Blog, at least one residents said the tony neighborhood should be wary:
Bel-Air is a unique neighborhood with grand homes and high quality design and development and MUST NOT be painted with the same brush as many other parts of Los Angeles.
Here is a list of public meetings the city is having on the issue.
Photo: Los Angeles Times
Friday, February 6, 2009
The draft environmental report for the second phase was released last week, and the meetings are designed to give the public a chance to provide feedback to the Expo Line Construction Authority, the government agency building the light rail line.
The authority supplied a briefing on the draft report for the media this morning in Culver City. A few interesting morsels popped up:
1. The authority still hopes to open the first phase to Culver City in 2010. But if there are delays resolving the crossings at Dorsey High and Foshay Learning Center, officials may try to open the line to Crenshaw Boulevard in 2010, said Samantha Bricker, chief operating officer of the authority.
2. There are two main routes under consideration -- using a combination of Venice and Sepulveda boulevards or an existing rail right-of-way that runs north of the 10 Freeway. But the draft environmental report says Venice isn't wide enough to accommodate a train, one reason officials say the right-of-way would be better.
Putting aside the issue of which route is best, I suggested the Venice conclusion doesn't pass the smell test, given that Venice is about as big and wide a street as they come. But Steve Polechronis, a senior vice president and project manager for the firm AECom, which is helping plan the line, said the Expo Line would require a 30-foot right-of-way on Venice. "When we looked block-to-block, we couldn't put a continuous line in there without losing those lanes," Polechronis said. My guess is this issue will arise at the public meetings.
3. If the train travels down the median of Olympic Boulevard in Santa Monica, 42 trees will have to be cut down. Santa Monica activists are already on high alert, and Construction Authority officials said they're still trying to come up with a mitigation plan.
So the stage is set: Will a $1.3-billion-plus light rail line be held up by 42 trees? Only time will tell...
The dates and times of the public meetings are after the jump.
Expo Line Draft Environmental Impact Report meetings:
Feb. 18, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Santa Monica High School
601 Pico Blvd.
Feb. 23, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services
3200 Motor Ave.
Feb. 25, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Webster Middle School
11220 W. Graham Place
Photo: Mayor Villaraigosa and MTA officials spoke late last year about victory of transit tax (Measure R) to pay for rail construction projects, including the Expo Line. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Deal: 50% to 75% off clothing for men and women
When/Where: Thursday, February 5th through Monday, February 16th. Thu-Fri February 5th-6th, 8am-9pm; Sat February 7th, 9am-7pm; Sun February 8th, 10am-7pm; Mon-Fri February 9th-13th, 10am-8pm; Sat-Sun February 14-15, 10am-7pm; Mon February 16, 10am-7pm. Barker Hanger, Santa Monica Airport, 3021 Airport Ave (310-276-4400)
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Department of City Planning
Community Planning Bureau - West Coastal Division
Department of City Planning
Community Planning Bureau - West Coastal Division
200 N. Spring St., Room 621
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 978-1226 - fax