City Journal Summer 2014

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Summer 2014
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Joel Kotkin
City of Villages « Back to Story

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Joel Kotkin may be the finest hypnotist in the world. He fools readers with his nostalgic cherry picking of life in LA. In reality, the schools suffer ethnic violence, linguistic chaos and endless illiteracy result. Drugs, gangs and fear dominate the nights. Americans are not welcome in all the Mexican dominated parts of LA. I've been there many times to witness it. Poverty dominates with kids on free breakfasts and lunches along with section 8 housing. Single mothers by the thousands

Sorry, the same is true of Houston Texas, in fact some one from San Diego complain about the immigration of Houston Texas and they said I lived in San Diego. Most of the major cities of Texas are similar to La, Orange and San Diego in unauthorized immigrants. Houston and Dallas because they have higher Afro-american populations also tend to have section 8 and more food stamp usage more than the Bay Area, Orange County and San Diego but Republicans are not honest about Houston and Dallas. Republicans and Joel spent too much time praising Houston which has lots of low skilled immigrants as well. In fact the US Census shown Houston Texas increase about 62,000 immigrants versus Maricopia Arizona of only 25,000 in the past 3 years. This is both legal and illegal. Houston also got more immigrants than San Diego at 38,000 and Orange at 32,000. Why Joel promotes it as the best city I don't know. Republicans just because its in Texas does not mean the area is great. Lots of Harris and Dallas County are Democratic not conservative Republicans either.
Well, Houston and Dallas have a lot of poor Hispanic and Blacks. Houston has a 18 percent food insecurity and abut 27 percent for kids contrast with Orange County who Joel runs down all the time which is 12 percent overall and 21 percent for kids food insecurity. Joel always talks about how great Houston is but there are some poor places like the 3rd ward at 47 percent poverty rate. He will talk about crime well Houston and Dallas have a higher crime rate than Anaheim and Santa Ana and San Diego. Housing is expensive in the OC but lots of Hispanics and Blacks don't own houses in Harris county where its cheaper to live than Orange County.
Ventura Capitalist March 20, 2014 at 12:52 PM
Nice valentine to The Valley. As for downtown, it serves well as the epicenter of the cesspool of union-democrat corruption.

Claiming that fracking caused this week's earthquale, the City Clowncil has declared plate tectonics a racist social construct devised by white Northern-Europeans for the purpose of oppressing people of color.

They banned grocery bags for the same reason.

Tony, he is not describing Valley Village. See my comment below.
Well done. As President of Neighborhood Council Valley Village, I am quite proud of my community and the 25000 stakeholders who live and work here. You so eloquently describe the real reason we all love Valley Village, we're a wonderful component of the rich diverse quilt of communities that make Los Angeles great. I am admittedly and unashamedly biased - I truly believe we are the best part of the city. And your perfect prose painted a compelling defense of that position. Thank you Mr. Kotkin.
Mr Kotkin it is great so see you say something positive about LA--and you hit the nail on the head. We live here because we get the benefits of a manageable scale AND a global city, full stop. I believe LA's biggest challenges are rooted in structural choices made long ago (e.g., 15 powerful councilmembers and a weak mayor)--not the shortcomings of specific leaders or the voters who elected those leaders.
Interesting article, almost made me want to go back, I left Los Angeles in eighty-five and not on the best of terms, yet, as always I, we, are responsible for our experiences, the comment concerning that "underground" is quite enough to make me wanna stay over on the east coast, in the"woods" where I be, besides, the atlantic is warmer and far more charming than the pacific will ever be...
Just looked at Valley Village on Google Street View! Looked pretty nice, certainly nicer than some of the so-called 'funky' urban zones of faux hipsters. And I'm not being naïve having lived on the edges of LA, in San Francisco for many years, Seattle, Phoenix, Denver, Buffalo, and three foreign urban locales.
Mr. Kotkin, I have lived in Valley Village since 1986 and served on the Neighborhood Council Valley Village for 10 years. The neighborhood you describe in your article is not Valley Village.

Mansionization was a very hot issue a few years ago in Valley Village and we will always guard against a resurgence, but it is currently not an active issue.

The market you describe is also beyond the boundary of Valley Village (the northern boundary is the south side of Burbank Blvd). The mansion construction you mentioned must also be outside of Valley Village. Our specific plan would ban a residence of that height.

I'm not sure if you even live in Valley Village, but thank you for saying nice tings about the area in general.
Yeah, team!! A good solid piece of writing with much of interest.
I'm really enjoying the articles in this remote and isolated location where newspapers are a rare commodity. I'm reading whilst relaxing after the day's busy schedules.
Keep sending...
It's worth repeating...."Americans are not welcome in all the Mexican dominated parts of LA. I've been there many times to witness it. Poverty dominates with kids on free breakfasts and lunches along with section 8 housing. Single mothers by the thousands struggle while an underground Mexican economy pays no taxes. California is flat broke and over 3 million illegal migrants operate in violation of our laws. Additionally, because of massive and endless immigration, California expects an added 20 million people. They suffer horrific gridlock and air ."
In the third paragraph, there's a "Juan" with no antecedent.
Well done Mr. Kotkin. I would quibble a little bit with your dismissal of what's going on in Downtown Los Angeles. LA doesn't need to centralize itself, but it's wonderful to see DTLA emerge as yet another of the myriad of different sorts of neighborhoods that you correctly identify as defining life in Los Angeles. DTLA has become an very walkable, transit-friendly, safe and friendly area of cutting edge food, culture and nightlife. It's a testament to the greatness of this city that it allows for both the trees, grass, kids and dogs of Valley Village, but also the skyscrapers, subways, bars and restaurants of downtown, and both areas are thriving at the same time. The Neighborhood Councils that you mentioned are generally empowered enough through the city charter to ensure that Valley Village will exist more or less as it is now in perpetuity, even as DTLA permits one condo tower after the next.
Your Community Needs You!
It's Your Neighborhood Council
Valley Village (NCVV)
Board Election on Thursday, March 20th
from 4PM to 8PM
Faith Presbyterian Church
5000 Colfax Avenue @ Addison

For more information visit our website
www.myvalleyvillage.com

Suzanne Lewis
NCVV
Events/Outreach/Elections
818.759.8204
Sounds civilized.
Hope you find your Home Sweet Home in LA.
Love, Honey
Frosty Wooldridge March 18, 2014 at 5:04 PM
Joel Kotkin may be the finest hypnotist in the world. He fools readers with his nostalgic cherry picking of life in LA. In reality, the schools suffer ethnic violence, linguistic chaos and endless illiteracy result. Drugs, gangs and fear dominate the nights. Americans are not welcome in all the Mexican dominated parts of LA. I've been there many times to witness it. Poverty dominates with kids on free breakfasts and lunches along with section 8 housing. Single mothers by the thousands struggle while an underground Mexican economy pays no taxes. California is flat broke and over 3 million illegal migrants operate in violation of our laws. Additionally, because of massive and endless immigration, California expects an added 20 million people. They suffer horrific gridlock and air pollution in 2014, but when another 20 million people hit, it will be a living nightmare. They suffer terrible water shortages. Kotkin lives in LaLa land and uses his pen to delude readers. Frosty Wooldridge, 6 continent world bicycle traveler who has seen overpopulation up close and ugly.
Happy Refugee from the 818 March 18, 2014 at 4:59 PM
Dear Mr. Kotkin,
This is a thoughtful and well-written piece. As a native of the San Fernando Valley, it is fascinating for me to see my hometown through a non-native's eyes. You certainly do a good job of emphasizing the positive. However, one could write about the same general area and note the drab, shabby strip malls, the awful traffic, tree-less boulevards roasting in summer heat, the line at Grant high school, one side of which has been taken by the hispanic gangs, the other by Armenian Power, and which is crossed only at great risk. Los Angeles is a hellhole and the Valley is its lowest circle. Just my .02 (or rather .03, to which I, as a native, am entitled)