Posted on Freedom Advocates on October 16th 2006
By [post_author] –
Private property advocates respond to Los Angeles Times’ missing coverage of the Hollywood & Vine eminent domain redevelopment controversy.
When big-business redevelopment interests attempted to use eminent domain to strong-arm Hollywood Boulevard business owners, Robert Blue fought back. By applying media and legal pressure to the developers and City of Los Angeles, the Bernard Luggage owner was able to assert his private property rights and divert the mega-development’s wrecking ball.
But with the threat of eminent domain takings on the rise throughout the country, is this “Hollywood ending” a sign of hope, or merely a token gesture by redevelopment agents pretending to appease defenders of private property rights?
According to two Los Angeles women, Carol Knapp and Valarie Stewart, Los Angeles Times staff writer Bob Pool, did not accurately report the situation in his article “Hollywood Luggage Shop Won’t Have to Pack its Bags”, September 28, 2006.
Carol Knapp writes:
As I read Bob Pool’s piece concerning Bernard Luggage (the Hollywood and Vine travesty), I actually felt sick because of the lies and distortions and what was left out of this propaganda piece. What about the other 29 businesses that didn’t have the money to fight? What about the $180 million dollars of corporate welfare for 79 units of ‘affordable housing’ (i.e. $2.4 million per unit). Was it a “win” for the other businesses? What about the destruction of property rights?
Mr. Pool’s article is a biased piece that gave the impression that Robert Blue, (owner Bernard Luggage) and others were so grateful to Councilmember Eric Garcetti. Mr. Blue probably had to spend over a hundred thousand dollars to protect his inalienable right to property ownership, and developed health problems from the stress of fighting the redevelopers. Yet, Garcetti is standing there like a messiah.
The other businesses were forced to accept whatever compensation the thieves in the redevelopment agencies deigned to give them; generally about 20% below market value. According to Castle Coalition (Institute for Justice, Washington, D.C.) approximately 90% of American people are against “eminent domain for private gain”. Why is the LA Times (except for Patrick McGreevy, who has consistently written fair articles) encouraging this highly un-American activity that is having such a detrimental effect on Americans?
Bob Pool should educate himself on the redevelopment scam being used to destroy property rights and allow favored corporations to take over our economy. A place to start is www.redevelopment.com. The failure of the media to report the truth about redevelopment is exactly why agencies have been allowed to abuse The People since John D. Rockefeller used it in the 1920’s to take the land where the Twin Towers sat (Eric Darton, “Divided We Stand”).
Valarie Stewart ( www.ebonyshowcase.org ) also comments:
Our theatre, the Ebony Showcase Theatre, was a complex that the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) demolished for a contrived reason. When the CRA demolished the four buildings that comprised the complex they told the public that the complex was earthquake damaged in spite of the fact that the Army Corps of Engineers had certified that the buildings were safe to occupy. The building department had also deemed the buildings safe to occupy through their “green-tag” process.
I think that the CRA had an ulterior reason, hidden from the public, for their planned demolition. I suspect the real reason has to do with the transportation corridors and the new proposed Exposition Line nearby.
I mention the Ebony because I know from personal experience that what Carol writes is valid. I am against eminent domain for private gain, and I am equally against the methods and tactics that the CRA utilizes to take over the property belonging to others – people like Robert Blue and his neighbors, people like my father, Nick Stewart, who could not live after the CRA destroyed his life’s work. The reports and documents use by the CRA to support their redevelopment projects are a clever mixture of truth and contrived statements. Look beneath the surface and you will see a labyrinth of lies and deception.
Eminent Domain and Propaganda on Hollywood and Vine by Carol Knapp and Valarie Stewart- October 16, 2006
California Proposition 90 was created and will be on the November ballot to protect private property owners against eminent domain takings of this type.
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