Apr 262017

L.A. Commemorated Armenian Genocide

Tens of thousands of Armenians and their friends (including Los Angeles city’s leadership) marched on Monday outside the Turkish Consulate on Wilshire Boulevard in commemoration of the 102nd anniversary of the Armenian genocide.

The Armenian genocide took place between 1915 and 1918 (and again between 1920 and 1923) and resulted in a mass murder of one and half million Armenians living in Turkey. The Armenians were killed, tortured, exploited and starved to death.

Countries like France, Argentina, Greece and Russia have officially recognized the Armenian Genocide. The Republic of Turkey till today’s day denies that a genocide was committed against the Armenians. (During the Monday’s march the Turkish flag and a statement denying the genocide were flown above Los Angeles.)

Even though evidence against Turkey has been gathered and recorded by Great Britain, Germany and America – the countries who were trying to save surviving Armenians – at the time, Turkey was never formally admonished, forced to either return the Armenian land it occupies or pay restitution to the genocide victims’ descendants. (To learn more visit: http://www.armenian-genocide.org)

A genocide or holocaust is the pragmatic extinction of a nation or ethnic group. It is a crime against humanity. It always begins with the government creating unjustified fear and hatred of such a group by the society at large which often incites violence and hate crimes.

Remembering and honoring victims of the Armenian Genocide and the Jews murdered in the Holocaust is of utmost importance always. Perhaps even more so today when our new administration – which has attempted to introduce nationality and religion-based travel ban – is prosecuting Mexican nationals living in the United States: detaining and deporting individuals without criminal records and even protected by the Dream Act; tearing apart families and separating mothers from their children. Singling out any ethnic group or nation for prosecution of any kind is inhumane. Historically, it has led to mass tragedies.

We cannot allow history to repeat itself: anywhere, ever. It is our moral responsibility to recognize warning signs and prevent discrimination and prosecution based on nationality, ethnicity or religion.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti made a statement:

“I stand today with survivors of the Genocide, the Armenian Diaspora in Los Angeles, and people throughout the world to remember a great suffering. We stand together in our conviction that the horrible wound opened in 1915 can only be healed through full and unqualified acknowledgement of the truth.

Today’s commemoration is about more than remembering one of the lowest moments in world history. It is a time to reflect on and admire the strength and perseverance of the Armenian people — who for more than a century have inspired people everywhere by insisting on proper recognition, refusing to let their story be minimized, and demanding that their ancestors never be forgotten.

At a moment when the world is again confronted by unthinkable atrocities, we look to the Armenian people’s relentless pursuit of justice, and compassion for all who face oppression and seek refuge. We find hope in that example — and today we march arm-in-arm, lifting our voices to honor the 1.5 million Armenians who died, and stand up for those who face injustice everywhere.”

Anything L.A. Liberal Magazine’s Editor, E. Elrich




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Jun 082016


First Major Station Construction for L.A. Subway

In the latest L.A. County transit construction milestone, Metro is ready to begin building the Wilshire/La Brea underground station for the Metro Purple Line Extension Project. Beginning Friday night, June 10, portions of Wilshire Boulevard in the Miracle Mile area of Los Angeles will be closed during 22 consecutive weekends for a street decking operation. Residents and motorists are advised to plan ahead, follow street detours and allow extra time to get through the area.

Metro’s contractor Skanska, Traylor and Shea, a Joint Venture (STS) will excavate a portion of Wilshire Boulevard and replace it with concrete deck panels that will act as a temporary street surface while underground station excavation continues below. No decking work will be conducted during the regular work week or during the Fourth of July or Labor Day weekends. The work is part of Metro’s first major station construction for the $6.3 billion subway project that will extend the Metro Purple Line further west.

“Metro continues to transform transportation in L.A. County, and we’re now ready to begin building the first of three subway stations that will provide more Angelenos with fast, frequent, high-capacity transit service along Wilshire Boulevard – one of our region’s most congested corridors,” said Mark Ridley-Thomas, L.A. County Supervisor and Metro Board Chair. “We have planned this operation to be as least invasive as possible, and we ask for the public’s patience as we continue building a world-class transportation system for our county.”

The 22-weekend closure schedule will consist of three separate decking phases at Wilshire /La Brea. The first phase will comprise three weekend closures from Detroit Street to La Brea Avenue. The second phase will include three weekends at the La Brea intersection. The third and biggest phase will comprise 16 consecutive weekend closures from La Brea Avenue to Highland Avenue. Local access for businesses and residents will be maintained. Sidewalk access will be maintained with intermittent closures.

During each weekend, Wilshire Boulevard will be closed beginning 8 p.m. Friday evening and reopen by 6 a.m. Monday morning. Each phase of decking will have a different set of traffic plans, detour routes, and mitigations. Once complete, the concrete decking will allow traffic to continue to flow on the street while station construction occurs below ground.

To help motorists travel through the closure area, changeable message signs will alert motorists of detours in advance. Additionally, traffic control officers will be placed at intersections to help direct motorists.

The schedule of closures and detour routes are as follows:

Phase 1: Wilshire Boulevard, between Detroit Street and La Brea Avenue, will be closed for approximately three weekends. Wilshire Boulevard will be also reduced to one lane in each direction from Detroit Street to Highland Avenue on Fridays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Westbound Detour: Northbound La Brea Avenue to Westbound 6th St. to Southbound Fairfax Avenue to Westbound Wilshire Boulevard. Eastbound Detour: Northbound Fairfax Avenue to Eastbound 6th St. to Southbound La Brea Avenue to Eastbound Wilshire Boulevard.

Phase 2: The Wilshire/La Brea Avenue Intersection will be closed for approximately three weekends. Wilshire Boulevard, between Detroit Street and Highland Avenue, will also be reduced to one lane in each direction on Fridays from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. Westbound Wilshire Detour: Wilshire Boulevard to northbound Highland Avenue to westbound 6th Street to southbound Fairfax Avenue to westbound Wilshire Boulevard. Eastbound Wilshire Detour: Eastbound Wilshire Boulevard to northbound Fairfax Avenue to eastbound 6th Street to southbound Highland Avenue to eastbound Wilshire.

Phase 3: Wilshire Boulevard, between La Brea Avenue and Highland Avenue, will be closed for approximately 16 weekends. Wilshire Boulevard from La Brea Avenue to Highland Avenue will also be reduced to one lane in each direction on Fridays from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. Eastbound Detour: Northbound La Brea Avenue to Eastbound 6th Street to Southbound Highland Avenue to Eastbound Wilshire Boulevard. Westbound Detour: Northbound Highland Avenue to Westbound 6th Street to Southbound La Brea Avenue to Westbound Wilshire Boulevard.

The contractor will also conduct other work activities for the subway during the weekend closures to work as efficiently as possible.

Metro’s schedule of 22 weekend-only closures is supported by residents and businesses in the Miracle Mile area following Metro’s extensive community input process. More than 100 area meetings were held to guide community stakeholders through the upcoming operation.

The first section of the Metro Purple Line Extension Project now under construction will add nearly four miles of subway from the Wilshire/Western Purple Line Station west to Wilshire /La Cienega and include three new stations at Wilshire /La Brea, Wilshire /Fairfax and Wilshire /La Cienega. Construction of the first subway section began in early 2015. The first section is scheduled to be operational in 2023. Two subsequent sections are also planned that will add four more stations ultimately extending the subway to Westwood /VA Hospital by 2035 under current funding scenarios. Metro is pursuing alternate funding sources to accelerate this construction.

For questions or concerns related to this work or any Purple Line Extension construction activity, the public can call Metro’s 24/7 project hotline at (213) 922-6934. Alternately, they can email the project team at purplelineext@metro.net.

For more information about the Metro Purple Line Extension Project, visit metro.net/purplelineext.



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Sep 232014

Special Screenings, Live Discussions through February 2015

Hollywood Costume Exhibition In Los AngelesThe Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will complement the groundbreaking exhibition Hollywood Costume with a series of special screenings and live discussions exploring costume design as an essential tool of cinematic storytelling. Presented by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London and the Academy, Hollywood Costume will be on view October 2, 2014, through March 2, 2015, in the historic Wilshire May Company building at the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles. Visitors who purchase tickets to Hollywood Costume will receive free admission to Academy events held on the same day. Tickets are on sale now at www.oscars.org/HC. Hollywood Costume is sponsored by Swarovski.

Exhibition-related public programs include:

The Perfect Match: Hollywood Costume Collaborations
Saturdays, October 4 through December 20
This screening series explores the relationship specific Hollywood costume designers have developed with directors, whether over large bodies of work or in concentrated periods of creative collaboration, spanning the silent era to present day. A diverse range of costume designers will speak about their work with noted directors: Mary Zophres on Ethan and Joel Coen, Mark Bridges on Paul-Thomas Anderson, Marilyn Vance on John Hughes, Jeffrey Kurland on Woody Allen, and Deborah Nadoolman Landis on John Landis.