It's Friday, Nov. 19, at 4:45 p.m. I exit the westbound Ventura (134) Freeway and turn right onto Alameda Avenue. That was the easy part. I then had to turn left on to Avon to make my way to California Street.
Unfortunately, this took some time. A lot of time, in fact, because of the new freeway on-ramp that had traffic backed up for four blocks. After I was able to make my left turn, I made my way to Verdugo Avenue. After a right turn, I then needed to make another left turn on to Lima Street. This took even longer than my left from Alameda since the city thought oh so wisely to turn Verdugo from a two-lane in each direction street in to a one lane in each direction street in order to make room for never-used bike lanes.
Traffic on Verdugo Avenue was backed up from Hollywood Way all the way to Buena Vista. After I was finally able to make my left I thought I was able to coast home. But alas, no. Every street along Clark Avenue was blocked off to through traffic from Hollywood Way to Buena Vista, all because of some shindig on Magnolia Boulevard.
I couldn't turn left on Buena Vista because traffic was backed up all along that street as well because of all the road closures. I had to go 14 blocks out of my way just to get home.
Does any of the hierarchy in the Burbank government think about these small details before they decide to close roads, narrow roads or plan city functions? Absolutely insane.
Not the proper time for a bag ban
This past Tuesday, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted 3 to 1, with Supervisor Don Knabe absent, to ban plastic shopping bags in all markets and convenience stores in the county's unincorporated areas — home to 1.5 million residents.
I voted "no" on the ban based on the facts that it is not sound public policy, and it also only increases costs and regulations on the 1.5 million residents and the businesses residing in the county's unincorporated areas — and not the county's 88 cities. The mandated 10-cent-per-bag charge represents a new tax on the consumer.
At a time of economic uncertainty and with large numbers of businesses leaving our state, this is not the appropriate time in our efforts to clean up the environment to impose additional regulations on businesses, and an additional tax on consumers — many of whom don't have jobs today.
In place of draconian fees and regulations, educating our residents on the harm of illegally disposing their plastic bags can be effective in ensuring that these bags don't end up on our beaches, and in our rivers, parks and landfills.
Telling residents which bags they can use, cannot use, and how much they will be charged is Big Brother at its worst.
Editor's note: Antonovich is this district's Los Angeles County supervisor.