Angelica

Angelica

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There’s never been a more exciting time to be in Inglewood. Construction is well underway on the $2.6 billion home of the Rams and Chargers. The Forum is bringing the music industry’s greatest talent to our city. Now, the L.A. Clippers are looking to build a new privately funded arena, practice center and related facilities in the City of Champions.

 

To start the process, we signed an exclusive negotiating agreement (ENA) identifying 80 acres for study – more than four times what the Clippers needed. Opponents claimed that the City was interested in taking people’s homes. Nothing could be farther from the truth. City officials simply identified an area for study to begin the process. As a result, we worked closely with the L.A. Clippers to bring about and approve a revised ENA that included a significantly smaller project site – one that excludes any private homes and churches.

 

With all this in mind, I need to call a time out. I am concerned about the harsh rhetoric and misinformation campaign being waged. I believe there are non-residents who, because of their own self-interests, are trying to stop or side-track the arena project before it gets started. Sadly, I suspect that some of these outsiders are the same individuals who advocated strongly to move the Lakers and Kings out of Inglewood in the first place.

 

The L.A. Clippers have told us they are committed to a public and transparent process for all discussions about the arena complex. We expect the team to host community meetings to hear directly from you. Rest assured, the people of Inglewood will have ample opportunities to voice their feelings on this project. What’s important to keep in mind is that the ENA is a starting place – the equivalent of a tip-off at the start of a basketball game.

 

Together, as the environmental review process transpires, the City Council, Inglewood residents and businesses will play an important role in influencing a project that will benefit our community.

 

We are in a time of transition with sports facility construction impacting some of us; however, in a few years the fruits of our labor will deliver much-needed increases in general fund revenue that will result in more robust city services. The L.A. Clippers’ new facility, while not yet approved by the City Council, would continue the tremendous economic boom to Inglewood. But, since the possibility of such a move was first announced in June, some residents and others have expressed concerns about what this arena project might mean for them.

 

As I indicated last month, the City Council’s first responsibility is to ensure the continued progress of our great city. This desire to control our own destiny means creating good-paying job opportunities for our residents. The Clippers will not just be building an arena in our city; they will be moving their permanent offices and facilities here, which means bringing year-round business operations to Inglewood. The arena project will also mean construction jobs, employment in security and concessions,too. Equally important, the arena will generate increased foot traffic for Inglewood’s restaurants, and retail stores. In sum, by building the LA. Clippers arena, our entire community benefits.

 

Inglewood has long been denied amenities and public benefits enjoyed by neighboring communities. We lack rail connectivity. We have been denied major retailers and corporate headquarters. Decades ago, the two professional sports team that brought pride and prestige to Inglewood were taken from us. We began turning this situation around with the Rams relocation plans. The L.A. Clippers’ proposed arena project is another positive development. Today is a new era in Inglewood. My colleagues on the City Council and I are focused on controlling our own destiny. We will create jobs.We will engineer economic opportunities. We will continue to build community pride.

 

I look forward to the coming months when the L.A. Clippers will begin hosting community meetings to share more information about their arena and related facilities. Later this year, I look forward to seeing what a state-of-the-art basketball-only arena will look like. Most of all, I look forward to exploring the many ways that building and operating a new team facility will benefit the hard-working men, women and children of Inglewood. 

By Veronica Mackey

 

Tuesday’s public council meeting focused primarily on the proposed L.A. Clippers Arena, and what it will mean for the future of residents.  The council approved an amended Exclusive Negotiations Agreement with the Clippers, which will reduce the size of the area being considered for development.   Inglewood Today’s cover story provides in depth coverage of that discussion.

 

Additionally, Mayor James Butts and members of the Inglewood City Council approved the following:

 

•A resolution to amend the Fiscal Year 2016-2017 budget to accept funds in the amount of $3,843,000 from Los Angeles World Airport

 

•Authorization of the mayor on behalf of the City, to enter into an Agreement with Becker Boards Small, LLC, to allow Super Graphic wall sign advertising on 4 exterior building walls at 2930 West Imperial Highway

 

•Authorization of the Mayor to sign permits for use of Inglewood Unified School District properties for the provision of the City’s After School Recreation Program 

 

•A Hold Harmless Agreement with Green Dot Public Schools to allow the Police Department to use their facility located at 3425 West Manchester Boulevard to conduct personnel training at no-cost

 

•A three-year agreement with Community Veterinarian Hospital to provide medical examinations and treatment for police canines  

 

•A resolution offering a reward up to $25,000 to any individual who provides information leading to the identification, apprehension, and conviction of the person responsible for the death of Christopher Palmer. 

 

•Award of a contract for the Fiscal Year 2016-2017 Sidewalk Replacement Project 

 

An agreement with Kane Ballmer & Berkman was approved for broad ranging legal advice, guidance, and representation to the City of Inglewood, Inglewood Successor, and the Inglewood Parking Authority.

Another agreement was approved with Men at Work LA Concrete, Inc. to provide various services in support of the modernization and security improvements at the Locust Street Parking Structure, located at 115 N. Locust Street. 

 

The Buxton Group, a consulting firm hired by the City. presented an economic development report on Inglewood retailers.  According to Buxton, about $169 million in revenue is leaving the area.  The highest leakage was found in furniture, specialty food and sporting goods. On average, 

consumers are willing to drive around 10 minutes to make purchases. The new stadium will enlarge Inglewood’s shopping area.  

 

To reduce the amount of money leaving Inglewood, a representative said, retailers need to know who consumers are, where they are coming from, and identify the best way to reach them (direct mail, email, social media, etc).  Butts said the report is “an effort by the City (for) retention of small local businesses.”  

 

The City of Inglewood granted Councilman Alex Padilla’s request to sponsor the 4th Annual District 2 Picnic and Chili Cook-off Event, to be held on Saturday, September 9, 2017, from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at North Park.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Steve Finley

The Los Angeles Rams and the Los Angeles Chargers stayed true to form in their preseason openers. The Rams and the Dallas Cowboys played a close defensive dominated game with Los Angeles winning the contest 13-10 last Saturday at the Los Angeles Coliseum. The Chargers looked good for the first few minutes of the game before being dominated by the Seattle Seahawks 48-17 last Sunday at the StubHub Center in Carson.

 

Both teams will play their second preseason game this weekend, when the Rams travel to Oakland to battle the Raiders at the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum at 7 p.m. and the Chargers take on the New Orleans Saints at the StubHub Center at 5 p.m. on Sunday.

 

The Rams’ first team offense came with second year quarterback Jared Goff completing three out of four passes, that helped his team score a touchdown.  The score occurred when receiver Robert Woods fumbled the ball into the end zone and receiver Cooper Kupp recovered it.

 

The Rams offense should improve with the addition of speedy receiver Sammy Watkins. “I’m definitely excited and honored to be here,” said Watkins last Saturday. “I really can’t wait to get started just learning the plays and being with the guys.” Watkins played for the Buffalo Bills the last few years. 

 

“We will take the win but there are certainly some things we need to clean up, but it was a great opportunity to get a win in front of our fans,” said Rams head coach Sean McVay after the game. 

 

McVay talked about the overall play of his team. “Our defense flew around and our special teams did a nice job but we have to take care of the football.”

 

The Chargers first team offense and defense looked outstanding but their second and third team players had problems keeping up with a good Seahawks team. “We have to stay on top of things but obviously we did not play well as a unit,” said Charger running back Melvin Gordon after the game.  

 

“We have to get better because you never know, God forbid someone might get injured but it all starts with the first team,” said Gordon.  

 

By Veronica Mackey

 

Prompted by rumors that some residents would be kicked out to make way for the proposed L.A. Clippers arena, attendance within Inglewood City Council Chambers was wall-to-wall. People lined up on Tuesday to take their turn at the mic.

 

Many received fliers from an organization called IRATE (Inglewood Residents Against Taking and Eviction), which claimed the City of Inglewood would use eminent domain to remove families living in the vicinity of the venue, near Century and Prairie, across from the new NFL stadium, currently under construction.  Hermosa Beach attorney Douglas Carstens, filed a lawsuit against Inglewood in July on behalf of IRATE.  

 

Mayor James Butts and council members approved an Exclusive Negotiation Agreement (ENA) with Clippers-controlled company Murphy’s Bowl LLC in June.  The agreement gives the Clippers 3 years to conduct feasibility studies, and decide whether to build an arena in Inglewood.  It is not an agreement to allow the Clippers to begin construction.  The vetting process includes an environmental impact report. Inglewood was paid or will be paid $1.5 million to provide City services connected with the project.  

 

Pressure from Inglewood renters and home owners has been mounting since the original ENA was signed.  It was heightened, in part, by a separate lawsuit (also filed in July) by Madison Square Garden, which owns the Forum. MSG has accused Inglewood of taking back city-owned property leased to the Forum under false pretenses, and using it to negotiate for the Clippers arena, which they see as a competing venue.

 

Since protests began, the City has taken steps to revise portions of the ENA.  The new wording specifically excludes residents and the Inglewood Southside Christian Church from eminent domain.  On Tuesday, the council approved the revised version, which will also reduce the 4-block area to 2 blocks. The site would include the arena, practice facility, team headquarters and parking.   

 

The affected area borders on Century Blvd. on the north, Prairie Ave. on the west, 102nd St. on the south and Yukon Ave. on the east.  The deal also includes about six acres of city-owned land along West 102nd St. and off Prairie Ave. The ENA was amended for the City of Inglewood, City of Inglewood as Successor Agency to the Inglewood Redevelopment Agency and the Inglewood Parking Authority.

 

A woman named Nicole said she is “concerned and excited” to have a stadium in Inglewood, but  “worried” that the City isn’t looking out for interests of residents. “It doesn’t look like our interests are prioritized.  It looks like it’s (about) money, and if you don’t have money, you don’t have a voice,” she said.

 

Construction of the football stadium—and possibly, a basketball arena—has, in part, boosted home values and rent prices. Residents are concerned they won’t be able to afford to remain in Inglewood. Rent control was a request repeated by several speakers. 

 

A man who calls himself “Brother Curry,” and who represents Uplift Inglewood, explained the group’s mission.  “We are a community coalition. We are for affordable housing and rent stabilization and rent control. We are for living wages.  But we don’t want jobs at the expense of our environment, our health or our community having what it deserves.  We are demanding that you use that land responsibly, and an arena is not responsible,” he told the council.

 

District 1 resident and business owner, Curtis Mitchell said:  “It’s outrageous that they (City) would get a lawsuit from an Hermosa Beach attorney, telling us they are representing a group in this city.  I looked it up on the website.  Who is this attorney paying all this money? If you are from Inglewood, why would you want to go against our city council?  I can’t believe Madison Square Garden would go out and try to stop (progress) in this community.  How can Madison Square Garden go on with this when they have made so much money?”

 

Chris Meany, partner at Wilson-Meany development firm, and contractor for the Hollywood Park Development surrounding the new football stadium, said, “Neither the City of Inglewood nor the L.A. Clippers (would) take action to take anyone’s home.  Since our project (began), we have seen new websites and fliers that say homes are being taken.  These are lies.  The L.A. Clippers would never participate in that.  It’s not who they are.” 

 

A woman made the point that “just because some people won’t be displaced, doesn’t mean people’s rent is not going to increase.  Unless we have a program that institutes citywide rent control we’re not going to have people living here.  We have to address this is going to affect people, working class and low income people.”

 

While protestors claim the ENA amendment is a victory, Butts said amendments to negotiations agreements are common as a project move along.  Reducing the size of the study area was a major factor in the revision. 

A Clippers representative explained the team’s position.  “The Clippers would play 40-50 home games a year. We think Inglewood would be a great home.  The ENA identified 88 acres, but 88 acres is 4 times more than we would need.  The reduced study area is still bigger than we want or need.”

 Carstens told the L.A. Times that the new ENA still leaves open the possibility of displacing local businesses, and would still have a significant impact on residents in the immediate area. 

"Even without displacing resident owners or a church, there could still be a significant disruption of long-established businesses and apartment dwellers, and the significant impacts to everyone of the large arena complex next door," Carstens wrote in an email.

The conversation about eminent domain morphed into a discussion on other possible uses of the land.  School improvements are a top priority.

 

“I don’t think we need another stadium.   Our kids are struggling to live in the neighborhood,” a long time resident said.

 

“People want to see more money going toward public schools,” Aldene Sligh said. 

 

Another woman said conditions at her child’s school are deplorable. “The bathroom was dirty on the first day of school. That needs to be taken care of before anything else gets to be addressed.”

Butts said the city has no authority over the school district, and is not allowed to turn over tax payer’s money to Inglewood schools. Further, the FAA won’t allow residences or schools to be built on the property because it is located in a flight path.  Portions of the land have lied unused for 25 years

 

Council members weighed in on public comments at the close of the meeting:

 

“We always look at what is in our city’s best interest.  We said early on that we have no intention of displacing folks,” Councilman Alex Padilla said.

 

Councilman Ralph Franklin, whose district would house the new arena, said: “There have been a number of developers wanting to come to the site.  We now have a much needed chance (to remove) blight in our community.  I’m looking forward to this project moving forward.”

 

Councilman Eloy Morales, a 40-year resident, said:  “We don’t plan on using eminent domain on any resident or any churches, period.”  

 

Morales recalled how Inglewood voters blocked Walmart from building a superstore on the same site.  “Had they won, we would not be having this conversation at all.  Folks who lived in Inglewood would not still be here...The lack of housing is not unique to the city of Inglewood.  This is a conversation that needs to be had throughout the state of California…We did what the City of Los Angeles failed to do—get a stadium built. This is a part of our success, not our failure.  One thing we cannot do is to apologize for our success.”

 

“This discussion falls into the realm of ‘are you kidding me?’  Attorneys have to convince you, they have to convince us, we shouldn’t be able to use that land that has sat there for 25 years, generating no tax revenue, generating no jobs,” Butts said.

 

“We haven’t done anything wrong.  There is no prohibition to keep us from exploring our options…We’re arguing over whether we’re going to build another arena and employ 500-600 more people? Are you kidding me? This is the transfer of wealth people, and two things men won’t give up on—that’s money and power.  The opposition has a difficult task because they have to convince you to run away from prosperity.” 

 

Inglewood May Host 2026 World Cup

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Inglewood is being considered as a potential host city for the 2026 FIFA World Cup soccer tournament, according to sources.

 

The still-under-construction stadium and future home of the L.A. Rams and L.A. Chargers is in the running, along with Pasadena’s Rose Bowl and the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.  The venues are being looked at, organizers said, as part of a joint bid by the U.S., Mexico and Canada.

 

Forty-four North American cities were asked to declare if they want to be part of the hosting bid. Cities that respond by September 5, in favor of hosting, will be included in a review process and a short list will be developed by late September.  

 

If good fortune continues, Inglewood could add World Cup to its growing list of achievements in sports.  So far, Inglewood has beat out Los Angeles, St. Louis, and San Diego as the NFL’s pick to house the Rams and Chargers; won the bid to host the Super Bowl in 2022; and will host the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2028 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles.  The city is shaping up to once again live up to its nickname as the “City of Champions.”

 

If Inglewood makes the first round of cuts, it will be among 20-25 venues to be included in the final hosting bid to soccer’s governing body, FIFA.  Bid officials said they anticipate at least 12 cities to ultimately be chosen as official host cities.

 

Stadiums are required to have at least 40,000 seats to host early “group stage” matches, and at least 80,000 seats to host the opening match and the final.

 

Although Inglewood’s stadium won’t open until 2020, plans show the $2.6 billion venue has some impressive features and benefits such as 70,000-seats—including 250 luxury suites and 20,000 club suites—enclosed by a roof, made of transparent glass, which allow for natural lighting; is freeway close and just minutes away from LAX.

 

John Kristick, United Bid Committee executive director, said response to request letters has been great, and that commitment shown by host cities to the sport of soccer “will make a positive contribution to our communities and the world.”   

 

Cities selected will be submitted to FIFA next year, and a decision will be made next June.  The North American bid faces competition from Morocco.

 

 

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