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Last week’s big announcement that the Los Angeles Clippers are considering a move to Inglewood created a firestorm of media attention.  If successful, the Clippers would be the third professional sports franchise to call Inglewood home within 10 years.  


Speculation is spreading like wild fire, and already has residents and business owners thinking how the move would impact their future.   What exactly will a move by the Clippers mean for those who live and work in Inglewood now and in the future? 


The first thing to remember is the Clippers still have a 7-year commitment to play at Staples Center.  The Exclusive Negotiating Agreement (ENA) between the City of Inglewood and Los Angeles Clippers signed last week enables the team to pursue development of a state-of-the-art NBA arena.  


"It's (ENA) a promise to explore where a relationship will go," Mayor James Butts told Eyewitness News.  By the end of the three-year agreement, construction drawings should be ready.  Butts said he expects the arena to be built within five years. "This, to me, changes the center of gravity in Los Angeles County to Inglewood," he said.


The proposed basketball arena would seat between 18,000 to 20,000 fans and would be located between Prairie and Yukon Avenue, south of Century Boulevard. Much of the land is owned by the City of Inglewood.  Some of the parcels have lied vacant and unused for as long as 30 years.  


Here are additional facts about the project, based on frequently asked questions, and issued by  the Clippers organization:


How much will the Clippers new basketball arena cost?


The Los Angeles Clippers and the City of Inglewood have just entered the three-year ENA period. A cost estimate is premature at this time.


How would the Los Angeles Clippers’ pay for the arena?


The new arena would be 100 percent privately funded and privately capitalized. No public dollars will be used for this project.


Why are the Clippers making this decision now? 


[The] announcement simply gives the team options for the future. The Los Angeles Clippers current lease with Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) at STAPLES Center expires in 2024, seven years from now. Putting a new project site together, conducting environmental review, obtaining permits and constructing a new arena takes time – approximately six to seven years. 


What is the process now that the Inglewood City Council has passed the ENA?


The ENA establishes a timeline and framework for the development, analysis and entitlement of the planned basketball facility. The Los Angeles Clippers will propose the specific site boundary, program and building forms of the proposed development. The City of Inglewood will then analyze the various impacts that the proposed development might have on the community, including both environmental review and fiscal impact.


Will the Clippers go to the ballot box, like Stan Kroenke did for his football stadium, or will they utilize the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) process to review the project?


The Los Angeles Clippers plan to engage in the City’s environmental review process. We estimate that this CEQA review will take approximately two years. It is an open, public and transparent process. 


Who is responsible for paying the costs associated with the City of Inglewood’s review?


The Los Angeles Clippers will pay all the costs to plan, entitle and develop the proposed facility. Upon signing the ENA, the Los Angeles Clippers paid the City of Inglewood $1.5 million, which will fund the City’s administrative costs. If additional funding is required, the Clippers will provide the necessary resources.


How will Inglewood residents and business owners benefit from the basketball arena?


The Los Angeles Clippers are committed to working with Inglewood residents and businesses to develop a premier basketball facility that will create a tremendous sense of pride, an economic engine and a source of employment opportunities in Inglewood and the greater Los Angeles community.







By Veronica Mackey


The Washington Post reported late on Wednesday that President Donald Trump is now under investigation in the Senate probe on Russian meddling in the U.S. election. Robert Mueller, Special Counsel in the investigation, said the president is being investigated for possible obstruction of justice.  


Questions about possible obstruction by the president arose last week when former FBI Director James Comey testified that Trump indicated he wanted him to drop the investigation of former national security advisor Gen. Michael Flynn.  Trump later fired Comey.


According to Comey, the president pulled him aside and said, “I hope you can let this go.”


Comey also testified that he told Trump that he was not personally under investigation.   However, Trump’s comments to Comey about dropping the investigation on Flynn, after asking members of his staff to clear the room, raised Mueller’s suspicions.


Earlier reports that the president was considering firing Mueller, who has not yet testified to the Senate, have been put to rest by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.  Rosenstein said he is the only person who could fire Mueller, and would only fire him for “good cause.”


A statement from the White House condemned the leak, calling it “outrageous” and “illegal.”


Meanwhile, Politico reports that nearly 200 House and Senate Democrats plan to sue the president, claiming he is breaking the law by refusing to relinquish ownership of his real estate, while it continues to profit from business with foreign governments. 


All of this, by the way, happened on Wednesday, June 14th, President Trump’s 71st birthday.





L.A. Clippers Moving to Inglewood?

Thursday, June 15, 2017

On Wednesday, the Inglewood City Council voted to enter into an Exclusive Negotiating Agreement (ENA) with the Los Angeles Clippers to pursue the development of a state-of-the-art NBA arena.  


The 20-acre parcel, located on Prairie Avenue, south of Century Blvd., may become the Clippers’ permanent home.


The ENA establishes a three-year timeframe, during which the Clippers will develop the details of its proposed basketball facility. The City of Inglewood will evaluate the impacts of the construction and operation of that proposed facility.  The site will likely include a state-of-the-art NBA arena, a training facility and team office space.


“Today’s decision by the Inglewood City Council is another win for residents and businesses in the City of Ingleood, and for sports fans throughout the greater Los Angeles area,” Inglewood Mayor James Butts said.  


Gillian Zucker, president of business operations for the Clippers, said, “Since the day he purchased the Los Angeles Clippers, Steve Ballmer  has been committed to giving our players, coaches, staff and fans the best experience on and off the court … going so far as to say ‘We will do whatever necessary to provide our fans and their families the best game-night experience in the NBA.’ Today, we have taken an important step toward that commitment.”


The proposed project will be 100 percent privately funded, no tax payer dollars will be used. The environmental review process will take approximately two years to complete.  The Clippers’ seven-year lease with Staple’s Center will not expire until 2024.


Upon project approval, the Los Angeles Clippers will purchase, from the City and related municipal entities, the site proposed for the development. As required by law, the land’s purchase price will be the fair market value, as appraised based on its current zoning.


Upon signing the ENA, the Los Angeles Clippers paid the City of Inglewood $1.5 million, which will fund the City’s administrative costs. If additional funding is required, the Clippers will provide the necessary resources.


Zucker emphasized that the Clippers organization and City of Inglewood are “still very early in the evaluation process.  We believe it will take two years to proceed through the City’s environmental review.  And, for the next seven years, Staples Center will continue to be our home.”  


Zucker said the agreement gives the team “options for the future.”  According to a written statement, the announcement does not does not indicate that the Los Angeles Clippers are leaving Staples Center. Rather, the announcement is about keeping the team’s options open. According to a statement, “Staples Center is a great building, but if you look around the NBA, there are newer and greater buildings that are optimized for basketball.”


Easily accessible from the 405 and 105 Freeways, and minutes from LAX, Inglewood “is in the middle of everywhere,” Butts said.  He added, “As we’ve proven during the last couple of years, the City of Inglewood is one of the most dynamic communities in the greater Los Angeles area.”


If the Clippers do make Inglewood their permanent home, the new arena will be within walking distance from the Forum and the new NFL stadium (currently under construction), which will house the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers.




How the West Won

Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Golden State Warriors brought the NBA Championship (and bragging rights) back to the West Coast Monday, closing out the season against the Cleveland Cavaliers, who beat them last year.  The Oakland-based team beat their East Coast rivals 129-120, in decisive Game 5.  Kevin Durant was named MVP, scoring 39 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists.


This NBA Finals game was watched by more than 25 million viewers on ABC, wrapping up the most-viewed series since Michael Jordan's last title in 1998, according to Nielsen.




Leroy Fisher, 77, longtime Inglewood resident and former City Council candidate, was arrested June 6 on suspicion of trying to molest a minor, according to a source.  


A regular attendee at Inglewood City Council meetings, Fisher ran unsuccessfully for a seat in Council District 1 in March 2017.


Fisher was taken into custody by Inglewood Police detectives and Special Enforcement team personnel in City Hall after last week’s meeting adjourned. 


According to a source, Fisher allegedly tried to solicit a minor child to get into his car.  An eye witness gave his license plate number to police.


Fisher was booked into the city jail without incident, and held on a $26,000.00 bond.  After booking, he bonded out of jail and was released pending his initial appearance in Superior Court.  




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