Monday, April 19, 2010

Obama Gets Smog Tour of L.A.



I work on the 30th floor of a high-rise office building in the Miracle Mile area of Los Angeles and this early evening had the chance to see President Obama's helicopter procession fly from LAX to the University of Southern California area where he will be speaking tonight as part of a fundraiser for Barbara Boxer and the Democratic National Committee at the California Science Center and later at a dinner event at the Natural History Museum.

But what struck me was that Marine One didn't land right away but circled around downtown and then headed toward Hollywood and circled around the Variety Building (where I work) and back to USC.

What Obama would have seen and what I can see from my office window is the "smog belt" that often tightens its pollution grip around the L.A. Basin. My hope is that the president noticed the very smoggy day here in The City of Angels and that it will make an imprint on the desperate need for cleaner air in Southern California.

With robust federal funding to help speed up Measure R transit projects in ten years instead of thirty, it will go a long way to giving Angelenos better air to breathe and a healthier, better quality of life for all the residents of this great city.

Update: Variety's Wilshire & Washington blogger Ted Johnson, who was unable to attend the closed-to-the-press event, reports that according to Los Angeles City Councilman Eric Garcetti, "Obama cited Boxer's support for hybrids and electric cars and called her a 'subcompact model, with an inexhuastible source of energy.'"




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