You may have noticed there was a pop up when you checked in. The pop up is a one-question survey I hope you take. But first ...

One of the really positive things that I hope will come out of The Santa Barbara Plaza project is that we did this as a community.

We had volunteers who came on with the knowledge that they would get nothing if we didn’t raise money through Spot.Us. It was for the community. And we wrote, compiled, videotaped and mapped the definitive story on this 20-acre decrepit shopping center also known as Marlton Square. And people with websites all over Los Angeles took note. Maybe it will help. At least many of us know more than we did.

That has led Spot.Us to ask for more stories about our communities, about Los Angeles, about our health, our neighborhoods, the way we live our lives.

Well that’s exciting.

I quickly made a list of things I’d like to know more about, talked to Anh Don at Spot.Us and we chose these topics:

• Fast Food Ban - Even though zoning laws are used to keep auto mechanics and adult bookstores out of some areas, employing land use to change people's eating habits has been excoriated (usually only by those who don't live in the affected South LA areas. No one wants another McDonald’s by their house). It's been in place for a year (or two) and is set to expire soon (though I hear it will be be extended until a new zoning plan is adopted?). What did it do? Will it affect future building?

• Alleys - Transforming unsued abandoned alleys from crime and dumping magnets into green, gathering spaces. There is like a hundred miles of unused alleys in LA, mainly in older parts of the city lacking parks.

• Role model - South Los Angeles has had more than its share of millionaires over the years - Darryl Strawberry, Paul Pierce, Venus and Serena Williams, Len Dykstra, Keyshawn Johnson. But there's seems so little commercial investment in the community. Only Magic Johnson has tried it - and he's been super successful. His movie theater (closed for renovation), TGI Fridays, Starbucks and 24-hour fitness are always packed. Why haven't others followed?

Then I thought, let’s ask the community.

Tell me which of these three stories you’d like to know more about. If you have ideas for future stories tell me about that, too.

So that's why there is a pop up. But also feel free to leave a comment.

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Comment by enhager on December 26, 2010 at 11:29am
Thanks for all your suggestions - just in case you didn't catch it, we did the story on commercial investment in South LA. We talked to reps from Keyshawn Johnson, Fresh and Easy, the mayor's office and many more - http://www.leimertparkbeat.com/profiles/blogs/urban-economy-411-des...
Comment by Susan on September 20, 2010 at 7:05am
I'd go with #3 as well, but maybe broaden it to discuss not only private investment, but also public investment in the community. It would be nice to get some kind of breakdown about how much this area is getting in terms of new schools, investment in existing schools, etc. And, with regard to private investment how much redevelopment support there is for it, say in relation to downtown Los Angeles, where investors seem to be getting lots of amazing breaks and financing.
Comment by Bigger Than Your Block on September 19, 2010 at 6:06pm
I'd also like to know why more folks aren't investing in our communities. #3.

PEACE,
Shay Olivarria
Comment by Sapphire on September 17, 2010 at 9:53am
"• Role model - South Los Angeles has had more than its share of millionaires over the years - Darryl Strawberry, Paul Pierce, Venus and Serena Williams, Len Dykstra, Keyshawn Johnson. But there's seems so little commercial investment in the community. Only Magic Johnson has tried it - and he's been super successful. His movie theater (closed for renovation), TGI Fridays, Starbucks and 24-hour fitness are always packed. Why haven't others followed?"
~
For the same reasons that many other high end companies are not in the community!

My soap box has always been to invest in your own community! Bring those beautiful stores/services to your own community! This is not to say that you should not invest in other areas, however also invest in your own communities, or at least the communities you grew up in!

Don't know about Magic and the theatre, I heard he sold out a while ago.

My choice would be # 3.

Good luck~
Comment by Rebecca Schoenkopf on September 17, 2010 at 6:33am
They're all good! But I'd go with the lack of commercial investment, number three.

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