L.A. in economic shambles but can spend $1 million for a parade?
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"We're looking at massive layoffs and pay cuts and serious reductions in services and we just don't believe the taxpayers should be paying for a parade when the Lakers, a for-profit enterprise, are quite capable of funding the whole thing," said a spokesman for the organization.Skip to next paragraph
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Change of heart
Mysteriously, Villaraigosa has changed his mind. Perhaps it's that governor's race coming up. No, he hasn't formally announced he's running and there's talk now he may not run. But if he did, it might just be tough to explain the parade to the millions of California citizens who aren't Lakers fans.
He's not shutting down the parade. He's just looking into financing the costs to the city in alternative ways. Like through donations.
The LA Times reports this morning that he's found some.
"Sources told The Times that two media executives and several other people stepped forward to help the city pay for its share of Wednesday's scheduled parade celebrating the Lakers' 15th championship," reads the LA Now blog.
"Nearly half of the $900,000 the city needs to provide for police and traffic control has been donated by Casey and Laura Wasserman, Jerry and Margie Perenchio and others, said sources close to the Lakers."
While spending $1 million in taxpayer dollars on a parade while the city is falling apart may seem outrageous, at least there is some sanity in L.A. City officials concede that serving booze at 11:00 AM might just be a bad idea. So, they're nixing the alcohol.
"In the interests of a wholesome and safe celebration of the Lakers' championship victory, the Coliseum will not sell any alcoholic beverages during Wednesday's victory rally at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum," said county Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, chairman of the Coliseum Commission.
Villaraigosa has a press conference scheduled this afternoon with Lakers player Derek Fisher and the L.A. Police Chief.