As reported on the Curbed LA website (la.curbed.com). One comment on the story caught my eye. Now it’s not just NIMBY it’s NUMBY (not under my back yard). For those of you not familiar with Los Angeles and Beverly Hills there is no space between the two. You have to watch the signs carefully to know you have entered Beverly Hills.
Here’s how the lead story begins in this week’s Beverly Hills Courier (“the Newspaper of Record for the World of Beverly Hills”): “Add terrorism to the list of woes future Beverly Hills High School students may have to deal with if the L.A. Metropolitan Transportation Authority doesn’t shift course on plans to run two subway tunnels beneath the City’s only high school.” Terrorism was actually added to the “list of woes” years ago, when Beverly Hills first began its rabid and expensive campaign to kill the Purple Line subway project (or at least change its course so it wouldn’t run under Beverly Hills High School), but it became front page news for them again yesterday when Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi told reporters that there was “an imminent ISIS plot against United States and Paris subways,” as CNN described it. “Imminent” means “happening soon.” Construction on the Purple Line Extension is just beginning and will not arrive in Beverly Hills for years; the portion of the subway running through Beverly Hills is set to open in 2026.
The Courier, a frequent ally of the Beverly Hills Unified School District and Beverly Hills City Council in the war against the Purple Line, goes on to misrepresent the facts regarding the safety of Metro’s planned subway route and to imply that the billion-dollar subway route has been shaped purely for the benefit of a single Century City developer. The school district has spent $3 million in school repair funds to fight the project; together with the city, four lawsuits have been filed to stop the train (with one already lost). The city also stalled on issuing permits for work on the first section of the Purple Line, which extends just to the city limits.
Anyway, now that you have the backstory, please enjoy some Hall-of-Fame-Level, completely hypothetical Thinking of the Children from BHUSD Superintendent Gary Woods: “The symbolic nature of a school holding our children, our hopes and dreams for the future, if that is attacked, in essence they’re attacking the core of our being, of our culture.”
And this logical gem from Board of Education President Noah Margo: “By [building a subway tunnel underneath BHHS], we may then be eligible to join an elite group of international cities with easily accessible targets that will result in larger catastrophes. In this case, our student population … In the mind of a terrorist, placing a subway directly under a high school is like pushing a baby stroller into rush hour traffic.” That’s Beverly Hills, vigilantly fighting to keep Los Angeles from the terrible fate of becoming an elite international city.