December 27, 2012
Welcome to our 3rd Annual Year in Review. As you’ll see from the many stories linked below, 2012 provided us with plenty of memorable moments to cheer—and a few that remind us of the long road ahead for the county as it grapples with some of our most persistent social problems. Throughout the past 12 months, I’ve been heartened by our sense of collective purpose, one that seems at odds with the differences we’re too often told divide us. It seems to me that, whether the issue is homelessness, public health, or even coping with construction on the 405, we’re able to pull together to make things happen. Now it’s on to 2013. I wish you and your loved ones a great new year. Thanks for reading and, as always, feel free to contact me at zev@bos.lacounty.gov.


Coming together, big time
The Rock
Something special happened this year. We were drawn together in a series of spectacular events that demonstrated our desire (need?) to join in communal experiences that transcend our many differences. By the thousands we turned out to watch "The Rock" roll along on its way to LACMA, to witness the final sky-and-street journey of the shuttle Endeavour, to jump on our bikes (or to lace up our walking shoes) for CicLAvia and to gather in L.A.’s beautiful new public space, Grand Park. Here’s hoping for more chances to come together in 2013.
Grand Park   CicLAvia   Endeavour  


The year in transportation
Expo Line
In this town, you’ve gotta have connections, and we now have two important new ones: the Expo Line and the Orange Line Extension. There also were new systems to learn, with the opening of L.A. County’s first ExpressLanes and the widespread introduction of TAP cards for transit riders. Meanwhile, the 405 Project moved closer to completion with work on the Wilshire flyover ramps, the reopening of the Sunset Bridge and a happy ending to Carmageddon II.
405 project   ExpressLanes   TAP cards  


Living well
A new bike plan
From more walkable sidewalks to better bicycling in car-crazy L.A., wellness made its way into the county’s infrastructure. Supervisors approved our first new bicycle plan since 1975 and a new pedestrian coordinator strode into town. Public health officials, meanwhile, launched a supersized campaign against obesity, while inspectors began enforcing new health rules for tattoo and piercing parlors. And, as voters approved a law requiring condom use on porn sets, the county named a winner in its condom package contest to boost awareness of safe sex.
Tattoo parlor health rules   Obesity campaign   L.A.’s walking czar  


Confronting challenges
Jail commission
Two of the county’s biggest tests came in the realm of law enforcement. The Board of Supervisors created a blue-ribbon panel to probe deputy brutality in the jails, while probation officials confronted daunting new responsibilities monitoring former state prison inmates. Supervisors also installed new leadership in the troubled Department of Children and Family Services and appointed a temporary replacement for the county’s criminally-charged assessor. On a more upbeat note, an array of county agencies finally came together for a concerted attack on chronic homelessness.
Assessor troubles   Blueprint for homelessness   Probation’s new responsibilities  


Some bright ideas
More starry nights
Los Angeles County took the plunge into electronic voter registration, with thousands clicking to make their voices heard in a crucial election year. The county’s Annual Report went digital for the first time, too, and innovative employees put their best foot forward with an array of prize-worthy projects. A dark skies ordinance took aim at light pollution in rural areas and plans were hatched to create a giant working water wheel on the L.A. River. Pre-fab housing came to Skid Row, and the ambitious anti-homelessness campaign known as Project 50 proved it saves money as well as lives.
Prize-worthy county projects   Voter registration innovations   Groundbreaking Skid Row housing  


Repeating history
A look back at county beach vehicles
The county’s iconic Hall of Records and LACMA’s fabled Docent Council both hit the Big Five-Oh this year, and the bookworms partied hearty as the County of Los Angeles Public Library celebrated its centennial. Meanwhile, as they have done for 46 years now, the El Cariso Hot Shots marked the deadly Loop Fire that claimed the lives of a dozen firefighters near Sylmar. And the acquisition of some county lifeguard trucks sparked a look back at a century of classic county beach vehicles.
LACMA docents celebrate 50 years   The brave El Cariso Hot Shots   A century of county library service  


New in town
Topanga library
Libraries filled with art, light, and, yes, books, opened their doors in Topanga and Malibu, while a new visitor center put down roots in the Santa Monica Mountains. The Hollywood Bowl’s bright and stylish bathrooms received ovations and a new gym and community center was cheered on at El Cariso Park. Kids awaiting placement in foster care got a cozy, comforting place to hang out.
Santa Monica Mountains Visitor Center   New Hollywood Bowl restrooms   A new place for children awaiting foster care placement  


2012 video highlights
Arthur J. Will Memorial Fountain
An historic county fountain put on a magical and colorful nighttime show as it splashed to life after a lengthy renovation in downtown’s new Grand Park. Artist Kent Twitchell gave us a sneak peak at the compelling murals he’s crafting for the lobby of Patriotic Hall, another county landmark being refurbished. The county bike plan team pedaled through cycling-friendly Long Beach. And the L. A. Philharmonic, with Zev as the featured narrator, created an inspiring “Lincoln Portrait” at the Bowl.
Lincoln Portrait   Cycling-friendly Long Beach   Muralist Kent Twitchell  


Zev in review
Saying no to the mayor’s race
When it came to big—even cosmic—issues, Zev had plenty to write about this year. He used the proud occasion of Curiosity’s touchdown on Mars to reflect on his lifelong fascination with space exploration. He praised the Supreme Court for upholding health care reform, a matter of high stakes in L.A. County, and he challenged the sheriff to implement dozens of crucial jail reforms. And, on a very personal note, he announced he would not enter the mayor’s race, dedicating himself instead to the final two years of his supervisorial term. To read all of Zev’s blog posts, click here.
Mars and beyond   Health care and the Supreme Court   Confronting brutality in the jails  


Reader photo faves
Avenue of the stars
From the beaches to the deserts, from the neighborhood farmer’s market to a world-famous favorite vacation spot, your photography brought an amazing range of inspiration, humor and charm to the "Picture this" feature on Zev’s award-winning website. Dogs ruled, as evidenced by the thousands of views of this popular album, and travel snapshots, nature photos and scenes of local landmarks also drew plenty of lookie-loos. Thanks for sharing what you saw around town and around the world this year, and keep those images coming in 2013. Click here to upload one now.
Max in Manhattan Beach   Santa Monica Farmer's Market   Sedona sunset  


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© 2012 Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors