May 24, 2007
Briefs: Spielberg to press Hu Jintao on Darfur; U of California vs. Shabbat; Weiss recall effort kicks off
(Page 2 - Previous Page)For more information, contact Barri Worth of Assemblyman Lloyd E. Levine's district office, (818) 904-3840, or e-mail Barri.Worth@asm.ca.gov.
Group Wants Recall on Councilman Weiss
Two years can't come quickly enough for a group of Westside residents who announced Tuesday a formal recall drive against Los Angeles Councilman Jack Weiss.
Weiss, who has stated he will leave office in 2009 to run for city attorney, was accused at a Rancho Park news conference of ignoring traffic-choked constituents in favor of pro-growth developers.
"It is time that we have a council member who puts constituents' interests ahead of personal political gain and developers' profits," said Mike Eveloff, spokesman for the group, which calls itself Recall Jack Weiss.
The group also recently launched the site http://www.recalljackweiss.com, which features a smiling Weiss wearing a cartoon hardhat with a dollar sign on it and holding a sign that states: "Expect heavy traffic congestion and delays!! I'm making lots of deals that are going to add to your gridlock."
Larry Levine, Weiss' political consultant, said the recall effort is not about residents' rights, but about who controls infrastructure funds set aside by developers, including $5 million from the JMB project in Century City. The residents now involved with the recall wanted complete control of that money; Weiss defeated that effort.
With his district ranging from Sherman Oaks to Cheviot Hills and east to Fairfax, the battle is pitting Jew against Jew. Weiss' backers have defended the Fifth District councilman as a force in neighborhood zoning battles and a strong supporter of Israel.
The recall group needs to gather about 23,000 valid signatures, or 15 percent of District Five registered voters, to initiate a recall election.
-- Brad A. Greenberg, Staff Writer
BYU Reopens Jerusalem Center
After a seven-year hiatus, Brigham Young University has reopened its Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies.
Since 1968, BYU, the flagship institution of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, had sent Mormon students to the center. The center was closed to students at the outbreak of the second intifada, but in January it reopened to 44 students; another 88 are about to begin courses there, and 88 more plan to arrive in the summer.
"Many of us who care about Jerusalem have been saying, 'Haba'ah B'yerushalayim,' Next year in Jerusalem," Mark Paredes, director of the church's Jewish relations committee, said this month at an event at the Israeli consulate with Consul General Ehud Danoch. "Well, it is next year."
The Jerusalem Center was created to allow students to learn about Abraham and Isaac and their descendants in a land Mormons also consider holy. The Mormon Church, which was founded during Passover in 1830, has had good relations with Jews and has supported the Jewish state.
"The establishment of the nation of Israel is indeed the fulfillment of prophecy," said church spokesman Keith Atkinson. "To study the Jewish people in their homeland ... is truly a sacred privilege."
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