LOS ANGELES — Attorneys for the mother of a man
who died at the West Hollywood home of prominent Democratic donor Ed Buck in
2017 filed an amendment to her wrongful death lawsuit, alleging the political
fundraiser lured her son from Houston to Los Angeles for the purpose of
engaging in “commercial” sex acts, court papers obtained July 8 show.
The amended civil lawsuit accuses Ed Buck of
human trafficking and engaging in “revenge porn” by
making and sharing a video of his alleged “meth-fueled sexual encounters” with
The civil case was initially filed in Superior
Court but moved to federal court in May. Los Angeles
County District Attorney Jackie Lacey and Assistant Deputy District Attorney
Craig Hum are named as co-defendants for allegedly violating Moore’s civil
rights in their refusal to prosecute Buck.
Moore, 26, was the first of two men to die at
Buck’s West Hollywood apartment in less than 18 months.
He was found dead of a crystal meth overdose in Buck’s home on July 27, 2017.
The coroner ruled the death accidental.
On Jan. 7 of this year, a second man died of
methamphetamine toxicity at Buck’s home in the 1200 block
of Laurel Avenue. The death of Timothy Dean, 55, of West Hollywood was also ruled accidental.
Defense attorney Seymour Amster has denied that
his client — who allegedly was present at the location when both men died — had
any involvement in either death.
Prosecutors last summer declined to file charges
against Buck regarding Moore’s death, citing
insufficient evidence. As for Dean’s death, the District Attorney’s Office has
said that the death remains under investigation.
The July 3 amended complaint alleges that Buck “regularly
solicits sex from black men in exchange for
temporary housing and/or monetary compensation.”
Moore’s mother, LaTisha Nixon, said she and her
son had been living with her in Texas, but Buck bought
him a plane ticket to return to Los Angeles, which he did the day he died.
Buck has been a prominent donor to Democratic
candidates and office holders. He has also been active
in LGBTQ political circles and once ran for the West Hollywood City Council.
The lawsuit seeks damages against Buck on
allegations of wrongful death, human trafficking, sexual
battery, drug dealer liability, premises liability, negligence per se,
intentional infliction of emotional distress and hate violence.
In addition to seeking general damages, the
lawsuit also seeks an undetermined amount of punitive
damages and attorneys’ fees.
PARK — The Griffith Park Observatory has scheduled a series of events and
activities to mark the 50th anniversary of U.S. astronauts landing on the moon,
including a free-daylong event July 20 commemorating the day that man first
walked on the moon.
will begin July 13 with the launch of the Golden Moon Festival and a free star
party at 2 p.m. Following the party will be screenings of “Apollo 11” by CNN
Films at 4 and 7 p.m. Tickets for the screenings are $15 for members of the
Friends of the Observatory and $20 for non-members.
July 16, the anniversary of the launch day, will be marked with a free All
Space Considered presentation at 1 p.m. The presentation will be led by the observatory’s
curatorial staff and special guests in the Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon as they
look back at the historic space mission.
free panel discussion will be held at 7:30 p.m. July 17. “From California to
the Moon” details how the Southern California aerospace industry contributed to
the engineering and manufacturing of Apollo 11. The free panel discussion
includes former engineers Don Harvey and Jerry Elverum, who created the Lunar
Descent Engine that allowed the astronauts to land on the moon.
panel discussion will be held at 7:30 p.m. July 18. “The Once and Future Moon”
will examine the ups and downs of getting to the moon, as well as the future
exploration of the moon.
8 p.m. July 19, Friends of the Observatory host a screening of “Apollo 11” by
CNN Films followed by a rooftop party with refreshments and a chance to mingle.
Tickets are $50 for Friends of the Observatory members and $75 for non-members.
Walk on the Moon: Past, Present and Future” is a free all-day event July 20 with
presentations and activities taking place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Look Back at Apollo 11” is at 11 a.m., followed by “The Mysteries of the Moon”
at noon, “Man on the Moon: Hoax or No Hoax?” at 1 p.m., “Artemis and the Return
to the Moon” at 2 p.m. and “Our Future on the Moon” at 3 p.m.
journalist and author of “Moon Rush” Leonard David tells the story of how
nations and private industries are planning on heading back to the moon and
beyond at 7:30 p.m. July 21. Admission is free.
July 22, Griffith Observatory Director E.C. Krupp gives a presentation at 7:30
p.m. “Into the Blue” is part of the Cosmic Musings lecture series on the change
of perspectives into the vast blue planet known as Earth.
Golden Moon Festival concludes with the recap of the history of Apollo 11 with
All Space Considered while looking back at all the activities and presentations
from the festival at 7:30 p.m.
LOS ANGELES — Hollyhock House, architect Frank
Lloyd Wright’s 1921 modernist creation at Barnsdall Art Park in East Hollywood,
was named a UNESCO World Heritage site July 7, the first time modern American
architecture has been recognized by the United
Nations cultural organization.
The Hollyhock site is among eight works by Wright
that shared the designation. The others are Unity
Temple (1909, Oak Park, Illinois), the Frederick C. Robie House (1910,
Chicago), Taliesin (1911, Spring Green, Wisconsin), the Herbert and Katherine
Jacobs House (1937, Madison, Wisconsin), Taliesin
West (1938, Scottsdale, Arizona) Fallingwater (1939, Pennsylvania), and the
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (1959, New York).
“This designation as a UNESCO World
Heritage site underscores the significance
of Los Angeles’ rich history of modern architecture,” City Councilman Mitch
O’Farrell said. “Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House is a beloved masterpiece
locally, and now a treasure world-wide.”
“The inscription of this nomination marks the first modern
architectural cultural property designation not only in California, but the
United States. It has been a pleasure working with the Frank Lloyd Wright
Building Conservancy and all parties in our efforts to preserve and restore the
priceless cultural resources at Barnsdall Art Park — and our work continues.
“We are grateful to the National Park Service for recognizing that
our collaboration here at home enhanced this serial nomination,” O’Farrell
The building was constructed between 1919 and
1921 for oil heiress Louise Aline Barnsdall, who
donated it to the city in 1927. It is now owned
by the city of Los Angeles and operated by the Department of Cultural Affairs as
part of the art park, which also includes a gallery, theater, and year-round
The house was reopened to the public in 2015
after a three-year restoration.
The World Heritage Committee announced the new
additions to the list at its meeting in Baku,
Azerbaijan. The honor does not include any funding for preservation efforts,
but will likely result in a higher profile and greater tourist traffic.
“These sites are the best of the
best, and who wouldn’t want to part of
that club?” said Lynda Waggoner, a former director at Fallingwater, who led the
team that submitted the buildings for review. “They hold what is called by
UNESCO ‘outstanding universal value’ — value that transcends national borders
and is important to all of humanity.”
There are more than 1,000 World Heritage sites
around the world, but only 24 in the United States.
LOS ANGELES — City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell
called on the state to direct $1.2
billion toward the city’s battle against homelessness, matching the amount of a
voter-approved municipal bond measure aimed at attacking the problem.
“We need to augment our programs
and go beyond and push for 20,000 [supportive
housing] units or more,” O’Farrell said, adding that the city’s current goal of
10,000 units would not be enough to house Los Angeles’ homeless population.
“We need to double or triple that
amount if we’re really serious about solving
the homelessness crisis,” the councilman said in front of City Hall June 26. “We are working locally to reduce the
cost of Proposition HHH housing as well. We want to make more units more
quickly without sacrificing the quality of those units.”
Measure HHH was approved by Los Angeles voters in
2016, authorizing $1.2 billion in bonds to fund
supportive and affordable housing, along with other measures to address
O’Farrell, who chairs the council’s Homelessness
and Poverty Committee, said Los Angeles is the
only city in the state that has taxed itself to build supportive housing. He
said 1,400 units will be open by the end of the year and more supportive
housing units will be approved for construction soon.
Figures from the most recent Southland homeless
count found that more than 36,000 people are homeless in
the city of Los Angeles, an increase of 16 percent since last year. Countywide,
the homeless population jumped by 12 percent.
“These numbers … are depressing,
outrageous, mind-numbing,” O’Farrell said. “What we need is a paradigm shift in
our thinking and in our determination across all levels of government. We must
create a sustainable and robust system for addressing this crisis. It is the
challenge of our day.”
The councilman said the state needs to make
changes in the Ellis Act, which allows owners to opt out of
the rental market, and the Costa Hawkins Act, which restricts the
implementation of rent control ordinances in certain circumstances.
He also said the federal government needs to
participate in finding solutions to the problem.
O’Farrell said federal funding for homeless issues decreased from $55 million a
year in 2008 to $30 million in 2012, when the crisis was expanding. Recently
implemented federal tax policy may also be contributing to the city’s
increasing population, and officials are analyzing the effects of those
policies, the councilman said.
O’Farrell introduced several motions during the
June 26 City Council meeting, including a request to hold a homeless and
poverty summit, and another calling on the city to coordinate Housing
Department resources to find vacant units and house people faster.
Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority officials
said during the council meeting that based on the
2019 numbers, the county is housing people at a slower rate than people are
falling into homelessness.
“The heart of homelessness is the
inflow of people,” said Phil Ansell, director of the Los Angeles County
Homeless Initiative. “We have doubled the number of people moving into
permanent housing, while at the same time we had a 12 percent increase. On
average, 133 families escaped homelessness each day, but 150 people became
homeless per day.”
Ansell said if the city and county can move
people into permanent housing faster, they could rapidly
accelerate the process of moving people into interim housing. But he noted that
interim housing should not be viewed as the final solution to solving
WEST HOLLYWOOD — The city has been honored with the prestigious
National Civic League All-America City Award.
award, bestowed yearly on 10 cities from throughout the country, recognizes the
work of communities in using inclusive civic engagement to address critical
issues and create stronger connections among residents, businesses and
nonprofit and government leaders.
All-America City Award was presented at a ceremony concluding the National
Civic League’s three-day conference in Denver June 23. The conference provided
municipal thought-leaders with opportunities to connect and share insights with
peers, learn from national leaders and present the stories of their work to a
jury of nationally recognized civic leaders.
the weekend, 20 cities were invited to take part in the All-America
City competition represented by teams comprised of residents,
business leaders, nonprofit representatives and municipal employees to show off
what makes their approach to civic engagement stand out. Of those 20 cities,
West Hollywood was honored among 10 cities to receive the All-America City
not a surprise to me that West Hollywood took home an All-America City Award,” Mayor
John D’Amico said. “West Hollywood continues to build a strong culture of
engagement among residents, staff, and the City Council.
commitment to outreach to everyone including populations historically left out
of decision-making and to authentic communication programs means meaningful governing
can and does happen. “The City recognizes the importance of leveraging civic
engagement, collaboration, inclusiveness and innovation to successfully address
local issues and we will continue to implement new programs and protocols to
further strengthen and deepen our commitment to creating a city responsive to
the needs of the community.”
Hollywood has a strong commitment to engaging community members in a myriad of
ways and with a range of tools. A key focus of the city’s efforts has been the
inclusion of traditionally marginalized populations in decision-making
processes. West Hollywood has multiple boards, commission, and/or task forces
that strive to engage seniors, women, people living with HIV, transgender
people, gay and lesbian people and low-income residents.
city also prides itself on its trailblazing communications program, which aims
to authentically and creatively engage all residents. That has resulted in
dozens of national and local professional communications awards recognizing the
distinct approach and unparalleled effectiveness of the City’s Communications
its application and presentation, the city highlighted three project histories
demonstrating how it leverages civic engagement, collaboration, inclusiveness
and innovation to successfully address local issues. They included
• Russian-speaking population outreach. When West Hollywood became a city
in 1984, many
new immigrants from the former Soviet Union settled in the city and informal
efforts for the city to reach out to that community were often unsuccessful.
to break through the barrier, the city created the position of a Russian
outreach coordinator, and over time, more Russian-speaking staff were hired by
the city and in law enforcement. The city also created a Russian
Advisory Board to integrate the community into the city’s
advisory board and Russian-speaking staff members provide opportunities for
community members to present their concerns, start dialogue, hear what is
happening in the community and become involved in the programming of city
activities. The city has created multiple programs and events targeted to the
community, including Russian
Arts and Culture Month, year-round arts events and tributes and
memorials for Russian veterans and Holocaust survivors.
• LGBTQ Arts Festival. To complement the nearly 50-year
history of Christopher Street West’s LA Pride in West Hollywood programming
every June, the city developed its One
City One Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival, which produces 40 days of mostly
free events and art installations throughout the city.
festival runs from Harvey Milk Day on May 22 through June 30 each year, which
marks the end of Pride month. One City One Pride is
organized by the city of West Hollywood’s Arts Division with the participation
of the city’s Lesbian & Gay Advisory Board, Transgender Advisory Board,
Arts and Cultural Affairs Commission and community partners, and provides the
community at large with a series of arts, film, cultural, and social activities that
celebrate the creativity and diversity of the West Hollywood/Los Angeles LGBTQ
• West Hollywood Homeless Initiative. The West Hollywood Homeless Initiative addresses homelessness with a
multi-disciplinary, multi-agency, collaborative response.
youth and adults come to West Hollywood seeking safety and self-determination,
but sometimes they lack adequate support networks and end up without housing.
addition, West Hollywood has a significant population of older adults living
below the poverty line who are at risk of homelessness.
Hollywood Homeless Initiative, overseen by the city’s Strategic
Initiatives Division, works to address these issues. This collaborative effort
is led by city staff members, nonprofit social service providers, law
enforcement and Los Angeles County agencies.
LOS ANGELES — Southland elected officials and
immigration-rights activists hailed a U.S. Supreme Court ruling June 27 that
blocked a citizenship question on the 2020 Census.
“This ruling is a victory for an
accurate, comprehensive and complete census
count,” Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-Los Angeles, said.
“[President Donald] Trump is eager
to silence the voices of vulnerable populations
in our communities. That’s why he wanted a census citizenship question that
will dramatically undercount these populations.
“An accurate and complete 2020
Census is essential to ensuring our communities
receive the federal funds we need for countless critical programs, including
Medicare and Medicaid, school lunches, highway funding, housing assistance and
more,” she said. “While the court’s ruling is a victory for our nation, our
House Democratic majority will stay vigilant, and fight any further efforts to
sabotage a fair and accurate 2020 Census.”
In a ruling by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.,
who was joined by the court’s liberals, the court said the Trump administration
did not adequately explain its reason for adding the question. The ruling
included a direct rebuke to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who last year
decided to add a citizenship question to all forms
for the first time since 1950.
“Altogether, the evidence tells a
story that does not match the.explanation
the secretary gave for his decision,” Roberts said.
The court sent the matter back to a lower court
In January, U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman in
New York blocked the citizenship question and issued a
277-page opinion describing how Ross had failed to follow the advice of census
experts or explain his reasons for making a change that could lead to a severe
undercount. Judges in San Francisco and Maryland
handed down similar rulings.
The Supreme Court agreed to hear the
administration’s appeal in the case of
Department of Commerce vs. New York on a fast-track basis because the government
said it needed to begin printing census forms this summer.
On Twitter, Trump blasted the ruling.
“Seems totally ridiculous that our
government, and indeed country, cannot
ask a basic question of citizenship in a very expensive, detailed and important
census, in this case for 2020,” he wrote. “I have asked the lawyers if they can
delay the census, no matter how long, until the United States Supreme Court is
given additional information from which it can make a final and decisive decision
on this very critical matter.
“Can anyone really believe that as a great
country we are not able to ask whether or not someone is a citizen. Only in America!”
Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer said that
although the Trump administration has the ability to
provide in court a more robust reason adding the question, he said he doesn’t
think it will convince the court to overturn the ruling.
“This Supreme Court led by its
chief justice said … this was, essentially,
a contrived rationale, and so it’s been sent back for another rationale,” Feuer
said. “But here’s the thing: There is no other rationale. There is nothing else
going on here but an attempt to marginalize Latinos throughout the United
States to make sure their voices don’t count. That’s what this has been about
since the inception of this question.”
Several Los Angeles-area leaders gathered at
Grand Park in downtown to hail the ruling.
“Los Angeles County will continue
to collaborate with our tribal, city
leaders … and especially our school districts and many others to ensure everybody
is counted,” County Supervisor Hilda Solis said.
Solis was joined by members of CHIRLA, the NALEO
Educational Fund and the Advancement Project California
in praising the decision.
“In light of [the] Supreme Court
ruling, we all will stay determined and committed to a robust (census)
outreach,” Solis said. “This ruling, as you know, will impact the lives of our
Solis said undocumented residents without full
citizenship have been fearful of answering the question
because it would require them to disclose their immigration status. The court’s
decision comes just a few days after Trump pulled back the reins on another
immigration sweep in major cities.
Without an accurate census, it may be difficult
to receive federal funding for programs that can
serve the entirety of the need-based population, Solis said.
An undercount in the state could also lead to a
loss of representation in Congress.
Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent
Austin Beutner called the court’s ruling “the right
thing for public education.”
“The census is used to determine
the amount of funding Los Angeles Unified
receives from federal programs,” he said. “Los Angeles Unified received $328
million in Title I funding and nearly $40 million for other federal education
and health programs for the 2017-18 school year. If the question is eventually
included, it could lead to a loss of as much as $20 million every year in Title
I funding, which would pay for about 200 additional teachers in schools serving
students with the highest needs.
“The citizenship question is not
some abstract, legal issue. It has real
consequences in our schools,” he said.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti was effusive.
“This is a hopeful day for our
democracy. The census is the largest civic
exercise in our country — an opportunity to show that everyone belongs here and
everybody counts,” he said in a statement. “Instead, the administration tried to change who we are and write
millions of people out of America’s
story. Fortunately, the Supreme Court stopped this cynical ploy in its tracks,
removing a major roadblock to participation in next year’s tally.”
Garcetti said he will work “to ensure that
hard-to-count populations — immigrant households, communities of color,
low-income residents, and our most vulnerable neighbors — and all Angelenos are
counted in the 2020 Census.”
HOLLYWOOD — Film and television producer Tosca Musk will be honored with Single
Mom Planet’s Visionary Single Mom of the Year Award at 6 p.m. June 21 at London
are pleased to honor Tosca Musk and her exemplary work as a mother, nurturer,
entertainment industry professional and business leader,” said Neferteri Plessy
founder and CEO of Single Moms Planet. “She is an outstanding mother who is
dedicated to her children, her family, her profession and community with a care
and vision that enhances all of those around her. She is a true role model.”
by noted fashion designer Pia Gladys Perey, the event is presented by Single
Moms Planet, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization created to assist
struggling single mothers.
Visionary Single Mom of the Year Award honors notable individuals who inspire,
provide an example or give support to single mothers through their work,
philanthropy or volunteerism. Proceeds from the event will go toward the Single
Moms Planet Financial Literacy Program aimed at assisting single mothers to
better manage their finances.
am honored to be recognized by Single Moms Planet and to have the opportunity
to share my story and inspire others through this event,” Musk said.
is a multi-award-winning filmmaker known for her directing, producing, writing
and executive producing of feature films and leading-edge content. In 2017,
Musk co-founded Passionflix,
the premium streaming platform that produces and distributes movies
specifically focused on the romance genre.
launched her career at Alliance-Atlantis, Canada’s largest producer and
distributor of feature films, becoming the director of development at Sela
Ward’s Magnolia Films. She then moved into production, as Los Angeles segment producer
for “TV Guide Television,” and
subsequently stepped into her debut directing role with the feature film “Puzzled.” This marked the beginning
of over 30 feature films, television movies and new media content.
television movie, “Holiday Engagement” provided Hallmark Channel with it’s
highest-rated Sunday night movie in the network’s history, and her family
feature, “Simple Things” garnered nine awards, including three “Best
Picture” Awards and an “Audience” Award.
mother of 6-year-old twins, Musk is a passionate advocate for women’s
tickets are available at www.SingleMomsPlanet.com.
LOS ANGELES — Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the
second season of SwimLA, a program that
provides Angelenos between the ages of 4 and 17 with opportunities to learn to
swim, June 12 at the South Park swimming pool in South Los Angeles.
“When kids learn how to swim, they get a chance
to do more than stay cool during the summer; they gain
access to a life-saving skill that will keep them fit and strong,” Garcetti
said. “If we want to build the healthiest city in the world, we have to start
with our youngest Angelenos. This summer, we will meet that mission by putting
a swimming lesson in reach for more than 40,000 children across Los Angeles.”
The Los Angeles Department of Recreation and
Parks enrolled 36,126 children in swim classes last
year, double the program’s 2017 enrollment, according to the mayor’s office.
To reach this year’s goal, 51 city pools will
offer lessons and expanded hours of operation. At 35
pools, the lessons will be free, while the remaining sites will offer
“There are various forms of
inequality, and SwimLA helps kids who live
in underserved neighborhoods like the one I represent,” Councilman Curren Price
said. “All families, regardless of income or ZIP code, are entitled to equal
access to recreation and sports programs.”
The mayor’s office cited numbers from the U.S.A.
Swimming Foundation, which reported 64% of black and 45 percent of Latino
children don’t know how to swim, and 79% of children in households with incomes
less than $50,000 have little or no access to swimming resources.
Drowning is the second-leading cause of
accidental death for children younger than 14
years old, according to the foundation.
Online enrollment for SwimLA is underway. More
information can be found at www.swimla.org.
ANGELES — The city’s Board of Public Works has selected the design and architecture
firm Gensler to design a master plan for the Hollywood Walk of Fame,
kick-starting a $4 million investment into the national historic landmark that
will serve as a catalyst to City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell’s “Heart of
master plan will update the streetscape concept for the Walk of Fame with the
goal of designing a more pleasant, cohesive and enjoyable experience along the
public right-of-way. Based on the updated design, the consultant will recommend
targeted construction projects using $3.8 million for infrastructure
improvements, from an initial $4 million in seed money allocated by O’Farrell.
Hollywood Walk of Fame is a national historic landmark and my Heart of
Hollywood initiative will give this community the attention it deserves,”
O’Farrell said. “Our focus is on consistent attention to the necessary quality
of life improvements for local residents and visitors. A great public corridor
— one that is safe for pedestrians, visible at night, and responsive to
community needs — can help catalyze even more investment in housing for all
income levels as well as economic development.
means good-paying jobs for our local workforce. Hollywood Boulevard can be this
kind of place, which is why the city is making this strategic investment.”
luminaries Stanley Kramer and Joanne Woodward first received their stars
decades ago, the Hollywood Walk of Fame has been an internationally recognized
landmark that draws millions of visitors each year. It is the product of a
unique joint partnership between the city of Los Angeles and the Hollywood
Chamber of Commerce, which produces the iconic induction ceremonies featuring
honorees chosen for their excellence in the fields of motion pictures,
television, recording, radio, and live performance.
Hollywood Chamber of Commerce is thrilled to collaborate with the Heart of
Hollywood initiative to preserve the Walk of Fame and make strategic
improvements that will benefit generations to come,” said Rana Ghadban,
president and CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.
Walk of Fame is an iconic and character-defining part of the historic Hollywood
Boulevard District,” said Christy McAvoy of Hollywood Heritage, a local
historic preservation organization. “Hollywood Heritage looks forward to being
part of a coalition that will preserve the Walk and its historic environment
for generations to come.”
are proud to play a stewardship role in the Walk of Fame,” said Kristopher
Larson, president & CEO of the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance. “Given
the walk’s incredible allure, we know how critical it is to the image of
Hollywood. We’re proud to partner with the city on this important initiative to
ensure its protection and continued care.”
Bureau of Engineering will be the lead city agency on the project, which also
calls for participation from community stakeholders.
LOS ANGELES — In a construction milestone for the
Purple Line extension project, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan
Transportation Authority announced June 12 that a tunnel-boring machine has
broken through to connect with the Wilshire/Western subway station in
“Our last [tunnel boring machines]
at Wilshire/Western were powered down over 23 years ago, so we are definitely
going ‘back to the future’ in our modern-day mission to extend this subway,”
said county Supervisor and MTA Board Chair Sheila Kuehl, referring to a
decades-long effort to extend the Purple Line farther west underneath Wilshire
“I’m glad that this enormously
complex operation has gone off without a
hitch,” she added. “It’s a testament to the ways in which the MTA and its contractors
meticulously plan and execute their tunneling work.”
The 1,000-ton, 400-foot-long tunnel-boring
machine, named “Soyeon,” burrowed through the last remaining cluster of soil 50
to 70 feet below Wilshire June 11. It’s one of two TBMs to mine about two miles
of parallel subway tunnels between the future Wilshire/La Brea Station and the
existing Wilshire/Western Station.
MTA officials said it took Soyeon,
which was originally lowered into the
ground at the MTA’s Wilshire/La Brea station site in the Miracle Mile area last
fall, eight months — working five days a week, 20 hours a day — to reach the
bulkhead wall at the face of the Wilshire/Western subway terminus.
Anticipating future westward subway expansion,
the transit agency built the retaining wall
as part of construction of the station, which originally opened in 1996.
The second TBM named “Elsie,” which was launched
six weeks after Soyeon, is also expected to break through to Wilshire/Western
later this month. When done tunneling this project section, both TBMs will have mined nearly half a million cubic yards of earth.
“Our tunneling achievements to date
prove that we can successfully mine
through some of the most challenging conditions that any subway project anywhere
in the world is likely to face,” MTA CEO Phillip A. Washington said.
After tunneling this leg, both TBMs will be used
to tunnel west to future station sites at
Wilshire/Fairfax and Wilshire/La Cienega. The machines are expected to reach
the end of the four-mile subway section in Beverly Hills by mid-2020.
Following the tunneling operation, the MTA said
it will focus on completing construction of its
first three subway stations over the next three years.
The $9.8 billion, nine-mile underground subway
project will extend the Purple Line from its current terminus in Koreatown to
the Westwood/VA Hospital in West Los Angeles. The
first section is scheduled to be completed in 2023, the second in 2025 and the
third in 2027.