Call it Morning Links Lite today, as too much breaking news and other obligations pulled me in too many different directions to keep up on Thursday.
It’s been a remarkably fast collapse.
Wednesday morning, Joe Bray-Ali’s campaign for city council was riding high, with a strong chance of pulling off a remarkable upset of CD1 incumbent Gil Cedillo. Thursday night, his campaign appeared to be in tatters.
What came in between were revelations that he had trolled a white supremacist website, and left offensive comments disparaging fat people, transsexuals and minorities.
Yesterday Bray-Ali apologized. But clearly, it wasn’t enough.
By Thursday morning, he had lost the endorsement of the county’s largest Democratic club, as well as Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, who represents the neighboring 13th District.
Then Thursday afternoon, the LA Times took the remarkable step of rescinding their endorsement, which they had reaffirmed just last week.
Even Bike the Vote LA, which had long championed Bray-Ali’s run for the city council, grudgingly withdrew their endorsement Thursday night.
KPCC’s look at the two candidates in the race has been largely bypassed by the rapidly moving events; although they caught up by suggesting that Bray-Ali’s campaign is on the ropes, while noting that a lot can change in the next three weeks.
Not surprisingly, Cedillo called for his opponent to step down, saying “there’s no place in Los Angeles for this type of divisiveness.” Only the kind he has engaged in for the past four years, apparently.
His call was echoed by seven other councilmembers, who issued a joint statement calling on Bray-Ali to drop out of the race; the letter was signed by Council President Herb Wesson, along with Councilmembers Mike Bonin, Joe Buscaino, Mitchell Englander, Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Paul Krekorian and Nury Martinez.
Even the LACBC, while legally barred from political activity as a nonprofit organization, toed the line by issuing a statement condemning hateful and divisive language that excludes marginalized communities, without directly naming him or anyone else.
Although at last report, Bray-Ali was intending to stay in the race.
But unless someone manages to catch Cedillo on video taking a bribe or giving a Nazi salute, it looks right now like LA’s worst councilmember will continue to block much needed safety improvements in the district for another five and a half years.
But as KPCC suggested, a lot can happen.
On a personal note, I’ve known and respected Joe Bray-Ali for as long as I’ve been involved in bicycle advocacy. While he is not one to worry about political correctness, I have never seen any sign of racist or sexist attitudes or actions on his part; if I had, I would have shunned him as I have others over the years.
Which leaves me upset and confused over the comments that have come to light in recent days. They do not reflect the man I have come to know, and long considered someone who belongs on the council; in fact, I encouraged him to run years before he began to take the idea seriously.
It is only because of the man I know that I am willing to accept his apology. But I believe he owes us all a better explanation for what he was doing on that site, and for the offensive comments he made.
Late notice, I know.
But I just got word about the Ride On for Red Nose Challenge, a four day fundraising ride from Santa Barbara to Las Vegas starting this Sunday, sponsored by Walgreens and People For Bikes.
So far it’s raised over $72,000 of the $200,000 goal.
You may still be able to join in if you’re not doing anything next week, and can raise the minimum $5,000 to help end child poverty.
If not, you can see the riders off from Santa Barbara on Sunday. Actually wearing a red nose appears to be optional.
Sunday, April 30 – 11a.m. – noon
A meet and greet with professional cyclists participating in the Ride On For Red Nose Day road ride, locally impacted Red Nose Day charity partners, and Santa Barbara leaders kicking off Day 1 of the 400-mile journey. Day 1 includes a 48-mile ride through Santa Barbara. Riders will depart at noon. Brief remarks at 11:40 a.m., including a welcome from Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson.
A reader in Ventura County forwards a reminder of the kind of people we share the road with, whether on foot, two wheels or four.
A 20-year old man will likely face charges for a 6 am Simi Valley freeway crash in which he was allegedly 1) speeding, 2) driving solo in the carpool lane, 3) texting, 4) drunk, 5) underage, and 6) not wearing a seatbelt.
Other than that, though, he appears to be a model driver.
Except for that thing about losing control, jumping over the concrete center divider and smashing into another car head-on. But nobody’s perfect, right?
My source also found what appears to be the driver’s since edited Twitter profile, which notes his love of alcohol and partying till dawn. Which he appears to have lived up to in this case.
A heartbreaking reminder, if we needed one, that bike racing is a dangerous sport. Twenty-one-year old New Hampshire cyclist Chad Young, a member of the Axeon Hagens Berman team, suffered a major head injury falling on a high speed descent at the Tour of the Gila on Sunday; sadly, the team reports he is not expected to recover from his injuries.
Steve Tilford’s website has posted Seth Davidson’s moving eulogy of the late cycling legend.
Even high school student planners call for a more bike and pedestrian friendly East LA.
A Burbank letter writer credits the cycling community with boosting turnout in the recent local election by 50% above normal.
Santa Monica approves a radically redesigned Lincoln Blvd, but rather than installing bike lanes, they expect “competent cyclists” to share the extra five feet in a bus lane that will be available all but three hours of the day. Which of course will be the three hours bike riders need them most.
Metro Bike will be coming to San Pedro and Wilmington early this summer.
Cathedral City has begun work on a section of the surprisingly contentious CV Link bikeway around the Coachella Valley, even as the debate rages on in other cities.
A look at the state of bicycling in the City by the Bay.
Former Bicycling editor Peter Flax says he’s put together Ikea beds and TV consoles that were trickier and more time consuming than building the company’s new Sladda bicycle, though the ride left something to be desired.
CNN reports that the next intoxicated driver you encounter on the road is more likely to be stoned than drunk.
A manufacturer of automated speed cameras says 19% of the drivers caught speeding can be clearly seen holding their cell phones to talk or text, suggesting that the cameras could be used to ticket them for that, as well.
Cuban cyclist Felix Guirola hasn’t given up on his dream of building the world’s tallest rideable bicycle, with the help of current record holder Stoopidtaller’s builder Ritchie Trimble.
A university professor looks at the unbearable whiteness of cycling in the UK, and his own experiences as a black man on a bike.
Who among us hasn’t pedaled along the Left Coast with a rhino in tow?