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MTA: BH Courier Story on Subway Expansion Misleading

The agency says a decision on the route for the Westside Subway Extension has not been made.

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority is asking the Beverly Hills Courier to retract a story on its website that implies that the agency has weighted a report in favor of routing the Purple Line subway expansion under Beverly Hills High School on its way to the proposed Century City station at Constellation Boulevard. The Constellation station is one of three proposed Century City stops.

"It won't be ready until the fall," David Sotero, senior public communications officer for the MTA, wrote about the final environmental impact report in a rebuttal to the Courier on the MTA's website. He reiterated that no decision has been made yet about the route of the subway.

The issue started Friday when the Courier published an unsigned "exclusive" story saying it had a copy of a report that favored running the subway under the high school, a route that residents of the area have been protesting for some time. Although the story points out that the title of the document is "Final EIR," at the bottom of the story it says the report is not, in fact, the Final EIR.

The report is actually a series of PowerPoint slides that, according to the MTA rebuttal posted on its site, has been shown at several public meetings and forums and appeared on the MTA's website.

When Patch called the Courier about the MTA's rebuttal, an editorial employee who requested her name not be used refused to name the author of the story and insisted the paper would "stand by our story." The employee also said the MTA had not asked the paper to publish a retraction.

"Well, not to our face," the employee said.

After being questioned by Patch, the Courier published a comment on the MTA's position. The post says MTA Regional Communications Manager Jody Litvack released an email rebutting the original story, and the Courier has not received any request to retract the story. 

The MTA rebuttal on its website, written by Sotero, asks for a retraction.

This story first ran on our sister site, Century City Patch.

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Carol Spencer May 03, 2011 at 06:35 PM
I feel that the MTA is following the FTA guidelines to 1-Pursue, study and compile into the FEIS/FEIR all information connected to the Westside Subway 2- They are following common practice reporting their findings in meetings where all interested parties are invited during the investigations for the Final EIS/EIR reports - And they are asking for feed back, both verbal and written comments. In the case of this highly contested subway location the MTA is caught between view points. Also, as a resident to the west of Beverly Hills, I personally feel that the MTA is bending over backwards to pacify the wishes of Beverly Hills to the determent of Century City. Common now, does Beverly Hills really need 3 subway stations?
Marie Cunningham May 05, 2011 at 01:04 AM
This is a hotly contested story with many intricacies and Beverly Hills Patch wishes no ill will towards any news outlet that is doing their best to cover this heavily debated issue.
cutop May 21, 2012 at 05:11 PM
The Beverly Hills Courier has become the propagandistic, masturbatory, yellow rag of Clifton Smith since 2004 when the manipulative lawyer, devout Republican, and failed oil man bought the paper and declared himself publisher. What are almost worse than the lies he attempts to sell to our village about our community, are the gross fictions about his circulation he concocts to bilk his advertisers out of more money. "We're bigger than the L.A. Times!" he's ejaculated in many a self-promotional article. FALSE. Just because he force delivers his unrequested and free paper to all of the residences and businesses of Beverly Hills (and the surrounding neighborhoods) does not mean his paper is better read than the L.A. Times which operates on subscription basis. And as far as the Courier website goes, it's traffic is not even in the same league as LAtimes.com. L.A. Times' site gets over 9 million pages views a day from 5.2 million visitors. The Courier's site gets about 5,000 daily visitors. In fact, the Courier's website doesn't even get in two years time, the amount of visitors in the L.A. Times' website receives in one day. Beverly Hills Courier advertisers beware.

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