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Controversy surrounding proposed Dodgers gondola project unfolds in Chinatown community

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The battle over the proposed gondola between Union Station and Dodger Stadium has played out in a neighborhood housing project in Chinatown, where residents are divided on the potential impacts of the 1.2-mile gondola over their community. Maria Lemus, a resident of the 415-unit William Mead Homes, expressed support for the gondola project, praising the efforts of the gondola team in engaging with the community and providing assistance such as scholarships, turkeys, and food donations.

The gondola project, first proposed in 2018 by a company funded by former Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, has been promoted as an alternative to the congested entry into the stadium that causes traffic congestion in neighboring streets. Despite years of planning and community campaigning, the project’s developer, Zero Emissions Transit, is seeking environmental clearance from the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority to move forward with the gondola.

However, Metro Chair and Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass, along with board member Hilda Solis and two board allies, have raised concerns and issued a list of 31 conditions they want to impose on the developers, including free rides for Chinatown residents and a community development package aimed at protecting the community and addressing housing displacement concerns.

The gondola’s environmental impact report estimated that the project would cost $500 million to build and could transport 5,000 people an hour to games. The project still requires approval from the Los Angeles City Council and other entities. The intense ground campaign surrounding the project has led to a division within the William Mead community, where residents’ fears of gentrification and displacement echo the historic displacement experienced by Latino families in the past.

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Xóchitl Manzanilla, a long-time resident of William Mead, expressed concerns about the potential impact of the gondola on the community, fearing it could attract luxury homes and contribute to rising rent costs. The neighborhood, with a majority of Latino residents living below the poverty line, faces challenges related to scarcity of parking spaces and potential redevelopment of the community into mixed-income homes.

While some residents support the gondola as a solution to traffic congestion on game days, others are skeptical and fear that it will exacerbate existing problems related to housing costs and gentrification. The debate has led to division among community members, with some expressing support for the gondola developer’s efforts and others voicing opposition to the project.

Eunisses Hernandez, the area’s council member, opposes the gondola project and aims to protect the vulnerable community from potential negative impacts. She has emphasized the need to prioritize community well-being and residents’ concerns about displacement and gentrification.

The proposed gondola project has sparked a heated debate in the William Mead community, highlighting the broader issues of housing displacement, gentrification, and community well-being. As the battle over the gondola continues, residents and officials are engaged in efforts to address the complex and multifaceted challenges facing the neighborhood and ensure that the community’s interests are protected.

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The Contribution of Volcanoes to Venus’s Atmospheric Composition


One of the many mysteries surrounding Venus, our closest planetary neighbor, is the origin of its atmosphere. The planet is veiled in thick clouds, making it challenging to study its surface and atmospheric composition. However, scientists have long speculated about the role of volcanoes in shaping Venus and adding to its atmosphere. With approximately 85,000 volcanoes on Venus, the idea of active volcanic activity is a topic of interest and debate among researchers.

A recent paper by European researchers explores the question of whether Venus has active volcanism through two approaches. The first approach considers whether Venus can maintain its current atmospheric composition without additional gases from volcanic emissions. The variability of sulfur dioxide in the atmosphere over decades has been cited as potential evidence of ongoing volcanism. However, some scientists suggest that other factors, such as surface-atmosphere interactions or atmospheric dynamics, could also contribute to this variability.

The second approach focuses on identifying transient effects in Venus’ atmosphere that could indicate active volcanism. These effects could range from water vapor to particulate matter like volcanic ash. Data on these phenomena has been limited, primarily collected through remote sensing missions. However, upcoming missions to Venus, such as DAVINCI and EnVision, aim to provide more direct measurements and insights into the planet’s atmosphere.

DAVINCI, equipped with spectrometers and high-tech cameras, will gather data in Venus’ lower atmosphere to detect trace volcanic gases. It will also analyze ionic concentrations to indicate volcanic outgassing. EnVision, another mission, will focus on studying gases higher up in the atmosphere using various spectroscopic techniques to unravel mysteries in Venus’ cloud tops.

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While current missions offer valuable tools for studying Venus’ atmosphere, there are limitations to consider. For instance, an infrasound sensor could directly detect volcanic eruptions, but no missions currently include this technology. Despite these challenges, researchers are optimistic about the new insights these missions could bring to the ongoing debate on Venus’ volcanic activity.

With the earliest mission, DAVINCI, set to launch in approximately five years, scientists have time to refine their hypotheses and theories about Venus. The data collected during these missions could finally provide conclusive evidence regarding the presence of active volcanism on Venus, answering a long-standing question about our neighboring planet.

As researchers eagerly await the results from upcoming missions, the scientific community is hopeful that these endeavors will shed light on the enigmatic nature of Venus and its mysterious atmosphere. By leveraging advanced technologies and innovative approaches, scientists are poised to unravel the secrets of Venus and potentially redefine our understanding of planetary volcanism.

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