For people like Mayor Villaraigosa and Metro CEO Art Leahy, gadfly John Walsh (pictured, right) is a sharp thorn in the side. And for anyone who ever watched a City Council meeting, Metro board meeting, or community gathering on a new train line, Walsh is the anti-Metro screamer who brings up topics like racism and corruption, and suggests LA's subway is being swallowed by the Earth. At last month's board meeting, he described the Purple Line extension as "the Jewish Westside against the gentiles" and accused the Mayor of being a drug addict (Walsh thought the Mayor fell asleep). Neon Tommy—a news blog sponsored by USC's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism—profiles Walsh in a long piece that points out the former TV writer was once an important critic of Metro and was often used as a source by local journalists. At one point he graced the cover of the New Times as "the Freak who Stopped the Subway." Oh, and Walsh is a rabid Ayn Rand fan who often rides the Red Line. Writer Hillel Aron's paints Walsh as a former New Yorker who longs for the LA of Raymond Chandler, and who simply can't stop the winds of change: "Expansion [of the Metro] now seems inevitable," Aron writes. "The subway to the sea is Los Angeles' version of Manifest Destiny."
· So Many Windmills [Neon Tommy]
· Westside Subway: Weighing in on Stations [Curbed LA]