Property Owner and Unwilling Media District BID Member Toni Werk Wonders Where Her $12,000 Went. We Have the Answer!

Media District BID property owner Toni Werk's parcel at 6065 Melrose Avenue. She's paid over $12,000 into the BID for this piece of land. Where has it all gone? (Image via Google Street View).
On October 7, 2014, Hollywood Media District BID property owner Toni Werk wrote to Jim Omahen, HMD operations director, about her parcel at 6065 Melrose Avenue. The gist of her complaint is this:

For the more than $12,000 that I have contributed to the BID, I, or my tenant, have not received one word of promotion in your newsletter. During business hours, my tenant says he has seen your bike patrol only a few times. And during after hours, there is no one staying on our property to phone your Security Patrol if there is an issue. As I originally did not want to participate in the bid [
sic], and I voted no against it again, I have been forced to pay a tax that has not been any benefit to me or my tenant.

Indefatigably feckless dudebro Steven Whiddon running over that long list of MBA jargon in his mind, because it WILL be on the test!
Indefatigably feckless dudebro Steven Whiddon running over that long list of MBA jargon in his mind, because it WILL be on the test!

Jim, rightfully, forwarded this complaint on to his boss, the jolly but rather knuckle-headed Steven Whiddon, who replied, in characteristically evasive1 fashion, replied:

I am happy to report that Captain John Iragoyan [
sic] and myself [sic] completed a site visit of your property 6065 Melrose Avenue. We spoke with your leasee, [sic] Tom Pena about the issues you stated in the email below. We made sure he understands we are here to serve and has all of our contact information. He understands that he can contact us at any time to assist with the issues below. …

Thank you again for reaching out to us.2

Notice how Steven doesn’t mention the money at all. Read on to see just where DID that $12,000 go…
Continue reading Property Owner and Unwilling Media District BID Member Toni Werk Wonders Where Her $12,000 Went. We Have the Answer!

Document Dump: About 150 Miscellaneous Emails to/from Media District BID From October/November 2014

Brett Goldstone's lovely gate at the Los Feliz Blvd. entrance to the Los Angeles River, one of the few segments that it's legal to walk.  Of course this image has nothing whatsoever to do with this post, but we like it just the same.
Brett Goldstone’s lovely gate at the Los Feliz Blvd. entrance to the Los Angeles River, one of the few segments along which it’s legal to walk. Of course this image has nothing whatsoever to do with this post, but we like it just the same.
I am pleased-ish to announce the appearance of about 150 unsorted emails to and from the Media District BID in October and November 2014. These are available from our static storage either as individual PDFs or as a single zipped archive. I’m sorry the dates don’t match the numbering, but this is how they came to me and I have neither the time nor the heart to sort them. There’s some interesting stuff here and some chaff. I’m sure my colleagues will be analyzing some of the hidden gems in days to come, but I didn’t want our avid readers to have to wait until that happens to see the fruits of this public records request. Happy voyeurism!


Image of Brett Goldstone LA River gate is ©2015 MichaelKohlhaas.org.

Protect Your Family From the Despoliation of “Metropolitan Development.” Move to Racially Restricted Hollywoodland!

Ad for Hollywoodland development from the L.A. Times, September 7, 1924, page D2, fearmongering about minorities in Hollywood, just like now, 90 years later.
Ad for Hollywoodland development from the L.A. Times, September 7, 1924, page D2, fearmongering about minorities in Hollywood, just like now, 90 years later.
While flipping about in old issues of the L.A. Times, we came upon the enlightening 1924 advert you see to the right, luring buyers for the famous Hollywoodland development, from which we inherited not only the iconic sign but the famous racist attitudes, it seems. See what it says?

…to the “Old Timer” of Los Angeles! You…..who have seen the fine residential districts of Los Angeles despoiled by metropolitan development—must realize now that Los Angeles is destined soon to be a city of millons.

Protect your family by procuring at today’s prices a home place in the Hills of Hollywoodland—secured by fixed and natural restrictions against the inroads of metropolitanism and yet within twenty-five minutes of Seventh & Broadway.

Today is Your best opportunity. Are you going to sit idly by and let the March of Progress pass unheeded?

Continue reading Protect Your Family From the Despoliation of “Metropolitan Development.” Move to Racially Restricted Hollywoodland!

HPOA Chooses Not to Arrest Law-Flouting Liquor Dealers, Proving its Selective Enforcement Intended to Eliminate Homeless Rather than Cut Hollywood Crime

A "habitual or common drun kard" on the streets of Hollywood.  It is illegal in California to sell alcohol to this guy but the BID Patrol chooses or is directed by the HPOA not to enforce this law, preferring to arrest the guy himself.  We gotta wonder why that is!
A “habitual or common drunkard” on the streets of Hollywood. It is a misdemeanor in California to sell alcohol to this guy but the BID Patrol chooses or is directed by the HPOA not to enforce this law against liquor dealers, preferring to arrest the guy himself. We gotta wonder why that is!
We have previously noted that the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance arrests an awful goddamned lot of people for drinking in public. Furthermore, they maintain an utterly schizophrenic attitude about public drinking, arresting the homeless while not arresting the non-homeless for this most natural of human activities. We have suggested that the BID could solve this problem by merely ceasing to enforce this ridiculous law, but our finely crafted arguments have thus far been ignored, making us feel much as the habitually bad-rapped King Canute must have done when dealing with that whole wave thing.
King Canute, habitually bad-rapped by a bunch of ignorant internetties, gracing an illuminated page with his illustrious visage.
King Canute, habitually bad-rapped by a bunch of ignorant internetties, gracing an illuminated page with his illustrious visage.
But we’re not discouraged! We live to serve! We have more unsolicited advice for the HPOA. Even though we think their focus on Hollywood’s putative public drinking problem borders on either the delusional or the deliberate employment of the good old Große Lüge for the usual unsavory and genocidal purposes, we do understand that their livelihoods depend on keeping the arrest rates high. We figure that it’s at least plausible that they don’t want to stop arresting people because they’ll be out of a job if they do. As Albert Einstein1 used to say, “it is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!”

First we need a little background on how the HPOA sees the purpose of the BID Patrol. According to executive directrix Kerry Morrison (in an email to our tireless correspondent which was almost certainly written, given its exquisitely lawyeresque quasi-literate lack of concrete content, by Minneapolitan Jeffrey Charles Briggs, the HPOA’s attorney for such matters) “they make citizen arrests with respect to conduct LAPD is empowered to cite but lacks resources or the command decision to do so.” The semantics is clear though the syntax is muddy. The BID Patrol arrests people that the LAPD could arrest but just doesn’t for some reason. The point, of course, is that the BID Patrol gets to be selective about who they arrest, wielding California’s overflowing cornucopia of stupid misdemeanors like a bloody scythe in the fields of Hollywood and thereby, they seem to think, discouraging homeless people from hanging out in the BID. This sentiment was stated even more clearly than Jeff Briggs (or Kerry Morrison, whoever it was) could bring themself to do by an anonymous BID Officer, who once chortled in both his joy2 and in range of a video camera that “You don’t challenge the BID officers. The BID officers have the authority to arrest you. What we do is blessed by the staff at Hollywood Division. We’re helping them out.

The HPOA tries to stop the flow of cheap alcohol into Hollywood by asking people nicely not to sell it anymore.  Let it flow, say we!
The HPOA tries to stop the flow of cheap alcohol into Hollywood by asking people nicely not to sell it anymore. Let it flow, say we!

Now, we’re almost to the suggestion, which is based on the at-least-plausible theory that when trying to solve drug consumption problems it’s more effective to attack the supply side rather than the demand side. The BIDs have made some minor moves in this direction, evinced e.g. by an article in their Spring 2014 newsletter in which Kerry Morrison claims that “two owners of area liquor stores … are working with us to minimize sales to our homeless neighbors who suffer from alcohol addiction.” But, vide Canute again, this is never gonna happen. You can’t stop suppliers from fulfilling a demand by asking them nicely. That money’s not going to be left on the table. The BID knows this when it comes to the homeless. They could ask them nicely to leave, but they, reasonably given their goals, don’t bother. Instead they just fucking arrest them. It turns out, and now we’re at the point finally, that they could be doing the same thing to the liquor store owners and employees although, for whatever reasons, they choose not to. Read on for details!
Continue reading HPOA Chooses Not to Arrest Law-Flouting Liquor Dealers, Proving its Selective Enforcement Intended to Eliminate Homeless Rather than Cut Hollywood Crime

Hollywood BID Patrol 2008-9 Images Now Available on the Archive

000_1157.700I am pleased to announce the availability of about 4GB of images, obtained from the HPOA under the California Public Records Act. The main archive page is here. You can see a listing of the files for individual download here. I rot13-ed the filenames to protect people’s privacy somewhat.1 You can get the whole batch via bittorrent which, as always, is most efficient if you want local copies of these pictures. I’ll be organizing these into thematic PDF flip-books and publishing them at the Archive and on Amazon over the next couple weeks, but as it may be a while I thought I’d make the raw images available now.

  1. If you don’t know what rot13 is you need to get your internet user’s license renewed post haste!

Image of beaten-up man is a public record.

Don’t Challenge the BID Officers. Don’t Challenge Our Authority Next Time. All I Did Was Sit the Fuck Down! Do You All See What’s Going on in Your Goddamn City?

A veteran of a foreign war in the process of getting arrested on Hollywood Blvd. by power-hungry BID Patrol officers, putting the lie to John Tronson's disingenuous, self-serving, mendacious contention that "the LAPD or the BID Patrol, nobody is gonna ask anybody to move who’s just resting for a couple minutes cause they need to rest. "
A veteran of a foreign war in the process of getting arrested on Hollywood Blvd. by power-hungry BID Patrol officers, putting the lie to John Tronson’s disingenuous, self-serving, mendacious contention that “the LAPD or the BID Patrol, nobody is gonna ask anybody to move who’s just resting for a couple minutes cause they need to rest. “
We’ve written previously about John Tronson, who, for whatever reason, is no longer president of the Hollywood Entertainment District BID Board of Directors, and his disingenuous, self-serving, mendacious contention that the state of California has no need for the saintly Senator Carol Liu‘s recently introduced SB608, the Right to Rest Act. According to Tronson:

You know, I mean, it, the, the, the reality, the LAPD or the BID Patrol, nobody is gonna ask anybody to move who’s just resting for a couple minutes cause they need to rest. This is just another vehicle to, you know, allow permanent, facilitate, the living on the sidewalk.

John Tronson at the Joint Security Committee meeting on April 9, 2015, a guy who will lie about how LAMC 41.18(d) is enforced by the BID Patrol. Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus, as the judge will instruct Tronson’s jury at the time when all accounts are settled.

He’s talking, of course, about the despicable LAMC 41.18(d), which prohibits sitting on sidewalks in the absence of a parade and which the Right to Rest Act is meant to send to a well-deserved oblivion. But, you know, perhaps we’re being too harsh on John Tronson. Perhaps it’s really true that the BID Patrol will not arrest people just for sitting on the sidewalk. We mean, the evidence seems to suggest that, on the one hand, they will arrest homeless black people for it but, to be sure, they will not arrest non-homeless, non-black people for it. Today’s series of videos reveals that sometimes, even when the citation reads LAMC 41.18(d), the real charge is contempt of cop.
Continue reading Don’t Challenge the BID Officers. Don’t Challenge Our Authority Next Time. All I Did Was Sit the Fuck Down! Do You All See What’s Going on in Your Goddamn City?

Piratical Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Flies False Flag for BID’s Brain-Dead Bar-Busting Brouhaha

Peter Zarcone strikes a thoughtful pose at the April 9, 2015 meeting of the Joint Security Committee
Peter Zarcone strikes a thoughtful pose at the April 9, 2015 meeting of the Joint Security Committee
LAPD Hollywood Division Captain Peter Zarcone, who seems like a pretty decent guy even if he does look a little “like he had been disinterred for the express purpose of making people uneasy,”1 turned out to be the voice of what passes for ethical standards at the Joint Security Meeting on April 9, 2015. Here’s the story.

The JSC was, as usual, blethering on about how nightclubs are ruining everything and had pretty much agreed that the problem was lack of enforcement of the terms of liquor licenses. The issue is that type 47 licenses, which require a bona fide food service establishment, are being used as type 48 licenses, which do not require food to be served. See here for a description of the various types of California liquor licenses allowed.

John Tronson at the Joint Security Committee meeting on April 9, 2015, complaining about some guy whose name we didn't catch who gets too damned many liquor licenses and thereby ruins EVERYTHING in Hollywood
John Tronson at the Joint Security Committee meeting on April 9, 2015, complaining about some guy whose name we didn’t catch who gets too damned many liquor licenses and thereby ruins EVERYTHING in Hollywood

The JSC agrees that there are just too many liquor licenses. In fact, listen here as John Tronson accuses one of his fellow zillionaires, possibly Argentinian impresario-about-town Adolfo Suaya of “What’s on Third,” possibly someone whose name we didn’t catch, of mucking everything up by getting “6 liquor licenses for every building he owns” (transcript after the break).

So Fabio Conti has the solution! The BID should go to liquor license hearings and… do what? Maybe tell the ABC that liquor licenses attract too many poor, dark-skinned people to Hollywood?!
Continue reading Piratical Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Flies False Flag for BID’s Brain-Dead Bar-Busting Brouhaha

Rogue Real Estate Zillionaires CIM Group Continue Rampaging Hollywood Crime Spree and Hypocritical Support for Continued Incarceration of Homeless

First page of Order to Comply posted in the window of the CiM Group crime scene at Sunset and Gordon.  The second page is available here.
First page of Order to Comply posted in the window of the CiM Group crime scene at Sunset and Gordon describing their rabid outlawry, scofflaw shenanigans, and general contempt for the rule of law. The second page is available here.
We’ve written before about the rogue real estate zillionaires CIM Group and their scofflaw shenanigans, from infiltrating their Brown-Act-flouting minion Monica Yamada onto the BIDs’ Joint Security Committee to their bribery, permit-condition-ignoring, and general villainy. They are lately, of course, famous for having so egregiously ignored the terms of a deal with the City over their building at Sunset and Gordon that a judge voided their permits and told them to evict all their tenants.

And just now, on April 3, 2015, the LA Board of Building and Safety Commissioners slapped an “ORDER TO COMPLY” on the window of the Sunset/Gordon building which states:

An investigation of various complaints received by the Department has revealed that the subject apartment building is being used as a hotel without the required permits and Certificate of Occupancy.

Therefore, you are hereby ordered to stop the unapproved use and occupancy as a hotel on or before April 10, 2015.

So it’s illegal, but they’re still renting it out as a hotel. First we gotta wonder how would they be doing that? There’s no sign on the building. Find out after the break!
Continue reading Rogue Real Estate Zillionaires CIM Group Continue Rampaging Hollywood Crime Spree and Hypocritical Support for Continued Incarceration of Homeless

Sundown Towns, Japanese Internment, Opposition to “Right to Rest Act,” All in a Satanic Century’s Work for BID Buddies League of California Cities

Japanese American citizens of Los Angeles boarding a train for the Manzanar Internment Camp at the behest of BID cronies the League of California Cities.  The League, not to mention the BIDs, has been on Satan's side in every major political issue it's faced.  Why would they be on God's side about the Right to Rest Act?
Japanese American citizens of Los Angeles boarding a train for the Manzanar Internment Camp at the behest of BID cronies the League of California Cities. The League, not to mention the BIDs, has been on Satan’s side in every major political issue it’s faced. Why would they be on God’s side about the Right to Rest Act?
We’ve written before about the BIDs’ and the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce’s sinister plot to turn Hollywood into a sundown town by discouraging black and brown people from coming here at night. We’ve also written about the Hollywood Entertainment District BID’s soulless opposition to the saintly Senator Carol Liu’s Right to Rest Act, which would prevent the BID Patrol from harassing and arresting homeless people for violating the vile LAMC 41.18(d), which makes it a misdemeanor to sit on the sidewalk for any purpose other than watching a parade. What we discovered recently from a fine article by Renee Lewis which appeared yesterday on Al Jazeera America is that the two issues are linked via the despicable League of California Cities.
The second "most obvious advantage to be gained" by deporting all the Japanese-Americans in Los Angeles is that white people got to confiscate all their property.  Racist economic warfare is never the explicit policy of the League, but is often its implicit policy
Hotel in Los Angeles confiscated by white people after all the Japanese-Americans were shipped off to concentration camps in 1942. The second “most obvious advantage to be gained” by deporting all the Japanese-Americans in Los Angeles is that white people got to confiscate all their property. Racist economic warfare is never the explicit policy of the League and the BIDs, but is often their implicit policy

Lewis quotes various activists to the effect that “[t]he homeless are not the first marginalized group targeted by the League in its over 100-year history” and “[t]he League has supported sundown towns, Jim Crow laws, Chinese exclusion and Japanese internment.” And it’s true. E.g., look at the LA Times1 on February 16, 1942, where Richard Graves, executive secretary of the League is quoted as saying:

The most obvious advantage to be gained by enactment of such ordinances [including evacuation of Japanese-Americans] is protection of the civilian population…

Continue reading Sundown Towns, Japanese Internment, Opposition to “Right to Rest Act,” All in a Satanic Century’s Work for BID Buddies League of California Cities

Mitch O’Farrell’s Abortive 2013 Conspiracy to Destroy the GWHFC: “The food line really has to go.” Rick Howard: How Many More Will the GWHFC Murder?!?

 Mitch O'Farrell giving a performative demonstration of the deep folkloric truth that when you have a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.
Mitch O’Farrell giving a performative demonstration of the deep folkloric truth that when you have a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.
As you may already know, in 2013, a baying, pitchfork-and-torch wielding, mob of Hollywood business owners and a few residents flipped the fuck out about the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition and tried to get the city of Los Angeles to outlaw the free sharing of food in public. In order to better understand the mindset of these people you may read this set of 2013 emails to/from Council District 13 on the matter. O’Farrell, as willing a servant of the power elite as his predecessor Eric, not only opined that the GWHFC had to go, but instructed his staff to boast about his attacks on common decency “via press or social media.”

The main theme of these mobbies is their own fear but, as Robin DiAngelo has sagely noted, “whites often confuse comfort with safety.” For instance, read Alexander Polinsky, son of Paula Greenfield, prime mover of the George Harrison memorial tree in Griffith Park, as he trembles in fear of “scary psychotic homeless that terrorize us…the worst kind of people, people we worked hard to avoid by buying nice homes and paying taxes.” Polinsky is even terrified of GWHFC’s fairly saintly organizer, Ted Landreth, who, according to Polinsky, “…likes to tell people he was a marine, implying that he is able to kill and be tough instead of actually being compassionate…”

Rick Howard, Chief Operating Officer of Occidental Entertainment Group, HMD BID Board member, and howling-mob leader. The bloody foam on his slavering maw has evidently been photoshopped away.

Or see how Rick Howard, COO and VP of Occidental Entertainment, member of the board of directors of the Hollywood Media District BID, and master of delusio-inflammatory rhetoric, blamed the Food Coalition for a 2013 stabbing murder on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He warns all and sundry that obviously there will be many more murders if the feeding is allowed to continue:

Notably, not even the recent murder of a young woman on the Walk of Fame was sufficient to shake our local Council representatives into action, which is all the more disturbing since it is now known that the assailant formerly worked at the feeding program. … Was it not a matter of time before such a tragic event such as this took place? Must it happen again before someone acts?1

Not one for whom a rhetorical trope readily loses the freshness of its first bloom, Rick tells O’Farrell et al. in another email that

[the homeless] wander our streets and defecate, urinate, vomit, discard used hypodermic needles and condoms, set fire to trash bins, break into cars, harass and assault people—and now, as you know, one of the food line’s volunteers recently murdered a young woman over a dollar.

These guys are quite voluble, and there’s bunches more of this blethering in the emails. You can read it yourself if you care to. Sane people delete emails like this without reading, let alone acting on, their demands. But not Mitch O’Farrell!
Continue reading Mitch O’Farrell’s Abortive 2013 Conspiracy to Destroy the GWHFC: “The food line really has to go.” Rick Howard: How Many More Will the GWHFC Murder?!?