A Vast Panoply of BID Quarterly Reports

TL;DR BID Quarterly Report: Bitch, moan, self-aggrandize, bitch, moan, self-aggrandize, whine, repeat if necessary.
TL;DR BID Quarterly Report: Bitch, moan, self-aggrandize, bitch, moan, self-aggrandize, whine, repeat if necessary.
As a follow-up to Tuesday’s release of all Hollywood Entertainment District and all Sunset & Vine BID Quarterly Reports I’m pleased to announce today that I have bunches of these reports from other BIDS. Although these collections aren’t (yet) complete, they’re nevertheless essential. You can access them through the menu structure above, and here are links:

These are also available on the Internet Archive, which is useful because you can download them via torrent, they have OCR versions, and so on. Links are after the break.
Continue reading A Vast Panoply of BID Quarterly Reports

Kerry Morrison Declares that Hollywood Street Performers Must Be Unmasked Because of Terrorism While All the While Taking Financial Advantage of Masked KKK Terrorism In Hancock Park

Terrorism according to Kerry Morrison: This is acceptable.
Terrorism according to Kerry Morrison: This is acceptable (and very, very good for business).
We have written many a post about Kerry Morrison’s weirdly obsessive hatred of the street characters at Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue and how she uses the power of her BID to attack them at every turn. Her surreality-based antipathy has at various times inspired her co-conspirators at the LAPD to crack down heavily on these performers, even to the point where Carol Sobel had to sue the cops in Federal Court to stop the neurotic vendetta.

She’s spent at least a decade railing against these characters and working with the City Attorney, the City Council, private attorneys, everyone in sight, without notable success, to ban their activities, to stop them wearing masks, to require them to wear identity badges, to conflate them with terrorists, and so on. Well, we’ve been looking into the matter a little more deeply, and today we’re here to tell you a story about street characters, the KKK, domestic terrorism, anti-mask laws, and property values in Hancock Park.1 First let’s take a little trip through 7 years worth of the minutes of the Board of Directors of the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance, concentrating on the street characters of Hollywood and Kerry Morrison’s efforts to thwart them by any means necessary:

Terrorism according to Kerry Morrison: This is unacceptable.
Terrorism according to Kerry Morrison: This is unacceptable.

Huge Document Dump: HPOA Quarterly Reports, DCBID Emails, Central Crime Control Documents

We're out here having fun in the warm California sun!
We’re out here having fun in the warm California sun!
It’s been a while since I’ve announced a pure, old-fashioned document dump, but the records just keep pouring in, and I have loads of them to lay on you this evening. First, from our friends at the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance, we have pretty much all their Quarterly Reports, even going back to the 1990s. I also put these on the Archive:

BIDs are required to send these reports to the City Clerk, who keeps them on file. They contain detailed narratives of the BIDs’ activities and are invaluable for understanding what’s going on. I have a ton of these from other BIDs as well, but they’re not quite ready for prime time. If there’s something you need urgently, though, drop me a line and I will try to fix you up.

Also, courtesy of the much-more-helpful-lately-than-she-has-been-in-the-past Suzanne Holley of the Downtown Center BID we have a massive pile of Central Area Crime Control stuff from the LAPD. This is valuable because getting it out of the LAPD would be practically impossible, and yet here it is. See what Compstat output looks like and much else of interest.

Finally, I have a bunch of emails, and there are details after the break:
Continue reading Huge Document Dump: HPOA Quarterly Reports, DCBID Emails, Central Crime Control Documents

Defendant City of Los Angeles Files Reply in Support of Their Pending Motion to Dismiss

California-central(See Gale Holland’s excellent story in the Times on Mitchell v. LA as well as our other stories on the subject for the background to this post).

On April 5, 2016 the City of Los Angeles, defendant in Mitchell v. Los Angeles,filed a motion to dismiss this lawsuit (the actual pleading is here). The plaintiffs replied to this last Friday. Today the City of LA filed a reply to the plaintiffs’ reply. I don’t even know where to start with this, so I’m just announcing its existence and making it available for free here so you can save 60¢ on PACER. By the way and completely off-topic: PACER is the subject of a class action lawsuit filed last Thursday alleging illegal overcharging. Go team!

Plaintiffs File Opposition to City of LA’s Motion to Dismiss, Alleging Blatant Violations of Local Court Rules in Addition to All-Around Wrongness

California-central(See Gale Holland’s excellent story in the Times on Mitchell v. LA as well as our other stories on the subject for the background to this post).

On April 5, 2016 the City of Los Angeles, defendant in Mitchell v. Los Angeles, the latest homeless-rights lawsuit to come off the line at Carol Sobel‘s magic workshop, filed a motion to dismiss, staking their position on the seemingly (even to me, who knows little to nothing about the legal issues at stake) very thin grounds that they had the right to destroy whatever they wanted to because they passed a law saying that they did.1

Today the plaintiffs filed a response to the City’s motion which was supported by a declaration of Carol Sobel and a bunch of exhibits. This stuff is pretty much too technical for me to even discuss, but, as always, I got the pleadings from PACER so I want to make them available here for you. However, I suppose that if the court has already found that the plaintiffs’ arguments are likely to succeed on their merits and issued an injunction, it’s not too very likely that he’s going to grant a motion to dismiss. Like I said, though, I have no idea what I’m talking about.2
Continue reading Plaintiffs File Opposition to City of LA’s Motion to Dismiss, Alleging Blatant Violations of Local Court Rules in Addition to All-Around Wrongness

A Trip to City Archives Yields Fascinating Historical Material Including 2003 HPOA Stakeholder Rebellion Over Shady and Neurotic Behavior by Tronson and Morrison During Security Provider Bidding Process

The view from Ramirez Street.  The entrance to the Archives is by the loading dock in the mid-right area of the image.
The view from Ramirez Street. The entrance to the Archives is by the loading dock in the mid-right area of the image.
A recent trip to the lovely City Archives on Ramirez Street, my absolute favorite of all city agencies,1 yielded up a bunch of really interesting stuff from 2001–2003. So much so that I started a new page for it. It took me three hours to look through two boxes of BID records (out of more than 400), so I’m sure there will be much more of this stuff to come. There’s a list of some highlights after the break, but check it!

In 2003 the BID’s expiring security contract with Burke Security, the predecessor of Andrews International, was put out for bids. Aaron Epstein, yes, the same one whose nuclear bomb of a lawsuit established the subjection of BIDs to both the Brown Act and the California Public Records Act, thereby making this blog possible, and a large group of his fellow Hollywood BID stakeholders2 sent a letter to then-mayor James Hahn complaining that they:

believe[d] that the District’s board of directors and executive director have not conducted a fully open and competitive process to ensure that property owners receive the finest security service for the lowest competitive price (the current two year contract exceeds $2 million). Moreover, we believe that the board and executive director have failed to be objective in the process and have allowed the contractor, Burke Security, to function in ways that do not provide the maximum benefits to the property owners and merchants.

Even in 2003 the BIDs had captured the regulatory function of the City Clerk's office to the point where they were warning Kerry Morrison that people were scrutinizing her sketchy behavior rather than using the power of the purse to make her be not so shady.  The fox wasn't guarding the henhouse--the lunatics were (and are) running the asylum.
Even in 2003 the BIDs had captured the regulatory function of the City Clerk’s office to the point where they were warning Kerry Morrison that people were scrutinizing her sketchy behavior rather than using the power of the purse to make her be not so shady. The fox wasn’t guarding the henhouse–the lunatics were (and are) running the asylum.

If you read the letter you’ll see that they’re talking about practices that are still retained by the current BID Patrol: custodial arrests rather than observe-and-report, unseeming over-coziness with the staff of the HPOA, and so on.3 The copy I obtained came with a couple of handwritten notes4 from a Clerk’s office employee suggesting that they warn Kerry Morrison that people were watching so she should follow the rules. This, obviously, is not the kind of behavior one would expect from a regulatory agency. Why didn’t they tell Kerry Morrison to follow the rules because the law required her to?
Continue reading A Trip to City Archives Yields Fascinating Historical Material Including 2003 HPOA Stakeholder Rebellion Over Shady and Neurotic Behavior by Tronson and Morrison During Security Provider Bidding Process

Court Finds Plaintiffs’ Arguments Likely to Succeed on their Merits, Issues Preliminary Injunction Limiting Confiscation of Homeless People’s Property on Skid Row

Judge James Otero issued a temporary restraining order prohibiting the City of LA from wantonly confiscating homeless people's property on Skid Row.
Judge James Otero issued a temporary restraining order prohibiting the City of LA from wantonly confiscating homeless people’s property on Skid Row.
Judge James Otero just today issued an order granting an injunction prohibiting the City of Los Angeles from confiscating the property of homeless people living on Skid Row without following a detailed procedure meant to protect their property rights. In order to grant this order, Otero had to find that the claims of the plaintiffs against the City were likely to succeed, and this he did. In particular, he analyzed the evidence that the City submitted in opposition to the request for a restraining order and stated unequivocally that “The counterevidence submitted by Defendants, including the videos, are at best inconclusive.” This strikes my (uninformed) eye as a fairly bad start to the City’s defense of this case, which is a fairly good omen for justice, fairness, and humanity in this City of Angels.

You can see the conditions under which the City is allowed to confiscate property after the break, but they seem to be essentially the conditions (notification, health hazards, storage for 90 days, etc.) that are already prescribed by LAMC 56.11. My superficial reading of the situation is that he’s ordering them to stick to what the law already allows, but now they have a federal judge ordering them to stick to what the law allows. After all, it’s one thing to have to follow the law because it’s the law. It’s another more serious thing entirely to have to follow the law because a federal judge is watching you to make sure you follow it. Anyway, that’s what I think is going on here.
Continue reading Court Finds Plaintiffs’ Arguments Likely to Succeed on their Merits, Issues Preliminary Injunction Limiting Confiscation of Homeless People’s Property on Skid Row

Deadline for Defendants to Respond to Initial Complaint in Street Vending Lawsuit Re-Extended to June 11

The Fashion District as a hall of mirrors: Outside Michael Levine's.
The Fashion District as a hall of mirrors: Outside Michael Levine’s.

UPDATE 2:35 pm PDT: Judge O’Connell just now filed a scheduling order setting the upcoming settlement conference in this case for Monday, May 16 at 1:30 pm.

In February, Federal Judge Beverly Reid O’Connell extended the deadline for the City of LA and the Fashion District BID to reply to the initial complaint, which was filed in October of 2015 in the case of Aureliano Santiago v. City of LA and Fashion District BID. Last Thursday all parties to the case asked the Judge to allow the defendants more time to respond, as settlement negotiations are still ongoing. Yesterday the Judge entered an order putting the deadline off until June 11, 2015. The parties are presently trying to reschedule settlement discussions.
Continue reading Deadline for Defendants to Respond to Initial Complaint in Street Vending Lawsuit Re-Extended to June 11

Central Hollywood Coalition Cleared by Franchise Tax Board of All Fiscal Wrongdoing, Tax Exempt Status Reinstated After Months of Struggle, and it Wasn’t an Audit After All!!

Proof that the SVBID is all good once again with the Franchise Tax Board.
Proof that the SVBID is all good once again with the Franchise Tax Board.
Yesterday the gracious-seemingly-in-spite-of-herself Kerry Morrison sent me a bunch of documents pertaining to the months-long struggle between the HPOA and the Franchise Tax Board over the tax-exempt status of the Central Hollywood Coalition, the shell corporation which exists, seemingly, mostly to hire the HPOA to manage the Sunset & Vine BID. And there are two salient points. First, everything is finally all settled and the CHC is good to go on wreaking havoc in its little corner of Hollywood without having to pay any of those pesky taxes. Second, as Kerry informed me in the email missive that accompanied the documents, “Please also note this that was not an audit – even though I mistakenly used this label at the board meeting where you were present.”