Hearing on City of LA’s Motion to Clarify Otero’s Injunction Postponed Again, Now Scheduled for August 15 at 10 am

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).

Recall that in April, Judge Otero issued an injunction in relation to the confiscation of the property of homeless people on Skid Row. The City of Los Angeles, meanwhile, professes not to understand the injunction and has filed a motion for clarification of the order. A scheduled hearing on this motion was postponed once and today all parties filed a joint stipulation asking for another postponement and the Judge filed an order granting the request. The hearing is now scheduled for Monday, August 15, at 10 a.m. in Otero’s courtroom downtown.1 The stated reason is that productive mediation in front of Magistrate Judge Carla Woehrle is both fruitful and ongoing.

169 Signatures on Petition Opposing Venice Beach BID Placed into Council File Today

You can look down on Venice but Venice will never look down on you.  Venezia mi ama e io amo Venezia.
You can look down on Venice but Venice will never look down on you. Venezia mi ama e io amo Venezia.
As tragic as the demise of Venice has been to watch over the last five years or so, it turns out that she still has some life in her. If anyone had asked me five years ago which neighborhood of Los Angeles might successfully oppose a BID, I would have said Venice without even having to think about it. But the last half-decade, what with sociopathic techbros of both sexes in possession of orders of magnitude more money than sense buying every sliver of land in sight and thereby running the prices up into the stratosphere even as they’re hogging the waves with their irremediably Barneyfied GoPro equipped styrofoam surfboards, zillionaires remodeling the canals into a nightmare AirBnB horror show, stupid fucking restaurants that…evidently leave me speechless, all this had driven me into what I thought was an inescapable well of cynical despair with respect to the fate of this dearest of all areas of our City.

Well, tonight the Clerk’s office placed a petition with 169 signatures of Venice residents opposing the formation of a BID there and, just like that, my hope in Venice is restored! They oppose it articulately, wisely, and for all the right reasons, too:

We, the undersigned, oppose the establishment of a Venice Beach Business Improvement District (BID). We believe in public control of public resources and oppose the privatization of those resources. We support renters’ rights, both for residential and commercial renters, and oppose taxation without representation. BIDs impose taxes that renters often pay, but which landlords decide upon. BID private security forces have a track record of infringing on the rights of our lowest-income neighbors, especially those people who are unhoused. We oppose private security fources controlled exclusively by commercial and industrial interests when their impact will affect the entire community, especially those disenfranchised from BID governance.

And it’s worth reading the cover sheet, too, which is signed by a number of right-thinking organizations and lays out a spot-on general anti-BID theory in the highly specific context of opposing this BID. You can read it here and there’s a transcription after the break:
Continue reading 169 Signatures on Petition Opposing Venice Beach BID Placed into Council File Today

First Step Toward Establishing Venice Beach BID to be Taken in Council This Morning

The beautiful Venice arcades on Windward Avenue, soon to be patrolled by BID goons in jellybean-colored tee-shirts.
The beautiful Venice arcades on Windward Avenue, soon to be patrolled by BID goons in jellybean-colored tee-shirts.
In its meeting today the City Council is slated to act on CF 16-0749, establishing a property-based Business Improvement District in Venice. This is a tragic but expected development in the ongoing degradation of what was once the loveliest neighborhood in this city. The impending clash between BID security and the politically organized, aware, and active homeless population of Venice is going to be cataclysmic. Once this BID is up and running I will be covering it extensively.
Continue reading First Step Toward Establishing Venice Beach BID to be Taken in Council This Morning

New Chapter in Street Character Wars Begins Today as City Council Will, in Futile Attempt to Appease the Inappeasable Kerry Morrison, Set the Stage for More Huge Tax-Funded Payouts to Carol Sobel

Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell holds up copy of agreement with HPOA Executive Director Kerry Morrison announcing his willingness to cede control over the Sudetenland Hollywood and Highland to her in exchange for peace in our time.
Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, dressed as Neville Chamberlain and performing for tips on Hollywood Blvd, holds up a copy of agreement with HPOA Executive Director Kerry Morrison announcing his willingness to cede control over the Sudetenland Hollywood and Highland to her in exchange for peace in our time.
According to an article in today’s Times by Emily Alpert Reyes and Nina Agrawal, the Los Angeles City Council is set to act today1 on Council File 15-0798, opened last June by Mitch O’Farrell and Tom LaBonge, ordering Mike Feuer’s office to write a draft ordinance regulating street characters on Hollywood Boulevard between Highland and Orange.

Of course, this is a direct response to Hollywood Property Owners Alliance ED Kerry Morrison, who’s been obsessing about this issue for decades now, even to the point of bullying City officials and entering into crazed cross-continental conspiracies. The City last cracked down on street performance at the behest of Ms. Kerry Morrison in 2010, leading to a federal lawsuit filed in August of that year by the incomparable Carol Sobel. The initial complaint was followed a mere two months later by a restraining order against the City of Los Angeles and, four months after that, a payout of $100,000 in damages and fees to the street characters and Carol Sobel, who has continued to make well-earned megabucks from the idiocy of the City of Los Angeles.
Continue reading New Chapter in Street Character Wars Begins Today as City Council Will, in Futile Attempt to Appease the Inappeasable Kerry Morrison, Set the Stage for More Huge Tax-Funded Payouts to Carol Sobel

Kerry Morrison, Seagull Eugenicist to the Stars

An angry Hollywood seagull, condemned by Kerry Morrison to shoot blanks.
An angry Hollywood seagull, condemned by Kerry Morrison to shoot blanks.
Sometimes we just have to share the weirdness, even if we don’t have the first freaking clue what it means. And, as our faithful readers can attest, there seems to be no real limit to how weird the weirdness can get. Seagull eugenics right here in Hollywood, courtesy of Ms. Kerry Morrison? Why, yes! While grepping around in the Andrews International BID Patrol daily activity logs looking for evidence of another matter entirely,1 we were amazed to come across the following information from November 11, 2014:

IT IS OUR UNDERSTANDING THAT KERRY HAS TRIED TO ERADICATE THE SEAGULLS IN THE HOLLYWOOD AREA BY HIRING AN EXTERMINATOR THAT FED THE SEAGULLS A FORMULA THAT SUPPOSEDLY STERILIZED THE BIRDS.

(See the whole story after the break). There is more discussion of seagulls in a footbeat log from November 12, 2014, including a proposed attempt to fight seagull feeding in Hollywood via restraining orders. However, in the entire nine year span of A/I BID Patrol daily activity logs, these two items are the only mention of seagulls in any context whatsoever. What does it mean? We couldn’t begin to explain. But we will speculate that Kerry Morrison is highly but secretly disappointed that she can’t use the same kind of methods on the human objects of her disdain, such as the street characters at Hollywood and Highland.2 We will also note that forced sterilization of her avian targets is a laudably peaceable solution for the well-armed Ms. Morrison.
Continue reading Kerry Morrison, Seagull Eugenicist to the Stars

Many, Many New Emails from CD13 About Homeless Encampments, From CD4 About the Food Coalition, and From South Park BID About Street Vending

An image attached to one of many CD13 emails discussing breaking up homeless encampments on Melrose, Vermont, Alvarado, Beverly, and some adjacent streets.
An image attached to one of many CD13 emails discussing breaking up homeless encampments on Melrose, Vermont, Alvarado, Beverly, and some adjacent streets.
Today I’m just announcing three new collections of emails, all of which can be found (for now) exclusively in our Archive.org collections. First we have emails to and from CD13 about homeless encampments on Vermont Avenue, Melrose, Beverly, Alvarado, and some adjacent streets. The Council District was involved with breaking up these encampments in March 2016 and these emails document the process. They also contain a lot of fodder for future requests, since some of them list specific document numbers for Bureau of Street Services and also Sanitation Department orders and reports. It’s almost as if no one at CD13 was aware that breaking up homeless encampments puts federal money in jeopardy.
Continue reading Many, Many New Emails from CD13 About Homeless Encampments, From CD4 About the Food Coalition, and From South Park BID About Street Vending

HPOA Meter-Feeding Enforcement Tantrum Spirals Upwards to Conceptual Exploration of Rewriting Major Parts of Long-Settled City, State Law to Allow Kerry Morrison to Attack Food Trucks More Effectively

Bruce Gillman, LADOT Executive Officer for Communications.
Bruce Gillman, LADOT Executive Officer for Communications.
Last month we reported on a fascinating situation wherein Hollywood Property Owners Alliance Board member Evan Kaizer didn’t understand the parking laws of the City he purports to be a citizen of, got himself a ticket on Hollywood Boulevard, and instead of just sucking it up and trying, in the future, to follow the freaking parking laws like everyone else he got Kerry Morrison to email freaking Seleta Reynolds, top turtle over at the Los Angeles Department of Transportation1 hinting around that NO FAIR!!

Well, the ticket didn’t get fixed,2 but Kerry Morrison, being the politically adept Machiavellianess that she is, began the process of straw-into-gold spinning for which she’s (justly?) famous when she asked Bruce Gillman, LADOT Communications Boss, about why didn’t food trucks, which, for some reason that we’re sure is clear to her and her theraputic team, she hates with a hatred that surpasseth understanding, get bunches of tickets for parking in the same place all day cause that’s also NO FAIR!!3 That all went down in March, but in his inimitably dogged manner, our faithful correspondent has continued to investigate, and he’s turned up a couple more emails on the subject. In particular, on June 20, 2016, a mere five days ago, Bruce Gillman wrote to Kerry Morrison, saying:

FYI: Regarding the issue of citing food trucks more often, or `escalating fines’ for repeat offender, the LAMC and CA CVC would have to be amended, as they limit citations for vehicles to one ticket per offense, per day. Looping in our Chief and Deputy Chief of Parking Enforcement: Greg Savelli and Brian Hale respectively.

Continue reading HPOA Meter-Feeding Enforcement Tantrum Spirals Upwards to Conceptual Exploration of Rewriting Major Parts of Long-Settled City, State Law to Allow Kerry Morrison to Attack Food Trucks More Effectively

Tree-Trimming Ordinance Revisions Scheduled for Public Works Committee on Monday, June 27 at 1 p.m. Jessica Lall of the South Park BID Files First Opposition. Our Letter Appears Here and You Can Send a Copy if you Want!

We have a lot of really pretty trees in Los Angeles.  Let's not let the BIDs prevent us from taking good care of them for our children just because they're too fricking cheap to pay for a permit.
We have a lot of really pretty trees in Los Angeles. Let’s not let the BIDs prevent us from taking good care of them for our children just because they’re too fricking cheap to pay for a permit.
Last week I reported that the Bureau of Street Services’s response to O’Farrell and Ryu’s motion on tree-trimming was set to face some opposition from business improvement districts. Well, tonight, Jessica Lall of the Southpark BID, who seems generally sane, but evidently is not, has fired the first shot across the bow of the proposal in the form of a letter to the Committee. You can read it. It’s the usual bogus anti-government whining about layers of bureacracy and don’t impede the private sector and blah-de-blah-blah-blah. Anyway, I fired off my own letter to the committee, which you can read after the break, but, more importantly, which you can download here in Microsoft Word format so you can send a copy of your own. I know it seems bogus to sane people that a bunch of cookie-cutter letters would have an effect on our Councilmembers, but it seems that, in fact, they do. The necessary email addresses are:

councilmember.buscaino@lacity.org
councilmember.martinez@lacity.org
councilmember.huizar@lacity.org
councilmember.price@lacity.org
councilmember.ofarrell@lacity.org
councilmember.ryu@lacity.org
Continue reading Tree-Trimming Ordinance Revisions Scheduled for Public Works Committee on Monday, June 27 at 1 p.m. Jessica Lall of the South Park BID Files First Opposition. Our Letter Appears Here and You Can Send a Copy if you Want!

The Disturbing Gun Worship of Kerry Morrison and the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance: Glocks, Sigs, 1911s, Rifles, Shotguns, Tasers, to Say Nothing of the Pink Lady-Guns

A heavily armed Kerry Morrison: HPOA gun worship personified.
A heavily armed Kerry Morrison: HPOA gun worship personified.
With recent events in this country1 reinvigorating the national debate over gun control, we thought it was an opportune time to present this singularly weird email from Hollywood Property Owners Alliance Executive Director Kerry Morrison to the members of the Joint Security Committee inviting them to join her out at the Andrews International Training Center in Burbank to try out the Firearms Training Simulator, pop off a few rounds at the shooting range, and eat some sandwiches provided by Andrews International catering director and senior vice president Bill Farrar.
Bill Farrar at the February 18, 2016 meeting of the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance, contemplating sandwich recipes.  As another height-challenged militaristic delusional psychopath once said, "an army marches on its stomach."
Bill Farrar at the February 18, 2016 meeting of the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance, contemplating sandwich recipes. As another height-challenged militaristic delusional psychopath once said, “an army marches on its stomach.”
According to Kerry Morrison, she’s gone out there to shoot multiple times, and evidently wants to share this “very humbling” experience with her compatriots on the Joint Security Committee.2 We know it sounds made up, but the text does not lie, friends:

For some time we’ve promised you an opportunity to visit the Andrews International training facility in Burbank where they have a shooting range and a FATS simulator. FATS stands for Fire Arms Training Simulator, and it presents a realistic training experience. I’ve tried this a couple times and it is very humbling and helps us all appreciate the split second judgements that must be made by law enforcement.

If any of you would like to participate, we are going to venture up to their facility next Wednesday, February 19 at 11 a.m. Bill Farrar will bring in sandwiches and everyone will have an opportunity to experience both FATS and the shooting range, if you would like. We should be ready to return to Hollywood by 1:30-2 pm.

Please RSVP to me by Monday afternoon so we can plan for food. I will also send out address and parking instructions next week.

Best regards, and have a great weekend,
Kerry

Continue reading The Disturbing Gun Worship of Kerry Morrison and the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance: Glocks, Sigs, 1911s, Rifles, Shotguns, Tasers, to Say Nothing of the Pink Lady-Guns

Further Speculation on Why BID Patrols Aren’t Registered with the Los Angeles Police Commission

This is not a police officer, it's unregistered-with-the-police-commission BID Patrol officer M. Gomez (Badge #148) looking a lot like a police officer.
This is not a police officer, it’s unregistered-with-the-police-commission BID Patrol officer M. Gomez (Badge #148) looking a lot like a police officer.
Recently I discovered that BID security contractors weren’t registered with the LA Police Commission and that no one seemed to know why. Further investigation suggested that perhaps registration had just fallen through the cracks. Well, after rereading the material from the Council file and requesting and receiving the Police Commission minutes from April 25, 2000, I noticed that there was at least one possibly significant difference in the April 25, 2000 version of LAMC 52.34 that the Commission sent over to the Council on April 27 as compared to the version that the City Attorney sent to the Council on March 31 and that it’s possible to make some kind of a case that this difference answers the BID security question. It’s not a likely case, though. Read on for details on both the potential argument and some potential objections to it.
Continue reading Further Speculation on Why BID Patrols Aren’t Registered with the Los Angeles Police Commission