Department Of Deja Voodoo! Tour Bus Wars Redux! Also, How Kerry Morrison Sowed Crazy Beans Which Fell On The Fertile Ground Of What Passes For The Mind Of Tony Hoover, Delusional Founder of Red Line Tours, And Grew Into A Mighty Sequoia Of Insanity!

Crazy here, crazy there, sow some crazy everywhere!  Kerry Morrison distributing anti-tour-bus crazy beans in 2012.
Crazy here, crazy there, sow some crazy everywhere! Kerry Morrison distributing anti-tour-bus crazy beans in 2012.
The text for this morning’s sermon, brothers and sisters, is from the Gospel of Thomas:1

Listen! A sower went out to sow. He filled his hand and cast the seed. Some fell on the road; the birds came and ate the seed. Others fell on the rock, sprouted, and dried up. And others fell on the thorns, which choked them and insects ate them. And others fell on the fertile ground of freaking Tony Hoover, founder of freaking Red Line Tours, and multiplied a freaking zillionfold into a veritable magic freaking beanstalk of crazy.

Well, the disciples of Jesus also didn’t get what he was talking about, so I guess I shouldn’t feel bad about having to fill in some backstory.

See, last week, according to the Beverly Press, Councilmoppet Mitch O’Farrell announced that he and now-retired-from-his-position-as-clean-government-poster-boy-but-still-active-as-Councilmember-more’s-the-freaking-pity David Ryu of CD4 had introduced a motion in Council to put an end to what they claim to see as the desperate, wanton, willful, and ongoing destruction of what passes for the quality of life of people who actually live in Hollywood by tour bus operators on the Boulevard, mostly between Orange and Vine. It’s something about how they try to hand you flyers and ask you where you’re from even though you are obviously from Los Angeles.2

I'm just kind of tired of looking at Mitch and Kerry for now, so here's David.  Isn't it sad that a mere fourteen months ago he took office with all kinds of promises of transparency and clean government and now he is being quoted in in actual lawsuits against the City of Los Angeles as evidence for the inherent corruption and amorality of City Council?
I’m just kind of tired of looking at Mitch and Kerry for now, so here’s David. Isn’t it sad that a mere fourteen months ago he took office with all kinds of promises of transparency and clean government and now he is being quoted in in actual lawsuits against the City of Los Angeles as evidence for the inherent corruption and amorality of City Council?

Well, if you’ve been paying attention to this blog at all, you will immediately suspect that (a) neither Mitch O’Farrell nor David Ryu give the first flying fuck about tour buses on Hollywood Boulevard and (b) they are channeling the concerns of that master covert lobbyist and famously blue-nosed Mrs. Grundy whose nom de Hollywood is Ms. Kerry Morrison.3 Kerry Morrison is, as is her wont, concerned about what she calls “civility on the public right of way” and the rest of us call “killing off or at least arresting everyone who scares her or doesn’t have a lot of money.”

I have not yet had time to track down records pertaining to the current incarnation of Kerry Morrison’s obsession with tour buses.4 But the story in the paper reminded me that I had a bunch of unprocessed material from the City Attorney from 2012 on this very subject. So I put that all together and put it up on the Archive (as well as locally if you prefer), where you can read it at will. It concerns a so-called “Tour Bus Working Group,” put together by Kerry Morrison and including the usual representatives of the City and the Hollywood zillionaire elite.

It’s mostly not that interesting, although there is evidence there that Kerry Morrison has been obsessed with tour buses for the entire twenty years that she’s been the Hollywood BID-boss.5 It culminated in November 2012 with a report to Eric Garcetti and Tom LaBonge about what should be done about tour buses6 and an ordinance addressing a tiny part of her concerns, written, of course, by LaBonge and Garcetti. However, there is one shining gem of craziness, written by Tony Hoover, self-proclaimed “founder” of Red Line Tours. That, I have to discuss in detail!

I believe that this may have been discussed in past years but I wanted to offer this up as another possible solution

Keep in mind while you’re reading what follows that he is “offering up” this plan as a solution to tour bus company representatives handing out flyers on Hollywood Boulevard. It’s not the zombie apocalypse, it’s not even something that Kerry Morrison thinks is the zombie apocalypse, like a homeless person sitting on the sidewalk, it’s tour company reps handing out flyers. That’s the problem that this is a “possible solution” to.

Privatization of the public right-of-way has its pluses and minuses however considering the issues we are facing I think a serious discussion regarding the privatization of at least a portion of Hollywood Blvd. should also be on the agenda as a mid to long range solution.

Note the disingenuous nod to sanity. Sure, says Tony Hoover, privatization of streets has a good side and a bad side. But things are so out of hand on Hollywood Boulevard, what with all the people handing out flyers, that it is time to talk about selling off a major Los Angeles City street, one of the five or six most famous streets in the entire world, over to private interests. Selling it off to prevent tour bus operations that Tony Hoover and Kerry Morrison think are too déclassé to be allowed to exist on the same street as freaking Ripley’s Believe it or Not. It’s actually hard to comprehend what he’s saying here, because it’s so off the wall. It would be like if your doctor told you that your freckles weren’t responding to sunscreen any more so he was recommending brain surgery (which, by the way, also has its pluses and minuses, I’m told).

This would apply to Tour Bus working group agenda but also address the problems with street performers, costumed characters, highly aggressive political and religious “demonstrators” (this has been on the increase), homeless “camping” and commercial promotional solicitation.

Though this be madness, yet there is method in ‘t. Selling off Hollywood Boulevard to real estate developers wouldn’t just get rid of those pesky leafletters who keep thinking I’m a tourist, it will also get rid of everyone else that Kerry Morrison hates, including putatively highly aggressive religious “demonstrators”!!7

The primary reason I think this is important to the discussion is because Hollywood Blvd is unique in the nation because it is not only a place where millions of people come to gather each year but is also a center of media attention — much in the same way our counterpart, Times Square, is. This makes Hollywood Blvd very different than, say, Beale Street in Memphis or Bourbon Street in New Orleans who both have similar foot traffic but not the same media spotlight.

I’m not a sociologist, friends, but I play one on the internet. No, actually, there’s not that much to mock here. It’s just necessary to set up the next bit:

I believe this ingredient, in particular, encourages the costumed performers to entrench themselves on Hollywood Blvd. Talk and news shows such as Jimmy Kimmel, Jay Leno and Conan Obrien [sic] often give airtime to these “performers”. Some of them have achieved sudo-celebrity [sic]8 status over the years encouraging more to come out of the woodwork.

How exactly are we meant to understand this guy’s vision of Hollywood Boulevard? That he doesn’t like rival tour bus companies is comprehensible. They compete with him. That he doesn’t like street performers and so on is slightly less comprehensible, but can still be explained. Maybe he’s trying to please Kerry Morrison by endorsing some of her fixations. Maybe he and Kerry Morrison are in some kind of folie à deux. Maybe he just legitimately doesn’t like street performers due to some personal idiosyncrasy. But he disapproves of how Jimmy Kimmel and the others run their shows? He thinks they ought to be taking the plight of the poor legitimate tour operators on Hollywood Boulevard into account by not elevating street “performers”9

And what, pray tell, is a “pseudo-celebrity”?10 Anyway, note to Jimmy Kimmel: STOP ENCOURAGING THE SUDO-CELEBRITIES TO COME OUT OF THE WOODWORK!!! IT’S MAKING IT REALLY HARD FOR EVERYONE ON HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD!!! More seriously, though, I wonder why he thinks anyone comes to Hollywood to go on his tours. Could it possibly have something to do with whatever Jimmy Kimmel does on TV that he himself doesn’t have the talent to pull off otherwise why is he running a freaking tour bus company instead of a TV show?

Most persons who are abusing the system are using the First Amendment to protect themselves, but the First Amendment only protects those who are using the public right of way.

This actually isn’t true in California, see Pruneyard v. Robins, but his point can be rephrased in such a way that it almost makes sense. It’s still wrong, but in a fairly mainstream way. The problem with his reasoning11 is that it’s not actually possible to “abuse” the first amendment. If the first amendment protects your expression then your expression is meant to be protected. I’m not sure why this is so hard for these zillionaires and their flunkies to comprehend. Maybe it’s because they find it impossible to grasp the possibility that there could be a law, any law, in this country that didn’t make things come out in their favor.12

Privatization of the street would help Hollywood overcome many of the issues that come with public space. It could also be used to create greater pedestrian access for our overcrowded sidewalks while also addressing the issue of sightseeing and charter tour bus zones, provide better access by emergency vehicles, and reduce vehicular and pedestrian conflicts. I don’t think privatization is the answer in every situation, but I feel that there is no better candidate than Hollywood Blvd.

Right, friend. You don’t have any ulterior motives. Kerry Morrison convened a task force to talk about people handing out flyers advertising tours and you’re going to sell Hollywood Boulevard to a bunch of real estate developers to make it easier for ambulances to get in? Are you actually listening to what you’re saying?

By privatizing Hollywood Blvd we can extend what is considered private property to cover the entire right of way and therefore offer smaller companies the ability to lease space within the privatized area. This would allow start-up business, like Rockin Hollywood Tour to afford the ability to get into the marketplace while also allowing the privatizing Corporation to control it.

More selflessness from Tony Hoover! If we sell off Hollywood Boulevard to some corporation (he means CIM Group, obviously), then it will help small business! After all, the only concrete result of this 2012 task force was that Garcetti and LaBonge got the City Council to outlaw actually selling tour tickets on public property13 so what better reaction to this new normal then to make those small tour operators pay freaking CIM Group to allow them to do what they could previously do for free. Aren’t they lucky to have Tony Hoover on their side? Don’t worry, friends, we’re almost done!

I believe this should only happen, however, along with a licensing program. There needs to be licensing/regulation of Sightseeing Tour Operators. Privatizing the public space would also allow the city to monetize the public right of way by creating new revenues.

Hey Tony! If the City sells the street to a private corporation, the City doesn’t get to monetize it. The private corporation does. If the City keeps it, then the City gets to monetize it. Like e.g. by charging for permits to conduct businesses on it. Phhht! It’s not reasonable to expect these people to actually make sense. They’re too used to City staff nodding while they yammer and then doing not only everything they ask for, but the stuff they would have asked for if only they weren’t so dumb. It’s not an environment that’s conducive to making sure one’s pronouncements make sense.14

Here’s the entire thing transcribed, if you don’t like PDFs:


Hello all,

I believe that this may have been discussed in past years but I wanted to offer this up as another possible solution. There is a line in Kerry’s Mission Statement that I feel is extremely important: “…with a view toward enhancing the customer [visitor] experience…”

Privatization of the public right-of-way has its pluses and minuses however considering the issues we are facing I think a serious discussion regarding the privatization of at least a portion of Hollywood Blvd. should also be on the agenda as a mid to long range solution. This would apply to Tour Bus working group agenda but also address the problems with street performers, costumed characters, highly aggressive political and religious “demonstrators” (this has been on the increase), homeless “camping” and commercial promotional solicitation. Commercial promotional solicitation being “giveaways”. An example of this would be the Flatout Bread Company that used parking spaces to stage their vehicles and gave away product to persons on the street to promote their products. They have begun replacing supergraphics as a major mode of exposure. This is lost income to the district and to the City. They essentially get “free” advertising.

The primary reason I think this is important to the discussion is because Hollywood Blvd is unique in the nation because it is not only a place where millions of people come to gather each year but is also a center of media attention — much in the same way our counterpart, Times Square, is. This makes Hollywood Blvd very different than, say, Beale Street in Memphis or Bourbon Street in New Orleans who both have similar foot traffic but not the same media spotlight. I believe this ingredient, in particular, encourages the costumed performers to entrench themselves on Hollywood Blvd. Talk and news shows such as Jimmy Kimmel, Jay Leno and Conan Obrien often give airtime to these “performers”. Some of them have achieved sudo-celebrity15 status over the years encouraging more to come out of the woodwork. The Korean church who used to march on Hollywood Blvd once a month now march Hollywood Blvd DAILY and whenever there are cameras around they follow them. These are just some examples.

Most persons who are abusing the system are using the First Amendment to protect themselves, but the First Amendment only protects those who are using the public right of way. Privatization of the street would help Hollywood overcome many of the issues that come with public space. It could also be used to create greater pedestrian access for our overcrowded sidewalks while also addressing the issue of sightseeing and charter tour bus zones, provide better access by emergency vehicles, and reduce vehicular and pedestrian conflicts. I don’t think privatization is the answer in every situation, but I feel that there is no better candidate than Hollywood Blvd.

One additional benefit can come from this kind of proposal. Patrick with Rockin Hollywood Tours mentioned something during the meeting in relation to Starline’s kiosks along Hollywood Blvd. I wanted to comment on this but didn’t have time. Starline, Madame Tussauds (at the entrance to the Metro) and other retail kiosks are on what appears to be the public right of way but are actually on private property. I don’t think most people are aware of this, because the public/private space is not clearly defined by walls or markings. By privatizing Hollywood Blvd we can extend what is considered private property to cover the entire right of way and therefore offer smaller companies the ability to lease space within the privatized area. This would allow start-up business, like Rockin Hollywood Tour to afford the ability to get into the marketplace while also allowing the privatizing Corporation to control it. I believe this should only happen, however, along with a licensing program. There needs to be licensing/regulation of Sightseeing Tour Operators. Privatizing the public space would also allow the city to monetize the public right of way by creating new revenues.

Tony Hoover, Founder
Red Line Tours llc


Image of Kerry Morrison sowing seeds is via Wikimedia on the usual terms. Image of David Ryu is a public record and I got it from here.

  1. It’s saying 9. Also, more famous versions can be found at Luke 8, Matt. 13, and Mark 4. I like this version.
  2. I admit that that’s really irritating, but it’s not enough of a reason to outlaw the poor people. Just make sarcastic remarks if it bothers you that much, Kerry Morrison. Or even better, just say “no thank you very much” like Mom said to. There is no need to get the cops involved.
  3. To be fair, in the case of David Ryu he seems also to be channeling the concerns of some of his crazier constituents up in the hills, who hate tour buses like Al Qaeda hates World Trade Centers. God help this City if they ever get their hands on shoulder-carried anti-tour-bus rockets. That story is far out of scope for this blog, but I did get curious once on a time and obtain a bunch of emails from CD4. I know I exaggerate a lot on this blog, but I’m not exaggerating the sheer intensity of the irrational crazy to be found in this material. E.g. at one point a resident asks Ryu’s chief of staff, Sarah Dusseault, to locate and punish a dead person for trespassing on her property. And that’s one of the more normal emails.
  4. And I probably won’t. It bores me and it’s not really a moral issue, other than the fact that whatever laws she gets in place will also be useful for oppressing homeless people, street characters, and CD vendors. But I’ll cover that when it starts to happen.
  5. That is one third of her entire freaking life to date spent trying to regulate freaking tour bus operators. I suppose I’m not in much of a position to mock people for the intensity and esoteric subjects of their obsessions, but, you know, I’m going to anyway!
  6. This final report bears a highly suspicious resemblance to the nonsensical statements attributed in the Beverly Press article to the various spokesfolks of O’Farrell and Ryu, making it even more likely that Kerry Morrison is the guiding spirit behind the current effort.
  7. Tony Hoover has a heavy hand with the scare quotes. Usually when semiliterate people use scare quotes it’s easy enough to see the point they’re trying to make, even if they’re making it in a deeply stupid way. Tony Hoover is more subtle, or at least more braindead, than that. It’s actually impossible mostly to decipher his intended meanings. These people, whoever it is he wants to eliminate, are according to him in fact highly aggressive, they are in fact political, they are in fact religious, but he wants to back-handedly cast some doubt on whether or not they’re demonstrators?? As the kids these days say, mmmmmmkay…
  8. Just “sic.” I’m going to skip the geeky computer joke.
  9. Mr. Tony Hoover: They are performers. You may think they’re lousy, no-talent, socially parasitic, pedophilic, tourist-raping scumbags, but it’s hard, actually impossible, to see what you’re trying to communicate by putting these scare quotes around the word “performers”.
  10. Corollary to the Principle of Charity: correct your enemies’ spelling errors after you’ve mocked them as much as you’re going to mock them.
  11. And this is a popular fallacy in the circles in which Tony Hoover moves. Kerry Morrison has on occasion accused the staff of this blog of the same sort of thing: “abusing” laws that allow us to speak freely and to read her emails. Kerry’s wrong, Tony’s wrong…maybe there’s something to that folie à deux theory…
  12. To be fair, that assumption is correct so much of the time that the few instances where it’s not add up to essentially a rounding error. So it’s certainly cognitively more efficient for zillionaires to assume it’s always true.
  13. Even though handing out flyers remained and remains legal, probably because of “abuse” of the First amendment or something that can’t be easily altered by local governments.
  14. We, on the other hand, are forced by circumstances to make sure that our pronouncements make absolute sense. The problem is that they make so much sense that no one will listen! We’re used it it though, and if you made it this far, I suppose you are too.
  15. Just “sic.” I’m going to skip the geeky computer joke.
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