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Conscience-Shocking Huizar/Ryu/Koretz Online Voting Pilot Program At Budget And Finance Committee On Monday August 13 — It Was Only Moved Less Than Two Weeks Ago — Unseemly And Uncharacteristic Haste Prevents Neighborhood Councils From Filing Community Impact Statements — Which Is Certainly Intentional

Recall that because Jose Huizar just cannot give up on online voting in neighborhood council elections after he used it to such zillionaire-jeans-creamsing effect in 2017, he, David Ryu, and Paul Koretz introduced a motion on August 2, 2018 ordering the City Clerk to report back on the feasibility of running a 2019 pilot program involving 10 councils.

And now, in a move that adds further layers of weirdo insanity to the whole situation, the motion has been scheduled for consideration this very Monday, August 13, 2018, at 2:00 p.m. at the meeting of the Budget and Finance Committee in City Hall Room 1010. Here’s the agenda. This kind of fast-tracking is virtually unheard of with the City Council. On this schedule it’s extremely unlikely that neighborhood councils, who are of course the most concerned with and knowledgeable about the issue, will have time to meet and file community impact statements. What are Huizar and his creepy co-conspirators trying to hide?

Finally, though, they didn’t manage to sneak it past everyone. Stalwart Los Angeles activist and heroine Laura Velkei, neighborhood councilor and guiding genius behind the essential Department of Neighborhood Empowerment watchdog group DONEwatch, wrote the Council a blistering letter opposing this abortion of a motion.

Turn the page for a transcription of the whole thing, and consider sending your own letter as well. See you Monday, activist friends!
Continue reading Conscience-Shocking Huizar/Ryu/Koretz Online Voting Pilot Program At Budget And Finance Committee On Monday August 13 — It Was Only Moved Less Than Two Weeks Ago — Unseemly And Uncharacteristic Haste Prevents Neighborhood Councils From Filing Community Impact Statements — Which Is Certainly Intentional

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What Is Donald Duckworth Spending The Melrose BID’s Money On Besides $6,000 A Month On His Own Damn Self? — Believe It Or Not He Seems To Spend Almost $10,000 Per Month On Public Relations And Paying Freelance Bloggers To Write What Passes As Content For What Passes As The BID’s Blog

Turn over a rock and don’t be surprised that crawlie lil creatures wiggle out, friends! As you probably recall, BIDdological freak show specimen Donald Duckworth in his guise as zeck dreck of the Melrose Avenue BID, stopped responding to my requests for public records early last year. So I lawyered up and filed a petition and now not only, I will deign to predict, is his BID gonna be on the hook for beaucoup de bucks but he actually started handing over goodies! One of these provides the text of today’s sermon, which is this list of transactions of the MBID from 2013 through this June organized by payee.

And lord, there’s a lot of weird stuff in there. For instance, note that in April and July 2017 Duckworth paid Hollywood Superlawyer and world famous Jeffrey Charles Briggs $1,000, presumably to ask his advice about the CPRA requests he had stopped responding to. Maybe Jeffrey Charles advised him to ignore me? Expensive advice, Mr. Superlawyer! Or maybe El Duckworth ignored his lawyer’s advice? Expensive mistake, Mr. Duckworth!1

And of course there’s a lot of normal stuff in there, like their security guard and their clean-up crew, and so on. But what really stands out is the money the BID is spending on social media content and blogging and public relations. Not only is the amount of money astonishing, many thousands of dollars per month, but the idiotic nonsense the BID is paying for is even more astonishing.

This cannot possibly be what all these property owners think they’re paying extra property tax for, which is no doubt related to why they’re fomenting revolution lately. It makes no sense at all. It’s much more likely that Donald Duckworth, having cut himself a piece of cake to the tune of $6,000 per month to run the damn BID part time has to blow the rest of the money on something to justify his existence and he doesn’t care what it is because it’s not his money. Turn the page for examples and payments. Sheesh!
Continue reading What Is Donald Duckworth Spending The Melrose BID’s Money On Besides $6,000 A Month On His Own Damn Self? — Believe It Or Not He Seems To Spend Almost $10,000 Per Month On Public Relations And Paying Freelance Bloggers To Write What Passes As Content For What Passes As The BID’s Blog

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The Hollywood Property Owners’ Alliance In Cahoots With CD13 Is Removing Ficus Trees From Hollywood — Why Has The City Of Los Angeles Ceded Its Duty To Care For Our Trees To A Bunch Of Nihilistic Zillionaires Who Don’t Even Live In Hollywood?

The Hollywood Property Owners’ Alliance, which runs the major Hollywood BID, has a long and troubled relationship with the City of Los Angeles and tree regulations. For instance, remember when that billboard company illegally cut down all those trees in Silver Lake in 2016 and the whole City flipped out even to the extent of revenge vandalism? This crisis somehow catapulted Mitch O’Farrell and David Ryu into a rare moment of sanity and they initiated CF 15-0467-S4, in which they asked for report-backs from the City Attorney and the Bureau of Street Services on how to prevent future rogue tree removals.

And the Bureau of Street Services came in with a pretty strong set of recommendations, which included requiring before-and-after photos of tree maintenance done by private parties as well as requiring the presence of City tree surgeons. Well, as you may recall, the BID absolutely flipped out over this in their characteristically privileged manner, which included typically unsubstantiated claims of their unparalleled arboreal competence and even featured archetypal BID genius Mark Echevarria of Musso & Frank giggling like a six-fingered chucklehead cause he never heard of tree surgeons.1

And over the last two years the issue of the wanton destruction of our City’s trees has not died down. In fact it’s getting worse and worse. For a good overview see this fine article by Alissa Walker in Curbed LA. The unwarranted removal of trees has emerged as a significant social justice issue with serious ecological ramifications. And political action can save trees. But political action is impossible if the City sneaks around and removes trees covertly.

And of course, the City’s favorite way to sneak around and do anything covertly is to palm it off onto the damn BIDs.2 Thus it was no surprise to discover a newly released email conversation between Marisol Rodriguez and Dan Halden of Mitch O’Farrell’s staff and Kerry Morrison and Rich Sarian of the HPOA which shows that the BID is in fact involved in secret tree destruction in Hollywood with the advice and consent of CD13.

It’s pretty clear that these actions are shady. It’s plausible that they’re illegal. Turn the page for transcriptions of as much of the record as we have available.
Continue reading The Hollywood Property Owners’ Alliance In Cahoots With CD13 Is Removing Ficus Trees From Hollywood — Why Has The City Of Los Angeles Ceded Its Duty To Care For Our Trees To A Bunch Of Nihilistic Zillionaires Who Don’t Even Live In Hollywood?

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Pete White v. City Of Los Angeles — Tons Of New Filings — The City Of LA — Evidently A Bunch Of Whiny Crybabies — Wants The Jury To Know That — (A) Pete White Is Really Really Mean And Is Not A Model Citizen Unlike Officer Kinney — (B) Pete White And LA CAN Hate The LAPD — (C) Pete White And LA CAN Have Made The Homeless Situation In LA Far Far Worse — (D) Pete White Has Made His Bed And Now He Must Lie In It — (E) Pete White Has A Potty Mouth And Therefore He Has Voluntarily Given Up All His Civil Rights

In May 2017 Pete White of the Los Angeles Community Action Network filed suit against the city of Los Angeles and the LAPD for violating his civil rights by arresting him for filming a homeless encampment cleanup. Last month White filed a number of motions seeking to exclude evidence that the City of LA sought to present to the jury. In the last week a bunch more paper has been filed in the case, including the City’s oppositions to those motions, White’s replies to those oppositions, and a lot of other more technical material. All of this and more is available here on Archive.Org and there are direct links to everything and some transcriptions after the break.

As before the most interesting material here has to do with the motions in limine, and in particular the City’s responses to them. If I’ve seen a more offensive and more presumptuous set of pleadings filed anywhere I couldn’t tell you where it was. The City stoops here to asserting, e.g., that Pete White has forfeited his civil rights because he swore at the cops who arrested them and repeatedly called one of them a murderer because he fired the bullet that killed Charly Keunang.

The author of these motions, presumably deputy city attorney Thomas H. Peters, explicitly blames Pete White and the LA Community Action Network for making the City’s homeless problem much worse. They repeatedly argue that Pete White hates the LAPD and therefore they should be allowed to present to the jury his past arrests and use of language that these snowflake cops find offensive. The arguments are forensically bankrupt and disgusting, the plaintiff’s replies are scathing and convincing, and there are links and quotes, as I said, after the break.
Continue reading Pete White v. City Of Los Angeles — Tons Of New Filings — The City Of LA — Evidently A Bunch Of Whiny Crybabies — Wants The Jury To Know That — (A) Pete White Is Really Really Mean And Is Not A Model Citizen Unlike Officer Kinney — (B) Pete White And LA CAN Hate The LAPD — (C) Pete White And LA CAN Have Made The Homeless Situation In LA Far Far Worse — (D) Pete White Has Made His Bed And Now He Must Lie In It — (E) Pete White Has A Potty Mouth And Therefore He Has Voluntarily Given Up All His Civil Rights

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Kerry Morrison To Leave Hollywood Property Owners’ Alliance In February 2019 To Spend More Time Advocating For More Zillionaire Friendly Homeless Incarceration Laws

Kerry Morrison, founding director of the Hollywood Property Owners’ Alliance, which administers the Hollywood Entertainment District BID in Hollywood, announced that she’s leaving that position effective February 2019 in order to focus on making it easier for cops to lock up homeless people against their will.

Although she has no background or training in mental health, law, or human decency, and although she has spent the last twenty years being paid to organize tens of thousands of punitive arrests of homeless people and other human beings, she has somehow managed to have herself accepted as a compassionate expert in mental health care issues and presumably whatever she does next will have to do with that inexplicable perception. Perhaps Morrison, oft compared to Leni Riefenstahl, will expand her hobby of making homeless exploitation flicks into a career.

Kerry Morrison, as you probably know, has been one of the untiring forces behind the social destruction of Hollywood over the last two decades. There is literally nothing she’s done that’s improved life for human beings and non-zillionaires in that most beset of the spiritual centers of Los Angeles. Nevertheless, it’s fitting, as they say, to give the Devil her due, or to give Satan her salute. Turn the page for what passes in these parts as kind words about Ms. Kerry Morrison.
Continue reading Kerry Morrison To Leave Hollywood Property Owners’ Alliance In February 2019 To Spend More Time Advocating For More Zillionaire Friendly Homeless Incarceration Laws

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Jose Huizar, David Ryu, and Paul Koretz Introduce Motion In Council Ordering City Clerk To Report Back On How To Hire Everyone Counts To Run Online Voting Pilot In Ten Neighborhood Council Elections In 2019

Background: You can read my previous stories on the Skid Row Neighborhood Council formation effort and also see Jason McGahan’s article in the Weekly and Gale Holland’s article in the Times for more mainstream perspectives.

This is the very shortest of notes to announce that on Thursday esteemed councilcreeps Huizar, Ryu, and Koretz introduced a motion in Council ordering the City Clerk to report back in 60 days about the feasibility of hiring discredited election software vendor Everyone Counts to run an online voting pilot program in 2019 to be used in ten neighborhood council elections. The associated council file is CF 1022-S3.

Of course you will recall how the morally bankrupt Jose Huizar forced through a last-minute ordinance allowing online voting to be used in last year’s Skid Row Neighborhood Council subdivision election for the sole purpose of stealing the election. This is famously now the subject of a monumental lawsuit.

Since then responsibility for administering NC elections has been removed from the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment and given to the Clerk’s office. The Clerk, famously, has way higher standards for election security than DONE, so it’s disconcerting to see City Council ordering them to continue to deal with the shady and discredited Everyone Counts. Anyway, turn the page for the complete text of the motion. This one definitely bears watching.
Continue reading Jose Huizar, David Ryu, and Paul Koretz Introduce Motion In Council Ordering City Clerk To Report Back On How To Hire Everyone Counts To Run Online Voting Pilot In Ten Neighborhood Council Elections In 2019

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How I Went To The Westchester Town Center BID Meeting Yesterday And Everyone Was So Freaking Nice — The Cops Explained How They Shoo The Wrong Kind Of People Out Of Westchester — And Everyone Smiled — The Trash Lady Explained How If Homeless People Sleep In Alleys Just Privatize Alleys — And Everyone Smiled — Bonus Question: Did You Know Criminals Rent Bird Scooters So They Can Scope Out Break-In Targets More Efficiently? — Zillionaires Think It’s True So It Must Be True!

Here’s how we got to this place. You will recall that, due to the unhinged intransigence of Donald Duckworth, zeck dreck of the Westchester Town Center BID, I was unwillingly forced to file a writ petition against his masters to get them to take their obligations under the California Public Records Act seriously just for one damn time. And I learned from the agenda for yesterday’s meeting that they were poised to hire the world’s angriest CPRA lawyer, Carol F. Humiston,1 to defend their case.2

Well, the doings of La Humiston interest me no end, as why shouldn’t they? So I hopped aboard the good old 115 east on Manchester out to Sepulveda right into the heart of occupied territory, attended the meeting, and, as per usual, filmed the whole thing and you can watch it here on YouTube or if you prefer free-as-in-freedom here on Archive.Org. And the Humiston episode turned out to be utterly anticlimactic. You can watch all very few seconds of it right here.

Basically El Duckworth just said that he and Karen Dial, hereditary president for life of the BID, had interviewed the ballistical barrister and they wanted to hire her.3 Then there was a motion and a second and the usual unanimity carried the day. Oh, snore. But the trip was by no means wasted! In fact, this BID turned out to be even more interesting than I expected it to be even accounting for the extreme level of interest that attends any situation with which Don Duckworth, the pirate king of BIDlandia, associates himself.4

As usual, the main points are summarized in the headline, and turn the page for all the details, links in to the video, and transcriptions that you could ever possibly desire!
Continue reading How I Went To The Westchester Town Center BID Meeting Yesterday And Everyone Was So Freaking Nice — The Cops Explained How They Shoo The Wrong Kind Of People Out Of Westchester — And Everyone Smiled — The Trash Lady Explained How If Homeless People Sleep In Alleys Just Privatize Alleys — And Everyone Smiled — Bonus Question: Did You Know Criminals Rent Bird Scooters So They Can Scope Out Break-In Targets More Efficiently? — Zillionaires Think It’s True So It Must Be True!

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The Los Angeles City Council Has Been So Busy Conspiring With BIDs And Carol Schatz To Continue To Arrest Street Vendors In Zillionaire-Occupied Neighborhoods That They Couldn’t Bother To Acknowledge SB-946, The Sanity In Street Vending Bill, Which Would Nullify Their Satanic Scheming — But Now That It Looks Like It’ll Pass They Finally Noticed It — And Introduced A Motion Asking City Staff To Figure Out What It Would Mean For Their Hateful Ordinance — Short Answer: Nothing Good For The Zillionaires

As you’re probably aware, the City of Los Angeles has been grinding away for more than four years now at developing an ordinance regulating street vending, and you can track the tortured permutations in CF 13-1493. When the whole thing started in 2013 it seemed like José Huizar and Curren Price, who kicked off the process, actually intended to develop a sane ordinance to regulate vending in Los Angeles.

But after four bitter years of exceedingly expensive lobbying, racist rhetoric, and generalized hatred and lies by Carol Schatz and BIDs, the whole thing turned into the unholy mess that we’re living with today, with e.g. Councilmembers directing the LAPD to enforce inapplicable laws on an arbitrary targeted basis at the whim of such enemies of civil society as Kerry Morrison of the Hollywood Freaking Property Owners’ Alliance.

This crazed race-to-the-bottom showed no signs of abating, with, e.g., the Bureau of Street Services weighing in just the other day with yet another unhinged series of suggestions on how the proposed ordinance could be made even more anti-human. And it’s this kind of bizarrely laser-focused insistence on punishment, torture, and incarceration of street vendors, who are one of the cultural treasures of this City, that led state senator Ricardo Lara to introduce SB-946, which would impose very strict limitations on how cities can regulate street vending.

Lara’s comments on the bill make it pretty clear that it’s substantially aimed at cutting through the money-obscured fog of the Los Angeles City Council’s inability to pass any kind of law at all while, somehow, continuing to arrest vendors, confiscate their equipment, and so on. But like the Ancient Mariner, who wouldn’t look behind him for fear of seeing the demons hunting him, the City Council has not uttered the teensiest peep about Lara’s bill.

This silence is certainly uncharacteristic of our Councillors, who will famously take a position on everything from nuclear weapons to freaking garage door openers. However, a couple days ago they finally decided to notice the existence of Lara’s bill. They’re so entrapped by various constituencies, though, that they found themselves unable either to support or oppose Lara’s bill.

Instead Huizar and Price introduced a motion asking the Chief Legislative Analyst to figure out what the passage of Lara’s bill, which seems increasingly likely to happen, would mean for the City’s increasingly unworkable collection of carve-outs masquerading as legislation. What’s amazing about this motion, as I said, is not its content, but its very existence. You can, however, read a transcription after the break.
Continue reading The Los Angeles City Council Has Been So Busy Conspiring With BIDs And Carol Schatz To Continue To Arrest Street Vendors In Zillionaire-Occupied Neighborhoods That They Couldn’t Bother To Acknowledge SB-946, The Sanity In Street Vending Bill, Which Would Nullify Their Satanic Scheming — But Now That It Looks Like It’ll Pass They Finally Noticed It — And Introduced A Motion Asking City Staff To Figure Out What It Would Mean For Their Hateful Ordinance — Short Answer: Nothing Good For The Zillionaires

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Open Rebellion In The Melrose BID! Duckworth On The Defensive!! Refuses To Give Board Email Addresses To Property Owners!!! Even Though He Already Gave Them To Me!!!! And Don’t Forget He And He Alone Got The Damn BID Sued!!!!! And For This They Are Paying Him $72,000 Per Year To Work 20 Hours Per Week???!?

Sadly, for he is one of the most satirogenic figures in all of BIDlandia, we have not heard much from pirate king Donald Duckworth around these parts lately except, of course, for the fact that he, complacently steeped in his outlaw ways, forced me to file a pair of writ petitions against two of his baby BIDs because he, complacently steeped in his unhinged arrogance, flat-out and unaccountably refuses to comply with his statutory obligations under the California Public Records Act1 even though, if the past is prologue,2 it’s very likely to cost his BIDs a lot of damn money that they can probably ill afford to waste.

But regardless of Cap’n Donald’s law-flouting noncompliance it is occasionally possible to obtain records, or at least emails, involving him by the simple expedient of getting them from the other side of the correspondence.3 And recently a friend of this blog got a small pile of emails between Mr. Don Duckworth and Los Angeles City Clerk staff, and you can read the whole set here on Archive.Org.4 And there’s pretty much interesting stuff in there, but tonight I’m focusing on just three items.

June 9, 2018 email from Don Duckworth to Laura Aflalo about record inspection — Melrose property owners Laura Aflalo and Richard Jebejian want to come inspect records. Don Duckworth says sure you can but why would you want to, isn’t it a waste of your time?

June 9, 2018 emails between Duckworth and Aflalo about her questions about BID operation — Like why do the BID bylaws violate the Brown Act? And why can’t she have the Board members’ email addresses? And why won’t Don Duckworth just answer the damn questions?!

June 9, 2018 Duckworth to Aflalo with a detailed breakdown of how he spends the BID’s money — It’s detailed and evasive at the same time, a Duckworthian superpower, evidently.

And turn the page for some commentary, some mockery, and some highly selected transcriptions of at least the first two items. The third is going to have to wait till another time because it’s getting late around here!
Continue reading Open Rebellion In The Melrose BID! Duckworth On The Defensive!! Refuses To Give Board Email Addresses To Property Owners!!! Even Though He Already Gave Them To Me!!!! And Don’t Forget He And He Alone Got The Damn BID Sued!!!!! And For This They Are Paying Him $72,000 Per Year To Work 20 Hours Per Week???!?

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Newly Published Emails From Westwood Village BID Reveal Lobbyists’ Interest In Westwood Neighborhood Council Subdivision Process — BID Zeck Dreck Andrew Thomas’s Clueless Ideas About Role Of BIDs In Civic Life — Michael Skiles Gets Cast As The Savior Of His People And Finds That, In His Opinion Anyway, The Role Really Suits Him! — Oh, P.S.! In His Crack-Headed Zealous Attempt To Obstruct My Free Inspection Of Records Andrew Thomas Ends Up Costing The BID $4.50 Per Page For Me To Obtain Copies For Free

I published a first batch of emails from the Westwood Village BID last month, and they’re available here on Archive.Org. As you’ll recall, Andrew Thomas, duly following the nonsensical instructions of the BID’s lawyer, the ballistical barrister of Burbank and anger-management poster child, that is to say Ms. Carol F. Humiston,1 insisted on printing out 90% of these emails, crossing out about one email address per page to justify his unsupportable foolishness, and then proposing to charge me $0.10 per page for copies of the paper.

Of course, they can’t prevent one from inspecting for free,2 and thus, because I now understand the issues involved in the whole Westwood Forward debacle far better as a result of reading the records I already obtained,3 and could therefore benefit greatly from additional review of this material, I zipped out to the Village yesterday morning to look through the goodies yet again!

And although in June, when we first began this quiet slow motion struggle, Andrew Thomas, in clear violation of the law, forbade me from photographing records, evidently Ms. Carol Humiston has cleared that up in his minionesque little mind, and so now, while he and his security guard are sitting there burning $125 per hour watching me inspect, I am able to copy the records for free.4

And that’s exactly what I did yesterday morning, and I came away with 44 pages of exceedingly interesting material, which you can peruse here on Archive.Org. It’s all good stuff, and I’ll be writing about all of it eventually, but today there are three especially interesting subjects to cover. They’re outlined in the headline, of course, and turn the page for the gory-glory details!
Continue reading Newly Published Emails From Westwood Village BID Reveal Lobbyists’ Interest In Westwood Neighborhood Council Subdivision Process — BID Zeck Dreck Andrew Thomas’s Clueless Ideas About Role Of BIDs In Civic Life — Michael Skiles Gets Cast As The Savior Of His People And Finds That, In His Opinion Anyway, The Role Really Suits Him! — Oh, P.S.! In His Crack-Headed Zealous Attempt To Obstruct My Free Inspection Of Records Andrew Thomas Ends Up Costing The BID $4.50 Per Page For Me To Obtain Copies For Free

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