Category Archives: Business Improvement Districts

Some Guy Complains To Clerk’s Office About “Deteriorating Conditions” In The Wilshire Center BID — Rick Scott Informs Jose Flores That It’s The BID’s Job To Handle Angries — But Admits That The City Will Intervene “To Try To Resolve” If The BID Doesn’t Deal With It — But The City Won’t Intervene When BIDs Violate CPRA — Or The Brown Act — So What Rick Scott Means Is The City Will Mostly Intervene If BIDs Don’t Persecute Homeless Enough — Also Around 200 Other Emails From Wilshire Center!

It’s been a while since I’ve asked for records from the Wilshire Center BID, in fact we haven’t heard from them since the whole sad clown Mike Hakim episode last summer. But just the other day I got about 200 new emails from the always cooperative Mr. Mike Russell, their doughty zeck dreck, and as always you can peruse them at your leisure and pleasure here on Archive.Org. And there are no blockbusters in there, but you might enjoy looking through the usual rattle and hum of the daily BIDness.

However, there is one really interesting, at least from a technical BIDological point of view, item, and that is this October 2, 2018 email from Rick Scott of the City Clerk’s BID division to Jose Flores, his subordinate, CCed to Mr. Mike Russell and, in a particularly cruel touch of bureaucratic passive aggression, every last one of Jose Flores’s supervisors. It seems that some internet random known as nezabudka1937@gmail.com fired off an angry little missive to the Clerk’s BID division at Clerk.NBID@lacity.org complaining about homelessness and urban decay in K-Town (of course there’s a transcription of everything after the break).

Jose Flores, who’s apparently tasked with sifting through the chaff,1 forwarded it to Rick Scott, and Rick Scott was all like, Jose! Send it to Mr. Mike Russell next time! Why? Here’s where things get strange. Thus all-caps-icalized Rick Scott:

With ANY stakeholder issue the BID is always the first entity they should contact. If their issue isn’t resolved after a reasonable time we will contact the BID to try to resolve it. The BIDs don’t work for us. They are paid to address stakeholders’ concerns.

Wow. Just wow. First of all, the angry email was from an unidentified internet random. It’s big if true that Rick Scott’s correct that BIDs are paid to address the concerns of internet randoms as long as he calls them stakeholders. But I’m pretty sure it’s not true.2 BIDs are paid to address the concerns of their boards of directors, not even the concerns of the people who pay their assessments. And it gets worse. Lots worse.
Continue reading Some Guy Complains To Clerk’s Office About “Deteriorating Conditions” In The Wilshire Center BID — Rick Scott Informs Jose Flores That It’s The BID’s Job To Handle Angries — But Admits That The City Will Intervene “To Try To Resolve” If The BID Doesn’t Deal With It — But The City Won’t Intervene When BIDs Violate CPRA — Or The Brown Act — So What Rick Scott Means Is The City Will Mostly Intervene If BIDs Don’t Persecute Homeless Enough — Also Around 200 Other Emails From Wilshire Center!

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The Board For Professional Engineers Finally Acknowledged Receipt Of My Complaint Against Incompetent BID Engineer Ed Henning — Only Four Months After I Submitted It — They Hired The Complaint Out To An Independent Expert For Review — Cause Obviously It’s Too Hot A Potato For Them To Handle In-House!

Here’s a quick summary of the background. BID formations are required by the Property and Business Improvement District Law of 1994 to be supported by a report prepared by a licensed engineer.1 Putatively licensed engineer Ed Henning wrote the report for the ill-born Venice Beach BID.2 The California Board for Professional Engineers regulates the engineering profession and can investigate allegations of incompetence or negligence. Ed Henning’s report for the Venice Beach BID is awful, negligent, and incompetent. The fact that this nightmare of a BID was established on the basis of this horror show of a report is another sprinkling of salt on the writhing slug into which the money-driven fucked-upification of Venice has transformed my heart.

A complaint was made against Henning by a citizen of Venice but was rejected by the Board without being read because they claimed that writing BID reports didn’t constitute the practice of engineering. After a great deal of discussion with BPELSG executive officer Ric Moore, he agreed that in the future his office would not dismiss such complaints unread and therefore I took the time to submit a complaint against Henning to the Board.3 You can get a copy of the complaint itself here on Archive.Org.

Well, that was in August 2018 and I heard nothing and I heard nothing and I heard nothing and a couple of times I sent polite little emails to Mr. Ric Moore just asking him could he confirm that he’d received the complaint and so forth and I heard nothing and nothing and nothing. Until this afternoon, which is when I received an email from our old friend Ms. Tiffany Criswell.

And Ms. Tiffany Criswell’s email informed me that not only had they received the complaint but that it had been given a code number and, most interesting of all, that the “complaint has been referred to an independent Expert Consultant for review.” Ms. Criswell was also careful to state that it’s essentially going to take forever to review and I shouldn’t hold my breath and so on. But damn! It feels like quite an accomplishment even to get this far. After the break you can read a full transcription of this email from Tiffany Criswell.
Continue reading The Board For Professional Engineers Finally Acknowledged Receipt Of My Complaint Against Incompetent BID Engineer Ed Henning — Only Four Months After I Submitted It — They Hired The Complaint Out To An Independent Expert For Review — Cause Obviously It’s Too Hot A Potato For Them To Handle In-House!

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Stuart Rapeport — Vice President Of The North Figueroa Association — Told Wendy Newell Of The Boulevard Sentinel That The Business Improvement District He Helps Run Did Not Paint Over Any Murals In Highland Park — But The BID Did Paint Over The Murals — So Is Stuart Rapeport A Liar Or Is He Asleep On The Job? — Enquiring Minds Wanna Know, Stuart!!

So remember how some murals got painted over in Highland Park in 2017 and a lot of people were pretty sure that the Highland Park BID was responsible for their destruction but there wasn’t really any proof and then in June 2018 LA Magazine wrote a story about it and, inspired by that, I was able to get some emails from the Department of Cultural Affairs that demonstrated conclusively that the BID did in fact paint over the murals?

Well, a couple of recently obtained emails between Wendy Newell of the Boulevard Sentinel and some staffies at CD1 show that she was also looking into this matter as early as April 2018, ultimately leading to this April 29, 2018 story. As part of her investigation Newell contacted Stuart Rapeport, vice president of the North Figueroa Association, which is the owners’ association for the Highland Park BID, and he told her that the murals had been painted over by the City of Los Angeles rather than his BID buddies. Of course, we now know that this is not true.

The murals were in fact painted over by the Highland Park BID with the City’s explicit permission. So what’s the explanation for Stuart Rapeport’s denial, then? I can only think of two plausible stories. Maybe he’s a liar. This wouldn’t surprise any Los Angeles BIDologists. These BIDdies all lie. Or maybe even though he’s the vice president he nevertheless doesn’t have the first clue what his BID is doing with the money he and his fellow Board members have been entrusted with. Also this wouldn’t surprise. Boards of directors are meant to oversee the expenditure of the compulsory assessments, but often they don’t oversee anything, give their staff complete license to do whatever, and mostly just show up to Board meetings for the free coffee.

We’re probably never going to know which scenario explains Stuart Rapeport’s false statements to Wendy Newell, but neither looks good for him. Also not a surprise. Very little of what BIDdies do looks good for them when the public is looking. Turn the page for a transcription of the two emails.
Continue reading Stuart Rapeport — Vice President Of The North Figueroa Association — Told Wendy Newell Of The Boulevard Sentinel That The Business Improvement District He Helps Run Did Not Paint Over Any Murals In Highland Park — But The BID Did Paint Over The Murals — So Is Stuart Rapeport A Liar Or Is He Asleep On The Job? — Enquiring Minds Wanna Know, Stuart!!

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Lying Zillionaires Lie About Street Food In Hollywood — Hollywood Property Owners’ Alliance And Hollywood Chamber Of Commerce Submit Doctored Anti-Vendor Photos And Mendacious Letter To City Council — Oppose Street Food Because Hotdoguero Putatively Under The Influence Of Marijuana While Cooking — As If The Kitchens Of Every Ritzy Restaurant On The Boulevard Weren’t Hotbeds Of Cocaine Abuse, Rape, And Sadistic Brutality — The Three Central Back Of The House Traditions Of The Fine Dining Industry

I’ve been covering the dishonest, fever-pitched, chainsaw-screech opposition of the business improvement districts of Los Angeles to this City’s miraculous, one-of-a-kind, irreplaceable street vendors since the Spring of 2015. And they will lie, they will pay their minions to lie, they will whine, and so on. And the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce is no better. E.g. its so-called CEO, Leron Gubler, recently wrote a racist screed to the LA City Council claiming that the value of Hollywood Boulevard as a world-class tourist attraction was being depleted due to too many “third world bazaar” type people selling yummy food on the sidewalks.1

And, as you no doubt know, all of this nonsense had the effect of dragging out the City’s attempts at legalizing vending for years, leading State Senator Ricardo Lara to introduce a bill forbidding cities in California from banning vending. This was signed into law by Jerry Brown in September and immediately moved the Los Angeles street vending debate into a different dimension. Lara’s bill prohibits restricting vending on the basis of anything other than objective health, welfare, and safety concerns. And the City is working on a regulatory system that putatively complies with these new limitations.

So the BIDdies have retrenched, given up on banning vendors in most parts of the City, and, in a bizarre Satanic inversion of Jesus’s cleansing of the temple, are concentrating on keeping a very few of their high and holy places, like Hollywood Boulevard, safe for the moneychangers by preventing infestations of the wrong kind of people selling cheap and yummy food2 in a “third world bazaar” type atmosphere. This is as opposed to the expensive and crappy food that the BIDdies prefer to be sold to tourists in Hollywood.3

And to do this, of course, they’re now required to argue that they’re motivated solely by objective health, welfare, and safety concerns rather than the real reasons, chief among which is their unhinged racism. Which brings us to November 27, 2018, when Leron Gubler submitted yet another letter to the Council File, accompanied by some photos supplied by the Hollywood Property Owners’ Alliance, pushing the theory that vending on Hollywood Boulevard is unhealthy, unsafe, and contributes to illfare,4 and so should be banned.
Continue reading Lying Zillionaires Lie About Street Food In Hollywood — Hollywood Property Owners’ Alliance And Hollywood Chamber Of Commerce Submit Doctored Anti-Vendor Photos And Mendacious Letter To City Council — Oppose Street Food Because Hotdoguero Putatively Under The Influence Of Marijuana While Cooking — As If The Kitchens Of Every Ritzy Restaurant On The Boulevard Weren’t Hotbeds Of Cocaine Abuse, Rape, And Sadistic Brutality — The Three Central Back Of The House Traditions Of The Fine Dining Industry

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Greater Leimert Park Village BID Sued In Order To Enforce Compliance With The Public Records Act — It’s Another One That Just Won’t Even Respond — How Freaking Hard Can It Be?

Take a look at this CPRA petition against the Greater Leimert Park Village BID. It is the latest in a fairly long series of complaints I’ve been forced to file not because the BID is illegally withholding records, not because they’re putting me off and putting me off, not because they’re implementing a lot of chuckleheaded Humistonian delay tactics, but just because they simply do not respond at all. You can read a transcription of selections from the petition after the break.

In short, though, this BID is of interest for two overarching reasons.1 First, and least, because it’s in the process of renewing, a process which is both fascinating and important. BID renewal has interesting intersections with the Municipal Lobbying Ordinance and other core political issues. Everything about it is important. By ignoring my CPRA requests the Leimert Park Village BID is obstructing our increased understanding of this essential process in the lives of our BIDs.

Second, and more importantly, as everyone knows, Leimert Park is presently undergoing lightspeed and brutal gentrification. This, in turn, is related to City Attorney Mike Feuer’s putative gang crackdown at Baldwin Village Apartments. It’s well known that the City uses these actions as a way to make neighborhoods feel safer for white residents and thereby encourages and supports gentrification.

Business improvement districts have been active agents for gentrification in Hollywood, Downtown, in Venice, and probably elsewhere. Thus the question of whether the Leimert Park Village BID is involved at all in this process is inherently interesting. Even the fact that they’re not involved, if true, would be of great public interest.

And yet, by refusing to respond at all to my queries, the BID is thwarting the public’s ability to understand these weighty matters. But of course, there’s nothing surprising here. This, it seems, is just one of the things that BIDdies in LA do. Stay tuned for further info and turn the page for transcribed selections from the petition.
Continue reading Greater Leimert Park Village BID Sued In Order To Enforce Compliance With The Public Records Act — It’s Another One That Just Won’t Even Respond — How Freaking Hard Can It Be?

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Palisades BID Brown Act Demand Letter Leads To Complete And Total Victory! — Elliot “Cabeza De Calabaza” Zorensky And His Merry Gang Of Freaks Out In Northwest Zillionaireville Issue An Unconditional Commitment To Stop Breaking The Damn Law!

Of course you remember my ongoing Brown Act enforcement project, whereby I use threats of imminent lawsuits to try to get our City’s various business improvement districts to just follow the damn law for once. And a few weeks ago I sent the Pacific Palisades BID a sternly-worded demand letter outlining an egregious violation of the Brown Act involving illegal meetings via email and insisting, per statute, that they unconditionally commit to never breaking that particular requirement of the law again.

Well, they got the letter, and then they had two closed sessions and an open session to figure out what to do about it. You can read the agendas here. No doubt they had to have so many discussions because Elliot Zorensky is the second ragiest rageball in all of BIDlandia1 and probably had to have his oversized head wrapped in pressure bandages to keep it from exploding during the discussions and a mummy-style noggin and an impending privilege-violation-induced aneurysm are not elements highly congenial to rational, reasoned, efficient discussion.

But whatever the circumstances, it seems that reason did in fact ultimately prevail, and, them not having any other reasonable option, they decided to send me the required letter. And thus it was that, after many a twixt-lip-slip involving USPS protocols for receiving certified mail, I did finally lay my hands on a copy of said letter. And it says all the stuff it’s supposed to say. In other words, it’s another great victory for the rule of law and a great defeat for those parochial weirdo zillionaires out in the Palisades.

There is nothing like a little cheerful gravedancing on a Friday afternoon, friends! I can recommend it highly! And not only that, but there’s a transcription of their letter of capitulation after the break so you can read it too. And if you want to do a little gravedancing of your own I can highly recommend this little number right here as the soundtrack!
Continue reading Palisades BID Brown Act Demand Letter Leads To Complete And Total Victory! — Elliot “Cabeza De Calabaza” Zorensky And His Merry Gang Of Freaks Out In Northwest Zillionaireville Issue An Unconditional Commitment To Stop Breaking The Damn Law!

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Pyschopathic Rageball George Yu Was Nowhere To Be Seen — Neither Was Anyone Else From The Damn BID — Chinatown BID Completely Skips Yesterday’s Court Hearing — What Are They Thinking? — These Things Don’t Just Go Away On Their Own — Don’t Grownups Know That?

So you might recall that in August Katherine McNenny and I were forced by the unhinged intransigence of psychopathic rageball George Yu of the Chinatown BID to file a writ petition asking that the court compel him and his thuggish little weirdo henchies in the BID to obey the freaking law and hand over the records we asked for. And then you might recall that in September he and his damnable minions failed to even answer the petition.

Well, yesterday was the trial setting conference, way up north in the Stanley Mosk courthouse, in good old Department 86.1 And the Chinatown BID didn’t change up its strategy at all. No one showed up. Neither George Yu nor minion nor henchie nor lawyer nor counselor nor advocate nor consigliere. Just nobody. And did the judge do anything to them? Punish them in any way for their continued failure to respond? Nope. He continued the hearing until December 26. If they don’t get in trouble, how are they ever gonna learn? I guess we’ll find out.2
Continue reading Pyschopathic Rageball George Yu Was Nowhere To Be Seen — Neither Was Anyone Else From The Damn BID — Chinatown BID Completely Skips Yesterday’s Court Hearing — What Are They Thinking? — These Things Don’t Just Go Away On Their Own — Don’t Grownups Know That?

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Remember That CPRA Request That Estela Lopez Made About The Skid Row Neighborhood Council In January 2017? — To The Department Of Neighborhood Empowerment About The Election? — Well Newly Obtained Information Shows That Less Than Ten Days After She Sent It She Complained To José Huizar Personally That They Hadn’t Responded — This From A Woman Who Can’t Comply With The CPRA To Save Her Life — Complaining To A Councilmember Who Also Can’t Comply With The CPRA — Or Federal Anti-Corruption Laws For That Matter

This is a new piece of an old story. You may recall that in January 2017, right after the Skid Row Neighborhood Council subdivision effort was certified by the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, Skid Row’s own high priestess of Satan and associated evil deities, that is to say Estela Lopez, made a request under the public records act seeking various bits of information to toss into the wicked potion then, unbeknownst to the side of the angels, bubbling away in her reeking cauldron and with which she and her killer klown krew of slithy minions and halfwit henchies would later put the SRNC into a coma just like Snow Freaking White.1

That’s old news, of course,2 but still interesting. You can read Estela Lopez’s request right here and there’s a transcription of that PDF somewhere down the page in this old post. But what’s new this morning is this just-obtained email from Estela Lopez to CD14 repster José Huizar,3 in which, after a little obligatory sycophancy, she complains to José Huizar that DONE didn’t answer her request on time:

From: Estela Lopez <ELopez@centralcityeast.org>
To: josé huizar <jose.huizar@lacity.org>
Cc: Ari Simon <ari.simon@lacity.org>, Martin Schlageter <Martin.Schlageter@lacity.org>
Date: Fri, Jan 27, 2017 at 5:13 PM

Dear Jose, thanks so much for today’s meeting. Below is the request I submitted to DONE on January 17. I have not received a reply. Today represents the 10-day deadline for at least an initial response to a CPRA request.

Have a good weekend. See you on Broadway!

Cordially,

Estela Lopez

I mean, really. The sheer platonically ideal chutzpah of this woman just boggles.4 She’s complaining to José Huizar that DONE didn’t answer her request within the legal deadline when (a) she herself is one of the City’s worst violaters of the CPRA,5 (b) José Huizar is also essentially incapable of complying with the CPRA,6 (c) most of us don’t have access to our councilmembers to encourage City departments to comply with the CPRA,7 and, worst of all, (d) DONE wasn’t actually in violation of the law at that point, so she really had nothing to complain about.

Not that this kind of clueless exploitation of privilege is anything surprising at this point, but it is what we write about here. Turn the page for a discussion of the technical aspects of the CPRA relating to Estela Lopez’s complaint!
Continue reading Remember That CPRA Request That Estela Lopez Made About The Skid Row Neighborhood Council In January 2017? — To The Department Of Neighborhood Empowerment About The Election? — Well Newly Obtained Information Shows That Less Than Ten Days After She Sent It She Complained To José Huizar Personally That They Hadn’t Responded — This From A Woman Who Can’t Comply With The CPRA To Save Her Life — Complaining To A Councilmember Who Also Can’t Comply With The CPRA — Or Federal Anti-Corruption Laws For That Matter

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South Park BID Zeck Dreck Warns Her BIDdie Board Members That All Their Emails Are Gonna End Up On This Blog — Nothing To Be Alarmed About Says Ellen Salome Riotto — Just Be Thoughtful About What You Put In Writing — Wait. What? — Why Should They Be Thoughtful If They’re Not A Buncha Damn Criminals? — Oh Yeah — They Are A Buncha Damn Criminals

As you know, I’ve been getting massive luscious piles of emails from the South Park BID lately because Zeck Dreck Ellen Salome Riotto, unlike her bloodstained cynical antisocial prostrating-herself-before-the-stinking-hooves-of-satan predecessor, places some importance on actually following the law.1 And a lot of the stuff I’m getting is really serious. Implicates matters of the deepest public interest and so on.2

But it’s not all serious, friends. You know what all work and no play does to Jack, right? Just think what it’s gonna do to us. A fate worse than a fate worse than death! And so follow me as we indulge ourselves in a little pure entertainment!3 Tonight’s post is the merest of mere trifles, a bagatelle, a cipher, a nothing, a frothy confection of emptiness, and so on. But it’s funny, so here we are. And it’s one of those funny things that really doesn’t need any explanation. Explanation would just kill the delicate flavor. It’d be gilding the lily, throwing perfume on the violet, adding another hue unto the rainbow, and so freaking on.

Thus, friends, just read this email, wherein Ellen Salome Riotto tells her board that all their emails are going to end up on the open internet courtesy of yours truly but that there’s nothing to worry about as long as they are thoughtful about what they write. Or, she failed to say, as long as they just stop engaging in activities that force them to be thoughtful about what they write for fear of it ending up on this blog. And there’s a transcription of the whole damn thing right after the break!
Continue reading South Park BID Zeck Dreck Warns Her BIDdie Board Members That All Their Emails Are Gonna End Up On This Blog — Nothing To Be Alarmed About Says Ellen Salome Riotto — Just Be Thoughtful About What You Put In Writing — Wait. What? — Why Should They Be Thoughtful If They’re Not A Buncha Damn Criminals? — Oh Yeah — They Are A Buncha Damn Criminals

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