This is just a short note to announce two massive sets of emails that I’ve obtained over the last couple weeks. There’s so much material here that it’s taken an unusual amount of time to get it processed and published. I will be writing about this material over the next few weeks. There’s so much, and it’s so rich, that it’s going to take me a while to get it all sorted out, so I thought it’d be best to make it available to you right away:
Downtown Santa Monica BID — Emails between the City of Santa Monica and the Downtown Santa Monica BID from January 1 through September 8, 2017.
Greetings, friends! If you’ve been wondering what you were going to do this morning after finishing off the Times crossword1 here are a bunch of new public records for your reading pleasure. There’s no single document here that’s mind-blowingly important, but, as I have mentioned many and many a time, we all are strong believers around here in the Mosaic Theory of Intelligence Gathering, and these are just more puzzle pieces, some of them quite important qua puzzle pieces!2
Assorted Fashion District Emails 2017 — These are emails to/from people at the Fashion District BID and various other correspondents. There are no real blockbusters here compared to, e.g., last month’s momentous release of Skid Row Neighborhood Council emails, but there is some interesting stuff. Perhaps most interesting is this set, which includes a bunch of conspiratorial nonsense from the Central City Association as well as a detailed report-out from the BID’s Board retreat in March. This latter document will certainly turn out to be essential in at least one project I’m pursuing in relation to lobbying by BIDs, a sadly and almost surely illegally unregulated activity.
Yesterday, after numerous failed attempts on her part,2 Suzanne Holley of Carol Schatzie’s baby-doll of a Downtown Center BID, sent me a bunch of emails between her staff and the LAPD. You can get all of these at Archive.Org in various useful formats.3 Amongst these was yet another copy of Eugene Shin’s email to all BIDs directing them to get their security patrols registered with the Police Commission.
Recall that I’ve been tracking the hysterical, irrational opposition of LA’s business improvement districts to the ongoing process of legalizing (some aspects of) street vending in the City since the Spring of 2015. A truly astonishing level of bitching and moaning in 2015 stalled out the whole process for most of 2016 because, I believe, everyone was too freaking sick of the whining and the carefully orchestrated lying on any number of occasions and the City just needed a rest. Until the November election of Donald Trump and his subsequent threats to deport essentially anyone, U.S. citizen or not, who’d ever smiled while thinking of eating a taco spurred the Council into action on at least the small part (small but in no way insignificant) of the plan to decriminalize illegal street vending so that, no matter how much trouble the zillionaires might cause the heladeros, at least they wouldn’t be subject to arrest and subsequent deportation. That bit seemed urgent enough to pass Council outright, and even the anti-vending forces of the zillionaire elite seemed to realize that they were just going to be exposed as the nasty little mean creeps that they are if they fought back on this particular issue. However, the Council put off acting on an actual legalization framework until later.
But recall, as I reported in January, the instructions for the report-back were altered from the original, and quite sensible,1 request for
A process to create special vending districts to be initiated by Council, the Board of Public Works, or petition (with signatures from 20 percent of property owners or businesses in the proposed district), based on legitimate public health, safety and welfare concerns that are unique to specific neighborhoods with special circumstances.
to a request for language
Providing the City Council the ability to opt out of certain streets by Council action.
Perhaps you recall that I recently put a bunch of transaction records from the South Park BID up on Archive.Org because they’re both intrinsically interesting and also exceedingly useful in estimating how much shadowy BID consultant Tara Devine gets paid to drop yet another BID on our fair City; about $80,000, if my chain of inference is correct. Well, just recently I received SPBID’s transaction log from July 1, 2016 through January 31, 2017, which adds another $17,635 to Tara Devine’s running total. This makes more than $95,000 that the South Park BIDdies have paid Tara Devine. It’s probably not all for their BID renewal, though. As I reported the other day, the two South Park BIDs1 are evidently merging into one big bad BID, and Tara Devine is shepherding them through the sausage factory City Clerk’s office, so probably that’s mostly what she’s being paid for at this point. I have more requests in that may help us sort out the details.
We still have not had time to read through the vast dump of Fashion District BID emails that I recently published on the Archive, but we’re working on it. This morning, though, while reading through the endless bitching and moaning, I happened to notice this little gem from January 2016. It’s an email about her impending retirement as president and CEO of the nightmare horror show Central City Association, in which she states:
Lastly, while there will be some changes in my responsibilities, there is one title I will never relinquish: I will always be the Queen of Downtown. Make no mistake about that!
Last Wednesday our faithful correspondent and a small contingent of other MK.org staffers hit the 704 Eastbound on SMB to the Echo Park Office of Hollywood’s own Mitch O’Farrell, where he had an appointment with Hollywood Field Deputy Daniel Halden to look at both oodles and scads of very highly miscellaneous emails and other goodies.
It was our intention to follow our traditional course of conduct after such missions and hit up the loveliest Brite Spot at the corner of Sunset and Park, but ’twas not to be. For some reason known only to them and their accountant they’re closing at 4 pm throughout the Summer. One can only hope and pray that they’ll get back to normal hours later. But we digress.
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.