Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Gil Cedillo and Marqueece Harris-Dawson Introduce Measure To Prohibit Evictions Of Renters In Non-Stabilized Units Except For Just Cause As Defined In The RSO

This story is way off my beat, but it’s interesting and I haven’t seen it covered anywhere else, so I thought I’d write a short note about it.1 On April 19, Gil Cedillo and Marqueece Harris-Dawson initiated Council File 17-0454 with this motion, which instructs HCIDLA to recommend to the Council an ordinance which would prohibit landlords from evicting tenants in units NOT subject to the Rent Stabilization Ordinance without “just cause.”2

Just cause would be defined as it is in the RSO, which at §151.09 gives a list of 14 allowable reasons for eviction. Laws like this are being adopted throughout the Bay Area, and the motion instructs HCIDLA to ask cities up there how they’re doing it.

This ordinance won’t solve everything, and of course there are some loopholes, most notably in paragraph 10, which essentially duplicates the much-abused, much-reviled Ellis Act, allowing evictions in case the owner is going to demolish the structure or remove it from the rental market. But nothing’s perfect, and a law like this would be far, far better than nothing. It will be interesting to see what kind of pushback the zillionaires apply. My guess is that it’s too politically harmful for them to come out explicitly against it, so they’ll support it and rely on loopholes and an always-sympathetic City government to be sure that it won’t actually apply to them at all.

Turn the page for the complete text of the motion.
Continue reading Gil Cedillo and Marqueece Harris-Dawson Introduce Measure To Prohibit Evictions Of Renters In Non-Stabilized Units Except For Just Cause As Defined In The RSO

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LAHSA’s Erroneous Zombie Eleven Percent Increase in City Homeless Population Resurrected in Two Recent Council Motions Despite May 2016 Retraction

Bob Blumenfield, Councilmember from CD3, providing yet another example of how hard it is to find good staff.
Bob Blumenfield, Councilmember from CD3, providing yet another example of how hard it is to find good staff.
Earlier this year LAHSA announced with much fanfare and gnashing of the old dental protrusions that the homeless population of the City of Los Angeles had increased by 11% year over year. Well, in May Eric Garcetti pointed out that math is hard and after a bunch of frantic recalculations as reported in the Times here everyone, Garcetti’s office and LAHSA in the person of E.D. Peter Lynn, settled on a revised figure of about a 5% increase in the City.

But then in June 2016 Hillel Aron used the 11% figure in the L.A. Weekly, although he retracted it promptly when the error was pointed out to him.1 and I thought that would be the end of it. However, this past week brought us two new Council files supplementary to the Homelessness Crisis file. These are CF 15-1138-S12, moved by Curren Price and Marqueece Harris-Dawson and CF 15-1138-S13, moved by Bob Blumenfield and Harris-Dawson again. And both motions (S12 and S13) cite the erroneous 11% figure for some reason. There are some red faces on the fourth floor of 200 N. Spring Street this morning, friends!
Continue reading LAHSA’s Erroneous Zombie Eleven Percent Increase in City Homeless Population Resurrected in Two Recent Council Motions Despite May 2016 Retraction

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Deputy Chief Beatrice Girmala Reads This Blog!!! And Pete Zarcone and Some State Department Anti-Terrorist Hack Engage in Homosocial Bonding by Insulting Bill Farrar!! NO GIRLZ ALLOWD!!

Between them, Girmala and Seyler account for 64% of the hits on this blog!
Between them, Girmala and Seyler account for 64% of the hits on this blog!
This morning our faithful correspondent rode the good old Red Line to the South, to the East, to the Civic Center, to the good old LAPD Discovery Section, where he was privileged to scan maybe a thousand pages of emails between various LAPD luminaries and the BIDs. There’s some serious and important stuff in there, and you’ll be reading about a lot of it here. But there’s also some silly stuff, and we’re breaking out a couple of the goofiest for you here tonight.
Valorie Keegan and Tom LaBonge in 2008, before this blog was even a gleam in Mike's eye... which is why they can afford to laugh!
Valorie Keegan and Tom LaBonge in 2008, before this blog was even a gleam in Mike’s eye… which is why they can afford to laugh!

First we have this little gem, where some lady named Valorie Keegan, who is the current vice chair of the Hollywood Police Advisory Board but beyond that even the Google doesn’t seem to know exactly what she does, emails a link to our humble blog straight to LAPD Deputy Chief Beatrice Girmala! And which article is it a link to? It’s this old crowd pleaser about Pete Zarcone and the appearance of corruption at the LAPD. Valorie even admits that our conclusion is true. How’s that for validation from the top?! Chief Bea didn’t seem to have much to say back to Valorie, but if you look at the detailed summary at the top of the email, you’ll see that Chief Bea forwarded the email to someone. Our next task? Find out who! Maybe our readership isn’t 92% Kerry Morrison and her lawyers. Maybe we’re a big hit over at 100 W. First Street as well!

And then there’s this meaty little slab of boys-will-be-boys. It seems that a girl made it into the State Department, despite the large handpainted “NO GURLZ ALLOWD” sign nailed to the bottom of the tree. She emailed Captain Pete and a bunch of other boyz thusly:
Continue reading Deputy Chief Beatrice Girmala Reads This Blog!!! And Pete Zarcone and Some State Department Anti-Terrorist Hack Engage in Homosocial Bonding by Insulting Bill Farrar!! NO GIRLZ ALLOWD!!

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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!

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How to Destroy a Business Improvement District in California: A Theory

This would be an effective, emotionally satisfying, and poetically just way to get rid of business improvement districts, but I'm hoping for something a little more environmentally friendly.
This would be an effective, emotionally satisfying, and poetically just way to get rid of business improvement districts, but I’m hoping for something a little more environmentally friendly.
DISCLAIMER: I’m not a lawyer. But I’m friends with some lawyers. More than zero of them did not laugh out loud at the idea you’re about to read. That’s all I got.

Business improvement districts in California are made possible by the Property & Business Improvement District Law of 1994.1 It’s worth reading, or at least skimming through, because there’s gold in them thar hills! For instance, consider Section 36670(a)(1), which states:

36670.(a) Any district established or extended pursuant to the provisions of this part … may be disestablished by resolution by the city council in either of the following circumstances:

(1) If the city council finds there has been misappropriation of funds, malfeasance, or a violation of law in connection with the management of the district, it shall notice a hearing on disestablishment.

Do you see the potential in that statement? The fact that it’s a tool for laying waste the BIDs of Los Angeles like so many Philistines? It’s a little hard to understand statutes, but here’s a clue: when they say “shall” they mean “must,” not “can.” Now turn the page to find out why this little statute, if not more powerful than Doug Henning and his sparkly rainbow suspenders as pictured above, is possibly as effective a BID repellent but much, much more emotionally satisfying than mere poofsly-woofsly magical annihilation.
Continue reading How to Destroy a Business Improvement District in California: A Theory

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LAMC 41.47.1: This Seemingly Unknown Municipal Bathroom Law Could Change the Whole Public Urination Discussion in Los Angeles, but it has Never Been Used

These signs are hanging all over the City of Los Angeles, and it turns out that they're completely unenforceable.
These signs are hanging all over the City of Los Angeles, and it turns out that they’re completely unenforceable.

Arrests for public urination/defecation are a fundamental tool in the war against homeless people in Los Angeles, as well as being a major part of the BID Patrol’s work in Hollywood. In 2015, for instance, the BID’s data shows that about 8%1 of the arrests that Andrews International made across the two HPOA BIDs2 were for public urination/defecation, which is a violation of LAMC 41.47.2.

When the City Council passed LAMC 41.47.2 in 2003, they were roundly (and rightly) criticized by advocates for the rights of homeless people, who pointed out that it was inhumane to criminalize an activity that is necessary to sustain life without providing a practical alternative. My colleagues have written before about how Councilmembers responded to this by promising informally that it wouldn’t be enforced if there were no nearby public restrooms and by promising to install more public restrooms around the City. However, they failed to amend the actual statute, which has led to widespread abuse.3 And 13 years later there aren’t significantly more public restrooms.

However, there is another part of the public urination law, LAMC 41.47.1, which is never even mentioned in discussions of the issue, and yet it is not only relevant, but radically, transformatively relevant. It was adopted by the Council in 1988 and says:

If restroom facilities are made available for the public, clients, or employees, no person owning, controlling, or having charge of such accommodation or facility shall prohibit or prevent the use of such restroom facilities by a person with a physical handicap, regardless of whether that person is a customer, client, employee, or paid entrant to the accommodation or facility. Employee restrooms need not be made available if there are other restroom facilities available on the premises unless employee restroom facilities have been constructed or altered to accommodate the physically handicapped and such facilities are not available elsewhere on the premises.

This has the potential to change the entire conversation about public restrooms, public urination, and homelessness in Los Angeles.
Continue reading LAMC 41.47.1: This Seemingly Unknown Municipal Bathroom Law Could Change the Whole Public Urination Discussion in Los Angeles, but it has Never Been Used

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It Turns Out that LAHSA is Statistically Challenged When it Comes to Counting the Homeless, Not Just LAHSA Commissioner Kerry Morrison. Even Eric Garcetti, LA’s Technocrat, Can’t Count

Peter Lynn, ED of LAHSA: "Math is hard!!"
Peter Lynn, ED of LAHSA: “Math is hard!!”
We have written before about LAHSA Commissioner and BID boss lady Kerry Morrison’s difficulties with statistical analysis, at least when it comes to counting the homeless population of the two BIDs she bosses. There was this little gem, where depending on how one looked at her chart the figure under discussion varied from about 25% to about 145%. And then just the other day she was seen waving about bar graphs and making wild claims about how many new homeless people would be attracted to her BID if Ted Landreth had his way with the Salvation Army. What these two incidents had in common was that they overcounted the homeless population of the BIDs. And this is not unexpected, since Kerry Morrison uses statistics for propaganda purposes only, and it is in her interest, the interest of her zillionaire masters, to overcount whenever possible, as it amplifies the hysterical atmosphere in which these BIDdies thrive.
Although she was much maligned for saying so, Barbie was right!  Math class is, in fact, tough.
Although she was much maligned for saying so, Barbie was right! Math class is, in fact, tough.

But we had hitherto assumed that in her role as public servant she’d bring her best game to bear. If not out of a sense of service and public obligation, then at least out of caution given the level of scrutiny that attaches to LAHSA Commissioners over and above that to which BID bosses are subjected. But, according to a report in this morning’s LA Times, this is evidently not the case. It turns out that the Times and Eric Garcetti found some basic errors in LAHSA’s analysis of its 2016 homeless count. These led LAHSA to greatly overestimate the increase in the County’s homeless population. Of course, overestimates are good for LAHSA, just as they are for the BID. The more homeless people there are, the more money LAHSA gets.1
Continue reading It Turns Out that LAHSA is Statistically Challenged When it Comes to Counting the Homeless, Not Just LAHSA Commissioner Kerry Morrison. Even Eric Garcetti, LA’s Technocrat, Can’t Count

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Federal Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California Shows Up BIDs for the Mewling and Puking Liars they Are

The brave, the stalwart, the wise federal judge Michael W. Fitzgerald of the United States District Court for the Central District of California, kicking ass and taking names.
The brave, the stalwart, the wise federal judge Michael W. Fitzgerald of the United States District Court for the Central District of California, kicking ass and taking names.
Note that formerly Ukrainian first amendment maven and all-round mensch Eugene Volokh has already explained this better than we’re ever going to, so you may want to hop over to there for background. TL;DR is that the city of Inglewood sued Inglewood resident Joseph Teixeira in federal court, claiming that Teixeira’s reuse of their city-produced videos of city council meetings to create weaponized mockery of, among others, Inglewood mayor James Butts violated their copyright in said videos.

Well, Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California (that’s federalese for “Los Angeles”) not only dismissed Inglewood’s case, he terminated it with extreme prejudice. You can read the order here if you wish, and it’s smoking hot. The salient bit for this blog is, according to Volokh, that:

The court held that, under California law (see, e.g., County of Santa Clara v. Superior Court (Cal. Ct. App. 2009)), cities can’t claim copyright in public records. And while the city claims that this provision is trumped by federal copyright law, the court rejected that argument — federal law treats local governments as political subdivisions of the state, and a state has the power to control what its subdivisions do (including which federal rights they claim).

Now, I can hear you all murmuring and wondering out there in internetlandia, saying “sure, Kohlhaas, we hear you, but what does this got to do with the BIDs??!” Well, friends, we’re glad you asked!
Continue reading Federal Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California Shows Up BIDs for the Mewling and Puking Liars they Are

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