What Passes For Wit Among Zillionaires — South Park BID Board Members Paul Keller And Bob Buente Mockingly Refer To Downtown Homeless Encampments As “Bombay” And “Calcutta” — Super-Genius Paul Keller Proposes Illegally Using BID Staff Outside BID Borders To Clean Encampments — Has To Be Talked Down Off That Particular Ledge By BID Zeck Dreck Ellen Salome Riotto Who — Despite Her Devotion To Her Satanic DTLA Masters — At Least Has Some Goddamn Sense — Also Riotto Reveals Hitherto Unknown Illegal Downtown BID Anti-Homeless Intelligence Gathering Conspiracy

Last Thursday morning off I went to the concrete canyons of Downtown Los Angeles to sit through yet another interminable gathering of the Board of Directors of the South Park BID and, just for you, dear reader, I have posted video of the whole damn thing both here on YouTube and here on Archive.org. And it was mostly more of the same old bad BIDness, but without a quorum, so no action was taken.

There were a few interesting episodes though, and I’ll be writing about one or more of them soon enough, but the text for today’s sermon is this little hissy fit, pitched by none other than the finest legal mind of his generation, that is to say self-proclaimed schmuck Paul Keller, accompanied by the narcissistic back-up harmony vocal stylings of the BID’s own Uncle Fester,1 which is to say Bob Freaking Buente. There is, of course, a transcription of the whole damn thing after the break, and juicy quotes interspersed throughout the article here.

Paul Keller wants to talk about … underpasses. The ones he drives under when he gets off the freeway in the morning. They’re filled with homeless people. Paul Keller doesn’t like this. Bob Buente reminds him that in zillionairese underpasses are referred to as “Bombay” and/or “Calcutta.”2 What he really seems to hate about them is that (a) they are offensive to his finely honed zillionaire aesthetics and (b) he can’t ignore them because there’s a traffic signal there: “But unfortunately the light causes you to be in Bombay if it’s red.” The problem evidently is that CalTrans has jurisdiction over underpasses so the usual zillionaire methods of getting shit done, like e.g. giving José Huizar another 700 bucks, aren’t effective.

Turn the page to learn what the other problem is, how Ellen Salome Riotto schooled Paul Keller a little bit but he just won’t listen and wants her to break the law anyway, and the big reveal! All the Downtown BIDs are compiling anti-homeless intelligence which they’re evidently going to pass on to Miguel Santiago, possibly in anticipation of his becoming CD14 repster in 2020 because José Huizar’s rapey incontinence has effectively torpedoed the political ambitions of the other Huizar, his hand-picked successor, that is, of course, Richelle.
Continue reading What Passes For Wit Among Zillionaires — South Park BID Board Members Paul Keller And Bob Buente Mockingly Refer To Downtown Homeless Encampments As “Bombay” And “Calcutta” — Super-Genius Paul Keller Proposes Illegally Using BID Staff Outside BID Borders To Clean Encampments — Has To Be Talked Down Off That Particular Ledge By BID Zeck Dreck Ellen Salome Riotto Who — Despite Her Devotion To Her Satanic DTLA Masters — At Least Has Some Goddamn Sense — Also Riotto Reveals Hitherto Unknown Illegal Downtown BID Anti-Homeless Intelligence Gathering Conspiracy

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The City Council Seems To Have Lost Its Grip On Reality With Its Latest Motions On Street Vending — They Want To Keep All Previously Proposed Exclusionary Zones But Change Justification From “Zillionaires Asked For It” To “Objective Health, Safety, Or Welfare Concerns” — And Paul Koretz — Who Evidently Doesn’t Believe That Words Have Meaning — Wants To Exclude A Bunch Of BIDs On The Same Implausible Grounds — This Is Obviously Going To End Up In Court

As you no doubt know, the City of Los Angeles has been arguing about legalizing street vending for years in the face of fiercely unhinged opposition to the very idea from business improvement districts and other organized gangs of zillionaire thugs. But then the whole debate was mooted by a lightning strike from Sacramento in the form of Ricardo Lara’s SB-946, signed into law by Jerry Brown in September, which imposed a set of really stringent restrictions on the form that municipal street vending regulation can take. And not surprisingly, pretty much every dirty trick that the BIDs and their buddies forced into our City’s proposal was banned by Lara’s bill.

In particular, the BIDdies had managed to get the Council to agree that street vending could be banned in any neighborhood in Los Angeles merely because their councilmember asked for it. This serves BIDdies well, of course, because their repsters will do whatever it is that they ask in order to keep the firehose of campaign contributions turned up to eleven. By the end there they’d managed to enshrine such indefensible no-vending zones as Hollywood Boulevard and recommend that BIDs should be able to charge vendors for the privilege of operating on public streets.1

But this nonsense was switched right off by Lara’s bill, which states unequivocally that:

A local authority shall not require a sidewalk vendor to operate within specific parts of the public right-of-way, except when that restriction is directly related to objective health, safety, or welfare concerns.

And right after the bill was signed it appeared as though our esteemed City Council was taking this matter seriously. They passed a motion ordering the City Attorney to draft an ordinance that would comply with Lara’s law. But such sporadic spurts of sanity swiftly scatter around here.

And thus it wasn’t really a surprise to hear renowned bigamist and CD9 repster Curren Price on the radio yesterday talking about how Council would be able to keep all the previously proposed no-vending zones and even add more and the only difference would be, according to super-genius Curren Price, that “now we’re going to have to base them on health, safety, and welfare concerns.”2 And turn the page to read all about the drastically deep dive into the crazy vat revealed by this one little stray comment!
Continue reading The City Council Seems To Have Lost Its Grip On Reality With Its Latest Motions On Street Vending — They Want To Keep All Previously Proposed Exclusionary Zones But Change Justification From “Zillionaires Asked For It” To “Objective Health, Safety, Or Welfare Concerns” — And Paul Koretz — Who Evidently Doesn’t Believe That Words Have Meaning — Wants To Exclude A Bunch Of BIDs On The Same Implausible Grounds — This Is Obviously Going To End Up In Court

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Will Salao, Former ABC Honcho And Member Of The Racist BID-Inspired CD13-Managed Hollywood Nightclub Task Force, Indicted By The Feds For Shocking Corruption Including Taking Bribes In Koreatown — The L.A. Times Has The Story But We Have The Lurid Details — Not To Mention Copies Of Many Of The Pleadings

Remember the utterly and reprehensibly racist nightclub task force convened by CD13’s Daniel Halden for the express purpose of shutting down minority-serving nightclubs on Hollywood Boulevard at the white supremacist whim of Ms. Kerry Morrison? Well, if not, you can read all about it over here. And it’s to be expected that all of the participants in such a morally bankrupt enterprise are themselves morally bankrupt individuals. But nevertheless it’s still surprising when one of them actually gets indicted by the federal government for actual criminal corruption.

And yet that’s just what happened last month to Will Salao, former head of the Los Angeles office of the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control and former cheerfully enthusiastic member of the Hollywood Nightclub Task Force. Basically the guy teamed up with a former colleague named Scott Seo to take bribes from Koreatown bar owners to overlook violations, warn them that LAPD was going to raid their bars, send them photos of undercover vice officers, and on the other side, to pressure them to sell their bars by hitting them repeatedly with violations.

And all this at the same time, 2015 and 2016, that he was helping Kerry Morrison carry out her puritanical racial cleansing of Hollywood Boulevard. She’s so freaking focused on driving out the darkies that she’ll work with any kind of criminal at all. I really wonder if he was getting paid under the table for that too. After all, he drove bars out of business, and that’s worth money to the competition. Why wouldn’t the competition pay him for it? You can read the primary sources on this whole brouhaha here on Archive.Org.

The L.A Times published a story on Salao’s indictment a couple weeks ago, and it’s really informative and so on, but man, there are a lot of really lurid details that they just didn’t see fit to put in there, and that’s where we come in! I’m collecting all the paper here on Archive.Org. First of all, here’s a copy of the actual indictment.1 And there are endless goodies in there! The words I put in Will Salao’s mouth in the cartoon up top are direct quotes from his off-the-chain text messages to his co-conspirator, and there is a lot more where that came from! And you’ll find transcriptions of the best of it after the break!

Anyway, he seems to be out on $20,000 bail and not allowed to leave the state and to have surrendered his passport. And according to the government in the joint discovery report there is a ton of additional evidence, including video and audio. Probably we’re not going to get to see most of it, but we can always hope! The trial is presently set for December 11, 2018, but the parties have stipulated that none of them will be ready by then, so I imagine it’ll be reset.

And now, what you know you’ve been waiting for! Turn the page for the most amazing selections from the indictment, showing just what kind of fleas Ms. Kerry Morrison has exposed herself to by lying down with dogs such as Will Salao for no better purpose than closing down hip-hop nightclubs on Hollywood Boulevard!
Continue reading Will Salao, Former ABC Honcho And Member Of The Racist BID-Inspired CD13-Managed Hollywood Nightclub Task Force, Indicted By The Feds For Shocking Corruption Including Taking Bribes In Koreatown — The L.A. Times Has The Story But We Have The Lurid Details — Not To Mention Copies Of Many Of The Pleadings

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The South Park BID Failed To Even Negotiate Let Alone Execute A Contract With Tara Devine For Handling Their 2017 Renewal — They Didn’t Even Realize There Was No Contract Until My CPRA Request Called Their Attention To It — At Which Point Bob Buente Suggested Fraudulently Executing A Back-Dated Contract — But Worried This Would Haunt The Board If “we’re deposed because Tara does something nefarious” — Ellen Riotto — Who Has More Common Sense Than The Average Zeck Dreck — Advised Against It

So in 2017, back when I was trying to understand Tara Devine’s BID consultancy work for the South Park BID, I sent the Parkies a CPRA request for her contract.1 At the time, twisted little minion Katie Kiefer, who quit the BID earlier this year and is now working for shockingly rapey CD14 repster José Huizar, kept telling me that the BID didn’t have any records responsive to my request. I found this impossible to believe, that putatively competent zillionaire business types would hire someone to do a job for which they’d be paid in the high five figures and not have a written contract explaining what they were expected to do.

It didn’t seem plausible2 so I assumed Katie Kiefer was playing word games with me, which was exactly the kind of crapola she was pulling at the time, all under the baleful influence of Carol Humiston, the world’s angriest CPRA lawyer, along with the rest of her 2017 Parkie buddies. You can read the whole correspondence here on Archive.Org if you’re interested.3 But now, thanks to the recent release of Bob Buente’s emails, a hyper-Aladdinesque trove of wonders provided to me by the ever-helpful Ellen Salome Riotto, current zeck dreck of the Parkers, the truth has come out and can now be explained!

I made my original request for Tara Devine’s contract on July 12, 2017. On July 13, 2017 the Parkies, hiding as usual behind their sinister masks, told me that there was no contract. And here’s where things get interesting! The next day, on July 14, 2017, Ellen Riotto emailed her executive committee and asked them if there even was a contract:

From: Ellen Riotto <ellen@southpark.la>
To: Robin Bieker <robin@biekerco.com>, “Sjordan@legends.net” <Sjordan@legends.net>, “daniel@jadeent.com” <daniel@jadeent.com>, “bbuente@1010dev.org” <bbuente@1010dev.org>, “JLall@ccala.org” <JLall@ccala.org>
Subject: Devine Strategies Contract approval

All,

Per the CA Public Records Act, we’ve been asked to disclose our contract with Tara. The only record we have on file is her proposal, attached. We do not have a final signed contract. We looked through meeting mins to see if we could track down a board vote to approve the proposal, but were unsuccessful. Do you recall if this decision was made by the executive committee?

Thanks

Ellen

The attached proposal she mentions in the email is available here. Also note that if she were following the law she would have asked these BIDdies if they had the records before she told me that they did not, but there’s not much to be done about that. And with that simple request, things really went off the rails!
Continue reading The South Park BID Failed To Even Negotiate Let Alone Execute A Contract With Tara Devine For Handling Their 2017 Renewal — They Didn’t Even Realize There Was No Contract Until My CPRA Request Called Their Attention To It — At Which Point Bob Buente Suggested Fraudulently Executing A Back-Dated Contract — But Worried This Would Haunt The Board If “we’re deposed because Tara does something nefarious” — Ellen Riotto — Who Has More Common Sense Than The Average Zeck Dreck — Advised Against It

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Rebecca Cooley v. City Of Los Angeles — On October 21, 2018 Carol Sobel Filed Yet Another Federal Suit Against The City Of Los Angeles — Alleging The Illegal Confiscation And Destruction Of The Property Of Rebecca Cooley, Benjamin Hubert, And Casimir Zoroda — Three Disabled Homeless People Living In Venice At The Time — Seeks Class Action Status For Approximately 60 Others Similarly Situated

On October 21, 2018 Carol Sobel filed suit in federal court against the City of Los Angeles on behalf of three named homeless people along with about sixty others similarly situated. The three, Rebecca Cooley, her husband Benjamin Hubert, and Casimir Zaroda, are homeless people who were living on the streets in Venice in September 2017 when the City of Los Angeles, without notice and without any kind of process, confiscated and destroyed their property, including tents, blankets, essential paperwork, transit passes, and other items essential to the maintenance of human life. The suit comes just as the City is resuming its horrific, indiscriminate sweeps of homeless encampments outside of neighborhoods covered by the various injunctions.

The initial complaint claims that the City’s actions violate constitutional bans on takings and on unlawful seizure as well as the constitutional guarantee of due process. These familiar theories have been consistently upheld by federal courts up to and including the Ninth Circuit,1 all of which have been willing to issue and/or uphold injunctions against the City’s property confiscation and destruction policies. So it’s hard to imagine that the City can prevail on these issues.

Also, because two of the three named plaintiffs are disabled along with many of the similarly situated unnamed plaintiffs, the complaint also alleges that the City violated the Americans With Disabilities Act by confiscating their essential papers and means of transportation, by storing confiscated property in locations and facilities not properly accessible to disabled people, and, in general, by following policies and practices with respect to homeless people’s property that disproportionately burden disabled people.

Turn the page for transcriptions of selections from the initial complaint.
Continue reading Rebecca Cooley v. City Of Los Angeles — On October 21, 2018 Carol Sobel Filed Yet Another Federal Suit Against The City Of Los Angeles — Alleging The Illegal Confiscation And Destruction Of The Property Of Rebecca Cooley, Benjamin Hubert, And Casimir Zoroda — Three Disabled Homeless People Living In Venice At The Time — Seeks Class Action Status For Approximately 60 Others Similarly Situated

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Fashion District BID Lawsuit — Motion Filed To Compel BID To Explain Just What The Heck They Were Talking About When They Claimed All Those Exemptions — Carol Humiston Says “No Way — You Can’t Make Us Tell You” — Hearing Scheduled For November 16 At 9:30 AM

In August I had to file suit against the Fashion District BID to compel them to comply with the California Public Records Act. One of the main issues in the suit is a bunch of various really implausible exemption claims by FDBID executive director Rena Leddy. Now, it’s well understood that the burden of proving that an exemption claim allows a record to be withheld lies entirely on the withholding agency. The CPRA says explicitly at §6255(a) that:

The agency shall justify withholding any record by demonstrating that the record in question is exempt under express provisions of this chapter or that on the facts of the particular case the public interest served by not disclosing the record clearly outweighs the public interest served by disclosure of the record.

At the time that Leddy denied my requests I asked her to justify her decisions to withhold but she refused to do so even though the law clearly requires it.1 But it sure is hard to dispute the BID’s exemption claims if no one knows what the heck they’re basing them on and they won’t explain. My lawyer asked Carol Humiston, the world’s angriest CPRA lawyer, if she’d mind listing all the withheld records and explaining why the BID withheld them.2 You can read his email here.

But Humiston, who’s not only the angriest but also pretty much tied for first place as the most obstructionist,3 wasn’t having it. Here’s what she had to say for herself in this email here:

I have considered your request for a “Vaughn Index,” which of course in
[sic] a Federal procedure, and I do not believe it is either necessary or appropriate at this time. I know of nothing that requires the BID to produce such an index. Once you have filed your brief in support of the Writ, the Court and I will have a better understanding of the issues you are raising and the appropriate course to take.

So we filed a motion asking the judge to compel the BID to produce a list of all withheld emails. This motion will be heard on November 16, 2018 at the trial setting conference at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in Department 86 before the Honorable Amy Hogue. There’s a transcription of the motion after the break.
Continue reading Fashion District BID Lawsuit — Motion Filed To Compel BID To Explain Just What The Heck They Were Talking About When They Claimed All Those Exemptions — Carol Humiston Says “No Way — You Can’t Make Us Tell You” — Hearing Scheduled For November 16 At 9:30 AM

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South Park BID Executive Directrix Ellen Riotto On Shadowy BID Consultant Tara Devine — “It Was Painful Working With Her But Frankly I Don’t Have Time” To Find Someone Else

Recently I obtained a big stack of emails from South Park BID treasurer Bob “Balder Than You’ll Ever Be” Buente and posted the whole steaming heap on Archive.Org for your reading pleasure. And one thing I’m finding in the set of records is a lot of anger towards shadowy BID consultant Tara Devine, who helped the Parkers get their BID renewed last year. For instance, as we’ve already seen, Bob Buente openly declared that he was “not a Tara fan.”

And this evening, just for tricks and snuggles, I have for your sophisticated perusal yet another fine example of the South Park we-hate-TD genre.1 It seems that in May 2018 Ellen Salome Riotto, Zeck Dreck of the South Park BID, realized almost at the last moment that if the BID was going to increase assessments for 2019 they had better get on the damn case because the relevant spreadsheet was due to the City by June 1.

And, unlike the Venice Beach BID, which just went ahead and raised the damn assessments, Ellen Riotto evidently felt a need for caution, so she asked the Executive Committee of the South Park BID2 about hiring none other than Ms. Tara Devine, seemingly on an ad hoc basis, to advise on the proper procedure for jacking up everyone’s property taxes.

Just take a look at this email of May 1, 2018 where she tells her bosses all about her plan. She mentions that she has “a call into Tara” and then, perhaps remembering that no one actually likes Tara, feels the need to affirm her bosses’ feelings: “yes, I know it was painful working with her.” So why is she calling on Tara, you might well ask. It is because she, Ellen Salome Riotto, put things off for too long and now it’s too late to get someone competent: “frankly I don’t have time to find a new consultant, bring them up to speed on our BID and make decisions.”

Of course, in order to explain the fact that she’s hiring Tara even though everyone at the BID hates Tara, she has had to own up to the fact that she, Ellen Salome Riotto, is to blame for being a poisonous procrastinator. But that’s OK! You know every single one of those damn management books they sell at every airport in this country?3

They all quote that pernicious nonsense about crisis and opportunity and Chinese writing and so forth4 and then they universally go on from there to tell people to own their damn mistakes and the bosses will be super-impressed! They might even tell people to make mistakes on purpose just so they can reap the benefits of owning them. And Ellen Salome Riotto didn’t get where she is today by not reading those books!5 And that is, no doubt, why she seems so pleased with herself for closing the email with some high-powered mistake-owning: “I want to apologize for the fire-drill here. I should have entered the reminder in my calendar on April 1st, not May 1st. Lesson learned.”

As usual, it’s another tale full of sound and fury6 but it’s interesting to those who are interested, among whom we proudly count ourselves! And we’ll be back with more soonest! And turn the page for a transcription of the complete email!
Continue reading South Park BID Executive Directrix Ellen Riotto On Shadowy BID Consultant Tara Devine — “It Was Painful Working With Her But Frankly I Don’t Have Time” To Find Someone Else

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Latest Episode In The Brown Act Enforcement Project Targets Pacific Palisades BID For Secret Email Meeting Violation — They Do This Kind Of Thing All The Time But They’re So Incredibly Slow To Respond To CPRA Requests That I’ve Never Caught Them Within The Nine Month Enforcement Window — Until Now! — Smarmy Caruso Puppet And Self-Proclaimed Board Member Rick Lemmo Channels Donald Trump Even As He Aids And Abets Brown Act Violations — Typical! — Sad!

Yesterday morning the Pacific Palisades BID became the third lucky winner in our ongoing Brown Act enforcement project, following in the hallowed footsteps of the Byzantine Latino Quarter BID and the Studio City BID after them. I sent the BIDdies this demand letter, based as usual on the Brown Act at §54960.2, which gives civic outlaws like the Palisades BIDdies the chance to avoid getting sued back to the Stone Age by issuing an unconditional commitment never to break the same law again no more.

The Byzantinios caved and issued such a letter, and the Studio Citizens did too, at least with respect to three out of the four violations of which I accused them.1 And there’s a reasonable chance that the Palisadesean BIDdies will cave as well, in the fierce face of my ferociously convincing rhetoric. But maybe they won’t, cause BID boss Elliot Zorensky is a stone cold psychopath whose anger, it seems, has so far overmastered his prudence that he will cheerfully drown his own metaphorical babies merely in the hope of splashing some metaphorical bathwater on the metaphorical silken neckties of his quite literal enemies. Hard core, yes. Sustainable? Certainly not.

And of course, to faithful readers of this blog the fact that the Palisadeseans have violated the Brown Act won’t even seem like news. They are locally famous for scoffing in the face of the Brown Act. There was that time in January 2016 when they went and held a vote by email, and that other time in April 2016 when they went and held a vote over the telephone, and that other other time in April 2016 when Sue Pascoe of the Palisades News had the damn nerve to tell Laurie Sale that the Brown Act required them to post their damn agendas where people could see them and Laurie Sale flipped out and cried on Rick Scott’s shoulder all night long.

But the problem with all those episodes in relation to the enforcement project is that good old §54960.2 requires one to start the legal process with a demand letter sent within nine months of the violation. I made my first CPRA request of the PPBID in January 2017 but because they’re a bunch of law-flouting privilege monkeys, they didn’t hand over many if any records until July 2018,2 so that the Brown Act enforcement deadlines for all those 2016 violations were past before I even learned of them.

However, in that steaming heap of records that Elliot Zorensky handed over to me in July3 there was a crucial exchange of emails between Board members that adds up to a big fat violation of the Brown Act at §54952.2(b)(1), which says:

A majority of the members of a legislative body shall not, outside a meeting authorized by this chapter, use a series of communications of any kind, directly or through intermediaries, to discuss, deliberate, or take action on any item of business that is within the subject matter jurisdiction of the legislative body.

And not only that, but the conversation took place in May 2018, so we are well within the nine month deadline. And it’s that conversation, the details of which are interesting in themselves and are to be found after the break, that forms the basis of today’s demand letter. The BID now has thirty days to respond or else we’re going to court, and you will read all about it here if you want to!
Continue reading Latest Episode In The Brown Act Enforcement Project Targets Pacific Palisades BID For Secret Email Meeting Violation — They Do This Kind Of Thing All The Time But They’re So Incredibly Slow To Respond To CPRA Requests That I’ve Never Caught Them Within The Nine Month Enforcement Window — Until Now! — Smarmy Caruso Puppet And Self-Proclaimed Board Member Rick Lemmo Channels Donald Trump Even As He Aids And Abets Brown Act Violations — Typical! — Sad!

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Remember In 2017 When Tara Devine Was The South Park BID’s Renewal Consultant? — For A While It Seemed That The Petition Drive Was Lagging And That The BID Would Have To Go To Manual Billing For Year One — BID Treasurer Bob Buente Blamed Tara Devine For This — Publicly Proclaimed Himself To Be “Not A Tara Fan” — And Also Congratulated Himself Cause He Didn’t Yell At Her On The Phone! — And When Tara Failed Ellen Salome Riotto Stepped In! — Saved The Damn Day! — And Was Rewarded Just Like A Real Life Fairy Tale!

Remember when Jessica Lall left the South Park BID after Carol Schatz’s hand popped up out of out of that lake and handed Jessica Lall control over that weaponized slice of zillionaire mob-rule known as the Central City Association? And Ellen Salome Riotto came up out of nowhere like Dick Whittington and his damn cat to assume the holy mantle of interim South Park BID Zeck Dreck?1

And around that time, for whatever reason, twisted little Parkie minion Katie Kiefer was the boss of South Park BID’s CPRA efforts. And the power went to her head, or she had not yet realized that Carol Freaking Humiston was working through her own weirdo anger issues rather than giving prudent advice to her clients, or something. And in those dark days the South Parkies were a very model for CPRA-obstructionist BIDdies.

But, you know, I keep trying, because they have important information out there in the Park. And I am pleased to announce that those dark days are past! Now, under the enlightened regime of Ellen Salome Riotto, now promoted to most expressly non-interim Zeck Dreck, the records are pouring in! And there are no nonsensical copypasta exemption claims of the aggressively psychotic sort Katie Kiefer was so very damn fond of! And the first batch is prepped and available! It’s about 800 emails from the hidden vaults of BID Board treasurer Bob Buente! And you can see all of them right here on Archive.Org!

And friend, there are a million good stories in there. Some of them are monumentally important, but those will have to wait till later. In this episode I want to share with you an objectively trivial but subjectively delicious little slice of gossip about shadowy BID consultant Tara Devine and her ultimately dissatisfied BID renewal clients over at South Park2 and how her failure led to Ellen Salome Riotto’s promotion.

And now I yammered on for so long that you’ll have to turn the page just to find out what is the subject of the damn post. One of the pitfalls, one of the pleasures, of writing without an editor to boss me about!
Continue reading Remember In 2017 When Tara Devine Was The South Park BID’s Renewal Consultant? — For A While It Seemed That The Petition Drive Was Lagging And That The BID Would Have To Go To Manual Billing For Year One — BID Treasurer Bob Buente Blamed Tara Devine For This — Publicly Proclaimed Himself To Be “Not A Tara Fan” — And Also Congratulated Himself Cause He Didn’t Yell At Her On The Phone! — And When Tara Failed Ellen Salome Riotto Stepped In! — Saved The Damn Day! — And Was Rewarded Just Like A Real Life Fairy Tale!

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Studio City BID Issues Dishonest And Combative But Mostly (Although Not Entirely) Submissive Response To My Brown Act Demand Letter — BID President Tony Richman Signs His Name To A Bunch Of Ill-Tempered Truculent Lies Probably Written By Ill-Tempered Truculent BID Lawyer Carol Humiston — Does That Make Tony Richman An Ill-Tempered Truculent Liar Also? — Maybe — But Also Maybe Just A Patsy

A few weeks ago I sent the Studio City BID a Brown Act demand letter insisting that they stop breaking the law in four specific ways. According to the Brown Act at §54960.2 the BID can avoid litigation by responding to such a demand with an unconditional commitment to refrain from violating the specific statutory sections in the future. And on Monday, October 15, the SCBID Board met and decided to do just that.

And amazingly enough, the next day, this letter showed up in my inbox! So they weren’t just blowing smoke, it seems. The BID hired Bradley & Gmelich to represent them, which definitely means Carol Freaking Humiston, the world’s angriest Brown Act attorney, almost certainly wrote the letter. And it is written in her inimitable style,1 which essentially consists of variations on the following narrative in six acts:

  1. You’re wrong about what the law says.
  2. Because you’re stupid.
  3. Nothing in the law requires us to do what you demand.
  4. You thought it did because you’re wrong and stupid.
  5. So shut up.
  6. We’re complying with your demand.

The four issues I raised in the letter were first that IDs were required to attend the Board meeting, second that the Board didn’t adequately describe the subject of its closed session, third that the Board didn’t reconvene in open session after the closed session, and fourth that a majority of the Board members had at one time discussed a matter via email instead of in public.

The BID’s response letter was overflowing with a lot of sound and fury2 and belligerent bluster but essentially contained adequate unconditional commitments never ever to do three out of the four. The third item, though, on reconvening in open session, for some reason they declined to commit not to violate. With respect to that, well, I’m studying my options and stay tuned for updates.

For more details about the contents of the letter, the usual amateur analysis, and a modicum of mockery, turn the damn page!
Continue reading Studio City BID Issues Dishonest And Combative But Mostly (Although Not Entirely) Submissive Response To My Brown Act Demand Letter — BID President Tony Richman Signs His Name To A Bunch Of Ill-Tempered Truculent Lies Probably Written By Ill-Tempered Truculent BID Lawyer Carol Humiston — Does That Make Tony Richman An Ill-Tempered Truculent Liar Also? — Maybe — But Also Maybe Just A Patsy

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Business Improvement Districts in Los Angeles — Satan, Your Kingdom Must Come Down!