It never occurred to us—Carol Massie, Lady Macbeth…hmmm…Watch, listen, and learn as Central Hollywood Coalition BID-Boardies Brian Folb and Carol Massie misunderstand everything about everything about homelessness in Los Angeles. We suppose that one of the big drawbacks to being a zillionaire is that you end up thinking you’re the sun and the rest of the world orbits around you and then you expose your delusions in public, maybe even on camera, and then you get mocked (to witness which, if you’re wondering, is why you’ve all been summoned here today!)
Kerry Morrison, speaking at the February 9, 2016 meeting of the Central Hollywood Coalition’s Board of Directors, filled the boss-guys and boss-gals in on the California Franchise Tax Board’s like, TOTALLY UNFAIR, ongoing audit of the tax-exempt status of the CHC. The upshot seems to be that some guy a while ago forgot to pay some fee, and things escalated through no fault of Kerry’s, to the point where, because bureaucrats are dumb and mail letters to the wrong place, the FTB is auditing the CHC but a lot of records are missing because 12 years ago is a long time and how can they expect that we would still have them?!? There’s also a looming problem, unmentioned here by Kerry, in that the CHC, like all BID management companies, signed a pledge to the City of Los Angeles that they would “…notify the awarding authority [the Los Angeles City Clerk] within 30 calendar days after receiving notification that any governmental agency has initiated an investigation which may result in a finding that the contractor did not comply with any federal, state, or local law in the performance of the contract…” Kerry didn’t mention anything about this clause, and we don’t (yet) know whether the CHC is complying with it. Stay tuned for info on that.
This is an announcement of the merest of non-news. Yesterday the parties to the Aureliano Santiago et al. v. City of L.A. et al. met before federal magistrate judge Charles F. Eick to discuss a settlement of the case. In the terse description of the minutes:
Case called. Counsel make their appearances. The Court hears discussion. Parties retire to chambers to proceed with the settlement conference.
Yesterday, while perusing the agenda of the January HPOA meeting, which I wasn’t able to attend, I noticed the interesting statement that the “Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition [is] seeking new location within Hollywood Entertainment District BID.” This was in the Security Subcommittee report, because the GWHFC in the eyes of the HPOA comprises (to paraphrase Ted Landreth) “enemies of the people.” Well, I hadn’t heard about this, and made a note to look into it. And, as it happens, I was over at the CD4 Hollywood Field Office this morning scanning some emails for a whole different project1 when I came across this email chain between Ted Landreth of the GWHFC, Sarah Dusseault (CM Ryu’s Chief of Staff), Nikki Ezhari (CD4 Hollywood Field Deputy), and others, announcing the Food Coalition’s planned move to a location near Hollywood and Gower! They’re raising funds to buy property (give generously here) and are more than 25% of the way to their goal. Details on their plans for the property and some other comments after the break. Continue reading Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition Planning Move to Hollywood and Gower; HPOA Security on Alert→
A document filed in Federal Court yesterday suggests that the LACAN/LACW lawsuit against the City of LA and the CCEA over the illegal confiscation of the property of the homeless may be within a scant two weeks of a settlement. The document is a joint stipulation asking that discovery be delayed (but not the trial date; if you’ve been following the case you’ll recall that last November the parties asked Judge Gutierrez to delay the trial, but he refused. I suppose they’re not making the same mistake again). In any case, the pleading states that:
The settlement conferences with [Magistrate] Judge [Carla M.] Woehrle have been very productive, and based on the most recent settlement conference [on February 2, 2016] and subsequent discussions, parties are hopeful that further settlement discussions over the next two weeks may lead to resolution of many if not all matters in this litigation. The City of Los Angeles in particular has indicated that it needs additional time to consider Plaintiffs’ proposal but that it will be responding shortly.
One week ago, on Friday, January 29, there was a telephonic conference before Federal Magistrate Judge Andrew Wistrich, who’s handling what’s turned out to be a grueling discovery process in the LA Community Action Network and LA Catholic Worker lawsuit against the City of LA and the Central City East Association concerning the illegal confiscation of the property of homeless people. The minutes and associated order just showed up in the Court’s RSS feed this afternoon, and you can grab a copy here. It sounds like a hot time was had by all, and the upshot is that:
Counsel for the City represented that the City will complete the LAPD production described during the telephonic conference by February 1, 2016 and the production of other agencies within 14 days. The City is directed to perform those promises. If it is necessary for plaintiffs to retake depositions because of delay or inadequacy in the City’s production of documents, the City will be responsible for all associated reasonable costs and attorneys fees. Counsel for the City assured the Court that the City would cooperate with any efforts by plaintiffs to seek adjustments to the case schedule to mitigate prejudice to plaintiffs resulting from delay or inadequacy in the City’s document production.
There’s no mention of the CCEA, so I suppose that either they’re complying with discovery finally or else they’re failing to comply so badly that it couldn’t be dealt with at this conference.
This morning I went to the LAPD Discovery Section at 201 N. Los Angeles Street to inspect the latest batch of emails produced in response to a public records act request I made in January 2015. None of the emails themselves were especially interesting,1 but the procedure itself was interesting. A couple of weeks ago, the incomparably helpful CD13 staffie Dan Halden, after checking with the City Attorney, told me that it was indeed allowed to bring one’s own scanner to a document inspection session. This works out to about 1,000 pages (at 10¢ per page) for a cheap portable scanner, although one with a decent page rate (16 ppm) runs about $200. It seemed worth it, so I brought mine to the LAPD and everything went swimmingly! This is crucial because the City insists2 on printing out emails for inspection and it’s easy to get 2,000 or more pages from a simple request, most of which is junk but it’s hard to tell in advance. Also, I mentioned to Debra Green, who’s handling one of my requests to the LAPD, that no one had answered my other pending ones. She invited me to forward them to her and she’d check into them for me. I did so, and so did she. According to Ms. Green, one of them at least had been assigned to an analyst and was being handled, even though I’d received no response. This may lend some plausibility to the City’s claim in their response to the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition’s Public Records Act lawsuit that, even though they didn’t respond to the requests in question, they nevertheless did look for the records.3 In any case, I’ll update the Practical Guide to CPRA Requests in LA to reflect the possibility of using a scanner. Happy trails, compadres! Continue reading Using Your Own Scanner During “Inspection” of Public Records is Allowed by City of Los Angeles, Other Details About LAPD Public Records→
Why is the City of LA fighting this lawsuit? What a freaking waste of time and money. On January 26, 2016, the City of Los Angeles filed its answer to the petition filed by Colleen Flynn and Carol Sobel on behalf of the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition and the National Lawyers Guild Los Angeles seeking a writ of mandate ordering the LAPD to stop messing about and turn over the goddamned goodies. (You can find a collection of filings from this suit here). Paragraphs 1 through 9 of the initial complaint are background, and Julie Raffish, who wrote the answer, gets to indulge her evident taste for dark sarcasm in her responses, e.g. at paragraph 4 denying that the NLG is a non-profit legal association.
She also displays a wry, deadpan humor. For instance, in paragraph 3 the plaintiffs assert that the Coalition to Stop LAPD Spying “empowers its members to work collectively against police repression and to dismantle domestic spying operations” and that therefore the Coalition has an interest in the LAPD’s adhering to the Public Records Act. Julie Raffish has the City admitting that the Coalition is interested, but claiming that, as to the rest of the allegations they “lack sufficient information and knowledge to form a belief as to the truth…” of, I guess, whether there are “police repression” and “domestic spying operations” to be dismantled and worked collectively against. Dry as a bone, is Julie Raffish, and isn’t lawyerly humor fun! But the public records stuff is where it gets really interesting: Continue reading City of Los Angeles Files Answer to Stop LAPD Spying Coalition Public Records Act Petition: Admits Guilt, Expects Reward→
There are at least 137 mentions of Selma Park in the daily activity logs.1 Reading through these by hand and tallying the people kicked out of the park I count 159 of them. I skipped as many duplicates as I noticed (due to backup reporting and so on). We noted recently that a 2013 arrest almost certainly constitutes a violation of California Civil Code §52.1(a), which states:
If a person or persons, whether or not acting under color of law, interferes by threats, intimidation, or coercion, or attempts to interfere by threats, intimidation, or coercion, with the exercise or enjoyment by any individual or individuals of rights secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or of the rights secured by the Constitution or laws of this state, the Attorney General, or any district attorney or city attorney may bring a civil action for injunctive and other appropriate equitable relief in the name of the people of the State of California, in order to protect the peaceable exercise or enjoyment of the right or rights secured.
Here are 159 more color of law abuses by the BID Patrol, which also violations of that law, and this is 2013 alone.
Note also that the BID Patrol officers don’t even seem to know what law they’re enforcing. Sometimes it’s trespassing, sometimes it’s loitering, sometimes it’s who knows what. Also, they even kick kids out of the park under the law which they mistakenly claim disallows adults. Just look here: 10-21-2013_FB2_LOG_10262013_HAGOPIAN.doc
6500 SELMA: SELMA PARK. MADE CONTACT WITH SEVERAL JUVENILES AND ADVISED THEM THAT THEY WOULD HAVE TO LEAVE THE AREA. ALL SUBJECTS COMPLIED AND LEFT THE LOC.