Tag Archives: Arrogance

Since 2008 Hollywood BID Patrol Has Used Arrests, Move-Along Orders to Enforce Strict Children-Only Rule at Hollywood’s Selma Park in Direct Contradiction to Explicitly Stated LA Rec and Parks Policy

One of three mysterious signs at Selma Park which appear to restrict the park's use to children and caregivers only, even though the LA Recreation and Parks Department has stated explicitly that Selma Park is open to the general public except for the playground.
One of three mysterious signs at Selma Park which appear to restrict the park’s use to children and caregivers only, even though the LA Recreation and Parks Department has stated explicitly that Selma Park is open to the general public except for the playground.
The Andrews International BID Patrol has been arresting people without children and ordering people without children out of Selma Park in Hollywood at least since 2008, as shown by their very own reports to the Joint Security Committee. They justify these actions by claiming that Selma Park is “for children and parents only.” And indeed, there are three signs in the general park area which state this as policy.1 We wondered how this park had come to be off-limits to all the citizens of Hollywood and so directed our faithful correspondent to find out. His first stop was the May 2008 BID Patrol Report, wherein it is stated that:

On 05-31-08, we participated in ‘Family Day at Selma Park’. The park had been a hostile environment for children as certain people used the space for sleeping, urinating in public, and drug and alcohol abuse. We attempted to address this problem along with Kerry Morrison and her staff, Council 13 staff, LAPD, and the City Attorney’s Office. As a result, signs were made signifying that the park would now be only available for people with children. We hung the signs and began enforcement. For several months we have been advising violators and asking them to leave the park.

One of the legitimate, Recreation and Parks Commission approved, signs at Selma Park stating that use of the playground is restricted to children and caregivers.
One of the legitimate, Recreation and Parks Commission approved, signs at Selma Park stating that use of the playground is restricted to children and caregivers.

This, of course, is a typical destroy-the-village-in-order-to-save-it tactic of the HPOA. They can’t just kick homeless people out of the park, so they kick everyone out of the park except people with children. Christ, they’d probably privatize the entire city if they could, just so they could arrest homeless people for being in it. Anyway, we thought we’d find out what the Department of Recreation and Parks had to say about this. Imagine our surprise when our correspondent received a letter from the RAP Commissioners stating explicitly that

“Selma Park is a pocket park that is open to the general public, and is not limited exclusively to only children. The existing signage at Selma Park which indicates that adults without children are prohibited from the restricted area was installed for the designated children’s play area only.”

Well, our first thought was that maybe RAP didn’t control every aspect of the park. Perhaps the other agencies mentioned in the BID Patrol report also had the power to exclude all but children and caregivers from Selma Park. However, on turning to the City Charter, we find, right there in §590(a)(1), that: The Department of Recreation and Parks shall have the power and duty to establish, construct, maintain, operate and control, wherever located all parks of the City of Los Angeles. That’s pretty unequivocal. RAP is the boss of the parks and if they say a park is open to the general public then it’s open to the general public.
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Kerry Morrison Accuses Street Vending Proponents Collectively of “Almost Resembl[ing] a Circus,” Being “Completely Dysfunctional [and] Disrespectful,” and “Being Bused in,” Elides True Nature of Putative Coalition

Kerry Morrison at the July 9, 2015 meeting of the Joint Security Committee being the opposite of dysfunctional, disrespectful, and circus-like.
Kerry Morrison at the July 9, 2015 meeting of the Joint Security Committee looking mighty fed up with something while at the same time, of course, being nondysfunctional, nondisrespectful, and in no way resembling a circus.
We’ve written before about the HPOA’s crazed-and-at-the-mouth-foaming opposition to Councilmembers Huizar’s and Price’s proposed ordinance legalizing street vending in the city of Los Angeles. We’ve written about the HPOA’s scheme to send its agents to public meetings in the ill-concealed guise of concerned citizens opposing the ordinance. Today we report on Kerry Morrison’s recent discussion of her experience orchestrating that whole fiasco. We’ll analyze it line by line, and you can watch the whole thing here and/or read a transcription after the break.

there were a series of four hearings that the chief administrative office staff held on the… the sidewalk vending ordinance. … It’s just this kind of amorphous set of hearings, which were completely dysfunctional, disrespectful, and almost, um, resembled a circus.

This painting by Georges Seurat almost resembles a circus also, but, and this is a subtle point but sound, Cela ne veut pas un cirque.
This painting by Georges Seurat almost resembles a circus also, but, and this is a subtle point but sound, cela ne veut pas un cirque.

Kerry’s been on before about this issue, people not treating her agents provocateurs to what she delusorily imagines to be the duly appropriate level of forelock-tugging, although she hits a new high note1 here. We mean, we weren’t at the hearings, but it’s hard to imagine that they were dysfunctional. It’s easier to imagine that perhaps Kerry’s mistaken the purpose. It’s hard to see how a public hearing can be disrespectful without being told towards what or whom it’s disrespectful. Does she mean the hearing was disrespectful towards her minions? What is it that they’ve done to earn anyone’s respect? Perhaps she means something else. And as for the hearings “almost…resembl[ing] a circus,” well, we imagine that’s nothing more than the reaction of someone who has done her illegal best to make sure that the public doesn’t feel welcome at the meetings she’s the boss of to finding out that she’s not the boss of every meeting in Los Angeles and, just possibly, maybe not so welcome at all of them her own self.
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30 Year Police Veteran Longs for the Good Old Days of Beating, Killing, Perjury, Free Cocaine, Doing the Job Without Being Undermined by Governments, Second-Guessed by Whiny Baby Liberals

We didn't catch this guy's name, but we sure did catch his white privilege rage rant...
We didn’t catch this guy’s name, but we sure did catch his white privilege boo-hoo-hoo swelling violins rage rant pity party nostalgia speech…
We’ve written before about the cataclysmic flood of white privilege rage rants unleashed by Fabio Conti’s cri de coeur for the BID Patrol to stop coddling the homeless and start, we don’t know, killing them or whatever it takes to get them out of Hollywood, and the present post concerns yet another boulder in that avalanche of angst. We’re going to comment on the unnamed white privilege rage ranter’s rant (you can see the fellow’s picture somewhere in the vicinity of this sentence) one line at a time. You can read his whole speech after the break and watch it here if you’re so inclined.

…our effort to clean up the neighborhood is kinda like salmon swimming upstream.

No. First of all, salmon swimming upstream are beautiful, delicious, and nutritious. You people in the BID are none of these things. Second, you’re not trying to “clean up the neighborhood,” you’re trying to ethnically cleanse the neighborhood.

Salmon swimming upstream are beautiful, nutritious, and delicious.  The BID Patrol is none of these things, izzit?
Salmon swimming upstream are beautiful, nutritious, and delicious. The BID Patrol is none of these things, innit?
One is at least plausibly laudable. The other is a violation of the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. Also, your metaphor is deeply flawed. Salmon like swimming upstream. It’s what they’re born to do. It’s the crowning glory of their lives. They surely, if they could speak, wouldn’t be whining about it.

You know, we have the state and the city working against us by allowing people to sleep on the sidewalk, you know, all night long, because it’s the humane thing to do.

No. The state and the city are not allowing anyone to sleep on the sidewalk because it’s humane. The state doesn’t have the first thing to do with municipal laws and the city has been FORCED by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in its landmark decision Jones v. City of Los Angeles, where it found that the city’s law against sitting on the sidewalk, LAMC 41.18(d), violates the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution. That is, it’s the Constitution of the United States that allows people to sleep on the sidewalk, Mr. Unnamed white privilege rage ranter. The city of Los Angeles fought this case every step of the way, and Charlie Beck and presumably other city officials can’t wait to start enforcing it again as soon as the terms of the settlement are met. By the way, your use of the word humane here is infelicitous; as Albert Einstein once said,1 sarcasm is the language of the Devil. Note that we’re skipping some of the technicalities of the Jones case here, but the simplified outline is true enough.
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Series of Emails between City of LA and HPOA Regarding Sweetheart Lease Deal Illustrates Incestuously Corrupt, Whiningly Entitled, and Marginally Literate Nature of Day-to-Day Business-as-Usual in the BID

Joe Mariani, all smiling and everything...  beautiful!
Joe Mariani, right up front, smilin’, man…ahh, beautiful!
Well, here is a bunch of emails, which we obtained from the Los Angeles City Attorney using the California Public Records Act, between BID employees Smilin’ Joe Mariani and Kerry Morrison and various people that work for the City of Los Angeles. We join the story when Joe writes to Gary Benjamin, who is eyeglass-fashionista Councilguy Mitch O’Farrell’s something-or-another for what-passes-for-planning-at-200-Spring-Street. It seems the boys met up in early September 2014 at an HPOA “Streetscape2 Committee” meeting, giving Joe a pretext to renew the big ask:
CD13 employee Gary Benjamin, who "enjoys...good urbanism."
CD13 employee Gary Benjamin, who “enjoys…good urbanism.”


Great seeing you today at the Streetscape Committee meeting. As I mentioned, if you can please follow up with GSD3 and ask when our lease will be ready for the Cherokee space we would appreciate it
[sic]. According to our vendor we are supposed to be off the Selma parking lot by the end of September, so the sooner we can move in the better.

So the BID needs some space and they’re going to lease it from the city. So far, so good. After all, they’re a public agency created by the city to do the city’s work. On September 9, 2014, Gary responds, saying he’ll check into it. On September 23, 2014, Gary announces that there’s a little problem. Says Gary:

Joe,

I have some bad news regarding the prospect of getting the lease in a timely manner. I checked in with the General Services Department (GSD) a couple weeks back and they said they were still not authorized to issue the lease, despite the approved Council motion.4 This seemed ridiculous to us, as the language of the motion came from Rene Sagles5 and he assured us the motion would be sufficient. GSD staffers were aware of the motion as it moved through the ITGS6 Committee, and yet they raised no red flags. In the last week, I’ve been in further communication with GSD, the City Attorney’s office and Rene Sagles. Apparently, DOT have not been following City standards regarding lease of space for some time now. Recently the City Attorney took note of this issue and has forced them to undergo a more rigorous public solicitation RFP process. Your lease process has dragged on for so long because of a lack of communication between DOT and GSD and a general uncertainty among the bureaus about how to proceed.

I now have Melody McCormick of GSD working with DOT and the City Attorney to draft a new “sole source” motion that will explain why the normal RFP process was not followed and why the HPOA should get this lease. They have told me they can have the motion ready by the end of the week. We will work to waive it from ITGS committee and get it approved at Council next week ideally. Then the City Attorney will need to draft the lease. It will still be another month, at the earliest, until the lease will be issued. I’m really sorry about all this confusion and for losing time pushing forward a motion that was insufficient.

So the HPOA’s trying to lease some property from the City. A Council motion to allow and expedite this was written by a senior analyst in the LA Department of Transportation and passed by the Council. This wasn’t sufficient because of a City Attorney crackdown on bad leasing practices in the DOT. So CD13 is going to get another Council motion ready, waive the normal committee process, and so on. Everyone’s bending over backwards for the HPOA here, and Gary even adopts an apologetic and conciliatory tone. What more does the HPOA want? Quite a lot, it turns out.
Continue reading Series of Emails between City of LA and HPOA Regarding Sweetheart Lease Deal Illustrates Incestuously Corrupt, Whiningly Entitled, and Marginally Literate Nature of Day-to-Day Business-as-Usual in the BID

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The Utopia of Rules and the Violent Stupidity of the BIDs

David Graeber's fine book of essays provides theoretical tools essential to the understanding of the violence of the BIDs, the utter, abject stupidity of the BIDs and their minions, and the both correlative and causal links between them
David Graeber’s fine book of essays provides theoretical tools essential to the understanding of the violence of the BIDs, the utter, abject stupidity of the BIDs and their minions, and the both correlative and causal links between them
David Graeber is one of my eternal intellectual heroes, and I recommend most highly to anyone who can read his stunning, transformative work, Debt: The First 5000 Years. His most recent book, a collection of essays entitled The Utopia of Rules: On Technology Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy is, while less sweeping than Debt, essential reading. In particular, for the purpose of understanding the violence of the BIDs and the utter, abject stupidity of the BIDs and their minions, one essay, Dead Zones of the Imagination, stands out above the rest.
David Graeber, looking as brilliantly ironic and as ironically brilliant as ever he has done.
David Graeber, looking as brilliantly ironic and as ironically brilliant as ever he has done.

I’ll run through the premises and argument after the break, but a crucial conclusion that Graeber reaches here, and one whose relevance will be immediately obvious to sane readers of this blog, is that

…violence is so often the preferred weapon of the stupid. One might even call it the trump card of the stupid, since (and this is surely one of the tragedies of human existence) it is the one form of stupidity to which it is most difficult to come up with an intelligent response.

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HPOA in Criminal Conspiracy with LA City Attorney to Abuse Intellectual Property Law in Never-Ending War on Constitutional Rights of Hollywood/Highland Street Characters

You probably thought that Batman was the good guy, but it's time to admit that you were wrong.  Here he is, not just terrorizing poor innocent tourists who don't know any better than to allow themselves to be victimized, but he's also flagrantly violating trademark law.  If he were as honest as we'd been led to believe he'd be hauling his own self off to jail instead of macking on helpless tourist girlies.
You probably thought that Batman was the good guy, but it’s time to admit that you were wrong. Here he is, not just terrorizing poor innocent tourists who don’t know any better than to allow themselves to be victimized, but he’s also flagrantly violating trademark law. If he were as honest as we’d been led to believe he’d be hauling his own self off to jail instead of macking on helpless tourist girlies.
Stories of the rich and powerful abusing intellectual property laws to stifle free expression, shut down criticism of their terroristic conspiracies against humanity, lock away little old ladies because their grandkids misuse bittorrent, wantonly slaughter cute lil bunnies, and so on, are as common in the tech press as dandelions on the expansive and suspiciously green lawns of Hancock Park before the gardeners show up on Thursday morning.
Sesame Street Characters performing for US Navy personnel in a manner which, presumably, the BID finds acceptable because there are no tourists involved
Sesame Street Characters performing for US Navy personnel in a manner which, presumably, the BID finds acceptable because there are no tourists involved. Read more about guys in Elmo suits after the break.

This post-capitalo-apocalyptic legal technology, the use of which reached its supernova-esque apotheosis earlier this month with the City of Inglewood’s mind-blowingly shenaniganistic attempt to assert copyright in video of city council meetings,1 it turns out was being used by our friends at the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance to try to shut down the by-them-much-reviled street performers in a shameless criminal conspiracy with their aiders and abettors at the the City Attorney’s office and the LAPD as late as last August. Although our bosom BIDdies seem to have met with little success, except, evidently, in the case of Elmo of Sesame Street, their futile attempts are quite telling. Read the actual evidence here and our commentary on them after the break.
Continue reading HPOA in Criminal Conspiracy with LA City Attorney to Abuse Intellectual Property Law in Never-Ending War on Constitutional Rights of Hollywood/Highland Street Characters

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Between the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and the HPOA: 95 Years of Anti-Japanese, Anti-Black, Anti-Brown White Supremacism. “GET BUSY, JAPS, AND GET OUT OF HOLLYWOOD”

A member of the Hollywood Protective Association and spiritual forebear of the modern BID, with the backing of the 1923 edition of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, announces to the world that she's a moron.  Note sign in window stating "Member Hollywood Protective Association."
A member of the Hollywood Protective Association and spiritual forebear of the modern BID Board member, with the backing of the 1920s edition of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, announces to the world that she’s a moron. Note sign in window stating “Member Hollywood Protective Association.”
Long-time readers of this blog will recall that, last month, we broke the story of Hollywood Chamber of Commerce biggity-wig Marty Shelton’s bizarre distaste for black, brown, and poor people visiting Hollywood. Inspired by that, we recently wrote on the white supremacist roots of our beloved Hollywood sign and the inwrought caucasians-only policies of the real-estate development it once promoted. This line of inquiry got us interested in the jim crow history of Hollywood, which turns out to be quite rich.

For instance, a brief discussion in Scott Kurashige’s interesting book The Shifting Grounds of Race: Black and Japanese Americans in the Making of Multiethnic Los Angeles1 led us to read up in old LA Times articles on anti-Japanese hysteria in Hollywood in the early 1920s. It seems that in April 1923, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce gave some advice to a bunch of angry white people. The article is here, but the short version is that some Japanese people bought eight lots in Hollywood, four near Bronson and Sunset and four on Tamarind and Gordon, and had the nerve to wish to build some apartment buildings and a church.

Jess E. Stephens, City Attorney of Los Angeles in April 1923 when pitchfork-waving torch-bearing howling Hollywood lynch mobs came whining to him about how Japanese people were being meanies and building a church in Hollywood.  His response doesn't seem to be available in the historical record.
Jess E. Stephens, City Attorney of Los Angeles in April 1923 when pitchfork-waving torch-bearing howling Hollywood lynch mobs came whining to him about how Japanese people were being meanies and building a church in Hollywood. His response doesn’t seem to be available in the historical record.

The white people got all in a tizzy, you can see one in the image above, and went to the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce screaming for help. The Chamber, as opposed to the presence of non-white people in Hollywood as they are today, directed the howling mob to the City Attorney to seek a restraining order and they also started circulating petitions “urging the residents to agree to restrict the use of land to those of the Caucasian race.”2 They were even inspired to poetry! See after the break for an especially creepy example.

By May of that year things had really gotten out of hand!
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Protect Your Family From the Despoliation of “Metropolitan Development.” Move to Racially Restricted Hollywoodland!

Ad for Hollywoodland development from the L.A. Times, September 7, 1924, page D2, fearmongering about minorities in Hollywood, just like now, 90 years later.
Ad for Hollywoodland development from the L.A. Times, September 7, 1924, page D2, fearmongering about minorities in Hollywood, just like now, 90 years later.
While flipping about in old issues of the L.A. Times, we came upon the enlightening 1924 advert you see to the right, luring buyers for the famous Hollywoodland development, from which we inherited not only the iconic sign but the famous racist attitudes, it seems. See what it says?

…to the “Old Timer” of Los Angeles! You…..who have seen the fine residential districts of Los Angeles despoiled by metropolitan development—must realize now that Los Angeles is destined soon to be a city of millons.

Protect your family by procuring at today’s prices a home place in the Hills of Hollywoodland—secured by fixed and natural restrictions against the inroads of metropolitanism and yet within twenty-five minutes of Seventh & Broadway.

Today is Your best opportunity. Are you going to sit idly by and let the March of Progress pass unheeded?

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Don’t Challenge the BID Officers. Don’t Challenge Our Authority Next Time. All I Did Was Sit the Fuck Down! Do You All See What’s Going on in Your Goddamn City?

A veteran of a foreign war in the process of getting arrested on Hollywood Blvd. by power-hungry BID Patrol officers, putting the lie to John Tronson's disingenuous, self-serving, mendacious contention that "the LAPD or the BID Patrol, nobody is gonna ask anybody to move who’s just resting for a couple minutes cause they need to rest. "
A veteran of a foreign war in the process of getting arrested on Hollywood Blvd. by power-hungry BID Patrol officers, putting the lie to John Tronson’s disingenuous, self-serving, mendacious contention that “the LAPD or the BID Patrol, nobody is gonna ask anybody to move who’s just resting for a couple minutes cause they need to rest. “
We’ve written previously about John Tronson, who, for whatever reason, is no longer president of the Hollywood Entertainment District BID Board of Directors, and his disingenuous, self-serving, mendacious contention that the state of California has no need for the saintly Senator Carol Liu‘s recently introduced SB608, the Right to Rest Act. According to Tronson:

You know, I mean, it, the, the, the reality, the LAPD or the BID Patrol, nobody is gonna ask anybody to move who’s just resting for a couple minutes cause they need to rest. This is just another vehicle to, you know, allow permanent, facilitate, the living on the sidewalk.

John Tronson at the Joint Security Committee meeting on April 9, 2015, a guy who will lie about how LAMC 41.18(d) is enforced by the BID Patrol. Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus, as the judge will instruct Tronson’s jury at the time when all accounts are settled.

He’s talking, of course, about the despicable LAMC 41.18(d), which prohibits sitting on sidewalks in the absence of a parade and which the Right to Rest Act is meant to send to a well-deserved oblivion. But, you know, perhaps we’re being too harsh on John Tronson. Perhaps it’s really true that the BID Patrol will not arrest people just for sitting on the sidewalk. We mean, the evidence seems to suggest that, on the one hand, they will arrest homeless black people for it but, to be sure, they will not arrest non-homeless, non-black people for it. Today’s series of videos reveals that sometimes, even when the citation reads LAMC 41.18(d), the real charge is contempt of cop.
Continue reading Don’t Challenge the BID Officers. Don’t Challenge Our Authority Next Time. All I Did Was Sit the Fuck Down! Do You All See What’s Going on in Your Goddamn City?

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Piratical Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Flies False Flag for BID’s Brain-Dead Bar-Busting Brouhaha

Peter Zarcone strikes a thoughtful pose at the April 9, 2015 meeting of the Joint Security Committee
Peter Zarcone strikes a thoughtful pose at the April 9, 2015 meeting of the Joint Security Committee
LAPD Hollywood Division Captain Peter Zarcone, who seems like a pretty decent guy even if he does look a little “like he had been disinterred for the express purpose of making people uneasy,”1 turned out to be the voice of what passes for ethical standards at the Joint Security Meeting on April 9, 2015. Here’s the story.

The JSC was, as usual, blethering on about how nightclubs are ruining everything and had pretty much agreed that the problem was lack of enforcement of the terms of liquor licenses. The issue is that type 47 licenses, which require a bona fide food service establishment, are being used as type 48 licenses, which do not require food to be served. See here for a description of the various types of California liquor licenses allowed.

John Tronson at the Joint Security Committee meeting on April 9, 2015, complaining about some guy whose name we didn't catch who gets too damned many liquor licenses and thereby ruins EVERYTHING in Hollywood
John Tronson at the Joint Security Committee meeting on April 9, 2015, complaining about some guy whose name we didn’t catch who gets too damned many liquor licenses and thereby ruins EVERYTHING in Hollywood

The JSC agrees that there are just too many liquor licenses. In fact, listen here as John Tronson accuses one of his fellow zillionaires, possibly Argentinian impresario-about-town Adolfo Suaya of “What’s on Third,” possibly someone whose name we didn’t catch, of mucking everything up by getting “6 liquor licenses for every building he owns” (transcript after the break).

So Fabio Conti has the solution! The BID should go to liquor license hearings and… do what? Maybe tell the ABC that liquor licenses attract too many poor, dark-skinned people to Hollywood?!
Continue reading Piratical Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Flies False Flag for BID’s Brain-Dead Bar-Busting Brouhaha

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