Tag Archives: BID Patrol

SB749 — Maria Elena Durazo’s Proposed Changes To The California Public Records Act Would Fix Two Problems — First — Local Agencies Often Claim That Records Generated By Their Private Contractors Are Exempt As Trade Secrets — This Bill Would State That Such Information Relating To Employment Conditions Is Not In Fact A Trade Secret — Second — This Bill Would Require That Requesters Are Named As Parties In All So-Called Reverse CPRA Actions — In Which A Third Party Sues To Prevent Record Release — And Would Require Parties Who Initiate Unsuccessful Reverse CPRA Actions To Pay Requester’s Fees

Senator Maria Elena Durazo filed SB-749, amending the California Public Records Act, last month, but it was only on Wednesday that it was amended away from a placeholder. The fleshed-out bill addresses two problems with the California Public Records Act.

First, it would state that “records relating to wages, benefits, working hours, and other employment terms and conditions of employees working for a private industry employer pursuant to a contract with a state or local agency shall not be deemed to be trade secrets under the act.” In my experience it’s fairly common for local agencies to claim that records like this are exempt. Sometimes they claim that they’re trade secrets1 and sometimes that they’re material found in personnel files.2

That last claim is pretty clearly bogus, so probably the more serious obstructionists rely more on claims of trade secrets. For instance I had this happen to me with the Fashion District BID in the person of Rena Leddy, who refused to tell me the hourly rates of the BID’s renewal consultant, Urban Place Consulting. That is, until a kindly lawyer sent them a not-so-kindly demand letter on my behalf. Then they coughed the goods right up.3 So if the bill passes with this bit intact they won’t be able to do that any more, and the personnel file claim is functionally a non-starter, so that’ll be good.

Incidentally, while I understand the danger of letting the perfect be an enemy to the good, I would still just like to say that the problem being solved here is at best a minor particular instance of a much larger family of problems involving records owned by private contractors who are working for public agencies. That is, that the agencies can write the contracts so that the contractor owns the records and the agency explicitly does not have access to them.

The Hollywood Property Owners’ Alliance famously did exactly this in 2016 with the Andrews International BID Patrol. Kerry Morrison even admitted under oath that the purpose of the change was to thwart my CPRA requests. And the judge ruled that it was allowable under California law for them to do this, and even to make the change retroactive.

But such is not the law in every state. For instance, Florida Statutes section 119.0701 makes pretty much all records generated by private contractors subject to the CPRA if they relate to work done for a public agency. It’s a really powerful, really beautiful statute. We need a version here, and this bill is not it. But it’s not bad.

The second issue addressed by Durazo’s bill has to do with reverse CPRA actions. In these suits a third party, e.g. a police union, sues to prevent a public agency from releasing records to a requester. The Court of Appeal held last year that the third party is liable for the requester’s fees if they lose, and this bill would formalize that finding by putting it into the statute. The bill also requires that the requester be brought into a reverse CPRA action as a party, I assume so that the case can’t be heard without the requester’s input.

And finally, and this may be the most powerful part, the law would forbid a court from ordering that a record be withheld if the order is based on a discretionary exemption. But most of the exemptions are discretionary. In fact I kind of think that all of them are, but maybe there’s something I don’t understand. This clause alone will make it harder to win reverse CPRA actions, as it should be. Turn the page for a transcription of the legislative counsel’s digest and the proposed new statutory language.
Continue reading SB749 — Maria Elena Durazo’s Proposed Changes To The California Public Records Act Would Fix Two Problems — First — Local Agencies Often Claim That Records Generated By Their Private Contractors Are Exempt As Trade Secrets — This Bill Would State That Such Information Relating To Employment Conditions Is Not In Fact A Trade Secret — Second — This Bill Would Require That Requesters Are Named As Parties In All So-Called Reverse CPRA Actions — In Which A Third Party Sues To Prevent Record Release — And Would Require Parties Who Initiate Unsuccessful Reverse CPRA Actions To Pay Requester’s Fees

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52.4% Of All Arrests In The Entire City Of Los Angeles For Public Urination/Defecation From 2009 Through February 2019 Were Made In Just Six LAPD Reporting Districts In The Hollywood Entertainment District BID — Yet More Proof That Business Improvement Districts Oppress Homeless People Through Selective Enforcement — And More Proof That The Hollywood BID Patrol Is Completely Off The Chain — And Has Been Running A Private Police State For Years — With The City’s Full Blessing And Collusion Of Course

A few weeks ago I learned from some data released by the LAPD that 73% of all arrests for public marijuana use in the entire City of Los Angeles between 2016 and 2018 took place in the Hollywood Entertainment District BID.1 This is obviously a crime much more likely to be committed by homeless people, since they don’t have a private place to smoke marijuana. Here’s what I said then about the BID’s outrageous rate of arresting homeless residents:

The HPOA BID Patrol is famous for its aggressive arrest policies. In 2013 they were responsible for more than 7% of the arrests of homeless people in the entire City of Los Angeles. Their arrest rate has dropped precipitously in the last few years, but it is still unbelievably high. But since 2016 they have refused to provide data on their individual arrests in response to CPRA requests, so it hasn’t been possible to tell who they were arresting and why.2

And it turns out that LAPD will release these spreadsheets pretty quickly, and just recently they released a couple containing all arrests for violating LAMC 41.47.2, which is the public urination law. And a quick analysis reveals a very similar result. That is, there are essentially six LAPD reporting districts in the Hollywood Entertainment District BID. They are 636, 637, 645, 646, 647, and 666. There are 1135 reporting districts in the City, but these six in the BID accounted for 52.4% of all the public urination arrests in the City from 2009 through 2019, a total of 887 arrests out of 1,693.

Contrast this with Skid Row, which is encompassed by 11 reporting districts.3 Between 2009 and 2019 these 11 reporting districts accounted for only 35 arrests for public urination. That is less than 4% of the arrests in the Hollywood Entertainment District. Obviously the difference isn’t due to less public urination in Skid Row, it’s due to extreme differential enforcement. It’s really unlikely that the LAPD on its own would create such a disparity. If the BID patrol isn’t making all these arrests, nevertheless the BID must be the ultimate cause.

It’s worth noting here, by the way, that public urination was not even illegal in Los Angeles until 2003. Even at the time it was opposed by LACAN and others because the intention was obviously to further the criminalization of homelessness. In response, “Council members pledged that people would be prosecuted only in cases when there is a public toilet nearby that they failed to use.” But such pledges aren’t worth the toilet paper that’s smeared with them, and, as everyone who’s paying attention knows, the law has only been used as the anti-homeless weapon it was obviously intended to be.4

And, it turns out, mostly so used by the most toxic BID in the City, the Hollywood Entertainment District BID. Turn the page for some nifty maps showing the relationship of these six reporting districts to the BID boundaries as well as a histogram showing the freakishly uneven distribution. Click the image to enlarge.
Continue reading 52.4% Of All Arrests In The Entire City Of Los Angeles For Public Urination/Defecation From 2009 Through February 2019 Were Made In Just Six LAPD Reporting Districts In The Hollywood Entertainment District BID — Yet More Proof That Business Improvement Districts Oppress Homeless People Through Selective Enforcement — And More Proof That The Hollywood BID Patrol Is Completely Off The Chain — And Has Been Running A Private Police State For Years — With The City’s Full Blessing And Collusion Of Course

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Reefer Madness Is Alive And Well In The Hollywood Entertainment District BID! — Between 2016 and 2018 73% Of All Citations For Public Marijuana Use In the Entire City Of Los Angeles Were In the Hollywood BID — The Venice BID Is A Distant Second Place With 8% — Leaving A Mere 19% — Which Is Only 170 Citations — For The Entire Rest Of The City Of Los Angeles

Even though marijuana use in California was formally legalized recently, it’s still against the law to use it in public per the California Health and Safety Code at §11362.3. And apparently Lolita Lopez, investigative reporter at NBCLA, is doing a story on how this plays out in Los Angeles, because on February 2, 2019 she filed a CPRA request with the City for a list of citations under this law from 2016 to the present. Her request was successful, and a few days later the LAPD handed over this spreadsheet, organized by reporting district.1

And public marijuana use is one of those laws that’s custom-made for differential enforcement against homeless people. Thus it occurred to me to take a look at this data in conjuction with BIDs, which are one of the main engines of differential enforcement in Los Angeles. And the data revealed something really interesting. There were 887 citations in the two years covered by the data. Of these citations, 645 occurred in only 6 reporting districts, which precisely cover the Hollywood Entertainment District BID. Also 71 occurred in two others, which precisely cover the Venice Beach BID. The other 171 were spread out pretty evenly across the whole rest of the City.

This means that 72.7% of all citations for public marijuana use in the entire City of Los Angeles since 2016 were issued in the Hollywood Entertainment District BID. And 8% were issued in the Venice Beach BID. It doesn’t take any kind of fancy statistical analysis to prove that this is a really significant result, almost certainly linked to Kerry Morrison and her BID’s well-known tactic of arresting every homeless person that they can lay their hands on for the most trivial possible matters, such as drinking in public or urinating in public. Evidently now we can add smoking marijuana in public to this list of homeless-criminalizing tactics employed by the BID.

The HPOA BID Patrol is famous for its aggressive arrest policies. In 2013 they were responsible for more than 7% of the arrests of homeless people in the entire City of Los Angeles. Their arrest rate has dropped precipitously in the last few years, but it is still unbelievably high. But since 2016 they have refused to provide data on their individual arrests in response to CPRA requests, so it hasn’t been possible to tell who they were arresting and why.2

However, each arrest that the BID Patrol makes results in some kind of action by the LAPD. And given that the LAPD doesn’t seem to expend much effort in arresting anyone for public marijuana use outside the BID, it’s not unreasonable to assume that these figures are a proxy for the BID’s interest in the differential enforcement of this law. If they’re not making these arrests themselves then the arrests are the result of some BID policy.

The situation in Venice is a little less clear, as the Venice Beach BID only started its security work sometime in 2017, and the Boardwalk is a likely place for the LAPD to practice its own style of selective enforcement without needing a BID to encourage it. But the moral of the story is still very clear. It’s illegal to smoke marijuana in public in Los Angeles, but effectively it’s illegal only if you’re homeless and only if you’re in the Hollywood BID. Turn the page for maps and charts!
Continue reading Reefer Madness Is Alive And Well In The Hollywood Entertainment District BID! — Between 2016 and 2018 73% Of All Citations For Public Marijuana Use In the Entire City Of Los Angeles Were In the Hollywood BID — The Venice BID Is A Distant Second Place With 8% — Leaving A Mere 19% — Which Is Only 170 Citations — For The Entire Rest Of The City Of Los Angeles

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Venice Beach BID Security Director Azucena Vela Declares That BID Patrol Must Violate Law In Order To Enforce It — Laws Are For The Homeless, Not For The BID Patrol — According To Her The BID Patrol Need Not Follow The Laws Of The City Of Los Angeles As Long As They Are Wearing Their Silly T-Shirts — Will Continue To Ride Their Bikes On The Boardwalk Even Though It Is Completely And Unquestionably Illegal

Yesterday was the second Friday of the month, so I hauled myself out West on the 733 to listen to the Venice Beach BIDdies babble on about whatever it is they’re talking about out there on Main Street, just inches from the Southern border of the City of Santa Monica. And naturally I videotaped the whole thing, and you can watch it here on YouTube or here on Archive dot Org as you prefer.

As always there was a lot of interesting stuff going on, and I’ll have at least one more post for you about it, but today’s topic is the security report by BID Patrol boss Azucena Vela of Allied Universal security. Here’s how it all went down. First, famous-in-Venice member of the Neighborhood Council Colleen Saro spoke during the newly attenuated public comment period. You can watch her here. She had a lot to say, but the salient bit was her comment on the BID Patrollies riding their damn bikes on the Boardwalk:

Your security guys first of all shouldn’t be on a bike on the boardwalk on a bike because that’s illegal so it’s kind of difficult for them to enforce if they’re breaking the law…

And if you know anything about Venice you know that, first, bikes on the Boardwalk are a big problem. People who ride them there are your basic antisocial psychopaths who are so fixated on their own convenience that they don’t care at all about running over children, old people, wheelchair riders and other human beings who can’t dodge quick enough. Also, second, it is actually against the law to ride a bike on the Boardwalk. It says so explicitly at LAMC §56.15(2):

No person shall ride, operate or use a bicycle or unicycle on Ocean Front Walk between Marine Street and Via Marina within the City of Los Angeles, except that bicycle or unicycle riding shall be permitted along the bicycle path adjacent to Ocean Front Walk between Marine Street and Washington Boulevard.

Continue reading Venice Beach BID Security Director Azucena Vela Declares That BID Patrol Must Violate Law In Order To Enforce It — Laws Are For The Homeless, Not For The BID Patrol — According To Her The BID Patrol Need Not Follow The Laws Of The City Of Los Angeles As Long As They Are Wearing Their Silly T-Shirts — Will Continue To Ride Their Bikes On The Boardwalk Even Though It Is Completely And Unquestionably Illegal

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Venice Beach BID Public Records Are Pouring In Due To Our Writ Petition — Responses To Security RFP From Allied Universal, Street Plus, HELPER 2000 — AUS Proposal Has Incredibly Detailed Information On BID Patrol Training, Organization — Executed Contract Between BID And Allied — And If You Know The CPRA You Know That This Development Means They’ve Already Lost The Damn Case — And We, De Natch, Have Therefore Already Won It!

If you’ve been following my attempts to get public records out of the Venice Beach BID via the CPRA you’ll remember that Tara Devine’s sheer bloody-minded obstructionism led finally after more than a year of saint-like patience on my part to my being forced against my will to file a writ petition against the ornery BIDdies to compel compliance. Well, amazingly, it seems possible that the BIDdies aren’t going to litigate,1 and one of the major indicators is that they have already started handing over documents!2

And here’s what we have! First there’s the executed contract between Allied Universal and the BID for security services along with some flyers for their job fairs. Second, there are three proposals to provide BID security, found here on Archive.Org, from Streetplus, from HELPER 2000, and, of course, the successful proposal from Allied Universal.

This last item is absolutely the most important prize torn from the vaults of the zillionaire elite in this particular raid. It contains really detailed information about the operations of the Venice BID Patrol, their training, their hiring and retention practices, how they see their mission, what kinds of records they keep, their relations with property owners and the BID board and staff, and so on. It’s long, but it’s essential. Turn the page for some transcribed selections and commentary.
Continue reading Venice Beach BID Public Records Are Pouring In Due To Our Writ Petition — Responses To Security RFP From Allied Universal, Street Plus, HELPER 2000 — AUS Proposal Has Incredibly Detailed Information On BID Patrol Training, Organization — Executed Contract Between BID And Allied — And If You Know The CPRA You Know That This Development Means They’ve Already Lost The Damn Case — And We, De Natch, Have Therefore Already Won It!

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Announcing An Interesting Although Limited Selection Of New-Ish Hollywood BID Patrol Records Including Twelve Characteristically Imbecilic Seyler Reports — Also Some Fairly Gratuitous Mockery Of Hurricane Kerry Morrison, Who Was Recently Named One Of The 500 Most Influential People In Los Angeles By A Local Who’s Who Scam Operation, Including A Surprising Fact About Her Substance Of Choice

Well, yesterday’s post on how the BID Patrol arrests about 90% fewer people per year since October 2014 (when I started writing about them) seems to have reminded readers that I haven’t written much about them lately.1 I got some correspondence on the matter, and the result is this post.

The main substantial matter disclosed here is the publication of some new records about the BID Patrol. I’ll be writing about some of this stuff in great detail in the future, but until then, you can find an assortment of records here on my Archive.Org site and also I’ve updated the collection of Steve Seyler’s imbecilic reports to the Joint Security Committee with entries from 2016 and 2017.2

Also to be found after the break is some much deserved, much delayed, mockery of Ms. Kerry Morrison, who last summer, it seems, was named one of LA’s 500 most influential zillionaire lackeys by the Los Angeles Business Journal, paper of record for the zillionaire elite of Los Angeles, in what seems to be nothing much more than a ramified Who’s Who scam given that they’re selling copies for $100 each. You can read Ms. Kerry Morrison’s entry before turning the page to read what it means!3
Continue reading Announcing An Interesting Although Limited Selection Of New-Ish Hollywood BID Patrol Records Including Twelve Characteristically Imbecilic Seyler Reports — Also Some Fairly Gratuitous Mockery Of Hurricane Kerry Morrison, Who Was Recently Named One Of The 500 Most Influential People In Los Angeles By A Local Who’s Who Scam Operation, Including A Surprising Fact About Her Substance Of Choice

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Final BID Patrol Arrest Rates For 2016 And 2017 Show Close To 90% Drop From 2014, Which Was Their Last Unscrutinized Year — This Precipitous, Unexplained Decrease Leads Hollywood BIDs To Consider Using Unarmed Security In 2018 Or 2019

I started scrutinizing the three major Hollywood business improvement districts in late 2014, and soon discovered that the so-called BID Patrol, armed security guards employed by Andrews International under contract to the two BIDs managed by the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance, that is to say the Hollywood Entertainment District BID and the Sunset & Vine BID, was responsible for more than one thousand custodial arrests of homeless residents of Hollywood every year.

And these arrests were1 ugly affairs. They involve harmless people, like ice-cream vendors, being handcuffed, forced into SUVs, and chained to a bench, sometimes for hours. There were 2,682 such arrests in 2007, a number of such shocking incomprehensibility that I published a four volume set of photographs of these victims in order to provide some means of visceralizing the sheer incredible magnitude.

So it was a welcome discovery indeed to find out that in 2015, almost certainly as a result of my scrutiny, BID patrol arrests dropped 70%, from 1,057 to 313. Circumstances beyond my control have, maybe you’ve noticed, limited my ability to write about the HPOA, but I recently obtained arrest rate statistics for 2016 and 2017, and they show an even more precipitous drop in arrests in the two HPOA BIDs, with only 152 custodial arrests in 2016 and only 131 in 2017.

Thus from 2015 to 2016 there was a more than 50% reduction, which was an 85.6% reduction from 2014, their last unscrutinized year. This trend continued in 2017. Of course, this huge reduction in arrests did not lead to any corresponding reduction in costs. The HPOA paid roughly the same in 20172 to have 131 homeless people arrested as it did in 2014 to have 1,057 homeless people arrested. I have no doubt whatsoever that this is due to my scrutiny, and I am about as proud of saving these multiple thousands of people the pain, humiliation, and legal troubles consequent on these chickenshit arrests as I am of anything I’ve ever done.
Continue reading Final BID Patrol Arrest Rates For 2016 And 2017 Show Close To 90% Drop From 2014, Which Was Their Last Unscrutinized Year — This Precipitous, Unexplained Decrease Leads Hollywood BIDs To Consider Using Unarmed Security In 2018 Or 2019

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New Documents! East Hollywood BID Quarterly Reports, Media District BID Emails, Media District BID Materials About Andrews International Security Switcheroo Including Emails, Draft Contracts, Price Matrices, And So On!

Yesterday I received a bunch of new records from Hollywood BIDboy attorney Jeffrey Charles Briggs, acting on behalf of the East Hollywood BID and also the Media District BID. Some of the stuff had to do with the Media District’s early renewal, which I wrote about yesterday, and today I’m mostly just announcing the balance of the material, which is available from our Archive.Org collections. In particular, we have:

  • East Hollywood BID quarterly reports 2012-2016 — BIDs are required by their contracts with the City to submit quarterly reports with updates on how they’ve been spending their money.1 These are useful to have on hand for reference. There’s nothing in these that stands out right now, but I haven’t read them carefully yet nor even looked at all of them.
  • Media District emails with the City of LA — And also a few from the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance folks, although nothing substantial. Again, it’s essential to have this material on hand for reference. There doesn’t seem to be much of special interest here, although there’s a lot more evidence of Rita Moreno’s uncharacteristically activist style as a BID analyst with the Clerk’s office, which is abstractly a good thing, although certainly she’s not going to be an activist if it upsets the BIDs too much.
  • Media District emails about Andrews International Security contract — The Media District BID is in the process of hiring infamous private security monolith Andrews International as its security provider, to begin July 1. These are some emails about the process. The most interesting things here are the attachments, which include A/I’s standard contract as well as proposed pricing matrices and so on. Andrews International famously runs the infernal Hollywood BID Patrol for the even-more-infernal Hollwood Property Owners Alliance just North of the Media District, so everything about them is interesting. There is much more material to come regarding this matter, and I will write about it in detail as it comes in, but it’s essential enough that I thought I’d better publish what I had immediately.

So that’s the new stuff, all except for one little email which didn’t exactly fit into any of those categories. It appears to constitute attorney/client communications, and perhaps it was handed over in error. But legally handed over it was, so I’m publishing it, and you can see a copy and read all about it after the break!
Continue reading New Documents! East Hollywood BID Quarterly Reports, Media District BID Emails, Media District BID Materials About Andrews International Security Switcheroo Including Emails, Draft Contracts, Price Matrices, And So On!

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Newly Obtained Email From November 2016 Reveals That LAPD Threatened Non-Compliant BID Patrol Officers With Arrest For Failing To Register With Police Commission In Accordance With LAMC 52.34

Recall that in June 2016 I sent a petition to the Police Commission asking them to clarify why BID security guards were not registered in compliance with LAMC 52.34. In October I learned that the City Attorney agreed that BID security was subject to the registration requirement and that steps would be taken to get BIDs to comply.

In January 2017 I obtained a December 1, 2016 email from Police Commission investigator Eugene Shin confirming that the registration process was ongoing. In that email Officer Shin hinted that he’d received a bunch of complaints about the new registration policy from BIDs. This, in turn, suggests that he or someone had sent an earlier communication about registration. I do not yet have copies of any of the complaints, bitching, and moaning, although I’m certainly working on getting them. However, just yesterday, as part of a significant email release from the FCBID1 I received this November 29, 2016 email from Eugene Shin to all the BIDs, announcing that their security guards would have to register. This seems to be what caused the firestorm of unhappiness hinted at in the December 1 email.

There is a full transcription of this fascinating document after the break, and it’s well worth reading. But the most interesting bit of all is this threat, with which Eugene Shin ends his missive:

Failure to register and obtain the permits may result in criminal charges being filed against the security company and citations or arrests of their security officers.

Reading that is almost, but not quite, enough to make me sympathize with the BIDs. After all, they’d managed to go 16 years without complying with the law and all of a sudden they’re being threatened with having their security guards ARRESTED if they don’t register? It’s a hard world for law-abiding citizens, friends! As I said, turn the page to read the whole email if you don’t like PDFs.
Continue reading Newly Obtained Email From November 2016 Reveals That LAPD Threatened Non-Compliant BID Patrol Officers With Arrest For Failing To Register With Police Commission In Accordance With LAMC 52.34

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Kerry Morrison, Selma Park, Joseph Goebbels, The Los Angeles Times, The Big Lie, And Lots Of Little Lies As Well!

Kerry Morrison dreams in German.
BACKGROUND: Recall, if you will, that this L.A. Times editorial kicked off a somewhat misguided firestorm of opposition to Mitch O’Farrell’s recent Council motion 16-1456 seeking to develop a legal tool for banning adults without children from playgrounds in parks in the City of Los Angeles.

Well, I don’t know how I missed it, but in January of this year, notre principale raison d’écrire, the famous Ms. Kerry Morrison, in response to this now also-famous L.A. Times editorial, penned a characteristically mendacious little missive to the local paper in support of anti-creep-crusading Councildude Mitch O’Farrell’s universally reviled initiative to ban adults in playgrounds in the City of Los Angeles.

Amazingly, every sentence in this letter is a lie. Here it is, see if you can spot them all. And after the break, I’ll deconstruct this peculiar little symptom of the acute Morrisonitis now endemic in what Ms. Kerry and her weirdo minions are pleased, for reasons known only to them, to refer to as “our little hamlet.”


To the editor: Constituents have contacted O’Farrell regarding the downward spiral of the only pocket park and playground in the heart of Hollywood. Families who live in our densely populated neighborhood used to enjoy the space. Now this tiny park has become a permanent encampment during the hours it is open.

Going there one day last week, I counted more than 20 people lying around the park. The grassy area was covered with sleeping bags and all the benches were taken. The adjacent playground was empty, despite being separated by a fence. This tiny park can no longer be used by families and organizations that could benefit from open space.

I applaud O’Farrell’s efforts to meet the needs of the neighborhood. This is what leaders do.

Kerry Morrison, Hollywood

Continue reading Kerry Morrison, Selma Park, Joseph Goebbels, The Los Angeles Times, The Big Lie, And Lots Of Little Lies As Well!

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