Tag Archives: Blair Besten

Historic Core BID Sued To Enforce Compliance With The California Public Records Act

I know some of my readers have been wondering why I haven’t written much lately about batty little fusspot Blair Besten, the nattering sociopathic zeck dreck of the Historic Core, third weirdest of the minor downtown BIDs. Well, the reason for that is simple yet appalling. After a reasonably good run in early 2017,1 in May 2017 she just up and stopped producing records in response to my requests. And being the weirdo little liar that she is, she didn’t just stop producing, she randomly cancelled existing appointments, said she’d mail records and never did, claimed bizarro and indefensible lists of exemptions and so on. But then things really took a turn for the weird.

In October 2017 La Besten and/or her shadowy puppetmasters on the BID Board hired self-proclaimed Hollywood Superlawyer Jeffrey Charles Briggs who, at that time, was seen by the BIDs as a reasonably competent obstructer of CPRA requests.2 And after that, once everything was placed in the unclean hands of El Briggs, I received essentially no records.3 And being the weirdo little liar that he is, he didn’t just continue not to produce. Instead he announced an endless series of broken promises, imaginary technical difficulties, unnecessary test transmissions, ignored deadlines, and gratuitous lies.

That, of course, all started almost a year ago, and that’s too long given that the CPRA requires public agencies like BIDs to produce records promptly and without delay.4 Hence, yesterday, we filed this verified petition against Blair Besten’s infernal BID, asking the court to order them to hand over the damn goods post-haste and stop messing around in the future. Turn the page for selected bits!
Continue reading Historic Core BID Sued To Enforce Compliance With The California Public Records Act

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On April 3, 2017, Batty Little Fusspot Blair Besten Tried To Use Her Business Card As ID To Register To Vote Online Against The Skid Row Neighborhood Council — When This Was Unsurprisingly Rejected By DONE Patti Berman And Bob Newman Pleaded For An Exception — And Grayce Liu Granted One In The Form Of Extra Time To Upload Acceptable Documents — Which She Did With 16 Minutes To Spare — Were Pro Skid Row Voters Given The Same Opportunity?

Background: You can read my previous stories on the Skid Row Neighborhood Council formation effort and also see Jason McGahan’s article in the Weekly and Gale Holland’s article in the Times for more mainstream perspectives.

Here’s the whole story in a nutshell, taken from this fabulous little gem of an email exchange (of course there’s a transcription after the break!) On April 3, 2017 Blair Besten, batty little fusspot director of the Historic Core Business Improvement District, third weirdest of the minor Downtown BIDs, tried to register online to vote against the Skid Row Neighborhood Council in solidarity with her fellow zillionaires and their minions. As I’m sure you’re aware, registering to vote online at that time required one to upload a photo of an ID. Blair Besten uploaded a picture of her business card instead.

Not acceptable, said the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment! So then DLANC president-for-life Patti Berman1 and weirdo-about-town, male-for-rent, and some kinda damn social worker Bob Freaking Newman2 emailed everybody saying please guys! Let Blair Besten register please!! And not only that, but Patti Berman used her dlanc.com email address during the conversation even though DLANC was required by City law to be neutral. Helping Blair Besten register is not neutral.

And then Grayce Liu, the famous führerin of DONE, said OK! Even though people who think their business card counts as ID usually have to show up in person to vote we will make an exception for Blair Besten! If she uploads her real ID in the next 51 minutes we will allow her to vote online!! And she did!! So she got to vote!! Mission accomplished and those are some helpful-ass City Officials, amirite?!
Continue reading On April 3, 2017, Batty Little Fusspot Blair Besten Tried To Use Her Business Card As ID To Register To Vote Online Against The Skid Row Neighborhood Council — When This Was Unsurprisingly Rejected By DONE Patti Berman And Bob Newman Pleaded For An Exception — And Grayce Liu Granted One In The Form Of Extra Time To Upload Acceptable Documents — Which She Did With 16 Minutes To Spare — Were Pro Skid Row Voters Given The Same Opportunity?

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Annals Of LAPD Spying — Sometimes Protesters Don’t Get Permission From The Cops For Their Protests — And Sometimes The Cops “Monitor” Social Media To Uncover Protesters’ Plans — And Sometimes The Cops Share This Information With The Department Of Homeland Security — Not To Mention With Business Improvement Districts — Who Are No Strangers To Creepy-Ass Social Media Spying Themselves — So Watch What You Say On Facebook, Friends, If You Don’t Want A Bunch Of Unanticipated Cops Showing Up!

This is just a short note to discuss this email chain, which I recently received from the Historic Core BID as part of the fruits of a public records act request.1 It seems that last year, some group called Code Pink was planning a protest in Pershing Square on April 29, 20172 and they did not ask the permission of the LAPD. Even more interestingly it seems that the LAPD has officers dedicated to “monitoring social media” who track this kind of thing.

And one of them, James Baker, emailed a bunch of his fellow polices on April 22, 2017, to fill them in on the upcoming reign of anarchy Downtown. He mentioned explicitly that Code Pink was not cooperating with the LAPD, that there was no discussion of any civil disobedience, and that his officers would “continue to monitor social media for updates.”

Also interesting is the fact that four of the recipients were with the Department of Homeland Security.3 Another was Senior Lead Officer Michael Flanagan, who turned around and emailed batty little fusspot Blair Besten of the Historic Core BID, Brian Raboin of the Downtown Center BID, and Banyon Hutter of Allied Universal Security.

The record doesn’t show what,if anything, the BIDs did with the information, but it’s worth keeping in mind that this is happening. If you’re an activist, if you use social media to coordinate your events, don’t forget that the cops are reading it too, the BIDs are reading it, BID security is reading it, and they’re all coordinating with each other. Plan accordingly. Turn the page for transcriptions of the whole email chain and some additional discussion.
Continue reading Annals Of LAPD Spying — Sometimes Protesters Don’t Get Permission From The Cops For Their Protests — And Sometimes The Cops “Monitor” Social Media To Uncover Protesters’ Plans — And Sometimes The Cops Share This Information With The Department Of Homeland Security — Not To Mention With Business Improvement Districts — Who Are No Strangers To Creepy-Ass Social Media Spying Themselves — So Watch What You Say On Facebook, Friends, If You Don’t Want A Bunch Of Unanticipated Cops Showing Up!

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How Is South Park BIDdie And Famously Manic Minion Katie Kiefer Just Like Richard Nixon? Well, We Won’t Have Either Of Them To Kick Around Any More — Not Sure Where Nixon’s At But Katie Kiefer’s Off To Work For José Huizar In CD14 — Did I Mention That I Recorded This Morning’s South Park BID Meeting? Well I Did!

This is just a short note to announce the availability of video of this morning’s meeting of the South Park BID‘s board of directors. There’s a lot going on here, and I have at least a few detailed posts to write about this material over the next few days, but I just wanted to provide links so you can see for yourself, and also to announce a stunning piece of news about the SPBID’s director of operations Katie Kiefer.

She is leaving the BID to go work for the prince of darkness himself, Mr. José Huizar, over at 200 N. Spring Street. This makes her the latest BIDdie to move over to Huizar’s office, the last known instance being Mr. Ari Simon, late of the Historic Core BID, batty little fusspot Blair Besten’s weirdo empire on Broadway.

Here are links to the video, and turn the page for a transcription of bad BIDdie Ellen Riotto’s announcement to the board:

Continue reading How Is South Park BIDdie And Famously Manic Minion Katie Kiefer Just Like Richard Nixon? Well, We Won’t Have Either Of Them To Kick Around Any More — Not Sure Where Nixon’s At But Katie Kiefer’s Off To Work For José Huizar In CD14 — Did I Mention That I Recorded This Morning’s South Park BID Meeting? Well I Did!

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A Motion In City Council Asks The HHH Citizens’ Oversight Committee To Recommend Ways To Speed Up Development Of Housing For The Homeless, Creating An Unacknowledged But Not Unexpected Conflict Of Interest For Members Kerry Morrison And Blair Besten, Whose Salaries Are Paid By Real Estate Developers For The Express Purpose Of Advocating For Their Interests With The City

In November 2016 the voters of Los Angeles approved Measure HHH, which provided a huge amount of funding for housing homeless people. The measure also created a Citizens’ Oversight Committee, putatively for the purpose of making sure the money was well-spent. Subsequently, Eric Garcetti appointed Hollywood BIDdie and famous mayoral pookie-pie Kerry Morrison and some other people to the Committee and the City Council appointed Downtown BIDdie and famous José Huizar pookie-pie Blair Besten to the Committee.

These appointments meant that 2 of 7 committee members work for business improvement districts,1 which was bad enough in itself given that one of the main purposes of BIDs is to banish the homeless from their districts and to basically waste public money in the form of their assessments while doing that. But on Wednesday matters got immeasurably worse.

What happened is that Marqueece Harris-Dawson and Mitchell Englander introduced a motion proposing to expand the remit of the CoC to include making

comprehensive recommendations to the Homelessness and Poverty Committee regarding changes to the permanent supportive housing process and funding structure to enable a more expedited delivery of homeless housing.

That is, the Committee is now charged with weakening the funding process and the permitting and building approval process for projects that will help house the homeless. This sounds superficially like a good thing, but there’s at least one huge problem with it. Blair Besten’s employers, Kerry Morrison’s employers, are huge commercial property owners and developers and weakened processes are their bread and butter. They know exactly how to turn weakened processes into strengthened profit margins.

At least some of them, e.g. Ruben Islas, make immense amounts of money from building and owning housing for the homeless. Blair Besten has lobbied the City intensively on relaxing zoning codes and on granting psychotically expansive tax breaks to such developers. This new proposal, therefore, would grant Blair Besten and Kerry Morrison the power to make recommendations directly to City Council on issues that they are already paid by developers and property owners to lobby the City over.
Continue reading A Motion In City Council Asks The HHH Citizens’ Oversight Committee To Recommend Ways To Speed Up Development Of Housing For The Homeless, Creating An Unacknowledged But Not Unexpected Conflict Of Interest For Members Kerry Morrison And Blair Besten, Whose Salaries Are Paid By Real Estate Developers For The Express Purpose Of Advocating For Their Interests With The City

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Highland Park BID Executive Director Misty Iwatsu Wanted To Apply For A Job In Culver City But Thought Culver City Is Part Of Los Angeles — Thank Goodness The Leaders Of Los Angeles Have Chosen To Appoint To Its Positions Of Influence And Power Persons Of Such Deep Wisdom And Knowledge About The Politics, Society, And History Of Our City!

Tonight I have for you another juicy morsel from the recently announced set of emails from the Highland Park BID. Our story begins with this email from the BID Consortium to all of its zombie-like followers who, it seems, include Misty Iwatsu. The email was a listing of job opportunities for the LA BIDdie community, ensubjectified “Announcement:::BID Opportunities” and containing, in pertinent part, the following likely little slab of puckey:

Culver City Arts District BID – Executive Director

The Culver City Arts District is looking to hire a part-time Executive Director to help manage the programs and Board. The position will only be about 20-25 hours a month ($45-50 an hour). They are hoping to find someone that can assist with the business outreach, events, board administration, oversee a marketing consultant and generally keep things humming along. It is fairly low-key – and relatively flexible – though the board is looking for a self-starter with exceptional communication skills that can keep things moving along without a lot of oversight.

Contact: Elaine Gerety Warner (elaine.warner@culvercitv.org)

And friend Misty Iwatsu evidently read that and thought something along the lines of “I’m gonna cut me a slice of that cake!” because, somewhat less than three days later, she sent this cheerful little missive off to City of Los Angeles employed BIDmeisterin Rita Moreno, whom so many of our BIDs rely on for her good sense and relative sanity,1 asking for some job-related info and, in the process, fatally revealing the fact that she thought Culver City was somehow a part of Los Angeles when everybody who’s actually paying attention knows it’s its own damn place, got their own damn mayor, their own damn city council, their own damn muni code. It’s just like a real city, only smaller!

As usual, turn the page for a transcription, more emails, and the usual mockery!
Continue reading Highland Park BID Executive Director Misty Iwatsu Wanted To Apply For A Job In Culver City But Thought Culver City Is Part Of Los Angeles — Thank Goodness The Leaders Of Los Angeles Have Chosen To Appoint To Its Positions Of Influence And Power Persons Of Such Deep Wisdom And Knowledge About The Politics, Society, And History Of Our City!

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How Kerry Freaking Morrison Found Out About Senator Ricardo Lara’s Street Vending Bill In January 2018 And Told No-Epithet-Yet Suzanne Holley, Chardonnay-Swilling Scarf Monster Rena Leddy, And Batty Little Fusspot Blair Besten All About It And Suzanne Freaking Holley Went And Told Carol Freaking Schatz, The Zillion Dollar Woman, Who Subsequently Swore A Solemn Oath To Destroy SB 946

Just another quick note from all them DCBID emails I’ve been dining out on for weeks now. It’s inconsequential in one sense, but on the other hand, it illuminates how information spreads among the zillionaire flunkies who run this City’s BIDs. Here is the original email chain, and I’m just going to lay it on you without commentary. Or without much, anyway.

On January 31, 2018, the incomparable Emily Alpert Reyes emailed Kerry Freaking Morrison thusly:

From: Alpert, Emily mailto:Emily.Alpert@latimes.com
Sent: Wednesday, January 31, 2018 9:23 AM
To: Kerry Morrison <Kerry@hollvwoodbid.org>

Subject: State bill on street vending

Hi Kerry — I hope all is well! I was curious for your thoughts on this state bill that would override local regulations on vending:

http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180SB946&search_keywords=vendor

I’m at ■■■-■■■-■■■■. Thanks!

Emily

Did Kerry Morrison answer her? Well, I don’t know, but I will say that Emily Alpert Reyes published a fine article on Lara’s bill on February 2, and Kerry Morrison is not quoted in it. In any case, we do know that Kerry Morrison read the email because …. turn the page if you want to find out!
Continue reading How Kerry Freaking Morrison Found Out About Senator Ricardo Lara’s Street Vending Bill In January 2018 And Told No-Epithet-Yet Suzanne Holley, Chardonnay-Swilling Scarf Monster Rena Leddy, And Batty Little Fusspot Blair Besten All About It And Suzanne Freaking Holley Went And Told Carol Freaking Schatz, The Zillion Dollar Woman, Who Subsequently Swore A Solemn Oath To Destroy SB 946

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Chardonnay-Swilling Scarf Monster Rena Leddy And Her Gang Of Halfwit Henchwomen Discuss How To Market Fashion District Artsy-Shartsitude, Showing How They Subvert The Rule Of Law, Undermine Civil Society, And Betray The Social Compact For Far Less Than 30 Pieces Of Silver — Not To Mention Long-Awaited Proof That Creak-Voiced Marketing Queen Ariana Gomez Is Really Truly Smarter Than Kylie Freaking Jenner!

The other day we wrote about Thursday’s fun-filled1 meeting of the Fashion District BID‘s most funnest committee ever, which is to say, the Marketing Committee.2 Today I have a couple more interesting episodes to present to you!

First, Chardonnay-swilling scarf monster3 Rena Leddy began a little discussion with her gang of half-witted henchwomen, notably Laurie Sale, Laurie Rosen, Linda Becker,4 Mark Levy,5 and Ariana Gomez, about how to market the arty-shartsy side of the Fashion District. You can watch it here if you have the stomach for it. There’s no transcription after the break, cause really, it’s too inconsequential to bear.

The main thing about it, though, is its absolutely puerile triviality. They’re all like “EEK, there are galleries, let’s promote them! There are murals, OMG!!” BIDs do an awful lot of this kind of jive, where they take the products and activities of actual human beings, bleach them into a kind of blindingly inoffensive white soup, and then natter on about how unique it all is and how they can use it for their branding efforts or whatever.

And that would all be fine, maybe a little irritating or cookie-toss-inducing, as that kind of tin-eared jargonistic verbal outsplorching will be. It would be, that is, if it were all these BIDs were up to. But it’s not all they’re up to. Not even close.
Continue reading Chardonnay-Swilling Scarf Monster Rena Leddy And Her Gang Of Halfwit Henchwomen Discuss How To Market Fashion District Artsy-Shartsitude, Showing How They Subvert The Rule Of Law, Undermine Civil Society, And Betray The Social Compact For Far Less Than 30 Pieces Of Silver — Not To Mention Long-Awaited Proof That Creak-Voiced Marketing Queen Ariana Gomez Is Really Truly Smarter Than Kylie Freaking Jenner!

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An Unforced Error By Self-Proclaimed Hollywood Superlawyer Jeffrey Charles Briggs Provides Unique Insight Into The Thoroughly Cynical, Thoroughly Bogus Nature Of BIDs’ Use Of The Deliberative Process Exemption To The California Public Records Act — They Even Used It In One Case To Cover Up A Blatant Brown Act Violation

One of the biggest flaws in California’s Public Records Act is that the various local agencies that constitute our government are trusted to search their own records, decide without oversight what’s responsive to requests and, worst of all, decide what’s exempt from production. My general feeling about BIDs and record searches is that they purposely don’t find everything, about their exemption claims that they’re mostly lying.

Unfortunately, without a lawsuit, it’s not realistically possible to get a look at records for which they’ve claimed exemptions.1 Hence it’s not usually possible to check how closely this feeling corresponds to reality. However, due to an interesting confluence of events, I recently obtained a number of emails between various people at the Hollywood Media District BID for which their lawyer, Jeffrey Charles Briggs,2 had claimed exemptions, thus making it possible to compare his claims with the actual records. Unsurprisingly the exemption claims turned out to be 99\frac{44}{100}\% pure and unadulterated nonsense. You can find the emails and some analysis after the break, but first I’m going to ramble on a little about some tangentially related issues.

Like many policies, this default assumption of honesty on the part of local agencies no doubt works when it works, but when it comes to the BIDs of Los Angeles, who are staffed, for the most part, with the most unscrupulous bunch of pusillanimous chiselers ever to engorge their bloated reeking tummies at the public piggie trough, it doesn’t work at all.3 They lie, they confabulate, they delude themselves and others, and generally display utter and overweening contempt for the rule of law.4

And nowhere does their misbehavior reach a more fevered pitch than in the use of the so-called “deliberative process” exemption to the CPRA. In short, this is an exemption that courts have built up out of the “catch-all” exemption to CPRA, found at §6255(a), which says:
Continue reading An Unforced Error By Self-Proclaimed Hollywood Superlawyer Jeffrey Charles Briggs Provides Unique Insight Into The Thoroughly Cynical, Thoroughly Bogus Nature Of BIDs’ Use Of The Deliberative Process Exemption To The California Public Records Act — They Even Used It In One Case To Cover Up A Blatant Brown Act Violation

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Report From Yesterday’s Historic Core BID Annual Meeting: Huizar Announces Council’s Support For Revision To State Definition Of “Gravely Disabled” But Is Unwilling To Say Explicitly That The Goal Is To Make It Easier To Lock Up Homeless People — BID Board Member Ed Rosenthal Misses The Point And Asks If This Will Make It Easier To Lock Up Homeless People


Well, well, well! The Historic Core BID, third weirdest of the minor Downtown BIDs and the exclusive demesne of batty little fusspot queen Blair Besten,1 held its Annual Meeting yesterday in the crown jewel of Michael Delijani’s Broadway empire, the Los Angeles Theatre. The local zillionaires were blessed by the heavens opening and, well, maybe not the angels of God descending,2 but at least they got José Huizar in all his freaking Councilmanic3 glory.

Of course I taped the whole damn thing, and you can watch it here.4 There are a lot of interesting episodes here, not least these slavering remarks from the meanest woman in BIDlandia, President Tara Devine, who’s handling the Historic Core BID’s ongoing renewal.

Oh, and remember that adenoidal twerp who told the SRNC proponents that they needed to get an education? Well, it turns out that that adenoidal twerp has a name, although I can’t recall it right now and I can’t freaking be bothered to look, but here he is at yesterday’s meeting spewing yet another load of his characteristically adenoidal twerpery all over José Huizar’s new suit.5

However, the very most interestingest bit was José Huizar’s announcement that he and his colleagues had just dropped a motion allowing the City to seek to have the Lanterman Act6 amended so that the the definition of “gravely disabled”7 includes refusing medical services. The whole mess can be found in CF 18-0002-S11.8 You can watch Jose Huizar talking about it and also there’s a transcription and some more snarky discussion after the break.
Continue reading Report From Yesterday’s Historic Core BID Annual Meeting: Huizar Announces Council’s Support For Revision To State Definition Of “Gravely Disabled” But Is Unwilling To Say Explicitly That The Goal Is To Make It Easier To Lock Up Homeless People — BID Board Member Ed Rosenthal Misses The Point And Asks If This Will Make It Easier To Lock Up Homeless People

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