Tag Archives: Bureau of Sanitation

Discussions On City Of LA’s Motion For Clarification Of Otero’s Preliminary Injunction Forbidding Confiscation Of Homeless Property In Skid Row Finally Break Down, Leading Plaintiffs’ Attorneys To File Scathing Opposition — Hearing Set For September 11 At 10 a.m.

See Gale Holland’s excellent story in the Times on Mitchell v. LA as well as our other stories on the subject for the background to this post. See here to download most of the papers filed in the case.

It’s been over a year since anything tangible happened in Mitchell v. City of LA, which is the most recent lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles challenging the City’s abhorrent enforcement of the abhorrent LAMC 56.11 as an abhorrent justification for the illegal and immoral confiscation of the personal property of homeless people in Los Angeles. Here’s a brief timeline of what’s been going on:

  • April 2016 — Judge Otero issues a preliminary injunction severely limiting the City’s enforcement of LAMC 56.11 in Skid Row.
  • May 2016 — The City of Los Angeles asks Otero to clarify his injunction. In particular, the City wanted to know the boundaries within which the injunction applies and also how the community caretaking exception to the Fourth Amendment is to be exercised in relation to homeless people’s property.
  • Subsequently the City and the plaintiffs spent over a year trying to come to an agreement on the motion for clarification.

Well, yesterday Carol Sobel filed this opposition announcing that, while the parties were able to agree on the boundaries within which the injunction applies and some other matters, they most certainly were not able to agree on the community caretaking matter and neither were they able to agree on the City’s proposal for what constitutes a removable “bulky item.” The agreed-upon boundaries, by the way, are:

Second Street to the north, Eighth Street to the South, Alameda Street to the east and Spring Street to the west.

According to the American Bar Association Journal,

The idea behind community caretaking is that police do not always function as law enforcement officials investigating and ferreting out wrongdoing, but sometimes may act as community caretakers designed to prevent harm in emergency situations.

When they’re functioning in that role, the theory goes, they can seize cars without due process, or search houses without a warrant, and so on, as long as they’re “caring for the community” rather than investigating. Thus the community caretaking function justifies some specific exceptions to the Fourth Amendment prohibition on warrantless searches and seizures of property.

And I’m sure you can imagine just what kinds of mischief the City of Los Angeles is capable of getting up to with a tool like that. In particular they’re arguing that they ought to be able to confiscate people’s property when they’re arrested even if the arrestee has someone at the scene who can take custody of the property. The City says yes, sane people say no.

This matter is scheduled for a hearing at 10 a.m. on Monday, September 11, in Otero’s Courtroom 10C in the First Street Federal Courthouse. Anyway, turn the page for some excerpts from the filing which explain things better than I’m capable of doing.
Continue reading Discussions On City Of LA’s Motion For Clarification Of Otero’s Preliminary Injunction Forbidding Confiscation Of Homeless Property In Skid Row Finally Break Down, Leading Plaintiffs’ Attorneys To File Scathing Opposition — Hearing Set For September 11 At 10 a.m.

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New Documents: More Emails Between Tara Devine and the L.A. City Clerk’s Office, More Emails Between LAPD Captain Peter Zarcone and the HPOA, A Bunch of CPRA Requests to L.A. Sanitation

What’s so funny, Captain? Peter Zarcone smiling with his eyes at a HPOA Joint Security Committee meeting in April 2015.
I spent about three hours yesterday in City Hall and at the LAPD Discovery office scanning stuff. There are thousands of pages of stuff here, some of it quite important. It will take a long time to go through it and write about the highlights, so I thought I’d put it up on the Archive in (very, very) raw form immediately. Here’s what we have today:

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Update On Using CPRA To Get Advance Notice Of Homeless Encampment Cleanups: In Theory It’s Working Fine, But In Practice Not So Much


Previous installments in this series:


LA Sanitation getting honored in City Hall in 2015.  Just one time maybe they could try cleaning up 200 N. Spring Street and catering a meal at a homeless encampment instead of the other way around.  We'd all be better off, friends.
LA Sanitation getting honored in City Hall in 2015. Just one time maybe they could try cleaning up 200 N. Spring Street and catering a meal at a homeless encampment instead of the other way around. We’d all be better off, friends.
This morning I have to report to you two developments in my ongoing project to use the California Public Records Act to get the City of Los Angeles to publicly release advance notice of its planned cleanups of homeless encampments. First of all, on October 31 I made yet another request for various kinds of records dated in the future. On November 8, Letitia Gonzalez sent me a number of items, which I’ll share with you below. You may recall that Letitia was responsible for my one success so far in this project, sending me notice on September 28 of a cleanup on September 29. However, this time, not so much. After the break there’s a list of what she sent, what I asked for, and what I think it means.1 There are also some emails from the Central City East Association (part of the material published on Thursday) showing that LA Sanitation does give advance notice of cleanups in some cases.
Continue reading Update On Using CPRA To Get Advance Notice Of Homeless Encampment Cleanups: In Theory It’s Working Fine, But In Practice Not So Much

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Many New Documents: CCEA Emails, Venice Beach BID Emails, Carol Schatz Freakout, Chua v. City of LA

A rare photograph of MK.org secret headquarters and Fortress of Solitude, located in an undisclosed location in the heart of North Central Hollywood.
A rare photograph of MK.org secret headquarters and Fortress of Solitude, located in an undisclosed location in the heart of North Central Hollywood.
Happy Thanksgiving, friends! Today I have an unanalyzed document dump for you. There’s a lot of fabulous material here, and I’ll be writing about much of it over1 the next few days. For now, though, there’s just a bare inventory, which you can find directly after the break.
Continue reading Many New Documents: CCEA Emails, Venice Beach BID Emails, Carol Schatz Freakout, Chua v. City of LA

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CD13 Field Deputy Aram Taslagyan’s Homeless Encampment Cleanup For Property Manager Bryan Kim Is Latest Entry In Our LAMC 49.5.5(A) Project

Council District 13 Field Deputy Aram Taslagyan.
Council District 13 Field Deputy Aram Taslagyan.
This evening I’m pleased to present the third installment in our ongoing LAMC 49.5.5(A) project, in which we report various City employees to the Ethics Commission in an attempt to discover exactly what the most fascinating ordinance ever,1 LAMC 49.5.5(A), actually prohibits. It says:

City officials, agency employees, appointees awaiting confirmation by the City Council, and candidates for elected City office shall not misuse or attempt to misuse their positions or prospective positions to create or attempt to create a private advantage or disadvantage, financial or otherwise, for any person.

Now, if you’ve been following the saga of Bryan Kim and Aram Taslagyan here on this blog,2 you’ll have noted these essential elements of the story:
Continue reading CD13 Field Deputy Aram Taslagyan’s Homeless Encampment Cleanup For Property Manager Bryan Kim Is Latest Entry In Our LAMC 49.5.5(A) Project

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New Documents: LASAN Encampment Investigation Reports, Lots of Emails About Venice Beach BID, BID Feasibility Reports, Save Valley Village Lawsuit

image_from_sanitation_reportAnnouncing lots of new documents!

Venice Beach BID Emails:

LA Sanitation Homeless Encampment Materials. Note the crappy quality of these things. That’s because, even though CPRA says both clearly and explicitly that if records are stored electronically they must be released in an electronic format, not only does LASAN refuse to do this, insisting on printing these low quality black and white copies from the electronic color originals, but they won’t even answer my emails about this, even though CPRA also compels them to answer. Ah, sigh, right?

BID Feasibility Reports. It seems that BID consultants are supposed to prepare these reports before the BID formation process starts. It also seems that this rule is not enforced. When I asked Miranda Paster for all of these, she sent me only these two: San Pedro and Pacoima. Perhaps these are all there are, in which case yet another rule is being broken.

And finally, turn the page for the City of LA’s answer to the Save Valley Village vote-fixing lawsuit!
Continue reading New Documents: LASAN Encampment Investigation Reports, Lots of Emails About Venice Beach BID, BID Feasibility Reports, Save Valley Village Lawsuit

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Street Vendors Reply To City of LA’s Motions To Strike And To Dismiss, Also Important Records From Department Of Sanitation, Including The City’s Standard Operating Procedure For Cleaning Up Homeless Encampments

The Fashion District, September 2016.
The Fashion District, September 2016.
Good evening, Friends! I haven’t had time to write much recently and I won’t have time for another day or two because the latest installment in the MK.Org LAMC 49.5.5 project is turning out to be more complex than I’d anticipated. I expect to have it done with by the end of this week. This is just a short interim post to announce some new records.

First, you may recall that a couple weeks ago the City of LA filed a couple of motions in the street vending lawsuit. These were:

Tonight the plaintiffs filed their responses to these motions:

And turn the page for some material from the Department of Sanitation relating to homeless encampment cleanups. Most importantly, there is the City-Attorney-approved Standard Operating Procedure manual for cleanups. This is stunning, essential information.
Continue reading Street Vendors Reply To City of LA’s Motions To Strike And To Dismiss, Also Important Records From Department Of Sanitation, Including The City’s Standard Operating Procedure For Cleaning Up Homeless Encampments

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Update On Attempts To Use CPRA To Get LA Sanitation To Provide Advance Notice Of Homeless Encampment Cleanups

Los Angeles Public Works building at 1149 S. Broadway.
Los Angeles Public Works building at 1149 S. Broadway.
Last Summer it occurred to me that it should be possible to use the California Public Records Act to get advance notice of City of LA homeless encampment cleanup actions. After an inordinate amount of bitching and moaning on my part, three weeks ago they actually handed over a schedule one day in advance. Since then, though, the person who gave me that record has been removed from my case1 and the new person assigned to it, Veretta Everheart, Senior Management Analyst with the Department of Public Works, is as obstructionist as everyone else I’ve dealt with at LA Sanitation (although perfectly friendly and delightful to deal with). In other words, no new advance schedules have been forthcoming.

On a slightly hopeful note, though, Veretta Everheart did actually tell me explicitly that they weren’t going to give me advance schedules.2 The reason she gave is that they “are living documents” which are “not retained.”3 Although she doesn’t say so explicitly, this is evidently a nod in the direction of an exemption enumerated in CPRA at Section 6254(a), which states that it’s not required to release

Preliminary drafts, notes, or interagency or intra-agency memoranda that are not retained by the public agency in the ordinary course of business, if the public interest in withholding those records clearly outweighs the public interest in disclosure.

Now, if this is actually what she’s claiming,4 it’s probably not going to fly. First of all, even if these calendars are in fact drafts, there’s a solid argument that the public interest in disclosure outweighs the public interest in withholding. In fact, there’s no discernable public interest in withholding these.5 Not only that, but all of these calendars, drafts and preliminary versions included, are, in fact, retained, making the applicability of this exemption even more implausible.
Continue reading Update On Attempts To Use CPRA To Get LA Sanitation To Provide Advance Notice Of Homeless Encampment Cleanups

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A Bunch Of Interesting New Documents: City Attorney, LA Times, And Sanitation Reports From Encampment Cleanups

This is just a quick announcement of some interesting new collections of records, with minimal commentary. First of all, there’s a collection of emails between City Attorney spokesman1 Rob Wilcox and various L.A. Times Reporters. You can get the whole batch here:

Also I have a full set of reports2 from the Bureau of Sanitation on the cleanups of three homeless encampments on March 22, 2016. It took almost three months for them to hand over this material, which won’t surprise anyone who’s been following my recent interactions with them. This is likewise available from:

I don’t presently have much to say about the sanitation reports. At this point I’m collecting as much material as possible in order to (a) figure out what kind of material is available so that I’ll be able to make focused, effective requests in the future, (b) learn what kinds of arguments they make against handing over records so that I can make focused, effective counterarguments against them, and (c) understand all the players in the HE3 game and the roles they’re playing. I hope to be able to synthesize all of this at some point, but meanwhile I want to make the records available because I know smarter people than I are also reading them.

But I do have this and that to say about the emails,4 and after the break you will find commentary and links to interesting individual instances.
Continue reading A Bunch Of Interesting New Documents: City Attorney, LA Times, And Sanitation Reports From Encampment Cleanups

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CD13 Staffers Marisol Rodriguez and Juan Fregoso Conspire With Bureau of Sanitation Employees Jose Garcia and Renee Shackleford to Subvert City Homeless Encampment Cleanup Policies and Procedures Just So Mitch O’Farrell, Other “VIPs,” Don’t Have To Walk By Homeless People On Their Way To Give A Speech

Low income housing at 215 N Vermont Avenue.  Note the distinctive lack of homeless people for VIPs to step over, thanks to the foresight and strongarm tactics of CD13's Marisol Rodriguez and Juan Fregoso.
Low income housing at 215 N Vermont Avenue. Note the distinctive lack of homeless people for VIPs to step over, thanks to the foresight and strongarm tactics of CD13’s Marisol Rodriguez and Juan Fregoso.
Well, it turns out there’s this company called AMCAL Housing, and according to their about-us page they build affordable housing in exchange for tax breaks, or some such thing. They’re building a big project at Vermont and Beverly1 called the Meridian Apartments, and they broke ground officially on February 11, 2016, with Mitch O’Farrell scheduled to speak at the ceremony.

Thus, on February 1, 2016, Paige Horn of AMCAL Housing emailed Marisol Rodriguez, Dave Cano, Juan Fregoso, all of CD13, and some people from Korean Churches for Community Development, which is working with AMCAL on this project, telling them:

Thank you all for your participation in the Meridian Groundbreaking Event on Thursday, February 11th at 11am! … There should be ample street parking, however, I have reserved VIP Parking for all speakers at the lower parking lot of Hubbard College of Administration that can be accessed from Juanita Avenue.

Map of the area.  (a) is the parking lot, (b) is the encampment.  A speculative VIP path to the event is shown in purple.  Click to enlarge.
Map of the area. (a) is the parking lot, (b) is the encampment. A speculative VIP path to the event is shown in purple. Click to enlarge.

But local knowledge counts for a lot. The very next day, our very own Juan Fregoso emailed Victor Gutierrez (#26802) with a cc to Matthew Ziegler (#34208)2 to report:

Hi Vic,
Here is the info for the event on the 11th.

We have CSI3 scheduled for February 9th.

As you can see, VIPs will park on Juanita and will have to walk through the encampment.

Me and Marisol are working to see how to address this but wanted to flag the event.

Thanks again for all your help.

And amazingly enough, I have a copy of the lengthy email chain between Juan Fregoso, Marisol Rodriguez, and a bunch of people from the L.A. Sanitation department showing exactly what those two CD13 stalwarts were doing “to see how to address this.” You can probably guess what’s coming, because if VIPs (?!) have to walk near homeless people, something’s gotta give, and it ain’t gonna be the VIPs,4 You’d be right, and you can read the sordid details after the break!
Continue reading CD13 Staffers Marisol Rodriguez and Juan Fregoso Conspire With Bureau of Sanitation Employees Jose Garcia and Renee Shackleford to Subvert City Homeless Encampment Cleanup Policies and Procedures Just So Mitch O’Farrell, Other “VIPs,” Don’t Have To Walk By Homeless People On Their Way To Give A Speech

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