Tag Archives: Cahuenga Boulevard

Announcing Our New LAMC 49.5.5(A) Project: Peter Zarcone And The HPOA Music Festival Fiasco Provide Raw Material For Our First Experimental Attempt At Seeing What This Law Actually Prohibits

Eep!
Eep!
LAMC 49.5.5(A) states, rather succinctly, that:

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.

Here’s what seems to be required of a City official or employee to violate this law:1

  1. That they misuse their position, where I’m thinking “misuse” means:
    • They do something that requires the powers granted to them by virtue of their position and
    • their powers were not granted for the purpose of doing that thing.
  2. The misuse creates a private advantage or disadvantage for someone, where I’m thinking “private” means:
    • The advantage or disadvantage created does not further public policy goals. E.g. getting arrested creates a disadvantage for the arrestee, but the disadvantage furthers a public goal. Winning a contract through the City’s bidding process advantages the successful bidder, but the advantage furthers a public goal.

The law is enforced by the City Ethics Commission, although it doesn’t seem to have been used much. There is, e.g., this case from 2010 involving a Fire Inspector who charged money for successful inspections. This is the kind of thing one would expect to fall under this statute. However, there is also one high profile case pending right now which doesn’t seem ordinary at all. It seems quite unexpected. In 2014 LAPD Officer Jim Parker was among those who responded to a sex-in-a-car call involving Daniele Watts and her boyfriend. She accused the police of racism and brutality, and Parker anonymously leaked an audio recording of the incident, which exonerated the police. Subsequently, the Ethics Commission issued a public accusation against Parker for violating LAMC 49.5.5(A) on the theory that leaking the confidential audio recording, which he only had access to by virtue of his position, constituted a misuse which created a private advantage for himself.2

This is very encouraging. It seems that perhaps the Ethics Commission is willing to at least think about a broad application of this seemingly very broad law. And it’s an interesting thing about laws that no one can actually be sure what they mean, what the range of application is, until they’re repeatedly tested in the courts. Well, that’s not exactly right. If a court decides that people of average intelligence can’t be sure at all what the law actually prohibits or requires, they’re likely to toss it out as unconstitutionally vague. But, I guess, if people don’t know exactly what the law prohibits or requires, but average people could have realized that it potentially prohibits what they’re doing or requires what they’re not doing, then it’s not too vague, even if no one actually did realize those things.3 That’s the space I’m interested in exploring with respect to LAMC 49.5.5(A). And because I’m not interested in philosophical explorations any more I’m going to explore this issue by actually turning people in to the CEC to find out what happens, beginning with our old friend, Peter Zarcone. You can read some details after the break, and even get your very own copy of the complaint I sent the Ethics Commission the other day.
Continue reading Announcing Our New LAMC 49.5.5(A) Project: Peter Zarcone And The HPOA Music Festival Fiasco Provide Raw Material For Our First Experimental Attempt At Seeing What This Law Actually Prohibits

Share

Crime Does Pay At City Hall: Anti-RV Resolution Introduced In Council This Morning At Behest of Media District BID Director Lisa Schechter, Acting in Apparent Violation of Her Post-Employment Lobbying Ban

RVs on Lillian Way between Santa Monica Blvd and Melrose Avenue
RVs on Lillian Way between Santa Monica Blvd and Melrose Avenue
This morning, CD13 Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell introduced a resolution seeking to impose restrictions on parking oversized vehicles in a semi-industrialized sliver of the Hollywood Media District BID located roughly between Cole Avenue and Vine Street west to east and Santa Monica Boulevard and Melrose Avenue north to south. There is a never-ending flow of these seemingly innocuous items in the agendas of our esteemed Council, but I just happen to know an awful lot about the backstory to this one, which is anything but innocuous, actually, and is the subject of today’s post.

The Media District BID is particularly attractive to people living in RVs because it’s industrialized, so no night-time neighbors to annoy, and it’s close to the center of Hollywood. Especially on Lillian Way and its cross streets, Romaine, Willoughby, and Waring, there has been a thriving but quiet community of RV-dwellers for years on end. But the Media District BID hates it. They just can’t deal with it. For instance, see this email chain from March 2015 where Hollywood cop Julie Nony discusses how to get rid of them with erstwhile Media District BID director Steven Whiddon and a bunch of overprivileged proprietors who don’t understand the concept of public space. But, probably not surprisingly, Steven Whiddon was unable to orchestrate any lasting action.

RVs on Lillian Way between Santa Monica Blvd and Melrose Avenue
RVs on Lillian Way between Santa Monica Blvd and Melrose Avenue

So enter Lisa Schechter, employed by erstwhile CD4 rep Tom LaBonge until June 30, 2015. Sometime between then and October 2015 she was hired by the Media District to replace the departed but unlamented Whiddon. Very soon after that, in fact on November 5, 2015, Schechter and current Media District Board President Laurie Goldman met with O’Farrell’s Hollywood Field Deputy, Daniel Halden. Dan was kind enough to supply me with a copy of his notes from that meeting, wherein (on the second page) one can read the portentous words: “Oversized vehicles Resolution — MAP.” There’s no question that this meeting between Halden, Goldman, and Schechter, is the genesis of the resolution introduced this morning by Mitch O’Farrell.
Continue reading Crime Does Pay At City Hall: Anti-RV Resolution Introduced In Council This Morning At Behest of Media District BID Director Lisa Schechter, Acting in Apparent Violation of Her Post-Employment Lobbying Ban

Share

Peter Zarcone and Kerry Morrison Conspire Not To Enforce CUP Conditions Against BID-Approved Venues for November 2015 BID-Sponsored Music Festival In Stark Hypocritical Contrast To Their Overzealous Hyperenforcement Against Minority-Serving Venues in Hollywood

A newly shaven Peter Zarcone in April 2015.
A newly shaven Peter Zarcone in April 2015 just as his joint vendetta with the BIDs against nightclubs in Hollywood took off.
Recall that in April 2015 the two HPOA BIDs, the LAPD, and the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce revealed an ongoing conspiracy to shut down minority-serving entertainment venues in Hollywood. Their favored technique for doing this is hyperenforcement of Conditional Use Permits (CUPs). These documents contain numerous restrictions on the operations of bars, restaurants, and so on. Violating these conditions while operating is actually a crime, and owners and employees of venues can be arrested for doing so. This actually happens, e.g. in the shameful case of the Rusty Mullet. Keep that in mind. The LAPD can physically arrest restaurant employees for violations of the CUP. It can also shut the venue down immediately if the CUP is being violated.

Now, in November 2015, eight months after the BID and Zarcone began targeting nightclubs and bars that they didn’t like,1 the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance sponsored a music festival centered around Cahuenga Boulevard between Hollywood and Selma, notably the most caucasian micro-neighborhood in Hollywood-nightlife-land. Thus, on September 9, 2015, Kerry Morrison wrote to LAPD and CD13:

This festival is intended to present a neighborhood “night-life” experience in Hollywood. We are trying to change the image of Hollywood by celebrating the authentic music and artistic options that are here. As such, the BID is “curating” over four days/nights dozens of different musical experiences, acts, pop-up art shows, comedy, etc — and inviting the public in to experience Hollywood as a walkable neighborhood. … The activity is largely going to be centered around Selma and Cahuenga — very little will happen on Hollywood Blvd.

By the way, this statement is full of dog whistles. Note the contrast between putatively authentic music and whatever kind of music they play on Hollywood Blvd. (hint: white:authentic :: ??:Hollywood Blvd. music) Note the scare quotes around “night-life,” and so on. But that’s not all:
Continue reading Peter Zarcone and Kerry Morrison Conspire Not To Enforce CUP Conditions Against BID-Approved Venues for November 2015 BID-Sponsored Music Festival In Stark Hypocritical Contrast To Their Overzealous Hyperenforcement Against Minority-Serving Venues in Hollywood

Share

BID Patrol Allegedly Uses the Word “Wetback,” Offending Everybody Except Possibly Anti-Peruvian Director Carol Massie and Graffiti-Art-Haters on Staff and Board

This is not exactly like the BID Patrol.  They don't carry rifles, for one thing.
This is not exactly like the BID Patrol. They don’t carry rifles, for one thing.
We’ve been writing a lot recently on what strongly appears to be an anti-Latino attitude on the part of the two business improvement districts controlled by Kerry Morrison. The first indication of this was their freakout over the too-dark skin color of local nightclub patrons. After that it turned out that they think that official acknowledgement of Peruvian culture in Hollywood would be “amazingly inappropriate.” Also, both BIDs design their public art contests in such a way that the chance of a Latino artist being selected is significantly lowered, with both the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance and the Central Hollywood Coalition being guilty of this.

So against that background it wasn’t all too surprising to read this 2015 complaint to Kerry Morrison from an anonymous person:
Continue reading BID Patrol Allegedly Uses the Word “Wetback,” Offending Everybody Except Possibly Anti-Peruvian Director Carol Massie and Graffiti-Art-Haters on Staff and Board

Share

Last Year Fabio Conti, Carol Massie, and Marty Shelton Accused the Rusty Mullet of Having Too Many Dark-Skinned Patrons, This Year Peter Zarcone Accuses Them of Murder, Kidnapping, Burglary, Grand Theft Auto, as Part of BID-Backed Conspiracy to Pull Their C.U.P.

The Rusty Mullet at Hollywood and Las Palmas.  Fabio Conti hates it.  Carol Massie hates it.  Marty Shelton hates it.  Peter Zarcone hates it.  The LAPD accused it of murder.  Tomorrow the City is holding a hearing on whether to shut it down.
The Rusty Mullet at Hollywood and Las Palmas. Fabio Conti hates it. Carol Massie hates it. Marty Shelton hates it. Peter Zarcone hates it. The LAPD accused it of murder. Tomorrow the City is holding a hearing on whether to shut it down.
Listen, this isn’t a joke. First get a copy of the hearing notice in the matter of the Rusty Mullet, being held at the Zoning Commission tomorrow morning. Then read the LAPD summary:

Los Angeles Police Department arrest report and crime analysis documentation of: multiple violations of Conditional Use Permit conditions including, failure to have an operable electronic age verification device, failure to implement a Designated Driver Program, failure to post mandated hours of operation, excess number of seats, allowance of amplified music to extend beyond the premises, allowance of live amplified music, allowance of dancing, allowance of loitering, and allowance of patrons to queue in line outside the premises; as well as, murder, rapes, aggravated assaults, assault with a deadly weapon, batteries, physical altercations, kidnapping, possession of a weapon, narcotic drug violations, grand theft auto, robberies, burglary, thefts, service of an obviously intoxicated person, failure of security guard to possess valid security guard license, public drunkenness, disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace, vandalism, and violation of State of California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control required operating conditions.

You read that right. The LAPD is trying to get the Rusty Mullet shut down because they allow dancing and they cause murders, kidnappings, and burglaries. Of course, you want to know what’s really going on here, don’t you?
Continue reading Last Year Fabio Conti, Carol Massie, and Marty Shelton Accused the Rusty Mullet of Having Too Many Dark-Skinned Patrons, This Year Peter Zarcone Accuses Them of Murder, Kidnapping, Burglary, Grand Theft Auto, as Part of BID-Backed Conspiracy to Pull Their C.U.P.

Share

Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition Trials Relocation to Hollywood and Bronson, Kerry Morrison Initiates Covert Back-Channel Campaign to Subvert, Undermine, and Thwart Efforts

Kerry Morrison at the May 18, 2016 meeting of the Board of Directors of the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance, describing to her zillionaire overlords how she will use every last drippy little droplet of her political juice to thwart the GWHFC in every possible way.
Kerry Morrison at the May 18, 2016 meeting of the Board of Directors of the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance, describing to her zillionaire overlords how she will use every last drippy little droplet of her political juice to thwart the GWHFC in every possible way.
At the HPOA Board Meeting on Thursday, May 18, 2016, Kerry Morrison had a lot to say about the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition. In particular, the Food Coalition, which reportedly had been considering a move from its long-time feeding site at the corner of Sycamore and Romaine in Southwest Hollywood, has been, according to Kerry, trying out feeding people at the Salvation Army facility at Hollywood and Bronson. If you’ve been keeping up with the ongoing efforts by the zillionaire elite of Los Angeles to torpedo the GWHFC by any means necessary it will come as no surprise to you that Kerry’s little speech about this was filled with misrepresentations and promises to stop this development if it’s at all possible to do so. We will run through her account one piece at a time, and you can watch and listen along here. As always, a complete transcription of Kerry’s remarks may be found at the end of the post.
Continue reading Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition Trials Relocation to Hollywood and Bronson, Kerry Morrison Initiates Covert Back-Channel Campaign to Subvert, Undermine, and Thwart Efforts

Share

The BID Patrol Walked Through Hollywood Farmers Market 50 Times in 2013 and Neither Warned Nor Arrested Non-Homeless Cosmo Street Sidewalk Sitters

BID Patrol Officer Courtney Kanagi (badge #130) in 2011.
BID Patrol Officer Courtney Kanagi (badge #130) in 2011.
A search of the newly released 2013 daily activity logs of the BID Patrol reveals 50 mentions of the Hollywood Farmers’ Market. You can read all of these with links to the logs at the bottom of this post. Now, we have written before about how the BID Patrol only arrests and warns homeless people for violating the abhorrent LAMC 41.18(d). Finally we have conclusive proof that this is true on a massive, previously unsuspected scale, and it comes from the BID Patrol’s own logs.
Here is just one example out of many, many, many. On March 11, 2013 at 11:50 AM, BID Patrol Officers Courtney Kanagi (badge #130) and G. Merkens (badge #112) recorded the following activity:

1150 BACK-UP FB3: FARMER’S MARKET (IVAR/SELMA); INFORMATION BOOTH CALLED RE: A MALE TRANSIENT AGGRESSIVELY PANHANDLING; OFFICERS MET UP WITH THE SECURITY AND FB3; OFFICERS ADVISED MALE OF HIS VIOLATION; COMPLIED BY LEAVING THE AREA WITH NO FURTHER INCIDENT.
Mass violations by non-homeless people of LAMC 41.18(d) on Cosmo Street on October 12, 2014 go unaddressed by the BID Patrol.
Mass violations by non-homeless people of LAMC 41.18(d) on Cosmo Street on October 12, 2014 (and every other Sunday) go unaddressed by the BID Patrol.
In other words, Kanagi and Merkens were in the Farmers’ Market at 11:50 AM and did not arrest, warn, or even mention the gangs of people who appear every single Sunday and sit on the sidewalk on Cosmo Street north of Selma to eat. But during this same watch they warned 37 (thirty-fricking-seven!) “TRANSIENTS” (their word) outside of the Market for violating LAMC 41.18(d). Three of these warnings took place a mere 15 minutes after Kanagi and Merkens logged their presence in the Market:

1205 CONTACT (3): HOLLYWOOD/CAHUENGA; OFFICERS OBSERVED 3 TRANSIENTS SITTING; ADVISED OF THEIR LAMC VIOLATION; COMPLIED BY STANDING UP AND LEAVING THE AREA WITH NO FURTHER INCIDENT.

Continue reading The BID Patrol Walked Through Hollywood Farmers Market 50 Times in 2013 and Neither Warned Nor Arrested Non-Homeless Cosmo Street Sidewalk Sitters

Share

Senior Lead Hollywood Cop Julie Nony on the Psychology of Homelessness and its Discontents: “The homeless are a lot like kids in a way” and LAPD Interactions with them “might seem strange and ugly at first.”

Julie Nony and Andrews International security boss Steve Seyler during happier times.
Julie Nony and Andrews International security boss Steve Seyler during happier times.
Those are actual quotes in the headline. They come from this email chain between bunches of people in the Media District BID, LAPD Hollywood Division Senior Lead Officer Julie Nony, and Dan Halden of CD13. Here’s more of the context, but you’ll have to read the whole thing to believe it. Chie Kobayashi, of yet another incomprehensible new media post-production outfit on Lillian Way between Santa Monica Blvd. and Melrose, wrote to Julie to complain in detail about homeless people. Julie wrote back:

We really need to get every business on the same page so this doesn’t continue to happen. It might seem strange and ugly at first but if you are new to the area and don’t know how things operate, this can get really out of hand. I will be out for the rest of the week, so I can not personally be there. Please call our front desk number if you should need to have a police unit come out (213-972-2971/2972/2973).

And of course call the B.I.D. first to see if they can handle it. The homeless are a lot like kids in a way. If we warn them and there is no follow through (like we did with the encampment) then they will test us and do what they can get away with. I would like to have a meeting with you, Vince Clothing, Red Studios, Milk, School PD, B.I.D., Vine Street Elementary and your neighbors just north of you. And whoever else you can think of. Lets [sic] all get together and share in the responsibility of keeping this area clean. Thank you!

Julie

We’re not sure where to start with this. We might note that it’s probably true that if kids get warned and there’s no follow through then they’ll test limits. But it’s not true because they’re kids, it’s true because they’re human. The instinct for testing limits is responsible for all human progress and is necessary for human survival.1 We might note that if your methods seem “strange and ugly at first…if you are new to the area” then there’s a reasonable chance that they are in fact strange and ugly. And their methods are very strange and very ugly. We’re not even new to the area and we think they’re strange and ugly. Some of us have grandparents who moved to Hollywood in 1908. Some of us have spent more than half a century in and around Hollywood. And yet we think the methods Julie’s talking about are strange and ugly.

The email reproduced above was in response to the following from Chie Kobayashi:
Continue reading Senior Lead Hollywood Cop Julie Nony on the Psychology of Homelessness and its Discontents: “The homeless are a lot like kids in a way” and LAPD Interactions with them “might seem strange and ugly at first.”

Share

The School on 103rd Street

The School on 103rd Street by Roland S. Jefferson is a fine political conspiracy novel as well as a stunning roman des riverains about early 1970s Los Angeles
The School on 103rd Street by Roland S. Jefferson is a fine political conspiracy novel as well as a stunning roman des riverains1 planted firmly in early 1970s Black Los Angeles
Today’s book is The School on 103rd Street, by Los Angeles author and psychiatrist Roland S. Jefferson. It seems reasonable to review it here for two reasons. First because it so vividly evokes the peculiar time and place of early 1970s Los Angeles, a spatiotemporal locality that’s dear to my heart and second because its subject matter, racial politics in Los Angeles (including a vast conspiracy the nature of which I can’t really reveal without spoiling the plot, which is something I’m not willing to do) aligns closely with the focus of this blog.

I’ll move on to the serious matters below, but first, check this description of protagonists Elwin Carter and Sable having an evening out in 1973:

The Cyrano building at 13578 Mindanao Way under construction in 1967.
They had dinner at Cyrano’s in Marina Del Rey and then went to the Name of the Game on Century Boulevard for some dancing. At midnight they went down to the Lighthouse to hear Gabor Zabo, and, on the way home, they dropped by Shelly’s Mann Hole and caught the last set by Gerald Wilson. Carter had taken the Ferrari, and, although Sable offered no resistance, she didn’t encourage him. From Shelly’s they headed down Highland toward Wilshire…3

Now, I don’t just read novels for Los Angeles geography porn, but I’m always happy to find it, especially when it has restaurants! Cyrano was a “fine dining” or “continental” sort of place, opened early on in Marina Del Rey. Given the character of the Marina in 1973, at the time Elwin and Sable had dinner there the joint was probably full of cocaine, swinging-in-the-worst-sense, disgusting 1970s facial hair, and gelatinous sleaze coating every surface.

Advertisement from the Los Angeles Times, December 14, 1969, announcing the grand opening of Cyrano.
Advertisement from the Los Angeles Times, December 14, 1969, announcing the grand opening of Cyrano.

The Name of the Game was a dance place in Inglewood at Century and Crenshaw. Here’s how the Los Angeles Sentinel described it on September 2, 1971:

It’s called The Name of The Game, and to many, many persons it’s the name of the place they find attractive and a lively cynosure for a truly good evening of pleasure. Located at 3000 W. Century boulevard, it has music by Dave Holden, and dancing space for frisky feet or those who just love to move and groove. There’s no cover charge, either. The Name of the Game also affords daily luncheon specials, and daily half-price cocktails. So what could be better for the jaded tastes than a visit to The Name of the Game?
4

Unfortunately I can’t find a picture of the place. Note also that there was a sensational killing there in 1973. I don’t have space to go into it, but it was well covered in the Sentinel, starting here.11

Next they head off to the Lighthouse, a famous and still-active jazz club in Hermosa Beach which I’d discuss more if I gave even a fraction of a shit about either jazz or Hermosa Beach. Finally, “on the way home,” they head to Shelley’s Manne Hole which, coincidentally, played an important role in my last recommendation, so I won’t belabor it here. However, these two live in Baldwin Hills, meaning that the Manne Hole, at 1608 N. Cahuenga Blvd., is in no sense but the sense that this night should never end on the way home from Hermosa Beach. Ah, youth!

Now, despite my breathless temporogeographical musings, this novel is much more than a travelogue. It’s an immensely important document about the state of racial politics in Los Angeles eight years after the Watts Rebellion, with more than a little relevance for the present day (as well as being a bitchin’ thriller). Read on for details!
Continue reading The School on 103rd Street

Share

Off the Emery Wheel

off.the.emery.wheel.1The other day I got the urge to read a little more about Thurgood Marshall. The Los Angeles Public Library’s catalog led me to a book by badass civil rights lawyer Jack Greenberg (read it, it’s fabulous: Crusaders in the Courts, although it’s not the book I’m recommending). That led me to look for other books by Greenberg, and thus appeared before me a book called Off the Emery Wheel which, as you can see, was published in 1935 by an outfit in Hollywood called the Cloister Press. Clearly this was a different Jack Greenberg, but nevertheless I thought it’d be interesting to take a look.
off.the.emery.wheel.4
The LAPL’s only copy is noncirculating, and, while a trip to the big library downtown is always nice even though it’s not plausible anymore to combine it with a visit to Grand Central Market since the goddamned-hipster-douchebag apocalypse and its associated fourteen dollar “revisionings” of the Egg McMuffin and suchlike nonsense, I didn’t really have time. However, I’ve been spending a lot of time in the stacks at UCLA, working on a historical project which you’ll read about here at some point, I’m sure (and which is at least somewhat related to the Hollywood BIDs, unlike this piece) so I thought I’d check their catalog. Well, Lo! And behold, they own a copy, which I promptly ordered up out of storage.
off.the.emery.wheel.2
And what a pleasant little volume to hold this turned out to be!

Inscription in UCLA's copy of Off the Emery Wheel
Inscription in UCLA’s copy of Off the Emery Wheel
I mean, the poetry is abominable (which is why I’m not reproducing any here), but the book itself is an object of desire. And it’s inscribed by the author as well! And note the tidy little logo of the Cloister Press! A little more poking around and I was blessed to lay my hands on a promotional bookmark from the press, which shows that it was formerly located at 1608 Cahuenga Boulevard.
The Manne-Hole at 1608 Cahuenga Boulevard as it looked in its prime
I already knew about some of the storied history of this building, formerly home to Shelly Manne‘s Manne-hole, the subject of a sidewalk historical marker, but not that there’d been an artsy literary press in there.
Continue reading Off the Emery Wheel

Share