Tag Archives: CIM Group

Baldwin Hills Elementary School Parents Present Resolution To West Adams Neighborhood Council Declaring School A “Charter Free Zone” — Co-Locating Privatizers From New Los Angeles Charter Schools Speak In Opposition — But ‘Twas All In Vain As the Neighborhood Council Approved The Resolution — Which Of Course Is Advisory But This Is An Important Symbolic Victory For Public Education In Los Angeles

Since January I’ve been following the story of New Los Angeles Charter Elementary School and its forcible colonization of Baldwin Hills Elementary School. I was inspired by the UTLA strike and this fine article by Daniel Hernandez of LA Taco. And after a relatively minimal amount of fuss I managed to obtain a small cache of emails that revealed a great deal of tension between the privatizers and the public school, which inspired the privatizers to seek another school site for the 2019-2020 year.

However and sadly they were unable to do so and hence are forced to spend at least one more year being universally scorned on the BHES campus. Which brings us up to last Monday, March 18, 2019, when a brave and determined group of BHES parents brought a resolution to the West Adams Neighborhood Council asking them to declare the BHES campus a “charter-free zone.” There is a transcription of this remarkable document after the break.

So I attended the meeting and made video of the BHES segment.1 And you can watch the whole thing here on YouTube or here on Archive.Org, which is extra good if you want to download it. The NC Board gave each side seven minutes to speak on their positions. Also, Vernail Skaggs of LAUSD spoke to explain how the co-location process works. There was vigorous public comment as well, and in the end the Board voted 8 to 3 in favor of supporting the resolution and declaring Baldwin Hills Elementary School a “charter free zone.”

NC resolutions are advisory even on the City of Los Angeles, and since LAUSD is completely independent of the City government, they’re even less than advisory in that context. Nevertheless, this is an important victory. The more NCs and other community groups in Los Angeles speak out against charter schools the more incentive City politicians will have to oppose them. The school board and the legislature take the opinions of our City pols seriously,2 so even though this resolution is symbolic in itself, it’s nevertheless an important piece of a large-scale anti-charter movement in Los Angeles.

Like I said, the whole video is definitely worth watching. But it is over an hour long. Turn the page for links into the highlights with a little commentary, not to mention a little mockery. There’s also a transcription of the resolution itself.
Continue reading Baldwin Hills Elementary School Parents Present Resolution To West Adams Neighborhood Council Declaring School A “Charter Free Zone” — Co-Locating Privatizers From New Los Angeles Charter Schools Speak In Opposition — But ‘Twas All In Vain As the Neighborhood Council Approved The Resolution — Which Of Course Is Advisory But This Is An Important Symbolic Victory For Public Education In Los Angeles

Share

CIM Group BID Project Coordinator Catherine Randall Met With Clerk BID Analyst Rita Moreno In December 2018 To Discuss West Adams BID — At Recommendation Of BIDological Freak Show Specimen Don Duckworth — Who Has A Lot To Answer For In This Life

This is just a short post to update you on newly obtained information about the impending West Adams Business Improvement District. For a decent recap of the situation read my last post on the subject over here. The BID consultant is Marco Li Mandri of New City America, but according to some emails that I obtained this evening, Donald Duckworth was also talking to Catherine Randall of CIM Group, who seems to be heading up the BID establishment project in support of her employer’s growing investment in West Adams real estate.

Duckworth, of course, is famous in these parts for the surreal level of cruelty and slapstick incompetence with he manages to imbue the ordinary everyday BID facism to which every BIDologist is accustomed. They’re against street vending, he forces local business owners to denounce themselves for supporting street vending. They obstruct my access to their documents in violation of the California Public Records Act. His violations are so flagrant that I had to sue him twice on the same day. They illegally lobby City officials. He…well, he also illegally lobbies City officials. They’re a bunch of white supremacists. He lives in Arcadia, California, a city with a population of 57,000 which includes fewer than 700 African-Americans.

He’s quite a piece of work, is our Mr. Duckworth, and the thought of him having anything whatsoever to do with West Adams, even the thought of him walking the very streets, let alone being involved with such a powerfully satanic tool of cultural mutation as a West Adams BID will be, is nauseating indeed. Even the very emails that are the nominal subject of this post, well, I mean, they pale in comparison, but they’re pretty pale to begin with other than the revelation about El Duckie.1 You can read transcriptions after the break.
Continue reading CIM Group BID Project Coordinator Catherine Randall Met With Clerk BID Analyst Rita Moreno In December 2018 To Discuss West Adams BID — At Recommendation Of BIDological Freak Show Specimen Don Duckworth — Who Has A Lot To Answer For In This Life

Share

Proposed West Adams BID Would Run From La Brea To Genesee — Favorable Polling So Far Dominated By CIM Group — Bizarre Questionnaire Reveals Racist Conceptions Of Safety Underlying The Felt Need For A BID — Just Bad News All Round

It was just revealed a few weeks ago that New City America, a BID consultancy helmed by noted legal scholar1 and raging psychopath Marco Li Mandri, has been planning a business improvement district for West Adams in concert with co-conspirators CIM Group. And yesterday I finally managed to lay my hands on a little more specific information. This all comes from this 11 page packet, handed out at the most recent meeting of the proposed BID’s steering committee.

Of the most immediate import is this map of the proposed district. For the first time we know that, at least at the end of October 2018 it was planned to run along West Adams from La Brea to Genesee. There’s also this summary showing that, again as of October 2018, the property owners were polling at 39% in favor of BID establishment. Don’t forget, though, that per the Property and Business Improvement District Act at §36621(a) they’re not counting individual property owners, but weighting them by assessments to be paid.2 This document is also essential because it exposes a long list of hitherto unknown LLCs that CIM uses to own its various properties.

If that sounds high, well, it’s not surprising. See this list of parcels in the proposed BID sorted by whether the owners are in favor or not. See that Catherine Randall, who is VP in charge of some damn crapola at CIM group, is the designated representative for a full 33 parcels. Sadly, without more information than I’ve been able to gather, I’m not able to determine what percent of the voting power this will give CIM group. But it’s going to be high. They’re the largest single owner in the proposed district.3 The only thing we can be sure of is that they hold less than 39% of the total square footage.

And the last important bit of documentation to be found here is this copy of a questionnaire that Marco Li Mandri sent out to the property owners. This one has a tally of the responses to the various questions, which is also interesting. The City of LA requires this kind of polling before they’ll get behind a BID establishment process, but you can see from this instance that there is no kind of quality control at all. Just for freaking instance, the very first question asks “In terms of security and public safety, do you feel that West Adams District is…? (a) safe and orderly (b) Relatively safe, may suffer from unsafe image (c) Unsafe

This, friends, is a highly problematic question. Most of the the things that are wrong with business improvement districts are somehow reflected in this question. It is … well, turn the page for some discussion…
Continue reading Proposed West Adams BID Would Run From La Brea To Genesee — Favorable Polling So Far Dominated By CIM Group — Bizarre Questionnaire Reveals Racist Conceptions Of Safety Underlying The Felt Need For A BID — Just Bad News All Round

Share

West Adams BID Is In The Pipeline — Management District Plan May Be Submitted To City As Early As January — Backed By Thuggish Outlaw Real Estate Trump-Buddies CIM Group — Who Are Developing At Least Three Properties In The Area — Clearly BID Will Support, Enhance Gentrification — Pressure For Which Is Created By Culver City Adjacency And Tech Boom

West Adams is famous for many things, its signature Victorian architecture, having been the legendary home of many famous African-Americans in the 20th Century, center of black gay culture in Los Angeles, and so much besides. But none of that really matters in these latter days. Ultimately the fate of West Adams will be determined solely by the fact that it’s really close to Culver City but the rent is a lot lower at the very moment when Tech Bro World, having been priced out of Venice, is expanding in that very direction.

Which is why, in case you missed it, the thuggish Trump-buddy real estate zillionaires who call themselves CIM Group have been buying properties all over the neigborhood, developing live/work multi-use monstrosities and and hotels and God knows what-all. CIM Group is famous for its outlaw behavior, what with illegally chasing tenants out of rent-stabilized buildings, and illegally AirBnBing buildings that don’t have occupancy permits, and violating the terms of their building permits, and other such shenanigans.1

And CIM Group is also famous for its support of business improvement districts in neighborhoods where it’s parking its considerable capital. Just for one instance, there’s perennial Hollywood Entertainment District BID Boardie Monica Yamada, vice president for incomprehensible nonsense at CIM. And earlier this month I first learned that BID consultants New City America2 were working on setting up a BID in West Adams and, more recently, that CIM Group seems to be the main proponent.

In particular, CIM groupies Catherine Randall and Geffen Kuba3 seem to be walking point. These facts, and not much more, come from some recently obtained emails relating to the BID formation process. First see this conversation between Marco Li Mandri and Wesson staffer Kimani Black. There’s also this short note from Shirley Zawadski to the City Clerk letting them know that the formation process is underway.

According to Li Mandri the plan is to have the engineer’s report and the management district plan in to the Clerk’s office by the middle of January. I don’t know if they have gone to petitions yet. The BID is expected to raise $370,000 in its first year of operation. Turn the page for links to and transcriptions of the emails on which the story is based.
Continue reading West Adams BID Is In The Pipeline — Management District Plan May Be Submitted To City As Early As January — Backed By Thuggish Outlaw Real Estate Trump-Buddies CIM Group — Who Are Developing At Least Three Properties In The Area — Clearly BID Will Support, Enhance Gentrification — Pressure For Which Is Created By Culver City Adjacency And Tech Boom

Share

This Is What Domestic Surveillance Looks Like In Los Angeles In The 21st Century: Muslims Lawfully Distribute Pamphlets, Private Security Guards Call The Cops, Cops Read Pamphlets, Pronounce Them Reputable And Acceptably Anti-Terror, Make Report To So-Called Major Crimes Unit Anyway

The other day the LAPD provided me with a massive release of emails between various Hollywood Boss Cops and CIM Group and the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. There’s a lot of stuff, and I haven’t read all of it carefully yet,1 but a couple items stood out for sheer disconcertion.

In short, the story started with private security guards at a Rick Caruso hypermall in Glendale flipping out because someone was taking pictures and not shopping, escalated to an attempt to get the Glendale PD to stop the guy and identify him, and ended up in Hollywood with then Hollywood Station Boss Commander Peter Zarcone reading through legally distributed pamphlets, deciding that they were acceptably critical of bad Islamist stuff, and subsequently reporting the distributors, law-abiding Muslims from the Islamic Institute of Orange County, to the LAPD’s Major Crimes Division.

On the one hand, it’s absolutely ludicrous and surreally kooky that a few Muslims passing out literature on Hollywood Boulevard can lead the LAPD and a bunch of private security to generate dozens of emails at the highest levels, follow the Muslims around videotaping them and writing down their license plates, combing through their pamphlets, and so on. On the other hand, it’s absolutely chilling. That seems to be the world we’re living in, I guess. Surreally ludicrous, surreally chilling. As always, find details and documentation after the break.
Continue reading This Is What Domestic Surveillance Looks Like In Los Angeles In The 21st Century: Muslims Lawfully Distribute Pamphlets, Private Security Guards Call The Cops, Cops Read Pamphlets, Pronounce Them Reputable And Acceptably Anti-Terror, Make Report To So-Called Major Crimes Unit Anyway

Share

The Homeless Industrial Complex: How CIM Group, Monica Yamada, Kerry Morrison, Steve Seyler, And Their Assorted Minions And Cronies Eat What They Kill In Hollywood And Beyond

Monica Yamada, president of the HPOA and principal of the organized criminal conspiracy known as the CIM Group, plotting with unindicted co-conspirators late last week.
Monica Yamada, president of the HPOA and principal of the organized criminal conspiracy known as the CIM Group, plotting with unindicted co-conspirators late last week.
This morning’s L.A. Times features an excellent story about how CIM Group defrauds its tenants in poverty-stricken but gentrifying areas of the City, telling them that they’re about to be evicted and offering them small amounts of money to sign releases. Of course, in Los Angeles, most low-cost rental units are covered by rent control laws which give these tenants significant protections which they don’t know about. CIM Group takes significant and soon-to-be-illegal advantage of this ignorance.

CIM Group is famous for its criminal behavior, which has shown no sign of slowing down.1 This latest revelation won’t surprise anyone who’s paying attention. And remember that gentrification creates homelessness, and evictions create homelessness. In short, CIM Group creates homelessness. Monica Yamada creates homelessness. And they make a lot of money by making people homeless.

But these homeless people don’t go to waste, no. Some of them end up in Hollywood, where they generate a great deal of economic activity. They don’t share in the wealth they create, but that’s no surprise. First, they end up as the the subject of arrests and other interventions by Steve Seyler and his cheerful gang of good-will ambassadors. Those boys2 earn $1.5 million per year dealing with these homeless people. No homeless people, no $1.5 million.
Continue reading The Homeless Industrial Complex: How CIM Group, Monica Yamada, Kerry Morrison, Steve Seyler, And Their Assorted Minions And Cronies Eat What They Kill In Hollywood And Beyond

Share

That Time in 2012 When Kerry Morrison’s OCD Street Character Rage Incited Rabid, Frothing-at-Mouth Angry White Property Owning “Bull[ies]” to Attack Jane Ellison Usher and Tamar Galatzan with “Repeated Kicks to the Head”

Kerry Morrison in 2012 explaining to Jane Ellison Usher why it's so important to get rid of street characters in Hollywood.
Kerry Morrison in 2012 explaining to Jane Ellison Usher why it’s so important to get rid of street characters in Hollywood.
Last month we broke the story of Kerry Morrison’s insistence that street characters on Hollywood Blvd. must be outlawed to curb terrorism while carving out a performative exception for the Ku Klux Klan’s Hancock Park operations. One of the incidents described there was a terse summary from HPOA Board minutes about how some meeting was tense because the City Attorney’s office had “…dropped the ball…” and they walked out of the meeting (due to shame or something).
Jane Ellison Usher in May 2009, three years before the HPOA's receiving repeated kicks to the head from Kerry Morrison and bullying friends
Jane Ellison Usher in May 2009, three years before receiving “repeated kicks to the head” from Kerry Morrison and “bully[ing]” friends.

Well, we recognize a whitewashing when presented with one, so we directed our faithful correspondent to investigate further, and, with the assistance of ever-helpful Mike Dundas of the City Attorney’s office, he came up with this little gem right here, which is an email from Special Assistant City Attorney Jane Ellison Usher1 to Kerry Morrison, Joe Mariani, and Leron Gubler, taking them to task for allowing their psychotic crazed white property owner constituents to berate Ms. Usher and her colleague Tamar Galatzan2 over a perceived, albeit delusionally so, inaction with respect to the TERRORISM street character problem at Hollywood and Highland. Ms. Usher’s description is far, far more plausible than that of the anonymous minutes-taker quoted above and far, far less flattering to the crazed HPOA-ites than is their own description. In particular:
Continue reading That Time in 2012 When Kerry Morrison’s OCD Street Character Rage Incited Rabid, Frothing-at-Mouth Angry White Property Owning “Bull[ies]” to Attack Jane Ellison Usher and Tamar Galatzan with “Repeated Kicks to the Head”

Share

Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition Planning Move to Hollywood and Gower; HPOA Security on Alert

The Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition Kitchen at 1106 N. Cahuenga Boulevard.
The Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition Kitchen at 1106 N. Cahuenga Boulevard.
Yesterday, while perusing the agenda of the January HPOA meeting, which I wasn’t able to attend, I noticed the interesting statement that the “Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition [is] seeking new location within Hollywood Entertainment District BID.” This was in the Security Subcommittee report, because the GWHFC in the eyes of the HPOA comprises (to paraphrase Ted Landreth) “enemies of the people.” Well, I hadn’t heard about this, and made a note to look into it. And, as it happens, I was over at the CD4 Hollywood Field Office this morning scanning some emails for a whole different project1 when I came across this email chain between Ted Landreth of the GWHFC, Sarah Dusseault (CM Ryu’s Chief of Staff), Nikki Ezhari (CD4 Hollywood Field Deputy), and others, announcing the Food Coalition’s planned move to a location near Hollywood and Gower! They’re raising funds to buy property (give generously here) and are more than 25% of the way to their goal. Details on their plans for the property and some other comments after the break.
Continue reading Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition Planning Move to Hollywood and Gower; HPOA Security on Alert

Share

Kerry Morrison Evidently Solicited Some Favor in October 2014 from LAPD on Behalf of Outlaw Developer CIM Group, Peter Zarcone and Deputy Chief Terry Hara Concerned to Avoid “[Creating] a Perception of [LAPD] Being in the Pocket of a Private Developer”

Politically astute LAPD deputy chief Terry Hara in 2006.
Politically astute LAPD deputy chief Terry Hara in 2006.
In October 2014, a judge revoked real estate developer CIM Group’s permits for their controversial Sunset/Gordon apartment building because they had willfully ignored a number of legal requirements. Within days of that decision, HPOA Executive director Kerry Morrison was emailing Hollywood LAPD Honcho Peter Zarcone with some kind of ask about the situation. Zarcone conferred with now-retired Deputy Chief Terry Hara and told Kerry that, while he wasn’t (yet) saying “no” to whatever Kerry was asking, he and Hara needed more information because they were concerned that saying “yes” would “create a perception of [LAPD] being in the pocket of a private developer.” He was right to have worried. The Sunset/Gordon project would go on to be the locus of a great deal of outlawry, and CIM Group is essentially an ongoing criminal conspiracy. I certainly hope the LAPD had the sense to stay out of it.

I only have this little snippet of the email chain, so I don’t yet know the favor Kerry was asking nor the outcome of the ask. I have requests out for the rest, though, and I’ll provide new information as it comes in. I will say that I’d prefer that the LAPD would be concerned more with the reality of not being in the pocket of a private developer than the perception of it, but maybe that’s idealistic. And I’d say that the fact that Kerry Morrison even felt free to ask him for anything on behalf of CIM shows that probably the LAPD essentially is already “…in the pocket of a private developer.” Why did she think that asking him would yield results if similar requests in the past hadn’t already worked? My collection of BID/LAPD emails is presently too fragmentary to allow the drawing of many solid conclusions, but the amount of it that has to do with real estate is surprising.

Darrell Davis (right) with Bea Girmala and LaMont Jerrett in the parking lot of the Hollywood Police Station on Wilcox
Darrell Davis (right) with Bea Girmala and LaMont Jerrett in the parking lot of the Hollywood Police Station on Wilcox

For instance, here’s another email, this one from HPOA Assistant Boss Joseph Mariani to Hollywood cop Darrell Davis asking for info on Hollywood crime stats that a broker needs immediately to convince a client to buy in Hollywood. Again, I don’t yet know the full story, but I’m working on getting it. However, the level of familiarity that Joe displays suggests convincingly that LAPD assistance with Hollywood real estate transactions is the norm. Says Joe to Darrell: “Ideally he said he would need this today. Let me know if that’s possible. If not I’ll try and buy some time.”

So if Peter Zarcone is worried about creating a perception of LAPD being in the pocket of a private developer, maybe the best thing would be to have his subordinates stop acting like they’re in the pocket of the entire freaking real estate industry. Maybe the best thing to do when he receives what’s almost surely an improper request from Kerry Morrison is to tell her that it’s not the job of the police to facilitate the real estate industry’s criminality, or even its non-criminal daily business. Maybe that would be more effective. Read full transcripts after the break if you don’t like PDFs:
Continue reading Kerry Morrison Evidently Solicited Some Favor in October 2014 from LAPD on Behalf of Outlaw Developer CIM Group, Peter Zarcone and Deputy Chief Terry Hara Concerned to Avoid “[Creating] a Perception of [LAPD] Being in the Pocket of a Private Developer”

Share

Rogue Real Estate Zillionaires CIM Group Continue Rampaging Hollywood Crime Spree and Hypocritical Support for Continued Incarceration of Homeless

First page of Order to Comply posted in the window of the CiM Group crime scene at Sunset and Gordon.  The second page is available here.
First page of Order to Comply posted in the window of the CiM Group crime scene at Sunset and Gordon describing their rabid outlawry, scofflaw shenanigans, and general contempt for the rule of law. The second page is available here.
We’ve written before about the rogue real estate zillionaires CIM Group and their scofflaw shenanigans, from infiltrating their Brown-Act-flouting minion Monica Yamada onto the BIDs’ Joint Security Committee to their bribery, permit-condition-ignoring, and general villainy. They are lately, of course, famous for having so egregiously ignored the terms of a deal with the City over their building at Sunset and Gordon that a judge voided their permits and told them to evict all their tenants.

And just now, on April 3, 2015, the LA Board of Building and Safety Commissioners slapped an “ORDER TO COMPLY” on the window of the Sunset/Gordon building which states:

An investigation of various complaints received by the Department has revealed that the subject apartment building is being used as a hotel without the required permits and Certificate of Occupancy.

Therefore, you are hereby ordered to stop the unapproved use and occupancy as a hotel on or before April 10, 2015.

So it’s illegal, but they’re still renting it out as a hotel. First we gotta wonder how would they be doing that? There’s no sign on the building. Find out after the break!
Continue reading Rogue Real Estate Zillionaires CIM Group Continue Rampaging Hollywood Crime Spree and Hypocritical Support for Continued Incarceration of Homeless

Share