Tag Archives: Downtown Industrial District BID

300-Ish Pages of Estela Lopez’s Emails From The Last Few Months, Including Discussions Of Homelessness, Skid Row NC, Why The Freaking LAPD Doesn’t Bust More Protest Marches Like BIDs Want Them To, Operation Clean Streets, The California Public Records Act, And So On And On And On…

I just recently received a few hundred pages of emails from Estela Lopez, voodoo queen of the Central City East Association, and they are available on Archive.Org and also directly from static storage. Most of it is the unmitigatedly tedious bullshit with which these BIDdies fill their lives and their inboxes, but, as usual, there are a few interesting items. I already wrote the other day about Estela Lopez’s aggressive foray into CPRAlandia, and here are a few other items that are worth looking at individually:

And turn the page for two more examples, and to learn why, which I bet you didn’t even know that they were doing, the LAPD was praying for rain in January!
Continue reading 300-Ish Pages of Estela Lopez’s Emails From The Last Few Months, Including Discussions Of Homelessness, Skid Row NC, Why The Freaking LAPD Doesn’t Bust More Protest Marches Like BIDs Want Them To, Operation Clean Streets, The California Public Records Act, And So On And On And On…

Huge News: LA Community Action Network Lawsuit Against Central City East Association and City Of LA Poised To Settle, CCEA Agrees To Specific, Extensive Restrictions On Homeless Property Confiscation, Will Pay $25,000 To LAFLA In Damages, Legal Fees, And Costs. City Of LA Settlement Expected To Go To City Council Soon, LAMC 56.11 Enforcement Likely To Be Severely Attenuated

News of a settlement in the momentous lawsuit brought by the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles on behalf of the Los Angeles Community Action Network, the LA Catholic Worker, and a number of individuals over the confiscation of homeless people’s property by BID and by City, has been rumbling around PACER for about one year now. Well, yesterday evening, the first concrete details of the ongoing settlement process arrived. The parties filed a joint report indicating that concrete terms had been reached with both CCEA and the City of Los Angeles. The City of LA part still has to be approved by City Council, but according to the document, this is likely to happen within 45 days.

On the other hand, amazingly, the proposed agreement between the CCEA and the plaintiffs has actually been filed! It must still be approved by Judge Philip Gutierrez, but it strikes me as extraordinarily unlikely that it would not be. The agreement severely restricts the circumstances under which the BID can confiscate property. The terms of this part of the settlement make it seem very likely that the City will agree to severe restrictions in its enforcement of LAMC 56.11, the property confiscation ordinance, at least on Skid Row. CCEA will also pay LAFLA $25,000 for damages, fees, and costs. Turn the page for some details of what the CCEA has agreed to.
Continue reading Huge News: LA Community Action Network Lawsuit Against Central City East Association and City Of LA Poised To Settle, CCEA Agrees To Specific, Extensive Restrictions On Homeless Property Confiscation, Will Pay $25,000 To LAFLA In Damages, Legal Fees, And Costs. City Of LA Settlement Expected To Go To City Council Soon, LAMC 56.11 Enforcement Likely To Be Severely Attenuated

More Than Two Months After Its Business Improvement District Came Into Being, The Venice Beach Property Owners’ Association Has Not Yet Signed An Administration Contract With The City Of Los Angeles, But A Comparison With Other Recent BID Establishments Suggests That This May Not Mean Much

Carl Lambert, officer of the Venice Beach Property Owners Association, as he might have appeared on the cover of the late lamented Berkeley Barb which, given the parallel tragedies which have befallen both Berkeley and Venice, is kind of appropriate in a way sorta kinda..
Well, since the first of the year, I have been obsessively checking the contract search tab of the City Clerk’s Council File Management System for any sign of an agreement between the City and the Venice Beach Property Owners Association, as that criminal conspiracy between Carl Lambert and his unindicted co-conspirators Mark Sokol and Steve Heumann is known to the world, for the administration of the Venice Beach BID. The CFMS1 is an essential tool, but its built-in search engine is freaking horrible, and it seems even horribler2 when searching contracts. So the fact that no contract popped up day after day after day didn’t exactly fill me with confidence in the theory that no such contract existed.

But today, after two freaking months with no sign of it, I finally emailed the ever-helpful3 Shannon Hoppes to ask if there was a contract or not. She answered quickly and told me that there was not yet any such thing. Well, hope springs and so on. Into my head sprang joyous visions of Carl Lambert and his infernal BID-buddies Mark Sokol and Steve Heumann being so overwhelmed with the furor and pushback called into being by their infernal BID that they took their BID-ball and went home. They are being sued, their shadowy BID consultant, the Divine Ms. Tara Devine, has as shaky a grasp on the law and also on the truth and also on basic human decency as her freaking clients, and maybe the pressure was all just too much for them, mused I.

But it also occurred to me that maybe it didn’t mean anything, and it was just runna-the-mill incompetence and sloth. So I decided to check out other recent BID establishments and compare. What I found proves that, while there has been a longer than average delay between the establishment of the VBBID and the signing of the contract, it’s not an outlier, nor is it the longest such lag time among property-based BIDs established in the last few years. Thus while this at-least-two-month delay between the BID establishment may yet turn out to be a sign of good things to come with respect to this BID, for now it’s not possible to draw any conclusions at all about it. Turn the page for the technical details.
Continue reading More Than Two Months After Its Business Improvement District Came Into Being, The Venice Beach Property Owners’ Association Has Not Yet Signed An Administration Contract With The City Of Los Angeles, But A Comparison With Other Recent BID Establishments Suggests That This May Not Mean Much

“We Save Lives Out Here, We Don’t Harass Lives!” The Heavily Armed Self-Proclaimed Mother Teresa of Hollywood, Ms. Kerry Morrison, Flips Out About “Concerning” LA Times Editorial, Proposes to Head Over To First And Spring And Teach That Editorial Board A Lesson!

Brigadier General Kerry Morrison using her brand-new dry-erase map of Hollywood to plot further invasions, conquests, and occupations-by-force-of-arms.
Brigadier General Kerry Morrison using her brand-new dry-erase map of Hollywood to plot further invasions, conquests, and occupations-by-force-of-arms.
Remember this editorial in the L.A. Times about the Venice Beach BID? I posted on it a couple weeks ago because whoever wrote it1 took City Attorney spokesman Rob Wilcox at his unsupported and unsupportable word that BID security somehow wasn’t allowed to arrest people for sitting on the sidewalk in violation of the despicable LAMC 41.18(d). Well, anyway, evidently “Two-gun” Kerry Morrison of the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance read an editorial with the same title but, perhaps because her copy of the paper comes from Bizarro World, radically different content. The one I read said, quite sensibly:

We’re glad that property owners around Venice Beach care about their community and that they’re willing to pay extra to improve the neighborhood. But when it comes to the homeless, they must decide whether they want to be part of the solution or part of the problem. If the ambassadors are going to constitute a de facto private security force, their job should not be to hassle the homeless in an effort to move them pointlessly from corner to corner or to push them out of the neighborhood so that they become another jurisdiction’s problem.

So watch and listen here to HPOA Executive Director Ms. Kerry Morrison’s cri de coeur about how UNFAIR this is to her and her heavily armed BID Patrol buddies!! Or if you prefer, as always, there’s a transcription after the break. And she said:

There was a very concerning editorial in the L.A. Times two weeks ago. … And what’s concerning about it is that it kind of suggests that when BIDs get involved in addressing homeless issues that it’s basically a harassment mindset.
Continue reading “We Save Lives Out Here, We Don’t Harass Lives!” The Heavily Armed Self-Proclaimed Mother Teresa of Hollywood, Ms. Kerry Morrison, Flips Out About “Concerning” LA Times Editorial, Proposes to Head Over To First And Spring And Teach That Editorial Board A Lesson!

Lots of New Documents: CD5 Food Coalition Emails, CD13 HPOA Emails, Carol Schatz and Mike Feuer Material, 2016 Quarterly Reports From A Bunch Of BIDs

The subterranean archives at MK.org are filling up fast!
The subterranean archives at MK.org are filling up fast!
Just a quick post this fine Saturday morning before heading off to Canter’s for breakfast. I’ve been quietly uploading stuff to Archive.Org over the last few weeks, and there’s gotten to be quite a bit of unannounced material over there:

And turn the page for material to do with Carol Schatz, Mike Feuer, and a bunch of highly assorted quarterly BID reports from the first half of 2016.
Continue reading Lots of New Documents: CD5 Food Coalition Emails, CD13 HPOA Emails, Carol Schatz and Mike Feuer Material, 2016 Quarterly Reports From A Bunch Of BIDs

How to Destroy a Business Improvement District in California: A Theory

This would be an effective, emotionally satisfying, and poetically just way to get rid of business improvement districts, but I'm hoping for something a little more environmentally friendly.
This would be an effective, emotionally satisfying, and poetically just way to get rid of business improvement districts, but I’m hoping for something a little more environmentally friendly.
DISCLAIMER: I’m not a lawyer. But I’m friends with some lawyers. More than zero of them did not laugh out loud at the idea you’re about to read. That’s all I got.

Business improvement districts in California are made possible by the Property & Business Improvement District Law of 1994.1 It’s worth reading, or at least skimming through, because there’s gold in them thar hills! For instance, consider Section 36670(a)(1), which states:

36670.(a) Any district established or extended pursuant to the provisions of this part … may be disestablished by resolution by the city council in either of the following circumstances:

(1) If the city council finds there has been misappropriation of funds, malfeasance, or a violation of law in connection with the management of the district, it shall notice a hearing on disestablishment.

Do you see the potential in that statement? The fact that it’s a tool for laying waste the BIDs of Los Angeles like so many Philistines? It’s a little hard to understand statutes, but here’s a clue: when they say “shall” they mean “must,” not “can.” Now turn the page to find out why this little statute, if not more powerful than Doug Henning and his sparkly rainbow suspenders as pictured above, is possibly as effective a BID repellent but much, much more emotionally satisfying than mere poofsly-woofsly magical annihilation.
Continue reading How to Destroy a Business Improvement District in California: A Theory

An Open Letter to Mitch O’Farrell Regarding Plans to Fund Andrews International BID Patrol Operations in Hollywood

March 2, 2016

Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell
200 N Spring St #450
Los Angeles CA 90012

Dear Councilmember O’Farrell,

I am writing to you regarding plans that the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance and the Los Angeles Police Department are making to extend the patrol hours of the Andrews International BID Patrol in the Hollywood Entertainment District until 4 a.m. In particular, I heard at the last HPOA board meeting that you were considering funding all or part of this program from your discretionary money. If this report is accurate, I hope that you will ultimately decide not to fund an expansion of BID Patrol hours in Hollywood. Here are a number of reasons why I think your funding this project would be a bad idea:

1. Regardless of the intention, it looks like a way to evade Police Commission oversight of law enforcement in Hollywood: This expansion of the BID Patrol’s operations is apparently being planned at the request of Hollywood Divison’s Commanding Officer Peter Zarcone. If it’s implemented it will therefore create a City-funded group of quasi-police assembled at the City’s request who are not subject to any kind of civilian oversight or control. I understand that in some technical sense the BID Patrol aren’t police, but this plan makes that seem even more like a distinction without a difference than it already does.
Continue reading An Open Letter to Mitch O’Farrell Regarding Plans to Fund Andrews International BID Patrol Operations in Hollywood

Document Filed in Federal Court Yesterday Suggests that LA Community Action Network, LA Catholic Worker v. City of LA, Central City East Association Lawsuit May Settle Within Two Weeks

CCEA Secret Headquarters at 725 Crocker Street, downtown Los Angeles.
CCEA Secret Headquarters at 725 Crocker Street, downtown Los Angeles.
A document filed in Federal Court yesterday suggests that the LACAN/LACW lawsuit against the City of LA and the CCEA over the illegal confiscation of the property of the homeless may be within a scant two weeks of a settlement. The document is a joint stipulation asking that discovery be delayed (but not the trial date; if you’ve been following the case you’ll recall that last November the parties asked Judge Gutierrez to delay the trial, but he refused. I suppose they’re not making the same mistake again). In any case, the pleading states that:

The settlement conferences with
[Magistrate] Judge [Carla M.] Woehrle have been very productive, and based on the most recent settlement conference [on February 2, 2016] and subsequent discussions, parties are hopeful that further settlement discussions over the next two weeks may lead to resolution of many if not all matters in this litigation. The City of Los Angeles in particular has indicated that it needs additional time to consider Plaintiffs’ proposal but that it will be responding shortly.

Continue reading Document Filed in Federal Court Yesterday Suggests that LA Community Action Network, LA Catholic Worker v. City of LA, Central City East Association Lawsuit May Settle Within Two Weeks

New Emails from CCEA: Raquel K. Beard, Ed Camarillo, Estela Lopez (!), Etc.

Photograph attached to one of the emails I received recently from the CCEA.
Photograph attached to one of the emails I received recently from the CCEA.
Yesterday I got about a hundred pages of emails from CCEA Executive Director Raquel K. Beard. These are from September 1, 2015 through September 8, 2015 and supposedly comprise all nonexempt emails sent or received by anyone at the CCEA during that period. I haven’t read them carefully yet, so there may be undiscovered gems. One interesting thing is that there are a number of emails between Raquel and Estela Lopez. Estela was formerly Executive Director of the CCEA and Raquel was the Managing Director. Raquel left in 2012 to run Downtown Long Beach Associates, which, among other things, seems to manage a BID there.
Continue reading New Emails from CCEA: Raquel K. Beard, Ed Camarillo, Estela Lopez (!), Etc.

DCBID Shift Summaries, Carol Schatz Emails, CCEA Safety Team Materials

Carol Schatz about to grasp and crush someone or something and making the guy behind her on the right a little queasy.
Carol Schatz about to grasp and crush someone or something and making the guy behind her on the right a little queasy.
This evening I have the pleasure of announcing a big bunch of new documents, mostly from the DCBID, but a couple of choice bits from the CCEA as well.

• Over 500 shift summaries prepared by Universal Protection Service between January 1, 2015 and early October, 2015. You can browse them directly from here where you’ll also find a zip archive of the whole batch, or look for that same directory in the menu structure above at Documents/DCBID/Universal Protection Service/UPS Shift Summaries. No one here has had the time to look through these in detail yet.

• Fifty-three emails from/to Carol Schatz of the DCBID. These are available directly from here, and there’s also a zip archive of all of them. You can also get to them from the menu structure above if necessary. These are redacted mercilessly and almost certainly illegally (I’m working on that), but there’s a lot of interesting stuff here. These are purportedly all of Carol Schatz’s DCBID emails for the third quarter of 2015, but, you know, I don’t think everything’s here. I’m working on that too. You’ll be hearing much more about this material in the near future.

And turn the page for the latest from the Downtown Death Star BID itself!
Continue reading DCBID Shift Summaries, Carol Schatz Emails, CCEA Safety Team Materials