Tag Archives: Emily Alpert Reyes

How Ethics Commission President Jessica Levinson Postponed Discussion Of Revisions To Enforcement Regulations Until April 2017 Mostly At The Behest Of Lobbying Firms And Why She Was Absolutely Right To Do So

Ethics Commission President Jessica Levinson, with whose actions we do not always agree but with whose reasoning we always do, which matters a great deal more.
One of the essential items on the agenda of last Tuesday’s meeting of the City Ethics Commission was a wide-ranging set of proposals from Enforcement staff for revisions to the CEC’s enforcement regulations. These are the laws and policies which guide the enforcement process. The proposals were emailed to interested parties only a few days in advance of the meeting, evidently leaving everyone feeling kind of blindsided,1 especially because they appeared with a recommendation from staff that they be adopted right then.

So at the actual meeting, when the item came up for discussion, Commission President Jessica Levinson made fairly convincing noises to the effect that the matter should be postponed until April. More interestingly, though, she mentioned almost in passing that she’d received a number of written public comments asking the Commission to table the matter. Well, one of my favorite bits of the Brown Act, §54957.5(a), states unequivocally that:2

any … writings, when distributed to all, or a majority of all, of the members of a legislative body of a local agency by any person in connection with a matter subject to discussion or consideration at an open meeting of the body, are disclosable public records under the California Public Records Act … and shall be made available upon request without delay.

As one might expect, the Ethics Commission is absolutely the best of all City agencies at following this law. They keep a big plastic box at the back of the room during meetings which contains every possible piece of paper necessary for compliance. So as soon as President Levinson3 mentioned that there were written comments, and as soon as it became clear that all the Commissioners had copies, I zipped back to look in the box. How disappointing to find nothing of the sort in there! But the story has a happy ending, never fear, and turn the page to learn the details.
Continue reading How Ethics Commission President Jessica Levinson Postponed Discussion Of Revisions To Enforcement Regulations Until April 2017 Mostly At The Behest Of Lobbying Firms And Why She Was Absolutely Right To Do So

Almost 200 Emails Between the City Of LA And the East Hollywood BID. Also, Lunada Bay Boys Hearing Tomorrow And Also Ethics Commission Meeting!

Dwarf bottlebrush plant from some plans that the East Hollywood BID exchanged with a bunch of lackeys at the City of LA in preparation for planting them along Vermont Avenue, most likely to thwart the homeless in some manner.
Tonight I had the pleasure of receiving from self-proclaimed active member of the revitalized Hollywood community1 Jeffrey Charles Briggs almost 200 emails between the East Hollywood Business Improvement District and various far-too-friendly folks at the City of Los Angeles. For now these are available here on Archive.Org. They’re PDFs, but they’re that super-PDF-format that one can make with genuine Adobe software that embeds attachments right in there with clickable links.2 I have only been able to give these a cursory look-over, but I can already see a few crucial items. I’ll be writing on these matters as soon as I possibly can, but if you want a preview of one of them take a look at this juicy little number.

And tomorrow is a huge day at the Civic Center. In the morning there is a hearing in the Lunada Bay Boys case, featuring Palos Verdes Peninsula zillionaire surf-localism-thuggery at its most flamboyantly weird. In the afternoon there is an essential meeting of the Ethics Commission. Turn the page for times, locations, and brief descriptions. Perhaps I’ll see you there!
Continue reading Almost 200 Emails Between the City Of LA And the East Hollywood BID. Also, Lunada Bay Boys Hearing Tomorrow And Also Ethics Commission Meeting!

Sneaky Shit-Sneakers Sneakily Sneak Sneaky Shit Into Current Version Of Street Vending Legalization Process, Setting The Stage For Continued Persecution of Vendors in Business Improvement Districts

Yum, danger dogs!
So today the City Council moved forward with CF 13-1493, which, of course, is the famed street vending thing. For a good, objective,1 discussion of today’s developments, take a look at this article in today’s Times by the incomparable Emily Alpert Reyes.2 This is just a brief post to note the fact that the various anti-human opponents of legalized street vending won a major, seemingly unnoticed by anyone but me, victory via amendment in the current version of the motion.

Today’s motion doesn’t actually legalize street vending. What it does is direct the City Attorney, the Chief Legislative Analyst, and the City Administrative Officer to put together a proposed ordinance. This was to be based on this detailed set of recommendations from the Public Works and Gang Reduction Committee report. This report was amended in Council today before being adopted, and at least two of the amended recommendations are quite sneaky, and, I predict, will undermine the future ordinance in quite underhanded ways that will please business improvement districts and other business interests who have been working tirelessly to keep street vending illegal for years now. See the details and some3 predictions after the break.
Continue reading Sneaky Shit-Sneakers Sneakily Sneak Sneaky Shit Into Current Version Of Street Vending Legalization Process, Setting The Stage For Continued Persecution of Vendors in Business Improvement Districts

Everybody’s Favorite Puppet-Wielding Crackpot Wayne Spindler Files Yet Another Federal Suit Against The City Of Los Angeles Alleging Violations Of Constitutional Rights — Here Are Copies Of The Pleadings

Wayne Spindler in normal clothes in 2010.
Habitual City Council commenter Wayne Spindler, he of the don’t-go-near-Herb-Wesson restraining order and the subsequent entirely righteous we’re-not-gonna-prosecute-because-being-an-asshole-isn’t-illegal decision by L.A. County D.A. Jackie Lacey’s office,1 has filed a federal suit against the City of Los Angeles for violating various Constitutional rights in connection with his May 2016 arrest.

The incomparable Emily Alpert Reyes has the story in this morning’s Times and we have the primary sources, hot off of PACER! As long as I was getting these pleadings, I figured I’d go ahead and get the ones from the case he filed last July as well,2 and all of them are available here:

I’ll collect the papers in those directories as they’re filed because the cases interest me, but I probably won’t be writing more about them unless something extraordinary occurs. Spindler is an attorney3 and seems to be acting pro se in both these cases. As always, this makes for some fairly lively legal writing, samples of which you can find after the break if you, like so many these days, are PDF-averse.4
Continue reading Everybody’s Favorite Puppet-Wielding Crackpot Wayne Spindler Files Yet Another Federal Suit Against The City Of Los Angeles Alleging Violations Of Constitutional Rights — Here Are Copies Of The Pleadings

Scenes From The Cosmo Club’s Appeal Of The Revocation Of Its Conditional Use Permit At The PLUM Committee Part 1: Marqueece Harris-Dawson Is An American Hero, MK.Org Video Of Racist Sunset-Vine BID Rant Played In City Hall

Marqueece Harris-Dawson is an American hero.
Marqueece Harris-Dawson is an American hero.
Yesterday the Planning and Land Use Management Committee heard the Cosmo Club’s appeal of the Zoning Administrator’s revocation of their conditional use permit. See the whole thing here, with a very short second part here. Also, the Council file is here. This is the second in the ongoing series of Hollywood clubs that cater to minorities being targeted for elimination by Kerry Morrison, the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance, the LAPD, and CD13 rep Mitch O’Farrell. The racist nature of this anti-nightclub campaign is revealing itself to the public, as dirty secrets will do, so this hearing drew some protesters who stated clearly, articulately, just exactly what is going on in Hollywood. Also, although L.A. Times reporting on this issue to date has been sporadic and radically incomplete, I spotted the incomparable Emily Alpert-Reyes exchanging contact information with Cosmo Club attorney Mike Ayaz after the hearing, so maybe something interesting is forthcoming.

There are links to a number of highlights at the end of this post, but the hearing was particularly rich, and I’m going to have to cover it in increments, starting at the end. If you’re not familiar with the situation, you can read up about it here and also here.1 But here is the short version of how we got to this point: Kerry Morrison, her BIDs, and Peter Zarcone decided to destroy a bunch of nightclubs in Hollywood. Mitch O’Farrell told City Planning to get on it. They did, and the City Council will vote in favor of Mitch no matter how bogus the evidence is because they also want to exercise unilateral control over every aspect of everything in their districts, which they can only do with the connivance of their colleagues. Marqueece Harris-Dawson didn’t play along at yesterday’s hearing, which, although he was merely doing his job as a Councilmember, is very brave, since if he does it too often the zillionaire elite will certainly take away his seat in 2019.

In any case, after interminable testimony by Zoning Administrator Aleta James which listed every traffic ticket and open container violation within 100 yards of the business as is evidently the practice in these cases, after LAPD Hollywood Division Captain Cory Palka shilling for real estate developers, after greasy little liar and LAPD Hollywood undercover vice cop Benjamin Thompson told his greasy little lies, after many cogent comments by actual human beings opposing the City’s raw destructive power, after Sean Rafael from the Cosmo played OUR VIDEO from 2015, after all that, a small miracle occurred. Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson of CD8 questioned the Zoning Administrator extremely closely, ultimately a round of applause from the audience, who were amazed to witness that rarest of phenomena in Los Angeles: truth spoken from behind a desk in a Council hearing. Read on for details.
Continue reading Scenes From The Cosmo Club’s Appeal Of The Revocation Of Its Conditional Use Permit At The PLUM Committee Part 1: Marqueece Harris-Dawson Is An American Hero, MK.Org Video Of Racist Sunset-Vine BID Rant Played In City Hall

New Chapter in Street Character Wars Begins Today as City Council Will, in Futile Attempt to Appease the Inappeasable Kerry Morrison, Set the Stage for More Huge Tax-Funded Payouts to Carol Sobel

Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell holds up copy of agreement with HPOA Executive Director Kerry Morrison announcing his willingness to cede control over the Sudetenland Hollywood and Highland to her in exchange for peace in our time.
Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, dressed as Neville Chamberlain and performing for tips on Hollywood Blvd, holds up a copy of agreement with HPOA Executive Director Kerry Morrison announcing his willingness to cede control over the Sudetenland Hollywood and Highland to her in exchange for peace in our time.
According to an article in today’s Times by Emily Alpert Reyes and Nina Agrawal, the Los Angeles City Council is set to act today1 on Council File 15-0798, opened last June by Mitch O’Farrell and Tom LaBonge, ordering Mike Feuer’s office to write a draft ordinance regulating street characters on Hollywood Boulevard between Highland and Orange.

Of course, this is a direct response to Hollywood Property Owners Alliance ED Kerry Morrison, who’s been obsessing about this issue for decades now, even to the point of bullying City officials and entering into crazed cross-continental conspiracies. The City last cracked down on street performance at the behest of Ms. Kerry Morrison in 2010, leading to a federal lawsuit filed in August of that year by the incomparable Carol Sobel. The initial complaint was followed a mere two months later by a restraining order against the City of Los Angeles and, four months after that, a payout of $100,000 in damages and fees to the street characters and Carol Sobel, who has continued to make well-earned megabucks from the idiocy of the City of Los Angeles.
Continue reading New Chapter in Street Character Wars Begins Today as City Council Will, in Futile Attempt to Appease the Inappeasable Kerry Morrison, Set the Stage for More Huge Tax-Funded Payouts to Carol Sobel

City of Los Angeles to Pay Almost a Million Dollars, Half to Carol Sobel, in Lavan Case and also Pete White and Hamid Khan v. City of LA

Carol Sobel (on right) is making a good living forcing the City of Los Angeles to pay for its nasty addiction to tormenting the homeless.  Have they hit bottom yet?  It doesn't look like it.
Carol Sobel (on right) is making a good living forcing the City of Los Angeles to pay for its nasty addiction to tormenting the homeless. Have they hit bottom yet? It doesn’t look like it.
According to an excellent article in yesterday’s Times by the incomparable Emily Alpert Reyes, the City Council agreed to pay out $947,000 in settlements in two cases brought by civil rights lawyer Carol Sobel. The article didn’t have much detail on either the cases or where the money was going, so I thought I’d fill some of it in here.

The first case is Lavan v. City of Los Angeles. I reported last December that this case seemed to be nearing settlement, and there was more news on this in March. Well, yesterday the Council approved Motion 16-0397, which authorizes the payment of $322,000 to Carol Sobel in legal fees and $500,000 for other purposes which aren’t clear from the motion. Nothing has hit PACER yet, so I don’t know how to get the rest of the story, but you’ll see it here as soon as I get some. You may want to subscribe to the Council file to keep up to date.

The second case is really interesting, and I haven’t written on it before. Evidently, in 2005 the Central City East Association began sponsoring tours of Skid Row for “…public officials, law enforcement, members of the judiciary, students, academics, local business owners, social service providers, and the media” so they can “…see for themselves and learn about the challenges, not through a windshield, but from the experience of walking through [Skid Row] and interacting with social service representatives, police, residents and business owners.”1 (Here is the 9th Circuit opinion on which this summary is based).
Continue reading City of Los Angeles to Pay Almost a Million Dollars, Half to Carol Sobel, in Lavan Case and also Pete White and Hamid Khan v. City of LA