Tag Archives: First Street

L.A. Times 2018 Move To El Segundo Left Reporters With Insufficient Office Space Downtown — Reduced Them To Begging City Departments For Places To Work — Perhaps It’s Not So Easy To Maintain Journalistic Independence When You Have To Ask The LAPD For Permission To Charge Your Phone In Their Building — And They Tell You “Sure But Not Every Day, K?”

Remember in April 2018 when Patrick Soon-Shiong bought the L.A. Times and promptly announced that he was moving the headquarters from the historic building at First and Spring, which Tribune Media sold to Canadian real estate developers Onni Group in 2016, to El Freaking Segundo because Onni had proposed to jack up their rent by one million dollars per month? And soon thereafter Executive Editor Norman Pearlstine attempted to assuage everyone’s fears by telling the Columbia Journalism Review stuff like this:

… we are keeping a presence downtown. We will have an office with several dozen seats in it, and I would expect we’d probably have a pretty senior editor here responsible for it. Secondly, without taking away from the importance of physical location of where your desk is, it’s more important to talk about where your reporters are.

But recently I laid my hands on a big pile of emails between Times reporters and the LAPD’s Media Relations Division. You can browse these here on Archive.Org, and there is a ton of interesting stuff in there, although it’s mostly if not wholly off-topic for this blog. And there is also this email conversation from July 2018 between LA Times police reporter Cindy Chang and Media Relations commander in chief Patricia Sandoval. And this tells a slightly different story than Norman Pearlstine’s Pollyannaistic whiggery!1

From: Chang, Cindy
Sent: Monday, July 02, 2018 10:36 AM
To: Patricia Sandoval <25981@lapd.online>
Cc: Joshua Rubenstein <n5373@lapd.online>
Subject: press office at LAPD

Hi Trish,

There’s a press office on the first floor of PAB, correct? As we’re moving to El Segundo, we’re trying to tabulate the office space available in the agencies we cover. Our downtown bureau won’t have many seats, so other options will be helpful.

I’m off the early part of this week. Would it be possible to see the space later this week or next week?

Cindy Chang

Staff writer, Los Angeles Times
cindv.chanq@latimes.com

213.237.7016

And turn the page for the rest of the story!
Continue reading L.A. Times 2018 Move To El Segundo Left Reporters With Insufficient Office Space Downtown — Reduced Them To Begging City Departments For Places To Work — Perhaps It’s Not So Easy To Maintain Journalistic Independence When You Have To Ask The LAPD For Permission To Charge Your Phone In Their Building — And They Tell You “Sure But Not Every Day, K?”

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A Case Study In Towing The Zillionaire’s Car — Ticket Fixing in the Hollywood Media District BID. Or: How LADOT Dances Willingly To The Tune Called By Those Who Pay The Piper. Or: “HELP…. Stakeholders are asking why???”

If you don’t like what the street signs say you can just knock them down and ignore them, friend.
There are two main reasons why I am not a professional journalist. The first is that on career day at Venice High way back in the 1970s, those of us who ventured east to the venerated southwest corner of First and Spring found, well…never mind what we found,1 discretion prevents me from discussing it, but it sure didn’t make me want to join the ranks despite the fact that the paper was more than a decade into its renaissance under the sainted guidance of Otis Chandler himself. And the second reason is that I have never, ever, in my entire life been able to understand the inverted pyramid — or maybe I understand it and I just have no freaking idea what’s most newsworthy in any given story. This interpretation is borne out by the fact that I’m starting this evening’s tale off with a bunch of half-invented, half-remembered, half-plagiarized, nonsense about my high school career day.2

For instance, does the inverted pyramid suggest that we next analyze the founding principles of BIDs? I have no idea. But the locus classicus of BIDs, their founding text, which is to say the California Streets and Highways Code at §36601(e), tells us that amongst the benefits provided by BIDs are crime reduction, business attraction, business retention, economic growth, and new investments. Note the conspicuous absence from this list of parking ticket fixing for zillionaire BID stakeholders. However, despite the fact that parking violation fines are a major social justice issue in Los Angeles and yet another example of covert regressive taxation, apparently a major use that zillionaires, that is to say those for whom the fine attached to a parking violation is not a significant fraction of their annual income, have found for their BIDs is to serve as a vehicle for interfering on their behalf with the normal statutory operation of the City’s parking enforcement apparatus.

We saw this, e.g., last year when Ms. Kerry Morrison, outraged3 by the fact that her good friend and stakeholder, zillionaire white real estate capitalist running dog lackey Evan Kaizer, was ticketed on Hollywood Boulevard for meter-feeding, fired off an email to LADOT honcho-ette Seleta Reynolds, putatively asking for an explanation but really, as everyone could see, providing an opening for the whole thing to go away. It doesn’t seem to have happened that the ticket got fixed, but that particular toys-from-pram episode ended up interbreeding with a sort of free-floating generalized zillionaire rage over vibrant urban spaces,4 eventually begetting a conceptual exploration, fueled by outraged privilege, of the possibility of using this state-law-mandated meter-feeding prohibition to attack the very existence of food trucks.

See why I’m not a professional journalist? Here we are at the fourth “graf5 and I haven’t even started the actual story. Here’s the short version: Some zillionairess didn’t know how to read parking signs and got her car towed. Lisa Schechter, chief directico-executrix of the Hollywood Media District BID, emailed a bunch of functionaries and things got done and done fast in a way they will never get done for non-zillionaires! Details and emails after the break!
Continue reading A Case Study In Towing The Zillionaire’s Car — Ticket Fixing in the Hollywood Media District BID. Or: How LADOT Dances Willingly To The Tune Called By Those Who Pay The Piper. Or: “HELP…. Stakeholders are asking why???”

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The True Facts About the May 28, 2015, Community Sidewalk Vending Meeting at Boyle Heights City Hall Revealed Here (With Audio) for All to Hear and Judge and Opinionate Upon! Part 1: Alyssa Van Breene

The Boyle Hotel at 101 N. Boyle Avenue, appearing here because we don't have a picture of the Boyle Heights City Hall, which is about half a mile west on First Street from the corner of First and Boyle.
The Boyle Hotel at 101 N. Boyle Avenue, appearing here because we don’t have a picture of the Boyle Heights City Hall, which is about half a mile west on First Street from the corner of First and Boyle, that being the location of this building.
We recently wrote about Kerry Morrison’s description of the series of public meetings sponsored by the Chief Legislative Analyst of the city of Los Angeles regarding the framework for legalizing street vending that’s being studied by the City Council. Well, interestingly enough, it turns out that the Council’s Economic Development committee has a website set up devoted to the issue and found thereupon are audio recordings of three of the four meetings held to-date.1 Astute readers will no doubt recall Kerry’s description of these meetings:
there were a series of four hearings that the chief administrative office staff held on the… the sidewalk vending ordinance. … It’s just this kind of amorphous set of hearings, which were completely dysfunctional, disrespectful, and almost, um, resembled a circus.
Wanna know what "frabjous" means?  You gotta ask Mr. Humpty Dumpty, or look it up in the Dictionary, for God's sake.
Wanna know what “frabjous” means? You gotta ask Mr. Humpty Dumpty, or look it up in the Dictionary, for God’s sake.

Well, frabjous day, friends! We have listened to the first of these, held at the Boyle Heights City Hall on May 28, 2015, and clipped out some representative bits for your audiosthetic pleasure and we’re sharing them with you here. First listen to HPOA Board Member Alyssa Van Breene (transcriptions after the break if, like us, you’d rather read than hear):

Listened up? Good! Let’s take this nonsense one lie at a time, shall we?
Continue reading The True Facts About the May 28, 2015, Community Sidewalk Vending Meeting at Boyle Heights City Hall Revealed Here (With Audio) for All to Hear and Judge and Opinionate Upon! Part 1: Alyssa Van Breene

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The History of Sidewalk Obstruction Enforcement in Los Angeles (Part 1)

Jacob Kuhrts, 19th century LA councilman and either noble freedom fighter or monumentally self-righteous asshole, you decide.
Jacob Kuhrts, 19th century LA councilman and either noble freedom fighter or monumentally self-righteous asshole, you decide.
This is the first in an occasional series of posts examining various episodes from the rich and disturbing history of the criminalization of sidewalk use in Los Angeles. As we shall see, the sidewalks of our city have been a site of contention for well over a century.

We begin in January 1887 when, according to the Los Angeles Times,

There has been great complaint about the abominable fashion in which the sidewalks—especially at street corners—are blocked up by loafers and by thoughtless citizens; and the police have been ordered to enforce the ordinances and abate this nuisance.1

Even then, evidently, maybe especially then, an order to “enforce the ordinances” had a subtext. Ensuing events show that Officer Little didn’t understand these unspoken aspects:
Continue reading The History of Sidewalk Obstruction Enforcement in Los Angeles (Part 1)

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