Tag Archives: Highland Avenue

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

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Kerry Morrison Declares that Hollywood Street Performers Must Be Unmasked Because of Terrorism While All the While Taking Financial Advantage of Masked KKK Terrorism In Hancock Park

Terrorism according to Kerry Morrison: This is acceptable.
Terrorism according to Kerry Morrison: This is acceptable (and very, very good for business).
We have written many a post about Kerry Morrison’s weirdly obsessive hatred of the street characters at Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue and how she uses the power of her BID to attack them at every turn. Her surreality-based antipathy has at various times inspired her co-conspirators at the LAPD to crack down heavily on these performers, even to the point where Carol Sobel had to sue the cops in Federal Court to stop the neurotic vendetta.

She’s spent at least a decade railing against these characters and working with the City Attorney, the City Council, private attorneys, everyone in sight, without notable success, to ban their activities, to stop them wearing masks, to require them to wear identity badges, to conflate them with terrorists, and so on. Well, we’ve been looking into the matter a little more deeply, and today we’re here to tell you a story about street characters, the KKK, domestic terrorism, anti-mask laws, and property values in Hancock Park.1 First let’s take a little trip through 7 years worth of the minutes of the Board of Directors of the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance, concentrating on the street characters of Hollywood and Kerry Morrison’s efforts to thwart them by any means necessary:

Terrorism according to Kerry Morrison: This is unacceptable.
Terrorism according to Kerry Morrison: This is unacceptable.

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Scope of BID Patrol Surveillance, Counterintelligence Far Broader than Previously Thought: Email to LAPD Demonstrates Long-Term Tracking, Unsupported Allegations of Sexual Misconduct, Drug Use Against BID Opponent

The Andrews International BID Patrol and the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance surveilled this guy for at least 33 months, in part because of his videotaping of BID Patrol operations.  The HPOA involved the LAPD in their surveillance program to some extent.  What a mess.
The Andrews International BID Patrol and the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance surveilled this guy for at least 33 months, in part because of his videotaping of BID Patrol operations. According to Kerry Morrison, BID Patrol boss Steve Seyler kept a “history” of him for years. The HPOA involved the LAPD in their surveillance program to some extent. What a mess.
In October 2015 we wrote about a number of cases where the Andrews International Hollywood BID Patrol collected intelligence information on its perceived enemies, mostly residents of Hollywood who opposed them in some manner. Among these instances of BID Patrol spying there was a mysterious case involving a man named Eric, pictured to the right. Our faithful correspondent has recently obtained a number of emails from the LAPD, which he’s preparing for publication and plans to make available quite soon. We jumped the queue on this email,1 though, because it explains a number of lacunae in our previous post.

It’s from Kerry Morrison to LAPD officer Mark Dibell about Eric, written in September 2014, 33 months after the January 2012 surveillance photographs of the man were taken by the BID Patrol. The subject line is “A matter for Vice.” TL;DR is that Eric “…had a routine of harassing and filming the BID patrol…” and so Kerry Morrison and A/I tracked his movements, photographed him, and almost three years later, wrote to the LAPD on behalf of his new landlord, Kelly Vickers of Eastown Apartments, reporting past, evidently unsupported, allegations of “sexual misconduct…and drug use” among other things. The subject line suggests that Kerry is trying to get this guy in trouble with the Vice squad as a service to one of the property owners in the BID.

How does anyone think this is OK? How does the BID carry on a three year vendetta against this guy for filming their security guards? Sure, Kerry claims it’s because of “sexual misconduct…and drug use,” but really, if the guy was provably up to those things why all the emails and subterfuge? Why not just call the actual cops and make an actual police report like actual non-creepy-zillionaires have to do in such circumstances? It’s pretty unlikely anyway that one can move into a fancy douchebag-serving apartment paradise like Eastown without a criminal background check, so the “allegations” remain only allegations. And even if he was or is guilty of “sexual misconduct…and drug use,” how is investigating that the business of the BID Patrol? They’re freaking security guards, not spies, not detectives.

The City of Los Angeles is famous for using BIDs to implement policies which it itself has been forced to eschew, but this kind of spying, which the contemporary LAPD has explicitly disavowed, reveals this dynamic to be playing out on an entirely unsuspected level. Read the whole thing here or after the break.
Continue reading Scope of BID Patrol Surveillance, Counterintelligence Far Broader than Previously Thought: Email to LAPD Demonstrates Long-Term Tracking, Unsupported Allegations of Sexual Misconduct, Drug Use Against BID Opponent

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Kerry Morrison and/or Minions Almost Certainly Lied to Sesame Street to Evoke Anti-Big-Bird, Anti-Elmo C&D Letters

What laws are being violated here?  Is the photographer violating trademarks?  Performance rights?  Right of publicity?  Are we violating any of these rights by republishing this photo?  I guess we're gonna find out!  At least the BID Patrol can't pop old Elmo for violating LAMC 41.47.2.
What rights are being violated here? What torts being committed? Is the photographer violating trademarks? Performance rights? Rights of publicity? False light?!? Are we violating any of these rights by republishing this photo? I guess we’re gonna find out! At least the BID Patrol can’t pop old Elmo for violating LAMC 41.47.2. At least not this time…
We recently had occasion to write about the HPOA’s continent-spanning conspiracy with a bunch of their creepy counterparts in Manhattan to abuse intellectual property law, to violate California Penal Code §158, to constructively violate the first amendment, and both stridently and characteristically to act the fool with respect to the burning issue of street characters.
You can't trademark breasts, so what are they going to do about topless street characters when they get to L.A.?  One might argue that women can bare their breasts legally in New York but not in California.  That's not the kind of law that's going to withstand any pressure, though.  It just hasn't been rigorously tested here....yet!
You can’t trademark breasts, so what are they going to do about topless street characters when they get to L.A.? One might argue that women can bare their breasts legally in New York but not in California. That’s not the kind of law that’s going to withstand any pressure, though. It just hasn’t been rigorously tested here….yet!

Since last we examined this issue, the NYPD has gone nuclear by asking Disney and Marvel to sue the street characters, something which those companies seem to have proved unwilling to do. Of course, what the city and the local BIDs really don’t like is the naked ladies. Some of the information we were missing then we’ve obtained now. First, you will recall that in a finger-down-throat-fawning set of emails Kerry Morrison advised Tom Cusick, the dude who’s her counterpart at the Fifth Avenue BID, that they hadn’t had much luck with their criminal attempts to incite litigation against street characters. She mentioned to Tom, though, that the HPOA had managed to get Sesame Street to send cease and desist letters to Big Bird and Elmo one time under special circumstances. We now have copies of those letters. Read on for analysis.
Continue reading Kerry Morrison and/or Minions Almost Certainly Lied to Sesame Street to Evoke Anti-Big-Bird, Anti-Elmo C&D Letters

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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

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HPOA in Criminal Conspiracy with LA City Attorney to Abuse Intellectual Property Law in Never-Ending War on Constitutional Rights of Hollywood/Highland Street Characters

You probably thought that Batman was the good guy, but it's time to admit that you were wrong.  Here he is, not just terrorizing poor innocent tourists who don't know any better than to allow themselves to be victimized, but he's also flagrantly violating trademark law.  If he were as honest as we'd been led to believe he'd be hauling his own self off to jail instead of macking on helpless tourist girlies.
You probably thought that Batman was the good guy, but it’s time to admit that you were wrong. Here he is, not just terrorizing poor innocent tourists who don’t know any better than to allow themselves to be victimized, but he’s also flagrantly violating trademark law. If he were as honest as we’d been led to believe he’d be hauling his own self off to jail instead of macking on helpless tourist girlies.
Stories of the rich and powerful abusing intellectual property laws to stifle free expression, shut down criticism of their terroristic conspiracies against humanity, lock away little old ladies because their grandkids misuse bittorrent, wantonly slaughter cute lil bunnies, and so on, are as common in the tech press as dandelions on the expansive and suspiciously green lawns of Hancock Park before the gardeners show up on Thursday morning.
Sesame Street Characters performing for US Navy personnel in a manner which, presumably, the BID finds acceptable because there are no tourists involved
Sesame Street Characters performing for US Navy personnel in a manner which, presumably, the BID finds acceptable because there are no tourists involved. Read more about guys in Elmo suits after the break.

This post-capitalo-apocalyptic legal technology, the use of which reached its supernova-esque apotheosis earlier this month with the City of Inglewood’s mind-blowingly shenaniganistic attempt to assert copyright in video of city council meetings,1 it turns out was being used by our friends at the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance to try to shut down the by-them-much-reviled street performers in a shameless criminal conspiracy with their aiders and abettors at the the City Attorney’s office and the LAPD as late as last August. Although our bosom BIDdies seem to have met with little success, except, evidently, in the case of Elmo of Sesame Street, their futile attempts are quite telling. Read the actual evidence here and our commentary on them after the break.
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Joseph Varet Joins Media District BID Board, Announces Impending Weltreisezielkunstheit of Highland Avenue, Ignores Homeless

Joseph Varet, who "approach[es] life as a kind of experiential art form," in the act of not thinking about how many homeless people per day his gallery will consume.
Joseph Varet of Various Small Fires, who “approach[es] life as a kind of experiential art form,” in the act of not worrying at all about how many homeless people per day his gallery and the galleries of his colleagues will consume.
At their meeting on November 20, 2014, the Hollywood Media District BID expanded the size of its Board of Directors from 17 to 19 in order to accommodate two new members. You can watch here as one of them, Joseph Varet, introduces himself to the board.

Here’s the story. Joseph and his wife, Esther Kim, whose marriage was the subject of a surreally sycophantic New York Times article in 2011,1 moved here from Houston or some other place east of San Bernardino sometime roughly around last week, and started a gallery named after an Ed Ruscha project, Various Small Fires. “After all, these are two people who approach life as a kind of experiential art form.”1 First they ran it out of their big-ass house in Venice2 but more recently moved it to a newly-purchased and renovated building at 812 Highland.

It seems that, according to Joseph, all the best contemporary art galleries in the universe are moving to this neighborhood like a bunch of sheep in the wake of Regen Projects’s 2012 relocation to Highland and Santa Monica. Joseph speaks at length about the impending Weltreisezielmodernenkunstheit of the area, which is about 4 blocks from where the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition does its nightly mitzvah. The GWHFC is opposed in this by the Media District BID with lawsuits, subversive attempts to outlaw sharing food in public, whining, disgraceful letters to the editor, and probably any number of other shameful tactics. Of course, Joseph, whose wife has “never caught him in a lie,”1 mentions none of this. What, after all, do hunger, suffering, misery, have to do with “developing the district in a positive and sustainable way?” “It’s the damage that we do and never know. It’s the words that we don’t say that scare me so.”3

You can read a complete transcript of Joseph’s remarks after the break. We were going to mock them in detail but our modest abilities can’t even touch the speech’s inherent auto-mock functionality. Read it and weep for your city, Angelenos.
Continue reading Joseph Varet Joins Media District BID Board, Announces Impending Weltreisezielkunstheit of Highland Avenue, Ignores Homeless

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