Tag Archives: Hollywood Reporter

You Know Those Illegal Anti-Homeless Planters All Over Venice — And No One Knows Who Installed Them — Or Why The Cops Won’t Remove Them — Or Arrest Anyone — Well Here Is Proof That Venice Stakeholders Association Boss Mark Ryavec Worked With Mike Bonin Staffie Taylor Bazley — And LAPD Officers — And Bazley Worked With LA Sanitation — And Brian Freaking Buchner — To Coordinate Encampment Sweeps With Planter Installation — And Taylor Bazley Knew They Were Illegal — And Bazley Told Constituents That The Council Office Wasn’t Involved — And Taylor Bazley Is A Liar! — Of Course We Knew That But Now We Have Proof!

The anti-homeless planters placed all over Venice by hitherto unknown parties have received a great deal of media coverage in the last year, from the Hollywood Reporter to LA Magazine to Capital and Main to KFI radio to Venice Update. There’s no question that these planters are illegal. The Los Angeles Municipal Code at §62.118.2 requires revocable permits for any installations on public sidewalks. Los Angeles Magazine has reported that not only do these planters not have permits, but that the City’s Bureau of Engineering states that they would not issue permits for them.1

And although that Venice Update story names Venice Gauleiter Mark Ryavec as a funding source for the planters at Lincoln and Palms, the other stories are careful either to avoid saying who’s responsible for planter installation or else to state explicitly that no one knows who’s putting them in. It seems obvious that some factions in the City of Los Angeles have been involved in planter installation, though. LA Sanitation’s sweeps of encampments in places targeted for planters seem coordinated with installation, and the LAPD seems always to have representatives present when the sweeps are happening.

And if you’re familiar with the way the City of Los Angeles is run you know that it is actually not possible that projects like these can be implemented, that there could be any kind of coordination between departments, that illegal planters could persist, without at least the passive support of the local Councilmember. In the case of Venice, which is in CD11, that is Mike Bonin. And yet Bonin’s office has consistently denied that it is involved at all.

For instance, in November 2018, KFI reported that “A spokesman for Councilman Mike Bonin, who represents the area, said he was not aware of any city department’s involvement in the placing of the planter boxes.” In May 2018 Bonin staffie Taylor Bazley explicitly told a concerned resident, Adam Smith, that CD11 “certainly [is] not involved” in planter installation. Here you can watch Chief Michel Moore stating that the planters are not an area of LAPD responsibility.

However, an email conversation that I recently obtained from the City via the California Public Records Act shows conclusively that both Bonin’s unnamed spokesperson and his loyal staffie Taylor Bazley were lying when they said CD11 was not involved. Bazley was involved, Mark Ryavec was involved, and LAPD officers James Roberts, James Setzer, Javier Ramirez, and Kristan Delatori were involved.

Michel Moore may not have been lying when he said that LAPD wasn’t responsible for planters, but these emails show that he was at least misinformed or uninformed by his subordinates at Pacific Division. For instance, LAPD Captain James Roberts enlisted Mark Ryavec’s aid in asking Taylor Bazley to authorize LAPD to move homeless people away from an installation site.2 These emails are evidence, therefore, that multiple City offices are working together to violate the law in order to placate angry housedwellers and that at least Mike Bonin’s office is lying about it.

And there’s a lot of other important information here. For instance, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority is required by City protocol to participate in all encampment sweeps in the City. They’re widely touted as playing “a critical role in minimizing any negative health effects in our communities, while also offering our homeless neighbors access to a path out of homelessness.” Bazley, however, in an email to anti-homeless psychopath Mark Ryavec, describes their role quite differently: “LAHSA needs to attempt to demonstrate rendering of services by visiting the site 3 documented times”3 There’s a real contrast between “offering our homeless neighbors access to a path out of homelessness” and “attempt[ing] to demonstrate rendering of services.”

The emails also reveal the identities and email addresses of a number of NIMBY housedwellers from Venice besides Mark Ryavec who are involved in planter installations. Turn the page for a list of these haters as well as transcriptions of all the emails.
Continue reading You Know Those Illegal Anti-Homeless Planters All Over Venice — And No One Knows Who Installed Them — Or Why The Cops Won’t Remove Them — Or Arrest Anyone — Well Here Is Proof That Venice Stakeholders Association Boss Mark Ryavec Worked With Mike Bonin Staffie Taylor Bazley — And LAPD Officers — And Bazley Worked With LA Sanitation — And Brian Freaking Buchner — To Coordinate Encampment Sweeps With Planter Installation — And Taylor Bazley Knew They Were Illegal — And Bazley Told Constituents That The Council Office Wasn’t Involved — And Taylor Bazley Is A Liar! — Of Course We Knew That But Now We Have Proof!

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Property Owner and Unwilling Media District BID Member Toni Werk Wonders Where Her $12,000 Went. We Have the Answer!

Media District BID property owner Toni Werk's parcel at 6065 Melrose Avenue. She's paid over $12,000 into the BID for this piece of land. Where has it all gone? (Image via Google Street View).
On October 7, 2014, Hollywood Media District BID property owner Toni Werk wrote to Jim Omahen, HMD operations director, about her parcel at 6065 Melrose Avenue. The gist of her complaint is this:

For the more than $12,000 that I have contributed to the BID, I, or my tenant, have not received one word of promotion in your newsletter. During business hours, my tenant says he has seen your bike patrol only a few times. And during after hours, there is no one staying on our property to phone your Security Patrol if there is an issue. As I originally did not want to participate in the bid [
sic], and I voted no against it again, I have been forced to pay a tax that has not been any benefit to me or my tenant.

Indefatigably feckless dudebro Steven Whiddon running over that long list of MBA jargon in his mind, because it WILL be on the test!
Indefatigably feckless dudebro Steven Whiddon running over that long list of MBA jargon in his mind, because it WILL be on the test!

Jim, rightfully, forwarded this complaint on to his boss, the jolly but rather knuckle-headed Steven Whiddon, who replied, in characteristically evasive1 fashion, replied:

I am happy to report that Captain John Iragoyan [
sic] and myself [sic] completed a site visit of your property 6065 Melrose Avenue. We spoke with your leasee, [sic] Tom Pena about the issues you stated in the email below. We made sure he understands we are here to serve and has all of our contact information. He understands that he can contact us at any time to assist with the issues below. …

Thank you again for reaching out to us.2

Notice how Steven doesn’t mention the money at all. Read on to see just where DID that $12,000 go…
Continue reading Property Owner and Unwilling Media District BID Member Toni Werk Wonders Where Her $12,000 Went. We Have the Answer!

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