Today I rode the good old Metro Line 45 North on Broadway to the freaking Fashion District BID board of directors meeting. And all I have to say to you all, my loyal readers,1 is that if you enjoy reading this blog, you owe me freaking big time for the crapola I sit through on your behalf just so we can all get a little giggle and a little spine-chill from the weirdly tedious yet terrifying antics regularly to be experienced at these people’s damn meetings.2
So I did record the entire damned meeting, and you can watch it here on YouTube and if you care about freedom at all you can also watch it here on Archive.Org. The whole thing was essentially as tedious as one might expect, with most of the interesting action taking place before the meeting was convened, so I didn’t get it on tape.3
That bit consisted of director Brian Taban, vice president for covert creepy operations at über-shady real estate firm JADE Enterprises,4 bitching and moaning to Rena Leddy5 like this: “It’s impossible to find a construction lender at reasonable rates Downtown. You can’t find a lender that’s comfortable lending forty, fifty million dollars these days.”6
I’m not a reporter, and I don’t seek out news, but once in a while, like the hog in the adage, I stumble across what seems to my amateur sensibilities to be an actual news story. And that’s exactly what happened this morning at the February Board meeting of the Central City East Association when LAPD Deputy Chief Robert Arcos, in response to a characteristically sycophantic question from CCEA Executive Directrix Estela Lopez, announced that he will be applying to replace soon-to-be-retired Charlie Beck as chief of the LAPD.
In May of this year Pete White sued the City of Los Angeles, Charlie Beck, and a cop named Edward Kinney for civil rights violations committed while arresting him for filming an encampment cleanup in Skid Row last year. Of course, it’s early days as far as federal lawsuits go, so not much is happening right now. However, one ultimately inconsequential but nevertheless interesting document showed up on PACER early this morning. It’s a declaration of Carol Sobel outlining the pulling-teeth level runaround she got from the LAPD while trying to serve a summons on defendant Edward Kinney.11
In short, she tried to serve him at the Central Police Station. The desk told the process server that he didn’t work there. She called personnel to find out where he worked. They told her that no one by that name was employed by the LAPD. She thought maybe she’d gotten the name wrong so asked for close matches. They gave her someone in Pacific Division. She tried to serve him but they wouldn’t accept service because the summons was lacking the officer’s serial number.
A couple weeks ago the City Council approved a settlement with LA Catholic Worker, LA Community Action Network, and individual plaintiffs in the monumental case against the City and the Downtown Industrial District BID, which itself settled in March. This afternoon, Judge Phillip Gutierrez filed an order dismissing the case. Thus it’s all done except for the four years of judicial oversight to make sure that the defendants are adhering to the terms of the settlement.
The terms of the settlement with the CCEA are fairly strict, and I hadn’t seen a copy of the terms of the settlement with the City. But it turns out that on Wednesday the parties filed a a request for the case to be dismissed, which lays out the specifics. As I expected, the City agrees not to cooperate with the Downtown Industrial District security forces in confiscating property and they make some other important but not so surprising concessions.
To my mind, though, the most interesting part of what the City agreed to is this training bulletin, to be distributed to the LAPD’s central division. Although it’s a result of a suit arising from the City’s relationship with a specific BID, and although it’s only to be distributed in the one division, the wording applies to all BIDs in the City of Los Angeles. There’s a transcription after the break, but one crucial bit is this, which someone really should explain to the Hollywood BID Patrol:
BIDs are separate and distinct from the City. BID officers, employees, and representatives are not employees or agents of the City. Importantly, BID employees have no more authority than private citizens to enforce the law.
Meanwhile, the latest piece of evidence in the ongoing saga of the registration of BID Patrols with the Police Commission comes from a huge release of emails by the Fashion District BID2 These span the time from July 1, 2016 through January 31, 2017 and are mostly between BID staff and the City of Los Angeles.3
There is an awful lot to write about here, but today I just want to highlight this interesting December 2016 email from FDBID operations director Randall Tampa to Eugene Shin, who’s the Police Commission investigator who’s handling the registration project. Randall Tampa sees the bigger picture here. It’s not a loss for BIDs who want to be free of any kind of oversight by the City, but a win for higher quality governance for everyone in Los Angeles:
I totally agree and support the police commission (and you) in your efforts to assure that only qualified personnel are patrolling the streets of Los Angeles.
In his email, Randall Tampa explicitly relates this opinion to his own experience as a police officer, proving yet again that people with experience in matters usually are much saner and have much more robust insights into how to regulate them. Most of the BIDs in our fair City are run by a bunch of cop-loving wannabes4 who are essentially see City governance as some kind of bizarre role-playing game, like Zillionaires versus Homeless, or whatever, rather than as an arena where wisdom and experience are far more essential than zillionaire-itude.
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:
In short, the story started with private security guards at a Rick Caruso hypermall in Glendale flipping out because someone was taking pictures and not shopping, escalated to an attempt to get the Glendale PD to stop the guy and identify him, and ended up in Hollywood with then Hollywood Station Boss Commander Peter Zarcone reading through legally distributed pamphlets, deciding that they were acceptably critical of bad Islamist stuff, and subsequently reporting the distributors, law-abiding Muslims from the Islamic Institute of Orange County, to the LAPD’s Major Crimes Division.
You may recall that all-round heroine Jasmyne Cannick filed suit in federal court last December alleging that the LAPD and the City of LA had selectively prosecuted her for charges arising from 2014 protests about the Michael Brown situation in revenge for her outspoken criticism of the department. Well, it just recently came to my attention that Patti Beers, another well-known critic of the LAPD, who was also arrested and prosecuted1 under the same general circumstances, filed a suit against the City and various LAPD officials, at roughly the same time, in November 2016.
This has nothing much at all to do with businesss improvement districts, but it’s Saturday night and I just felt like laying some Form 990s on you. These five beauties are from slavering psychopath Mark Ryavec’s agressively moronic Venice-based gang of subliterate meatheads, known to the mundane world as the Venice Stakeholders Association. They are available here on Archive.Org for your reading and researchical pleasure.
These items are interesting for any number of reasons. One is that they show that the VSA is not just a vision of sugar plums dancing ‘neath the fevered brow of Mark Ryavec, but that there are actual real-life other people involved:2 Michael King, Bonnie Felix, Anil Comelo, Robert Feist, Richard Myer(s).3 Had they appeared in another context I’d have been willing to bet that these names were merely selected from the myriad to be found in Ryavec’s floridly diverse collection of multiple personalities, but I don’t know many people, even the really, really, crazy ones, who have a lack of foresight sufficient to cause them to swear under penalty of perjury in a document submitted to the Federal government that the names of their imaginary friends represent real-life actual human beings.4
A few weeks ago, Rory Carroll published an excellent article in The Guardian on how the City of Los Angeles has used gang injunctions as a tool of gentrification in Venice. Of course, this is not news to anyone who’s been paying attention since the injunction began in 2000. Even at the time it seemed clear that the injunction was a response to the wave of gentrification that began in Venice in the late 1980s and underwent unprecedented acceleration through the 1990s. Of course, everyone who’s smelting gold out of the housing stock of Oakwood in a blast furnace fueled by the burning bodies and lives of the poor people, the dark-skinned people, fed into the hopper by the LAPD, denies this every which way.
And these arguments have been repeated so often I have nightmares about them. “The cops would never ever do such a thing.” “There’s no conspiracy to chase out darkies.”5 And so on and on and on. But Venice’s own muse of slavering psychopathy, the very king of the gentrifiers, the universally acknowledged whitest man in Venice, Mark Ryavec himself, has distilled all of them, every last threadbare tin-foil-hat characterization, into one bitter pithy little ball. As Rory Carroll puts it:
For Mark Ryavec, head of the Venice Stakeholders Association, the notion that police act as gentrification agents is “a bunch of radical bullshit”.