Tag Archives: Larchmont Village BID

In May 2018 Mitch O’Farrell Held Secret Invite-Only Meetings With So-Called “Key Community Stakeholders” To Build Buy-In For Hollywood Bridge Housing — Larchmont Charter School Supreme Commander-For-Life Amy Dresser Held Was Among Those Invited — She Then Helped Orchestrate Community Meetings With Dan Halden To “Clear Up Any Misconceptions” — And Listen To More Made-Up Anti-Homeless Housedweller Grievances — And Hear His Promises Of “Additional Enforcement Tools” Against Homeless Human Beings — In Exchange He Proceeded To Spend Months Doing Special Little Favors For These Whiny And Entitled LCS Privatizers

Readers of this blog surely don’t need me to explain how Prop HHH money, meant to establish so-called bridge housing to help alleviate our crisis of homelessness, has at best been spent far too slowly and too ineffectively and at the worst corruptly and in secret. But despite all that, creepy little CD13 repster Mitch O’Farrell did manage to organize one of these projects in Hollywood.

And his flack Tony Arranaga’s inordinately superficial press release on the subject, touting the only-from-an-inordinately-superficial-perspective success of this project is well worth reading.1 And of particular interest in that slew/slough of whah-whah-whahwawawa, there is this little number right here:

The office of Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell has championed this project from the start: Councilmember O’Farrell originally introduced the motion which paved the way to build the project on the City-owned parking lot; his office led the community outreach before and during construction; and the office served as the liaison between City departments, partnering agencies, and local stakeholders.

This business about the community outreach and the liaison between City departments, partnering agencies, and local stakeholders is of the utmost interest. I’ve spent a little time looking into the processes by which Los Quince Jefes construct the appearance of community buy-in for their pet projects, most notably as orchestrated by Jose Huizar and by Gil Cedillo in the notorious case of the demolition of Parker Center.

And of course another interesting line of inquiry I’m presently working on is charter schools. I don’t know enough about them yet to narrow2 my inquiries, but I’m learning, mostly via my usual technique of reading3 their damn emails. I recently got gigantic set of goodies from Larchmont Charter School, in particular from their supreme commander Amy Dresser Held. These have so far yielded up a couple of really interesting stories.4

Like for instance the one about how Amy Dresser Held used her personal connections with high-powered senior staffies of LAUSD school boardie Icky Sticky Nicky Melvoin to get a luxe internship for a family friend or the one about how Amy Dresser Held and the Icky Sticky one had a mutually satisfying comfort sesh about how mean and crazy the charter-haters were being. And today, before your very eye, friends, these different lines of inquiry have merged into one!

You see, among all those emails sent to me by LCS were well over a hundred between Most High Brigadier-in-charge Amy Dresser Held and Mitch O’Farrell’s chameleonic Hollywood button man, Dan X. Halden.5 You can browse through the whole subset here on Archive.Org, and turn the page for transcriptions and discussion, the better to relate the tale so adroitly summarized for you in the headline above!
Continue reading In May 2018 Mitch O’Farrell Held Secret Invite-Only Meetings With So-Called “Key Community Stakeholders” To Build Buy-In For Hollywood Bridge Housing — Larchmont Charter School Supreme Commander-For-Life Amy Dresser Held Was Among Those Invited — She Then Helped Orchestrate Community Meetings With Dan Halden To “Clear Up Any Misconceptions” — And Listen To More Made-Up Anti-Homeless Housedweller Grievances — And Hear His Promises Of “Additional Enforcement Tools” Against Homeless Human Beings — In Exchange He Proceeded To Spend Months Doing Special Little Favors For These Whiny And Entitled LCS Privatizers

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South Central Hollywood Racketeer Club Larchmont Village BID Loses Public Records Act Lawsuit!! — Ordered By Judge Mary Strobel To Stop Fooling Around And Do An Adequate Search For The Damn Records!! — Their Kooky Legal Strategy Dismissed Out Of Hand!! — Apparently Their Kooky Lawyer Thomas Cairns Misrepresented Facts To The Court — Motion For Fees Likely To Follow — A New Request For Records Already Filed!

Long story short. The weirdos over at the Larchmont Village BID completely ignored my 2017 requests for records, so in March 2018 I had to file a petition against them. They failed to file an answer to the petition and then showed up at the trial setting conference whining about how mean I was and asking for extra time to file an answer. Well, they never filed anything, and in March 2019 my lawyer, the incomparable Abenicio Cisneros, filed a smashing opening brief.

And then on May 16 of this year we all showed up for the trial. And even Thomas Cairns showed up, twitching like a tweaker, half-empty pack of Marlboro Reds in his briefcase, prescription aviator shades perched on his surreally toupeed brow. And the judge, Mary Strobel, called the case. And Cairns began babbling some crazed stream of consciousness in which he seemed to be representing that he didn’t actually appear before the court in 20181 and therefore everything should be tossed on a technicality.

The judge seemed skeptical, like really, really, really skeptical, of Cairns’s claim. But she decided to put off the hearing for a couple weeks while she ordered up a transcript to check Cairns’s assertions. The new hearing was held last Tuesday, June 4, 2019. And it turned out that in 2018 Cairns didn’t say anything like what he claimed he said. It was all a big fat lie.

And when the judge explained this to him he had the nerve to ask for another 30 days to file a response to my brief! Strobel said no way, friend, and ruled against the BID on all of my causes of action. You can read her ruling here and there is a transcription below.

Also, don’t forget that if a requester, that’s me, prevails, as I did, in a CPRA action then the respondent, that’s the BID, has to pay my lawyer’s fees and also all the costs involved in filing the suit. That doesn’t happen automatically, though. There’s a whole new set of proceedings, which will start with filing a motion asking for the money, about which I will let you know when it happens.

And finally, finally, this victory means that I am free to start requesting records from these Larchmontane criminals once again. Sent some askyness off to these gangsters the instant I learned of the ruling! And read it here! Looking forward to receiving, reading, publishing, analyzing, and, of course, mocking the holy hell out of these goodies!
Continue reading South Central Hollywood Racketeer Club Larchmont Village BID Loses Public Records Act Lawsuit!! — Ordered By Judge Mary Strobel To Stop Fooling Around And Do An Adequate Search For The Damn Records!! — Their Kooky Legal Strategy Dismissed Out Of Hand!! — Apparently Their Kooky Lawyer Thomas Cairns Misrepresented Facts To The Court — Motion For Fees Likely To Follow — A New Request For Records Already Filed!

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A Detailed Analysis Of The Cash Flowing In And Out Of Mitch O’Farrell’s Public Benefits Slush Fund — Developers Pay Hundreds Of Thousands Of Dollars For The Privilege Of Building Out-Of-Code Projects — O’Farrell Spends The Money On Projects That Please His Political Supporters — It Seems Unlikely That There’s Any Net Benefit To Anyone But Zillionaires — This Is No Way To Run A City

A developer wants to build a building that’s taller than the local zoning allows, or has less parking than required. Maybe there are pesky historical structures on the proposed site or the new building will attract enough additional traffic to gridlock the streets around it. There are any number of reasons why a given building might not be allowed. It’ll still get built, though.

The developer will just have to pay hundreds of thousands, even millions, of dollars to the appropriate councilmember to get it approved. And these payments are inextricably integrated into our City’s building approval process. One might even suspect, and not without reason, that the ultimate purpose of zoning codes in Los Angeles is to induce developers to pay for exceptions to them.

And it’s not bribery, at least not the illegal kind. The CM doesn’t get to pocket the money. Instead it goes into one of the dozens of City trust funds set up specifically for receiving such monies. Just for instance, Mitch O’Farrell, CD13 repster, has one called the “Council District 13 Public Benefits Trust Fund.” It’s authorized by the Los Angeles Administrative Code at §5.414 ” for the receipt, retention and disbursement of gifts, contributions and bequests for the support of police and community activities within Council District 13.”

The fees are imposed on developers by the City Council at the behest of the relevant CM. To see an example of how this works take a look at CF 07-1379, wherein some developers sought permission to build another mixed-use monstrosity in Hollywood, this one at 1540 N. Vine Street.1 The developers got what they came for, which was Ordinance Number 178,836, authorizing construction. And in there, buried among other conditions, will be found paragraphs 26 and 27, stating how much money they’re going to give to Mitch O’Farrell in exchange for their zoning changes:
Continue reading A Detailed Analysis Of The Cash Flowing In And Out Of Mitch O’Farrell’s Public Benefits Slush Fund — Developers Pay Hundreds Of Thousands Of Dollars For The Privilege Of Building Out-Of-Code Projects — O’Farrell Spends The Money On Projects That Please His Political Supporters — It Seems Unlikely That There’s Any Net Benefit To Anyone But Zillionaires — This Is No Way To Run A City

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Chinatown BID Fails To File Answer To CPRA Writ Petition Before Deadline — Maybe George Yu Considers Himself Beyond The Reach Of The Law — Which Certainly Wouldn’t Be Uncharacteristic Of That Thuggish Little Weirdo

I mean I don’t know what it is with these thuggish little business improvement districts around Los Angeles. They won’t comply with the public records act and when I am thereby forced to file petitions against them they won’t even respond. This famously happened in May with that wonky little gang of white supremacists out in the Larchmont Village BID and now it just happened again with the Chinatown BID, due to the off-the-chain intransigence of which we were forced in August to file a petition.

Of course George Yu is well-known in these parts to be a screamer, a bully, and a freaking self-proclaimed criminal, so it’s not strange to learn that he doesn’t feel like he has to play by other rules of civil society. And for all that, the consequences of these failures may be minimal. In ordinary lawsuits if you don’t answer on time you just lose, but the California Code of Civil Procedure at §1088 rules out this result for writs of mandate, which is what we’re seeking. Also in July at the trial setting conference for the Larchmont BID petition, the judge granted the BID an extra 30 days to reply without them even having to explain their lapse.

So like I said, there may not be any consequences, or any serious consequences. But on the other hand there may be. We’ll see! Stay tuned and you can see also!
Continue reading Chinatown BID Fails To File Answer To CPRA Writ Petition Before Deadline — Maybe George Yu Considers Himself Beyond The Reach Of The Law — Which Certainly Wouldn’t Be Uncharacteristic Of That Thuggish Little Weirdo

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Larchmont Village Trial Setting Conference Today Essentially Anticlimactic But With A Few Interesting Aspects — Judge Mary Strobel Grants Respondents 30 Days Extra To File Response

As I’m sure you recall, in April I was forced by their bizarro antisocial intransigence and utter failure to comply with the California Public Records Act to file a petition for writ of mandate against the kooky little backwater Larchmont Village BID in the heart of South Central Hollywood. They don’t seem to be interested in settling right now, and so this morning we all had to haul our tired bones out to the Stanley Mosk courthouse for the trial setting conference.1

It was the incomparable Abenicio Cisneros appearing for me and for the BID it was some dude who goes about the place passing himself off as J. Thomas Cairns, although I don’t know anyone who’s seen his ID. You may already know, but these conferences tend to be fairly routine, although sometimes something interesting happens, and a couple things happened here.
Continue reading Larchmont Village Trial Setting Conference Today Essentially Anticlimactic But With A Few Interesting Aspects — Judge Mary Strobel Grants Respondents 30 Days Extra To File Response

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Larchmont Village BID Fails To Answer My CPRA Petition By Deadline — What Can It Mean?

As you may recall, I was recently forced to file a petition against the Larchmont Village BID because they just won’t respond to California Public Records Act requests at all. The pleadings are collected here on Archive.Org, although there’s presently not much there. The BID was served on April 4, and they had 30 days to respond. For reasons known only to them they actually failed to file any kind of answer whatsoever.

I guess in an ordinary suit their failure to respond would mean that I just win automatically, but it turns out that the California Code of Civil Procedure at §1088 doesn’t allow a writ of mandate to issue by default. Anyway, the BID did finally decide to discuss it, it seems, as they held a closed session last Thursday, May 24, 2018, and the petition was the only item on the agenda. More news as I have it, of course.
Continue reading Larchmont Village BID Fails To Answer My CPRA Petition By Deadline — What Can It Mean?

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Larchmont Village BID Sued To Enforce Compliance With The California Public Records Act

It’s been two-ish years now since I sent my first CPRA request to the kooky little South Central Hollywood gang of white supremacist law-flouting gangster thugs known to the world as the Larchmont Village Business Improvement District.

That first time they ignored me and they ignored me and they ignored me until finally I had to hire a lawyer and pry the goodies out of their creepy grasping fingers by main force. But, as we know, the thug life is a powerful draw, and gangsters get hooked on lawbreaking like a drug. Despite being given every chance by society to reform their outlaw ways, these hardcore BIDdies sadly persisted in their chosen life of crime.

As you may recall, they’ve never managed to comply with the damn Brown Act, despite occasional signals that either they were going to start complying or maybe that the City of Los Angeles was going to force them to comply. And after that one time in 2016 they’ve never managed to comply with the CPRA again. I sent them a few requests in May 2017 which they ignored and ignored and ignored.

And so, as before, I hired a lawyer. And the lawyer filed this petition in Los Angeles County Superior Court. And served the petition on Tom Kneafsey earlier this week. And served a letter to Cap’n Tom along with the petition. I wish there was some way to get these BIDdies to follow the law other than by filing petitions against them but the State Legislature, in its inscrutable wisdom, has made this the only remedy. Sad but true. Stay tuned for more information and turn the page for some excerpts from the petition.
Continue reading Larchmont Village BID Sued To Enforce Compliance With The California Public Records Act

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How Kerry Freaking Morrison And A Bunch Of Other Bad BIDdies Helped Gut AB-1479, An Essential Improvement To The California Public Records Act, And It Seems, If You Believe Them (Although Why Would You, Really?), To Be All My Freaking Fault For Being So Freaking Mean To Them On The Freaking Internet And Being “Intent On Bringing [Their Freaking] Organization To Its [Freaking] Demise”!

In February 2017, California State Assemblymember Rob Bonta of Oakland introduced AB-1479, which would have amended the California Public Records Act to allow judges to assess civil penalties of between $1,000 and $5,000 to punish flagrant CPRA violations. The bill sailed through the Assembly and almost made it through the Senate until a shitstorm of opposition, including from many Los Angeles BIDs, some of whom cited this blog as part of their parade of horribles, hired high-powered lobbyists Gonzalez, Hunter, Quintana, & Cruz and thereby sank the most important part of the bill, leaving only a tragic and fairly useless husk.

According to a staffer of Bonta’s who is in charge of this bill it’s essentially irredeemable this term, but they’re going to try again next year. Also, she was kind enough to send me a huge selection of letters received, pro and con, including a bunch from many of our Los Angeles BID friends. If we can’t beat them, well, at least we can publish their ravings and then mock them, right? The whole collection is available on Archive.Org. You should definitely read through it if you’re interested. The support letters are fabulous, but I don’t have time to discuss them here.

And turn the page for a more comprehensive description of exactly what happened, of how the BIDs, as usual, missed the whole point, and an exceedingly, painstakingly, obsessively, mockingly detailed analysis of this characteristically delusional, narcissistic, crackle-pated nonsense from our own Ms. Kerry Morrison.1
Continue reading How Kerry Freaking Morrison And A Bunch Of Other Bad BIDdies Helped Gut AB-1479, An Essential Improvement To The California Public Records Act, And It Seems, If You Believe Them (Although Why Would You, Really?), To Be All My Freaking Fault For Being So Freaking Mean To Them On The Freaking Internet And Being “Intent On Bringing [Their Freaking] Organization To Its [Freaking] Demise”!

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110 New Emails Between The City of LA And The East Hollywood BID Reveal Essentially Nothing About Anything, As Do The BID’s Bylaws — Also A Bunch Of Advertising Slash Branding Bullshit From The Fashion District Is Easy To Mock But Not So Informative After All

Ah, friends, just another desultory announcement of yet another batch of public records obtained from our friends at the BIDs, the meaning of none of which is yet clear, but we don’t let that worry us here in MK-dot-Org-landia. Everything happens for a reason, as they say, and I’m sure all this junk is no exception and some day it will prove to comprise crucially important pieces in puzzles whose very existence is as yet undiscerned. But for now I’m just announcing its existence, and do with it what you will. Anyway, here’s what I got:

  • Emails between the East Hollywood BID and the City of LA — March 2017 through July 2017. There are 110 emails here, attachments are attached to the emails, it’s amazing how empty of content this batch is. About 84% of them consist of Nicole Shahenian trying to get people to use her new email at ehbid.org. I don’t know for sure but I’d bet money that she made this switch because of my CPRA requests. Also, Aram Taslagyan’s replacement as CD13 East Hollywood field deputy introduces himself herein, but I already forgot his name.

And turn the page for the rest of the junk and more random commentary!
Continue reading 110 New Emails Between The City of LA And The East Hollywood BID Reveal Essentially Nothing About Anything, As Do The BID’s Bylaws — Also A Bunch Of Advertising Slash Branding Bullshit From The Fashion District Is Easy To Mock But Not So Informative After All

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Fashion District BID Bylaws From 2003 Anticipate Los Angeles City Attorney Advising BID On Their Brown Act Obligations, Suggesting That Holly Wolcott’s Stance Against Requiring BIDs To Follow The Law Is A Recent Development

I’ve been collecting copies of bylaws from the property owners’ associations that run BIDs for a while now, and some interesting stuff has turned up. Most egregiously we have the cases of Brown Act violations actually written into the bylaws of the Larchmont Village BID and essentially the same problem with the Melrose Avenue BID. Well, the other day, Rena Leddy, executive directrix of the Fashion District BID, was kind enough to send me a copy of her BID’s bylaws, last amended in 2003, and very interesting they are, indeed!

For one thing, these bylaws reveal that, unlike every other BID that I know of, the property owners in the Fashion District elect their Board of Directors by direct weighted vote.1 Most BIDs seem to be run by self-perpetuating boards, in which the directors choose their successors without any input from anyone else. This is interesting, and may save the FDBID from the kind of stagnation and undue staff influence that one finds in so many of our local BIDs.2

Most interesting, though, are the two places in these bylaws where it appears that the BID didn’t know whether or not their rules would violate the Brown Act, so they wrote language stating that the rules only applied pending determinations of their legality by the City Attorney of Los Angeles. This contradicts the stance currently taken by City Clerk Holly Wolcott, who insists that BIDs are beyond the City’s power to control due to their status as private corporations. She refuses even to tell BIDs to perform explicit requirements of their contract. How strange, then, to see evidence that in 2003 the City Attorney of Los Angeles was making decisions about whether or not the Fashion District BID’s bylaws were Brown-Act-compliant.
Continue reading Fashion District BID Bylaws From 2003 Anticipate Los Angeles City Attorney Advising BID On Their Brown Act Obligations, Suggesting That Holly Wolcott’s Stance Against Requiring BIDs To Follow The Law Is A Recent Development

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