Tag Archives: Pacific Palisades

LAUSD Has About 60,000 Employees — Doctor Pamela Magee — Supreme Boss Of The Palisades Charter High School — Makes More Money Than All But Three Of Them — Which Certainly Proves Something — But Not Anything Good — Presenting Salaries Of All Pali High Employees — And Employment Contracts For Senior Staff — And Pleadings From Roya Saghafi’s Civil Rights Lawsuit Against The School — Which Makes Allegations Both Lurid And Extensive — And Entirely Freaking Believable If You Know The Palisades At All

As you may recall I’ve been working on obtaining public records from charter schools in Los Angeles, with some success.1 And one of my prime targets presently is that spider’s nest of privatizing privilege, the Palisades Charter High School. A few weeks ago, for instance, a small set of PCHS boss-lady Doctor Pam Magee’s emails revealed some interesting and reprehensible shenanigans on the part of the interesting and reprehensible California Charter School Association.

And just yesterday the Palisadesean privatizers released another small batch of goodies, which you can get your hands on here on Archive.Org. This set consists of copies of the employment contracts of PCHS senior administrators as well as a list of all PCHS employees by name, salary, and total compensation. The contracts aren’t that interesting, but there’s some good info in the list of salaries, the utility of which is a little attenuated by the fact that for whatever reason2 PCHS Director of Human Capital Exploitation Amy Nguyen3 didn’t include any of these folks’ job titles.

I have a new request in for that essential information, but irrespective of that, we do learn the fairly stunning fact that Dr.4 Pamela A. Magee is paid $218,855 per year for her labors.5 Now, everything I know about salaries at charter schools I learned from this fine article by the incomparable Red Queen in LA. And the folks she talks about there make an awful lot of money. Cosmic money. More money than Doctor P.A.M.

But they’re not actually running individual charter schools like Doctor Magee.6 So I thought I’d check out how much LAUSD pays its principals, you know, for the sake of comparison. A little Googlism7 revealed this LAUSD administrative salary schedule and this organizational chart. And what these documents reveal is pretty surprising. It turns out that there are only three LAUSD employees out of more than 60,0008 that earn more annually than Dr. Pamela A. Magee. Those are:

☆ Chief Academic Officer Frances Gipson — $255,000
☆ Deputy Superintendent Vivian Ekchian — $262,500
☆ Superindendent Austin Beutner — $350,000

So what does this mean? Well, I don’t know. The familiar things about how charter schools suck public money out of public use and use it to enrich the already-rich, I guess. About how zillionaires, intent on destroying the public realm, pay their minions well. Whatever it means, though, it’s a pretty nice illustration of one of the central paradoxes of value with LAUSD employees playing the role of water and Dr. Magee that of diamonds.

And here’s my candidate for the non-sequiturish-segue-of-the-moment, which is that whatever it is that Dr. Pam Magee is doing out there in Northwest Zillionaireville9 to earn10 her bread in the sweat of her brow, she doesn’t seem to have been able to put an end to a years-long series of despicable racist shenanigans directed against former PCHS teacher and current civil rights litigant Roya Saghafi by various PCHS employees and students and described in this complaint, filed in Superior Court in June 2018.11

And you know how we love lawsuits around these parts! I’m collecting pleadings from this one over here on the Archive. And not only that, but the trial is scheduled for July 29, 2019 at 10 a.m. in Department 72 at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse. I expect to attend, and maybe I’ll see you there! Meanwhile, turn the page for some transcribed selections from the complaint.
Continue reading LAUSD Has About 60,000 Employees — Doctor Pamela Magee — Supreme Boss Of The Palisades Charter High School — Makes More Money Than All But Three Of Them — Which Certainly Proves Something — But Not Anything Good — Presenting Salaries Of All Pali High Employees — And Employment Contracts For Senior Staff — And Pleadings From Roya Saghafi’s Civil Rights Lawsuit Against The School — Which Makes Allegations Both Lurid And Extensive — And Entirely Freaking Believable If You Know The Palisades At All

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Anxious Rich White Palisadeseans Are Reassured That Mike Bonin Won’t Allow Street Vendors To Besmirch The Lily-White Palisadesean Streets (Except For The Farmers’ Market Cause White People Like Farmers’ Markets) And Also LAPD Advises How To Get Rid Of Scary Fat Nasty Angry Black Homeless Male Man!

When last we peeked into the Minutes of the Board of Directors of the Pacific Palisades BID, we learned that they were all sitting around up there in Northwest Zillionaireville quaking in their super-pricy boots over the influx of gang members from urban Santa Monica. Today, well, there’s the serious matter of street vending to discuss, of course, but first, take a look at the minutes from January 4, 2017, where we learn about this:

Homeless issue – One person is a problem on Via de la Paz lately. He is a 300 lb., male black man with a nasty temper. Officer Moore recommends signing a “Trespass Arrest Authorization” form which was handed out.

Got it? He weights three hundred pounds.1 He’s black. And not only that, he is both male and a man. This is a truly frightening situation! I’m wondering if their trespass authorization form has a place to put the weight of trespassers that the cops are authorized to arrest? The standard form does not, but the LAPD is famous for deploying multiple helicopters to fly against the homeless in the Palisades. Are they going to refuse them a custom anti-homeless trespass form? Especially if they’re being overrun by a horde of three hundred distinct pounds of angry homeless black male man?

I mean, I know you can never be too rich or too thin, but that the Palisadesians are extra-scared of this man because “he is a 300 lb., male black man…” is somewhat unexpected, even though 300 lb. people can certainly “pose to be dangerous.” I would have thought that fear of the homeless would be measured more by the individual than by the pound, but I’m wrong again. Certainly this is why I can’t afford to live in the Palisades amongst the jittery little psychopathic self-interested zillionaire theorists of homelessness. My priorities are obviously really confused.

And if they’re going to pieces to this extent over one “300 lb., male black man,” how are they going to feel about the gracious shimmering snow-white streets of their little village2 being overrun by the herds of dark-skinned heladeros, frutateros, and eloteros that are even now massing at their borders just waiting for the City Council to give them the go-ahead to swarm in and start supplying their victims, the hitherto-uncorrupted-by-Mexican-ice-cream-treats Palisadeseans, with paletas de limón? Not good, I’m telling you that much. But their man on Spring Street, Mike Bonin, is there for them as he always is. Turn the page for details.
Continue reading Anxious Rich White Palisadeseans Are Reassured That Mike Bonin Won’t Allow Street Vendors To Besmirch The Lily-White Palisadesean Streets (Except For The Farmers’ Market Cause White People Like Farmers’ Markets) And Also LAPD Advises How To Get Rid Of Scary Fat Nasty Angry Black Homeless Male Man!

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Gang Members, Seeking Respite From The Seething Urban Hell That Is Present-Day Santa Monica, Pour Over Northern Border Into Pacific Palisades, Bringing Crime, Fear, Misery — LAPD Unleashes Helicopters Against Palisades Homeless — The Last Days Are At Hand! Build That Wall, Mr. Bonin!

You probably thought that this place was nothing more than a colony of self-satisfied zillionaires and their floofly little dogs, just strolling around on the bluffs in their $1,400 Jimmy Choos, but it turns out that it’s a seething urban hell, generating crime wave after crime wave in the Palisades. Build that wall, Mr. Bonin!
OK, remember after the Venice Beach BID was approved for the second time and Mike Bonin gave a meandering, semi-sensical, victory speech, pronouncing definitively that he

…acknowledge[d] that there have been issues and problems with BIDs in other areas. But there have also been BIDs that have been very successful and have been great partners in solving homelessness. In Pacific Palisades we have a BID that has actually worked with the Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homelessness and has helped get people housed.

Combine this statement, just begging to be fact-checked, with the fact that Mike Bonin’s weirdo staff is engaged in a criminal conspiracy to violate the California Public Records Act, thereby bringing the legally authorized investigations of brave citizen journalists into the shady shenanigans of CD11 to a grinding halt, and how could I resist asking Mike Bonin’s darling Pacific Palisades BID for a bunch of public records?

Well, last night, PPBID executive directrix Laurie Sale, in addition to coming at me all salty with a bunch of copypasta lawyerese about how she wasn’t handing over anything unless God and the FBI told her she had to,1 also provided me with a year’s worth of agendas and minutes from her according-to-Mike-Bonin-exemplary little BID out there to the northwest of reality in zillionaireville. Of course I put it up on Archive.Org immediately. And there’s some fine craziness in there, friends.

Greetings homeless neighbors! On behalf of the Palisades BID I would like to announce that we are from the LAPD and we are here to help the old amongst you, especially those whose health has deteriorated!

First of all, with respect to the homeless population of the Palisades, which according to Mike Bonin this BID’s handling of is a pattern of enlightened BIDolatry, take a look here at the Minutes from February 3, 2016, where we read, in the words of Laurie Sale her own self, that:

Older homeless are receptive to services as their health deteriorates. On the enforcement front, Michael Moore will be here soon to attest to the fact that they’ve gotten a lot more support from LAPD. Have provided more air support and foot support and they’ve mapped out all of the encampments. The signage has helped and allowed them to go in and get people off of the bluffs. Currently have a count of approximately eighty (80) homeless in the area but no market
[sic] increase.

Continue reading Gang Members, Seeking Respite From The Seething Urban Hell That Is Present-Day Santa Monica, Pour Over Northern Border Into Pacific Palisades, Bringing Crime, Fear, Misery — LAPD Unleashes Helicopters Against Palisades Homeless — The Last Days Are At Hand! Build That Wall, Mr. Bonin!

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Venice Beach BID Hearing Roundup: Bonin Jettisons Deference, Implicatively Slams Hollywood, Downtown BIDs: “There’ve Been Good BIDs And There’ve Been Bad BIDs” And Hollywood? And Downtown? Not Good BIDs. Wesson/Englander Totalitarian Style Almost Causes Third Do-Over

A battle-weary Mike Bonin graciously acknowledges his ultimate victory this afternoon at the Venice Beach BID hearing.
A battle-weary Mike Bonin graciously acknowledges his ultimate victory this afternoon at the Venice Beach BID hearing.
Quick summary: Venice Beach BID hearing in August was messed up due to habitual arrogance of City Council. Heroic civil rights lawyer calls bullshit. City Attorney sees potential liability for City and advises a do-over. A bunch of other shenanigans, too many to name-check at this point, ensue. This morning the do-over hearing was held. You can watch it here on YouTube.

So everyone made their comments, and they weren’t all that different from the first time, although Mike Bonin managed not to lose his shit and compare the BID opposition to Trump supporters.1 But nevertheless, there were a few surprising moments. Recall that the first hearing was invalidated because third-smartest-guy-in-the-room Herb Wesson cut off public comment too early. So this time, Mitch Englander, who is Council president pro tem,2 after all the speaker cards had been called, announced to the world at large:3

Mitch Englander on the dais getting whispered advice from a deputy city attorney.  What does it say about our City that almost 15% of our Councilmembers are named Mitch?  Nothing good, friends, nothing good.
Mitch Englander on the dais getting whispered advice from a deputy city attorney. What does it say about our City that almost 15% of our Councilmembers are named Mitch? Nothing good, friends, nothing good.


I wanna be extra careful on this one given the problems with the last public hearing. Is there anybody here who filled out a card or tried to speak or
[unintelligible] has not been heard yet?

And then the other one, Wesson or Englander, seeing that sanest of habitual gadflies, Eric Preven, indicating that he would like to speak, announced:

Ah, Mr. Preven, you actually spoke to the Council already for your maximum of three minutes per the Council rules.

And Preven said no. And everyone in the room wondered whether they were really going to take the risk of messing everything up for a second time just to prevent Eric Preven from speaking for one more minute after we’d all been there almost an hour already. Well, the Deputy City Attorney told the two prezzes to CTFO, and they folded, for Christ’s sake, and let Eric Preven speak.

But far more interesting than that was Bonin’s victory speech.4 In particular, maybe since he was feeling a little conciliatory, he said:
Continue reading Venice Beach BID Hearing Roundup: Bonin Jettisons Deference, Implicatively Slams Hollywood, Downtown BIDs: “There’ve Been Good BIDs And There’ve Been Bad BIDs” And Hollywood? And Downtown? Not Good BIDs. Wesson/Englander Totalitarian Style Almost Causes Third Do-Over

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Why Is Brentwood Off-Message For Pro-BID People?! Despite Universal Claims of City Neutrality, Miranda Paster, LA City Clerk BID Honcho, Doctors Up CD11 “Messaging” On Venice Beach BID, Advises “Wouldn’t Mention Brentwood.”

David Graham-Caso, CD11 Director of Communications.
David Graham-Caso, CD11 Director of Communications.
I’ve written before about how everyone from the City that’s involved in the BID formation process not only denies that they actually are involved but also hushes up every possible aspect of their involvement. But once in a while the veil drops and we can see clearly what’s going on at 200 N. Spring Street with respect to the City’s pro-BID activism.

Today’s story begins with a newly obtained email chain between CD11 staffer Debbie Dyner Harris and Venice walk-street resident Martha Hertzberg. Hertzberg is relentless and articulate in her questioning of Dyner Harris’s poorly argued assertions about the lack of a public component to the BID approval process, the damage that BIDs do to neighborhoods, and so on. Please read it, because it’s excellent, but too far off-topic for me to discuss at length. While you’re reading it, consider the interesting fact that, according to CD 11 Communications Director David Graham-Caso, Mike Bonin characterized Hertzberg’s position as based on a “…misunderstanding of the BID…”1 although it’s clear from the actual emails that it’s Dyner Harris and, by extension, all of CD11 that are the ones who either misunderstand the very nature of BIDs in Los Angeles or else are lying about what they’re up to.
Continue reading Why Is Brentwood Off-Message For Pro-BID People?! Despite Universal Claims of City Neutrality, Miranda Paster, LA City Clerk BID Honcho, Doctors Up CD11 “Messaging” On Venice Beach BID, Advises “Wouldn’t Mention Brentwood.”

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Berkeley Police Department Fulfills Experimental CPRA Request in 59 Days

Anymore, the astonishing beauty of the city of Berkeley is only skin deep.
Anymore, the astonishing beauty of the city of Berkeley is only skin deep.
Long-time readers of this blog will recall that, due to the stunning reluctance of the LAPD to comply with the simple mandates of the California Public Records Act, I’m running an experiment in which I requested 100 emails to and from BIDs from each of three California police departments. The SFPD was the clear winner here, supplying me with the goods in a mere 23 days. Late last week the city of Berkeley weighed in with two sets of emails (one and two). Most of the content isn’t especially interesting if you don’t know the dramatis personae; it’s the same old song about the homeless, about behaviors, about activities, about protecting investments, and so on and on and on. I did spot one interesting episode, which I discuss after the break. Also, I will note that the Long Beach PD still has not fulfilled my request (although they are discussing it with me), and of course the LAPD ignores everyone and they’re still being sued because of that. Is it a coincidence that the two cities that follow the law have municipal sunshine ordinances while the two that do not lack such laws? I doubt it very much.
Continue reading Berkeley Police Department Fulfills Experimental CPRA Request in 59 Days

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