Tag Archives: Pollyanna

Remember In 2017 When Tara Devine Was The South Park BID’s Renewal Consultant? — For A While It Seemed That The Petition Drive Was Lagging And That The BID Would Have To Go To Manual Billing For Year One — BID Treasurer Bob Buente Blamed Tara Devine For This — Publicly Proclaimed Himself To Be “Not A Tara Fan” — And Also Congratulated Himself Cause He Didn’t Yell At Her On The Phone! — And When Tara Failed Ellen Salome Riotto Stepped In! — Saved The Damn Day! — And Was Rewarded Just Like A Real Life Fairy Tale!

Remember when Jessica Lall left the South Park BID after Carol Schatz’s hand popped up out of out of that lake and handed Jessica Lall control over that weaponized slice of zillionaire mob-rule known as the Central City Association? And Ellen Salome Riotto came up out of nowhere like Dick Whittington and his damn cat to assume the holy mantle of interim South Park BID Zeck Dreck?1

And around that time, for whatever reason, twisted little Parkie minion Katie Kiefer was the boss of South Park BID’s CPRA efforts. And the power went to her head, or she had not yet realized that Carol Freaking Humiston was working through her own weirdo anger issues rather than giving prudent advice to her clients, or something. And in those dark days the South Parkies were a very model for CPRA-obstructionist BIDdies.

But, you know, I keep trying, because they have important information out there in the Park. And I am pleased to announce that those dark days are past! Now, under the enlightened regime of Ellen Salome Riotto, now promoted to most expressly non-interim Zeck Dreck, the records are pouring in! And there are no nonsensical copypasta exemption claims of the aggressively psychotic sort Katie Kiefer was so very damn fond of! And the first batch is prepped and available! It’s about 800 emails from the hidden vaults of BID Board treasurer Bob Buente! And you can see all of them right here on Archive.Org!

And friend, there are a million good stories in there. Some of them are monumentally important, but those will have to wait till later. In this episode I want to share with you an objectively trivial but subjectively delicious little slice of gossip about shadowy BID consultant Tara Devine and her ultimately dissatisfied BID renewal clients over at South Park2 and how her failure led to Ellen Salome Riotto’s promotion.

And now I yammered on for so long that you’ll have to turn the page just to find out what is the subject of the damn post. One of the pitfalls, one of the pleasures, of writing without an editor to boss me about!
Continue reading Remember In 2017 When Tara Devine Was The South Park BID’s Renewal Consultant? — For A While It Seemed That The Petition Drive Was Lagging And That The BID Would Have To Go To Manual Billing For Year One — BID Treasurer Bob Buente Blamed Tara Devine For This — Publicly Proclaimed Himself To Be “Not A Tara Fan” — And Also Congratulated Himself Cause He Didn’t Yell At Her On The Phone! — And When Tara Failed Ellen Salome Riotto Stepped In! — Saved The Damn Day! — And Was Rewarded Just Like A Real Life Fairy Tale!

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Sarah Besley, Urban Planning, Freeway Overpasses, Moral Panics, Confirmation Bias, Idées Fixes, and Sitcom Nazis in Hollywood

Pollyanna and her cynical, unhappy mirror self encouraging their own cognitive bias by gazing into reflections rather than the world around them
Pollyanna and her cynical mirror image encouraging their own cognitive biases by gazing only at reflections rather than seeing the actual world around them
Pollyanna, the most famous optimist in American literature, is known and celebrated as the originator and primary evangelist of “the just being glad game.” Listen, O citizens of Hollywood, as she explains it to Nancy:1

“Why, it’s a game. Father told it to me, and it’s lovely. We’ve played it always, ever since I was a little, little girl…the game was just to find something about everything to be glad about—no matter what ’twas.”2

Now, Pollyanna gets a bad rap these days, but she’s our hero, really. We haven’t the space to defend her, though, because we have to analyze a May 2014 blog post by Sarah Besley, evidently the Associate Executive Directrix of the Hollywood Property Owners Association and stuff.

Check it! Sarah Besley is scared of freeway overpasses:

In Los Feliz, even the goddamned overpasses are cute, cute, cute!
In Los Feliz, even the goddamned overpasses are cute, cute, cute!

[An overpass] may be one of the worst statements EVER to anyone who visits and certainly to anyone who lives in or around it – especially if their community has been severed in half. An overpass literally says: this community favors cars over people and I dare you to walk underneath me and emerge on the other side alive. This is the message I’ve been getting for the past couple years as I commute from Los Feliz, along Franklin Avenue, down Argyle…3

But wait! Maybe Los Felizites are scared of freeway overpasses because they don’t have any there?4 The terror of the unknown is formidable and possibly overwhelms slurbians when they come to the big town.5 Hollywoodies, living in raw urban splendor in the very heart of the city, surely just take them in stride, don’t they? The answer would appear to be yes, even on Sarah Besley’s testimony:

I’ve started noticing the unexpected number of pedestrians walking from the hills north of Franklin into downtown Hollywood with their yoga mats, shopping bags, or strollers in tow. I’m struck by the fact that people seem to walk so confidently underneath what seems to me like a very scary place.
Continue reading Sarah Besley, Urban Planning, Freeway Overpasses, Moral Panics, Confirmation Bias, Idées Fixes, and Sitcom Nazis in Hollywood

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