Tag Archives: Recreation and Parks

Since 2016 Eleven CPRA Lawsuits Against The City Of Los Angeles Have Been Disposed Of — The City Lost Two At Trial And Paid Up — And Settled Eight Before Trial And Paid Up — And The Only One They Didn’t Lose Was The One Wrongly Filed In Federal Court By A Pro Se Litigant — For A Total Of $662,722 — And Given That They’re About To Pay More Than $324,000 To The ACLU To Settle Another Loser — This Is More Than A Million Dollars In Less Than Four Years That They Wasted Because They Can Not Or They Will Not Comply With The Law — For That Kind Of Money They Could Hire A Damn CPRA Coordinator — And Some Staff — And Stop The Bleeding

If you make requests of the City of Los Angeles under the California Public Records Act you will have learned by now that they fail to comply in almost every possible way. They delay access to records, they wrongfully withhold records as exempt, they fail to respond to requests at all, they say that there are no responsive records when in fact there are, they manipulate requesters into asking for far less than they have a right to by wrongly citing authorities, they insist on printing electronic records onto paper and then charge for copies, and so on and on and on. It’s a real nightmare.

Some of the City’s shenanigans are due to the fact that the state legislature, in its wisdom, has made judicial action the only means of enforcing the CPRA. The City, probably with reason, assumes that most requesters don’t have the resources or the tenacity to follow through with a lawsuit, so the expected consequences for their abject noncompliance are pretty minimal. And that may be an accurate assessment, it’s hard to tell because I don’t have access to all the data.

But not having access to all doesn’t mean it’s impossible to get access to some, so I have been investigating CPRA suits against the City of Los Angeles. I first started thinking about this matter in 2015 but was at that time told by Deputy City Attorney Mike Dundas1 that the City had no way of listing CPRA suits against it. But after all that nonsense happened in San Diego recently, what with their City Attorney,2 Mara Elliot, tricking Senator Ben Hueso into introducing his appalling and since-withdrawn CPRA-gutting SB 615 and then some people got a spreadsheet showing how much the City of San Diego had spent on CPRA suits since 2010.

So I thought I’d ask Mike Dundas again and what do you know!? He came through and also informed me that the City Attorney3 had assigned a cause code to CPRA suits in 2016 so that it was now possible to track them individually.4 And then, kablooie! He produced this list of ten closed cases with payouts since 2016!5 And then later he told me that there was this one other closed case that didn’t involve a payout since the City was dismissed from it on a motion.6 And according to him he will be producing7 a list of the currently open cases.8

And just the bare numbers here are really interesting, but not a good look for the City of Los Angeles. Since 2016 eleven CPRA cases against the City have been disposed of. The City went to trial on two of these and lost, paying a total of $558,690.57 to petitioners’ lawyers. The City unfavorably settled eight of them before trial, paying a total of $104,032 to petitioners’ lawyers. And the City got itself dismissed from one before trial, but only because the petitioner mistakenly filed the case in federal court.

I obtained copies of all ten of the properly filed petitions, and you can find them here on the Archive and there are also links to the individual files below. From a practical point of view, those eight cases that the City settled without going to trial are the most interesting of all. First of all, they were all avoidable. None of them hinged on any subtle interpretations of the statute. If the City had just followed the explicit requirements of the law none of them would have been brought in the first place.

I describe each of them briefly below, by the way. The City has really come to rely on not being sued, and I don’t think we have any hope at all of improving their compliance without a lot more petitions being filed. It’s my hope that these statistics along with access to these cases will encourage more lawyers to get involved in suing the City over CPRA violations. It really looks like there’s some money to be made.

But, much, much more importantly, it looks like it might be not only practically possible, not only morally desirable, but also economically feasible to get the damn City of Los Angeles to just comply with the damn CPRA in some kind of predictable way. The money they spend settling these cases could easily fund a Citywide CPRA coordinator and another staff member just to keep all the City departments on track so that we get access to our records and the City avoids an endless parade of these entirely avoidable suits.
Continue reading Since 2016 Eleven CPRA Lawsuits Against The City Of Los Angeles Have Been Disposed Of — The City Lost Two At Trial And Paid Up — And Settled Eight Before Trial And Paid Up — And The Only One They Didn’t Lose Was The One Wrongly Filed In Federal Court By A Pro Se Litigant — For A Total Of $662,722 — And Given That They’re About To Pay More Than $324,000 To The ACLU To Settle Another Loser — This Is More Than A Million Dollars In Less Than Four Years That They Wasted Because They Can Not Or They Will Not Comply With The Law — For That Kind Of Money They Could Hire A Damn CPRA Coordinator — And Some Staff — And Stop The Bleeding

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Park Avenue Is A Venice Walk Street — Runs Between Speedway And Pacific — And In 2018 The Park Avenue Housedwellers Were Just Fed Up — They Were Feeling Really Overrun With Homeless And Bike Racks — And Their Homeless And Bike Problem Was On National TV! — And They Wrote To Bonin Venice Flunky-Boy Taylor Bazley — And Somehow Bonin Transpo Maven Alek Bartrosouf Got Involved! — Probably Cause Of The Bikes! — And Rec And Parks Boardwalk Hitler Bob Davis — And They Got Rid Of The Homeless! — And They Got Rid Of The Bikes! — And All The Park Avenue Housedwellers Were Happy For A Hot Second! — And Alek Bartrosouf Was All Like Now Get Planters! — And Here — Says Boutrosouf — Is Eric Garcetti’s Special Planter Catalog To Get Them From!

Well, dang! I already wrote the whole story in the title! Sorry! Except for one important bit, which is that it seems like there’s a little bit of evidence here that CD11 is actively encouraging housedwellers to put in planters to keep their neighbors away. Bonin’s transpo deputy, Alek Bartrosouf, spent months working with some housedwelling residents of Park Avenue getting rid of an encampment and, once it was gone, was all like “put in planters!” It’s not exactly conclusive but it is suggestive.

Here’s the background, part one. The other day I received a bunch of materials about homelessness from the Department of Recreation and Parks. The whole stack is up on Archive.Org. And here are links to some of the prominent items:

Emails between Bob Davis and CD11 folks — These are emails between Boardwalk Hitler Bob Davis of Rec and Parks and various minions at CD11.
Rec and Parks LAMC 63.44 Standard Operating Procedure — LAMC 63.44 is the equivalent of LAMC 56.11 for parks. This invaluable document explains RAP procedures for confiscating and destroying the property of homeless people located inside parks.
Park cleanup request flowchart — A one page decision guide for RAP personnel involved in property confiscation and destruction.
LAMC 63.44 — The text of the law.

And the background part two has to do with those appalling planters, placed illegally on sidewalks by housedwellers to prevent encampments from forming because they hate homeless people so much and have zero respect for the rule of law if it impedes the progress of their inhumanity. This is a huge problem in Venice and elsewhere around the City. And mostly, like I said, the planters are illegal.

And it’s obvious that the City of Los Angeles is aiding, abetting, and conspiring with the bloodthirsty housedwellers that install the damn things, but it has been pretty hard to find actual explicit evidence of the conspiracies,1 so we2 are forced to try to piece together proof of what’s going on. And in this email chain between Bonin’s Transportation Deputy, Alek Bartrosouf, and a bunch of housedwellers, there is just the tiniest bit, as I said, of evidence.

A great deal of the conversation is transcribed below, but the short version is that after months of helping the housedwellers get rid of the homeless encampment and some offensive bike racks, Bartrosouf emailed the ringleaders, one of whom is named Melba Levick (melbalevick@gmail.com), thus:

On Aug 27, 2018, at 18:24, Alek Bartrosouf <alek.bartrosouf@lacity.org> wrote:

Hi Melba,

I was happy to help, although it took a lot of people who contributed to making it happen seamlessly. I have spoken with Gail and Ira about how we can make that area even more beautiful with some landscaping ideas. It would be awesome to have some tree wells and planter boxes to ‘green’ the block but also create a welcoming environment for you, your neighbors, and guests of Venice. Hopefully something like that can be entertained in the near future, ideally with support and direction from the neighborhood council. It is outside my realm of work (I focus on transportation specifically) but happy to help however I can.

Have a great week!

Best,

Alek Bartrosouf

And a little later in the conversation Bartrosouf emailed a few other ringleaders with this charming little missive:

Lauren & Mark

I’ll just leave this here :)

http://peoplest-prod.azurewebsites.net/plaza/

The Kit of Parts is helpful and can be inspiring.

Best,

Alek

The Kit of Parts he mentions is this PDF, consisting of recommended outdoor furniture items for plazas in Los Angeles, including really heavy planters. It includes detailed information on how and where to buy them. Now, there’s a difference between this situation and most of the planters in Venice in that it’s not clear that Bartrosouf is recommending illegal placement. He seems to be recommending that the open space at the west end of Park Avenue between Speedway and the Boardwalk be somehow turned into a plaza and piled up legally with a bunch of junk to prevent re-encampment. But it’s what we have. Turn the page for a transcription of the months-long discussions between the City and the housedwellers that led to the planter-placement recommendation.
Continue reading Park Avenue Is A Venice Walk Street — Runs Between Speedway And Pacific — And In 2018 The Park Avenue Housedwellers Were Just Fed Up — They Were Feeling Really Overrun With Homeless And Bike Racks — And Their Homeless And Bike Problem Was On National TV! — And They Wrote To Bonin Venice Flunky-Boy Taylor Bazley — And Somehow Bonin Transpo Maven Alek Bartrosouf Got Involved! — Probably Cause Of The Bikes! — And Rec And Parks Boardwalk Hitler Bob Davis — And They Got Rid Of The Homeless! — And They Got Rid Of The Bikes! — And All The Park Avenue Housedwellers Were Happy For A Hot Second! — And Alek Bartrosouf Was All Like Now Get Planters! — And Here — Says Boutrosouf — Is Eric Garcetti’s Special Planter Catalog To Get Them From!

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Newly Obtained 2016 Emails Show That Senior Assistant City Attorney Valerie Flores And Chief Assistant City Attorney David Michaelson Agreed With This Blog That Banning Adults Without Children From Selma Park Was Illegal — Even As Flores Caustically Blamed Rec And Parks For Removing Signs She Had Tacitly Admitted Should Have Been Removed — No Matter What Kerry Morrison, Eric Garcetti, And Mitch O’Farrell Said About It — Further Evidence Linking O’Farrell’s Universally Mocked 2016 Proposal To Ban Adults From City Parks With Reopening Of Selma Park — Also New Info On The Content Of Mitch O’Farrell’s Feverish Delusions About Drug Dealers Overrunning The Largely Vacant Real Estate In His Head

OK, brief recap1 on the situation with Selma Park in Hollywood! In September 2015 I discovered that the Hollywood Entertainment District BID had illegally placed signs on the outer fence of the Park stating that adults without children were banned and in October 2015 Rec and Parks removed the illegal signs. Morrison engineered this years-long illegal exclusion of the people of Los Angeles from their public park because, despite her stridently self-proclaimed Christianity, she was angry that people were using the park to share food with one another.

Subsequent investigations showed that dozens of people had been arrested in the park for violating these illegal restrictions, although none were prosecuted and that current school board candidate and former Public Works Commissioner Heather Repenning, at that time a staffer for Eric Garcetti back when he was repping CD13, was deeply involved with Kerry Morrison, the BID’s very own Ilse Koch, in the illegal park closure process.

Documents proved that Morrison’s gestapo wannabes, the Andrews International BID Patrol, had been deeply involved in the ongoing series of civil rights violations engendered by the illegal park closure, not only by chasing people out of the park who had every right to be there, but by making actual custodial arrests as well, contrary to Morrison’s vehement but mendacious denial that this had ever occurred.

Subsequently, in December 2016, Mitch O’Farrell introduced a motion in Council seeking to amend the Los Angeles Municipal Code to allow the City to ban adults without children from playgrounds in LA Parks. He linked this explicitly to the reopening of Selma Park. This crapola motion was supported by Kerry Morrison, whose idea it must have been, but universally mocked and opposed by all sane people in Los Angeles and some not so sane ones as well. Even people who live east of San Bernardino took some notice of O’Farrell’s incipient crackpot fascism. And thus did the proposal die in committee in December 2018.

And just recently I received a massive set of emails between people at RAP and Mitch O’Farrell’s Hollywood field deputy Daniel Halden.2 And buried amonst them was this lengthy email conversation from November 2016 between various folks at RAP, Daniel Halden of CD13, and Valerie Flores and David Michaelson of the City Attorney’s office discussing Selma Park, those illegal signs, this blog, and, interestingly enough, me, who, like the bloody-handed henchman she is, Flores calls “a serial CPRA abuser.”3

And interestingly enough, more than a year after the signs came down, Valerie Flores tells RAP to put the signs back up, but only on the playground, not on the park itself. Which is pretty ridiculous, since they never took the signs down from the playground and no one, to my knowledge, ever complained about the signs on the playground. The discussion even escalated to Chief Assistant City Attorney David Michaelson, who also stated definitively that the City could not ban adults from the entire park, but only the playground.

Given that they’re falling over themselves here to admit that I was right all along about the damn signs, you’d think that instead of calling me names these people might have been grateful to me for merely calling attention, rather than leaving them to get sued, to the fact that in the City’s nauseating eagerness to do whatever random crapola Kerry Morrison demanded of them, they’d been violating people’s civil rights for a freaking decade4 by arresting them for being in a park they had every right to be in.

Also interesting is the fact that Flores quoted Mitch O’Farrell on the reason for the signs going back up:5 “According to the Council Member, after the sign was removed, the Selma Park became overrun with drug dealers and other criminal elements.” If you know the area, you’ll know this is a lie. You’ll also suspect that Mitch O’Farrell has never been near that park in his life and that the lie was almost certainly put into his mouth by Kerry Morrison.

And, shedding some light on the genesis of the universally mocked CF 16-1456, Flores announces that “Next week we will work with RAP to discuss options for the area of Selma Park that does not include the children’s play area.” Of course, by now it’s clear that there are no such options or they would have banned everyone but the damn cops from that poor beleaguered little park by now. The whole conversation is very, very much worth your time, and if you turn the page you’ll find a transcription, reordered chronologically for ease of reading.
Continue reading Newly Obtained 2016 Emails Show That Senior Assistant City Attorney Valerie Flores And Chief Assistant City Attorney David Michaelson Agreed With This Blog That Banning Adults Without Children From Selma Park Was Illegal — Even As Flores Caustically Blamed Rec And Parks For Removing Signs She Had Tacitly Admitted Should Have Been Removed — No Matter What Kerry Morrison, Eric Garcetti, And Mitch O’Farrell Said About It — Further Evidence Linking O’Farrell’s Universally Mocked 2016 Proposal To Ban Adults From City Parks With Reopening Of Selma Park — Also New Info On The Content Of Mitch O’Farrell’s Feverish Delusions About Drug Dealers Overrunning The Largely Vacant Real Estate In His Head

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City Attorney Submits Proposed Street Vending Ordinance To Council — Mostly Kicks Can Down Road To 2020 By Instructing Rec and Parks And BSS To Write Regulations For Council Approval — But Does Include Hard-Coded Ban Of Vending At Venice Beach, Pueblo De Los Angeles, And Within 500 Feet Of Walk Of Fame, Dodger Stadium, Hollywood Bowl, Coliseum, Staples Center On Event Days

September 2018 — A taquera Oaxaqueña plies her trade on Vermont Avenue north of Slauson.
In September Jerry Brown signed into law Ricardo Lara’s monumental SB 946, basically invalidating all municipal bans on street vending in California. One week later the Los Angeles City Council instructed the City Attorney to draft a compliant ordinance. And yesterday the City Attorney’s drafts1 hit the Council File. You can read the drafts for yourself:

These also came with a report from the City Attorney.

The main difference between the drafts seems to be that in the first version the Bureau of Street Services will be responsible for licensing vendors and enforcement won’t start until 2020. In the second version the City will choose a private contractor to administer the program. There may be other differences that I didn’t notice.

In neither case is it possible to tell right now what legalized street vending will look like in Los Angeles. Both drafts require Recreation and Parks and the Bureau of Street Services to draw up detailed regulations for vending in parks and on the streets respectively, and what these will look like is almost completely undetermined by the language of the ordinances. Although, if the earlier-announced positions of Rec and Parks and of BSS are going to be implemented, we’re in for another long ugly fight which will probably include more lawsuits.

Despite the inchoate character of these drafts, though, it seems that there are some prohibitions which the City Attorney feels are too important to be left up to the vagaries of the administrative rule-making process. These are as listed in the headline, and as transcribed and discussed below after the break.
Continue reading City Attorney Submits Proposed Street Vending Ordinance To Council — Mostly Kicks Can Down Road To 2020 By Instructing Rec and Parks And BSS To Write Regulations For Council Approval — But Does Include Hard-Coded Ban Of Vending At Venice Beach, Pueblo De Los Angeles, And Within 500 Feet Of Walk Of Fame, Dodger Stadium, Hollywood Bowl, Coliseum, Staples Center On Event Days

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City Council Continues Its Long Slide Into Delusion With Respect To Street Vending Regulation As Rec And Parks Files Proposed Rules — Banning Vendors Within 250 Feet Of Playgrounds, Bathrooms, Buildings — Within 500 Feet Of Senior Centers — Which Would Keep Them Altogether Out Of Most Parks In Los Angeles — This Is Obviously Not “Narrowly Tailored To Meet Safety, Health, And Welfare Concerns” — The City Is Begging For Yet Another Lawsuit

In September Jerry Brown effectively ended almost a decade’s worth of lunatic zillionaire opposition to street vending in Los Angeles when he signed into law Ricardo Lara’s monumental SB-946, which puts really strict limits on what municipalities can do to regulate vendors. In particular the law explicitly forbids cities to ban street vending anywhere other than for reasons “[d]irectly related to objective health, safety, or welfare concerns.”

And briefly it appeared that the City Council was going to try seriously to meet the challenge of developing compliant regulations But then things, as they often will do over at 200 N. Spring Street, rapidly devolved into fractious fractionated factionalism, with each Councilmember rushing about adding ad hoc restrictions, limitations, and so on at the mere behest of any zillionaire with $700 to kick into the old officeholder account. And yesterday this trend went on, worsened, and weirded up with the opening of supplementary Council File CF 13-1493-S6, which has to do with regulating vending in City parks.

The new law allows cities to regulate street vending in parks to some extent, and this council file is a response to that permission. It’s very sparse right now, having only started yesterday, and contains only a set of regulations proposed by Rec and Parks, a recommendation that the Council adopt them, and some kind of cover sheet. Now, Lara’s bill does allow cities to regulate vending in parks slightly more broadly than in general. In particular it allows regulation to protect “the scenic and natural character of the park” and some similar considerations. However, regulations must still be narrowly tailored to address these concerns.

But the restrictions in RAP’s proposal are anything but narrowly tailored, and there’s no plausible way they address the kinds of concerns that the law allows. For instance they contain a blanket ban on vending “within 250 feet of any building, recreation center, bathroom, structure or playground” and “within 500 feet of any school site, camp, youth activity center or senior center located on park property” and within “25 feet of any park fountain, statue, monument, or art installation.” Think of the parks you’re familiar with in Los Angeles. How many of them have any part that’s more than 250 feet from a building or a bathroom or a playground? If adopted, these regulations will constitute a de facto ban on vending in parks, which obviously isn’t consistent with the law.

It’s going to be interesting in some kind of abstract lookie-loo way to watch the City try to explain how a blanket prohibition from selling sliced mango within 250 feet of a bathroom is “[d]irectly related to objective health, safety, or welfare concerns,” how selling a taco within 500 feet of a senior center is “[d]irectly related to objective health, safety, or welfare concerns,” and so on. It’s also going to be interesting to watch the lawsuits that are sure to be filed if the City adopts this nonsense and ever tries to enforce it. It would be more interesting, of course, to watch the City government behaving like mature lawmakers. That, though, is never going to happen, so we have to take our enjoyment where we can.

And turn the page for a transcription of the so-called time, place, and manner regulations being proposed by RAP. I only quoted the worst ones above, but the rest of them are also not good, and therefore worth reading.
Continue reading City Council Continues Its Long Slide Into Delusion With Respect To Street Vending Regulation As Rec And Parks Files Proposed Rules — Banning Vendors Within 250 Feet Of Playgrounds, Bathrooms, Buildings — Within 500 Feet Of Senior Centers — Which Would Keep Them Altogether Out Of Most Parks In Los Angeles — This Is Obviously Not “Narrowly Tailored To Meet Safety, Health, And Welfare Concerns” — The City Is Begging For Yet Another Lawsuit

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The Hitherto Unrevealed Origin Story of the Illegal Selma Park “Kids-Only” Restrictions: How Kerry Morrison’s Irrational Hatred Of Homeless Feeding Programs Led Her To Lie About Everything And Then Lock The Public Out Of Selma Park

Kerry Morrison freaking hates well-fed homeless people, which is why she orders her BID Patrol bullies to spy on feeding programs like this one and why she will use lies and subterfuge to destroy public access to a park for everyone just so homeless people can’t eat there.
My colleagues and I have spilled a great deal of metaphorical ink explaining exactly how Kerry Morrison hung up fake kids-only signs in Selma Park in 2007, thereby stealing 8 years of access from the people of Los Angeles, and the issue has taken on some renewed currency by virtue of her newly revealed conspiracy with Mitch O’Farrell regarding restrictions on playground use in City parks. But until fairly recently we didn’t really know why she’d done it.1 Well, it turns out that the explanation was lurking in her BID’s 2006 First Quarter report to the Clerk’s office, wherein we read:

HED staff and the security team continue to monitor the situation in Selma Park, where a Saturday feeding program for homeless individuals has overtaken a park intended for neighborhood children. Attempts will be made to organize the families to prevail upon the council office to declare the entire park a “children’s only” playground.

Now, where in the world, I wonder, did Kerry Morrison get the idea that Selma Park was “intended for neighborhood children”?
Continue reading The Hitherto Unrevealed Origin Story of the Illegal Selma Park “Kids-Only” Restrictions: How Kerry Morrison’s Irrational Hatred Of Homeless Feeding Programs Led Her To Lie About Everything And Then Lock The Public Out Of Selma Park

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Mitch O’Farrell Deserves Any Amount Of Bad Press For Sucking Up To Kerry Morrison About Kids And Adults In Playgrounds But The Recent L.A. Times Editorial And Subsequent Internet Freakout Criticizing Him Are Kind Of Off Base

Mitch O’Farrell in a strip-mall somewhere yelling about something.
Our work on Selma Park has been getting a lot of action over the last couple days since the L.A. Times published this editorial criticizing a recent motion of O’Farrell’s. The Times puts it thus:

City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell has proposed barring adults unaccompanied by children from entering playgrounds. It’s an effort, he said, to keep city parks “free of creepy activity.” Who wouldn’t want to ban creepy activity or creepy people from playgrounds?

This editorial prompted a massive ongoing freakout on Reddit, followed by O’Farrell’s feckless denial on Twitter and moving from there to a blog post by the incomparable Lenore Skenazy, then on to Slate, and then everywhere. And the way the Times describes the issue is certainly frightening:

But what O’Farrell is proposing goes far beyond targeting worrisome activities that, in most cases, are already outlawed. It would bar any adult from sitting on a bench, exercising or otherwise enjoying public space near
[a] playground unless he or she brought a child along. Is this really necessary?

One of the legitimate, Recreation and Parks Commission approved, signs at Selma Park stating that use of the playground is restricted to children and caregivers. The sign cites LAMC 83.44 and Penal Code section 653g, neither of which actually exists.

According to the Times, Mitch O’Farrell proposed this motion because Hollywood residents complained about drug dealers in some park. But Mitch O’Farrell is famous for confusing Kerry Morrison and her dimwit BID buddies with residents of Hollywood. He thinks they’re his constituents even though none of them live in Hollywood. He’s made this error with respect to tour bus regulation, and also street characters, and also Hollywood nightclubs. In each of these cases, “Hollywood residents” has turned out to be code for “Kerry Morrison.”

So even though I don’t yet have documentary evidence to back it up, my best guess is that this story about Hollywood residents complaining about a park is O’Farrell-speak for something like the following chain of events: Kerry Morrison and her armed flunky Steve Seyler bitched and moaned about the HPOA’s illegal signs being removed from Selma Park.1 O’Farrell then probably asked the City Attorney how to ban grownups from the park again. Probably the City Attorney told him at that point that it wasn’t possible, because it’s not, and probably it also came up at this point that the City’s official signs banning adults without kids from actual demarcated playgrounds were really outdated, given that neither LAMC 83.44 nor Penal Code section 653g actually exist.

Of course, not only is it certainly illegal to cite people for violating repealed laws, but it’s almost certainly illegal for the City to post signs threatening to cite people for violating them in order to keep them out of places that they legally have the right to be. So Kerry Morrison and Mitch O’Farrell, faced with the possibility of the removal of even the official signs,2 settled, I’m thinking, on the very motion that is currently undergoing two minutes hate from the Internet.

And the motion the Internet is hating on is a scary thing indeed. But it’s not the motion O’Farrell actually made. In its entirety the real motion says:3
Continue reading Mitch O’Farrell Deserves Any Amount Of Bad Press For Sucking Up To Kerry Morrison About Kids And Adults In Playgrounds But The Recent L.A. Times Editorial And Subsequent Internet Freakout Criticizing Him Are Kind Of Off Base

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Update on Selma Park Situation: Kerry Morrison Makes Crucial Admission Against Interest, Andrews International Misleads Regarding Past Actions, Records Requests from LAUSD and Neighborhood Council Still Pending

Selma Park in April, 2007, after it became a target of the BID but before they opened fire.  We have no hard evidence yet, but we'd say that this photo of a man dancing happily in the park was intended to depict the kind of thing that must be STOPPED!
BID Patrol surveillance photo of Selma Park in April, 2007, after it became a target of the BID but before they opened fire. We have no hard evidence yet, but we’d say that this photo of a man dancing happily in the park was intended to depict the kind of thing that must be STOPPED!
Long-time readers of this blog will recall that in late 2007 the HPOA put signs up in Selma Park in Hollywood which stated ominiously:

Children’s Play Area Only
Adults Not Accompanying Children Prohibited
Sec 653b, subdivision a, CA Penal Code

We discovered in September 2015 that these signs were placed illegally, informed the LA Recreation and Parks Commission, and they were removed within 14 days of our communication with RAP. Read here for more background.
Close-up of former sign in Selma Park falsely claiming it to be a "Children's Play Area Only."
Close-up of former sign in Selma Park falsely claiming it to be a “Children’s Play Area Only.”

Our correspondent, Mike has made and continues to make innumerable requests for public records in order to help us sort out exactly what happened in that park. Today we’re going to update you on some requests that did not result in the production of records, but whose outcomes yielded interesting information nevertheless.

First, on November 16, 2015, Kerry told our correspondent that “A/I says that after looking into this, it is unlikely that any arrests ever were made by A/I in Selma Park with specific regard to the signs and penal code section you recite (as opposed to public urination, drinking, and other reasons)…” While we have no doubts at all that that’s what A/I (Andrews International) told Kerry Morrison, who on all evidence is a scrupulously honest person, their statement is flat-out not true, which to us indicates consciousness of guilt on their part. The details follow after the break.

Furthermore, in that same response, Kerry Morrison admitted that she has no records proving that the elements of the statute cited were ever met for anyone arrested for being in that park without children. If this is accurate, and we have no reason to doubt that it is, then even if the BID had had some authority for placing the signs, which they did not, any arrests made by the BID in the park for violating PC 653b(a) were false arrests. The explanation of this is a little wonkish, and can be found after the break.
Continue reading Update on Selma Park Situation: Kerry Morrison Makes Crucial Admission Against Interest, Andrews International Misleads Regarding Past Actions, Records Requests from LAUSD and Neighborhood Council Still Pending

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New Documents About Selma Park From the HPOA, New Document Storage System

An official BID Patrol photo of the Selma Park playground on April 27, 2011, entitled SELMA PARK VANDALISM.  Because everyone knows that drawing on a playground with freaking chalk is vandalism.  Fucking savages.
An official BID Patrol photo of the Selma Park playground on April 27, 2011, entitled SELMA PARK VANDALISM. Because everyone knows that drawing on a playground with freaking chalk is vandalism. Fucking savages.
First of all, I reorganized our documents. I think the new system will make it easier for you to find things. I know it’ll make it easier for me to add new material, and I have a lot of stuff coming in soon. The “Document” menu in the header now leads to a link and an iframe pointing at this page, which is just a raw files and directory set-up. For now I’m only allowing http access, but I might set up ftp access in the future. In any case, have at it! The only problem left unsolved is how to host the 15+ gigs of photos I have on hand. I’m working on a solution involving dropbox, since archive.org has turned out to be pretty slow for that many images and Flickr seems complicated for bulk uploads and metadata editing. I could be wrong about this, though. More news soon. Second, there’s a bunch of new stuff about Selma Park. Read on for details.
Continue reading New Documents About Selma Park From the HPOA, New Document Storage System

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Selma Park Once Again Free and Open to the Public After Seven Long Years!! How Will Hollywood Ever Be Made Whole?

The open gates of Selma Park once again welcome all people into their loving embrace as God and the Department of Recreation and Parks intended.
The open gates of Selma Park, shimmering in the miraculous light of the golden hour in lovely Los Angeles, once again welcome all people into their loving embrace as God and the Department of Recreation and Parks intended.
A little more than two weeks ago, we reported that, despite the fact that someone, probably the HPOA, had posted a bunch of signs to the contrary, Selma Park, at the corner of Selma Avenue and Schrader Blvd., was, according to the LA City Recreation and Parks Commission, actually open to all people, including adults without children in their care. At the time he received this information from RAP, our correspondent told the commission about the signs and the arrests and asked if they could remove the signs. He never heard back, but when walking by this afternoon, he was pleased to note that the signs were gone. So, he tells us, he sat in the park for an hour reading and also took some pictures!
Before and after picture of the area to the right of gate.  Note unfaded paint beneath former location of sign in most recent (right-hand) picture.
Before and after picture of the area to the right of gate. Note unfaded paint beneath former location of sign in most recent (right-hand) picture. Click to enlarge.
Now, this is a very good thing. And we look forward to many fine hours eating lunch in the park and playing checkers on the super-cool built-in tile boards on the picnic tables.

“But,” as the man said, “let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.” There are four issues left unresolved here:
Continue reading Selma Park Once Again Free and Open to the Public After Seven Long Years!! How Will Hollywood Ever Be Made Whole?

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