Tag Archives: Selma Park

Mitch O’Farrell’s Universally-Reviled, Kerry-Morrison-Inspired Anti-Playground-Access Motion Is Roundly Opposed But For The First Time Not Unanimously By Los Feliz Neighborhood Council, Which In Context May Be Seen As A Sorely Needed Victory For Mitch, Who Has To Play ‘Em As They Lay In This Debacle

This is a playground in Griffith Park, which if the Los Feliz Neighborhood Council has its way will continue to be open to all Angelenos, whether or not they remembered to bring a child before using the swing set.
BACKGROUND: Recall, if you will, that this L.A. Times editorial kicked off a somewhat misguided firestorm of opposition to Mitch O’Farrell’s recent Council motion 16-1456 seeking to develop a legal tool for banning adults without children from playgrounds in parks in the City of Los Angeles.

The latest development is that the Los Feliz Neighborhood Council registered its opposition to this Kerry-Morrison-of-the-HPOA-inspired trainwreck of a motion with this eloquent statement:

A city ordinance banning adults from accessing a public playground/park area unless “accompanying a child” would unfairly penalize people by virtue of their age and deny them a public benefit afforded to others. The proposal, by its very nature, seems unduly discriminatory, and fraught with enforcement problems.

Instituting an overreaching policy by penalizing a vast majority of law‐abiding citizens in what is generally regarded as “park‐poor” city is counterintuitive. It seems to be motivated out of allaying a fear rather than ensuring a freedom. Nor does it currently contemplate the dozens of gray areas it will create regarding how it will be administered (playground boundaries, proof of age, proof‐of-guardianship, etc.), and the discord it will sow by awkward attempts to enforce it.

All good points.1 The big difference in tonight’s case is that one person actually voted against the motion to oppose,2 which means, I guess, that besides Kerry Morrison, at least one other resident of the City of Los Angeles stands with Mitch on this issue. Perhaps this will teach Mitch that it’s not always safe to do what she asks… but probably not.
Continue reading Mitch O’Farrell’s Universally-Reviled, Kerry-Morrison-Inspired Anti-Playground-Access Motion Is Roundly Opposed But For The First Time Not Unanimously By Los Feliz Neighborhood Council, Which In Context May Be Seen As A Sorely Needed Victory For Mitch, Who Has To Play ‘Em As They Lay In This Debacle

Kerry Morrison/Mitch O’Farrell Vampirical Folie À Deux Begins To Shrivel And Die On Exposure To Light As First Item In The Impending Flood Of Anti-Mitch’s-Playground-Initiative Sentiment Hits Council File In The Form Of Eagle Rock NC’s Unanimous Opposition

If the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council has its way, this park and its playgrounds will remain free and open to adults with or without children in tow.
If you’re following the story you will recall that this L.A. Times editorial kicked off a somewhat misguided firestorm of opposition to Mitch O’Farrell’s recent Council motion 16-1456 seeking to develop a legal tool for banning adults without children from playgrounds in parks in the City of Los Angeles. Of course, this motion turned out to be yet another salvo in the ongoing struggle between Kerry Morrison and all sane Angelenos for access to Selma Park, which she convinced her close personal friend and neighbor Eric Garcetti to illegally curtail because of her irrational fear that people might pass out sandwiches to homeless people in the Park once a week.

This is an old story, and a sad one. Here’s how it goes: Kerry Morrison whispers sweet nothings in the receptive ear of CD13 field deputy Dan Halden at one of their monthly breakfast meetings. Dan, who for some reason thinks Kerry and her minions are Mitch’s constituents, passes the whisper on to “his boss.”1 Mitch O’Farrell, no doubt contemplating the oodles and scads of money trickling down to him from the heavy-laden coffers of Ms. and Mr. Kerry Morrison, mutters to himself something like “That sounds good! No need to run that by anyone sane! Kerry Morrison and her money would never lead me astray!!”

But once in a while sane people are paying attention, and then all those reasons that seemed so compelling in the back room suddenly start to look a little — and then a whole freaking lot — crazy. This happens all the time.2 And it’s beginning to happen again with this whole playground thing. If you subscribe to the Council file , you will have been notified last night that the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council voted unanimously to oppose Mitch and Kerry’s motion (full text after the break if you’re PDF-averse).

This is doubtless the first droplet in what we here at MK.Org predict will be a flood of opposition. Sadly, but also hilariously, the opposers don’t actually seem to understand the letter of the proposed law, although they clearly understand the spirit all too well indeed. So let’s settle back and watch the already-at-a-fever-pitch frustration of Mitch and his spokesdude Tony Arranaga grow and grow and grow, as they issue ever-more-tightly-wound explanations until they finally and quietly decide to cut their losses and let the motion die in committee. Stay tuned!
Continue reading Kerry Morrison/Mitch O’Farrell Vampirical Folie À Deux Begins To Shrivel And Die On Exposure To Light As First Item In The Impending Flood Of Anti-Mitch’s-Playground-Initiative Sentiment Hits Council File In The Form Of Eagle Rock NC’s Unanimous Opposition

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

First Amendment Coalition Sues City of Los Angeles Over Tom LaBonge’s Illegal Records Destruction, Alleges Possible Felony Records Destruction, Eric Garcetti Still Not Held To Account For Similar Crimes

Current CD4 representative David Ryu, whose termed-out predecessor Tom LaBonge ordered the destruction of public records, leading to both an FAC lawsuit and a council motion to prevent this kind of thing in the future.
Current CD4 representative David Ryu, whose termed-out predecessor Tom LaBonge ordered the destruction of public records, leading to both an FAC lawsuit and a council motion to prevent this kind of thing in the future.
In January 2016 the Los Feliz Ledger broke the story that termed-out CD4 Councilmember Tom LaBonge had ordered the destruction of public records prior to his leaving office on June 30, 2015. Emily Alpert Reyes, writing in the Los Angeles Times reported on Thursday that the First Amendment Coalition had filed suit against the City of Los Angeles, claiming, among other things, that the destruction of this material either violated the California Public Records Act or else the fairly draconian Government Code section 6200. Thanks to FAC director Peter Scheer I have a copy of the petition to share with you, and you can read some further commentary after the break.
Continue reading First Amendment Coalition Sues City of Los Angeles Over Tom LaBonge’s Illegal Records Destruction, Alleges Possible Felony Records Destruction, Eric Garcetti Still Not Held To Account For Similar Crimes

Dan Halden and Mitch O’Farrell’s Staff are Among the Readers of this Blog and Other News from a Batch of Highly Assorted Emails from CD13

Dan Halden of CD13 forwards links to MK.org around to his colleagues and tells them not to reply.  What's up with THAT, we wonder, although we could certainly make a guess!
Dan Halden of CD13 forwards links to MK.org around to his colleagues and tells them not to reply. What’s up with THAT, we wonder, although we could certainly make a guess!
Last Wednesday our faithful correspondent and a small contingent of other MK.org staffers hit the 704 Eastbound on SMB to the Echo Park Office of Hollywood’s own Mitch O’Farrell, where he had an appointment with Hollywood Field Deputy Daniel Halden to look at both oodles and scads of very highly miscellaneous emails and other goodies.

It was our intention to follow our traditional course of conduct after such missions and hit up the loveliest Brite Spot at the corner of Sunset and Park, but ’twas not to be. For some reason known only to them and their accountant they’re closing at 4 pm throughout the Summer. One can only hope and pray that they’ll get back to normal hours later. But we digress.

The Brite Spot in May 2016.  This is your brain on diners.
The Brite Spot in May 2016. This is your brain on diners.

Here is a link to the raw scans, which we’ve barely had time to sift through. Some are renamed, but most are not. Extraneous blank pages have mostly not yet been stripped. If you’re interested in reading hundreds of pages of emails from her highness, Queen Laurie Goldman about random multi-use monstrosities in Hollywood and why Robert Silverstein is pretty much Satan incarnate we’ll hook you up! There’s even a letter from Silverstein to someone about something in there somewhere. We got a few emails about recent anti-nightclub conspiracies between Mitch O’Farrell and the cops (recall that we reported on this a lot last year). But the real gems (that’s sarcasm, of a sort) we’ll reveal below the fold!
Continue reading Dan Halden and Mitch O’Farrell’s Staff are Among the Readers of this Blog and Other News from a Batch of Highly Assorted Emails from CD13

What Else Are They Hiding? Hollywood Property Owners Alliance Completely Rewrites BID Patrol Contract to Thwart Public Records Act Requests

Selma Park was the scene of the BID Patrol's greatest crimes, or at least the greatest which have come to light.  What else is there that they're trying so very hard to keep secret?
Selma Park was the scene of the BID Patrol’s greatest crimes, or at least the greatest which have come to light. What else is there that they’re trying so very hard to keep secret?
You can watch here as the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance at its June 16, 2016 Board meeting, approves a completely rewritten contract with Andrews International, its security subcontractor, which runs the BID Patrol in Hollywood. I’m not going to bother to transcribe it, but you should take a look. It features John Tronson talking for approximately 90 seconds about changes in the HPOA’s contract with A/I. He mentions logos on cars, logos on uniforms, and if you blinked, you’d miss the ten seconds where he talks about ownership of work product, but that’s the key thing.

The new contract gives A/I ownership of ALL of its BID Patrol work product. The old contract, superseded by this one, gave the HPOA ownership of every record that A/I produced. The point, clearly, is to keep the material away from public scrutiny. If you’ve been following this blog for a while you’ll know that we have used BID Patrol arrest reports, daily logs, and photographs to expose serial civil rights violations, to analyze BID Patrol arrest rates, to mock the moronic Steve Seyler, and for many other things as well. If the whole Selma Park thing is already out, I can’t help but wonder what else they’re trying to hide by trying to make all their future records unavailable.
Continue reading What Else Are They Hiding? Hollywood Property Owners Alliance Completely Rewrites BID Patrol Contract to Thwart Public Records Act Requests

Hollywood Property Owners Alliance Formalizes Ongoing Document Destruction Policy Involving Thousands Upon Thousands of Public Records, Seemingly just to Thwart Our Investigations

Hollywood Property Owners Alliance staff members implementing their new document retention policy.  What have you got to hide, friends?!
Hollywood Property Owners Alliance staff members implementing their new document retention policy. What have you got to hide, friends?!
Longtime readers of this blog will recall that one of my very first successful CPRA requests of the HPOA yielded a bunch of emails between AI and the HPOA from October 1, 2014 through November 12, 2014. In fact there were 69 of them during this 43 day period, or more than 1.5 per day. There’s no reason that this period wouldn’t be representative, so we might expect over 500 emails total for 2014. However, I didn’t get around to asking for the rest of the 2014 emails until November of last year and didn’t receive them until January of this year. They are available here, all (only) 90 pages of them. Incredibly, HPOA supplied more distinct emails from October 1, 2014 through November 12, 2014 than they did for all the rest of 2014 when asked a year later. Statistically, therefore, it’s almost certain that they deleted a bunch of stuff. They handed over significantly more emails from 2015, almost 9 MB of them. In all cases there’s demonstrably material missing, e.g. only a small fraction of the weekly reports from AI are present. It wasn’t clear at all what was going on, although I certainly had my suspicions, until a few things happened:
Continue reading Hollywood Property Owners Alliance Formalizes Ongoing Document Destruction Policy Involving Thousands Upon Thousands of Public Records, Seemingly just to Thwart Our Investigations

2008 Selma Park Arrest Reports (and more) Now Available

BID Patrol officer Robert E. Reyes (badge #117, on left) illegally arrested a man in Selma Park in 2008.
BID Patrol officer Robert E. Reyes (badge #117, on left) illegally arrested a man in Selma Park in 2008.

We’ve been writing for 6 months now about how the HPOA put up phony signs in Selma Park in Hollywood (illegally) declaring it off-limits to adults unaccompanied by children and how the BID Patrol spent the next eight years falsely arresting people and ejecting them from the park, until we got the signs taken down by the City in September 2015. Kerry Morrison told our faithful 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)…”
Man arrested in 2008 for being in Selma Park without a child.
Man arrested in 2008 for being in Selma Park without a child.

Well, we’ve been receiving the BID Patrol’s arrest reports and daily activity logs for a while now, and recently we obtained the complete 2008 set (arrests here and daily logs here). We’ve known that Kerry’s claim was wrong for a while now (e.g. see here) and the 2008 materials provide even more evidence that she was misled by Andrews International1regarding their course of conduct in illegally arresting multiple people in the park over the years.

Note that none, not one, of the following people appears on the list of cases originating at Selma Park that our correspondent obtained from the City Attorney’s office. Keep that in mind while you read the arrest reports. They didn’t even have enough of a case to be referred for prosecution. Read on for specifics.
Continue reading 2008 Selma Park Arrest Reports (and more) Now Available

In 2007 the BID Patrol Steered Homeless Sidewalk Sleepers to Selma Park to Avoid Arrest Until December 19 When the Signs Were Up

Selma Park from the side of freedom; the inside.  Or, as Woody had it: As I went walking I saw a sign there And on the sign it said "No Trespassing." But on the other side it didn't say nothing, That side was made for you and me.
Selma Park from the side of freedom; the inside:

As I went walking I saw a sign there
And on the sign it said “No Trespassing.”
But on the other side it didn’t say nothing,
That side was made for you and me.

Late last week I obtained copies of the BID Patrol’s 2007 arrest reports and daily logs, and they shed some interesting light on the early days of the whole Selma Park fiasco. First of all, Footbeat 2’s log for December 19, 2007 reveals that the BID’s fake signs went up on or before that day:

1345/1355
EXTRA PATROL: 6765 SELMA AVE; SELMA PARK. CHECKED LOCATION FOR VIOLATORS OF NEW SIGNS POSTED PROHIBITING ADULTS WITHOUT CHILDREN AT PARK. NOTE 3 (H) MALES IN PARK IN VIOLATION AND ADVISED RE: NEW POSTED SIGNS. SUSPECTS DEPARTED WITHOUT INCIDENT.

Interestingly, this was foreshadowed as early as September, 2007. For instance, we find in the Footbeat 4 log for September 27, 2007 that OFFICERS CONTACTED SEVERAL HOMELESS RE: ISSUES IN THE PARK AND SURROUNDING AREA. WE ADVISED THE SUBJECTS RE: THE POSSIBILITY OF THE PARK BEING FOR CHILDREN ONLY. (END 1830 HOURS).

But the really unexpected fact I found in this material is that before the signs went up the BID Patrol actually encouraged homeless people to sleep in the park rather than on the sidewalk, where they were subject to arrest for violating LAMC 41.18(d). Now, this would certainly make sense in a sane world, since it was (and is) legal to sleep in the park, but not on the sidewalk. However, given the bitching and moaning that the BID put up about park-sleeping and the illegal lengths they went to to get the park declared off-limits to humans, I can’t help but suspect some kind of narrative-creating subterfuge here. It seems quite shady to intentionally fill the park up with homeless sleepers and then use the large numbers of homeless sleepers as a reason to get the park closed against them. It’s just another example of zillionaire ethics, I guess. See after the break for the evidence.
Continue reading In 2007 the BID Patrol Steered Homeless Sidewalk Sleepers to Selma Park to Avoid Arrest Until December 19 When the Signs Were Up

An Open Letter to Mitch O’Farrell Regarding Plans to Fund Andrews International BID Patrol Operations in Hollywood

March 2, 2016

Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell
200 N Spring St #450
Los Angeles CA 90012

Dear Councilmember O’Farrell,

I am writing to you regarding plans that the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance and the Los Angeles Police Department are making to extend the patrol hours of the Andrews International BID Patrol in the Hollywood Entertainment District until 4 a.m. In particular, I heard at the last HPOA board meeting that you were considering funding all or part of this program from your discretionary money. If this report is accurate, I hope that you will ultimately decide not to fund an expansion of BID Patrol hours in Hollywood. Here are a number of reasons why I think your funding this project would be a bad idea:

1. Regardless of the intention, it looks like a way to evade Police Commission oversight of law enforcement in Hollywood: This expansion of the BID Patrol’s operations is apparently being planned at the request of Hollywood Divison’s Commanding Officer Peter Zarcone. If it’s implemented it will therefore create a City-funded group of quasi-police assembled at the City’s request who are not subject to any kind of civilian oversight or control. I understand that in some technical sense the BID Patrol aren’t police, but this plan makes that seem even more like a distinction without a difference than it already does.
Continue reading An Open Letter to Mitch O’Farrell Regarding Plans to Fund Andrews International BID Patrol Operations in Hollywood