I’m a little late in writing this up, but on December 9, with the able assistance of Abenicio Cisneros and Joseph Wangler I filed yet another petition under the California Public Records Act seeking to compel the City to follow the damn law and hand over a bunch of records I had asked for ever so long ago. And as they often will do, they actually started handing them over immediately, although I haven’t gotten the most interesting ones yet.
The petition covers three major requests,1 unrelated other than by the fact that they were all made to the City’s Information Technology Agency. These are the folks to file CPRA requests for emails with if you want MBOX format, which ultimately is the best way to get emails.2 ITA is also the sole source for emails in the accounts of former City employees. Here’s a link to the very interesting petition, worth reading for many reasons and also containing every last detail of the requests at issue, described more briefly below.
I just bet that when Councildude Mitch O’Farrell moved to the City of Angels from somewhere east of San Bernardino he never expected that one day he would try to do a simple favor for what passes for a community thought leader these days in Hollywood, that is to say Ms. Kerry Morrison,3 and end up not only not making her happy but being roundly and thoroughly mocked in the national press.
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.
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).
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?
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.
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.
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.
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)…”