Tag Archives: South Los Angeles Industrial Tract BID

Tons of New Documents: Gateway To LA BID Emails And Minutes, Also South Los Angeles Industrial Tract Minutes

This is just a brief note to announce the publication of a bunch of stuff from the Gateway to LA BID out by the Airport. Its executive director, Laurie Hughes, is a pleasure to work with. She’s calm, professional, has read the law, and abides by it. She and Mr. Mike Russell of the Wilshire Center are absolutely the two best BIDdies to work with when it comes to CPRA. There are also some minutes from the SLAIT BID. But enough fuzzies, and on to the goodies!

First, from the South Los Angeles Industrial Tract, we have Board meeting minutes from 2007 through Feb. 2016. I have a request out for the more recent ones, and look for them here soon.1 Much more importantly, as I mentioned above, Ms. Laurie Hughes has just recently provided me with a ton of emails and Board minutes, and you can find links and descriptions after the break.
Continue reading Tons of New Documents: Gateway To LA BID Emails And Minutes, Also South Los Angeles Industrial Tract Minutes

More Than Two Months After Its Business Improvement District Came Into Being, The Venice Beach Property Owners’ Association Has Not Yet Signed An Administration Contract With The City Of Los Angeles, But A Comparison With Other Recent BID Establishments Suggests That This May Not Mean Much

Carl Lambert, officer of the Venice Beach Property Owners Association, as he might have appeared on the cover of the late lamented Berkeley Barb which, given the parallel tragedies which have befallen both Berkeley and Venice, is kind of appropriate in a way sorta kinda..
Well, since the first of the year, I have been obsessively checking the contract search tab of the City Clerk’s Council File Management System for any sign of an agreement between the City and the Venice Beach Property Owners Association, as that criminal conspiracy between Carl Lambert and his unindicted co-conspirators Mark Sokol and Steve Heumann is known to the world, for the administration of the Venice Beach BID. The CFMS1 is an essential tool, but its built-in search engine is freaking horrible, and it seems even horribler2 when searching contracts. So the fact that no contract popped up day after day after day didn’t exactly fill me with confidence in the theory that no such contract existed.

But today, after two freaking months with no sign of it, I finally emailed the ever-helpful3 Shannon Hoppes to ask if there was a contract or not. She answered quickly and told me that there was not yet any such thing. Well, hope springs and so on. Into my head sprang joyous visions of Carl Lambert and his infernal BID-buddies Mark Sokol and Steve Heumann being so overwhelmed with the furor and pushback called into being by their infernal BID that they took their BID-ball and went home. They are being sued, their shadowy BID consultant, the Divine Ms. Tara Devine, has as shaky a grasp on the law and also on the truth and also on basic human decency as her freaking clients, and maybe the pressure was all just too much for them, mused I.

But it also occurred to me that maybe it didn’t mean anything, and it was just runna-the-mill incompetence and sloth. So I decided to check out other recent BID establishments and compare. What I found proves that, while there has been a longer than average delay between the establishment of the VBBID and the signing of the contract, it’s not an outlier, nor is it the longest such lag time among property-based BIDs established in the last few years. Thus while this at-least-two-month delay between the BID establishment may yet turn out to be a sign of good things to come with respect to this BID, for now it’s not possible to draw any conclusions at all about it. Turn the page for the technical details.
Continue reading More Than Two Months After Its Business Improvement District Came Into Being, The Venice Beach Property Owners’ Association Has Not Yet Signed An Administration Contract With The City Of Los Angeles, But A Comparison With Other Recent BID Establishments Suggests That This May Not Mean Much

BID Consulting Engineer Ed Henning Seems To Earn $9,000 For A BID Renewal/Establishment. Also A Bunch Of Board Minutes From The Historic Core Reveal … Nothing! But We Have ‘Em Anyway!

Blair Besten of the Historic Core BID — a colorful character, to be sure, but somewhat repetitive…
Earlier this week, not-so-shadowy BID consultant Susan Levi, who among other things serves as the Executive Director of the South Los Angeles Industrial Tract BID, sent me a copy of the SLAIT BID’s transactions by vendor from January 2013. The most interesting item, or at least the item I’m presently most interested in right now, appears on page 3, under “Edward Henning & Associates.” Edward Henning, of course, is a consulting engineer and seems to have made something of a career of preparing the engineering reports which are mandated by the Property and Business Improvement District Law of 1994 at §36622(n) for BID establishments.1 A little arithmetic reveals that the SLAIT BID paid Henning $9,000 for their 2015 renewal. This is roughly 10% of the approximately $80,000 which the consultant seems to earn. There’s no moral to this story, at least not yet. It’s merely the latest datapoint I’ve collected in my attempt to understand the finances of BID establishment and renewal.

Also recently I received a bunch of minutes from the Board meetings of the Historic Core BID, and you can turn the page for a link and some brief comments.
Continue reading BID Consulting Engineer Ed Henning Seems To Earn $9,000 For A BID Renewal/Establishment. Also A Bunch Of Board Minutes From The Historic Core Reveal … Nothing! But We Have ‘Em Anyway!

Crucial Breakthrough In Anti-BID CPRA Pragmatics From City Clerk: Miranda Paster Accepts My Argument And Thereby Releases Mailing List For South Los Angeles Industrial Tract BID!

Standard Plating at 826 E 62nd Street in the South Los Angeles Industrial Tract BID.
Standard Plating at 826 E 62nd Street in the South Los Angeles Industrial Tract BID.
One of the primary problems faced by anti-BID activists is that it is next to impossible to find out how to get in touch with the property owners involved in the BID. It’s politically necessary to do so because as matters stand now they are the only people who can get rid of a BID, so we have to be able to send them propaganda.1 This problem was crucial in the (ongoing) struggle against the Venice Beach BID,2 with both the City and CD11 claiming that the mailing list was not a public record. I chipped away and chipped away at this and finally, a couple months ago, Miranda Paster accepted my arguments and handed over the list.

For technical reasons, though, that victory was not applicable to BIDs in general.3 You can read the details in the above-linked-to post. So the next step is to find a way to get a mailing list for any BID. This is still ongoing, but today another one of my intermediate, more restricted, strategies was successful. It’s based on this June 15, 2015 report from Miranda Paster to Holly Wolcott.4 The crucial bit is the statement that:

On June 18, 2015, staff mailed out notice of public hearing and ballot packages for the renewal of the South Los Angeles Industrial Tract and Granada Hills Business Improvement District and notice of public meeting and public hearing for the renewal of the Los Angeles Tourism Marketing District.

Recall that for months, Miranda Paster put me off the mailing list for the Venice Beach BID by claiming that it was the property of shadowy BID consultant Tara Devine and not, therefore, a public record. Thus the success of these requests hinges on the precise definition of what a public record is, and for that and subsequent discussion, you have to turn the page.
Continue reading Crucial Breakthrough In Anti-BID CPRA Pragmatics From City Clerk: Miranda Paster Accepts My Argument And Thereby Releases Mailing List For South Los Angeles Industrial Tract BID!

Lots of New Documents: CD5 Food Coalition Emails, CD13 HPOA Emails, Carol Schatz and Mike Feuer Material, 2016 Quarterly Reports From A Bunch Of BIDs

The subterranean archives at MK.org are filling up fast!
The subterranean archives at MK.org are filling up fast!
Just a quick post this fine Saturday morning before heading off to Canter’s for breakfast. I’ve been quietly uploading stuff to Archive.Org over the last few weeks, and there’s gotten to be quite a bit of unannounced material over there:

And turn the page for material to do with Carol Schatz, Mike Feuer, and a bunch of highly assorted quarterly BID reports from the first half of 2016.
Continue reading Lots of New Documents: CD5 Food Coalition Emails, CD13 HPOA Emails, Carol Schatz and Mike Feuer Material, 2016 Quarterly Reports From A Bunch Of BIDs

Now Available: Miranda Paster’s Weekly Reports to Holly Wolcott on the Activities of the Neighborhood And Business Improvement District Section of the City Clerk’s Office

city_clerk_logoI’m pleased to announce the availability of 30 months of weekly reports from Miranda Paster in her capacity as head of the Neighborhood & Business Improvement District Section of the Los Angeles City Clerk to City Clerk Holly Wolcott. These are available through this page in the menu structure or directly from here. Finally, they are available at Archive.Org. They are full of fascinating information.

In particular, they show that as early as the week of September 30, 2014 the Clerk’s staff was meeting with Venice Beach BID Proponents. The Clerk’s staff also met with VBBID proponents on August 17, 2015 If you look at the weeks surrounding that date you’ll see that they were meeting with Tara Devine on a weekly basis even that early, not to mention the fact that they met with CD11 staff on January 13, 2015 about the BID and Mike Bonin himself in February of 2015. I’ve requested records relating to that meeting from everyone in sight, but don’t have super high hopes anything more will turn up. This rounds out the story of this set of handwritten notes by someone at CD11 of that very meeting. And there is a lot more stuff in these reports, some of it quite shocking.
Continue reading Now Available: Miranda Paster’s Weekly Reports to Holly Wolcott on the Activities of the Neighborhood And Business Improvement District Section of the City Clerk’s Office

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.”

Business Improvement Districts As A Force For White Supremacy in Twenty-First Century Los Angeles

This is the most obvious and least dangerous form in which white supremacy expresses itself.
This is the most obvious and least dangerous form in which white supremacy expresses itself.
My colleagues and I spill a lot of metaphorical ink referring to business improvement districts and their Boards of Directors as white supremacists, and we certainly stand by that position. However, it’s recently come to my attention that not everyone in our audience is familiar with the literal meaning of the phrase. Evidently it strikes some people as a generic, semantically empty insult, or else they’re confused by the fact that the phrase refers to at least two fairly distinct ideologies. Thus I thought it would be useful to explain in detail why BIDs are in a very literal sense white supremacist organizations.

First let’s get the definitions straight. As always, our friends at Wikipedia give us a good starting place. Their article on white supremacy tells us that the phrase has two principal meanings. The salient one for our purposes is that white supremacy is:

…a political ideology that perpetuates and maintains the social, political, historical and/or industrial domination by white people

It’s crucial to note that there’s nothing inherently racist about this kind of white supremacy.1 Now, the history of the racial segregation of real estate in Los Angeles is well-known, and Hollywood was at the forefront of it from the early years of the last century. What’s not so well understood is how racially segregated the commercial real estate market was. In fact2 it was certainly more segregated than residential real estate, since white people owned much of the commercial real estate even in areas of the City where nonwhites were allowed to own houses.3
Continue reading Business Improvement Districts As A Force For White Supremacy in Twenty-First Century Los Angeles

How to Destroy a Business Improvement District in California: A Theory

This would be an effective, emotionally satisfying, and poetically just way to get rid of business improvement districts, but I'm hoping for something a little more environmentally friendly.
This would be an effective, emotionally satisfying, and poetically just way to get rid of business improvement districts, but I’m hoping for something a little more environmentally friendly.
DISCLAIMER: I’m not a lawyer. But I’m friends with some lawyers. More than zero of them did not laugh out loud at the idea you’re about to read. That’s all I got.

Business improvement districts in California are made possible by the Property & Business Improvement District Law of 1994.1 It’s worth reading, or at least skimming through, because there’s gold in them thar hills! For instance, consider Section 36670(a)(1), which states:

36670.(a) Any district established or extended pursuant to the provisions of this part … may be disestablished by resolution by the city council in either of the following circumstances:

(1) If the city council finds there has been misappropriation of funds, malfeasance, or a violation of law in connection with the management of the district, it shall notice a hearing on disestablishment.

Do you see the potential in that statement? The fact that it’s a tool for laying waste the BIDs of Los Angeles like so many Philistines? It’s a little hard to understand statutes, but here’s a clue: when they say “shall” they mean “must,” not “can.” Now turn the page to find out why this little statute, if not more powerful than Doug Henning and his sparkly rainbow suspenders as pictured above, is possibly as effective a BID repellent but much, much more emotionally satisfying than mere poofsly-woofsly magical annihilation.
Continue reading How to Destroy a Business Improvement District in California: A Theory