Tag Archives: Tree Trimming

Tree-Trimming Ordinance Revisions Scheduled for Public Works Committee on Monday, June 27 at 1 p.m. Jessica Lall of the South Park BID Files First Opposition. Our Letter Appears Here and You Can Send a Copy if you Want!

We have a lot of really pretty trees in Los Angeles.  Let's not let the BIDs prevent us from taking good care of them for our children just because they're too fricking cheap to pay for a permit.
We have a lot of really pretty trees in Los Angeles. Let’s not let the BIDs prevent us from taking good care of them for our children just because they’re too fricking cheap to pay for a permit.
Last week I reported that the Bureau of Street Services’s response to O’Farrell and Ryu’s motion on tree-trimming was set to face some opposition from business improvement districts. Well, tonight, Jessica Lall of the Southpark BID, who seems generally sane, but evidently is not, has fired the first shot across the bow of the proposal in the form of a letter to the Committee. You can read it. It’s the usual bogus anti-government whining about layers of bureacracy and don’t impede the private sector and blah-de-blah-blah-blah. Anyway, I fired off my own letter to the committee, which you can read after the break, but, more importantly, which you can download here in Microsoft Word format so you can send a copy of your own. I know it seems bogus to sane people that a bunch of cookie-cutter letters would have an effect on our Councilmembers, but it seems that, in fact, they do. The necessary email addresses are:

councilmember.buscaino@lacity.org
councilmember.martinez@lacity.org
councilmember.huizar@lacity.org
councilmember.price@lacity.org
councilmember.ofarrell@lacity.org
councilmember.ryu@lacity.org
Continue reading Tree-Trimming Ordinance Revisions Scheduled for Public Works Committee on Monday, June 27 at 1 p.m. Jessica Lall of the South Park BID Files First Opposition. Our Letter Appears Here and You Can Send a Copy if you Want!

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HPOA to Oppose O’Farrell/Ryu Motion on Tree-Trimming. Kerry Morrison: This is Overkill. John Tronson: I’m Having a Fundraiser for Mitch; I will Talk to Him. Mark Echevarria: What the Fuck is a Tree Surgeon?! Hurr Hurr Hurr

The Hollywood Property Owners Alliance supports laws that prioritize the view on the right over the view on the left.
The Hollywood Property Owners Alliance supports laws that prioritize the view on the right over the view on the left.
Maybe you remember in January when Outfront Media illegally, immorally, and with reckless disregard, vandalized a bunch of trees in Silver Lake. Well, that’s smack in the heartland of Mitch O’Farrell world, so the CM and his compatriot David Ryu introduced a motion directing the Bureau of Street Services to figure out how to prevent this kind of horror in the future (the full council file CF 15-0467-S4 is here). It’s a little off-topic, but nevertheless interesting, to note that Outfront is a client of megalobbyist Veronica Perez, at whom Silver Lake residents directed a lot of justified rage on Facebook and elsewhere about this issue in March.

Well, in April, BSS came back with a list of proposed amendments to the City tree-trimming ordinance, and they mean to put some teeth into it, and as we know, our old friends the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance just hate to have to follow any laws at all since, they think, laws are what criminals break and we’re not criminals.

HPOA staffies Kerry Morrison and Matthew Severson, who propound the views of their masters with a level of passion that only the paid flunkies of zillionaires seem to be able to muster, frame it as a matter of more misdirected and incompetent government regulation. Real-estate zillionaire, BFF of Kerry Morrison, and revealed plagiarist John Tronson is gonna talk to Mitch about it at the fundraiser next week. Mark Echevarria, boss of Los Angeles spiritual/cultural nexus Musso & Frank, proves that you don’t have to be a genius to run a holy site by chuckling over the fact that he’s never heard of tree surgeons. It’s just yet another display of ignorance, privilege, and conspiracy to bribe public officials; business as usual at the HPOA. You can watch the whole thing here, see a complete transcription after the break, and turn the page for line-by-line commentary.
Continue reading HPOA to Oppose O’Farrell/Ryu Motion on Tree-Trimming. Kerry Morrison: This is Overkill. John Tronson: I’m Having a Fundraiser for Mitch; I will Talk to Him. Mark Echevarria: What the Fuck is a Tree Surgeon?! Hurr Hurr Hurr

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John Tronson in Van Nuys: Money doesn’t talk, it swears1

John Tronson at the Joint Security Committee meeting on April 9, 2015, giving a performative demonstration via mouth-closure that he’s not, at the moment the picture was taken, lying.
The city of Los Angeles has been holding public hearings to gather input on possible frameworks for legalizing street vending. Yesterday we began discussing the June 11 meeting in Van Nuys by considering Kerry Morrison’s statement. Today we move on to John Tronson. You can listen to his statement here or after the break, where a transcription is also available. Audio of the entire meeting is available here. We’re just going to look at John’s statement one piece at a time.

Good evening. My name is John Tronson. I’m a member of the Hollywood Entertainment District, which is a property-owner based business improvement district in Hollywood.

All these people start off by saying something true. It’s meant to lull your suspicions. Don’t let it.

Some people think that because they pay taxes with their own money, the taxes they pay are still their own money after they’re paid. If they start taking this idea too seriously they’re likely to wake up one morning to find a bunch of people wearing this badge while knocking down their door with a battering ram.

We spend three and a half million dollars a year of our own money to clean the streets of Hollywood, to trim the trees, to provide additional public safety and paint out graffiti.

The way a property-based BID works is this: If the majority of the property owners in a district agree, the city adds an extra assessment to their property tax, keeps some part of the money raised for administrative overhead, and distributes the rest back to the BID to spend on specific kinds of services in the district. There are two important points to remember. First, a BID can be established over the objection of individual property owners. Only a majority need approve. Second, once a BID is established, the assessment is no longer voluntary. It is compulsory. Non-payment is punishable by the full range of state action2 up to and including violent confiscation of property. In other words, this assessment, once paid, is a tax. After all, income tax might be considered voluntary in this same sense. The Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution was put in place by elected representatives, so in a way, the people to be taxed consented to the taxation. But now that it’s in place, income tax is no longer voluntary, just as BID assessments are no longer voluntary. This is consistent with the standard definition:

Al Capone, yet another guy who confused "taxes" with "his own money" and had to have the distinction explained to him in a fairly forceful manner.
Al Capone, yet another guy who confused “taxes” with “his own money” and had to have the distinction explained to him in a fairly forceful manner.

Tax: A compulsory contribution to the support of government, levied on persons, property, income, commodities, transactions, etc., now at fixed rates, mostly proportional to the amount on which the contribution is levied.3

Now, everyone who pays taxes has, at one point or another, thought of that money as still their own. But really, it’s not. Try telling a cop not to give you a ticket because you pay their salary with your “own money.” Try telling a professor at UCLA they have to give your kid an A+ because it’s your “own money” that supports them. It’s a losing argument. Taxes, once paid, belong to the public, not to the people who paid them. BID assessments are taxes. BID assessments are public money. Now, as to John’s statement about what they do with that public money, it’s true as far as it goes. That’s not all they spend the money on, but they do spend it on that. We won’t argue. Onward!
Continue reading John Tronson in Van Nuys: Money doesn’t talk, it swears1

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