Tag Archives: UCLA

University Of Southern California Private Police — Are Alone Among Private College Cops In Los Angeles — In Being Allowed By The LAPD To Act As Peace Officers — And To Operate Up To A Mile Off Campus — Not Even Los Angeles Community College Cops Can Operate Off Campus — UCLA And Cal State Cops Can — But That’s Required By State Law — So Is Not Due To LAPD’s Choice — Why Does The LAPD Allow This — Especially Given The Well-Documented Abuses Of Police Power By USC Cops — Or Perhaps I Have Answered My Own Question There

As you may know, the Department of Public Safety of the University of Southern California,1 operating under a memorandum of understanding with the Los Angeles Police Department, is permitted to operate on public streets up to a mile from campus as limited-power peace officers. And as you might well imagine, they’re not using this power for socially beneficial purposes.

Their racist policies includes stops, detentions, handcuffs, interrogations of people on public streets without even a pretense that the safety of their students or their campus itself is directly involved. The racism is so blatant, so very on display, that Marqueece Harris-Dawson, an African American member of the Los Angeles City Council, has admitted that DPS even racially profiles him.

The State of California authorizes security guards working for private colleges to act as peace officers, which is legalese for having the power to arrest and probably some other stuff besides, via the Penal Code at §830.75. In order for this possibility to take effect it’s necessary for the college and the City to have a memorandum of understanding.

The law states that college security is allowed to operate within a mile of campus, but it’s not clear to me at all whether it’s mandatory that they be allowed to do so or whether their operational area can be set in the MOU. As part of my attempt to understand this and related questions about USC I’ve been collecting MOUs between various law enforcement agencies and local colleges.

I recently got a bunch of them, which you can browse here on Archive.org. They prove that USC is the only private college to which LAPD grants off-campus operating authority. Furthermore, it’s the only college in Los Angeles, public or private, to which LAPD grants off-campus operating authority voluntarily. Turn the page for links to these MOUs and more detail on what they allow.
Continue reading University Of Southern California Private Police — Are Alone Among Private College Cops In Los Angeles — In Being Allowed By The LAPD To Act As Peace Officers — And To Operate Up To A Mile Off Campus — Not Even Los Angeles Community College Cops Can Operate Off Campus — UCLA And Cal State Cops Can — But That’s Required By State Law — So Is Not Due To LAPD’s Choice — Why Does The LAPD Allow This — Especially Given The Well-Documented Abuses Of Police Power By USC Cops — Or Perhaps I Have Answered My Own Question There

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LAUSD Has About 60,000 Employees — Doctor Pamela Magee — Supreme Boss Of The Palisades Charter High School — Makes More Money Than All But Three Of Them — Which Certainly Proves Something — But Not Anything Good — Presenting Salaries Of All Pali High Employees — And Employment Contracts For Senior Staff — And Pleadings From Roya Saghafi’s Civil Rights Lawsuit Against The School — Which Makes Allegations Both Lurid And Extensive — And Entirely Freaking Believable If You Know The Palisades At All

As you may recall I’ve been working on obtaining public records from charter schools in Los Angeles, with some success.1 And one of my prime targets presently is that spider’s nest of privatizing privilege, the Palisades Charter High School. A few weeks ago, for instance, a small set of PCHS boss-lady Doctor Pam Magee’s emails revealed some interesting and reprehensible shenanigans on the part of the interesting and reprehensible California Charter School Association.

And just yesterday the Palisadesean privatizers released another small batch of goodies, which you can get your hands on here on Archive.Org. This set consists of copies of the employment contracts of PCHS senior administrators as well as a list of all PCHS employees by name, salary, and total compensation. The contracts aren’t that interesting, but there’s some good info in the list of salaries, the utility of which is a little attenuated by the fact that for whatever reason2 PCHS Director of Human Capital Exploitation Amy Nguyen3 didn’t include any of these folks’ job titles.

I have a new request in for that essential information, but irrespective of that, we do learn the fairly stunning fact that Dr.4 Pamela A. Magee is paid $218,855 per year for her labors.5 Now, everything I know about salaries at charter schools I learned from this fine article by the incomparable Red Queen in LA. And the folks she talks about there make an awful lot of money. Cosmic money. More money than Doctor P.A.M.

But they’re not actually running individual charter schools like Doctor Magee.6 So I thought I’d check out how much LAUSD pays its principals, you know, for the sake of comparison. A little Googlism7 revealed this LAUSD administrative salary schedule and this organizational chart. And what these documents reveal is pretty surprising. It turns out that there are only three LAUSD employees out of more than 60,0008 that earn more annually than Dr. Pamela A. Magee. Those are:

☆ Chief Academic Officer Frances Gipson — $255,000
☆ Deputy Superintendent Vivian Ekchian — $262,500
☆ Superindendent Austin Beutner — $350,000

So what does this mean? Well, I don’t know. The familiar things about how charter schools suck public money out of public use and use it to enrich the already-rich, I guess. About how zillionaires, intent on destroying the public realm, pay their minions well. Whatever it means, though, it’s a pretty nice illustration of one of the central paradoxes of value with LAUSD employees playing the role of water and Dr. Magee that of diamonds.

And here’s my candidate for the non-sequiturish-segue-of-the-moment, which is that whatever it is that Dr. Pam Magee is doing out there in Northwest Zillionaireville9 to earn10 her bread in the sweat of her brow, she doesn’t seem to have been able to put an end to a years-long series of despicable racist shenanigans directed against former PCHS teacher and current civil rights litigant Roya Saghafi by various PCHS employees and students and described in this complaint, filed in Superior Court in June 2018.11

And you know how we love lawsuits around these parts! I’m collecting pleadings from this one over here on the Archive. And not only that, but the trial is scheduled for July 29, 2019 at 10 a.m. in Department 72 at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse. I expect to attend, and maybe I’ll see you there! Meanwhile, turn the page for some transcribed selections from the complaint.
Continue reading LAUSD Has About 60,000 Employees — Doctor Pamela Magee — Supreme Boss Of The Palisades Charter High School — Makes More Money Than All But Three Of Them — Which Certainly Proves Something — But Not Anything Good — Presenting Salaries Of All Pali High Employees — And Employment Contracts For Senior Staff — And Pleadings From Roya Saghafi’s Civil Rights Lawsuit Against The School — Which Makes Allegations Both Lurid And Extensive — And Entirely Freaking Believable If You Know The Palisades At All

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Senior Lead LAPD Officer Julie Nony Says LAPD Continues Along The Path To Peace Paved 60 Years Ago By Ghandi [sic] And MLK — Senior Lead LAPD Officer Julie Nony Is Surprised That UCLA Students Drag Feet With Respect To Hosting Cop Discussion Group Because “This Seems Unusual For A School That Usually Participates In Protests” — Evidently Senior Lead LAPD Officer Julie Nony Is Now Assigned To The “Community Relationship Division” Of The LAPD Trying To Head Off Riots Before They Begin — TLDR: Senior Lead LAPD Officer Julie Nony Is A Lizard-Loving Moron

As you’re probably aware I have been trying to understand the situation with the Westwood Village BID and the Westwood Neighborhood Council and all them uppity UCLA students who want more bars open more hours.1 But, as you’re probably also aware, Westwood Village BID Boss BIDdie Andrew Lloyd Thomas, probably under the reeking influence of his lawyer, the ballistic barrister of Burbank, which is to say Carol Freaking Humiston, is really, really less than forthcoming with public records.2

One useful strategy for combating the kind of rabid knee-jerk obstructionism practiced by Carol Humiston’s zombie clients is to request records involving them from every possible agency that might have any. This may give access to the records more quickly.3 It’s also possible that this strategy will reveal interesting but hitherto unsuspected issues.

And that’s exactly what happened when I hit up UCLA for emails between their campus coppers and the WVBID. I threw in LAPD for good measure because LAPD is always interesting, and I got a small pile of emails, which you can find here on Archive.Org. Surprisingly, there were a bunch of emails between an old frenemy of this blog, Senior Lead Officer Julie Nony, a UCPD cop name of Kevin Kilgore, and a bunch of random undergraduate student government types.4

The short version is that Julie Nony was trying to get the students to host some blabbermouth jive known as Days of Dialogue and she was surprised that students were dragging their feet about it because everyone knows they’re a bunch of damn bomb throwing radical firebrands who would totally be interested in sitting down with some cops and having a conversation like this:

  1. Non-cops: Hey, we’re scared you’re going to kill us when we’re just walking to the corner to buy milk.
  2. Cops: I hear what you’re saying which is that you’re scared we’re going to kill you when you’re just walking to the corner to buy some milk.
  3. ????
  4. World Peace!!

Turn the page for the long version and transcriptions of the relevant emails.
Continue reading Senior Lead LAPD Officer Julie Nony Says LAPD Continues Along The Path To Peace Paved 60 Years Ago By Ghandi [sic] And MLK — Senior Lead LAPD Officer Julie Nony Is Surprised That UCLA Students Drag Feet With Respect To Hosting Cop Discussion Group Because “This Seems Unusual For A School That Usually Participates In Protests” — Evidently Senior Lead LAPD Officer Julie Nony Is Now Assigned To The “Community Relationship Division” Of The LAPD Trying To Head Off Riots Before They Begin — TLDR: Senior Lead LAPD Officer Julie Nony Is A Lizard-Loving Moron

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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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Off the Emery Wheel

off.the.emery.wheel.1The other day I got the urge to read a little more about Thurgood Marshall. The Los Angeles Public Library’s catalog led me to a book by badass civil rights lawyer Jack Greenberg (read it, it’s fabulous: Crusaders in the Courts, although it’s not the book I’m recommending). That led me to look for other books by Greenberg, and thus appeared before me a book called Off the Emery Wheel which, as you can see, was published in 1935 by an outfit in Hollywood called the Cloister Press. Clearly this was a different Jack Greenberg, but nevertheless I thought it’d be interesting to take a look.
off.the.emery.wheel.4
The LAPL’s only copy is noncirculating, and, while a trip to the big library downtown is always nice even though it’s not plausible anymore to combine it with a visit to Grand Central Market since the goddamned-hipster-douchebag apocalypse and its associated fourteen dollar “revisionings” of the Egg McMuffin and suchlike nonsense, I didn’t really have time. However, I’ve been spending a lot of time in the stacks at UCLA, working on a historical project which you’ll read about here at some point, I’m sure (and which is at least somewhat related to the Hollywood BIDs, unlike this piece) so I thought I’d check their catalog. Well, Lo! And behold, they own a copy, which I promptly ordered up out of storage.
off.the.emery.wheel.2
And what a pleasant little volume to hold this turned out to be!

Inscription in UCLA's copy of Off the Emery Wheel
Inscription in UCLA’s copy of Off the Emery Wheel
I mean, the poetry is abominable (which is why I’m not reproducing any here), but the book itself is an object of desire. And it’s inscribed by the author as well! And note the tidy little logo of the Cloister Press! A little more poking around and I was blessed to lay my hands on a promotional bookmark from the press, which shows that it was formerly located at 1608 Cahuenga Boulevard.
The Manne-Hole at 1608 Cahuenga Boulevard as it looked in its prime
I already knew about some of the storied history of this building, formerly home to Shelly Manne‘s Manne-hole, the subject of a sidewalk historical marker, but not that there’d been an artsy literary press in there.
Continue reading Off the Emery Wheel

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Sarah Besley, Urban Planning, Freeway Overpasses, Moral Panics, Confirmation Bias, Idées Fixes, and Sitcom Nazis in Hollywood

Pollyanna and her cynical, unhappy mirror self encouraging their own cognitive bias by gazing into reflections rather than the world around them
Pollyanna and her cynical mirror image encouraging their own cognitive biases by gazing only at reflections rather than seeing the actual world around them
Pollyanna, the most famous optimist in American literature, is known and celebrated as the originator and primary evangelist of “the just being glad game.” Listen, O citizens of Hollywood, as she explains it to Nancy:1

“Why, it’s a game. Father told it to me, and it’s lovely. We’ve played it always, ever since I was a little, little girl…the game was just to find something about everything to be glad about—no matter what ’twas.”2

Now, Pollyanna gets a bad rap these days, but she’s our hero, really. We haven’t the space to defend her, though, because we have to analyze a May 2014 blog post by Sarah Besley, evidently the Associate Executive Directrix of the Hollywood Property Owners Association and stuff.

Check it! Sarah Besley is scared of freeway overpasses:

In Los Feliz, even the goddamned overpasses are cute, cute, cute!
In Los Feliz, even the goddamned overpasses are cute, cute, cute!

[An overpass] may be one of the worst statements EVER to anyone who visits and certainly to anyone who lives in or around it – especially if their community has been severed in half. An overpass literally says: this community favors cars over people and I dare you to walk underneath me and emerge on the other side alive. This is the message I’ve been getting for the past couple years as I commute from Los Feliz, along Franklin Avenue, down Argyle…3

But wait! Maybe Los Felizites are scared of freeway overpasses because they don’t have any there?4 The terror of the unknown is formidable and possibly overwhelms slurbians when they come to the big town.5 Hollywoodies, living in raw urban splendor in the very heart of the city, surely just take them in stride, don’t they? The answer would appear to be yes, even on Sarah Besley’s testimony:

I’ve started noticing the unexpected number of pedestrians walking from the hills north of Franklin into downtown Hollywood with their yoga mats, shopping bags, or strollers in tow. I’m struck by the fact that people seem to walk so confidently underneath what seems to me like a very scary place.
Continue reading Sarah Besley, Urban Planning, Freeway Overpasses, Moral Panics, Confirmation Bias, Idées Fixes, and Sitcom Nazis in Hollywood

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