Tag Archives: Van Nuys

LAPD to Illegally Incarcerated Michael Brown Protesters: “Your [College] Degrees Don’t Matter Here.” “I Guess No Instagram Or Twitter Tonight.” “You Wanted To Play The Game — This Is How WE Play The Game.” Selection of Documents From Amha v. Los Angeles Available

Different protest, same shit.
Different protest, same shit.
I’m reporting on the progress of Chua v. Los Angeles (to the best of my legally limited ability) for this blog. The recently filed joint discovery plan in that case mentioned a number of other pending civil suits against the City of Los Angeles arising out of the same set of Michael Brown / Ferguson protests Downtown in 2014. One of these, Amha v. City of LA, caught my eye, so I downloaded a few of the briefs from PACER. I don’t have time to analyze these, but I’m putting them in a directory here, also available through the menu structure above to some extent. I’ll be updating it as new stuff is filed, and may write on it if the mood strikes me. Meanwhile, after the break, see some of the horrid stuff the LAPD did and said to this poor lady after arresting her when she was walking past a protest on her way home from the gym, as alleged in the initial complaint.
Continue reading LAPD to Illegally Incarcerated Michael Brown Protesters: “Your [College] Degrees Don’t Matter Here.” “I Guess No Instagram Or Twitter Tonight.” “You Wanted To Play The Game — This Is How WE Play The Game.” Selection of Documents From Amha v. Los Angeles Available

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City Ethics Commission Prepares to Revamp Lobbying Laws; Proposal Builds, Improves on Version Torpedoed in 2010 by Unholy Threesome Consisting of Kerry Morrison, Carol Schatz, and Eric Garcetti

Jessica Levinson, president of the City Ethics Commission, star Lawprof at Loyola, and righteous local media darling.
Jessica Levinson, president of the City Ethics Commission, star Lawprof at Loyola, and righteous local media darling.
If you’ve read the Municipal Lobbying Ordinance of the City of Los Angeles, you will have noted that it’s a bitch to enforce. It defines a lobbyist to be someone who is compensated to influence City action on behalf of a third party for 30 or more hours in any consecutive three months, and then requires lobbyists so-defined to register with the City. Imagine trying to use CPRA and other methods available to the public to pin that beef on some BID employee… I can tell you it’s not an easy task.

You may recall that between 2008 and 2010 the CEC tried to get this unwieldy definition changed to one whose details I won’t go into here, but which would have been far easier to enforce. For whatever reason, Carol Schatz, Kerry Morrison, and a few less luminous lights of the BID world including the perennially mockable Downtown Russell Brown decided for reasons known only to them and their therapists that this was going to destroy the very foundations of Los Angeles. As is their wont, they proceeded to get really fussy and scratch at their own faces till mom made them put their mittens on soon Eric Garcetti, at that time chair of the Rules and Elections Committee, smothered the whole baby in its bed for no discernible reason other than to please his darling BID-babes Kerry and Carol.

Eric Garcetti to Kerry Morrison in 2010: "You don't want to have to register as a lobbyist?  Whatever baby wants, baby gets."  Except, of course, baby still has to register, it's just next to impossible to prove it.
Eric Garcetti to Kerry Morrison in 2010: “You don’t want to have to register as a lobbyist? Whatever baby wants, baby gets.” Except, of course, baby still has to register, it’s just next to impossible to prove it.

So now the staff of the CEC, whose Executive Director is the same Heather Holt who got tarred, feathered, and mocked by Garcetti over this very same issue in 2010, has prepared a new proposed revision of the definition of lobbyist. The Commissioners will be discussing it at their upcoming meeting on August 9, 2016. The new proposal owes some debts to the last proposal, but its central point is quite different. It’s a change to a compensation-based rather than a time-based definition, which is fairly standard around the rest of the country:

We recommend returning to a compensation-based definition and that “lobbyist” be defined as an individual who is entitled to receive $2,000 or more in a calendar year for attempting to influence a City matter on behalf of another person. The attempt to influence would include a direct communication with a City official or employee, and compensation could be either monetary or non-monetary.

Continue reading City Ethics Commission Prepares to Revamp Lobbying Laws; Proposal Builds, Improves on Version Torpedoed in 2010 by Unholy Threesome Consisting of Kerry Morrison, Carol Schatz, and Eric Garcetti

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Music, Freedom, Sharing, Love, Humanity: All Flourish Unhindered by Creepy Zillionaire Social Engineers in Not-So-Rare BID-Free Zone in the Valley; Contradictions Regarding Street Vending Heightened Beyond Sane Believability

A sign showing the way to an underground, illegal concert in a home in the Valley that's not in any BID.  We can only imagine the hissing, spitting, convulsive fit that BIDs would throw if this kind of thing were discovered on their territory.
A sign showing the way to an underground, surely illegal concert in a home in the Valley that’s not in any BID. We can only imagine the hissing, spitting, convulsive fit that BIDs would throw if this kind of thing were discovered to exist, let alone to be flourishing, on their territory.
Last night a few of us MK.org staffies were blessed to attend something called a house concert at someone’s home in Van Nuys. This is, as you might guess, a concert in someone’s house. The audience donates money to get in and the money all goes to the musicians. There was food at the break for free, but with donations accepted. We found out about this by chance, and soon discovered that it’s not a one-off thing or even just some local eccentricity, but part of a full-blown fricking nationwide movement! Also, these people in Van Nuys have been doing this about once a week for, we believe, more than twenty years. We’re going to be vague about the details because the whole thing is certainly illegal and we don’t want to be the ones to tip off the heat, but nevertheless it’s all operating suprisingly openly.
Instruments on the floor of the garage/performance space in the back yard of a house in Van Nuys before the music began.  Look, it's someone's freaking garage!
Instruments on the floor of the garage/performance space in the back yard of a house in Van Nuys before the music began. Look, it’s someone’s freaking garage!
Here’s the deal. Some people we met at a show in Silver Lake1 the other day told us that this thing was happening and where to find contact info on the web. We looked it up, emailed the contact, phoned the contact, were told the address, took the Red Line to North Hollywood and the Orange Line to Van Nuys and then walked over to an actual normal house on a normal street in the Valley. You can see from the images what we found there, and the music was fabulous, and we met a bunch of very interesting people. I mean, we’re as opposed in theory to vicious criminal conspiracies as the next folks, but this one had really positive results! We’re as in favor in theory of governments of laws rather than of men as the next folks, but damn it, this whole thing was just too wonderful to seriously be illegal. And what does this have to do with the BIDs? Why, we’re glad you asked! Turn the page to find out.
Continue reading Music, Freedom, Sharing, Love, Humanity: All Flourish Unhindered by Creepy Zillionaire Social Engineers in Not-So-Rare BID-Free Zone in the Valley; Contradictions Regarding Street Vending Heightened Beyond Sane Believability

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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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Kerry Morrison in Van Nuys: Where the home in the valley meets the damp dirty prison / Where the executioner’s face is always well hidden1

Tailgunner Kerry Morrison giving a performative demonstration of effective methods for keeping public meetings respectful, civil, and orderly.
As you probably know, the city of Los Angeles has been holding public hearings to gather input on possible frameworks for legalizing street vending. We’ve written before about the May 28 meeting in Boyle heights: once, twice, and thrice. Now, at last, we take up the June 11 meeting in Van Nuys. We’re starting things off with our old friend, Ms. Kerry Morrison. You can listen to her statement here or read a transcription after the break. We’ve also written about Kerry’s description of the meetings at the Joint Security Committee in July:

there were a series of four hearings that the chief administrative office staff held on the… the sidewalk vending ordinance. … It’s just this kind of amorphous set of hearings, which were completely dysfunctional, disrespectful, and almost, um, resembled a circus.

In the same meeting, Kerry explained that she wasn’t putting up with this, not for a second, and told everyone what she’d done about it:

So actually, Carol Schatz and I wrote a letter to Herb Wesson, the president of the city council after that meeting saying this is, this is really not being, you know, well-handled, there’s no security, it’s intimidating to people, there are people who did not want to testify. So the subsequent two hearings were, um, maybe a little bit more well-behaved.

As Ronald Reagan said in 1970, "If it takes a bloodbath to silence the demonstrators let's get it over with."   The lyrics are cruder than Kerry Morrison's,  but the tune's the same.1
As Ronald Reagan said in 1970, “If it takes a bloodbath to silence the demonstrators let’s get it over with.”
The lyrics are cruder than Kerry Morrison’s, but the tune’s the same.2

Well, we put our fearless correspondent on the case and he went out and got us a copy of this letter. As is usual with Kerry when she’s writing in this genre, outraged-with-veneer-of-politesse-and-diplomacy white supremacism, the letter manages to combine utterly competent, even stylish, syntax with semantics that wouldn’t have been out of place in a 1970-era Ronald Reagan psychotic fever dream about students running wild in the streets of Berkeley. Read on for details and more!
Continue reading Kerry Morrison in Van Nuys: Where the home in the valley meets the damp dirty prison / Where the executioner’s face is always well hidden1

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The True Facts About the May 28, 2015, Community Sidewalk Vending Meeting at Boyle Heights City Hall Revealed Here (With Audio) for All to Hear and Judge and Opinionate Upon! Part 2: Devin Strecker

Devin Strecker, Director of Communications and Social Media of the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance.
Devin Strecker, Director of Communications and Social Media of the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance.

If you’re keeping score at home, you’ll recall that earlier we wrote on the May 28, 2015, meeting at Boyle Heights City Hall about street vending, focusing on Hollywood Entertainment District BID board member Alyssa Van Breene’s comments. You will also recall HPOA Executive Directrix Kerry Morrison’s description of the proceedings:

there were a series of four hearings that the chief administrative office staff held on the… the sidewalk vending ordinance. … It’s just this kind of amorphous set of hearings, which were completely dysfunctional, disrespectful, and almost, um, resembled a circus.

Now listen, O citizens of Hollywood, to HPOA staffie Devin Strecker speaking before the same meeting:

Also sprach Devin Strecher:

There’s a transcription after the break if you care to read rather than to listen, and after the break’s where we’re going to separate the wheat from the chaff, which is a valid if cliched metaphor even if, as in this case, there’s no wheat atall.
Continue reading The True Facts About the May 28, 2015, Community Sidewalk Vending Meeting at Boyle Heights City Hall Revealed Here (With Audio) for All to Hear and Judge and Opinionate Upon! Part 2: Devin Strecker

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Kerry Morrison Accuses Street Vending Proponents Collectively of “Almost Resembl[ing] a Circus,” Being “Completely Dysfunctional [and] Disrespectful,” and “Being Bused in,” Elides True Nature of Putative Coalition

Kerry Morrison at the July 9, 2015 meeting of the Joint Security Committee being the opposite of dysfunctional, disrespectful, and circus-like.
Kerry Morrison at the July 9, 2015 meeting of the Joint Security Committee looking mighty fed up with something while at the same time, of course, being nondysfunctional, nondisrespectful, and in no way resembling a circus.
We’ve written before about the HPOA’s crazed-and-at-the-mouth-foaming opposition to Councilmembers Huizar’s and Price’s proposed ordinance legalizing street vending in the city of Los Angeles. We’ve written about the HPOA’s scheme to send its agents to public meetings in the ill-concealed guise of concerned citizens opposing the ordinance. Today we report on Kerry Morrison’s recent discussion of her experience orchestrating that whole fiasco. We’ll analyze it line by line, and you can watch the whole thing here and/or read a transcription after the break.

there were a series of four hearings that the chief administrative office staff held on the… the sidewalk vending ordinance. … It’s just this kind of amorphous set of hearings, which were completely dysfunctional, disrespectful, and almost, um, resembled a circus.

This painting by Georges Seurat almost resembles a circus also, but, and this is a subtle point but sound, Cela ne veut pas un cirque.
This painting by Georges Seurat almost resembles a circus also, but, and this is a subtle point but sound, cela ne veut pas un cirque.

Kerry’s been on before about this issue, people not treating her agents provocateurs to what she delusorily imagines to be the duly appropriate level of forelock-tugging, although she hits a new high note1 here. We mean, we weren’t at the hearings, but it’s hard to imagine that they were dysfunctional. It’s easier to imagine that perhaps Kerry’s mistaken the purpose. It’s hard to see how a public hearing can be disrespectful without being told towards what or whom it’s disrespectful. Does she mean the hearing was disrespectful towards her minions? What is it that they’ve done to earn anyone’s respect? Perhaps she means something else. And as for the hearings “almost…resembl[ing] a circus,” well, we imagine that’s nothing more than the reaction of someone who has done her illegal best to make sure that the public doesn’t feel welcome at the meetings she’s the boss of to finding out that she’s not the boss of every meeting in Los Angeles and, just possibly, maybe not so welcome at all of them her own self.
Continue reading Kerry Morrison Accuses Street Vending Proponents Collectively of “Almost Resembl[ing] a Circus,” Being “Completely Dysfunctional [and] Disrespectful,” and “Being Bused in,” Elides True Nature of Putative Coalition

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HPOA-Backed Anti-Street-Vending Agents Provocateurs Exposed, Mocked in Boyle Heights; Kerry Morrison Characteristically Misses Point, Whines About Incivility

Kerry Morrison, who uses gun-wielding thugs as tools to terrorize, kidnap, torment, and ridicule people but nevertheless expects herself and her henchmen to be treated with politesse on all occasions
Kerry Morrison, who uses gun-wielding thugs as tools to terrorize, kidnap, torment, and ridicule people but nevertheless expects herself and her henchmen to be treated with politesse on all occasions
The release of the HPOA’s quarterly newsletter is always an interesting time here at MK.org secret headquarters. On the one hand we’re always aghast at the latest stupidity, cupidity, mental rigidity, and white privilegidity on display. On the other hand, we always end up with a bunch of topics about which to write. The Summer 2015 issue is no exception.

As every regular reader of this blog knows by now, the HPOA is hysterically opposed to the legalization of street vending in Los Angeles. They’ve entered into conspiracies with the abhorrent Central City Association to subvert the democratic process through astroturfing and mendacity. And, according to Kerry Morrison, writing in the newsletter:

Devin Strecker, Alyssa Van Breene, Kerry Morrison, and a bunch of unindicted co-conspirators
Devin Strecker, Alyssa Van Breene, Kerry Morrison, and a bunch of unindicted co-conspirators


Before an ordinance is drafted, the CLA [Chief Legislative Analyst] staff presided over a series of public hearings to gain input from the community. Staff representing both BIDs, along with board members, attended each of these hearings and expressed the concerns of the business community. However, members of the business community were outnumbered easily 10:1 at these hearings.

Hollywood board member Alyssa Van Breene and staffer Devin Strecker attended the first meeting on May 28 in Boyle Heights. When they tried to share their concerns the audience booed. Though there were no boos or hissing at the second hearing on June 11 in Van Nuys, the audience was unruly and disrespectful to those testifying against the ordinance or speaking on behalf of small business.

Now, Kerry is well-known for her bluenosed Mrs. Grundyism, and we’ve grown somewhat accustomed to it, but this is really over the top, even for her. Let’s restate this in human language, shall we?
Continue reading HPOA-Backed Anti-Street-Vending Agents Provocateurs Exposed, Mocked in Boyle Heights; Kerry Morrison Characteristically Misses Point, Whines About Incivility

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