Tag Archives: Yo! Venice

Open Letter To Holly Wolcott and Miranda Paster Concerning Tara Devine’s Misleading Everyone With Her Discredited “Zoning Not Use” Theory

Holly Wolcott in her bully pulpit, explaining it all to you!
Here’s a letter I sent this morning to Holly Wolcott and Miranda Paster about Tara Devine misleading everyone with respect to the question of whether commercial properties were necessarily included in the Venice Beach BID. There’s a transcription after the break, as always, for the PDF averse.

This is a fairly serious matter, and actually illegal if it turns out to be the case that Tara Devine was required to register as a lobbyist last year, as I have alleged that she was. The point is that since the Clerk’s office is supposed to oversee BIDs, they ought to oversee BID consultants as well, and since both honesty and integrity are explicit criteria for qualifying as a BID consultant perhaps these two ought to look into whether Tara Devine is actually qualified. Turn the page for a transcription.
Continue reading Open Letter To Holly Wolcott and Miranda Paster Concerning Tara Devine’s Misleading Everyone With Her Discredited “Zoning Not Use” Theory

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Attention South Park BID Property Owners! Now Revealed!! What Shadowy BID Consultant Tara Devine Absolutely Does Not Want You To Know About Your Right To Defer Payment Of Your Assessment!!! As She Says: “It Is Not Advisable To Broadcast This”! “We Don’t Like To Advertise”!!

Shadowy BID consultant Tara Devine as deftly reimagined by the justifiably famous MK.Org technologico-informational-infrastructural machinery.
The $80,000 woman and famed co-conspirator of shady contributors and City Attorney lawsuit targets, liar and sneaky deceiver and putter of words into Mike Bonin’s mouth and subject of investigations, shadowy BID consultant Tara Devine, was the guest of honor at Wednesday’s meeting of the third creepiest BID downtown. Her appearance was recorded for this blog by an intrepid correspondent.1 The background is that the South Park BID and its little mutant offspring the South Park II BID are going to merge next year. The process is essentially as complex as starting a brand-new BID, and Tara Devine is the consultant leading the faithful through the slough of despond City bureaucracy. The South Parkies are going to miss some mandated deadline, which will cause the first year’s assessments to be billed and collected by the Los Angeles City Clerk’s office rather than by the County Assessor.

And this so-called “manual billing” has various consequences for the BID’s income that differ in various ways from what happens when the assessment is collected by the County of Los Angeles. You can listen here as Tara Devine explains one of these differences, which is a top-secret, not-to-be-advertised, not-advisable-to-broadcast, hitherto-unknown-to-anti-BID-theory hardship mercy rule. That is, for whatever reason, if the Clerk’s collecting the money instead of the County, and the property owner has a problem paying, it can be worked out:
Continue reading Attention South Park BID Property Owners! Now Revealed!! What Shadowy BID Consultant Tara Devine Absolutely Does Not Want You To Know About Your Right To Defer Payment Of Your Assessment!!! As She Says: “It Is Not Advisable To Broadcast This”! “We Don’t Like To Advertise”!!

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Now Mike Bonin Is Tara Devine’s Ventriloquist’s Dummy: How The Shadowy BID Consultant Herself Answered A Bunch Of Questions That Yo! Venice Reporter Melanie Camp Sent To Mike Bonin And How Melanie Camp Subsequently Attributed The Answers To Mike Bonin

Tara Devine in City Council Chambers at the Venice Beach BID Hearing Take 2 on November 8, 2016.
Check out this interesting series of emails from August 2016. It begins when Yo! Venice reporter Melanie Camp writes to Mike Bonin’s communications director David Graham-Caso, stating:

Hi David,

I have several questions regarding the BID. The information you provided, coupled with the information/misinformation flying around raises a couple of issues that need clearing up.

I’m interested in Mike’s opinion, as well as your own, on any or all of these.

Less than 40 minutes later, David Graham-Caso forwarded the email1 to Debbie Dyner Harris along with a terse note that said:

Can you please send this to the BID consultant to get her help with the answers?

And a mere 13 minutes after that, Debbie Dyner Harris forwarded the email2 to Tara Devine, stating:

Hi Tara. Can you please respond to her? Thanks

David Graham-Caso, CD11 Director of Communications, is a really cute guy, but also a conduit for misattributed propaganda!

Further conversation ensued, but the upshot is that, the very next day, Tara Devine sent over a page of answers, not to Melanie Camp, but to David Graham-Caso and Debbie Dyner Harris to do with as they would do. And evidently what they did do was send the answers to Melanie Camp. And evidently what Melanie Camp did was attribute the answers to Mike Bonin in the article she published a few days later, entitled Venice BID Approved.3 She not only attributed them to Mike Bonin when they were written by Tara Devine,4 but she essentially copy/pasted them into her article. You can see some specifics after the break!
Continue reading Now Mike Bonin Is Tara Devine’s Ventriloquist’s Dummy: How The Shadowy BID Consultant Herself Answered A Bunch Of Questions That Yo! Venice Reporter Melanie Camp Sent To Mike Bonin And How Melanie Camp Subsequently Attributed The Answers To Mike Bonin

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Ordinance to Repeal Venice Beach BID Ordinance Hits Council File Tonight Along With City Attorney Report Confirming That Threat of LAFLA Lawsuit Caused City’s Retreat and Impending Do-Over

Don't let the sun set on joy in Venice.
Don’t let the sun set on joy in Venice.
Although it was widely reported last week that the scathing letter sent by LAFLA to the City of Los Angeles, which pointed out that the chaotic August 23 hearing held to solemnize the impending Venice Beach BID was fatally flawed, had played its appointed role as BID-destroyer, official confirmation was pretty much lacking. That is if you don’t, and I don’t, count Mike Bonin’s mealy-mouthed statement to that slithy den of lickspittle Ryaveckian six-fingered putanginamo morons known to the world as Yo! Venice. At least Venice, of all neighborhoods of Los Angeles, isn’t walking the BID-plank like a sheep.1 Anyway, tonight two documents hit the Venice Beach BID Council File which together confirm the whole thing officially for the first time.

There is a report from the City Attorney on the matter along with a draft ordinance repealing the original ordinance of intention and serving as a new ordinance of intention. The first document is by far the most interesting of the two, confirming as it does the role of the LAFLA letter. It also makes it clear that it wasn’t just the fact that LAFLA was right that convinced the City to retreat, but the fact that LAFLA was going to sue them. Thus the stick is mightier than the carrot, or whatever. You can read a selection after the break if you prefer that to clicking on the PDF:
Continue reading Ordinance to Repeal Venice Beach BID Ordinance Hits Council File Tonight Along With City Attorney Report Confirming That Threat of LAFLA Lawsuit Caused City’s Retreat and Impending Do-Over

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Unconfirmed But Highly Plausible Report that Venice Beach BID is Repealed and Process Must Start From Scratch!!

How does Holly Wolcott know in advance how the City Council is going to vote?  Inquiring minds wanna know.
How does Holly Wolcott know in advance how the City Council is going to vote? Inquiring minds wanna know.

NOTE: This is apparently true, and Yo! Venice has the story along with a statement from Mike Bonin.

According to a Facebook post by Abbott Kinney,

BREAKING NEWS Re: the proposed Venice BID – Because the City shut off public comment, they gotta START THE WHOLE PROCESS OVER. Via City Clerk Holly Wolcott:

“The Ordinance of Establishment was adopted in Council last week. However, in light of concerns relative to the public hearing and to ensure all speakers are heard, we plan to repeal this ordinance and start the process over. This will mean a new Ordinance of Intention and a public hearing approximately 45 days from when the new ballots and packages are mailed. I do not have an actual date at this time.”1

This report is consistent with LAFLA’s objections to the process, and if true, is a major victory for anti-BID forces. Although I don’t know for sure I would bet it’s unprecedented in the history of BIDs in Los Angeles. The moral is decidedly NOT that the City made a sporadic mistake in this particular BID formation process. The moral is in fact that the City makes mistakes, breaks the law, cuts corners, all the freaking time, but generally no one is watching so their errors have no consequences. The moral is that if people watch closely they will find fatal errors in all of the City’s shenanigans.

The same is true for BIDs. They can barely open their mouths without saying something racist, they can barely run a meeting or email a Council member without breaking the law.2 They’re not used to scrutiny, and even their reactions to scrutiny just end up sinking them deeper into their morass. So the real moral is: SCRUTINIZE!

And, if you didn’t spot it, if this quote is accurate, then Holly Wolcott actually admitted that something illegal is going on over at City Hall. Turn the page for details.
Continue reading Unconfirmed But Highly Plausible Report that Venice Beach BID is Repealed and Process Must Start From Scratch!!

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Newly Obtained Emails Suggest that CD11 Had Significant Input Regarding Inclusion And Assessment of City Parcels In BID Despite Bonin, Staff Denials That This Is So

Mike Bonin discussing the fish that got away, or the process for including City parcels in a BID, or some other subject that's traditionally related with absolute veracity.
Mike Bonin discussing the fish that got away, or the process for including City parcels in a BID, or some other subject that’s traditionally related with absolute veracity.
A persistent issue in the lead-up to the Venice Beach BID has been the question of the City parcels included in the proposed boundaries. Since City parcels are always voted in favor of BID formation (although why this is is an open question), BID proponents are eager to gerrymander in as many as possible. This is a well-known tactic in the BID consultant playbook. Yesterday, however, after the Council’s shameful and probably illegal approval of the Venice Beach BID, CD11 Councilmember Mike Bonin was quoted in Yo! Venice claiming not only that there was no gerrymandering, but that there could not have been gerrymandering:

The Venice BID boundaries were determined based on the same rules as every other BID, which excludes any residentially-zoned land (but includes commercially-zoned, industrially-zoned and government/public facilities-zoned parcels). The BID proponents decided to include all of the property that is eligible for assessment west of Abbot Kinney (which already has a Merchant’s Association that functions similarly to a BID). This is consistent with state and local law.

This statement is disingenuous at best. Sure, an engineer’s report is required, and there has to be a justification of why the boundaries are set where they’re set, but the “rules” that Bonin seems to be claiming ensure fairness only say which properties can’t be included. They don’t say anything about where the boundaries have to go. So the decision to include a strip of Venice Blvd, notably bereft of businesses of any kind, into the BID is allowed under state law and can be justified easily enough in the report since it’s not residential, but it’s hard to see any purpose for this other than to increase the City presence in the BID, which is certainly gerrymandering. 1 Finally, note that Bonin seems to be intentionally conflating the idea that the boundaries were “determined” by state law with the idea that they’re “consistent with state” law. If boundaries are determined there’s no choice. There are many choices among things that are consistent with the law.
Continue reading Newly Obtained Emails Suggest that CD11 Had Significant Input Regarding Inclusion And Assessment of City Parcels In BID Despite Bonin, Staff Denials That This Is So

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