As tragic as the demise of Venice has been to watch over the last five years or so, it turns out that she still has some life in her. If anyone had asked me five years ago which neighborhood of Los Angeles might successfully oppose a BID, I would have said Venice without even having to think about it. But the last half-decade, what with sociopathic techbros of both sexes in possession of orders of magnitude more money than sense buying every sliver of land in sight and thereby running the prices up into the stratosphere even as they’re hogging the waves with their irremediably Barneyfied GoPro equipped styrofoam surfboards, zillionaires remodeling the canals into a nightmare AirBnB horror show, stupid fucking restaurants that…evidently leave me speechless, all this had driven me into what I thought was an inescapable well of cynical despair with respect to the fate of this dearest of all areas of our City.
Well, tonight the Clerk’s office placed a petition with 169 signatures of Venice residents opposing the formation of a BID there and, just like that, my hope in Venice is restored! They oppose it articulately, wisely, and for all the right reasons, too:
We, the undersigned, oppose the establishment of a Venice Beach Business Improvement District (BID). We believe in public control of public resources and oppose the privatization of those resources. We support renters’ rights, both for residential and commercial renters, and oppose taxation without representation. BIDs impose taxes that renters often pay, but which landlords decide upon. BID private security forces have a track record of infringing on the rights of our lowest-income neighbors, especially those people who are unhoused. We oppose private security fources controlled exclusively by commercial and industrial interests when their impact will affect the entire community, especially those disenfranchised from BID governance.
In its meeting today the City Council is slated to act on CF 16-0749, establishing a property-based Business Improvement District in Venice. This is a tragic but expected development in the ongoing degradation of what was once the loveliest neighborhood in this city. The impending clash between BID security and the politically organized, aware, and active homeless population of Venice is going to be cataclysmic. Once this BID is up and running I will be covering it extensively. Continue reading First Step Toward Establishing Venice Beach BID to be Taken in Council This Morning→
According to an article in today’s Times by Emily Alpert Reyes and Nina Agrawal, the Los Angeles City Council is set to act today1 on Council File 15-0798, opened last June by Mitch O’Farrell and Tom LaBonge, ordering Mike Feuer’s office to write a draft ordinance regulating street characters on Hollywood Boulevard between Highland and Orange.
Sometimes we just have to share the weirdness, even if we don’t have the first freaking clue what it means. And, as our faithful readers can attest, there seems to be no real limit to how weird the weirdness can get. Seagull eugenics right here in Hollywood, courtesy of Ms. Kerry Morrison? Why, yes! While grepping around in the Andrews International BID Patrol daily activity logs looking for evidence of another matter entirely,1 we were amazed to come across the following information from November 11, 2014:
IT IS OUR UNDERSTANDING THAT KERRY HAS TRIED TO ERADICATE THE SEAGULLS IN THE HOLLYWOOD AREA BY HIRING AN EXTERMINATOR THAT FED THE SEAGULLS A FORMULA THAT SUPPOSEDLY STERILIZED THE BIRDS.
Last month we reported on a fascinating situation wherein Hollywood Property Owners Alliance Board member Evan Kaizer didn’t understand the parking laws of the City he purports to be a citizen of, got himself a ticket on Hollywood Boulevard, and instead of just sucking it up and trying, in the future, to follow the freaking parking laws like everyone else he got Kerry Morrison to email freaking Seleta Reynolds, top turtle over at the Los Angeles Department of Transportation1 hinting around that NO FAIR!!
Well, the ticket didn’t get fixed,2 but Kerry Morrison, being the politically adept Machiavellianess that she is, began the process of straw-into-gold spinning for which she’s (justly?) famous when she asked Bruce Gillman, LADOT Communications Boss, about why didn’t food trucks, which, for some reason that we’re sure is clear to her and her theraputic team, she hates with a hatred that surpasseth understanding, get bunches of tickets for parking in the same place all day cause that’s also NO FAIR!!3 That all went down in March, but in his inimitably dogged manner, our faithful correspondent has continued to investigate, and he’s turned up a couple more emails on the subject. In particular, on June 20, 2016, a mere five days ago, Bruce Gillman wrote to Kerry Morrison, saying:
FYI: Regarding the issue of citing food trucks more often, or `escalating fines’ for repeat offender, the LAMC and CA CVC would have to be amended, as they limit citations for vehicles to one ticket per offense, per day. Looping in our Chief and Deputy Chief of Parking Enforcement: Greg Savelli and Brian Hale respectively.
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:
With recent events in this country1reinvigorating the national debate over gun control, we thought it was an opportune time to present this singularly weird email from Hollywood Property Owners Alliance Executive Director Kerry Morrison to the members of the Joint Security Committee inviting them to join her out at the Andrews International Training Center in Burbank to try out the Firearms Training Simulator, pop off a few rounds at the shooting range, and eat some sandwiches provided by Andrews International catering director and senior vice president Bill Farrar.
According to Kerry Morrison, she’s gone out there to shoot multiple times, and evidently wants to share this “very humbling” experience with her compatriots on the Joint Security Committee.2 We know it sounds made up, but the text does not lie, friends:
For some time we’ve promised you an opportunity to visit the Andrews International training facility in Burbank where they have a shooting range and a FATS simulator. FATS stands for Fire Arms Training Simulator, and it presents a realistic training experience. I’ve tried this a couple times and it is very humbling and helps us all appreciate the split second judgements that must be made by law enforcement.
If any of you would like to participate, we are going to venture up to their facility next Wednesday, February 19 at 11 a.m. Bill Farrar will bring in sandwiches and everyone will have an opportunity to experience both FATS and the shooting range, if you would like. We should be ready to return to Hollywood by 1:30-2 pm.
Please RSVP to me by Monday afternoon so we can plan for food. I will also send out address and parking instructions next week.