This is just a brief episode from the saga of the cat-kicking K-Town slumlord Bryan Kim and his unholy compact with Mitch O’Farrell’s office to trade lunch money for homeless encampment clean-ups. It seems that on March 11, 2016, while Bryan Kim was still negotiating the terms of his on-demand encampment clean-up with CD13 staff, he asked CD13 scheduler David Cano for a meet with the CM himself, Mitch O’Farrell, in the first of this series of emails:
As discussed, I’d would [sic] like to request to meet with Councilmember O’Farrell re:The Homeless Encampment issue near LA City College to see how we can collectively work together on short term and sustainable permanent solution.
Well, if there’s one thing I’ve learned about these City Government types, it’s that they never do anything on their own. Always, it’s consultations, consultations, consultations.1 So eight minutes later David Cano wrote to Aram Taslagyan and strongarm O’Farrell consigliere Marisol Rodriguez:
Thoughts? D.O. time?
This summer, thinking about the important role that LACAN’s pictures and video of LA Sanitation’s aggressive clean-ups of homeless encampments downtown have played in e.g. Mitchell v. Los Angeles, it occurred to me that it ought to be possible to get advance notice of encampment cleaning actions from the City via the California Public Records Act. Well, like everything involving CPRA, it turned out to be far more complicated than one might expect in advance.
Amazingly, Sanitation did supply me with materials. It was just the part about getting them in advance of the clean ups that was difficult. On August 5 I asked for the first time. On August 17 they asked for an extension. On September 13, after a certain amount of wheedling on my part, they sent me material for July and August, and a few days later, partial material for September. Still nothing in advance, though:
I wrote some time ago about how CD13 staffer Aram Taslagyan organized an on-demand homeless encampment clean-up at the behest of scumbag cat-kicking Koreatown slumlord Bryan Kim, who needed it done really really fast because he had some kind of inspection forthcoming. Well, yesterday,1 I managed to get copies of some new emails between Bryan Kim and various CD13 staffies on the subject.2 In particular, on March 27, 2016, Bryan Kim wrote to CD13 District Director Marisol Rodriguez3 under the subject Recognizing Aram Taslagyan, stating e.g. that4
Aram did a great job demonstrating professional excellence and swiftly took comprehensive action to utilize his alliance with other groups such as LAPD, Sherrif, groups among others. I applaud his great effort for taking care (completely clearing all homeless encampment issues.
And what are Bryan Kim’s hopes for the future?
As of 4 days later there has still been no recurrence of them revisiting on Vermont and Marathon.
We hope to continue vigilant and collective efforts as I am in contact with Braille, LACC, local and community patrons to closely monitor any future outbreak, for which I will let Aram and lapd know.
I mostly have refrained from writing about the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative because it’s too far off our beat.1 However, the Brown Act is very close to our core subject matter. So imagine my surprise on discovering Council File 16-1054, in which Council is holding a closed session to discuss the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative under section 54956.9(d)(4) of the Brown Act, which states that a closed session can be held when:
Based on existing facts and circumstances, the legislative body of the local agency has decided to initiate or is deciding whether to initiate litigation.
This clause has the dubious distinction of being the only reason for closing a session which is effectively uncheckable. All other reasons either require an existing lawsuit, which must be named in the agenda, or some kind of personnel action or other concrete action which must be reported publicly at the end of the closed session. For the “initiation of litigation” exception, though, there’s no way at all to check if they’re not just making it up. Even if they never sue anyone, they can always say that they were considering it and decided not to sue. If a local agency is willing to lie, and the Los Angeles City Council surely is, this is the clause to use to hold unauthorized closed sessions. Which is certainly what they’re doing here. I mean, who are they going to sue because the NII qualified for the ballot? So what secrets are they going to discuss this Friday? How they’re going to fund their 2017 campaigns if they can’t approve more mega-zillionaire mixed use monstrosities? Continue reading How to Evade the Brown Act: The City Council is Having a Closed Session on Friday, September 30, to Discuss the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative Because Mike Feuer Wants to Sue Somebody Over It. Yeah, Right.→
The text for this morning’s sermon, brothers and sisters, is from the Gospel of Thomas:1
Listen! A sower went out to sow. He filled his hand and cast the seed. Some fell on the road; the birds came and ate the seed. Others fell on the rock, sprouted, and dried up. And others fell on the thorns, which choked them and insects ate them. And others fell on the fertile ground of freaking Tony Hoover, founder of freaking Red Line Tours, and multiplied a freaking zillionfold into a veritable magic freaking beanstalk of crazy.
Well, the disciples of Jesus also didn’t get what he was talking about, so I guess I shouldn’t feel bad about having to fill in some backstory.
See, last week, according to the Beverly Press, Councilmoppet Mitch O’Farrell announced that he and now-retired-from-his-position-as-clean-government-poster-boy-but-still-active-as-Councilmember-more’s-the-freaking-pity David Ryu of CD4 had introduced a motion in Council to put an end to what they claim to see as the desperate, wanton, willful, and ongoing destruction of what passes for the quality of life of people who actually live in Hollywood by tour bus operators on the Boulevard, mostly between Orange and Vine. It’s something about how they try to hand you flyers and ask you where you’re from even though you are obviously from Los Angeles.2
Well, if you’ve been paying attention to this blog at all, you will immediately suspect that (a) neither Mitch O’Farrell nor David Ryu give the first flying fuck about tour buses on Hollywood Boulevard and (b) they are channeling the concerns of that master covert lobbyist and famously blue-nosed Mrs. Grundy whose nom de Hollywood is Ms. Kerry Morrison.3 Kerry Morrison is, as is her wont, concerned about what she calls “civility on the public right of way” and the rest of us call “killing off or at least arresting everyone who scares her or doesn’t have a lot of money.”
I have not yet had time to track down records pertaining to the current incarnation of Kerry Morrison’s obsession with tour buses.4 But the story in the paper reminded me that I had a bunch of unprocessed material from the City Attorney from 2012 on this very subject. So I put that all together and put it up on the Archive (as well as locally if you prefer), where you can read it at will. It concerns a so-called “Tour Bus Working Group,” put together by Kerry Morrison and including the usual representatives of the City and the Hollywood zillionaire elite.
This morning’s L.A. Times features an excellent story about how CIM Group defrauds its tenants in poverty-stricken but gentrifying areas of the City, telling them that they’re about to be evicted and offering them small amounts of money to sign releases. Of course, in Los Angeles, most low-cost rental units are covered by rent control laws which give these tenants significant protections which they don’t know about. CIM Group takes significant and soon-to-be-illegal advantage of this ignorance.
Here are eleven pages of emails from 2014 released to me yesterday by Miranda Paster of the Los Angeles City Clerk’s office.1 These provide a unique2 window into the process by which BIDs are created in the City of Los Angeles. It’s clear from these emails that, despite the fact that everyone in the City government denies it, the BID formation process is encouraged, facilitated, and inextricably interwoven with City action at every stage. Of course, this confirms precisely what the California Court of Appeal found in its landmark decision in Epstein v. HPOA: that “by giving the BID the legal breath of life, the City breathe[s] life into the POA as well.”3