At least since February 2016, the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition has been publicly discussing a move away from its long-time ground zero at Sycamore and Romaine. Of course, Ms. Kerry Morrison does not like this one bit and, in her rage,1 in May, went off in a tizzy crying to Salvation Army Board member Hank Hilty, whose family owns the Northeast corner of Third and Fairfax,2 and to the Salvation Army Southern California chief-directorate-for-something-or-another in Long Beach, saying something like “Hey fellow zillionaires! We don’t like this so can you please put a stop to it?”
And just watch her little speech on the matter from May. See how her affect just screams competence, omnipotence, every-kind-of-cence-but-common-sense? Well, according to the Park La Brea News, the Food Coalition’s move is a done deal and they will start serving meals there on January 1st. So much for Kerry Morrison’s back-channel-zillionaire-solidarity methodology. But does she just admit that she’s been trying to stop this development for almost a year now and has failed utterly? Nope! She’s quoted right in the article, speaking as if from her metaphorical dais, that imaginary place of calm, controlled, power. Also sprach die Königin von Hollywood:
“[The GWHFC and Salvation Army] don’t perceive it will be much of a net increase of people coming to Hollywood, but we will have to see. I don’t necessarily buy that,” Morrison said. “The concern is not about the meal program, it’s what happens before and afterwards. When you are embarking on a project like this that is not self-contained, it is going to have implications for the surrounding neighborhood. We definitely will be watching. We will be tracking to see if there is any increase [in homeless people coming to Hollywood]. If we are 60 days into it and there is no impact, then we are golden.”
The tacit assumption here is that anyone cares whether or not she is “golden.” In fact, if anyone at all cared, she would have been able to stop the whole thing in January, when she first started tracking it, or in May, when she first started whining about it in public. But she couldn’t, so why would she be able to now? She’s putting up a good front, but she’s putting up a front.
And that’s not all! Note how she says that ” We definitely will be watching. We will be tracking to see if there is any increase [in homeless people coming to Hollywood].” Well, she’s talking about the BID Patrol watching, obviously, and that presents an interesting legal problem for her. Also, recall that CD13 Councildude and Darth Four-Eyes Mitch O’Farrell has been trying to get the Food Coalition shut down since about 20 minutes after he took office in 2013. He has something silly to say about the whole thing too. Read on, friends, for details!
As we have previously shown, the Hollywood Media District BID, within whose territory the Food Coalition currently does its work, has been spying on the Food Coalition for years. Kerry Morrison’s announcement that she will have the BID Patrol spy on the Food Coalition in their new location, then, is in a grand tradition. You may recall, however, that in June of this year, the HPOA completely rewrote its contract with Andrews International Security, which operates the BID Patrol, so that the BID ostensibly no longer has access to anything other than aggregate statistics and monthly narrative reports. All the photographs, videos, daily logs, arrest reports, and so on, which we have used to such great effect in the past, have, since June, been explicitly unavailable to the HPOA. The point, clearly, is to keep them out of our hands.
So we have to wonder just how the results of this watching, this tracking, that Kerry Morrison has publicly stated they’re going to do, is going to get from the BID Patrol to the BID? In what form will the results be transmitted? Surely something more than the usual aggregate statistics and monthly narrative reports will be needed. The first problem with that is that those reports, whatever form they take, will surely be public records, and thus at some point we will get our hands on them.
But that’s not the most important aspect of this. Obviously by now Kerry Morrison and her minions are well aware of the kind of scrutiny they’re under, and the material generated by HPOA surveillance of the Food Coalition will doubtless be prepared with that in mind. The real issue is this: The HPOA relies on this clause to deny us access under CPRA to records generated by the BID Patrol. Although they have not3 been called on to make the argument explicit, one imagines that they will claim that they do not even have access to this material, so it can’t possibly be subject to CPRA.
However, if there’s a body of material that they don’t have access to, but they can get access to it by asking Steve Seyler to hand it over, then it seems likely that the whole corpus is subject to CPRA whether or not they have yet asked for access. That is, the corpus is used by the HPOA to conduct its business, and that makes it subject to CPRA.4 Perhaps the fact that Kerry Morrison, as expected, continues to act as if all the material produced by the BID Patrol is available to her even though the contract explicitly says otherwise will turn out to be a serious problem. We’ll see, certainly, and let you know when we do.
And finally, because we like to end on a lighter note when possible,5 note that, according to the article:
Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, 13th District, has fielded concerns about the new arrangement, and he is monitoring the situation.
When he says he “has fielded concerns” what he means is that Kerry Morrison whined to Dan Halden and to Cowboy Cory Palka, head honcho of the LAPD’s Hollywood Station, and Cowboy Cory whined on her behalf to Dan Halden , and Dan Halden rolled up all this whining into one little bitter ball and passed it on to Mitch. When Mitch says that “he is monitoring the situation” he neglects to say that actually he’s been unsuccessfully trying to torpedo the situation for more than six months now. And what else, Mitch?
“We have repeatedly stressed to the Salvation Army the necessity of community involvement and outreach before moving forward with their plan,” O’Farrell said. “We will continue to discuss this collaboration between the two organizations, and see what adjustments may be necessary to ensure a positive outcome.”
What he means by that is anyone’s guess. Of course, the Salvation Army can do whatever the law allows, whether Mitch O’Farrell and his whining chorus of zillionaires and their cop-enablers like it or not.6 If Mitch could have stopped it, he would have stopped it. The fact that he’s still acting as if he has any control would be kind of cute if it weren’t so terrifying. Anyway, there is a community meeting to discuss these matters on Tuesday, November 29, at 4 pm at the Salvation Army building at 5941 Hollywood. Perhaps we’ll see you there!
Image of Salvation Army poster is in the public domain, and we got it via Wikimedia.
- Rage, but never, with Kerry Morrison, inarticulate rage. Her rage is, as, we assume is her non-rage, always articulate. At least syntactically so. The semantics are a subject for another day.
- Yes, *that* Northeast corner of Third and Fairfax.
- See Section 6252(e), which defines public records as “any writing containing information relating to the conduct of the public’s business prepared, owned, used, or retained by any state or local agency.”
- And at this point, anything to do with our esteemed Councildude is on a lighter note, except that none of it’s funny and all of it is tragic. Check out Doug Haines and/or Jessica Salans.
- We learned this in high school civics class, right here in the LAUSD, friends. Although we suppose we ought to make allowance for the fact that Mitch moved here from somewhere East of San Bernardino recently and thus doesn’t have the advantages that the rest of us share.