José Huizar was scheduled to speak at yesterday’s South Park BID board of directors meeting, so off I went to record the goings-on for history’s sake. The entire video is here on YouTube and Huizar starts here. His remarks were even more devoid of content than usual, although I’ll have something to say about them soon.1
The CM was, however, late to the meeting, leaving his brand-new Downtown District Director, Carol Schatz’s former event planner, the one and only Joella Hopkins, CSEP, CMP, MBA, to extemporize for a surprisingly long time, starting here. As always there’s a transcription after the break.
The focus at first was on homelessness. In particular on the usual story about how essential it is for the City to build enough housing so that the LAPD can start arresting every homeless person in sight. She then moved on to what she characterized as “a rise, a more blatant rise in public safety issues with transients or mentally ill assaulting our residents on the street.” And while Joella Hopkins’s remarks are usually weird, her remarks here were even weirder than usual.
Scott Gray of major Skid Row property owner Capital Foresight, likely behind-the-curtain string-puller for the covert anti-SRNC lobbying campaign, was famously quoted in the Downtown News in March 2017 with respect to the Skid Row Neighborhood Council formation effort to the effect that:
…the pending proposal to divide Downtown Los Angeles into separate geographic districts will have significant fiscal and far-reaching economic impact on the entire city
Anyone who attends to the shady world of Los Angeles real estate development can easily imagine in the abstract the kinds of things Scott Gray means, but there has hitherto been very little specific information about what he was talking about.
Miranda Paster is the director of the LA City Clerk’s Neighborhood and Business Improvement Division (NABID), which administers the City’s BID program. Her job description (updated in February 2014) includes among her duties presenting at the conferences of the International Downtown Association:1…deliver formal presentations, including analyses and recommendations, to the City Council and its Committees and International Downtown Association Conferences…
The story begins in 2011,2 when BIDs gave Miranda Paster $3000 to attend the IDA’s 2011 annual conference in Charlotte, North Carolina. Take a look at this collection of emails and records of payments from 2011. These show that less than two weeks before the conference started, Paster was scrambling to get the money together to attend, but that she already had a commitment from the BIDs to pay $3000 (a log of the actual payments is included there). It seems that in 2011, Paster’s attendance at this conference was a new thing for her, as the financing was arranged in such a hurry. I’m guessing that at this point presenting at this conference was not yet part of Paster’s official duties. It’s a rare bureaucracy indeed which will not pay its employees’ expenses to carry out their duties. So the BIDs paid, buying at least a sense of obligation.
For no particular reason I asked for (and promptly received—hat-tip to Jessica Lall and Laronnia Jupiter for their law-abidingness and transparency!) 4 point something years worth of minutes of South Park BID minutes. I just now put them up on archive.org and there are direct links after the break. I’m not putting them in the directory structure as (a) I’m not hosting them locally and (b) I just got this stuff out of curiosity and it’s not that closely related to our actual mission (I mean, it might turn out to be, we’ll see…after all, Tanner Blackman, amirite?) Continue reading South Park BID Minutes 2012-2016→
Our fateful faithful correspondent recently completed a magnanimously opalesque tour de farce of historicalisticism concerning a wildly successful 2010 plot by a bunch of bitchy BIDsies along with then-councildude Eric Garcetti, le petit ami chéri de toutes les dames mignonnes des BIDs, to ruthlessly destroy a perfectly reasonable proposal from the City Ethics Commission to make it easier to figure out who’s supposed to register as a lobbyist. Well, as part of his research he ended up transcribing not just the nonsense spewed by best-BIDdie-buddies Garcetti and Morrison, but a bunch of other tangential nonsense as well. Some of it’s fascinating in its own right, and we’re planning to write about it from time to time, starting this evening with a pluperfect portion of paranoia from Downtown L.A.’s own pallidly prophetic Russ Brown himself!
We have written before about the January 2015 conspiracy comprising indefatigably feckless dudebro Steven Whiddon and various city officials, including LA City Council District 13 field deputy Dan Halden, to (probably illegally, certainly immorally) use the threat of powerwashing sidewalks outside of the Public Storage building at the corner of Willoughby and Cole as a means of removing homeless people and their possessions, in violation of both human decency and the Lavan injunction. Today we have an email chain from November 2014 which illuminates the origins of the conspiracy and also demonstrates that LA City Council District 4 operatives as well were involved in the furtherance of these misdeeds.
We join the sordid story on November 6, 2014, when someone named Marvin Cruz emailed Universal Protective Services security wallah John Irigoyen, CC-ing email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, and someone named Damien Reed, stating somewhat obscurely that:
There is alot [sic] of trash dumping here accross [sic] from 832 cole( public storage side). Also multiple 647I’s that block the aide [sic] walk. Can u [sic] contact HBT for the trash and maybe also lapd to come andtake [sic] contact with the idas.
Walking Around with Fante and Bukowski is a new collection of essays by Patricio Maya, published by Grady Miller Books. If you’re interested in the literature and culture of Los Angeles you will certainly find something in here that will interest you. Although there’s not much in here that aligns explicitly with the subject matter of MK.org, there is plenty of relevant background material for the student of abusive political power in Los Angeles.
In the title essay, Maya recounts a journey he took following Arturo Bandini’s epic journey to Long Beach in search of Vera Rifkin. One of Maya’s themes here is what he calls “the tenuous dimension between books and reality”:
You walk downtown or on Wilshire, half stoned, asking yourself if here was where Nathanael West ate, if there was where William Saroyan brawled, if Bandini slept here, if Bukowski drank there. It is a kind of derangement. But there are worse ways to spend time when you are 19 years old.