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.
Well, the Los Angeles Times reported yesterday that Mitch O’Farrell, accompanied by LAPD Hollywood Boss-o-Rootie Peter Zarcone, gave a press conference out on the Boulevard explaining that nightclubs are really bad and if they break the laws, they’re going to be treated like homeless people and subjected to laser-focused nit-picksy iron-fisted enforcement. And the Weekly reported the same story but with much saucier photographs. O’Farrell even used the motherfricking Q-word:
This culture is diminishing the quality of life for people who live here and we are determined to bring them into compliance or shut them down.
Pro-tip: Whenever anyone ever under any circumstances in any official capacity says the Q-word, not only are they lying, but they’re going to be aiming a gun at you quite soon.
But none of these news stories reported on why Mitch is doing this and why he’s doing it now. Long-time readers of this blog will recall exactly where we have heard this nonsense before. That is, only at EVERY freaking BID meeting we’ve ever attended. There was the one where they hated on nightclubs cause their clientele is too dark-skinned and poor and the one where they conspired with Zarcone to institute hyper-enforcement in an effort to get liquor licenses pulled and so on. Mitch isn’t cracking down on nightclubs because anyone who lives in Hollywood cares. He didn’t even ask anyone who lives in Hollywood. This is nothing more than the latest delusional scene in the fevered psychodrama of Kerry Morrison’s and John Tronson’s and jittery little psychopath Carol Massie’s neurotic mental relationships with the wrong kind of people having the wrong kind of fun in public in Hollywood. What they’re saying when Mitch O’Farrell’s mouth is moving is that their ideal Hollywood denizens are white people who spend a lot of money quietly and go home in an orderly manner before midnight. You know, like they have in Minneapolis or something. Continue reading MK.Org Scoops Freaking Everybody with the Story Behind the Story of Mitch O’Farrell’s Anti-Hollywood-Nightclub Denunciations, Threats, and Posturings→
We have previously noted that the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance arrests an awful goddamned lot of people for drinking in public. Furthermore, they maintain an utterly schizophrenic attitude about public drinking, arresting the homeless while not arresting the non-homeless for this most natural of human activities. We have suggested that the BID could solve this problem by merely ceasing to enforce this ridiculous law, but our finely crafted arguments have thus far been ignored, making us feel much as the habitually bad-rapped King Canute must have done when dealing with that whole wave thing.
But we’re not discouraged! We live to serve! We have more unsolicited advice for the HPOA. Even though we think their focus on Hollywood’s putative public drinking problem borders on either the delusional or the deliberate employment of the good old Große Lüge for the usual unsavory and genocidal purposes, we do understand that their livelihoods depend on keeping the arrest rates high. We figure that it’s at least plausible that they don’t want to stop arresting people because they’ll be out of a job if they do. As Albert Einstein1 used to say, “it is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!”
First we need a little background on how the HPOA sees the purpose of the BID Patrol. According to executive directrix Kerry Morrison (in an email to our tireless correspondent which was almost certainly written, given its exquisitely lawyeresque quasi-literate lack of concrete content, by Minneapolitan Jeffrey Charles Briggs, the HPOA’s attorney for such matters) “they make citizen arrests with respect to conduct LAPD is empowered to cite but lacks resources or the command decision to do so.” The semantics is clear though the syntax is muddy. The BID Patrol arrests people that the LAPD could arrest but just doesn’t for some reason. The point, of course, is that the BID Patrol gets to be selective about who they arrest, wielding California’s overflowing cornucopia of stupid misdemeanors like a bloody scythe in the fields of Hollywood and thereby, they seem to think, discouraging homeless people from hanging out in the BID. This sentiment was stated even more clearly than Jeff Briggs (or Kerry Morrison, whoever it was) could bring themself to do by an anonymous BID Officer, who once chortled in both his joy2 and in range of a video camera that “You don’t challenge the BID officers. The BID officers have the authority to arrest you. What we do is blessed by the staff at Hollywood Division. We’re helping them out.
Now, we’re almost to the suggestion, which is based on the at-least-plausible theory that when trying to solve drug consumption problems it’s more effective to attack the supply side rather than the demand side. The BIDs have made some minor moves in this direction, evinced e.g. by an article in their Spring 2014 newsletter in which Kerry Morrison claims that “two owners of area liquor stores … are working with us to minimize sales to our homeless neighbors who suffer from alcohol addiction.” But, vide Canute again, this is never gonna happen. You can’t stop suppliers from fulfilling a demand by asking them nicely. That money’s not going to be left on the table. The BID knows this when it comes to the homeless. They could ask them nicely to leave, but they, reasonably given their goals, don’t bother. Instead they just fucking arrest them. It turns out, and now we’re at the point finally, that they could be doing the same thing to the liquor store owners and employees although, for whatever reasons, they choose not to. Read on for details! Continue reading HPOA Chooses Not to Arrest Law-Flouting Liquor Dealers, Proving its Selective Enforcement Intended to Eliminate Homeless Rather than Cut Hollywood Crime→