Tag Archives: RVs

Emails Between Keystone Towing General Manager Ed Arensdorf And CD12 Field Deputy Colin Crews — And LAPD Officer Benjamin Jones — And LADOT Staffer Brian Hartman — Provide A Rare Glimpse Into The Functioning Of The City’s RV Towing Machinery — And That Ultimately These Dwelling Places Are “Crushed” — No Conclusions Here But Some Illuminating Detail

I learned recently that the City of Los Angeles opposed a bill banning poverty tows in California for no better reason than that one single lobbyist asked on behalf of his clients, the Official Police Garage Association of Los Angeles, Herb-Wesson-appointed interim CD12 representative Greig Smith to oppose it, stating that his clients couldn’t do so publicly because to do so would expose them as the greedy bloodsuckers that, in fact, they actually are.

As pointed out by the incomparable folks at KTown For All this is an example of one single person determining official policy for a City of four million people for no better reason than to keep diverting zillions of dollars of public money into his clients’ coffers. And today I have a small related story, but an important one, showing not only an unexpectedly granular level of complicity between the tow companies and the City government with respect to RV towing, but some hints about the volume of RV tows and also the scale of the infrastructure required to tow and ultimately destroy motorhomes.

It begins with a May 23, 2019 email from Ed Arensdorf, general manager of OPG Keystone Towing, to Colin Crews of CD12, LAPD officer Benjamin Jones, and LADOT staffer Brian Hartman, in which he tells them that he is forced “to put motorhome towing on indefinite hold”. And in case you’re envisioning chaos, vehicular anarchy, Mad Max but with RVs, well, don’t worry, notes Arensdorf parenthetically, this is “(except evidence, stolens and blocking driveways/intersections).”

Which essentially means that they were going to have to stop towing away RVs that people live in but they will keep on towing RVs where there’s actually a defensible reason to tow, rather than displacement and profiteering. And in case it occurred to you, there were no moral considerations at all involved in the towing hiatus. The company that crushes RVs1 was having some regulatory problems with environmental agencies.
Continue reading Emails Between Keystone Towing General Manager Ed Arensdorf And CD12 Field Deputy Colin Crews — And LAPD Officer Benjamin Jones — And LADOT Staffer Brian Hartman — Provide A Rare Glimpse Into The Functioning Of The City’s RV Towing Machinery — And That Ultimately These Dwelling Places Are “Crushed” — No Conclusions Here But Some Illuminating Detail

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David Ryu’s Staff Evidently Considered and Rejected Lisa Schechter’s and Media District BID’s (Illegal, Unethical) Plea For A Council Motion Regarding Oversize Vehicle Parking In February 2016

Lisa Schechter in February 2016, right around the time that David Ryu's staff was quite sensibly deciding to ignore her illegal and unethical lobbying to ban RV's in the Media District.
Lisa Schechter in February 2016, right around the time that David Ryu’s staff was quite sensibly deciding to ignore her illegal and unethical lobbying to attack homeless people by banning RVs in the Media District.
Recall that in August 2016, Mitch O’Farrell and Mike Bonin introduced a motion in Council to attack the homeless by prohibiting RVs from parking overnight in the Media District BID. This was as a result of lobbying by Lisa Schechter, now executive directrix of the Hollywood Media District BID, but formerly Tom LaBonge’s high muckety-muck for something or another. The full story is here. At the time I wondered why David Ryu hadn’t seconded the motion, given that (a) Schechter had lobbied him heavily to do so, and (b) a significant part of the Media District BID is in CD4:

[His non-involvement] suggests the possibility that Ryu isn’t as invested in pleasing these BIDdies as O’Farrell is. Or maybe he’s sitting it out because his staff has made him aware that Schechter’s up to something sneaky.

Well, I recently obtained emails from CD4 that bear on the matter. These are heavily redacted, but interestingly, as is sometimes the case, the redactions themselves tell part of the story.
Continue reading David Ryu’s Staff Evidently Considered and Rejected Lisa Schechter’s and Media District BID’s (Illegal, Unethical) Plea For A Council Motion Regarding Oversize Vehicle Parking In February 2016

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Crime Does Pay At City Hall: Anti-RV Resolution Introduced In Council This Morning At Behest of Media District BID Director Lisa Schechter, Acting in Apparent Violation of Her Post-Employment Lobbying Ban

RVs on Lillian Way between Santa Monica Blvd and Melrose Avenue
RVs on Lillian Way between Santa Monica Blvd and Melrose Avenue
This morning, CD13 Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell introduced a resolution seeking to impose restrictions on parking oversized vehicles in a semi-industrialized sliver of the Hollywood Media District BID located roughly between Cole Avenue and Vine Street west to east and Santa Monica Boulevard and Melrose Avenue north to south. There is a never-ending flow of these seemingly innocuous items in the agendas of our esteemed Council, but I just happen to know an awful lot about the backstory to this one, which is anything but innocuous, actually, and is the subject of today’s post.

The Media District BID is particularly attractive to people living in RVs because it’s industrialized, so no night-time neighbors to annoy, and it’s close to the center of Hollywood. Especially on Lillian Way and its cross streets, Romaine, Willoughby, and Waring, there has been a thriving but quiet community of RV-dwellers for years on end. But the Media District BID hates it. They just can’t deal with it. For instance, see this email chain from March 2015 where Hollywood cop Julie Nony discusses how to get rid of them with erstwhile Media District BID director Steven Whiddon and a bunch of overprivileged proprietors who don’t understand the concept of public space. But, probably not surprisingly, Steven Whiddon was unable to orchestrate any lasting action.

RVs on Lillian Way between Santa Monica Blvd and Melrose Avenue
RVs on Lillian Way between Santa Monica Blvd and Melrose Avenue

So enter Lisa Schechter, employed by erstwhile CD4 rep Tom LaBonge until June 30, 2015. Sometime between then and October 2015 she was hired by the Media District to replace the departed but unlamented Whiddon. Very soon after that, in fact on November 5, 2015, Schechter and current Media District Board President Laurie Goldman met with O’Farrell’s Hollywood Field Deputy, Daniel Halden. Dan was kind enough to supply me with a copy of his notes from that meeting, wherein (on the second page) one can read the portentous words: “Oversized vehicles Resolution — MAP.” There’s no question that this meeting between Halden, Goldman, and Schechter, is the genesis of the resolution introduced this morning by Mitch O’Farrell.
Continue reading Crime Does Pay At City Hall: Anti-RV Resolution Introduced In Council This Morning At Behest of Media District BID Director Lisa Schechter, Acting in Apparent Violation of Her Post-Employment Lobbying Ban

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