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Tue, Apr

 "No Good Public Comment Time Should Go To Waste."

ERIC PREVEN'S NOTEBOOK

ERIC PREVEN’S NOTEBOOK - 3 Points, Holly J Mitchell: The location will have 176 beds and will allow residents who have ongoing substance abuse issues, mental illnesses, and pets, according to Luana Murphy of Exodus Recovery, which is operating the center. 

"If they are drunk, you let them in. If they have a mental illness, you let them in. If they have a Rottweiler, you let them in. If they have a cat, you let them in. I drew the line at snakes.'' she joked.  

At the mini comment section, there were two speakers Geneviève Clavreul and Eric Preven, who wondered if denying access to people experiencing homelessness with snakes, was too harsh.  

Each of the two speakers got one minute, and  Mr. Preven was surgically cut off mid-sentence by the Executive Officer who proudly informed the chair that there were no other speakers in the cue.   

Mr. Preven, hearing the opportunity to provide additional testimony that he had prepared, re-entered the cue. 

"No good public comment time should go to waste." 

The board operates in a legislative, executive, and quasi-judicial capacity and therefore, like a motor requires oil, the board requires regular public comment to run properly. 

Still, the county board and their staff ignored the speaker's raised hand.   

Mitchell,  "We want to be fair and keep the line open for the five minutes we've allotted for public comment.  So, we'll take any other caller." 

What she meant, was, "any other caller, than Mr. Preven or Ms. Clavreul.  She burned down the three minutes and closed out the public.  

For shame. 

 

Breaking: Late, as usual

Deputy City Attorney Strefan Fauble ought to be paid whatever the going rate is for competent spokes guy.  He came on several times in advance of the meeting like a DJ to update the five listeners that the City Council was going to be late to their 11:30am special meeting.  At 12:02 pm he hopped on again to announce that the council members were traveling from the funeral for Police Officer Fernando Arroyos, and he would keep the public apprised. 

Fauble estimated that the meeting would commence at approximately,12:15pm, only forty-five minutes late.  

As we waited, people were stunned to find, buried in the agenda authorization for 10 position authorities for the Human Resources and Payroll (HRP) Project. This comes on top of the outrageous $13,000,000 overage that Ted Ross of ITA could not really explain last year. 

Group shrug.  

The item relative to enforcement of prevailing wage laws, and the seeking of financial penalties from city contractors who veer off course piqued a bit of interest as well.  What about the YMCA LA, some thought, who intentionally underpays the lifeguards and worse, refuses benefits, and worst of all, has decided to shut the doors to the public between 11am and 4pm daily.    

That is known as broad daylight, and will never cut it. FYI. 

Angling politicians and or feisty activists looking to shame Nury Martinez,  who at her worst positioned a full-body cut-out of Supervisor Sheila Kuehl at the doorway to the Men's locker room in the Van Nuys Y, should step forward.  

The Y ordinarily subscribes to seven pillars of character.  There is not time to go into them now, but suffice it to say, that supply chain issues have impacted inventory.   Their appalling misuse of a silly reservations application penalizes the very members its intended to help.  

I've always said, the best security for a neighborhood is a local program of busybodies. It really works, but the LAPD Online website is not how that works.  

There is an RFP for an OPG official police garage contract: Medium or Heavy duty edition. So for towing of vehicles between,10,000 - 26000 lbs. For comparison, a Ford F150 is approximately 5,000 lbs. 

I read that each OPG can only have two contracts. Period.  

This helps Eric Rose and the gang down at the lobby shop, highlight the subtle complexities.  Ask Rose about the smart boot program numbers that he and Mitchell Englander put in place, if your looking to get sick to your stomach. 

Mr. Rose gets full credit for all his hard work affixing fines.  

By 12:20pm, Fauble had popped on and off several times to update but seemed  very positive that !2:30pm -- only one hour late -- was quite likely.  

We wondered, was Mike Bonin feeling glum?  Watching the tide of Preferential Parking Districts rising again. Did it cause him to have regrets?  I mean, violations of the posted parking restrictions result in citation fines.  Like me, this is not what Bonin wants for Angelenos who have no other place to go.  He refused to vote for 41.18 criminalization-lite motions. 

Shouldn't he be shunned? 

No, of course not.   

He still gets all the credit for 247 roadway closures, often consisting of hundreds of spaces during 2017, 2018, and six months of 2019. . . 

With the vigor of Dr. Fauci promoting vaccination, it was Mike Bonin pushed them all through in 30 months = 8 per month or 2 per week.   

The PPD No. 276 in Studio City is comprised of about 30 blocks. A block is defined as a street segment between two intersecting streets. Between 300 and 600 spaces. Did he forget, the Bonin Carlift?   as he sets up the new PPD No. 226 and Permanent Parking District (PPD) No. 313.

Bonin should not be shunned by the private sector, where presumably he plans to seek relief from all the hostility of elected office.  

Nobody has done more than Bonin for LAX and LAWA  other than Mayor Eric Garcetti and  Assemblywoman Autumn R. Burke, who is stepping down effective Tuesday. "I feel it is of the utmost importance that I have the flexibility and ability to spend more time with my family.'' 

 

Coastal:

As a result of the Covid-19 emergency, and the Governor’s Executive Orders N-29-20-and N-33-20, the Coastal Commission is conducting the meeting virtually to avoid a public gathering and protect public health during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Find the agendas for Wednesday, February 9, 2022, 9:00 a.m. Thursday, February 10, 2022, 9:00 a.m. Friday, February 11, 2022, 9:00 a.m. Here. 

 

Street Smaht New Yawkers:

A piece published in the print edition of the January 31, 2022 issue of The New Yorker entitled “Street Sweeping” by Antonia Hitchens caught my attention.  

In San Francisco, three weeks after Mayor London Breed declared a state of emergency to fight the “nasty streets” downtown, she joins the gang from Urban Alchemy who have been patrolling the Tenderloin. She talked to some boots on the ground Urban Alchemists who took her around including to"Main village," a fenced enclosure of seventy-nine tents, across from City Hall.  

The secret sauce of Urban Alchemy is hiring street ambassadors, who they say are mostly formerly incarcerated people, who are paid a starting rate of about twenty-one dollars an hour to keep certain blocks clear during the day.  

This is reminiscent of the Mobile Pitstop program and Hunter's Point Family  "It’s a no-brainer that providing people with places to do their business will increase the cleanliness of our city streets. In an ideal world, we’d have one on every block."  

The LA Times had the story in June 2019 that each toilet with an attendant would cost $339,000 a year--to keep the thing open only twelve hours a day.   

The talking head back then was Lena Miller, chief executive of Urban Alchemy, she said their bathroom “practitioners” have helped save the lives of people suffering from such things as dehydration and a heart attack.   

“You have somebody that’s down there, who represents society, to really be there for people,” she said. 

Both companies made a point of hiring ex-cons or folks who had extensive experience unhoused.  

The public outrage about the $339,000 porta potty set the stage for the duo of white knights, Paul Krekorian and Michael A. Shull General Manager of Recreations and Parks, who in August 2019, took a step toward automation.   

They conducted an international press conference on the fully automated park bathroom located at North Hollywood Recreation Center. 

Mr. Krekorian lectured the public that the maintenance of 1600 bathrooms...citywide, was very expensive.  

After 30 uses, the facility starts a ten-minute refresh cycle with chemical cleansing resulting in a very hygenic restroom. 

Many early adopters complained that it may have been clean, but was still wet. So, politely, "Yuck."  

This was a common sentiment.  

The automated system, according to Paul Krekorian, "realizes tremendous cost savings on maintenance. It's a cleaner nicer bathroom experience."  What does Krekorian know about bathroom experiences? Redacted.  

What does Hitchens know about companies that hire people with "lived experience?"   

As she walked through an area with encampment, an ambassadors told her, "You couldn’t even walk through here: tents and drug dealers down every block, 24/7." 

And let's not forget Homeboy Industries, who told the Board of Supervisors... when you could speak for three minutes. 

"My name is James Horton. I also work at homeboy industries.  And ah, I did 28 years in prison. Twelve of those years was on death row. Nine of those years was life without the possibility of parole.  I don't know where I would be now if it wasn't for Homeboy industries. 

 I understand that we need-- that we got to have prisons.  But the academic we having with the crime in our community, in the united states, we need to be dealing with these problems in every facet that we can. And one of those ways is rehabilitation.  All the programs.. y'all can do 'em from here to eternity.  The only person who's gonna get to the youth, get to those youths making the same mistakes that I did when I was young... it's me.  People like me, because they gonna listen to me, they won't listen to you and they won't listen to this sergeant here.  But they'll listen to me because they think what I got is what's going on. I'm the one that can show them that the way that they going, is wrong.  

Homeboy Industries is the way to go.  We ain't giving enough support to that institution.  We build prison, build prison, we already know that that ain't working.  We almost ran ourselves crazy.  What we gonna do, get the whole state of California, take 'em up to prison?  It ain't working.  It's like bringing... it's like Raid on roaches.  You got to get into the nest of the issue.  You got to get to the heart of it. The heart of it, is Homeboy Industries.  

And other rehabilitation programs.  Give that a chance before we... just... locking 'em up, locking 'em up. It's good for those in law enforcement and those in the judicial system, cuz it makes money for us, but it suffers for us too.  I didn't want to live the life that I did. I was misled by the people in my community. How we going to deal with those people?  We need to have people in those communities, people who have been through it. Prisoners.  We did make a mistake, and now its our chance to give back to society... is by helping those youth.   

You've seen Homeboy getting tattoos removed, we giving speeches to them every day.  We helping 'em. We giving them the medicine that they need.  We need y'all to give us some more money so we can make mo' medicine and save more lives.  

Mark Ridley-Thomas:  Alright, thank you very much for your testimony.  

San Francisco is segregated and Urban Alchemy is contracted to work in "containment zones."  When there are crackdowns, they migrate further away.  

At night, certain spaces are crowded with people shooting fentanyl, but during the day, Urban Alchemy lurks around to ensure that residents can come and go unimpeded.  

And quite frankly it can be a little dangerous down among the open-air drug markets, "A man in a bus shelter was hunched over, smoking fentanyl with a plastic straw." wrote Hitchens.   

By walking the route regularly they try to transform the energy in some of the most traumatized urban spaces. People on the streets who don't want to move call Urban Alchemy workers, 'hired criminals'. 

"Often it just pushes them to the next block—you can’t get high in the overnight shelters, so a lot of people are back here all night.” 

“Police barely fuck with us, because we do all their work,”  

Urban Alchemy runs several “Safe Sleep Villages”  and they do wellness checks to make sure—"well, are you alive, basically," 

They talk to stragglers who haven’t yet moved from the pavement after a 7 a.m. sweep.   

Instead of citations,   “You want some food?”   Outside the village, there are people who camp on the sidewalk.  “We wouldn’t bother this guest till a little later, after the sun comes up,” one ambassador told Hitchens.  

“We might come back and say, ‘Need a coffee, need a bagel?’ We don’t really like calling the police on the guests.”  

The police come down this street, maybe they blow the horn, but the Urban Alchemist said, "they don’t want to stop and do the paperwork to arrest people."  

Cool.

 

(Eric Preven is a longtime community activist and is a contributor to CityWatch. The opinions expressed by Eric Preven are solely his and not the opinions of CityWatch)