Mon, May

LA: "Who Cares?"


ERIC PREVEN’S NOTEBOOK - In July, Chief Second Banana, Mitch O’Farrell of District 13 (shaped like the Quetzal) and Budget and Finance Chief Paul Krekorian led a delegation to an incredible place in Arizona...

called the Navajo Nation where they have been diligently working on a clean power purchase agreement with the Navajo Nation. 

The delegation from Los Angeles took 40 DWP volunteers to a former gold mining site, near Loop Arizona, and set out to provide power for the indigenous peoples.   

Fueling up turned out to be a major hassle, and expensive, but the LA line workers had come to donate their time and knowledge and receive further training on different standards. For instance, one worker reported, the road down here are "just a suggestion."   

"When the local population found out that we were bringing in power... to difficult terrain, they told us they had been waiting for 14 years." 

LADWP hears a lot about wait times, but this initiative was not about that.  Once the work began, installing power for these people, the purpose of what they were doing became important.  A lot of these homes are in the direct line of sight of a power plant, but they themselves have no power. 

The local population started bringing our LADWP crews, dinners.  

In 41 days 80 families got power. And the workers enjoyed a homemade fried bread, something like a funnel cake. "Pretty amazing." In 15 days 20 homes were energized.   

One local said, "You would think people in Los Angeles don't care, but they do." 

The technical difficulties in the Chambers were pissing O'Farrell off, because right during a part of the presentation where the old line worker talks about being, "choked up." It's embarrassing... Mr. Ross, Get in here! (Ted Ross is the head of ITA) 

To Mr. O'farrel's credit, he had curated a very nice lineup for the show, sorry meeting.  The tribute to the Navajo Nation, Bonin's glance at a federal policing grant, and to close... an anemic touting of the Red Cross by Kevin DeLeon,  who is trying to infuse his campaign with something larger.  

"LA faces challenges, but we take a lot for granted," said Paul Krekorian. "Generations," he said, did not have electricity... hard to imagine, but we take these things for granted.   

Krekorian did his faux-angry-for-effect voice as he recounted how the Navajo Nation had suffered from the coal-burning that we here in Los Angeles benefited from.   "Coal, that caused cancer for their kids, so we could have coal-burning electricity...and they didn't even have electricity themselves."   

The surge protectors blew.   

He should have let well enough alone, but Krekorian wanted to highlight... a few extra points, thereby tainting the whole presentation.    

"In his typically humble fashion..." Krekorian undulated,  "Mr. O'Farrell did not emphasize how monumental... his role was in this. The vision that he had was embraced by the LADWP board."   

Krekorian called it a "Legacy achievement for Mr. O’Farrell and should not be undersold." 

Leading the fight for Navajo Nation was a great segue to the oil well cap initiative from Mr. Cedillo who reminded for the second time in two weeks that he grew up next to an oil well... and looked forward to safe housing easily 1500 atop all the toxic ground, once remediated, by his friends in the toxic remediation racket. 

The Council went behind closed doors to discuss Breonnah Fitzpatrick v. City of Los Angeles, et al., United States District Court, Central District of California, Case No. 2:21-cv-6841. 

The meeting comes after a federal judge’s ruling against the city in a lawsuit brought by Breonnah Fitzpatrick last year. The Koreatown resident accused parking officials of wrongfully impounding her Toyota Yaris for about $9,000 worth of unpaid citations. Fitzpatrick’s car was impounded last summer when it was left legally parked on the street not far from where she lives, according to her lawsuit.   

No reportable action or I missed it. 


We're back:

Deleon wanted to thank Cedillo, personally one more time.  But what he really wanted was to recognize and fully uplift his former staffer Andrea Ambriz to the Board of Fire and Police Pensions.  She worked for DeLeon and then, Barack Obama.  

Joe Buscaino wants to incentivize cops to refer new cops to the force and he talked at some length about how he was groomed by an older officer, and how "once he started community policing..." he couldn't stop.  

Buscaino mentioned by name the seven or so recruits he'd roped into a life fighting crime.  

Mike Bonin, who has finked out and will not run for his final term, brought up a post 911 grant program, aimed at trying to identify terrorism before it happens.  He said the federal program had been riddled with problems. For one it targeted Muslims.  The feds, he said, have tried to rebrand it, but haven't changed all that much.   

"Biden vowed to kill it, but then reneged..."  It seeks to enlist teachers, counselors, social workers, to help find people to look at more closely.  Sort of see something, say something, in ideology but in practice a  turn people into informants program.  

One red flag, Bonin said, was how broad the range of mental health factors that the program set out to watch out for.  For instance, for an active shooter... "have they been exposed to violent media, been bullied, or experienced romantic rejection, a troubled family life. Bonin, made the point, "I mean, how many does that capture?"  

Marqueece Harris-Dawson jumped up to thank Bonin and Raman for raising and examining ... this. The most patriotic thing you can do, he said, is "question the government." 

With that Mr. Harris-Dawson still voted yes, but thanked Bonin and Raman for voting no.  

Mr. Deleon touted the RED CROSS and their newest headquarters in Boyle Heights. Turning Passion into Action... for 142 years of service, efforts far beyond our nation's borders, when the global pandemic came they literally rolled up their sleeves.  

 DeLeon said it was "A distinct pleasure to pay recognition to their incredible staff, especially two strategists, who he named.    

Gil Cedillo, who had been rather quiet for him, during the meeting, insisted on piggybacking on Deleon's recognition, citing the Red Cross's professionalism and urgency.   

Though it was past the lunch hour, even Nury Martinez took a moment to call these brave Red Cross workers, unsung heroes.   

Blumenfield rose above the fact that there are more traffic deaths than homicides in LA. He called for a blanket adjournment for all those who died in his district. He named them all, first and last names... though, one site had moved from his 3rd council district to another council district, and he felt the need to point that out.  It seemed too quibbly for a deeply moving adjournment. 

To some, it cheapened the whole recognition.  "When we talk about Traffic safety..."  there are real people in the statistics.   

Blumenfield, whose mother was born near Kiev, and made a harrowing escape, closed by saying the first names of his constituents who had lost their lives on the road, in his district.*   

Marqueece Harris Dawson noted that artist, Noni "Black" Olabisi, had passed away. She was known for listening to untold stories and voices.  She was a muralist, and helped restore nine iconic murals, while mentoring young artists.   

We note that her work is now on display in Leimert Park, where there is outrage over the use of parking lot and allegations of all kinds. 


The County Fair:

Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, who was tamed by former Supervisor Michael Antonovich into one of the greatest deflavorizers of civic engagement in the history of the United States of America must be conflicted. Now, the County Board is now on the very short list of possible winners of next year's "Golden Bear Award" for egregious desecration of open meeting laws, including the ham-fisted reduction by half of all regular meetings virtual or otherwise.  

A federal judge in California is about to consider the attorney-client privilege claims related to John Eastman, and his Chapman University emails.  The Judge? Kevin DeLeon's BFF, Judge David O. Carter.  

As for the Alliance Lawsuit, that was on the County Board's closed-session meeting agenda, the privilege is to the board. The five women who we the electorate put in power can and should instruct, county counsel Rodrigo Castro-Silva and Ms. Whitehurst, and Ms. Tinkham-Davis to open the proverbial kimono.. 

There is a substantial public interest in the disclosure of Skip Miler's billing records and the Covington & Burling agreement.   

First, the public has a right to know how the County is spending taxpayer money in pending or completed litigation, especially when that litigation involves controversial and possibly illegal practices. Certainly, the public should be able to inquire into, and voice its concern or approval concerning, the amount of money the County is spending on litigation that will shed light on whether it's been engaged in a pattern or practice of unreasonable or illegal activities.  Second, since the County's litigation is being conducted by private law firms instead of the County Counsel, the public has a substantial interest in scrutinizing those billing records to ensure that the County Counsel, in turn, is providing proper oversight over the private law firms' billing practices. At the very least, the public will be able to determine if these private law firms are overbilling the County for unnecessary or duplicative work by reviewing billing records. 

Just the way we would want to check that a Transportation consultant's rates are kosher, we want to know everything is on the up and up.


Speaking of up and up... 

Fehr & Peers 

$962,644  2012

$1.2M        2013

$682,014    2014

$579,833    2015

$1,1M         2016

$786,967     2017

$603,630     2018

$1M            2019

$2.4M          2020

$509,594     2021

$102,693   to date 

$10 million dollars in Fehr & Peers over ten years.  Kudos. 



A number of gems in Barbara Corcoran's 73 items that she's grateful for as she turns 73.  Not surprisingly, "Alone time." 

In addition to all her family and friends, she's grateful for her housekeeper who she says dotes on her while she's doting on everyone else.  Lovely.  

She's very grateful for Botox and filler, calling it way too expensive, but nonetheless, she's thankful. "I keep telling people it's the cream... La Mer face cream."   There seemed to be no shortage of little product placements in BC's master class in gratitude. 

She' grateful for the opportunity to play fairy godmother on Shark Tank and oves Bob Marley music and the breathtaking park avenue tulips.  

She's super grateful she finally found therapy but wishes she started seeing a therapist sooner.   

She is grateful for being able to ride her bike during an LA Sunset.  If I were her I might adapt that to something Barbara remembers doing safely. 

She's understandably grateful about Winning at scrabble. Her best word ever was "Charades" played on a triple, for 89 points.  

Nearly a half dozen of her 73 little gratitudes were for icy cold beverages.  She adores cold white wine in a big glass, anytime from anywhere.  Mojitos with tons of ice and mint. Margaritas with tons of lime and mint.  Sake, ice cold.   

She's pointedly grateful for her self-described knack for buying homes and learning new stuff.  She's diving into NFTs and cryptocurrency and just might reinvent real estate.  Hmmm. 

One idea would be to call Pamela Liebman the current CEO of Corcoran, the company she started and sold.  

In honor of Women's history month, why not share with the person she left in charge of the brand that bears her name, that item of gratitude that comes on the heels of... all her closest friends.   

It's her neighbors.   Corcoran reveals that, "I buy lots of houses and never had a rotten neighbor. Good neighbors have made every house a home."    

The Corcoran Group's East Hamton office miscalculated when they allowed a client to ripoff longtime neighbors in Amagansett.  An in-house Corcoran Group attorney simply refused to help these seniors who live in Malibu, play scrabble regularly, and won tennis tournaments on both coasts.  

We are grateful that Barbara is grateful.  

We would be grateful if you could call Pam and remind her that the Dine & Dash by Corcoran program is over. 


(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)