Sun, Jul

Toxic Masculinity


ERIC PREVEN’S NOTEBOOK - Boris Johnson, the beleaguered Prime Minister of Great Britain 🇬🇧says the world should be electing more women to combat toxic masculinity.

Of the 27 NATO leaders at the meeting where he spoke out, 26 were men!  

I wonder if Jon Stewart would consider running for office?   He'd figure about a way to make this funny.  

Mr. Stewart left The Daily Show at the absolute, worst possible moment.  If he had stuck around, it's possible all those women would NOT have come out to elect, Donald Trump, and the nation wouldn't be facing such an acute ...  medical emergency. 

Dr. Broadway:

Joan Gilbert, a well-regarded New Yorker and former "associate" of my father, grew up as the daughter of a doctor who catered to Broadway theaters in the 1940s and 1950s. 

Our family took a trip with Joan to Morocco, and had quite an adventure, but came to realize at some point on the journey that it takes work to 'accept' the views of others, even while vigorously disagreeing.  

Joan worked as a healing therapist and promoted an idea that I simply could not handle, namely, she refused to read the newspaper.  

The thinking was not overly complex; the news was simply too upsetting, she reasoned.  Hard to argue there.  

My position, respectfully, "we have to pay attention, or we're certainly doomed by the severity of the current, fill-in-the-blank predicament."   #notabystander 

Joan, by contrast, felt there was more than enough internal "stuff" right in front of you (hand touch) that needs attention.  

The world's many legitimate crises simply would not fit on her tiny plate of... pre-vegan, vegan tapas. There was no dish she could not send back, with a thoughtful* note.  

Her father the Broadway doctor might have disagreed, because Dr. Benjamin A. Gilbert became a little famous thanks to an profile in the New York Times by Mcandlish Phillips about him t in 1958, entitled, Stethoscope on Broadway.  

Young Gilbert was a real boot-strapper. He went to classes at the New York Medical college from 9am to 5pm. Musical employment began at 5:30pm and concluded at 3:30 in the morning. "He studied between numbers." 

"To save time, he would often leave his tuxedo on for a couple of days. It made him the best-dressed man in his class." Charming.  

There was a lot of pre-performance vitamin injection going on of who knows what. For the less than fatal cases, Broadway houses carried accident insurance. If a customer became ill at the theatre, he'd get' Dr. Gilbert's bill.  But if she twists an ankle and sues for broke, the theatre would be indemnified. 

In addition to the fifteen theatres, he and his partners responded to calls from eighteen midtown hotels.  You can only imagine the grisly...  "Sir, you're disrupting the meeting." 

"Most actors can't be kept off stage even with temperatures of 103 or more. Sometimes they get better, sometimes they get worse," Dr Gilbert told the New York Times with resignation. 

I wondered if Dr. Broadway would believe that his once honorable profession has been so battered and beleaguered by Covid, by big Pharma, by the sleepy people who have underwritten a health care fiasco! 

We the American people on both sides of the aisle, have allowed the profiteers into the big treatment tent.  

Statewide hate crime up:

As a recognized critic, I consider myself and others similarly situated, who write opinion articles on websites about naughty politicians, a protected class under the state's constitution. 

In an effort to protect my diligent work exposing what YMCA of Greater Los Angeles for retaliating against my outspokenness, I found myself interviewing a FEHA worker who helped me file a report.  

The California Fair Employment and Housing Act of 1959 is not for just any California citizen or person. The FEHA is the principal California statute prohibiting employment discrimination covering employers, labor organizations, employment agencies, apprenticeship programs and any person or entity who aids, abets, incites, compels, or coerces the doing of a discriminatory act.  

What about the YMCA, I wondered?   

"Do you work for the YMCA?" the intake specialist queried. 

"No, I'm a fifty-year member and excellent swimmer," I replied. 

FEHA claims are for employees re: disability, sexual, gender etc discrimination.  

"Unless, you have a core civil rights claim that you need to establish, you are fresh out of luck at FEHA." 

I explained that I have a dozen articles taking aim at their disgusting practices re: employees and conditions and misconduct and I feel I was retaliated against for doing so.  

"But you're not disabled, or being discriminated over color or gender or..." 

"So, retaliation for speaking out is legal?" I quipped. 

What's funny, and by funny, I mean not funny at all... 

Turns out there are serious Supply Chain issues in the poolside, Lifeguard Market, that I was criticizing.  

Ask around.   And it's not a picayune or triveal matter.  The Board of Supervisors had an ordinance on their overstuffed meeting agenda to bring Safety Standards for Public and Private Swimming Pools.   

Despite the so-called Olympics funding there is a very real Lifeguard shortage at all the local regional pools, including the YMCAs.  

The minimum requirement ethos of getting by with less, and not insuring the lifesavers,  even as the communities face... epidemic levels of drowning, is super bad. 

The man who lost his daughter, addressed the board to thank them, and told the heartbreaking story of how he lost his daughter, Roxie. 

Males, he said, account for "80% of drowning deaths." 

Democracy Engine: 

Bob Blumenfield, the undefeated council member from CD3 gets high marks for naming the Sylvia Levin Democracy Square...  

Levin was a civic activist and Los Angeles voter registration icon.  Herbert J. Wesson, who has still not been indicted, said that when he knew Sylvia his "waste line was slimmer, and his hair was blonde." 

Kevin Deleon, jumped up, "felicidades, mazeltov to Chuck... " Sylvia's son who followed in her activist footsteps. "Blumenfield did an excellent job..." but DeLeon wanted to go back to "1973, Cantors, Westside, Venice, Studios.. registering folks at the local state and federal level..."  

Then he admitted, "I didn't know your mother, but I know you." DeLeon said Chuck had been a fixture on the streets of LA..."  

The wording of that landed funny, so a good over explanation was needed, "You are not just west, also east, northeast, and down in south. You go where voters need to be registered and vote, regardless of their skin color or zip code. 

There was a virtual log jam on the cue to commemorate Levin, as the current deterioration of activism was once again descried.  

Adjourning in the memory of activism.  Now, DeLeon said, "they show up for one rally or a couple of tweets. We need sustained activism...  

"Thanks, chuck, for sharing your mother."  


On April 25, 2022, FSSI informed the TTC that there are industry-wide paper mill cost increases due to the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in an increase to the PSMS Contract. The TTC reviewed and verified documented proof of the cost increase from FSSI's paper mill supplier, which exceeds the TTC's current delegated authority of no more than five percent annually for paper stock and envelopes.  

Independently, the TTC also contacted eight other County-affiliated vendors to obtain quotes for the paper products, which verified the proposed cost increases from FSSI were consistent industry-wide.  The TTC utilizes PSMS in fulfilling its responsibilities of billing and collecting taxes on behalf of all taxing agencies in the County.  

Additionally, the TTC mails secured and unsecured tax bills and related notices throughout the year, although the largest mailings occur each October with the mailing of approximately 2.5 million Annual Secured Property Tax Bills and each April with the mailing of approximately 185,000 Annual Unsecured Property Tax Bills.   

The cost increases impact has the TTC requesting to increase its delegated authority from five to 15 percent to accommodate these increases on an as needed basis. 

Independently, the TTC also contacted eight other County-affiliated vendors to obtain quotes for the paper products, which verified the proposed cost increases from FSSI were consistent industry-wide.   

No word if the flood of election mailers for the June 2022 Primary, that has resulted in several runoffs in the midterm November election, contributed.  Rick Caruso certainly set a new standard for carpet bombing voters with tree-killing mailers but how effective?  

Karen Bass got 43.1% support in the June 7 vote compared with Caruso’s 36%, according to the certified tally from the county clerk’s office announced on Friday.  

The two candidates now will face off in a November 8 general election.   


Get the Sheriff: Pro bono

Deixler is sly like a dog.  He works for Max Huntsman, the Inspector General over the Sheriff's Department, who we used to say, "could not hunt," but now that Villanueva is fighting to stay in office, he's unleashed the dogs to finish him off.  

"At the time, did it occur to you that you were being used as part of a coverup?" he asked a percipient witness. 

"You were promoted two grades on December 6, and by the 7th, you were told to shut down the subgroups. Was there a quid pro quo?" 

"Absolutely not." 

"Now, do you see that you were an unknown dupe..." 

"Are the guys, the types of deputies you'd like to be involved with?" 

Deixler directed the executive officer to play the clip from Aug 13, 2020, "Matthew Burson, Chief of Professional Standards division at the IAB and Internal ... "I have more than 30 years in the Department, I am absolutely sickened by this..."  

The Sheriff has defied five subpoenas and calls the whole COC, a Kangaroo court.  

I hope Deixler is getting well paid.  Or is this pro bono? 

The JF Chambers:

A member of the public was very upset with both Kevin DeLeon and Nury Martinez for different reasons. He said DeLeon was too busy trying to shoe-in Miguel Santiago, to do his job properly. And Nury Martinez, he said, had canceled one third of the city's meetings, and has resumed by "cutting public comment to only 30 minutes on an 85 item agenda." 

Then, like a Panther he pounced on Gilbert Cedillo, who had been absent for the second week in a row following his historic defeat out on the open range by up and comer, who fights way above her weight class, Eunisses Hernandez.   Eunisses, as she is known in the hood, is in negotiations to drop her last name to become a one name icon, like "Ackley" or as Krekoran reminded, "Madonna." jk srsly. 

"Gil [Cedillo] should be removed. Mitch [O'Farrel] should be replaced as Pro Tempore," one speaker said. 

The speaker flipped things upside down when he dared Nury who has left the number three council leadership position vacant for nearly two years, to keep Mitch O'Farrell in his cozy number two spot. 

Another speaker said, "Persons of African descent born on American soil... black women are interested in equity and urban planning not killing babies."    

"Good people, don't punch down." Sabrina Johnson said.  We are talking about "Human beings that you make out as criminals to perpetuate your political careers."  Good people don't punch down.  

A homeless advocate who excoriated the council with her disgust at how little has been done said, "You are much better than the county, I don't know what those five ladies are doing..."  [On Tuesday the five Board of Supervisors squeezed in a report on the State of Black Los Angeles County.] The advocate, who has complained about Ridley-Thomas cronyism for years, said, it was time to "cut the check." 

A school principal disrupting an assembly is something like a fire in the firehouse. One such speaker ran out of time, but rather than cut him off unceremoniously, President Martinez found a work around because she liked his message.  

"They," the unhoused, "are not around the corner, they are abutting the school property. Voting yes on item 74 is not going to end homelessness...but voting yes will help reduce risk because of criminal activity near encampments." 

After the public, Mike Bonin, the lame duck CD11ista and in house council critic, rose to see if anyone had generated a 41.18 map?

He shook his head in disgust, that in fact there was no map to accompany the new 41.18 restrictions, including the expansion around schools.  One year ago, Bonin said, "we were told a robust well financed street engagement strategy..." would be in place, it's not.  

"How many locations do we have 1700 or 2400?" Nobody really knows, "Services not Sweeps put this together..." he said. 

What we do have, is the architect of the so-called outreach plan, Mark Ridley-Thomas, facing federal corruption charges.   

Somehow, that trial (upcoming exoneration proceedings) that had been scheduled for August has now been delayed until November.   


And shouldn't Gil Cedillo of CD1, be required to wear a bodycam for the remainder of his term?    

I digress, "How many more criminalization zones would tomorrow’s 41.18 vote create?"  The City doesn’t know, Bonin said.    

How much area would it cover? Nobody knows.    

How many people would it affect? Who knows?  

"What we do know is that unhoused deaths rose 25% since 41.18 was passed one year ago." 

O'Farrell, jumped up to defend saying he could not stand the "cynical rationales... we're either trying to make [homelessness] less visible or we're trying to end homelessness."  

Nonsense, he said, the moms, and student leaders who spoke on this amendment to 41.18..."You didn't see the parents who are working... and don't have the luxury of walking their kids to school." 

Earlier in the week he had invited everyone to join him in Sacramento in August to fight for the 97 Billion dollar state surplus. 

"We need these dollars..." and he said he was prepared to lead the charge in Sacramento for our "fraction of the 100 billion and we have a justification with this cause." 

"StreetWatch DSA... you can protest, but it doesn't change the truth... we are housing with enforcement tools but you'd better believe we do need it. I, for one, am standing up solutions for temporary transitional housing. I am tired of cynical ... "bullying." 

The crowd erupted, O'Farrell asserted, "we've been housing by the dozens... I don't really care if you believe me or not.  I'm going to ask you to leave if you can't remain quiet..." 

"If you can't follow the rules you can leave."  The Police fanned out.  

The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) is the largest socialist organization in the United States with over 70,000 members nationally. 

O'Farrell said, he is... "all about solutions." 

Krekorian, who likes ONE item up front and center, said the truth here, is that there are TWO simple truths. 1) it is unacceptable for people to be forced to live on the streets. And it shall also be true, 2) it is unacceptable for the public not to be able to use rights of way for access to school, because of encampments. 

"Can't we at least agree on those two points?" he cried. 

He touted his great work in CD2, which does not include a public toilet at the Metro Station, but does include a navigation center he built way out by the Home Depot in North Hollywood, at "great expense" where housing, social services, hygiene, medical resources... and permanent supportive housing" are all... available? 

Then he invoked, "Council Rule 7 ... any member of the public who disrupts... shall be excluded. (pointing) You've been ordered removed."

No word about Council Rule 93.  

He chastised the on duty, City Attorney, Strefan Fauble, "On the sixth or eighth warning let's take it seriously... " 

"How can we find nuanced solutions?" Krekorian wondered, if... we can't communicate.  

"Can we have a debate?  Can we have a debate?"  

One speaker, Eric Preven, a frequent critic who has advocated for reinstating the virtual public comment feature to protect city staff, was unable to attend, noted that Paul Krekorian has consistently refused to debate him, despite Krekorian taking tens of thousands of public matching money, that required him to do so.   

"Sir, you're disrupting the meeting!"  

"I'm not even at the meeting." Preven said.   Still!  Next Speaker.  

"Can everyone who is speaking, be removed?"  Krekorian shouted.  He meant, everyone who was not him.  

"The person in the green shirt... you've been ordered removed. Leave. You're continuing to disrupt the meeting."  

"This one, too." he cried.  

"The entire city of Los Angeles can wait for this," said a huffy Krekorian. "We're just going to have to wait because the shouting is continuing." 

Maybe the recording can't see...this but "the three people who have been removed, are standing there not complying. It's the same people." 

"These bullies don't want to acknowledge that we have not criminalized homelessness," he pontificated.  

"We have simply taken the actions necessary to protect and provide housing to the unhoused." 

The vote 10 ayes one No.  

"Rob Quan, thank you very much.  Can you ask him to leave?" 

Then Blumenfield unfurled a doozy, based on a great idea from New York.  Freelance workers in New York, and now LA, will no longer be exploited, not paid, not given written contracts and can expect payment within 30 days. 

This one hits the bullseye for freelance workers and the LA County Federation of Labor and the Teamsters, and the National Writers Union are all in, to protect our workers."    

Yet another effort to make LA a beacon for worker protection. 

Pay to Play:

We got all dressed up for the L.A. Press Club awards!  Eric Preven, the first ever advocate for "not paying journalists" was roundly scoffed at over his absurd notion that journalists should not be paid for their very hard work.  Mr. Preven said he had been misunderstood, and wasn't against them being paid, just not by private equity companies. He prefers a model where generous billionaires like Mackenzie Scott et al allow Mr. Preven to distribute the billions equitably to the producers of useful journalism.      

"We need to pay people significant sums to do the work," said Mr. Preven who placed third in the journalist of the year competition.  "Working for Mr. Soon Shiong would be terrific, but the team's desire to expand their reach is taking a toll on the sometimes, unglamorous but "most important" local coverage.  There is a "get the sheriff" correspondent, and a new "metro" correspondent, but no longer a county desk.  There is a city desk, which accounts for 1/3 of the population of the county.   

Maybe that's why they cut the city council meetings by 1/3. 

Bill Whitaker of 60 Minutes, who attended the ceremony to collect a lifetime achievement award, complimented Mr. Preven, resulting in a request from Mr. Preven to be photographed atop Mr. Whitaker's lap.  

A good laugh was enjoyed by all, but the request was denied.  

Local Journalists should be provided a stipend of at least $75,000 annually, and the money above that sum, should be based on word count, not readership. 

The harder a journalist works, the more money they can earn in this system.   

But the minimum of $75,000 annually is necessary.  

It's not about the clicks on the articles, it's about the work.  

This will give editors a chance to...  "go cover Janice Hahn's' ..."   


Let me simply say thank you to Supervisor Hahn for the work she's done and will do supporting the Paralympics...  

We remember Ralph DeQuebec, who explains better than me and wrote an inspiring Instagram post when he won the Pat Tillman Award and was inducted into the Los Angeles Sportswalk of Fame in San Pedro.  

"Growing up, I always felt like I could accomplish anything in life. My momma and my family did a great job of making me believe it. With their support, I knew I could do anything I wanted, I just didn’t quite know how. I was fortunate enough to have been taught the “how” by my high school football coach, Mike Walsh. He engrained in me the importance of teamwork, with both “the team” and “the work.” “There’s no “i” in TEAM,” would be heard all over the football field!  

He also taught me that I’d be a direct reflection of the amount of time and effort I put into something and that if I wanted anything in life, I had to WANT to be the hardest worker in the room, not for myself, but for the team. He taught us how to be champions. Since then, it’s always been #TeamFirst as a Pirate, Marine, Paralympian, son, brother and friend.  

Now the magic happens when you find other people who share your same goals and bring that same mentality to the table. That is your Team! I’ve been privileged to have been surrounded by amazing teams. From family, friends, coaches, Marines/Sailors/Soldiers/Airman I’ve served with, mentors, doctors, therapists, teammates, and sponsors, I’ve always believed in my Team.  

I wouldn’t be here without them. In high school, we lost our semifinal game to Banning as time expired. I may not have felt like a champion then, but I learned what it took to become one.  

Today, I not only stand as a Paralympic Gold Medalist, but a champion of life because I refused to be average. I surrounded myself with excellent teams and enjoyed WANTING to be the hardest worker in the room. Thanks Coach. 

Gavin Newsom has signed SB 357!

When it goes into effect January 1, 2023, the provision of the law criminalizing “loitering with intent to commit prostitution” will be repealed and those convicted under the old statute will be able to clear their names. My administration will be monitoring crime and prosecution trends for any possible unintended consequences and will act to mitigate any such impacts. 


(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)