21
Tue, May

Attack Librarians

ERIC PREVEN'S NOTEBOOK

ERIC PREVEN’S NOTEBOOK - In one episode of the Simpsons, Homer is in the Kwik-E-Mart, and he notices a “Jet” magazine.  

Homer: Ooh, Jet! [reads it] Woo-hoo! It’s Garett Morris’ birthday!

Apu: [throwing him out] This is not a library.  

In another, Bart rides on his skateboard into the Kwik-E-Mart unaware that a robbery has occurred and browses a magazine. He then notices Apu behind the counter tied up with his mouth taped. He climbs up on the counter and pulls off the tape.  

Apu: This is not a library.  

Later, at Springfield’s Public Library, Homer is being thrown out yet again, holding snacks and candy.  

Librarian: [throwing him out]  This is not a Kwik-E-Mart.   

People know where they live and we do love our libraries.  It's been said, lawyers are attack librarians.  

There's a section of the very good write-up about the historical significance of the Sportsmen's Lodge, that says the convenient location, nice meeting rooms, attractive grounds and accommodating staff, but also by the fact that so many groups have been meeting there for so many decades that "everybody knows where it is" and the place has acquired a "palpable aura of history and continuity that locals appreciate very much."  

Everybody knows your name... [Play Cheers theme song]

As I was researching the painful history of the majestic valley Hotel, I noted Ken Bernstein, the Ken Bernstein, America's most notable expert on high-quality cultural designations, and author of Preserving Los Angeles: How Historic Places Can Transform America's Cities, was the one who wrote the commission report calling for it's designation. Amazing work:  His brilliant essay is buried on page 169 of this report.   

I'm sure Steve Afriat, the Sportsmen's Lodge's lobbyist was conflicted as he fought like hell for so many years to kibosh the site's cultural-historical designation.  He even contributed to Friends of Krekorian. presumably to move things forward.

Afriat was a real tummler from an early age, becoming president of the San Fernando Valley Young Democrats at age 18.

As a consultant and city staffer, he met with dozens of groups over the years at the vibrant event center at the Sportsmen's lodge. 

Afriat is said to have been the first openly gay man to run a Los Angeles City Council office, according to former Councilman and KCAL pundit, Zev Yaroslavsky, who employed Afriat as his top aide from 1983 to 1985. 

As a lobbyist, Afriat advocated for the approval of real estate projects in Hollywood, Century City, Warner Center, and Studio City. 

By 2002 he finally brokered an absurd deal to block the designation of the event center as a historical landmark. 

Twenty years later, a partially outdoor luxury mall has opened next to the classic hotel at Coldwater and Ventura Blvd.  

The owners would like to replace the hotel for which they took at least $6,000,000 in Project Roomkey funds to house 100+ individuals for 24 months during the pandemic, with over 600 residential apartments.   

Sportsmen's has billed the city nearly $400,000 to restore it back to clean and pretty, so... why maybe we should keep it as a Hotel?  FEMA will cover. 

The Hotel could be designated on its merits, for sure.  I'm happy to help! 

A local burger enthusiast called the Hi Ho burger, located at the mall next to the hotel along with an Erewhon and Equinox "a great contrast to the other restaurants (which are also delicious)."

See, we're not mean and unhelpful in Studio City. We like burgers with onion jam as much as other communities.

It's true, Richard Weintraub, a longtime city hall string-puller, gets a lot of credit for offending the natives in Studio City.

But that's been capably buried.

Weintraub delivered Lisa Karadjian to our world before she started pretending that she was not a lobbyist. She helped "Richard," tame the natives.

Nearly a decade later, she's just been toppled from Studio City Land Use and been quasi-promoted to the Valley Planning Review Board. Pffft.

Weintraub once famously testified that he had never met such a nasty community of *&%($*)#_ as in Studio City, and I'm paraphrasing. What he said, was worse.

Go cougars! 

Karadjian et al. have a skewed vision of Studio City that some certainly agree with. Not me.

Weintraub, very likely, could care less about Studio City.

We admit that the hardworking men and women of Studio City may have a slightly different agenda than... say, Related Companies.

Slightly.

The real residents here, not to be confused with the Studio City Resident's Association (SCRA) are wicked "smaht." It was the association that fell for the bad deal.

Studio City slickers knew that when Weintraub faux-stepped off, it was a false exit.

He did the disgusting 'inside city hall' maneuvers and went underground for a spell.

A less front-facing position, until the federal investigations blew through town.

His attorney, Fred Gaines used to enjoy evincing no knowledge. lol.

"He's Baaack." 

Afriat is gone, RIP, he passed away in January 2021. Zahniser had a touching obituary in the Times. 

But like the graveyard scene in Young Frankenstein, starring Gene Wilder and Marty Feldman, as they emerge with a muddy casket, Wilder turns to Feldman, and says:

Frankenstein: What a filthy job!

Igor: It could be worse.

Frankenstein: How?

Igor: It could be raining.

Thunder, Lightning, and Heavy RAIN begins falling.

The Sportsmen's Lodge Hotel should be protected, right?

What is Public Comment?

It's the council president's domain, but the Mayor's agenda that should determine how receptive City Hall is to public commenters. 

A fearless US congresswoman or a billionaire mall developer running Los Angeles will have to grapple with the problem that a large number of inside players and incumbents are trained to look away from the atrocities.  

What are Caruso and Bass's views on Public Comment?  

Would Caruso shrug and say, "we'll do it"... as he said about the bacon-wrapped hotdog vendors outside the Grove? 

Will Karen Bass follow the lead of Holly J. Mitchell and most of the fab five who've endorsed her, and adopt a "much less is more" public comment platform?  

[To be fair, both the board and the city council extended speaking time to accommodate more speakers this week because they wanted to hear from them, regarding eviction, IHSS wages, and the care first agenda.] 

One interested member of the public who frequently faces twenty fair public hearings alongside myriad regular agenda items and general comments all mixed together like gumbo, sought relief from the confusion. 

Confusion is terrific if you are trying NOT to concentrate on the underlying problems.   

Delay, is also fantastic.  

If an item has to do with something important, but messy, like Airbnb (home-sharing rules), or Vendadores (Street vending rules), why not kick it down the road for a report back in six months?  Again! 

Will Bass or Caruso turn up the pace? 

The truth is, speed is our ally, confusion is our enemy and the local electeds ought to "shake a tail" on some of these solvable problems.  

The county's budget was just one among 75 items on the board of supervisors' agenda.  Supervisor Hahn noted that the budget was $44.6 Billion this year, and was hoping Fesia Davenport, the CEO could find something under the sofa to maybe pay these In House Support Service workers, the $20/hour they deserve. 

One member of the public complained of having physical, mental, and emotional injuries, pain, distress, anguish, suffering, fright, nervousness, grief and anxiety, worry, shame, mortification, injured feelings, shock, humiliation and indignity as well as other unpleasant, physical, mental, and emotional reactions, damages to reputation, and other non-economic damages, related to the overstuffed agenda.  

Funding Thornberg:

When I posted the trio of Bonin, Koretz and Raman in crowns a couple of weeks ago, the point I was trying to make, is "It's easy to raise $25,000" or easier, when you live in a fat cat enclave dba an upscale neighborhood.    

The top three average wage earning districts are CD5, CD11, and CD4, at least they were in 2018.  The discrepancies were upsetting then but were nicely reported (if a little buried) in the Chamber of Commerce-sponsored Beacon Economics Report on the Economy. 

Think colorful yearbook-style reports on each council district, emphasizing the best and worst economic data, with Chris Thornberg, who the Chamber President of Rancho Cordova, said... "knocked it out of the park, and was worth every dime." 

How much? 

Let's not quibble, the presentation was enjoyable and informative, though they typically cleared the hall to be left alone to preen among the sponsors with Thornberg narrating and nailing all the talking points. 

The public who managed to attend would call out the inequities like how low the average wages earned in CD8 were near $20,000 annually as compared to the earnings in CD4, CD5, and CD11 not to mention, CD14 that at the time were over $100,000. tk.  Studio City CD2 now CD4 was in the lower third among council districts.  

Perhaps the Chamber of Commerce should consider resuming those reports.   

Diana? How much? 

Thornberg has an issue long-term, with the economy, saying last week, “The real problem is why the private sector is so healthy, and that’s because we’ve replaced private sector debt with public sector debt,” he said. “We’ve borrowed $60,000 for every person in this country since 2000.”   

One-third of that debt was taken on in just the last two years, and that amounts to $1.5 trillion. “The problem with that is debt doesn’t matter until it does. It can get very, very, very, very ugly very, very quickly,” he said.  

By using the term "very" six times Thornberg is conveying deep concern.

“When will that happen? Not in the near future, judging by the value of the U.S. dollar which is through the roof.” --  “out there somewhere on the horizon is an enormous fiscal challenge,” he said. 

 “It’s a debt-fueled spending binge and those never end well.” 

"Next speaker."

Schedule E (form 1040) 

Dear Strefan Fauble, 

Deputy City Attorney, 

City of Los Angeles 

I noted that Paul Krekorian and Curren Price recused on the rent protection, because they own rental property.

Please provide a copy of Schedule E (form 1040)  for each seated council member 

Gil Cedillo

Paul Krekorian

Bob Blumenfield

Nithya Raman

Paul Koretz

Nury Martinez

Monica Rodriguez

Marqueece Harris Dawson

Curren D. Price

Heather Hutt

Mike Bonin

John Lee

Mitchell O'Farrell

Kevin De Leon

Joe Buscaino  

Including Mark Ridley-Thomas, and Herb Wesson for services to CD10.   

Please also provide Schedule Es for the City Attorney Mike Feuer, Controller Ron Galperin, and Mayor Eric Garcetti our citywide electeds. 

All citizens report income or loss from rental real estate, royalties, partnerships, S corporations, estates, trusts, and residual interests in real estate mortgage investment conduits (REMICs), on Schedule E (form 1040). 

The Form 700 filings of councilmembers are unreliable following Englander claiming $250 reimbursement to Businessman A on his Form 700 AFTER the FBI began investigation--for "various meals, drinks" before Vegas.  

Please provide all of the above-requested Schedule Es on an expedited basis. Digital OK. 

Dear Mr. Preven:

The City Attorney's Office does not have any of those forms for any of the Council members. You would have to ask them directly. (I should note that the forms are not City-business and thus not subject to the California Public Records Act. So none of the members would be required to provide them to you.)  

Fauble  

Dear David Michaelson:

Mr. Michaelson,

Hope all is well.  

Let's give Fibble a breather, it's hump day! 

The problem with going door to door to get the Schedule Es (Form 1040) is that the city has represented that only Krekorian and Price have rental properties.  Please substantiate...  

There is only one way to find out, the honor system is kaput. 

Would you mind waking Feuer, and seeing if he'll write the council members a group email - in the interest of judicial economy - making it clear that your office expects CMs to immediately comply and send a carbon copy to the vaunted paper of record, dba, the LA Times.    

Thank you,

Eric Preven

POV on the LAPD beat:

Lillian Woodfin-Parker claimed the grounds for the attempted termination were that: (a) on January l8, 2013 Plaintiff fraudulently altered her sign-in/out sheet in violation of LAPD policy and made 15 calls from her cell phone and failed to sign out when she left her office area to make the call.  

Woodfin-Parker stated the reasons were patently false, and she claimed the LAPD Defendants' attempt to discharge her based on these false and trumped allegations of wrongdoing, in reality, was an attempt to discriminate, harass and retaliate against her based on her prior protected activities.  

Complex.   

She was in the hall trying to deal with a domestic violence situation, so  I wonder where Peace Over Violence was. They've been consulting with the Mayor to clean up the LAPD for years.  

It's definitely on the POV beat.  

What can the public do to reduce this type of alleged wrongdoing in the department and the number of claimants who feel compelled to come forward with such claims?  

Something different than secretly settling out each claimant, while learning and doing nothing.  

Is there any kind of front-facing corrective action plan when this horrible workplace activity happens?   

"Next speaker."   

If Caruso can...  or Bass wants to try... we're listening? 

How do Caruso and the LAPPL backers plan to shut this departmental cannibalism down?    

What's the strategy for a lasting fix?   

Who would Bass appoint as her designee to the City claims board? Caruso?  

If elected, will Bass appoint Caruso to be Police Chief?

 

(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)