ERIC PREVEN’S NOTEBOOK - Among the ‘a little too late’ motions, one member of the public was imagining a Motion for mental health funding, to cover the staff trauma from this entire mess unfolding at City Hall in Los Angeles.
At an earlier meeting, Marqueece Harris-Dawson of CD8, went on the attack when a speaker who identified as a Florida Gator made some offensive remarks in public comment. Harris-Dawson, who allegedly flipped off a constituent at a meeting, was furious at the disrespectful "hate" speech. He reminded his colleagues that elected officials like us signed up with the knowledge that we would potentially be exposed to this type of thing, but these gosh darn workers (I'm paraphrasing) "did not sign up for this." Hopefully, the Los Angeles Times will release Rick Caruso's secret meetings with his team. Not to mention Paul Krekorian’s secret meetings about the endless supply of city retaliation.
Sen. Alex Padilla was speaking at an event on Tuesday, April 22, 2022. Rep. Tony Cardenas was there as was, Metro CEO Stephanie Wiggins. And the City Council President, Nury Martinez with her trusted henchman, Council Member and Metro Board Member Paul Krekorian was right by her side, soaking up the Senatorial juice. It’s more of a boost than a typical Red Bull, but less than a triple Johnny Walker Red on the rocks. It was a beautiful day.
Back in June, when all the council members were saying nice things about the Senator’s baby brother, Ackley, the chief of staff to Nury Martinez, Paul Krekorian took the lead at contextualizing how important the political firepower from the northeast valley had become.
Alex Padilla, a homegrown Pacoima kid, where the blunt talk about politics…
“Sir, you’re disrupting the meeting.”
I’ve always believed if they try to shut you down, push back. If they shut you down, and you have the time and energy, “write ‘em up!”
The section on the cost of good help is instructive.
Glendale Council Member, Metro Chair Ara Najarian and Executive Secretary of LA-OC Building & Construction Trades Council Chris Hannan were also there.
What's a synonym for "I told you so"
Don't say I didn't warn you!
Now do you believe me!?
What did I tell you!?
You should have listened to me...
How many times did I tell you not to do that?
Alex Padilla, Nury's mentor who he called, his sister - looked away from some interesting results and discrepancies noted carefully but not investigated by David Zahniser of the Los Angeles Times. For one thing, both Nury and Krekorian's very handsome challenger turned in the same number of sigs...
"Sir, you're disruping the meeting."
"Beckloff..." cut him off.
There’s a more current complaint about signature checking, this time by the kooks including Steve Cooley who tried to recall George Gascon twice, District Attorney of Los Angeles and hate crime victim. This one alleges Dean Logan and the county screwed up accidentally on purpose.
Gascon is the one who "soon to be hate crime defendant," Nury Martinez said, “Fuck that guy, he’s with the blacks.”
For those who have their heads firmly planted in the parking lot at Sofi (Hi, Stu!), Mr. Gascon has been furiously attacked for initiating progressive reforms to the Systemic Criminal Justice Failure, SCJF and associates, LLC.
Paul Krekorian, the fixer.
Whether by hook or by crook, Paul Krekorian, managed to come out of the redistricting crisis with a carefully manscaped border with Nithya Raman’s new fourth! Luckily for Krekorian several hotspots of community outrage are no longer his problem. Bingo!
He cashed the dozens of private school parent checks from Harvard Westlake and Oakwood among others, delivered the goods… and now buh-bye: See Ms. Raman.
This explains why his trusted sidekick, number three of three sidekicks, Karo Torossian, was testifying about illegal activities during the redistricting period. A deep fake.
In the final carving round, the office of Paul Krekorian, known as the great “unifiers” were suddenly fighting for Brown Act compliance.
Who can Reply?
Krekorian’s ongoing fundraising practices to pay off his personal debt and his mutually beneficial relationship with developers and lobbyists have outraged many in the City.
Many in Council District 2 are familiar with councilman’s staff misrepresenting issues, dodging complaints and ignoring their calls.
Metro, Ara Najarian is being encouraged to go as the the character of Dr. Evil, from the often hilarious Mike Myers-Austin Powers films, for halloween.
LA City Councilmember Curren Price and his trusted sidekick, Curtis Earnest, who was briefly sniffed by the feds during Price’s build-out of the new ninth is vying for Council President. He’s seasoned (older) and knows where the bodies are buried. And how to pay the bill for political support.
In April, Price was joined today by The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), and Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI) to announce a $1.25 Million Immigration Relief Fund benefiting District 9 neighbors.
Councilman Price has a long history of supporting immigration programs for mixed-status families. In 2017, he pledged $1 million in grants for immigrants’ legal services, including help for District 9 residents to gain citizenship.
The latest round of grants will allow the three immigrant advocacy groups to provide legal services, universal representation, as well as outreach and education.
Marqueece Harris-Dawson wanted Exposition Park back…
“Sir, you’re disrupting the meeting.”
Many will remember Mark Ridley-Thomas MRT slinking out of the Chiquita landfill hearing to take his place alongside Curren Price married to Del Richardson and Herb Wesson, married to Fabian Wesson, at the George Lucas Narrative museum.
It was Wesson who empowered Nury Martinez by giving her the keys to the castle, following his astonishing run as Council President and spectacular loss to Holly J. Mitchell in the race to fill MRTs seat.
Ridley-Thomas is still standing, but barely since Marilyn Flynn pleaded guilty to bribing him to facilitate the placement of his son Sebastian Ridley-Thomas in a cushy professorship gig, without a graduate degree.
Kevin de Leon stood with Anthony Rendon and made a joint statement that California is – and must always be – a refuge of justice and opportunity for people of all walks, talks, ages and aspirations – regardless of how you look, where you live, what language you speak, or who you love.
If you get in trouble, we have your back… you can stay!
The criminal activities occurred in 2017-18, the indictment alleges. In December 2017, the then 30-year-old Assemblyman Sebastian Ridley-Thomas abruptly resigned from the California State Legislature. He claimed at the time it was for health reasons, but it was later revealed that he was facing an internal sexual harassment investigation.
He was then almost immediately hired by USC as a professor of social work and public policy, despite not having a graduate degree.
However, USC administrators launched an investigation and Sebastian Ridley-Thomas was then fired in July of 2018.
Prosecutors allege that as part of the bribery scheme, Mark Ridley-Thomas and Flynn took steps "to disguise, conceal, and cover up the bribes, kickbacks, and other benefits."
Flynn was dean for 21 years. The indictment says USC "removed" her from the position around June 2018.
Caruso be wicked smaht.
Watch him tear down the obelisk and blame MRT. The Price: (Not you Curren)... if you have to ask, call the LA Times data desk. Hopefully, they'll have some fresh numbers on the "missed dinners" Nury Martinez mentioned in her hollow apology. See Frank Bruni's NYT opinion today.
The cost of good help: bonus of $1,375 ($700 part-time) was approved by the County Board a few months ago for all Service Employees International Union Local 721 bargaining units, that have signed an MOU.
At the end of June in City Hall, the great Ackley Padilla, baby brother of Senator Alex Padilla, who made his way from the northeast valley to Washington, was stepping away from city duties, to be with his family.
Nury finally took off her mask for her longtime chief of staff, who she said, had been a "staple" in these hallowed chambers.
She didn't call them hallowed, but she did say that Ackley was the epitome of the guy who would send funny gifts, emojis, guaranteed to put a smile on your face" while being a truly invaluable member of the CD6 team.
Ackley is leaving to become a fulltime dad, an activity he adores and has missed, given all the difficult long hours characterized by and endless supply of "emergencies" that never stop.
Ackley, according to Nury, has never shied away from the calls, never lost sight of his family. The way Blumenfield has never lost sight of FEMA refunds.
"It's not a goodbye, it' as C U later... "and it's not a C U next Tuesday either, because Ackley is "more like a brother and sister..." with Nury in the role of older sister.
Ackley has been second to none at handling Nury when was stressing out. "He always knows what to say, to make me feel better -- you can't find people like that," said Nury.
"I look forward to hanging out in Pacoima..."
If it were not appended to the very end of the meeting, there would have been some kind of trumpet announcing that The United State Senator from the Great State of California, Alex Padilla... was in the Chambers.
Rumor has it, the Senator did not want to alert the Mayor who one could argue was being slightly shunned while waiting for an India disposition.
Senator Padilla, whipped off the mask and addressed Nury Martinez, who he later referred to as his "sister."
"Thank you madame president... thank you for allowing me to be back..." to honor my brother. Padilla, who served as Council President from 2001 to 2006ish, and then Secretary of State before filling Boxer's seat, said, Ackley was a "tremendous public servant."
People constantly tell him, "I met your brother, he's better and funnier than you are and way better with people, but why does he root for the Angels and not the Dodgers?"
Then, the Senator turned serious, who better than Ackley, he reasoned way back when, "to be my eyes and ears, my consiglieri in the northeast valley."
Godfather language and blood runs thicker than any scandal or lobbying opportunity, that may have gone wrong. Padilla became farklempt when he said, "Ackley was living up to the standard that our family always held up that "family comes first."
MRT, who reportedly watches all City Council meetings, had to blow his nose at this point. Channel 35, who have explored more interesting shots of the council members recently, including the grandstanding three-shot, where the honored is flanked by the honorer and the council president for underwriting the whole thing. Also an extension of the #Blumenfield's nose public reduction program is appalling, but ITA found the manpower to play a short video, followed by a variety of deeply moving remarks from Curren D. Price, who said, "you were on Nury's payroll, but you served us all."
Monica Rodriguez of CD7 said, Ackley, "you are in my district."
Kevin Deleon, who clearly didn't know Ackley that well, saw an opportunity to bow down before a Senator brother, "In the six or seven months... just a little, when I've engaged with you, you've always been professional, thoughtful, always even-keeled, and a straight-shooter and those are the characteristics we appreciate very much, especially when they are in the ecosystem whether it be here or in Washington, they validate and double down. Professional, even-keeled, straight shooter, problem-solver of the human condition.
You have so many more years, but I can already tell we need more people like you. "
O'Farrell started clapping inappropriately, before he was given a chance. His comments were adequate.
One member referenced that the US Senator used to go to Pattys in Toluca Lake, where their father had worked. I got emotional there because I loved that luncheonette diner. I would go there with a right wing TV Director, who frequently called me a commy liberal, and we would argue during lunch, and then after a quick round of insults, we'd go back to work at NBC.
John Lee, told his story about how Ackley wouldn't call him by his name, John.
The public wondered, "Staffer B?" No, apparently Ackley was very formal and when he would run into John Lee Staffer B at a campaign event, he would call him "Mister Lee."
Mister Mike Bonin, spoke of a quiet rockstar, a humble, self-effacing guy who always gets stuff done. He said, "I may have annoyed Nury... " Council President Martinez quipped, "No, never, Mike!"
"But as chiefs of staff, they always get the bad stuff, none of the praise," said Bonin, who was Rosendahl's chief a thousand years ago.
Herbert J. Wesson, still not indicted, quoted Rudyard Kipling after saying, "I hate to see you leave this building."
Ackley was the hub of the wheel of the San Fernando High School legacy of the San Fernando valley.
The political empowerment that emerged from the northeast San Fernando Valley in the democratic party was carefully noted. Ackley is not someone who would "fudge or gild the lily" and we can always count on his northeast valley "honesty."
Krekorian, who has controlled the reserve fund admirably, but has struggled with higher than tolerable ass-kissing levels, during the instant drought said, In City Hall, "Ackley, is like.. Beyonce or Madonna."
After everyone who was willing to suck up had a chance, except Harris-Dawson, who had cleverly reserved an adjournment that would feature a strong 'civil rights' theme, likely to impress Senator Padilla, Ackley took off the mask.
He looked different than I remember, but that's those masks. Everyone does. Including, Nury. "This is a difficult job, the commitment... the chief-calls... "Ackley said.
"I see Avak. I haven't worn a tie since the pandemic.
Avak is grinding his teeth, he hates it..." He was referring to Avak Keohtian, a Chief Legislative Analyst who once outlined to me and an LAPD officer who chuckled along, how, in Avak's view, the public elected city officials to run the government and once they do that, they should essentially stay out of the way.
These people are simply, disrupting the meetings. Avak hates the public and believes strongly, "Leave it to the pros." and for god sakes, wear a necktie.
Ackley's closer was something out of Pacoima, the sitcom.
His last comment was to thank his wonderful wife, who he said had to work that day, but had kissed him goodbye before quipping: "Don't forget you have to clean the garage this weekend."
reprinted for your convenience.
For benchmarking, the one-time "You in the boat" signing
A good drama
…keeps the storylines rolling beyond their natural life, extending the pleasure of the lack of resolution.
It would not be satisfying if the first time the audience meets a villain, he or she were automatically apprehended.
That's called justice, and the subject of a different upcoming column.
In the real world and on daytime dramas, many of which have been canceled over the years, good material gets dragged out for as long as necessary or possible, depending upon the path chosen by the Executive Producer.
Apparently, the City of Los Angeles has decided to post Youtube videos of old city council meetings just when modern-day, ultra-short council meetings are ending.
After one of the briefest meetings held by the Los Angeles City Council in recent memory, a video popped up that seemed a bit dated.
For one thing, the council president was a younger, even more handsome, Eric Garcetti, and I was sucked into the show that was very energetic, and managed as something like a pageant. First, up was a single mother, Martha P. Swiller, who came to the table with her infant and was praised and approved to serve on the commission for Children Youth and Families. [In 2022, the city is building out a similarly themed department.]
After some light, friendly questioning and warm rubber stamping, at about 35:50 seconds into the Youtube from this March 22, 2006 City Council meeting, Andrea A. Alarcon takes a seat at the table.
The crowd goes wild. The lights dim, all council members rise.
Led by a feisty Wendy Greuel, a spectacular pageant from yesteryear (and today) like besties Herb Wesson and Jose Huizar, who who were there. A young, Alex Padilla, who is now the Senator from California, is rolled out.
For twenty minutes, the council interviews Alarcon about her appointment by the mayor to the Board of Transportation Commissioners.
Alarcon is a super star, and the boys ate her up. She'd arrived a tad late, due to a broken down car on the way to her hearing. Her bonafides were breathtaking, she went to Georgetown, worked on hate crimes in DC... fought domestic violence in LA, was appointed by Gray Davis, fought an anti-rico campaign... and worked as Special Assistant to the AG, Bill Lockyear.
Let me say this, Ms. Alarcon's TV Q rating, would be something like Mary Tyler-Moores in her heyday, if channel 35 did testing on characters and their popularity.
Dennis Zine bound forward, and gently at first, but then more forcefully rolled out a few complaints about the horrible traffic and the horrible commute. Zeitgeisty, even today, I thought. A much younger, Greig Smith jumped up and gushed that Andrea, worked in his office as a high school student... "this charming young lady created a 50-page community service guide that we still use today!"
Tom LaBonge asked Alarcon about the cross streets in the valley, Roscoe, Victory... and signalization for the right speeds. [Holy crap, I thought...we are still mowing people down on those cross streets today.]
"If you are trying to blend into 35 mph it's one thing, if it's 50 you are going to cause a problem," Labonge said. After rambling on for a few minutes, he handed off to Andrea, "Anything on your mind?" "I want to increase our profitability... " she said, "grow the funds to make good investments all around."
Padilla, now a Senator from California was very proud of Alarcon's northeast valley genetic leadership... and hoping to work on quality of life issues.
Ed Reyes talked about the DASH bus... at rail stations. He said, he wanted to build it out sensible... mapping out the loops, capturing riders near the station who will opt-in. He sounded much smarter than the others.
Alarcon, said, "A little known fact, is that I used to walk several miles to the bus stop, as a single mom, wait in cold rainy weather..." [This was way back when, when it rained]. "If there is anything I can do to improve DASH, I would be happy to do that..."
Reyes was concerned about the cost of gas. Bill Rosendahl called Alarcon a Champ because she "appreciates Sacramento."
And then Andrea Alarcon stuck the landing, "public safety is integral to transportation."
Jonny Peltz, who works as a writer at KnockLA among other publications insisted on Twitter, “Gil Cedillo did make racist comments about Armenians.”
He was responding to Cedillo’s contention that he’d didn’t actually join in all the racist hate, but should have intervened.
Robin Abcarian, a columnist at the Los Angeles Times who has not been seen walking hand in hand along Venice Beach, took the bait, “Because, it was more obnoxious and juvenile than racist, IMHO” she replied.
Cerise Castle, another larger than life progressive journalist who produced and executive produced at least two seasons of the LASD Gangbangers streaming on KnockLA, chimed in, “Were they “racially charged?”
Abcarian wiggled, “I mean making fun of someone’s unibrow is dumb, but racist?”
Peltz, went to the basket and tried to dunk, getting substantial air, “In the context of the rest of the conversation and the name mocking it sounded absolutely intended as a racist comment. Perhaps cutting politicians this much slack at your publication over the years is part of why this all happened.”
He stumbled and banged his head, as Abcarian scooped up the ball and took an easy lay up, “You wouldn’t know anything about this story except for our reporting.“ 2 points.
At the buzzer, the public hit from the outside for three, “The audio was published on Reddit.”
The alleged unibrow, has been identified by the public as the President of Chief Strategies, Mr. Areen Ibranossian.
Areen deserves his own chapter because a few pieces fell out of his resume on the way to his new job; namely, six years of Krekorian dirty work. Some of it is covered in an earlier article, here.
Areen been working at 360 Strategies, but when he opened his new shingle, in 2021, he dramatically understated his service to Paul Krekorian in CD2.
Fact: His wife Sara, still works as Krekorian's top scheduler. She's very nice.
It is not fair to say Gil Cedillo never got called an asshole. The biggest problem was the MAGA incident.
Although Picasso rarely sold or exhibited his cut papers during his lifetime, he signed, dated and archived them just as he did all his works.
They were part of a more private studio practice, created as independent works of art or in relation to works in other mediums, but also as models for his fabricators and as gifts or games for family and friends.
I confess to a willingness to sign certain CityWatch articles with carefully negotiated dynamic pricing.
Many examples of the cut work have been stored flat or disassembled in portfolios until now and will regain their original three-dimensional forms when presented in the exhibition.
The Hammer is in Westwood on the UCLA campus from OCT 01, 2022 - DEC 31, 2022. Same UCLA, who gave the middle finger to the PAC 10, for money. Go (fuck yourself) Bruins!
And Go Blue! (No disrespect to the Big Ten! Or Michigan — actually, lots of disrespect, as the son of now deceased coach Bo Schembechler, pleaded with his father to help but the coach did nothing, in the face of horrible allegations later found true.
This is happening with the City Council Implosion… Paul Krekorian is not the steady hand we need.
He has had his hand on the city’s checkbook for long enough.
The city has been preparing for a seismic debacle, but nothing like the Trio-of-hate-gate
Gil Cedillo was never called an asshole! Wrong.
Pablo Picasso Song by The Modern Lovers
Songwriters: Jonathan Richman
Well some people try to pick up girls
And get called assholes
This never happened to Pablo Picasso
He could walk down your street
And girls could not resist his stare and
So Pablo Picasso was never called an asshole
Well the girls would turn the color
Of the avocado when he would drive
Down their street in his El Dorado
Well he was only 5'3"
But girls could not resist his stare
Pablo Picasso never got called an asshole
Not like you
Sun Valley Wrestling:
Paul Krekorian is the councilman who has to grapple with the horrible lawsuit at Poly High less than a mile from his office and six blocks from an LA Family Housing facility.
Since Council President Nury Martinez and councilmen Kevin de León, Curren Price and Krekorian sought a report on the governance structure of LAHSA and how the city could increase direct oversight over homeless outreach and services…
Our heart goes out to the families, during this period where the county will exploit the city’s vulnerability, and quash the LAHSA-exit initiative.
Paul Krekorian, who is credited and blamed with running the most disgusting mill of shameful municipal lawsuits based on behavior that will never change if he’s allowed to continue haggling in closed sessions, must be all-hands-on-deck with the families of Poly High students who were molested by the local wrestling coach, Terry Gillard.
During the trial, at which he was convicted of molesting nine children, it came out that he had been abusing young wrestlers as far back as 1991.
The victims will receive a $52-million settlement in a lawsuit that alleged the Los Angeles Unified School District knew of prior sexual misconduct and did nothing about it.
That’s the problem Krekorian runs into. He knows. He’s been serving as the designated… closet.
He’s the keeper of secrets.
Jurors heard testimony about how Coach Gillard directed an 11-year-old boy to have sex with a woman in the backseat of the coach’s Cadillac while he watched.
He then also engaged in a sex act with the minor, according to prosecutors.
(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)