22
Sat, Jun

Cringe, Here, Here and Here

ERIC PREVEN'S NOTEBOOK

ERIC PREVEN’S NOTEBOOK - President Biden: (Applause)  That guy is the real deal, man. As you just heard from Jill — Jill, he’s a combat veteran and a Rhodes Scholar. 

I’ve always worried about Rhodes Scholars, though, you know?  They’re so damn smart, I wonder about it, you know?  (Laughter.)  But all kidding aside…”  

  

The President wasn’t talking about Eric Garcetti, but rather, Wes Moore, who is now the Governor of Maryland.  Mazel tov. 

He also said, “Our lifetimes are going to be shaped by what happens the next year to three years.  It’s going to shape what the next couple of decades look like, for real.”    

One local fool wondered if Rick Caruso who said he was running For the Love of LA  would stand by his promise.  Even if Karen Bass prevails, …would she consider hiring Caruso to do all the cool things that he campaigned about doing?  

Many Angelenos were aroused to the possibility of an alternative approach to running the badly broken city. 

Metro fail:

Metro, where the mayor of Los Angeles has the most power on the MTA board, has struggled.    

Rapid bus lines have been decimated. The stops are further apart, less cars on the Expo Line and even with a billion dollars from the feds to bailout... fail. No potty at Universal redline. 

All the cutting service, underpaying of drivers, and paying OT to LAPD...has resulted in a new fare structure, that eliminates discount passes, raises the base fare, and institutes a pay-as-you-go system that caps the cost at certain levels.   Tag: Fare increase 

Written comments can be emailed to [email protected], or mailed to Metro Board Clerk, RE: Public Hearing on Metro Fare Changes, 1 Gateway Plaza, 99-3-1, Los Angeles, CA 90012.   

Rich v. Richer:

Back in the day when I was able to attend public meetings, detect the bullshit, call it all out and then sue those bastards to hold them accountable, some will remember the saga of Sportsmen's Lodge Hotel and the plan to demolish so many wedding and bat mitzvah dreams that had been celebrated on the Patio, in the smoking section (unfortunately).  The hotel is a charmer. 

The Developer sought Planning and Land Use permission in the stately Public Works meeting room, a surprisingly majestic space in downtown city hall.  On the day in question, Rabbi Jose Huizar was presiding and despite the wailing of an army of Studio City slickers about what was terribly wrong with the project, Huizar quietly ate a cookie. 

In the John Ferraro Chambers the following day, I cried foul and eventually dragged the entire city into a three-year legal struggle over the right to blast any item that appeared on a special meeting agenda.  The city had been engaged in a pattern and practice of Brown Act violation. 

A lot of people view lawsuits in the land use space as just another tool in the toolkit to delay or block a project that they don't like. Eventually, the developers always prevail... goes the logic.   

BREAKING (bad): 

  

Richard Weintraub, who ran the Sportsmen's Lodge hotel into the ground while gathering the entitlements from his crooked cronies at city hall for the River adjacent Landing, allegedly stepped off, so Midwood, a New York company could knock down the old event center and put up a parking lot... and a high end luxury mall.  

Ben Besley of Midwood, took over as Weintraub eased off into the backseat. He agreed to take Roomkey money to house the neediest during the darkest days of the pandemic.  What a great guy. 

E stands for elite, expensive...and egregious.  

This time, the spat is between the developer Midwood and Erewhon, the upscale grocery store.  

And if you have to ask how much it costs to work out at Equinox, you can't afford to shop at Erewhon.  FYI 

"This is the story of a New York developer engaging in a calloused, and illegal, bait-and-switch scheme to dupe its tenants, the residents of Studio City, and the City of Los Angeles. Cross-Defendants are a New York developer, who Erewhon is informed and believes has no ties with the Los Angeles area, and its related entities, who acquired the land surrounding the historic Sportsmen’s Lodge Hotel in Studio City from a local developer"

"Erewhon has engaged in every effort to be a good partner"  "Erewhon cannot further tolerate Cross-Defendants’ unlawful conduct."  

"Midwood et al. made multiple representations to Erewhon intended to give Erewhon the impression that, as the Center’s anchor tenant, it was receiving a favorable deal compared to other tenants, including Equinox. To the contrary, Equinox’s lease contained terms which were significantly more favorable than those being proposed to Erewhon." 

"At no point in time did Midwood et al. ever inform Erewhon that employee parking would eventually be moved offsite  In or around August 2021, after construction on the Center began, and after public approvals had been given, Midwood announced for the first time that they intended to replace the Hotel with a 520-unit apartment complex. This alarming news came as a surprise to Erewhon because Midwood had never previously mentioned that the Hotel would be demolished."   

Yeah! What the fuck ... cue the video of the monstrosity.   

Wait, what about the $400,000 Midwood collected to restore the hotel back to snuff, following the year and a half of Roomkey?   

Speaking of restoration, is it too soon to file an application to protect the hotel as a cultural-historical landmark? 

The lawsuit alleges that "Erewhon has dozens of employees who begin their shifts as early as 4:30 a.m. and end their shifts after midnight. Those employees are unable to access the proposed parking lot before or after their shifts. Erewhon is further informed and believes and thereon alleges, that the proposed parking lot is the only public parking lot within a one-mile radius of the Center. Accordingly, those employees will be forced to pay for onsite parking or rely on metered or residential parking during their shifts."  

"Grocery store customers (of any grocery store) do not want or expect to pay hefty parking fees to shop for groceries."   Hmmm, true. 

"In wrongfully making these changes to the parking lot, the Midwood have created an unnecessary safety hazard for those customers, and their children, which Erewhon is informed and believes has caused it damage and has deterred some customers from returning to this location.(Go, on... this sounds appealing.)  

Anyway, you can see where this is going, to court.  It's never good when the "The covenant of good faith and fair dealing" is invoked.  

Allegations of ... 

(Fraud – Intentional Misrepresentation) 

(Fraud – Concealment)  

(Negligent Misrepresentation)  

(Private Nuisance) 

Including violations of Bus. & Prof. Code §§ 17200, et seq. which broadly prohibits any unlawful, unfair, or fraudulent business act or practice and any unfair, deceptive, untrue, or misleading advertising.   

Who approved the Residences?   

Nobody but there's a hearing this week...  

 

 

Midwood is fighting back. 

"Puh-lease..." Midwood attorneys say, Erewhon is in material breach of the Lease, and Guarantor is in material breach of the Guaranty."  

"This case arises out of the unwarranted attempts by a luxury grocery store to bully its way out of complying with its obligations under the subject lease and bully its way into inserting rights that are contrary to the terms therein. Defendant Erewhon, with its $25 containers of yogurt and $50 bottles of vinegar, is a lucrative organic grocery store with locations in affluent neighborhoods such as Beverly Hills, Calabasas, and the Pacific Palisades."  

"For Erewhon, no matter how small, every issue is worthy of a grievance, and no matter how big, every commitment is worthy of evasion."  Harvard Westlake's who are just up Colwater's motto, is "We can because we think we can."   tk. 

An Erewhon executive allegedly said, “I don’t give a sh*t about my employees’ parking. They can park in the furthest area, and I don’t care what they pay.”  Lovely. 

"Erewhon’s conduct has caused, among other things, contamination of Landlord’s recycling bin, spillage in the trash room, and infestation of mice, birds and other pests."  

"Erewhon has breached the Lease by misusing the trash room and loading dock of the Premises, allowing rodents and other pests to be attracted to the Premises, and causing the Landlord to incur cleaning and trash collection costs, among other things. Despite repeated notices, Erewhon fails to comply."   

Midwood says these fancy grocers are rule breakers.  

  1. failing to pay Rent for at least four (4) months;  
  2. failing to install an electronic cart control system;  
  3. failing to properly store and remove its garbage; and   
  4. failing to follow the Center’s Rules.      
  5. stands for E-bike: 

County Conflict:

Howzabout, $3 for the ACLU, because the rights can't defend themselves, though we believe that certain activists will jump in when the ACLU is conflicted.  C'mon? 

I wonder how many county counsel attorneys have wondered if the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors are really driving decisions about the really yucky stuff or is there an agreement to allow them to "look away" thereby delegating authority to Roger Granbo?  

The linked chronology is a national treasure in the work focused on holding sneaky, conniving county counsel accountable. It's my gift to Dawyn Harrison, the interim county counsel currently serving the people. 

Why? Because the rights occasionally do need help from the public. 

County Deviation:

Deviation from Dean Logan's Official Update Schedule seems to be off. Releasing updates 2 days in a row...unheard for the Registrar's office, so what happened... and why?  

 

 Please explain the theory behind unscheduled updates.  

NBCUniversal + celebs heart U: 

The executive vp of corporate social responsibility for NBCUniversal told The Hollywood Reporter in an interview.  They "come to us from the outside often request, you know, what can I do to be a part of The More You Know? And how can I use that platform to raise awareness for the causes and the issues that I care about?" 

Sounds like the highly influential NBCU are coming up with clever ways to fill an enormous post-election advertising void. Time to enhance their PSA machinery.  Great idea. I read in the New York Times that TikTok's users spend an average of 96 minutes a day on the app-- nearly five times what they spend on Snapchat, triple their time on Twitter and almost twice as much time on Facebook and Instagram."    

While the network PSAs typically clock in at 30 seconds or under, each episode of the new campaign will be 5 to 9 minutes long, featuring more depth and discussion.    Go on...    

This is a good model for the city and the county when it comes to public comment,  Expand and Enhance.  EE. 

The "number one goal with this new format is, let’s get people talking about the important issues and spark a dialogue that leads to change,”   Among the topics on tap are the environment and climate change, criminal justice reform, food insecurity and racial stereotyping."    

I wonder if NBCU would be interested in covering the public meetings in LA county?   John Legend and Steph Curry are prepared to discuss their efforts to fight childhood hunger and provide kids with a quality education, with Legend also tackling criminal justice reform and Curry discussing his support for early childhood development.    

That's it, I'm in development on a local government show. 

Cringe, here, here and here: 

The cringe factor is coming.  When the progressives icons who fought in the trenches, rise up and finally get power — we can all set our watches to how long it will take to compromise the damn principles we elected them to fight for.   

Hey, wait, “Eunisses helped with the jail fight," and worked hard to nix the women's facility planned for Mira Loma by a sadist.  

True, but all of those activists looked away from the Board's wrongdoing as they rolled out their preferred speaker program, courtesy of Hilda Solis and MRT.   

The cavalcade of experts were given preferential treatment. It was severely, undemocratic and outrageous.   Lex? 

It's not 'undemocratic' if the board chooses you, though, right?   

Wrong. Cringe.  

I hope I was your favorite crime. 

Favorite Crime

Daniel Nigro / Olivia Rodrigo 

 

Know that I loved you so bad 

I let you treat me like that 

I was your willing accomplice, honey 

And I watched as you fled the scene 

Doe-eyed as you buried me 

One heart broke, four hands bloody 

 

You used me as an alibi 

I crossed my heart as you crossed the line 

And I defended you to all my friends  

And now, every time a siren sounds 

I wonder if you're around 

'Cause you know that I'd do it all again  

 

It's bittersweet to think about the damage that we do 

'Cause I was going down, but I was doing it with you 

Yeah, everything we broke, and all the trouble that we made 

But I say that I hate you with a smile on my face 

 

Oh, look what we became 

 

All the things I did 

Just so I could call you mine 

All the things you did 

Well, I hope I was your favorite crime

 

Cringe renewal: 

Mayor Garcetti must have cringed when he noted the piece in the New York Times and the photo of Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen as she was welcomed by Anant Maheshwari of Microsoft at the Microsoft India Development Center in Noida, on the outskirts of New Delhi, last week.  

Maheshwari, for one split second looks like Garcetti, if he would dye the salt and pepper out  Cringe.    

Paul Krekorian has been appearing in full sanctimony regalia, something like the pope, raising his scepter and invoking rule 12 and 7, to cleanse the chambers of an element.    

Once the hallowed hall has been fumigated, he can resume backroom dealing and the brokering of billboard deals and e-toilets.  

E is for Emergency:  

E-bikes are surging in popularity, but the benefits they bring — lower emissions, easy transportation — are threatened by the growing pile of bodies and deaths from blazes sparked by their lithium-ion batteries.   

I glanced at the very brief Axios report on how second-rate E-bike chargers will occasionally, go up in flames, 200 times recently in the City of New York.   

Hmm, I hope the community of E-minded assholes who race down our public beaches on those feistly little devils are careful.  

Malibu may be a high fire severity zone, depending upon whose asking. and we are all prioritized to protect Pepperdine (and the residents.)       

 Look, the E-bike industry does not need help from the public, they already have a surge of hostility aimed at their high injury numbers that have been capably buried, by the broken cheek lobby.     

The way that Paul Krekorian is able to justify the taking of som many complicated decisions that appear to screw his favorite constituents, like on billboards and E-crappers, is he frames his decision as the lesser of two evils. Got it. 

With new leadership at the helm in CD4, which, interestingly inherited several very hot potatoes put in place by Paul Krekorian et al.  

To be very specific, the proposed plan to tear down the hotel to put 520 residences at Sportsmen's Lodge, the percolating Weddington Golf fiasco and a nasty plan to put a high school regulation basketball court in our last bit of open space.   

Once again, Paul Krekorian knows... you have to pick your battles.   

Methinks, Nithya Raman, needs guidance from the public.  

(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)