Thu, Mar

The Harm Is Ongoing


ERIC PREVEN’S NOTEBOOK - “This harm is ongoing," Fesia Davenport told the Los Angeles Times.  She was talking about contracting fraud at the county, but not one word about how the county rolled into new agreements with American Golf Corporation on an ever-expanding number of county cash registers that they manage.   

The optics on a $71 million contract over fifteen years for 5 courses including Alondra, La Mirada, and Diamond Bar which are very good ones, and two other pretty good ones, Marshall Canyon and Norwalk (Don Knabe's baby) are blinding.     

Heist is probably too strong a term, but "steal" certainly fits the bill.    The lobbyist bill at one time was $25,000 a quarter payable to Matt Knabe, the son of Supervisor Don Knabe.  Kudos to the Englander Knabe & Allen the firm where he suits up and has pulled more than a hundred grand annually out of the registers for a decade. lol Not funny.  

 And thanks to the County Counsel for getting in there and going toe-to-toe for the public. The new leadership, including Jason Gonzalez, who spoke to the Times, seems to have negotiated a very nice Force majeure clause for the public.  

Normally, an FM clause removes liability for catastrophic, unforeseen events that prevent participants from fulfilling obligations.  Our crack legal team over at the county is watching out for the public's interest should the big one happen over the next fifteen years.   

Though it would be totally beyond their control, AGC would still have to show the county that it was beyond their control.  Wow.  Nice move by county counsel-- incidentally, you're all fired.       

Chair Janice Hahn and Hilda Solis are the real Angeleno street fighters ready to go into county government's dark alleys- just not the big open spaces that could work for affordable housing.  

Who will protect the Board of Supervisors from the anglers on Wall Street?  From the Trumps of the world who holds the contracts to the ice skating in New York City and Trump National Golf Course? From Wesley Edens the billionaire who gobbled up our county golf assets through a shady holding company?    

The public, silly.  Restore regular meetings with agenda items to once a week.  


The Greatest of All Time has been coming up a lot.  World cup soccer's grappling right now with whether Lionel Messi who led the Argentinean side to victory over France, is the best ever.  Viva Argentina.* 

He's only good with one foot, but very good...  

The same greatest of all-time discussion has been going on regarding public comment.  At one time there was Zuma Dogg.  Then,  Wayne Spindler and his merry band of puppets.  There was Huizar's nemesis with a very strong taste for the offensive, Herman Herman. Certainly, Doug Haines and Rob Quan or the protestor with the strap-on child aboard, Jason Reedy is worthy of consideration.   

Could any of them be impersonated by a ChatGPT?  ChatGPT is an AI program that copies your voice and says things based on what you've said in the past as noted in an archive, comprised essentially of everything you've ever said on the internet.   

The technology is very new so basically doesn't work. If you ask Chatbot a question - what does Eric Preven think about the Board of Supervisors...it's not very nuanced and so could be inaccurate. 

It would be like asking a young USC student what would Eric Preven say about the protestors.  The answer could sound like me, but it would be wrong if the young person missed some irony, that say, a seasoned professor might catch.  Hi, Vince! 

For this reason, ChatGPT's technology is frequently wrong.   

Hmmm, that seems familiar...  

Could we use a ChatGPT algorithm to ensure a public speaker is speaking on the correct item during public comment?  

This would free up Strefan Fauble, the city attorney, to do his job-- in this case, shutting the F**k up! 

15-years is Zeitgeisty: 

Or how about the item on Tuesday's agenda to issue another 15-year lease to the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk. Why is the county of Los Angeles paying rent to  an LLC connected to  Edward P. Roski Jr. the billionaire, and president of Majestic Realty?   

Why not?   He owns more than 83 million square feet of real estate across the United States, as a business park developer through his company. I wonder if he's got some goodies for the Supervisors and Mayor Karen Bass?    

Recommendation: Authorize the Chief Executive Officer to execute a proposed 15-year lease with RR&C CROSSROADS NO. 1, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company (Landlord), for approximately 144,000 sq ft of office/warehouse space, and 785 on-site parking spaces, located at 13401 Crossroads Parkway North in the City of Industry (1) to be occupied by the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk (RR/CC), with an estimated maximum first-year base rental amount of $3,312,000 paid to the Landlord!    


Item three on Tuesday's board agenda is a Public Hearing on... ensuring that not only the ushers, but the staff of the many helpers... can park over at the Music Center. 

Parking waivers are perennial. This time of year some spaces are being set aside for Grand Park and The Music Center lot, excluding the cost of liability insurance, for the 10th Annual New Year’s Eve Los Angeles 2022:  

$6,390 in parking fees for 639 vehicles on December 31, 2022;  

$240 in parking fees,

$1,000 in parking fees,  

$2,061 in parking fees, for use of Lot 26 all day 

ISD Parking Services, led by Selwyn Hollins who previously cooked the books over at the City of Los Angeles.    ISD monitors and oversees the management of 27 parking facilities throughout the County that includes parking facilities in the Civic Center, in Downtown Los Angeles, and the Outlying area. The Music Center and Walt Disney Concert Hall parking garages (AP 14 and AP 16) are two such facilities in the Civic Center.    

Other hot ticket items for Tuesday's 67-item salute include: 

19) Community Care Expansion Preservation Program Administration and Management of Funds to Further Address Los Angeles County’s Board and Care Crisis

62-A) Extending Emergency Eviction Protections to Align with the City of Los Angeles’ Protections 

60) City of Los Angeles Election 

52) Report by the Inspector General on Reforms and Oversight Efforts  

50) Legal Representation for an Administrative Proceeding  

39) Report on the financial status of the Department of Health Services

22)  County Support of the City of Los Angeles in their State of Emergency  

9) Phase Out of Oleoresin Capsicum Spray at Central Juvenile Hall

Phase Out of Oleoresin Capsicum Spray at Central Juvenile Hall

Off The Tee:

I read that in 2023 the most exciting feature people are trying to grab is outdoor spaces. Real estate values have apparently softened a little, but the rich will just get richer.   

What if the Harvard Westlake Trustees were to put their large real estate holdings to good use and invite the students over after school to practice.   

Sure, they'll still need some big fields, and they have them, but for the elite little trainings and workouts, instead of trying to cram a small Harvard Westlake City in our last bit of open space, they. could pop on over to Munger's house.  

Munger owns the Daily Journal that collects the public money to run the notices that nobody sees before we seize the money out of the pockets of the poorest people in Los Angeles to make you richer.    

Wall Street says it's a buy. 


(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)