Sat, Apr

Raising Stature and Lowering Standards


ERIC PREVEN’S NOTEBOOK - The City’s biodiversity initiative was moving forward at item 19 on Wednesday calling for more progress on the revitalization of the City Hall rooftop garden; and the creation of biodiversity showcase sites. 

Mayor Karen Bass was on the front page of the NYTimes among other big city mayors ... and county supervisor Janice Hahn also appeared in the paper in connection with one of the biggest press rollouts in the history of LA County. Right up there with Zev Yaroslavsky's famous Carmaggedon 405 widener that cost billions and “solved” the 405 traffic problem*. 

It had to do with the reparation and restoration of the Bruce Family, who had their property fleeced by Manhattan Beach years ago.   

After thousands of hours of legal work, followed by a county lowball offer to cash out, that was accepted by the Bruce family, it was done.  

The hearts sank a bit, but there is nothing to do, but resolve to never allow such virulent bigotry and disenfranchisement to exist in our nation or frankly any nation.  

As for the biodiversity showcase atop City Hall, just know that the Ethics Commission will not relinquish their 24th-floor office suites without a robust fight.   

As a City organ, they have successfully passed many stones that tried to clog up the works… including Sergio Perez, who can now be found lurking around the Herb Wesson Bridge by the Ron Galperin suit swap rack. 

The double thank you, one from the President and one immediately on the heels from Tonto, is making a comeback.  

Paul Krekorian:  “Thank you, Mr. Harlan”

Stefan Fabule:  ”Thank you.” 

Karate chop the line here!  

One very smart speaker came on and wanted to thank, Marqueece Harris-Dawson for cracking down on the  AT&T operation… finally.   There was an item to explore wtf was going on with eight weeks of dead service for the landlines of people with pacemakers tied to them?  Even Ted Ross took the stand, thereby proving that all Angelenos should be shown in a dignified way on City Telecasts. (Exceptions…1-1000 Does) 

The sharp speaker reminded me that up on Temple street, there had been a major goal-line stand, the other day,  to roar down an AT&T plan to put up a cell tower.  This was before the board of supervisors locked arms and faced off with the powerful telephone company. They refused to give the go-ahead. 

“Enough is enough."  

Apparently, Harvey Englander, the city’s most storied lobbyist and uncle of nibling, Mitchell Englander, who may have been out on a golf course when he got the AT&T news,, shanked it badly off the tee and shattered a window at the Lakewood clubhouse.  

Not a banner moment for AT&T...who have been plying city hall for decades and accordingly, getting whatever the “F” they want.   

But here it is, now, a new flank has been opened from the city and the office of Marqueece Harris-Dawson.    The man is coming in hot --Krekorian adores AT&T. 

He continued, “Barbara Osborn shimmying over from Sheila Kuehl's office to work with Katy Yaroslavsky (the daughter-in-law council member from District 5 who inherited the Koretz mess)  is expected and appropriate.   

Osborn is very smart, and a longtime professional.  There is one small detail.   

Forty-thousand is not even close. Not remotely close to what Barbara gets out of bed for.  Frankly, this is an insult. Tori her mother, is in the $200 thousand plus category, Fauble, but this is the smart daughter. How smart can she be expected to be at forty thousand?  No offense, but Karo Torossian is over $225,000. 

For Pentatonix to get a star on the walk of fame… seriously?   

Let's do a little pivot and assess what our goal is here. Pentatonix is not one of the great American groups of all time.  No disrespect, they’re a talented acapella group, but I think it’s time for prioritization. 

Some communities use Acapella music to roust or keep unhoused people moving, but not here. 

Also, it was nice to see Jon Favreau getting a star on a sidewalk where street vendors have been blocked from all the fun.   I support what Hugo is doing to start up that battle.  

Though, I admit that I did a double take because Favreau who broke in with Swingers, of course, but went on to direct one of the greatest comedies of all time, so says me — Elf, featuring James Caan as Will Ferrel's father.   

My god, so funny...what a genius.   

And the other Favreau, the Obama speechwriter, who the President called his mind-reader. They had an interesting process. They would sit together for four hours discussing a speech, then often weeks of research and discussion… eating junk food, and playing basketball.  Like young college students.  

What a romantic time... 

Fauble: You can go on to General. 

When I see Prop O on the agenda, I tense up because I know that Council President Krekorian is trying to stick a high school regulation basketball court in the field at the old Studio City Recreation Center, and would do annnything to realize that horrible dream.   

Why does he want to destroy a lovely little recreation center, send it to a landfill, and put up something that is net zero but looks like it belongs at LAX, not a local park?  Absolutely abhorrent, and outrageous, and mark my words, Prop K does not stand for Krekorian!  

The  RVNOC is coming soon but nobody knows  — a classic city play — harvesting voter-approved proposition money, 28 years later, is frequently done on the down low with the assistance of Neil Drucker.   

Key to moving the money quickly and in large bundles, without accountability.  

And it never hurts to enlist a crooked (or dim-witted) congressman, like, Brad Sherman.  

Why would Sherman agree to pimp this particular ride?    

Approving millions of federal dollars to do something nobody in the neighborhood, except the high school regulation basketball community needs (Harvard-Westlake).  The only people who want this thing are the appointed members of the LVNOC, who voted for it despite massive resistance to an ill-conceived project.  

Tim Mcosker, an American businessman, attorney, and former lobbyist, serving as a member of the Los Angeles City Council for the 15th district requested a no-cost lease with the Office of Congresswoman Nanette Barragán for a suite in the City-owned San Pedro Municipal Building, located at 638 South Beacon Street, San Pedro, California 90731.  


Doug Haynes from the public and East Hollywood NC reported on a 92-year homeless man who gets $1,100 and with his 70-something girlfriend, takes a hotel for some days…but has trouble getting vouchers.  

The Caseworkers only work from 7a-4pm, he said.  And they won’t provide the old man transportation… no exceptions. 

LAHSA will take $9000 / week, he said,  but this 90-year-old can’t get transportation.  

He asked CD13 to help.   Maybe Mr. Mejia could have look?  

Monica Rodriguez, of CD7, came under widespread attack for throwing out the Sunland Tujunga neighborhood council, so elected to take "A personal point of order… Mr. President."


She went on to say that she had been targeted, and refuted some of the claims.   

A member of the public got through and said, the Brown act says you may make brief clarifying remarks, but Rodriguez went on for five minutes.  "How is that a brief clarifying remark?"   

 "What are you doing there Fauble?  How do you sit with yourself at night, if you are just there to be a lap dog!  And allow our elected officials to violate our rights." 

Fauble:  "Thank you Mr. Kwan."  

Paul Krekorian:  "I  need to respond to you because this was an agendized item that Ms. Rodriguez spoke about. So, I am afraid you are just mistaken. She is entitled to speak about an agendized item. We took it out of order, but she had every right to have that conversation.   

I appreciate your comment it relates to a different provision of the Brown Act when it is a general public comment.    

Next Speaker.  

Diplomatic Speaker: "Council Member Curren D. Price needs to apologize to “my mother, black LA and to me” and Mayor Karen Bass should host the African Diplomatic Corp LA City Hall recognition ceremony and reception as intended, restore me as the creative architect of the African Diplomatic Corp ceremony and open the doors to City Hall so Black LA can attend.  

Krekorian: Thank you. 

Fauble:  Thank you. 

Not Happier:

The New York Times wrote a gushy love letter to Gustavo Dudamel, who they called a superstar maestro. Earlier this month, the Philharmonic, in a major coup, poached him from Los Angeles.  


Family ties (again): 

The California assemblywoman Mia Bonta was recently appointed as chair of the arcane-sounding but important Assembly Budget Subcommittee 5.  

That committee oversees California Attorney General Rob Bonta’s budget — $1.2 billion last year — and her role raised questions about whether a lawmaker should wield the public purse strings of a partner.   


At first, Mia Bonta argued to reporters and critics that there was nothing untoward in the arrangement and that the budget process of her committee would be transparent, but eventually wrote that she would recuse on such votes.  

It's perfectly legal but still shameful.   

At the county level, Elan Shultz has transitioned out of the Third District and into a new role at the Department of Mental Health [email protected].   

Not sure if this means we should scratch him off the shortlist to run the whole department.  

The second Tuesday of closed sessioneering in a row featured meetings re: the appointment to the position of Fire Chief; the appointment to the position of Director, Department of Mental Health; and meetings re: the appointment to the position of Director, Department of Public Social Services. 

Also, Department Head performance evaluations. One question has arisen, will Chief Executive Officer Fesia Davenport deliver on $25/HOUR?  

Stature Raising Activities:

Despite the Senate stalling on Garcetti’s nomination to the post of Ambassador to India, Biden has resubmitted him and the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations (SCRF) will pick up his new nomination during a business meeting scheduled for February 28th.  

While the panel will reconsider, it does not necessarily mean Garcetti will be confirmed by the Senate, in which Democrats hold a thin majority.  

Chuck Schumer was in India and met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday.  President Biden will see PM Modi at the G7-outreach summit in Hiroshima in May, and then again in Sydney.  

 The U.S. Ambassador’s residence in Delhi, Roosevelt House, has gone into renovations.  

One question:  Does the ambassador job come with a security detail?    

I was stunned to see that Garcetti is redoubling his efforts to get approved.  

What must he be thinking?  One has to assume he is laser-focused as he has always been on raising his stature.  

The man has been directly accused of massive perjury, so in a way, he has nothing to lose.   In one sense, quadrupling down, if he were innocent, would be the only thing that makes sense.  

If you are on the record, as he is already, lying through his teeth to congress, the best most brilliant move is probably to act like an innocent guy.  

A smeared person would go hard to clear their name - like Seligman and Ciardullo. 


(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)