14
Fri, Jun

Off-Topic

ERIC PREVEN'S NOTEBOOK

ERIC PREVEN’S NOTEBOOK - A similar group of partisan players who made Eric Garcetti's passage to India possible by voting for his confirmation despite shocking and disturbing evidence grounded Phil Wahington's hopes of leading the Federal Aviation Agency [FAA]. 

Honestly, the head of the FAA is a horrible job. Mr. Washington will be fine.  Sheila Kuehl, who inadvertently dragged him into the term-long Sheriff Villanueva feud while feeding Peace Over Violence bestie Patti Giggans, used to say Phil was the "best CEO in America." What about former County CEO Sachi Hamai, who got a $1.5 million dollar golden parachute from Skip Miller and runs marathons? 

L.A. County Supervisor Lindsey Horvath cast the lone no vote against the LAPD contract extension at the LA County Metropolitan Transit Authority meeting.  She said in a statement: "We cannot blindly hand out taxpayer dollars for contracted services without knowing what we are getting in return.” 

 "I'm very excited at the notion of creating an in-house agency that could be a real opportunity to re-envision public safety,"  

In public comment, L.A. residents and community activists spoke against extending the current police contract and an in-house police force for Metro.   

Metro will hear a presentation on what an in-house police force for Metro would look like in May. s for Phil Washington, Denver is not a terrible place, as long as you don't miss the...ocean.   

I will stipulate that that is an obnoxious thing to say, but it's true.  Admit it.   

Special meeting:

Supervisor Janice Hahn made the point that there was only one Latina on the LA County Board of Supervisors even though 49% of the population is Latino.   

Hahn represents the Fourth District, which includes cities as varied as Palos Verdes Estates where the median household income is $202,569, and Cudahy where the median household income is $47,050, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. 

Council member Traci Park, who comes from the relatively affluent CD11, trotted out a transgender speaker, and everyone agreed that where there had been as many as two LGBTQ+ members prior to the recent election, not to mention the great Sheila Kuehl on the county board, now..."  

She made the case that despite no active LGBTQ+ electeds she would help carry the flame for LGBTQ+ leadership.  Aura Vasquez came down and gave some sharp testimony but all the city council could do, was to cut her off. 

 

 

Bad optics.   

There was no discussion about the collapse of the Skid Row Housing Trust that set out to serve “the poorest and most vulnerable people.”   In recent years, lawsuits filed by tenants and creditors began to allege uninhabitable living conditions and hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid bills... 

No relation to the Neighborhood Housing Services of Los Angeles County. 

For 33 years, the president and CEO of NHS, Lori Gay, has served local residents.  

NHS is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization for which Ms. Gay is compensated around $280,000 annually with a sidekick who pulls down $165,000 to help her run it. Tons of volunteers are involved obviously.  Not entirely clear what they do, but it involves seminars and informational meetings.  

In 2021, NHS had $1,918,904 in revenue.  By 2022, it had risen to $3,115,721. 

Item 34 on the city council's agenda last week was to effectuate a Service Payback Grant of up to $2,300,000 from the CTIEP to NHS Neighborhood Redevelopment Corporation for the Manchester Urban Homes Project located at 8721-8765 South Broadway Avenue in Council District 8 and cause these funds to be transferred to the appropriate accounts for the Manchester Urban Homes Project. 

The city didn't specify which accounts.  Avak will know, don't worry.   

NHS will help build a mixed-use project with ground-floor commercial/office space and 108 affordable homes for low-income families, workers and displaced veterans.  

"By building the development close to a local park/ride facility, project residents will have first/last mile transit access and rapid transit accessibility, coupled with extensive mobility options, employment opportunities and access to higher quality economic services." 

Excellent. 

The development is located along major LA Metro transit routes and within a 1/4 mile of the Silverline Bus Transit Center. 

On the NHS website, Gay says "we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation." 

She goes on to say, "we’ve come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the “fierce urgency of now”… 

Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice… 

Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.”   

Amen.  

Operations Valley Bureau: OVB

  

I am pretty sure Lori Gay was not referring to the San Fernando Valley when she called it the valley of segregation but if the shoe fits, wear it.  

"Monica Rodriguez is good at what she does," one speaker said before pivoting, "but that’s because she’s a political asshole." 

Ouch. Rodriguez and the city council had just finished honoring, Chris Richmond, a valley fire chief with a long track record of clearly explaining to Valley officials and the public the real risks and hazards we face here in the fire-prone southland. 

"I wanted to be Johnny Gage on Squad 51…" Chief Richmond said, "thanks for letting me watch Emergency… and thanks to the Valley Bureau." 

Whenever I hear about the Valley Bureau, often referred to by LAFD as the OVB (Operations Valley Bureau) I become misty.   

Mitchell Englander, the disgraced nephew of Lobbyist Harvey Englander, of Englander Knabe & Allen, adored the OVB, and I have never been able to forget when he and Paul Krekorian, in the role of head budget man and Felon enabler -- discussed a bureau office request in 2017.  

"Sir, you're off-topic. Get back on topic or, unfortunately, you will lose --" 

It was at the Paul Krekorian budget hearing (sprint) and Mr. Englander said regarding ONE ITEM, that though there was a four-bureau concept for the LAFD in the valley, "we are not at optimal efficiency." 

He explained that the assistant Chiefs are housed separately from the bureau command office which is different than our central bureau (turning to Chief Terrazas) How much do we need?" 

Chief Terrazas:  We need $1.1 million. 

Mitchell Englander:  You got it, I'll loan it to you.   

Paul Krekorian (to Englander):   Public service has been very good to you.   

Mitchell Englander:  Yes, it has. We have one, two, or three valley council members... and we don't have an office for our valley bureau in the VALLEY?  It's insanity!  I will find a way to loan that kind of money, or find that kind of money to get it done right away."   

    

 

A neighbor recently called the fire department because she had a legitimate medical emergency, but politely requested that the department not come with flashing lights and sirens. Her husband had to go to the ER, but at 10 pm there was no need for a full red light and sirens EMERGENCY.     

"It will freak people out," she said. 

I was encouraged to see that the Departmental training provided a mechanism to accommodate.  Maybe. 

"Turn down distracting sounds (i.e., radios, static noise, etc.) or turn off lights (i.e., bright sirens, light bars, etc.)." 

I was reading it in the thoughtful pamphlet for "Sirens of Silence: Care needs no words."   

Training aimed at educating folks about people diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  

With one in 44 children (CDC, 2021) diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), chances are you have already interacted with someone with ASD.     

The spectrum is broad; no two people will have the same challenges and/or reactions, and each may have varying degrees of ability across the spectrum (i.e., high-functioning, moderate, severe, etc.).   

If there is an emergency and someone with ASD is around, it's good to expect the unexpected, of course, but also the individual: 

May be nonverbal or may not be as communicative or able to express their thoughts and feelings.  

May not respond to your questions or stay focused for very long (i.e., ignoring you, no direct eye contact, etc.).  

May find ways to self-soothe and calm themselves by stimming (i.e., rocking back and forth, covering ears, fidgeting, flapping hands, etc.).  

May flee or run into unsafe conditions, if not supervised.      

In interacting with someone with ASD, you could: 

Calmly explain and talk about what you are doing step-by-step  

Avoid reacting to direct and blunt comments from individuals with ASD. 

Avoid mirroring and reacting to their emotions.  

Make direct eye contact with the individual as you speak with them.      

And lastly, the Department could certainly ask the caregivers what possible triggers to a meltdown might exist and how to re-direct that type of reaction. 

Consider one point person to interact with the ...individual experiencing the stress.     

One final advisory, that I noted with interest and concern:    

"Wrap the individual snuggly with a blanket to feel secure, provide safety, or prevent self-injury." 

NOTE: If someone tried to wrap me in a blanket, I might freak out, to use the official term. Only do this type of intervention, if a credible caregiver believes it is a good idea.  

Enduring Corruption:

L.A. politics reminded Gloria Molina who is dying of how her grandmother described politics in Mexico. She told a Times columnist, “She could hardly wait for elections, because she’d get a bag of beans and a bag of rice. And I said, ‘But abuelita, you shouldn’t take it. And she goes, ‘Why not? Everybody takes it.’  

The jury is now deliberating and the entire city and county are on pins and needles over whether Mark Ridley-Thomas, her former colleague, will be found innocent or guilty.  

He's obviously guilty but the question is of what and did the alleged behavior violate federal law.  

The attorney who made the closing remarks for Dr. Ridley-Thomas is Daralyn Durie and apparently, she's been on quite a hot streak. Durie offered some pointers at a recent conference, "Act like you believe it and you will."  

Another nugget is, "Often in the lead-up to trial it's easy to get buried in details that are ultimately not going to matter to the jury.”  

In one 2019 case with a lot at stake, wrestling star Booker T. Huffman accused Activision of using his image, 

The wrestler alleged that Activision, Durie's client, copied a promotional poster for his comic to create Prophet in "Black Ops 4".  The game made $500 million in its first three days on sale.  

Booker T asked the court to award him Activision's profits attributable to the alleged infringement.   

Durie called as a witness former American Gladiator William Romeo, who served as Activision's model.  

 

  

What a genius!  

She also found a way to get Redbubble off the hook for allegedly stealing Ohio State University's intellectual property.

Ohio State University (OSU) sued Redbubble, alleging direct trademark infringement by Redbubble for the sale of apparel. 

Redbubble cleverly characterizes the artists on their site as the sellers of the items, the products are shipped to consumers in packages bearing Redbubble’s logos, but the liability... nope!   

Lovely.  All good streaks come to an end... but one door leads to another. 

Coordinated Entry System:

Item 28 at the city council infuriated a lot of people because it looked like an innocuous item noting the new city council committee schedule.  But when you checked the fine print, Mr. Krekorian had also tucked in there, the matter of “Overnight parking on rights-of-way." 

He called for them to be shuffled from the Housing and Homelessness Committee to the Transportation Committee.  

Why?  In a word, revenue.    

His rationale was, "we cannot allow these damn communists"  to cancel all the citation revenue. The Transportation committee may be packed full of women, but this group will not hesitate to behave punitively.  

Nithya Raman of CD4 is not that way, but she is passionate about the Coordinated Entry System (CES).  

She explained, "We need to better organize our resources."  She told the public and colleagues that reforming and the improvements have been underway to address factors that cause bias in acuity scores and "significant delays in matching people to housing units." 

She said the biggest challenge with the failed system is "not enough housing."   

Recent reporting she said, showed that CES is delivering outcomes that underscore the fact that black Angelenos who are unhoused can’t get into the housing.  Not good. 

She said, "The problems are fixable…the time it takes is way too long. LAHSA has been doing pilots … moving more  effectively, but inequities are baked into the vulnerability index…"  

"The time to "match" needs to be as short as possible. We need to fix it quickly… by building on work already happening Looking forward to positive outcomes, Bob?"  

Bob Blumenfield:  "Thank you.  I support Ms. Raman bringing this fo-ward…we are locking arms." 

Then Blumenfield geshried a little that there was a lot of frustration.  "Calabasas people were getting all of the units… we built…" and the people we took off the street can't get in. 

One speaker tried to ask about the Official Police Garage (OPG) item and Staffer B John Lee --  

"You're off-topic."

(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)

 

 

(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)