Sun, May

Dr. Mark Ridley-Thomas General Hospital


ERIC PREVEN'S NOTEBOOK - In a tectonic name change comparable to when Taser International dumped the electrocution connotations for the breezy and Police accountability-sounding, Axon, the Fabulous Five all-female county board of supervisors from the largest county on earth are renaming the historic and life-saving LAC+USC Medical Center. 

The board of supervisors, a playful group, agendized a reveal party, as you might do by hosting a naming for a child.  Never mind that the five supervisors are the mommies for the probation youth who are -- 

"You're off-topic." 

The board’s meeting agenda didn’t say what the new moniker for the hospital would be on Tuesday.  

It was not clear at press time, how withholding the new name while voting for it complies with the Brown Act, that's a question for Judge Mitchell Beckloff, LA Superior Court's 2022-2023 MVP.  

Beckloff recently upended City Attorney Hydee Feldstein-Soto's ill-advised attack on the reporter who was given too much information.    

The official announcement about the renaming was made on Wednesday at the hospital’s Boyle Heights campus.  

Insiders were wondering if Hilda Solis, who hosted Karen Bass and the Biden administration at the Hilda Solis Care First Village near Chinatown, might get another nod.  

Apparently, the interim housing for the homeless is not bad and they have a dog park at the Hilda Solis Care First Village in Los Angeles,   

The recent naming of Grand Park for Gloria Molina who is also still alive, was discussed in a prior column.  

How about the Mark Ridley-Thomas General Hospital? 

The envelope please, The Los Angeles General Medical Center [LAGMA] is a terrible name.  

No disrespect to Luke and Laura from ABC's fictional General Hospital.  

How could the county meaningfully take public comment on a rebrand, without first disclosing what that rebrand would be?  We could have helped. 

Because the rights can't defend themselves, silly especially while the ACLU is busy pandering.

Nestled deeply in the bottom of Tuesday's county goody bag was an item to settle attorneys' fees and costs in a California Public Records Act ("CPRA") lawsuit with my BFFs from the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Southern California ("ACLU") for $592,000. The county spent $240,754 in fees and $32,252 in costs before delivering the $592,000. Total damage: $865,006 

The ACLU filed on behalf of itself and three individuals, Demetra Johnson, Zachary Wade, and Vinyl Eng (Petitioners/Plaintiffs, hereinafter collectively, "Plaintiffs"), against the County of Los Angeles ("County").   

All three had family members that were fatally shot by deputies and sought a court order to force the Sheriff’s Department to turn over the public records. 

Johnson’s son, 16-year-old Anthony Weber, was killed in the unincorporated Westmont area east of Inglewood on Feb. 4, 2018, by deputies who said he had a gun in his waistband. No gun was found, according to an ACLU release, and the county Board of Supervisors agreed to pay Weber’s family $3.75 million for the shooting.  

Vinly Eng’s sister, Jazmyne Eng, was killed on Jan. 4, 2012, at a psychotherapy treatment center in Rosemead, an ACLU release said. The center called sheriff’s deputies to assist in holding her involuntarily for inpatient care, but within 12 seconds of visual contact, a deputy shot Jazmyne with a Taser and another deputy shot her with a gun. The family accepted $1.8 million from the county to settle a wrongful death suit in her shooting. 

Zachary Wade’s nephew, Nephi Arreguin, was killed on May 7, 2015, in Cerritos. Arreguin was in his car, possibly sleeping, when deputies approached, suspecting him of burglary. Areguin was shot shortly afterward. The family accepted a $1.5 million settlement from the county for his death.  

“These requests would not only serve to help family members find out what happened to their loved ones but allow them to advocate for changed policies that promote accountability and improve public safety,” the ACLU said.

What's interesting about the ACLU, which has lost its way in recent years, is how they pick and choose when to fight. In the world-famous ACLU/Preven v. LA County Superior Court and LA Board of Supervisors case, the rights organization was too busy fundraising to bog down with holding the Board accountable.  

Pet Control:

The City's Park Rangers have been swarming the local park in Studio City after Mcosker's moving testimony trying to bulk up on these brave firefighters... 

We want Rangers who are helpful not threatening. 

Are they there to help?  

They seem to retaliate with costly enforcement aimed at mostly renters and members of the neighborhood watch group, who volunteer to take care of dogs.  

The City has failed at taking care of the Animal population, they should not marshal resources to attack residents who are doing the heavy lifting.   

We don't need Park Rangers to chase dogs and owners through a grassy park with a giant gas-guzzling truck.  

Overheard, & Underwritten:


Totally, the wrong time for a strike 

It could not be worse.  

Producers are currently canceling shows and laying people off. 

And the idea that someone is going to hire four, when they need one… is not public-friendly messaging.  

It makes the writers seem like replaceable prima donnas, frankly.  

They will use the strike as an excuse to cancel EVEN MORE shows and then use that as leverage to destroy the union at the negotiating table.  They have TOO MUCH content.  They’ll just show all of that.  No worries for the producers.  They’ll SAVE MONEY during the strike!   

They’ll use the strike to CANCEL A LOT OF SHOWS AND BLAME THE STRIKE/UNION…and they’ll enjoy doing it and make their shareholders happy. 

What the streamers were doing, spending billions, losing billions, overpaying actors…was not sustainable…that bubble has burst.  So absolutely the worst time for the writers to strike…they have very little leverage right now.   

Plus, the whole economy is crashing. The WGA union is SUPER STUPID.  They should have struck during Covid and/or during peak TV… definitely not now, 

You don’t strike when the producers are canceling shows right and left and laying off executives. 

"It’s unfortunate but true." 

And, technically, they’re losing money on their streaming businesses! 

"The studios are evil. They will do whatever they can for profits." 

They’re WAY overspending on new content and building new studios, etc. There is too much content  

The writers should get representation from Unite Here…those guys know how to win. 

The hotel workers? 

Unite Here represents other workers too…not just hotel workers…they’re young, aggressive, they play dirty, and they win.  

The Writers Guild Union are fucking idiots…gonna get taken apart publicly…it’s gonna be sad…gonna be begging for work in a shitty economy. 

Indubitably Most Appealing: 

It's worth noting that Dr. Mark Ridley-Thomas is not going down without a fight.  He's alleging, with I don't know what standing, that the Special Agent Brian Adkins’ testimony was tainted by improper questioning and the government’s refusal to correct his false statements under oath,” defense attorneys allege. 

“During trial," apparently, "Agent Adkins made at least three false statements during his testimony. One false statement concerned his statement that he had reviewed all 400,000 documents produced in the case.” 

That's a lot of documents. We have to be diligent in the way we oversee sure that people who say they are reviewing documents are actually reviewing them and billing the county appropriately.  

For instance, I would like to know precisely how many documents were reviewed by Dan Shallman and Carolyn Kubota of Eric Holder's firm, Covington & Burling who popped in to help restore order during the Ridley-Thomas imbroglio.  

This is why we need to see the invoices and here request them. 

Nicole Davis Tinkham has always understood that once a 'case' is closed the kimono comes open.  And these billings are not for the representation of the supervisors in a legal case, they are an exploration for the public into the contracting processes.  We need this, stat.

 [Caption: Lovely commercial with Heather Hutt, while public waits to "not be heard" at budget hearings.]


For Subscribers Only:

"At the LAFD, pay for sex on duty, batter a cop, lie on medical records — and keep your job" 

Quite a salacious for Paul Pringle's latest.  

Is there such a thing as a 'readers union?' 

"One firefighter made off with a Los Angeles Fire Department cellphone last year and used it to solicit a prostitute while on duty."   

Objection: Paul Pringle, the celebrated author should know... sex worker is more appropriate. 

Blumenfield's Last Gasp:

I am a reporter for the Board of rights commissioners. In 2019 there were 135 boards, which went up to 224 in 2022 a 66% increase.  We have four hearing reporters, right now, because we lost two. Due to not enough pay. We opened up the job, but nobody wants to come here because Superior Court is paying 22% more, plus bonuses. We haven't had a pay raise or change since probably,1988. Some of the boards have to be rescheduled because there are only four of us. It delays the process. We just want comparable pay to get more hearing reporters.  

Blumenfield views comment as an infuriating burden an important obligation. It's important to do as little as one can get away with. If stifling and containing public comment were the mission, Bob Blumenfield would be our Pope. 

He explained on Thursday, “We will take comments until 11:30 am."  Melinda Abdullah and the people's budget had come on a different day and gave a presentation...  

Was that agendized?  

"It's one item, Sir. You' 're disrupting the meeting." 

Blumenfield explained that he had been up until 2 am, going through the paperwork. So, he announced on Thursday that we will come back at 1:00 pm.  Blumenfield has not met an appointment that he cannot miss by forty-five minutes.  Today’s 9:00 am hearing began a zeitgeisty 81 minutes late at 10:21 am. 

Bob said, once we are back... at 1 pm, each department, in alphabetical order*, with a separate category for homelessness... will be reviewed. 

There is a lot to go through...

Each department will be here for clarification... we will express our priorities and remember to members if we add, we have to take away. 

Once we are done expressing to the CLA, they are going to do a rack up. 

Sharon Tso and her team will try to consolidate moving money around from A to B. We need to focus on our top priorities.  

We are following the process from years past in some ways and in other ways... we're building the plane as we fly it. 

And, if you have already spoken, please get to the back of the line. And you may think we are voting for salaries..., but we are only voting for the amount that goes to GRYD.  

What is GRYD? 

The City of Los Angeles Mayor’s Office of Gang Reduction and Youth Development (GRYD) was established in July of 2007 to address gang violence in a comprehensive and coordinated way throughout the City. The GRYD Comprehensive Strategy, and all components therein, is the copyright of the City of Los Angeles.  

[*This is proof that Blumenfield knows how to line up the departments for individual consideration by the public and committee, he just won't do it, because he's in a rush of some kind. Possibly to allow Rodriquez and Mcosker to lecture ad infinitum.  The main adjustment to get things in order would be to dial the committee grandstanding and thank yous back by 45% while increasing public participation by 78%, by taking public comments after each department, in-person or virtual, as long as it takes.]


(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)