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Armed Custodians

ERIC PREVEN'S NOTEBOOK

ERIC PREVEN'S NOTEBOOK - “This is what a recession looks like,” said one guest at David Zaslav’s Cannes party, gesturing to two mega yachts in the distance. “There used to be 20 of these.”

Yeah, but at least the Metro in Paris is safe. I mean you have pickpockets, but it is very rare that a bus driver or train operator gets stabbed in the neck.  

Might be time to roll out another Request for Statement of Interest (RFSI) to solicit responses seeking and ideas about how to to strengthen equity and transparency while examining models in other localities and exploring any applicable reforms that could enable a more inclusive political system and less stabbing drivers in the neck. 

The Board of Supervisors has one out already, but it’s imperative that we put all hands on deck. The Thursday Metro meeting, at which the board of directors approved their annual budget was fraught.  

Following the bus driver attack fiasco in Bob Blumenfield’s district, Channing Martinez reminded us that we are not at the 3rd anniversary of George Floyd’s murder.  

He was explicitly not interested in increasing traditional law enforcement and said that “there is daily violence on the train.”  Officers can be violent, and “Racial profiling is violence. The worst kind of racist is the kind who sits behind the desk with a title.”  

I am prepared to stipulate with Mr. Martinez that all racism is bad.  

“Where is Mayor Bass?” He said, “We need to make it clear that the bus riders union wants to meet with every board member, but they don’t seem to want to. They will send an aide, but the directors don’t want to meet with us.”  

As members began strumming the grow ridership chords and a drumbeat of let’s Minimize the crime started, Paul Krekorian played a saxophone solo entitled, let’s revisit advertisement and promotion, leasing or better utilizing of our assets for revenue generation, such as station Activation, retail use... potential solar.  Let’s explore fast-track enforcement... revenue-generating.  Sure, send in the Ambassadors and develop the fancy microservice, but let’s charge a buck or two!”  

Smart Speaker: “What’s prohibitively expensive for someone of limited means is a drop in the bucket for the affluent,”

By the way, the other Eric Garcetti, who is always missed at Metro meetings, is a Vlogger in India.  He put together a meal with his staff and a local restaurateur, that could result in a Anthony Bourdain-style… — 

Fauble: India is not in our jurisdiction.   

Fleet Week at City Hall: 

While Ambassador Garcetti was doing a nicely edited foodie show, the City Council was attempting to right the ship following the misstep at last week's Pioneer Women celebration. The Council members forgot to stop talking and let the honorees speak. I think they were trying to save time.  

McCosker (15) and Park (11) went 180 degrees in the opposite direction. There were dozens of comments from uniformed humans.  It was deeply moving, of course, but devolved quickly.  The best line, “Fleet week is about navy ships and coast guard ships, but also partnerships, friendships, and _______.  Internships?!  

One speaker, who is very familiar with Metro LA shortcomings, referred to the great city of Los Angeles that we light up weekly at the not necessarily reasonable price of $400 to commemorate various Angelenos worthy of recognition or who at least had contact with Council President Krekorian’s intake division, “the shit hole of downtown.”  

That’s a diss.  Budgets are an expression of priorities.  

Smart Speaker:  "How about armed custodians?" 

Nithya Raman has kicked off a re-election campaign and Laura Friedman was there to mop up some of the progressive love. Friedman was the one who became popular for overturning the law that Krekorian was scrupulously trying to enforce to jack up speed limits to 40 mph, to gain the right to enforce speeding tickets.  Safety, per vision zero and any vision frankly, except greedy enforcement vision, could see what’s wrong with that.  

Friedman got ‘em in the boat.  Now, the citations can once again, flow.  What a sheroe!  

Krekorian battled bravely for a robot dog that would have been voted down if not for his sneaky scheduling, during a progressive boondoggle for Marqueece Harris Dawson and Eunisses Hernandez.  We know they’re in Austria, but we’ll get the skinny.  

Maybe they’re checking out some decent shade structures…  Connie Llanos rolled out a version that for $10,000 seemed … shady.   

How can we come up with $250M for Inside Safe, and so little for the hard-working commuters who are left out in the sun?  

Shouldn’t we protect the good Angelenos so they can get to and from work with shade and restrooms and safe buses and trains? 

Sir, Your time has expired.  

To bring the meeting to a close, Curren D. Price recognized Heather Hutt, of CD10, the Herb Wesson replacement, Mark Ridley-Thomas replacement, a subsidiary of Danny Bakewell.  

She rose to briefly mention that the great Tina Turner, who she knew, had passed away.  She said she would be back Friday with a big presentation.   She was devastated as she knew one of Turner’s boys. They would play at the house.  

Monica Rodriguez reminded me of the dueling best friend speech in Bridesmaids.  She talked about how influential Turner had been in her life, by rattling of some of the details of her career.

  

Not to be outdone, Heather Hutt, re-took the mic and said, “We were at the henhouse.. she was a mom… she raised all those boys. Rest in power.”  

Sit down, Ms. Rodriguez.  

Hugo Soto-Martinez, played interrogator trying to improve his Yelp rating following last week, go along with the budget.   This left Eunisses all alone on the pier of integrity... which apparently freed her up to slink off to Europe with Marqueece Harris Dawson, who once told me, he had a hard time keeping track of all the donations he gets. 

One speaker sounded convincing on Fleet week, when he requested that as much as he shared the dream of the Marine Band coming up from the beach cities to the valley and Rodriguez’s district, what he really wanted was money for plastering the physical therapy swimming pool in District at the VA on Plummer Street… in North Hills, CA 91343, CD6.   

Nothing would prevent a private rich individual, like billionaire, Isaac Larian, who does something in CD6.  Maybe he could expand to fixing the veterans pool, since Englander and Martinez gave him so much support.  #ThankYou 

Incidentally, retroactive approvals, like for Mental Health Awareness Month on May 1, 2023, do not inspire confidence. 

And similarly, if a council member is going to go to Vienna, Austria with another council member and presumably some staff, the public should be fully informed. That’s why as a public courtesy I have begun the process of examining closely the international travel.

 

(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)