22
Sat, Jun

Tasing The Public

ERIC PREVEN'S NOTEBOOK

ERIC PREVEN’S NOTEBOOK - Pan Pacific Park is located at 7600 Beverly Boulevard in the Fairfax District community of the City is a 32.18-acre facility that provides multipurpose fields, play areas, a swimming pool, a recreation center, and a senior center for the surrounding communities.  

It meets the community park standard, as defined in the City’s Public Recreation Plan.

The City is reissuing a one-dollar lease to operate a first-class Holocaust Museum. As for admission fees,  MUSEUM is open to the public and free to all residents of California with valid ID, all students showing student ID or participating in school visits.  All other adults will be subject to a $15.00 admission fee and all other seniors 65 or older shall be subject to a $10.00 admission fee. 

Smart Speaker:  This is a model that The Lucas Museum should adopt link.

The Holocaust MUSEUM shall, at its sole cost and expense, perform a one-time rehabilitation to the existing Restroom Building located within Pan Pacific Park, along Grove Drive, not on the Premises, to department standards.

Smart Speaker:  We Valley folk also need restrooms at the Metro station and ...Harvard-Westlake wants to redevelop 17.2 acres of our golf and tennis, which includes the 16.1-acre Weddington property, plus another 1.1 acres along the Los Angeles River. 

But for some reason, the LA County Flood District (feel free to contact Mark Pestrella of LA County Public Works, who's been ignoring this as best he can) has to issue a lease amendment, and why would county counsel agree, since the reality is this will privatize an open publicly accessible space for an affluent school that donated like crazy to Paul Krekorian to sell out his residents, before they were shunted over to Raman’s house.

City Attorney: You're off topic.

Smart Speaker:  Krekorian should get a statue on the main campus at Harvard Westlake.  Do his children attend the school?  Russel Goldsmith answered Areen Ibranossian's call, now Krekorian should be rewarded for selling out the people to the billionaires.

The Real Property Distrust Fund:

Also, in our blessed Valley, an item to fund $100,000 for Neighborhood improvements and beautification upgrades for North Hollywood and Studio City in Council District 2.

Specifically, “Universal - North Hollywood and Studio City Improvements (eyes narrowing) and upgrades to South Weddington Park, including the installation of fitness equipment and tables, in Council District 2.

I wonder if these are "Turning Tables" that could fit the expression, “turning the tables” meaning to reverse a situation and gain the upper hand.

For those who don’t know, hundreds of thousands of dollars were loaded into the Real Property Trust Fund(s) for CD2 and CD4 from NBC Universal, one of the most civically engaged companies in town.   #Olympics #NoThanks

In any case, this item is a great bit of “Krekorian" transparency.  Equal parts confusing and misleading.  This is not the Weddington that he and Ms. Raman’s clients at Harvard-Westlake are planning to seize, while falsely claiming the public will have access to their proposed private athletic complex.  [The public, if the zone change at the golf course is granted, will have access to the ‘path’ around Pritzker and Munger compound.]

This is the Weddington facility across from NBCU and next to the Metro Universal train station that is getting the $100,000 to put in some tables, and already has a high school regulation basketball court.  

This raises questions about why, Paul Krekorian and now following his expertly handled 'dump and scrub’ procedure, Nithya ‘go-along-to-get-along’ Raman, are seeking to put $20 million into a project to tear down a modest Studio City Recreation center, to put up a giant net zero, high school gymnasium in the open space. 

Despite repeated efforts to get Nithya Raman to do something about these matters… as Samuel Johnson famously said, “I can give you an argument but I can’t give you an understanding.”

Alex Johnson, Ethics (Campaign Consultant):

Councilmember Curren Price, who has been fighting criminal charges that he bilked the city out of thousands of dollars in health insurance payments and voted on contracts in which he and his wife had a financial interest, happily voted for Alex Johnson.  Mr. Johnson was put in business by Mark Ridley-Thomas. [Good luck, sir. We miss you.]

First, Price asked Mr. Johnson to reassure those who might have doubts about his ability to perform Ethics Commission work with “integrity” and “seriousness.

Common staffer look ..."Say what? "

Councilmembers Nithya Raman and Tim McOsker voted against Johnson’s nomination, with McOsker citing Johnson’s work at the consulting and campaign company. CM Raman was uncharacteristically silent. 

Smart Speaker: Council member Price, how did you get the massive delay on your indictment?

Toxicity is Relative: 
Hey, speaking of Ethics, another item caught the public’s eye, related to the retention of Keller Rohrback, LLP, on a contingency fee basis in connection with the matter entitled In Re: Aqueous Film-Forming Foam Products Liability Litigation, Case No. 2:18-mn-2873-RMG.  

The City filed or plans to file a lawsuit against a number of chemical companies that it alleges are responsible for contaminating City property with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), toxic “forever chemicals.”  

Smart Speaker:  You don’t say? Isn’t PFAS, one of the major objections to the Harvard-Westlake plans to put, as Bill Nye the Science Guy who lives in Studio City put it, “two giant toxic doormats” in our open space?

City Attorney:  Yes, but you’re off-topic. 

Smart Speaker:  PFAS is on topic. And the project that is supposed to get the toxic ‘artificial turf’ is right next door to a City fire station. This is highly worrisome. 

The complaint in this case was filed against ten manufacturers of aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF), a fire extinguishing agent used to combat fuel fires, and fourteen manufacturers of the PFAS-containing components used to make AFFF. The defendants include companies 3M Company and DuPont de Nemours, Inc. 

The City’s complaint alleges that the defendants manufactured and sold AFFF and/or its components for decades despite knowing that the specific PFAS they contained were “toxic, persist indefinitely, and would be routinely released into the environment during firefighting training, emergency response activities, and federally mandated testing of firefighting equipment.” 

Smart Speaker:  Won’t the PFAS from the turf impact the Fire station next to Weddington Golf and Tennis?   Experts think no amount is safe… and an arena, 350 cars leaving a game impact that?

City Attorney: Off-topic, cut him off. 

Through its complaint, the City alleges that the defendants, with their extensive knowledge of the properties and risks of PFAS, knew that their products would contaminate the environment. The City is seeking to hold the defendants responsible for the costs of investigating, cleaning up, and monitoring PFAS contamination.

Major health organizations like The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the American Cancer Society (ACS) have noted that certain PFAS chemicals may be linked to cancer in firefighters.

According to recent reports, some companies may have known about the health risks of their firefoams for decades but did not take sufficient action to protect the general public.  

Many firefighters were diagnosed with kidney, testicular, pancreatic, or other types of cancer. 

So this lawsuit is on a contingency basis, which means, the attorneys “only get paid if you do!”

Ordinarily, one would think, “Great, this won’t cost us a dime.”  

But if the City is suing companies over PFAS, why are Samantha Millman and Caroline Choe of the City Planning Commission, alumni of Harvard Westlake School appointed by fellow alumnus, Eric Garcetti,  OK installing the toxic stuff in Studio City?

Save Weddington lawyers, please take note. 

City Attorney: Mr. Preven, please sit down.  Tase him!

Transparency, Accountability, and Oversight:

The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department’s Taser Policy is being revisited.

“There is nothing I’ve felt in my life that matches with that pain” said a chap who had just been Tased “That felt like all the hateful energy of the world man.” 

The current campaign underway by @Taserdefense a subsidiary of Axon formerly Taser International is aimed at cute college girls.  

The company has a new tool that appears to be a special flashlight that will fire off prongs if the student feels threatened, and deliver the 50,000-volt… promise. 

TASER was founded in 1993 with a single objective: to make the world a little safer. 

Since then, TASER technology has become the industry standard in self-defense and the trusted choice of first responders, the military, and obviously college girls. 

FAQ: Is it legal to carry or own a TASER device?  

The answer is of course yes! TASER devices are legal in 49 states (all but Rhode Island) offering a non-lethal self-defense option for personal safety!

FAQ:  Are Tasers permitted in the Hilda L. Solis Care First Village or Gloria Molina Grand Park?  

Answer:_________ tbd

FAQ: Are Tasers permitted in custody (jails)?

The devices are highly problematic so to play it safe they should probably be removed from service completely. 

County Counsel:  You’re time has expired.  

Smart Speaker:  What about the shady campaign contributions to felon Mitchell Englander, approved by Paul Krekorian and Bob Blumenfield? 

County Counsel: Thank you, good day. That's the city, not the county.  

Smart Speaker: Right, but a total of at least 1,081 U.S. deaths following the use of Tasers, almost all since the weapons began coming into widespread use in the early 2000s have been documented.  

The first Taser I ever focused on was the matter of Blake Earl Dupree, 22, whom I’ve written about previously, who was tased off a bunk in Lakewood Jail, and cost the county $4.25 million in settlement and a Rancho bill. 

Last year, another nightmarish case was settled for $3.8 million over the death of a young man who was Tased for 29 seconds before dying.  

The information about how deadly these tools are is not fresh news, Reuters did an amazing series of stories about the more than one thousand who have died after being tased.  

Mitchell Englander, whose Uncle's firm, Englander Knabe & Allen lobbies at both the City and County of Los Angeles, went to Arizona to buy 4400 Tasers with no public process, in a late sneaky addendum to the city's Bodycam order.   

If the LAPD can have 4,400 in a homeless crisis, certainly the Youth Probation officers can have 150, right? 

Wrong.  

"First of all, no disrespect, but are you f'ing kidding me?"   150 tasers for $4,000 each?  

That's a lot of money and for a device that doesn't work.  

What they do -- for the record, is freak a suspect right out and often prime them (exacerbating things) for an unwanted officer-involved shooting. 

Now the Board of Supervisors under Hilda Solis’s leadership has decided to support the Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission’s (COC’s) recommendations from its September 21, 2023 “Report and Recommendations on Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Use of Tasers;” 

The county's usual departments will report back in 120 days with an update on changes to its policies. 

For example, " Mandatory reassessment periods in between each deployment of the Taser to determine if an additional deployment is necessary, and lawful, based on the current threat level presented; Approval by a supervisor, when available, for multiple Taser deployments."

A policy limiting the frequency of how often a Taser can be deployed on an individual, including strict limitations/prohibition on repeated Taser application; 

Justification and documentation of Taser use, including “sparking;” 

Smart Speaker:  Rufkm?  Dyer, get in here!  This is cruelty, plain and simple. The idea is,  if a human is not compliant in some way, the officer or college girl, presents the Taser and demonstrates the power… by sparking it.  

Think: Cracking a whip!

Inhumane. 

Limitations on the number of times a deputy can “drive stun” or “dry Taser” an individual; duration of a Taser discharge on an individual; number of times a Taser can be discharged; 

The safe number is 0. 

Still, the Board is asking the Chief Executive Officer to provide support and resources to the Sheriff and the Inspector General in implementing the necessary changes to the Taser policy and oversight of its use; 

Smart Speaker:  Documentation and tracking on the Sheriff’s Department’s Taser use, including those that result in serious injury or death, in patrol and custody; 

Reuters has been documenting the cases of people who have died in the United States after being shocked by police with a Taser (often in combination with other forms of force). 

The toll was at 1,081 in 2018 and Reuters says it will update... Click on the map to explore fatalities across the country. The most recent cases are highlighted below the map. Nearly all the deaths have occurred since 2000.

Unwanted death is one aspect, but also... people may not be familiar with recent reports about the work environment at the parent company, Axon.   One-time staffers described it as an all-in culture, in which some felt pressed to be tased before onlookers, get permanently inked with company tattoos, or join a stock plan that left some in the lurch.  Naturally, Axon says it never pressures employees to do any of these things.

Still, over 60 ex-employees interviewed by Reuters described Axon as a boys’ club that was unwelcoming or even offensive to women. One HR staffer’s 2019 PowerPoint presentation to an executive on inclusion efforts – reviewed by Reuters – specifically criticized Axon’s “‘Bro’ culture” and “lack of diversity in top leadership.”

So, do we want Tasers: Open the roll, close the roll, tabulate the vote... 

Hilda L. Solis

Holly J. MItchell

Lindsey Horvath

Janice Hahn

Kathryn Barger

 

(Eric Preven is a longtime community activist and is a contributor to CityWatch. The opinions of Mr. Preven are not necessarily those of CityWatchLA.com.)