Mon, May

The Booncoming


ERIC PREVEN’S NOTEBOOK - Craig Fiegener of KNX 97.1 the city hall reporter is putting in the work. He reported live from the White House on Monday where the City honchos are congregating "We have a protest at the White House… not an unruly protest, out at the gates. They are chanting “cease fire…"  I'm near the entrance to the Oval... a lot more police officers, dogs and police."

Earlier, Paul Krekorian told Fiegener that the city council and Mayor were in Washington DC to get money for lots of things... the city wants help with security, "now, and for the Olympics."

Krekorian explained,  "We are going to meet with high-ranking advisors to the President... “ to make clear the extraordinary needs we have with housing and homeless challenges, and also increasing numbers of asylum seekers and immigrants.
“The federal government needs to assist us with this,” he said.

Then Fiegener noted that the delegation had just met with Pete Buttigieg about transportation and revealed that the delegation had actually rescheduled their meeting with Homeland Security...  

We’ll keep you posted about the big meeting. 

"Win a ticket to see Madonna!"



Swedish Archipelago, Summer 2008:


Dear Annie,

Thanks to our gracious hostess, we had a wonderful time in Sweden.

The archipelago was very special. Its beauty was enhanced by the fun we had at the crayfish blast. Your friends offered a great welcome to Sweden. I still can't believe that I didn't have a hangover the next morning.

Our base in Stockholm couldn't have been better, a nice walk to all the major sights.

Having Carmen was also a plus, She made the trip more authentic. She's a trooper: never complained about walking or the language difference. I think that she and Reva bonded.

Finally, I enjoyed meeting the rest of your extended family: your mom (quite a lady) Eric, and even his girlfriend and new daughter. Your ability to continue your friendship with him must be great for Carmen.

I like Michael; I hope the relationship works for both of you as we both know a challenge always.

I look forward to seeing you guys in New York.

I wish you continued success in your new venture.

Love, DWP



It’s always bizarre when my old friend, Annie Wegelius’ birthday comes around and Facebook updates me about her birth and… inadvertently, her demise.

The letter above is from my father to Annie who had just hosted us for a couple weeks in Stockholm including several days at her family’s place in the archipelago. The entire experience among the Swedes and the Moomins out in the archipelago with my father and two children remains a treasured memory.  

Annie died after a long fight against cancer, but I will always cherish our lifelong friendship and cannot thank her enough for introducing my family to the work of Tove Jansson.  

My obsession with the Finnish-Swedish lesbian artist and ardent pacifist, who lived with her partner, Tuulikki Pietila, for half the year on an island in the Finnish archipelago, started on my first of several trips to visit Annie in Sweden.   

The Book About Moomin, Mymble, and Little My is what I call a work of genius. I won’t get into the plot here, other than to say Moomintroll goes off to get some milk for Mother and stuff happens. The holes are cut at Schildtz. 

I noted in the New York Times last week that there is a new exhibition, “Houses of Tove Jansson,” which opened in Paris last month. 

In Jansson’s books, there is a focus on living in nature, developing friendships with unusual creatures, learning from challenges, and finding ways to help one another.  

She started drawing as soon as she could hold a pen and went on to study art in Stockholm and Paris. At fifteen she created her first illustration for the Swedish-language political satire magazine, Garm, which openly criticized the rising fascist and communist movements of the time.  

The Evening News, a newspaper in London, beginning in the 1950s, featured her Moomin characters in a comic strip.

Jansson worked with the magazine until 1953, producing around 100 cover illustrations, From 1944, she lived half the year in an atelier in Helsinki, and once spring came, she would spend the rest of the year with her life partner, Pietila, living on a tiny island, called Klovharun, on the Finnish archipelago. 

The island had only one house — theirs — which had no electricity or running water; they brought all their supplies by boat.  

The experience we had with Annie’s family was in a setting like this, though in Sweden.  One magical night of drinking schnapps and eating crayfish was mystical.   Disclosures: i) The crayfish that were excellent had been brought out by boat from a fancy fish shop in the city. ii) Annie and I worked together in the Television business.

In Finland, Tove and Pietila could have faced arrest or legal penalties for being in a same-sex relationship, but in Klovharun they could live together openly. They spent time there for 30 years until they grew old and Jansson became afraid of the sea. 

In the Moomin world… the door is always open and the idea of creating a safe home where you can be secure, and have fun… and fight to protect your land against catastrophes… climate and otherwise..

Seeking Higher Ground:

City Attorney:  Next caller.

Smart Speaker:  It’s Eric Preven, I'd like to speak on the available items and a general public comment

City Attorney:  Okay, the items available are 1 and 2 and 19-24 so you have three minutes for the items and one minute for general public comment. Please begin with the items.

Smart Speaker:  Sure. Certainly, the Willits settlements represent one of the great abnegations of this council that would routinely go into closed session and ignore plea after plea from local not-for-profits in the disability space.  Year after year the council would kick the can down the road as folks in wheelchairs were put in properties that were not accessible, even after they took government money to make them accessible.  

Now, the cost is something like $20 million dollars a year to fix the disrepair... it's very shameful.  So many people suffered as the council just treated it like another closed session. They were inflicting systemic pain in the shadows.  The people who ran the closed sessions down here for the last ten years... are still here, Council President Paul Krekorian certainly gets a lot of credit and blame.

City Attorney:  Mr. Preven the Willits settlement is not on the agenda? Which of the agenda items are you speaking to? 

I disagree. Item 7.

(7) Council File No. 14­0163­S3, which update the existing scoring methods to better implement the Willits, et al. Settlement (Settlement) and City priorities, including the addition of equity and damage severity factors....

The Aging Department is certainly on the agenda. And what about Kaplan Kirsch and Rockwell, may I speak on that?  The law firm is engaged for $750,000... who was very helpful at politicizing the Burbank Airport... for Krekorian and former City Attorney Mike Feuer, who is in deep shit by the way?  Is it open season on Kaplan Kirsch? 

City Attorney:  So, again the items that are open for public comment are   1 and 2 and 19-24. So please identify which of the items you are speaking to or I am going to move you over to general public comment. 

Smart Speaker: Well, I'd like to speak on the close-circuit television item and the $400 illumination, which is totally fair, so kindly refrain from further interruption. You make me very nervous when you talk about reducing my time, when we have a cultural historical landmark on the agenda, Hutt providing that during an election time to an individual and a Trust who will be very appreciative during the next campaign period where she already has a leg up.  So she should take advantage of that and I'm sure she will.

I want to note the $129 million dollar debt service for MICLA along with $31 million in interest. The folks who come after your time on the council will have to deal with those huge cost burdens you are tagging the people with. 

You can already see Blumenfield is feeling a little boxed in by the budget tightness.  How can he come up with the funds he needs to provide the services and deep discounts and incentives for the NHL to come to Woodland Hills?  jk, srsly

Also, I note the aging department and I ask the council who are not empowered by Herb Wesson, the so-called independently elected ones to please look at the expenditures of Aging very carefully and be sure the money is being well spent.  I looked and spotted shocking hideous fraud and what appeared to be insidious graft.  Simply put, we need to watch the money we spend on our seniors. They are easy marks. 

City Attorney:  General public comment. 

Smart Speaker:  Thank you Groat, you insufferable boob, I want to commend you for staying out of my way today.  Mostly.

I want to address Councilwoman Nithya Raman, my fearless council member. Of course, we revere her, but we do need her to step in and step up against the prevailing wind being generated by the billionaires.  Lindsey Horvath is ready to join in because what's on offer in Studio City…is not reasonable.

I realize Raman’s land use team is linked closely with Mr. Khalatian, but the so-called deal she made... is not good.  We don't like it, we don't agree.   

On November 7, Khalatian and Harvard Westlake want to move forward.

I particularly don't like the idea of giving the LA County flood district-controlled land to a private school. That’s not necessary, it's a power play by the school. We do not need a private school security team riding around on segues.  Leave it alone. Let it be. 

And remember, any zone change is necessarily discretionary.  And the opposition is solid and deep. 

We know Edgar Khalatian enjoys misleading, and prevaricating.   Incidentally, “What’s that smell?”

That's the stench of Eric Garcetti. 


Washington Trips: 

-----Original Message----- 


Sent: Tuesday, April 18, 2023 2:06 PM To: Nicole Davis Tinkham <[email protected]> Cc: Dawyn Harrison <[email protected]>;

Subject: Washington Trip Budget and remote location Brown Act meeting restoration  

Please ask CEO Davenport for a copy of the proposed ‘all departments’ budget for the upcoming advocacy trip to DC.  Also, a copy of the hotel contract and airline deal if any.  Also, the entire roster of attendees as it relates to the parties hosted by the county taxpayers via the BOS.  Finally, confirmation that the board will host a public Zoom meeting on Tuesday.  

Warm regards,  

Eric Preven  


On Tuesday, April 18, 2023 at 02:08:18 PM PDT, Nicole Davis Tinkham <[email protected]> wrote:   

Dear Mr. Preven,  

Your request has been received and will be processed pursuant to the Public Records Act.  


Nicole Davis Tinkham (she/her/hers) 

Chief Deputy County Counsel 


Mon, Apr 24 at 9:10 AM 

From: ERIC PREVEN <[email protected]>

To: Nicole Davis Tinkham Cc: Dawyn Harrison  

Bonjour,  To be absolutely fair, please provide a response immediately.  The public concern about a long trip to Washington D.C. without public participation is legitimate but could be partially mitigated (not totally) by a transparent approach.  For example, the appointment schedule must be provided, stat, and only when that is posted timely which is now, can we determine if the presence of all five supervisors creates a Brown Act situation.    

By withholding the schedule...  In the past a remote meeting properly agendized allowed the public to monitor and pay close attention... during a very important government mission as well as a once-in-lifetime political retreat.  

Please disclose all of the requested records, including the 2023-2024 legislative agenda (s), and if not too much trouble, please also provide the calculation used by Fesia Davenport to estimate the cost of McClaren liability in the $1.6B to $3.0B range.    

Eric Preven   


LA Times Spicy Coverage:



The Los Angeles Times is spicing things up with a hot sauce with crunchy things, something of a craze these days.  

Would have been nice to get some of that hard-hitting coverage for the Supervisors' trip  in the Spring.

Executive Officer: There are no in-person speakers to address the board.

Smart Speaker:  Thank you it is Eric Preven from Studio City and I appreciate that the board is meeting today but I’m not happy about the closed session component.  I think you should meet out in front of everyone. 

If you want something done right, I think it is fair to say, that sometimes you have to do it yourself and I wanted to bring to your attention that, given your collective frustration about the lack of urgency related to homelessness, around the departments constantly getting ready to spend the money… while things are deteriorating…

Well, I’m happy to report that over at the great city hall, the hallowed council just appointed a fresh-faced kid named Mayor Karen Bass to serve on the little engine that could dba the LAHSA commission.  

I view this maneuver as the city’s answer to our steadfast fighter, Supervisor Horvath’s,  putting herself in that role on the LAHSA commission. 

So, the public is very excited now, because we see some powerful people rolling up their sleeves.  What I hope is and I wrote about is…  I hope selecting and putting people on commissions doesn’t turn out to be an exercise in putting the ‘right’ people in there, who weeble and wobble but will never fall down and do the job correctly.  They’re trained to roll up the red carpet if the rolling up of the sleeves results in an unpopular narrative.

Supervisor Hahn:  Thank you. Yeah, that’s it, I was interested in what he was saying. Thank you, Eric.  Thank you. 

Thank you! The Author in a slimming outfit. 


Skimming Unit:

Fraud trends continue to evolve, and the theft of benefits is constantly evolving as technology evolves. 

Supervisor Solis is asking the Director of the Department of Public Social Services, working in collaboration with the District Attorney, to identify funding not to exceed $750,000 in FY 23-24 and $1,092,632 in FY 24-25 to fund and establish an Anti-Skimming Unit within the DA’s office, to investigate and prosecute those responsible for stealing public assistance benefits via skimming and other illegal methods of electronic theft.

The Governor’s budget proposes $6.9 billion in total funding for the CalWORKs program in 2022‑23, a net increase of $291 million (4 percent) relative to the most recent estimate of current‑year spending.  

The amount of money stolen from individuals and families on CalWORKs, CalFresh and General Relief (GR) through skimming, according to Solis, has soared dramatically over the past three years, from $951,511 in 2021 to $22,518,031 in 2022.  The total amount of benefits stolen in this calendar year, as of August is $39,020,180.

This is a 73% increase from 2022.  The idea that this modest rollout might be effective… not convincing.

Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell LLP [+Krekorian]

Some will remember that in November 2021 —after nearly three years of concerns over the Burbank flight paths, which have included parallel concerns nearby at Van Nuys Airport, the court denied the City's robust set of appeals.   

Mike Feuer and the city had accused the FAA of not taking into account the city’s comments in the environmental review process.  A couple of years prior they made a big deal and hired a law firm called Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell LLP to help...  curry favor with a lot of Valley Hillside dweller$ upset with angry Burbank Airport impacts. 

Kaplan Kirsch is now synonymous with Paul Krekorian and losing FAA litigations. 

Over the course of a couple of years, the City Council first appropriated One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000) for this Agreement with Kaplan Kirsch. Then they increased that to Three Hundred Thousand Dollars ($300,000) Then, Five Hundred Fifty Thousand Dollars ($550,000)  Eventually,  Seven Hundred Thirty Six Thousand One Hundred Twenty Seven Dollars ($736,127). 

And last I checked the City Attorney has appropriated Eight Hundred Seventy One Thousand One Hundred Twenty Seven Dollars ($871,127) to this losing cause.  

We lost.   

There must be someplace we can put Kaplan Kirsch law firm for all their trouble. 

How about the Conflict Panel?   

The City Council approved the establishment of an Attorney Conflicts Panel (ACP) in 1993. Law firms on the ACP provide legal representation to current and/or former City officers and employees named as defendants in tort, employment, civil rights, and other types of legal action where actual or potential conflicts of interest preclude their representation by the City Attorney. 

When they did an RFP... it went very well.  Every firm that applied got accepted. 

All forty-eight firms.  Meyers Nave and Burke Williams Sorenson seem most represented on the panel.  

But one point of interest:  Meyers Nave will be required to comply with the provisions of the Iran Contracting Act. Whereas Remy Moose and Kaplan Kirsch are not subject to the provisions of the Iran Contracting Act.  



The mayor’s delegation is being branded as a Booncoming. It’s certainly a boondoggle (at taxpayer expense), but it’s also a homecoming.  

For the scholars, when the US Ambassador to India, Eric Garcetti, was running the show, Karen Bass was a congresswoman who swam well in the Washington tank.   

The entire delegation is wearing walking shoes this trip, but this is not a reference to the Limos of yesteryear when Mark Ridley-Thomas and Mike Antonovich would tool around the nation's capital in a stretch limo. 

It refers to the extraordinary list of meetings the delegation is taking while in town. 

Hopefully, Officer Duarte and Graciano (the smart one) who comprise the the OG LAPD City Council detail will be on the trip to keep things kosher and prevent unwanted disruptions of any meetings.  

The delegation, Paul Krekorian and Bob Blumenfield, representing the Valley,  Eunisses Hernandez and Hugo Soto-Martinez representing working people, and Heather Hutt and Traci Park representing Herb Wesson and the Westside, are all in walking shoes ready to meet the dizzying schedule.  

Smart Speaker: What is the point of racing from office to office for a very brief meeting?

City Attorney:  Mr. Preven, we can’t discuss the details with you, due to security issues.    

Smart Speaker:  Who is in charge of security?      

Craig Fiegener cornered Bass, and asked her how often "can you bring City Council to the White House?  I can’t be in there for security reasons but can you tell us what’s goin' on?"

The mayor spilled, “Homeland is in charge of FEMA. ”   “And FEMA,” she said, “owes us a lot of money and so we are appealing for it.”  Also, she said, we have busloads of migrants and there is federal money available to address that… so we want it.  We are here to let the secretary Mayorkas know.   

Priorities: Everyone joined in a meeting that Paul Krekorian had set with the Armenian Ambassador to the US.   He told Craig, they discussed the catastrophic situation that he said was caused by Azerbaijan aggression. He said, 125,000 people have been cleansed out of their homeland. These are the indigenous people.  

Krekorian told Fiegener that it was important to hear about how the Ambassador’s office is handling the situation and naturally about future risks...  

Fiegener, fired off a zinger, “How many Armenians are there in LA?”  Krekorian, said, that because it’s not an official census... designation, we don’t know, but suffice it to say, he said, Los Angeles is clearly the most important city outside of Armenia. 

(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.)