12
Wed, Jun

Pointed and Civil

ERIC PREVEN'S NOTEBOOK

ERIC PREVEN’S NOTEBOOK - Many were surprised and impressed that the WGA could not find the words to condemn an unprecedented, unparalleled barbaric, brutal, vicious terrorist attack.   And it was surprising to see a SAG/AMPTP cease-fire on Barbie costumes for Halloween.  That seemed like a missed opportunity.

A well-coordinated boycott with the help of key supporters like Taylor Swift and others who stick up for the little ones, could have taken a bite out of Barbie's Booty….I mean merchandise (Note: In protest and solidarity with the artists, we stand by the phrase Barbie's Booty.)

Fighting Words:

I’ve been meaning to reach out to the local valley lobbyist, Stuart Waldman who runs VICA [Valley Industry and Commerce Alliance] and whom I’ve frequently joked around with, even as we disagree on... a lot. 

Waldman is a business advocate and in Stu’s world, I’m a “crybaby millionaire” who should kiss Harvard Westlake’s ass in Nordstrom’s window. 

We used to joke that Waldman was the Jim Clyburn of the Valley before Rick Caruso was devoured by Karen Bass.

Stu, probably has no regrets...

Well, the Dodgers implosion has not been fun, and a sucky start for both the Chargers and Rams.  There’s a lot of blame to go around. 

UCLA and USC, who disrupted the whole Pac-12 meeting, hired Lincoln Riley, who against overwhelming odds appears to have screwed the bloody pooch.  Bad. Very Bad.

Anyway, on a brighter note, I have a constructive idea that might fit well with one of Stu’s commerce-related legislative initiatives. 

VICA picks legislative initiatives to advocate for in order to stimulate business in the Valley.   As an example, Stu hates increasing the minimum wage.

Chris Rock used to say of bosses who pay minimum wage. “You know what your boss is trying to say by paying you minimum wage?  ‘Hey, if I could pay you less, I would, but it’s against the law. [Laugh/Cry]” 

Somewhere, outside Sofi there is a plaque, that says, “If you build it, they will overpay and endure bumper-to-bumper traffic to come bludgeon one another in a drunken stupor!”   It’s an urban legend, but it could be true. We just don’t know. 

The Los Angeles Times Investigation team has been preoccupied with a case about a very dirty email sent to a group of electeds. The reporters needed a break from ignoring the important request to get the Legal Bills from Covington & Burling LLP, Eric H. Holder's law firm, and the accompanying report from the investigation into county contracting.  Code: MRT debacle.  

City Attorney:  Sir, get back on point, the Sofi plaque?

Smart Speaker:  Nobody would argue, that getting Angelenos to a stadium isn’t a major part of the City and apparently the County of Los Angeles’ business plan.  So much revenue has been pegged to a carousel of live sporting events, sold-out concerts, and beer sales. 

Following recent reports, it’s quite clear that, for one reason or another, physical fighting appears to be on the rise at games and concerts.  Not pointed civil discourse, as is favored by the hardworking men and women of Studio City, but gloves off brawling. I’m talking brutal hitting, kicking, biting as well as pulling hair. Even pinching. 

And amusement parks have not been spared, and have been experimenting recently with requiring teenagers to attend with adult chaperones in order to curb the bickering… (and stabbings) at Six Flags.

It occurred to me, a well-regarded pacifist, let’s get VICA to be a leader in sports violence reduction, now before it takes off...

Introducing, stylish protective gear! [Probably needs a better name.]

Stu, if we get in on this early, someone will make an outright fortune.  What would prevent a couple of kids from the Valley from getting a licensing deal with the NFL and The Premiere League to create Kevlar body armor, in the colors of our favorite teams? 

We bring SAFETY and comfort to the experience of attending a game or rave, where a single beer can cost as much as a six-pack, but the hostility is free and on tap...

Hate Therapy:

In August, another report found that nearly half of all AAPIs nationwide have experienced discrimination based on race or ethnicity — yet only 1 in 5 reported it. Painful.

In California, 4 in 10 Asian American and Pacific Islanders have experienced illegal discrimination, Candace Cho, said at a free hate crime workshop and self-defense class.  Cho is the managing director of policy and counsel with the AAPI Equity Alliance, an L.A.-based coalition of civil rights organizations. 

The headline of the article I read was “As anti-Asian hate rises, LA groups pledge support to victims and communities”… but honestly, from out here in the bleachers in Studio City, all forms of hate are on the rise.  The hate is overwhelming us.

I have not done the study, but the more hate there is, the more demand there must be for therapy.

An old friend runs a business working with a number of licensed therapists providing psychotherapy and business has been boffo! 

“Great/terrible!”

Safety and mental wellness go hand and hand. 

Cho told the Daily News that “not all forms of discrimination are illegal.”  And a light bulb went off.  

How true, I thought. 

The City of Los Angeles discriminates against public speakers by keeping their appearance in the television broadcast of the public meetings…tiny.  The meetings are public meetings and the broadcast is for the public, yet the public is only heard, never seen.

Smart Speaker:  Who makes that hideous choice?   Paul Krekorian, the council president.   

Why feature Blumenfield (of #BlumenfieldKnows) who has added a touch of salt and pepper lately and Nithya Raman who could have been a model but NEVER feature Stacey Segarra-Bohlinger, an activist who sings about Mr. DeLeon?  

The Los Angeles Times never covers the 'pointed and civil' speakers but had a very long article about a three-year ban for a man and his little dog, who says offensive things, but denies that he sent a dirty email to a bunch of electeds.

Above, is a picture identified as Stacey Segarra-Bohlinger, who plans to run for City Council. 

99 Cent Showers: 

I ran into the big cheese, Paul Krekorian of CD2 in the 99-Cent Only Store parking lot.  I was emerging - trying to balance items with no bag - and he was entering with the missus.   I briefly said, hello, but was curious, as I drove off,  how he would react to what I perceived as a high  concentration of unhoused shoppers (I did not do a study, but judging from the luggage, attire and… fragrance of key shoppers, something was going on.)

Disclosure:  It was early in the morning, and most would stipulate that after a night out on the street, a stroll down the aisle at the 99-cent store might hit the spot. 

Business Idea:  99 cents showers?   

Smart Speaker:  Ralphs is offering gasoline so all the lines have been blurred.  Showers are a good idea.  Maybe the LA County Metro Board of Directors who will meet this Thursday, should consider offering restroom facilities at the Universal City metro stop.

Raman, Krekorian? NBC Universal?  Home of the Olympics?  Where do we pee, at the Olympics?

City Attorney:  Mr. Preven please get back to the items. 

Smart Speaker:  Where are Angelenos who ride the Metro lines supposed to take care of business?  The VICA offices?

At Thursday's Metro meeting, one key item will be a comprehensive Social Resources and Homelessness Action Plan (Plan) to address homelessness within the Metro transit system and connect people with social services and resources. At a minimum, the Plan should include an effing toilet.

A data snapshot on the state of homelessness on the Metro system, including regional variations subject to confirmed Point-in-Time (PIT) count by LAHSA.  Check the members of LAHSA on the Metro board in bold:  Karen Bass, Chair Janice Hahn, Vice Chair Fernando Dutra, 2nd Vice Chair Kathryn Barger James Butts Jacquelyn Dupont-Walker Lindsey Horvath Paul Krekorian Holly J. Mitchell Ara J. Najarian Tim Sandoval Hilda Solis Katy Yaroslavsky Gloria Roberts, non-voting member.

I assume everyone is looking forward to the report on marketing and public relations activities to tell the Metro story, with a focus on earned media, as well as social media and content partnerships.

As for things not to discuss, the Consent Calendar items are approved by one motion unless held by a Director for discussion and/or separate action, and on Thursday that includes 24 items:  2, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16**, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, and 41.

Smart Speaker:  One item that caught my attention, the Chief Executive Officer, that's Stephanie Wiggins wants to to award a firm fixed unit rate Contract No. PS93508000 to Axiom xCell, Inc. to provide citation processing services for a five-year base period, for a total NTE amount of $1,842,428, effective January 1, 2024, subject to resolution of protest(s), if any.

The last item on the agenda is the result of an exciting survey of 12,000 Metro riders about how much they adore the Metro Ambassadors. How much?  

 

Smart Speaker:  Well, they certainly don’t mind having them around, but many wish they knew what the Ambassadors could help with, and others wished that they were packing heat. Obviously, a third smaller group advocated tolerance for those who may be engaged in ...brutal violence.

 

 

Discernment & Wisdom: Intolerable

One view on Twitter questioned whether people should preach Tolerance, claiming it's a default, blanket acceptance. Instead, we should seek understanding and discernment and analyze an idea, faith, or ideology before we accept it. "No pure tolerance or intolerance," but rather, "discernment and wisdom."

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

City Attorney:  I’m sorry, Mr. Herman, … we are not starting your time yet.  Mr. Herman when you are clapping when I am trying to listen to the speaker I can’t hear which items they want to speak on, so please do not interrupt public comment.  I’m sorry Mr. Preven, which items did you say you wanted to speak on?

Smart Speaker:  I’d like to speak on the available items and a general public comment. 

City Attorney:  OK, so you have three minutes for items 1 and 30 through 39 that are open for public comment and one minute for general public comment. Please begin with the items.

Smart Speaker:   Did you post the correction that you made to item 25?  Because I thought you should have opened it when you made an amendment to item 25. 

City Attorney:  I’m sorry, please proceed with the items.

Smart Speaker:   Alright, I’d like to thank Raman for attending the AQMD meeting, because nobody has done more than this council, across America, as council president Krekorian always says.  Let’s not forget, this is the first blue something or other… in the world!  We have been leaders both in Italian-American Heritage celebrations as well as… costly environmental initiatives.  

Paul Krekorian, City Council President:  Mr. Preven, you need to speak to the agenda. What agenda item are you going to speak to —

Smart Speaker:  Well, I was hoping to speak to the one you amended, item 25, but I didn’t get to hear… all l heard was— 

Paul Krekorian, City Council President:  Speak to the agenda or go to public comment. 

Smart Speaker:  Item 38, 38, 38 is fine. Padilla wants to replace public works with BOE, she made that amendment. So that’s appropriate and open for comment, so please do not interrupt me, it’s very rude.  I mean, what are you so afraid of?  I love public works and I love BOE.   We all do.  BOE was home to the great... Drucker. 

It stands for Neil Drucker, a very clever co-conspirator who managed and massaged, working very closely with Krekorian's office, Garcetti's administration, even Wendy Greuel and all the other crooks in the cabinet, to overload Studio City Recreation Center with a massive City structure… in the open space.

Prop K is not for Krekorian, silly.  The whole Frankenstein project was recently goosed along by Brad Sherman who found $3M and now the whole mess sits on the tiny little plate of Nithya Raman, who is way too busy burning the midnight oil on AQMD…activities.

A major Friday fracas about a tiny amount of LAPD funding. Rodriguez scans her phone in boredom.

 

Paul Krekorian, City Council President:  Mr. Preven this has nothing to do with any agenda item that’s open for public comment. Speak to the agenda or—

Smart Speaker:  How can you say that, public works and BOE?  Council member Padilla does not need you to mansplain to her, and for your information, she replaced public works with BOE and shortened the timeframe on item 38.  Why would you interrupt me?  Who made you the king?  Look, you run the city council poorly, not the world.  Please keep quiet during public comment.

Paul Krekorian, City Council President:  Go to general public comment. 

Smart Speaker:   Excuse me, I am appointed, civil speaker.  

[APPLAUSE]

Paul Krekorian, City Council President:  Go to general public comment. 

Smart Speaker:  OK, I will go to general now, but I was making comments that were related to item 38 and I find your interruptions really beneath a standard. [THANK YOU, THANK YOU].   

We all expect more from the leadership of this council.  It’s embarrassing.

[ROAR OF APPLAUSE]

I will say, that at the County Board of Supervisors, they’ve started to announce when they receive contributions of $250 or more from people who may be involved with a particular item.  And I think we should start doing that at City Hall too.   

Though it could add hours to hear the clerk reel off the names of the many donors to the historic campaigns of Hugo Soto Martinez and Heather Hutt  — not to mention Mr. Harris-Dawson, who has previously claimed he can’t keep track of all the Land Use contributions he receives.  It's hard. 

And Mr. Krekorian, sir, let us not forget how you collected dozens of maximum contributions from the Harvard Westlake Trustees, which you always say, is very different than a briefcase full of cash.  

Yes, different, but you can achieve the same result if you are persistent.  And, yes, the Ethics Commission knows all about the cloaked donations from trustees, but because there is no law requiring the trustees to disclose that they’re trustees — 

It would have been very easy to fix this and shut down the loophole, but even putting the item on the agenda would have drawn unwanted attention to his eminence…

I hope it comes up at the next November 7th Planning hearing.

And poor Nithya Raman, who inherited Paul Krekorian’s tale of graft, corruption, and greed.

What will she do?  

Paul Krekorian, City Council President:  Thank you, your time has expired.  Next Caller.

 

(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.)