Tue, May

Lofty Points and Long Shots


ERIC PREVEN’S NOTEBOOK - Staffer B John Lee (CD12) and Kevin De Leon (CD14) as well as the odd woman out, Traci Park of (CD11) who is not currently running for office at this time, joined forces to establish a reward program for individuals who report information regarding copper wire thefts, and to create a task force that will prioritize the crimes in Mr. De Leon's 14th district.   There used to be a few hundred cases of metal theft, now there are over 6,000 and no metal is safe.  

Hugo Soto-Martinez (CD13) and Eunisses Hernandez of (CD1) refused to go along with these measures so the result was a council vote of 13-2. 

But first, there was a brief lofty exchange of ideas.  

Eunisses, who made a few very strong points for her fam about the McCourt's Aerial gondola at the Metro planning committee meeting. 

Eunisses Hernandez (CD1):    My name is Eunisses Hernandez councilmember representing the first district in the City of LA and I'm here to ask the planning committee to vote no on item 12, the EIR for the Aerial rapid transit project as it currently stands, leaves us with more questions than it does answers.  

It doesn't tell us how it will ensure that taxpayers don't end up on the hook for the more than 500 million dollar project and I have not seen a formal agreement guaranteeing that the gondola will never compete for public dollars.  It doesn't tell us how a nonprofit with no history of building mass transportation systems, funded by an organization with no history of funding mass transportation projects will deliver this project.  It doesn't tell us how we'll ensure that precious green spaces like state historic Park and Elysian Park will be safeguarded from disruption. Voters approved measure J, measure M in 2016 which outlines how much Metro not only invests its money, but also its time.  This project violates that agreement with voters and prioritizes an expensive first-last-mile project over actual regional transit solutions. And you haven't told us why approving this unsolicited project is the best transit option, and punting the analysis of these questions down the road is in the best interests of the public good.  

Colleagues, I respectfully ask you to stand with the community and to do right by my constituents and yours and to vote no on this item.   

This project is going before the full Metro Board for a vote next Thursday, February 22. It’s time to tap in, fam! 

Back to Copper:

When it came to the copper wire theft, Eunisses seemed slightly off of her game. She said that the city had placed too much effort into fixing and catching up to the amount of damage already done to the copper infrastructure, noting that the money could be put to better use, like for instance; shortening the time it takes to repair a sidewalk. She said the current wait times are a year in her district.  

Mr. Soto-Martinez, a big labor tummler with very strong vendadore credibility and lineage, lamented that nobody is trying to get to the root causes. He suggested that the problem was a result of our capitalist system leaving people "at the edge."  

Paul Krekorian, who sits on the Metro Board, and whose grandfather was allegedly a vendadore, called the metal theft outbreak "absolutely intolerable in any society." 

Ms. Hernandez touted a motion by Council President Krekorian calling for a report on the feasibility of transitioning street lights from electric to SOLAR power.  DING. DING. DING. **THE DAILY DOUBLE**  

Soto Martinez said, "We want to be intelligent…" and though he supported both copper motions in the public safety committee, now, he announced dramatically, having heard his colleagues go on, "I’m going to be a No."  

This was widely regarded as... a diss on Rodriguez, Lee and Traci Park (CD11). 

Now, it was Imelda Padilla's (CD6) turn to tap in. The feisty sidekick of Monica Rodriquez (CD7) said,  "I wasn’t planning to talk but, I think I should. My district has a lot of this… streets and underpasses are dark. We need to think bigger, collectively…" 

Then she echoed sleazy Markeezy and said "Everyone was right" but narrowed her eyes, at the suggestion by the NO voters. "I don't think these are people trying to get $30 bucks, this is very smart, clever, organized crime.” She said it reminded her of a book that at one time dictated the conversation: Guns, Germs and Steel (1997)  

Hugo, gently gasped, “Wow.” 

Everything is related to steel and all sorts of metal, Padilla noted.  "We need to go regional. We need to stop saying these are the impoverished criminals trying to fund their addiction. If you're on the 6th Street bridge... you're not a low-level criminal." 

FYI, Guns, Germs, and Steel was a 480 pager that immediately followed a 165 pager by the same author, Jared Diamond, entitled, Why Is Sex Fun?  

Answer:  Something to do with metal? 

One pair of critics who released a joint statement about Mr. Diamond's sex book when it came out, said it was ”informative, but too thin in substance.”   

CPRA with SPJ/LA: Bellman, get in here!

This is a CPRA request for something thicker. 


Student Journalists from the Harvard Westlake Chronicle should look into this great upcoming session, and get your parents to donate to FAC. "Yeah, right!" 

Founded in 1934, SPJ/LA is dedicated to protecting freedom of speech and the press, ensuring high standards of ethical behavior, and supporting the work of journalists across Southern California. 

One key aspect is educating student journalists in California about the California Public Records Act. 

They are also top-notch when it comes to stifling "the debate."  

In one case that I am deeply familiar with, one of the SPJ/LA longtime board members, Joel Bellman, using an unofficial email address, tried and succeeded at omitting several legitimate candidates from a 3rd district supervisorial debate.   

Using the CPRA, journalists were able to uncover several naughty emails from Mr. Bellman who worked at the Third District when he wrote nasty little lies, to Barry Girvan Worth of the Jewish Federation, essentially tossing one very handsome Jewish candidate right under the metro bus. The entire chronology is available, here.  

Bellman, an official responding to an official group seeking a list of official 3rd district candidates, used a secondary unofficial email address (ie. [email protected]).  And made several intentional material omissions, including my name and the names of other candidates.  

Paul HS Kim, of the Los Angeles County counsel, might be an excellent resource on how that works.  Mr. Kim’s father was a celebrated journalist. 

Running on empty: Possibly

Nithya Raman has been running a commercial that says, “I’m an immigrant to the country… I never stopped feeling a little lonely…like an outsider.”   

She noted that “Angelenos see suffering” but was optimistic, that “Our work has had impact…

“We said we wanted a city that responded to climate change with all the urgency we could have.  And we now have a law in place that says not a single new building can be built with a gas line. We’ve seen what is possible.” 

Paul Krekorian, Council President:  Mr. Serrano? 

Smart Speaker:  Hello. Yeah, It’s Eric Preven calling in. I’d like to speak on the available items. 

Paul Krekorian, Council President:  Mr. Preven we can hear something in the background, if you can turn that down. Please.  

Smart Speaker:  Yeah, okay, can you hear me now? The available items.  

Paul Krekorian, Council President:  We can hear you, yes. Go right ahead. 

Smart Speaker:  Good. On the agenda items, are we allowed to speak on the Ninth Circuit Court of appeals decision to ensure the Living Wage Ordinance?  Is that in the section that is available for comment?  I notice that you’ve turned things upside down today. Clever.  Normally, it’s the items at the back are open for comment, but today it seems to be the opposite.   And I know you don’t want to discuss the transfer of surplus money from the power revenue fund or the progressive design-build project for the water reclamation project. 

As a courtesy, I will NOT address those clunkers.  Got it.  

So, let’s look up top in the front of the agenda, where you want us to go… the lighting districts?I   

Sir,  what the hell is this? These are dry as a bone and you’re doing such a terrible job with the copper theft.  Are you trying to actively mess with the public’s mind?  Except for items 3 and 4, here the organized communities managed a majority protest!  Excellent work by Mr. Soto-Martinez (CD13)  and Monica Rodrigue (CD7), guiding their people to say, “No thank you. No more assessments - we’re done.”   Just Say No, with the assistance of your council member.  Deeply moving.  Hopefully, these constituent beneficiaries appreciate how this is… all perfectly legal.  

Incidentally, the public benefit of vacating odd little pieces of city property is a timeless classic. They are even doing it over at the county board of supervisors today.   

Everybody wants to be helpful and vacate a little something or other for someone.  Why?  Well, for one thing, the city won’t have to assume the liability of it going forward - call it an alley.  Once we give it away for a song to a greedy developer,  it’s their problem.  All the headaches associated with nearly free… land.    

And frankly, it’s a nice way to give something valuable to a rich constituent with nothing out of pocket.  They just sprinkle in a little diligence, nudge it along, and help cut the line to a gift of public funds.  

Kevin DeLeon said just last week… “A little pushing, a little shoving, and then finally push comes to shove…!”  Kudos.  

Unfortunately, it was De Leon’s predecessor-criminal, Jose Huizar, who we all observed dangling the Vacation of city property… with co-conspirator, Mitch O’Farrell (CD13)…in the role of arm-twisting facilitator.     

A lawyer who represented the business that wanted the city alley was being squeezed for a little howdy-do (bribe) to Richelle Huizar’s historic campaign for CD14.  Everyone was like OMG, this is how they do it…read:  On Ethics, So-Called Seats at the Table, and More 

For readers who want to relive the 2018 magic here and now: Mitchell O'Farrell chairs Public Safety with Buscaino, and Rodriguez. He addresses the furious applicant and his attorney in this “Priceless transcript” from Wednesday, September 5, 2018.  FREE! 

Mitchell O'Farrell: Thank you so much. So, what I am going to recommend is that we um. . .that we go ahead and. . .um, disapprove of this street vacation per our colleague's request. . . (HUIZAR) but encourage the dialogue. . . I mean Ms. Ramos is here, you are here. . .and. . .um, it sounds like the dialogue needs to continue and perhaps clarify any sort of misunderstandings that may exist, and you know, make your case to "our colleague." (HUIZAR) Um. . .and I think that is the action that I would recommend. Thank you so much, but I encourage you to caucus right now with staff from Mr. Huizar's office and continue to see if you can get to the bottom of the issue. Thank you, thank you so much. Ok, that will be the order.  

Check my tweet from the era: 

@mitchofarrell DENYING a street vacation request for @joseHuizar while revving up Richelle's campaign... #omg the mama-san* sending ppl upstairs to 'dialogue' with Jose! #InTheExecutiveWashRoom 

This was during the Los Angeles Times extended hibernation period and by the time the public had cobbled together all the ugly little pieces the house of cards was already starting to teeter.   

Vacating city property is a lovely way to say, “Thank you and please feel free to thank me once again more robustly, later on, when I’m out of the office. Or if you prefer, I am on very good terms with multiple shady not-for-profits. Obviously.”  

And so, with that, I would say, “Thank you to Paul Krekorian for putting together such a devious little agenda.”   A shmear of public funding for the children, reminiscent of Curren D. Price’s Universal basic income and the money cards.  Can money cards be used to pay for lawyers? MRT would know.  

As for the item related to the Bay Motel out on Figueroa.  This is not a five-star property!  Not even a two-star, I’m told.  But finally, Mr. Marqueece Harris-Dawson (CD8)  is getting into the action and like Pat Mcosker (CD15), the one five’s in-house lobbyist who has been kicking ass and taking names on a high profile nuisance property, as Mr. Deleon plans to scale the high rise himself during an election to clean off that damn graffiti. Though he intends to send the bill to the developer…in China, per Ethics. 

Paul Krekorian, Council President:  Thank you very much.  

A couple hours later…   

City Clerk: 14 members and a quorum, sir. 

Paul Krekorian, Council President:  Thank you … Madam City Attorney, anything to report?  No.  Nothing to report?  

City Clerk:  The Desk is Clear.  

Paul Krekorian, Council President:  Members, are there any announcements?  Let me just take this opportunity members. As a reminder, when we get to the announcements section of our meeting, that really is for announcements. It’s not an open mic session to talk about policy issues.  We can’t do that because that would - you know, potentially lead to debates on nonagendized items…which could potentially be violative of the Brown Act.  So, when we get to announcements, please. It’s for events coming up … and that sort of thing.   

So… Mr. Mcosker followed by Mr. De Leon. 


Denial of Public Comment 

—— Forwarded Message ----- 

From: [email protected] <[email protected]

To: Jonathan Groat <[email protected]

Cc: [email protected] <[email protected]>; 

Karo Torossian <[email protected]>; 

David Michaelson <[email protected]

Sent: Wednesday, February 14, 2024 at 11:51:37 AM PST 

Subject: Denial of Public Comment 


A city agent put my hand down again. Please call up the number ending in  2616 to speak... on items and general public comment.  Now. 


Eric Preven


Golf Stat:

The United States has more golf courses than McDonald’s locations and also has more than any other country, accounting for about 42 percent of all courses worldwide, according to the National Golf Foundation. 

"Most politicians just fight each other, while Katie Porter fights for you," per an ad she has run. 

And according to Sacramento Bee Fact Checker, it is mostly false that Katie has taken corporate campaign cash.  

Smart Speaker:  Mostly?   

We need to stop fighting each other and fight for each other. 


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