Sun, Jul

LA Poster Boys (and Girls)

ERIC PREVEN’S WORLD - DeLeon is becoming the citywide Poster Boy for Tiny Villages, though we've only spotted the massive signage in his district. It's quite subtle and effective and narrowly skirts any weak ethics rule against public money being put to use during an election.  

Nowhere will you find any mention of the election on the city-funded banners. The high watermark for such inappropriate activity was achieved by Harvey Englander's wayward nephew and CD12 thief and now a felon, Mitchell Englander!   

Englander positioned himself as the Poster Boy for distributing the OK/Help window signs to his constituents during an election. "City Officials Launch OK/HELP Window Sign Program"  Call it an incumbent advantage.  

Nithya Raman, the greatest of all time, who actually ousted the incumbent David Ryu, is fast becoming the Poster Gal for clean Procurement.  She's setting up a little Village with numerous city staff helpers totaling $2.56 million to ensure - once and for all - a level playing field, on which to lose to corrupt insiders.   

Raman made it very clear that the initiative would require a lot more money and a much bigger staff than the paltry $2.56 million. 

The time to prioritize thinking about expansion is now.  

While expanding fairness, CM Raman, found time to squeeze in what she called her 1,000th article about the mayoral race where homelessness has become the top issue.  

She wondered why supervisorial candidates — who are charged with managing the broken county mental health system that, she says, got us into this crisis, are not being asked every single day how they plan to fix it?  

Answer:   The Board of Supervisors has opted to cancel half of their public meetings.   

Raman's procurement village will be housed on the upper floors of City Hall East, near Mike Feuer's asylum of disgruntled litigants and litigators, one floor up in the CAO's office.  Richard Llewelyn has already handed the so-called baton to Matt Szabo who will put together an elite procurement team in his office.   

It is hard to believe that neither Llewellyn nor Szabo had any idea that Rick Jacobs was grabbing their asses and anyone else's, including mine. JK, though he did walk by me as I sat parked outside the mayor's press and communications office, that at one time housed two dozen optimistic public relations executives, constantly googling Garcetti's name.   

Alex Comisar, the Chief of Communications, who was promoted after a text or email in which he described Jacobs's activities as "vile" left the Mayor's office on Friday.    

Eric Garcetti is going to be the Poster Boy for Corrupt Culture.   

Sal Rodriguez is going to be the Schadenfreude Poster Boy for 2022. His admittedly distasteful piece "The implosion of Eric Garcetti has been a joy to watch" about Garcetti's fall from grace is classic Rodriquez.   

I've always said editorial boards must speak to the community, not just one another, and the mayor.  

To fully freshen things up, a city, when replacing a Mayor, or selling a Yacht... should open all the windows, defenestrate any junk, editors, or lingering odors.


Sneaky Meeting News

In sneaky meeting news, Strefan Fauble, a deputy City Attorney in Los Angeles read into the record, a notice about a May 18, 2022, special meeting, signaling that Budget Season is nearly upon us.   Stand by for a preposterous schedule and series of virtually private listening sessions. 

As Fauble was unfurling his verbiage, the Mayor was finishing a press conference to announce the Alliance Homelessness settlement with four seated council committee members in attendance, thereby testing the Brown Act's tolerance for meetings of bodies that are not properly agendized. Only pre-selected members of the press were admitted.

And finally, in a poorly attended Zoom meeting alongside certain Board of Neighborhood Empowerment Commissioners this week, Paul Koretz, who is running for Controller, agreed with everything Nury Martinez said.  

Both Koretz, who has been clinging to the teetering obelisk that he's been schlepping to and from for nearly two decades and Eli Lipman fawned as Martinez articulated a 'staff safety' narrative to upend public meetings, as we know them. 

"My number one priority is to keep our staff safe... we've done a really good job of working in a bubble," Council President Martinez said.

"There is a plan to begin to open the building and council chambers. I hope to have a better sense in the next couple of weeks, I'm looking at May possibly... of starting to, in a very limited way, in a safe way. But I am going to be honest with you my friend. We are going to be opening council chambers in a very different way. We are no longer in 2019, we are now in 2022 with a very angry set of circumstances, for a variety of reasons. People have been upset for the last two years for a lot of reasons. They might be upset at me over the vaccine mandate, they might be upset at me about my position on homelessness, and they might be upset at me over not canceling rent. I mean I can go on and on and on... about the things" people can be upset with me about. 

Reminiscent of Vladimir Zellensky of Ukraine, calling himself (and so democracy) a target of Russian aggression.  

The only difference is that Martinez is not a leader, the public is not aggressive, and the only thing she is defending is the status quo.  Sneaky meetings.  

The public who are indeed critical of Council President Martinez may be very critical, but the staff safety narrative... is false.  

Herb Wesson taught Nury at a very young age, to cherish the "false narrative." 


County Legal Fraud: 

Mitch O'Farrell introduced his challenge to the 1964 deal between the city and county over mental health services, by saying "homelessness can’t be understated, err overstated."  That's called a (Freudian Skip)  

As in Skip Miller, the attorney for the county who has been selling the narrative that the county is doing everything possible to address homelessness without stigmatizing it as a crime.” He told the LA Times, “Any assertion that the county has failed on this obligation is utterly baseless. We intend to litigate and win."  Curious, how much will that cost?  

And why if Miller Barondess LLP who has been fighting at taxpayer expense, and talking to the Times, were they also collecting paycheck protection plan money? A white-collar, white-shoe, law firm collecting $1,000,000 in federal relief money on top of millions in county contracts that the Board refuses to specify?   Are the optics on that ... creepy?   

The public is rightfully furious.  And what about the Angelenos who actually lost their jobs?  Who worked for businesses that couldn't apply for this money because it was gone.  

"Those are really the ones who should be the angriest of all," an expert told NBC's, Lester Holt, who had a report on how the PPP Fraud was the worse in a generation. 


Say it like you mean it:

The Blue Ribbon Commission on Homelessness was the first public, commission-driven process, authorized and created by the Board of Supervisors, to study homelessness governance. It was produced by Mary C. Wickham, their former county counsel who is as thick as thieves with Mark Ridley-Thomas, who is facing a federal indictment, as anyone.  

Though Skip, apparently, thinks the county is doing a good job, Wickham, who hired him is Calling for Immediate Action on ‘Unacceptable Status Quo’ of Homeless Delivery Systems.  

Don't be upset children, Mommies and Daddy will resolve this... and if Judge Carter has to intervene again and send out more social workers, there will be plenty of visitation.   

Wickham's Final Report was cobbled together from approximately 280 individuals representing over 130 entities, cities, departments, and authorities within the County or across the country, including 40 service providers who provided their invaluable real-world perspectives. 

No word if that was in exchange for continued funding. Sheila Kuehl's office has not returned calls.  

Going forward, equity must be the bedrock and the county must... 

-Replace rigidness in decision-making with flexibility 

-Embrace wholeheartedly a “whatever it takes” attitude 

-Reject a “one-size-fits-all” approach 

-Pivot to a region-wide approach that allows for local solutions (ie. someone to fund, extort, and of course blame) 

-Various philosophies and approaches can coexist to help people out of homelessness (so nobody, no matter how ineffective, will lose their funding)   

The YMCA of LA took $5,000,000 in PPP money. 


"I only do Truth" (Gustavo Arellano)

On Wednesday, March 30, 2022, I received an email from Mark Dengler, the COO of the YMCA of Greater Metropolitan area of Los Angeles. 

I was excited because I've been reaching out to Dengler and the Don of the local YMCA gang, Alan C. Hostrup for several years.  

Guys like Hostrup and Dengler are understandably wary about self-described watchdogs up in their business.   

As reported earlier in this column, my long track record of swimming daily was brutally interrupted by a risk management attorney who claimed, I was no longer welcome at my YMCA.   When I asked why?  He said, "we don't have to tell you."  

I wrote to Hostrup directly, to see about getting back in the pool.  Dengler wrote,  "An investigation was conducted and you were contacted at the conclusion of the investigation to let you know that your membership was terminated. There is nothing further to meet about at this time. Thank you."  Mark Dengler, COO 

I disagree.  For one thing, and this is important -- I've broken no rule or policy.  And my conduct, in the face of significant operational issues with our facility,  has been appropriate at all times.  I have written about the YMCA, sometimes critically, but I have always paid my dues,  acted in good faith and remained on good terms with our community.    

The Y of Metropolitan LA grossed receipts of $330,216,763 in 2020.  LA Galaxy, the LA Clippers, and the LA Kings are sponsors among others.  They took $5,000,000 in paycheck protection plan money.  NBC news called the program the 'biggest fraud in a generation.' 

The City coughed up $1,000,000 dollars in 2022, and $1.570,000 in 2021 to help with various initiatives.   

Candidly, the "Get Eric Preven out" initiative is a nonstarter.  

The Board is comprised of some local frenemies, Wendy Greuel Commissioner L.A. Homeless Services Authority, and Sheila Kuehl's appointee to the women and girls initiative. Jim McDonnell, the former Sheriff of LA County and Police Chief of Long Beach.   

When I called my local North Hollywood Senior Lead Officer, he reported that it was no longer his beat, and the officer whose beat it was, has been out injured. I asked whose covering for him or her... nobody!  

Michel Moore Chief of Police Los Angeles Police Department and John H. Sanders, a Supervising Deputy Attorney General (Retired) California State Department of Justice are on the board.  Rob Bonta the Attorney General wrote back... 

The YMCA environment is intended to foster dignity, respect, fairness, and appreciation for all aspects and dimensions of diversity.  This includes a diversity of opinions, and the AG does provide access to resources, that support truth to power.  

When I asked David Hartmire, the East Valley YMCA director for easily the last decade, to set up a meeting with Mr. Hostrup ($417,485) and Dengler ($372,319), he would automatically shunt me to Dan Powell, the SVP Branch operations ($197,335).  Hartmire transferred to the North Valley, to work under Jane Stanton ($225,966), the longtime Executive Director out in Mitchell Englander and Staffer B John Lee, country.   

J Stanton received severance compensation in the amount of $52,167 in 2020.  M Dengler the wife of COO Mark Dengler received $67,523. No information related to whether Nevis Stanton-Trehan, the zealot who told the Police to arrest me if I set foot at my local Y, is related to the North Valley fundraising titan, Jane Stanton.  So many fundraisers... so much Englander... 

The LA Y. leveraged nine of its facilities to provide nearly 15,000 showers for families and individuals experiencing homelessness. The program was launched in partnership with the City of Los Angeles and LA sanitation and environment and offered safe hygiene facilities, showers and restrooms for unsheltered Angelenos during the covid-19 crisis.  

The midday closures that impacted members a lot remain in effect: The Y is closed from noon to 4 pm every day.  

The LA Y led county-wide public health events at its branch facilities to provide the community with safe and easy access to essential health services such as Covid-19 testing and influenza vaccinations, all to keep the community healthy and safe.  

I got my booster in the parking lot there, but now, since the LA Y terminated my membership, I am considered a trespasser and have been warned to stay away.  Don't believe me: check this video. 

As I wrote to Alan C. Hostrup, we need to discuss reinstatement, stat! 



California Gov. Gavin Newsom and his family are heading out of the country on a vacation. Newsom’s office didn’t specify exactly where they were going but said it was Central and South America.  

In the Governor's absence, Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis was left to act as governor, like when Mayor Garcetti is out of state, Nury Martinez is left to act as Mayor.  

During his absence, Kounalakis signed the emergency bill to extend renter protections. That made her the first woman in California’s 171-year history to sign a state bill into law.   

But apparently, Nury Martinez could not find a single competent woman In CD10 capable of voting for constituents and had to appoint a dangerous tyrant in Herb Wesson to help her finalize her plans to destroy public comment. 


Backup Clerk: 

When Holly Wolcott is out and about, Petty Santos takes over as Clerk.  Neither she nor Patrice Lattimore was able to respond 
or provide a link to the writing or motion amending item 6 on Friday, April 1.   

We heard that Herb Wesson added a recommendation to transfer $100k...where? 

The answer will emerge, but the question makes it clear, that the public has to be granted admission to public meetings.  



Unite Here!  (But not at Chateau Marmont) 

If Amazon can unionize in New York, why is it that a bunch of Celebrities Crossed the Picket Lines at Jay-Z’s Chateau Marmont Oscars Party?  Not clear why they would want to be associated with a hotel that discriminates and, allegedly, cheats its employees.   

Apparently, Issa Rae, Gabrielle Union, and several others honored the boycott.  No word of whether Bezos was invited, but Amazon claims to want direct relations with its employees, so Bezos can impress upon his people how munificent he really is when left to his own devices.   Amazon has attacked the union over alleged NLRB violations.   

The constant harassment by pesky regulators and tax collectors is not helpful to him as CNN contributor Van Jones and he endeavor to change the world, by funding the right, not for profits.


(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) 


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