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LA City's Mini-Mask Mandate, Still

ERIC PREVEN'S NOTEBOOK - After another in a series of short, poorly run city council meetings, at which public participation is contingent on masking up, despite no such requirement at other similar assemblies like movies or concerts, activists have renewed their cry for hybrid meetings. 

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, to no one’s surprise, will reach $300 million in box office ticket sales in just 11 days, according to someone familiar with blockbusters.  That's a lot of unmasked assembling.  Even, Brian Monahan, the attending physician to the United States Congress, said in February that mask-wearing "is now an individual choice option."  

The purpose of the mini-mask mandate at City Hall is reportedly to protect the city staff. 

Never mind that it's a disincentive to participation because that is easily addressed by accepting virtual testimony, as during the pandemic (which is virtually over).   

For example, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors continues to take half the correct dosage of virtual testimony, every other week.   So, what's up with City Hall?  

If the imperious Board of Supervisors are willing to take as close as they can get to ninety minutes of remote comments from the public, why has the city council refusing?  

On Friday, Candido Mares, a longtime commenter drove in from the Valley and brought along two speakers who pled for help from the council with their struggling not-for-profit "gym," intended to support both senior citizens and children. The idea that their outfit served both young and old was odd but endearing and the message came across loud and clear--any available funding streams are welcome.   

When Mr. Mares, who was one of the four people who spoke, said some nice things about the not-for-profiteers, and then quickly downshifted and said some not so nice, but true things about Dodge, who he says have been running advertising that brazenly encourages precisely the dangerous driving and deadly antics that Angelenos are worried about.   

That's it. There were no other speakers... well there was one.  He opened by identifying himself by name and as a butt-kicking gator from Florida.  He dropped Mitchell Englander's name and said some very offensive things, but rather than move quickly past his remarks, so the public could get to the boring self-serving lecture scheduled though not agendized by Paul Krekorian, about his fight against "that damned oil and gas industry," Marqueece Harris Dawson hit his buzzer, and President Nury Martinez gave him leave to pontificate. If Mark Ridley-Thomas and Jose Huizar were watching from home on channel 35, they would have unmuted their tv sets at this point.  

Harris-Dawson, who allegedly flipped off a constituent at a recent meeting, was furious at the disrespectful "hate" speech that he claimed had come from this unhinged Florida gator. Dawson reminded his colleagues that elected officials like us signed up with the knowledge that we would potentially be exposed to this type of thing, but these gosh darn workers (I'm paraphrasing) "did not sign up for this."  

I wanted to say in public comment that the Pepperdine Caruso Law Announces Guaranteed Scholarships for students from historically Black Colleges and Universities, but there was no comment afforded for speakers who had not traveled downtown and masked up.  

The City Attorney chimed in to say that the city's options regarding: limiting speech, were severely limited, by that pesky first amendment. 

Of course, civil rights leader/party boss Gilbert Cedillo, disagreed and jumped into the tent. 

Cedillo, who has his own stellar bonafides as a fighter (for developers) and took an official trip to Mexico a couple of years ago with former CD12 councilmember Mitchell Englander, who was allegedly sporting a MAGA hat, as Cedillo reported through frat boy-like laughter when Englander was 'fake-taking a job/facing FBI heat', was pissed.  He rambled on for a few minutes, proving once again that he had nothing to add, but that he enjoys hearing himself admonish anyone, including the gator from Florida and the City Attorney.    

Question: Would city staff feel safer with a virtual testimony option? 

 

Cage fighting update:

I am pre-agreeing to attend, virtually or in-person without a mask, if properly noticed, a Keneth Mejia and Paul "a very good debater" Koretz debate... in the cage, gloves-off.   

I swear to pay close attention and listen carefully to each point of view.  

In other forum news, I  heard that Gil Cedillo had finally agreed, after cashing $136,000 in public matching money checks to meet Eunisses Hernandez, the more dynamic CD1 challenger.  

Then I read that on Saturday in #Chinatown, close to 100 residents from the neighborhood showed up to voice their concerns and ask questions of the candidates for the city council.  Eunisses was present for the community.  The incumbent Gil Cedillo…once AGAIN... *haiku alert* 

MIA  

Where is Cedillo? 

Meeting with a billionaire  

Breaking promises  

5/14/22.   

No word if Michael N. Feuer will run for City Controller, in four years, if not yet in custody. 

 

Level the playing field, Mr. Governor:

From the people who brought you: Rent Is Still Too Damn High! We Need Rent Control, a promotion has been launched for the 

The "3 Ps"  protect tenants, preserve existing affordable housing, and produce new affordable housing.  

What's not to like? The 3 Ps help middle- and working-class residents first and foremost.   

So there is no reason not to tell your state legislators to implement the 3 Ps and while you are at it, California’s SB 1456 is also a no-brainer. 

The bill, authored by State Sen. Henry Stern, who is running for Sheila Kuehl's 3rd District County Supervisor seat that she's leaving, the way Jack Welch left GE in shambles, creates a much-needed property tax exemption on 100 percent affordable-housing projects – and establishes a sustainable, barrier-free model that will greatly increase the construction of low-income and homeless housing. Sounds good. 

The property owner is required to certify that funds that would have been used to pay property taxes are used to maintain the affordability of the units or reduce rents. (I don't see a problem there, do you?)  SB 1456 seeks to level the playing field so that all nonprofit developers who are contributing to our affordable housing stock are treated equally. 

A nonprofit developer that privately finances low-income housing and uses no public funds is eligible for a property tax exemption up to a maximum of $20 million in aggregate valuation per property owner claiming the welfare exemption for non-publicly financed rental housing. The irony is that the project that costs the state no money hits a permanent wall at $20 million in assessed value while a project that can cost the state millions of dollars receives a property tax exemption up to 100% on an unlimited number of projects.  

The current law sets a statewide cap of $20 million in value.  This proposed bill moves to 1) Strike the $20 million cap on value.  2) Apply to lien dates on or after the effective date of the bill.    

”In 2018, the Legislature again increased the cap to $20 million in value and created a process for taxpayers to file a claim to have any outstanding taxes or escape assessments canceled. In 2019, the Senate unanimously approved SB 294 (Hill), which would have increased the cap to $250 million. After the author amended the bill to reduce the cap increase from $250 million to $100 million, and sunset the change after ten years, the Assembly approved the bill.   However, Governor Newsom vetoed it, citing potential significant long-term General Fund costs and reduced local revenue.  

Well, the soaring state budget confirms that was minor miscalculation, but it's not too late to act, or rather get out of the way.  

SB 1456 passed out of committee last week on 05/19/22 after a second reading. Ordered to third reading (Ayes 7. Noes 0.)   

There's no opposition, so only friendly fire will thwart this amendment to a welfare exemption for low-income housing.   

We see you, Governor Newsom.    

Happy Trauma Month!

 

Meet your Mayoral Candidates' Water Bill:

I spotted a "Meet Your Mayor: A political matchmaking quiz for Voters" TM in an LAist newsletter.  I took the time.  It's fun.  Sort of.  Instructive and a little depressing.  

Here's one of the 12 questions. 

California is in chronic drought. Which of the following strategies most closely reflects what you think should be done at the city level to improve individual water conservation?  

1) Increase DWP rates 

2) Enforce rationing 

3) Encourage voluntary conservation, but be willing to enforce rationing Individual water use is not the right intervention point 

4) Promote conservation, but also secure our local water supply by modernizing our infrastructure, recycling water, capturing rain and stormwater, and using native or drought-tolerant plants 

5) Skip this question  

I couldn't find Rick Caruso's answer to this one, but I'd like the On The Recordists, or the LAists who have been doing a great job bringing readers and voters what we need this campaign season, to check into the candidates' water usage. I tried, but only Dulce Vasquez shared her score, which seemed good, as I recall.  

Usage says a lot about usage and I am proud to be on the low end of the spectrum in my neighborhood but disgusted that I am using 94 gallons of water every single day, anyway.  The fact that average households are 5x my appallingly high usage makes me want to learn more facts about candidate water usage.   

You can't fake clarity. 

 

 

La reserva de la Familia: 

My family recently faced a horrible legal attack by a disgusting set of liars who made up wild and false allegations about us, and tried to drag us into court.  It was both shocking and horrifying.   

We stepped up big time and the Judge threw the whole mess out of court, but the stress was great until that time.   

I have a high tolerance for conflict, but as people age and get older it is harder to believe that everything will... be okay.  

Nothing has been resolved.  

The message:  Sticking up for one another, is powerful.  

This reminded me of Mayor Garcetti, who rolled out into the press cycle last week, another in a series of shameless efforts, that his parents Gil and Suki Garcetti would be registering to lobby the United States Senate to confirm their bubela to be the Ambassador to India.  

Political dynasties are everywhere:  You have the Mark Ridley-Thomas and son, Sebastian Ridley-Thomas dynasty, or the Donald Knabe and his son the lobbyist, Matt Knabe dynasty.  You have the Wessons, the Trumps, the Alarcons.   They're part of American politics.  

Politicians, are people, and people need to trust other people in politics to get things accomplished, and a member of the family, by no means a guarantee, can be a good bet.  

But what in the world are Gil Garcetti and Suki thinking about?   

There was zero evidence in the case in which my family came together to stick up for justice against a pernicious force, but in the mayor's drama, the end of which is coming into focus, dozens of real Angelenos, swore that he knew or should have known.   

To say that Garcetti is a nice guy or very smart or a good son or a great dad, who would never do anything to harm or ignore a victim of anything is very touching, but to get there, one has to believe that all of the statements by so many Angelenos were... what?   

Made up?!  All a part of a right-wing conspiracy?!  

I have not met a more unpleasant party in all my years as a disgruntled Democrat than the Republican party, but this is really not about that, people. 

Any further attempts to claw his way onto the boat for India is over a pile of honest Angelenos, who were brave enough to stand up.  

Angelenos know that Garcetti knew and or should have known and did nothing, it's time to do something else.   

I suggest law school.  

 

Caruso School of Law:

Pepperdine Law alumnus Rick Caruso (JD '83) was featured in a Forbes article in 2018 "The Walt Disney of Retail" for his excellence in retail, real estate, and ability to transform communities in Southern California.   

How's the transformation coming, Rick? 

Well, one thing: he named the Henry J. & Gloria Caruso Auditorium at the Caruso School of Law after his parents.  

It's gorgeous.  

Pepperdine Caruso School of Law ranked Number 52 in a recent U.S. News & World Report for 2023, and Father Gregory Boyle curates the Caruso School of Law Dean's Speaker Series.  And the school is #1 in... Dispute Resolution.    

Maybe the law school can offer a not-so-amicus brief to Nury Martinez about her theory that the city staff is not safe unless there is no incentive for public comment.  

Pepperdine's face-covering policy aligns with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the California Department of Public Health, Cal/OSHA, and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. So, no masks are required special, to keep out the public, like at City Hall.  

Though the public is not necessarily welcome, because it is private property, whatevs... "you're disrupting the meeting." 

By the way, yes, Ken Starr of White Water was the Dean of the law school at Pepperdine, where Matt Knabe played golf.  Pre-Caruso branding. tk.  

For the wee youngsters, after more than four years of investigation, Ken Starr filed the Starr Report, which alleged that Bill Clinton lied about the existence of the affair during a sworn deposition.  

Speaking of sworn depositions... Why has the sworn deposition of Eric Garcetti not been made public? 

 

Application Development: 

I am proposing that the Los Angeles County Metro develop a "member of the community" app.  

People who join for free can point their smartphones at a lawbreaker/smoker on a train or bus, alerting authorities, without having to create a confrontation.  

There could be some privacy issues... but transparency brought to you by viewers like us, is what we need.  

And one more application that is needed.  In my Studio City neighborhood, there is a war over unimpeded access to the public roadway... 

The well-to-do residents, don't want the less-well-to-do workers to park on their fancy streets, because there are impacts.  

Still, we shouldn't privatize the roadway..  but the controversy that has arisen recently has to do with pedestrians who walk confidently with earbuds.  

They walk well, but they seem totally unaware of the fact that cars also drive on the road.  

No matter how slow you are driving on a small windy street, a woman marching along in the middle of the road oblivious is vulnerable to being hit.  

How about an App for people listening with earbuds, that alerts them by pausing,  if a car or bike comes within 30 feet of them?  

This way, a) you might survive, and/or b) you can resume listening in an ambulance or at the hospital. 

 

Ranger Rage: 

Eric Preven [email protected]

To:           [email protected] [email protected] 

Cc            [email protected] [email protected]

[email protected] [email protected]

CPRA request for Records -- Eric Preven.

 

Dear AP, 

Great work on the Olympics!  

From and including: Friday, January 28, 2022, To, but not including Wednesday, May 18, 2022  

Result: 110 days 

I realize that there is a lot going on....  and that you must be busy stimulating more diving board activities and programming following on CM O'Farrell's brainstorm at the sneaky Olympic Ad Hoc committee meeting, but I wanted to reach out about the pending CPRA request for (still unnamed) Ranger records. 

The request was lodged in the correct section of the Department of Recs and Parks over 100 days ago, in fact, the request is now 110 days old, so 100 days late.   

This has triggered a FREE wtf non-compliance review to be performed by my office with an assist from Strefan Fauble, if he still works for the city attorney.  Subsequent to the Feuer implosion and the decimation of public comment, he should have sufficient time on his hands to assist in... doggy court! 

The reason we are eager to see review these records is so that Mr. Louthian, can finally get his day in City Attorney-court.  To my knowledge, there are no signed summons and the dogs who are not bad boys... sought legal advice and are pleading NOT GUILTY. 

If we need to involve Mr. Koretz and the dog and pony show, we stand ready to bark where appropriate, and sit, stay, lie down and provide a paw on request.   

Dismiss without prejudice.  

Best,

Eric Preven

 

Rap Commissioners [email protected]

To Eric Preven [email protected]

CPRA request for Records -- Eric Preven.

 

Hi Eric,    

The Department of Recreation and Parks (Department) is in receipt of your information request for:   

Please provide a digital copy or link to of all communications and complaints to the Studio City Recreation Center & park or to the Department of Recreation and Parks Los Angeles Park Rangers requesting enforcement of LAMC at Studio City Recreation Center & park From and including: Friday, January 28, 2022  To, but not including Wednesday, May 18, 2022   Result: 110 days   

You can expect a response to this request on or before May 29, 2022.   

Please reply to this email if you have any further questions regarding this matter.  

City of Los Angeles 

Office of the Board of Recreation and Park Commissioners 

Figueroa Plaza 

221 North Figueroa Street, Suite 300 

Los Angeles, CA  90012 

 

(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)