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The Show Trial Doldrums

ERIC PREVEN’S NOTEBOOK - Following a record-breaking season of high temperatures across Europe, including Seville, a city of 700,000 in southern Spain, who faced a major heat wave last month with limited air conditioning, a study predicts that hot days will triple by 2053.

And like hurricanes here in the U.S., in a bid to boost public awareness the officials in Spain have started naming heat waves.  A lot of people die when the heat rises and the three-day heat wave over 110 degrees: They are calling it Zoe.

Stay cool. 

Under the category of totally "uncool and embarrassing" why is the Los Angeles Times running stories about celebrities in the West Valley overwatering when the mayoral race is hot and heavy and the LADWP Water Insight reports for Rick Caruso and Karen Bass, are still not published?  

Matt Hale, the budget boy wonder will assist. cc  Paul Krekorian, the caped crusader. 

The biggest names in water:

The month of August is a time of doldrums for many enterprises, including splashy show trials  

While the Times is doing what they can to attract younger readers, even Nikka Soon-Shiong has apparently fled to London. Tik-Tok attention spans are minuscule -- so the Column One story on Monday from Brittny Mejia was about an emotional support duck' named Cardi D. 

Got it, thx. It's well done (presumably). 

No word from the editor whom I reached out to at the LA Times for the list of the most-read stories in the history of latimes.com.   Hard to blame him for not sharing it, but I want to learn from the masters.  

And I hope the Regeneration exhibit at the Academy Museum doesn't get lost in the summer shuffle. 

Ducks:

Back east, a late-August congressional primary in New York has two very similar candidates scrambling.  It would be like Blumenfield running against Koretz for comparison, or Berman and Sherman.  

One candidate has been trolling around Manhattan in an ice cream truck but a lot of New Yorkers head out to the countryside in August.   

The challenge this time is getting voters off their beach chairs and back to the city, or at least the local post office, during August. 

Low turnout is expected and the actress, Sarah Jessica Parker told the NYT,"There is no doubt confusion, I will start encouraging all I know to make sure they have their ducks in a row.” 

Could there be a Cardi D tie-in? 

Legal Beagle

You got to love Merriam-Websters.   "A person who loves knowledge is a thing of beauty.  However, a person who loves knowledge just a bit too much can quickly transition from “thing of beauty” to “person you’d really rather not sit next to at a dinner party.”   The epistemophiliac is the sort of person who falls into the latter category.   

When Los Angeles wants a show trial, there are plenty of cheerful helpers. The media, according to one local madman, "We have to line up and deliver a transparent and clear-eyed view of how much public money is being wasted."    

Before the show, the matter of Salvador Duenas, which should be getting attention, arose from an incident involving members of the Los Angeles Police Department on November 19, 2017, in Pacoima, California. 

On July 29, 2019, Salvador Duenas filled out his claim form by hand. He emphasized that the excessive force that he faced when he was arrested without probable cause, was delivered under the color of law. 

The police allegedly kicked down his door, and attacked him without probable cause, before beating him and tasing him, even though he was secured in a hobble.    What's the corrective action plan?  

The City's desire to settle the case Nathan Bliss v. City of Los Angeles, is also noted with interest.  The matter arose from an e-scooter accident that occurred on September 28, 2018 on Wilshire Boulevard near Whittier Drive, in the City of Los Angeles. [Sounds like a can of worms.]. What are the terms? 

Paul Krekorian (twirl mustache):  

Why has the County not settled the Vanessa Bryant matter? 

Last week in shame:

At Friday's City Council meeting the tin-ear award had to go to Koretz-Blumenfield's motion celebrating UCLA's final four non-victory, $100.  rufkm.  The Bruins and Trojans, who are losing a public relations battle with a bunch of fraternity cretins, screwed the entire PAC-10 conference.  Shame.     

Anyway, two like-minded incumbents making a joint motion is typically not a sexy affair.  Nury Martinez and Kevin DeLeon for instance is not interesting.  But Nithya Raman and Joe Buscaino could be interesting.    

We'll keep our minds open.  

The public has been annoyed and a man who Strefan Fauble, the Deputy City Attorney refers to as Mr. Reedy, said, "my family defeated Italian colonialists" before launching into a tirade against Joe Buscaino, who had threatened to call the DCFS on the speaker when he announced that he and his birther had had a baby.  

This week, Reedy quipped, "I ought to call DCFS on you and have Branimir [Kvartuc] taken away from you."  That's Joey Buckets in house media maven, who helped steer his recent campaign into ... the abyss. 

Reedy, should have left it that but insisted on being practically dragged out.  Who misses, Eric Preven? [APPLAUSE] 

One woman bitched that she had been "bit by a service dog" and was careful to point out, "a pit bull is not a service dog!" 

It is hard to believe but not entirely unexpected that Chad and JT, the surfer dudes who attend City Council meetings for free exposure to the 83 watching viewers, were back.   

Chad and JT Go Deep will land on Netflix on Aug 23.   

So Joe Buscaino declared that day, Chad and JT Go Deep-day!  I don't have proof, but Joe Buscaino is not above pimping out Wesson's 'doods.'   Wesson adores the doods.  Maybe they are funny.  

In the meantime, chillax and watch their series... "we need you to stay at home blow off work... we don't want to get lost in the infamous Netflix shuffle." 

Steve Martin who is funny is pleased to announce that episode 10 of his “Only Murders in the Building” will be landing next week. "Shows land, right?" he wrote. lol 

So funny.  Chad and JT are... sweet sweet guys  

Mike Bonin, who is the undisputed king of privatizing the public roadway recused himself relative to the conversion of Temporary Preferential Parking District (TPPD) No. 61 to Preferential Parking District (PPD) No. 61 in the Mar Vista Area.   This is something like an EXACTA-bet in horse racing.  When Bonin, who made it all possible and pulled hundreds of thousands of spaces away from the public, declines to vote-- gotta be Bonbin's neighborhood? 

Mitch O'Farrell, who one member of the public referred to as Mitch O'Failure, said that LADWP had done a report on decarbonization.  He was looking forward to elevating the dire and dangerous situation that we are in, as it relates to water.  

Deleon was happy and overjoyed that Mary Hodge, Deputy Mayor of City Services and husband congressman Jimmy Gomez had "boy G..."  He called it a joyous occasion and said, the lad weighed in at 8 pounds 6 ounces and was 20 inches long at birth. 

Marqueece Harris-Dawson touted some great movies in the park and credited his colleague, Monica Rodriguez, for devising summer pool parties with a movie.  A great way to promote both movies and swimming.  

The tears were flowing as Joe Buscaino said he was losing his Chad Molnar (Bonin's topper who left a couple of weeks ago). Buscaino touted the fine work of Laura Hill and said, "This absolutely sucks..."  

Nithya Raman wanted to thank parks and recs who she said: "worked overtime to get this done."   She also announced a celebration would be happening at travel town...to commemorate the decommissioning of a shortcut through Griffith park "food trucks, kids bicycles... and you can ride the trains for free."     

She also wanted to say goodbye to a communication writer, named Becerra tk., who was moving on to something in Washington, but Raman hoped would be back "to give her skills to the city." 

There was no discussion about the pony rides.  

"Sir, you're disrupting the meeting." 

Blumenfield was also saying goodbye, touting Cameron Gill, an excellent driver, who has been with Team Blumenfield since 2018.  Though sad to see him go, he seemed pleased that  "He's going to work for the chamber" (of commerce).    

The council member rolled out some comments in support that seemed legit. "Cameron realized how insane things were in the Warner Hills Neighborhood Council and then realized how insane it is here."  

"Cameron had worked closely with the Japanese delegation, and spoke fluent Japanese," revealing that Cameron had published a sci-fi novel including anime and was frequently injured after 'fight club' or parkour or something. 

And we learned the sad news that Gary Toebben 1948 - 2022 passed away.  He was the big fella over at the Chamber of Commerce before he became sick and died.   

One member of the public said, "He was sort of like a Stuart Waldman, the honcho over at Valley Industry  Commerce Alliance but Toebben was not a clown."  

Waldman is the Goat when it comes to clowning around, and has made plans to rejoin the YMCA. 

Mitch O'Farrell, who has a large role in cultural affairs in the City of Lops Angeles closed the meeting with a reminder to line up on the West Lawn of Hollyhock House at 4pm for one of 100 free hotdogs on Saturday.  

Be a one percenter and get a free hot dog! 

This Week: 

The Budget and Finance agenda on Monday has refunds that are being sought for undisclosed amounts by: 

--Infosys Limited

--Talking Monkey, Inc.

--Melrose Facility Management LLC

--Akamai Technologies, Inc

And a developer who paid a $112,207 linkage fee wants a full refund because the

Project "is not subject to linkage fee because provided a minimum 8% extremely low-income units per 19.18 B2" 

Cool.   Shall we inspect the units?  Or is the honor system good enough? 

1984:

In October 1947, Eric Blair—known today by his pen name George Orwell—wrote a letter to the co-owner of the Secker & Warburg publishing house. In that letter, Orwell noted that he was in the “last lap” of the rough draft of a novel, describing it as “a most dreadful mess.” 

In what became the seminal,1984, Orwell called the government’s propaganda division the “Ministry of Truth” but the names “Ethics Commission” or “Public Integrity Division” would have worked just as well.  

As my brother and I noted in a piece about the pernicious fines administered by the LADBS often called, the Building and Safety department, Los Angeles’ has two agencies tasked with holding government officials accountable but do the opposite.  By necessity, there are occasional slaps on the wrist of some higher-ups, but the idea that the Ethics Commission or Public Integrity Division would ever take someone with the power to task over something substantive? It’s inconceivable.  

That's why we have the FBI... and the US Attorney's office of public corruption. 

The head of US Attorney’s Office public corruption section was in the gallery again of the Vanessa Bryant circus trial.  Apparently, he's friends with the lawyers.  

Meghann Cuniff, who had 9,998 followers when I checked, has been covering the brilliantly timed attempt to smear Villanueva or nudge him to victory in November on the steam generated by the angry people who realize the taxpayers are underwriting all of it.   

ALL. OF. IT. 

"The trial is intense just in terms of scheduling and no lunch, and it’s a celebrity trial that’s actually a *huge* public accountability saga." 

"Regarding the crash photos, Villanueva said, “I believe they were all deleted. 2 1/2 years later, I’m pretty sure that’s true.” 

“But you don’t know?” Li, Bryant's attorney asked.  

“Well, God knows. And that’s about it,” the Sheriff answered. 

That was the end of Li’s cross-examination. 

The sheer number of attorneys seeking justice through this appalling process that we'd all be better off forgetting is a terrible crime.   

From Judge Walters who threatened to hold a reporter in contempt of court if he shared a photograph of his own computer tuning in to a court hearing about a scoundrel he covered, Mitchell Englander.  We need judicial accountability.  This should not be allowed to move forward. 

One very sharp reader mused, "is it possible there is collusion on all sides of the Kobe Bryant helicopter crash photo trial - L.A.County defendant attorneys, plaintiff attorneys and a federal judge?  Why didn't L.A. County ask for settlement negotiations? Why are they having this trial?, considering L.A. County already settled two other lawsuits over the same photos - paying out $1.25 million to each.  If Vanessa Bryant can use her husband's remains to generate income, then the L.A. County Board of Supervisors can turn them into a political football.  Does Miller, Barondess have a conflict of interest regarding plaintiff in this case? Or has the County's defense of the case been utterly compromised by the political conflict between the Board of Supervisors and Sheriff Villanueva?  One week prior to the opening of the Kobe Bryant crash scene photos trial, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 to place a measure on the November ballot. If approved by the voters, the measure grants the Board of Supervisors authority to remove any L.A. County Sheriff from his elected position.  L.A. County Board of Supervisors are very satisfied with Miller, Barondess performance. This is a very special relationship." 

Skip is helping to deliver a wonderful show for the media and the viewing public - exactly what the Supes wanted and exactly when they wanted it.  

Where are Skip's bills?  The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors would know.   Sheila?

Bottoms Up:

This Tuesday in late august 2022 the City Council has 33 items on agenda ranging from ... Booze and more booze, to the improvement of the Los Angeles County Natural Museum Foundation facilities located at 900 West Exposition Boulevard.  Curren Price's district 9,  but MRT lorded over the county museum for years, where there is a $1M structural-uptick in the museum's budget come hell or high water.  

What a brilliant maneuver by Richard Volpert, so many years ago. There's no time now, he was the Munger Tolles & Olsen Real Estate lawyer for the county, who Bill Fujioka fetishized and provided fascinating 'conflict waivers' in all of his contracts.  

Volpert was a real thought leader at ripping off the public to benefit the county franchise.  

Public Hearing:

The public hearing at the City Council meeting on Tuesday, August 23, 2022 at 10:00 a.m., located at 200 North Spring Street, Room 340, Los Angeles will be bungled if the City follows its usual protocol.  

By denying a speaker a clear shot at the (TEFRA) hearing, if that speaker is interested in other items, creates a defective public hearing.  

The City Attorney David Michaelson and County Counsel Nicole Davis Tinkham are well aware of this and the only way to recover if someone brings suit will be to provide a discreet minute for the public hearing.   

A public hearing is a public hearing.   The Agenda is a list of other items.   

Get some rest.  

Three re-appointments are on the agenda for the below-listed commissions, following the three withdrawals from last week.  

--Commission on the Status of Women

--Human Relations Commission

--Civil and Human Rights Commission  

Annette Ramirez is back as the interim General Manager of the Department of Animal Services (DAS) until further notice.  Par for the course. 

And though the drought is terrible, it appears to be raining Sunshine Canyon Community Amenities Trust Fund money out in Granda Hills.  $15,000 for the street fair and $20,000 for the Granada Hills Youth Recreation Center, Inc. NOTABLY Not the YMCA, so encouraging.  

Koretz and Blumenfield REQUEST the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to report on the ongoing monkeypox health emergency, including getting more vaccines by working with President Joseph R. Biden to invoke the Defense Production Act to increase the supply and manufacturing of the vaccine.   

I wonder if they'll go to the Whitehouse? They could lobby for a recess appointment for Mayor Garcetti 

No word if Fauci who announced he was stepping down soon, did so out of disgust with the disproportionate amount of coverage monkeypox has earned following the greatest "F*&k Up!" in the history of public health. 

Will it be one of the most-read stories in the history of the Times?   

No. 

 

(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)