ERIC PREVEN’S NOTEBOOK - With Democrats on verge of losing their razor-thin majority in Congress, the party is asking former President Barack Obama to perform some late-game heroics.
They’re searching for a miracle. City Hall in Los Angeles could sure use one.
Three federal indictments, three racist flameouts, and one staffer B leading a parade of high-minded objectors, demanding that colleague and friend, Kevin De Leon finally step down. John Lee was pleased to be coming together to condemn.
Major Crimes of LAPD is going to have a look-see into who might have leaked the recording, but Mr. Harris Dawson said it was heartwarming to see a Mariachi band playing as he entered the public entrance to city hall. He made it sound like some kind of safari into the wild Angelenos, gathering and protesting and disrupting.
There was only one public comment for his censure-ship ad hoc committee, but it afforded Monica Rodriguez a nice opportunity or a soft landing, following what seems like weeks. of...healing and probably, strategizing with her broken political allies.
More than a handful of public speakers at the council meeting that followed the Adhoc, thanks to the waiving of rule 88 allowing for immediate action, made it clear that they were sick of the De Leon ‘apology tour.'
But notably, several speakers, who had gathered or called in, were supportive of Mr. De Leon staying to ensure CD14 representation.
For many days, Paul Krekorian has been shvitzing at the helm and taking virtual public comments to block the sound of disruption.
Wednesday he called several recesses to calm things down, before coming back on a new tack. "This is NOT the City of Los Angeles."
"One way or the other, we will do this work," he said defiantly. He sounded a little like Kevin De Leon talking about how his mother was a housekeeper in La Jolla, who did not have the luxury to stop working.
Paul Krekorian, with red cheeks said the censure motion was the clearest way that we have at our disposal at this time... and emphasized, "one way or another, we will not be deterred."
Like one of the street vendors that he and Curren D. Price have put on 'ignore' for nearly a decade, before slapping them with unaffordable regulation fees, he promised to fight on.... doing the people's work.
Harris Dawson said, he knew what was happening back in 2021, when Nury was out of control. He knew something that was "obtusely anti-black" was happening, "but I couldn't make it clear," despite his best efforts.
One of the sneakier councilmembers, who is about to be termed out, thought this might be the right time to rewrite the charter to ensure the city council can easily remove a councilmember or expectorate any unwanted loogies (lump of phlegm or spittle), for just cause, of course.
Think, shameful Board of Supervisors' ballot initiative to empower the removal of their arch-rival Sheriff, who was elected by the entire county, not just one of five districts.
Poor Mike Bonin, a tireless fighter and victim, has been virtually put through the wringer lately—by no choice of his own.
At the meeting, Bonin confessed, “I wasn’t going to speak” before unfurling a detailed revisitation of the egregious touchpoints, pared down for quick consumption, “lawn jockey”, “monkey” and “handbag.”
Bonin, who has become the poster child for anti-black hate in Los Angeles, reminded that it is well-documented that black children are not allowed to have a childhood.
Empathy was in the air, and one can only imagine how much Mayor Garcetti feels Bonin’s pain.
Poor Eric Garcetti, who should be celebrating flying across the globe in an airplane with showers available in first class, is instead forced to watch his Camelot disassemble like a telenovela on Channel 35.
What happened? ¿Qué pasó?
From Harvard Westlake to Colombia, where he worked on the Varsity Show, a student-written musical. He received a Masters of International Affairs from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, graduating in 1993. He met his future wife, Amy Wakeland, while they were both studying as Rhodes Scholars at The Queen's College, Oxford.
While at Oxford, he was a member of the Oxford University L'Chaim Society founded by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, along with future U.S. Senator Cory Booker. Sigh.
Now, Garcetti’s forced to endure a set change from his blessed Temple of Democracy, to the tortured, Temple of Hypocrisy.
The US appointed another new envoy for India. Now, it's five since the last ambassador checked out.
Michael Kugelman, deputy director and senior associate for South Asia at the Wilson Center in Washington, said “At this point, it’s worth asking why the Biden administration doesn’t just nominate a new ambassador, given how the process with Garcetti has ground to a virtual halt.”
Maer Roshan, the editor of Los Angeles Magazine asked Garcetti in his soon-to-be infamous Exit Interview, “Should you have been more attuned?”
Roshan was asking about the Rick Jacobs sexual harassment controversy, which he described as a “low point.” Eric Garcetti responded. “Well, there’s an assumption in that question that all these things that have been said [actually] happened.”
Garcetti said sexual harassment was “not something he witnessed.”
A moment later, there was a glitch in Garcetti’s built-in GPS positioning system. In one frame, he came across as a harassment denier, but in the next, he claimed that he was actually harassed in high school. The heart goes to Mayor Garcetti, his family, and the entire Harvard-Westlake community.
Eric Garcetti: “I was a survivor of sexual harassment in high school myself.” LA Mag: You are a survivor of sexual harassment?
Eric Garcetti: “Yes. I testified in Congress in my position as president of the National Student Coalition Against Harassment. That was my first time ever in Congress.”
LA Mag: Who harassed you?
Eric Garcetti: “I’d rather not talk about that. But it led me into the work I did.”
Charging for Public Comment:
The embarrassing situation is really starting to take a toll. “Down, Krekorian!” Some don’t know that council president, Paul Krekorian, has long championed congestion pricing to pick up the cost of routine overages incurred by the LA County Metro Board, where he’s been serving at Herb Wesson’s pleasure for years.
“What’s prohibitively expensive for someone of limited means is a drop in the bucket for the affluent,” Eric Preven, who served on the Studio City Neighborhood Council.
But addressing concerns about low-income households does not apply only to drivers, said Los Angeles City Councilman and Metro director Paul Krekorian. Buses sit in the same traffic that private cars do, making service slower and less reliable, and inconveniencing some of L.A. County’s poorest residents, he said.
“The assumption often is, when we talk about congestion pricing, that we need to be concerned about car-dependent people,” Krekorian said. “The truth is, a hugely disproportionate percentage of our riders are transit dependent.”
Finding your voice and keeping it real + the corruption of that, because downtown everyone and everything is either corrupted or corruptible! BREAK into SONG🎵 "High standards!"
City Council meetings have started to resemble the rehearsal of a theatrical play, put on by the inmates at a local jail. No word yet, if “Public Comment: The musical TM” by Eric Preven has been picked up, but song title submissions are welcome.
Set in Downtown Los Angeles at the Temple of Hypocrisy, City Hall!
-disrupting the meeting
-the mayor’s fund
-Covid City Rescue
-policing the police
-LA River Dreams
-Vendadores (Street Vendors)
-The Arts District Dance
-Uber Eats Souls
-The Richer Districts
-Dear County Coroner
-Services Not Sweeps
The central plaza of Studio City if there was one, would be located at Laurel Canyon and Ventura Boulevard. There are pedestrians and an iconic Chase Bank, CVS and a Vons on three corners. On the southeast corner, there's a two-level shopping center, where the Daily Grill used to be located.
Occasionally we get protesters in front of the bank. It’s no big deal.
The walk along Ventura Boulevard reveals a lot of retail has moved on, as newbies give it a go. Driving into the Laurel Canyon plaza from the east is often congested as there are several lights along Ventura including an infuriating new one near the Hand Car wash.
Even when there is no good reason to stop, we do. I guess that’s the price of not killing pedestrians.
The big question in the best little village in America is how close can you put a light before another light.
There was an accident this week at Sportsmen's Lodge on Coldwater.
"What happened was the white car was headed east on Valleyheart south to make a left turn on Coldwater. The traffic was stopped on Coldwater in the two lanes heading south and as the white car was creeping out between the two lanes of stopped traffic, a truck headed south used the turning lanes to speed by and t-boned the white car."
Looks like the new turning lane into Sportsmen’s is being used as a way to speed by the stopped traffic.
One person lives across the way, and since Sportsmen's re-opened, said they are having an issue with the workers parking in their neighborhood. Another said, a truck hit him a few weeks ago, right there.
A police officer on site suggested off the record, that they may need a light at that location, but admitted that it’s probably too close to Ventura Boulevard.
On top of these concerns, delivery trucks have been parking on Coldwater and when told to move, one recently backed up and crossed over all of the southbound lanes only to back into the loading dock. What a mess!
Is the proposed intersection too close to Ventura Blvd for a signal?
Apparently, there are other places in L.A. (Toluca Lake, for example) where signals are very close.
How did Studio City get a luxury mall at the expense of pedestrian safety?
Is there any way to deliver the volume of customers in motor vehicles to the corner of Coldwater and Ventura, during rush hour?
Would the thousands of residents who commute over the hill, mind taking Beverly Glen and/or Laurel Canyon to avoid disrupting the mall business?
Past Present... Tension:
Two days after telling constituents who live in the area 24 hours a day that the school’s bridge over Coldwater was a “challenging issue for the community,” District 2 Councilmember Paul Krekorian received on virtually the same day donations from 18 Harvard-Westlake trustees."
November 4, 2014 Times publishes article... "challenging for the community"
November 3, 2014, was the big giving day... most of the checks were stamped on that date by Krekorian's treasurer. It started raining donations.
A CPRA request for emails gleaned some interesting correspondence. In one chain, Paul Krekorian's team, led by Chief of Staff Areen Ibranossian, who seems to be working with Rick Caruso, reached out to Russell Goldsmith, Chairman and CEO of City National Bank.
Could Goldsmith, a respected banker, have been a ring leader for the HW trustees...?
Within a week or two of Krekorian seeking the meeting, the HW trustee donations to Mr. Krekorian's campaign account resumed (a similar proliferation had taken place in 2011).
10/7 Areen Ibranossian to Michael Kelly, Sara Ter-Minasyan 1:20pm
"Michael, hope all is well. Wanted to see if we could set up a meeting with the councilman and Mr. Goldsmith to chat about some business-related issues. I've copied Sara, the Councilman's Executive Assistant to help facilitate this request. Sincerely, Areen Ibranossian, Chief of Staff"
10/7 Michael Kelly to Areen Ibranossian, Sara Ter-Minasyan 2:12pm
"Happy to help. Could you be more specific on the issues. That would help."
10/7 Areen Ibranossian to Michael K elly, Sara Ter-Minasyan 2:14pm
"gross receipts tax, minimum wage, and other issues facing business in LA"
10/7 Sara Ibranossian to Areen Ibranossian, Michael Kelly, Sara Ter-Minasyan 3:48 pm
"Hello Michael, I actually have an opening this Friday at 4pm in our City Hall office, if that works for you. If not, I'd be happy to send you alternative dates. Best, Sara Ibranossian."
10/8 Areen Ibranossian to Sara Ibranossian 8:12pm
"Has he responded to you? Areen"
10/8 Sara Ibranossian to Areen Ibranossian 8:42
10/8 Areen Ibranossian to Michael Kelly Sara Ter Minasyan 8:46pm
"Michael any chance we can set something up?"
10/9 Michael Kelly to Areen Ibranossian, Sara Ter Minasyan, Rose Cota 7:57am
"Good morning, I have added Rose Cota to this email to handle the request. She is Russell's executive assistant."
10/9 Sara Ibranossian to Michael Kelly, Areen Ibranossian, Sara Ter Minasyan, Rose Cota 9:37am
"Hello Rose, Would Mr. Goldsmith be available to meet with Councilman Krekorian tomorrow at 4pm in our City Hall office? Thanks. Sara Ibranossian."
10/9 Michael Kelly to Sara Ibranossian, Tanja Miller, Areen Ibranossian, Sara Ter Minasyan, Rose Cota 5:00pm
"Sara, Russell is out of town and I have cc'd Tanja who is working his schedule as Rose is out."
10/9 Tanja Miller to Michael Kelly, Sara Ibranossian, Areen Ibranossian, Sara Ter Minsasyan, Rose Cota 5:02pm
"Hi, Russell Goldsmith is out of town and can't meet tomorrow afternoon. I will let him know that the Councilman would like to get together. Thanks. Tanja Miller Office of Russell Goldsmith City National Bank"
10/10 Sara Ibranossian to Michael Kelly, Areen Ibranossian, Sara Ter Minasyan, Rose Cota 11:24am
"Thank you, and I'd be happy to check any dates that are available to him for a meeting with the Councilman. Sara Ibranossian" END of chain.
NOTES: Krekorian reached for Kelly to get Russell Goldsmith is clearly a code for -- "Let's speak candidly about how you guys at HW can be helpful as I deliver a 3-story garage for 750 w/ giant lights atop" -- to go with the Italian pool Karo Torossian would very much like to "take a dip."
The public like to know which of our affluent patrons are... patronizing whom, to put it as nicely as possible.
To put it less nicely, Harvard Westlake is a public charity and pays no taxes while its affluent donors fed big checks into Paul Krekorian's public matching fund, while Nury Martinez was nearly busted for $5 donations.
Some will remember the FBI was in there investigating. Candidates had to show they had collected contributions from at least 200 residents within their respective council districts to qualify for taxpayer matching funds. The numbers are lower now, but still very hard.
People, who allegedly gave to Nury Martinez told investigators that they never gave those small donations, even though they were listed in city records as having done so.
I uncovered similar evidence that Paul Krekorian didn't quite have the 200 in-district $5 donations, he needed to unlock all the big money from stealth Harvard Westlake Trustees.
I dragged the boxes of incredible records down to the Los Angeles Times office next to the John Ferraro Chambers, where the great Rick Orlov sat. No nibbles.
(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)