Thu, May

Handcuff Cufflinks


ERIC PREVEN’S NOTEBOOK - Someone predicted that even after forty years, the kids from El Segundo who won the big one —the Little League World Championship, not the Pulitzer Prize — would still find the experience on their Top Ten memory list. 

Let’s not go crazy. But let’s work on our top ten memory lists, but context matters.  A lot. 

Favorite lecture is different than favorite night in the dunes with that Air Canada stewardess that I met at StephenTalkhouse. 

Governor Gavin Newsom of California told Chuck Todd of “Meet The Press” that he would not appoint one of the candidates if Dianne Feinstein doesn’t make it to the end of her term as Senator due to possibly deteriorating health reasons.    

The Governor said he didn’t want to “tip the balance” and that “getting an appointment potentially could be a big advantage.“  Instead, he said he would appoint an African-American woman as caretaker.  

Barbara Lee, an African American candidate slapped back, “Black women deserve more than a participation trophy. We need a seat at the table.”

Yes, but consider the case of Councilwoman Heather Hutt.  

Heather Hutt gives monogrammed cufflinks with her name to the outgoing Pastor of AME.

Why in a world, during a period where even the New York Times has a front-page story about the redistricting imbroglio here, is Heather Hutt allowed to serve at the pleasure of Paul Krekorian, who has a long history with Herb Wesson and called for the vote to keep her in, while doling out committee assignments?  

Smart Speaker: It makes no sense and the “balance” has been irreparably “tipped." 

And none of it stopped Hutt from doing exactly what you would do if you were trying to capitalize on an improper appointment during the election. On Friday, she trotted out, old J. Edgar Boyd. 

Danny Bakewell may be the legit almighty pastor and master puppeteer in South LA and at city hall, but Heather Hutt raised one high and provided a set of cufflinks with her name on them, to J. Edgar Boyd, the outgoing Rabbi of First AME Church of Los Angeles, founded 1872. 

It was deeply moving as Curren D. Price, still indicted, but riding the slow train, thanked… everyone. 

First AME is an important stop on any politician's journey to election, to the point where Monica Rodriguez of CD7 told the assembled that she would go to “annnnny part of town” to support Pastor Boyd.   

The other reference to the good lord on Friday came in the form of a $50,000 reward for information relating to a fire at the front lawn of Sylmar Christian Fellowship Church on July 6, 2023.  

Tip The Balance For Cancer:

You’d think reading about it on the agenda that the special CD2 observation of  BREAST Cancer Awareness Month was a passion project or unique activity conceived by Council President Paul Krekorian, who still runs the crooked decision-making desk in CD2 for a few more months before terming out. 


Krekorian is of course supportive of Breasts but all of the city’s corrupted little Council Districts are united in the unimpeachable shared goal of eradicating cancer of all kinds through awareness and a retroactive $400 illumination of the obelisk for Ovarian cancer.  Thank you.  

Council members frequently agree on doing what is good and right and then vote in lockstep to move the city forward. 15 ayes. 

Special Number ONE:

When critical decisions arise in a particular district at the last minute, careful consideration and sometimes a costume change is needed… 

Introducing, special number one. 

Bob Blumenfield, CD3:  Now we take the special motion one. For the record, this special motion is identified as a special motion one.

In the same manner that Katy Yaroslavsky stood up for her constituents against the Bulgari Hillside retreat, Traci Park sported a Marilyn Monroe hairdo and stepped in to protect a home the actress owned in Brentwood. This was back when actresses could afford to own homes. 

Traci, who said her office just found out about this at the same time as the public, requested that the demolition permits be stayed until the Cultural Heritage Commission could make a ruling to protect this property. 

Smart Speaker: Which rich people?

None of your business, it’s an LLC.

Smart Speaker:  Fiegener of KNX couldn’t figure it out? 

Apparently not.

Update: There is a statue of Marilyn Monroe the size of a water tower at an art museum in Palm Springs and you can look right up her dress and it’s quite lovely.  I mean she’s wearing panties but in a way this is now part of the origin story of the rise of Traci Park’s re-election campaign and political career.   

Nithya Raman is also being primed to do some good of her own in CD4, the part formerly known as... CD2.  [Hi, Karo!]

The very same rich people from the hills who the city council supported to preserve nature over the Bulgari resort are aligning against nature and the people of the valley by pushing politicians to give a discretionary zone change to a bunch of rich trustees that will surely screw over the locals. 

But this is by no means a foregone conclusion, despite what you read in the Harvard Westlake Chronicle, which is very good. 

Dozens of Harvard Westlake as well as Crossroads and Oakwood trustees are worrying that Edgar Khalatian and Mayer Brown and the whole Harvard-Westlake machine may have have gone too far.  

Resolution: Crippling Defeat

“Our collective goal has always been to build an innovative model for the future,” Disney CEO Robert Iger and Charter CEO Chris Winfrey said in a prepared, joint statement.

“This deal recognizes both the continued value of linear television and the growing popularity of streaming services while addressing the evolving needs of our customers," they said.

Many television viewers tossed out their televisions and canceled their cable subscriptions when they realized that they couldn't watch ESPN during the U.S. Open tennis tournament and opening weekend of the college football season.

But the matchup Monday between the Buffalo Bills, one of the most powerful teams in the NFL, and the New York Jets led by new quarterback Aaron Rodgers, was simply too much to resist.  

The parties settled, the public got screwed, and Monday Night Football wins again.

Little Takings:

Pro tip:  Someone will win a Pulitzer Prize if they write about the handicapped parking scam that has been roiling markets throughout Southern California.  What a Shanda!   

If a sober journalist would take the time, and I do not recommend it, because it is too upsetting, they would doubtless confirm just how deeply society is infected by ‘bad person’ disease.

Exploiting the handicapped parking ethos is a lowly but not inconsequential crime.  Katy?

The category is little takings of things that are not yours to take - a motorist who takes the handicapped parking (unless you are legitimately handicapped), a not-for-profit private school, takes the public golf and tennis course, and privatizes it!

Do Not Expect to Speak:

Bob Blumenfield, CD3: So, you will know for the future… if you walk in at the end of the meeting, you can’t come in at noon and expect to speak. 

Speaker:  I come during my lunchtime. Mr. Blumenfield, I am asking you to protect these animals and I support the rodeo ordinance. We sued Rodeo Salinas and the Orange County Fair.  

A bucking bull shattered his leg… and that has still been unreported. 

Tradition is not an excuse for abuse…  City Council.  

Smart Speaker:  Wow, that says it all.  Tradition is not an excuse for abuse... City Council. 

Bob Blumenfield, CD3:  Thank you.  We’ll move to announcements…   

Smart Speaker:  The popularity of public comment has been surging. The antagonists are as antagonistic as ever…but for some reason, they are becoming popular global superstars. 

Billions of Indians who scoffed briefly at Eric Garcetti, as he assumed the position of US Ambassador to India… are now obsessed with the LA city council regulars like Sean Murphy, Andrew Grabner, and the beloved but disgusting little Goat Puppet.  

Bob Blumenfield, CD3:  Rise for adjourning motions… to my left… 

Mr. De Leon?

Rabbi Kevin De Leon: I stand be every one of you with a heavy heart… a remarkable… man Tommy  was dedicated, compassionate, and had an unwavering commitment … The legacy of kindness will continue to inspire us all… when folks pass on and we learn things we didn’t know… one thing about Tommy, though he was a counselor …he was part of the working poor.  There was one degree of separation between Tommy and his coworkers… from themselves being unhoused. 

I found out when I met Tommy and his daughters … not knowing if he would need a tiny home himself… in Arroyo Seco.  May his memory serve as a reminder of the impact an individual can have on many people.

Bob Blumenfield, CD3: You’re disrupting a solemn moment.  Get out.  Get out. Go faster.  I apologize to the family for this disruption. Leave. You are still disrupting the meeting. You are both disrupting the meeting.  Leave. Leave quietly. 

Rabbi Kevin De Leon:  Very fortunate, this matriarch was strong… to them, this is just a moment with the council remembering … everyone who knew her,.  Her wisdom was a source of guidance for many …

A place of warmth and of hospitality… love for family and gatherings… her memory … the resilience to endure these… (nobody said it but it was clearly trending) assholes.  

Achievement & Stability & Security:

The City Neighborhood Partners FamilySource Center is mopping up an additional $1,500,000 to provide a continuum of core services delivered through a two-generation approach that targets low-income families. 

Services shall be provided through a prevention framework that addresses a family’s crisis, by stabilizing their economic security, and building economic resilience by focusing on the three primary outcomes: (1) improved housing stability, (2) increased financial security, and (3) improved academic achievement.  

Smart Speaker:  OK, great, sounds good. 

The proposed facility costs shall not exceed $125,000 and should be significantly less to ensure that the majority of grant funds are expended on direct services to customers. 

One detail is that the FamilySource Center is also in charge of safeguarding and managing all the funds paid to the FSC, including funds issued for payment to subcontractors. 

In my village that constitutes a small but key RED FLAG. 

This is why agencies in the Homeless Industrial Complex always shy away from… fresh eyes.  

UPDATE: Foster Parents are now called Resource Parents.

PATH to provide:

Not a bad idea to also check the Agreement with PATH for $440,000 and a new pile of $268,000 to …provide outreach and support services to unhoused, a minimum of 220 individuals, including families, and veterans in Council District 1, to acquire interim shelter and support services including but not limited to benefits application assistance, case management, PPE distribution, COVID testing support, pet care assistance, information/referrals/linkage, overdose prevention education during the COVID-19 Pandemic.  

The Contractor, together with the collaborating agencies, shall provide a continuum of core services.

Allowable costs will include salaries directly associated with the Activities (including fringe benefits), ID and vital statistics document fees, motel vouchers, toiletries and personal items, food, clothing, taxi/transportation vouchers, vehicle repair/registration; permanent housing move-in expenses, facilities costs related for the office space; IT and Network, insurance, office supplies, mileage, parking, transit, ride share, equipment, training, outreach vehicle lease throughout the term of the agreement, and indirect costs at 12% for an amount not to exceed forty-four thousand, three hundred, seventy-six dollars ($44,376).  

The Scope of Work during the Term, Exhibit G     


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