Mon, Jul

Twofer Tuesday


ERIC PREVEN’S NOTEBOOK - A sitting US Senator who holds one of the most powerful foreign policy positions in the United States Government has been working with an agent for a foreign power that has repeatedly undermined US interests. The authorities found over $500,000 in cash in his home. 

There are a lot of ways for a politician to quietly cash-in on his or her power, but in the case of the Senior Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey, who according to his attorney has broken no laws, this is all a big misunderstanding.

The Senator believed and he's not wrong, that accepting gold bricks from a very loyal supporter and then cashing that gold in for hundreds of thousands of dollars at a local jewelry shop, is not covered by the presiding ethics laws.

Smart Speaker:  Well, would you admit that it is on the shadier sign of sunshine street?  

Menendez’s Lawyer:  Of course. 

Smart Speaker:  Does it sound like classic laundering to a typical New Jersey person or Jose Huizar fan? 

Menendez’s Lawyer:  Sir, you are disrupting the meeting. 

Smart Speaker: Methinks, Senator Menendez needs to take a break from running the Senate Foreign relations committee and during that period, for extra credit why doesn’t he write an oped explaining what he was doing selling his office like a two-bit criminal? 

The disgraced Senior Senator wants you to “remember, prosecutors get it wrong sometimes.”

Yes.  Sometimes. 

But, the poet always nails it. 

The Eagle’

Alfred, Lord Tennyson's (1809-1892)

He clasps the crag with crooked hands; 

Close to the sun in lonely lands, 

Ring’d with the azure world, he stands.  


The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls; 

He watches from his mountain walls, 

And like a thunderbolt he falls.


Smart Speaker:  In the meantime, I move that the Senator from New Jersey get out.  And take that asshole Jim Jordan with you! 

And the rest of you get back to work!

Local Hero: 

Peter Riegert, Peter Capaldi and Denis Lawson appear in this great sequence from Mike Leigh’s 1983 classic, Local Hero, in which Peter and his colleague realize what has become of the rabbit they injured and rescued.

Tossing the convicted sexual predator off of the Studio City Neighborhood council (though he did apparently serve his time in jail) was a reasonable thing to do.  

The news made it to the Harvard Westlake community via the chronicle, their very good newspaper.  The only quibble with the coverage was that the story about the implosion of the council failed to mention the fact that prior to said implosion, the neighborhood council came out against the project.  Now… 

Smart Speaker:  Now what?  During this sad period, neither city leader Nithya Raman of CD4 nor county leader Lindsey Horvath of SD3 came to the neighborhood council’s meetings.  Why? 

To honor the SAG-AFTRA/WGA strike, silly. 

Now, that the WGA Action is over, like Viet Nam, the costs are still being tabulated. 


State Senator Susan Talamantes Eggman' (D-Stockton), the author of SB 43 fought to loosen the legal standard required to force a person into involuntary hospitalization and conservatorship. 

Her bill does so by expanding the definition of “grave disability” to include additional reasons for involuntary holds and conservatorship, including a “severe substance use disorder.”

Passed by the Assembly and the Senate, Senate Bill 43 advances to Gov. Gavin Newsom, who has until Oct. 14 to sign or veto the measure.  It could be a game changer. 

Eggman’s bill represents a decades-long legislative effort to amend the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act, or LPS, passed when Ronald Reagan was governor.  That law said someone could be detained against their will if they are “gravely disabled” or posed a danger to themselves or others.  

Critics, who include human rights and disability rights advocates, argue that SB 43 could undermine the civil liberties of Black, Indigenous and other communities of color, given the demographics of the state’s homeless population. 

But the measure was endorsed by a coalition of mayors, psychiatrists, physicians and the National Alliance on Mental Illness California, which said it provides counties with another tool for addressing an epidemic of mental illness.  

It could be implemented county by county starting in January.

Readers will remember Art Bolton, who had a hand in getting the Lanterman-Petris Short Act pressed into law in 1967.  He helped rush the bill into law and said, "I don't know if that is a crime or not, but the statute of limitations must have lapsed."   You can read his full account in the last section of Grand Park, a prior article.  

Clerking It:

The City Clerk has *finally* gotten around to publishing the 2024 candidates’ pamphlet. Filing week for LA City Council/LAUSD candidates will begin Mon Nov 6th & run through Sat Nov 11th at 12pm.   

Signature petitions will be due on Wednesday Dec. 6thLink

I would like the powers that be to reform the 500-signature requirement to get on the ballot as it is massively inhibitory and costly and the polity is in need of cool fresh participants stat!   

500 signatures checked by the Council's "Igor" Holly Wolcott, is out of step with reality and decency and very harmful. Never mind the possibility of city clerk corruption.  "She's playing goalie against the non-incumbents."

We need more vibrant debate, not entrenched puppets serving at the behest of all powerful party bosses, who cheat and are highly conflicted. [Hello, Krekorian!]

The City Council is back with 4 hearing items on Tuesday, 26 items that are closed off to comment by Krekorian and his trusty sidekick at CLA, Avak Keohtian, leaving, 13 bits open for comment, mostly lighting districts and there are 10 closed session items that you can address in general public comment only.   

Cheat sheet:  City Council

Besties Vegan Paradise located at 4882 - 4884 Fountain Avenue wants a Public Convenience or Necessity motion for the sale of alcoholic beverages for both on-site and off-site consumption. 

And another booze license at Gelson’s Market, located at 12121 West Olympic Boulevard, No. 5.  Obviously, these will not tend to create a law enforcement problem.

A non-monetary donation of $201,141.12 of Digital Interview Room Capture Stations.

A non-monetary donation valued at $1,075,000 for advertising and marketing services.

A vendor agreement to conduct a course in chemical recognition and signatures for an amount not to exceed $19,750.

A course in spectra analysis and interpretation for an amount not to exceed $14,750.

A course in biological production for an amount not to exceed $37,568.

A sole source contract with the Texas Engineering Extension Service to provide incident management training for an amount not to exceed $188,650. 

To increase contracting authority to the amount of $150,000 for a Regional Communications Coordinator…

As for Sexual Violence... 


Agency Program Amount:

Casa de la Familia Central FJC $310,000   

Legal Aid Foundation, Los Angeles Central FJC $380,000   

Center for Pacific Asian Family SART $90,000   

Peace Over Violence SART $90,000  


Blumenfield is ready for a new police substation at the Westfield Topanga Shopping Center in Council District 3.

A fresh Report on all ways to augment the successful completion of the Administrative Citation Enforcement (ACE) Program, a nasty little program set up by Mitchell "the felon" Englander. 

Approval for cops' prior year benefits to the tune of $1,366,044.31 from the unencumbered balance within the Excess Benefit Fund. 

Revisions to the financial policies related to the Budget Stabilization Fund.   Would love to know what those are?  

A deal to give City-owned property located at 710 East 111th Place, Los Angeles CA 90059 to Kedren Health. Mazel Tov. 

And an item to move along a lovely creative office complex on 4.46 acres located within the City of Los Angeles and the City of Culver City.   Applicant: Melissa Schild, Culver Crossings Properties LLC   Representative: Matt Dzurec, Armbruster Goldsmith & Delvac LLP

You know who used to be at Armbruster, Dave Rand of Rand Paster & Nelson LLP.  They are on the agenda looking to OVERTURN the DCP’s determination of an incomplete application filed for a Priority Housing Project consisting of a 200 unit, 100 percent affordable apartment building utilizing state density bonus provisions; for the properties located at 5501 and 5511 North Ethel Avenue.

And the City Clerk is reporting that for the March 5, 2024 Primary Nominating Election, there is approximately $15.5 million in the current Fiscal Year (FY) 2023-24 budget for both the County of Los Angeles and City of Los Angeles election-related costs.  

She’s ready to do her duty to submit to the qualified voters of the City of Los Angeles a proposed initiative measure regarding the following subjects: 

-Hotel Land Use, Replacement Housing, and Police Permit Requirements, and a Program Placing Unhoused Individuals in Vacant Hotel Rooms. 

-City Mobility Plan Street Improvement Measures,  -- a certified Initiative ordinance regarding City Mobility Plan street improvement measures    

-Minimum Wage for Employees Working at Certain Healthcare Facilities.   

-Limits on Healthcare Executive Compensation.       

And there are several very interesting items related to the airport. A charming, $12,112,307 for BP Pulse Fleet North America, Inc.  

A lovely approval related to the consent to the transfer of 51 percent in the aggregate of the direct and indirect ownership of TraPac, LLC, Permit No. 881, from Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, LTD, to United Pacific Ports B (UK) LTD., and approval of guarantees from Ocean Network Express Holdings, LTD., and Ocean Network Express PTE LTD.   

Also, a separate item - to transfer 49 percent in the aggregate of the direct and indirect ownership of TraPac, LLC.

No worries. Hope that helps. 

There is a three-year contract with Standard Signs Incorporated  covering specialized airfield signs and replacement parts for Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Van Nuys Airport. cost not to exceed $1,050,000. 

A big time Otis Elevator deal for overall cost not to exceed $88,000,000. 

Blue Diamond Materials will continue covering supply and delivery of hot mix asphalt for Los Angeles International Airport and Van Nuys Airport — not to exceed $15,000,000.    

A Ground Lease with Southwest Airlines Co., for a term of up to 30 years!

And the most interesting Lighting District:  439 total streetlights: on 360 affected parcels.  For a total annual assessment of $ 189,514.22.  Nice! 

Another $400 in recognition of Mahsa Amini’s death.  In case you didn’t notice, the City Hall on September 20, 21, 22, 23, and 24, 2023, was illuminated. Thanks to the PARS Equality Center.   Who is that?

I thought Katy Yaroslavsky previously honored Amini, but it's never enough. 

Though, Karen Richardson, the Mayor’s appointee has had enough and is withdrawing herself from further consideration…to Department of Cultural Affairs.

The Mighty County Board of Supervisors: 

As for the board of supervisors, they have two "on call" agreements and a couple of sole source contracts, but if you remove all the proclamations, grants and fee-waivers, they only have 35 items.  link

Open the roll...


The Thirteen proclamations on Tuesday:  

--Proclaiming the Month of October 2023 as “LGBTQ+ History Month” and October 11, 2023 as “National Coming Out Day”  

--Proclaiming “Ageism Awareness Day”   

--Proclaiming the Week of September 24 through 30, 2023 as “Language Access Week” in Los Angeles County  

--36th Annual Productivity and Quality Awards Recognition   

--Proclaiming the Month of October 2023 as "Disability Employment Awareness Month" in the County of Los Angeles  

--Recognizing “California Rideshare Month” and “Clean Air Day” in Los Angeles County  

--Proclaiming September 28 through 30, 2023 as “Chuseok, Moon or Mid-Autumn Festival, T?t Trung Thu, and Tsukimi” in Los Angeles County  

--Proclaiming “Indigenous Peoples Day” 2023  20. Proclaiming “Edward James Olmos Day” in Los Angeles County  

63-H. Proclaiming the Month of October 2023 as “Filipino American History Month” and October 25, 2023 as “Larry Itliong Day”  

63-I. Proclaiming October 5, 2023 as “Latina Equal Pay Day”  

63-K. Proclaiming October 2023 as “Domestic Violence Awareness Month” and October 18, 2023, as “Domestic Violence Providers Appreciation Day”  

63-C. Recognizing Brenda Rodriguez for “Latino Heritage Month”  

There are Eight Fee waivers... (8) 

--Palisades Charter High School 2023 Fee Waiver   

--Scholastic Surf Series 2023 Fee Waiver  

--Recommendation as submitted by Supervisor Hahn: Waive parking fees for 50 vehicles in an amount not to exceed $20,750 at Torrance Beach, excluding the cost of liability insurance, for students and teachers attending surf classes sponsored by West Torrance High School, to be held Monday through Friday from September 18, 2023 through June 30, 2024   

--PS I Love You Foundation’s Annual “Day at the Beach Community Celebration” Fee Waiver  

--2023 “Cal Tri LA” Fee Waiver  

63-A. Fee Waiver and Gratis Issuance of a License Agreement for the Cornucopia Foundation's Malibu Farmers' Market held on certain Sundays at the Malibu Civic Center  

63-B. Department of Health Services Mobile Clinic Fee Waiver 2023  

63-J. Justice, Care, and Opportunities Department’s Resource Fair at Grand Park Fee Waiver   

The Twelve Grants on Tuesday:

--Organized Retail Theft Task Force and Grant  

--Urban Community Drought Relief Program Grant Funding for the Santa Anita Debris Dam Seismic Strengthening Project   

--Request for Presentation from Los Angeles County Sheriff Regarding the Sheriff's Department's Plan on Use of Governor Gavin Newsom's Organized Retail Crime Grant  

--Acceptance of the State’s Cannabis Local Jurisdiction Retail Access Grant Funding  

--Fish and Wildlife Propagation Fund Grant Award   27. Fish and Wildlife Propagation Fund Grant Award  

--CalFresh Healthy Living Program Grant   

--Transforming Pediatrics for Early Childhood Project Grant Award and Sole Source Contract  

--Puente Hills Landfill Visitor Center and the Friendship Park Trail Enhancements and Signage Projects Grant Applications  

--Proposition 1 Integrated Regional Water Management Implementation Grant Funds Agreements  

--Alcohol and Drug Impaired Driver Vertical Prosecution Program Grant Funds  

--Officer Wellness and Mental Health Grant Program Grant Award


(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.)