Mon, May

Harbor UCLA: Surgeon Modernization Project


ERIC PREVEN’S NOTEBOOK - In a move that threatens the very foundation of public participation, the LA County Board of Supervisors has been experimenting with a plan to reduce general public comment opportunities from every meeting to once every two weeks. The experiment that began in December when Supervisor Lindsey P. Horvath of the Third District took over as board chair should be ended as there is evidence that it is stifling the voices of citizens and undermining the principles of democracy upon which our society is built.   

At the heart of any democratic system lies the fundamental right of citizens to have their voices heard. Public comment periods during meetings serve as vital avenues for community members to express their concerns, share their perspectives, and hold elected officials accountable. By limiting these opportunities, the board is silencing the very people it aims to serve. Our democracy thrives when all voices are heard, not just those in positions of power expressing gratitude to one another.  

The experiment to reduce public comment frequency sends a troubling message: the board is more interested in expediency and hearing each other than engaging with the concerns of those it represents. This is not the kind of leadership our county deserves. 

Moreover, recent events have highlighted the egregious disregard for public input. On April 9, the board excused all public members from the room except for select journalists, a move reminiscent of authoritarian regimes. The subsequent Tuesday meeting on April 16 saw a graduate student from USC being turned away from delivering a public comment after waiting all day, highlighting the blatant disregard for citizen engagement.  This deprivation experiment must come to an end.  

Instead, we should foster an environment where transparency, dialogue, and collaboration flourish. Rather than limiting public comment to once every two weeks, the board should explore innovative solutions to citizen engagement. One idea is to introduce multiple comment periods throughout the meeting, catering to the diverse schedules of community members. An early bird comment period, a lunchtime session, and even a cocktail hour forum would provide ample opportunities for citizens to participate in the decision-making process.  The board could vote on items at the end of the day, after the cocktail! 

Furthermore, the recent meeting held in Washington D.C. without a clear agenda or transparency is deeply troubling. It is not every day, our county leadership gets to interact with White House Officials in our nation's capital.  Why should the public be excluded from a meeting with such heightened interest?  

A public record act request revealed after the fact, that the board met with the Second Gentleman of the United States Douglas Emhoff, Tom Perez, Senior Advisor and Assistant to the President; Director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs,  Secretary Jennnifer Granholm, Secretary, U.S. Department of Energy, Undersecretary Christopher Coes, Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy, Department of Transportation, and Neera Tanden. Director, Domestic Policy Council; Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy.  Wanting to be a "fly on the wall" in that meeting, does not make you a gadfly, but rather an engaged citizen.  

When a request for an audio recording or transcript was lodged, the Executive Office revealed, "There is no audio or transcript."  That's a shame because it deprives the public of crucial insights into discussions that will directly impact Los Angeles County.   

The Board of Supervisors must restore regular weekly meetings with a general public comment period and uphold the principles of democracy by ensuring ample opportunities for public input. Anything less is a disservice to the county residents they were elected to serve. 

Friday City council

City Clerk:  Caller which items would you like to speak on? 

Smart Speaker:  It’s Eric Preven I'd like to speak on the available items and a general public comment. 

Strefan Fauble, Deputy City Attorney:  Okay, 1, 19, 21, 37 -52 followed by general.  Please begin 

Smart Speaker:  How much time will I have?  How much time will I have Fauble? 

Strefan Fauble, Deputy City Attorney:  You have three minutes for the items. Please begin. 

Smart Speaker:  Lovely Woodbury University is a liberal arts college in Burbank California, where corruption meets creativity.  Nestled in the heart of bustling Burbank stands a beacon of innovation.  But not in the traditional sense. Founded in 1884 as a humble business school, although it was founded downtown, just a hop skip, and jump from City Hall.  

Strefan Fauble, Deputy City Attorney:  Mr. Preven it’s a little hard to hear you, would you please speak into the microphone? 

Smart Speaker:  The proximity to City Hall signaled an opportunity to become a veritable powerhouse of unconventional expertise in graft, corruption, and all things shady.   At Woodbury, students aren't just educated they're initiated into a world where the art of bending the rules is a revered skill. From the moment you step onto campus you are immersed in an environment where creativity knows no bounds.  Avak and one of the nation's sleaziest municipal attorneys, David Michaelson -- who thinks we didn't notice that he presided over the most shameful epoch in City -- 

Strefan Fauble, Deputy City Attorney:  Mr. Preven, I don't think you’re talking about an agenda item.  Which Item are you on? 

Smart Speaker:  Yeah, number one. Woodbury number one.  Woodbury University Tefra bond, $22 million.  

Strefan Fauble, Deputy City Attorney:  The Tefra hearing,  go ahead.  

Smart Speaker:  $23 million the other part, from — yeah, don’t interrupt. I need my time restored for that one, if you don't mind.  

Strefan Fauble, Deputy City Attorney:  Go ahead. 

Smart Speaker: I was just getting to the point about deceptive agenda practices and open meeting law violations. The distinguished faculty at Woodbury comprised of white collar scholars are real experts in their field.  Whether you are interested in embezzlement or Prop K corruption where Paul Krekorian lectures from time to time. 

Paul Krekorian, Chair CD2:   Alright Mr. Preven you've spoken all over a minute on that item, so if you could move to your next agenda item.  

Smart Speaker:  Okay, I’ll go to my next one, I guess.  If I have to.  It’s very intrusive to constantly be interrupted and have to restart.  By the way,  the amendment on 21A… for LADWP where Matt Hale is warming up a seat over there for you… it was very confusing; the pension stuff. I would request that that be posted somewhere so that the public could see it.   

And it's always worth mentioning a good misuse of funds allocated under Prop K, intended for the betterment of children, not the destruction of precious green space, Nithya Raman. And CD4. You don’t have to do what Paul Krekorian of CD2 and Lisa Karadjian say.  Karadjian sat on the LVNOC, the local oversight group,  and the chair of that group, who lives right there in the neighborhood, voted against the deranged expansion of the rec center out onto the grassy area. The Chair said, "this is a terrible idea, we’re going to ruin our open space.”  And Karadjian just reached in and shoved it through, along with other people planted on the LVNOC panel by Krekoran.  Now, the whole neighborhood is going to face a beautiful old rec center being sent to a landfill, because Krekorian and Brad Sherman are colluding-- 

Strefan Fauble, Deputy City Attorney: You can go to general, Mr. Preven. 

Smart Speaker:  Yeah, I’m going to general, Fauble please don’t be so intrusive. Am I entitled to extra time for this?   Anyway, now Raman is getting on board with the insane proposal go right out onto the turf where people and their pets go and play frisbee, learn to throw and catch at the park. 

The not-for-profit community wants to put a giant net zero jack-off structure, that wait for it — is required to be: "A high school regulation basketball court."   

Required?  This is where the fraud begins...  Do you know who loves High School regulation basketball courts?  

Harvard Westlake!  Krekorian, have you gone mad?   Do you think we haven't been paying attention?  This whole story is highly documented.   

People who know about this are very opposed, people don’t want Nithya Raman to throw her hands up in the air… and say “The previous district office…set this up so our hands are ... once again tied."  This is all part of the coup - the, CD2, CD4 switcheroo.   Paul Krekorian left Nithya Raman holding the bag.   

I am opposed to the ethics commission being expanded.  Krekorian hasn't even filled the fifth position in a year.

And the ethics commission should certainly not be put in the position of choosing a redistricting panel.  They meet all day long ex-parte with lobbyists.    The Ethics commissioners should be removed and we should replace them with a group that is not appointed by the body they oversee… obviously.   And that's the end of it.  

It should be a group of people who understand how to look under the hood. Not people who know how to go along to get along. See the dazzling performance of Jeffrey Daar from last week.  With that, I’ll move on to the item — 

Paul Krekorian, Chair CD2: Your time has expired.  Let’s go to our final caller.  

Treasured Partners: 


Harbor UCLA: Surgeon Modernization 

There is an item on the Board of Supervisors' agenda this week to establish and approve an Elevator Modernization Project at Olive-View UCLA with a total Project budget of $15,987,000.  

Over at Harbor UCLA they could use a Surgeon Modernization project but instead are going to be on the hook, presumably for a lot of money over a very dirty surgeon.  Dr. Louis Kwong, was fired recently after ogling sedated patients’ ‘genitals of the day,’ and taking money from a medical company.  

Kwong who did not do the county proud at all, apparently compared conducting a hip replacement to “finding the ‘G-spot,’ made a sexual innuendo about “hammering a patient” and commented on how “certain female residents like it on top.”  A technician who worked with him said he once told the surgical team to “check out” an anesthetized patient’s penis because it was “very large,” leading Kwong to lift the surgical drapes. A doctor heard Kwong discuss whether a patient was a “grower or shower.”


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