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Who Let The Dog Out?  Woof Woof.

ERIC PREVEN’S NOTEBOOK - Paul Krekorian, who is reportedly moving out of what was once a modest house in North Hollywood, but now a $2.6 million dollar McMansion, should consider holding a request for proposals RFP for something to shut his dog up during city work meetings.

I recommend a treat.

It was amusing the first few times that his small toy dog went berserk.

It is understood by the canine community that whenever a council member attempts to bullshit the public or deflect or act in an otherwise manipulative or sleazy manner, their dog is encouraged to come unglued.

Krekorian, skilled at the art of deflection ran into some choppy waters last week with his apparently loveable but vocal ... yapper.

The man is constantly finding ways to be outraged with someone else, when it is clear that he is the one in need of often stern admonishment. The other day the dog could not bear it.

Krekorian widely known to work himself into a lather about "those damn Tech companies" that are sending motorists into our neighborhoods" and "those gosh darn legislators who won't be held to the Brown Act access standard they're requiring of us" and "Damnit," he vented... the other day, "These groups who think they're helping by putting a garbage bin out near the park... but then never schedule any pickups. They're not helping!"

Bark Bark.

With all due respect, that is not the big problem, Sir.

The big problem is that you and Blumenfield and Koretz and Price and got ripped off right between the eyes by the Waste companies repped by federal prisoner Mitchell Englander... and Mayor Garcetti etc The "dirty city" or the "clean city" is your jurisdiction. Period. 

O'Farrell was scanning two sneaky items in committee; one, to re-up and expand our work with the San Francisco company Urban Alchemy.  One resident said about the firm, that, "In skid row I've seen them sitting in vans watching their phones. In Hollywood and Venice I've seen them standing in groups leaning on walls or fences. I've asked them directly what their role is and the answers have varied from "It's none of your business" to "What do you mean?" 

So, whenever we hand out funds to deepen relations with a particular provider/talking point, it always requires a bit of scrutiny.  

The other item was a lucrative auction style item. Bureau of Sanitation came out and the five male committee members went to town, crafting a path for the most impressive and connected provider of waste bins.  

"1,000  brand new receptacles of some kind is in our, budget." O'Farrell said as lobbyists could be heard rustling in the bushes.   

There was a palpable excitement for something that was heavy enough to deter someone taking it home. Any new type of container would be considered.  

Investigative reporting by Kevin DeLeon uncovered that 50% of the wire mesh containers went missing or were stolen.  

Everyone agreed that these 1000 bins intended to go to encampments had to be durable enough to withstand whatever horrible treatment could be imagined. There was a brief round of disgusting container vignettes. 

The one's made of resin "are not as durable but more efficient because an automated truck requires only 10 employees to service 500 cans."  

The calculators came out.  

The Bureau of Sanitation Pilot program will report back after 90 days... so all proposals and inducements need to be in soon.

NOTE: Check the simple metal oil drum lined with a durable bag, like at Parks & Recs--too heavy to move easily, and undesirable.  

Krekorian's dog and I both realized that the trash container is only as effective as the scheduled pickups.  

Krekorian wondered, "Is anyone going to do a damn "workload indicator analysis?"  

Bark Bark. 

 

Anger: 

Bernie Sanders said, "I am more than a little tired of the pharmaceutical industry continuing to rip off the American people and forcing them to pay by far, the highest prices on the planet for their prescriptions. Aren't you?" 

Yes.   

Kaiser made it hard for a family member to get their prescription filled while migrating off the mother's policy to a new covered California plan. Fortunately, I swooped in with $300 to cover the medicine. Very doubtful that I will ever see the $300 reimbursed by Kaiser but I am definitely with Bernie on the outrageous price of medicine. 

I have a friend from Michigan who has gone out of the event marketing business and into the field of mental health. His partner is a hardworking Phd who works at a big city hospital, trains therapists and manages their growing mental health practice. They have seven therapists pulling the gravy train and business has been booming. 

In California, the law was finally passed that would make it conceivable for a patient with depression to see a therapist within ten days. People were waiting ungodly periods of up to two months, so the Kaiser workers sued. It's unconscionable...  

Kaiser lodged formal concerns about the bill, but as bipartisan support for the bill grew, insurers withdrew their opposition. They argued that "Mandating increased frequency of appointments without addressing the underlying workforce shortage will not lead to increased quality of care.”   

Sen. Connie Leyva, D-Chino said, "If insurers want to attract more therapists to their networks, the responsibility is on them to pay better rates and reduce administrative burdens."  "And if insurers want more young people to enter the mental health care profession, they have to improve the salaries and working conditions of the field now"  said state Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento.

 

Board Priorities: Cowboy Hats:

Last week, Barger was fatutzed by the world news and in a moment of pre-meeting patter where it was not clear if the Supervisors knew they were audible, said, "I can't even watch the news, it makes my stomach turn."   Sheila Kuehl, sometimes referred to as a progressive icon said, "It's been the case with me for a while now." 

Barger: "It took me a while to figure it out."   

Sheila laughed demonstrably. What's surprising and not funny is that "tuning out" the facts and the critics has become... a thing.  

Despite the good news that LA county's LARGEST BUDGET in history was adding five new Mental Evaluation Teams (MET)for about $2 million to bring the total above the current 38 MET teams that serve over ten million residents, the Sheriff was a no show at the Budget meeting.    

MET teams are co-responder teams staffed by a Sheriff's Department deputy and a Department of Mental Health clinician. This comes as the County Board of Supervisors have appropriately shifted their priorities away from policing toward a care first, jail last model.  

These collaborative Mental health personnel and county sheriffs are fun to talk about and provide a sense that the county is FINALLY doing something right, though Mike Bonin et al don't, in general, want any law enforcement out there among the folks experiencing homelessness.  

Meanwhile, Sheriff Villanueva issued a press release that Cowboy hats would be allowed for uniformed deputies on duty.    

For many months, he's been showing up weekly at the board meetings -- though not agendized by the board who hate him --  to attack and insult the board of supervisors and various Care first, Jail last plans as short sighted.  

People familiar with the Brown Act wondered, how could the Sheriff be appearing without an agenda item indicating that he'd be there so that the public could tune in to "yay" or "ney" the guy.   

The public should be able to tune in, even as the board prefers to tune out.  The public has a right to see the cowboy hat.

 

Backroomificaiton:

Some Angelenos will remember the historic Governor Brown AB 109 meeting with the county board behind closed doors that resulted in a prizeworthy but largely ignored "Inconvenient Public" editorial.  

The county issue remains -- the board of supervisors do not necessarily want to 'maximize transparency and access' as the Governor's order requires them to do, but rather they prefer to put the pandemic to good use (no crisis shall go to waste)  as a pretext for additional backroomification.  

More than half of the Board's Regular open meetings have been ritualistically fleeced of meaningful or noticed agenda items and collapsed into Special Closed sessions about legal matters and labor negotiations. Why?  

It appears to be a board priority "to lock the public out of a key policy discussion(s) for the board's own ease and convenience."  

Now that Robert Greene won The 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing and fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) for clearness of style, moral purpose etc for a series of editorials he wrote in the Times on policing, bail reform, prisons and mental health... why not? 

If the cost of living hadn't risen so high here, we'd ask Greene to donate his $15,000 to hire a law firm to go after the board.  

But, let's see if LA County DA George Gascon or State Attorney General Rob Bonta, both allies of the Board and Council (maybe), will lift a finger to bring the public back to public meetings.  The ball is once again in their court.   #GoDodgers  #GoGiants 

Interesting to learn that the LA County Department of Public Works is a proud sponsor of the Dodgers. 

 

Theyroes:

On Tuesday, strangely, the public comment period was expanded from sixty minute to ninety minutes. That's for the entire county to address all eighty items agendized by the board as well as any general public comments.   

Still, for Hilda Solis and Holly J. MItchell it must have felt like an... eternity.   

The resident physicians in the county's ERs were out in force and they were articulate and furious.  When Barbara Ferrer, the Director of Public Health, who unlike the elected Sheriff, typically gets her own agenda item weekly, thanked the board for their support and tireless advocacy... she could feel their pain. 

The testimony from the county's first responders had been simply brutal.  

There must be nothing worse for an arrogant secretive old board of supervisors than a coherent set of young heroes and sheroes and theyroes ripping them a BRAND new one for being cold hearted, self-involved and hypocritical.  

That's why Solis has adopted a policy of "Tuning them out."  Next speaker.  

They said the Board had SHUT THE DOOR on discussions and wanted the residents to wait six months to discuss their inadequate compensation and onerous conditions. Next speaker. 

They singled out Hilda Solis and Holly J. Mitchell who run districts with hospitals serving our neediest angelenos and pled with the Board to "MEET with your workers."  Next speaker. 

"Healthcare Workers carried the county through the darkest time of the pandemic," they kept reminding. "Now, we are facing a salary freeze and rollover rates for six months." Next speaker. 

"We can't roll over!  And how are we supposed to compete?  Our resident physicians can't be expected to stay when they are making $15,000 less per year than residents at UCLA, and $11,000 less than at Cedars Sinai." Next speaker. 

One resident physician possibly from County USC, begged with the board to at least ..."speak with us."  

Feel free to submit a written public comment ... they're all made available to the board. 

 

YoungBoy:

Another exciting county program that will be studied and funded is one having to do with changing the way we call in for various emergencies that are SOS but not necessarily the type of affair you want to invite a deputy sheriff to attend, with or without a bodycam and stun gun from Taser dba Axon.   

Hello, 211. Not 211 LA has served the people of Los Angeles County since 1981, this one will require a $10 million dollar call center  Down, Cisco!  

Any call center clients of any kind interested in an all-expense paid trip... anywhere feel free to check with Arnie Berghoff [Down, Arnie!] over at Englander Knabe & Allen. Arnie's with his own firm, but he and Uncle Harvey are very tight and share bunk desks in the same suite downtown.   

Mitchell Englander, is a young boy compared to Old Uncle Harv and Arnie, and was their star quarterback at the above ground perfectly legal, pay to play game at City Hall in Los Angeles. 

Englander Jr. (Mitchell) is currently back in Arizona, where we exposed some years ago that he had gathered a dozen Taser exec contributions for one of his failed runs for Supervisor, while greasing along business for the zapper guys who shapeshifted into the Axon bodycam guys.  

Now he's in a federal penitentiary, but should be out soon and I'd be surprised if he doesn't have a decent sun tan.   

Before checking in he left his beloved west valley for Santa Monica, the land of liberal freedom, local hostility and where money, like everywhere, talks. Santa Monica probably does not have a 300 foot protest ordinance.  

The other YoungBoy, whose real name is Kentrell D. Gauldren is in jail for a horrific series of crimes and allegations but he's also a massive underground recording artist.  

YoungBoy Never Broke Again gets little radio play but has millions of fans on Youtube. His new album just became the rapper's fourth release in less than two years to hit No. 1 on the Billboard chart. Mazel tov. 

Apparently YB, as he's known, keeps up with his team in marathon daily calls from jail, each routinely interrupted by the 15 minute time limit.  

Sheila Kuehl and Holly J. Mitchell are still, all these years later, waiting for a report back on Accelerating Efforts to Ensure Free Phone Calls and At-Cost Commissary Items in Los Angeles County Jails and Probation Facilities and a supplemental item for an amendment to the Inmate Telephone System and Services Agreement. 

The golden girls at Board of Supes are moving at a glacial pace. They've called for a report back in 60 days on identifying funding sources, other than the Inmate Welfare Fund, to supplement the costs of programming and services in the jails for people who are incarcerated, as it relates to revenue from phone calls and commissary items. 

And a report back in 90 days on funding estimates including costs, logistics, timeline, potential funding sources, and other information and details calling services through tablets, iPads, desktop computers, and laptops; and video conferencing services platforms such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom, WebEx, Skype,   

Where there's a will there's a way.  Don't waste time, get a lobbyist working for your interests... next quarter for lobbying ends December 30.  It's always a good time to lobby your city or county officials. 

 

Redistricting:

The Los Angeles City Council Redistricting Commission was supposed to adjust the boundaries of the Council districts to reflect changes in population as reported in the 2020 U.S. Census, while giving due consideration to other factors, such as geographical boundaries and communities of interest. 

Sadly, the integrity of the process may have been compromised by backroom deal-making and has produced a plan that disenfranchises thousands of voters by depriving them of the representation they voted for. 

Nithya Raman won the most votes in the history of LA City Council on a platform of helping renters. She's the legitimate Goat.  

Yet the K.25 draft map, has been called, "a racist and classist plot to disenfranchise her district and remove a Woman of Color from office."   

 

Pronouns [English Only]:

Wednesday, October 20, 2021 International Pronouns Day will be on the 3rd Wednesday of October each year. Referring to people by the pronouns they determine for themselves is basic to human dignity.

Proclaiming “International Pronouns Day” in Los Angeles County the board recognized that not all communities will find celebrating and educating about pronouns to be among their top priorities. That's understandable.

Being referred to by the wrong pronouns particularly affects transgender and gender nonconforming people. 

Not sure Dave Chappelle will be the spokes-guy for this year's International Pronouns Day following the release of his "Closer" special for Netflix.

He was attacked by the trans community but maintains that Gender is a fact, "Every human being had to pass through the legs of a woman to be on earth. That is a fact!"

Point of order, "what about a cesarean section?"

Sir, you're disrupting the meeting.

Many people have wondered, "Do I have to use the pronouns someone wants me to use when I refer to them?"

You should try, because it is common courtesy and basic to human dignity to do so, like calling someone by their name. Some jurisdictions and organizations have also made it clear that intentionally or repeatedly using the incorrect pronouns could be evidence of discriminatory harassment or a hostile environment.

Dave Chappelle says, "Do something nice for someone, who looks nothing like you. We have to trust one another." 

One minor snag has arisen with International Pronouns Day. Apparently, IPD is open to all who may find it useful but the campaign website and materials are currently rooted in the particular needs in the English language context and communities.

English only? Next speaker.

(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)