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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Mayor Sam's Hotsheet for Wednesday

Zuma Dogg got an interesting phone call.  According to his tipster former DWP head and "Green Cowboy" David Freeman - one of the chief boosters of  the shady solar killing initiative Measure B - allegedly an assistant whose allegedly brother owns a solar panel manufacturing firm in China.  You may remember that Council President Eric Garcetti has stated that the solar panels bought by the DWP under Measure B would have to come from China. And what's worse the tipster alleges that Mayor Villaraigosa visited the solar panel plant  in China on his visit there.

Is Measure B in trouble? Bill Rosendahl is being wishy-washy about his support for the controversial plan; now reports say that CM Janice Hahn is similarly neutral.  It appears some Members of the Council are hearing from their constituents in big numbers and B is becoming something some of them may want to distance themselves from.

Looks like The Related Cos. - the developer behind the controversial Grand Avenue development project - doesn't have enough dough to start the project so they will be forced to pay a $250,000 per month penalty to the Los Angeles Grand Avenue Authority until they break ground.  The economy is definitely a factor here; why not let them off the hook and put an end to this boondoggle, also known as Eli Broad's Mausoleum?

Word on the street - City Council member and Controller candidate Wendy Greuel is not happy that the city's Engineers and Architects have endorsed her opponent Nick Patsaouras.  Apparently Wendy was overheard whining that the union didn't support her.

Despite Britney Spears' $27,000 awards show ring, the gift bags worth the cost of a new Lexus and the free guitars, video games and liquor provided to artists who show up to the Grammys, they still managed to shake down the near bankrupt city of Los Angeles for $125,000. And the City Clowncil gladly gave it to them at a time when the City is running a deficit and event waivers have been turned off for the City's community and non-profit organizations.

There's always fun in the small cities that surround or are surrounded by Los Angeles.  Though they all almost provide far better local services, they often have their own special dramas and delicious soap operas.  The latest is in the City of San Fernando, not to be confused with the San Fernando Valley, where Council members Julie Ruelas and Jose Hernandez were recalled Tuesday by significant margins.  Ruelas will be replaced by Ernesto Hernandez who voters chose over Ralph Arriorla and Jose Hernandez will make way for Brenda Esqueda who bested Henry Romero.

The social networking site Facebook has banned its members from posting photos of mothers breastfeeding their babies.  What does this have to do with LA? Well, it was back in the 90s when a then Assemblyman Antonio Villaraigosa passed a law that made it legal to breastfeed in public without getting arrested for indecent exposure.  Well, we all know that Antonio likes, well never mind, I won't go there.

Speaking of social networking sites, looks like Kevin Roderick of LA Observed wants to be Mayor Villaraigosa's friend.

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30 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I got an interesting probe from an alien last night that told me the Mayor was also in Tibet making green tea -- which wasn't on his schedule either.

Ok now that i've typed it on the internet it must be true now, riight?

Signed

Manhattan Mutt

January 14, 2009 1:21 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Let's see...

You link to a pro-republican link about its conspiracy on Measure B.

You also link to a pro-secession blog on Measure B.

Republicans and Seccessionists, losing every election in Los Angeles since 1997.

January 14, 2009 1:24 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Council waives Grammy Award fees despite Los Angeles budget woes
5:44 PM, January 13, 2009

Los Angeles City Council members have spent much of their time in recent weeks mulling the city’s budget woes and the possibility of layoffs, but budget-tightening only goes so far when it comes to gala events like the Grammy Awards.

The council agreed today to waive $124,163 in city fees associated with the Grammy Awards, which will be held Feb. 8 at Staples Center. That might be chump change in the music industry, but the city is facing a $433-million hole in its budget next year — making fee waivers a touchy subject for city officials, particularly when award shows shower performers with thousands of dollars in swag.

Was anyone unsettled by such a city waiver during hard times?

Mayoral candidate David “Zuma Dogg” Saltsburg, a city gadfly, was one of two members of the public who spoke in opposition to the item, which was approved by the 13 council members present without discussion.

“I wonder if the city of Los Angeles constituents, the voters, know that you’re giving $100,000 or whatever it is, to the Grammy Awards. This special event fee money is to provide benefit to the community — open to the public — not to be used for commercial private entities,” Saltsburg said, adding that it was a “money-sucking, vampire drain on the general fund.”

Over the last two fiscal years the city waived about $750,000 in fees for award shows.

The city gives up about $5 million annually, waiving fees for the special events of nonprofit groups, but due to the budget crunch, the council recently gave preliminary approval to a change requiring non-profits to pay for at least half the fees.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa does not have jurisdiction over fee waivers, but his spokesman Matt Szabo said that although Villaraigosa is a “big supporter” of the Grammys, he believes the city’s “fee waiver policy is clearly broken and needs to be fixed.”

“At a time when we could be facing a half-billion deficit, the council absolutely must reform a policy, which costs the city upward of $5 million a year,” Szabo said.

Councilwoman Jan Perry, who sponsored the Grammy waiver, said the city would more than make its money back. In her proposal, she noted the event generates about $45 million in economic benefits for the city. Though the Grammys used to alternate between New York and L.A., Los Angeles has hosted the event in recent years, with the exception of 2003, when L.A. lost the awards show to New York — an outcome Perry would like to avoid.

January 14, 2009 5:46 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

To all you haters who post personal negative statements about Zuma hahahaha! to you. Zuma is quoted and talked about in the LA Slimes this morning and was one of two people who spoke out against the Grammy's special event waiver. Yeah for the "people." Say what you want haters but Zuma does get noticed.

L.A. City Council waives Grammy fees...Despite facing a $433-million hole in the city's budget for next year, the council agreed to waive $124,163 in fees associated with the Grammy Awards, which will be held Feb. 8.

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-grammyfees14-2009jan14,0,5107264.story

January 14, 2009 6:10 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

After that fundraising report you basically have to assume that Wendy Greuel is running unopposed

January 14, 2009 9:18 AM  

Blogger Zuma Dogg said:

Yes, today I am quoted in LA Times as a mayoral candidate and will be appearing on ABC News Nightline, as well. Just your typical day of media for Big ZD from the 213! Hellz Yeah!
So much for campaign fliers.

January 14, 2009 9:47 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Word has it that Jill Stewart had to call the LA Times to rewrite his unintelligible quote to them, as she did when "he" wrote an article for the Weekly.

Speaking of which, ZD, just because you're quoted somewhere doesn't make you any less of a fool.

Christ, you are going to look like an idiot if Night Line doesn't give you more than a minute of its time.

It's too bad there's no smellivision so the home audience can get a waft of your body odor.

January 14, 2009 10:34 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Congratulations, Zuma Dog!

Of the few homeless people who have been on TV, you are by far one of the most entertaining.

I think it is courageous of you to take the time to come to City Hall and share your best one-liners with everyone. You really say what a lot of us think, and sometimes it is difficult to understand the point you're trying to make, but you definitely have your audience.

Hoodie Hoo! Hoodie Hoo! Yeah, yeah, boyeee!!!

Listen, if you can't beat Villaraigosa, at least try to prevent Jackass Weiss from winning. Since he won't be in city council any more, if you can prevent him from being city attorney, we can at least be rid of him.

At least we won't have to hear that so and so is the Mayor's alli. Crap, do I hate hearing that phrase!

January 14, 2009 10:39 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I hope ZDog is elected. If he fails, he fails on his own terms. If I had any money, I'd throw a fundraiser for him.

January 14, 2009 10:47 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Is Janice Hahn the biggest idiot on the planet?

January 14, 2009 11:10 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

1. The City Council should have at least demanded to get one of those gift bags in return.

2. Does anyone know what the budget for the event is, and how much of that is spent on gift bags.

3. Jan Perry's argument is faulty. It assumes that they will move the event somewhere else if they don't get the fee waiver.

4. If the Mayor thinks that the fee waiver process is faulty, why didn't we hear from him before this vote was taken?

January 14, 2009 11:15 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Remember all the uproar a few weeks ago in Northridge when Jim Alger filed that grievance? A few nitwits said Alger was full of it and it. Well, turns out Alger was right. The NC upheld Alger's nearly 200 page complaint and found that they had violated the Brown Act and ethics laws. They will voluntarily work with DONE and the City Attorney to straighten up their act.

On a side note, the council read a letter from President George Truesdell who said he resigned because Mayor Sam said bad things about him. Talk about not qualified to serve!

January 14, 2009 11:52 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

When the Mayor was a Councilman he was just as bad waiving the fees for all his political kiss butts. Its cheaper to have Emmy's here regardless then NY. The Times isn't printing the fact that council members spend over $15 MILLION A YEAR ON THESE SPECIAL EVENT WAIVERS.

January 14, 2009 11:56 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Uh oh Mayor Sam! Better start deleting the posts! People are saying unflattering names about ZD!

January 14, 2009 11:58 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Jim - good post at 11:52.

anyway I heard the NC backed down because they did not have the stomach to deal with Alger and his lawsuit.

January 14, 2009 12:17 PM  

Blogger Zuma Dogg said:

Oh no...you always have to be careful when promoting segments on news shows. ABC News Nightline was nice enough to call, right away, to let me know that the segment was bumped for tonight's program. The segment is about public access and features Leslie Dutton, too. It could air tomorrow, or the next day...but at this point...instead of trying to help promote the airing, I think I'll just wait until it airs and link to the video on the internet. I hear ZD is going to like the segment.

January 14, 2009 12:56 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

See that fatman - your boy Zuma Tard lies again. There's no Nightline. Soon he hopes we will forget.

January 14, 2009 12:59 PM  

Blogger Zuma Dogg said:

Why would I look like an idiot if Nightline only uses me for a minute. That's one minute on national TV, you dummy. But don't worry, I hear ZD is featured nicely in the segment.

And yes, just because you are quoted does not mean you are not a fool, but do you think the LA Times published the comments because they were foolish?

And the special event fee waiver is not a business development grant for commercial enterprises. Again, council behaving like Time Square shell game hoods.

Yes, the city does not want to lose the Grammys...but this special event fee waiver is not for this cause. Why not just take the money from LAUSD or the Library or from the Trash Collection Fee or Prop S phone tax or from the LACER fund? The special event fee waiver isn't supposed to be used to pay for the Grammy Awards any more than any of those other things.

AND IT WOULD COST THE GRAMMY'S MORE THAN $100,000 to move the damn thing out of L.A. And no one wants to be in cold NYC when it is nice in L.A. NEW YORK is kinda expensive, too, in case you hadn't heard.

SO AS USUAL, COUNCIL TAKES A WARM AND FUZZY ISSUE (can't lose the grammy awards) and uses it to pull a shell game corrupt racket.

HERE'S THE NEW SLOGAN FOR LOS ANGELES: They always say it's for one thing, but it ends up going for something else.

January 14, 2009 1:08 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Right 12:17. They concede to violating state law because they are afraid of a non-existent lawsuit. That makes perfect sense. First, call Jim a liar, then admit he told the truth. Sounds like they knew they were wrong and said so.

I find it interesting the Truesdell quit because of what Mayorsam had to say. The day you let a blog run you out of town is the day you should hang it up. If you ask me, the Truesdell knew the NWNC was going to concede and didn't want to look like a clown for allowing the council to be run so poorly, but I haven't seen this motion yet so we'll see.

As a victim of LA32, I am very curious to see what happened in Northridge.

January 14, 2009 1:18 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The Times blog quote of zdogg called him "a gadfly," which he seems to consider a compliment under the principle that any attention is better than none at all -- the motto of the truly insecure and deservedly insignificant. Gadgnat, more like it.

The same issue of the Times notes that L A -based production filming is lower than ever -- including runaway productions like Ugly Betty which just fled to a more expensive New York, but is getting all sorts of breaks from that city like they give awards shows, etc., knowing, unlike the jobless, homeless zdogg and the fool ladies in Van Nuys who also yammer against fee waivers, fee waivers, that the amount that's waived is a pittance compared to the amount the industry contributes to the city in jobs, taxes, status, etc.

The new P R campaign focusing on "come to L A" couldn't buy P R like the Grammys, Emmys, Oscars, for even millions of dollars. The notion of even taking these buffoons seriously when it comes to considering fee waivers shows how low the Times has sunk, what's happened since seasoned reporters have been replaced by newbies.

The same disaster as at the Daily News, L A Weekly, etc. -- it's part of the decline of "old media" while it's being replaced by a very uneven "new media." In the meantime, people looking for reliable news are inundated with more and more outlets than ever, but at more and more of a loss. Eventually the free market will sort this all out -- whether it's for the better or not, we'll see.

January 14, 2009 3:44 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

http://blogs.laweekly.com/ladaily/city-news/alf-we-trashed-villaraigosa-de/

Jimmy blackman's home target, then his parents...that's too far.

January 14, 2009 4:44 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

gadfly - a person who stimulates or annoys especially by persistent criticism. (Webster's)

"Gadfly" is a term for people who upset the status quo by posing upsetting or novel questions, or just being an irritant.

The term "gadfly" (Gk. muopa)[1] was used by Plato in the Apology[2] to describe Socrates' relationship of uncomfortable goad to the Athenian political scene, which he compared to a slow and dimwitted horse. The Bible also references the gadfly in terms of political influence; The Book of Jeremiah (46:20, Darby Bible) states "Egypt is a very fair heifer; the gad-fly cometh, it cometh from the north." The term has been used to describe many politicians and social commentators; in modern Hebrew, which knows many more idioms than those used by Jeremiah, gadfly is "mekhapes pagam" literally "fault finder".

During his defense when on trial for his life, Socrates, according to Plato's writings, pointed out that dissent, like the tiny (relative to the size of a horse) gadfly, was easy to swat, but the cost to society of silencing individuals who were irritating could be very high. "If you kill a man like me, you will injure yourselves more than you will injure me," because his role was that of a gadfly, "to sting people and whip them into a fury, all in the service of truth."

In modern and local politics, gadfly is a term used to describe someone who persistently challenges people in positions of power, the status quo or a popular position.[3] The word may be uttered in a pejorative sense, while at the same time be accepted as a description of honorable work or civic duty.[4] (Wickipedia)

January 14, 2009 5:29 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

3:44 PM...Do you really think anyone cares about your take? Will we be seeing you or one of your spokesholes at tonight at the NOHO NC meeting? I think we shall.

January 14, 2009 5:32 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

WOW!!!
Antonio like breast and you like donuts Higby. What a surprise.

January 14, 2009 6:11 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

1:18pm The Northridge West NC posted this on their website this afternoon:

http://northridgewest.com/files/NWNCGrevRes.pdf

Looks like Alger was 100% right. They pretty much conceded every point. Their President resigned in a huff, guess he doesn't take kindly to being criticized by our dear Mayor. Good for NWNC for showing some stones and doing the right thing.

January 14, 2009 7:44 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I attended the meeting last night when they read George Truesdell's letter, it started off whining about how he has served his country for decades and ended with his resignation (again) from the NWNC because he didn't like what was being said about him by "the Mayor Sam Blog." The entire board rolled their eyes and then proceeded to blame the entire mess on him.

There was some discussion about the complaint but the new President made it very clear that Alger's complaint was completely accurate. If only every NC was that straightforward about their mistakes.

January 14, 2009 9:22 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Is it me or has Jim Alger in the middle of a well-orchestrated "comeback" of sorts?

Just sayin.

January 14, 2009 9:56 PM  

Blogger Jim Alger said:

9:22 Not sure there was any "eye rolling" but the Mayor Sam comment was pretty strange. I get hit on Mayor Sam constantly but I don't quit over it. The whining aside, I find that when someone quits the instant they get criticized, it says allot about that individual.

In this case, this gentleman whom I had never said more than 10 words to, had no difficulty telling people complete lies about myself and others, but the moment HIS integrity gets called into question he throws a fit. Here is a simple rule of thumb, if you don't want to get shot at, don't shoot at anyone. And if you are going to take a shot, better make sure that it is accurate and your own house is in order. I had been receiving complaints for months about NWNC, including from city officials. I stayed out of it as long as i could. It just finally reached a point where it boiled over when they violated the very MOU that I and others worked so hard to put together with the DWP. When I advised him of the issue, he just dug in, not the thing to do.

That said, the NWNC is moving on and can leave that dark chapter where it belongs, in the past. The Council should really be proud of how it handled the entire situation. It is hard not to take things personally, but the council didn't. They acknowledge their mistake and are being quite proactive in fixing them. That is the way it should be.

9:56 - You give me to much credit. Much to some people's dismay, I never really left. :) I did however come to the conclusion that with one or two exceptions, keeping a hostile relationship going with people just isn't worth it.

If you don't like someone, just tell them to their face or jettison them from your life. Life is too damn short for all the drama bs.

January 14, 2009 11:31 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

What a bunch of children.

Trasbing Jimmy's parent's hone is a crime punishable by imprisonment or fine or both.

If I am the judge, it is both.

There is a line in our society and these fools have crossed it. Ihope they are cound and prosecuted; and I hope that all of us will go down and insist upon real penalties.

January 15, 2009 5:48 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Model for Dealing with NC Trouble?
NC Watch
By David Lowell (CityWatch)

A northwest Valley neighborhood council may have set an example for the successful prosecution and resolution of major grievances. Here’s the story.

A stakeholder, Jim Alger, filed a formal grievance against the Northridge West Neighborhood Council charging the board with serious violations of the Brown Act and conflicts of interest.

The charges included taking board actions on items not on the agenda, forming ad hoc committees that included a majority of the board but neglected to post agendas and meeting notices among other things. Alger, by the way, is a former board member and chair of the NWNC. The complaint ran more than 200 pages.

The Council took the complaint seriously, agendized it and dealt with it honestly and transparently at their January 13 board meeting. In a motion brought forward by Beverly Adler, the board came together with Alger and resolved the complaint. (Grievance Resolution is available here and explains with reasonable clarity what the issues were and the steps they are taking to resolve them.)

Alger says: “As you read through the Resolution there is a story there. One for all NC’s. Despite the fact that two people resigned, the remaining board members moved quickly to acknowledge the Council’s mistakes and rectify them in a manner that is open and transparent. There was no referral to BONC. There was no interference from DONE.

In what could have been a major black eye to Neighborhood Councils, the Northridge West NC stood up, took responsibility and became a shining example of how Neighborhood Councils can find solutions and learn from their mistakes. The story here isn’t the grievance, the real story is the NC’s resolution to the grievance.” ◘

CityWatch
Vol 7 Issue 5
Pub: Jan 16, 2009

January 15, 2009 11:21 PM  

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