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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Noontime Briefs and Outtakes for Thursday

Autry's deceitful behavior at the Southwest Museum"
If Jackie Autry, Autry National Center CEO John Grey and her local stable of "connected vendidos and vendidas" (ie. the Southwest Society), can't loot their way to expansion at Griffith Park, then screw you activists, who want access and improvements to Los Angeles oldest museum.
In breaking news from the slopes of Mt. Washington, Autry National Center announced that public access to the Southwest Museum would be greatly curtail in 2010, as noted by longtime SWM docent Michael Wyman.
I have been both a member and a volunteer/docent with the SouthwestMuseum since 1985. Last Saturday, 12/12/2009, the docents had their annual holiday gathering at the museum. John Gray made a surprise appearance, and announced to our group that the Southwest Museum site at Mt. Washington would be closing to the general public. The reasonhe gave was that they needed space for artifact restoration and conservation. He said that after 12/31/2009, the bookstore area will be closed and used to do work on the bead-work portion of the collection. Any public events now taking place at the museum will cease. Museum access will be given only to museum members--for example, the monthly tours of the building. It was unclear whether the NELA art openings would be open to the public or members only (the next show is 1/23/2010). No public annoucement would be made regarding either the closing of the store or the site itself.
Further, it was disclosed by the "Friends of the Southwest Museum", that the Autry has return State of California grant money for improvements at the Southwest Museum. For his part, CD 14 Councilman Jose Huizar, has requested a meeting with Autry officials to discuss funding options to reopen the museum.
In recent months, Councilman Huizar has shown positive leadership, in changing his stance on maintaining the Southwest Museum. But Huizar and museums supporters must sit down and craft the "end game" or else a priceless part of our cultural history, will be lost for future generations.
** Ex. LAPD Chief Bill Bratton's accounting skills, or should we call it "financial oversight?", is likely to impact the legacy of LA's former top cop.
** We found this little gem in the latest Los Angeles Garment and Citizen's "Dot, Dot, Dish Column".
COCA PUFFS: The new slang term for any cheap shots sent along anonymously to the local blogosphere by Rick Coca, who handles communications for Huizar…AD HOMINEM: That’s Latin for cheap shots that attack the messenger rather than answering questions with facts…
It seems that Coca doesn't return many calls on subject matters affecting Councilman Huizar, but he allegedly has time to blog his comments.
** The never-ending Medical Marijuana saga has a new twist this early afternoon. City Clowncil Ringmaster/ President Eric Garcetti, is "flip-flopping" according to the LA Weekly, on the issue of dispensary locations.
** No more "payday Wednesdays drinkfest" at the Police Academy.
** Record low poll numbers for Governor "Kennedy Republican".
** Saying "no" to billboard modernization, now official city policy.
Your thoughts.......................

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Anonymous Anonymous said:

I'm so pissed at John Grey et al that I can barely make a comment.

The book/gift shop is one thing. More people looked than bought because it's mostly over-priced.

Closing off access except to the inner circle is another thing. What I'd like to hear from someone is how oversight of what they are doing can be enforced.

How do we know that they aren't selling the artifacts and pocketing the money and dismantling the collection for example?

December 17, 2009 2:06 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Welcome back Scott. Notice your being a little more positive nowadays.

December 17, 2009 2:34 PM  

Blogger Joseph Mailander said:

I'll be looking forward to seeing those payday cops at The Shortstop.

Spot, are you concerned at all about the 110 "chokehold" expansion project about to commence? It looks like the way they have the work scheduled is a nightmare, with full closures southbound at night, as well as many ramp closures. The project should roll into Highland Park by this time next year; I hear it's starting from the Glenarm terminus and will roll south over two years.

If the 405 expansion is any precedent, good luck with surface street traffic after 3:30 p.m.

December 17, 2009 3:35 PM  

Blogger Red Spot in CD 14 said:

Paul Krekorian beating Chris Essel will do that to you.

December 17, 2009 3:35 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Has anyone noticed that John Gray and the Autry Board of Directors gave back to the State of California a $160,000 grant that they got two years ago for additional restoration work on the Southwest Museum building?

Yeah, three or four weeks after withdrawing the Autry expansion application, the Autry screwed over the history of Los Angeles again by telling the State to terminate a $160,000 grant.

Gray essentially said that the recession meant that the Autry had to take the museum's $160,000 matching funds (Total project $320K), and dedicate it to Autry's programs. I doubt it was the recession. Is Gray saying he was unable to ask donors who care about the Southwest Museum to dedicate a special gift to provide substitute local matching funds for the State money?

Hell, no. It's the same problem it has always been. They just don't care. They could not be bothered lifting a finger for the Southwest Museum. The Autry Board wants the collection and they resent their obligations to this National Register Historic Building and site. So instead of acting like a real trustee, they bitterly walked away from these responsibilities.

How arrogant and irresponsible are these people?

December 17, 2009 5:12 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I am sure the Southwest Museaum Gang is putting on their gloves!
Yaa, we will all pitch in. It aint over yet!

December 17, 2009 5:17 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

When is Jose Huizar going to hold the Autry Board responsible for their actions? It is plain as day they are breaching the promises made in the merger.

When Richard Alatorre was the Councilman and the Board of the Southwest Museum tried to move to another location, Alatorre jumped all over the Board publicly and called in the Attorney General.

Time for Huizar to stop pussyfooting around and call in the cops.

December 17, 2009 7:46 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

7:46 = HC. Get over it. You are so obvious.

December 17, 2009 8:25 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

7:46: ah, correction, you a wrong. did not happen. alatorre did not call in attorney general. the merger only happened in 2003--that would be either pacheco or villaraigosa. alatorre wasn't there. you are lying.

huizar is showing most leadership than any other elected since the 2003 merger agreement.

December 17, 2009 8:28 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

8:28 PM You need to learn how to write. Do you work for the council office or city? I wouldn't be surprised.

December 17, 2009 10:05 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The city council meetings should be held at the zoo. That's where they all belong.

December 17, 2009 10:08 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Alatorre called in the Attorney General when the Southwest Museum Board tried to move out of town. Pre-2003 merger. It was like late 1980s. Of course, he would have done it when he was the Councilman.

December 18, 2009 5:37 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

it is about time that the Autry take leadership and close the site to the public to make improvements to the collection. That should be the MOST important thing. Later, if the Autry Board wishes to move, sell, donate, or throw away any artifacts, as long as they follow the law, they should be allowed to do so. Stop complaining. The only other option is the GOVERNMENT take over. Funny, the Children's Museum in the Valley is not open. How could that be?????

December 18, 2009 8:58 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The thing you diddling Autry apologists need to ask yourself and answer -- truthfully -- is this:

Can any private concern simply "buy" the cultural history of a people, a region, a country, because they have the money to do so -- then do with it completely as they see fit, move it anywhere, withhold it from the people at will -- perhaps for spite or as a bargaining chip against a local government? (And that IS what this latest political tactic is . . . "tomahawk" rattling, by Autry).

Does the price they paid exempt them of any responsibility to the people who have brought it this far?

I'm a big defender of private property rights, but responsibility to history and culture has to take some precedence over the $$ value.

We stop private developments and excavations all the time, when things of historical, cultural, or even environmental issues are unearthed in the process. So private property rights DON'T completely trump all other factors.

The idea that if they preserve and restore something, then they no longer have any responsibility to the descendants and the inheritors of the culture and history is absolutely absurd and barbaric

And that doesn't just mean the native Americans, because the people of the Arroyo Seco region are every bit the inheritors of the Lummis legacy, too.

December 18, 2009 11:44 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

8:58 AM You are an idiot,because you are not well informed and you still comment. The Children's Museum was a private enterprise that failed. The city wants to get it's investment back so they took it over hoping to do something with the property. they should never have been involved in the first place. I assume you are another city employee?

December 18, 2009 8:11 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

11:44 AM YES!! eloquently written.
You are so right.

December 18, 2009 8:14 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Autry took ownership of the Southwest Museum collection without paying a penny. Most of the money invested in the restoration of the artifacts has come from grants and other sources. If the Autry has spent any money it has been minimal and not the millions John Gray is always lying about. And it has not been because of their “good intentions” but to serve Autry’s personal interests.

We blame John Gray but he’s just Mrs. Jackie Autry’s puppet. John Gray is an excellent liar he can fabricate great credible stories that people fall for, but at the end their all lies. He has served Jackie Autry well, so well that her supporters cannot comprehend they are part of a scam. They are helping Jackie Autry to STEAL the Southwest Museum collection and that is a crime.

Autry can never be the right stewards to the Southwest Museum that was never their intention. Their actions have clearly proved it. They are no different from ENRON, Mardoff or any other Ponzi scheme.

December 19, 2009 9:42 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:


Yeah, I hear the Chinese are willing to bail us out financially if we'll just deed over the Statue of Liberty to them.

They want to move it to Beijing, paint it bright red, and call it the People's Statue of China. Oh, and they're going to run an industrial smokestack up the middle that vents through the torch.

But at least it'll be PRESERVED!

Because that's ALL that's important, right, not location, or accessibility, or cultural continuity.

December 19, 2009 1:21 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I am sure the Southwest Society (Autry enablers) Jenny Krusoe (Legacy), Linda Dishman (LA Conservancy Exec. Director), Michael Alexander (Grand Performances Exec. Director), and some of the Northeast Democrats (Bill Rumble, Carol Rumble-Jacques, Eliot Sekuler, Patrica Villasonor, and others) will RIDE TO RESCUE NOW.

They lent their names to help Autry get its expansion in Griffith Park by creating a false illusion of security for the future of the Southwest Museum building. Yes, they were going to help raise all this money for the Southwest's restoration! They have do NOTHING to do that since the photo op with Mayor Villaraigosa.

Now, the Autry has slapped egg on their faces by selfishly terminating a measly $160,000 state grant to waterproof the entrance tunnel. If the Autry won't go out and look for matching funds for this small state grant, it sure as hell has no interest working with the Southwest Society to raise other government funding that might require a matching component.

Thanks Southwest Society -- for helping Autry put the Southwest Museum at risk of loss.

December 20, 2009 9:33 AM  

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