Whistleblower hotline: (213) 785-6098

Sunday, June 30, 2013

And We're Clear...So Long, Tony.

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Saturday, June 15, 2013

Is Street Prostitution an Issue in CD6 Race?

‘Can I get in?’


‘Don’t you want a date?’

‘I’m not looking for sex’

‘I really have to get some money. Can you help me with that?’

‘Not with that.’

‘Don’t you like me?’

‘I like you just fine. But no thanks.’

‘Can I just sit in your car for a little while? I’m tired. We don’t have to do anything. I just kinda need a break.’

This conversation took place in the parking lot of a grocery store. In daylight hours. In a middle class neighborhood. She was the fifth one I saw on my way home, but I didn’t have it in me to photograph her face. In the moment, she was my sister in Christ.

Women ply the trade off of Craigslist or escort services every day with varying degrees of autonomy, but women in the street are…chattel. They are owned. Their owners lurk nearby, without fear of consequence. As long as they stay north of Burbank Blvd, rich, liberal Los Angeles is content to allow African-Americans to live in the year 1861. With mobile phones.

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Monday, June 10, 2013

How it Works in Sacramento

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Sunday, June 09, 2013

While Villaraigosa Danced

(Photo by Venice4Change)
The shooter who killed four (with one more barely clinging to life) last Friday in Santa Monica, California has been identified as 23 year old John Zawahri. Before his rampage across town and on the campus of Santa Monica College he killed his father, Samir and brother, Chris at the father's home and set it on fire.

Breaking: KCBS reports that a sixth person has now died as a result of the shooting.

All of this shortly followed by a taxpayer funded romp on behalf of Mayor Villaraigosa (complete with free nachos, Ryan Seacrest and Bill Clinton), where, according to those in attendance, no mention was made of the tragedy just a few miles away nor was the tone of the event moderated out of respect.

Outside, he car-jacked a woman, shot another who hesitated after he had told her to leave, and then forced the first one to drive him to the college. Along the way he shot up a bus (no one injured) and as they approached the college parking lot he shot and killed the driver of an SUV, Carlos Navarro Franco, 68, also hitting Franco's daughter who is the one still in critical condition on life support.

Being pursued by police, Zawahri ran toward the college library, shot a woman outside the entrance (she later died at the hospital) and from various reports fired up to 70 rounds inside the library, not injuring or killing anyone else. Police engaged the shooter and he was hit and died a short time later after being carried outside by the officers.

The image above shows him entering the library via security footage, his Santa Monica High School yearbook picture and some of the tactical gear he had been wearing plus 1,300 rounds of ammunition in multiple magazines, "not clips" for the AR-15 style semi-automatic rifle he used in the attacks. He was also carrying a handgun, what looks like a 6-shot revolver, had some body armor and a tactical belt for holding the clips.

Zawahri was reported to have been a very angry man who as a juvenile had a run in with police in 2006 and had been hospitalized for mental illness in recent years after allegedly talking about harming others. It's being said that he was distraught over the divorce of his parents.

Because of the last name Zawahri, Internet discussions are assuming that he was a terrorist, which authorities are denying at this time. The Zawahris reportedly were Orthodox Christians from Lebanon. The mother is out of the country, which one could assume has most likely saved her life.

AR-15 type rifles are legal in California under strict conditions, but those with easily changed ammo clips are not. Where he acquired this weapon has not been reported so far.

The question begged is: Why was someone with a history of mental illness who had previously threatened to harm others not being treated in a facility somewhere? The super-strict gun control laws of California couldn't stop this angry young man from getting the firepower he desired... couldn't stop him from destroying the lives of multiple families... couldn't stop the EVIL that was John Zawahri.

Suzanne Lauer and I will be discussing this story and more, today at 4pm as we fill in for Frank Sheftel and Tai Babalonia at 4pm PDT on LATalkRadio.com

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Saturday, June 08, 2013

We're on the Radio Sunday Afternoon!

Back behind the mic again as I take the reins of "Frank and Tai Talk" on LATalkRadio on Sunday, June 9th at 4:00 p.m. PDT. Frank Sheftel and Tai Babalonia are "on assignment."

Joining me as co-host is the ever lovely Suzanne Lauer.

We'll be talking about the Mayor Villaraigosa goodbye party, the Santa Monica shooting spree, the NSA Verizon scandal and several other political and pop culture topics.

We'll also take your calls at 1-323-203-0815.

You can listen at www.latalkradio.com or download the Android LATalkRadio app at the Google Play Store or the iPhone App Store or use TuneInRadio for BlackBerry users.

See you on the radio!

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Jack McGrath and RFK

By Jack McGrath
Special to MayorSam's Sister City

On Saturday, June 29, I will be attending my 50th high school reunion at the Beverly Garland Hotel in North Hollywood. I am excited, but wonder why see a bunch of old people like me, who I do not call, email, or have had anything to do with for decades. Maybe I want to see who has a hair piece,(male or female), who uses a walker, or who can't tell me why they are there. I am traveling from my new home in Ventura County, so it is a big deal. I travel back to the San Fernando Valley only for special events.

June has also been an important part of my life for the past almost half century, for another very personal reason. I was in the ballroom at the Ambassador Hotel on June 4, 1968, the year Robert Kennedy was assassinated. The LAPD kept all the people in the hotel there till 6 AM the next morning. It was a tragic event for all of America. That night is seared in my consciousness.

My involvement with the Robert Kennedy for President campaign was a bit of LA theater. At the time in 1968, I lived on Prairie St in a four bedroom home with three other students, who all attended school at San Fernando Valley State College. We were a lively bunch, and partook in that special green stuff called "weed", "MaryJane", "pot:, "marijuana" etc. About 9PM one night during the week, a very old friend from grammar school called me on the phone. I was semi looped, a bit loud, but having a fun night at my home at the college with a bunch of friends. My grammar school friend, Dick Drechsler, whose mother, started "Dollars for Democrats" told me he was that night with the big wig democrats at the Biltmore Hotel in downtown LA. Robert Kennedy was gong to make his first CA speech for President, at either UCLA or CA State Northridge. (then called San Fernando Valley State College). Dick said " For many reasons including the demographics of the campaign, the campaign wants to make the speech in Northridge at the state college. But we need the college to cancel all classes the day of the speech. We need you to call the college President tonight and get his commitment to close the campus for the special speech."

Now at that hour at my home, I was in a pretty good high, but had the sense to realize this was pretty big stuff. I knew who the president of the college was, but did not really know him on a first name basis. His name was Delmar T. Oviatt, acting president of the college. I told Dick I would try to reach Dr. Oviatt right away.

By this time, the party was in a full roar. Some there thought this was the final 30 seconds of a football game, and were cheering me on, as they took another hit on the joint. Due to the ingestion of the grass, I had no fear whatsoever. Oviatt's name was in the paper phone book, living in Northridge. The Kennedy delegation was waiting for this most important call. Was it going to be the Bruin or a Matador win? I dialed the rotary phone.

Ring Ring, "Hello" said the person on the other line

Jack- "Dr Oviatt, This is Jack McGrath, regional coordinator of the Robert Kennedy Presidential campaign(I had already given myself a title). "How are you tonight, sir?"

Oviatt, "Fine", (I am sure he is saying who the hell calls me at 10 PM at night?)

I gave him the backround on the decision between UCLA and SFVSC.

Jack- " So Dr. Oviatt, (I posed the question) is it SFVSC or UCLA for the possible next President of the United States? As the acting president, he was not fully in authority, nor had total confidence in his decision making, based on the weak inflection of his voice.

Jack-Sensing Dr. Oviatt's knees might be buckling I had to give him a shot between the eyes. Me, a 21 year old pot smoking poli- sci major to a guy who wore a bow tie all the time, at a somewhat,at the time, minor academic institution. But he made the decision.

Jack- "Dr. Oviatt, I do not need to remind you this is a big opportunity to shine, and put the college on the map. We will have more national and international press coverage than the college has ever had", I blerted out.

Dr. Oviatt- Well ok Mr. McGrath, (I had never heard this salutation before). I guess we will do it. Can you come into my office tomorrow morning at 8:00 AM to start discussing the details of Sen. Kennedy's visit to our campus? That was the formal beginning of my involvement in politics and government in Los Angeles.

Postscript- The Kennedy event at the college had well over 100,000 people in attendance. The college built a large stage for the Robert Kennedy speech at our college. We started a Students for Kennedy chapter at the campus, and all were devasted a couple of months later with Sen. Kennedy's assasination that June night at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. My association with the Kennedy campaign was just over two months. But I will never forget it.

Final Postscript- One of my roomates in the house in Northridge, was a friend named Richard Marin. A delightful roomate, fellow pot enjoyer. He in a few years became Cheech of "Cheech & Chong, the comedy duo. I think his big movie, "Up in Smoke", came from our many nights together at the home in Northridge.

Jack McGrath is the former chief of staff to Zev Yaroslavsky during his years as a City Council Member. He is a past president of the Studio City Chamber of Commerce and has operates his own public relations firm. A decades long resident of the San Fernando Valley, McGrath now lives in Ventura County.

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