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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Mayor Sam is Back

After an extended absence I am back and should be to full blogging in the next day or so. In the meantime however I thought I'd make a few comments.

First off, Home Depot is suing the City. Well I told you they would. They should also add as co-defendants all of the yahoos in Sunland-Tujunga who thought they were so smart. Yea, the community has some rights. But so do private property owners. And in this case HD's rights were violated. But don't worry, they're not going to get a Tennie Pierce style cash settlement. Nope, the settlement will be they get to build their store. Thanks Joe B and friends for wasting our tax dollars. However the two gutless wonders who told Home Depot to sue - if that is true - should be exposed and be prepared to face the music. Feel free to out them here.

Next, no one should use the N word. It is disgusting, vile, mean and unnecessary. However we don't need the City Council to waste it's time on "banning" the word. It does nothing and means nothing. On sure rap stars and white supremacists everywhere are saying "Damn! I was going to say that word but the City Council of Los Angeles has banned it." How about the Clowncil stick to areas where they actually have some authority.

And finally Mayor V's popularity rating is slipping lower than George Bush's. So what to do? Attack the Clowncil. Hmm. Works for us!

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Blogger Unknown said:

Welcome back, Mayor! Your extended absence appears to have done little to enlighten your well intentioned but hopelessly misguided mind.
Joseph had high hopes for you and so did I. Too bad that you continue to blame us and not Agent Orange. We didn't file the lawsuit, they did.
We didn't pack the council chambers with lobbyists, they did. We didn't bus in clueless paid supporters, they did.
All we did is ask that the current laws on the books be enforced.
What is your problem with upholding the law?

November 12, 2007 11:21 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Now that the truth has come out about Joe B and his group there will be a very different worm. And this lawsuit through discovery will uncover all of it including the Do-It center disaster relief scheme these people cooked up.

The truth will hurt.

November 12, 2007 11:26 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Well, it was Rick Taylor who had his memo leaked, so one must guess that he is the brainchild for the suit.

Probably the other is a litigator at Latham & Watkins, who probably just wants the fees.

This strategy may, or may work.

The City Council has been to known to get its back up in situations like this.

This could backfire.

November 13, 2007 3:43 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Well since one of the issues brought forth was interference by a public official (Wendy) then the hack from HD committed a faux paux by saying that two elected officials urged them to sue the city. This should be "discoverable" if it gets that far. Spineless Delgadillo would never let it get that far especially at the urging of the two implicated "elected officials" who will be "outed" in the process.

November 13, 2007 6:50 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Speaking of Tennie Pierce, what's the status on the lawsuit against the city filed by Pierce's captains?

November 13, 2007 6:56 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Come on mayor, yeah they hold a lease on the property, but that doesn't mean they are exempt from following EXISTING LAWS governing that space. Sure, landownership has it's priviledges, but the concept of proper zoning has been around a long time too.
Just because us "yahoos" in Sunland-Tujunga decided to remind the city AND Home Depot about these pesky laws doesn't make us the bad guys here. Secondly, I contend that Home Depot knew exactly what it was doing with their "over the counter permit" scheme, and knew if it didn't go their way that they would sue the city for a certain degree of incompetence, knowing that it would be difficult for a bureaucracy to catch what they were doing. HD KNEW this was still under appeal and decided to keep doing the work anyway. Who are they kidding....

November 13, 2007 8:31 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The mayor is right. This was all a scam involving other hardware stores and the unions. Some of the same players are involed in a similar action in Ventura County regarding another non-union big box.

It is possible that some of the little old white ladies in ST were convinced that the trucks and the Mexicans would come if HD opened. But the ringleaders it was nothing more than politics, half of them don't even actually live there.

And probably some of them got paid too.

When you astro-turf and bitch to the city council you can put on a sham show. In court however the entire scandal from the Do-It Center scheme to everything else will be discoverable.

Get ready to write that check Chick.

November 13, 2007 8:46 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Time for transparency. said...

Who’s Home Depot Lawyers? LATHAM & WATKINS

Nelalist post, Oct. 22, 2007. Who is Autry Lawyer? By Judith Dancoff

“Who’s Latham and Watkins? Who does the “other side” have stacked up against us in our struggle to preserve the purpose and function of the Southwest Museum?” THE FIRST MUSEUM OF LOS ANGELES
“Some information gleaned from the web about Latham & Watkins, counsel to the Autry Museum. Remember knowledge is power!”
“The law firm Latham & Watkins dates back to the l930s but made its recent fame by structuring the high-yield debt junk bond maven Michael Milkin and his corporation, Drexel Burnham Lambert, Latham & Watkins’s client are corporations, millionaires, and even the current Bush Administration. Latham & Watkins was behind the scenes as Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKK) executed its hostile takeover of RJR Nabisco in l988, and Latham & Watkins provided council for Brown & Williamson in the infamous tobacco conspiracy trial Philip J. Perry, a litigation partner at L&W’s Washington DC office, recently served as General Counsel to the Department of Homeland Security and Cheney’s son-in-law works for the firm. When the Bush Administration went looking for a chief to handle air quality at the EPA, the chose a former Latham & Watkins attorney who had regularly represented the chemical, power, oil and forest-products industries, Google “Latham&Watkins” and the Bush Administration”. You”ll get thousand of hits.
This is the law firm that represents the Autry Museum. If we feel a little bowled over, could this be the reason? It’s the perfect David and Goliath story, though. I have hope.

November 13, 2007 9:19 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Give me a break Joe b. Do-it Center didn't have lawyers and lobbyists. Here's a link to yours and Do-it's.


As the saying goes, those in glass houses...

November 13, 2007 10:12 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

What happened to the Jim Rome fans on this blog??

All Joe B. has to say is "Scoreboard."

That's plenty. Stop whining.

November 13, 2007 10:24 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

See today's LA Times for a story on City Staff leaving to join Latham & Watkins. This includes Peter Gutierrez who oversaw the Citys case
against Home Depot. Now he is working for the very firm that is now suing the City.
He knows everything about this case and has now jumped ship.

November 13, 2007 10:30 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Looks like David Z finally found his balls. Good for him nailing these idiots!!!!

Lobbying firms lure away L.A. staff
A voter-approved law sold as a curb on special interests has done little to stem the revolving door from public service to advocacy.
By David Zahniser, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
November 13, 2007

November 13, 2007 12:12 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Where is Zuma when we need him? Mildred Rodriguez who is a turn coat from Hahn and now kisses Antonio's butt cause he didnt' get rid of her like everyone else is giving away money to corrupt non profits. Where is the media on this one? Mildred is responsible for $2 million given by Feds to help with Gang problem in CD14. Well, Mildred is giving away the money to the most corrupt non profits in CD14 who don't even have gang prevention programs but getting a hell of a lot of money. WHY? Cause they campaigned for Antonio and Jose. Speaking of morons Huizar told the community he was going to audit the non profits in his area 7 months ago and STILL NO AUDIT...... Look into the corrupt non profits getting money meant for CLEAR

November 13, 2007 12:19 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Her name is Mildred Martinez and yes she does have all that money to give away. Problem is the money is meant only for Estrada Courts. Remember that story in LA Times on corruption with Housing Authority and Estrada Courts. Well, Mildred is giving the money away to non profits WHO ARE OUTSIDE OF LA CITY BORDER LINES. Yes, the agencies Mildred is giving money to aren't even in LA city but outside agencies Antonio deals with. David Z look into that.

November 13, 2007 1:28 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Please get the f&%# out of here and go to Iowa, Mayor.

November 13, 2007 2:04 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The Daily News, in its editorial yesterday evaluating LAUSD super Brewer's one year mark, concludes that maybe no one can save the "ungovernable" district, which is why many advocate its breakup.

As have people in this blog last couple of days and way before that.

The bloated thing is hijacked by UTLA toward furthering the job security of its teachers, pouring money into the lowest and poorest districts (including a majority of anti-English separatist Hispanics) at the expense of those who pay their bills: the westside and to a lesser extent, West Valley. (There are decent schools in Woodland Hills, Encino etc. but none in the more expensive and posher Bel Air, Brentwood, Westwood and Hollywood Hills. So the unfairness is totally skewed toward those who pay the most. Yeah, these areas are now disproportionately the grandparents not the parents of potential school kids, because that generation has moved to the Valley, Palos Verdes or beach communities.)

The Mayor is pouring many millions and too much time into his poorly performing cluster of schools, and the ignorant parents then accuse these schools of getting low test scores and blame him for it. He can't win, should never have chosen the crappiest schools -- he whines that we have the fewest middle class students in the system of any big city in the country, even NYC with its similar ethnic and economic demographics -- then adds to the problem of ignoring them.

Brewer didn't have the stamina to even fight to try to effect his vision, putting another group of low performing schools into a mini- district with its own rules.

There is such a powerful negative energy in LAUSD/UTLA, pulling down both the neglected middle and upper middle class areas which don't even have schools -- but also fighting attempts to pull up the poorest performing ones.

A double-sided argument for the same thing: bust it up, Mayor.

Let the anti-English Hispanics get AND PAY FOR their separatist schools so they can't blame anyone.

Let the African-Americans have their own English-speaking schools, where kids can learn apart from ethnic gang and cultural violence. If some of them want to "study" ebonics, let them pay for that, but make it a separate charter.

Some schools like 3rd street are all Korean, and have their own culture: very narrow academics, which lead to high test scores but don't fit with American values.

Let the long neglected westside get their own schools, and put their local tax dollars back into them.

Let the Valley and other areas, get their own schools.

We are many different communities, and only local control will work.

November 13, 2007 2:53 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

12:19 1:28

You are in the loop. Jose will never audit the non- profits he is in with them and works closely with them.
Yes,CLEAR is needed, but Jose is in with all the gangbangers and their money gabbing.

Follow the Money. Mildred is helping out the Mayor and Jose to stay in good with thses groups and their corrupt ways. They have taken over CD14. We live in Silverlake, but we hear about it all the time.

November 13, 2007 3:03 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Yeah, Huizar told people right after Connie Rice's report came out last December he would audit LA Bridges in Boyle Heights. There's a lot of non profits in that Roybal Youth Center building on 1st Street that has other corrupt non profits. How can a guy named Ozzie drive a brand new mercedes and he only a manager? Other directors of non profits drive nice big cars. Unless the people get angry and demand Huizar audit all those corrupt non profits spending your tax dollars he'll continue to give them more money. Someone needs to do inventory on how much money Mildred has given to outside city agencies.

November 13, 2007 3:10 PM  

Blogger Zuma Dogg said:

12:19pm, 3:03pm, 3:10pm,

I hear ya!

November 13, 2007 4:07 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Zuma your homeboy knows all about the corrupt non profits. Ask him to tell you the backgrounds and stories of those crooks.

November 13, 2007 4:14 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:


Thanks for the heads up...I will... guess you're not such a bad guy, after all! zd has said good things about you.

November 13, 2007 4:25 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I would love to have a WalMart on San Fernando Rd and Fletcher where the old KMart use to be.

November 13, 2007 4:51 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Let the anti-English Hispanics get AND PAY FOR their separatist schools so they can't blame anyone.

Let them have their own country. Hey, they already do have their own country. Now if only we could get them to go home.

November 13, 2007 4:53 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

oh no...not much love from the community when zd asked about mildred and the whole deal. YIKES!

November 13, 2007 5:45 PM  

Blogger Unknown said:

From todays letters to the editor at the Daily News:

Re "Home Depot suing L.A. over halted store construction" (Nov. 10):

I have been a good customer of Home Depot for many years but no longer. Any company that would sue Los Angeles Councilwoman Wendy Greuel for assisting her constituents in their battle
against the company's locating in their neighborhood doesn't deserve my patronage. That is
what she was elected to do.

Moreover, Greuel did the right thing in urging that an environmental impact report be prepared before Home Depot proceeded to build its large facility. The law requires it, and the city was remiss in not insisting on its preparation before issuing any permits for its construction.

Pacific Palisades

November 13, 2007 6:29 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

" oh the bitch, the bitch, the bitch is back....long tall glasses as a matter of fact..."

Bernie Taupin wrote it.

November 13, 2007 6:43 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

and Jack, ur so right, the City is remiss for not doing its homework before issuing permits.

not the first time, and unfortunately not the last time either, I would guess.

November 13, 2007 6:46 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The City is not treating this change of use like any other change of use. It is applying the standards unequally. The City ignores the rules for projects the councilmembers like and applies it projects it does not like. This is going to get the City in trouble. Projects such as this Home Depot have gone in all over the city without the need for an environmental review. The merits of this lawsuit are so easy to spot that even the city attorneys who haven't left the city can see the city will lose.

All of those stupid people in Sunland Tujunga will get a Home Depot and the City will have wasted many thousands of dollars to oppose the project. This money could have been better spent improving Foothill Boulevard (which looks like a street that was abandoned by the Interstate).

I am not surprised that the NIMBYs opposed this project, but I am surprised that Greul opposed this project. I always thought that she was one of the smarter councilmembers. She is acting like Alarcon last week opposing an ICU and additinal hospital beds just to pay off favors he owes to the unions.

I know that some of you must think that I work for L&W but I assure that that I don't. I just hate to see the this City becoming 15 fiefdoms run by stupid asses who think that they are infallible. The neighborhood councils are a disaster and do nothing to help run the city. They are nothing but organizations of loud neighbors who don't even represent the views of the neighborhood. In most cases they are elected by less than 300 people and think that they represent the interests of thousands of residents.

November 13, 2007 7:12 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Actually, Alarcon referenced this S-T fiasco as his precedent for requiring the EIR for Mission Hills Hospital, based on the fact that he was p o'd by their aggressive lobbying, and felt that like with HD over S-T, that was cause to sway his fellow Council.

You're right about the NC's and HOA's being mostly disasters for the city: they're being called CAVEs, Citizens Against Virtually Everything.

Remember that this Greuel pandering to the S-T neighborhood came when Jack Weiss was still under a recall threat, and those people made clear that it really had little to do with Weiss per se (except one group with a gripe over Century City where they tried to turn their HOAs into a fiefdom), but the intent was to send "a message" to the other CMs that they wanted NO further development.

Wendy's own Sherman Oaks NC has been fighting the expansion of the Westfield Sherman Oaks Galleria and made clear to her, that they were being aggressively lobbied by the Weiss recall group to join them and pursue their stated intent of "going after the rest of them, too." These people were so clueless about the workings of City Hall or what he really does for them that their website prominently blamed HIM for not getting the district their share of the cops for trash-fee-hike the Mayor promised: anyone who's followed that drama last week, can see he is the most vocal supporter of the cops and keeping the intent of that tax intact, but there was Parks and others determined the other way.)

So Wendy caved, against the city planners and standard practice over what she admitted was a minor technicality in deviating from the permit, and there's no way HD was going to just walk away after it was almost done with the remodel.

Since then, Huizar has demanded an EIR for Elephant Hill against city planning and attorney advice, too.

With no umbrella organization in charge of EIR's, it's left the CM's too susceptible to their NIMBYs, but that in turn opens the city up to a lawsuit over virtually every major development.

(Joe B says HD started and rushed the remodel to stave off the permit review, and that may be; it's also clear they're sleazy, pushy, divide and conquor creeps who are now trying to blame some city people for their suit, which they planned and threatened all along. Still, if this is about "messaging" to the world at large about L A business, it has said: "We're irrational, come at your own risk." Coming after Janice Hahn pushing that ill- advised LAX area hotels living wage ordinance to shore up her own political future, the "message" is loud and clear. The Mayor has had to run around begging big box stores to consider other areas of L A. Jan Perry's and Huizar/ Alarcon's districts should welcome them -- if they're not too busy siding with the unions)

HD comes off as sleazy but them is business and politics, you can't expect everyone to play nice. The Council needs guts and backing each other up to be consistent. As city planning tells them, if they want to change the laws, to enable them to require an EIR if it's more than 7 years old or for any reason, they must pass new legislation to do that and make it clear upfront.

November 13, 2007 7:53 PM  

Blogger Unknown said:

Good points but not entirely correct.
What you will find if you study our case is that we are not the least bit irrational. The root of our success against HD was spending a great deal of time learning the current City codes. These same codes were not being enforced evenly by the LADBS, with large corporations or huge development projects getting a pass.
(Just ask any homeowner that has tried to expand their home, and you will see the inconsistencies).
If a company is considering coming to LA, they merely need to understand the current laws. In HD's case, they thought that they were above the laws, they tried to
manipulate the City and bully our community.
We exposed them with detailed evidence and now they are suing us for not letting them run over us, and for not letting them manipulate the codes in their favor.
We are rational, The Law is rational, the only irrational party is Home Depot.

November 13, 2007 8:43 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

From the NHDC website:

Lead City Attorney who managed Home Depot case jumps ship and now works for HD's law firm, Latham & Watkins!

This is the kind of stuff that just blows our minds!

Peter Guiterrez, the L.A. City Attorney who was in charge of the Home Depot case last summer, has left the City and is now employed by the very law firm
that is now suing the City on behalf of Home Depot.
He takes with him intimate knowledge of the case, and his relationship with City Hall insiders.
We can only imagine the amount of information that is being downloaded to Latham & Watkins as we write this.
Although Latham & Watkins attorney, Cindy Starrett, claims that he will be withheld from working
on any City cases for a year, that certainly does not stop him from sharing his insights and
knowledge of the case with the law firm.
The L.A. Times touched on this story today, although they left out the bit about Mr. Gutierrez
being the lead attorney in the Home Depot debacle.

Latham & Watkins/Home Depot complain in their lawsuit
that the NHDC had unprecedented access to the City.
We think "unprecedented access" takes on a whole new meaning in this instance.
Latham & Watkins/ Home Depot met behind closed doors with Mr. Gutierrez on many occasions.
We just want to state that in our limited contacts with the City, we never offered a City Attorney a

November 13, 2007 9:11 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

If a community doesn't want a certain type of store, say it prefers its mall to be anchored by Bloomie's and Macy's rather than Target and KMart, wouldn't that be made clear once a lease is offered?

On the other hand if HD bought a stand alone building already zoned for a big box, does the community have any legal right to determine what KIND of big box moves in?

Besides this case, now there's Huizar and Elephant Hill, Alarcon and Mission Hills Hospital, where they're demanding EIRs in the face of almost certain lawsuits. And in latter case, support from the immediate community and almost half the City Council.

Anyone placing odds on the winners?

November 13, 2007 9:33 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

HD bought the lease to a former K-Mart store, surrounded by homes, and a block away from a school.
The community was only able to
react after HD submitted their plans.
The Community Plan states that this site must meet the general merchandise needs of the community. HD does not meet that requirement. HD knew this but chose to proceed, hoping that no one would notice, or that the City would acquiesce to their badgering. They got caught when the work they were performing did not match their submitted plans. They got caught redhanded, and now they are suing. Their egos are hurt, and their embarrassing loss has caused several of their execs to be fired. This is simply a corporate child jumping up and down screaming.

November 13, 2007 9:50 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

These do nothing clowncil members are off for the week and still get paid. Word already is gossip running rampant about this group of morons who run Los Angeles. Cerrell is a lobbyist firm yet he's paying for their big dinner. Where's the Ethics Commission on that one? Seems LA Ethics members don't do anything like the good old days when they had a conscience. What happened to the Mayor's campaign promise to clean up city hall????

November 14, 2007 6:56 AM  

Blogger Zuma Dogg said:

Oh no...6:56am said, "Cerrell is a lobbyist firm yet he's paying for their big dinner." (Hey Eric...can you please bring the dogg a doggy bag.) Keep us updated on all the lashadiness (lazy-shadiness).

November 14, 2007 7:25 AM  

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