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Monday, April 07, 2008

Let The Games Begin!

The City Attorney's Office announced on Monday that the initial "dialogue" between Sunland-Tujunga and Home Depot will take place on April 26th in a 6 hour long marathon of mediation madness.

If you recall, Home Depot has suspended their $10,000,000.00 lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles and have agreed to undergo Project Permit Compliance Review. If the City does not grant Home Depot their permits to complete their store and open, they will reinstate the lawsuit. The City Attorney has also agreed to complete the process in no more than 5 months unless both parties agree to an extension.

This agreement was made without anyone seeing what Home Depot's application entails, nor was anyone in Sunland-Tujunga notified that this deal was in the works until after the ink had dried.
In some parts of the world, they refer to this as a "backroom deal". Here in Los Angeles, the City Attorney refers to Sunland-Tujunga as a "Special Interest Group" and considers the Community's input "irrelevant to the case".

Evidently not irrelevant enough to prevent the City Attorney from ordering mediation between Home Depot and the Community.

The Dispute Resolution Team of the City Attorney's office will have 100 facilitators on hand to meet with what they expect to be 1000+ residents at the April 26th meeting.

The Community is going into these mediations virtually blind.

All inquires to Avis Ridley-Thomas, the woman in charge of this dialogue (yes, it's Mark's wife) have been stonewalled, or have been form letter type responses. No one knows who is allowed to participate (please no bussed in supporters this time, Home Depot), what the format of the meetings are, and even more disturbing, why Home Depot is allowed to back out at any time if they don't like the way things are going and Sunland-Tujunga is not.
Either we show up and participate or Home Depot will work out something with who ever does show up (paid or not, resident or not).

Fair? Of course not. Dog and Pony show? Absolutely.
Confused? You are not alone.

Let the games begin.

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Blogger Unknown said:

I forgot to mention that the 6 hour mediation marathon will take place at Mt Gleason School from 10am till 4pm. I also neglected to mention that the original date for this event was scheduled for April 19, the beginning of Passover. The NHDC pitched a fit
and finally, today, Ms Ridley-Thomas agreed to change the date.

April 07, 2008 10:59 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

whine snivel and cry little know nothing group of sunland - tujunga NIMBYS. now the worm will turn. you will never use the parking lot for anything. it will be your greatest fear, the largest laborer hireing hall in the valley. LOL. bring it on.now you are out of steam.....

April 07, 2008 11:02 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Avis has no excuse for forgetting the dates of the important Jewish holidays. Each year Jack Weiss compiles the dates and sends them to city agencies. This event is important for Avis who has for years been struggling to find things for her dispute mediation group to do.

April 07, 2008 11:21 PM  

Blogger Unknown said:

You obviously do not know Sunland-Tujunga.

April 07, 2008 11:22 PM  

Blogger Mayor Sam said:

Hey Joe - this is interesting

Just some cursory digging and I've found that Mark Ridley-Thomas has taken a lot of contributions from attorneys at Latham and Watkins.


I am sure that will have no influence on his wife's work.

April 07, 2008 11:38 PM  

Blogger Mayor Sam said:

One other thing Joe,

What's going to happen is Mavis Ridley-Thomas or whatever her name is going to come out there, never probably having been to Sunland-Tujunga nor be able to locate it on a map, talk a whole bunch of condescending nonsense, not listen to you guys and then report back to the Clowncil and Rocktard that they did a great job mediating for you.

But you're absolutely right. You guys better show up and fight as hard as you can. Because they are going to accuse you of everything.

April 07, 2008 11:40 PM  

Blogger Unknown said:

Advice and comments noted and greatly appreciated.

April 07, 2008 11:59 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:


The link that you provided showed Mark Ridley-Thomas receiving $1750 in contributions from Latham attorneys.

Check this link:


It shows that Latham attorneys have given $315,000 to just about everyone under the sun. Latham likes to cover all the bases to ensure that it at least has access to whomever wins.

Laura Chick received $6,600, so what does that mean?

April 08, 2008 12:34 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

First of all, the project/non-project issue has been resolved. It's a project, by the authority of the City Council. No mediation can go back on that one, everyone say "separation of powers", unless appointed by the Judiciary or by the City Council itself.

Second, the City Council has authority to specify usage on that property, since it's "Q" zoned. So, what is the City Attorney getting involved in deciding this case, via mediation, when it's authority is to recommend /defend regarding legal matters?

Lastly, the City Council has the obligation to serve for the good of the community. The Community Plan specifies what is good development, in the best interests of the community. In no way can it been spun to include a HD. Even the new jobs issue is not a HD asset, since that asset can be claimed by any new business. So, remember that there's no further need to dwell on past HD lies or inane tangents regarding day laborers.

April 08, 2008 7:27 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I sorta ditto annon above with regard to the declaration of It's A Project, It's A Project...etc....
How do you "work out" compliance with a demand by the City ?
Let's Make A Deal with parts of the LAW ???

Home Depot has to stop crying and whining. It doesn't make anyone in S-T gain affection for them after their attempt to rape our city.
Home Depot get over it, you need to put your KMart Sites up for sale. It was a bad Real Estate decision and I hope you fired the guy that bought them all up for the purpose of cramming a Big Box into nice well rounded neighborhoods such as ours.
BTW, the parents of this community WILL hold LAUSD as well to its responsibility to our children.
So Home Depot STAY WAY FROM OUR KIDS , too.

April 08, 2008 9:33 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Damn that dog can jump, he gets more air under his feet than Michael Jordan.

April 08, 2008 1:41 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Excellent post, Carol T. (9:33), so glad that you and others in the community are out there examining all the issues. If Home Depot was sensible, it would simply back out of S-T. I hope that this dog and pony show that the City Attorney and L&W have organized ends up receiving press coverage that thoroughly embarrasses both HD and the city and raises more questions about the legality of this whole questionable process that is being entered into/forced upon Sunland-Tujunga.

April 08, 2008 11:45 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Lemme get this strait...the residents of Monte Vista Mobile Park are cordially invited to speak their mind regarding their concerns toward an environmentally toxic new neighbor,aka HOME DEPOT...yet not a single Apperson Elementary School Parent has received a , uh, leaflet even from the District that their children will be going to school next to an environmental hazard ignored by the City which claims to have their best interest at heart. ohhhh K.
Then the School Board wonders why no parents show up for meetings to discuss District safety issues!! PARENTS ARE UNAWARE OF THE DETRIMENTAL ISSUES SURROUNDING HD NEXT DOOR by design.
And who is this "dale thrush" anyway? I thought he was on the side of S-T ?? I have heard more than one cynical comment from him regarding safety concerns of these kids and THEIR environment !!
Why wont the Woodward Address of the HD Property be ...addressed ???
Why are the children always ignored ? oh yeah,$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

April 10, 2008 5:31 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Monday night we learned that there is no residence or stakeholder requirement for the mediation process. People do not have to live and/or work in Sunland-Tujunga to take part in the 'dialogue & deliberation' process. The community was told that since the meeting will be held at Mt. Gleason Middle School, the city mediators are unable to limit access to the proceedings.

What sense does it make for people from other communities, people who are not directly affected by the proposed development; people whose children will not be attending the elementary school half a block away; people who do not have homes backing up to the proposed development loading area; people who will not have to navigate the community’s one main artery, Foothill Blvd., competing with Home Depot big rigs and contractor vehicles; people who do not realize the community's general plan has designated that location as a community center, not a semi-industrial warehouse center?

And what happened to the stipulation that was filed between Home Depot and the City of Los Angeles which states:
(5) the City shall facilitate discussions between Home Depot and Sunland-Tujunga community leaders under the auspices of the City Attorney’s community mediation program to act as a forum for constructive discussion as the settlement process moves forward.”

So much for the stipulating that Sunland-Tujunga folks ought to be the ones mediating a proposed development in their own community.

April 10, 2008 8:11 PM  

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