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Thursday, October 28, 2021

Dan's Big Book Of Small Grievances, Volume 1

By Daniel Guss

@TheGussReport - When I signed up to become City Editor for Mayor Sam, I promised a no-punches-pulled approach in easy, digestible bites with a healthy dose of snark where applicable 

To wit, there are a lot of Post-Its on the desk worth exploring, just not in a thousand words, at least not yet.  

As they say at the bakery, let's roll.....

Freebird Gets No Ink In LA Times

Disgraced LA City Councilmember Mitch Englander was released from federal prison in September, according to the LA Daily News, way ahead of his anticipated release in May 2022. He served no more than four months of a 14-month sentence. As I reported, the scheming ex-lawmaker made an array of curious corporate filings adding and deleting family as Board members before surrendering.  

Eric Garcetti and Mitch Englander
Photo Credit: OC Register

But you know what? He had great legal counsel. 

He faced decades in prison but only spent a summer in it, albeit a summer in Arizona.

The former LAPD volunteer can't vote, may have had to turn in his firearms and his crimes cost him a fortune in legal fees and fines.  But free is free, whether or not Englander wears a monitoring device at a halfway house in Long Beach or home in Santa Monica. That's how the system works. Take note Jose Huizar, Mark Ridley-Thomas and fellow indictees. 

But the grievance here is that the story does not come up in searches on the LA Times' website as of Thursday.

Restaurant Ripoff Results in Cancelation

At least in Los Angeles, it has become commonplace to find additional fees added to your local restaurant tab, presumably to offset higher minimum wages. While some restaurants fairly mention this on their menu, others bury it at the bottom of the tab.

And then there's what one of our favorite local eateries did.

In addition to raising prices, which is fair, due to inflation, they added vague fees to the tax line, so you can't tell how much is tax and how much is the "fee" without pulling up your calculator app. Moreover, there is no mention of it on the website for takeout.

But the grievance here is that on top of the increased prices and buried fees, they also try to guilt customers into a default 15% tip.....for takeout, part of which we otherwise would typically add in the COVID era.

They lost the tip, the fees, the order and the customer for good.

Why Nury's Vax Mandate Is A Load Of Hooey

The problem with vaccine mandates is that it could wind up costing big cities with defiant cops and firefighters more than it realizes.  

Consider how much time it takes and how much money it costs to locate, recruit and train a firefighter or cop just to get ready to serve the public. Then, multiply it by the hundreds or thousands of LA's first responders that LA City Council president Nury Martinez says "may" be fired if they dare to defy her order to get injected with a COVID vaccine by her further-extended deadline of mid-December. Note: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis actively recruits those quitting or retiring from the NYPD and NYFD with a $5,000 signing bonus. Don't be surprised if some of our best leave for the no-state-income-tax Sunshine State.

Florida's cost of living is a fraction of LA's, as well.

Nury Martinez
Photo Credit: Unknown

So here's the question.  

If Nury insists on a vax mandate for all City workers, not just LAFD and LAPD, to provide a safe workplace and safe interactions with the public, why does she still refuse to let the vaccinated public into City Council's meetings?

Is it because she is still too insecure being a leader who cannot articulate how she will fix LA's worst-in-the-nation homelessness and other things that rotted away during the Eric Garcetti era?  Is it because she is too thin-skinned to face critics, so she needs to lean on a hypocritical COVID policy that applies to some, but not all?

The grievance here is that keeping out of meetings even the vaccinated public strengthens City employees' defiant stance. Vaccines cannot be the solution for cops, firefighters and librarians but not be enough for critics who want back in to the meetings to let her and her City Council colleagues have it and good.

You won't find this hypocrisy reported in the LA Times, either.   

(Daniel Guss, MBA, was runner-up for the 2020 Los Angeles Press Club journalism award for Best Online Political Commentary (and came in Show in 2021 in another category) and has contributed to CityWatch, KFI AM-640, iHeartMedia, 790-KABC, Cumulus Media, KCRW, Huffington Post, Los Angeles Daily News, Los Angeles Magazine, Movieline Magazine, Emmy Magazine, Los Angeles Business Journal, Pasadena Star News, Los Angeles Downtown News, and The Los Angeles Times in its Sports, Opinion and Entertainment Sections and Sunday Magazine among other publishers. Tell your friends to follow him on The Twitters @TheGussReport.)


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