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What the hey!

Now it reads "SAVEPEAK"

CORRUPTION!

Thank our dear friend Tom LaBonge for this latest land grab by developers who worship one thing and one thing only – the ALMIGHTY BUCK! Our belovèd Griffith Park is under attack. Our elected officials who should be protecting this land for the posterity of our children (and their children) are kissing it goodbye.

Yet even as I type, Tom and members of his staff are holding a press conference where he is proclaiming his commitment to protecting our precious parks. There’s a saying that applies to our Councilman for District 4, “He’s talking out of both sides of his mouth.” I’ve seen that red-faced, melon-head arm in arm with one of his real estate buddies pointing out this parcel and that parcel of land in front of my very own apartment. When I came lurching toward them, Tommy Boy tried to put on the politician’s false charm. “We’re just talking about improving the neighborhood!” He beamed at me.  I said, “I’m talking about unbridled development!” Tom’s smile melted quicker than an ice cube in Death Valley. He grabbed the other stuffed suit and said,”Gotta go!” And away they went. I think I heard him whisper to his friend, “Run! Connie! Run!” Never to be seen on Yucca Street again. Ah, one exception – he was there for the ribbon cutting for the new mini-Park – that magnet for crime, drug commerce and abuse, drug addicts, skateboarders, bums and other blights to society. One should note that this noise factory is nestled on a corner surrounded by low density housing. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

My sources tell me that complaints about the noise and disruption have been pouring in since day one. From the corner of Yucca and Cherokee, up Las Palmas and down to Hollywood Blvd, the screaming of children waiting to be picked up from day care fills the air with its shrill cacophony. The cursing and foul mouthed basketball players who come from other neighborhoods and bully off the poor Hollywoodlians is probably the greatest insult of all. I see and hear it all from my window and I record it.

The blight of skaters

[VIDEO REMOVED BECAUSE OF THREATS OF VIOLENCE. SEE RIGHT SIDEBAR, “WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING.” I DON’T WANT TO END UP LIKE ONE OF THOSE CARTOONISTS WHO HAS EXTEME MUSLIMS TRYING TO CHOP THEM UP. ALL THREATS TO MY PERSON ARE RECORDED AND SAVED. THE PEOPLE WHO ENGAGE IN THIS BEHAVIOR ARE TOO IGNORANT TO UNDERSTAND THAT BY ACCESSING MY SITE AND LEAVING THEIR FILTHY THREATS, THEY GIVE ME ACCESS TO THEIR INFORMATION. I CAN PASS IT ALONG TO THE AUTHORITIES ANY TIME I WANT. THERE IS NO STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS. IF ONE IS A MINOR OVER THE AGE OF 14, DON’T EXPECT MUCH CLEMENCY ON THAT ACCOUNT EITHER. Hollywood Russ, March 15, 2010]

This is on an average day. My wife likes to call it Tom LaBonge’s Containment Area because of the homeless encampments and round the clock drug dealing. Thanks a million Tom LaBonge. I’m sure the property owners and renters who live within earshot of this park go to sleep every night with a prayer of thanksgiving to you on their lips. Yet you run uncontested over and over again! Maybe it’s because you represent the big money folk up in the Hills who would never tolerate this kind of treatment!

Those fingers just itch for money!

Suicide Update

I spoke with the Coroner’s Office about last week’s suicide at the Hollywood and Highland Complex. They are not releasing any information about the episode until the victim’s next of kin can be notified. He appears to have been homeless – a black male in his mid-thirties. Case file number 1046. According to my contact, suicides are a penny a pound in LA.

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About Russell Smith

I was born at the American Hospital in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France. I find inspiration in the lives of so many people from Joan of Arc to Oscar Wilde. While my primary avocation is photography, I also enjoy philosophy, theology and most of all, history. My beloved wife, Robin Anne Smith, who passed away in 2013 is also an inspiration to me. My beloved partner, Dana is also a great support and inspiration to me. I'd be remiss if I did not mention my cats: Natasha, Maxwell, Tigger and Nigel.

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