Nominate L.A.’s 2009 Grinch of the Year!

grinch09bLet’s face it, Los Angeles loves a Grinch. What else would account for the Pantage’s successful run of “How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical,” or Universal Studios Hollywood will celebrate “13 Days of Grinchmas” beginning December 19th?

Which, of course, brings us to Metblog’s Grinch of the Year, now open for nominations. Its your chance to commemorate the worst of Angelenos, or any individual who has somehow made life for residents difficult, of not miserable. This could be a politician, CEO, a bad neighbor, or even some out of towner who speaks ill of the City of Angels.

For inspiration, take a peek at previous year’s losers:

  • 2008: Tribune Company CEO Sam Zell, for ruining the LA Times.
  • 2007: Pasadena Mayor Bogaard, for kicking a Chinese grandmother out of city hall for protesting Pasadena’s inclusion of China into the Rose Bowl Parade (she cited the country’s human rights violations).
  • 2006: Zuma Dogg, for being a thorn in the side of L.A. City Council.

To nominate, simply leave their name and the reason in the comments below. The Whos at Metblogs HQ will filter them down to the top 5 or so and put them up for reader’s vote in a couple weeks.

The more LA specific the better, and if you’re nominating a group or entity, please give the name of a leader or figure head. We like to pin the honor on one individual at the time, so there’s no passing of blame. ‘Tis the holiday spirit.

22 Replies to “Nominate L.A.’s 2009 Grinch of the Year!”

  1. I’d nominate the lovely mayor of LA, when he’s here he’s grandstanding something for political gain, when he’s travelling he’s grandstanding for political gain. LA needs some help and real leadership to propel us ahead of the game.

    My personal pet peeve is his sitting on the board over at Metro and shoving through rail systems that are LA centric instead of approaching on regional needs. We still have the 5/405 corridor packed with cars from Santa Clarita to Santa Monica and no rail planned to fix that. Ditto the whole 101/134/210 mash from Thousand Oaks to the IE that is packed solid and no fix mentioned for that. Sure we need plenty of lines funneling traffic to downtown, but it doesn’t all have to be routed through there, not everyone needs to be down town every day.

    My vote is Idi Villairagosa for his dictatorial role on the metro transit board.

  2. Caltrans. For getting the communities of Northeast Los Angeles all worked up thinking that they will actually bore a tunnel though our neighborhoods in order to complete the manifest destiny that is the 710 freeway

    (May also nominate them next year, depending on whether the year-long construction project on the Pasadena Freeway turns out to be a good or bad thing.)

  3. Ditto on Villaraigosa.

    A worthless, do-nothing mayor who’s fast turning this city into a former shell of itself.

    Thanks to him, city hall corruption is now piled higher and deeper than ever.

  4. Seconding jeremyscareme’s nomination of Downtown Russell Brown, who simultaneously claims to represent major property owners as paid rep for the Historic Downtown Business Improvement District (HDBID) and the wider community — including the transient and disenfranchised — as unpaid President of the Downtown LA Neighborhood Council (DLANC).

    It was because of Russell Brown’s bullying and interference in the new Downtown Art Walk non-profit that my husband Richard Schave had to step down as the event’s volunteer Director, and I had to resign as volunteer Curator.

    So what has this Grinch taken from the Downtown community? Richard and I resigned on November 9. Since that time the Art Walk website has not been updated, there is no current map, no official programming (including walking tours, shuttle or Salons), no free Happenings listings, no special offers for attendees, and I’ve been hearing that phone calls and emails from artists, visitors and sponsors are not being returned. Who is in charge of all of Art Walk administration now? According to a post on the Art Walk Facebook, it’s none other than Grinch nominee Russell Brown, asleep on the job.

    But there is one new thing at the Art Walk, courtesy of Russell Brown: brand new Cadillac cars on display in a parking lot on Main Street, which is a gift from the BID to GM, with no sponsorship donation required for the Art Walk non-profit.

    So if you’re from Detroit, you’ll probably want to vote for a different Grinch. But if you’re an Angeleno who cares about the Art Walk remaining a vibrant and welcoming People Improvement District and not an unimaginative extension of the landlords’ Business Improvement District, please vote Russell Brown for the Grinch of 2009.

  5. I also nominate Russell Brown for taking over a popular noncommercial, grassroots event, forcing out the people who created and nurtured it, and selling it out to business concerns to increase his own power.

  6. 1. Governor Schwarzenegger, for planning/threatening to close our state parks.

    2. The Mormon Church, for pouring millions in the Prop 8 campaign to take away the rights of adults to marry other adults, and pressuring its members in Los Angeles how to vote.

    3. The California Coastal Commission, for a spineless non-decision decision which denied the rights, enjoyed by homeowners throughout Los Angeles, of Venice homeowners to establish overnight permit parking restrictions.

  7. Prop 13 for making our tax system so f’ed up- 40 kids in a 4th grade class, librarys cutting hours, less cleaning of park restrooms and the million of other things we have had to put up with.

  8. Don’t know the whole story but read the excerpt on yelp and it sounds pretty nasty! So will also add in a vote for Russell Brown, cause I’m tired of humanities getting shoved to the side and all corporationalized -_-V

  9. There seems to be a lot of misinformation being spewed about Art Walk and Russell Brown. As a member of the board of the Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk, I can tell you that (i) Russell Brown has not taken over Art Walk in any sense and (ii) had nothing to do with the board deciding that Art Walk needed a new Executive Director. I can only assume that Kim Cooper — who has taken to the airwaves with posts on Yelp, Facebook, various blogs, etc. — is pursuing a personal vendetta in waging a smear campaign against Russell Brown, Bert Green and those who continue to volunteer their time to improve and sustain Art Walk. Hopefully, readers of this blog will see this effort for what it is and not simply believe every falsehood that is posted.

    Here are the plain facts:

    1. Kim and her husband Richard stepped up to volunteer to run Art Walk at a time when nobody else was willing to do so. Kim and Richard had a vision to establish Art Walk as a non-profit corporation that would act as a steward for the important community event that Art Walk has become. They recruited a board of directors to lead the non-profit, comprised of individuals who brought assorted talents to the task of building a formal organization around Art Walk. The new corporation is called Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk (DTLAAW). Kim and Richard certainly worked hard at this effort and did a lot of good, particularly with their efforts to institute new cultural programming as part of Art Walk. We all owe them a debt of gratitude for their effort and contribution.

    2. In late October and early November, several members of the DTLAAW board became concerned that the transition to more formalized leadership of Art Walk had not gone smoothly and relations between DTLAAW and several Downtown constituencies important to Art Walk seemed to be deteriorating quickly. This included the art gallery owners, many of whom had expressed continual dissatisfaction with the leadership of DTLAAW since its formation, as well as concerns expressed by local businesses and leaders with various aspects of Art Walk and DTLAAW. It became clear to every member of the board that DTLAAW was quickly losing support among constituencies that we viewed as vital to sustaining Art Walk over the long-term. Moreover, we saw no reason why the relations between DTLAAW and downtown constituencies should not be excellent — as we all are serving the same goal of trying to improve the community. Thus, the board, after much deliberation, made a decision that DTLAAW would be better served by bringing in a new Executive Director who could do a better job working and maintaining relationships with all the constituencies served by and serving Art Walk. We had hoped this could be done in manner that kept Kim and Richard involved with Art Walk — serving on the board and continuing to run and improve the cultural programming they helped to develop — but Kim made it clear that it was all or nothing for her and Richard, that we could either accept their sole control over Art Walk or they would have no involvement whatsoever. (I was pretty shocked when Kim made these “my way or the highway” comments.) The DTLAAW board was thus faced with a tough choice, but we had decided that Art Walk deserved leaders that could better help build consensus and support in our community.

    3. The DTLAAW board currently is searching for a new Executive Director and to add new members to the board. This is challenging in that we have a tiny budget without sufficient financing to pay salaries — at least for now — which limits the pool of volunteers able to take on a significant role for no compensation. (Kim and Richard also were not paid salaries, though their tour company played a role in Art Walk.) We have tried to cast a wide net to find as many leadership prospects as possible (and we welcome other ideas if any have them). In this process, we have discussed the possibility of bringing on Russell Brown as Executive Director, and doing so with financial support from the HD BID, but this is one of several ideas we have been discussing and, frankly, is looking less likely given a lack of consensus at HD BID on its needs and capabilities in the current environment. It certainly is NOT the case that Russell Brown has taken over or forcing anything on Art Walk. We are a free-standing community-based organization looking for leadership, and we are considering all options. Our goal is simply to find persons who can help build and sustain Art Walk.

    4. Much has been said about Cadillac and Art Walk. Again, here are the facts: One member of our board introduced DTLAAW to a marketing firm that does experiential marketing for Cadillac, and that firm proposed that we stage a Cadillac event as part of Art Walk — on a purely trial basis to see if Cadillac would be interested in doing such an event as a sponsorship of Art Walk on an ongoing basis. The goal from our perspective is to raise much needed funds to support Art Walk. As an event that draws 10,000+ attendees, there are costs associated with printing maps, publicizing the event, safety, clean-up, cultural programming, etc. that require a source of funding. Up to now, Art Walk has survived on contributions from local merchants, but such contributions have become harder to obtain in the current economic downturn while the costs of putting on Art Walk continue to escalate. If we want Art Walk to be a great event that continues to attract a massive audience, we need to pay for the costs associated with the event.

    The Cadillac event consisted of parking a few new cars in an empty parking lot surrounded by art displays put up by a few children’s charities. Thus far, last month’s display and the one scheduled for next week’s Art Walk has been trials, and no decisions have been made by Cadillac, Art Walk or anyone else whether to implement any form of formal sponsorship arrangement. While our hope is that we can develop new types of sponsorships as a form of revenue for Art Walk, nothing has been implemented. What we are considering is no different than the types of sponsorships implemented by every major arts organization in this country. Go look at LACMA, MOCA, the Music Center, the Hollywood Bowl, and you will find corporate sponsorships. Sure, some can describe those organizations as having “sold out” to corporate money, but one has to balance the need for funds to support an important community event like Art Walk against the reality that events simply do not pay for themselves.

    5. Finally, folks are suggesting that personal greed and wealth are driving decisions about Art Walk. If that’s true, I have not seen any evidence of that. Everyone who serves on the DTLAAW board does so without any compensation, without fame and in the face of constant snarking by folks who sit on the sidelines and take cheap potshots. All of us care about the larger community and want to see Art Walk continue as one of the largest regular community arts events in the country. I like to think of Art Walk as a community museum without walls, befitting of a part of Los Angeles that has become the new SoHo. We need the entire community to work together to improve and sustain Art Walk. Let’s all try to focus on the positive. Happy holidays.

    Come join Art Walk on December 10th.

    David Hernand

  10. Governor Schwarzenegger, for raising my taxes by 10% while simultaneously slashing state-funded programs and services, bankrupting our state, and standing by while our state unemployment has ballooned to 12.5% (the highest ever). Gee, didn’t we oust the last Governor for similar reasons? Sorry it’s not LA-centric, but he is technically an Angeleno.

  11. Russ Brown for manipulating truths for his own benefit, for using DLANC as his own personal resource. He may volunteer his time but don’t be mistaken by his motives. And, really, what has he ACTUALLY DONE?

  12. So many Grinches! Only one vote?

    Mayor “San Antonio” Villaraigosa for referring to the 2009 as “one of the best in his nearly six years as the city’s chief executive.” What would a bad year look like?

    LADOT GM for breaking off the development of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the LA’s neighborhood councils, citing the uncertain times as reason to move away from the NC’s rather than the best time to partner with them.

    CD4 Councilman Tom LaBonge for continuing the ban on cyclists during the 14th annual Griffith Park Festival of Lights.

    LADOT’s Bikeways Coordinator for arguing in Bicycling Magazine that when it comes to cyclists on the streets of Los Angeles, “There’s no more room!” She later pointed out, in LA’s Transportation Committee, that it’s a little easier to do effective work in Portland, “They’re White!”

  13. Carmen the Clown Trutanich for being a mere puppet of his recruited and handler DA Steve Cooley. Make it Cooley AND Trutanich. Vowing to shut down every single pot dispensary claiming it’s illegal to sell pot even to recoup expenses, even if there’s no profit, and to claim that California law and the will of the voters was to limit shops to those where sick people grown their own pot in little pots and physically take it to a place and exchange it with others like them. For screaming and yelling at people who don’t buy his claims that all California pot is grown by the Mexican drug cartels and laced with pesticides (which happen to be approved for Cal agriculture) and fire ants. For screaming at a woman cancer survivor who challenged him at a Town Hall meeting to go home and feed her kid Raid and lead. For him and Cooley wanting to put pot sales BACK into the hands of the Mexican drug cartels. For Cooley to state that the City Council are “so irrelevant they’re not even funny,” when they didn’t buy his biased misinterpretation of the law. For their supporters to claim that councilmembers who do not cave to their biased Republican views, to be on the take from the pot shops or dopers themselves. For persecuting medical cannabis advocate Don Duncan for having the guts to organize against them. For being bullies who threaten to sue and even arrest officials and private citizens who don’t agree with them.

  14. 2) Forgot to add the clincher: Don Duncan, who Trutanich and Cooley are persecuting with legal allegations that they cooked up to “coincide” with his criticism of them, is the same guy who got the entire PRO medical cannabis community to lobby FOR Trutanich during his city attorney race because they felt his opponent councilman Jack Weiss was too tough on pot shops by comparison! Duncan is head of ASA, Americans for Safe Access, and is widely known and regarded in the community, as well as owner of one of West Hollywood’s 4 shops that operate without problems.

    This persecution if profiled – touted by Jill Stewarts’s minions like Dennis Romero and Patrick Range McDonald – in the Weekly, which twists the situation to support Trutanich/Cooley’s view that Reyes, Koretz, Garcetti and others too smart to be fooled by their biased misinterpretation of the law, are being led by the nose by Duncan and are just too stupid or corrupt themselves to “see” that Trutanich and Cooley’s rightwing vendetta based on misreading of the state laws and court rulings, is right.

    On May 20 of this year Duncan wrote an ECSTATIC piece in his blog, aboutmedicalcannabis.com (featuring some of his group beaming in a photo with Trutanich, who actively lobbied them), that a “great friend” of their community Carmen Trutanich was elected in a huge “victory” thanks to their throwing their money and time and votes at him – right before Trutanich threw THEM under the bus!

    For this reason Trutanich is called FALSETanich or unTru by serious medical patients like Cheryl in her blog waronme.blogspot.com

    It can’t get any more Grinch-like than THIS!!!

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