Category Archives: Law

Joke of the Day – New shit has come to light!

jokerefund.jpg

Look what came in the mail today!

Twenty days ago I posted about getting a spam text message from jokemobi.com. Without my consent or knowledge, THEY got my (already on the national Do Not Call List) cell number and signed me up for their Joke of the Day, which would cost me $9.99 a month. When I called AT&T they told me yes indeedy the first charge was already on my bill. With a lot of coaxing, they eventually reversed the charge but didn’t believe that I never authorized the service.

This pissed me off, and got me thinking about a class action lawsuit – I mean why not? They’re charging a million people ten bucks a month, figuring that even if, say, up to half of them notice, what about the other half that don’t? That’s a lot of green coming in.

What has to change? Phone companies need to require consent before third party companies can bill us!

I complained to the FCC online (email to fccinfo AT fcc.gov) and am going to follow this link toward membership in the class action lawsuit.

Since my original post has been getting comments steadily (about 50 so far!) I would like to encourage my fellow Angelenos to do the same.

UPDATE:

All of you looking for the class action lawsuit, the phone is (415) 434-9000 and the website is http://www.pearcelawoffices.com.

What’s the good of overtime pay if I don’t get a check?

So today was our first “Buy Back Day.” To the uninitiated, a Buy Back day is an official, LAUSD-sanctioned overtime pay day. We all get together and have what amounts to school-wide team-building activities. IOW: Kill me, please.

Now, I am not one to complain about legitimate skill-building professional workshops. Forums on curriculum and lesson-planning, refresher courses on educational psychology, and all that I absolutely adore (…no, seriously).

These meetings feel more like those moments in movies when the bosses ask you, “Is this good for the company?” Yet another day when we teachers are told to raise test scores and keep a positive attitude, while at the same time being told insanely demoralizing tidbits from our superiors.

I can (normally) tolerate the motivational slogans and pump-me-up songs, which (if work-related, high jinks-laden comedies have taught me anything) I imagine take place in corporate America all the goddamn time.

But after a whole nine months of getting paid regularly, I thought I would share the fact that due to LAUSD’s completely stunning and cartoonish-jaw-drop-inducing ineptitude some teachers in LAUSD have still not received a paycheck SINCE JANUARY. I’ll let you mull that over for a bit.
Continue reading What’s the good of overtime pay if I don’t get a check?

Parking ‘tard named “richard”

ptard1.jpg Amazing. A bit of background, my street is very old and very narrow. It can accomodate safely only 1 parking lane. By statute and municipal code there is no parking on the east side of the street as that east lane is for northbound traffic.

Today coming home from an errand I had to hit the brakes as he was blocking the driving lane and there was traffic on the southbound side that I had to yield to.

This parking tard has a habit of parking wherever, whenever he wants. Today I got to meet him and after brief introduction I learned his name is “Richard”.

I had just snapped this trusty picture and routed it to a variety of sources, including youparklikeanasshole.com when he approached. I introduced myself and thing went down like this…
Continue reading Parking ‘tard named “richard”

LA’s Better Half: Allison Margolin, LA’s Dopest Attorney

Los Angeles gets a lot of grief http://blogging.la/archives/images/2007/06/allisonpurple-thumb.jpgfor being home to an inordinate number of celebretards, pseudo-celebretards, star fuckers, and vain VIPs. Although the city is thusly stereotyped, it’s also home to a thriving population of unique and noteworthy people whose pursuits add diversity and depth to a seemingly shallow pool. Each week, LA’s Better Half will profile one distinctive Angeleno doing something remarkable and original. This week: Meet Allison Margolin, LA’s Dopest Attorney.
Continue reading LA’s Better Half: Allison Margolin, LA’s Dopest Attorney

Next big polluter to target: people with fireplaces

354466610_924e1b9d08_m.jpgMan, some people sure are bored. And by “some people” I mean the officials at the South Coast Air Quality Management District. They have to be so bored that they are just making crap up to entertain themselves. That’s really the only excuse I can think of for their recent proposal to ban wood burning fireplaces in homes to prevent pollution. You read that right, according to these folks the big polluters in the state are factories, machinery, industry… no, the terrible air is all the result of families trying to keep cozy. Because you know, wood burning fires in homes are both brand new and exclusive to Southern California. If you think there is no science behind this claim, just listen to this argument from Jane Carney, a Riverside attorney and an AQMD board member:

Carney said there are “pretty obvious adverse impacts of wood smoke on pollution. If you stand close to a wood fire and breathe, you can feel it in your throat and in your lungs.”

How can you argue with that? [photo by torley]

Not exactly Wonderbread under our carefully wrapped crust

Check it out, no matter how any community tries to paint a picture as the perfect wonder bread city where all is just peachy, remove the crust and it gets pretty crumby.

Sadly the little victories for the little guy are too often buried and hid away.

We had a pretty terrific police officer in town, Michael Solarez. I met him under a variety of circumstances and always thought highly of him. He suddenly disappeared and no mention was made in the local paper. The only notice we had that something was amiss was an article in the Star News out of Pasadena that he was on medical leave and allegedly bringing claim against the city for discrimination for his sexual orientation.

What the hell, in this day and age AND with a growing gay and lesbian community in Monrovia I was surprised to see the allegations. Not surprised by the initial denial and attempt to besmurch his character as an ineffective police officer, but a little stunned to see it made against him.

Now I see that we have an additional officer bringing suit against the city for racial discrimination. What the hell…if true I hope he breaks the bank.
Continue reading Not exactly Wonderbread under our carefully wrapped crust

This Tuesday: Great American Boycott v 2.0

http://blogging.la/archives/images/2007/04/may1-thumb.jpgWhether this becomes an annual L.A. tradition depends on what happens this time around: Once again, immigrants-rights activists are planning a Great American Boycott on May 1.

If it’s anything like last year’s massive, multi-phase march you can count on snarled traffic, grand speeches, flag waving, kids playing hooky in intersections and plenty of hot air and insults flung around regarding L.A.’s favorite pissing-match topic, illegal immigration.

The whole thing kicks off when marchers start gathering at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday at the corner of Olympic and Broadway but according to this, there’s at least one more march planned for the afternoon, starting in Koreatown …
Continue reading This Tuesday: Great American Boycott v 2.0

Are you Red Flagged?

redflagsample.gif
[doesn’t get much bigger but it’s still fun to click]
All this talk about Red Flag zones and no parking on Red Flag days – do you know if that’s you?

Go check it out!

Get a map by clicking on your district number (or search for your address), and prepare to be surprised. You can also sign up to get a call or an email on restriction days.

According to the site, “the Department of Transportation just completed making 1700 new signs that will be in place by January 1, 2006. ”

Hmmm. There sure aren’t any on my street or in my neighborhood, yet wouldn’t you know it we’re smack in the middle of a red flag zone, and until I checked the website we had no idea. Nothing mailed to us, no notice left, and no signs anywhere.

What a lovely surprise to find my car had been towed with no warning – Wherefore art thou, Brian Humphrey?

OOPS!
What I meant to say was, ” What a lovely surprise it would have been to find my car had been towed.” My car has not been towed. Sorry for any confusion.

(UPDATED) Wither Johnny’s II — In Which Dennis Block Tells Will Campbell to ‘Take A Hike!’

Oh this is rich! Ancillary and straight outta left field, but rich. Yesterday you might recall I posted an inquiry into the current state of Silver Lake’s Johnny’s Cocktail Lounge and wrote that it seemed the popular watering hole was in all likelihood kaput in large part because the inspection notice that I found posted to its door on April 10 had been prepared by the offices of Dennis Block, the self-proclaimed eviction master of the universe.

I closed the piece with my disappointment that my search for information hit a deadend when I hung up after having been left on hold with Block’s offices for a hellaciously long time. A short while later I visited Block’s website and decided I’d approach from that angle by submitting an email that produced an outrageously awesome response from the King Kicker-Outer himself along with the news that he’s either a chronic self-Googler or a Blogging.la reader (the entire e-thread unspools after the jump):
Continue reading (UPDATED) Wither Johnny’s II — In Which Dennis Block Tells Will Campbell to ‘Take A Hike!’

South Bay Auto Dealer Demands Paw Print for Auto Sales

Thanks to Xeni for pointing to a recent blog post by Lorna Herf about trying to buy a car from South Bay BMW only to end up walking out when the dealership demanded a fingerprint and wouldn’t budge:

Imagine you’ve gone through a multiple week process to purchase an automobile.
You know the drill. Research every feature, pick your color, then, it’s negotiations for purchase price and for trade-in. Everything is done and agreed-apon, and excited, you are ready to hand over the check and collect your new car.

But wait!

You are handed a slip of paper and told to mark your right thumbprint in a box. The paper says clearly that it’s a request, for your protection, and to prevent your identity theft.

When you politely decline, the dealership refuses to sell you the car.

Well researched and worth the read. Another disturbing tidbit that’s buried about midway through is that South Bay BMW also refused to return or destroy any of the personal data (including copies of her driver’s license and marriage certificate as well as a credit report run without her knowledge) that they had already collected. Instead they’re keeping it on file for seven years just as they would’ve done with the print. Mind you, this is somebody who didn’t buy a car from them.

Fake Cops and Film Sets

Fake Cops at Film Shoots

I just overheard a conversation which got me thinking – There’s a ton of filming going on outside of my office this morning and with it the usual “security” posted on all the surrounding corners. Two onlookers I walked past on my way in were arguing if the security guards were actual police officers or perhaps off duty police officers or just normal guards dressed up to look like police officers. Their uniforms and motorcycles are as close to looking like LAPD issue as they can be without actually containing anything saying they are law enforcement. So the question is, if these guys are not cops isn’t this pretty much impersonating a police officer? And if they are cops, why are they going so far out of their way to look like cops but without actually saying it? I’ve got some suspicions of my own but wanted to pose this to everyone else before I opened my mouth and said something completely wrong.

Unusual Occurence!?

Just got off the phone (after being on hold for 10 minutes) with an LAPD nonemergency dispatcher where I was dropping a dime on the fucking garageband bastards behind our house who decided tonight would be a good night to regale the neighborhood with their abject lack of musical prowess.

Anyway, when the dispatcher came on the line, she asked me what incident I was reporting and I told her “disturbing the peace,” and when she asked for further specifics I gave them to her. Then she said, “I’m sorry sir, but do to an unusual occurence presently happening in the city we’re not sending officers out on calls of this nature. You’re welcome to call back in an hour or two if the situation still requires an officer response.”

“Unusual occurence?” I asked.

“Yes sir,” she answered. And it was clear that was all I was gonna get from her and the garageband in the house behind us was going to get to play on.

In the meantime, anyone notice or hear of anything unusual occuring out there as in an event apparently warranting some sort of tactical alert?

UPDATE (03.11 07:59 08:59 a.m.): With nary an additional rock heaved at the garage, all quieted down after the band enthusiastically but horrifically attempted a cover of “Stairway To Heaven” (which in and of itself should be against local, state and federal laws). Perhaps they recognized how much they truly blew or someone else advised them of as much, or maybe SGVGoof came to my aid with a pair of wire cutters and killed the power (see the comments). Either way they left the stage shortly after 9 p.m. If they come back tonight I’ll attempt to record them and share the hell.

Mercury Terror Threat Crushed

Justice has been served. Send it back to the kitchen! It tastes funny!

The man who was spotted on MTA surveillance cams pouring mercury onto the platform of the Pershing Square subway station just got slapped with a 90-day jail sentence and three years’ probation.

Armando Bustamante Miranda pleaded no contest. Guess he couldn’t afford a decent lawyer.

The crime? Releasing a harmful substance in a public area. The risk? None, unless someone was self-destructive enough to get down on all fours and lick the stuff up off the platform.

Does this mean we’ll see Rocketdyne, the city sewage department and, oh, everyone on this list spending 3 months in jail along with Armando? Just wonderin’.

de Le√≥n’s Bill is Misdirected – Who Can Buy Ammo Is More Important

[This is the final post in a 5 part series] – This week I’ve talked about microstamping and a new gun theft bill and how neither of these two pieces of legislation will do anything to make people safer. I’ve also talked about security problems with the CCW licenses that are issued here in California, and an easy solution to this issue. Today’s post is going to focus on AB 362, Assemblyman Kevin de Le√≥n’s proposal to restrict sales of ammunition and how he’s targeting the wrong people if he wants to actually make an impact. This will probably be the most controversial post I’ll make all week as I’m going to explain how if Assemblyman de Le√≥n wants to “keep bullets out of the hands of criminals and Gang-Bangers” he should not be focusing his attention on who is allowed to sell ammo, but rather who is allowed to buy it.

894-457-00.jpg
In the News Release Assemblyman de Le√≥n’s office released there is a quote from him asking “Why is it much harder to buy a pack of cigarettes than a case of handgun ammunition?” which is a little misleading and should be addressed before we go much further. In the state of California you must be 21 years of age to buy handgun ammo, but like alcohol (which you also need to be 21 yo to buy) it can be shelved in a store and picked up by a customer. Cigarettes, which you only need to be 18 yo to buy, are required to be shelved behind a counter where only a store employee can pick them up and give them to the customer after they are purchased. Something that should not be over looked is that 100% of cigarettes that are sold contribute to killing people. They contribute to killing the people who bought them, as well as they people nearby when they are used. Ammo on the other hand is statistically very safe. More than 99% of handgun ammo that is sold does not contribute to killing anyone, but rather ends up safely spent at gun ranges around the state or locked up in personal safes.

Continue reading de Le√≥n’s Bill is Misdirected – Who Can Buy Ammo Is More Important