Category Archives: Law

Gimme A Sign: In Other Words

Gimme a sign
Blah, blah, blah...

Since finally discovering the serenitude of the Los Angeles River’s east bank south of Fletcher Drive last month, practically every time I’ve biked it since I’ve marveled at the chuckleworthy overwrought signage in the center of the pic at right (readably biggifiable when clicked), that smacks of having been crafted and finalized by a thinktank of city-contracted attorneys sequestered in a windowless sub-basement chamber deep below City Hall who felt that the discouragement of hanging out along the river with intent to hang out some more required much, much more than just a NO LOITERING sign.

Seriously: “kinder a fire?” And after that, what’s with the nonsensical “wash and cloth or bedding…”

I’m fascinated by the conceit that any transient would bother to read the entire screed, much less move on in abject law-abiding obedience.

Of course,  what would double the hoot would be if the entirely and appropriately to-the-point “NO DOGS OFF LEASH” sign to its right were similarly over-worded, like so:

LAMC SEC. 53.06.2 DOGS – RIVER BED:   No person shall, stand, sit, walk, lollygag, hustle, hop, skip, jump, amble, meander, flit, run, jog, trot, sprint, traverse, canter, drag, tumble, gallop, haul, boogie, truck, prance, tip-toe, or otherwise move forward, backward, sideways, or at any angle and at any speed, with a canine (heretofore referred to as “dog”) of any size, height, width, age, color, sex, pure or mixed breed, disposition and demeanor, without a leash attached to the dog and held securely by the aforementioned person while traversing the official bed of the Los Angeles River.

Red light cameras in LA may go the way of the DoDo.

Yahoo…it may happen and it won’t be a minute too soon in my book.  A commission has looked at the red light cameras as decided they cost more than they get in revenue and too many drivers are getting nailed with tickets even while making a legal right on red turn.  According to the report they could go away as early as this weekend if the city council approves…call your councilman and give them the nudge.  OF course we still have to hear from the camera owners who reap in the bulk of the money from these cameras who probably won’t be too happy to see them go away.  It will be interesting to see what they do to coerce convince the council to keep them in operation.

Hat tip to KTLA for greeting me with this wonderful news when I turned on the tube for news this morning.  Their news bit HERE.

Better Check Your Car Registration

DMV Special Notice
DMV Special Notice about sending registration renewal notices at the last minute

I checked mine randomly the other day, and saw that it was about to expire. I hadn’t received a notice from the DMV. I called them and they said (very nice and helpful on the phone, by the way) that they had just mailed me a renewal notice. I received it two days before the expiration date. Then I had to scramble to get the renewal done, and when I tried to do so online, the DMV servers weren’t working for quite a few hours.

On top of that, the renewal form and enclosed separate “Special Notice” (see above) seem to disagree about the consequences of late registration. Continue reading Better Check Your Car Registration

Following the Mob

The handmade sign on the front door of mobster James “Whitey” Bulger‘s former home on 3rd Street in Santa Monica reads: “Go Away. People Live Here”. That’s the message I’d like to send to mobsters in Los Angeles and across the country. But they seem to keep popping up near where I live, or vice versa.
Continue reading Following the Mob

Yellow HOV Sticker comes to end 7/1/11

Yellow HOV sticker
Yellow HOV sticker

The party is over in the HOV (Carpool lanes) 7/1/11 for those using the yellow HOV sticker and riding single.  This blogger for one is glad to see it come to an end and move them to the regular lanes where us that have a full car don’t have to be stuck behind them while they putz along hypermiling in the carpool lane.  There is a movement afoot to try and extend it, but according to this DMV press release the party is over.

Which is worse? Graffiti or child molestation?

You might think that’s an easy question, but you’d be surprised. Yesterday I mentioned that local wel known graffiti artist REVOK was arrested and his bail has been set at $320,000 which to the untrained eye seems a tad on the high side. Well, turns out it’s a tad high to the trained eye as well. Artist Logan Hicks did some research and found out the bail that was set for arrests for some other crimes in Los Angeles over the last 2 months. Short version? They are all much lower than $320,000. For example…

Repeated molestation of a minor by husband/wife – Bail set at $150,000
Baby left in 115-degree car returned to mother – $100,000
Men accused of raping female student – $50,000
Machete-wielding man, 19, arrested near South Coast Plaza – $25,000

But somehow failing to repay damages for spray painting on a wall justifies $320K. Yeah. Nice even hand there.

REVOK arrested, $320,000 bail set

This is a developing story, however it appears that one of the most well known Los Angeles artists, REVOK was arrested at LAX while he attempting to fly to Ireland. The artist, whose real name is Jason Williams was nabbed on an outstanding warrant for failure to pay damages in a previous case. REVOK’s usually very active twitter stream has been silent for days. Street Art News has the LASD press release which doesn’t sound good and hints at further charges, and confirms a $320,000 bail which seems excessive though I suspect the Sheriffs argued ‘flight risk’ since he was actually on the way out of the country when he was aprehended. I’m a huge fan of REVOK and love seeing his work around the city, but this sounds pretty bad for him.

This of course is on the heels of the MoCA Art In The Streets exhibition which has drawn serious battle lines between those who feel this is a collection of noteworthy and talented artists finally getting the attention they deserve and those who think it’s merely encouraging vandalism in the city. Some are even speculating that the LASD and LAPD have stepped up enforcement of graffiti related offenses in rection to the exhibition.

Venice Going Ahead With RV Parking Restrictions

If you visit Venice and are very observant, you might notice a subtle difference. Things might seem a bit more opened up. You may see more sky. If so, that’s not likely a result of breathing in the pot smoke on Venice Beach. Rather, it may be because Venice homeowners have finally taken action in their long-running battle to restrict recreational vehicles from permanently camping on their streets.  Specifically, in recent months, some Venice streets, such as 3rd Avenue pictured here, now have signs posted which prohibit vehicles over 7 feet high or over 22 feet long from parking between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m.

Continue reading Venice Going Ahead With RV Parking Restrictions

Do You Have a License For That Dog?

L.A. Animal Services issued a press release today stating that they are canvassing Los Angeles City neighborhoods checking for current dog licenses. Not only is it the law, but being in the system may increase your chances of a reunion with your dog should it ever get out. I know first hand that your dog that you are sure will never get out WILL.

Since 2008, the city has required dogs, and cats, over the age of four months to be spayed or neutered. Therefore, to get your $20 dog license, your pet must be altered. There are a few exemptions and if you qualify, you pay $100 (plus a possible $235 breeder’s fee if applicable) for the license. A current rabies vaccine is also required. The various applications can be found here.

Your dog will not actually go to jail if caught without a license. You won’t be fined, but you will be asked to bring any licenses current. Little Guy, pictured above, isn’t really behind bars. He just fell asleep that way in my dining room. (Rescued from East Valley shelter over 10 year ago. Neutered and licensed).


Graffiti Control Systems illegally removes mural

Just yesterday I noted that our new header image was a famous mural off Fairfax. This photo is from earlier today when a truck from Graffiti Control Systems removed the locked gate from the private property where the mural is located and buffed it. The mural was completely legal and commissioned by the building owner, who can be seen in the photo as well obviously upset that artwork she had on a building she owned had been destroyed. LA Taco did some research and found that Graffiti Control Systems is based in North Hollywood (also on Facebook and yelp) and contracts with the city of LA to remove graffiti – though something is definitely out of the ordinary here unless they are in the habit of buffing anything they see regardless of where it is. You may recall a few years ago a very culturally significant mural of Ed Ruscha was painted over “on accident” and Saber’s Guiness Book of World Record holding LA River piece was wiped without notice.

While there is much ongoing (and forever ongoing) debate about the artistic value of graffiti, the city clearly need to do some work on educating it’s clean up crews on the difference between a tag on a garage door and a legal and commissioned mural. Especially since Los Angeles is so well known for it’s murals which a huge part of the life of it’s residents. Seeing artwork like this destroyed is disgusting. I hope Lynda, the owner of the building this mural used to be on, files a law suit against the city for trespassing and vandalism.

UPDATE: GCS has admitted this was an error and will be paying to have it fixed.

Is felony gross vehicular manslaughter enough for texting and driving?

The Glendale News-Press ran an article today about a 20 year old woman was has been arrested for causing the death of an older man while she was texting and driving.  Police state that she ran a stop sign while texting.  The article reports that her arrest was 3 months after the accident and will be charged with felony gross vehicular manslauter.

This is the first such case in LA where an arrest has been made since the law was changed a couple of summers ago.  People still aggressively drive and use their cells for calls and texting.  Is this charge enough?  Should there be additional penalties such as time to serve for using a cell phone while driving?  What say you?

Image by WatchCaddy via a creative commons licence on flickr.

2010 Naughty List: LA Board of Supervisors and LA City Council

Our City Council and Board of Supervisors have definitely been naughty.

It seems to me that when the majority of people in a city and a state vote to support something, even create a new law to facilitate it, that should be reflected in the way politicians vote. The majority of voters should be respected. Even when a politician doesn’t personally agree… if the majority of their constituents vote for something, they should support that.

But that apparently isn’t the way our City Council or Board of Supervisors feel when it comes to lots of issues, most specifically lately, making easy to use guidelines for medical marijuana dispensaries to operate in Los Angeles.
Their point of view seems to be “*#*#!! the people! (Even the voters who chose them to run the city) We know what’s best for our city, we don’t have listen to our constituents!”
Two weeks ago, the LA Board of Supervisors voted to make ALL Medical Marijuana Dispensaries illegal in the unincorporated areas of LA (out of the city, but in the county). And earlier this year, the LA City Council created laws for dispensaries to operate that are so onerous and so difficult to abide by, that virtually all dispensaries would have to close.

Now I’m sure that was their intention, but really…. Why fight progress? Why not make easy to understand, supportive laws that create a great tax base for this city, create jobs and follow the lead of the people?

The people of this city clearly want safe, easy to use facilities that give them access to their medicinal marijuana. They don’t want to have to go out to the street to buy their medicine. They don’t want to engage in black market dealing.

But these laws are designed to make it hard for ANYONE, even the most scrupulous, by-the-books non-profit, to keep their doors open. I like to think of Los Angeles as a progressive city… but it seems we are going backwards.

So even though in 1996, 56% of the people of this state voted to make medical marijuana legal, our City Council and Board of Supervisors are making it virtually impossible for people to have safe access. Shame on all of you!

Life Before License

32% of all collisions in Los Angeles are hit and run, and the penalties for getting caught really don’t discourage this. Recently Celine Mahdavi, the women who clobbered Louis Deliz into 49 days of hospitalization and likely a lifetime a pain and suffering, then fled the scene, was given no jail time, no suspension of license, only 90 days of community service. This is insane. If you you someone with your car and then drive away leaving them for dead, at the very least your license should be pulled. The folks over at Bikeside are initiating the “Life Before License” campaign to fix the law and put some value back on human life. They are proposing the following:

-A hit and run which results in fatality will result in the loss of driving privileges for 10 years.
-A hit and run which results in permanent disability, or causes a life threatening injury will result in the loss of driving privileges for 5 years.
-A hit and run which results in injury, but which does not lead to permanent disability or a life threatening injury, will result in the loss of driving privileges for 2 years.
-A hit and run which results in the damage of property only will result in the loss of driving privileges for 1 year.

But more than just proposing, they are actually trying to make this happen. On Sunday, 10/17, at the Hollywood Adventist Church at 1711 N. Van Ness Ave from 1pm to 3pm there will be an organizational meeting to plan and assign next steps. This is important and it’s worth your attention.

Distracted Driver enhanced enforcement set for 10/5

I got it in a couple of  tweets from the CHP.  A multi-agency task force is set to enforce the hands free cell and texting ban on October 5.  All day event  and the tickets aren’t cheap.  They refute the urban legend that the tickets are only $20, they are actually $139 plus court costs which will push you near the $200 mark.   You’ve been warned, the largely unenforced ban will be enforced on Tuesday