Archive for the ‘Lottery’ Category


April 9, 2011

Norman Kulla, Councilman Bill Rosendahl’s legal counsel, told the taskforce meeting on Wednesday, April 6, 2011 that the City of Los Angeles is in the process of creating a new LAMC 42.15 ordinance based on the findings of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal in the Hunt v. City of L.A. case.

Since Deputy City Attny. Mark Brown stepped down, the city has hired a female attorney to take his place. She will be the architect of the new ordinance.

OCEAN FRONT WALK (VENICE BOARDWALK) TASK FORCE MEETINGS are usually held at 9:30 am on the first Wednesday of every month at James Beach restaurant on North Venice Blvd. between Pacific Avenue and Speedway.



November 21, 2010

Assistant City Attorney, Mark Brown, spoke with members of the Venice Boardwalk Ocean Front Walk Task Force meeting on Wednesday, November 10, 2010 about the injunction on the permit/lottery system, amplified sound and illegal vending in the Free Speech Zone on Venice Boardwalk.

Gadflies vs. LA: Dowd and Zuma Dogg Beat the City in Federal Court

You can laugh all you want at Matt Dowd and Zuma Dogg, otherwise known as David Saltsburg.

You can look down your nose at them. You can let them get under your skin and be annoyed by them.

But for the second time in recent years — with Dowd as their lawyer — they outsmarted all the lawyers and politicians in City Hall and won a federal court case against the City of Los Angeles.

On Thursday, U.S. District Court Judge Dean Pregerson ruled that two key elements of the city’s oft-rewritten ordinance intended to crack down on the vendors and street performers at Venice Beach is unconstitutional on their face (Venice Beach.rtf).

A couple of years ago, Dowd won a $500,000 judgment against the city on behalf of himself and Michael Hunt over similar issues involving the city’s efforts to control the antics that make Venice Beach what it is.

It was this case that prompted Zuma Dogg and Dowd to become regulars in Public Comment at City Council meetings. The city keeps stalling on the humiliating act of paying them the money by appealing the case although a more recent Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in a Seattle case has weakened the city’s claims.

The core issue then, as now, was freedom of speech, the First Amendment. More

Response From FWS ~ Re: Exotic Insects and Butterflies

Thank you for your inquiry regarding the sale of exotic insects and butterflies.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s mission is, working with others, to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.

Please be advised that the U.S. importer of these insect and butterfly specimens must comply with import/export license, declaration and designated port requirements as described below.

Since the U.S. importer is importing these insect and butterfly specimens for commercial purposes, consistent with our definition of commercial, regulations contained in Title 50, of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 14.91, require that they must obtain an import/export license prior to engaging in business as an importer or exporter of wildlife or wildlife products.  The license is valid for one year from the date of issuance and costs $100.00.  In addition, as an import/export license holder, the U.S. importer must pay inspection fees for each wildlife shipment imported or exported under the license.  For information on inspection fees and how to calculate the inspection fees that the U.S. importer will be required to pay, they can visit our website at:

Any wildlife shipment would be considered commercial if the shipment is being imported or exported ” related to the offering for sale or resale, purchase, trade, barter, or the actual or intended transfer in the pursuit of gain or profit, of any item of wildlife and includes the use of any wildlife article as an exhibit for the purpose of soliciting sales.”

The U.S. importer can view our complete definition of commercial at the following website:

The U.S. importer can find the application for an import/export license on our website at the following address:

An import/export license only authorizes the importation or exportation of wildlife or wildlife products in general terms.  Please be advised that this license is in addition to, and not in place of, any other licenses or permits required for protected species of wildlife.

Generally speaking, exotic insects are not protected however, some species of butterflies are protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).  CITES is an international agreement between governments.  Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.  The species covered by CITES are listed in three appendices according to the degree of protection they need.  Appendix I includes species threatened with extinction.  Trade in specimens of these species is permitted only in exceptional circumstances.  Appendix II includes species not necessarily threatened with extinction, but for which trade must be controlled in order to avoid overutilization that may threaten them with extinction.  Appendix III contains species that are protected in at least one country, which has asked other CITES Party countries for assistance in controlling the trade in that species.

We recommend that the U.S. importer should check the CITES website at: to determine if any of the butterfly species that they wish to import are protected by CITES.  If so, they must obtain a valid CITES export permit issued by the CITES Management Authority in the country of export in order to import those butterfly species into the United States.  The U.S. importer can find contact information for CITES Management Authorities on the CITES website at:

In addition, some butterflies are protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  Under the ESA, it is unlawful to import, export, take, transport, sell, purchase, or receive in interstate or foreign commerce any species listed as endangered or threatened.  You can view the list of species protected under the ESA at:

Whether or not these insect and butterfly specimens are protected by CITES or the ESA, as the U.S. importer prepares to import these insect and butterfly specimens into the United States, they must complete Form 3-177, Declaration for Importation or Exportation of Fish or Wildlife.  The U.S. importer can find this form on our website at the following address:

This form is not difficult to complete, although the U.S. importer must provide the scientific name for each species of insect and butterfly that they wish to import.

The U.S. importer should have this form completed and have it, any original required CITES export permit, a copy of their import/export license, and these insect and butterfly specimens available for inspection as they prepare to import them into the United States.

The U.S. importer must import these insect and butterfly specimens at a designated port.  The U.S. importer can find a list of designated ports and contact information for those ports on our website at the following address: We suggest that they contact in advance the port where they will be importing these insect and butterfly specimens in order to coordinate their clearance into the United States.

Thank you for your interest in our regulations that help protect fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats.  Please feel free to respond to this message with any further inquiries that you may have regarding this matter.




This "free-speecher" has to operate a mobile cart because there is no space for him in the Free Speech Zone


On Sunday, June 20, 2010, Dave Bradt (Mr. Anti-circumcision), Norman and Stella (Urantia), and I (general political commentary)  were set up in the Sunset Pagoda area, as we had been led to believe by second hand reports from LAPD officers on the Pacific detail that we had every legal right to do. Our displays were compact and did not impede any traffic into, out of , or through the Pagoda area.

Early in that afternoon, LAPD officer Quesada approached Dave Bradt as I watched from the other side of the pagoda area.  After a few minutes of observed discussion between Officer Quesada and Dave, I joined the exchange, explaining that I was part of the group who had opted to do this.


No vending allowed in the "Free Speech" (black) spaces


One of our justifications for being in the Pagoda was that the eight (8) black spaces purportedly set aside for first amendment people like us ((LAMC42.15 section B (5)) were all occupied by aggressive commercial vendors of various inclinations and that we had been informed we could set up in the Pagodas.  Officer Quesada, while being very sympathetic to our plight, told us that we had been misinformed.  We could NOT set up in the Pagodas.  If we were allowed to be there, soon many others would be vying for the spaces.

She told us we needed to go to the Rec and Parks Office on Windward Circle and ask them to make those black spaces available to us as LAPD had

Forced to display on a mobile cart because there's no room in the Free Speech Zone!

nothing to do with space allocation and usage.  I told her I was willing to move but would not do so until my partners returned from a rest room break;  the woman is 91 years old and I was not about to abandon her without telling her what was going on.

Shortly after, Officer Quesada returned to our little group in the Pagoda andtold us she had found us a space but we needed to move there right away.  Dave and I gathered what we could of our displays and took them to the space Officer Quesada had cleared of an illegal vendor for us.


There should be no vending in the "Free Speech" (black spot) spaces


After moving all our stuff, Dave and I walked the Boardwalk to the Rec and Parks office to request that the people there remove the illegal vendors in the black spaces, with Dave taking pictures of the black spaces on the way. We hoped to document the evidence of unacceptable commercial vending in those spaces.  At space P-28 we encountered threats and hostility.  We later learned that one of the individuals involved threatened to “kill” us.

When we got to the the Rec and Parks office, it was closed and a message on the door gave the hours (for permit purchase) as Mon-Sat 12noon to 4pm. We returned to our new space and reorganized our prematurely disrupted displays.

My usual routine is to walk the Boardwalk after I have dismantled and stored my display.  I look for plastic that may contaminate the ocean and kill our fish and fowl.  I also pick up discarded evidence of city-sanctioned commercial vending on the Boardwalk.  I now have two grocery bags full of “evidence,” should any civic minded soul care to look at it.  Last Sunday, I did not do this routine check. I did not feel safe after the verbal threats that I learned were directed at me.


There should be no vending in the "Free Speech" (black) spaces


We are concerned that:

  1. Commercial vendors are being allowed to occupy those black spaces, which have purportedly been set aside for First Amendment Free Speech Activists such as Dave, Norman, Stella and myself.
  2. That the people occupying those spaces feel free to threaten us with bodily harm when we gather evidence to support our claim.
  3. That Rec and Parks has let these commercial vendors occupy those eight spaces and sell with impunity for over two years, while we have been afraid to take them due to threats to our persons.
  4. We request that these spaces be identified in situ as available “for Free Speech Activity only; NO VENDING.”

We ask that this unacceptable and unconstitutional situation be remedied at once.

We further ask that steps be taken to insure our safety from assault or other harm while, before and after occupying those spaces.

In addition, we ask that those spaces be relocated further north on the Boardwalk where they will be less vulnerable to possible assaults to legitimate occupants by aggressive commercial elements masquerading as religious or other organization.

Thank you.

Therese Dietlin for VBBC

BIG NEWS for NEW YORK artists: NYCLU rejects Park rules proposal

April 27, 2010


Breaking News: NYCLU (New York Civil Liberties Union) Rejects Proposed Park Rules for Artists

Destinations Examiner reporter Leslie Koch just broke the news that the NYCLU has come out very strongly against the proposed Park rules for artists. Her just published article is below this press release from the NYCLU. If you go to the site above you can download the NYCLU press release and related materials. Needless to say, when the #1 advocacy group for First Amendment rights comes out against the Parks Department and for our side, it is a very good development!

NYCLU to Parks Department: Withdraw Proposed Vendor Restrictions Until Questions Answered

April 23, 2010 — The New York Civil Liberties Union today urged the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation to reconsider its proposal to restrict the number and location of vendors at several city parks on the grounds that the City has not made enough information public to allow for a determination of if the proposed rules run afoul of the First Amendment. Questions also remain as to whether the first-come, first-served approach to vending locations will result in a fair allocation of space, and if the proposed limits are truly appropriate in all of the impacted neighborhoods.

“Parks have historically been recognized as vitally important for social, artistic and political expression,” said NYCLU Legal Director Arthur Eisenberg. “The Parks Department should make every effort to accommodate our city’s artists, poets and authors. It must withdraw its proposal until it can publicly demonstrate it is meeting its First Amendment obligations.”

In a letter sent Friday afternoon to Alessandro G. Olivieri, general counsel to the Department of Parks & Recreation, Eisenberg and NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman outlined three concerns regarding the proposed vendor restrictions:

* That the Parks Department has “failed utterly” to make public data demonstrating that its proposal is reasonable and leaves open ample alternatives;

* That a first-come, first-served system for getting vendor space runs the risk that a few vendors and their agents will obtain more than their fair share of sites for more than their fair share of time;

* And that any restrictions placed should be tailored to their communities as the residents of Greenwich Village, where Union Square Park is located, “can tolerate a level of disorder and energy” that residents near Central Park may object to.

According to press reports, the Parks Department’s proposal will reduce by 75 percent the number of people engaging in the vending of expressive materials.

“The Parks Department has failed utterly to provide the public with the census information and utilization necessary to reach a fair judgment as to whether the limitations contemplated by this proposal are ‘reasonable time, place and manner’ measures sufficient to satisfy the City’s constitutional obligations under the First Amendment,” the letter states.

“So severe a reduction in the number of expressive opportunities will be treated with considerable skepticism by the vendors and by the fair-minded public. To overcome such skepticism, the Parks Department will need to come forward with powerful evidence and persuasive data to demonstrate the reasonableness of this measure. It has not done so to date.”

The NYCLU urged the Parks Department to withdraw its proposed regulation until it makes public the data necessary to assess the reasonableness of the limits. It also requested that the Parks Department re-evaluate its methodology for awarding locations and that it reconsider the differences in the aesthetics of each park as it makes restrictions.

“Our artists are part of why New York City is the best city in the world,” Lieberman said. “We must be certain that any restrictions we place on them allows our community to retain its vibrant culture.”

New York Civil Liberties Union | 125 Broad Street, New York, NY
10004 | Phone 212-607-3300

NYCLU urges Parks Department: Withdraw proposed restrictions on art vendors
April 27, 5:11 PMNY Destinations ExaminerLeslie Koch

The Parks Department should withdraw its proposal to limit expressive matter vendors in city parks, said the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) on Friday.

The NYCLU, a non-profit organization dedicated to defending civil liberties and civil rights, criticized the Parks Department for its “lack of transparency” in a letter addressed to Alessandro G. Olivieri, the Parks Department’s legal counsel.

Hundreds of street artists protested the Parks Department’s plan to restrict the number and location of expressive matter vendors in Manhattan parks, on Friday April 23, 2010. (Photo: Lauren Hillary)

The Parks Department proposal would eliminate roughly 75% of the vendors selling fine art and other expressive materials in four popular Manhattan parks.

Expressive matter vendors would compete for just 18 spots in Union Square, 9 in Battery Park, 5 in Central Park South and 5 on the High Line.

“So severe a reduction in the number of expressive opportunities will be treated with considerable skepticism by the vendors and by a fair-minded public.

“To overcome such skepticism, the Parks Department will need to come forward with powerful evidence and persuasive data to demonstrate the  reasonableness of this measure. It has not done so, to date,” said Eisenberg in the letter.

Street artists strongly oppose the Parks Department proposal and believe it violates their First Amendment rights.

As a result of successful lawsuits, vendors can legally sell expressive materials– including paintings, drawings, photographs, sculpture, books and writings– in New York City’s public parks and streets without obtaining vending permits.

“The Parks Department should make every effort to accommodate our city’s artists, poets and authors. It must withdraw its proposal until
it can publicly demonstrate it is meeting its First Amendment obligations,” said Eisenberg in a press release accompanying the letter.

The NYCLU’s letter details three legal concerns with the Parks Department proposal.

First, the NYCLU claims that the Parks Department “has failed utterly” to provide data to the public that quantifies the number of expressive matter vendors and competing users at the desired sites.

Second, the NYCLU questions the fairness of allocating a limited number of spots on a “first come, first served” basis.

“Such a system presents the risk that a few vendors or their agents will muscle their way into the most desirable locations and will otherwise obtain more than their fair share of sites for more than their fair share of time.”

Third, the NYCLU urges the Parks Department to consider the differences between the affected parks—Union Square, Central Park, Battery Park, and the High Line—when allocating vendor locations.

“Union Square Park is different in style and aesthetic from the southern perimeter of Central Park. On the fringe of Greenwich Village, Union Square Park can tolerate a level of disorder and energy that might be undesirable on Fifty-Ninth Street.”

On Friday, hundreds of street artists protested at the site of the Parks Department’s public hearing on the proposed restrictions.

As of press time, Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe has not announced whether he will enact the proposal, either as written or with changes.

The Parks Department has not issued a press release about the proposal or the public hearing.

Media coverage, background materials, videos of the ARTIST protest

* Robert Lederman’s written testimony submitted at the Parks Department hearing on 4/23/2010. Has numerous photos as evidence of the real Parks Department agenda of privatization and concessions replacing artists

* Video of ARTIST protest by Sasha Sazanov

* Video of Protest/hearing by Susan

* Videos by Ned Otter of protest/hearing

* Miriam West’s videos of protest/hearing

* EK Buckley’s photostream (lots of good photos of the protest and hearing)

* *MANY VIDEO CLIPS OF PROTEST AND the HEARING by MIRIAM WEST (There are numerous clips)

*** Updated Major Media coverage ***

* Daily News – Artists fight public hearing on vendor restrictions in parks with freedom of expression

* NY Times 4/24/2010 (go to site for photos)

* NBC News–91921924.html

(Has good video of the protest) Seeing Red: Artists Protest Changing Park Vendor Rules


OR see the FOX video it here:

*** NY1News (fixed broken link)

(Important: Watch video and listen to Mayor Bloomberg pretend that this issue is about hot dog vendors, not artists. They must be desperate to do that much spinning!)

* WPIX Channel 11 News NY,0,1765205.story

OR, see it here:

*Newsday – Hundreds protest NYC proposal to limit art vendors

* 1010WINS Radio News

* DNAinfo

(Excellent photo slideshow)

* CURBED Hundreds Protest Plan to Limit Vendors Selling Art in Parks Updated 2 hrs ago April 23, 2010

(Has good photos from the protest)  Artists Creatively Trash Bloomberg at Rally Against Park Rules

* NY Times

April 22, 2010
Trailblazer’s Take on Limiting Vendors (This is the article about the poet on whose behalf the Written Matter Exemption was created)

Hundreds of street artists protest Parks Department plan, attend public hearing
April 24, 2010 PMNY Destinations Examiner Leslie Koch

(This article has another photo slideshow with great individual photos of many artists you know and their signs)

Check out these amazing photos by artists of Park concessions in USP, Battery Park and Central Park

As a WORD doc

As a PDF

(Note: the 2 above are identical)

* Earlier Media Coverage of This Issue
NY Times April 16, 2010 – City Seeks to Limit the Flocks of Art Vendors at Popular Sites in Parks
Daily News Editorials – Figures of speech: New York Park’s Dept. must put public above peddlers
NBC News website City Set to Give Park Art the Brush Off

NY Post April 16, 2010 Featuring Park Commissioner Adrian Benepe explaining his fundraising efforts in Parks. Robert Lederman calls in and challenges him. Benepe repeats his claim that Lederman is, ”…just making things up,” about replacing artists with concessions then admits he is putting concessions, Holiday Markets etc in the exact same Parks where artists now sell. The first few minutes deals with the Central Park tennis court bubble issue. Commissioner Benepe has a really insulting way of describing all street artists in parks as commercial vendors of junk.

Give it a listen.

You can play the radio interview here: (a 30 second ad plays first)

Or download it here: At this page, click on “click here to start download.” Ignore any pop up ads.

Or read the many comments here: Concession Money for Parks: Adrian Benepe confronted by Robert Lederman-WNYC
NY Times City Room April 5, 2010 – Artists and Vendors Bristle at Proposed Limits in Parks

NY Times City Room April 9, 2010
In Fight for Art Vendors, a Look to the Past Proof that the Parks Department ran a 160 stand art concession on Central Park South where they now claim only 5 artists can sell due to “public safety” issues.

NY1 News–new-rules-for-street-art

NY Daily News

WBAI radio 3/26/2010 Click on this link:

OR this one (a 15 second commercial precedes it)

You can also download it as a Quicktime mov. file here:

A Walk in the Park website

Contact info:
Robert Lederman, president of ARTIST
201 896-1686
ARTIST group video history

Parks Commissioner, Adrian Benepe
212 360-1305
Alessandro Olivieri, Parks legal counsel
212 360-1313
Deputy Commissioner Kevin Jeffrey, Parks Enforcement
212 360-1381

Proposed new park rules:

Robert Lederman
201 896-1686


Sign created by Sammy posted on Venice Boardwalk January 4, 2010

Tell Bill Rosendahl you want him to RESTORE FREE SPEECH @ VENICE BEACH ~ sign our petition and an email will automatically be sent to Councilman Bill Rosendahl, Mayor Villaraigosa and City Attorney Carmen Trutanich ~ sign here ~ thank you!

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