Saturday, January 31, 2009

More in the news about the criminal charges...

Story from Curbed LA

Charges Filed Over Tree-Killing Tropicana Supergraphic
Friday, January 30, 2009, by Dakota

2009.01.superg.jpgEven after city officials held a press conference Wednesday in front of an illegal supergraphic at 10801 National Boulevard, the building's owner didn't adhere to last night's midnight deadline to remove the sign, prompting City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo to file multiple criminal charges against sign company World Wide Rush, building owner National Investment Company, and eight individuals. As of 4pm today, the sign was still up, according to a spokesperson for Delgadillo. And how about this: According to a press release from Delgadillo's office, the city is "also investigating the illegal chopping down of several trees located on state property in front of the illegal Tropicana Juice sign." Were the trees removed to allow workers to put up the sign, which is located right off the 10 freeway? Worse than that. "We think the trees were removed to clear a line of sight to the sign," the spokesperson tells us. Reading that Thursday LA Times story on the graphic, it seemed like there was a chance the sign might come down. "A lawyer for the company said the supergraphic would be come down Friday, but only because it was scheduled to come down that day. Attorney Joe Agapay said National Investment had not received an order to remove a second supergraphic on the building."


As of today Sat. 1/31/09, no action has bee taken to bring down the sign. The defiance by the owner, FRANK RAHBAN in the face of criminal charges is unreal.

We can only speculate for Frankie's bandits that the windfall of revenue from this criminal act will exceed any repercussions that the law can hand down.


  1. Well I can understand the issue overall. But here is the real situation. The tenants are just that, tenants. You rent a space from the OWNER. In my mind the OWNER has every right to do what ever he/she sees fit with HIS/HER property. That being said, it would be admirable to ask or inform tenants of the owners plans. If you read your lease agreements thoroughly (most of you don't I know) it only states what YOU can/cannot do. Most leases also state that the owner/property management can do what ever thy want to THEIR PROPERTY inside and out. They don't need your consent.
    But look at this from the perspective of the owner. With the economy as it is, property owners are losing tenants left and right. More and more businesses are closing down. This leaves the owner with empty units. These properties 99% of the time are investment properties and must have 95% of the units filled in order to turn a profit. With out the tenants, Owner must find other sources of income. Now its almost impossible to repurpose a property to match the time (e.g. turn office space into retail/food). So Ad space is a likely way to generate income. These guys must make a livng too.

    Now with all this ordinance in place there are other business that suffer . The AD firms and the sign companies. Ad firms are losing clients and Sign Companies are losing jobs. Its kind of weird the way things are getting twisted. The city is saying business cant have sign/advertising. With out advertising business close. With out businesses, cities lose tax revenue. With out tax revenue/commerce cities can't grow. It seems IMO that there are MUCH bigger issues for city officials to focus on. I guess since CALIFORNIA's purse is empty and and she is making cuts every where to make ends meet. The boys and gals in the city offices are trying to look busy so they don't get cut.

    Folks the enemy is not the signs. Its the budgets. Its the fat cats in offices with the titles. Start policing those things and I'm sure you will free up more revenue than signs on the streets of LA. -OADesign

  2. To Omar
    so basically you are saying it's ok to break the law and endanger lives because the economy is bad. I don't know what country you are from "Omar" but once your English gets better, you may be able to understand the American laws. Until then I suggest some ESL classes.

  3. You make some fine points and it's important to see things from your adversary's position, but I don't think you understand the overall issue as it pertains to this blog at this point.

    Initially, the strategy of this blog was to find a way to take down our sign and keep it down. We did not want this on our building and we explored three options -- safety, environment, and tenant rights.

    Out of the three, we focused on the safety issue first. If this was a fire hazard, we felt we would prevail.

    Now that this fact has come to fruition, we are less motivated to discuss issues you mentioned -- Owner's rights, Politics and the Economy. Are these important topics - you bet.

    What ties in better with our story at this time are the illegal supergraphics' that put folks in danger. I hope we can all agree, that if the fire dept. defines a sign illegal on the basis of safety, then it should be removed.

  4. to: 10801 Take Sign Down.

    I agree with you 100 percent on the issues of safety. And yes I agree, if it is not safe, it should be removed. Actually it should not have gone up in the first place, if it were not safe. It should have gone through proper channels (permitting, approval and inspection) before becoming final.
    I must make a few other points. The materials used in these types of super graphics should be fire retardant and most brands of extended width banner vinyl/mesh are fire resistant by default.
    See 3M's site:
    I'm surprised the sign co that put this up didn't just simply submit the materials spec sheet and call it a day. Probably because the sign company or property owner did not go through proper channels to get this thing through.

    Quote:"Initially, the strategy of this blog was to find a way to take down our sign and keep it down. We did not want this on our building and we explored three options -- safety, environment, and tenant rights."

    I refer this to my original post. There is no "our" in this equation if I see this correctly. Its not YOUR sign, nor is it YOUR building. You are just temporary lessee. I don't mean that to be rude, Its just a fact. Correct me if I'm wrong. Now lets tweak this scenario a bit. What if this was your sign and it was advertising YOUR business. Signs create brand awareness. And most major brands tank with out this. I bet your mend set would be different if it actually were YOUR sign.

    I don't mean this be argumentative. IMO, I think your fight is admirable and legit yet misdirected. I think if you want to make a point with all the industries concerned, LA residents and business owners should make a point to make the ordinance regarding super graphics more clear and defined. These rules should be created by four groups: City officials, LA residents, a civil engineer and sign industry professionals that produce these products. To date, most cities sign ordinances are outdated and convoluted, making it difficult for ANYONE (sign companies and tenants alike) to understand what they can and cannot do. Truth is, if you walk into ANY SoCal cities planning dept. (the place where such sign ordinances can be found) and the staff don't even know how to interpret the lingo. And you will get a different interpretation depending on who you talk to AND the mood of the individual (don't believe it, try it).

    So back to your reply: "Out of the three, we focused on the safety issue first. If this was a fire hazard, we felt we would prevail.

    Now that this fact has come to fruition, we are less motivated to discuss issues you mentioned."

    It seems you are playing this like a lawyer. You focus on one issue where you MIGHT have a leg to stand on. And now that the powers the be are on your side you will keep hush about the other stuff that might throw off your case. IMO its that same tactics that let OJ get off the hook the first time. But I digress.

    So I agree. If the sign does not go through proper channels and it is found to be unsafe, then be all means take it down. But you must first clearly define what is unsafe and what is illegal. And when you make these decisions, be certain you keep in mind the overall effects these laws have, and not just how it affects YOUR VIEW OF THE HILLS in the morning.

    Now to anonymous: forgive me for not using spell check as I wrote my original post in haste. I will have you know that I am all American. Born in NJ. I have been a resident of the greater LA area for the past 15 years (by way of bright white San Clemente). I must say, your response was very high school. I feel foolish even responding to you. Its 2009 not 1960. Just like the LA city sign ordinance, your attitude is outdated. Check the polls my friend. Mentalities like yours are now the minority. Have a great day! -OADesign

  5. Also in regards to the pulling of the trees, if it was on city property, then yes cite whom ever is responsible. The company that did it, not its employees. If it was not on city property then there is not much you can do. The kind thing to do would have been to replace the landscape else where.

  6. Omar A-

    The material of the sign has passed the State Fire Marshal's test and deemed fire resistant. See Letter and Documentation from the Owner (

    So to respond to a few of your questions, although it has passed the State Fire Marshal's Test, it's still ruled a fire hazard and therefore illegal. FIRE HAZARD, ILLEGAL, DANGEROUS -- NEEDS TO BE REMOVED.

    Omar -- this is what I suggest you do. Contact your local Fire Chief and tell him you have a 5000 pound vinyl sign that is fire resistant, and you want to cover your entire 6 story building - including all the windows. Trust in the heavens, their response won't be 2 thumbs up.

    As far as your comment regarding "high school response" -- I would say that some high school kids out there make a lot more sense than you.

    ...Well of course it's not my sign or my building, that's just a figure of speech -- and what does that have to do with the price of eggs.

    One last thing... if you feel foolish making comments here, I suggest you submit your 2009 advanced mind-expanding thought processes to the latest Scientific Journal of Safe Supergraphics'.