Friday, April 17, 2009

VIDEO: KCET Documentary - Billboards Get Personal -- Featuring Dr. Allan and Frank Rahban

To learn about the story of our protest watch this compelling video featured on KCET's SoCal Connected:

To see the slogans and signs paraded around at the protest click here.
and follow the folly of legal letters that led to the departure of Dr. Allan from his office he held for 16 years at 10801 National Blvd.

Sometimes a high price is paid for insult and injustice to your fellow citizens. In this video, Frank pays up and the entire world gets to watch and chime in. Thanks KCET for a job well done!

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Now, more comments aimed at the city officials of Los Angeles...

here and follow the folly of legal letters that led to the departure of Dr. Allan from his office he held for 16 years at 10801 National Blvd.

Sometimes a high price is paid for insult and injustice to your fellow citizens. In this video, Frank pays up and the entire world gets to watch and chime in. Thanks KCET for a job well done!

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Now, more comments aimed at the city officials of Los Angeles...

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The spineless Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s appearance on this KCET video was pathetic and clearly shows how disinterested he is in helping the signage problems in Los Angeles. Do you believe there might be a conflict of interest weighing in on his decisions?

We have a message for the mayor and the city council -- Overblown, monstrous, Supergraphic signs blight the city and are not designed to cover up buildings. Also, the digital billboards is another disgrace that can be included here.

Here’s a checklist for Mayor Villaraigosa and the Los Angeles City Council as you prepare to enact the new sign ordinance:

  • Supergraphics’ are a blight to the entire community at large
  • They disgrace and deface building designs
  • They are disruptive, obnoxious intrusions to all affected individuals that have to see these 24/7
  • Some of them can even pose serious fire and safety risks (as seen on this video). Our building was deemed unsafe by the fire department… and what was done to protect the tenants and all the occupants? NOTHING.
  • Supergraphics’ send the wrong message to anyone visiting Los Angeles
  • Supergraphics' don’t necessarily stimulate the economy; only a few folks benefit from this channel of advertising at a severe cost to our city.
  • We need to revert back to traditional forms of advertising and also consider new, creative ways to pitch products without so much disruption and upset to our city
  • Supergraphics' are meant to distract, and drivers already have more than enough distractions to deal with. Can't we surmise that additional distractions pose added dangers to drivers on our thoroughfares? The massive 10801 supergraphics' was positioned right up against the freeway. Now how safe can that be?
  • Are your intentions to support the citizens of Los Angeles, or the donors that fill your campaign coffers?
  • In summary: Advertising dollars that pad your election campaigns and in-your-face -- all-over-the-place advertising that force feed product pitches down the throats of the citizens you represent should not dictate a design for Los Angeles or for that matter, any city.

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And emails are coming in. Feel free to chime in and give us your best shot!
Hi David, I watched it on the internet. You were great!!! I so agree with you, and I support your standing up for the injustice bestowed upon you and others. Keep me posted! This guy seems like one greedy bas*****, and I loved that you went to his house to protest. The signs are obnoxious and putting them over windows is outrageous. I'll see you soon! From an anonymous patient.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Billboard Comment of the Day


This comment was in regards to this article.


Spencer Cross (spencercross) on January 21st, 2009 @ 11:07 am

I’m glad you posted this as I was debating it and hadn’t had a chance. That’s actually a photo of my old office building and I can tell you from first hand experience that everything they say about supergraphics blocking views and sunlight is totally true. They used to have unbelievable views out of that side of the building, but no more.

Anyway, what I found most infuriating about this story is the fact that new supergraphics are going up despite the city’s 90-day moratorium on outdoor advertisements. Yet another example of how the outdoor companies continue to flout the law and operate as if they’re not subject to regulation. It pisses me off to no end, and somebody in city government needs to step up and put the screws to them.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

And we get comments from some bad apples...

We are all about respecting freedom of speech, but that does not include the posting of notes by those who send in nasty and vulgar comments.

Please don't send in personal attacks for they will not be posted. Stay focused on the issues, that is what is important.

This website is set up to represent the tenants of 10801 and bring awareness and education to very important issues facing our society. We welcome debating on the topics that are posted.

Questions/Recommendations for Owners of 10801

Although insignificant when it compares to the injustice served with the billboard issues of the building, several tenants have additional questions and recommendations to Frank Rahban and the owners of 10801.

Since the legal team for 10801 follows this blog closely, we suggest that you pass this information to the owners. If we get a response from Lois or Joe Agapay, we will post it. BTW -- It would be an honor to hear from Frank Rahban himself - That would be a treat! Our email is 10801takesigndown@gmail.com.

Questions from the tenants:
  • When are the windows going to be washed? Comments made include filthy, dirty and disgusting. We know they have not been washed for over 3 years and Lois has informed us that they are supposed to be washed every year. What gives?
  • How about the pigeon problem in the garage? It's not really the pigeons, it's what the pigeons leave behind as they do their business on the parked vehicles. Is there anything you intend to do about this problem?
Recommendations from the tenants:
  • Modernize the building. The automatic doors for the lobby and the garage and the video survellance on each floor have been a good addition, but we suggest more can be done and in the long run will save you money. Several tenants have recommend key cards that could be used to access the building and the elevator. Most modern buildings have this -- how about something like this for 10801? This could also replace the guard that just usually sits around all day -- especially on Sunday.
  • Access to the building on "holidays" and after hours. Many have complained that the building closes down for all major holidays. What if you don't celebrate Easter? Why not close the building for Passover? Also, some folks work on holidays or may just need to pick something up at the office. Why should the building be shut down? If someone is a tenant, shouldn't they have the right to access the building on a "holiday"? The same goes for after hours. Why does the building have to shut down? What if a legal team needs to work on a case through the night or something important needs to be picked up? These building rules are ridiculous and need to be changed. If there were key cards this problem could be handled easily.

Billboard Comment of the Day

Digital Display Boards are an eyesore. They destroy the natural beauty of California. I personally like the look of steel, glass, and cement in the cities. Most of the buildings are cool, but not the signs. Where did the advertising industry get the idea they had the right to use every ounce of public and private space for ads? They're talking about using outer space for advertising now. No, I'm not making that up.

There is a myth about advertising, that it reduces the cost of things. Just the opposite is true. It drives the cost of everything up. High prices are largely due to the cost of marketing and advertising.
Mike Sirkin, Jan. 20, 2009 8:57 PM

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Billboard Comment of the Day

I can't believe that anyone would think that it is ok to post an ad over a tenant's window. I would think that a big part of renting an office space would be to have a window. Otherwise why not rent a storage space?It is a testament to how brainwashed the public is that anyone would think that an ad is cool. It's so sad. Wake up people, the advertisers are laughing at you all the way to the bank, and they probably don't even use the products they are selling to you because they know what crap it is. Comment #19, left at 02/05/09 04:44 PM.

Monday, April 13, 2009

In Memory of the Trees


Have you been thirsty for more Tropicana O.J. lately?



"Instead of more billboards going up for Tropicana Orange Juice, more trees are going down."

See story: Rogue Tree Trimmers Elude Caltrans in Pulpy Mystery

Billboard Comment of the Day


How can anyone "support supergraphics"? Unless, I suppose, your living is made by the use of them. In which case-tough. Hopefully your day will be over soon and you'll be forced to pay up your fines and penalties, as well as take down these things spoiling the place.

I love how on one hand it's deemed trivial and ridiculous to protest this ugly and ILLEGAL (for a reason, namely quality of living) sign blight, but on the other hand some "supporters" also protest how terribly important to our failing economy having these monstrosities everywhere is. In any case, it's neither silly nor futile to protest and fight for retaining some quality of urban life in L.A. Ignoring illegal supergraphic signs all over large buildings, making companies richer isn't going to end hunger or war or help poor people, either. And remember, the fire department hates them too: they're unsafe for inhabitants of the buildings in case of a disaster. "Supporters"? Come on. Comment #41, left at 04/07/09 02:27 PM.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Billboard Comment of the Day


Yes, L.A. is a major metropolitan city, but that doesn't mean our streets -- especially those in and near residential neighborhoods -- need to look like they have been taken over by advertisers and movie companies who see urban blight merely as an insignificant sidebar issue vs. their desire to profit off someone else's quality of life. Comment #18, left at 04/06/09 01:00 PM.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Billboard Comment of the Day


I'm glad these huge signs are coming down. I don't want to see them. When I watch TV, I turn the channel when the commercials come on. When those building signs are so big, it's hard to just look away. Why do some people like having products forced down their throats with base advertising? Is that your idea of aesthetic beauty? Comment #26, left at 02/05/09 11:46 PM.

Friday, April 10, 2009

No billboards on these buildings

Of course no one would ever imagine putting a blown up tarp on a building like this. That is a statement we should ponder.

How about this quote from Coochicoos - Designs for Modern Parenting: "If you happen to be in Kansas City, as a resident or tourist, then pay a visit because I believe exposing young minds to great architecture affects them in powerful and emotional ways unlike any other creative expression."

Well what about feeding the older minds? Below are some examples of great architecture, both old and new. Enjoy!


Kansas City, MO.: When the massive Beaux Art Nelson-Atkins’ Building opened in 1933, newspapers nationwide reported visitors “amazed,” “gasping at its innovations and marveling at its luxury.” See more here.

Below you will find the additional buildings that were added. The Bloch Building has been called a process unfolding, a magical response to the landscape and to the original building. The design by Steven Holl Architects was chosen for its unique solution to the Museum’s problem: how to provide more space without compromising the original 1933 Nelson-Atkins Building. See an TIME article here.





Billboard Comment of the Day


Can residential renters take advantage of this lax billboard/signage ban? $600 for 15 days essentially covers half the rent for a 1-bd apartment.
Comment #6, left at 02/25/09 01:03 AM

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Retribution: KCET Documentary On It's Way

At first the Coalition for 10801 was solely representing the tenants for the injustice brought on by the greedy actions of Frank Rahban and his partners and the other cohorts in this story -- World Wide Rush, Lois Agapay and Pepsico, Inc. We will let CBS and Dr. Phil off the hook since they quickly removed their illegal advertising from the building after it went up.

BTW -- Pepsico, Inc. is Tropicana, and they erred when they did not respond to our pleas for help and concern over their illegal advertising. Pepsico initially may have been unaware of the dangers of their advertising, but not to even respond to numerous calls and letters -- utterly shameful! And their recent supergraphics' campaign around the westside -- an insult to put it mildly. That's their corporate responsibility -- in-your-face all-over-the-place advertising.

We do give them credit for one thing -- several tenants that wrote in received some discount coupons for their next purchase of orange juice. Hmm, how come we didn't get any? We suggest you take a look at all the companies that Pepsico owns and avoid them.

Oh, getting back on track -- Our story got really ugly when only after a month of journaling the building events on this blog, the owners hand delivered a "default notice and a 30 day to cure" to Dr. Graff to inform him that he was in violation of his lease. The sequence of legal letters and comments can be reviewed by clicking here. To make a long story short, Dr. Allan was singled out. We suggest you ask Joe Agapay how many other offices have been served with a default notice of this kind? My guess is zero. Not to rehash the issue, I'm prepared to answer any questions the public may have. Just send in a qualified comment and I will answer it.

In addition to our rant, more 3rd party validation is on it's way. KCET has had a keen interest with our activities here. The show SoCal Connected brings local issues to the public and is set to air a 4th documentary on the signage problems in L.A. The heart of this story will feature how some citizens of Los Angeles are affected by this issue. From our understanding, we will play a big part in this documentary that will include the protest at Rahban's estate.

To get you up to speed, we suggest that you view previous episodes that can be found on the Internet. We have linked it for your convenience (it's already referenced in the "related links" section on the left bar):

Billboard Confidential - Part 1
Billboard Confidential - Part 2
Billboard Confidential - Part 3

We believe the show will air on Thursday, April 16th and will confirm all the details in an upcoming post.

Billboard Comment of the Day

World Wide Rush and the Sherman Oaks Galleria's "who me?" attitude is despicable. "We don't know what happened," Defevere said. "We think someone did it by mistake."

Really? How many legit midnight landscapers are there? I just wish the local government had some teeth. comment from Comment #2, left at 02/24/09 02:40 PM.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Billboard Comment of the Day


"Let's cover the windows of the city councilmans offices at city hall... let's drape a banners over the city attorneys offices... and let's erect a digital billboard in the mayors office!" comment from:
Comment #42, left at 04/07/09 11:48 PM.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

News coverage of protest


See
Tropicana Supergraphic in Tow, Protesters Hit Brentwood
Monday, April 6, 2009, by Dakota

Here's a comment that was found on the article that really articulates the issue:

It's too easy to oversimplify this issue... It isn't about whether you like or dislike signs. It is about our City having laws and people breaking them or abiding by them. The regulation of signs is a very complicated issue, made even more so complicated in our City because the City leaders have found it convenient to grant EXCEPTIONS to the rules (which the outdoor advertising industry has then used to go to the courts to stop any reasonable enforcement). Those commenting need to understand that Hollywood has been granted "sign district" status by the City. That venture has allowed much of what is seen there (although illegal signs have still been erected in that area by sign companies). The Hollywood sign ordinance was granted because the powers that be felt/feel that Hollywood is a unique entertainment area and that there should be an ability to have signage there. The truth is that despite a city moratorium passed by the City Council in December, many illegal signs have been installed. Why? Because the penalties for those that break the law are a small inconvenience and so minimal as to be a joke... $ 100 for a sign earning $ 10,000 or more a month? If you or I as residents did something against City code, we would be cited. All the billboard protesters want is for the City to enforce the law. We have had a ban on new outdoor advertising signage since 2002... but you would never know it. The outdoor advertising industry is among the most litigious; they challenge laws passed in almost every municipality seeking to delay enforcement. Some of Rahban's buildings are protected by an injunction and they ignore the Dec. moratorium that should take precedence over all signs and buildings.

Most important is the fact that the City is now considering a new ordinance to govern how signs will be regulated in the future. Much is at stake and one can only imagine the level of industry lobbying that will take place. At one recent City Planning Commission hearing on the proposal, FIVE attorneys from one prestigious/powerful law firm each got up to claim their one (or two?) minute chance at the mike to address the Commission. Who speaks for the public? How can the public have a fair shake at these hearings? Who can afford to take off 3/4 of a day from work to attend these hearings? Who has the access to meet with each of the City Council members to plead their case? I can tell you who and that is the industry to be regulated. I say BRAVO to those citizens who spend their time attending these meetings, to those citizens who call their Council offices when they see illegal signs erected, to those residents who take photos of illegal installations, to those who go to their neighborhood councils to raise the issue, who spend their time making signs and protesting. It may not be one of the most important issue in the world given the miserable state the world is in, but it is a local issue of importance and concern and the new law that will be passed will set the stage for future enforcement...or the lack of enforcement. We'll see what happens. All should keep a watch and thank those who give their time to do so.
Comment #30, left at 04/06/09 05:10 PM.

Blog reaches 5,000 visit milestone in U.S.

Google Analytics tracks the numbers, and thanks to you, we've reached over the 5,000 visit mark. Below are the top 10 states viewing the blog. This is just in the United States -- we have readership all over the world.


This country/territory sent 5,091 visits via 47 regions


State

Visits

Pages/Visit

Avg. Time on Site

1.

California

3,923

2.05

00:03:32

2.

New York

456

1.63

00:01:38

3.

Illinois

105

2.10

00:02:52

4.

Georgia

94

1.29

00:00:52

5.

Florida

58

2.29

00:01:42

6.

Texas

45

1.49

00:01:20

7.

Pennsylvania

35

1.51

00:00:55

8.

District of Columbia

28

1.61

00:01:58

9.

Virginia

26

1.31

00:00:24

10.

Massachusetts

25

1.24

00:00:25


Monday, April 6, 2009

Slogans Paraded At Protest Tell It All!


This is what folks think of your advertising campaigns...























































Sunday, April 5, 2009

GRASSROOTS PROTEST HITS HOME FOR FRANK RAHBAN

At face value, the grassroots signage protest at Frank Rabhan's estate was an unanimous success -- along with a pleasant surprise!

How much of an impact will it have on city government? We'll wait and see.

Roughly 40 folks banded together to get out of bed early Sunday morning on the 5th of April to meet at 251 N. Bristol Ave, L.A. 90049 and troop with signs and slogans up and down the block where Frank Rabhan lives - an individual that has brought quite a lot of attention to himself due to his blatant disregard for public safety at one of his office buildings at 10801 National Blvd. He has also angered city officials and surrounding neighborhoods by supergraphics both at his National building as well as his building at Overland and Pico. To top it off, he used technicalities in the lease to "evict" (force out) Dr. Allan from his building where he practiced there for over 16 years.

If you're new to this saga, we suggest you first read "For New Comers - Start Here" located on the left side bar of this blog.

The idea of this protest has been floating the thought waves for some time now, and it was amazing to see how quickly it came together. Knowing that the KCET camera crew and other media outlets would be there gave us the motivation to go for it! The protest was born out of frustration with the fact that citizens of Los Angeles have been dealt a crummy hand when it comes to the out-of-control billboard and supergraphics' issues that plague the city. The bungled dealings and closed door decisions by city government that has placed the signage regulatory mechanisms on it's heels, leads us to believe that the mayor and city council really don't care what most citizens think.

Below is a closing statement made at the protest by Barbara Broide that poses some great questions and messages to our city government, building owners and the sign industry about the signage problems in L.A.

video
BARBARA BROIDE DELIVERS A COMPELLING MESSAGE TO THE FRANK RAHBAN, L.A. CITY COUNCIL, THE MEDIA AND THE SUPPORTERS AT THE FOOT OF FRANK RABHAN'S MANSION. A MUST LISTEN!


Oh... And The Surprise? Well, we had no idea whether or not Frank Rahban would be home, but nearing the close of the protest -- with a thundering exit, his slick Mercedes throttled out the gated entry, handed Karen Foshay of KCET a document and raced down the quiet residential street at speeds way beyond the speed limit.


video
WE BELIEVE FRANK WAS STUNNED TO SEE OUR PROTEST. HERE'S FRANK'S GETAWAY CAUGHT ON FILM PLUS SOME REACTION FROM THE CROWD.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Billboard Comment of the Day

From an anonymous viewer:

"As stated in the article, those huge billboards and advertisements are part of the of Paris cityscape. It would be like demanding all of the billboards should be taken down in Times Square. They are part of the urban landscape, and if people don't want to see them they should move. You don't go to NYC expecting to see cows."

Hmm, that's actually not a bad idea. Here's my response:

And regarding the Paris landscape, it's really up to the city and residents what they feel is important. Do you know what they did in Sao Paulo? They banned virtually all ads from the city. Click here to see what happened in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Since that time 70% have approved of this ban.

NY and Paris can have their visual pollution; L.A.'s got my vote to shut it down. Bring in some nice trees and sculpture.

Here's a great quote I came across on that news story about Sao Paulo...

“Presence always trumps presents.” From Joe Kelly of Campaign for a commercial-free childhood

Arraignment continued again to 05/13/09

The recent Federal Court ruling against the City of Los Angeles has forced the City Attorney's office to regroup their efforts in combating supergraphics'. Sources tell us they are are still working on a solution. As a result, the arraignment in the criminal case was continued to May 13th.