Friday, November 09, 2007

If you've been reading the indictments filed on F13, the observant student will notice some interesting connections. The person named as AC, an unindicted co-conspirator turns out to be Arturo Castellanos, a Mero doing all day. Known variously as "Tablas" and sometimes "Spider," Castellanos is (was) a close associate of Tigger Salinas (Avenues), Salvador "Mon" Buenrostro (Jardin) and Daniel "Spider" Arriega (Maravilla). While he was on the street, Salinas paid regular tribute to Tablas, Mon and Spider but apparently fell out of favor after he got rolled up in murder case (a personal, non business-related beef) and sentenced to LWOP.

Just to backfill some history, Mon was stabbed up in the attorney's room by Rene "Boxer" Enriquez and Ben "Topo" Peters during the first RICO trial in 1995. Mon survived. Boxer, as we all know by now, has debriefed and PC'd up some years ago. Arriega was killed in Chino (the town, not the prison) by some Border Brothers behind some deal gone sideways. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. Enjoy.
It's ironic that former police chief and current council member Bernard Parks wants to divert that trash pickup tax money away from hiring more cops to providing other city services. When that tax was put before the citizens, we were told it was going directly to hire more cops for the most under-policed city in the country. Parks imperiously figures now that they have the money they should be able to do anything they want with it. This is nothing less than betrayal of trust. The rationale he uses is that the LAPD has exceeded its budget and has to live within its means. Considering the almost weekly revelations of foolish and/or criminal spending on the part of LAUSD, DWP, the foster care system and LA Bridges, to name a few, Parks should be directing his energies at brooming the deadwood and firing the miscreants in these organizations. But that would take some hard work and maybe stepping on toes of the politically connected. To this day, we don't know the name of the person that blessed the shower of money that poured on No Guns and Hector Marroquin. Maybe we can start there.

To provide some numbers, the LAPD's annual budget is around $1.8 billion according to the LAT. Jackie Goldberg's money pit known as the Belmont Learning Center has already cost roughly $750 million. It's been reported that it could wind up costing right around $1 billion. That's a significant chunk of money, even by drunken sailor political standards. If someone with the guts to start cutting out the waste, fraud, featherbedding and outright thievery I'd bet they'd find enough loose change to keep the garbage money from being poured into places it was never meant.