What Can We Do to Protect LA from Dangerous Paparazzi?

Paparazzi Law Charts – Citizen’s Guide

Like bees that pollinate flowers, paparazzi sometimes have a symbiotic relationship with celebrities. However, paparazzi, like bees, can also be known to sting and hurt on occasion.

Yesterday, an innocent person was killed on Pacific Coast Highway in a terrible accident involving a local celebrity.   Whether the Paparazzi caused or contributed to the incident has yet to be determined.  Nevertheless, the pictures published on a well-known website show that at least one paparazzi was on the scene – before, during and possible after the “accident”.  This paparazzi photographed the entire tragic accident as it occurred.  Coincidence or contemplated?  We may never know.

What do we know?  LA and Malibu are magnets for paparazzi.  Many paparazzi in Malibu do their job within the law.  They are respectful of the people they photograph and the people who live and visit our town; however, there seems to be a new breed of paparazzi who act with reckless disregard for the safety of residents, visitors, and children alike.

When I was Mayor back in 2008, I received reports that this new breed of paparazzi: engage in high-speed car chases on PCH, our main street, travel in packs, run red lights, make unsafe, and at times, illegal u-turns in the pursuit of their subject.  This reckless behavior extends into other areas of our community – our residential streets, elementary schools, parks, local shopping centers, and beaches.  A blind pursuit for commercial gain can place people and children in harm’s way.

On July 31, 2008, the LA Regional Paparazzi Task Force convened it’s first meeting at LA City Hall. The Task Force included local cities such as: Los Angeles, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Calabasas and West Hollywood along with the LA County Sheriff to consider what, if anything, can be done to insure all people and especially our children are respected and protected. The LA Regional Task Force received comments from individuals, law enforcement and legal experts. When panelists were asked if they would be willing to follow through and go to court to pursue paparazzi issues, a task that would take time out of their busy schedules, the panelist testifying seemed reluctant to commit. On that same day, LA Police Chief William Bratton commented that the paparazzi have become less of a problem thanks to celebrities such as Britney Spears, Paris Hilton and Lindsey Lohan leading more moderate lifestyles.

On September 29, 2008, the Task Force convened in Malibu and heard testimony from a local elementary school principal which attested to the problem when paparazzi visited schools especially during drop off and pick up.  The task force produced sample ordinances which could be enacted in the future pertaining to school safety zones.  The Task Force recommended that a Citizen’s Guide be made available to the public. This Guide outlined current laws that could be enforced and is attached at the top of this blog and is entitled Paparazzi Law Charts – Citizen’s Guide.

Just this past Friday when I was picking up my children from a school bus stop, a paparazzi was there in a car driving, taking pictures and literally stalking a local celebrity Dad who was picking up his very young child.  My kids were startled by this stalker and we talked about the incident afterward.  What can they do if they are thrown in the middle of a show down?  I told them to get out their phones and video tape the assault so they could have a record of the behavior.

Little did I know, only a day later a fatal accident would occur which may or may not have involved paparazzi stalking a star.

Should we all just go about our business and say nothing more about this?  Or, is it time that we all start talking about this issue and think about what we can do to protect the people in our community and the world.   What will you do to keep our kids and community safe?   Please share your thoughts and join in this dialogue.

Soccer – Can We End the Silence on Violence? Stand up and get kicked off the field!

Girls Gone Wild

Soccer season is in full swing – literally!

My daughter, a soccer player who was out of the game due to a mild concussion injury, wanted to support her team in a game against a school in LA.

We arrived at the game just around half-time because of LA traffic. My daughter ran out to join her teammates in the halftime circle on the field and forgot to bring a jacket. It was a nippy night, so I got a jacket out of the trunk of the car.

After I parked the car, I walked over towards the team to bring my daughter her jacket and couldn’t help but hear the opposing team coach screaming at her team. I overheard her say things like hurt them and hit them and started to wonder what in the world are these coaches saying to our girls? The screaming coach also accused our team of doing anything to win like throwing elbows and kicking players.

I stood there shocked and in disbelief. What is the price of victory? Violence?

When I saw another coach leave the huddle of hatred and walk over towards the 50 yard line to go into the score box, I asked him his name and told him he was a witness to the violent attitude permeating from the screaming coach.

As I walked back across the field, I passed the Referee’s who were in the middle of the field still waiting for half-time to be over. I told them I was concerned about the safety of the players had and asked where I could file a complaint. They told me to speak to the Athletic Director (“AD”). I then left the field and tried to find the AD. I was told he was there earlier, but no one knew whether he was still there.

The game commenced and I started watching.

A few minutes later, our team coach came over to me and asked me to leave the field because the opposing coach had complained about me. I was again in disbelief. I was threatened and told to leave the game simply because I wanted to file a complaint about a coach perpetuating violence?

I told our coach that I would leave and then walked away. On my way out, I finally found the AD told him what I had overheard.

As I left the game, I thought about what I had witnessed on the field this past season. After one game in Santa Monica, one of our players showed me and her mother the black and blue marks on her legs that she had gotten on the field that day. I also remembered the time my 11 year old was punched in the face by another 11 year old club soccer player. That player was red carded and asked to leave the game.

Now I was asked to leave the game? My crime, overhearing a screaming coach and wanting to stop the circle of violence.

On my way out, I made a vow. The silence on violence must end. Our world needs everyone to speak up, share their stories and be safe.

If you witness a Coach screaming at players and urging violence what will you do?

November 4, 2014 – Not Just Another Sunny Day in LA.

On November 4, 2014, you have the power to decide who will be LA County’s 3rd District Supervisor – either Bobby Shriver or Shiela Kuehl.

Why should you care?

For the 1st time in 20 years, this is a competitive race and the new Supervisor will oversee your tax money – a $26 billion budget. The new Supervisor can put LA on a course to prosperity and fiscal fitness, or poverty with outrageous government spending.

For the past year, I have had the honor of listening to, and debating against and with both Shriver and Kuehl. I respect both for their dedication and service to our community whether it be locally or in Sacramento, but they have very different leadership qualities and qualifications.

Who will be able to reform County Government? We need reform in areas involving the department of children and welfare services, the Sheriff department, homeless, Veterans, those in custody, Campaign Finance, and Pensions to name a few.

Who will keep government spending in check?

Who will be able to best build and increase partnerships with Business and Non-Profits to promote economic recovery and provide public services?

Who will implement creative smart solutions with measurable results?
Do you want civility and professionalism in local government, or do you want a Supervisor who demeans or belittles local “part-time” office holders who try to make our communities better?

Do you want to elect someone who will encourage others to participate in democracy, or do you want a Supervisor who discourages and attempts to “scare” others from running for office?

Do want a Supervisor who will cut bureaucratic red tape and work to insure that jobs stays here in LA, or do you want a Supervisor that calls states like Nevada a “fool” for creating an environment friendly to businesses?

I want a Supervisor who will act independently, offer innovative solutions to complex problems, and who has a history of helping those in need.

I want smaller, smarter government, not big bullying government.

I believe Supervisor candidate Bobby Shriver will deliver not just good Government, but cutting edge Government. Shriver will make LA County a beacon of light for our State, our Country and our planet and put LA on a true-north course towards prosperity and progress, but he can’t win without YOU! Help make it a sunny day in LA and join me in voting for Bobby Shriver on November 4. Thank you for sharing, caring and voting!

Register to vote visit: http://registertovote.ca.gov/

To register to vote by mail visit: http://www.lavote.net/home/voting-elections/voting-options-information/vote-by-mail

Back to School – Back to Voting. Why your vote will matter on November 4, 2014.

Even though I lost the LA County primary election on June 3rd, I still haven’t lost my desire to help make LA County better tomorrow than it is today.

It’s easy to talk the talk, but who will walk the walk when it comes to investing in Children and Education?

While Bobby Shriver served as a local Councilmember and Mayor for the City of Santa Monica, he put money into education.  Unlike Sacramento, which cut funding to education, Bobby helped to secure at least $441 million dollars for local public schools — even during the Great Recession. This funding has made a world of difference in education for so many families and children.

Bobby voted for eight city budgets that gave $8 million dollars a year to public schools, including paying for a master lease for playgrounds could be used after school hours. In those same budgets, the city of Santa Monica included $37 million dollars a year for school-based and community programs for Santa Monica Public School students. In May 2009, Bobby also voted to approve $81 million dollars of redevelopment funds for the Santa Monica High School joint use.

Bobby also voted to place propositions on the ballot and the voters of Santa Monica voted to support giving half of the proceeds of an increased city sales tax of 1/2% to Santa Monica public schools. Prop YY is now averaging $7.5 million dollars per year directly to local schools.

Bobby listened to the local community and invested in children. He also put into these measures oversight and other protections to make the accounting publicly available. His smart local approach is what he will bring to the entire 3rd District as the next Supervisor.

87% of people in LA County didn’t bother to vote in the Primary election in June.

Now the question is, who will you be voting for on November 4 and why?

I will be voting for Bobby based on his record of service.  Will you be joining me?

Politics and Priorities

Since I began the quest of running for LA County Supervisor, I have read many pages and reports – from the Santa Monica Mountains Land Use Plan to the Report of the Citizens’ Commission on Jail Violence to the Blue Ribbon Commission on Child Protection.

As I parse through these pages of reports, my jaw rarely drops to the ground and my blood pressure rarely rises to the roof, but it did yesterday.

After reading the April 18, 2014 “Road to Safety for Our Children – Final Report of the Blue Ribbon Commission on Child Protection” there can be only one conclusion: children are not a priority of at least 3 members of the current Board of Supervisors. How can I say this?

After the Child Protection Commission (hereinafter “Commission”) held 15 public hearings and interviewed more than 300 stakeholders they found, “A recurring theme in our hearings was the children, youth, parents, relatives, foster parents, and community groups, who should be at the center of planning, feel devalued and unheard.” p. I. “The children for whom this report was written deserve to grow up free from abuse and neglect and to realize their full potential. It is our responsibility to make this possible, now.” p. vi.

“Nearly four months have elapsed since the Commission issued its interim recommendation on which everyone seemed to agree: performing medical screening exams on detained children under the age of one.  The Commission highlighted this urgency of implementing this recommendation given the vulnerability of this population.  The Deputy Director of Strategic Planning for the Department of Health Services indicated that DHS could implement it within existing resources.  And still, four months later, this recommendation has not been acted upon.” at p. 12.  How could the Board fail to act at least on this one simple recommendation?

There is the need, there is the money, but it appears there is no will to implement this uncontested need to perform medical screenings.    Instead, the Board of Supervisors asked that Report be further studied and brought back in May.

Ask yourself, if another recommendation had been made involving environmental special interests or maybe some big oil company interest, do you think the Board would have failed to act?

It’s time to elect public servants who will make these children a priority.  They can’t vote or contribute any money to a candidate’s campaign, but in my humble opinion, they matter.

When children’s lives are at stake, I believe it is time for action, not further study. It is time for respect, not dismissiveness.

The Commission unanimously concluded that a “State of Emergency” exists in the current child protection system.

Reform will only take as long or as little time as 3 votes on the Board of Supervisors decide it will take.

If elected to serve the 3rd District, I will implement the recommendations made by the Blue Ribbon task force, and not ask for yet another study.

LA County voters will be given the opportunity to vote for 2 new Supervisors in the June primary and in November this year.

I hope and pray that the newly elected Supervisors will make protecting children a priority.

To Be or Not To Be Ruled by Money – That is the Question.

Los Angeles, we have a problem.

The 2010 Supreme Court’s 5-4 Citizens United decision removed limitations on corporate spending in federal elections. It also eliminated the requirement placed on candidates to disclose their sources of funding to the public. Spending for the 2012 election cycle exceeded all estimates and expectations at $7 billion, according to FEC Chair Ellen Weintraub.

That kind of money can only be acquired from the wealthiest of donors, the special interests of big business and/or their lobbyists. Are elected officials beholden to big money interests as a result?

The “trend to spend” has spiraled out of control.

In July 2012, I got an e-mail from the Obama campaign with “good news and bad news.” The “Good news” was that June was the best fundraising month and more than 706,000 people stepped up and pitched in for a grand total of $71 million raised for the campaign and the Democratic Party. The “Bad news” was that Romney and the RNC pulled in a whopping $106 million in 1 month.

From Obama:
“We’re getting outraised — a first for a sitting president, if this continues. Not just by the super PACs and outside groups that are pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into misleading ads, but by our opponent and the Republican Party, which just outraised us for the second month in a row. We can win a race in which the other side spends more than we do. But not this much more.”

Then my President asked me to contribute more money to stop the madness.

With all due respect, another shot of heroin won’t stop the pain. Isn’t it time for our political process to come clean and stop sucking money away from hard-working Americans?

How can we continue to reward those who would spend millions just to be elected while schools are closing, public safety officers are reduced and people are loosing homes to foreclosures.

Is anyone else getting sick of the amount of money being poured into local and national political campaigns? When will enough, be enough?

In May 2013, over $7 million was spent in the race for LA Mayor (and 70% of Angelinos didn’t even bother to vote).

At the local level in LA County, if a person accepts Voluntary Campaign Limits in Proposition B, which passed in 1996, then they can spend no more than $1,971,921; however, there is no limit now because one candidate did not agree to the Voluntary Expense limits.

On April 2, 2014, the Supreme Court issued its decision in the McCutcheon vs. FEC case which eliminated aggregate individual campaign funding limits.

Before today, an individual could donate $123,200 per election cycle (more than twice the annual median income in the country).

After today, one individual can write a single check for $5.9 million to any candidate, political party and political committee.

If the Citizens United case is a precedent, our political system will be flooded by enormous amounts of special interest money coming from a very small number of exceedingly wealthy individuals.

If you believe Democracy is not a Spectator Sport, then join the hundreds of thousands of Americans of all political persuasions who are fed up with an increasingly polluted campaign finance system and are actively organizing for change and do two things:

1) Learn about the issues. Good websites to start with are democracyisforpeople.org, moneyout-votersin.org and movetoamend.org.

2) Talk to your family and friends about this issue and help us stop the insanity.

The future is yours, or maybe it’s not. You decide.


Dear Mr. President:

I am praying that you will lead the United States on a path towards prosperity and peace, not despair and war.

I will leave the constitutional and legal arguments as to why you can’t start a war with Syria to the experts, but I hope you will not be persuaded by people who want you to stick to any proverbial “red line.”  The drawing of red, white or blue lines should be done by children on a playground, not by a leader of one of the greatest countries on Earth.

Will you cause more blood-shed in the name of “core national interests” or because you don’t want to lose “credibility”?

The world is now watching whether you respect the United Nations and International law or not. You received the Nobel Peace prize for a reason.  I hope and pray that you will show the world what a true leader looks like.

Will you to continue to work with the United Nations to impose meaningful consequences on the Assad regime, or will you go it alone?

United the world stands, but divided the United States falls.

With deep respect, gratitude and love,

Pamela Conley Ulich


Urban Outfitters, the Navajo Nation and Malibu

Urban Outfitters is coming to town. It already has about 200 other stores across the nation, and now it will call Malibu home.

What would the Navajo Nation say about our new neighbor?

According to NPR, “The Navajo Nation is accusing the retailer of trademark infringement. Members say Urban Outfitters sold goods that used the Navajo name and symbols without permission. [S]ome Native Americans find certain uses of the Navajo name offensive.” Sasha Houston Brown, a member of the Santee Sioux Nation, wrote a letter which claims there’s nothing honorable or historically appreciative in selling items such as the Navajo Print Fabric-Wrapped Flask, Peace Treaty Feather Necklace, Staring at Stars Skull Native Headdress, or the Navajo Hipster Panties.” (NPR story can be found here: http://www.npr.org/2012/04/05/150062611/navajo-nation-sues-urban-outfitters-over-trademark)

The New Mexico U.S. District Judge C. LeRoy Hansen on March 26 held that the Navajo Nation alleged adequate facts under the Lanham Act to show that Urban Outfitters has been using the term ‘Navajo” in a trademark sense, and that the retailer didn’t accompany the term with other distinguishing marks so that a buyer wouldn’t be deceived into thinking they were a purchasing a Navajo Nation product.

“The factual allegations are … sufficient to show that the mark is likely to create confusion in the marketplace,” according to Judge LeRoy. (http://www.law360.com/articles/429688/urban-outfitters-loses-bid-to-toss-navajo-trademark-suit)

For many years people have tried to convince Councilmembers to start a local “City of Malibu” branding campaign which could raise funds to benefit various needs of the City from non-profits to safety on PCH.  It seems like everyone from car makers to liquor producers to t-shirt designers have cashed in on the Malibu to benefit their bottom line, maybe the City of Malibu could sell merchandise that would reflect the Malibu “Way of Life” to benefit and serve all people who live and visit Malibu.

Recently, the City Council spent $90,000 to hire a New York firm called Excel to “develop an official logo, and also to pay expenses when he [Excel's vice president of licensing, Rob Stone Robert Stone] approaches manufacturers at events like the apparel show in Las Vegas.”

Stone also stated “The first collection we are going to be doing is sort of a lifestyle fashion line,” he said. “Envision Hollister meets Abercrombie meets the Gap, and then mix all those together and sell them at Urban Outfitters.” (http://www.cnbc.com/id/100519582)

What is wrong with the logo designed by local Ray Singer when the City became official in 1991? Even if the logo is “old school”, why couldn’t the City of Malibu give local artists the opportunity to design the logo just like the City did for the Malibu song?  What is wrong with selling Malibu merchandise at Pinnacle, Sunlife or other local stores in Malibu which give back to the Malibu community?

I wonder how the Navajo Nation would feel if they learned the City of Malibu was going to sell our new New York designed logo brand at Urban Outfitters?

How do you feel about this Malibu?


Lessons from Sheen’s Dog Sh** Tweet.

According to a recent news report, Charlie Sheen is not is not apologizing for encouraging his fans on Twitter to deliver “a rotted egg a roll of toilet paper or some dog s***” to the school where he said his 9-year-old daughter Sam was once bullied, even though she is no longer a student there.” (http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/entertainment/2013/03/charlie-sheen-attacks-bully-school/)

Bullying is never acceptable, and I hope his 9 year-old daughter was not hurt by unkind words uttered from another child, but how could any father encourage people to do harm to a school where children are present? Especially now in the wake of the horrific attack at Newton Elementary, why would anyone encourage violence at a school?

We can all learn something from the Sheen rotten egg / dog s*** Tweet . We can have an open dialogue about bullying and give our kids the tools to protect themselves against Bully’s they encounter in the world. Information and tool kits can be found here: (http://www.eyesonbullying.org/pdfs/toolkit.pdf) We can also pray that parents will practice love and not encourage violence especially when it comes to children.

United: A Way of Strife.

Before we took off from LAX on the United 757 bound for New York we were asked to shut off all devices. What is a girl with a Nook to do, but grab the March 2013 edition of “Hemispheres” magazine?

The article entitled “A Winning Attitude” declares “Delivering excellent customer service is a way of life for flight attendant Jane Doucette.” The article explains the phrase “Sit back, relax and enjoy the flight ” isn’t a cliché, but a “personal reminder of a great responsibility and a call to action.”

About half way through the 5 plus hour flight, I went to the restroom. On my way out, I passed a young mother with her adorable 4 month–old daughter, Beatrice. She was travelling by herself and was pushing the door open with her scrambling child in her arms. The two flight attendants didn’t offer to help hold the baby, and only watched as the poor mother struggled, so I offered my help. The mom looked relieved and gladly gave me her baby to hold so she could use the restroom.

I asked the flight attendants if they had children and whether they liked to hold babies. They replied that they did and previously helped rock babies to sleep, but the new United policy prohibited the flight attendants from helping mothers traveling alone because of “liability.”

When the mother came out, she informed me that there wasn’t even one baby changing station on the entire plane! Instead, the mom had a choice to change Beatrice on the toilet seat (where one passenger had just thrown up), or on the floor previously sprayed with chemical cleaners.

I asked the same flight attendants how this could be possible. They explained that the plane was old and would need a new certification if United were to add baby-changing tables to the bathrooms, which would; you guessed it “cost lot’s of money and time.”

How could Jeff Smisek, the Chairman of the Board, President and CEO, write a letter “Investing in Our People” and boldy assert in Hemispheres magazine, “We invest a lot in our business and in our customers” but what about the babies? Are they not worthy of customer status?

I hope United won’t just talk the talk and will walk the walk by installing baby-changing tables and allow the flight attendants to help mothers in need.

It has been said that you can judge the health of a society by how it treats the oldest and youngest. I hope and pray that my United 757 flight experience isn’t telling of the future of our country, society and the airline industry.