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Farmers Markets

[Updated]: Hollywood Farmers Market Update: Stalled But Not Demonstrating

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Thu, Feb 24, 2011 at 4:01 PM

click to enlarge FELICIA FRIESEMA
  • Felicia Friesema

Updated, 4:00 p.m.: An e-mail statement from LAFS's Vice President of Marketing Albert Villalta:

"The Los Angeles Film School continues to meet with representatives of the Hollywood Farmers Market and City officials to identify the most economical solution that allows for the school to have full access to its parking lots and also enables the Market to serve residents of Hollywood. To date, we've complied with every request resulting from the city-led, bi-weekly meetings. We have not received requests from the City to conduct traffic studies, parking studies or to submit applications for any projects. In the meantime, the Film School remains committed to this City-led process and believes a solution is within reach that will allow both parties to grow and serve the residents of Hollywood. All we're asking for is access to our parking lot so we can continue to serve the growing needs of our students."

The original post, published 2:00 p.m.:

There's been some slow progression in the negotiations between the Hollywood Farmers Market and its managing organization, Sustainable Economic Enterprises of Los Angeles (SEE-LA), and its neighbor on Ivar, the Los Angeles Film School (LAFS). But if you read a recent post on the L.A. Times' L.A. Now blog, you might think that Pompea Smith, the Hollywood market's manager, was ready to start printing t-shirts and handing out petitions again.

The Hollywood Farmers Market recently sent out a flyer to its patrons detailing the progress and in some cases the lack thereof, of the negotiating meetings between SEE-LA and the LAFS. In that flyer, SEE-LA states that up until very recently it seemed like things were going well, however, " ...our most recent meetings with the Film School and Board of Public Works have caused us some concern about the lack of effort the Film School has demonstrated toward working in good faith to achieve a mutually acceptable solution to the issue of access to their parking facilities."

"The statement was distorted," said Smith, who also posted a letter to the L.A. Times detailing her disappointment with the post. "It sounds like we're calling for a demonstration. That's incorrect and we never said that. Our desire is to work toward a mutually beneficial solution. It always has been."

Her statements, and the letter to the Times:

click to enlarge The newly truncated southern end of the Hollywood market. - FELICIA FRIESEMA
  • Felicia Friesema
  • The newly truncated southern end of the Hollywood market.

SEE-LA and LAFS have approximately 50 more days to get their negotiations to bear some meaningful fruit, but Smith thinks they'll likely need an extension.

"I feel that things are somewhat stalled right now," said Smith. "We need to see some progress made on the part of LAFS regarding investigating the joining of the two parking lots . We need all potential ways of resolving the parking access issue analyzed before we can decide how to proceed."

Smith also noted that SEE-LA has already shortened the market on the southern end of Ivar to accommodate a staff parking lot entrance as part of a good faith effort. "We were told that it wasn't safe so we worked with the Department of Transportation to see how we could better handle the closure on that end of the market."

In addition SEE-LA is investigating several new possible footprints for the market that would help resolve the LAFS parking access issue. "The proposals need to be reviewed thoroughly for safety concerns and feasibility," said Smith.

Regardless of the current hiccup in progress, Smith is still committed to the negotiations. "Its very important that we do not misinterpret the statements we make. It's not our intention [to demonstrate]. We're still looking for a mutually beneficial solution."

LAFS had not responded to our request for a statement in time for this post.

The letter from SEE-LA to the L.A. Times:

To the Editor:

The L.A. Timesblog article "Hollywood farmers market warns vendors they may have to demonstrate" (Feb. 23) misrepresents the position of Sustainable Economic Enterprises of Los Angeles (SEE-LA), the nonprofit organization which runs the market. Your writer Kate Linthicum suggests that our notice to vendors on Sunday was inciting vendors to participate in a demonstration, or picketing, or some form of civil disobedience. This is inaccurate. The only part of our Sunday notice to vendors which uses the word "demonstrate" is a sentence which says: ". . . we may need to again demonstrate our steadfast commitment to our principles to the City and the L.A. Film School." We did not warn vendors that they may have to participate in a demonstration.

Our full statement can be found at http://farmernet.com/.

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