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What’s This Guy’s Beef with Paul Krekorian?

He has a sign of the city councilman in a fez and calls him “a monkey." So what does Sam Ammari have against his local representative?

The sign isn’t hard to miss. It’s a block away from on Laurel Canyon Boulevard right next to

It has wearing a fez and “Paul Krekorian The Monkey” printed on it. Then, it says (misspelling included): “The Money Connection, Only If The Public New.” (Also, State Assembly member Bob Blumenfield is pictured in a party hat with “The Clown” plastered under him.)

On the other side it features both politicians and says, “Wanted for Civil Rights Violations.”

So, what’s the beef? Why is it out there on the street?

Across Laurel Canyon from those signs is the (you’ve seen those signs around town, too: “$40 Massage” and “Full Body Scrub $29”) and one of the presidents of the company is Sam Ammari, a big man with a normally soft-spoken voice—until he talks about his signs.

“I have tried to follow every regulation they have thrown at me—the state rules, the city rules, and I feel like they’re just harassing me,” Ammari told Studio City Patch. "It's unfair and I've had enough of it."

Earlier this week, one of his trucks with a sign bolted to it was impounded. He said he has 12 other vehicles that are at the impound yard, and he is involved in two federal lawsuits trying to protect the rights to keep the mobile signs.

The signs cost as much as $4,000 to alter to meet new regulations. He has the signs bolted and welded to the trucks. He also has wrap-around advertisements on the vans.

Ammari said he was approached to donate $50,000 to his campaign as a businessman. When he refused, he said he felt he was being targeted by city officials and the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety.

“That hasn't happened—no one in the councilmember’s office, nor anyone associated with it, has ever targeted Mr. Ammari or his business,” said Krekorian’s Communications Director Jeremy Oberstein. “Those allegations are completely false.”

Krekorian himself seemed to take the signs rather lightly, laughing about the photo of him with the fez on. The signs are not far from the house he just moved to in Studio City.

“I’m just responding to the many complaints I’ve received over the years about these unsightly signs in their neighborhood,” he told Patch. Because he and Blumenfield are at the forefront of legislation to stop the mobile billboards, he expected Ammari and others to exercise their Freedom of Speech. And, Krekorian mentioned it in this week's newsletter.

“For years, Valley residents were frustrated by the proliferation of 'mobile billboards'—those unsightly trailers bearing large and usually garish advertising signs that could be found on virtually every major boulevard,” the newsletter said. “These trailers made neighborhoods appear blighted, endangered traffic safety and took up valuable parking spaces that our small business owners depended upon.”

The new law banning mobile billboards passed last year already eradicated most of the signs—and Ammari is one of the last holdouts.

"One of the things that makes our country great is our right to speak freely and to criticize our government and the people we elect," Krekorian said. "But political attacks against me will never deter me from my continuing efforts to protect our neighborhoods and stamp out mobile billboards."

Those billboards have resulted in a stream of persistent complaints coming to the Studio City Neighborhood Council. But Ammari said he gets many people thanking him and congratulating him for taking a stand.

On a recent day when one of his trucks was being impounded, a local person he didn’t know tried to stop the tow-away and Ammari said four people shook his hands when he showed up at the scene. The next day, his business at the spa had 57 people walking in. The impounding could be good for his business, he laughs.

Who is Ammari? His family has owned property in Studio City for 22 years. They own car wash and spa businesses throughout the area. He describes himself as a church-going man with two adopted children who sings to the elderly at a local nursing home in his spare time.

His billboards get parked in Torrance, Long Beach, Burbank, Glendale, Hollywood, West Hollywood, San Bernardino and West Los Angeles. Most of his problems and complaints, though, occur in Studio City.

“I don’t park them on busy streets [where there are no parking spaces],” Ammari said. “On the Westside on Sepulveda [Boulevard] there’s always a space.”

He was parking his Thai Spa sign on the other end of Studio City in front of for a while on Ventura Boulevard in front of a business that has its own spa. He said they have been cooperative and he has referred employees there. In the meantime, the parking spaces in front of the hotel have become metered so his trucks are no longer there.

Ammari said he moves the billboards every two days, according to law, and he has the trucks washed regularly, “because I don’t want them to look dirty.”

Neighborhood Councilmember Ron Taylor, a longtime resident, said, “We have seen a proliferation of these billboards around our neighborhood more in recent years. These were not around for 22 years. They are big and ugly.”

But, apparently they work.

“I wouldn’t be putting them up if they didn’t help business,” Ammari said.

His business is a quiet dark place with Asian décor. People are given foot baths, there’s a steam room, and private massage rooms in the back.

Famous clients in the past have included , and One employee does hair extensions for Cher, and Janie, who has worked at the spa for seven years, does massages for famous athletes.

“I run a clean establishment,” Ammari said. “I am being illegally harassed. The parking fines in Los Angeles are among the most expensive in the country. It is just not fair.”

More than half of the times his trucks get impounded, he goes to court and is told they were improperly taken off the streets. That proves he is right, he said.

So, in the meantime, Ammari said he plans to keep his moving advertisements, and comply with the rules. He will continue to keep up the anti-Krekorian billboards.

“Krekorian is monkeying around with me, so that is why we have this up,” Ammari said. “It is not racist or anything like that, my wife is Armenian [like Krekorian] after all.”

To report an illegal mobile billboard, contact the Dept. of Transportation's Parking Enforcement Division at (818) 752-5100 or Krekorian’s office at (818) 755-7676. You may also take a photo of the offending billboard and submit it to Krekorian’s office through Twitter or by email at Councilmember.Krekorian@lacity.org or on his Ask Paul column.

peggy sue August 13, 2012 at 01:39 AM
1 more fucking thing i got 2 say lets all get 2gather and burn his fucking shop DOWN THAT MOTHER FUCKER HE IS PUTTING US ALL OUT OF BIZZ BURN BABY BURN....................
Mike Gonzalez August 13, 2012 at 03:04 AM
its me sam ammari still here you lose paul my signs are here to stay freedom has been won in federal court i received my victory the feds are be hide me now so if you need a sign email me @ kingkongbillboards@gmail.com FIX R CITY UR LAZY and if ur laughing my sign off about u why are u running around sending every city group against me but u lost on that to i hate no1 because hate is evil god is great give ur soul to him and be freed!!!!!!...........
Jim August 13, 2012 at 03:15 AM
Hi, Suzy and Sam. I see that you're both just about the only supporters of Mr. Ammari on here, you just both joined Patch about 20 minutes apart, you use curiously similar language and punctuation, and these are your first and only comments. Since you're new to the discussion, you ought to know that the problem isn't with Mr. Ammari or what he puts on his illegal billboards. It is that his mobile signs are illegal. It took a multi-year effort by State and local legislators to close the loopholes that he has been using to cheat other citizens who are following the rules. His nuisance lawsuits against the city have been diverting resources and attention from potholes and litter and postponing his inevitable demise. Mr. Ammari makes it sound like he has no choice, but he could rent a legal billboard to advertise his business. There's obviously more money to be had by him by breaking the law. Over and over, every time Ammari opens his mouth, "Suzy" and "Sam" we hear a lie. If you like his signs, take a picture. If you like his spa, go there. The rest of the community has decided that they don't want to live that way, and as we take down his signs with slow and careful precision, we're well on our way to throwing him in jail as the illegal billboard law allows.
Jim August 13, 2012 at 03:15 AM
Hi, Suzy and Sam. I see that you're both just about the only supporters of Mr. Ammari on here, you just both joined Patch about 20 minutes apart, you use curiously similar language and punctuation, and these are your first and only comments. Since you're new to the discussion, you ought to know that the problem isn't with Mr. Ammari or what he puts on his illegal billboards. It is that his mobile signs are illegal. It took a multi-year effort by State and local legislators to close the loopholes that he has been using to cheat other citizens who are following the rules. His nuisance lawsuits against the city have been diverting resources and attention from potholes and litter and postponing his inevitable demise. Mr. Ammari makes it sound like he has no choice, but he could rent a legal billboard to advertise his business. There's obviously more money to be had by him by breaking the law. Over and over, every time Ammari opens his mouth, "Suzy" and "Sam" we hear a lie. If you like his signs, take a picture. If you like his spa, go there. The rest of the community has decided that they don't want to live that way, and as we take down his signs with slow and careful precision, we're well on our way to throwing him in jail as the illegal billboard law allows.
Mike Gonzalez August 13, 2012 at 03:22 AM
look i know you i caught you in my shop stealing nail polish burbank girl so stop the bs shop lifter!!
Jack August 13, 2012 at 07:03 AM
And his advertised prices are if you book 24 hours in advance. If you reserve for the same day, they won't tell you that. After you receive the service, you're told it's more expensive since it was the same day. Then, it's cash only. You can pay the fee to use his atm. But you can't pay check or credit card. Perhaps too much tax would go to our government if he accepted anything but cash? I got all this information from his customers on yelp.
Jim August 13, 2012 at 03:39 PM
It's kind of fun that we wouldn't have learned all this junk about his spa, how dangerously he drives and how he cheats the message boards if it weren't for his illegal billboards. Thanks for the research, Jack!
sam August 13, 2012 at 03:46 PM
jim bob if that so true why does he do such GREAT BUSINESS LOL!
sam August 13, 2012 at 03:48 PM
you must be old bitter and so lonely and he is still here with his new signs and i like them there so cool.
sam August 13, 2012 at 03:50 PM
And yelp is a joke if you don't pay them they will only allow bad reviews go to city search he has a 95% rate people!
Jim August 13, 2012 at 04:08 PM
A mugger with a gun can do GREAT BUSINESS, Sam. You may like his signs, but the court of public opinion AND the court of law agree: they are illegal and they are ugly. If Sam Ammari was a church-goer he would know that lying and cheating doesn't make him a hero. It makes him a liar and a cheater.
Jim August 13, 2012 at 04:14 PM
I may be old, bitter and lonely, Sam, but I like my Studio City. When I go to church, I like to be able to look at the trees, when my kids play at the playground I like them to have an ad-free space, and when my grandparents come to visit, I like to be proud of my city instead of embarassed by the signs for sexual massages all over the hills.
Skraeling August 13, 2012 at 07:01 PM
Since the business is doing so spectacularly well, then why the plethora of illegal signs? All those "satisfied" customers would surely tell their friends, wouldn't they? That is how things work. Do it right, and there is no problem. Keep doing it your way and the problems never end. There are more decent people in Studio City and elsewhere that will never stop the spread of your disgusting blight, in spite of weak politicians like Krikorian. They come and go, just like people who put up blight.
Tara August 14, 2012 at 07:23 PM
Sam is the owner that has the signs up all over LA and claims he is a millionaire from his bogus massage businesses and car washes. This guy only accepts cash. He is also going by the names of “Suzy, Sam, Mike Gonzales, Peggy Sue, and Jeff Stein” on this message board. You can tell they are from the same person, by the grammatical errors. He needs to learn English, how to write a sentence and learn to spell. His own signs are spelled incorrectly. BTW – “Mike Gonzales” AKA “Sam” – Owner of this “massage parlor”… whenever anyone calls you out on your lies, fraud, postings that are fake, fake names, you always seem to make them look like the bad person… “Stealing nail polish” – Please – Another lie, another way of trying to make you the better person! You are the fraud, con-artist, bully that many, many people are claiming. The only way you know how to defend yourself is to blame others. Sam also needs to wash his mouth out… filthy language.
JACK GORZANLE August 14, 2012 at 09:42 PM
GOD BE WITH YOU LOVE EACH OTHER AS GOD LOVES EVERYONE.
Tara August 14, 2012 at 09:57 PM
Sam (owner of the so called massage parlor)- City Search has 95% rating because of all YOUR fake, lying post making it go up. We aren't blind. We can see that YOU posted them. It's obvious that you are making the post with your same,continued illiterate rants. If you don’t like Yelp, why do you continue to post obvious FAKE post, including one today. You will be caught and brought to justice on all your scam artist ways. In some post you claim your are the police, other post you claim you work for the Feds. You continue to show the public what a con-artist you truly are. I feel sorry for those who are being scammed by you. Like the post on City Search says – you need to be in JAIL!
JACK GORZANLE August 14, 2012 at 09:57 PM
I go to the same chruch with sami i hope you bring your soul to god JACK as we love are neighbors and the signs are legally i checked with city hall and dot hate is evil.
JACK GORZANLE August 14, 2012 at 10:03 PM
Fyi there is over 200.000 people in the studio city area and neighboring citys so you so called studio city residents are not even a number that means anything look at your self before you judge other the evil truly shows.
nick August 15, 2012 at 12:00 AM
O Tara its me Nick Sams best friend you still cant get over him leaving you we told you give your soul to god but you never did jealous is evil hatred will destroy your life you just will not stop stocking him MOVE ON!!!!!!
Tara August 15, 2012 at 01:01 AM
Nick - AKA Sam. You can't fool anyone with your illiterate posts. Nick aka Sam, keep trying to make yourself look better by posting these lies to try and make it sound like I am a scorn lover. Really stupid. As I said before, you try and make another person look bad, to make yourself look innocent. You do the same on other threads to other people. You are a fool. You do realize that your IP address is traceable? One can figure out that your are the same person, no matter what names you post under, or are you that ignorant? Also, do you realize that your posts are cached and no matter how many you delete or edit, everything is documented. People are watching you and keeping track of the illegal activity you are pulling with your business. There is proof of the times that you have claimed you are a police officer or a Fed employee. Very serious crime. Keep posting, it's allowing the public to notice the liar, scam artist you are. Do you realize that there are meetings that take place about you and your businesses and the fraud that comes from the businesses? Including the one in LA - Angels. I won't waste my time posting to you anymore - but I will put my time into the productive meetings that take place to prove that your a LOSER. You will be brought to justice.
C Karma August 23, 2012 at 07:05 AM
BTW Sam=Sami Ammari and Suzy his girlfriend till he goes broke,... Oh wait he just filed for bankruptcy a month ago... And his lease ther will be up soon he has about a year left on the lease, or you can always call and ask ROBERT PIKEN at 818-755-2700. Plus the city should cite him for not having enough parking in the back because its filled with cars and trucks and signs, thats suppossed to be parking for the businesses not a personal storage dump!!!
C Karma August 23, 2012 at 07:19 AM
I'd love to get in contact with you, my email is livelovelaugh_la@aol.com
R4DN3RD August 28, 2012 at 06:24 AM
"One time, at Spa Camp, I put a dead body in a used limo I was selling outside my brothel" -Sam
R4DN3RD August 28, 2012 at 06:42 AM
Ummm.. the hookers that come and go via the back door after business hours? You're not the ninja you think you are.
R4DN3RD August 28, 2012 at 06:43 AM
Your grammar on Yelp is just as bad as your signs.
nick August 29, 2012 at 04:28 PM
R4DN3RD ANG UR AS DUM AS DIRT AND HOW DO U SLEEP WITH THAT NASTY THING NEXT SHE A GRANNY AND HER THING SMELLS LIKE A SEWER WOW UR A FAT DIRTY NASTY PERSON NO BODY EVER LOVED AND U GOT SO MANY ZITS ON UR FACE AND EVER1 KNOWS ABOUT UR STD!!!!!!!!!!!!
nick August 29, 2012 at 04:30 PM
dumass url can be tracted i know who u are lardass white trash!
nick August 29, 2012 at 04:31 PM
i got a car i want to sell u he he he he!!!!!!!!!!!!!
C Karma August 30, 2012 at 06:56 PM
I have an appt with Paul Krekorian next week this should get interesting....
A. Guy October 05, 2012 at 09:00 PM
Rich Addams, YOU HAVE NO IDEA what you are talking about. This guy is full of shit. This guy is a public menace who thinks he owns the block or something. He harasses, threatens and stalks local neighbors, residents who complain and their families, battered a parking enforcement officer, and lies to police. A few years back a limo with a dead body was found parked in front of his business. a few weeks later his business was ransacked. Coincidence? Prostitutes and Johns are going in and out of his establishment all the time. This guy is a criminal and an bullying asshole who knows how to lie and paint himself as a victim in order to hide his nefarious business practices. Everything he says is suspect grade-A BS. So before you go championing this piece of shit, check the situation buddy...

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