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Los Feliz Ledger Vol 3. No. 6 Serving the Greater Los Feliz, Silver Lake & Hollywood Hills Area | Distribution 32,500 2007 Rewind [ Christmases past ] Parkland Under the Christmas Tree By Kimberly Gomez Ledger Contributing Writer In 2007, the Los Feliz Ledger covered everything from fires, flooding concerns, ethnic tensions at a local middle school to changes and improvements promised for the area. Here is a look at where things stand on a number of outstanding community concerns and issues: By Diane Kanner Ledger Columnist LOS FELIZ— Both of the great parks of Los Feliz—Barnsdall and Griffith—were gifts to the citizens of Los Angeles on Christmas Day. No employees were actually present in the Recorder’s office or City Hall on the holidays, of course; it was, instead, a symbolic gesture on the part of both Col. Griffith J. Griffith (1850-1919) and Aline Barnsdall (1882-1946) to suggest that they were making Christmas gifts. The Colonel, a Welshborn immigrant whose bankroll derived from mining investments, made his bequest in 1896 to deed 3,015 acres of Rancho Los Feliz to the city. He willed the city $700,000 in a trust for the upkeep of the park and for the construction of an observatory and Greek Theater. Over time, he gave more gifts of land. Also over time, the City formally designated the park in his name. With Aline Barnsdall’s bequest, dated Dec. 23rd, 1926, “Barnsdall” was specified by her as the parcel’s future name, although the Barnsdall name was to honor her deceased father Theodore, not herself. The Barnsdall fortune, like Griffith’s, derived from natural resources. Theodore Barnsee Parkland page 7 Santa’s on his way, hopefully, with safe toys. Samira Iqbal, 4, and Gregor Kauruma, 3, recently helped Childrens Hospital Los Angeles staff demonstrate unsafe toys. Hospital staff said often, during the rush to get toys on the shelves for the holiday season, toy makers sub-contract the manufacturing of products to other companies that don’t test the toys for safety adequately. Photo Credit: Allison B. Cohen Harmful Toys Still On the Shelves By Allison B. Cohen LOS FELIZ—Hazardous toys are still sold in stores across the country, according to the 22nd annual toy safety survey released recently by the California Public Interest Research Group (CALPRIG). A representative from CALPPRIG and Dr. Ilene Claudius, an emergency room physician at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, said at a press conference recently, that parents should be on the watchout for toys with lead or with moveable parts that may pop off causing a choking hazard. They also cautioned against toys with powerful tiny magnets that when ingested Skylight’s “Lucy” Dies By Marie Cunningham Ledger Contributing Writer LOS FELIZ—Whether stretched out in the shop’s front window December 2007 belly-up in the sun, or wandering the aisles in search of a scratch on the head from a customer, Lucy was a welcome fixture a Skylight Books. together can attract each other causing bowel obstruction or a life-threatening perforation. According to CALPRIG, a 22-month old boy died in 2006 from swallowing such magnets. Some of Mattel Toys, Inc.’s Barbie and Polly Pockets toys were recalled earlier this year for poorly designed magnets that can dislodge. “Swallowing a magnet is not like swallowing a penny,” said CALPRIG’s Michael Russo. “Powerful magnets can wreak havoc inside the body.” According to Russo, some toy makers, in a rush to meet holiday shopping demand, hire subcontractors to get their products out the door quickly, sometimes bypassing important safety quality controls. Toy makers can be very “competitive to get toys out for the holidays,” he said, “and the toys don’t get the testing they should have.” According to the most recent data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), some 73,000 children under the age of 5, were seen at emergency rooms in 2005. During that year, 20 died from toy-related injuries. CALPRIG’s full report is available at including a list of potentially harmful toys. Sadly, Lucy succumbed to feline lymphoma this November. Skylight Books General Manger Kerry Slattery adopted Lucy from Catts & Doggs on Hyperion Avenue in 1996. But after bringing Lucy home, Slattery’s other cat was less than enthusiastic to have a new feline roommate and soon the two cats had to be kept in separate rooms. Then Slatterly had a novel idea—why not bring Lucy to the bookshop? “One day I was coming in on a Sunday and I thought ‘Oh let’s see what will happen if I bring Lucy in for a few hours,’” Slatterly recalled. “She was so happy! She kept running up and down the stairs and sitting in people’s laps. I did that a couple more times and the last time she wouldn’t leave.” Lucy’s sickness resulted in an outpouring of community support. Skylight employees and local residents even held a bake sale in October to help pay for Lucy’s veterinary expenses. “I will miss Lucy’s calming presence and beautiful energy,” Skylight Books employee Courtney Hennessey said. “She radiated it.” ENVIRONMENT Silver Lake Meadow—Los Angeles City Council president Eric Garcetti said he’ll have a plan for the Silver Lake Meadow this month that addresses neighborhood concerns. Currently, the city has proposed that six acres of the Silver Lake Reservoir—the socalled “Meadow”— be opened to the public during daylight hours. But some are opposed to opening the site, that has been closed to the public for over 60 years, saying doing so would attract crime, litter and drive out wildlife. GRIFFITH PARK Griffith Park Fire Recovery—With a protective layer of hydro-mulching covering the nearly 1,000 acres scorched last spring by fire, the Dept. of Recreation and Parks hope erosion, due to rainfall, will be prevented from the park’s canyons and slopes. Trails have been reopened since the hydro mulch application. Concrete barriers will also be installed along Vermont and Commonwealth avenues to protect structures from potential mudslides. The Griffith Park Master Plan Working Group has approved revisions of their last chapter on the master plan draft. Now it’s up to the city’s Dept. of Recreation and Parks to merge the revisions into a final document. Since 2005, the working group has been making recommendations on a city sponsored master plan intended to provide guidelines for the park for future generations. The working group was formed after an outside consultant’s recommendations for the park’s master plan were poorly received by the community. Although a target date see 2007 Rewind page 6

December 2007

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