y r! p ap Yea H w e N Los Feliz Ledger Vol 5. No. 7 Serving the Greater Los Feliz, Silver Lake & Hollywood Hills Area | Distribution 34,500 Silver Lake Chamber: A Look Back 2009 In Review By Dyan Collings Ralph, Silver Lake Chamber President Here’s a recap of some of the stories the Ledger covered in 2009: SILVER LAKE— Despite the great challenges 2009 presented to the business community, as president of the Silver Lake Chamber of Commerce (SLCC) I’ve had the privilege of seeing so many local businesses overcome and thrive. The key, I believe, has been harnessing the power of coming together and sharing brainpower and resources. In fact, this has been a pretty fantastic year for the Silver Lake Chamber of Commerce. Early in the year we decided this was the perfect time to hold a series of events that would give businesses the tools they needed to survive these economic times. The result was our Business Development Speaker Series and it was a great success, thanks to the SLCC volunteers who brought it all together. We hosted three low-cost seminars, covering electronic (Internet) marketing, traditional marketing and see CHAMBER page 4 Los Feliz BID Year in Review By Ermanno Neiviller, BID President 2009 commenced with several new additions to the Los Feliz Village Business Improvement District Board (LFVBID): Heather & Rob Valerio from Happy sharing a position; Mark Cianciulli & Susan Cianciulli-Bailey from Solutions, also sharing a position; Robert & Arzu Benavides from Distant; and Jonathan Sample from Fresh Pressed. As a volunteer board on behalf of all businesses in the LVFBID we continue to keep our “triangle,” the entry into Los Feliz, clean and watered; streets free of trash as best as possible; trees trimmed; advertising of all businesses on the LFVBID see BID REVIEW page 4 By Jessica Ogilvie, Ledger Contributing Writer GGPNC Faces Ongoing Grievances The Greater Griffith Park Neighborhood Council (GGPNC) continues to process two grievances filed by stakeholders within the past fourteen months. In December, 2008, local resident Dana-Joy Cremin filed a grievance regarding the GGPNC’s decision to oppose and actions pertaining to her request for a preferential parking district in Los Feliz’ District B. Currently, the issue has been handed over to the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, which is working to schedule a mediation. Home Restaurant owners Aram Serobian and Vardui “Rose” Petoyan filed the other grievance in July of 2009. The GGPNC handed the issue over to DONE for mediation that same month, however no action has yet been taken by the agency to arrange said mediation. Autry National Center Moves Forward with Upgrades After abandoning in 2009 its once extensive plans for expansion, staff at the Autry National Museum is attempt- ONLY IN CALIFORNIA: Pau Navas, 20 months, of Los Feliz snacks on a carrot while his parents do their weekly shopping at the Los Feliz Farmer’s Market. Rain or shine, regulars make their way to the market for fresh produce and to support local farms. The market is every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Photo credit: Michelle Kunz. January 2010 ing to upgrade the museum within its existing structure. According to Joan Cummings, Director of Communications, the museum is looking primarily into redoing interior galleries in order to provide more space for exhibits. Cahuenga Peak Continues to Seek Buyer The prime piece of realty surrounding the iconic Hollywood sign, known as Cahuenga Peak, remains on sale after going on the market in February of 2008. The 138-acre parcel is listed by Beverly Hills real estate boutique Teles Properties. City officials, meanwhile, continue to try to raise funds to buy back the land to preserve it. City Seeks Compromise on Griffith Park Master Plan Since downgrading the Griffith Park Master Plan to a Vision Plan earlier last year, city officials said they hope to come to an agreement in 2010 with the advisory committee that created the plan over several contentious issues, such as the designation of wilderness areas in the park. The committee was commissioned by the city to revise a master plan for the park that was first presented in 2005. After working for three years see REVIEW page 3 Real Estate in 2009: Lenders Retard Recovery By Richard Stanley, Ledger Real Estate Columnist 2009 was a busy year in local real estate despite its tumultuous start with the financial services industry in near collapse. Dire predictions of a flood of “short sale” and foreclosed houses glutting the market failed to materialize locally. The single most affecting influence new to the market in 2009 was the introduction by Federally-chartered secondary lenders of the “Home Valuation Code of Conduct” (HVCC). In short, the effect was that lenders were obliged to use appraisers drawn blindly from a pool. What happened is that our local properties were appraised by those who knew nothing about our community and what local buyers pay pre- miums for. What’s ahead in 2010? Watch interest rates creep up in reaction to signs of inflation, a side effect of all the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP). Don’t want to go back to Wall Street? Remember that real estate never drops to zero value. Grab a low-interest loan—show the banks you’re tougher than they are—a tax credit before the end of April and a depreciated-value house in 2010. When inflation (it’s coming) rears its ugly head, it will be a great time to be in debt. What a concept! Here’s how the 2009 local real estate market shaped up as the Ledger went to press: Statistics approximated from the Combined L.A./Westside MLS. see REAL ESTATE page 12 Continue practicing your figure eights thru Jan. 10th at Ice skating at “Downtown on Ice” at Pershing Square, 532 South Olive, 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Free lunchtime concerts Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Open New Year’s Day, 12 noon to 10 p.m. Visit laparks.org and click on Pershing Square or call (213) 8474970. Admission is $6.