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H Y PP A Los Feliz Ledger Vol 5, No. 1 Serving the Greater Los Feliz, Silver Lake & Hollywood Hills Area | Distribution 34,500 Discord of the Board Council Put On Notice For Absences Tempers Flare at June GGPNC Meeting By Heather Downie Ledger Contributing Writer ATWATER VILLAGE—The Atwater Village Neighborhood Council (AVNC) sent a clear message recently to its frequently absent members: “miss five meetings and you’re out.” On May 6th, the AVNC formally approved a bylaw change to curb what some called, “out-of-control absenteeism.” According to the new bylaw, any member that fails to attend five regularly scheduled meetings within a council year will be removed. “This definitely needed to happen,” said Luis Lopez, a member of the board and owner of Luis Lopez Automotive in Atwater Village. “Absenteeism was too high.” In fact, meeting skipping has been such a problem that votes at two monthly meetings this year couldn’t happen because there wasn’t a quorum. In the past, removing chronically absent board members had been tough. It required gathering 100 signatures and a majority vote. Since January, Fernando Dejo-Grundy has missed five meetings. Lane Sandman has skipped four. Amador Solis and Lenore Solis have failed to attend three. So far, the bylaw change appears to have worked. Members are showing up. The change in position in absenteeism comes at a time see COUNCIL page 6 By Jessica Ogilvie Ledger Contributing Writer The American Cancer Society’s “Relay for Life” kicked off with a lap around Mulholland Fountain by cancer survivors. Participants, including many from the Los Feliz and Silver Lake areas, walked for 24 hours and raised over $35,000 to support cancer research. Photo credit: Michelle Kunz Marshall’s Zimmer Takes Seat on LAUSD Board By Kimberly Gomez, Ledger Contributing Writer LOS FELIZ—When Steve Zimmer takes a seat for the 4th district of the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education this month he’ll be riding a wave of support from the Mayor, city council members, the teacher’s union as well as parents and students. Comfortable representing all, Zimmer said he’s learned over his 17 years as a teacher and counselor at John Marshall High School that when it comes to putting kids first in education everyone needs to be at the table. “I’ve seen the positive that can happen in public educa- tion when there are partnerships and how dangerous it is when people work in conflict with each other,” he said. A resident of Hollywood, Zimmer will represent one of the most diverse LAUSD dis- tricts which runs from Hollywood in the east to the southwest San Fernando Valley and down into Westchester near the airport. “It will serve us well to have somebody who knows these neighborhoods well and who understands the kind of beat and rhythm life has in this part of Los Angeles,” said Zimmer. Zimmer, who conjures strong parallels to David Tokofsky—a former teacher at Marshall who became a LAUSD board member— said he’ll follow the footsteps see ZIMMER page 9 LOS FELIZ—On the second floor of the Hillhurst Citibank on Wednesday, June 17th, a calm, civilized meeting began at 7:00 p.m. By midnight, it had escalated into a shouting match, as tempers flared and simmering disagreements bubbled to the surface. The Greater Griffith Park Neighborhood Council (GGPNC), there for their monthly board meeting, was erupting in turmoil. The meetings have not always been so contentious, according to several sources on the board. Rather, tension has steadily escalated since the see GGPNC page 10 BID Acts on Proposed Reforms By Jessica Ogilvie Ledger Contributing Writer LOS FELIZ—The board of the Los Feliz BID, which recently came under scrutiny by some members of the local business community, has begun to consider a list of proposed reforms brought to its attention last month by the protest group, Get Rid of the BID. The board’s administration committee, chaired by Mark Ciancuilli, began reviewing the proposed reforms on June 8th see BID REFORMS page 16 Meet You At “Hel-Mel” [profile] Going for Brouge By Chris H. Sieroty, Ledger Contributing Writer By Jessica Ogilvie, Ledger Contributing Writer Editor’s Note: It seems everywhere you go in Los Feliz these days, people are talking about Tomas O’Grady. From his recent attempts to challenge— and change—the way our local neighborhood council forms itself to helping spearhead a major volunteer overhaul at our local middle school, he just seems to be everywhere all at once. A little bit about the man behind the headlines. July 2009 The O’Grady family. Photo credit: Courtesy of Tomas O’Grady LOS FELIZ—The 42-year-old man who opens the gate to a large Los Feliz home might, if not for the hint of gray in his beard, be easily mistaken for an enthusiastic college student. Dressed in an old t-shirt and worn-out jeans, Tomas O’Grady’s shaggy brown hair almost covers his eyes as he strides across the lawn and gestures to his left. “I’m still working on installing some of the solar panels,” he says, indicating his current home imsee O’GRADY page 4 EAST HOLLYWOOD— First, there was a Hollywood Boulevard. Now, there’s Hel-Mel. Jenette’s Bras, Eyetailor and Early California Antiques are three new stores that have opened recently in the once tired area off Melrose Avenue near Heliotrope Drive. Known as Hel-Mel, the area is a Hel-Mel’s “Scoop” provides refreshing summer four-square block shop- treats for kids of all ages. Photo credit: Marie Chao ping district hidden near high-end under things for the Los Angeles City College. well-endowed woman—said a Jenette Goldstein—Virgil surprising amount of her cusVillage resident and co-owner see Hel-Mel page 5 of Jenette’s Bras, which sells

July 2009

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