VOL. 59, NO. 2
• DELIVERED TO 76,439 READERS IN HANCOCK PARK • WINDSOR SQUARE • FREMONT PLACE • MIRACLE MILE • PARK LA BREA • LARCHMONT •
IN THIS ISSUE
Neighborhood regular sparks chats and compassion
n Shoppers buy Giorgio coffee, pain meds — hear about Sinatra
VALENTINES tell how they met. 4
SCOUTING, pre- and mid-pandemic. 10
By Helene Seifer Frank Sinatra liked Italian food and regularly downed three shots of bourbon while waiting for his table at Chasen’s. Hitchcock preferred champagne, fruit and French cuisine. Mick Jagger showed up at restaurants after a gig at the Roxy in a chauffeur-driven Rolls Royce. So recalls Giorgio, the 56-year-old Larchmont Boulevard regular from behind his possession-piled shopping cart, a man who I got to know over several months of conversations. Windsor, Chasen’s Giorgio used to have an apartment in Hollywood and a girlfriend from Kiev named Leonida and a succession of restaurant jobs in some of the most famous celebrity haunts:
MASTER architect portrayed. 2-9
For Information on Advertising Rates, Please Call Pam Rudy 323-462-2241, x 11 Mailing permit:
Same great bite-size joy, Girl Scout cookie sale n Iconic booths transitioned to a virtual campaign By Talia Abrahamson Girl Scout cookies are always met with great delight, but especially with an ongoing pandemic, local Girl Scouts
Wilshire police move fast, arrest murder suspect GIORGIO, HOMELESS, walks the Boulevard.
MLK remembered by Big Sunday. 2-10
CHEVALIER’S BOOKS welcomed customers into its new space last month. Photo by Gary Leonard
the Windsor and Chasen’s, among others. He once went to Jack Nicholson’s house as part of the Chasen’s events catering team and, reports Giorgio in his typical staccato delivery, Nicholson is a nice man and a very heavy drinker. “He liked Scotch. Black Label on the rocks. Very smart man.” Giorgio remembers that he made him a food tower with caviar and all the accoutrements. Fixture on the street But now, on nearly any See Giorgio, p 20
Miracle Mile 2021
Our year-round guide to lifestyle, entertainment, residential and business news, “Miracle Mile 2021,” will be published in the March issue of the Larchmont Chronicle. Advertising deadline is Mon., Feb. 15. For more information contact Pam Rudy, 323-462-2241, ext. 11.
By Billy Taylor An intense manhunt conducted by Los Angeles Police Department officers last month led to the arrest of a murder suspect thanks in part to help from the local community. The investigation began after police were called to a local See Wilshire police, p 9
hope their cookie-sized bits of happiness will provide much needed smiles this season. “They bring people joy,” Hanna Allee of Troop 17125 said, “and they taste good, too.” The cookie kick-off began on Jan. 11, but nowhere to be found were the iconic cookie booths and troops setting up shop on Larchmont Boulevard. That is because Girl Scouts have transitioned to a largely virtual cookie campaign this year. The national Digital Cookie platform, launched in 2014, allows each Girl Scout to set up her own virtual booth and See Girl Scout Cookies, p 11
More change to Larchmont in New Year
n Some businesses find homes; others close By Billy Taylor It’s anything but business as usual on Larchmont Boulevard, where a number of storefronts are struggling with landlord and pandemic related issues. A few of the former tenants from the Lipson Building, which is now under construction — like Chevalier’s Books and Landis Stationery — have found new homes, while other longtime businesses on Larchmont have either signaled trouble, or have decided to close all together. Here’s what’s happened in the first month of 2021. Chevalier’s Books First, the good news. The See Larchmont, p 12
Los Angeles’ ‘cheerleader,’ Tom LaBonge, 67
By Suzan Filipek Former City Councilman Tom LaBonge brought his love of Los Angeles and enthusiasm everywhere he went, from his regular hikes in Griffith Park, to dining at Pink’s Hot Dog stand and to city streets, where he would help city crews pick up trash. He lit up the Larchmont Chronicle offices when he walked in with a boisterous hello, and, during the holidays, he brought loaves of pumpkin bread and yearly calendars featuring photos of Los Angeles landmark vistas shot
by the avid photographer. He continued his Chronicle visits even after he had retired from District Four in 2015, with the last time being the Tuesday afternoon before his unexpected death Thurs. Jan. 7. No one was a bigger spokesman for Los Angeles than LaBonge, whose drives throughout the city in his Ford Crown Victoria were legendary, with his passengers reporting on LaBonge’s frequent stops to help a pedestrian cross the street or showing up to get pot holes filled See LaBonge, p 23
TOM LaBONGE celebrates his favorite city’s birthday.
Photo by Gary Leonard
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By John Welborne
New beginnings … but challenges remain Optimism is justified as this year begins. Among the many reasons is that effective vaccines to protect against COVID-19 are making their ways into waiting arms. But time will still be needed to wean human populations off facemasks, social distancing and the like. It is wise for everyone to keep vigilant about community health until there is a consensus “all clear” sign broadcast widely. And because restrictions will stay in place for a while, families and businesses will continue to face economic challenges. Please join us in supporting local stores and restaurants. Newspapers also need support in facing tough times. When fewer businesses are open, there is reduced advertising. Fortunately for the Larchmont Chronicle, even in this time of crisis, many advertisers have continued to support the paper because they know they benefit from the patronage of our loyal readers. Another reason this newspaper is still around to serve those loyal readers is the readers themselves. It is partly through reader generosity that we continue to publish. If you did not already use the reply envelope we enclosed at the end of last year, fear not! This is your second chance. Our followup reply envelope enclosed with this issue gives you an opportunity to help the Chronicle during these difficult economic times, should you choose to do so. We hope you will. Thank you.
Fixing Our Sidewalks and Remembering Tom LaBonge The City’s plans for repairing our sidewalks has been suspended because of the budget crisis caused by the COVID epidemic. However, as everyone knows, many of the sidewalks in Hancock Park not only need repair, but are a hazard to pedestrians. The Association has asked the City’s Street Services Department for help in getting the most dangerous sidewalks fixed. Block captains will be identifying the problematic sidewalks on their block and, with the Association, will build a list of the sidewalks that are most in need of immediate repair. This list will be submitted to the City’s Department of Street Services which will prioritize repairs based on estimates of liability and schedule repairs. Unfortunately, this process will only address the most egregious situations, so we’re also exploring other funding options to pay for repairs, including using Association dues and resident participation. This is a difficult time not only for Hancock Park but for the entire City, and the Association will be continuing to investigate ways to keep making progress on backlogged infrastructure work. We send our condolences to the family of our former councilman, Tom LaBonge, who recently passed away. Tom started out as the Hancock Park field deputy to Councilman John Ferraro, and he played an important part in the successful effort to install our beautiful historic streetlights. Tom was our Councilman when Hancock Park successfully established itself as an HPOZ, and Hancock Park’s history and beauty are now preserved for all future generations. He loved all the neighborhoods in his district, taking photographs of landmarks that became part of the calendars that were his annual gift to his constituents. This is when we ask our members to support the Association’s work by paying their annual dues. You’ll receive a mailing soon, so please donate; we need your support now more than ever. One of the things your dues pay for is parkway tree planting, which is now in process. Let us know, via the website, if you need a tree. o o o Don’t forget to consult our HPOZ Planner Suki Gershenhorn (firstname.lastname@example.org) before starting projects that change the exterior of your house. The Preservation Plan, which regulates our HPOZ is at preservation.lacity.org/hpoz/la/hancock-park. Report graffiti sightings by calling 311 or at the City’s Anti-Graffiti Request System: laocb.org/programs/graffiti-abatement and by calling Hollywood Beautification, 323-463-5180. Adv.
Sun., Feb. 7 – NFL Super Bowl LV, in Tampa Bay, Fla. Wed., Feb. 10 – Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council board meeting via Zoom, 7 to 9 p.m. Check greaterwilshire.org to confirm and for login. Fri., Feb. 12 – Lunar New Year, Year of the Ox. Sun., Feb. 14 – Valentine’s Day. Mon., Feb. 15 – Presidents’ Day. Tues., Feb. 16 – Mardi Gras. Thurs., March 4 – Delivery of the March issue of the Larchmont Chronicle.
That’s the question inquiring photographer Talia Abrahamson asked locals along Larchmont Blvd.
Letter to the Editor Greek tragedy
As we posted in mid-January on our restaurant’s Facebook page, there has been another devastation in the family restaurant business. The financial burden of this pandemic needs to be shouldered by all. Unfortunately, landlords with whom we, on Larchmont, and Dimitris’ cousin, in San Francisco, have maintained amicable relationships, expect us to repay ridiculous rents for periods when there was no income. The historic Cliff House in San Francisco now must close after 157 years (cliffhouse.com). Here on Larchmont, the landlord, after numerous attempts to renegotiate, has allowed Le Petit Greek to pay a percentage of the sales temporarily. But the landlord expects back payment once we are all vaccinated. As if a magic wand will bring the economy back overnight and small businesses will have the capital they need to continue,
and also pay landlords back rents from a year of lost business and lost income. They expect us to take out more loans and repay them 100 percent. It is literally impossible, because we are unable to function as the business that we — as landlord and tenant — agreed upon in the lease, or as we are licensed by the city and county. If we cannot operate fully, why are we forced to shoulder this burden 100 percent? This attitude forces more closures, and that increases unemployment, further devastating our economy. The local situation is much more dire than it looks and than people realize — because landlords temporarily have not been able to evict. So, all of the likely vacant spaces on Larchmont are not yet visible. Nora & Dimitris Houndalas Le Petit Greek, Larchmont
606 N. Larchmont Blvd., #103
Los Angeles, CA 90004 323-462-2241 larchmontchronicle.com
“If everything is still closed, we’ll have to pick up some special dinner and bring it home and maybe eat it outside with flowers. Or, go on a hike and take something up to Runyon.” Barbara Hawley Windsor Square
“We’re building a pool, so maybe by Valentine’s Day — it won’t be finished, but maybe it will— we’ll have a little dinner by the pool.” Francine Jack Windsor Square
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Founded in 1963 by Jane Gilman and Dawne P. Goodwin
Publisher and Editor John H. Welborne Managing Editor Suzan Filipek Associate Editor Billy Taylor Contributing Editor Jane Gilman Staff Writers Talia Abrahamson Helene Seifer Advertising Director Pam Rudy Advertising Sales Caroline Tracy Art Director Tom Hofer Classified and Circulation Manager Rachel Olivier Accounting Jill Miyamoto
‘What are your Valentine’s Day plans?’
“Our folks are in Phoenix, Arizona, so a backyard brunch or something with them. Or, have my family come visit and do a little beach day. Those are the two things on the table. He’s off the hook.” Nikki Koushik (right) “It’s actually her birthday, too. She’s turning 30, so we’re trying to figure out what to do that’s COVID safe. It’s going to take some planning.” Sarang Koushik (left) with dog Rockefeller Hancock Park
“I want to watch movies and play with my Legos, my Star Wars ones. I got a bunch for Christmas: an X-wing and an AT-AT Walker and the Razor Crest. And for my mom, I want to make her a card with a drawing and a heart.” Leo Putman “I want to do exactly what he wants to do: stay home, watch movies and play with my Legos. For my father, I would like to make him a card and give him a flower.” Lucas Putman “Last year we went to the art gallery downtown, Hauser & Wirth, but none of that will be open, so we will likely go to the Huntington Library to look around there. We’ve always been members, so that’s our one trip out at the moment.” Cara Putman “It’s really nice there.” Scott Putman Citrus Square
GWNC requires advance registration to vote by mail By John Welborne Registration for the March 2021 Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council (GWNC) election has begun. Apply online at: tinyurl.com/y6tmcgzt The 2021 neighborhood council election season opened in November, with 44 local stakeholders volunteering as candidates by the end of last year. They are: Joane Henneberger Pickett, Owen Smith, Jeffry Carpenter, Zubin Davar, Brian Donahoe, Jose Tamayo, Jennifer DeVore, David Trainer, Cathy Roberts, Vince Cox, Kathryn Burke, Charles D’Atri, Philip A. Farha, Christopher Hauck, Robert Lindall and Bindhu Varghese. More are: Patricia Carroll, William Schneider, Conrad Starr, Juan Portillo Jr., John Gresham, Kimberly Nortman, Michael Duggan, Gary Gilbert, Caroline Labiner Moser,
Thomas Atlee, Beau Lloyd, Stephanie Shim, Brian Curran, Joe Suh, Sam Uretsky and April Hannon. The remainder are: Bailey Benningfield, Maria Sulprizio, Hayden Conner Ashworth, John Winther, John McNicholas, Michael Knowles, Raphie Cantor, Scott Appel, Michael Genewick, Cindy ChvatalKeane, Colette Amin and Helen Eigenberg. Some of the above have posted candidate statements at tinyurl.com/y63uu8f8, where you must select “Greater Wilshire” on the pull-down menu. Due to the pandemic, the City Clerk has decreed that this year’s election will be entirely vote-by-mail, requiring voters to apply for a ballot, which will be sent to the voter’s submitted mailing address to be completed and returned. Each of the 44 candidates is
running for one of the 21 seats on the GWNC board of directors. Of those seats, 15 are for specific geographic areas where voters live, work or own property. The other six seats are for special interest categories: At Large, Renter, Business, Education, Religion and Other Nonprofit. Stakeholders who live, work or own property within the Greater Wilshire boundaries are allowed to vote for two directors: one geographic area director and one special interest director. March 9 registration deadline You must be registered to receive a ballot. The Vote-ByMail Application Portal is at the link at the beginning of this story. Paper applications also can be downloaded and returned via mail. Stakeholders registering for the election must present a form of identification or documentation verifying stakeholder
status. These can be uploaded through the Vote-By-Mail Application Portal, or copies may be mailed with the paper application. The Vote-By-Mail application period ends March 9. If
you have any questions about the voter registration application process, please contact GWNC elections chair Brian Curran at firstname.lastname@example.org or try the City Clerk’s office at 213-978-0444.
PLBRA approves meetings to be virtual post pandemic
Park La Brea Residents Association (PLBRA) held its 33rd annual meeting Jan. 12 via Zoom. The new board for 2021, Chelle Buffone, Michael Ann Easton, Angela Gyetvan, Bob Shore and Brenda Stone, elected officers for the year. Susan Ferris stepped down as president, replaced by Shore. Gyetvan was voted in as vice president. Buffone remains as treasurer. Easton is now secretary and contin-
ues to serve as vice president, community relations. Bylaws were revised to allow annual meetings to be electronic, even after pandemic restrictions are lifted. The discussion also included alternative locations for physical PLBRA meetings, length of terms for board members and various topics to bring up with management and with Councilmember Nithya Raman’s office, such as security concerns.
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Love bloomed in the Catskills and at Village Pizzeria
THE COUPLE, Nancy and Steve Cohen, met at college.
By Suzan Filipek Steve and Nancy Cohen, owners of Village Pizzeria on Larchmont Boulevard, met at Queens College in New York. They had mutual interests and friends, and one weekend Nancy asked Steve for a ride upstate to her friend’s bungalow. During the summer and on weekends, Steve worked in hotels in the Catskills. Top stars and comedians performed at what was then known as the Borscht Belt. Nancy’s family had a bungalow in the woodsy mountains. But this particular weekend she wanted a ride to her
friend’s place. “She didn’t even invite me in,” Steve said last month of the hour-and-a-half drive on a pouring rainy night long ago. “It wasn’t my place,” she replied with a laugh. Romance eventually blossomed, and the couple is celebrating their 42nd wedding anniversary this year. Most everyone who visits Larchmont and enjoys a freshly baked pizza (everyone, then) has seen Steve juggling pizza pies and pouring beer on tap with Nancy and their two children Alicia, 35, and Matthew, 30, also working at the restaurant — before the pandemic.
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Steve has always worked different jobs and acted the consummate businessman, even back in the disco era when the couple, still as friends, frequented Studio 54 and other Manhattan clubs, when he wore his hair long and drove a customized van. Once a couple, they drove cross-country to visit his brother in San Francisco, where Steve popped the question: “What’s the deal?” They drove back to New York and made it official with a family ceremony before heading back west to settle in San Francisco. Steve sold hip jeans and opened a store on a trendy street. Nancy donned polyester dresses and worked as a rental rep for Hertz Rental Car Co. The young couple rented an apartment in Twin Peaks with a view, and later bought a duplex, with his parents upstairs and the couple living downstairs. “It was an incredible, wonderful time with our young children,” Steve recalls. Nancy eventually joined the family business at the clothing shop, while Steve and his
Both currently reside in Los Angeles. The wedding will be held at the Carroll residence in August 2021.
THEY OPENED Village Pizzeria 24 years ago and celebrate 42 years of marriage.
brother ran the wholesale end — which grew into the Cohen Brothers. It was the greatest sales team on the West Coast, Steve said. Their merchandise included sample lines from the season plus casual cotton, surfer and officially licensed Looney Tunes and major sports team wear. Business was soaring until overseas trade deals and the dot.com meltdown squashed their business plans. While celebrating his softball league’s victories and defeats at the family’s favorite hangout — a Village Pizzeria in San Francisco owned by fellow Brooklyn natives (though Nancy is from Queens) — they heard one of the pizza franchises was for sale, and they soon bought it. Some time later they wanted to move to Los Angeles, where Steve’s brother had relocated, to be closer to his family. They opened Village Pizzeria on Larchmont 24 years ago in a former bakery after gutting the space and building their pizzeria from scratch, filling it with collectable toys, neon signs and sports memorabilia. It was a perfect fit. “I love pizza and sports and endless beer on draft,” said Steve. They also bought a home around the corner on Lucerne Boulevard. Before the pandemic, the family worked with a 30-member staff. Now they shuffle pick-ups and deliveries with a handful of employees. Nancy also enjoyed the restaurant business — before the (Please turn to page 8)
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Commonalities and a devious blind date lead to marriage station in Niagara Falls!” Did she say “Yes?” “Of course I did!” she exclaims. “Mike was in the Air Force. That appealed to me. I thought, ‘Great! I’d love to travel and see the world.’ And he had a college education and I thought, ‘He’s got his education, so I won’t have to put him through school.’ And then, as it turned
out,” Kathi notes with amusement, “for the first five or six years we were married, Mike constantly was going to school, and we never left the country!” In 1966, two years after they started dating, the Genewicks were married in Lockport’s St. John’s Church, where they (Please turn to page 8)
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TOASTING 50TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY at Wilshire Country Club, Oct. 15, 2016.
a romantic direction. “I don’t think we dated anyone else after that,” she declares. After a year apart while Mike was stationed in Iceland, he was reassigned to a base near Syracuse, New York, a mere three-hours from Lockport. On his days off, Mike would pick up Kathi, and they would often drive to a small Air Force station nearby to shop for their families. “One afternoon we did our shopping and got back to the car. I wanted a pencil to write something down,” Kathi recalls. “I went to open
MIKE AND KATHI GENEWICK wedding, Oct. 15, 1966.
the glove compartment to get out a pencil, and he reached over and slammed it shut. Mike said, ‘Well, I was going to wait ‘till later, but I guess you can go ahead and open it.’ I opened [the glove compartment] and there was a ring box in there.” Kathi laughs, “So basically he proposed in the parking lot of the Air Force
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By Helene Seifer Kathi and Mike Genewick grew up two blocks apart in Lockport, New York, a town of 25,000 in the snow belt near Buffalo. There, as Kathi states, “Everybody knows everybody.” They attended the same schools, shared friends, and he, three years her senior, dated one of her older sisters before turning his attention to Kathi. Now after 54 years of wedded bliss, five children and 12 grandchildren, the Genewicks are the living embodiment of the adage that the more a couple have in common, the better their chances of a successful marriage. Kathi Nevins Genewick was raised with six siblings and remembers, “Our house was the place to be because there was always something going on.” Mike was often among the visiting friends and even accompanied the Nevinses to their lake cottage to water ski and swim. After college, Mike joined the Air Force. When home on leave, he would call Kathi, who was dating his good friend at the time, and ask if she would fix him up. Kathi always complied, and they would double date. “And then one time when he came home, he asked me if I could get him a date and I said, ‘Sure, no problem,’” Kathi explains. “I wasn’t dating anybody at the time, so I fixed him up with me!” The then-19-year-old’s devious move turned the friendship in
Cooking and music… and ooh la la, 25 years later
By Suzan Filipek “Food kind of brought us together,” says chef and financier Gene Straub of meeting his wife Janneke. To be fair, music and the City of Lights also played a role in the Larchmont Village couple’s romance. While Janneke lived in the French capital, Gene’s route to Paris was a circuitous one, starting on the East Coast of the U.S. “In 1987 I was on Wall Street. I worked at E.F. Hutton for three wonderful months,” Gene recalls. His dream of being a commodities trader was cut short when the stock market crashed. He moved to Chicago and worked in finance at both PBS and at Hyatt for seven years, when he decided it was time to pursue his other dream — the one he put on hold to appease his father. He packed his bags and left the states for Le Cordon Bleu, where he got by on “kitchen French… I can swear like a banshee. It’s all slang in French kitchens.” Two years later he was getting ready to move to Hong Kong to hone his culinary skills, when a friend offered him a catering job at a twoweek chamber music festival in Saint-Nazaire, on the west coast of France. While Gene was busy roasting and baking for 40 violinists and cellists, Janneke was coordinating the concerts. She couldn’t drive, and so Gene chauffeured. He also set aside a lunch for her every day, and she reciprocated with candy for him and his friend. “I liked her from the moment I met her,” he recalled. At the end of the festival, Gene opted to take the train back to Paris with Janneke instead of the car with his friend, and “from there we started dating.”
THE WEDDING was at the groom’s family home in New Jersey.
Hong Kong was now out of the picture, and Gene put his talents to good use at a restaurant. He hoped to open a catering business but didn’t get far with the French, who, he said, were averse to entrepreneurship. When a friend told him about a job opening at 20th Century Fox in Los Angeles, the New Jersey native and Michigan State University grad was not keen about Los Angeles, but he went to interview anyway and returned to Paris with a job offer. Unsure of what to do, he accompanied Janneke to London for a chamber music festival at Wigmore Hall, where they talked about their future options on London Bridge over the River Thames. When they returned to Paris, Janneke learned the restaurant where she worked,
STRAUBS at a game at the Los Angeles Football Club.
and they lived above, had been sold, and she no longer had a job. The decision made for them, they gave away their possessions and left for Los Angeles, where they rented a purple Ford Fiesta and dined at a Denny’s before settling in an apartment on Rossmore Av-
enue. Without a social security number or driver’s license Gene drove Janneke to her first job at Tower Records. “She was totally reliant on me.” Born in La Jolla, where Janneke’s father was getting a Ph.D. at Scripps Institute of Oceanography, Janneke is a first-generation daughter to Dutch parents. She moved back to France when she was five and studied music also at Sorbonne University. “Growing up in Paris, I never thought that I would be so adventurous, would marry an American, live in the U.S. ... until I met Gene,” Janneke says. “I started working at the LAPhil shortly after we arrived in 1995. And, I am very fortunate, to this day, to work in a field that I am passionate about. LA Opera is one of the best and most forward-looking opera companies in the world.” She raises funds for Los Angeles Opera, where she has been director of leadership gifts since 2015. She also ran the Ojai Music Festival and was executive director of American Youth Symphony following a long stint at the Los Angeles Philharmonic. After the Fox job, Gene launched several charter schools including Larchmont Charter, and he now is executive vice president and chief finance and operating officer for Children’s Institute (CII). Founded in 1906, CII supports families who have seen the greatest injustices. Its three volunteer auxiliary groups are the Colleagues, C.H.I.P.S. (Colleagues Helpers in Philanthropic Service) and Les Amis. The couple has two children: Nicholas, 19, plays guitar, and Juliette, 23, is a marine biologist for SeaWorld San Antonio. She studied flute like her mother and plans to incorporate music in her work with sea animals, a growing trend, explains Gene. Janneke and Gene shop at farmers’ markets and cook spontaneously, whatever’s
fresh. “We still keep to the French style,” Gene says, adding that returning to France to run a B&B is not off the table. (Please turn to page 8)
Body by Ester Only one year ago, our exercise plans were based on losing weight, looking good in a bathing suit, or getting ready for an event. Today all that has changed! We now understand the importance of health for longevity, having strong immunity to prevent the spread of a virus, and learning to motivate ourselves while remaining safely at home during this pandemic. My name is Ester. I’m your local NCEP Certified Holistic Nutritionist and Functional Fitness trainer, and at Body by Ester online ZOOM fitness and nutrition training, we learn how to build healthy daily routines for both mental and physically health, all while staying safely at home. We Larchmontians are looking into the future and preparing our bodies for travel and activities with family and friends. Join us for LIVE ZOOM sessions for 30 min and/or 1hour fitness sessions. Here is a list of available classes: 30 min cardio, 30 min glutes, arms & abs, 30 min foam-rolling, 30 min warmup & stretch, 1hr fitness for beginners, 1hr advanced fitness session. Please contact me for class availability. A number of recommendations are available from your Larchmont neighbors. Also ask about our Body By Ester referral program. Schedule your assessment or nutrition consultation today. Please call 310-334-9737 or email me at Ester@ bodybyester.com to get started. Follow me on instagram @ BodyByEster for more tips and exercise ideas!
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Eight years later, and after Europe, they made it official Read our Valentine tribute to Tom and Brigid LaBonge below. The story was published in the Feb. 2009 Chronicle, annual Valentine’s edition. Ed. note. By Laura Eversz It was June 16, 1979, not one of the happiest of days for Brigid Manning. “I was at
work at a yogurt shop in Pasadena and had just broken up with my boyfriend the previous day.” Her friend told her not to worry. “Come with us tonight. We’ll hook you up with my cousin, Tom LaBonge.” Tom’s brother was entertaining a long table of guests at the Palomino Club. “I saw
www.windsorsquare.org 157 N. Larchmont Boulevard
A Tom LaBonge Legacy: Los Angeles Parks
“An irrepressible cheerleader for Los Angeles.” “A force of nature.” “He was, and always will be, Mr. Los Angeles.” Those are some of the descriptions of the late Tom LaBonge offered by his City Council colleagues in a recent Los Angeles Times article. LaBonge, who died unexpectedly in January, represented Council District 4 (which includes Windsor Square) from 2001 to 2015, after decades working as a deputy to former Councilman John Ferraro. Including stints in the mayor’s office and LADWP, LaBonge spent nearly 40 years serving the City of Los Angeles. A native Angeleno and proud graduate of John Marshall High School, LaBonge was passionate and deeply knowledgeable about the city, its history, landmarks, and its people. With his trademark warmth and enthusiasm, he was often spotted around town, at places such as local farmers’ markets, Pink’s Hot Dogs, high school games, street fairs, and especially in his beloved Griffith Park. He was particularly fond of Larchmont Boulevard and our wider neighborhood, where he was a member of St. Brendan Church. Windsor Square and environs benefitted from his efforts in many ways. LaBonge backed zoning measures to preserve the scale of Larchmont Village, helping prevent big box retailers from disrupting the small-town feel. He brought the farmer’s market to the street. To enhance the boulevard’s welcoming feel, he advocated for the creation of the landscaped median north of Beverly Boulevard. As a champion of HPOZ designations for both Windsor Square and Hancock Park, LaBonge was influential in preserving the historic character of the community. LaBonge hiked every morning in Griffith Park, and he was a fervent advocate for outdoor recreational spaces, such as bike paths, walking trails, and sports facilities. Many local children (and their parents) have spent time at soccer games on the fields he spearheaded in Griffith Park. He created funding for the Commonwealth Nursery, also in Griffith Park, which grows plants for the restoration of parks throughout the city. The Windsor Square Association seeks to honor — and carry on — Tom LaBonge’s legacy as a proponent for parks and green space. We believe that a great way to do this is to donate to the private, nonprofit Los Angeles Parks Foundation. Leading this organization is our neighbor Carolyn Ramsay, a former president of the WSA and a CD4 staff member during many of the LaBonge years. The Parks Foundation has raised $35 million since 2008 — for direct improvement of public outdoor spaces all around the city. As suggested by LaBonge’s widow Brigid and his family, people may make our city a healthier and more beautiful place while saying “thank you, Mr. Los Angeles” by donating to: laparksfoundation.org/donations/donate.
Miracle Mile 2021 Special Section
Book your ad space today! Call 323-462-2241, ext. 11
was the nicest guy I had ever met,” said Brigid. Eight years later, following a two-week trip to Europe, Tom proposed. Married in 1988 at St. Vibiana’s Cathedral, now -Los Angeles City Councilman Tom and Brigid, who reside in Silver Lake, have two children, Mary-Cate and Charles.
THE LaBONGES were set up by friends.
Romance and passion — delivered
325 N. Larchmont Boulevard, #158 Los Angeles, California 90004
St. Vincent Meals on Wheels’ #FoodisLove campaign will be a little different this Valentine’s. Due to the city-wide COVID restrictions, including a ban on dining in person at restaurants, this year’s #FoodIsLove will focus on restaurants and chefs that provide take-out and delivery. Among the month-long campaign highlights will be a multi-course Valentine’s Daythemed meal curated and created by Pasadena-based chef Onil Chibas. His Wonderful Wednesdays catered dinner series, described
as “dining out at home,” has gained a passionate following. This year’s #FoodIsLove Valentine’s Day dinner will be prepared at Chef Chibas’ restaurant Deluxe and delivered to those who reserve on the website. The dinner is available Sat., Feb. 13.
The SVMOW campaign raises funds and awareness to feed hungry and homebound Angelenos. For more information on #FoodIsLove, the Valentine’s Day menu and the mission of St. Vincent Meals on Wheels, visit stvincentmows.org.
the pandemic, which has been stressful, she said. But she takes it in stride, like she does most things. “My way of living is to have a good sense of humor.” And, “I don’t stay angry,” she
adds. After all, they’ve weathered tough times before. Steve remembers what a friend told him way back … “The way she looks at you. She adores you.” “That always warmed my heart, and I thought this could be the girl.”
to Windsor Square, where his grandmother, aunt and uncle had settled years before. After adding one more son and two daughters to their family, they moved from North Arden Blvd. to Van Ness Avenue. Mike explains, “We ran out of bedrooms and bathrooms at the other house.” The Genewicks quickly became part of the close-knit neighborhood. Their children
went to St. Brendan School, where Kathi volunteered before becoming the school librarian. Mike worked for Watson Land Company for 23 years, after which they bought and operated the Carson Car Wash until they both retired. After more than half a century together, would the Genewicks do it all over again? Theyr eply inu nison,“ Yes!”
(Continued from page 5) each had attended elementary school. First they lived in Syracuse, then Sacramento, California, where they had their first child. Mike was then transferred to a base in Springfield, Massachusetts, where Kathi worried through his 134 combat missions as a B-52 navigator in Vietnam. They had a second son; Mike earned an MBA; and he left the Air Force after ten years of service. Seeking business opportunities, Kathi and Mike packed up the same blue Corvair that had once concealed an engagement ring and drove cross-country. They moved
(Continued from page 6)
The Windsor Square Association, an all-volunteer group of residents from 1100 households between Beverly and Wilshire and Van Ness and Arden, works to preserve and enhance our beautiful neighborhood. Join with us! Drop us a line at 325 N. Larchmont Blvd., #158, Los Angeles, CA 90004, or visit our website at windsorsquare.org. ADV.
Tom, and thought he was cute, but he was sitting at the other end of the table, and I never got to meet him,” Brigid recalls. He showed up later at a party at his brother’s house, having been stood up by his date. Chatting into the night, the two found they had a lot in common. “I left thinking he
Of course, he does most of the family cooking, preparing everything from duck to Janneke’s favorite — a Meyer lemon tart. To celebrate their 25th, they may head up to Lake Tahoe, pandemic allowing, for some hiking and kayaking. They were married on April 2 at his family’s home in New Jersey. “There was no way I was going to get married on April 1, April Fool’s,” says Gene. Sounds like that was a good omen.
(Continued from page 4)
Vaccine distribution sites ramp up; new staﬀ hired
As we move forward into 2021, our office has been working hard to add staff and respond to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. I’m excited to update you on where we are on several fronts. Vaccine distribution is ramping up across Los Angeles. Nearly 100 distribution sites across the county, including retail pharmacies like Ralphs and Albertsons, are serving as part of a decentralized delivery system. No one needs to pay for the vaccine: it is 100 percent covered by your health insurer, and if you do not have health insurance, it will be provided to you for free. The vaccine is being rolled out in stages, with age and the nature of your work determining your eligibility. All healthcare workers and all residents of Los Angeles County who are 65 years of age and older
deep by Dr. Rebecca Fitzgerald
While winter plus working from home may equal streaming in leggings, it’s also the ideal time to achieve the best skin you’ve experienced in years. Halo Laser Treatment is the very first hybrid fractional laser to marry ablative and non-ablative wavelengths. Stay with me now. What this means for you is not only can we customize Halo to your precise skincare needs, we can address the dermis to stimulate collagen and elastin, and the epidermis to reduce brown spots and sun damage, minimize pore size and improve texture and tone. You can expect far less downtime compared to other ablative lasers - approximately five days of mild to moderate swelling, redness and flaking. Add mask wearing to this equation and the timing really could not be more ideal. After minimal recovery time, you’ll see the dramatic sloughing of brown spots and sun damage to reveal positively glowing and plumped skin; then reduced crow’s feet, fine lines around your mouth and other creases. We’d all like to emerge from this unprecedented upheaval with some positive takeaways. Add tighter, firmer more youthful skin to your short list. Stay safe. Be well.
Dr. Rebecca Fitzgerald is a Board Certified Dermatologist located in Larchmont Village with a special focus on anti-aging technology. She is a member of the Botox Cosmetic National Education Faculty and is an international Training Physician for Dermik, the makers of the injectable Sculptra. She is also among a select group of physicians chosen to teach proper injection techniques for Radiesse, the volumizing filler, around the world. Dr. Fitzgerald is an assistant clinical professor at UCLA. Visit online at www.RebeccaFitzgeraldMD.com or call (323) 464-8046 to schedule an appointment. Adv.
Council Report by
Nithya Raman are now eligible. To sign up for an appointment, visit vaccinatelacounty.com. For everyone else, you can visit carbonhealth.com/covid19-vaccines, enter your birthday, line of work, and whether you have COVID-related health risks. You’ll be allowed to schedule an appointment if you’re eligible, and you’ll be added to a waitlist if you are not. The logistics of delivering two separate doses to 300 million people across the country is unprecedented. And despite strong evidence that the vaccine is safe and effective, nearly half the country is skeptical about taking it. A legacy of racism in medical services, and deliberate misinformation from the Trump administration, has
Wilshire police (Continued from page 1)
hospital shortly after 2 p.m. Jan. 12, following reports of a car-to-car shooting that left a man dead in the Melrose/Fairfax area. A companion of the victim reported that he was driving his car in the area of Sierra Bonita and Melrose avenues when a vehicle pulled up alongside and fired a shot. The suspect fled in a white SUV with tinted windows westbound on Melrose. The shooting victim was pronounced dead after being driven to the hospital. Taking quick action, West Bureau Homicide detectives set up an intensive investigation, according to Wilshire Division Capt. Shannon Paulson. Investigators located a similar vehicle in the 900 block of Westmount Drive in West Hollywood. According to Paulson, surveillance was conducted and, on Tues., Jan. 12, the same day as the incident, at about 10:40 p.m. police officers detained two suspects. A search warrant was served and, after further investigation, Robert Antrel Love, a 27-year-old West Hollywood resident, was arrested for murder. Police did not offer a motive for the shooting. In a statement following the arrest, Paulson thanked the community for its support and cooperation in finding the suspect: “I know this successful investigation was assisted in large part by members of our community who worked with investigators as they canvassed the neighborhoods.”
made many people wary. As a result, the challenge of providing effective communication and outreach around the vaccine is just as important as transporting and storing it at subfreezing temperatures. New staff We’ve hired a Senior Advisor, a Homelessness Coordinator, and a Planning Manager. Najeeba Syeed will lead the office in building effective internal systems and cultivating coalitions for impact both inside City Hall and across Los Angeles. Her clarity of purpose, decades of leadership in Los Angeles, and ability to nurture a team will guide us in taking on the day-to-day work of the district, while also shepherding us towards greater equity, opportunity and justice. Liz Oh will anchor the office’s proactive response to homelessness in the district and help coordinate among the Council office, City departments, County agencies, and nonprofits. She brings a unique combination of direct services work and critical systems analysis to Los Angele’s most difficult and pressing challenge. Meg Healy will assist the office in overseeing all planning projects in District 4, as well as participating in updates to the city’s Community Plans, Housing Element, and re:codeLA. Her detailed knowledge of our city’s planning processes is matched only by her commitment to
housing justice. I’m awed by the depth of talent, commitment, and experience brought to bear by these three distinguished women. Our office, and all of Council District 4, will benefit deeply from their work. Neighbors remembered Finally, we adjourned Council last week in the memory of several individuals whose passing leaves a gaping hole in the fabric of our district. Jeff Periera was a friend, a longtime resident of the Los Angeles River, and a giant of a man, in both his stature and
his loving personality. Capt. George Roque was a 37-year veteran of the Los Angeles Fire Dept. and a beloved member of the Mulholland and Laurel Canyon community. Lynn Brown was a legend of Los Angeles’ equestrian community and a passionate steward of Griffith Park. And lastly, we had to say goodbye to Tom LaBonge, former Councilmember from this district. Every single one of my neighbors has a story about (Please turn to page 15)
Scouting in AmericA New things to come in 2021 for Scout troops and packs
By Rachel Olivier Despite the novel coronavirus pandemic, Boy and Cub Scouts still meet (albeit via Zoom), participate in activities together (outdoors and socially distanced), and explore new territory (though maybe closer to home). Cub Scouts Pack 16 Cubmaster Alexandra Liston of Cub Scouts Pack 16 (for grades kindergarten to 5th), which meets through St. Brendan School, said that she and Pack 16 scout leaders have been doing their best to keep kids engaged. The Wolf Den (2nd grade), part of Pack 16, led by Andy Fiedler, had its own private Raingutter Regatta — the sailboat equivalent of the Pinewood Derby. Meanwhile, the Bears Den (3rd grade), also part of Pack 16 and led by Jan Huybrechs, kept busy making Mason Bee habitats. The den also participated in a pocketknife tutorial and carved objects from soap bars. Pack 16 also made a video for the St. Brendan’s Zoom Veterans’ Day assembly. If COVID restrictions lift enough this spring, Liston hopes the pack can participate in the annual Blue and Gold banquet and Pinewood Derby, but that remains to be determined.
WOLF DEN Cub Scouts from Pack 16 put together their own Raingutter Regatta with the help of leader Andy Fiedler.
Troop 621 Scouts Pre-pandemic, Troop 621 Scouts (for ages 11 to 18, based out of Third Street Elementary School) started off 2020 with a trip to Wrightwood for a snow outing, where 20 scouts based out of Hancock Park had a weekend of skiing and snowboarding, says Scoutmaster Alan-Michael Graves. In February, the troop began planning the Summer Supertrip to the East Coast, where stops were planned in New York, Philadelphia and Wash. D.C. However, in March, the summer trip was canceled. Instead, the Scouts worked with Herb Wesson, then Council District 10 councilmember, to learn about local and state
government. Traditionally, Troop 621 has campouts every month, which also hasn’t happened over the past year. Instead of going on a total hiatus, Graves said the troop met weekly over Zoom and has participated in virtual volunteer opportunities, such as collecting personal hygiene items for retirement homes and helping local community nonprofits organize and distribute face masks and cleaning products, as well as helping out at food distribution events. In June, when things were looking a little better, the troop took hikes through Griffith Park, Pan Pacific Park and Kenneth Hahn Park. Graves added that the troop
Thank you, Tom!
oining Tom on a hike would be part history lesson, part suggestions for service projects, and would always include litter removal. Tom lived the motto “Leave no Trace” — no Kleenex or plastic bottle cap was left on the trail if Tom was around. He would stop to help a lost hiker navigate the trail, always asking where they are visiting from and introducing them to the troop. Tom taught us about community and his love of Los Angeles and helping others. He was always prepared: in his car you would find a rake, shovel and work In Loving Memory of former LA city councilmember and friend of Troop 10 Tom LaBonge (in green), who showed gloves, ready at any time to help pitch in us his love of Griffith Park. and clean up Griffith Park, or even haul water buckets by hand during the drought to save the trees in the park’s beloved Berlin Forest. Tom will be deeply missed as will his infectious non-stop energy! We learned about helping one another from him, and we will continue, in his memory, to Live and Love Los Angeles. Thank you, Tom LaBonge! We send our Love and Support to the LaBonge Family, Mrs. Brigid LaBonge, MaryCate and Charles.
The Scouts, Adults and Alumni of Troop 10
BEAR DEN Cub Scouts from Pack 16 made Mason Bee habitats.
TROOP 10 Scouts, including (left to right) Scott Hanna, Jackson Wright and Spencer Lee, collected soaps, socks and other toiletries for Shower of Hope, which offers free showers to the homeless.
also helped with Daniel Han’s Eagle Project at Del Aire Baptist Church by remodeling the storage shed for receiving the church’s weekly donations. Overall the members of Troop 621 have kept positive. The Supertrip is on still hold, but the members hope it will be back on schedule soon, and that they can resume their monthly camping trips. Troop 10 Scouts Scouts housed at St. James’ Church are in Troop 10, and they helped deep-clean the food pantry at the church at the beginning of March before the COVID-19 shutdown. They also teamed up this past Christmas Eve to make sandwiches to be delivered on call, says Diane Gilmore, who works with the troop, and who added that the Scouts look for safe action steps that they can take to help make the world a better place. In addition, Troop 10 members help with Shower of Hope, which posts four portable shower trucks at St. James’ Church on Saturday mornings. The Scouts collected barrels of socks, soaps and other toiletries to give out to people at the showers. Life Scout Scott Hanna created an Eagle project benefitting both Shower of Hope patrons and church locals,
REMODELED SHED was an Eagle Project at St. James’ Church that allowed for a safe clothing donation space.
added Gilmore. Hanna was able to take an old shed, build out shelves, organize clothing containers and create a removable picket fence to surround the shed. (Please turn to page 14)
BSA Local Scout Units Cub Scouts: Pack 10 Derek Cotton, Cubmaster firstname.lastname@example.org Pack 16 Alexandra Liston, Cubmaster Alexandra.email@example.com Pack 20 Rogelio Villanueva, Cubmaster firstname.lastname@example.org Boy Scouts: Troop 10 Matt Rauchberg, Scoutmaster bsaLAtroop10@Yahoo.com Troop 621 Alan-Michael Graves, Scoutmaster email@example.com Troop 777 Joseph Shin, Scoutmaster firstname.lastname@example.org
Scouting in AmericA Girl Scout Cookies (Continued from page 1) receive online orders. Fortunately, many Girl Scouts are already technologically savvy. New troop Piper Mazzela, 9, of Park La Brea, helped form Troop 71115 — based at Rosewood STEM Magnet — in December, and this is her first year selling cookies. She posted a welcome video on her Digital Cookie website and said it was easy to edit because she has experience making videos for her YouTube channel Piper Miper. Mazzela said she is excited to sell cookies, even in a virtual setting, because she likes to raise money for good causes. Previously, she ran lemonade stands and went on walks for charity. “I’m excited to sell cookies. It’s what I’m most looking forward to in Girl Scouts, besides the camping trips because I’ve never been camping,” Mazzela
Photo by Jamie Allee
NEW GIRL SCOUT Piper Mazzela began working on starting her troop last summer. In honor of Martin Luther King Day of Service she wore her Girl Scout sash and her Equality shirt. Photo by Allyson Laughlin
said. “When I was doing the things before, I wasn’t making money for myself — kind of like Girl Scouts, where you’re not making money for yourself.” Mazzela and her mother formed Troop 71115 during
the pandemic, and the six Girl Scouts had their first troop meeting on Jan. 17. Mid-Wilshire troop The idea of a virtual troop caused Mid-Wilshire-based Troop 17125’s membership to drop to five Girl Scouts. Even
BESIDES TASTING GOOD, the cookies bring joy, says Hanna Allee.
SISTERS Sabrina and Abigail Kampf hope to sell 800 boxes each.
Photo by Heather Kampf
so, the Girl Scouts are ambitious and excited for cookie sales. Sabrina Kampf, 8, a Third Street School student, and Abigail Kampf, 12, of GALA (Girls Academic Leadership Academy), want to sell 800 boxes each. Many of their sales in previous years came from cookie booths, and although they will have to turn toward social media more this sea-
son, Sabrina Kampf said she already sold 50 boxes within the first week. Girl Scout prizes help set benchmark goals for cookie sales. Sabrina Kampf hopes she will have enough customers to earn a pack of LED lights, which is one of the 800box prizes. “[Customers] want to help the Girl Scouts probably (Please turn to page 14)
THESE SUPPORTERS SALUTE MEMBERS OF Scout Troops IN OUR COMMUNITY MICHELLE HANNA
HOPE LUTHERAN CHURCH
Coldwell Banker 251 N. Larchmont Blvd.
6720 Melrose Ave.
LARCHMONT PEDIATRICS 312 N. Larchmont Blvd. Suite 1020
PLOTKE PLUMBING Lynn Shirley & Mario Sanchez
3121 W. Temple St. 323-463-9201
ST. JAMES’ EPISCOPAL CHURCH
LIPSON PLUMBING Bob & Zeb Vacca 606 N. Larchmont Blvd. 5312 Valley Blvd.
LARCHMONT ANIMAL CLINIC Dr. Jan Ciganek 316 N. Larchmont Blvd.
MEL MIYAMOTO AND ASSOCIATES, CPA 444 N. Larchmont Blvd. Suite 208 323-462-4845
ST. BRENDAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
540 S. Commonwealth Ave. 213-385-5204
310 S. Van Ness Ave. 323-936-4656
WILSHIRE ROTARY OF LOS ANGELES
3903 Wilshire Blvd. 213-388-3417
Saluting Your Spirit of Service!
ZAVALA ELECTRIC Bernie Zavala Your Neighborhood Electrician
(Continued from page 1) oldest independent bookstore in Los Angeles was welcoming customers back into a new space by mid-January. Now at 133 N. Larchmont Blvd., the bookstore was forced to move from its former location in the Lipson Building, just across the street, when its lease expired on Dec. 31. Christina Development is now in the process of renovating the entire 14-unit structure. Chevalier’s staff and volunteers worked quickly in the first week of 2021 to decorate the new space and move the many boxes of books to the new location. Visit chevaliersbooks.com. Landis Stationery Edie Frère, owner of Landis Gifts and Stationery for 30 years, has relocated to a design studio on Larchmont Boulevard, north of Beverly. “It’s a cozy new space,” Frère told us last month. She laments
the loss of foot traffic that her former location provided, but Frère says that the new design studio, now located at 584 N. Larchmont Blvd., is a perfect place to meet with clients for custom stationery. Visit landisstationery.com. Lipson Plumbing Also with a new Larchmont location is Lipson Plumbing, which has settled in at 606 N. Larchmont. Same telephone number: 323-469-2395. Tailwaggers and Tailwashers The former Flywheel Sports location, 147 N. Larchmont Blvd., which has sat empty since August 2019, has been leased to Hollywood-based pet food and supply store Tailwaggers and its grooming studio Tailwashers. Plans are underway to convert the former spinning studio into a multipurpose space that includes pet daycare, selfwashing stations, grooming and a retail store.
Pickett Fences Now, for the bad news. After nearly 27 years on Larchmont, beloved retailer Pickett Fences announced Jan. 7 that it would close its doors for good. Owner Joane Pickett told the Chronicle that she is sad about the decision, but she says that it’s been a grueling time, as she and husband Wiley have tried to save the business through unprecedented challenges. “We’ve been here every day since March, but the pandemic is not going away,” said Pickett. “The fatigue, frustration and fear from not being able to pivot and hustle our way to a sustainable solution have been crushing. We fought so hard for 10 months, but the time has come to walk away.” Pickett told us not to count her out just yet: “I’m not ready to retire, so we’ll see what happens.” For now, she plans to take time off and rest. She will seek opportunities after the pandemic passes.
“I made the best friends and found the most wonderful community in Larchmont Village, that makes me proud and will be my takeaway,” said Pickett in a statement to the community. Visit pickettfences.com. Healing Hands Founded in 2003, Healing Hands Wellness Center offers residents massage therapy, acupuncture and chiropractic care.
However, last month, the announced that it has “c financial fork in the road Owners Wyntress an Gluck said in an email to ers that the business lost last year, and the losses k ing. “We have two options our doors and let the wrat dictate our ending or rais
INTERIOR of new Larchmont studio for Landis Gifts & Stationery.
LANDIS Gifts & Stationery loads out from old store in Lipson building.
MOVING SIGN for Landis.
EDIE FRÈRE supervises her Landis move-out.
LIPSON BUILDING as we know it disappears.
CHEVALIER’S staff as movers, left to right: Theresa Le Emma Ayzenberg and Daniel Kusunoki. * This a
VIEW TO BOULEVARD from new studio for Landis.
LIPSON PLUMBING before the move.
CHEVALIER’S MOVE PHOTO KEY 1. Bookcases exit old Chevalier’s Books at 126 N. Larchmont Blvd. 2. Chevalier’s before – the old store. 3. Packing the books for the short move. 4. Old store shelves becoming bare. 5. Book boxes cross the Boulevard. 6. Display racks cross the Boulevard.
business ome to a .” nd Steve o custom$100,000 eep coms: To close h of 2020 e enough
money to get us over the hump and allow us to continue on as a reliable resource for our communities’ physical and mental wellbeing,” read the plea for help. A GoFundMe page has been set up with a goal of $250,000, which the owners say will sustain the business “until the fall months.” Visit gofund.me/a538ec23.
7. Book boxes enter the new store at 133 N. Larchmont Blvd. 8. Chevalier’s Books’ bare new store. 9. Empty bookcases moved into the new store. 10. Chevalier’s after – new store interior view southwest. 11. Chevalier’s after – new store interior view northwest.
Photos except no. 6 by Gary Leonard
OLD VAULT of Messrs. LaBonte, Chevalier.
Phung, Myra Diehl, Mykayla Booth, Miles Parnegg,
and other photos with asterisks by Gary Leonard
BOB VACCA of Lipson with moving sign.
LARCHMONT BARBER moved to Fairfax Ave.
TAILWAGGERS is coming to the former Blockbuster, former Flywheel space. FUTURE, MAYBE?
Neeson thriller is a tense ride; two movies about France At the Movies with
Tony Medley scarcely references his fathering fine children, although it gets deeper into him tarnishing his life and reputation by blatant womanizing when married to one of the most beautiful women in the world, who was apparently a good wife and mother. It does go into detail with candid interviews with one of his mistresses, Rachel Uchitel, a marriagebreaker who comes across as negatively as Tiger. To its great discredit, it barely mentions the influence of Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley in leading him down the primrose path of Las Vegas. HBO. Myth of a Colorblind France (7/10): 86 minutes. NR. With interviews with Blacks who have lived the Parisian experience since post-WWI, it seems as if all was not the sweetness and light in Paris for them that has been advertised. The most interesting story is that of Josephine Baker. While it touches on her life and what an outstanding person she was, what it says is woefully inadequate
and leaves one with the wrong impression of her ending, and that’s a dishonor. Mostly it’s told by and about articulate people like James Baldwin, Richard Wright, Beauford Delaney, Augusta Savage, Barbara Chase-Riboud (who wrote a biography of Thomas Jefferson’s Sally Hemings), and Lois Mailou Jones. Wonder Woman 1984 (3/10): 131 minutes. PG-13. After suffering through the first one, I swore I would not subject myself to any of the obvious sequels, but there is such a dearth of material out
(Continued from page 10) The picket fence created a safety barrier for volunteers to be able to work in the current COVID-19 environment. It also turned a parking lot into a friendly home for folks who may not have a home of their own. Troop 10 Scoutmaster Matt
Girl Scout Cookies (Continued from page 11)
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We carry the finest in Beer • Wine • Spirits • Champagne • Kegs
tunately, fans who attend this type of attempt at entertainment do not expect accomplished acting or writing or any thought-provoking content, so they won’t be disappointed. French Exit (3/10): 105 minutes. R. Without one sympathetic character in this entire movie, the tease says, “An aging Manhattan socialite living on what’s barely left of her inheritance moves to a small apartment in Paris with her son and cat.” Believe it or not, that’s all there is to it! An inane, pointless vapidity.
FIVE SCOUTS from Troop 10 hiked in the High Sierra in August.
there that I forced myself to endure well over two hours of this nonsense. Whenever Gal Gadot utters a line, I am reminded of Tony Curtis allegedly muttering, “Yonda Lies Da Castle of My Fodda,” in one of his earlier movies (1954’s “The Black Shield of Falworth”?). But that’s not the worst thing about this movie. It is even more absurd than the first one that grossly distorted history. This just creates the eidos of a fantasy world that never could exist, forget the absurdity of the superhero concept. For-
because Girl Scouts get prizes if they sell a lot of cookies, so I think they want to help the Girl Scouts out.” Abigail Kampf has been a Girl Scout since kindergarten, and while it is her sixth year selling cookies, the pandemic has showed her that she has more to gain from the experience. “I’m interested in seeing how I find new customers, and, because I didn’t do too much social media before because my mom doesn’t really do social media, I want to see how it turns out.” Vivien Lyra Blair, 8, also has an 800-box goal and has been using her Facebook account and Instagram account @vivienlyrablair, which has 152,000 followers, to promote her Digital Cookie website. Blair is
Rauchberg said the troop participated in the last CicLAvia event at the end of February 2020. Through Zoom meetings, the troop has had live cooking demonstrations, physical fitness challenges, games and skills development. Over the summer, Troop 10 held a virtual campout, telling stories and playing an actress who has starred as Guppy in “We Can Be Heroes” on Netflix and “Girl” in Bird Box. She said she is going to miss selling cookies door-to-door, but loves selling cookies and will be saving a few LemonUps for herself. “Girl Scout cookies has always been a symbol of lightening people’s spirits, kind of giving them hope,” Blair said. “I think that’s what this world needs right now: hope.”
RESTAURANT & COCKTAILS
games before pitching tents and camping out in their own backyards. Scouts also gathered in pods (as “patrols”) for socially distanced day hikes, including a full moon hike. Many of Troop 10’s Scouts have been focused on merit badges during the pandemic, said Rauchberg, with over 100 (Please turn to page 18)
LEMON-UPS are Vivien Lyra Blair’s favorite.
Photo by Liz Blair
Lunch & Dinner Every Day of the Year Except During COVID-19!
Take-Out Hours: 12 noon to 8 p.m. Daily Take-Out Only for Now! 3357 Wilshire Blvd. • 213-385-7275
The Marksman (8/10): 107 minutes. PG-13. Liam Neeson’s almost annual first-ofthe-year thriller is here, and it is one of his best. He plays a crusty ex-marine who finds himself in charge of a Mexican illegal immigrant boy being chased by the cartel. It’s a tense ride throughout. MLK/FBI (7/10): 104 minutes. TV-PG. This is chapter and verse about how J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI hounded Martin Luther King, bugged his phones, and set out to destroy him. Unfortunately, the film is forever tarnished by using discredited former FBI chief Jim Comey as one of its main interviewees. I liked the visual quality of the subtitles, but they were sloppy. For instance, there’s one of LBJ talking on the phone and the subtitles say, “What am I going to do about MLK with all these reports that are coming in on him all night.” What he actually says is “all the time,” not “all night.” This might be a small thing — but if I can hear it, why can’t the people doing the subtitles transcribe it correctly? Summing up, it’s a scathing indictment of contemptible FBI actions. Tiger (7/10): Two-part series. TV-MA. This is a relatively unrevealing documentary about Tiger Woods. The first half is pretty much all about golf, while the second half
As Shakespeare says, ‘They are all — all — honorable men’
For Valentine’s Day last year (O tempora, o mores!), the inestimable Mrs. F asked me what I would like to do. Rather than dining at one of our favorite restaurants (Petit Greek, Marino, Vernetti), I took the busman’s holiday option of going to the theater. I had read the “New York” reviews for Heidi Schreck’s “What the Constitution Means to Me” and wanted to see it. Mrs. F lovingly obliged. I knew we were in trouble the minute we stepped into the Taper. “How many Republicans do you think are in the audience?” I whispered. As the play slid from clever conceit to cliché to contrivance, my mind drifted regrettably to the lost possibilities of seafood pasta. The play’s success was predicated on preaching to a choir of like-minded theatergoers. The proof of the pudding (not to harp on my lost dinner) was
‘Inspiration’ – LA Phil fundraiser — is on Feb. 6
“Icons on Inspiration: Music and Musings by Gustavo Dudamel and Special Guests” will take place online on Sat., Feb 6. at 6 p.m. Members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic will also join in this star-studded online fundraiser with performances and behind-the-scenes moments. Audiences will get an inside look at intimate conversations with Dudamel and guests. Guests include Julie Andrews, Common, Katy Perry, Natalie Portman and Yuja Wang. Proceeds from this event will benefit the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s community programs and its musicians. Visit laphil.com/icons.
in the blue pamphlet copy of the Constitution distributed to the audience: it came from the ACLU. Imagine if the writer and producers had reached across the aisle, politically and theatrically, and gotten their copies from the Heritage Society, and had to convince (rather than assume) the listener of the righteousness of their cause? Better theater and better politics would have ensued. I was reminded of all this while reading James Shapiro’s “Shakespeare in a Divided America,” which the sainted Mrs. F had given me for Christmas. Professor Shapiro is a noted author and Shakespeare scholar, but — in my reading at least — suffers from the same mindset as Ms. Schreck and her producers: a mindset best illustrated by the 1976 Saul Steinberg “New Yorker” cover of Manhattan with the Hudson River as its cultural and intellectual moat.
Theater Review by
Louis Fantasia Professor Shapiro worked on the Public Theater’s 2017 Central Park production of “Julius Caesar.” This was the production that portrayed Caesar as “Trump” and outraged MAGA-land by seeming to condone violence against the 45th President. The problem with this reading of the play is that “Trump” (played by Gregg Henry) should have been cast not as Caesar, but as Marc Antony, the womanizing playboy who incites a mob to riot, brings down the Republic for his personal gain, and, after letting slip the dogs of war, spends his dotage in Alexandria, grabbing Cleopatra’s...
(this is a family paper, after all). The shared failure of both “Caesar” and “Constitution” is that they stage their assumptions rather than interrogate them. Shakespeare teaches us to see what Peter Brook called “the shifting point.” We may find ourselves cheering Edmund’s opening speech in “King Lear” (“Now, gods, stand up for bastards!”), but by the time Edmund has betrayed his father and brother, seduced two married women, and plotted Lear and Cordelia’s murder in act five, we are forced to ask ourselves, what were we thinking? Why did we fall for him — or Richard III or Antony? Good theater forces us to question our values, not simply revalidate them. The Elizabethans looked nervously to Rome to see how easily empires collapse. “How long, O Cataline, will you try the patience of the Senate?” is not from Shakespeare, but Cicero.
It might have been written last month. The cynical, perfidious Tribunes in “Coriolanus,” who manipulate the Roman mob at will, could have been played by Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley. “Let Rome in Tiber melt,” is Antony’s selfish denial of the havoc he has wrought, proclaimed from his own Mar-a-Lago. On January 6, after people died at the U.S. Capitol, 147 members of Congress voted, according to the “New York Times” (1/7/21), to “overturn [the] election results.” These included California Representatives Calvert, Garcia (Mike), Issa, LaMalfa, Nunes, Obernolte, and, of course, McCarthy. They chose to play the Shakespearean part of deluded conspirators. Of course, as Shakespeare wrote, they are all — all — honorable men. But I would be happy to give them each a copy of the Constitution and “Julius Caesar” to read.
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Council Report (Continued from page 9)
how Tom personally resolved an issue they were facing in their community. That’s the kind of person he was. He would drive the district regularly, talk to his constituents, and whenever possible attempt to solve their problems personally and on the spot. The example Tom set in running his office, leading with his sincere love for the city and his love for Angelenos, is one I’ve taken to heart and one that my office hopes to emulate as we move forward. So it is with both a heavy heart and hope for the future that we head into this new year. I am sure I’m not alone in this feeling. I invite you all to hold them both with me as we move forward, honoring our grief, yet holding space for better days to come.
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MARLBOROUGH By Avery Gough 9th Grade
Happy New Year! I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday break and were able to stay safe and healthy while still having a good time. On Tues., Jan. 12, the history department hosted a Pushing Perspective speaker at lunch. Guest speaker Patrick Woody is a foreign policy expert and on top of that has given policy support to the Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations. Woody hosted a live Q&A with students and faculty
to further discuss the U.S. Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6, Trump’s second impeachment, and other questions students or faculty had for him. The Career Connections Club hosted a Zoom on Jan. 13 featuring two 2019 Marlborough alums Anna MacFarlane and Emily Yee, the founders of the Career Connections Club. The Career Connections Club’s goal is to guide and connect students to a specific career path that fills their interest through hosting various speakers in their different fields. Emily Yee is a Cornell sophomore majoring in Hotel Administration and minoring in Real Estate and Creative writing. Anna MacFarlane is
a sophomore at Duke and is majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Computer Science and Spanish. Anna and Emily hope to give advice they had hoped they would have gotten in high school about finding internships, networking, and preparation for the job market. Another exciting piece of information is the renovation of Caswell Hall. Caswell Hall is where Marlborough hosts plays, choir performances, the dance show, All School Meetings, and more. Caswell Hall and the Health and Wellness Centers are being transformed. I cannot wait to see what Marlborough has done with these spaces when we are able to return to campus.
CHRIST THE KING
With the end of winter break, the new year for our Vikings has kicked off to a great start. The 8th grade class is as busy as can be with application deadlines and HSPT drawing evercloser. Our Academic Decathlon team is working hard as well for their upcoming competition in March. Six seniors from Loyola High School supported CKS students with their studies as they completed their community service projects virtually. Despite our ongoing distance learning, Christ the King’s school spirit continues to thrive. We can especially see this when our whole school assembles each Friday for a prayer service and a class presentation. Catholic Schools’ Week is approaching — a week devoted to promoting Catholic education, and filled with surprises for everyone to enjoy. This year’s theme is Faith, Excellence and Service. Even though we cannot be at school in person, we are making the best of our situation with activities such as Career Day, and appreciation days for our parents, grandparents, faculty, staff, and our school and parish administrators. We will wrap up the week with some Spirit Day activities for all our students to enjoy.
Due to this school year’s shift from trimesters to semesters, the last week of January was the end of Oakwood’s first semester learning online. Now that the second semester officially begins this February, Oakwood plans for the kindergarten, first, and second grade students to safely return to campus, after it was postponed last month. Including this, campus activities like athletics, outdoor training and supply pickups will begin again, unless coronavirus cases continue to surge. At the start of February, the theater department will hold Zoom auditions for the high school musical, “The Fantasticks,” a romantic comedy about two lovers and their parents who try to keep them apart. The musical will be showcased virtually, much like the play “The Colored Museum,” which will be performed from Feb. 17 to 20. On a final note, I would like to remind everyone to stay safe by following the precautions given to us, so we can protect each other from the continuous spread of the virus. This is incredibly important, especially if we want to return to at least some state of normalcy, where it is safe for students to go back to school and venture out.
can help hundreds.” The Luzuriaga Foundation now has over 500 volunteers worldwide and has led countless initiatives. “Over the holidays we participated in the Adopt-A-Family program at UCLA’s hospital and raised $655. We also donated ornament kits to patients at UCLA Children’s Hospital, food and clothing to provinces in the Philippines and to the Los Angeles Mission.” Marc and Marjorie are happy with how the foundation has turned out. “Students seldom get to hear the voices of the less fortunate in their communities. It puts a smile on my face to see them connect,” Marc explained. “We get to work with many brilliant student volunteers,” Marjorie said. “Knowing that some kid’s smiles are caused by our volunteers pushes me to do more.”
By Wynter Williams 8th Grade
By Sally Shapiro 11th Grade
S o p h o more Marjorie Luzuriaga and her brother Marc (a junior) started a nonprofit organization to help connect less fortunate youth with other kids through letters of encouragement. According to co-president Marc, every time the Larchmont club meets, the members write letters. Marjorie explained, “I knew that COVID was taking a toll on many of us, and I wanted to figure out how to connect people.” Founder and co-president Marjorie Luzuriaga said “It all started with one idea in the middle of the night. It is an amazing feeling to know that a small idea
The Plymouth School Safely Opened for the 2020-2021 School Year!
By Scarlett Saldaña 10th Grade
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The Buckley students have received an email that says all inperson classes will be delayed until February. On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Buckley offered a service volunteering opportunity for interested school families. Those who signed up online delivered homemade meals to people in need. During Advisory on Feb. 5, all Upper and Middle School students will attend a meeting about Black History Month and cover American historical events relating to the black community. Then, on Feb. 6, Upper Schoolers will take the optional ACT Test which measures a student’s skills in five core areas: English, math, reading, science, and writing Later, on Feb. 10, the nationwide AMC Math Contest will take place. During this time, students will take a 1.5 hour test. Test results can be highlighted on the student’s resume or on their college applications. In Buckley’s efforts to monitor student wellness and minimize screen time, both Feb. 10 and Feb. 24 have been designated as asynchronous learning days. Asynchronous days are a day off from Zoom, but it isn’t a day without school work. Students will be expected to complete classwork for their scheduled classes during the day and, if they have questions, will meet with their teachers during office hours. Lastly, on Feb. 24 and Feb. 25 the middle school will hold tryouts for the spring play. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Students continue to learn remotely following the start of the second semester. With this new semester comes a new and improved schedule, which consists of a later start time and shorter classes, as a response to student concerns about too much screen time last semester. Overall, students have reported that this new schedule has helped to reduce stress and also helped them more effectively manage schoolwork during a global pandemic. In addition to these changes, regular classes are no longer held on Wednesdays, which are now dedicated only to AP classes and for student meetings with instructors. Especially in the midst of a pandemic, it is helpful to have a supportive community like the one that Immaculate Heart fosters as we all work toward a common goal of making the most of the circumstances. Students struggling with their mental health know that they always have counselors and peers to reach out to for support. By now, prospective Immaculate Heart students have taken the entrance exam and completed their admissions interviews.
By Jasper Gough 11th Grade
SAINT BRENDAN By Lucas Bland 8th Grade
Half of the school year is already finished and we have our In-N-Out fundraiser on Feb. 12 to celebrate. We’re also in the middle of Catholic Schools Week, where we plan to have assemblies and activities everyday of the week. Each class will do a fun presentation on what they have learned, which may include finger puppet dancing and singing. One highlight of the week will include students getting a new teacher and a fun activity. Another one will be the cutest baby contest, where we get to vote on which student council member was the cutest baby. We will also announce the student who will get the BVM Scholarship which will be followed by a game of Classroom Feud; our own take on Family Feud. Finally, it’s 8th graders versus faculty in an all out virtual battle game to see who’s smarter. St. Brendan’s has got a lot of action going on for Catholic Schools Week, and we can’t wait to see how it will turn out!
By Quinn Lanza 12th Grade
Scholarships for seniors offered by Hope
Los Angeles-based Bank of Hope is accepting applications from eligible students to be awarded scholarships as part of its 2021 Hope Scholarship Foundation. The Hope Scholarship will be awarded to 60 college-bound high school students graduating in the current year for $2,500 each. To be eligible, for a portion of the $150,000 in scholarship money, applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, be an incoming freshman at a four- or two-year institution, and demonstrate a financial need. “As one of the leading Asian American banks, Bank of Hope takes great pride in supporting education in the communities where it operates and has distributed $2.15 million in scholarships to date through the Hope Scholarship Foundation for the past 20 years,” said Kevin Kim, Chairman and CEO of Bank of Hope. “Through this opportunity, we hope that the Hope Scholars can be a ‘small but great hope’ for our students to advance their futures despite various difficult conditions caused by COVID-19 this year.” Applications must be submitted by Sun., Feb. 28. Visit bankofhope.com/hope-scholarship.
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HOLLYWOOD SCHOOLHOUSE By Emily Mansourian 6th Grade Last month at Hollywood Schoolhouse, the 6th grade class began an online virtual classroom experience called Place Out of Time. The main idea of Place Out of Time is “what if the wisdom
of history could be brought to bear on a problem of our day? The Place Out of Time website is a space where great women and men from across the range of human history gather to decide the outcome of a trial that is
linked to a controversial issue of our day.” My classmates and I will be portraying historical figures in this simulation, along with our University of Michigan mentors. Our class is in the character selection phase, and I can’t wait for the court case to begin. Recently in science, our class took part in a science-themed virtual escape room. There were
difficult levels that needed to be passed in order to reach the final clue. Some levels included astronomy-related questions or other hints that were related to current science lessons. My team worked together to unscramble letters, use logical thinking and reasoning, and solved difficult puzzles to finish first. Keeping in mind that we are all in a worldwide pandemic, I had so much
fun, and would definitely want to do this again someday. Finally, in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Hollywood Schoolhouse participated in a day of service with Project Angel Food. Our students wrote notes of love to the clients who are not well and are in need of food. Each meal was delivered with a note of love from the students at HSH. Until next time!
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METRO took Troop 10 scouts and their bicycles to participate in CicLAvia at the end of February 2020.
(Continued from page 14) badges earned in the Troop since last March. In August, five scouts who were working on obtaining a Backpack Merit Badge took a three-night, 20-mile backpacking trip in the High Sierra. In addition, in the past 12 months, seven Troop 10 scouts advanced to the rank of Eagle Scout. Justin Byun built garden boxes and other improvements at the Korean Community Center. James D’Atri built benches and completed other playground improvements at Van Ness Elementary School. Nicolas Ghaffrey planted a drought tolerant garden at the American Legion Post in Hollywood. Edgardo (EJ) MaliksiClark built benches and completed other playground improvements at Van Ness Elementary School. George Phillips designed and built a
TROOP 10 SCOUTS Luke Gil, George Nason and George D’Atri scrub down the St. James’ food pantry storage area.
media room at his church. Max Rauchberg constructed 10 nesting boxes for endangered raptors (kestrels) and placed them in Griffith Park in coordination with Friends of Griffith Park and the Parks Dept. Finally, Nathan Yang built garden boxes for the kindergarten yard at St. Brendon School.
EAGLE SCOUT Max Rauchberg (center), with one of the ten nesting boxes he built for Griffith Park, with Gerry Hans, Chief Naturalist for the Friends of Griffith Park (right) and a parks department worker.
Vertical and vernacular, sports in the snowboard world
Initially, few ski resorts great place for all levels of snow- gondola ride and incredible view fun, and don’t be a Bowling Pin. Please note that, due to allowed snowboarding. The boarders. I spent the day Roll- of the Sierra from above. Kids corornavirus safety protocols, 12 and under are free when ing Down the Windows (when divide between skiers and ski resorts have reduced daiaccompanied by an adult. someone is caught off-balance boarders was too great. The ly attendance levels, require Get out there. Dress warm. and windmills their arms wildestablishment eventually realized the potential revenue the ly trying to recover). At June Because of the pandemic, most face coverings and encourgrowing snowboard commu- Mountain, the beginner runs ski lodges are open for take-out age social distancing, among nity represented, and when are up top, which means the food only, which means no hot other changes. Check for any the IOC entire family can experience a toddies by the fireplace. Have updates as you plan your trip. (International OlymRig in Righ in th ht Mi pic CommitM R h iRa tee) includeRe acl eRe c ed the new eM le Mil sport at the ile ! e! 1994 Winter Olympic Games in Nagano, Japan, there was no choice but for ski areas to welcome boarders, too. Terrain, local Southern California is home to several ski areas, all of which depend upon inconsistent snowfall. Los Angeles’ closest ski peak, Mount Baldy, unfortunately receives the least amount of snow of Archdiocesan & State Academic Decathlon Champions 2017! 8th grade through 8th gradethrough Math Program • Kindergarten • Honors Math Program • Kindergarten • Honors all SoCal ski resorts. Baldy is Kindergarten through 8th grade • Honors Math Program • Fully Accredited WCEA • CYO Sports only an hour away, and •the Fully Accredited• WASC & WCEA WASC Sports • CYO& Fully Accredited WASC & WCEA • CYO Sports • quaint Alpine town at the•ski Schoolwide 4G Internet Access Hot Lunch Program Schoolwide 4G•Internet Access Lunch Program • Hot • Hot Access Lunch Program Schoolwide 4G Internet • • summit’s base is alone worth MAC Computer Lab Outreach ConcernCounseling Counseling Lab Concern Counseling •• 36 • • 36 MAC Computer • Outreach Outreach Concern 36 MAC Computer Lab • the drive. Challenging? Often, Extended Day DayCare Care • Spanish Program •• Spanish Spanish Program Program • Extended Day Care •• Extended because of snow conditions, Middle or School iPad Program Junior High Academic Decathlon Middle School iPad Program Junior High Academic Decathlon • • • • Junior High Academic Decathlon K-8 iPad Program • • lack of, and it’s probably not Junior High Instrumental Program Junior High Music Instrumental Music Program • Departmentalized •Junior •• Departmentalized Lab / Art Center Departmentalized High •• Science the best choice for beginner Classroom Art & Music Program Classroom Art & Music Program • •• Classroom Art & Music Program snowboarders. Virtual Open House: Mountain High is my favorite SoCal ski destination. It’s Sunday, January 31 an hour closer than the Big 11:30 am - 1 pm Bear resorts, and there are Contact school office trails for all levels. The Terrain for more information. Park features fun obstacles, and for the advanced boarder, 755 South Cochran Ave., L.A. 90036 • For Information (323) 938-9976 or cathedralchapelschool.org 755 South Cochran Ave., L.A. 90036 755 for South Cochran Ave., L.A. 90036 Please check our website updates regarding distant and in-person learning. there’s plenty of opportunity For Information (323) 938-9976 or cathedralchapelschool.org For Information (323) 938-9976 or cathedralchapelschool.org to get Hospital Air (ramps and jumps that can lead to injury via unsuccessful landing). If there’s enough snow, an area called The Reef is opened, which might be Mountain High’s best feature. Terrain, distant Local is great, but nothing in SoCal compares to Mammoth and June Mountain. The drive north — five hours — seems hefty, but both areas are world-class. The only time I ever snowboarded was at June Mountain, and I honestly can say it’s a
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Chaos Canyon. Doesn’t that sound like an extreme run for snowboarders, spiked with halfpipes, boxes, rails and ramps? That’s what I thought during the recent holiday break when I drove my wife and son to Colorado for a snow fix. I love ski area trail names, and Chaos Canyon Youth sounded attracSports tively dangerby ous. But the Jim hill is actually Kalin one of Vail Ski Resort’s beginner runs, and the name likely refers to the chaotic result of funneling firsttime skiers and snowboarders into one contained area. A pass on this gentle slope is an exercise in dodging Bowling Pins (skiers or boarders who stand around in the middle of runs, becoming obstacles). Vail’s snowboarders skip Chaos Canyon and instead congregate at Golden Peak Terrain Park. Admittedly, I’ve been on a snowboard just once, and I spent the day as a Pop-Tart (a snowboarder who falls, covering one side of the body in snow, like a frosted Pop-Tart). I prefer skis, but my son is 12, so I’ve learned to appreciate snowboards. Not always accepted Invented in 1965 by Sherman Poppin, the prototype snowboard was actually two skis bolted together. Poppin’s wife dubbed his invention the Snurfer, a shortening of the term “snow surfer.” In the 1980s, snowboarding was considered outlaw, which was likely a desired reputation cultivated by those who embraced the neophyte activity. It was no coincidence skateboarders were drawn to snowboarding. The technique and mechanics for each are nearly identical. Skateboarders brought the grunge and hip-hop culture to the mountains. Their fashion was opposite traditional skiwear, and their slang a foreign language.
George Garis, Piper’s Restaurant founder, 1932 — 2021 George Garis, owner of Piper’s Restaurant, died Jan. 6. He was 88. He and his wife, Gina, opened Piper’s Coffee Shop at 222 N. Western Ave. in 1964. The Middle Ages theme with knights and armor decoration, a treasure chest for children and red leather booths were an immediate hit in the Larchmont neighborhood. Every Halloween, George and the servers and staff dressed in elaborate costumes while diners voted for the top-prize costume of the night. At Christmas, George closed Pipers and hosted community members
who were alone for the holidays and featured music and a visit from Santa Claus. George and Gina originally had come to Los Angeles from New York. An avid golfer, he was a member of Wilshire Country Club. It is said that, in 1989, George and Gina decided that Los Angeles earthquakes were not to their tastes, so they sold Piper’s and moved to Kentucky, followed nine years later by another move — to warmer climes in Sarasota, Florida. George is survived by Gina, his wife of 65 years.
A NEIGHBOR for nine or more years, Giorgio was born in Naples but has been in the United States for most of his adult life.
(Continued from page 1) morning, when shoppers and coffee fiends can be found picking up a newspaper, a cold brew and a muffin on the boulevard, that’s where Giorgio will be, relying on the kindness of strangers to provide a meal and human contact. Giorgio is as much a fixture on the street as any of our favorite storefronts. Stocky, with dark grey waves spilling from under his (often) burgundy beanie, and with a seemingly perpetual head cold, his sad eyes reflect a lifetime of disappointments. Over his years of homelessness, at least nine by all accounts, he has developed a routine.
Most mornings, he can be found near Peet’s Coffee, standing with his cart in the road, just behind the line of parked cars. Sometimes he asks passersby if they can get him some food and, from my observation, many oblige. It’s equally obvious that some are Giorgio “regulars,” handing him an unsolicited meal or coffee. Once I watched as a young woman retrieved cash from her friend in a waiting car and handed it to Giorgio. Another handed him a warm beverage, “just because.” He once asked me for a sandwich since a well-meaning Good Samaritan had given him a bagel, which he couldn’t eat because he has too few teeth to properly chew the dense bread. People stop to chat, filling him in on the news of the day, asking for his opinion about current events (he keeps somewhat informed, in spite of protesting that “I stay away from news. There’s too much news!”). About the coronavirus, he scoffs at the severity, saying, “Either you get sick or you don’t.” About his life? “Complicated.” Kind acquaintances Giorgio speaks fondly about
Margaret Sowma, 105, community activist
Margaret Sowma, 105, died Jan. 10 at St. John of God assisted living, after a battle with COVID-19. The longtime Windsor Square resident had been a block captain for the Windsor Square Association, an alternate director on the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council and a labor and
community activist. Born in Connecticut, as a child she survived the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic. She moved to Los Angeles in 1948 and was an active member in the garment union, and also was a volunteer at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and the American Red Cross.
people who have regularly stopped to talk with him or give him food or money, some gone now. He calls them his friends, such as the man who came alone for a bagel and coffee every morning (“No wife or dog with him!”) and they
would talk. Three months after this friend had been diagnosed with a tumor, he disappeared, and Giorgio assumes he died. These stories intermix with those from his days in the working world, before he lost his job and was evicted.
Ally Carstarphen, a shift lead at Peet’s Coffee, who has known Giorgio for three years, offers, “Sometimes we’ll give him a free coffee. He’s always been very kind to talk to. He talks a lot!” She continues, (Please turn to page 21)
Marguerite “Chickie” Heyn Byrne August 14, 1936 – January 17, 2021 Chickie Byrne died peacefully on January 17, 2021 due to complications of COVID-19 after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. She was born in Los Angeles on August 14, 1936, the daughter of Zola and John Heyn. She attended Manual Arts High School (student body VP) and UCLA (BA 1958), where she was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. Chickie met her husband, Richard (Skip) Byrne, in 1957 while they were both participating in UCLA’s Project India, a student goodwill program in which 14 students and two advisors spent the summer traveling in India and speaking to Indian students and community groups about the United States and democracy. She and Skip were married on September 20, 1958. Chickie obtained her secondary teaching credential from Cal State University, Sacramento the year after they were married. Chickie is survived by Skip, her husband of 62 years; their six children – Mark (Cindy), Elizabeth Debreu (Stan), Matthew (Maureen), John (Allison), Andy (Maggie) and Joe (Gayle); their 18 grandchildren; her brother’s two sons, Chris and Stephen Heyn, and their families, and many other relatives and friends. She was predeceased by her brother, Carl Heyn and his wife, Carolyn. In addition to raising her family, Chick-
ie was actively involved in many community, charitable, educational and religious organizations, including St. Anne’s, the Social Service Auxiliaries of the Sisters of Social Service, Good Shepherd Center for Homeless Women & Children, Christ the King Catholic Church, Cathedral Chapel School, Daniel Murphy High School, Loyola High School, Notre Dame Academy, and the Hancock Park Homeowners Association. She was a Larchmont Chronicle Woman of Larchmont in 1982. She served on the School Board of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles for ten years and also taught natural family planning at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for ten years. Chickie was a loving, caring, outgoing. articulate and accomplished woman, a true leader in many ways. Known for her boundless energy, friendship, and devotion to her husband, family and Catholic faith, she was unique and will be truly missed. Due to COVID-19, funeral services and interment will be limited to the immediate family. A celebration of Chickie’s life will take place at a later, safer time. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Chickie’s name to St. John of God Retirement & Care Center, 2468 S. St Andrews Pl., Los Angeles 90018, to any of the charities listed above or to a charity of your choice.
ACQUAINTANCES visit with Giorgio on the boulevard and throughout the neighborhood on his daily walks.
(Continued from page 20) “He talked to me about being a bartender. He’s always making sure I’m getting paid enough and how he’s hoping that [Peet’s workers] were all well.” NGA also reaches out Local resident Marilyn Wells, co-founder of Stories from the Frontline (storiesfrontline. org), a local group promoting affordable and supportive housing as an effective solution to end homelessness, says she also knows Giorgio. She recently recounted: “We had an interesting conversation at an NGA meeting a number of months ago. I was heartened to hear that so many of the women in the group also know Giorgio and have reached out to offer him food or clothing, knowing that he doesn’t want any help beyond that when offered. “Our discussion at the NGA meeting began with our growing concern about the increase in homelessness in our area and how we can get involved. NGA member from Windsor Square, Olivia Kazanjian, said, ‘We talk about how homelessness is growing at such a rapid rate and we can’t stay on top of it. Our neighborhood truly is a village and it’s important to take care of your village.’” NGA is “National Giving Alliance Hancock Park.” The group provides wish list items to a number of agencies in the local area, such as Alexandria House, Good Shepherd, Imagine LA and Hollygrove, that care for unhoused neighbors. Newsstand visits Before taking a walk around the nearby streets or heading back to his bus bench home, Giorgio often stops in front of the newsstand and Rite Aid, hoping someone will buy him more pain reliever for his aching back and legs. Someone usually does, including the morning I watched as a masked woman emerged from the drugstore with the news
that the over-the-counter medication Giorgio requested was sold out. Could she select a different one for him? He agreed and she went back inside, exiting with a generic version and a receipt so he could return it if it wasn’t to his liking. Brian Jang, owner of Above the Fold newsstand, calls him “George.” (Giorgio is fine with either.) Jang explains that his stand serves as something of a hub for the boulevard, with regulars leaving utility payment envelopes with him to give to the mail carrier, for example. So, too, they often give him things for Giorgio. “People have left a battery-operated radio for him. Things like that. Little things that they think he might like or want.” Jang has also seen people hand gifts and money to Giorgio directly. “$50 occasionally, $100 from one gentleman.” Agitation Jang has also witnessed the darker side of Giorgio, the Giorgio who loses his temper, spewing vitriol when a police car drives by, saying they bother him, spouting off about some perceived wrong. When he gets belligerent, Jang tells him he can’t talk to him that way and Giorgio calms down or moves away. That’s a view I’ve observed, as well, when he has gotten agitated over politics or over one of my questions that he deems too personal (he won’t share his last name, for example) or the lack of aid he’s received from the government. He says he deserves social security and disability payments and says he once went to that office to fill out the correct forms. “Take a number!” he yells, recalling the rule. He claims that when it was his turn the man at the Social Security window closed his position and went to lunch, telling Giorgio he’d be served first when he returned, but the man never came back. Giorgio plans to try again. Sometime. Maybe. He bemoans America’s com-
plicated systems, our civil and penal codes. When asked how he knew about them, Giorgio reveals that he used to spend a couple of hours every Sunday in the library, writing it down “free of charge.” He’s astounded that he would say, “I need some information,” and the librarians would get it for him. “There’s a lot of things at the library. Job search. Books with names and addresses.” He liked researching companies, when they were established, how many people worked for them. He recalls one company entry. “They started with 40 [employees]. They grew like pizza! I learned a lot of things in the library.” He no
longer spends time there. Origin story Before Giorgio took to the streets, before his time cooking and serving in the city’s best food establishments, there was Giorgio’s origin story. Giorgio was born in Naples, Italy. The youngest of six, with four older brothers and one sister, he has fond memories of his childhood. Apparently, he was a bit of an athlete, playing soccer, as do most European children, but also tennis, which he continued when he moved to the States. He traveled some, to Paris and England, mentioning how wonderful English pastries taste. He tells stories of visiting
his sister’s farm, where they’d have fresh-killed chicken dinners and homemade wine from her vineyards. “It was wonderful,” he remembers and smiles. Giorgio doesn’t drink anymore. Or maybe “just a taste sometimes,” he says, although he smokes five or six cigarettes a day. He likes sweeter blends, Marlboro and Dunhill, rather than bitter Pall Mall, but prefers loose tobacco. He talks for a long time about the relative merits of different brands and how difficult it is to quit. I wonder about his health. Does he ever get seriously ill living on the street, smoking, (Please turn to page 22)
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(Continued from page 21) and dependent upon handouts for food? He’s healthy, he insists, pointing to a grandmother who lived into her 90s and a strong mother. His father, an industrial plant worker, drank too much wine, however. They are long gone, but his sister and a brother who lives in Rome are still alive, as far as he knows, although he seems to have lost contact with everyone. He’s proud of his siblings’ accomplishments. One brother had moved to Germany and worked for Lufthansa. Another worked on cargo ships in the oil industry. He marvels, “In Saudi Arabia oil comes out of the ground. You make a little hole and the oil comes up like water. Like a shower!” His lone sister became a linguist and studied philosophy, with a special interest in Kant. After high school, Giorgio graduated from a technical institute that he says was the equivalent of California State Polytechnic University. He learned to design and build a radio from scratch and he could tune in Morocco from it. This triggers a warm memory and his face lights up as he sings a Moroccan song, waves his arms around and dances in the street. After graduation he became a radio and radar
operator on a submarine in the Italian navy. Although he commemorated his time in the service with an anchor tattoo on his upper arm, he didn’t particularly like the military life with all its regimentation and rules. When his enlistment was over, he declined the offer to stay on, and he went back to work as a technician in the electronics field. He eventually left Naples to join his brother in Rome. To the U.S.A. After 10 years in Rome, Giorgio sought his fortune in America; the reasons for which are unclear because Giorgio gets agitated when asked about leaving his homeland. What is clear, is that here he found work in the restaurant industry, first with relatives in Miami, then New York, finally landing in Los Angeles. Dates don’t always add up in Giorgio’s stories, but he claims to have moved here in 1986. He’s very animated when talking about food and his restaurant work, where he says he held almost every kind of job, from waiter, kitchen worker and busboy, to bartender and host. Giorgio often remarks that restaurants are like the theater, with set roles. “You have to be welcoming and funny,” he remembers, suddenly transforming into a grand-gestured maître d’ on the restaurant stage.
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“You have to say, ‘Hello, come in, I’ve missed you! I have such a good pasta for you today. You’re gonna love it!’” He continues, “When I was a waiter, I needed to go with whatever the customer liked.” He imitates a typical long-ago exchange with a customer expressing a sauce preference. “‘I like red!’” He’d rejoin with “Yes, yes, red!” “‘I like green.’ Yes, yes, green!” Good times and bad I recently read a novel that posited that all time exists at once because we are vessels of all our yesterdays, todays and tomorrows. Talking with Giorgio is like that, a stream-ofconscious ride through good times and bad. Sometimes there’s a sudden glimpse into a once-happy man who took his sweetheart out for complimentary drinks and dinners at friends’ restaurants, or a hint about his intellectual curiosity. For example, he’d love to go to Griffith Observatory, but says, “I have no way to get there.” He likens being in a space capsule to being in a submarine, which he understands. He asks, “What’s the difference between ache and pain?” and “Why is it sometimes a clock and sometimes a watch? They both do the same thing! Why do you look at a watch and say ‘It’s five o’clock? O’clock!’” Often there’s a foray into cooking, his own (“I’m a good
LIFE ON THE STREET is tough and often depends upon the kindness of strangers.
cook. Oh, yeah! Fish, paella!”), or restaurant menus. His favorite place was Chasen’s. He says they were nice there and he liked their food. “French onion soup. Very famous French dish: bouillabaisse. Special pasta, with cream of mushroom, tomato, chicken, artichoke sometimes. Fish with butter, garlic and lemon. Delicious!” Interestingly, Giorgio often veers into a discussion of the relative worth of products, comparing athletic shoe brands or noting that pork chops are less expensive in Latino markets and Volkswagens cost oneand-a-half times more in Beverly Hills than downtown. Then suddenly he’ll plunge into disappointment and anger, all layered into seemingly one space. Giorgio’s people Most of us can share memories and build new ones with
family and friends in person or, these days, over cell phones and Zoom accounts. Giorgio only has the people who deign to talk with him on the street and who are his de facto community. He settled on our beloved boulevard because “No one bothers me here,” a reminder to us all that the unfortunate among us are often disdained, asked to move along, swept out of sight. I once asked Giorgio if he had a place to wash up and if he would go to a shelter. “I don’t go to shelters,” he insisted. I looked over the collection of worn blankets, dirty tops, crumpled tissues, cigarettes and technical manuals in his cart. “Do you need anything?” I asked. “A winter jacket? A thermal blanket?” Giorgio paused, pointing to his clean black sweats. “I changed my pants,” he beams.
(Continued from page 1) or trash picked up. It was in his early days in public service, when working with Mayor Tom Bradley’s youth program, that LaBonge learned a lifelong lesson after he saw Bradley jump-start a woman’s car — always carry jumper cables, for himself, but mostly for others. LaBonge, 67, died at his Silver Lake home, not awakening from a nap on his living room couch. The cause of death has not been confirmed. Park memorial fund After consultation with his widow, Brigid, the Los Angeles Parks Foundation announced plans to set up a memorial fund in LaBonge’s honor. “We are heartbroken over the passing of former Los Angeles City Councilmember Tom LaBonge, a dear friend and champion of our city parks for more than four decades,” Parks Foundation Executive Director Carolyn Ramsay wrote in a tribute. “During 40 years of service in city government, Tom oversaw the improvement of many beloved parks… He notably spearheaded the expansion of Griffith Park by over 200 acres, helping protect urban wilderness around the iconic Hollywood Sign.” He also helped guide Hancock Park and Windsor Square as they became Historic Preservation Overlay Zones. During his service as an appointee to the Metro board during the Mayor Villaraigosa administration, LaBonge worked with Beverly Hills and others to move forward with the long-stalled extension of the Wilshire subway.
He was a huge fan of the Los Angeles Zoo, from its children’s programs to its animals. “He was quick to tell anyone he came across about the wonderful work being done to save animals from extinction at their Los Ange-
CHEERLEADER LaBONGE at a downtown civic event on Flower Street.
WITH FRIEND and fellow photographer, Gary Leonard.
Photo by Gary Leonard
FOUNDER of the Larchmont Chronicle, Jane Gilman, with Councilman Tom LaBonge.
AT DODGERS 2017 playoffs, LaBonge (far left) is joined by (left to right) Jennifer Fain, Chronicle publisher John Welborne, and Bill Fain. Selfie by Tom LaBonge
LARCHMONT LEADER Joane Heggenberger Pickett and other fans celebrate the Boulevard with Councilman LaBonge in 2006. Photo by Wiley Pickett
Photo by Gary Leonard
SCOUT TROOP 10 members visit Dante’s View in Griffith Park with Tom LaBonge, posing in the Councilman’s famous pickup truck with Scoutmaster Tom Fenady, at left.
Photo from the Larchmont Buzz
bureaucracy, equally skilled at getting streets fixed and calming upset residents.” When Councilman Ferraro died, LaBonge, who then was Ferraro’s chief deputy, won a special election to fill his seat and served the 4th District from 2001 to 2015. “No one knew more Angelenos, no person gave more waking hours to our city, no one was a greater cheerleader for our town than Tom,” Mayor Eric Garcetti tweeted after news of his death. Read local tributes at “Neighbors Remember Tom LaBonge” in the “Larchmont Buzz:” tinyurl.com/y2zdtzf5 In addition to his wife Brigid, he is survived by daughter Mary-Cate and son Charles and five of his brothers. The pylons at Los Angeles International Airport and the exterior of City Hall were lit in Dodger blue Jan. 8 to honor Councilmember LaBonge as well as Dodgers legend Tommy Lasorda, who also died Jan. 7.
les Zoo,” said Denise M. Verret, Zoo CEO and director. “Mr. Los Angeles” Known as Mr. Los Angeles for an encyclopedic knowledge of the city’s haunts and history, LaBonge also was vital in the formation of the Sister Cities program, connecting Los Angeles to urban centers worldwide. Born in Los Angeles, LaBonge was the seventh of eight boys. His father, Robert LaBonge, worked for “Tidings,” a Catholic newspaper, and his mother was a homemaker. His Irish grandfather was a Los Angeles police officer from 1919 to 1949.
He joined Mayor Tom Bradley’s youth council after graduating from Cal State Los Angeles, in 1974. He later worked for Councilwoman Peggy Stevenson, followed by working the next 15 years as a deputy to 4th District Councilman John Ferraro. In 1993, LaBonge lost his first run for City Council to school board member Jackie Goldberg. He then became an aide to Mayor Richard Riordan. Riordon penned a letter to the “Los Angeles Times” Jan. 17 calling LaBonge “a peacemaker… Honest, jovial and smart, he was a master navigator of our city’s complex
AT THE ZOO: LaBonge with former senior animal keeper Jennifer Kuypers Gandy, holding a blue-throated macaw.
HOT DOG FAN LaBonge celebrates “Pink’s Square” at its September 2018 dedication with Richard Pink and his sister Beverly Pink Wolfe.
AT FARMERS MARKET, City Controller Ron Galperin and Tom LaBonge stay in touch.
2021_GAF_Larchmont SECTION ONE
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Highs, and lows, of the water flow of the Brookside streambed.
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The highs — and lows — of Brookside’s El Rio del Jardin de las Flores By Rachel Olivier Brookside’s stream, El Rio del Jardin de las Flores, has had some highs and lows over the last few years, both in the amount of water moving through the streambed, and in the ongoing research to preserve the stream. Last September, Brookside resident Nancy Levine reached out to the Larchmont Chronicle with an update, letting us know that while the stream seems to have a normal flow where it “daylights,” just south of Wilshire Boulevard, that the flow was weak between 8th and 9th Streets, and dry where it flows south of 9th Street. Residents were also concerned about flourishing mosquito populations because of the standing water. They have been working with the Watershed Protection Division of Los Angeles Sanitation and field deputies from Council District Four to get answers. Levine contacted us and wondered if we could help. The Chronicle covered the depletion of water in the streambed in 2017, when residents of the Brookside neighborhood first noted the decrease in water flow. Oddly enough, according to the Los Angeles Almanac, 2017 had been a year of steady
BACKYARD of Brookside home shows bridges over stream in March 2018.
winter rains after a five-year drought. At that time, residents reached out to the Los Angeles Dept. of Public Works and Councilman David Ryu’s office to begin investigation into where the water had gone. Four reports study the problem After four reports by the Watershed Protection Division, several conclusions have been reached. In the Phase 1 report from March 2018, it was noted that water levels and flow rates were not consistent at all properties along S. Longwood Avenue; the stream at some properties had more water than at other properties, suggesting that there may be more locations along the Brookside Stream where groundwater was feeding the stream.
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The Phase 2 report from June 2018 noted that there was a time, before the 1930s, when the brook had been connected to the storm drain system, but had been disconnected when the storm drain system had been updated. In addition, while the stream does lose some water through filtration into the ground, that amount is relatively small. The report also noted that for there to be a consistent stream level of a half a foot of water flowing at .24 feet per second, there needed to be at least 238,500 gallons flowing through the stream per day. It was determined that the best source to replenish the stream was the dry weather runoff in the Longbrook Avenue storm drain, but there needed to be a feasibility study to see if that
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could work. The Phase 3 report from November 2018 researched whether or not the Longwood Avenue storm drain could work in replenishing the stream. However, the average water runoff from that drain was 33 gallons per minute, but the stream needed a source that offered an estimated 135 gallons of water per minute. There is a second storm drain that could be used located under Wilshire Boulevard that would deliver more water, but it would take more work to connect the conduit to the spring, and cost more money. In 2019, after another winter of steady rains, the levels of the stream increased slightly — for a time — which was when the Chronicle learned from the Watershed Protection Division that the source of the brook, the natural spring fed by groundwater, had been decreasing from years of drought, and the storm drain alternatives were still being studied. Since then, a Phase 4 study conducted in July 2019 has looked into other causes of water depletion, other problems caused by the water depletion, and what it could take to return the flow of water to the brook. One of the possibilities that
was in the Phase 4 report was that construction on Metro’s Purple Line had depleted the groundwater because of the pumping stations put into place along Wilshire Boulevard. Michael Scaduto, an engineer with the Watershed Protection Division, pointed out that those pumping stations are not really very close to the stream, and that it is more likely that the groundwater was depleted through years of drought. He also pointed to development in the area that would siphon off some of the water. However, the pumping station is due to be removed by 2023 or 2024 and that could help with surrounding groundwater levels. David Sotero at Metro also believed that the pumping stations were not close enough to the spring to be the cause of the depleted water levels, and that it was more likely to be a decrease in groundwater from drought. In both cases, when I asked about the possibility of somehow infusing water back into the groundwater table after the Purple Line construction is completed, there were references to budget cuts and not knowing if there would be funding for such projects. (Please turn to page 3)
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(Continued from page 2) Other causes and issues Three other problems noted in the Phase 4 study include water stagnation and an increase in the mosquito population, construction activities by some property owners that may be impacting the stream and the right of property owners to use water from the stream as it runs through their property. Levine said she and other Brookside residents were particularly concerned about the increase in the mosquito population. Getting residents to clean debris out of streambeds, thus removing a possible harbor for the insects, is one solution, and also helps to increase the flow of any water running through the streambed. Obtaining mosquito fish was another suggestion. Construction activities and making personal use of the water as it flows through backyards of some property owners also could have impacts on the stream. Because the stream is a natural watercourse, the Los Angeles Municipal Code (Sections 64.07, 64.08, 64.09 and 64.10) specifies that “…No person shall do anything to any natural water course or any channel carrying storm water that will in any manner obstruct or interfere with the flow of water
THIS PHASE 2 investigation map shows the stream above ground in three sections, beginning at Melrose Ave. near Wilcox Ave. and ending just south of San Vicente Boulevard.
through such water course or channel,” unless there has been a permit obtained from the Board of Public Works. In the end, the question is, who is responsible for the depleted water flow in the stream? Who is responsible for bringing the water flow back up to normal levels? The answer is that while, for
PLANNERS OF the Brookside neighborhood in 1921 developed lots around the stream, as can be seen in this Phase 4 map.
the most part, each property owner is responsible for the care of his or her part of the stream, that stream is also part of a larger water system that could impact other water systems downstream, and other ecosystems. The Phase 4 study reports that while bioswales and other natural easements have been put in place in repairing
other waterways, those were on public lands. There needs to be funding for such projects. Most recently, when asked about the state of the streambed, Levine noted the flooding of the waterway after one of the rainstorms this winter, but the streambed had quickly dried up again. Sandy Boeck, another con-
cerned resident, noted that while she still had a dry streambed, it was good to see some neighbors cleaning up their parts of the stream. This will not be an easy fix. The solution most likely will be a combination, or intertwining, of public and private work. History of stream and neighborhood The history of the stream and the neighborhood is also intertwined. According to the Windsor Square-Hancock Park Historical Society, the neighborhood of Brookside was carved out of the original Rancho Las Cienegas (Ranch of the Marshland), owned by Mexican native Don Francisco Avila. In 1921, the Rimpau Estate Company began to sell home sites with many properties along Longwood Ave., where the developers laid out deep rear lots bisected by a natural underground stream. Not wanting the stream to run on only one side of the street, the planners developed around it, with the stream winding from one side of the street to the other, preserving some of the natural arroyos, barrancas (gorges) and hills of the original tracts. Although it was first known as Windsor Crest, the neighborhood became known as Brookside because of the stream that ran from the Hollywood Hills to Ballona Creek.
Pizza perfection and exquisite cheese, charcuterie boards
Remember when the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture in the early 1980s declared that pizza was a healthy school lunch because it contained tomato paste, a vegetable? Never mind that the red orb is actually a fruit. Nutritionists now agree that our health isn’t wellserved by digging into a tomato pie. However high the riboflavin count in a mushroomtopped pizza, the carb and fat
On the Menu by
Helene Seifer quotient overrides our meager attempts at meal choice justification. Nonetheless, pizza con-
sumption is a basic human right in the United States, and one that inspires rabid fans for particular takes on cheese and tomato-sauced stretchy dough. Outside of New York, I maintain the best old school oozy-cheesy pie is one from Larchmont’s Village Pizzeria. But once one steps into the competitive gourmet marketplace, my allegiance fluctuates. First, I always
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turned to Mozza. Then Jon & Vinny’s stole my heart. Now, I’m enamored with Pizzana’s perfect pies. Founded by Candace and Charles Nelson of Sprinkles cupcakes fame and baked by Napoli chef Daniele Uditi using flour, cheese, and tomatoes imported from Italy, Pizzana’s West Hollywood and Brentwood locations are a little further than most Larchmont Chronicle readers are willing to go for a simple pizza, but it’s worth it. Not only is everything delicious, but they offer a smart option for carry-out times: almost baked. Pick up your order and pop the pizzas in a hot oven for five minutes to finish baking. Voila! Hot, freshly-baked pizza. The flavorful thin-crust base comes in 16 different variations, including the vegetarian squash blossom, burrata and gremolata, and a carnivore’s dream concoction of pepperoni, fennel sausage, prosciutto and cotto. Prices range from $19 to $24 for a pie that serves two, especially if one orders a side. But order two pies, anyway, because they’re so different and delectable. I love the cacio e pepe, which does a wonderful job of approximating the classic peppery pasta dish. The earthy, salty pie has smoked cheese from Campania, fresh mozzarella, parmesan crema and a healthy grind of peppercorns. Those who enjoy food with some added heat should try the diavola pizza. Topped with spicy salami, mozzarella, shallots and a zesty pork and walnut
spread, the pizza comes with a side of honey to drizzle on top to balance the fire. Starters and sides run $13 to $16 and feature such savories as fried baby artichokes, arancini (rice balls) and Caesar salad. I’m partial to the shaved Brussel sprouts salad with toasted pistachios in a caramelized shallot vinaigrette, which beautifully complements the richness of the pies. Pizzana, 460 N. Robertson Blvd., 323-657-4662. • • • Sometimes all I crave for dinner is a dry martini or a glass of red and a charcuterie and cheese plate. Often, places offer one or the other, but I recently learned about a takeout storefront in West Los Angeles whose platters include a mingled milk and meat option, presenting an exquisite mix of tastes and textures. Lady & Larder is the brainchild of twin sisters Sarah Simms Hendrix and Boo Simms, and they keep their menu simple while serving museum-quality artistry on a plate. Along with Dagwoodworthy sandwiches, salads and a small marketplace, there are six different platters on offer, including one with cheese and fruit, one with a variety of cured meats, and one with crudites and dips, available in sizes serving four all the way to 24. A favorite is the celebratory bloomy rind “cheesecake” board, in which rounds of soft cheeses are arranged in three or four wedding cake-like tiers and surrounded with fruit and flowers. Most assortments for four to six people are $90; (Please turn to page 10)
We need others to polish our minds: Anthropology of pandemic life
On this darkening, cold, winter afternoon, I have just lit a piñon-wood fire on my Albuquerque patio. Wind chill has brought the 35-degree temperature down to I don’t know what. I wanted to smell the smoke — the fragrance of burning piñon is one of the sensory pleasures of winter here on the high desert. I can walk to Albuquerque’s Old Town, cradle of this city’s agrarian Hispanic roots, from my adobe house, but bitter is the wind today, so I drove. I parked on the main plaza, next
Home Ground by
to the historic church. (The city was founded in 1706.) I looped around Old Town’s tiny roads and alleys and courtyards on foot. In the warren of 200-yearold adobe structures, a few small shops and restaurants were open, and a scattering of people sat, well distanced, in the cold wind on benches and chairs. I smelled piñon smoke; I saw signs for “Breaking Bad” tours; a small white empty van, a tour for other film sites on offer, idled along the main plaza, music blaring. Perhaps 70 percent of the small businesses are closed, some permanently. Old Town feels melancholy, but shows signs of life; during New Mexico’s first lockdown, 11 months ago, it was shuttered, and CHARM AND HUMOR invite silent. patrons of this small shop in AlbuIn my favorite courtquerque’s Old Town to mask up. yard here, where in
spring a riot of flowers beckons and fountain water flows, two people sat with coffee. A sign illustrated the distance of six feet. The shapes of big feet on the ground are not misunderstood by anyone, nor signs on doors indicating how one is to enter. How are we to think of our changed landscapes now? J.B. Jackson, landscape philosopher and writer, suggests that landscapes in human life mean far more than how they look. They “satisfy elemental needs: the need for sharing … sensory experiences in a familiar place.” Belonging to Old Town in Albuquerque or Larchmont Village in Los Angeles suggests that spatial organization establishes, encourages, and strengthens bonds between people. Ideally, anyway. Jackson also writes of how the U.S. Army organized space in war-destroyed landscapes, employing abstract visual signs, lines, and color; these cues are at work today. Old Town has stood since the early 18th century, but the pandemic has created a spatial order of its own here and everywhere, “a great web of boundaries,” dividing places into sectors by a system of lines and signs and colors that communicate to us
SHUTTERED RESTAURANT under the portal facing Albuquerque’s early 18th century Old Town Plaza.
TINY, LOCAL COFFEE SHOP in Old Town Albuquerque offers a way to think about the proper social distancing.
where to stand, where exactly to place our feet, how to wear our masks properly. All these things are necessary. But what will happen after? Will we once again move into the dance of public social life? We line up, we distance, we are alert to our environment in different ways. Two guys puffing fat cigars under a portal? I scurry away, crossing the street. The pandemic has reordered space, and human behavior. How we move in space, how we feel in it, what we do in it, and, especially, how we interact with others, or not, is now negotiated moment by moment. We need other people. Those
spontaneous conversations, sharing the news of the world with others, even wordless interactions, are gone for now. As a person who lives alone, I can tell you the absence of these connections is souleroding. Michel de Montaigne (b. 1533), wrote of the world as a “mirror where we must see ourselves in order to know ourselves,” and travel as an opportunity “to rub our minds and polish them by contact with others.” Will we again sit smiling, faces in the sun, on the edge of that Old Town courtyard fountain, mirroring the world passing by?
History of Bunker Hill to be told on ‘Essence of Sunshine and Noir’ Hear author Nathan Marsak speak on the history of Bunker Hill and its architecture at a presentation through the Windsor Square-Hancock Park Historical Society Wed., Feb. 17 at 7 p.m. via Zoom. The talk, in conjunction with Angel City Press, is based on the book by historian Marsak, “Bunker Hill Los Angeles: Essence of Sunshine and Noir,” published in September, 2020. Marsak will cover the many different types of architectural styles that have been on Bun-
THE BOOK tells the history and architecture of Bunker Hill.
ker Hill throughout the years, from Victorian spindlework, Mission and Modern to Queen Anne and Frank Gehry.
Bunker Hill is known to have been the first suburb of Los Angeles, and it was once home to many wealthy Angelenos and a hub of arts, politics, business and tourism. The book covers its inception in the mid-19th century to present day. Tickets to attend are $10, or $40 including an autographed copy of the book. Next up in series Next up in the series is “Clubhouse Turn, The Twilight of Hollywood Park Race Track” Wed., March 17 at 7 p.m.
“Master of Architects of Southern California, 19201940: Paul R. Williams” is Wed., April 21 at 7 p.m.
For more information on these and other talks in the series, visit windsorsquarehancockpark.com.
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Celebrate the Paul Williams legacy in Hancock Park and Windsor Square The release of the new book on Paul R. Williams, Angel City Press’ newest volume in its “Master Architects of Southern California 19201940” series, is an exciting start to 2021’s African American history month. This new work by Bret Parsons, Marc Appleton and Stephen Gee celebrates the life and work of Los Angeles’ and perhaps the United States’ most renowned African American architect. Certainly of his generation. While Williams is often associated with Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Brentwood, the architect also designed a substantial body of work in and around Hancock Park over the course of four decades. Paul Williams’ first house in the community was in Windsor Square, 524 Lorraine Blvd., built for financier Frederick Leistikow and his wife Esther and their five daughters. At this house on Lorraine, Williams eschewed the popular Spanish revival for his version of a pared-down Tudor style, which resulted in a light-filled interior at once traditional yet thoroughly modern. Even as his volume of work increased on the Westside, he regularly returned to projects in Han-
On Preservation by
cock Park, completing over 20 houses with the last residence finished in 1965 for Edwin Ridgway at 232 Rimpau Blvd. For families Today, Paul Williams houses are sought after and command premium prices. Architect Linda Brettler, who worked on one of Williams’ three Banning family residences on McCadden Place, described, in an interview last month, the enduring allure of his houses. She explained that many houses of the period were designed to be very formal. Paul Williams, however, was sophisticated enough to provide high style and grandeur while accommodating the growing desire for a more informal family life. “His designs were geared towards families,” she said. “There is no ego involved in his work. His houses are lovely and livable. They seem to adapt to whatever family is in them.” Paul Williams himself ex-
plained his philosophy for the “Los Angeles Times” in 1970, saying, “Good design is a pleasing assemblage of parts; and not the assemblage of pleasing parts.” Experienced contractors For those looking to restore or update a Paul Williams house, it’s best to find designers and contractors experienced with the architect’s work. Gary Drake of Drake General Contractors, who sponsored the new book on Paul Williams, is one such contractor. A long-time homeowner in Brookside, Gary has worked on more than a dozen Paul Williams houses. In Gary’s experience, Williams houses are all “beautiful, sound homes,” and regardless of his builder, Williams “always built a good structural house.” Aside from the standard upgrading of baths and kitchens, Gary says that the only regular upgrade that is asked for is larger closets. His biggest challenge however is reversing bad remodels and restoring original details. Houses endangered For all of the fame and the renown of his work, Paul Williams houses are not always wanted nor protected. As recently as 2019, developer Philip Rahimzadeh, of Core Develop-
ment Group, bought 100 N. Delfern Dr., the former home of Eva Gabor, Audrey Hepburn and Frank Sinatra in Holmby Hills, and then promptly tore off the WILLIAMS-designed home at 232 Rimpau. façade to prevent the house from being de- sion to become the first Africlared a landmark. It has since can American member of the American Institute of Archibeen demolished. Paul R. Williams remains tects. His works are among a towering figure of cultural the most sought after houses importance in Los Angeles. in Los Angeles. So, this month, in appreciaHis work transformed not only the urban landscape of tion of his legacy, pick up a Los Angeles but also the im- copy of “Paul R. Williams” at age of Hollywood domestic Chevalier’s Books on Larchglamour. But he is no less he- mont and go visit some of his roic as an American success works in the neighborhood, story overcoming poverty and reflecting upon the man, his challenging the conventions story and his work. You canof race in his chosen profes- not fail to be amazed.
Activist honored at LWSD event
Look What She Did (LWSD), a nonprofit organization founded by Brookside resident Julie Hébert, will be having a fundraiser Sun., March 7 at 1 p.m. The virtual event will highlight the life of Dolores Huerta, a civil rights activist who,
with Cesar Chavez, co-founded the National Farmworkers Association. A film on Huerta will be premiered at the event. LWSD produces short films of trailblazing women to inspire other women and girls. For more information, visit lookwhatshedid.com.
Holocaust survivor’s book tells of fear, loss and triumph
By Suzan Filipek Holocaust survivor Gabriella Karin wrote her memoir as a 90th birthday present to herself. While her story speaks to the horrors of war, it also celebrates the triumph of the human spirit. In 1944, Karin hid in a cramped apartment for nine long months. But unlike Anne Frank — the diarist in the Netherlands who perished in a concentration camp — Karin survived. After the war, she moved to the new state of Israel, and she eventually settled in her Hancock Park home of 52 years with her now-late-husband Ofer and son Rom. “I am very excited about it,” she said last month of the book. “I was working like crazy 12 hours a day when the COVID-19 started, and I finished the book in two months. “Then came the editing and finding a printer, and, on my 90th birthday, I had in my hands a first copy of the book!” A hardcopy of the 303-page book, “Trauma, Memory, and The Art of Survival: A Holocaust Memoir,” is available at gabriellakarin.com and as an e-book at amazon.com. “I am signing the books that are ordered on my website. This is the only way I could sign the books,” she says, during the pandemic. Pre-war Bratislava Before the war, she describes having had a happy childhood.
NEW BOOK was published in time for the author’s 90th birthday.
Her family had owned a delicatessen in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia (now Slovakia). With anti-Semitism on the rise, she attended a school in a Catholic convent for three years with the help of false papers to disguise her Jewishness. Then, in 1944, her aunt’s boyfriend, a 25-yearold lawyer, Karol Blanar, defied “the murderous Nazi regime and risked his life to hide eight people,” including 13-year old Gabriella and her parents. They were in hiding across the street from the Nazi-Slovak Gestapo in a building with bylaws that prohibited Jews, and so the building wasn’t searched, she writes. Blanar would sneak in food — it was never enough, recalls Karin — and books on history and works by Dostoyevsky to Tolstoy — what-
ever he could muster. Karin read hours a day. After the war, at 15, Karin entered a fashion design school in Bratislava, the youngest of her peers — a feat she attributes to the books she devoured in hiding. She later worked as a fashion designer for many years, and in retirement, learned to sculpt. Holocaust Museum Karin first came to the Holocaust Museum LA (then called Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust) in hopes of getting help in finding the heroic attorney who saved her life. When the then-head of the museum saw her Holocaust-inspired sculptures, Karin was invited to join in a group exhibition. Michele Gold, current board chair of Holocaust Museum LA, gives great credit to Karin for sharing her story “to students and communities far and wide.” Gold writes in the book’s foreword. “… through powerful and inspiring storytelling, you can make a difference, and that she has, making her mark on thousands of people.” March of the Living Karin became a volunteer docent at the museum in Pan Pacific Park (now closed because of the pandemic), and she has participated annually in March of the Living, when thousands visit the concentration camps from Auschwitz to Birkenau, including many Los Angeles high school seniors.
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“These trips are amazing. They change the lives of these kids… They see the survivors are optimistic and believe in a future, and it changes them,” Karin said. These students are also “the last, the very last, to live in the presence of survivors,” historian Michael Berenbaum writes in the book’s preface. Karin’s story is also documented with the USC Shoah Foundation, which filmed her on site in Bratislava. Karin is perhaps most proud of her family and her three surviving grandchildren; one of them, Ben, helped her publish the book. And, recently, she welcomed a great-granddaughter into the family fold. Her growing family is the ultimate triumph over Hitler, she writes. The kind lawyer
She did eventually trace the kind lawyer who saved her life, only to find he had died. His brother accepted a Medal of Honor in the Mayor’s Palace in Bratislava, and Gabriella also placed a tombstone on his then-unmarked grave in Columbus, Ohio. Her book is a personal one but with a timeless and universal message. Her wish, she says, is shared by all mothers: peace for their children. “How can we achieve this? Is there a magic formula?” she asks in the book. There is not. “It’s us. It’s me. It’s you… We are the people who can bring peace if we work together with a common goal… Accept everybody, as they are, regardless of race, gender, religion, denomination… Together we can make a better world.”
Tar Pits launches virtual Ice Age dig to help transcribe field notes
Join a community science within 100 years of typed pages project, “Sedimental Values: of fossils and geology samples Digging in to La Brea’s Past,” is a rich source of data. to digitize Ice Age fossil find- Anyone with a computer and ings with the La Brea Tar Pits web access can join in at tinyurl.com/yx9uf2mm. & Museum. The worldwide endeavor is based right here at the Miracle Mile museum. Volunteers will help transcribe field notes for fossils excavated since 1969. Paleontologists have been collecting fossils at the site SABER-TOOTHED cat skeleton is comsince 1913. Buried posed of fossils found at La Brea Tar Pits.
Master architect Paul R. Williams left a local legacy
By Billy Taylor As we celebrate the triumphs and struggles of African American History this month, there is perhaps no local example that highlights such achievements better than the residential designs of architect Paul R. Williams. In his six-decade career, Williams worked on more than 3,000 projects that ranged from modest homes to extravagant mansions commissioned for the city’s elite. Renowned for his mastery of harmonious proportions and signature undulating lines, Williams’ residential designs were simultaneously graceful and relaxed. Williams’ inspiring story is examined in a new book, “Master Architects of Southern California 1920-1940: Paul R. Williams,” published last month by Tailwater Press and Angel City Press. The 212page book is the fourth in a series co-authored by local real estate agent Bret Parsons along with architect Marc Appleton. Stephen Gee also is a co-author of this volume. The book examines the unlikely story of Paul Revere Williams, an orphan son of a fruit and vegetable merchant, who would become the first
African American tectural division, member of the says that local American Instihomes designed tute of Architects by Paul Wil(AIA), as well as liams command a dominant force top dollar from in Southern Calisavvy buyers: “In fornia architecfact, most of his ture. In 2017, homes are sold the AIA posthuin multiple offer mously presented situations. There its highest honor, are only a dozthe Gold Medal, to en architects to Williams. garner that level In addition to of interest. He’s highlighting 30 the king when of the architect’s it comes to resiprojects that were dential architects previously featured from Southern in “The ArchitecCalifornia’s Goldtural Digest,” the en Age.” new book proWilliams’ vides an extencraftsmanship is sively researched still very much on account of Wildisplay in Hancock liams’ rise to NEW BOOK examines the life and work of architect Paul R. Park and Windsor p r o m i n e n c e . Williams. Cover photo is the Collins House located in Wind- Square, includAmong the many sor Square. ing the following interesting anecproperties that are dotes is this excerpt, written survived a few hardships which featured in the new book. by Williams on the impact race might have been avoided had Local houses my face been white. But I do had on his career: In 1927, the Bachman “Naturally, I encountered not regret those difficulties, for House was built on land purmany discouragements and I think that I am a far better chased directly from develrebuffs, most of which were craftsman today than I would oper G. Allan Hancock, who predicated upon my color,” be had my course been free.” had begun to subdivide HanCo-author Parsons, who cock Park. Investor Walter Williams wrote in a controversial article for “American Mag- serves as Compass Realty’s Bachman and Juliet Bachman azine” published in 1937. “I executive director of its archi- recruited Williams to design a
Spanish Colonial Revival residence on the lot. Three years later, financier Alfred Dewey Davey and Ruth Davey recruited Williams to create a relaxed, two-story Monterey-style residence in Fremont Place. The property, known as the Davey House, was acquired by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico in 1994 to be occupied by that nation’s local consul general. In 1931, Sarah Belle Goodwin, the wealthy widow of oilman James Franklin Goodwin, commissioned Williams to design the Colonial-inspired Goodwin House on S. McCadden Place in Hancock Park. The home was designed to be large enough to comfortably house her daughter Bessie Hazzard, Sarah’s twin grandchildren and a maid. The Collins House is a dreamy French Country-style two-story residence on Lorraine Boulevard in Windsor Square built in 1932. Designed for William and Helen Collins, the house is ranked among the architect’s personal favorite works. The book “Master Architects of Southern California 19201940: Paul R. Williams” is available at Chevalier’s Books and angelcitypress.com.
AUDREY IRMAS PAVILION at the Wilshire Boulevard Temple continues construction.
Photo by Gary Leonard, January 12, 2021
On the Menu
(Continued from page 4) those sized for groups of 24 are $325. We went for the only twoperson option, the $50 “date night” cheese and cured meat board. We actually gasped when we opened the box, so stunning was the food arrangement inside. The assortment was
teeming with a curated still life of three cheeses, two types of salami, fresh and dried fruit, nuts, olives, pickled mustard seeds, cornichons, a small jar of honey, herbs and flowers. So gorgeous it was suitable for framing, but we ate every last bit. Lady & Larder, 3759 Sawtelle Blvd., 310-3134719.
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BIG SUNDAY’S MLK party participants ﬁnd things they have in common.
Big Sunday throws party for MLK Day By Helene Seifer Big Sunday, a nonprofit organization located on Melrose Avenue, participates every year in the national Martin Luther King Jr. day of service, usually mounting a local clothing drive and celebratory party. This pandemic year is not usual, however, and it called for a new approach to the nonprofit’s mandate to connect people through volunteer opportunities. The economic fallout from the coronavirus has also made this a year with greater than average need. Civil rights leader honored Thus was born Big Sunday’s Virtual MLK Day Block Party & Clothing Collection. Over 150 households linked into the virtual realm to honor the civil rights leader, contribute new clothes purchased from Big Sunday’s Target registry and just have fun. Hancock Park resident David Levinson, founder and executive director of Big Sunday, stated, “I can hardly think of a better moment for folks to get together to stop
and think about what Dr. King fought so hard for, how far we’ve come and how far we’ve got to go.” Harris' sorority too Individuals and representatives from schools, businesses and groups such as AKA (Alpha Kappa Alpha, Kamala Harris’ sorority) contributed to the success of the clothing drive, which is anticipated to surpass the goal of collecting 10,000 items of clothing by the end of January. The total value of donated clothing is expected to exceed $100,000. The roughly 90-minute program included warm-up exercises, wild dancing, a game about the accomplishments of civil rights heroes, and acts of giving. “Nobody likes to get charity,” Levinson asserted. “But everyone likes to get a gift.” To that end, some younger participants made gift cards during the event to include with bags of cold weather clothing or laundry essentials for distribution to those in need. In keeping with Big Sunday’s belief in finding common
ground, participants were also arranged into breakout Zoom clusters and challenged to find something in common with others in their group. Reported commonalities ranged from melted ice cream enthusiasts and fans of the country’s first female vice president to lovers of butterflies and the color purple. David Levinson closed the afternoon with an MLK quote, perfect for our times: “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.” More Big Sunday Big Sunday has numerous ongoing programs to address all kinds of needs that continue to arise as a consequence of COVID-19 and other emergencies. For information about these and other Big Sunday activities throughout the year, go to bigsunday.org.
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Four decades serving Mid-Wilshire Los Angeles
Meals on Wheels’ Daryl Twerdahl send-off after 31 years
By John Welborne People have learned that there is “clock time” and “COVID time.” Things just seem to stretch out and move more slowly in this safer-athome era. So it was with a fun-filled Zoom party held in mid-January to celebrate the
DARYL TWERDAHL and her longtime colleague, “SAM” (the late Sister Alice Marie Quinn).
leadership role that Hancock Park resident Daryl Twerdahl played at St. Vincent Meals on Wheels (SVMOW) for 31 years. Twerdahl retired in early October, and the January event was a fun- and celebrity-filled retirement party in her honor. The former executive director of development for SVMOW, Twerdahl also served as interim executive director following the 2017 death of Sister Alice Marie Quinn. At the online event, Twerdahl was fêted by an electronic crowd of approximately 150 friends and family members. Sincere and emotional video-clip tributes came from her children as well as celebrities and SVMOW supporters including chef Wolfgang Puck, actor and rapper Todd Smith (LL Cool J)
ZOOM GUESTS honoring Daryl Twerdahl filled many screens, of which this is just one.
and Magic Johnson. Many in the Zoom audience used the Raise Hand function to get the microphone and add their tributes to Daryl. Some guests at home uti-
lized the offered recipe for a “Daryl-rita” (strawberries, tequila and more) and celebrated in style. It was about as much fun as one can have while so socially distanced.
Around the Town with
Around the Town is on a break DARYL and Jim Twerdahl enjoyed the SVMOW party in her honor from their own home.
Helping You Stay Safer at Home During this uncertain time with the coronavirus, LADWP wants you to know that we are working 24/7 to keep your power on and water flowing.
Our crews will respond to water and power outages. Call us or report an outage online at ladwp.com/outages. Your tap water is safe to drink. There is no need to buy bottled water. The coronavirus does not affect your drinking water.
Our team members are essential city workers continuing to work hard while taking safety measures.
Need help paying your bill? We can help. Visit LADWP.com/financialassistance or call us at 1-800-DIAL-DWP.
We will not shut off your water and power for non-payment.
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FRIENDS of Daryl and SVMOW at the party included Wolfgang Puck and LL Cool J.
Larchmont Chronicle columnist Patty Hill is temporarily not out and about, and her Around the Town column is on hiatus. -Editor
Local hospital to close in pandemic; staff layoffs planned for the rest of the year to allow the facility to continue treating COVID-19 patients. In a Jan. 20 statement, UCLA Health said that they have “provided Alecto with the ability to keep OMC’s doors open to help manage the current surge in COVID-19 patients.” At press time, it was unclear if Alecto Healthcare was interested in the extension. Closure concerns The news that a local hospital would be closing during a public health crisis sparked quick criticism from city and county policymakers. City Councilperson Nithya Raman, who represents Council District Four, where the
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hospital is located, said that she reached out to both OMC and UCLA Health to seek clarity on the envisioned longterm use of the facility. “At a moment in which COVID-19 is surging and ICU capacity in hospitals is at zero, we agree that any reduction in overall emergency services in Los Angeles is cause for concern,” read a statement from Raman. The 74-year-old hospital, which is currently treating COVID-19 patients, logged more than 25,000 emergency room visits in 2019 and cares for a very high percentage of elderly and low-income patients, according to the California Nurses Association (CNA), the union representing the registered nurses at OMC. The group is advocating against the closure, demanding that the facility stay open as a full-service acute care hospital at least until the pandemic is over. Los Angeles County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Director Cathy Chidester sent a Jan. 11 letter to Olympia calling for a minimum sixmonth delay in the shutdown. “The voluntary closure of
OMC during this crisis is irresponsible and will cause further hardship on the healthcare system,” she wrote. Chidester also noted that the hospital is required under state law to participate in a public hearing to allow the surrounding community to express opinions and concerns regarding the impending hospital closure. UCLA Health New owner UCLA Health has indicated that it will turn the location into an additional campus following renovation. “UCLA Health regularly considers property purchases and growth opportunities in the region that allow us to expand access to care for patients who need our services,” read
a statement on the acquisition from UCLA Health. “The operators decided to sell the property and will be winding down their services over the next few months before closing the hospital. “This asset provides a muchneeded future growth opportunity for UCLA Health and will allow us to expand services. To this end, in 2021 we will be launching the initial planning process for a major facility renovation on the former Olympia campus. This process will include leadership, faculty and staff. This purchase will provide UCLA Health with an additional campus and the potential to contribute significantly to community benefit needs.”
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“Your Neighborhood Plumbers” Celebrating 45 Years on Larchmont
323-469-2395 606 N. Larchmont Blvd., L.A. 90004 5312 Valley Blvd., L.A. 90032 firstname.lastname@example.org LIC.# 481793
By Billy Taylor Having served the community for over 70 years, Olympia Medical Center (OMC) announced Dec. 31 that it would cease all operations by March 31. The 204-bed hospital, located at 5900 Olympic Blvd., was purchased by UCLA Health, which is planning “a major facility renovation” for the property. The closure will result in approximately 450 full- and part-time employees losing their jobs. Those future plans were less clear by late January, however, when UCLA Health indicated that it was open to leasing back the property to its previous owner Alecto Healthcare
Public comment ends Feb. 15 for draft Planning ordinance Public comment on an administrative guide for the New Zoning Code is being accepted through Mon., Feb. 15. About 150 participants attended the City Planning Dept. virtual public information seminar last month to learn about the department’s draft of its proposed Processes and Procedures Ordinance. “For those who missed it, we do intend to post the presentation and a recording of the entire webinar on the department website in the next few weeks. We’ll be sending out an
email to the interested parties list when those materials are available,” said City Planner Bonnie Kim. “We are encouraging folks to submit their feedback … in order to ensure that we have enough time to incorporate those comments into our staff recommendation report,” Kim added. “We are anticipating taking the ordinance to the City Planning Commission in the spring, but we do not yet have a specific date confirmed.” (Please turn to page 15)
“The hardware STore”
Magic of Small Wonders continues Dozens of people from around the world gathered via Zoom to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Small Won-
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ders Foundation with a magic show and music. The foundation, which funds reconstructive surgeries for children, has helped children from the U.S., Mexico, Vietnam, Philippines, Macedonia, and Romania. Attendees at the Dec. 6 event included founder Dr. John Reinisch and Margaret Shipman, Hancock Park, a longtime supporter of Small Wonders — she hosts patients who come to Los Angeles for the specialized surgeries. One of those patients, who
Homework centers now virtual at LAPL
Students can use the Los Angeles Public Library’s Student Zone web portal for help using resources for homework Mondays to Thursdays, 3 to 9 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Visit tinyurl. com/y2yqw6v2.
was also at the online event, was Diego Neumaier, Small Wonders’ first beneficiary. Neumaier was born without ears and the ability to hear, but he was able to obtain reconstructive surgery because of the foundation. He is now a professional gymnast. The foundation, begun in 2005, is headed by Dr. Reinisch, director of craniofacial and pediatric plastic surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Group. Reinisch has been performing such surgeries for more than 40 years. Visit smallwondersfoundation.org.
Since 1959 License #768437
formerly “Larchmont Hardware”
Wishing All Our Good Larchmont Friends A Happy Valentine’s Day! It’s February and Valentine’s Day. We have Heart shaped cookie cutter sets. We have “heart” baking pans. We have the most beautiful “Waechtersbach” plates and bowls and serving pieces in brilliant red, from Germany. February is also a great month for cleaning. You know about the new “E” cloths with 1.6 million cleaning fibers per square inch. They clean with no chemicals needed. We have over 10 different kinds for cleaning everything from stainless steel to glass to electronics. We have 50 different kinds of the new “led” bulbs in different wattages and styles, including low voltage bulbs and dimmable bulbs. Plus, we have the new faucet filter which fits in the palm of your hand and just screws onto the faucet. Come visit us and take 20% off any one item as our good, loyal Larchmont customer. Happy February.
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CELEBRATING WITH Dr. John Reinisch, pictured top left, were Diego Neumaier, second rowsecond from left, and Margaret Shipman, bottom row-far right, among many others.
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Stay alert! Neighborhoods experience rash of burglaries
OLYMPIC DIVISION BURGLARIES: Property was stolen from inside a detached garage on the 800 block of S. Wilton Pl. after a suspect forced open the garage door on Jan. 4 at 8 p.m. The rear passenger window of a victim’s vehicle was smashed and property stolen while parked near the corner of Fifth Street and Norton Avenue between Jan. 12 at 2 a.m. and Jan. 13 at 10 a.m. A package was stolen from the front porch of a home on the 500 block of S. Van Ness Ave. on Jan. 13 at 7:10 a.m.
A victim briefly left items on her front porch, and then they were stolen by a suspect on the 400 block of N. St. Andrews Pl. on Jan. 14 at 3 p.m. A suspect pried open a rear window, entered the property and stole money and jewelry while the victim was inside the home sleeping on the 900 block of Fourth Ave. between Jan. 13 at 8 p.m. and Jan. 14 at 6 a.m. WILSHIRE DIVISION ASSAULT: A woman was attacked by two suspects who attempted to take her property as she walked near the corner
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of Keniston Avenue and 8th Street. After a struggle, both suspects fled in a nearby vehicle on Jan. 4 at 1:40 a.m. A suspect exited his vehicle near McCadden and 4th Street to attack a man with a metal pipe on Jan. 8 at 12:55 p.m. ROBBERY: A victim was walking near the corner of Rossmore Avenue and 5th Street on Jan. 3 at 1:50 a.m. when a suspect approached in a vehicle, pointing a gun at the victim demanding his mobile phone before fleeing. BURGLARIES: The last few days of 2020 were not easy for Nancy Silverton’s Pizzeria Mozza, located on the corner of Melrose and Highland avenues. A suspect pried open a side door to the restaurant on Dec. 29 between 3 and 4 a.m. and tampered with property inside before fleeing the location. Then, the very next day, a suspect attempted to steal a Vespa motorcycle parked in the alley behind the restaurant on Dec. 30 at 7:15 p.m. A witness interrupted the suspect, who first tried to strong-arm the witness before giving up and fleeing
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the location empty-handed. It is unknown if property was taken from inside a home on the 300 block of S. Cochran Ave. after a suspect forced open a locked balcony window to gain entry on Dec. 31 at 2:59 p.m. Electronic equipment was stolen from inside Good People Casting located on the corner of Melrose Avenue and Seward Street after a suspect used a tool to force open a rear window between Jan. 4 at 6 p.m. and Jan. 5 at 12:55 p.m. Property was stolen from inside a home on the 300 block of N. Sycamore Ave. after a suspect used bolt cutters to gain access on Jan. 4 at 4 a.m. A suspect opened the garage
door to a home on the 100 block of N. Orange Dr. and stole a bicycle on Jan. 6 at 7:30 a.m. BURGLARY THEFT FROM VEHICLE: Money and a laptop were among items stolen from inside a vehicle parked on the 500 block of N. Rossmore Ave. between Dec. 30 at 11 p.m. and Dec. 31 at 8:30 a.m. GRAND THEFTS AUTO: A 2020 Audi Q5 was stolen while parked in the driveway of a home on the 200 block of N. Beachwood Dr. on Jan. 2 at 3:05 a.m. A 2010 Nissan Rogue was stolen while parked in the driveway of a home on the 400 block of S. Las Palmas Ave. between Dec. 31 at 11 a.m. and Jan. 1 at 6 p.m.
Poker is much more than a way to gamble, it’s a game of many features Is he a maniac who just loves to raise at every opportunity? Can I “read” his hands? A game of probability What are the chances — the odds — of catching a big hand? What are the odds that your opponent will catch a bigger hand on the river? (We all hate to be rivered!) And what about the pot odds? If they are higher than your card odds, you have a positive expectancy. In the long run, the laws of probability declare that
Poker for All by
George Epstein you will be a winner! A game of psychology People spend years studying to become a psychologist — to better understand mental pro-
What’s one big difference? Hint: It’s more than one Last month, George “The Engineer” Epstein ended his poker column with a question: Be it poker or life, success comes to those who make those decisions that offer a gain higher than the risk and to those who know how to build the size of their pots.
Resident killed in hit and run
A St. Andrews Square resident was killed by a carjacking suspect last month in a tragic hit and run accident. Branden Finley, a 46-yearold father of two, was riding his bicycle downtown, near the area of 7th and Olive streets, when he was hit from behind. Detectives say the suspect was “driving at a high rate of speed, weaving inand-out of traffic and driving on the opposite side of 7th Street,” when he struck Finley, who was pronounced dead at the scene. LAPD Central Traffic Division seeks assistance in identifying the suspect, who had stolen the white 2010 Toyota Tacoma moments before hitting Finley. Anyone with information, contact Det. Campos at 213-833-3713.
But there is one big difference. Can you guess? Give up? Here’s his answer: “In poker, you can walk away from the game whenever you like, and come back another day to play again. “Someone suggested another significant difference. A hand of poker lasts just two minutes or thereabouts. You must make quick decisions, and you can’t ask anyone else to help you. In that respect,
(Continued from page 13) The 700-page draft ordinance will act as the administrative guide for the New Zoning Code, which is the first chapter of the Los Angeles Municipal Code. To view the webinar visit planning.lacity.org/ zoning/code-amendments; scroll down to Processes and Procedures Ordinance.
DeaDLine For the march 2021 issue is fri., feb. 19, 2021.
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life is so much more tolerant. “There are also several less obvious differences: Seating position can make a BIG difference when playing poker. A lot depends on the traits of the opponents at your table. You can change position whenever you like if a different seat is available. Also, in poker, with a drawing hand, you can quickly observe the pot odds (reward), and you can estimate your card odds (risk).”
cesses and behavior. And yet, we challenge ourselves to master that profession while playing poker. What is my opponent planning to do? Some succeed to a significant degree and become consistent winners. Usually they do so by seeking out their opponents’ tells — mannerisms and motions that give vital information. A game of patience and perseverance They go together “like a hand and glove.” Patience implies tolerance or endurance when faced with a difficult situation. Perseverance is the willpower to wait it out until you achieve your goal. Otherwise, you may go on tilt — and that is costly. A game of money management Playing poker often is like a roller coaster — lots of ups and downs. We call it variability. You need to have enough chips to tide you over during a prolonged losing cycle. Otherwise, you may soon go broke. And then, before you realize it,
you start to play scared; your opponents will take advantage of your dilemma. A game of image Based on how you have been playing your hands, what type of player does your opponent think you are? What is your image? There was a time when I always started out playing very tight, folding most of my hole cards. Before very long, that was my image. When I entered the pot or raised, my opponents were sure that I had a strong hand and were inclined to muck their cards. That’s when I started to bluff and semi-bluff. Before long, my opponents had a new image of me; so, then I reverted to tight play preflop. Now let me ask you: What do you think? Your comments are welcome. George “The Engineer” Epstein, a long-time local resident, is the author of three poker books including “The Art of Bluffing” and “Hold’em or Fold’em – An Algorithm for Making the Key Decision.”
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Poker is a tried and true card game encompassing many features: A game of information That’s no secret; we have long been aware that gaining information — and using it to our advantage — gives us a big edge over our opponents at the table. We often call it an “edge.” Some of that information is ohso-obvious — like what kind of player is he (tight or loose, passive or aggressive)? Is he a calling-station? Is he a bluffer?
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Compass is a real estate broker licensed by the State of California and abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. DRE 01866771. All material presented herein is intended for informational purposes only and is compiled from sources deemed reliable but has not been verified. Changes in price, condition, sale or withdrawal may be made without notice. No statement is made as to accuracy of any description. All measurements and square footages are approximate.
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