LC 07 2022

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Larchmont Chronicle

VOL. 60, NO. 7

• DELIVERED TO 76,439 READERS IN HANCOCK PARK • WINDSOR SQUARE • FREMONT PLACE • MIRACLE MILE • PARK LA BREA • LARCHMONT •

IN THIS ISSUE

More stores greet patrons on Boulevard

Unexpected phone call reveals much about Giorgio

‘Mercantile’ news

Fifth in a series

PETS OF LARCHMONT

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SUMMER TRAINING 21

FLYING with kids? Read our tips. 22

By Helene Seifer My cell phone rang. “Hello, Helene? It’s Franco Giorgio!” I was amazed and delighted that Giorgio decided to get in touch. After two months in Los Angeles County care, I think he needed to feel a connection w i t h someo n e GIORGIO and his from his pal Francesca take L a r c h - a sel e a while back. m o n t Boulevard days, even if his name had changed. When asked about the different name, he said that Giorgio was his middle name and he always used his middle name. It was weeks later that I learned that Franco Giorgio See Giorgio, p 8

Chronicle wins state, local awards Writer Seifer honored

CHRONICLE is on the move. 2-7 For Information on Advertising Rates, Please Call Pam Rudy 323-462-2241, x 11 Mailing permit:

By Suzan Filipek Larchmont Chronicle staff writer Helene Seifer and this newspaper have won state and local awards for the first (2021) portion of her series that began in Feb. 2021 with “Neighborhood regular sparks chats and compassion (‘Giorgio’).” The series came in second place in the public service journalism category for print in the 2021 California News Publishers Association (CNPA) California Journalism See Chronicle awards, p 8

Women of Larchmont

Our annual section, which has honored local women since 1965, will be published in the August issue of the Larchmont Chronicle. Advertising deadline is Mon., July 11. For more information contact Pam Rudy, 323462-2241, ext. 11.

JULY 2022

RESTORING BEAUTY AT BARNSDALL. Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell recognizes tree donor Nathan Miller on behalf of all the donors along with (left to right) Lauren Blas, Javier Solis, Carolyn Ramsay, Daniel Tarica and Abby Chamberlain Brach.

By Casey Russell Paul C. Witt’s contemporary clothing store for men, Wittmore, recently opened, making it the latest new shop to come to the Boulevard. Located at 137 ½ N. Larchmont Blvd., Wittmore invites shoppers to peruse more than men’s clothes. The store also offers gifts and beauty products carefully curated with an eye toward providing a global perspective (wittmore.com).

See story Sec. 2, Page 6

Raising a puppy with a greater purpose He’s a regular to bus drivers and baristas alike

By Cerys Davies Larchmont Boulevard is no stranger to guide-dog-intraining Oslo and his puppy raiser Alysoun Higgins. Bus drivers and baristas alike recognize him as one of their many regulars. It is routine for Higgins and Oslo to walk from home to Larchmont to do some errands, sit at Groundworks Coffee and then take the bus back home to Ridgewood-Wilton for extra training. A day full of errands is one of the best forms of training for the 9-month-old Labrador-golden retriever mix, says

Higgins. Oslo is the third dog Higgins has raised for Guide Dogs for America (GDA), which recently merged with Tender Loving Canines (TLC), a service dog organization. A guide dog is a dog that is meant to help people with visual impairments, while a service dog can be any dog in the workforce assigned See Raising a puppy, p 11

Election news

Read results from the June primary and more in Section 2, Page 12.

Many newly leased shops in the Larchmont Mercantile complex are getting closer to opening. Of the 14 storefronts at 124 ½ to 148 N. Larchmont Blvd. (the former Lipson Building), two shops plan to open this month. Hidden Jeans, at 130 N. Larchmont Blvd., is a women’s clothing store featuring distressed denim and “dad jeans” (hiddenjeans.com). Flannel, another women’s clothing store, is a family-owned and operated brand focused on pairing comfort and style (flannelamerica.com). Skin Laundry, at 126 N. Larchmont Blvd., is on track to open this summer, bringing its popular laser facials and skin care products to Larchmont (skinlaundry.com). See More stores, p 10

Fireworks, music celebrate Fourth of July Skies to be ablaze in honor of national holiday at various venues

Celebrate America’s 246th birthday under one of Los Angeles’ many spectacular fireworks displays this Fourth of July. Watch a movie before the fireworks show at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, 6000 Santa Monica Blvd., or see the fireworks at Dodgers Stadium after the game. Steve Martin and Martin Short will perform at the Hollywood Bowl July 2 through July 4, when Thomas Wilkins and the Los Angeles Philharmonic play See Fireworks, p 4

HOLLYWOOD FOREVER is among several local spots lighting up the skies for the Independence Day holiday.

www.larchmontchronicle.com ~ Entire Issue Online!


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Editorial

Calendar Mon., July 4 — Independence Day.

By John Welborne

Welcome! Brava! Vote!

This month, the Larchmont Chronicle is pleased to introduce two new columns and columnists. “Tips on Parenting” is authored by Chronicle staff writer Casey Russell, who also enjoys a 20-plus years career of teaching, tutoring and caring for children (including her own 8-year-old in Windsor Village). “Word Café” by Mara Fisher explores origins of words that we use every day. Mara is a writer, researcher and designer (and also the proofreader for this newspaper). We are equally pleased as we congratulate staff writer Helene Seifer for the recognition that she has received for her investigative series about former Larchmont denizen Giorgio. (See Part V of her series, as well as a story about her recent press awards, on Page One.) The United States Supreme Court’s legal rulings overturning its previous Roe and Casey decisions were announced this morning, as we are sending this July issue of the paper to the printer. The majority of Americans reportedly support women’s W YEAR rights to make their own choices. There is action that such W YOU! people can take. Voters must elect legislators who will represent their views on this subject. No panel of judges should be counted on to write theSPA, rules. That is the job ofped legislatures at se the holiday stresses with… spin, DMH , mani all levels of government.

©LC0722

Support Your Local Businesses or Go Online to: www.larchmont.com

‘How did you meet your pet?’

That’s the question inquiring photographer Caroline Tracy asked locals.

Wed., July 13 — Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council board meeting, 6:30 p.m. Check greaterwilshire. org for details. Thurs., July 28 — Delivery of the August issue of the Larchmont Chronicle.

Letters to the Editor Giorgio and the ‘gravely disabled’

Giorgio is now finally receiving services to help him live a more meaningful and productive life. I applaud the efforts of the Larchmont Chronicle and all those who contributed to this success story. But my concern is this: Why did it take so long and what about all those who are homeless with mental issues who do not have a community to go to bat for them? What is the “system” doing to help them? I acknowledge that this is a complicated issue, but it shouldn’t take much for anyone with common sense to conclude that many of the people on the streets have serious mental issues and need help if they are going to survive. How bad does it have to get before the “system” moves in to take action? And while it would be preferable to obtain the consent of the seriously mentally ill person to submit to treatment, there are many who will never give their consent. According to the LPS law [Lanterman-Petris-Short Act, California Wellness and Institutions Code (WIC), Sections

Larchmont Chronicle Founded in 1963 by Jane Gilman and Dawne P. Goodwin .

.

Publisher and Editor John H. Welborne Managing Editor Suzan Filipek Contributing Editor Jane Gilman Staff Writers Talia Abrahamson Casey Russell Helene Seifer Advertising Director Pam Rudy Advertising Sales including Classifieds Caroline Tracy Art Director Tom Hofer Circulation Manager Nona Sue Friedman Accounting Jill Miyamoto 606 N. Larchmont Blvd., #103

Los Angeles, CA 90004 323-462-2241 larchmontchronicle.com

5000 et seq., enacted in 1967], a person with a mental disorder can be subjected to involuntary treatment if he or she is found to be “gravely disabled.” A person is “gravely disabled” who has a mental disorder resulting in his or her inability to provide for basic personal needs for food, clothing or shelter, WIC Sec. 5008(h)(1) (A). In the final analysis, the California Superior Court must determine if a person is gravely disabled, with the assistance of professionals, primarily psychiatrists. I can’t believe that LPS, the current law — which mandates continual, periodic review of mentally sick people who are being involuntarily treated — was designed to produce the situation faced today by our homeless on the streets of Los Angeles. I believe those who administer the “system” have become accustomed to the status quo. It’s time for them to rethink what they are doing and to take a more realistic view of what it means to be “gravely disabled.” This will help our community and, most of all, the mentally ill homeless who depend upon the community for help. Richard P. Byrne Hancock Park

Carline concerns

In regards to the article “Burroughs to reroute cars to Wilshire to help solve congestion,” June 2022, the headline was not correct. It says that cars are going to be rerouted to Wilshire to improve congestion. This is not true. Buses are going to be rerouted to Wilshire, but cars are not. People seeing this headline are going to think that the carline situation is resolved, when in fact it’s not. The carline also should be rerouted to where the buses will be. Also in the June issue’s Letters to the Editor, I read the response from another resident which confirmed that I am not alone in my disgust (Please turn to page 6) Write us at letters@larchmontchronicle.com. Include your name, contact information and where you live. We reserve the right to edit for space and grammar.

“We met her at the dog groomer. The owner told us that someone dropped her off and never picked her back up. My mom came back a week later and saw that she was still there, so she decided to take her in.” Alice and Soo Pak with Poki Van Ness and Maplewood

“Lula was a present — the best present ever. I got her from an ex who knew that I wanted a dog. She’s a rescue A.S.P.C.A. dog. She’s 15 now and we’re running and camping buddies. We’ve also lived all over the country together.” April Lemly and Lula Larchmont Village

“I run an air conditioning business on Beverly and I found him tied to a tree one day. Nobody came for him so I introduced him to my dogs to see if they got along. They did, so I kept him. That was 7 years ago.” Eugene Manzano and Ranger Covina

“We met at a rescue site. They had a pug who was about to give birth. We went through an interview process but they didn’t pick us. Then, the couple that had gotten Byrdie decided she was too much for them so we got her.” Reese Duff and Byrdie Lorraine Blvd.


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Ventriloquist to ping pong were on display at ‘Got Talent’ show

By Vivian Gueler Summer fun was off to an early start at Third Street Elementary with students taking the stage for this year’s “Third Street’s Got Talent” show. Dance, song, piano, ping pong, art, basketball and lacrosse skills and ventriloquism were featured at the talent show, which took place last month on campus with parents, faculty and fellow students in attendance. LAUSD District 4 Board Member Nick Melvoin helped kick off the show by warming up the audience with magic tricks. Parent organizer of the event, Sarah Frank Meltzer, explained: “After all of the disruptions and disconnection due to Covid these last couple of years, it felt especially meaningful to gather as a school community to cele-

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SKATING ENTERTAINMENT On the Menu Movies Theater SCHOOL NEWS YOUTH SPORTS TIPS ON PARENTING

20 16 18 19 20 20 22

SECTION TWO VIEW:

Real Estate Museums, Libraries Home & Garden

NIGHT LIFE

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HOME GROUND 3 MUSEUMS 4 REAL ESTATE SALES 6 LIBRARIES 8 POLICE BEAT 14 WORD CAFÉ 15 BEEZWAX 15

brate all these kids supporting each other and sharing a piece of themselves on stage.” Event judges were Sophie Pierce of Sophie Dance, Third Street Principal Daniel Kim, beloved 4th grade teacher Ms. Won, and departing kinder aide Ms. Rosie. They bestowed the winning awards to the following students: Nikka Gueler: Viral Star Award for ventriloquism. Minhee Kim: From the Heart Award for song, “The Rose,” by Olivia Rodrigo. Pritchette Herbert and Philo Shaw: Best Group / Duo Performance Award for their rock performance of the Rolling Stones’ “Start Me Up.” Lily Ouyang: Most Unique Award for her exceptional ability at ping pong. Prizes included gift certificates from local Larchmont Boulevard businesses Burg-

BANDMATES Pritchette Herbert and Philo Shaw perform.

SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER Nick Melvoin had a few magic tricks up his sleeve.

er Lounge, Center For Yoga, Rothy’s, Rhodes School of Music and Jeni’s Ice Cream. A great time was had by all!

CONTESTANT Avery Kim.

VENTRILOQUIST Nikka Gueler with Mr. A (Armando).


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Bring a picnic and watch fireworks and a movie

By Abigail Kestenbaum Hosted by Cinespia, outdoor film screenings at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery will take place throughout July. Food and drinks will be available at all movie screenings, and guests are welcome to bring their own refreshments as well. The gates open at 7:15 p.m. and the movies begin at 9 p.m., with performances by DJs before and after every movie. Celebrate the Fourth of July with “The Fast and the Furious” Sat., July 2; “Purple Rain” Sun., July 3; and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” Mon., July 4. All three films will be accompanied by firework shows. Get ready to rock and roll on the dance floor when “Almost Famous” screens Sat., July 9. It’s sure to be a party

with “Showgirls” screening Sat., July 16. A screening of “Jackie Brown” Sat., July 23 commemorates the 25th anniversary of the film. The excitement will be sky-high with a showing of “The Birds” Sat., July 30. Hollywood Forever Cemetery is located at 6000 Santa Monica Blvd. Tickets can be purchased online at cinespia.org.

FILMS SCREEN outdoors at Hollywood Forever.

Larchmont Chronicle

Grand Park celebrates its 10th year

By Casey Russell Downtown’s Grand Park will mark its 10th anniversary with numerous events taking place from July through October 2022 and ending with a weekend-long anniversary celebration as “the park for everyone.” The 12-acre civic park has been a beloved gathering place for Angelenos since its first two blocks were opened in July THE GRAND AVENUE PROJECT will soon include a Conrad Hotel. of 2012. Each year, more than a million people ishing elements of the Grand two stages featuring DJs and take advantage of the lawns, Avenue Project that first got other musical performances, gardens, stages, fountains and underway in the year 2001. dancing and fireworks. events the park provides. Also planned are the B-Boy Some highlights of the The park was created as a five months of free celebra- Summit, DTLA Proud, Grand community benefit by Relat- tory events for Grand Park Park’s Dia de los Muertos celed Companies, the real estate will include the 4th of July ebration and a family fun day. developer soon to open the new Block Party on Mon., July 4, The park will also be launching Conrad Hotel and other fin- 4-9 p.m., with food, music, its “Uncovering L.A. Initiative,” a project focusing on creating an interpretive pathway and outdoor storytelling gallery. For more information, visit grandparkla.org.

Alexandria House hosts open house for new Kenmore Apartments

By Abigail Kestenbaum Alexandria House will host an open house and celebration of its newly acquired Kenmore Apartments on Sat., July 16 from 1 to 4 p.m., with a short program at 2 p.m. The event will include building tours, refreshments and a meet-and-greet. Reserve by email; for more information, visit alexandriahouse.org. Earlier this year, Alexandria House purchased the 39-unit apartment building located on South Kenmore Avenue, directly behind Alexandria House, in hopes of expanding their mission. Alexandria House provides safe housing to women and children living in unstable situations. When they leave Alexandria House, families are ensured they have access to permanent housing and are financially independent.

Fireworks

(Continued from page 1) favorites under a sky brilliantly lit with fireworks. Downtown’s Grand Park has activities from 4-9 p.m., with food, music, two stages featuring DJs and musical performances, dancing … and fireworks! Just a bit south of DTLA, at Exposition Park, the Community Festival & Fireworks Show with games, food, music and rides takes place 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Happy Fourth!


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BRIGID LABONGE leans on the hood of the convertible, and the City of Los Angeles flag is draped on the trunk, as friends and family pose for posterity below the sign that includes an image of the football that Tom regularly would carry on his hikes. Photo by Gary Leonard

OLD FIRE STATION 27 is now the location of the Hollywood Museum of the Los Angeles Fire Department and was the site of the unveiling of a plaque honoring the late city councilman Tom LaBonge.

By John Welborne June of each year, the summer solstice in particular, always was a favorite time for former city councilmember Tom LaBonge. It was a day when “Mr. Los Angeles“ loved to show off his city by ventur-

is now the official city of Los Angeles “Tom LaBonge Panorama.” The Mt. Hollywood overlook was given its new name several months after LaBonge’s unexpected death on Jan. 7, 2021 at age 67. A regular

Tom LaBonge celebrated again in June (twice!) PLAQUE honors “Mr. Los Angeles” outside the Fire Department Museum.

ing through Griffith Park to Mt. Hollywood on a hike with all who would join him. Keeping up the Summer Solstice tradition again this year, on June 21, Tom’s widow, Brigid, and family and friends made the late afternoon hike to what

destination for hikers, this favorite spot of LaBonge’s offers incredible views of Griffith Park, the Griffith Observatory and the entire city. This year, a happy crowd of about 50 people enjoyed those views in the company of one another while saluting Tom and his city. Prominent among them was the current councilmember of the Fourth District, Nithya Raman. Two weeks earlier, LaBonge was one of two honorees, the other being longtime director of operations for the Los Angeles Fire Department Historical Society, Frank Borden, who are now recognized with bronze plaques mounted on either side of the central doors of the Los Angeles Fire Department Historical Society Museum and Memorial at Cahuenga Boulevard and DeLongpre Avenue. Learn about the museum at lafdmuseum.org.

Letters

(Continued from page 2) on how nobody is taking responsibility to solve this dangerous carline. I know that there are countless more members of this community who are just as outraged. Even though I am thankful that this article was written, I’m concerned that it makes it seem like the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) facilities development manager, the LAPD traffic sergeant and the John Burroughs School principal Dr. Martinez are all doing everything they can to make the carline safe — when this is not the case. These people who are in charge in my opinion talk a good talk but in the end rarely anything changes. In the article, the development manager says that LAUSD is alleviating the carline congestion by relocating the buses. This is a step in the right direction but isn’t addressing the main problem that contributes to about 90 percent of the safety issues — the carline! Whenever anyone addresses the dangers of this carline, the immediate response is that (Please turn to page 10)


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Giorgio

(Continued from page 1) Iervolino wasn’t his name, either. Leaving the Boulevard Giorgio told me that, back on April 20, he was perplexed when the Los Angeles County Mental Health Department approached him on the Boulevard. “I was with my shopping cart and they picked me up and detached me from the shopping cart,” explained Giorgio. “I was very astonished and very sad.” According to eyewitnesses, there was a team of four outreach workers, law enforcement support and ambulance drivers sent to pick up Giorgio. He was transferred on a gurney. After so many years of freedom on the streets, Giorgio must have been petrified about what would happen to him. Help awaited Giorgio explained that he had been taken for three days to “USC,” County USC Hospital, to stabilize, then to the mental health hospital where he is now. Part of his evaluation includes having a judge decree what should happen next.

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“The judge decided on a conservatorship. Then I’m going to Beverly Hills,” he said. “Beverly Hills” refers to a low-supervision housing facility where Giorgio hopes he will be placed. Because of federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) laws about privacy, I can’t get confirmation on any of this that Giorgio tells me, but county mental health hospitals have doctors, nurses, therapists, social workers and educators on staff to ready people for better lives, and this often involves assigning them a conservator to oversee their decisions, especially those that pertain to financial, mental and medical decisions. These conservatorships are not those titled “probate,” such as the one famously established for Britney Spears. More typically, people in Giorgio’s situation would not enter into a “forever” arrangement, but a conservatorship for a year of support, with the ability to extend the conservatorship if necessary. That step occurs before placement in community-based housing.

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The next move Before Giorgio is eligible for placement, however, he needs to be diagnosed, put on medicines that address his particular mental health problems, and worked with to make certain he understands what is happening to him and what behaviors are expected. “I need your help, Miss Helene,” he implores. “I want to get out of here. It’s been two months! I need to go to Beverly Hills.” I understand his eagerness to go somewhere that feels more like home, and I assure him that everyone is looking out for him; he just needs to be patient. That seems to mollify him. Are conservatorships the best answer? Not everyone would agree that conservatorships are the best way to care for the homeless people with mental problems. Slate.com, in the Feb. 2, 2022 article, “California is Fighting To Make It Easier

Chronicle awards

(Continued from page 1) Awards in the division for weeklies with circulation of 25,000 and more. “I found myself wanting to know more about Giorgio, but then realized the anonymity is what made this so charming,” the CNPA judge commented on the story. “There are many with stories like Giorgio, which is the point; helping this population is imperative for a community. Really well written.”

To Put People Under Conservatorships” by Henry Grabar, reports that “civil rights advocates and many people with disabilities [claim] that longterm conservatorship is unethical and illegal.” The article continues: “Susan Mizner, the director of the disability rights program at the ACLU, has said that conservatorship is America’s ‘most extreme deprivation of civil liberties, aside from the death penalty.’” There’s also the consideration of money. Alan Mozes reports the findings of researcher Kristen Choi in the Jan. 19, 2022 article, “Conservatorships Keep the Homeless in Psychiatric Wards Too Long: Study” in “Health Day.” “Kristen Choi’s team estimates that it costs $767 per day (nearly $280,000 per year) to care for a homeless person on a psychiatric ward in California, compared to less than $14,000 to provide them with year-round housing.” Others vehemently supSeifer also was among five finalists in the investigative division for the Los Angeles Press Club Southern California Journalism Awards for the same 2021 series in the newspapers under 50,000 circulation division. The Press Club’s winners in each category were announced at the 64th annual Journalism Awards dinner on June 25 at the Sheraton Universal Hotel. “For years, I and many readers wondered about this one homeless man inhabiting the area for so long,” Larchmont Chronicle editor and publisher John Welborne said. Welborne assigned Seifer to reach out to get to know Giorgio and his story. The result was two articles in 2021 and three more this year, including Part Five in the series, which begins on Page One of this issue.

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port the extensive use of conservatorships, no matter the financial burden. In the “Slate.com” article, above, it is reported that San Francisco Mayor London Breed in 2019 said, “’Conservatorships allows us to provide the wraparound services needed to stabilize people … Allowing them to deteriorate on our streets when they are (Please turn to page 9)

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Larchmont Chronicle

Giorgio

(Continued from page 8) incapable of caring for themselves is not humane.’” Giorgio — today and tomorrow? When asked what his day is like, Giorgio tells me, “I wake up and have breakfast, and I can watch TV or go outside and drink coffee. I like to play pool!” “Any therapy?” I ask. “There’s group exercise, we talk about food, psychology groups. Not therapy, but information.” The goal of mental hospitals is to ready people for placement elsewhere. Depending on how much Giorgio understands about what is expected of him and whether he is deemed capable of following rules, he will be placed in a closed or open facility; meaning one where he cannot leave the grounds, or one where he is allowed to leave, but where he is expected to take his medicines and check back in at the designated time every day. The Beverly Hills facility he mentioned is an open facility, which, understandably, is what Giorgio wants and says he was promised. “I come home every night! I take my medicine!” he explains. What does he want to do with that semi-freedom? “Ride the bus,” he replies.

JULY 2022

Another time when he called me recently, Giorgio excitedly told me he had received his photo album of his family, which had been buried in his cart. He asked if I knew how that happened, which I did. When Giorgio expressed interest in locating his album, word got to Marilyn Wells, the co-founder of Stories from the Frontline and former Chronicle columnist of “The NIMBY Diaries.” After Gary Gilbert and John Welborne secured the shopping cart when Giorgio was taken to County USC in April, neighbor Wells arranged to store the cart in case Giorgio needed anything from it. Giorgio was very touched that so many people were looking out for him. Speaking with Giorgio on the telephone, it’s clear that he’s made great strides. We can have more of a conversation, rather than his normal monologue. He asks how I am and tells me to have a nice day. He calls me every day now and once I was out at dinner with friends when he called, so I said I couldn’t talk right then. The next time he asked how my dinner had been and said that he was glad I was seeing my friends. Another time he called to wish my family a happy Father’s Day, even though the day is bittersweet for him

since he’s lost track of his two sons. He’s called to say he would love to cook again, but with a walker he cannot stand up long enough to accomplish kitchen work, so he was thinking of taking a computer class. Most recently he called to say his Italian friend Francesca would be in touch to give me some things to hold until he left the hospital. She was leaving soon for Italy and wasn’t certain when she’d be back. Francesca Maggia Last month, Francesca and I met for coffee at Peet’s, one of Giorgio’s old stomping grounds. She shared her Giorgio story. She, her husband Claudio Maggia and their two children moved to Los Angeles five years ago, after having spent three years in Hong Kong for work. They hailed from a small town near Venice, Italy. Francesca initially met Giorgio one day in front of Starbucks, and he asked her for a coffee. She found him charming and he opened up to her, a countryman. They have met every Friday for coffee until Giorgio entered the hospital. Francesca even found his sister Bianca on WhatsApp and now, after 25 years of silence, Giorgio talks to his sister every Friday on Francesca’s phone. His sister was the benefactor

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who paid for Giorgio to move to the United States — twice. The first time that Bianca gave him money, he spent it before buying a plane ticket. The second time, he set off on his culinary adventure. Giorgio had mentioned to me that his mother had cousins in the restaurant business, but said that he first went to Miami, then New York, before landing in Los Angeles. Francesca just knows about the Los Angeles part of his journey. According to her, his mother’s cousins owned Marino’s, and he worked there before working at other notable Los Angeles restaurants. Something happened and a rift occurred, and he and the Marino family never spoke again. The biggest revelation of our talk, though, is that Giorgio is a name he took as his street name so he could maintain some control over his story. His real name is Pio Franco Iervolino, named after Saint Pio. Apparently, prior to birth, he was expected to die either in his mother’s womb or shortly thereafter. The whole family prayed to Saint Pio to save him and, when he thrived, they named him after his savior saint. It also turns out that mental illness runs in his family. Francesca says Pio Franco had a brother whose first

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name was Franco and he, too, worked, got married, divorced, and slid into mental illness, also ending up on the streets. He wouldn’t accept help from the family or anyone else. Italy is a harsher place to be homeless than sunny, relatively mild Los Angeles. There, summers are brutally hot; winters are frigid. One wintry night in Naples, there was an important, well-attended dance concert at the local Arts Hall. When the horde of attendees exited the performance, they were met by Franco, frozen to death, at the bottom of the stairs. Can there be help for all? When we see how much care Pio Franco / Giorgio now is getting, we cannot help but wonder: “Given how many people, how many medical personnel, how much time and attention it takes to get him on a healthier path, and given the number of homeless individuals on the streets, is it conceivable that there’s enough time in the day to help more than a drop of those in need?” Pio Franco is lucky and seems to know that. He seems to recognize the support he has from the community. He makes certain to tell me, “The people of Larchmont love me and care about me.”


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More stores on Larchmont

(Continued from page 1) Another skin care company, Credo Beauty, a store selling clean, natural, organic makeup, doesn’t yet have an opening date set, but its managers estimate the shop will open by fall (credobeauty.com). Holey Grail Donuts has been making its presence known on the Boulevard at the Wednesday Farmers’ Market with an awesome donut truck. While there is no opening date set, workers say they hope to be selling from their spot at 148 N. Larchmont Blvd. by end of summer or early fall. The family-run company uses Hawaiian taro root as a base and fries the soy, dairy and egg-free treats in coconut oil. Holey Grail’s tasting menu will change every Thursday, so there will always be something new and exciting to experience (holeygraildonuts.com).

Neither Boba the Great, which will sell the popular boba or “bubble tea” that originated in Taiwan in the 1980s, nor The Scent Room, a perfumery founded by commercial model and actor Deborah Turner (thescentroom.com), has announced dates for opening. Two other stores have leased spaces in the Larchmont Mercantile building, now totaling nine of 14 spaces leased. Velvet by Graham and Spencer sells upscale clothing and some home items such as linens, vases and utensils in its 10 other locations (velvet-tees.com). No opening date has been announced yet for Larchmont. Topdrawer will be located at 140 N. Larchmont Blvd. With nearly a dozen stores across the United States, Topdrawer says its focus is on tactile, durable, analog (as opposed to digital) gear. When the store opens, shoppers will find shoes, paper, pens, bags, eye-

325 N. Larchmont Boulevard, #158 Los Angeles, California 90004

wear, scrapbook-style photo albums and more (topdrawershop.com). Bacio di Latte, located at 141½ N. Larchmont Blvd., expects to open in October. Its gelato will be made daily, inshop, using the best organic milk and cream from family farms in Sonoma. Get ready to salivate over such flavors as Sweet Cream with Nutella, Vanilla Rose, Peanut Butter and Gianduja and Lemon Sorbet (baciodilatte.us). Levain Bakery, at 227 N. Larchmont Blvd., is going to be a hard-to-pass shop whenever it opens for business. Notable for its six-ounce cookies, this bakery made a name for itself in New York City. The Larchmont location will be the bakery’s 12th (levainbakery.com). And just next door to Levain, itself next door to Vernetti, there appears to be some leasing action as well. As of press time, nobody had any comment, but there were indications in window signage that 229 N. Larchmont Blvd. might become the home for a new take-out establishment featuring organic drinks. Chiki Chiki

windsorsquare.org

Letters

157 N. Larchmont Boulevard

Independence Day

(Continued from page 6)

The Fourth of July is a time for barbecues, fresh corn, sweet watermelon — and of course, fireworks. While our neighborhood is lucky to have some flashy displays nearby, including those visible over the Wilshire Country Club or the Hollywood Bowl, remember that do-it-yourself fireworks are illegal throughout Los Angeles County. They are dangerous for those handling them; they are serious fire hazards, especially during drought conditions; and they drive dogs crazy. Speaking of dogs, this month’s Larchmont Chronicle issue celebrates Larchmont’s pets. As anyone who counts the water bowls on Larchmont Boulevard or strolls our streets can see, we are a dog-loving neighborhood. Let’s be sure to keep it that way — pick up after your dog and dispose of the waste properly (not in green or blue bins). And always walk dogs on a leash, per city regulations, for their safety as well as for others’. July also means summer vacations are in full swing. Watch for children on bikes or scooters, and watch for pedestrians of any age (with leashed dogs or without!), especially at busy intersections such as Third and Larchmont.

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.

©LC0722

And finally, let’s declare independence from stricter water regulations. How? Comply with the voluntary water use limits in place now. Water only on your permitted days: odd addresses on Wednesday and Saturday, even addresses on Thursday and Sunday. Do not let your sprinklers overspray onto sidewalks and streets. Let your lawns go brown, if necessary (but protect your trees). See our website for more complete information on how to save water (www.windsorsquare. org). Violators are already being cited, and if we do not limit our water use voluntarily, we all will be subjected to much harsher restrictions and enforcement.

LAUSD plans to relocate the buses. The district never wants to address the actual problem. All the talking does not change the fact that cars are driving on the wrong side of the street because of the carline. The article ended with Principal Martinez saying how he’s been reaching out to the school’s neighbors. I have lived here for 20 years, and nobody has ever personally reached out to me. There have only been a few traffic meetings where the neighbors were invited in the years that I have lived here. There were never any follow-up meetings, and changes that the neighbors suggested were never carried through. Developer LAUSD, the principal and the police all were interviewed for this article and given the opportunity to say whatever they can to make themselves look good. A student was injured, by the way, just a few months ago. Nobody being interviewed in this article mentioned that! The neighbors and parents of students should also be given the opportunity to share their thoughts on what’s going on in regard to the carline. Many neighbors are upset that their concerns are always being dismissed. Please consider giving neighbors and parents equal opportunity to share their outrage. Thank you again for making the community aware of what’s going on. Andrea Barukh Hancock Park

BEER AND WINE LICENSE transfer from Chan Dara is being requested for new Cookbook Market.

Boom Boom is a beverage company founded by Hancock Park residents Andres Isquieta and Juan Jaramillo. This may just be a pop-up, or it may be permanent. Look for updates next month. North of Beverly The May 2022 news scoop in the Larchmont Chronicle disclosed that Cookbook Market (“Larchmontians getting out and about even more — on both coasts”) is coming to the Boulevard. Additional progress toward the ultimate opening of this new store was evidenced last month. Posted on June 17 in a window of the former Chan Dara building at

310 N. Larchmont Blvd. is the State of California’s official notice that a new business has applied to take over Chan Dara’s existing license allowing the sale of beer and wine on the restaurant premises. The business is that of Hancock Park residents Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, plus their sommelier partner Helen Johannesen (Jon & Vinny’s and Helen’s on Fairfax Avenue). Cookbook Market will offer Larchmontians a collection of upscale produce, small-producer dry goods, and grocery staples like deli meats, wine and sauces (cookbookla.com).

Ed Asner Hot Dog — it’s the latest addition at Pink’s Pink’s launched a new hot dog last month: the Ed Asner Kansas City Pastrami Chili Dog. The $7.35, nine-inch beef dog, topped with chili, pastrami, Swiss cheese and mustard, is the latest in a long line of celebrity-named dogs at the historic La Brea Avenue stand. The late TV legend and Emmy-award winner, Ed Asner — who died in 2021 and starred in “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “The Lou Grant Show” and “Up” — was a regular at Pink’s.

The new hot dog in Asner’s honor recognizes his birthplace and important and heartfelt work of Asner and his son, Matt Asner, at the Ed Asner Family Center, said Richard Pink, president of Pink’s Hot Dogs. The Center is a charity that supports families with special needs children. Fifteen percent of gross proceeds from the Ed Asner Hot Dog are being donated to the Center, an example of Pink’s tradition of selling chili dogs for charity, Pink added.


Larchmont Chronicle

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11

Locally, furry and feathered friends warm our hearts and souls named Kodak by his cinematographer pop. Star-struck Afi ventures out of Larchmont to see his favorite idol’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. One family, who couldn’t pick just one, sent us a dozen photos and then a few more of their mini goldendoodle pup-

Raising a puppy

Sometimes caring for and training a puppy can be very frustrating, especially when it is very young. Higgins points out that the hardest part for her is always the beginning. “Training Oslo is incorporated into every second of my day. He needs to always be behaving and working on the skills he needs. It’s like raising a child, in a way. Even when they are taking a nap, they are still being raised,” said Higgins. The outcome most definitely outweighs the hard work that goes into raising a service dog. Higgins describes her job as raising them to be good dogs, while the organization trains them to be service dogs. Formal training “I turn them in for their formal training after raising them for a little over a year. This is always the most difficult, emotional day,” said Higgins. “I always have to remind myself that these dogs have a greater purpose than just being pets. Once their formal training is done, they get assigned to their person or workplace.” Before the dog graduates, Higgins will be able to meet the dog’s newly assigned owners. She recalls that it’s the most rewarding part of the process. “Newt was trained as a guide dog, so he was assigned to someone with visual impairments. His new owner told me all about how much he was going to change her life and how much he would be loved. I can honestly say I was able to tell that she will love Newt in ways that I could not,” said Higgins. “He is so much more than a pet to her. Newt is independence and confidence and is truly life-changing. After meeting her and sending Newt off, I felt like I helped to truly change someone’s life,” said Higgins. Higgins still gets updates about the lives of the dogs that she has previously raised and is so incredibly proud of them. Meanwhile, she continues to enjoy her time with Oslo and appreciates how mellow he is.

(Continued from page 1)

to veterans with PTSD, children with autism or even for work in courthouses. When taking in a puppy for this newly merged organization, the puppy raisers don’t know what kind of service their dog will provide until they turn them in for formal training. Higgins was first introduced to GDA through a neighbor, Ann Benya. (See December 2009 Larchmont Chronicle, Section One, Page 31.) “She only had German shepherds, and I love German shepherds, so I would always notice them around the neighborhood. But it wasn’t until my middle daughter Mary expressed interest that I knew we could actually start training some puppies,” said Higgins. Before Oslo, Higgins raised a black Lab named Newt, who currently works as a guide dog in Idaho. After Newt, she took in Zuri, a German shepherd, who has completed her formal training and is waiting for her placement. More than raising But Higgins does more for the organization than just take in puppies. As the Area Leader for the Westside of Los Angeles, she is in charge of managing monthly meetings, conducting visits for prospective puppy homes, planning outings for the organization and serving as support for the puppy-raising community.

TRAINER AND TRAINEE. Alysoun Higgins has been responsible for Oslo since he was 8 weeks old.

Cerys Davies is a junior at Loyola Marymount University. She has lived in Los Angeles her whole life and is excited to be a part of the Larchmont community.

py playing with her friends during Bronson Avenue Yappy Hour.

Shier by nature, cats have also won many hearts in the neighborhood. A wild parrot

and a silkie chicken round out this year’s pack. (Please turn to page 12)

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By Suzan Filipek This year’s Pets of Larchmont feature includes (among many others) a French bulldog in recovery from paralysis who hobbles to classes at Center for Yoga. Then, there’s an Akita-Jindo mix who enjoys dinner parties at Vernetti. He’s aptly


12

Larchmont Chron

SECTION ONE

Odin Tiger Lily

Sven

Afi

Charlie Bella and Addy

Beau Cole

Pucci

Misfitz

Callie and Django

Chappy

Zoey

Mah

Chata

Roger Pickles and Patricia Kuehn

Sam

Star-struck AFI, a Westie / poodle mix from Lucerne Boulevard, is at the Hollywood Walk of Fame “star” of his idol, Lassie! “He has already made friends with many of the local dogs and e en got in ited to a doggie bday party at an aci c ark last weekend . e s lo ing the Larchmont lifestyle, note an and im Lerman. TIGER LILLY lounges on orth eachwood ri e with eth terling. “ODIN loves our walks through Larchmont. e re technically in rookside but are in Larchmont all the time, we hear from ichael oore and Chad othman of outh uir eld oad. SVEN often crosses the street to attend the mayor s news conferences and demonstrations, u Landay tells us. BILLY THE BIRDIE is a canary-winged parakeet a relati e of the wild parrots that fly abo e our skies in Los Angeles. As a baby, he flew into my neighbor s window, and took him in and rehabilitated him. e has been with us for eight years now. e s still pretty wild and temperamental, but he seems rather happy with us, ulie tromberg of rookside tells us. This fluffy guy is MILO and can be found most mornings jogging around Larchmont with Anne odycombe. MAPLE is a year old Ca alier ing Charles spaniel who lights up Citrus A enue, where she walks with milie atchett. oyal LEEDO has li ed with us his whole life and he couldn t make us happier, said ich and Beth Correll, on Rimpau Boulevard. “We spend a lot of time on Larchmont Boule ard, and he especially lo es Tailwaggers since they treat him like royalty e ery time he enters the building. CLOVER of June Street “is a Larchmont regular and often enjoys catching up with friends at Le Petit Greek,” the Markus family tells us.

Kodak

Jazmine and Lola

Co

MISFITZ stretches with Joan Hyman, a teacher at Center for Yoga in Larchmont. The rench bulldog was paraly ed last year with a disc disease but is getting better with each down dog, yman tells us. Adoptees BELLA, 14, and her new sister, ADDY, months, en oy life with ary eles on anhattan lace. CHARLIE is years young, uby Cornelio of eachwood ri e tells us. ur wonderful BEAU (Cole) loves to walk on his favorite street with family or friends, stopping in at Che alier s, Tailwaggers, eet s, Le ain uotidien and more, and he looks forward to the opening of the new stores on Larchmont Adrienne and tephen Cole on eachwood ri e, told us. The a anese celebrated his th with his best furry friends, ophie, aguette and osie. arling PUCCI smells the flowers on Las almas A enue with te en teinman and oris erger. DUKE strikes a pose on ilton ri e, where he li es with heila oyer and rian Terr and sons am and a . HOLLY attended the recent wedding of Larchmont oule ard residents aid and Laura ewman. The mini goldendoodle s tulle matches the skirt of Laura s under dress it had an o erskirt that we remo ed during our rst dance for a big re eal , a id e plains. After sur i ing the deadly irus par o, BOBA “moved to Plymouth Boulevard and joined our family,” Rachel Levy says. “He gained almost 10 pounds a month — topping out at 90 pounds of love and hijinks. He loves slumber parties with his dog buds at oggie oddess and is learning to en oy water with a little help from his friends. WINSTON, 15, is a longtime resident of Windsor Square with his family, Michael Horvitz tells us of their very much beloved cocker


icle • July 2022

SECTION ONE

13

Clover Milo Maple

Billy

Leedo

Duke

Boba

Winston

i Holly

Oreo

lka Dottie

ody

Toblerone

Lavender

Hobbes

spaniel. • ZOEY lounges in front of a photograph of flapper Louise rooks at the home of Ale andra spasande in rookside. The three legged rescue, who hails from Armenia, is now happily li ing with us, Ale andra tells us. CHATA and Rober to cruise around their ronson A enue neighborhood, where their neighbor Lorna uyn snapped this photo. Chata has a large tumor on her front leg that makes it painful for her to walk, so oberto pulls her in the wagon. he s either or years old and doesn t ha e long left. t s utterly sweet what he does for her. e e en decorated her wagon uyn told us. any in indsor uare know neighborhood dogs CALLIE and DJANGO from their early morning walks, aren and ichael i ini tell us. CHAPPY is in the dri er s seat when not at home with elissa ar and Tom obinson of rookside. MAHLKA is a brown tabby and white aine coon rand Champion who decided that she was tired of the cat show world. ollie now li es with the altons in remont lace. he en oys playing in her water bucket in the shower, peeking at birds and s uirrels from the windows and sleeping on top of her human at night. he is the best ulia alton says. DOTTIE, an month old silkie chicken, is in her new purple party dress. he lo es people and lo es to sit on my lap, writes oan ors of ilco A enue. LAVENDER also has a party dress like her sis ottie. OREO, , lo es making silly faces when her mom is trying to take a proper photo of her, says Lia A uino, indsor illage. SOPHIE shares triple scoops at eni s plendid ce Cream and smells the roses at the Larchmont armers arket, where we enthusiastically gather produce and flowers. ophie

Sophie

Shady and Rudy

Oscar

makes e eryday mar elous, says usie oodman, lymouth oule ard. uddies ROGER PICKLES LAURITSEN (the dog) and PATRICIA KUEHN en oy life with Adelaide uehn. SAM checks out the family s bills on outh Citrus A enue, where he li es with ary irchen. like to dine, as you can see, and ha e many dinner parties with my friends, KODAK tells us. ere, am waiting for my guests at er netti to arri e they were all running late, so, ordered a drink for myself The Akita indo mi was the runt of the litter when Crescen o otarile and Cary Trampf adopted the month old on Larchmont years ago go to ernetti all the time and now also reat hite, odak tells us. ay hello to me ne t time you see me on Larchmont am there on the strip se eral times a day. JAZMINE was lost to kidney disease after years, and LOLA is still as frisky as a kitten at . They are the lo es of my life and ha e such independent personalities, a uel ard ner tells us. • CODY and onald Ali li e on ower treet in Larchmont illage. weet TOBLERONE and his family, Adam, Ale and atty osenberg, li e on t. Andrews lace. HOBBES, , ponders life with Annissa Lui and oshua Tompkins on orth ower treet. SHADY and RUDY from orth eachwood ri e hang out at one of their fa orite spots, where they keep watch for other dogs, packages and mail. They lo e when owners eff ryan and rian Choynake take them on their daily neighborhood walks. OSCAR is a month old a anese puppy. e lo e li ing in Larchmont and always read your paper Carone riend tells us.

(Please turn to page 14)


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DYNAMO is a 5-year-old champion American Kennel Club show dog, says Richard Klein, a Hancock Park resident for 22 years. When not attending award shows, Klein “has been walking my white standard poodles in Hancock Park, Windsor Square and Larchmont every morning.” • ZURI TURTLE BRIDGES (aka Zuri) “is a six-month-old mini goldendoodle, and we are 100 percent smitten,” says Cara Epstein, Larchmont

Village. • Loveable and lazy, BEAU (LAVERY) is an Australian Labradoodle who “loves playing with other doodles and loves the beach. He hates walking unless there s another doggy walking with us, hitney and Coleman La ery of indsor Boulevard tell us. • DANNY and NIKKI cheer recent graduate Pierre Debbaudt of St. Andrew s uare. STANLEY and STELLA live with Ron Mulligan in Windsor Square.

Zuri

Dynamo

Beau Lavery

Danny and Nikki with Pierre

Stanley and Stella

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hort tories lon on avor elsewhere pasta and ta os star

The boutique Short Stories Hotel on Fairfax Avenue is a welcome replacement for the old Farmer’s Daughter motel. Here soothing colors abound inside, and a lovely, mostly outdoor restaurant with wicker chairs and banquettes, marble-topped tables, blackand-white tiled floors, a cozy fireplace and several mature trees exudes a serene veranda feel.

RESTAURANT & COCKTAILS

For Short Stories Restaurant within the hotel, the operators recruited Chef Ricardo Zarate, known for his Peruvian tastes with Japanese style, to conceptualize the menu. Currently, Executive Chef Jorge Serrano, with Spanish and Mexican roots, is tweaking the offerings, concentrating on seasonality and whatever is fresh at the Original Farmers Market across

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the street. My husband and I sat near the fireplace and had a view of the well-appointed bar in the pale terra-cotta indoor portion of the eatery. We relaxed with a “Farmers Father,” a $19 tequila, mango, kale and lime cocktail — excellent — and an equally good $21 “Oaxaca California Love” with mezcal, tequila, lime and pineapple juices and spicy pineapple-infused gomme, a thick form of simple syrup. The dishes were equally complex. We had $18 pressed hard-shelled blue corn tacos, two per order, with blue prawns, yuzu marinade, cabbage cilantro slaw and chipotle aioli — quite spicy but bursting with flavor. I’ll probably have this every time I visit. Four grilled artichoke hearts, $17, were nestled in cumin labneh (thickened

On the Menu by

Helene Seifer yogurt), popped quinoa and micro cilantro. This $17 appetizer blended smoke, brine, crunch and creaminess in each bite. Tender octopus tentacles were sliced and tossed with charred cherry tomatoes and confit baby potatoes — fluffy inside and crispy out. The colorful and savory $28 dish was artfully arranged on a long white platter with spicy aioli. A typical Peruvian dish, lomo saltado, was expertly handled. Tender chunks of steak were sauteed, served with potatoes and cilantro and glazed with soy sauce

and sesame oil. A sunny-sideup egg finished the $32 plate. We tried two mains. Szechuan red snapper, $38, was prepared with ingredients which should have provided a flavor explosion of caramelized ginger, cilantro, mint, Szechuan spiced oil and mirin-soy sauce but it didn’t work. The fish was perfectly cooked, but the taste was feh, not fab. On the other hand, the $45 boneless, grilled half-chicken with coriander green rice and huancaína sauce, a spicy Peruvian cheese sauce, was superb. Short Stories Restaurant at Short Stories Hotel, 115 S. Fairfax Ave., 323-937-3930. Across from the Short Stories Hotel, two newcomers to the Grove and the Original Farmers Market are delicious additions to the perpetually busy dual shopping venue. Pasta Corner is an inconspicuous stand near the Gumbo Pot. Don’t let their simple counter and tiny kitchen fool you. The pasta here is wonderful. Perfectly al dente and generously sauced, the house-made noodles satisfy. Tagliatelle is piled with a mountain of fragrant shaved black truffles for $29. Spaghetti cacio e pepe, $17, is creamy with the right amount of pepperiness. I don’t care that they cheated with crème fraiche — if it’s good, it’s good. They have 18 pastas, a handful of starters, good bread and tiramisu. Pasta Corner, Original Farmers Market, 6333 W. Third St., Suite 500, 323-7874444. Alma Cocina de Mexico (Mexican soul kitchen) at The Grove has an outdoor downstairs taquería, indoor/ outdoor cocktail bar and upstairs Mexican fine dining. Replacing 189 by Dominique Ansel (followed by Curtis Stone’s Picnic Society) near the dancing fountains, the taquería was hopping. A lively bar with flavorful tequila- and mezcal-based cocktails, excellent chips and salsa and an array of tasty tacos is just what The Grove needed. Three house-made soft tacos topped with pork al pastor (carved from a spit), $18, were a perfect nibble with my pineapple Margarita. The mainly taco menu is fun. There’s patio seating and a market section with tortillas and other Mexican delicacies to take home. Alma Cocina de Mexico, The Grove, 189 The Grove Dr., Suite H-10, 323-879-9596.

Women of Larchmont

The Larchmont Chronicle honors local women in our special issue every August.


Larchmont Chronicle

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SECTION ONE

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Larchmont Chronicle

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Yogi Berra on ‘the steal,’ and other tales, dinosaurs dominate It Ain’t Over (10/10): 98 minutes. NR. Written and directed by Sean Mullin, this is Yogi Berra’s tale, told by interviews with a myriad of players, managers, broadcasters, celebrities and writers — including his beautiful wife Carmen, Joe Garagiola (his life-long friend who lived across the street when growing up), Billy Crystal, Joe Girardi, Bob Costas, Derek Jeter, Joe Torre, Larry Doby,

Jr., Roger Angell, Tony Kubek, Vin Scully and many more. Of course, we hear a lot from Yogi, too, and a lot of Yogi-isms, including some that others wrote and attributed to him. But his wife Carmen says that it’s easy to tell the fakes from the real ones because the real ones actually make sense when you think about them. It takes Yogi from growing up on The Hill in St. Louis to being wooed by Branch

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At the Movies with

Tony Medley Rickey (who didn’t sign him when Rickey was with the St. Louis Cardinals but immediately tried to sign him when he moved to the Dodgers, but by then Berra had already signed with the Yankees), to his service in the Navy in WWII when he took part in the Normandy invasion on June 6, 1944. It also gives the best detailed analysis of Jackie Robinson’s steal of home in the ’55 Series. Yogi insisted he was out until the day he died. The film shows various angles. The truth is still hard to determine, but I think I changed my mind. You don’t have to

be a baseball fan to enjoy this American success story. Official Competition (8/10): 110 minutes. R. Humberto Suáreez (José Luis Gomez) is a billionaire who wants to leave a living achievement behind, so he hires two stars, Félix Rivero (Antonio Banderas) and Iván Torres (Oscar Martínez) and a famous director, Lola Cuevas (Penélope Cruz), to make a film he hopes will be memorable. Torres considers himself an “actor” who looks down his nose at Rivero, whom he considers a mere movie star. Lola, for all her beauty, is a brutal director. What results is a satire about moviemaking that caricatures the silliness, arrogance and hubris of the industry. In Spanish. Both Sides of the Blade (7/10): 115 minutes. R. Based on Christine Angot’s novel “Un tournant de la vie,” Juliette Binoche has the hots for two men. She’s living with

Vincent Lindon, all the while carrying the torch for Grégoire Colin, with whom she had a relationship when she met Vincent. After 10 years, she sees Grégoire on the street, and her infatuation with him re-inspires her rapture. She tries to balance what’s going on in her heart by being dishonest to both men when things get beyond her and them. Brilliant performances by Binoche and Lindon. American studios make junk like superhero and horror movies, but the French still make films that are about ordinary people and their problems. In French. Jurassic World Dominion (7/10): 146 minutes. PG-13. The story of the reincarnation of the dinosaurs apparently ends with this convoluted tale of a madman trying to destroy the world. I had a hard time making heads or tails of the story and what the bad guy’s purpose was. Our good guys, Chris Pratt, Laura Dern, Bryce Dallas Howard and Sam Neill are in big trouble but do their darndest to save the world. Thrown in is Jeff Goldblum who gives his usual unique performance. Even were the story terrible (and it’s not), the special effects are outstanding and well worth sitting there for two and a half hours. As an aside, I kept thinking about real history. Homo sapiens (us) have been on Earth for a maximum of 90,000 years, maybe as little as 40,000, and civilization has been with us for only about 15,000 years. How long did dinosaurs roam the earth? 125 million years! That’s not 125 million years ago, that’s how long they dominated the earth, while we’ve been here for only 40,000 years. To put it in perspective, for every year we’ve been here, that’s equal to 3,125 years that the dinosaurs were here. Think about that. Anyway, it’s an enjoyable movie, mainly for the special effects. Interceptor (7/10): 98 Minutes. TV-MA. Netflix. While many may find this movie preposterous, I set reality aside and enjoyed it. It shows a military woman — who has been disgraced due to her making sexual attack claims against a commanding officer — being returned to her post at a missile interceptor station in the middle of the ocean and having to defend the station and the country against a military attack. It’s reminiscent of Steven Seagal’s “Under Siege” (1992) without the humor, only this time the person taking on the bad guys is a woman (Elsa Pataky). The story is well structured and the tension palpable throughout. It does, however, strain credulity to see a woman prevail in repeat(Please turn to page 20)


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Shakespeare live, ‘spirited’ and dark Theater Review by

Louis Fantasia notable success: The Metropolitan Opera produced a compelling version of Brett Dean’s score. The libretto by Matthew Jocelyn drew heavily on the much maligned “Bad Quarto” (“To be or not to be / Aye, that’s

the point!”) for its pulsing narrative. The Pulitzer Prize for drama went to James Ijames for his “Fat Ham” — where a Black, queer Hamlet-like character named Juicy confronts family ghosts at a South Carolina backyard barbecue. Robert Eggers’ bloody movie, “The Northman,” is a re-telling (for strong stomachs) of the Amleth ur-text that can be best summed up by the film’s mantra, “Avenge Father/Save Mother/Kill Uncle.” (A recent (Please turn to page 21)

W2W4*

....The Fountain Theater tackles the abortion debate with a hyper-staged reading of Lisa Loomer’s ROE, to July 10 on its outdoor stage. ....Rogue Machine at The Matrix runs Tim Venable’s study of ‘90s suburbia, The Beautiful People, to July 31. ....As for musicals: Dear Evan Hansen is at the Ahmanson to July 31, while Moulin Rouge plants itself at the Pantages until September 4, and Kinky Boots visits the Hollywood Bowl, July 8-10. (What would Max Reinhardt say?!) * What to watch for

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“Sumer is icumen in,” as the medieval English poem has it, “sing cuccu, nu, cuccu.” Or rather shout “To be or not to,” or “Wherefore art thou, Romeo!,” ’cause summer is the time for Shakespeare (and this summer, one of his lesser known contemporaries). Last July, I interviewed the Theatricum Botanicum’s Ellen Geer and the Independent Shakespeare Company’s David Melville on the challenges of keeping their theaters afloat. Coming back live seems to be as problematic: Covid protocols are still in place and the specter of inflation haunts everything from gas prices to production costs to the size of donations that people can comfortably give. In true show-must-go-on mode, David Melville said, “One way or another we will make it through [this summer], but there is no question that this is going to be a tough year.” Independent Shakespeare (ISC) is producing “The Knight of the Burning Pestle,” Francis Beaumont’s 1607 madcap parody of chivalric romances, followed by what promises to be a particularly spirited “Macbeth” set in the old Griffith Park Zoo. The long promised permanent stage for ISC has yet to materialize. “The Knight of the Burning Pestle” runs from July 2-3 and “Macbeth” will show from Aug. 6 to Sept. 4. Theatricum Botanicum presents its ever popular “Midsummer Night’s Dream” through Oct. 1 along with the less frequently seen “Merry Wives of Windsor” through Oct. 2. Elizabeth I was so enamored of Sir John Falstaff (“Henry IV, parts 1 & 2”) that she supposedly commanded Shakespeare to bring back the plump knight in a comedy. The poet W.H. Auden, when giving his lectures on Shakespeare in New York in 1946, famously (infamously?) remarked that we should be grateful for “Merry Wives” because “it provided the occasion of Verdi’s “Falstaff,” a very great operatic masterpiece.” Auden then ceased lecturing and played the full opera to his class! A darker take on “Midsummer” comes from the Open Fist Company, which sets its production, running until August 13, on a plantation in the Antebellum South. “In this production,” says director James Fowler, “we’re able to see [that the fairies’] magic is played out in the lives of the people… who don’t ever see them,” because they are slaves. Interpreting Shakespeare Shakespeare encourages these “conversations,” as interpretations are now called, even if he might not have approved of them. It has been open season on “Hamlet” this year, with some


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Local skateboarders need more than streets and sidewalks Skateparks are small miracles. Nobody knows that better than Eric Calhoun and Greg Delger. Southern California, and in particular Greater Los Angeles, is the skateboard capital of the world, so it’s somewhat inconceivable that the corri-

dor from MacArthur Park to Santa Monica, which spans Koreatown, Larchmont, Hollywood, the Fairfax and Melrose districts, Beverly Hills, and Westwood, is devoid of public skateparks. EduSkate Greg Delger is a Resource

Specialist Program teacher at Le Conte Middle School. He is also the founder of EduSkate, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving academic performance of at-risk students by providing skateboard programs in public schools. So, how does an

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activity viewed as disruptive and noisy enhance education? Through EduSkate, Delger was able to build a skatepark at Le Conte, to be used by his students. A skateboard club was formed, and to be eligible to participate, students had to maintain a C grade-point average. Delger believes that keeping kids in classrooms fosters school involvement, resulting in better test results and higher graduation rates. He also feels it made communities safer by keeping students away from gangs and drugs. “The idea was to build mini parks and provide access to skateboarding in the under-served neighborhoods,” explained Delger. “EduSkate made it easier for girls to participate, too. They weren’t so self-conscious about being novices at Le Conte.” Delger’s skatepark is the first, and only, on LAUSD property so far. It was built in 2013. But his dream has been a challenge. The after-school club was disbanded, and the park is now unskatable. The sheet metal transitions were removed from the ramps because so many kids were climbing the fence and skating after school and on weekends. This was especially true during the COVID shutdown, which was no surprise. It was the only local skatepark. Stoner Plaza “At the time, we had a gang problem in Stoner Park, and a skating problem at the Santa Monica Civic Center,” said Eric Calhoun, now the Senior Recreation Director for Pan Pacific Park. Like Greg Delger, Calhoun is a trailblazer in the skateboard world. Before taking the Pan Pacific position, Calhoun was responsible for building Stoner Skate Plaza, just a few blocks from the Santa Monica border. “Stoner Skate Plaza was one of the best accomplishments of my career,” said Calhoun. Stoner Park, built in 1931, initially was a public area with a baseball field, pool and picnic tables. When Calhoun took over in 2006, gang members controlled the park. “They congregated in a thick grove of trees.” His first challenge was addressing the issue of liability if skaters were injured. At the time, participants’ assumptions of liability didn’t apply to municipalities, so Calhoun headed to Sacramento to get it added to the law. “I was the guy behind the scenes. All they had to do was put up a sign at the park, and it released the city’s liability.” The grove of trees, and gang, were replaced with a skatepark. Pan Pacific Park Eric Calhoun proposed building a skatepark at Pan Pacific, but the idea was met

Youth Sports by

Jim Kalin with resistance from community members. “There’s the misperception that skaters bring trouble,” he said. “This was never the case at Stoner, and it would be the same here.” At present, the area adjacent to the outdoor amphitheater has become an unofficial dog park. There have been incidences of dogs biting joggers, but its difficult for Pan Pacific to monitor the area. Calhoun felt an official dog park at the south end might be a beneficial addition, and easier than getting a skatepark proposal passed, but it was vetoed because it would eliminate green space. Skaters are not quitters. They’re resilient and determined athletes. But they need champions, people like Greg Delger and Eric Calhoun, who can progress their cause. It’s time.

PARK LA BREA RESIDENT Nevada Dragon skates a sidewalk near an aci c ark.

Movies

(Continued from page 18) ed hand-to-hand combat with bigger and stronger men. But that’s the woke world in which we live, though I still liked the movie. Francis Ford Coppola: Last month, this column misstated the director’s height. He is 5 feet 11 inches tall. Recommended Reading: “Privileged Son: Otis Chandler and the Rise and Fall of the L.A. Times Dynasty,” by Dennis McDougal, tells how the “L.A. Times” and Harry Chandler created Los Angeles (hard to believe, but true); “King and Queen of Malibu,” by David K. Randall, tells about the Rindges — who bought the 25,000+ acre Malibu Rancho in 1892 for $10/acre — and their fight to keep it all private. [Both families had members living in Hancock Park and Windsor Square. —Ed.]


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Number of teens with summer jobs increases in 2022 addition, Heim has also gained skills in customer service that she believes will benefit her in the future. Brand Ambassador Lastly, Kayla Wolovitch, a junior at Larchmont Charter, is spending her summer as a brand ambassador for Salivation Snacks, a locally-owned, keto-friendly company. As a brand ambassador, Wolovitch

goes to different grocery stores and sets up tables, cuts up samples and talks to people about the products. From her job, Wolovitch has gained experience in customer service and has learned how to sell a product. Wolovitch believes having a job is

good practice for adulthood. As summer 2022 begins, it is evident that many teens in the Larchmont area are taking on jobs. Generally, teens are excited about getting to have their own source of income and having the opportunity to learn new skills

at their jobs. Additionally, the opportunity to put a summer job on a college or future job application is especially motivating for teens. Abigail Kestenbaum is a junior at Marlborough and an intern at the Larchmont Chronicle.

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PUPPY TRAINER Lior Ronen works with a dog in her neighborhood.

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“Hamlet” production by The Anteus Company was wellpaced and straight-forward.) Regeneration Which brings us to what “The New York Ledger” called “the Shakespeare effect” (6/4/22). Prescot, a small market town near Liverpool, is one of northern England’s most economically challenged regions. Inspired by the rebuilding of Shakespeare’s Globe in southeast London (and several American regional theaters), civic leaders pushed forward the idea of a theater, the Shakespeare North Playhouse, to turn things around. The energy is now “massive,” one local said, as shops, pubs and other attractions start to open. More important, the presence of a Shakespearean theater will improve the quality of life by promoting local “regeneration” through cultural activities. Considering that nearly 90 years ago, Max Reinhardt’s production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at the Hollywood Bowl helped put Los Angeles on the map (“the Salzburg of the Pacific”), maybe a little cultural regeneration here at home is in order. It can’t hurt!

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ERIN MCKENNA’S BAKERY employee Frida Heim poses at the store.

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By Abigail Kestenbaum What started as training her family friend’s dog became a summer job and a hobby for Lior Ronen, a junior at Marlborough School. Inspired by her love for dogs, Ronen began to train puppies during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, because of her busy schedule upon returning to school inperson for the 2021-2022 school year, Ronen had to put her business on hold until the summer when she would have more free time. Through her summer job, Ronen has had the opportunity to learn how to run her own business and how to manage a social media account to reach the most people. Ronen currently offers hour-long sessions and works with several dogs a week. This summer, beach days and pool parties have been put on hold for the many teens who have elected to take on summer jobs. According to “The New York Times,” teens are being hired at a higher rate than they have been in 15 years. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increasing demand for employees, allowing teens to have a variety of jobs from which to pick, and they are receiving higher pay than in prior years. Summer Camp Angelina Bland, a junior at Marlborough and a Larchmont resident, will be working at Camp Mustang, the division of Marlborough Summer for students entering kindergarten and first grade. To secure a job as a counselor at Marlborough Summer, Bland participated in the competitive application process, for which she had to undergo an interview, obtain recommendation letters and create a resume. Last summer, Bland worked with elderly people, and now is excited to have a job where she will be working with children. Bland decided to take on a job this summer because she wanted to learn how to make and manage her own income, and she believes that working as a camp counselor will give her leadership qualities that will be useful in the future. Bakery Frida Heim, a junior at Larchmont Charter School and Larchmont resident, works at Erin McKenna’s Bakery, a vegan and gluten-free bakery on Larchmont. Heim works as a cashier and often closes up the store, which includes tasks such as sweeping, mopping and setting up the display cases. Although Heim greatly enjoys her job, she has faced several challenges, namely time management and communication. However, Heim explained that one benefit of having a summer job is getting the opportunity to learn these skills earlier on. In

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Keeping your summer travel with children fun and stress-free It’s summer! And many Larchmont families are taking to the air again after a year or two of avoiding flights due to COVID-19. With kids not used to being seated on planes for hours, how can parents help flights be fun and stress-free for all? Here are some great tips for air travel with kids. For little ones traveling for the first time, the experience will be new and exciting. But it can also be a bit overwhelming for some children. Help alleviate uncertainties prior to the trip by reading books about airplane travel and talking about the adventure you’ll be going on. Being a bit familiar with what is happening helps kids feel calm and safe. On travel day, as everyone is getting settled on the plane, a great way to start the trip is

Tips on Parenting by

Casey Russell to talk about what’s going on outside. Watch the luggage being loaded and see if your child can spot your bags. Talk about what different people on the tarmac are doing. See if you can spot planes landing and taking off. Explain what the control tower is and how pilots know it’s their turn to take to the sky. If you take a minute to notice, there’s a lot of fun stuff of interest to kids right outside your window. Non-digital As the flight gets under way, kids are looking for things to do. Of course, screens are the

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new go-to. But I am not a huge fan of hours of screen-time, and I find that plane travel can be an opportunity for more than staring into a digital device. A good rule of thumb for travel with kids is to keep a few toys and activities reserved that are only brought out for travel days. Maybe you have a classic Etch A Sketch toy, some Silly Putty, some invisible pen workbooks or a paint-by-sticker activity book. Perhaps you have a miniset of playing cards or some finger puppets. Things kids don’t often see always seem more exciting and will keep them happily occupied for longer. If you’re up for creatively engaging with your kids during the flight, you can write a story together. I like to bring a bunch of stickers to spread out on my daughter’s tray table. Then, I get out a notebook and pen and say, “Want to help me write a story?” I let my daughter dictate. I write what she says while she sticker-illustrates the pages. This ends up being great fun for both of us. Lacing Cards are a fun activity for the 2- to 4-year-old set. And, for kids between ages 4 and 8, beading activities can be good for seated fun. Think ahead and pack some widehole beads and string and let your kids make presents for the flight attendants, people you’re going to visit or for themselves. Bringing a small new Lego kit for kids ages 6 to 10 can be a great idea. (Just remember to also pack a container that can corral the many pieces.) And, for the older set, a surprise magazine targeted to their latest interests is something that can light up otherwise bored faces. Reading to kids during flights is a great way to connect and pass some time.

Have a Happy Summer! Neville Anderson, MD, FAAP Amaka Priest, MD Courtney Mannino, MD, FAAP

FLYING TO OREGON are Clara and Lucas Valdes.

Before travel day, you can check out some books on tape from one of Larchmont’s local libraries, stop by Chevalier’s Books for a few new picture books or take advantage of one of the many Little Free

NEW COVENANT ACADEMY

By Dale Lee Rising 12th grader It’s finally summer, and that means the start of NCA’s summer enrichment program! Elementary and middle school students are coming in for daily classes and activities. After some basic classes preparing students for next semester, a variety of different clubs such as soccer, weight training, golf, gardening, music, volleyball, basketball and e-sports are offered for the taking. Elementary students will also have the opportunity to attend a variety of field trips to the movies, museums, aquariums and other fun spots. High school students have the opportunity to volunteer as teaching assistants to these clubs and help their little buddies out. Summer is the most important and productive time for high school students. NCA high schoolers are busy taking online courses to earn college credit and our juniors and seniors are busy drawing up their plans for college. Seniors can visit the school to receive one-on-one counseling with their families, readying them for their near-college future. We hope all students can have a wonderful and fun summertime!

By Hank Bauer 12th grade At the end of every year, ESLA holds the Senior Triduum: Baccalaureate service, graduation and, the most beloved of the three, Senior Dinner. Senior Dinner is an outdoor, three-course, evening meal where senior families are given their own tables and served by the parents of the juniors. All throughout the dinner, each student receives a toast by a surprise faculty member who goes up on stage and talks about all the great traits of their respective student. This year, toasts ranged from a series of compliments, to a poem, to just a speech built to capture a student’s nature, all in the name of reminding them how special they are before they leave. It was in this moment that the sentiment of the meal was the most palpable and the most tears were shed. We were also given a toast as an entire grade, by Dr. Yoon-Milner, who did a wonderful job helping us reflect on how far we’ve come and getting us excited for the future. When the meal ended, each senior was given a toolbox full of supplies they might need in preparation for college. By the end of Senior Dinner, each student seemed more ready for graduation and had been reminded that they would always have a community at ESLA.

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Libraries that families in our area have lovingly provided. Travel with kids can seem daunting. But, with a little forethought, it can be really fun. If your family ends up traveling this summer, the Larchmont Chronicle would love to hear about your adventures! Take a photo to share where you’ve been. And, for more tips on life with kids, feel free to send parenting questions to Parent Tips at: casey@larchmontchronicle.com. You can also check out my new parenting book, “The Handbook for Life With Little Ones: Information, ideas and tips for birth to age five,” on Amazon.

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Wilshire Warriors 8U All-Stars win tournament

ALL STARS. Back row: Coaches Aaron Estrada, Jake Greene, Channing Barringer. Front row: Louis Ignacio, Ezra Estrada, Nathan Kuroki Sammons, Jack Barringer, Jesse Holdridge, Nate Ranen, Cameron Greene, Nico Hashimoto, Tyus Applegate, Amar Prakash Khalsa and Bennett Horacek. Not pictured: Coach Jon Blenner and Max Blenner.

Goldie’s ends its season with a ommunit summer ki k o By Nona Sue Friedman Goldie’s Youth Sports (GSY) ended its season with a taco party that was the perfect summer kickoff for local girls and their families. The magical community–building evening, June 5, has been missed the last few years. Friends, teammates and families hung around the front lawn of St. Brendan School. The lawn was filled with picnickers while girls were running around, talking, giggling and playing games. Some 400 people filled their plates high with delicious tacos, rice and beans and drank specialty drinks including agua fresca, hibiscus tea and even beer for the adults. Adults caught up with familiar faces, pals from the neighborhood and work associates. As Alex Dionne of Windsor Square commented

GOOFING AROUND on the field in the front row are Willa Berschneider, Jude Park, Bowie Hall and Quinn Manson. Back row, on left, is Penelope Baron with Rudy Scott in the rear Photo by Sara Chon

GETTING HUGS FROM coach Goldie (Karen Goldberg) are June Wilner of North Ridgewood and her cousin Billie Pappas of Hancock Park. Photo by Anne Wilner

about the event, “I loved it. It’s amazing that Goldie is able to bring all of these folks together and celebrate girls’ basketball.” A big thank you to GSY and coach Goldberg for thinking up such a lovely event. It felt like the good old days.

POSING AFTER their nal game are Hancock Park residents Noelle Park, left, and Saylor Brotherton, right.

Photo by Sara Chon

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Special to the Chronicle Between June 18 and June 20, the Wilshire Warriors 8U “Blue” All-Star Team won four straight games en route to winning the championship of the PONY SoCal Northern Region District Tournament in West Hills. In the championship game against Simi Valley, Wilshire overcame a five-run deficit in the final inning, tying the game on Ezra Estrada’s double to right field before Cameron Greene’s single to left scored Jack Barringer from third base to give the

Warriors a walk-off win. After a slow start, the momentum had begun to shift in favor of the Warriors in the fifth inning when left-fielder Louis Ignacio made a diving catch with the bases loaded, a spectacular play that caused coaches Jake Greene, Channing Barringer and Aaron Estrada to lose their voices simultaneously. The championship was a true team effort as every Warrior scored at least one run during the tournament, and eight different Warriors pitched throughout the

weekend. All of the players on the team played 8U Wilshire Warriors rec baseball throughout the spring, all of their parents volunteered with the league, and everyone is excited to hang the new championship banner at Pan Pacific Park! Visit wilshirewarriors.com

Pool open for summer The pool at Pan Pacific Park is open for swimming and lessons through Labor Day at 141 S. Gardner St. Visit la-parks.org.


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LARCHMONT, NY

SUMMER BOOKS

MUSEUMS

Meeting up with our older sister city on the Atlantic Coast.

Local libraries and stores offer up summer reading programs for kids of all ages.

Donation aids Holocaust Museum’s ‘worldclass’ expansion plan. Page 5

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Real Estate Museums, Libraries Home & Garden

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2

Larchmont Chronicle

JULY 2022

SECTION TWO

Larchmont Boulevard meets Larchmont, New York

By Cerys Davies Barbara and Richard Jebejian found themselves in a place called Larchmont, yet they weren’t in Los Angeles. They reside near La Brea Avenue and Third Street and are usually shopping or dining on Larchmont Boulevard, Los Angeles. But when visiting their son in New York this past spring, they realized there was a Larchmont only a few miles from where he lives. Drawn by curiosity, they had to go and pay Larchmont, New York, a visit. “It was so quaint, and all the people were so neighborly. The only main difference was that it was cloudy,” said Barbara. On the east and west coasts, the Larchmont streets both offer local retail and dining, and both are surrounded by

LARCHMONT CREST. The Village of Larchmont in New York, founded in 1891, has a little more than 6,000 residents.

WITH THE CHRONICLE. Barbara Jebejian is pictured with her husband in front of a Larchmont, New York police car. She brought her own copy of the May edition of the Larchmont Chronicle with her to New York.

older, upscale homes, though the houses in New York’s Larchmont all have their front doors individualized. A big difference between the two communities is that Larchmont, New York, sits on Long Island Sound and has its own yacht club, harbor and access to the beach. “I could definitely live there. The only thing I would need to know was where I could get a good kosher sandwich,” said Richard. Jane Gilman Little did the couple know that the co-founder of the Larchmont Chronicle, Jane

Gilman, grew up in Rye, New York, only eight miles from Larchmont, New York. When Gilman first moved to the Larchmont area in Los Angeles, it reminded her of Rye in so many ways. Once she found out that the area didn’t have a community newspaper, she embarked on the journey of founding the Larchmont Chronicle. With her journalism experience from working at “Cosmopolitan” magazine in New York, she partnered with Dawne Goodwin, and they started gathering local news (Please turn to page 3)

CLASSIC VILLAGE HOME. This colonial style home is a perfect example of what the houses in Larchmont, New York, look like.

MAIN INTERSECTION. Boston Post Road intersects Larchmont Avenue at the most popular area of the district.

LEDGER VERSUS CHRONICLE. Larchmont, New York has three local publications: Larchmont Ledger, Larchmont Loop and Mamaroneck Larchmont Daily Voice.


Larchmont Chronicle

JULY 2022

SECTION TWO

Discovered in San Jacinto Mountains: Aldo Leopold, Part II The San Jacinto Mountains above Palm Springs, California, shoot up 10,804 feet from the desert without, as one writer has it, the geologic fanfare of foothills. I first came in December 2005 to one of its mountain towns, Idyllwild, to try to recover some shred of a self. We, my late husband and I, left a beloved Western Massachusetts town, landscape,

Home Ground by

Paula Panich

house and garden for a particularly congested section of Los Angeles, Miracle Mile. The population of our en-

THE AVENUE. Larchmont Avenue, New York has a French bakery, several coffee shops, an ice cream parlor and, of course, many places to shop.

Larchmont, NY (Continued from page 2)

and advertisers. From Goodwin’s living room, they began the Chronicle in 1963. That year, the proposed Beverly Hills Freeway was threatening to run through Hancock Park, and this was the news that Gilman

and Goodwin needed to get Larchmont’s attention. The first front page of the Chronicle featured this story and grabbed readers’ attention. That first issue helped the duo gain a loyal readership — a readership the Larchmont Chronicle has been proud to serve for 60 years, so far.

tire Massachusetts town was 30,000, probably the population of just our Los Angeles neighborhood. Life in Miracle Mile was bewildering. I returned to Idyllwild for brief stays of writing and hiking and enjoying wood fires. I found a hideaway place to rent just above the center of Idyllwild in Fern Valley. It was a bit crude — a 1940s-era garage converted, barely, into a 400-square-foot dwelling. The rent was $500 a month, including utilities. I wrote quite a bit in that old garage, and I read even more. Early on, it was without internet connection, and my cell phone didn’t work. (I did have an extension of my landlord’s telephone, for emergencies.) The non-connectivity was a godsend. Among the books I kept there was Aldo Leopold’s “Sand Country Almanac.” With only the distraction of pine trees, almost black in their density; Strawberry Creek, at the bottom of the property, hardly a raging stream and where strawberries disappeared long ago; mule deer, visiting in families and prancing and leaping like gazelles; Stellar’s Jays, clothed in brilliant blue; and once or twice,

“THINKING LIKE a Mountain” was a favorite essay by Aldo Leopold, who died in 1948.

a beautifully-muscled bobcat, with attitude one could read from the moon, I settled down to think and write. But — the pines. The tall pines hid my garage-cabin from the dead-end dirt road, and the presence of the pines, as Leopold has it, allowed me, as they did him, to feel “a curious transfusion of courage.” I read Leopold’s essay “Thinking Like a Mountain,” (a part of the “Almanac”) in that tiny place in Fern Valley. Leopold felt that all of the elements of the natural world had force, personality, meaning and importance equal to that of our own species. The land is an “energy circuit,” he writes; it is not “merely soil.” “Native plants and animals keep the energy circuit open… and man-made changes are of a different order than evolutionary changes and have effects more comprehensive than is

3

intended or foreseen.” This was news in 1949. “Thinking Like a Mountain” took my breath away. I shall never forget that moment — the open book before me, the gathering dusk and my innocence in not understanding then that Leopold is most famous for this section of the “Almanac.” Here is that famous opening — and our closing for this month: “A deep chesty bawl emerges from rimrock to rimrock, rolls down the mountain, and fades into the far blackness of the night. It is an outburst of wild defiant sorrow, and of contempt for all the adversities of the world. “Every living thing… pays heed to that call. To the deer it is a reminder of the way of all flesh, to the pine a forecast of midnight scuffles and of blood upon the snow, to the coyote a promise of gleanings to come, to the cowman a threat of red ink at the bank, to the hunter a challenge of fang against bullet. Yet behind these obvious and immediate hopes and fears there lies a deeper meaning, known only to the mountain itself. Only the mountain has lived long enough to listen objectively to the howl of the wolf.”


4

Larchmont Chronicle

JULY 2022

SECTION TWO

Fanny’s launches monthly ‘Hello Gorgeous’ Supper Club By Helene Seifer In keeping with old Hollywood glamour, the Academy Museum has established Hello Gorgeous, a throwback supper club. Featuring the plush red seating and soft lighting in Fanny’s restaurant, the club’s organizer plans to entertain guests monthly with elegant prix-fixe meals from chef Raphael Francois and live music curated by music producer/ director Jason Bentley. Named to honor the line that Barbra Streisand made famous in “Funny Girl,” the 1968 movie about comedienne and vaudevillian Fanny Brice, Hello Gorgeous hits the right cheeky tone to signal timeliness without stuffiness. The series kicked off in June with singer/songwriter Danielle Ponder, fresh from her knockout appearance on “Late Night with Seth Meyers.” The event sold out its available 150 tickets. There are three ticket tiers, from $50 per person at the

FANNY’S restaurant is at the Academy Museum.

bar, with food and beverage separate, to $200 per person at table seating with full dinner and drinks. Reservations are required. The next Hel-

lo Gorgeous evening will be scheduled for the end of July. For tickets and more information, go to exploretock. com/fannys.

Yoga, Reiki at retreat July 17 on Blvd. A movement, sound and energy medicine retreat with yogi Anita Mawji and Urban Sanctuary’s Michelle Watkins will take place on Sun., July 17 from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Center for Yoga, 230 N.

Larchmont Blvd. Yoga, meditation, Reiki and a sound bath will be included in the retreat. All levels are welcome. $75. For more information or to sign up, michelle@urbansanctuaryllc.com.

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KELLER WILLIAMS® LARCHMONT 118 N. Larchmont Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90004 Each office is independently owned and operated

Donating clothes for the homeless? Please call me!

“HELLO GORGEOUS” supper club is held in Academy Museum restaurant’s plush dining room.

Illustration by Konstantin Kakanias

Hand-sewn books and more at Craft Contemporary

The Craft Contemporary Museum, at 5814 Wilshire Blvd., recently reopened and is back to providing in-person programs and workshops for the community. “Maker Night: Bookmaking with Debra Disman” is on Thurs. July 7, from 6 to 8 p.m. The workshop is free for members and $12 for non-members. Disman will lead participants in several different bookmaking techniques, such as paper punching and sewing to customize attendees’ very own hand-sewn books. “A Craft Lab Family Workshop featuring Botanical

Light Printing with Simone Evans” is on Sun., July 10 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Families are invited to learn about the art of cyanotype printing which uses sunlight to print botanical images on paper. This event is free to members, $10 for adults and $7 for children who are non-members. Senior Exhibitions Curator Holly Jerger will be hosting an exhibition walk-through of “Many” on Sun., July 17 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The exhibition features 12 different Los Angeles-based artists. For more information or to register for these workshops, visit craftcontemporary.org.


Larchmont Chronicle

JULY 2022

SECTION TWO

5

Holocaust Museum receives $5 million and community support

By Abigail Kestenbaum Holocaust Museum LA has received a $5 million grant from The Smidt Foundation that will help to further the Museum’s expansion project that will double its size to 50,000 square feet. Holocaust Museum LA is not the only institution in the area that the Smidts have supported. In 2016, Susan and Eric Smidt donated $25 million to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, helping to fund its new building, to open in 2023. Robin Kramer, managing director of The Smidt Foundation and a Windor Square resident, stressed the importance of the Larchmont community in supporting the Holocaust Museum. “We are neighbors of the museum, and it of us, and we ought to take great pride and be supportive of our neighbor,” Kramer said. For years, the museum has continued to provide education and programming, giving local residents the opportunity to learn about the Holocaust and how to stand up to hatred and bigotry. “The Smidt Foundation made this incredible gift, this important gift, not only out of a conviction that education and exposure is the best

THE SMIDT FOUNDATION’S founders are Susan and Eric Smidt.

way to address hate and build humanity, but also because this museum was built by Holocaust survivors, it’s local and it has a really important place in the life of our whole community,” Kramer said. Beth Kean, chief executive officer of the museum, explained that The Smidt Foundation’s donation has inspired others to give, helping the Museum near its goal for the expansion. “I think when people see well-respected philanthropic leaders in the community make an investment in an organization and a project like this, it makes them want to get involved and be part of it; so that inspiration is lead-

NEW GALLERY, theater, classrooms and outdoor spaces will be built to the south of Holocaust Rendering courtesy of Holocaust Museum LA Museum LA’s existing facilities.

ing to more gifts, and that’s how we’re getting closer to our goal,” Kean said. Building Truth Holocaust Museum LA, the oldest and first-ever survivor-founded Holocaust Museum in the United States, is currently working on its “Building Truth” expansion project, which is to be completed by 2024. The museum is hoping to break ground on the expansion by the end of 2022 and is 80% of the way towards its goal of raising $45 million. The Smidt Foundation has pledged to match gifts 2:1, up to $2.5

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million, through the “Tree of Life Challenge.” The donation from The Smidt Foundation is the largest the Museum has ever received from a family or foundation that doesn’t have familial connections to the Holocaust or the founders of the Museum. The expansion project will allow it to increase not only its physical footprint, but also its reach. “We want to be looked at as leaders in Holocaust education, and we’re really building a world class institution to go along with that,” Kean said. “We want to be a huge asset

in the community and be a safe space where people can come together for difficult conversations.” The expansion in Pan Pacific Park will include a 2,500-square-foot gallery, outdoor spaces for reflection, a 200-seat theater, classrooms and a Boxcar Pavilion, in which a train boxcar that transported people to death camps will be displayed. “The expansion is about the future, and the whole point is to make sure that survivors’ voices are being carried on for future generations,” Kean concluded.

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6

Larchmont Chronicle

JULY 2022

SECTION TWO

New plantings beautify Barnsdall’s grove at historic Olive Hill By Cerys Davies Barnsdall Art Park welcomed 40 new olive trees to Olive Hill on June 16 with the help of the Los Angeles Parks Foundation, Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, the Los Angeles Dept. of Recreation and Parks and the Dept. of Cultural Affairs. Barnsdall Park is an 11.5acre cultural destination in East Hollywood. It is the location of Hollyhock House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. It is Los Angeles’ only UNESCO World Heritage Site. The private Barnsdall Art Park Foundation (BAPF) raised $33,000 to plant and care for the new trees. BAPF hopes that the new plantings will help preserve the historic olive grove that has existed since the 1890s, improve the air quality of the East Hollywood community and further support the tree planting goals of Los Angeles’ Green New Deal. Why olive trees? Prior to the building of Hollyhock House, there was an olive grove on this hill full of thousands of trees. When Aline Barnsdall purchased the 32 acres for her residence, architect Wright made sure to include the olive grove as part of the landscape. But when Barnsdall died and her property was subdivided and portions sold, many olive trees were destroyed. In 1992, there were only 90 of the once thousands of trees left. So planting got underway. The current Olive Grove Initiative began in 2021 with improvements to the irrigation system, pruning of the now-463 olive trees and removal of dead stumps. Donors and attendees The June 2022 planting ceremony included O’Farrell

PRESS SCRUM on Barnsdall Park’s Olive Hill reports on the commencement of planting for 40 new olive trees. Griffith Park and Observatory are in the far background.

in addition to: Lauren Blas, vice president of Barnsdall Art Park Foundation; Carolyn Ramsay, executive director of the Los Angeles Parks Foundation; Daniel Tarica, interim general manager at the Dept. of Cultural Affairs; Abbey Chamberlain Brach, Hollyhock House curator for the Dept. of Cultural Affairs; Javier Solis, assistant general manager of the Dept. of Recreation and Parks; and tree donor Nathan Miller, CEO of Miller Ink. Among those in the audi-

ence was architect Michael Lehrer, FAIA, who worked on the master plan for the park 26 years ago. Lehrer was particularly moved at the olive tree planting because he had come to Olive Hill and the Junior Arts Center as a child to take art classes. He remembered fondly Mrs. Harriet Miller, who directed the Center for years, and who was the grandmother of speaker Nathan Miller, who accepted recognition at the ceremony on behalf of all of them. Learn more at barnsdall.org.

Metro street construction to continue on Wilshire Boulevard Metro’s contractor, Skanska Traylor Shea, has finished the decking removal and street restoration on Wilshire Boulevard between Highland and La Brea avenues two weeks ahead of schedule. Permanent curb and gutter restoration will continue in the same area. Construction will carry on at the station entrance on the northwest corner of Wilshire and La Brea through September. Wilshire will be narrowed to two lanes in each direction between Detroit Street and Orange Drive. To the west, in the Wilshire/

Fairfax area, crews will be working underground on appendage structures next to that future subway station. On the surface, lanes potentially may be closed on eastbound Wilshire between La Cienaga Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue from 9 p.m. on Fridays to 6 a.m. on Mondays. This construction is for the extension of the Metro Purple Line from Wilshire/Western to new stations in the cities of Los Angeles and Beverly Hills. For information, contact Metro Purple Line Extension project at 213-922-6934 or visit metro.net.

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Compass is a real estate broker licensed by the State of California and abides by Equal Housing Opportunity lows. License Number 01991628. All material presented herein is intended for informational purposes only and is compiled from sources deemed reliable but hos not been verified. Changes in price. condition. sole or withdrawal may be mode without notice. No statement is mode as to accuracy of any description. All measurements and square footage ore approximate. If your property is currently listed for sole this is not o solicitation.

THE HOLLYHOCK was Aline Barnsdall’s favorite flower. Architect Frank Lloyd Wright created stylized representations of the plant throughout Hollyhock House. Above, one of the many hollyhocks in bloom on the site.

SOLD: The home at 545 Lillian Way in Hancock Park was sold for $2,435,000 in May 2022.

Real Estate Sales* Single-family homes

637 S. Lucerne Blvd. 348 S. Arden Blvd. 89 Fremont Pl. 310 S. Irving Blvd. 552 Wilcox Ave. 401 N. Martel Ave. 621 N. June St. 458 S. Mansfield Ave. 886 S. Victoria Ave. 601 N. Alta Vista Blvd. 109 N. Highland Ave. 547 N. Arden Blvd. 5017 Elmwood Ave. 637 N. Stanley Ave. 545 Lillian Way 851 Masselin Ave. 607 N. Citrus Ave. 623 N. Fuller Ave. 639 N. McCadden Pl. 858 Westchester Pl. 413 S. Mansfield Ave. 309 N. Arden Blvd. 836 S. Spaulding Ave. 956 4th Ave. 958 5th Ave.

$7,200,000 $6,950,000 $6,567,802 $5,895,000 $4,170,000 $4,050,000 $3,780,000 $3,650,000 $3,350,000 $3,150,000 $2,600,000 $2,600,000 $2,600,000 $2,512,155 $2,435,000 $2,200,000 $2,174,000 $2,170,000 $2,110,000 $2,000,000 $1,976,000 $1,810,000 $1,699,000 $1,419,850 $1,253,000

116 1/2 N. Sycamore Ave. 600 S. Ridgeley Dr., #103 5057 Maplewood Ave., #303 5037 Rosewood Ave., #301 835 S. Lucerne Blvd., #105 450 N. Sycamore Ave., #17 4830 Elmwood Ave., #204 647 Wilcox Ave., #2E 4822 Elmwood Ave., #101 651 Wilcox Ave., #2B 4822 Elmwood Ave., #202 358 S. Gramercy Pl., #203 532 N. Rossmore Ave., #208

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Condominiums

*Sale prices for May.


Larchmont Chronicle

JULY 2022

SECTION TWO

7

HOLA performed season finale at its new home, The Ebell

multicultural, multigenerational intermediate and high-level volunteer musicians — from 9 to 75+ year-olds — and have provided free community performances in our inaugural year across Los Angeles,” said Marielle Constantino, coordinator of the program. On stage for the June 25 pe r f o r man ce, Grand World Symphonies, was Larchmont Chronicle theater reviewer Louis Fantasia. He plays double CHRONICLE THEATER CRITIC Louis Fantasia, bass with the above at The Ebell, moonlights as a musician. orchestra. HOLA (Heart of Los Angeles) Eisner Intergenerational Orchestra held the finale concert of its historic inaugural season June 25 at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre. The theater is the permanent indoor home for the orchestra’s signature performances. “We include one-of-a-kind,

We invite you to take the Larchmont Chronicle with you on your next trip and to snap a photo. Send your picture to editorial@larchmontchronicle.com with your name and local neighborhood, and we might publish it in a future issue. Happy traveling!

A BABY GOAT kept Windsor Square resident Mark Feuerstein’s hands full at Ocean Mesa campground at El Capitan in Santa Barbara.

Report ranks CHLA among top 10 Sign up for field trips, dinner with Big Sunday Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) was among top hospitals named for pediatric care and specialty services in the “U.S. News & World Report” 2022-23 Best Children’s Hospitals list. “U.S. News” has again ranked CHLA as the top children’s hospital in both California and the survey’s Pacific U.S. region — which encompasses Alaska, Cali-

fornia, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington. For the 14th consecutive year, CHLA also made the publication’s annual Honor Roll of Best Children’s Hospitals. The hospital has been included every year since the Roll’s inception — finishing No. 8 in the United States this year. CHLA, founded in 1901, is at 4650 Sunset Blvd.

By Abigail Kestenbaum Throughout July and August, Big Sunday will host a number of events to aid the underserved community and help others give back. One of its most popular programs, TM@10 is Thursday mornings from 10 to 11:30 a.m. TM@10 attendees will participate in a different hands-on workshop each week in support of a local

nonprofit. To sign up, visit bigsunday.org. Beginning Fri., July 8, Big Sunday will host Friday Field Trips for the underserved community. To volunteer email naia@bigsunday.org. Prior to the 2022-2023 school year getting underway, Big Sunday will be donating school supplies to children in need. The Back-to-School Night and Community Din-

ner will take place Wed., Aug. 10, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. At the dinner, guests will fill backpacks with school supplies. Additionally, other back-toschool events will lead up to the dinner. These events take place at the Big Sunday office at 6111 Melrose Ave. The annual Big Sunday Summer List is available at thesummerlist.bigsunday. org.


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Larchmont Chronicle

JULY 2022

SECTION TWO

LIBRARY CALENDAR

Discover sword fighting, book talks, reptiles and DIY crafts

FAIRFAX LIBRARY All ages Book Sale: Browse used books every Wednesday from noon to 4 p.m. All sales support the library branch. FREMONT LIBRARY Children Lifestyles of the slimy and squishy: Experience live sea stars, sea urchins, hermit crabs, mussels and more on Sat., July 30 from 10:30 to 11:15 a.m. Teens Mug and plate decorating: Embellish your own plate or mug with Sharpies on Sat., July 23 from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. All supplies are provided. Registration required; email jcfrmt@lapl.org or call 323962-3521. Adults DIY catchall dishes: Create a personal dish for your

keys and various other odds and ends on Sat., July 9 from 11 a.m. to noon. Registration required; email jcfrmt@lapl. org or call 323-962-3521. MEMORIAL LIBRARY Children Story time in the park: Drop in and listen to stories and sing songs in the park every Wednesday from 10:30 to 11 a.m. Thor's reptile family: Touch and learn about amphibians and reptiles from around the world on Wed., July 13 from 1 to 2 p.m. Teens Zine making: Put your thoughts to paper and learn how to make your own self-published work. All supplies are provided for the workshop on Thurs., July 7 from 4 to 5 p.m. Jewelry making: Design

your own bracelet or necklace with upcycled materials provided by jewelry designer Seville, Thurs., July 14 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Tie dye bandanas: Learn the art and science of tie dye while creating a bandana to take home. This messy event takes place Thurs., July 28 from 4 to 5 p.m. Adults Book club: Get together the first Friday of each month to discuss a selected book. Next meeting is July 1 at 1 p.m. to discuss "Something to Hide" by Elizabeth George. Art class: Be artistic every Wednesday at the library and color and paint from 3 to 5 p.m. All ages Chess Club: Play chess or learn how every Friday from 3 to 5 p.m., Free. Book Sale: Find a good book to purchase every Tuesday from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. and every Saturday from 4 to 5 p.m. All proceeds support the library. WILSHIRE LIBRARY

All ages Sword fighting for stage and screen: Watch staged combat fencing and discover the history of swords and how sword fights are created for theater and film. Sat., July 23 from 2 to 3 p.m. Children Weekly Summer Reading Challenge: Meet every Tuesday from 4 to 5 p.m. during the month of July, July 5 is

chalk art, July 12 is learning about the aurora borealis, July 19 see a slideshow about skateboarding dogs and snowboarding cats and on July 26 learn about Fibonacci artwork. Children & Teens Mug decorating: Personalize a mug with a drawing or saying on Thurs., July 7 from 4 to 5 p.m. All supplies provided.

Barnes & Noble gets kids reading

By Casey Russell Barnes & Noble is getting kids excited to read this summer. Children in grades one through six are eligible to receive a free book from any location including at The Grove, 189 The Grove Drive, by completing the store’s summer reading journal. The task? Read any eight books, record their titles and

authors, write down which part of the book is your favorite, and why, according to the company’s website. Once the journal is complete, kids can take it to the store through Aug. 31, 2022 to choose a book from the available options. Visit bn.com/summerreading for more information or to download the journal.

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Larchmont Chronicle

JULY 2022

SECTION TWO

9

Larchmont plays a rich role in memoir By Helene Seifer “I am not a nice person.” So begins “Easy Street: A Story of Redemption from Myself,” the second memoir from Hancock Park writer Maggie Rowe. From that beginning, the co-

medic television and memoir writer takes us on a sad, funny and complicated journey up and down the Boulevard, from the now-defunct Koo Koo Roo to Chevalier’s Books. Her husband, television writer

CHEVALIER’S STORYTIME is on Sundays.

Summer reading on Larchmont By Casey Russell Parents and caregivers will be happy to know that Chevalier’s Books at 133 N. Larchmont Blvd. has a weekly storytime Sundays from 10:30 to 11:15 a.m. The bookstore’s neighbor, Village Pizzeria, is kindly letting storytime patrons gather in its outdoor dining area so kids can be unmasked. Enjoy a sense of community while listening to some great picture books read aloud by

Chevalier’s friendly staff. For kids of all ages, Chevalier’s is offering a summer reading challenge. Stop by the store to get a Camp Chevalier’s poster. Kids can jot down the books they read on the poster’s “camp path” and will receive rewards to mark their progress. Participants who read a full 25 books will be invited to an end-ofsummer ice cream party! For more information, go to: instagram.com/chevaliersbooks

Jim Vallely, gets haircuts at the Larchmont Barber Shop. Rowe buys plums at Larchmont Wine & Cheese and coffee at Starbucks and she mentions that Bellacures serves champagne in tiny mason jars with one’s manicure. She loves everything about Larchmont. “Unlike the town squares of other more affluent Los Angeles enclaves like Beverly Hills or Malibu or Pacific Palisades, whose main streets are sleek and shiny and golden and glittering and you worry about scuffing the sidewalks with your shoes… Larchmont’s wealth is hidden away in the distressed wooden floors of its shops, in the mismatched pottery of its homey restaurants and in the rickety wrought iron chairs that wobble on its sidewalks. Larchmont people don’t want to be reminded they’re rich while having the experience of being rich. That would ruin it.” Maggie Rowe knows she has a wonderful life on “Easy Street,” yet it’s anything but easy for her. In spite of her seeming contentment, Rowe falls apart when she sees a mother lead her daughter to Salt & Straw for ice cream. She never, ever wanted a child, but she can’t bear to witness a mother taking

Summer reading is on Larchmont

HANCOCK PARK Maggie Rowe.

author

Photo by Bradford Rogne

ROWE’S MEMOIR centered on Larchmont Boulevard.

her child for a treat. Her therapist’s office is above Burger Lounge and it’s a good thing that it’s so convenient given that Rowe is a bundle of resentments, unhappiness and obsessive-compulsive disorder. She and her husband’s lives change when he strikes up a conversation in front of Koo Koo Roo with a pan-handling older woman, Sunny, and her neurodiverse middle-aged daughter, Joanna Hergert. Soon Jim, and then Maggie, lunch with Sunny and Joanna and even invite the duo to their home to watch a marathon of the series Jim wrote, “Golden Girls” — which is their favorite — and

to swim on hot days. Rowe tried getting involved with charities in the past, but never stayed with it. Helping the mother-daughter team, in spite of misgivings, became a mission. When Sunny died, Maggie and her husband first helped Joanna get placement at the Good Shepherd center, then an apartment for which Maggie and Jim help pay. Rowe still would claim she isn’t a nice person, but between bouts of mental illness and doubt, she proves herself to be one. Rowe’s memoir is 320 pages and was published recently by Counterpoint. It can be purchased through counterpointpress.com.


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Larchmont Chronicle

JULY 2022

SECTION TWO

An update to The Silent Movie Theater saga — Brain Dead

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million. Christian Rodriguez was hired by Van Sickle for $30,000 to kill Austin and the concession stand worker and to make the scene look like a robbery. Both Sickle and Rodriguez were sentenced to life in prison. Next, the Cinefamily nonprofit organization leased and reopened the theater in 2007 but had to shut it down 10 years later due to allegations of sexual harassment and mistreatment of employees. The building’s owners then decided to reopen the 163seat theater themselves as the Fairfax Cinema. It debuted in December of 2019 but then had to shut down in March 2020 due to COVID-19. In October of 2020, Brain Dead swooped in, took over the space and completely reformatted it. Every month, Brain Dead Studios releases a calendar of movie screenings that relate to a specific theme. Tickets are $12, and the experience is worth every cent. The venue maintains the feeling of being at an old-time theater while remaining one of the coolest places on Fairfax. It is perfectly decorated with classic movie posters throughout the lobby and an abundance of neon signage. It is the type of theater to sell yerba mate teas at the concession stand while the screen still remains behind curtains, unlike many modern theaters. Despite the history of unfortunate luck, Brain Dead is providing something that the previous owners did not: a full experience. Before, the theater was simply a silent movie theater; now it is one of the most unique spaces on Fairfax, if not in the city. Whether you are stopping by for a mov-

MUCH MORE THAN A CRIME SCENE. Brain Dead Studios has evolved past its notorious history and beginnings as a silent movie theater.

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was opened in 1942 by John Hampton, who had a passion for silent films. He and his wife lived in the apartment above the theater and exclusively screened silent films for 40 years. It closed in 1980 due to low attendance, and Hampton died in 1990. Lawrence Austin, a friend of the Hamptons, reopened the theater in 1991. At the time, it was the only operating silent movie theater in the country. Austin remained the owner of the theater until 1997. In January of 1997, he was murdered during a movie showing. The murder The man behind his murder was James Van Sickle, the theater’s projectionist and Austin’s lover. He was also named the sole beneficiary to Austin’s estate that was valued at more than $1

© LC 0120

By Cerys Davies Since before World War II, the building at 611 N. Fairfax Ave. has been a haven for movie fanatics. With a history including murder and controversy, this theater is now much more than just a theater. It has become a place where people with trendy mustaches and vintage graphic T-shirts congregate, thanks to Brain Dead. Brain Dead is a streetwear clothing brand that has re-envisioned the Silent Movie Theater. Brain Dead Studios inhabits the theater and plays a wide variety of curated movies. Above the theater, streetwear enthusiasts can shop the Brain Dead clothing line, and foodies can dine at Slammer’s Cafe located in the back patio. The origin The theater originally


Larchmont Chronicle

JULY 2022

SECTION TWO

11

070 Shake shakes up the crowd at historic El Rey Theatre

By Cerys Davies From the red velvet curtains that conceal the stage to the crystal chandeliers that hang from the ceiling, the El Rey Theatre captures the essence of old Hollywood glamour with a touch of modernity. The El Rey lives in the heart of Miracle Mile, at 5155 Wilshire Blvd. The well-preserved art deco exterior may seem familiar to some, as it has appeared in movies such as “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” and “Night of the Comet.” This exterior provides some historic context for the concertgoers who habituate this venue. The El Rey opened in 1936 and functioned as a single-screen movie theater until 1994, when it became a concert venue. Recently, New Jersey singer-songwriter Danielle Balbuena, who goes by the name 070 Shake, performed four consecutive nights at the El Rey, from June 7 to 10. She brought an immense amount of energy to Wilshire Boulevard as she had released her second studio album, “You Can’t Kill Me,” a few days prior. With an emphasis on electronic beats and heavy bass,

070 Shake’s music is an experimental combination of rap and R&B. Her most recent releases touch on her ideas of spirituality and romance. With her deep, echoing vocals and emotional lyrics, she has a way of transporting listeners into her very own world. As a performer, 070 Shake gives off an aura of being effortlessly cool. In a traditional suit with her face almost covered by her curly hair, she is the sole person onstage with just a microphone and lights set up behind her. Despite her DJ being offstage, 070 Shake makes the stage come alive. Throughout the June 7 show, she often stopped the music from playing and continued singing a capella or even began to beatbox. During her many rhythmic ballads, 070 Shake put the audience in a trance while slowly moving melodically to her beats. As the ringleader of the crowd, she incited a mosh pit within the crowd during her more intense songs. Even without the prompting of 070 Shake, the crowd was rowdy in the best way. Everyone in the venue sang along and moved to every beat. This type of bond and dedication

SHINING FOR 85 YEARS. Since 1936, names of movies and artists from everywhere have been displayed on the El Rey marquee on Wilshire.

between a crowd and a performer is one that can make or break a show. The June 7 crowd truly experienced the best kind of live music, where the audience is fully engaged

with the artist. 070 Shake definitely delivered. Intimate venue The El Rey allowed 070 Shake to put on a show to the best of her ability. The

size of the venue made the show feel intimate and small, while enabling the audience to experience the energy that comes with being in a crowd. Parking at the El Rey is always difficult, as street parking is the easiest option, and there are only a few surrounding streets that allow parking. Factor in time to find parking when attending a show at the El Rey. Because of its location, there are lots of places to get dinner before a show. Connected to the El Rey itself is El Cartel, the perfect Mexican restaurant for a quick meal. Or just across the street, Yuko’s Kitchen is a small Japanese restaurant with great outdoor seating that is perfect for lounging and enjoying the company of friends before a show.

La Brea Tar Pits video festival premieres July 22 Museum goers and videographers come together Fri., July 22 from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. for “Fossilized and Realized: Tar Pits Video Festival,” a free event at the La Brea Tar Pits museum, 5801 Wilshire Blvd. The museum is partnering with the Getty Foundation as part of “Pacific Standard Time

2024: Art x Science x L.A.” (PST). It is a series of different exhibits and public programs exploring past and present connections between art and science. As part of this event, the museum invited the public to create minute-long videos that celebrate the Tar Pits. A

few of these submissions will be screened at the event, and the selected video makers will qualify to win a casting of a saber-toothed cat skull. Alongside the selected submissions, a new film about the Tar Pits made by Nic Cha Kim, host and moderator, will (Please turn to page 15)


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Larchmont Chronicle

JULY 2022

SECTION TWO

Primary election results evolved weekly following June 7

ELECTION NIGHT HEADQUARTERS for the Caruso for Mayor campaign was right in the neighborhood, at The Grove. Media interest was intense.

contest with nine candidates seeking to become the next Mayor of Los Angeles, there was a definite local aspect on election night because the event for candidate Rick Caruso was held at The Grove. As the polls were closing, Caruso was ahead of all of his competitors, including U.S. House of Representatives member Karen Bass. (It had been clear to most people for a long time that the November 8 runoff would be between those two candidates.) However, in the weeks following June 7, there has been additional drama because

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the lead changed. As of press time, with the vote count still not final, Bass was ahead with 43.12 percent of the votes cast, and Caruso had 35.99 percent. Regardless, those top two votegetters, Bass and Caruso, will face one another on the November 8 ballot. At the moment, it appears that all of the candidates, as well as us voters, are getting a temporary respite, but we probably should be prepared to hear real, two-person debates on the issues as we get into the fall.

SUPPORTERS of 5th Council District candidate Sam Yebri were at his headquarters near Beverly and Fairfax.

PARTYGOERS watched early election results with Katy Young Yaroslavsky at All Season Brewing in the 84-year-old Firestone Tire building on La Brea Avenue adjoining Sycamore Square.

Casting my vote, or trying to, in June By Tom Hofer On Monday afternoon, June 6, I was sitting comfortably in my apartment with my mail-in ballot, marking my preferred candidates in anticipation of voting in-person the next day. As I filled in the last dot on the final page, I took a satisfied breath — until I realized I hadn’t marked anything for the City of Los Angeles mayor’s race. I went back through the mail-in ballot, assuming I had somehow missed that section. And … no, I hadn’t. It wasn’t there. I immediately texted a good friend who lived close by, and asked him where the mayor’s race was on his ballot. “Page 2,” he replied. That’s odd; it wasn’t, on mine. I then scanned my sample ballot as well as other mailed election material piled next to me on the couch, including

a postcard making recommendations for Culver City residents — which of course excluded the Los Angeles mayor’s race. I should mention here that I live in that little pocket of Mar Vista that is surrounded on three sides by Culver City, including immediately across the street, but which has been part of Los Angeles as long as I’ve lived here — 20 years! Slightly concerned, I assumed that all would be made clear or corrected when I went to the polling place the

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following day. On Tuesday, I was welcomed by friendly masked faces thanking me for voting and preparing to make my visit hassle-free. I warned the gentleman scanning the code on my ballot envelope that none of my official literature included the mayor’s race. He found that odd, since he lived in my same ZIP Code, and he wished me luck in the voting booth. Off I went, going through the same motions I had the previous day, only this time making (Please turn to page 13)

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By John Welborne The most local of myriad primary elections that took place on June 7 were for two City Council offices. Each of those two Council Districts has a voting population ranging from approximately 150,000 to 190,000 people. In Council District 5, Paul Koretz is termed out, and he is running to become the next City Controller. Of the four candidates seeking his seat, the two finalists for the November 8 runoff election are Katy Young Yaroslavsky and Sam Yebri. As of press time, Yaroslavsky had received 28,017 votes, and Yebri had received 16,975 votes (of the total of 57,204 votes cast). In neighboring Council District 13, there were four challengers to the incumbent, Mitch O’Farrell. The runoff will be between O’Farrell and Hugo Soto-Martinez. On June 7, the top two vote-getters were Soto-Martinez, who received 19,173 votes, and O’Farrell, who received 14,935 votes. Another 13,082 votes (of the total of 47,190 votes cast) were distributed among the other three challengers to O’Farrell. Although it was a citywide


Larchmont Chronicle

JULY 2022

SECTION TWO

Trying to vote

Local Candidates for November 8, 2022 Election

(Continued from page 12) a true impact with my vote — and I came to the last page of the electronic ballot and again had not been given the chance to vote for mayor. I stepped away from the booth, my ballot un-cast, and a poll worker quickly came by to help — assuming I was unfamiliar with the next step in the voting procedure. Long story short, we destroyed that ballot; a supervisor put in a call to the County Registrar facility in Norwalk; I was given a phone number to call to straighten out my situation; and I went home disappointed. The number I was given was a 10-digit version of 311, and after 20 minutes on hold, I told my problem to someone who gave me a new phone number to call, which turned out to be the County Registrar’s office itself. Great! Progress! I explained myself to the lady on the other end of the line: I live in Mar Vista, not Culver City. My official address is in Los Angeles, with a Los Angeles ZIP Code. My ballot — as well as those of my neighbors in my apartment building — for some reason does not include the mayor’s race nor, come to think of it, the race for my council district representative. “What do I have to do to get a ballot that includes the Los Angeles mayor’s race?” Her answer consisted of one word: “Move.” With my address entered into her computer, she informed me that, somehow, based on the most recent census data (and her perceived lack of census-completion by my neighbors), my neighborhood was now con-

13

* as of June 24, 2022

Mayor Karen Bass

Rick Caruso

City Council District 5 Katy Young Yaroslavsky

Sam Yebri

City Council District 13 Purple area shows Los Angeles Council District 11. White area is Culver City. Map courtesy of the Los Angeles County Registrar

sidered part of Culver City in some jurisdictions and for some services or utilities, and part of Los Angeles for others. “There are some areas in Los Angeles that aren’t eligible to vote,” she basically told me. I obviously wasn’t going to get this straightened out in time to cast an accurate ballot, so I went back to vote in-person as best as I could. Back home, I quickly tracked down my Los Angeles city councilmember, Mike Bonin, through Facebook. I messaged him to let him know that his constituents were unable to vote for his seat or for mayor, even though Bonin lives just a few minutes away from me. To my surprise, Bonin replied within the hour, agreeing that my situation was indeed strange. He checked city records and confirmed that my neighborhood was definitely included as part of Los Angeles in ZIMAS, the city’s online database and, yet, my neighbors and I were not listed in his district’s “voter file.” The councilmember suggested that the county made an error in drawing its precinct maps, and he told me he would reach out to the County.

Z

When next I heard from him, he said he learned that the County Registrar’s personnel were still busy counting ballots, but that he and they would be in contact again. My last report from Councilmember Bonin came on June 18, when he told me: “The Registrar confirms you and I were both right, and you and a few households were misassigned as not being in Los Angeles. They say they fixed the maps and records.” He also provided me with the email address for County Registrar Dean Logan, so I wrote. In response to a few questions that I posed to him, Mr. Logan said, “I can tell you that the situation was very narrow and limited. Unfortunately, it occurred during the redistricting process. As soon as it was identified, it was corrected, and we appreciate you and the Councilmember bringing it to our attention.” Tom Hofer is the Larchmont Chronicle’s Art Director.

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Larchmont Chronicle

JULY 2022

SECTION TWO

POLICE BEAT

Gunman at Beverly Blvd. and La Brea Ave. frightens residents

WILSHIRE DIVISION SHOOTOUT: An active shooter scared construction workers and residents on June 17 around 9:30 a.m. near the intersection of Beverly Boulevard and La Brea Avenue. A Black male in his 30s pointed a gun at construction workers and then started walking around the area. The suspect went in and out of businesses and onto numerous apartment porches and fired at a moving vehicle without injury. When police arrived, the suspect fired at the officers. LAPD fired back, and the suspect fled. After scouring the neighborhood, LAPD found and apprehended the suspect, who was hospitalized with non life-threatening injuries. OLYMPIC DIVISION ROBBERY: A male and female, both 18, were approached by two Black minors while the couple was walking south on Norton Avenue near Ingraham Street on June 13 at 10 p.m. The minors, 15 to 17 years old, approached the victims

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and asked, “Where are you from? Do you bang?” Then, one of the suspects pulled out a matte black revolver, held it against the male victim’s chest and demanded his property. Fearful, both victims gave the suspect their wallets, jewelry and cell phones. The victims were then told to turn around so they could not see the suspects leave the location. BURGLARIES: A male and female duo broke into a vehicle in a secured parking garage on the 600 South block of Norton Avenue on June 13 at 4 a.m. The couple took money, jewelry and a wallet from the car. Two homes were burglarized on June 14 in a similar fashion. On the 900 block of South Bronson Avenue, a Black male suspect pried open the home’s rear door and took sunglasses. On the 200 block of South Manhattan Place, a Hispanic male broke in through the back door and took documents. A male intruder tried to climb into a victim’s bedroom via her balcony on the 100

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block of South Windsor Boulevard on June 10 at 2 a.m. The suspect fled after being seen by the victim.

A home on the 400 block of North Norton Avenue was entered during the day, also on June 10, through the front

CicLAvia to turn Western Ave. into a park July 10

By Cerys Davies Because of heavy Los Angeles traffic, different areas and streets can sometimes feel inaccessible. But on Sun., July 10 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., CicLAvia is opening up a major street in South Los Angeles. Three miles of Western Avenue will be closed off to cars and open for residents. From Exposition Boulevard to Florence Avenue, the neighborhoods of Vermont Square, Harvard Park, Chesterfield Square and Exposition Park

By Nona Sue Friedman Another horrible accident occurred at the intersection of Sixth and June streets in early June. This intersection has unfortunately been the site of numerous crashes for many years. Over the past decade, residents have

murals to see. Restaurants like L.A. Taco House and Primo Burgers will be open as well as different shops. It is a perfect opportunity to explore the neighborhood in depth, exercise and have fun in a traffic-free environment. “Meet the Hollywoods” is the next CicLAvia event. It will take place on Sun., Aug. 21 between East and West Hollywood. On Sun., Oct. 9, “Heart of LA” will explore neighborhoods in Downtown Los Angeles. For more information, visit ciclavia.org.

asked the Los Angeles Dept. of Transportation (LADOT) to install a four-way stop sign or take other safety measures at the intersection. LADOT told residents earlier this year that speed tables were being considered but that further consultation is needed.

A MOTORCYCLE AND CAR collided last month at the intersection of Sixth and June streets. Photos by John August

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will experience a car-free street. This event is open and free to everyone. There will be crossing points for cars on Gage, Slauson and Vernon avenues, as well as Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. CicLAvia is a nonprofit organization that focuses on turning busy streets into public parks for the day. During this event, the public is invited to run, walk, bike, skate, scooter or simply enjoy the open street and sense of community. There will be different activities and sights such as

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door. The home’s interior was ransacked and a watch was taken. GRAND THEFTS AUTO: A grey Subaru Forester was stolen from a driveway on the 500 block of North Gower Street between June 8 at 10 p.m. and June 9 at 9:30 a.m. Another vehicle, a blue Ford Bronco, was stolen from a garage on the 5000 block of Maplewood Avenue on June 7 at 11 p.m. It was recovered on June 8.

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Larchmont Chronicle

JULY 2022

SECTION TWO

15

Tracing the word ‘clue’ from its mythological roots to today Welcome to Word Café, where we delve into the unexpected, oft-overlooked origins of words that we use every day. For our first installment, we venture to the Greek island of Crete to learn the early antecedents of the word “clue.” From 3500-1100 B.C., Crete was the center of Minoan civilization, a culture known for its elaborate buildings and sophisticated writing systems (some of which are still not deciphered), earning the Minoans a reputation as the

first advanced civilization in Europe. These ancient Cretans traced their lineage to the mythological King Minos — son of the gods Zeus and Europa — who reigned over the island of Crete from his palace of Knossos. The Minotaur Legend tells us that in retribution for the death of his son Androgeos at the hands of King Aegeus of Athens, King Minos decreed that, every nine years, Athens would send an offering of seven young men and seven maidens to contend with the

Word Café by

Mara Fisher fearsome half-bull, half-man Minotaur in the serpentine labyrinth deep within the walls at Knossos. On the third occasion of this tribute, King Aegeus’ son Theseus volunteered to try to defeat the monster. The youth set sail for Crete, and on his arrival, captured the eye of King Minos’ daughter Ariadne. Smitten with Theseus, Ariadne gave him a ball of thread (called a “clew” by those telling the tale) to use to retrace his steps in the lab-

yrinth, ultimately aiding in his defeat of the Minotaur. The word “clew” has meandered through place and time. In Old English, the words “cleowen,” “cliewen,” and “cliwen” were used to describe a rounded mass or ball of yarn, leading to the Middle English variant, “clewe.” To this day, the word “clew” is a nautical term that describes a knot used for making hammocks,

though we non-mariners are more familiar with its alternative spelling, “clue,” which Merriam-Webster defines as “something that guides through an intricate procedure or maze of difficulties.” So, please join me in thanking Ariadne for her thoughtful gift all those years ago. Without it, detective novels and murder mystery board games alike wouldn’t be quite what they are today.

La Brea Tar Pits video festival

Yolanda Bustos. Dion, a recipient of a PST research grant, uses his art to examine people’s understanding of history and the natural world. The discussion will cover the Tar Pit museum’s significance in art and pop culture. For more information, visit tarpits.org.

(Continued from page 11)

be screened. Following the screenings, there will be a discussion between Mark Dion, artist in residence, and the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum’s archivist

FIREFIGHTERS at Fire Station 61, left to right: Jesse Gonzalez, Manny Zepeda, Doug Noonan and Jesse Contreras shown with Lyn MacEwen Cohen, president, First-In Fire Foundation. Also pictured are Tony Verdecia, Luke Peterman, Greg Martayan from CD5 and Mike Oeser.

Classic berry pie served on Flag Day at Station 61

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to continue the program with private donations received as well. “Thank you very much for the ice cream and pies,” said Fire Station 61 Capt. Doug Noonan. “It’s a simple, classic gesture of appreciation that we value so much.” To learn more about supporting local firefighters, call 323-933-8164 or visit firstinfirefoundation.org.

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On Flag Day, observed annually on June 14, the First-In Fire Foundation partnered with City Councilmembers Nithya Raman and Paul Koretz to recognize firefighters in Council Districts 4 and 5. The partnership is part of the First-In Fire Foundation’s “Firehouse Dinners” program using local vendors. Dupar’s Restaurant provided its unique “Flagberry” pies filled with blueberries and cherries and topped with organic, handcrafted vanilla ice cream from Local Ice­­­­­­. Original Farmers Market The desserts were purchased and delivered from those merchants at the Original Farmers Market. Los Angeles Fire Dept. Chief Paul Pham, Battalion 18, says, “Sounds like pie and ice cream was a hit. No surprise.” The First-In Fire Foundation created the “Firehouse Dinners” program during the pandemic of 2020 to boost morale and ensure firefighters enjoy nutritious meals during the COVID-19 restrictions. Councilmember Nithya Raman, 4th District, and Councilmember Paul Koretz, 5th District, allocated funds


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Larchmont Chronicle