Raingutter Regatta returned to St. Brendan School with a first — girls. Page 7
First phase complete on 1921 Frank Lloyd Wright’s Barnsdall Park building. Page 2
Real Estate Sports, Libraries Home & Garden
Battles were won and lost, but mostly won, by National Academy’s League. Page 8
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117 S. Windsor Blvd. | Windsor Square | $4,350,000
146 N. McCadden Pl. | Hancock Park | $4,000,000
738 Longwood Ave. | Brookside | $3,785,000
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439 N. Gower St. | Larchmont Village | $2,449,000
351 N Poinsettia Pl.| Miracle Mile| $2,250,000
JUST SOLD OFF MARKET. Represented the buyer and seller. Beautifully restored Spanish. 4 bed, 3 baths. Rick Llanos 323.810.0828 CalRE #01123101
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FOR LEASE. Stately English Tudor on a beautiful treelined st. 5Bd / 4.5Bas, covered patio, large pool.
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COLDWELLBANKERHOMES.COM Hancock Park 323.464.9272 | 251 N Larchmont Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90004 ©2021 Coldwell Banker. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker and the Coldwell Banker logos are trademarks of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. The Coldwell Banker® System is comprised of company owned offices which are owned by a subsidiary of Realogy Brokerage Group LLC and franchised offices which are independently owned and operated. The Coldwell Banker System fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. CalRE #00616212
Phase 1 of Frank Lloyd Wright ‘Residence A’ rehab complete
By John Welborne The architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed a number of famous houses in Los Angeles. The first was Hollyhock House, built between 1919 and 1921 for oil heiress Aline Barnsdall on her 36-acre Olive Hill property above Hollywood Boulevard, on the west side of Vermont Avenue. She commissioned Wright to build a Mayan-inspired theater, cinema, commercial shops and artist residences as part of a cultural arts complex she envisioned. Barnsdall donated the property to the City of Los Angeles in 1927, allegedly because she was concerned about the costs of maintenance and additional planned construction. Ginny Kazor Among the important city stewards of Hollyhock House was the late Ridgewood-Wilton leader, Virginia “Ginny” Kazor, as reported in the Larchmont Chronicle in August 2019, after the house was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site (the only one in Los Angeles). Kazor, as a staff member in the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, started overseeing Hollyhock House in 1978. She long had been involved nationally in preserving the work of Frank Lloyd Wright, including as a founding member of the
HOLLYHOCK HOUSE curator Abbey Chamberlain Brach spoke at the celebration of completing exterior work on Residence A.
Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy. She died in September 2021. Residence A The Hollyhock House curator today is Abbey Chamberlain Brach. Brach was among the speakers at a December 15 event organized by 13th District City Councilmember
Mitch O’Farrell to celebrate the completion of the first phase of the restoration of a second Wright building on the property, “Residence A,” originally completed in 1921. Said Brach of these Frank Lloyd Wright buildings: “These landmark structures represent not only what was built on Olive Hill, but
CIRCA 1921 PHOTO of Residence A when just completed.
Photo courtesy of Hollyhock House, Dept. of Cultural Affairs
SOLD 415 N. Arden| $1,450,000 FIXER|Larchmont Village
the grand plans Aline Barnsdall and her architect conceived for an arts community here... “In 1927, when Ms. Barnsdall gifted the park to the City of Los Angeles, she said, ‘I thought of
my father, of the happiness of children and young people with Olive Hill as a place to work and play, a background for their dreams and memories, and my (Please turn to page 11)
SAME WEST FAÇADE of Residence A as restoration of the extePhoto by Stan Ecklund, rior winds up in 2021. courtesy of Hollyhock House, Dept. of Cultural Affairs
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HOLLYWOOD SIGN and Griffith Observatory are backdrops for Barnsdall Park event that included, from left: Acting General Manager of the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs Daniel Terica, Hollyhock House curator Abbey Chamberlain Brach, Chief Deputy City Engineer Deborah Weintraub, General Manager of the city’s Department of General Services Tony Royster and Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell.
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Farewell, 2021: Restaurants, restorations and redistricting
Happy New Year! With the year 2021 finally behind us, we can pause and take stock of the preservation highs and lows of the past year and try to forecast what challenges lie ahead for our historic neighborhoods. Legacy Restaurants One category within our city’s history that suffered in 2021 was legacy businesses, particularly restaurants. The pandemic continued its damage to local businesses throughout the year, but for many it was a particular blow to lose such historic and legendary Los Angeles favorites as Les Frères Taix in Echo Park, The (revived) Pig and Whistle on Hollywood Boulevard and the Pacific Dining Car (closed 2020) near Downtown. That’s why it was such a relief that our own legacy restaurants, Le Petit Greek and Village Pizzeria on Larchmont, Mozza on Highland and others such as Osteria Mamma, Marino’s and Providence on Melrose, have survived with community support and patronage. Restorations 2021 also saw a great number of historic homes in our communities bought and sold, but also the start of some extensive restorations such as 101 N. Hudson Ave. and 543
Muirfield Rd. There also has been activity at some of the community’s long neglected “ghost houses,” such as 304 S. Plymouth Blvd., reported upon last month, the recently sold 366 S. Hudson Ave. and 276 S. Windsor Blvd. I still have concerns about the “Great Façade of Larchmont” project — the remaining front wall of a home still standing precariously at 107 S. Larchmont Blvd. However, the restoration of the century-old LaBonte Building at 138 N. Larchmont, as the centerpiece of the eagerly anticipated Larchmont Mercantile, looks to be a success. I am also pleased to say that the entire development is looking much better and brighter than its original renderings. New Council Districts One of the big changes affecting our historic communities this year will be that Hancock Park and Windsor Square will be in two different city council districts, CD 5 and CD 13. Both Councilman Paul Koretz of CD 5 and Councilman Mitch O’Farrell of CD 13 have good records when it comes to preservation, and their two districts contain a wealth of varied historic districts and landmarks. The latest redistricting will double
On Preservation by
CD 5’s collection of HPOZs — from the district’s original four (Carthay Circle, South Carthay, Carthay Square and Miracle Mile North) to eight (with the addition of Miracle Mile, Hancock Park, Windsor Village and Wilshire Park, not to mention a few more Historic Cultural Monuments). Council District 13, on the other hand, was home to only one HPOZ, Melrose Hill. CD 13’s collection of HPOZs will increase to four in January with the addition of Spaulding Square, Sunset Square and Windsor Square. But what CD 13 lacks in HPOZs, it makes up for with one of the city’s largest collections of individual Historic Cultural Monuments and also four National Historic Districts including the Hollywood Boulevard Commercial and Entertainment District and now to include our own Wilton Historic District. CD 13 also contains Los Angeles’ only UNESCO World Heritage Site, Frank Lloyd
Wright’s Hollyhock House in Barnsdall Park. Preservation Challenges 2022 will see the implementation of state Senate Bill 9, which allows for the division of single-family homes and lots for the development of as many as eight units. Councilmen Paul Kortez, CD 5, and Bob Blumenfield, CD 3, have proposed a motion (CF 211414, seconded by Councilwoman Nithya Raman, CD 4) that includes sensible restrictions on SB 9 in Los Angeles, but that motion was not placed on the City Council agenda in a timely manner last month by Council President Nury Martinez (CD 6). As I have written previously, while SB 9 does not affect HPOZs, it could have significant impacts on the single-family lots and areas of the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Larchmont Village (Beverly to Melrose), Citrus Square, Melrose, La Brea Hancock, Sycamore Square, Brookside, Fremont Place, Oakwood / Maplewood / St. Andrews, Western Wilton and Country Club Heights. Another challenging trend is the arrival to our areas of developers like Thomas James Homes. They target smaller 1920s houses and duplexes for replacement with super-
sized modern (BWB “big white box”) and neo-traditional designs. At a recent GWNC Land Use Committee meeting, that company’s vice president, Ted Dolan, listened with interest to concerns and comments about the removal of mature trees but also about being more contextual in future designs. As this trend accelerates and SB 9 is implemented, engaging with developers will be essential to our ability to manage change and growth in our neighborhoods as well as to preserve the historic character that our communities value.
Park La Brea Residents to meet January 9
The annual meeting of the Park La Brea Residents Association (PLBRA) is Sun., Jan. 9 at 4 p.m. in the theater at the Activities Center. Checkin will start at 3:30 p.m., said PLBRA Board President Robert Shore. Councilman Paul Koretz is scheduled to be the guest speaker. Candidates for the PLBRA board will be introduced, and an election will be held, followed by PLBRA officer reports. Vaccinations against COVID-19 will be required.
639 La Brea set to break ground on hotel, apartments in 2022
By Suzan Filipek Construction of a hoteland-multi-family mixed-use complex on La Brea Avenue in Miracle Mile is set to start in the second quarter of 2022. Woodland Hills-based CGI+ Real Estate Strategies representatives say the transit-oriented development at 639 S. La Brea has received full entitlements. The complex is on nearly half a city block along the west side of La Brea, immediately adjacent to the Metro Wilshire / La Brea subway station, which is under construction and is planned to open in 2023. The eight-story development consists of a podium
with three towers that include a 125-room boutique-style hotel; 121 residential rental units and 13,000 square feet of street-level retail and a rooftop restaurant space. It is expected to open the third quarter of 2023, the same year as the Metro. New York architecture and interior design firm Morris Adjmi Architects designed the complex with arched and square window frames to distinguish between the hotel rooms and the apartments. The hotel is in the tower closest to the Metro station, with the other two towers having the residential apartments. Hotel rooms will range in size from 320 to 415 square
feet. The hotel also will have two top-floor guest suites as large as 1,200 square feet. Amenities will include a 3,500-square foot event space and a layered rooftop guest deck and swimming pool with views of Downtown Los Angeles, the Hollywood Hills and Century City. One-, two- and three-bedroom apartments will be offered, with 18 units set aside for extremely low-income households and one for a moderate-income household. Apartments will feature hardwood floors, in-unit washer / dryer, home automation controls for security and climate and one-touch access to neighborhood services.
What Lies Beyond The Door? Many of my sales in 2020 & 2021 were “off-market” or “pocket listings.” As more homes are bought and sold under the radar, it pays to know who has this information. I have many such properties in my pocket. Be in the know and contact me!
JILL GALLOWAY Estates Director, Sunset Strip 323.842.1980 firstname.lastname@example.org jillgalloway.com DRE 01357870
Compass is a licensed real estate broker (01991628) in the State of California and abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. All material presented herein is intended for informational purposes only. Information is compiled from sources deemed reliable but is subject to errors, omissions, changes in price, condition, sale, or withdraw without notice.
HOTEL rooms are in the first tower on the left. The other two towers at 639 S. La Brea Avenue are multi-family residential.
Common area amenities will include a state-of-the-art fitness center, rooftop deck with interactive lounge spaces and pool and a bicycle storage area. “639 La Brea will anchor a neighborhood that is really coming into its own,” said CGI+ Executive Vice President of Acquisitions and Development Andre Soroudi. “… Its location next to the Metro station will offer easy connectivity to jobs and attractions in Downtown Los Angeles, Koreatown, Museum Row, Beverly Hills and the Westside, easing our residents’ and hotel guests’ reliance on automobiles,” added Soroudi. The complex replaces a grouping of small commercial buildings. Due to the city’s Transit Oriented Communities (TOC) housing incentives
— granted because of the project’s proximity to the Metro “D” Line — the developer was allowed to build a larger building than allowed by regular city zoning. Even more density was allowed because the developer agreed to set aside apartments for low- and moderate-income housing. Neighboring resident concerns raised during city and community meetings included density, traffic, loading and unloading in the alley and parking issues. To address some of these concerns, a plaza will connect pedestrians to the Metro station, and property residents will receive Metro TAP cards and have access to onsite car and bike sharing. Most people testifying at the meeting agreed that a hotel is needed in the immediate area.
Mountain and desert: Sabino Canyon in Tucson has both
I had forgotten about the charms of Tucson. In winter, where one can swim outside in a heated pool beneath brilliant sun, a weekend in Tucson seems like a good idea. The Santa Catalina Mountains, to the north and northeast of Tucson, rise up over the Sonoran Desert, and are crowned by the 9,000-foot Mt. Lemmon. My heart sings when I think of one of the mountain canyons there, cut by the rainand-snow-fed Sabino Creek, which tumbles down from Mt. Lemmon to feed the riparian habitat in the canyon 6,000 feet below. On a recent hike in Lower Sabino Canyon, at the creek by a small dam, I noticed some unusually beautiful two-toned granite underfoot. (I recognized granite! No matter how much I read about geology, almost nothing sticks.) This was the first time in 30 years I had been in that canyon. Back then, I was hiking with two young girls: my daughter and her friend Natalie. It was March 17, 1991, and in the magical bright blue sky close to midday was the full moon. The Santa Catalina Mountains were of course above us, and I recall thinking of complete
Home Ground by
happiness — the gifts of the beloved girls, the moon, Sabino Creek full of rushing water. Spring. So much life! But the water in the creek in early November coming over the modest 1939 Lower Sabino Canyon Dam (built by the Federal Emergency Relief Administration) was like the tap in my bathtub. I learned from David Wentworth Lazaroff’s excellent 1991 book, “Sabino Canyon: The Life of a Southwestern Oasis,” that it was still the “after-summer” season. Still hot, still dry. “Day by day, the stream recedes, then breaks into a chain of still ponds mirroring the dry desert slopes,” writes Lazaroff. Forest recreation Sabino Canyon Recreational Area is part of the Coronado National Forest, administered by the Catalina Ranger District. For the young and intrepid, there is a trail ascending about 5,000 feet, close to the top of Mt. Lem-
165 N. LAS PALMAS AVE. - $23,000/MO.
BOOK on the Southwestern Oasis was published in 1991.
mon, which is, by the way, the southernmost ski area in the U.S. But there are a number of easy and moderate trails. The diversity of plant and animal life here is stunning. The mountain slopes at lower elevations are Sonoran Desert scrub, the paloverdesaguaro community variety. Along the creek is riparian woodland and mesquite bosque — and three more biotic communities. But of course any wild area designated for “recreation” is in danger of being loved to death. We were there on a crowded weekend. This beautiful canyon was almost lost to a number of major dam schemes over the decades of the 20th century,
threatening the fate of Sabino Canyon — think of the loss of the Hetch-Hetchy Valley in Yosemite. But somehow, luck (in the form of lack of funds) was with Sabino Canyon. It endures. That flowing color and texture of the two-toned granite? It’s a hard metamorphic rock called the “Catalina gneiss.” The dark bands are remnants of ancient granite; the light bands are younger rocks that have extruded into the older. It’s like the swirl of steamed milk in your latte. Sort of. Joseph Wood Krutch (18931970), ecologist, naturalist, cultural critic and Columbia professor, took a 15-month sabbatical on the desert near the Santa Catalina Mountains in the late ’40s. For months, he did not leave his property, absorbing all of himself into the desert. His memoir of his time there, “The Desert Year,” was published in 1951. He took to the desert, and moved there permanently in 1953. “Not to have known — as most men have not — either the mountain or the desert is not to have known one’s self,” Krutch writes. Mountain and desert are both on offer here in Sabino Canyon.
160 N. MCCADDEN PLACE- $20,000/MO.
SABINO DAM in Tucson’s Sabino Canyon, begun by the Emergency Relief Administration in 1937.
Photo by Paula Panich
BEFORE WINTER, Sabino Creek dries up into small pools — and will be replenished by rain and snowmelt.
Photo by Douglas Whitneybell
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Charming Spanish in Larchmont Village Represented buyer and seller 4 Bedrooms + 3 Baths
Dramatic 2-story penthouse Full of light and walls of windows 2 Bedrooms + 2 Baths
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LIBRARIES FAIRFAX 161 S. Gardner St. 323-936-6191 JOHN C. FREMONT 6121 Melrose Ave. 323-962-3521 MEMORIAL 4625 W. Olympic Blvd. 323-938-2732 WILSHIRE 149 N. St. Andrews Pl. 323-957-4550 ASK A LIBRARIAN 213-228-7272 firstname.lastname@example.org SERVICES Book bundles to-go, browse and borrow, public computers, Wi-Fi, wireless printing and inperson and online programming. HOURS Mondays and Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Tuesdays and Thursdays, noon to 8 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays, 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Closed Sat., Jan. 1 and Mon., Jan. 17.
St. Brendan league heads back to the court
After a long time-out, St. Brendan Basketball Association returns to the court Sun., Jan. 8. The 2022 season will continue through March 22. “This is our first time back since 2020,” said Abel DeLuna, SBBA co-commissioner. The neighborhood recreational league is open to 6- to 14-year-old boys, in elementary and middle school, in the Mid-Wilshire neighborhoods. Games are played in four divisions — Alligators, Bobcats, Cobras and D-League — in the Fleming Family Center at St. Brendan School, 238 S. Manhattan Pl. For more information on the league and the upcoming season, email email@example.com.
AYSO teams Broccoli Boys and Silver Bullets at the recent championship final.
AYSO ends its fall season; looks to March Suzan Filipek The Broccoli Boys took on the Silver Bullets and won, 3-2, at the 10U Championship final of the AYSO fall season held on the football field at Fairfax High School.
Basketball League to start this month The 2022 Youth Basketball League will play Sat., Jan. 22 to March 12 at Pan Pacific Recreation Center, 7600 Beverly Blvd. Evaluations are required for boys, born 2006 to 2016, and girls, born 2006 to 2012. Face masks are also required for all. Further, all participants
12 and older are required to have had Covid-19 vaccinations. Participants and spectators under 12 are required to have negative weekly tests. For more information and to set up a required evaluation before the games, call the Recreation Center at 323-9398874.
“The season was a great success, and we could not have done it without the efforts of our volunteer coaches and referees,” said regional commissioner-volunteer Kurt Muller. “We had a group photo taken of both teams together for each of our divisional championships since it truly demonstrates the spirit of AYSO... celebration of the game, win or lose (although some of the facial expressions might say otherwise). “Fall is our primary program, but we do plan to come back in March. We hope to form a few teams for Spring League as well as run skills clinics for
players as we did during the last fall/spring. Spring is usually a busy time of year with multiple activities for kids. We hope to keep kids active with soccer even if it’s just a weekly clinic. “Details should be up on our website in January.” Visit www.ayso78.info. Other results of the season: the 10U Golden Girls beat the Neon Lions, the 12U Breakfast Burritos won over the Highlighters, and the 12U Patriots won over FC Hollywood. At the area playoffs, high school-aged boys in the 19U Hollywood team had a comeback win over Culver City to win the Area 1P Championship.
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©2021 Coldwell Banker. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker and the Coldwell Banker logos are trademarks of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. The Coldwell Banker® System is comprised of company owned offices which are owned by a subsidiary of Realogy Brokerage Group LLC and franchised offices which are independently owned and operated. The Coldwell Banker System fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. CalRE #00616212
Raingutter Regatta is the Pinewood Derby in water
Imagine racing a sailboat, but never getting wet. No pesky seagulls following behind, no splashing wake and no seasickness. Can’t swim? Doesn’t matter. And life vests? Who needs those uncomfortable things!?! Welcome to the world of Raingutter Regatta. It might not quite qualify as athletic, but it sure is competitive. And fun! The annual Cub Scout Pack 16 Raingutter Regatta returned to the St. Brendan School assembly hall and sports facility after being cancelled last year due to the pandemic. Good thing — these scouts were becoming landlubbers. At the docks Raingutter Regatta racing requires more skill than the Scout’s Pinewood Derby competition. The boat races take place in two rain gutters filled with water that are placed side-by-side on a long table. Standard gutter-length is 10 feet. The two skippers place
BOATS on display for the recent Raingutter Regatta race.
Youth Sports by
Jim Kalin their boats at the starting end, and propel them to the finish line by blowing air through a straw aimed at the sail. It can be cardio-challenging. Like the Pinewood Derby cars the scouts build in the spring, Raingutter Regatta boats also come in a kit and need to be constructed. It’s a less-involved project than the cars, though, but parents can still help. The kit includes two balsa pontoons called outriggers, a plastic trimaran hull to attach them to, four screws, a wooden mast, a sail in the shape of an isosceles trapezoid (haven’t forgotten that 10th grade geometry!) and a sheet of number decals. Scouts can decorate their boats any way they choose, but water-based paint should be avoided. One scout painted the balsa pontoons with water-based red that bled into that gutter’s water, which remained pink the remainder of this year’s event. Of course, the internet
offered hints for making boats faster. It’s all about hydrodynamics, weight and aerodynamics. Some scouts go for razzle-dazzle, gluing figurines and glitter onto their boats and sails, but less weight is best. Shaping and sanding the pontoons with super-fine sandpaper (400 grit at least) helps, and so does application of clear waterproof polyurethane finish. Synthetic car wax also serves as a great water-repellent. And practice blowing the week before race day. The skippers Unlike the Pinewood Derby’s limited participation last spring, Pack 16’s Raingutter Regatta brought out competitors from the Tiger, Wolf, Bear and Webelos (We Be Loyal Scouts) dens. But the big news, and a first, at least for Pack 16, was the membership’s gender. For the first time ever, girls participated in a Cub Scout competition at St. Brendan’s gym. “Boy Scouts has allowed girls for the past couple of years, but this is the first year we’ve had any,” explained pack leader Alex Liston. “We have 12 girls altogether, and most of them are in the Wolf den.” The racing was competitive and fun. There were four
RACING in the preliminaries are Webelos Van Liston (left) and Lucas Huybrechs.
divisions, and a double-elimination bracket was used, so every scout’s boat was guaranteed at least two races. Wolf den leaders Rigo Vazquez and Julia Choi saw their scout Melyn Teigue win her division. She defeated Jacob Yoon in the finals. But she wasn’t the first lady scout to take a title that day. Jeraldine Miron, a first-grader and member of the Tiger den, defeated Willa Klein in that division’s title race. In the Bear den division, Fox O’Callahan finished ahead of Belinda Vazquez for the win, and Evan Kim defeated Phoenix Lay for the Webelos championship. “Most Creative” awards went to Jordan de Rosas, Astrud Huybrechts, Ben Styffe and Jace Kim. “Scariest Boat” went
to Che Nafa. Parents who are interested in signing up children for local Cub Scout Pack 16 should contact Alex Liston at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TIGER DEN members (left to right) Willa Klein, Charlie Cooper and Jeraldine Miron ready their Raingutter boats.
League of Legends played a record season — online
By Suzan Filipek The New Covenant Academy’s (NCA) eSports team had a huge success fighting battles and having other adventures digitally to bring home a record win in the 2021 season. The school’s League of Legends high school players finished 12-2 and placed fourth in the state out of 118 participating schools. NCA is located at 3119 W. Sixth St. In the first round, NCA soundly defeated Da Vinci Charter Academy from Davis, 2-1, and moved on to the next round of 16. However, NCA lost 2-1 to Vistamar School in El Segundo Dec. 2. CIF (California Interscholastic Federation) adopted eSports two years ago, and the Federation has partnered with PlayVS to allow its teams to compete in three different games: League of Legends, Smite and Rocket League. Principal Jason Song added, “More students are playing games at home due to the pandemic. The danger of computer gaming is addiction, conflict with parents at home and disengagement from school work / activities. “What we’re doing at NCA, under CIF’s initiative, is to actually utilize school-based team games to promote
be eligible. “Moreover, we have seen a positive impact on our players.” NCA plans on expanding the
eSports experience to its middle school students as well as adding the other games when demand warrants, a school spokesperson said.
MEMBERS OF THE eSports team are, upper row (left to right): Timothy Song (student activities coordinator intern), Dale Lee, Jonathan Park, Jovanni Perez. Bottom row: Christopher Tan, David Fabian, Jungho Hwang. Game director Randy Chinchilla is not pictured.
healthy competition, teamwork and even academic success. We have coaches who work closely with our stu-
dents at our own high-tech computing facility, and we require our players to maintain a 3.3 GPA in core courses to
E-SPORTS can promote healthy competition, Principal Jason Song says. Pictured is player Dale Lee.
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COLDWELL BANKER REALTY | 301 N. CANON DRIVE, SUITE E | BEVERLY HILLS, CA 90210 The property information herein is derived from various sources that may include, but not be limited to, county records and the Multiple Listing Service, and it may include approximations. Although the information is believed to be accurate, it is not warranted and you should not rely upon it without personal verification. Affiliated real estate agents are independent contractor sales associates, not employees. ©2021 Coldwell Banker. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker and the Coldwell Banker logos are trademarks of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. The Coldwell Banker® System is comprised of company owned offices which are owned by a subsidiary of Realogy Brokerage Group LLC and franchised offices which are independently owned and operated. The Coldwell Banker System fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act.
‘Enchanted Strings’ tells of Bob Baker’s Marionette Theater
By Suzan Filipek Pull back the plush, red curtain to see behind the stage of puppet theater in Los Angeles, from its early days to its wonderful, tangled world today in a new book, “Enchanted Strings: Bob Baker Marionette Theater.” Described as a 176-page “love letter dedicated to our treasured Los Angeles institution,” the book introduces the artists, crafts people and legendary puppeteer Bob Baker, all of whom brought (and still bring) the theater’s 2,000 marionettes to life. Described as a modern-day Geppetto, Baker, along with Alton Wood, founded what is considered the oldest puppet theater in the country in Downtown Los Angeles in 1963. (In 2019, the theater was moved to a new home at 4949 York Blvd., Highland Park.) As a child, Baker formed a small theater in the backyard of his New Hampshire Avenue home, a few blocks east of Larchmont, where he lived until his death at 90 in 2014. By high school, Baker was manufacturing and selling toy marionettes in Europe and the United States. He went on to become an animation advisor at many film studios, includ-
cording to the new book’s author, professional puppeteer Randal J. Metz, who worked for Baker between 1986 and 1990 and who now resides in San Francisco. “By telling the history of Bob’s theater, I can keep Bob’s dream alive for everyone,” he says. The book includes a foreword by Oscar and Emmy award-winning director, writer and actor Jordan Peele. “I’ve visited the Bob Baker Marionette Theater numerous times, and each time the experience feels completely new. Throughout its history, the theater has amassed an amazing, intricate roster of puppets, deepest I’ve ever seen.
MODERN-DAY Bob Baker.
Each one is unique, and alive, and sleeping until the next show,” says Peele. The book retails for $40. It will be available Feb. 8, 2022, and may be pre-ordered at AngelCityPress.com.
NEW BOOK tells history of Bob Baker’s legendary theater.
ing Disney. Baker’s collaboration with Walt Disney and Hollywood films is featured among the more than 300 vintage and contemporary photographs. A brief history at the start of the book traces puppets’ beginnings to ancient Egypt and Greece and early Christianity; the French word marionette means “Little Mary.” Puppets were favorites at royal courts; Shakespeare
wrote for them and Mozart composed for them. When the European puppets landed in the New World, they found their counterparts in the puppets of Indigenous Americans, and the art form was expanded, bringing us into the world that puppets inhabit today. Unlike shadow or hand puppets, marionettes can “act, dance and sing… as the strings allow for precise, subtle and more life-like movement,” ac-
VINTAGE DRAWINGS and photos are included in the book.
ith 30 years / since 1991 experience in real estate plus 10 years in banking. June Ahn has consistently achieve award-winning results. Fluent in English and Korean, she is a long time resident of the Hancock Park area of Los Angeles, a family-friendly neighborhood of wide streets, distinguished homes and well-maintained gardens. Specializing in Larchmont (close to Koreatown), Hancock Park and Fremont Place, she works with buyers and sellers from Beverly Hills to Downtown Los Angeles. June understands how important it is for buyers to find their dream home and for sellers to get the best offer for their property. With patience, attention to detail and deep knowledge, she carefully guides her clients through their transactions to assure that they understand each step and make decisions that will benefit them in the years ahead. Her clients’ best interests are her top priority - a philosophy that has earned June Ahn a loyal following of repeat and referral clients who seek her out every time they make a move.
May this beautiful holiday season fill your heart with love, your home with joy, and your life with laughter.
Happy Holidays! Wishing you and your family love, peace, and joy!
International President’s Elite (323) 855-5558 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.juneahn.com Coldwell Banker Realty, Hancock Park 251 North Larchmont Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90004 CalRE #: 01188513 The property information herein is derived from various sources that may include, but not be limited to, county records and the Multiple Listing Service, and it may include approximations. Although the information is believed to be accurate, it is not warranted and you should not rely upon it without personal verification. Affiliated real estate agents are independent contractor sales associates, not employees. ©2021 Coldwell Banker. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker and the Coldwell Banker logos are trademarks of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. The Coldwell Banker® System is comprised of company owned offices which are owned by a subsidiary of Realogy Brokerage Group LLC and franchised offices which are independently owned and operated. The Coldwell Banker System fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. CalRE #00616212
Fairfax Theatre named historic and saved … for the time being By Suzan Filipek The Fairfax Theatre, or its Art Deco façade, at least, may be around for the next 100 years, or more, thanks to the site being recently named a historic landmark by the Los Angeles City Council. While the owner opposed
the designation for the theater and building at the corner of Beverly Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue, preservationists argued that the property is as important for its 1930-style architecture as its prominence in the formation of a new Jewish community on the west-
side of Los Angeles. The theater was added to the list of Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monuments after a unanimous vote by the City Council on Dec. 7. The property remains in peril, however, as the building’s owner, B&F Associates,
has city approval to build a 71unit housing complex on the property. The entitlements last through 2024 and require that the marquee and Art Deco spire on the theater’s façade be preserved in the housing project. If the development plan should change, it would re-
quire an environmental impact report, as well as a new city planning department review, according to Councilman Paul Koretz’s office. In July, the State Historical Resources Commission nominated the site to the National Register of Historic Places.
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Aaron Montelongo Estates Director
Bret Parsons Founder & Executive Director, Architectural Division
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310.497.5832 firstname.lastname@example.org DRE 01418010
Compass is a real estate broker licensed by the State of California and abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. DRE 01866771. All material presented herein is intended for informational purposes only and is compiled from sources deemed reliable but has not been verified. Changes in price, condition, sale or withdrawal may be made without notice. No statement is made as to accuracy of any description. All measurements and square footages are approximate.
Realtor®, GRI, CNE, SRES 818-730-8635 email@example.com clintlohr.kw.com
KELLER WILLIAMS® LARCHMONT 118 N. Larchmont Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90004
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Devlin is face of justice for crispy chicken sandwiches everywhere! ees and Larchmont Chronicle staff as Bill Devlin. Devlin successfully audi-
tioned for the role of the lawyer in multiple Jollibee advertisements, resulting in an 80-second commercial, plus his face on numerous billboards and bus benches. Jollibee is a Philippine fast food company with locations in 17 states as well as 1,200 outlets worldwide. It’s known for, among other dishes, its fried chicken. Devlin had been producing “Cocktails & Comedy” at the Hollywood Improv until the pandemic, showcasing the top BILL DEVLIN represents Jollibee in advertisements when not telling jokes or taking photos. Photo by Todd Westphal
(Continued from page 2) reluctance to see a building and landscaping of great beauty destroyed, and now of my triumphal joy at seeing it saved.’ Here she was speaking of the park and Hollyhock House, but she soon thereafter gave (and saved) Residence A as well. “Now, we all know that saving these structures takes a village and doesn’t just happen in one instance. It’s ongoing work. Saving requires vision and dedication to see through
the necessary restoration and preservation work. That is evident at Hollyhock House, Los Angeles’s first and only UNESCO World Heritage site, restored by this project team in 2014 (before I arrived). It’s been happening here, too, with work commencing in 2017; it’s included heavy structural steel and concrete reinforcements along with tiny color samples and revelatory design details finally uncovered. “And now, exactly 100 years after Wright completed Residence A, the City of Los An-
geles has finished Phase 1 restoration on this remarkable guest house. With exterior finishes complete, the vision is clear (and getting clearer). We can now tell new stories and more deeply engage with the site’s rich history. Barnsdall Park isn’t just Hollyhock House; it’s an arts complex (as Wright and Barnsdall envisioned it and as it is today). “More so than the main house, Residence A speaks to Wright’s many unbuilt site designs here — the theater direc(Please turn to page 12)
names in the comedy world. Locals have been catching his one-man shows at the Wren Theater in the nearby MacNamara Irish Import Shop, 742 Vine St. The next one is slated for Fri., Jan. 21. (Tickets are at billdevlin.com.) A photographer for the Larchmont Chronicle for
more than 15 years, Devlin also shoots photos for Los Angeles Police and Fire Department events. Big Sunday also makes use of Bill Devlin’s talents. A native of Minnesota, he and wife Groupzee, a native of Thailand, recently welcomed their son Jameson to the family.
“Your Neighborhood Plumbers” Celebrating 46 Years on Larchmont
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(Continued from page 11) tor’s residence and the terrace houses in particular. We can now better share that history, that vision,” concluded Brach. Phase 1 of the Residence A restoration project began in 2017 and cost more than $5 million from various sources, including city dollars and funding received from the former Community Redevelopment Agency and the National Park Service. As part of Phase 1, exterior finishes were meticulously recreated, structural and seismic work was completed, and building systems were improved. The planned
Since 1959 License #768437
NORTH FAÇADE of Residence A in 1921. Behind the balcony and windows is the two-story living room.
RESTORED north façade of Residence A in 2021.
Phase 2 will provide critical interior detailing, furnishings, finishes and infrastructure repair, as well as exterior land-
nies of the event, Councilmember O’Farrell said: “It has been amazing to watch Residence A literally come back to life and shine atop Barnsdall Art Park, one of the jewels of the city’s parks system. With Phase 1 completed, it’s onward to Phase 2 so we can not only celebrate the beauty and grandeur of this building, but enable all Angelenos to fully access, enjoy and learn from this
Photo courtesy of Hollyhock House, Dept. of Cultural Affairs
scaping and ADA-commensurate hardscaping needed to reopen the site to the public. Acting as master of ceremo-
Photo by Stan Ecklund, courtesy of Hollyhock House, Dept. of Cultural Affairs
priceless piece of history.” Among those the councilmember introduced (in addition to Brach) were representatives from the city’s Bureau of Engineering (lead architect and project manager for the restoration) and Department of General Services (who served as general contractor). The nonprofit Project Restore served as grant administrator and restoration manager.
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Here are some cool items we have in our HouseWares section for 2021! 1- “Capabunga” no-spill wine sealer caps. They replace the cork. Easy to use, with no spills. We have a nice selection of the caps. 2- “Electra Rabbit” - the electric corkscrew 3- Pizza Scissors- easy and fun
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6- “Govino” plastic wine glasses to “go anywhere with wine.” 7- Also, we are the only place within miles to have the large (120 liter) refill cartridge for the “Soda Stream.”
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Alarmed by crime spike, local residents take action woman pushing a stroller who was followed home and robbed inside her hedged driveway on Rimpau Boulevard. “I know it’s alarming to witness in your neighborhood what you’re seeing,” said Capt. Otero. “I assure you, we are looking at different ways to combat this.” Otero said that the Greater Wilshire area has seen an extreme increase in robberies in recent weeks. Suspects are driving vehicles around, with up to three people in the car, looking for targets, he explained. Jerry Shaw and Terry Segraves, founders of SSA, a private security company, and
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Mike Ball of ADT Security also offered advice and suggestions to residents. Private security professionals and the police agreed that video footage of crimes greatly assists in efforts to track down and apprehend the criminals. Following the meeting, HPHA president Cindy Chvatal told us that the town hall was popular with her members. “It was a successful event, with more than 100 people participating. Residents were appreciative to hear from their local police. They are aware of the increase in incidents, and they want to be proactive,” said Chvatal. Among the many things that were discussed, Chvatal says that her members are eager to monitor the impact that a camera program on Melrose Avenue will have on crime in the area. “Residents are very interested in what Melrose Action is doing,” said Chvatal. Melrose Action Last month, a community group dedicated to public safety around the Melrose business district celebrated the installation of automatic license plate recognition (ALPR) cameras. The group’s leaders hope the program will
SHOCKING and well-publicized incident on Fuller Avenue, which involved armed suspects disguised as law enforcement agents who forced entry to a home and robbed the resident, was never reported to the police, Capt. Otero told the HPHA.
push back on an increase in crime in the area. The group, which calls
itself Melrose Action, started the resident-led process last (Please turn to page 14)
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By Billy Taylor A number of recent highprofile crimes in Greater Wilshire have left local residents feeling alarmed. The Hancock Park Homeowners Association (HPHA) hosted a virtual “Security Town Hall” Dec. 6 to discuss the recent crime and security issues. In November, the Los Angeles Police Department’s Wilshire Division responded to three street robberies and one attempted car-jacking within the borders of Hancock Park, Capt. Anthony Otero told town hall participants. That includes the well-publicized Nov. 28 robbery that involved a
POLICE BEAT Keep vehicle doors locked and clear of packages OLYMPIC DIVISION
Furnished by Senior Lead Officer Joseph Pelayo 213-793-0709 firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @lapdolympic ROBBERS target mother with her baby in Hancock Park. Getaway car is upper left.
(Continued from page 13) August with a fundraising campaign. To date, more than $32,000 has been raised from private donations and Councilmember Paul Koretz’s office to support the project. The cameras, placed in anonymous locations, will capture video footage of the license plate numbers of vehicles driving on Melrose. Crime stats With several high-profile incidents on everyone’s mind, residents understandably assume crime is up across the board, but the numbers paint a more complicated picture. The Chronicle contacted LAPD Wilshire Division Capt. Sonia Monico to help us dig
down into the statistics. Monico ran the numbers, comparing figures from November 2021 with November 2020, looking at only the areas that both correspond with the borders of Wilshire Division and the Chronicle’s distribution area, broadly speaking: Melrose to Olympic, and Fairfax to Plymouth (the eastern boundary of the LAPD Wilshire Division, whereas the Chronicle is distributed as far east as Western Avenue). Would it surprise you to learn that property crime is down? In fact, burglaries were down 18 percent this November compared to November 2020. That’s the good news. The bad: robberies and assaults were up big, 58 percent and 75 percent, respectively.
These local figures seem to reflect the alarming increase of violent crimes citywide. In November, LAPD Chief Michel Moore set up a Follow Home Task Force to specifically address the growing trend. Capt. Monico advises residents to be extra aware of your surroundings, and, if you’re approached by suspects: “Do not resist,” she warns.
Recycle your Christmas tree
Angelenos may recycle their Christmas trees — which are used to produce compost and mulch — for free via the City’s recycling program. Residents should leave the trees on the curb, or in their green bin, for their regular collection time.
OLYMPIC DIVISION BURGLARY: Residents were at home sleeping when a suspect entered the property on the 900 block of S. Wilton Pl. and stole jewelry and money on Dec. 3 between 1 and 3:50 a.m. GRAND THEFTS AUTO: A 2016 Kia Sportage was stolen while parked on the 300 block of N. Wilton Pl. on Dec. 15 at 12:45 a.m. A 2015 Kia Sol was stolen while parked on the 800 block of S. St. Andrews Pl. between Dec. 7 at 8 p.m. and Dec. 8 at 9:45 a.m. THEFTS FROM VEHICLE: Unknown property was sto-
Furnished by Senior Lead Officer Dave Cordova 213-793-0650 email@example.com Twitter: @lapdwilshire len from inside a 2011 Kia Sportage parked on the 600 block of N. Windsor Blvd. between Dec. 14 at 9 p.m. and Dec. 15 at 7:35 a.m. Unknown property was stolen from inside a Toyota Prius parked in a building garage on Maplewood Avenue, between Van Ness and Wilton, on Dec. 13 between 1 and 10:30 a.m. Directly across the street, a 2019 Ford Mustang was the target, with unknown property stolen from inside the vehicle while it was parked in a building garage on Maplewood Avenue on Dec. 13 between 3 and 9:05 a.m.
Return the cart for those who cannot, or will not
It’s a new month, so we’ve got another tiny, wee, miniscule challenge to readers of the Larchmont Chronicle. A tiny challenge to make our community just a hair better. This month’s challenge: Return the cart. This isn’t some abstract mantra about life being a circle of giving and returning or whatever. I mean, literally: when you’re at the grocery store, return the shopping cart to the little cart stable. Right away, I can hear you saying, “Oh, Preachy Larchmont Chronicle Guy, I already do that. I’m a good person, y’see. You’re thinking of bad people.” Love that for you, yes, almost all of us are good “I
A Tiny Challenge with
Eric Cunningham Return the Cart After Shopping” people. Gold stars for all the good people! But this month’s tiny challenge isn’t “Return the Cart When You Are Done Using It” — it’s “Return The Cart.” (Please turn to page 15)
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Challenge and ‘exercise’ the brain to prevent Alzheimer’s According to the Global Council on Brain Health, there are six key behaviors that can delay the onset of Alzheimer’s and ease the course of the devastating disease. Challenging the brain is one in which I wholeheartedly agree. I liken it to exercising the muscles of your body to make them stronger. Indeed, I would go one step further: Exercise the brain to help prevent Alzheimer’s!
You may not realize it, but as you play poker, there are significant benefits other than winning money. Challenging the brain — mental exercise — is at the top of my list. How does playing poker challenge the brain? A hand of Texas hold’em takes just about two minutes. During that short time, the player must make numerous decisions — sometimes very tough ones. That in itself is
back to the cart thingy. If Queen Elizabeth returns her cart every time, great, but not every 95-year-old has that queen’s stamina. And no, not every cart-leaver is a well-meaning person with unique understandable circumstances. There are lots of jerks — a lot of “Well the cart house is a whole 25 feet away, I’ll just leave this in a handicapped parking spot” self-centered morons. Return their carts, too. You’re not returning their carts for them, you’re returning it for you. And me. And the 95-year-old grandma with a handicapped parking permit who now has to park at the back of the parking lot. Do it for that Hypothetical Grocery
(Continued from page 14) Meaning, whenever you see a Ralph’s cart marooned up on a parking lot bumper block… just return the cart to the front of the store. But you didn’t put it there! I know. Return the cart anyway. That’s a great person. Maybe some teenager was rushing to visit a family member at the hospital and, after picking up a lovely Trader Joe’s orchid, his or her mind blanked on where to leave the shopping cart. Happens! Or maybe a 95-year-old grandma wanted to return her cart, but she parked so far from the store that she couldn’t make it all the way
Poker for All by
George Epstein quite a mental challenge. To be a winner, there are many skills to learn and refine — yet another tough challenge to the brain. Bluffing is a Shopping Queen Elizabeth. With parking lots a little less chaotic, a tiny bit less like obstacle courses, the Greater Wilshire communities will be just that smidge better. And from all over the world, visitors will remark, “Wow. The parking lots near Larchmont are so free from rogue carts. You know who’d love it here? My friend, Elizabeth II, the Queen of England.” Return the cart. Do it for Liz.
special skill — lots of questions to answer for yourself: How many outs do I have? Is this a good situation to try for a bluff? How do I read my opponents? There are important facts to learn and apply: Card-chasers do not fold; save your chips. It’s a lot easier to bluff out one or two opponents. (I have succeeded with as many as four players to bluff out.) Looking for tells takes time, special skills and effort. (I always look to my left to observe my opponents’ actions and expressions as they first peek at their hole cards. Those are the players who will bet after you; it’s nice to know what their intentions are.) And, mind you, it all happens in the space of two short minutes for each hand dealt — a huge challenge to the brain. Playing poker is not the only way. There are other games (like chess and bridge) that
will also challenge the brain. The Mechanism What happens when you challenge the brain — exercise it as you would the muscles in your body? The neurons (the basic cells that make up the brain) grow stronger, and the synapses (connectors between neurons) multiply in number, making for a healthier brain. The Alzheimer’s Association is the largest nonprofit organization committed to finding new treatments, preventions and, ultimately, a cure for this terrible disease. It funds 592 “best of field” projects to the tune of over $212 million in 31 countries. Unfortunately, it appears that none of these deals with challenges to the brain to build a stronger mind and prevent Alzheimer’s. Life/Poker Quote of the Month “Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.” — Voltaire
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