Page 1




All-girls Adventures in Nature science program was unveiled last month.

Pandemic? What pandemic? Architecture firm thrives in challenging times. Page 6

A rare attack reminds us to follow precautions — and don’t feed the wildlife!

Page 14

Real Estate Museums, Libraries Home & Garden

Page 18


Section 2


MARCH 2021


366 S. June St.| Hancock Park | $12,995,000 Exquisite 1928 French Chateau. 8Bd /10 Bas. Enjoy Life. Betsy Malloy 323.806.0203 CalRE #01293183

Martin Beck | Major Properties 323.314.7729 CalRE #01778125

171 S. McCadden Pl. | Windsor Square | $6,495,000 Magnificent and exquisite turn key English Tudor. 6Bd 7Bas, back yard with pool, spa & Guest house. Betsy Malloy 323.806.0203 CalRE #01293183

Martin Beck | Major Properties 323.314.7729 CalRE #01778125

201 S. Plymouth Blvd. | Windsor Square | $4,799,000 Beautifully remodeled & restored English just 1 block to Larchmont. 3 bed/3.5 ba+1 bed GH

601 N. Larchmont Bl. | Larchmont Village| $4,399,000 What a fantastic opportunity to purchase a comm’l property. Two separate structures. Co-listed.

Rick Llanos 323.810.0828 CalRE #01123101

Betsy Malloy 323.806.0203 CalRE #01293183

Martin Beck | Major Properties 323.314.7729 CalRE #01778125

330 S. Irving Blvd. | Windsor Square | $4,499,000 Estate quality! 5Bed/3.5 in House + 2Bed/1.5 Huge Guest house + Yard! Must see!

165 N. Las Palmas Ave. | Hancock Park | $4,499,000 Stately English Tudor on a beautiful treelined st. 5Bd / 4.5Bas, covered patio, large pool & 3 car-garage.

Impressive remodeled 1921 Colonial Revival hm in Historic Windsor Sq. 4Bd / 3.5bas. Large pool, spa & private garden.

262 S. Arden Blvd. | Windsor Square | $3,585,000

571 Cahuenga Blvd. | Hancock Park | $2,935,000 All redone in 2018. 3Bd / 3Bas + studio apt, pool.

Lisa Hutchins 323.460.7626 CalRE #01018644

Rick Llanos 323.810.0828 CalRE #01123101

Shar Penfold 323.356.1311 CalRE #01510192

Lisa Hutchins 323.460.7626 CalRE #01018644

238 S. Norton Ave. | Windsor Square | $2,995,000 IN ESCROW. Family friendly Traditional on Norton with 5 bedrooms, 3 baths & newer kitchen. Rick Llanos 323.810.0828 CalRE #01123101

316 N. Rossmore #606 | Hancock Park| $2,185,000 JUST SOLD. Stunning NW penthouse w/jaw-dropping views. 316Rossmore616.com Loveland Carr Group 323.460.7606 CalRE #01467820, #0888374

1643 Buckingham Blvd. | Mid-Los Angeles | $1,895,000 IN ESCROW. Large Prairie style home boasts 8bd/7ba with 4,836 sf living space. Large outdoor cabana. Erik Flexner 310.941.3539 CalRE #01352476

255 S. Gramercy Pl.| Hancock Park | $1,199,000 IN ESCROW. Ultra Charming Craftsman Bungalow. 3Bds / 1 bath, liv rm w/decorative fpl. Large yard.

568 Windsor Blvd.| Larchmont Village | $1,000,000

637 Wilcox #1B | Hancock Park | $999,000

Duplex blocks from Larchmont Village ready for your creativity. 1 unit delivered vacant. 568Windsor.com

Rick Llanos 323.810.0828 CalRE #01123101

Loveland Carr Group 323.460.7606 CalRE #01467820, #0888374

IN ESCROW. Rare 2BD + 2.5Ba unit w/ terrace views, 24/7 security, pool. 637Wilcox.com Loveland Carr Group 323.460.7606 CalRE #01467820, #0888374

256 S. Lucerne Blvd. | Hancock Park| $2,200,000

518 Van Ness Ave. | Larchmont Village | $2,200,000

Rare find—great community, beautiful tree lined street; 1st time on the market in 50 yrs. 4Bd / 2.5 bas.

IN ESCROW. Charming 2 story home. Open living rm & den. Backyard is made for entertaining w/ blt-in BBQ Jenny Chow 213.810.8791 CalRE #00918577

Shar Penfold 323.356.1311 CalRE #01510192

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


Larchmont Chronicle

MARCH 2021


They’re back! Spawn of SB50 lives on; the good, bad, ugly

After the collapse of the California Senate’s 2020 Housing Package in November of last year, the seeds of a new attack on the will of Californians to determine their own local housing policy were planted at the end of the last session of the Legislature. The failure to pass SB902 was the third strike in Sen. Scott Wiener’s attempts to end single-family zoning in California as a means to punish single-family residents and enable developers to profit by meeting demand for market rate housing in California. Wiener’s previous attempts with SB827 (2018) and SB50 (2019) also did not pass. But sure as weeds that shoot up in spring, a new Senate Housing Package for 2021 was crafted in December and now has taken root. Like a weed, the package is fronted with a pleasant bloom of beneficence and creative thinking, but that masks a root system whose effect, if not intention, is to undermine local planning and control (while not leading to any meaningful increase in needed affordable housing). Quotations describing the new bills come right from their advocates’ press release (focus.senate.ca.gov/ housing).

The Good SB5 (Atkins, Caballero, McGuire, Roth, Rubio, Skinner, Wiener) “establishes the initial framework for a statewide housing bond that would fund the creation of new, affordable housing for homeless and low-income families.” Dissolving the Community Redevelopment Agencies throughout the state in 2010 left a gaping hole in funding for the production of affordable housing, leaving it to inclusionary zoning and density bonuses to take up the slack. The results have been less than sufficient. If passed by the Legislature, California voters could see an Affordable Housing Bond on the November 2022 ballot, with greater funding for affordable housing becoming available if the bond passes. SB6 (Caballero) “authorizes residential development on existing lots currently zoned for commercial office and retail space such as strip malls or large big box retail spaces. The bill requires the development of residential units be at a minimum density to accommodate affordable housing and abide by existing local planning and development ordinances.” Again a wise bill which combines smart plan-

On Preservation by

Brian Curran

ning, affordable housing and local input. The Bad SB7 (Atkins) “seeks to improve the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) process by extending and expanding provisions of AB900, which streamlined paperwork and expedited legal challenges to large, multi-benefit housing, energy, and manufacturing projects.” By “improving” CEQA, this bill means gutting it, providing a major giveaway to developers in exchange for a few affordable units. SB8 (Skinner) This bill slightly alters the state’s Density Bonus law that requires that qualifying projects set aside 20 percent of units for low- to moderate-income renters. The existing law has been criticized for not requiring more affordable housing for the bonus received, thus providing only an anemic amount of bang for the buck. And the Ugly SB9 (Atkins) “promotes

New Listing 322 S. Rossmore| $5,750,000 5 Bed+5 Bath|Hancock Park

small-scale neighborhood residential development by streamlining the process for a homeowner to create a duplex or subdivide an existing lot in residential areas.” The long hand of Wiener and his attempts to end single-family zoning appear in this bill, a copycat of SB1120 that failed last November. It effectively ends single-family zoning, allowing a property owner to divide his or her property in half, build a duplex on both lots with two additional ADUs (Accessory Dwelling Units) for a total of eight units where previously a single-family house stood. See unitedneighbors. net for extensive information about this threat, including helpful drawings. SB10 (Wiener) “allows cities to upzone areas close to job centers, transit, and existing urbanized areas to allow up to 10 units without having to go through the lengthy CEQA process.” This year’s version of Wiener’s failed SB902 would allow the city to override zoning to approve a 10-unit apartment building on any urban infill site or any parcel within a loosely defined “jobs-rich” or “transitrich” area, without provision for any affordable housing. The entire readership area

In Escrow

of the Larchmont Chronicle would be affected. For more information, see tinyurl. com/5avuc5tt. While I applaud the California Senate for adding some sweeteners to this bitter package, what nonetheless remains clear is that again Sacramento’s response to the housing crisis is to try to increase housing supply by abolishing single-family zoning, circumventing CEQA, and hoping developers will solve the affordable housing crisis, no matter how many times the legislators are told by their constituents NO.

Race track history told in photographs at WSHPHS lecture See photographer Michele Asselin’s presentation on her book, “Clubhouse Turn: The Twilight of Hollywood Park Race Track,” at a talk through the Windsor Square Hancock Park Historical Society Wed., March 17 at 7 p.m. via Zoom. Tickets are $10 for members, $15 for nonmembers, or $50 for an autographed copy of the book with the talk. For more information on this and other talks in the series, visit windsorsquarehancockpark.com.


137 S. Larchmont| $2,995,000 4 Bed+4 Bath|Windsor Square

Co-Listed W/Ali Jack

836 Masselin | $2,900,000 6 Bed+5 Bath| MIRACLE MILE

111568 Chiquita | $6,795,000 6 Bed+ 8 Bath | Studio City


339 N. Irving |$1,531,000 3 Bed+2 Bath|Larchmont Village

EXPERT SERVICE exceptional results

In Escrow


In Escrow

8308 Grand View |$3,100,000 3 Bed+4 Bath|Hollywood Hills

Co-Listed W/Leena Deneroff

Represented W/ Juliette Hohnen


212 N. Windsor |$2,825,000 4 Bed+6 Bath| Windsor Square

319 S. McCadden| Off-Market 4 Bed+ 3.5 Bath| HANCOCK PARK

Pete Buonocore


pete@coregroupla.com DRE #01870534


DRE #01279107

Larchmont Chronicle

MARCH 2021


NIMBY assumptions about homelessness: Are we all NIMBYs?

As·sump·tion - 1. a thing that is accepted as true without proof. 2. the action of taking on power or responsibility: the assumption of an active role in solving a problem. Over the course of six columns for the Larchmont Chronicle, I hope to begin a conversation that explores our assumptions about homelessness … and our complicated “Not In My Backyard,” or NIMBY, assumptions. And I want us to explore the different ways we can assume an active role in helping to solve the problem of homelessness. I’m sure that the last sentence made you think, “Oh boy, here we go again.” Yes, here we go again, and if you’re tired of trying to explain to your kids why people live under the freeway or sleep in the bus stop down the block — that’s OK, because it’s complicated. How far down the rabbit hole do we have to go before we make an effort to engage in assisting change? Picture us as Neo in “The Matrix” — we have the option to take the red pill, a pill that shows us the truth, as opposed to the blue pill, which keeps us unaware of our own complicity in the problem of homelessness. Let us take this question-

naire as a starting point. (Circle your answers as you read; answers are on Page 12.) NIMBYs’ Multiple Choice Questionnaire 1. I want more effort given to solving homelessness in Los Angeles. a. True. b. False. 2. I’m in favor of building permanent housing for people experiencing homelessness … a. On North Rossmore Ave. b. In my ADU or guesthouse. c. One or two miles from my home. d. In another part of the city that already has low-income housing. e. All of the above. 3. How much do you think the value of your property will change if affordable housing were built close to your home? a. +34%. b. -16%. c. -35%. d. 0% (no change). 4. If your neighborhood had affordable or supportive housing, how do you believe your life would be impacted? a. I would be concerned for my safety and the safety of my children. b. I would be concerned about an increase in crime.

The NIMBY Diaries by

Marilyn Wells c. I don’t think there would be a notable impact. d. I would be pleased to live in a more economically diverse neighborhood. 5. What are the top three causes of homelessness? a. Drug and alcohol abuse. b. Unemployment. c. Low wages. d. Lack of affordable housing. e. Poverty. f. Domestic abuse. 6. What percentage of people experiencing homelessness suffers from mental illness? a. Most. c. 45%. b. 58%. d. 26%. 7. What percentage of homelessness is a consequence of substance abuse? a. 69%. c. 30%. b. 45%. d. 10%. 8. What percentage of people experiencing homelessness develops drug addiction as a consequence of being homeless? a. 80%. c. 30%. b. 50%. d. 10%. 9. Why are the encampments

continuing to grow? a. Loss of jobs during Covid. b. City of LA has suspended “sweeps” (in most cases) because the Centers for Disease Control recommend that everyone shelter in place and not be pushed place to place. c. Evictions are happening even though there is a moratorium on evictions. d. More people are renters therefore more vulnerable to losing their housing e. All of the above. 10. How many people in LA County pay more than half of their monthly income on rent? a. 56,000. c. 420,000. b. 250,000. d. 720,000. 11. How many people living outside on the street are typically from the surrounding community? a. None. c. 20%. b. 5%. d. 77%. 12. What percentage of women experiencing homelessness in LA County are the victims of domestic violence? a. None. c. 38%. b. 28%. d. 50%. 13. What local venue would you need to use to hold a meeting of all the homeless students in California (K-12 plus all higher education)? a. The Rose Bowl (90,000). b. The Coliseum (78,000). c. Dodger Stadium (56,000).


d. The Forum (17,000). e. Staples Center (20,000). f. All of the above. 14. Anyone who needs rental assistance in this country can get it. a. True. b. False. 15. What percentage of young people experiencing homelessness have recently aged out of the foster care system? a. 3%. c. 15%. b. 10%. d. 25%. 16. What is the average percentage of income that lowincome working people spend on housing here in LA? a. 9%. c. 20%. b. 10%. d. 75%. 17. True or False: There are no affordable or supportive housing developments in the greater Larchmont area (within 2-3 miles of 3rd and Larchmont). a. True. b. False. 18. What is the biggest obstacle in building supportive housing? a. NIMBYs. b. Financing. c. Permitting. d. Finding affordable and available land. e. All of the above. 19. What can be done to speed up building affordable or sup(Please turn to page 10)



MARCH 2021

Larchmont Chronicle

Founding CEO Wayne Ratkovich names successor

SECOND FLOOR INTERIOR of the Audrey Irmas Pavilion at the Wilshire Boulevard Temple is being finished. Photo by Gary Leonard, February 4, 2021

Beautiful 1920’s Mediterranean Unit In A Hancock Park Fourplex (TIC) FULLY EQUIPPED, CONTROLLED ACCESS, BASKETBALL COURT Stunning Mediterranean unit in a Tenants-In-Common fourplex, offers the best of LA Living. All the charm & period details of the 1920’s combined with all modern conveniences. This 2 bedroom/2 bath gem offers a sunny and spacious living room with decorative fireplace, leading to the dining room, breakfast nook, and an updated kitchen with Stainless Steel appliances. Updated and spacious bath shared by both bedrooms, hardwood floors throughout, and generous closets. Original details include built-ins, crown molding, period tile, high ceilings, central air, laundry room with washer/dryer, updated plumbing/electric, tankless water heater, new roof, and retrofitted foundation/sewer line.

821 S. Mansfield Ave #2 Hancock Park

Estates Director, Sunset Strip

WAYNE RATKOVICH moves to an advisory role as chairman of the Ratkovitch Company.

ing with architect Brenda Levin to restore the 12-story art deco building. He and his company have become well-known for restoring historic buildings, including many local ones, such as the Wiltern Theatre, Pellissier Building, Chapman Market and 5900 Wilshire. “I always had a nose for reimagining opportunities and buildings into something that others don’t see,” said Ratkovich. “I’ll keep my eye out for those opportunities and pass them on.”

Town hall with Raman is March 15

2 Bed | 2 Bath | ±1,512 SF Offered at $835,000

Jill Galloway

Wayne Ratkovich, Windsor Square, founding chief executive officer of his namesake Ratkovich Company, announced last month that Brian Saenger will succeed him as the next president and CEO. Ratkovich will step away from day-to-day management of the company and assume the new position of chairman, where he will serve in an advisory role. He plans to spend time on his charitable pursuits, including working with Homeboy Industries. Saenger, who has been with the company for 10 years, most recently as the chief operating officer and general counsel, oversaw development management, property management and legal and administrative functions before stepping into the CEO role last month. Prior to joining the company, Saenger worked for 10 years as its outside legal counsel. Ratkovich began his real estate career in 1977, when he and a partner purchased the historic Oviatt Building in downtown Los Angeles, work-

Just Listed

323.842.1980 | jill@jillgalloway.com 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.

Councilmember Nithya Raman will be featured at a March 15 “town hall” meeting (online of course). All are welcome at this meeting, organized by the Hancock Park Homeowners Association. Scheduled for Mon., March 15 from 6 to 7 p.m., participants need to register for the webinar ahead of time. Visit tinyurl.com/cx626ta3 to register.

Concerns to be addressed at the meeting include safety and crime, zoning and land use, street and sidewalk repair, transportation, Dept. of Water and Power issues, the homeless crisis and CD4 discretionary funds. Questions for the councilmember should be sent in advance to: admin@hancockparkhomeownersassociation.org.

Larchmont Chronicle

MARCH 2021


Shar Penfold Presents...

262 S. Arden Blvd | Offered at $3,585,000 | In Escrow Impressive remodeled 1921 Colonial Revival home in historic Windsor Square, minutes away from Larchmont Village. Retaining its old world charm this home was thoughtfully renovated in 2016 with luxurious master suite, gorgeous bathroom, walk-in closet, fireplace and balcony, 3 more spacious bedrooms, one with ensuite and remaining 2 with tandem full bath. Large open space kitchen and family room with custom cabinetry, fireplace, butler's pantry with wine storage, Thermador appliances. Breakfast room. Charming powder room. Elegant staircase with stained glass windows. Guest suite and 1 1/2 bathrooms in the fully remodeled detached two story garage, which offers approx 400 sq ft not included in the square footage of main house. Open the family room double French glass doors to a entertainers deck with a fireplace overlooking a large pool, spa and private garden. Additional features include a living room, dining room, formal entry, gorgeous staircase with stained glass windows, a large laundry/mudroom, newer HVAC, plumbing, electrics. It goes on and on....truly impressive.

256 S. Lucerne Blvd. | Offered at $2,200,000 Outstanding location!! Easy to show. First time on the market in 50 years!! Huge potential to make this your dream home within a great community and beautiful tree lined street. Close to Larchmont, 3rd St school and Marlborough. Generous sized rooms. French door leading out to private back yard with pool. Outstanding opportunity!!

1037 N. Vista St. #302 968 S. Muirfield Rd. 142 N. Irving Blvd. Sold Rep. Buyer | $2,125,000 Represented Buyer | $2,675,000 West Hollywood | 2Bd / 2BA Sold | $835,000 Leased Off Market $7,800/MO Sold Off Market

133 S. Spalding St. #301 Leased Rep Tenant $8,000/MO | 3Bd / 3BA

SHAR PENFOLD C: 323.356.1311


CalRE #: 01510192 251 N. Larchmont Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90004 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



MARCH 2021


Larchmont Chronicle

Local architecture firm thrives in a challenging year

By Billy Taylor Despite a year full of challenges, CO Architects, a local design firm for healthcare, education and research facilities, experienced double-digit growth in 2020 and even hired 25 new employees. Located in the Miracle Mile area on Wilshire Boulevard, inside the former Carnation Company Building, CO Architects’ managing principal Scott Kelsey credits his firm’s success, in part, to his team’s ability to “adapt quickly” to the challenges at hand. Eager to learn more, the Chronicle asked Kelsey to explain his firm’s approach to working in a pandemic. Q: In the past year, CO Architects has hired 25 new employees and was ranked #2 for billings in Los Angeles County by the “Los Angeles Business Journal.” These are impressive accomplishments under the best of times, but during a raging pandemic, they are truly remarkable. How did CO Architects do it? A: “Technology has been a priority for our firm for decades, and we transitioned to remote working fairly quickly. About 20 years ago, CO was an early adopter of Building Information Modeling, which evolved our

ARCHITECTS enjoy the view from their office on the top floor of the historic Carnation Company Building on Wilshire Boulevard. FORMER CARNATION Building is the home of CO Architects.

industry from blueprints and physical meetings to digital design and virtual collaboration among architects and contractors. This technological foundation expedited our transition to remote working and hiring,” explained Kelsey. “Surprisingly, onboarding our 25 new hires was faster than traditional face-to-face meetings. The Los Angeles chapter of the American Institute of Architects recognized this and recently included us in a panel discussion on the future of remote working.” Q: Your firm has a specialization in healthcare and research facilities, so it must have been rewarding to work on the local surgery center at Cedars-Sinai. How long was the project in

the works? Is the surgery center in operation now? A: “Design work on the outpatient surgery floor for Cedars’ Advanced Health Sciences Pavilion began in 2015, and the 45,000 square-foot space with 13 operating rooms opened early last year. CedarsSinai has been a great partner for CO,” said Kelsey. “Our team expressed our gratitude to Cedars’ staff last spring by sending meals during the height of the pandemic.” Q: What are your goals for the firm in the year ahead? Are there any new projects that you’re looking forward to? A: “We are optimistic that our healthcare projects will progress as planned. CO Architects designed the new UCI Medical

Center Irvine-Newport, which will break ground this summer and is scheduled for 2025 completion. Our med-ed and lab-design teams are largely staying the course; a multiyear update to UCLA’s La Kretz Botany Building — designed in 1957 by legendary Los Angeles architect Paul Revere Williams — is on track for completion by year’s end. We are also excited about several projects with the Los Angeles Unified School District,” said Kelsey. “We are expanding our interior practice, as well. We generally do the interiors for the buildings we design and are now pursuing interiors-only projects, including designing the County Art Museum’s new administrative offices.” Q: This article is a part of our annual Miracle Mile spe-

cial issue. As such, can you briefly talk about the location of your office on Wilshire and what it’s like to work in the greater Miracle Mile area? A: “CO Architects has been in the 1954 Carnation Building since 1992. We enjoy being on the building’s top floor, as it affords us great views of the area and has a large balcony for social gatherings,” explained Kelsey. “Being on Museum Row is creatively inspiring, thanks to close proximity to the city’s historic architecture in a multitude of styles, including Art Deco, Streamline Moderne, Modernist, and Googie. Miracle Mile is currently one of the most exciting parts of town, with the big LACMA project and the Academy Museum’s long-awaited opening this fall,” Kelsey said.

645 Wilcox Ave. #3B | Hancock Park | $949,900 Gorgeous vista & Wilshire CC #13 views! TastefulUpdated-Turn Key, 1Bed 1.5Bath & Office. Cathie White 323.371.3152 CalRE #02088625

6151 Orange St. #311 | Miracle Mile | $419,000 1BD / 1BA top flr unit. Bright & airy. Open flr pla w/ views of the hills. Liv rm w/fpl, rooftop pool. Cecille Cohen 213.810.9949 CalRE #00884530

142 N. Hudson Ave| Hancock Park | $18,500/MO GolfCourse View Estate! 5Bed/4.5 Bas 1bed/1ba guest rm, pool, 3rd St + Marlborough schools close. Lisa Hutchins 323.460.7626 CalRE #01018644

829 S. Tremaine Ave | Hancock Park | $8,700/MO Beautiful English Tudor in Brookside! 5Bd / 3 Baths, spacious liv & din rms, remodeled kitchen. Pool & Spa Sandy Boeck Rick Llanos 323.687.6552 323.810.0828 CalRe #:01005153 CalRE #:01123101

968 S. Muirfield | Hancock Park | $7,800/MO LEASED OFF MARKET. 4Bd / 3baths English Cottage. Liv rm w/fpl, frml din rm, large deck, pool and cabana. Shar Penfold 323.356.1311 CalRE #01510192

1166 S. Victoria | Hancock Park |$4,950/MO Wonderful home w/3 bed/2 bath. Remodel kitchen. Hardwood floors. Large backyard w/workshop. Barbara Allen 323.610.1781 CalRE #01487763

346 Westminster | Windsor Square | $4,000/MO

1515 S. Beverly Dr. #412 | Beverlywood | $3,600/MO Wonderful 3Bd / 2.5Bas in move-in condition. Hrdwd flrs, lrg balcony, LR w/ fpl. Pool, sauna, gym, rec rm. Cecille Cohen 213.810.9949 CalRE #00884530

Sweet 3+1.25 home w/hardwood floors and newer appliances. Sweet backyard. Garage. Loveland Carr Group 323.460.7606 CalRE #01467820, #0888374

COLDWELLBANKERHOMES.COM Hancock Park 323.464.9272 | 251 N Larchmont Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90004 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. Real estate agents affiliated with Coldwell Banker Realty are independent contractor sales associates, not employees. ©2020 Coldwell Banker Realty. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker Realty fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Owned by a subsidiary of NRT LLC. Coldwell Banker and the Coldwell Banker Logo are registered service marks owned by Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. CalDRE #: 00616212

Larchmont Chronicle

MARCH 2021


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MARCH 2021


Larchmont Chronicle

Directory of Local Residential Associations

Below is a list of residential groups, including contact information, which serve the Miracle Mile neighborhoods and surrounding areas. To add or correct, contact info@ larchmontchronicle.com.

Beverly Wilshire Homes Association beverlywilshirehomes.com Diana Plotkin, president
 323-653-6254 Boundaries: Wilshire to Rosewood, La Cienega to La Brea, excluding Park La Brea. Brookside Homeowners Association brooksidelaca.com Emily Levin, president info@brooksidelaca.com Boundaries: Olympic to Wilshire, Highland to Muirfield. Carthay Circle Neighborhood Association carthaycircle.org Brent Kidwell, president president@carthaycircle.org Boundaries: Wilshire to Olympic between Fairfax and La Cienega.

hancockparkhomeownersassociation.org Cindy Chvatal-Keane, president 323-829-8828 snorekel@gmail.com 157 N. Larchmont Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90004 Boundaries: Wilshire to Melrose, Highland to Rossmore. La Brea-Hancock Homeowners’ Association labreahancock.com Cathy Roberts, president neighborhoodwatch@ labreahancock.com crmaison@gmail.com Boundaries: Wilshire to Third, Sycamore to Citrus. Larchmont Village Neighborhood Association lvna.info Charlie D’Atri, president lvgwnc@gmail.com Boundaries: Beverly to Melrose, Arden to Wilton.

Fremont Place Association fremontplace.org Cam Davis, president camdavisla@gmail.com

Miracle Mile Residential Association miraclemilela.com Greg Goldin, president P.O. Box 361295 Los Angeles, CA 90036 info@miraclemilela.com Boundaries: Wilshire to San Vicente, between Fairfax and La Brea.

Hancock Park Homeowners Association Est. 1948

Ridgewood-Wilton Neighborhood Association

ridgewoodwilton.com Robert Reeves, president P.O. Box 74605 Los Angeles, CA 90004 contact@ridgewoodwilton.com Boundaries: Third to Beverly, Ridgewood, Wilton Pl., Wilton Dr.

Barbara Gallen, co-president Nick Medina, co-president Boundaries: Third to Wilshire, La Brea to Cochran and Hauser on the west.

Park La Brea Residents Association plbra.org Robert Shore, president
 401 S. Burnside Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90036 ParkLaBreaRA@gmail.com

St. Andrews Square Neighborhood Association saintandrewssquare.org Rory Cunningham, co-president Liz Gabor, co-president st.andrews.sq@gmail.com Boundaries: Third to Beverly, Gramercy to Manhattan.

Sixth Street Miracle Mile Neighborhood Association 6thmmna.org

Sycamore Square Neighborhood Association sycamoresquare.org

Conrad Starr, president
 info@sycamoresquare.org Boundaries: Wilshire to Olympic, La Brea to Citrus. Wilshire Park Association wilshirepark.org Peter White, president Boundaries: Wilshire to Olympic, Wilton to Crenshaw Windsor Square Association windsorsquare.org Larry Guzin, president wsinfo@windsorsquare.org Boundaries: Wilshire to Beverly, Arden to Van Ness. (Please turn to page 9)

Larchmont Chronicle

MARCH 2021



Looking to the year ahead, longing for batting cages, baseball and … Get thee to a batting cage… “There are only two seasons; winter and baseball.” Bill Veek, Jr. That quote says so much regarding longing and the ache of yesterdays gone, which in turn reveals the seduction of baseball’s sentimental essence. William Shakespeare couldn’t have expressed it better. Seems there’s much longing these days for baseball. A year ago, local youth leagues canceled spring ball because of the pandemic, and Major League Baseball (MLB) played a shortened 60-game season that began on July 1, though the stadiums were closed to fans. Oh, mine eyes crave Dodger Dogs; I shall weep anon.

Residential associations

(Continued from page 8 Windsor Village Association windsorvillage.net Barbara Pflaumer, president 835 S. Lucerne Blvd., #107 Los Angeles, CA 90005 213-347-9761 Facebook: WindsorVillageLA Boundaries: Wilshire to Olympic, Lucerne to western side of Crenshaw. Information of interest to res-

Youth Sports by

Jim Kalin Wilshire Warriors Baseball, the local youth league based at Pan Pacific Park, hopes to begin player registration soon. “Our fall club baseball did go forward in October and November on a very limited basis,” explained Wilshire Warriors Baseball President Luke Schugren. “We held practice pods with protocols in compliance with Los Angeles County Department of Public Health regulations, but

idents is also available from: Greater Miracle Mile Chamber of Commerce miraclemilechamber.org Stephen W. Kramer, president 5858 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 205 Los Angeles, CA 90036 323-964-5454 info@miraclemilechamber.org Larchmont Boulevard Association www.larchmont.com 419 N. Larchmont Blvd. PMB 222 Los Angeles, CA 90004

there were no games.” Schugren is optimistic about the upcoming season. “We’re absolutely planning for a spring baseball season, but what that looks like specifically is still up in the air.” A lifer T.J. Runnells is proprietor of Baseball Central, the premier Los Angeles location for batting cages and private hitting, pitching and fielding instruction, and any boy or girl who has participated in the Wilshire Warriors league has probably visited there. “We aren’t open to the public just yet,” said Runnells. “We’re working on a plan so we can be.” Runnells has always been submersed in baseball. As a youth, he spent summers in ballparks, mostly Cincinnati’s Riverfront Stadium. T.J.’s father Tom played infield for the Reds in the mid-1980s, and Pete Rose was his teammate. “Once school was finished for the year, we traveled to wherever my dad’s games were. Stadiums were my playground.” Tom Runnells later managed the Expos, and on July 28, 1991, was with the team when Dennis Martinez pitched a perfect game against the

BATTER Kirin Runnells.

Dodgers in Los Angeles. Presently, Tom is the Colorado Rockies’ bench coach. T.J. also played professional baseball. He was drafted out of high school by the Detroit Tigers organization, and played in the minor leagues. Ground zero Runnells purchased Baseball Central in 2005 after working there as an instructor. For any local youth leaguer who wants to excel, it’s ground zero for sharpening baseball skills. Of course there are individual batting cages with pitching machines, but it’s also about atmosphere. Baseball Central is housed in a large warehouse at 5746 Venice Blvd., smells

Featured Listings for the Month of March by

wonderfully of leather, and is accentuated by the crack of bats hitting balls. MLB posters, bobbleheads and memorabilia ornament the walls. The instructors are experienced, and there’s a lounge with a big screen television that plays only baseball games. At Baseball Central, the ambiance is grand slam. “Big leaguers come in and work out here,” said Runnells. It’s common to see local college players, both men and women, from UCLA, USC, and Cal State Northridge batting at Baseball Central. “We also serve the non-baseball community,” said Runnells. Baseball Central has been home to art shows, birthday parties and bar mitzvahs. Check Baseball Central’s website, or call before heading down. They’re not open just yet, but once they are, reservations for batting cages are always the best bet. Had baseball existed in the late 16th century, Shakespeare might have been a sportswriter for the Stratford-uponAvon Herald, and instead of depicting Hamlet as a tragic mess, the Prince of Denmark could have found solace playing shortstop. And today, we’d know the game as Bardball, not baseball.

June Ahn 267 S. San Pedro St. #122 Los Angeles, CA 90012 Listed at $429,000 TERAMACHI is a LUXURY SENIOR (55+) complex in the heart of DTLA's historic Little Tokyo. Tastefully upgraded south facing unit on 1st floor w/easy access to the common area from the patio. 2 bedroom 2 full baths, spacious foyer entrance, open floor living room w/balcony leads to beautiful grassy courtyard. Master bedroom w/walk-in closet. Dining area, gourmet kitchen w/granite countertops, breakfast bar & stainless steel appliances, spacious cabinets. Bright natural light throughout. Additional features incl. central air & heat, in-unit washer & dryer. Community amenities incl. sparkling indooroutdoor pool w/sundeck, spa, central courtyard w/ gardens, koi pond, fountains & waterfalls, fitness center, steam sauna, guest lounges, 2-story community room w/full kitchen facilities, BBQ's, guest parking & 24 hour front desk/security station. Close to Little Tokyo shops & restaurants, Dodger Stadium & ever-expanding downtown - including the Arts District, Union Station, Staples Center & Disney Hall.

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Hancock Park 251 N. Larchmont Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90004

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



(Continued from page 3) portive housing? a. Change planning regulations. b. Increase and streamline construction financing. c. Find more developers who will build it. d. Have a community buy-

in. e. All of the above. 20. In 2016, City of LA voters approved a bond measure to finance 10,000 units of supportive and affordable housing by 2026. How many units have been funded so far? a. 1,000. c. 5,500. b. 2,500. d. 7,300. 21. What factor(s) is/are

Larchmont Chronicle

MARCH 2021


most responsible for driving up the cost of building permanent supportive or affordable housing? a. Required number of parking spots (equals fewer units). b. 8-10 different construction funding sources, each with its own rules and timelines. c. Increased building costs


due to state / federal regulations. d. Community objections and/or frivolous lawsuits. e. All of the above. 22. The County of LA has 10+ million people, how many parking spaces does LA have? a. 25 million. b. None when you need one. c. 18 million. d. 5 million. 23. When I see Giorgio, the older Italian man hunched over his shopping cart of raggedy possessions, I _____ a. Cross to the other side of the street.

b. Contact LA-HOP.org. c. Feel hopeless. d. Say hello and offer to buy him pizza (he’s Italian, remember). e. Look away as if I hadn’t seen him. Turn to Page 12 for answers. Larchmont Chronicle guest columnist Marilyn Wells, Psy.D. is a resident of Hancock Park and an advocate for people with lived homeless experience. She is a co-founder of storiesfrontline.org.

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501 Wilcox Ave. 300 S. June St. 201 Rimpau Blvd. 857 Keniston Ave. 172 S. McCadden Pl. 432 S. Lucerne Blvd. 406 S. Sycamore Blvd. 212 N. Windsor Blvd. 604 S. Arden Blvd. 835 S. Orange Dr. 332 N. Ridgewood Pl. 968 Muirfield Rd. 346 N. Gower St. 128 N. Ridgewood Pl. 100 S. Lucerne Blvd. 898 S. Victoria Ave. 418 S. Citrus Ave. 250 S. Larchmont Blvd. 857 S. Bronson Ave. 339 N. Irving Blvd. 239 N. Ridgewood Pl. 525 N. Mansfield Ave. 343 N. Bronson Ave. 703 S. Norton Ave. 308 N. Irving Blvd.

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t: 323-251-1481 e: matthew1yim@gmail.com 301 N Canon Dr. Suite E 251 N. Larchmont Blvd Beverly Hills Hancock Park

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.

$6,400,000 5,550,000 5,475,000 3,899,175 3,795,000 3,785,000 3,495,000 2,825,000 2,264,000 2,230,000 2,145,000 2,125,000 2,100,000 2,086,500 1,899,000 1,858,000 1,800,000 1,630,000 1,550,000 1,531,000 1,370,000 1,325,000 1,250,000 1,125,000 1,070,000

Condominiums 311 S. Gramercy Pl., #PH04 4568 W. 1st St., #301 412 S. Wilton Pl., #402 4407 Francis Ave., #301 861 S. Windsor Blvd., #205 5037 Rosewood Ave., #213 4822 Elmwood Ave., #303 970 S. St. Andrews Pl., #302

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Larchmont Chronicle

MARCH 2021



Tense look at opioids; Renaissance — in all its squalor

Crisis (8/10): 143 minutes. R. This is a high tension, slam bang story of the development of an opioid drug, involving vicious drug dealers, a whistleblowing professor, DEA agents, corrupt corporations promoting a dangerous drug, venal politicians, and a woman looking for vengeance for the murder of her son. Well-written and directed, it has excellent performances by Gary Oldman, Armie Hammer, Greg Kinnear, and the rest of the cast. There are many scenes in this film that inspire comparisons to the way the COVID-19 vaccines have been rapidly developed, approved, and marketed. Sin (8/10): 128 minutes. NR. A slice of life of Michelangelo (Alberto Testone, who looks like I picture Michelangelo, who was certainly no Charlton Heston) in the first half of the 16th century. Director and writer (with Elena Kiseleva) Andrey Konchalovskiy has done a brilliant job of recreating what life must have been like 500 years ago in Rome and Florence and environs. It was dirty, filthy; people lived in squalor. And that’s the way this film pictures it. There was nothing romantic about living in the Renaissance, no matter how beautiful the art. This also is probably the most real-

istic re-creation of the character of Michelangelo, who was nothing if not cantankerous. Another positive is that it was filmed on location, including Monte Altissimo, where Michelangelo got his Carrara marble. It is often difficult to know who the characters are, and the film is disjointed to say the least. It was the ambiance and the presumed accuracy of the depiction of the life of the times that captured me. That was so good and realistic that the time passed easily despite the lack of a captivating plot. In Italian. The Little Things (7/10): 127 minutes, R. Denzel Washington’s acting as a burnt-out, out-of-town deputy sheriff helping to search for a serial killer in Los Angeles is greatly aided by a fine, quirky performance by Rami Malek as a troubled fellow cop, and a scintillating, award-quality performance by main suspect Jared Leto, even though it’s 30 minutes too long. The Dig (7/10): 112 minutes, PG-13. Both Carey Mulligan and Ralph Fiennes give moving performances in this true story about a widow who sponsors what turns out to be an historic dig on her English property in 1938. The early WWII ambiance is very well

At the Movies with

Tony Medley recreated. Mulligan rarely disappoints and she doesn’t here. I Care A Lot (6/10): 118 minutes. R. This is a legally phantasmagorical tale of a vicious elder care guardian (Rosamunde Pike) going against a psychopathic mafia chieftain (Peter Dinklage) — a film without a protagonist to cheer and filled with glaring reality-

challenged plotholes. While adequately suspenseful and entertaining, its morally deficient ending is disappointing. Mafia Inc (5/10): 140 minutes, R. A fictionalized account of the Mafia in Montreal based on a non-fiction book, it is a disappointing pale imitation of “The Godfather,” totally lacking in captivating characters. In fact, there is one scene, meant to be shocking, that is almost a direct copy from “The Godfather.” While violent, as required by the genre, it is too long, talky, and derivative to be involving. English and Italian. Nomadland (3/10) 108 minutes. R. This story of a woman

living out a life of quiet desperation is depressing and slow, teeming with shots of Frances McDormand thinking. Although it apparently is intended to glorify the life of dropping out and travelling around the country alone, it trivializes the difficulties that must be inherent in journeying over hill and dale alone in a small camper. Even though the cast includes real “nomads” playing themselves, there is not one uplifting or humorous moment in the entire film. To its further detriment, there is an unnecessary, gratuitous shot of full frontal McDormand nudity that earns it an R rating.

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Larchmont Chronicle

MARCH 2021


Larchmont Village five-story apartment controversy continues

The GWNC Land Use Committee in February reviewed a development proposal for 500 N. Larchmont Blvd. (at Rosewood). In response to earlier comments, the architect made aesthetic changes

to the building. Neighbors remain concerned about the five-story height, made possible because the Transit Oriented Communities (TOC) guidelines consider Melrose and Gower a "Major Transit Stop."

Answers to Homelessness Questionnaire on Page 3

1. If you answered True, will you join in the effort? 1 2. What came to mind first? (All answers are currently correct.) 2 3. d. 3 4. What came to mind first? 4 5. b, c & f. 5 6. d. 6 7. c. 7 8. b. 8 9. e. 9 10. d. 10 11. d. 11 12. c. 12 13. f. 13 14. b. 14 15. d. 15 16. d. 16 17. b. False: See Step Up on Vine (2 miles) and Selma Community Housing (for LAUSD employees) (3 miles). 17 18. e. 18 19. e. 19 20. d. 20 21. e. 21 22. c. 22 23. What came to mind first? 23

FEB. revision - side

FEB. revision


Endnotes 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Read on! Read on! tinyurl.com/pjn8p23p Read on! tinyurl.com/jmtuzzth tinyurl.com/n95298ue Ibid. Ibid. tinyurl.com/4ej7r62n tinyurl.com/m4vn9f4e 10 tinyurl.com/mnmf5ux9 11 tinyurl.com/k4yvc6sn 12 tinyurl.com/dmwrtjrs 13 tinyurl.com/2tjb98u8 14 tinyurl.com/62hm9yju 15 tinyurl.com/4zwuamzj 16 tinyurl.com/4zxcx3r5 17 tinyurl.com/jafnjhca tinyurl.com/4mhxsrc7 18 tinyurl.com/4exj7xcv 19 Ibid. 20 Ibid. 21 Ibid. 22 tinyurl.com/3xmrt66a 23 See Larchmont Chronicle story about Giorgio on Page 1 of Feb. 2021 issue.

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Larchmont Chronicle

MARCH 2021



How will the show go on if help is ‘too little too late’? Theater Review by

Louis Fantasia tionally hire actors, musicians, etc., as independent contractors. These organizations must now employ artists as full-time employees and pay their related taxes, insurance and benefits, an increase of about 30 percent in operating costs. Arts groups have responded (apart from petitioning the Assembly to repeal the bill) by, at best, reducing offers to artists by the amount of the add-ons, or asking the artists to “donate” their services. As the “Daily News” put it, “a theater company with a broken water pipe can hire [its regular] plumber as an independent contractor, but the actors [hired for one play] have to be on payroll.” Finally, on Feb. 9, 2021 the “Los Angeles Times” published a story describing how the (mostly privately funded) $38.5 million Arts Recovery Fund would work. The bulk of its assistance would go to organizations with budgets of $10 million or less. It also outlined efforts by other foundations

to make smaller, though still significant, grants to organizations with budgets of less than $5 million. While all of this is a positive, as David Callahan, founder and editor of “Inside Philanthropy” said in the article, it all could be “too little too late because the needs of these arts organizations are so huge right now.” So… theaters will stay dark for at least another nine or 10 months. When venues do open, artists and non-permanent staff in California face reduced employment because of AB5. Germany, with roughly twice the population of California (and eight times that of Los Angeles County) spends another billion euros in support of its artists, while we are lucky if we have a hundred million dollar game plan (once you add up private and public support) in California. Artists can’t even find work as waiters any more! And they are supposed to make it through another 10 months? How? If the financial burden doesn’t destroy people, the psychological one will. At the end of January, mayors from 10 large cities, including Los Angeles, wrote to President Biden to urge an integrated Federal approach to help “reboot” the arts (artnet. com 1/29/21). The letter cited

the September unemployment rate, which showed that workers in arts sectors were out of work three to six times more than the overall national unemployment rate of then 8.5 percent, while pointing out (as I did a year ago) that the arts “industry” creates over 4.5 percent of US GDP. By comparison, heavily subsidized American farmers (according

to the USDA), contributed 0.6 percent to our GDP in 2019 (total industrial agri-business accounted for 5.2 percent of GDP). That year, U.S. farmers got $22 BILLION in government payments. That’s 20 times Germany’s cultural bailout, for six-tenths of one percent of our GDP. And they call the Europeans socialists!

Have a laugh this St. Patrick’s Day Bill Devlin’s Pre-St. Paddy’s Day Show with Kevin Nealon and other special guests is Sat. March 13 at 8 p.m. at the MacNamara Irish Import Shop, 742 Vine St. Chairs will be set up outside in the parking lot. Chronicle photographer

Devlin will headline a show on St. Patrick’s Day with Jamie Kennedy and other special guests Wed., March 17 at 6 p.m. at the Andaz Hotel, 8401 Sunset Blvd. in West Hollywood. Write bill@billdevlin. com for tickets ($15).


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Remarkable: I’ve been a theater critic for a year without having once stepped into a theater! How much longer can this go on? On Jan. 21 (according to KNX.com), Dr. Anthony Fauci, in a video conference with the Association of Performing Arts Professionals, stated that theaters and concert halls would not be opening until “late fall” of 2021, assuming “we reach a level of herd immunity of 70 to 85 percent … where the virus is … virtually no threat to anyone.” Next, according to the classical music online magazine “Slipped Disc” (2/4/21), the German federal government allocated an extra BILLION euros ($1.2 billion) for artists and arts organizations suffering from the lockdown. The culture minister had actually asked for $2.5 billion in aid. Third, California Assembly Bill AB5 (from 2019), while primarily intended to help or hurt (depending on your position) Uber and Lyft drivers, has had a devastating effect on small, California performing arts nonprofits, according to the “Daily News” (2/11/21). There are, the paper says, approximately 4,000 performing arts organizations in the state with budgets of less than $1.5 million, who tradi-


Larchmont Chronicle

MARCH 2021


Amazing interviews highlight fundraiser for science program for girls

By John Welborne An inspirational and entertaining Zoom event was held last month to benefit the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHM) “Adventures in Nature” program. That popular program, for students through eighth grade, focuses on the E-STEAM fields (Environment, Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics). The focus of the evening was women and girls, and the dialogue in the “fireside chat” with the two honored women was entrancing. Titled the “The Women in Science and Culture Celebration,” the event honored Chicana activist, artist and muralist Barbara Carrasco and seismologist  Dr. Lucy Jones. Alie Ward, Emmy Award-winning science correspondent for shows on CBS and the CW, served as host and facilitator of the discussion with the two honorees. NHM President and Director  Dr. Lori Bettison-Varga presented the honorees with statuettes based on

SPEAKERS at the Women in Science and Culture Celebration included (clockwise from upper left) artist Barbara Carrasco, seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones and museum president and geologist Dr. Lori Bettison-Varga.

the sculpture by Julia Bracken Wendt located in the museum’s rotunda. The event raised more than $160,000 to support a new all-girls Adventures in Nature program developed to honor the NHM’s commitment to women in science and culture. Student participants will conduct experiments, travel back in time to the Ice Age, explore fossils and wildlife in Los Angeles, and learn about the culture and way of life


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Shopping at Koontz Hardware (formerly Larchmont Hardware) is so much fun. It’s like a treasure hunt. Come in and see if you can find these things: The “Stud Buddy,” A new dry wall stud finder that is the world’s simplest and a lot cheaper than other stud finders. “Frog Tape.” The most advanced tape to give you absolutely sharp paint lines with no color bleed. You can use them up to 21 days indoors. The “Curious Chef” real kitchen tools for kids. There are “Measuring and prepping kits,” “Cupcake and Decorating” kits, “Cookie” kits, even “Pizza” kits. Think of the fun you can have shopping here! Larchmont customers be sure to say “Hello.”

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of the indigenous people of California. The program fosters a nurturing community of girls, and female scientists will mentor the girls. The funds raised at the event will allow the NHM to sponsor more than 310 girls to

ADVENTURES IN NATURE at the Natural History Museum will feature a new program for girls. An inspirational animated video (below right and at tinyurl.com/vzcxr4dy) introduced the program.

attend for free. The event included an interactive experience with Barbara Carrasco’s 1981 mural, “L.A. History: A Mexican Perspective,” soon to grace the museum’s new south-side entrance, the “NHM Commons” that will open onto the Memorial Coliseum and the

new Lucas Museum side of the NHM. See: tinyurl.com/ d93f4pjn

Ice Age fossils star in ‘Camp Croods’

By Talia Abrahamson Paleontologists at La Brea Tar Pits are not digging up macawnivores, moomoths and wolf spiders. However, under a new collaboration with Universal Pictures, kids had the chance to learn about the real paleontology behind the 2020 animated film “The Croods: A New Age.” La Brea Tar Pits hosted two virtual museum events in February for “Camp Croods.” The museum, a part of the Natural History Museums of Los Angeles (NHM), also worked with the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History to put on these nationwide events. La Brea Tar Pits “This collaboration is a great opportunity to showcase the ways in which art and science intersect while at the same time introducing families to La Brea Tar Pits, the world’s only active paleontological research facility in a major urban area,” President and Director of NHM Dr. Lori Bettison-Varga said in a press release. “We are grateful to Universal and DreamWorks for

helping us provide campers with a new way to see science in action and encourage them to keep exploring the world around them — be it through paleontology or animation.” “A New Age” For its Feb. 13 Camp Croods experience, the event kicked off with an introduction from the movie’s director, Joel Crawford. “The Croods: A New Age” takes place during the “Croodaceous” period, a fictional prehistoric timeline populated with hybrid animals. Kids then got to hear from paleontologist Laura Tewksbury, a preparator with La Brea Tar Pits. She showed images of fossils related to the movie’s characters, like the humerus bone of a saber-toothed cat, who is a close relative of Chunky the Macawnivore, who is part sabertoothed cat and part macaw. Tewksbury works on Project 23, the main excavation project at La Brea Tar Pits. The museum acquired 23 crates of fossil deposits in 2006, when fossils were discovered underneath the neighboring County Art Museum during

construction on a new parking garage there. One of the largest discoveries from Project 23 is “Zed,” the nearly-complete, adult, male mammoth skeleton. According to Tewksbury, Zed would have been slightly less furry than the Croods’ moomoth — part mammoth and part cow. Dreamworks Story Artist Heidi Jo Gilbert demonstrated, in a pre-recorded video, how to draw Chunky the Macawnivore, then museum educators led a craft-your-own creature puppet activity. A professional puppet then took the virtual stage, with Nibbles, the saber-toothed cat cub, speaking with the Tar Pits Performing Arts Team about connecting science with art. La Brea Tar Pits has been closed to the public during the pandemic, but the museum has maintained its emphasis on educational programming.


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MARCH 2021



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game. After talking about the five-year journey to complete her first book, she detours to mention that she got lung disease from the peacocks on her childhood farm. She praises her supportive posse of women writers in the neighborhood and her pandemic project to paint the stair risers in her home. She discusses her luck in having novelist Ann Patchett’s agent accept her within a

week of typing “The End” on her first manuscript, then veers to reveal what a bad swimmer she is and how she burst into tears in the cracker aisle when she found out her second novel sold. Along the way, Johnson peppers her conversation and emails with accolades for her husband, attesting to the fact that “He is divine in every way. And he cooks!” and “He’s natu(Please turn to page 16)

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by daughter Coco, 21. Johnson tried her hand at writing a screenplay and other speculative projects, and she enjoyed motherhood and neighborhood involvements. She participated in activities of the Windsor Square-Hancock Park Historical Society, the Hancock Park Garden Club, the Ebell of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Tennis Club, until she became consumed with writing her first book. When she writes, she explains, “I can’t do anything else.” Johnson continues, “Sad, but for me, I have to cut off the outside world.” Johnson maintains her tennis club membership, however, so she can go to their gym. As she explains, “The only thing I allow myself is to work out or I will drop dead!” Speaking with the cleverly comedic Johnson is akin to playing a professional tennis match. Her thoughts lob from one subject to another, and the listener must run to stay in the

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ber nine on the “Los Angeles Times” Feb. 6 best-seller list. Better luck, indeed. The Tennessee native and Hancock Park resident built her career in the literary world, but it wasn’t until she was 50 that she wrote her first novel, “Be Frank with Me,” about a writer with an autistic child. The story was inspired when she reread “To Kill a Mockingbird,” which her daughter was assigned at school, hoping they would have fascinating mother-daughter discussions about the novel. That didn’t happen, but Johnson realized that character Boo Radley was probably on the spectrum, and that set her off on the novelist’s path. After leaving the family farm, where, she claims, “My best friend growing up was a pony,” Johnson attended the University of Virginia and studied creative writing at Boston University. That led to a jump into the Manhattan magazine scene where she worked for “Glamour” and “Mademoiselle.” For the latter, she culled through unsolicited fiction submissions to find the jewels worth publishing. “I had to read 10,000 manuscripts to find 12 to publish,” Johnson opined. She met her comedy-writer husband Chris while in New York, and they moved to Los Angeles for his television opportunities. Johnson intended to find work here, but after years of trying without success to start a family back East, she got pregnant the very day they landed in our city. That changed everything, especially when their son Will, now 23, was quickly followed




3121 W. Temple St., LA 90026


By Helene Seifer When local author Julia Claiborne Johnson wanted to start her second novel, she decided she needed an impetus. “What am I going to do to get myself in the mood to write?” she wondered, deciding that “I’m not gonna cut my hair till I’m done!” When she put pen to paper she sported a short bob; when she finished writing three years later, she could practically sit on her mane. The resulting book, “Better Luck Next Time,” is a fictional account of the real Reno divorce camps which flourished in the 1930s and ‘40s. Women of means from across the country would vacation on a westernstyle ranch while establishing the six-week residency required to obtain a quickie divorce. Johnson’s book explores friendship, love, disappointment and the relationship the women had with the “cowboys” hired to keep them entertained at divorce camp. This is a subject Johnson knows something about because her father had briefly worked as a “cowboy” when he was 19 years old. “He had that job during the Depression. By the time I realized how interesting that was, he had Alzheimers,” Johnson recounts. So she sought details from her brother, who knew that their dad had worked in construction before getting “this cowboy job to dance with the ladies and be charming.” The book had a very buzzy January debut, given the popularity of her first novel, “Be Frank with Me,” and having received a starred review in “Publisher’s Weekly.” It was a Barnes & Noble National Book Club choice and made Amazon’s top 10 fiction list. Chevalier’s Books sponsored a zoom book talk with the author, and sales are such that Johnson has had to return to the store to sign more books. Approximately three weeks after publication, Johnson and her husband Chris Marcil both got very good news. He was nominated for a Writers Guild of America award for writing FX’s “What We Do in the Shadows,” and Johnson learned that “Better Luck Next Time,” debuted at num-


Larchmont Chronicle

MARCH 2021


Nature walks, shopping, classes, lectures at gardens

From talks on Los Angeles’ urban wildlife to nature camps to keep kids occupied, and other spring activities in between, local gardeners have a variety to choose from, both on location and online. Botanical gardens are open to the public, but with posted protocols in place, such as timed entries and frequent hand washing or sanitizing. Masks must be worn and social distancing practiced. Arboretum At the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Gardens, 301 N. Baldwin Ave., Ar-

cadia, kids ages five to 10 years old can participate in naturethemed art and science projects on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. Adults can choose from tai chi, yoga or taking long walks through the gardens. Zoom classes include learning the basics of bread baking, how to find wildlife in an urban landscape, and painting classes. Visit arboretum.org. Descanso Gardens Kids in grades pre-kindergarten to 5th grade can choose from several interactive programs at Descanso Gardens,

1418 Descanso Dr., La Cañada Flintridge. Combining online videos, walks through the gardens and downloads, kids can learn all about the different wildlife habitats at Descanso. Adults can use the downloadable study guides from Descanso to explore their own yards and neighborhoods as they would Descanso Gardens. Visit descansogardens.org. Huntington Library While the outdoor areas are open to the public for timed visits, most workshops and talks are on Zoom, such as the talk on Charmian Kittredge

JUDY M. HORTON garden design

(Jack London’s wife), Wed., March 10, at 7:30 p.m., and Japanese architecture, Thurs., March 18, at 4 p.m. In addition, check out the art talks and other lectures in the videos and recorded programs section. Visit huntington.org. Theodore Payne Foundation Theodore Payne Foundation’s plant and gift shop, 10459 Tuxford St., in Sun Valley, is open for outdoor, socially distant business. Visitors can reserve their shopping time on the website. The Poppy Days spring sale is Thurs., March 25 to Sat., March 27. In addition, Payne has field trips, seed labs and other activities for kids from pre-kindergarten up through high school that may be scheduled

through the education department. Adults can take advantage of classes via Zoom, and learn about correct plant habitat Sat., March 6 at 1 p.m., and how to set up a container garden Sat., March 20 at 9 a.m. The Wildflower Hotline starts Fri., March 12. Call the hotline to get updates on where to find wildflowers on walks this spring. Visit theodorepayne.org.

Butterflies take flight at NHM

Watch butterflies take flight at the Natural History Museum’s Butterfly Pavilion, 900 Exposition Blvd., in late March. Visit the website for dates and timed tickets: nhm.org.

I am happy to announce that I am now working from an office/design studio in my Beachwood Canyon garden. JULIA CLAIBORNE JOHNSON’S hair documents the time it took to write her novel.

For several years I have maintained a small nursery for clients and friends.

Claiborne Johnson

I will be opening it by appointment to the general public later this year.

(Continued from page 15)

Send me an email if you would like to be added to my list.

323-440-9846 • jhorton@jmhgardendesign.com


Pathway to the studio

rally fabulous. I got lucky.” As she says, “Welcome to the free association that is my brain.” This verbal agility is a hallmark of her writing, as well, which several reviewers compared to the smart rapidfire dialogue in a Frank Capra film. Writing is a complex process. It took Johnson

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three years to get her first novel in shape to submit to an agent, and then two years of rewrites before it sold. “Better Luck Next Time” took three passes before publication. But the agony is worth it. “The fun about writing novels,” Johnson concludes, “is you go to readings [or virtual gatherings] and people are excited to see you. ‘It’s you!’ they cry.” She adds, “This is what it’s like to be prom queen!”

City Planning to consider guide for Zoning Code

The City Planning Commission is tentatively scheduled to consider an administrative guide for the New Zoning Code on Thurs., March 25. The 700-page draft of the proposed Processes and Procedures Ordinance will act as the administrative guide for the New Zoning Code, which is the first chapter of the Los Angeles Municipal Code. To learn more about the ordinance visit planning.lacity.org/zoning/code-amendments. Scroll down to Processes and Procedures Ordinance. To confirm the meeting date, visit planning.lacity.org/ about/commissions-boardshearings

Larchmont Chronicle

MARCH 2021



Los Angeles County Arboretum: A library of life, needs protection

Spring begins March 20 and, at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden in Arcadia, all is well, mostly. The South African aloes are flaming orange and yellow, as they do every spring, pandemic or no. And since it is March, the annual male courtship display of the Arboretum’s peacock flock is in full view. Essential site Visitors have been flocking here in this year of lockdown. Because Los Angeles County deemed the Arboretum as an essential site early last year, the 127-acre property has been open. Arboretum staff members carefully monitor the number of people admitted; tickets are available online only, though members may just show up, membership card in hand. Face covering and social distancing are required, of course. (arboretum.org) The Arboretum was my main teaching home when I lived in Los Angeles. I am not impartial about these acres of plants, natural landscapes, wildlife, and historical buildings. I have given talks, writing workshops and classes there; what I have learned there is beyond measure. It has always felt like a place of

Home Ground by

Paula Panich

solace and rejuvenation. On March 15, the Arboretum will begin extended warmweather hours — blooming agapanthus and wisteria await you. Members will have access to the grounds from 7:30 a.m. until 9 a.m.; after that, it will be open to all until 7 p.m. The Peacock Café has reopened for “grab and go.” Susan Eubank, the Arboretum’s librarian, has held, since 2010, a monthly community book discussion, “Reading the Western Landscape.” The gathering is now on Zoom; on March 31, the book to be discussed will be “Two Old Women,” by Vilma Wallis, a retelling of an Athabascan legend from a nomadic Alaskan Native tribe. Check the online calendar for this and other events. The Arboretum grounds have a long, complex history, dating to the native peoples of the San Gabriel Valley. If I were in Southern California instead

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of New Mexico, I would take a late afternoon walk to Tallac Knoll, in the southwestern corner of the Arboretum, to see its 250 natural Engelmann oaks, reportedly the largest remaining grove in Los Angeles County. In the presence of these mighty trees, I think you can feel their healing essence. Quercus englemannii is native to Southern California; the local Gabrielino-Tongva tribes once dined on their acorns. Tallac Knoll is a geologic remnant of the Raymond Hill Fault, which runs from the east fork of the San Gabriel River and Monrovia Canyon and then west and south to the Pacific Ocean. Artesian springs from the Raymond Hill Fault feed Baldwin Lake at the Arboretum. But water, as you are well aware, is a tricky business in Southern California. A section of the Arboretum, in the northwest of the property near the Arcadia Wash, is in danger from a proposed groundwater recharge facility and pump station, which is backed by a consortium of five foothill cities and the County of Los Angeles. At stake are 425 trees This is the Australian sector of the property, where trees and shrubs have long been


Photo by Frank McDonough / LA County Arboretum

cultivated. At stake are 425 trees from 29 plant families, 53 genera, and 175 species, according to a count by Arboretum staff. Some trees are a hundred feet tall.

The proposal is hotly contested by Richard Schulhof, chief executive of the Los Angeles Arboretum Foundation, Foundation board members, Arboretum staff, members, and visitors, along with adjacent homeowners, environmentalists, horticulturalists, and preservation groups. The status of the proposal is pending. The Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden has been a beloved public landscape for almost three-quarters of a century — a place you can count on. Destroying one section would disturb so much else. As a biologist once said, about species preservation, but I think it applies to this great Southern California resource: “You shouldn’t burn down the library of life.”

ENGELMANN OAK is located between the Madagascar Spiny Forest and Africa sections. Photo from LA County Arbortetum


MARCH 2021


Larchmont Chronicle

Raccoon makes a rare aggressive visit near Wilton and Seventh

By Suzan Filipek Mary Taylor and her dog were out for a walk on a recent Sunday evening in her neighborhood, at Seventh Street and Wilton Place, when a raccoon came from out of seemingly nowhere and attacked them. Taylor was standing near her neighbors’ succulent garden when she saw her dog’s ears perk up. She heard rustling from the fence and growling and thought maybe it was one of the wild cats that live in the area, or a dog, when, from about 12 feet away, the raccoon came charging at them. The black-masked creature went after Ruby, her 50-pound cattle dog, and also clawed Taylor’s legs as Taylor tried to fight it off.

ATTACKS by raccoons are extremely rare.

Photo by Harlequeen.

Though smaller than her dog, the raccoon bit and locked on to Ruby’s back, dragging her into the street. “I was terrified,” said Taylor, who remembers screaming at this point.

“Somehow my dog fought her off,” she said, and the raccoon ran in an opposite direction to Wilton Place, and Ruby bolted to the front door of their duplex. Both Taylor and Ruby had

some minor gashes and bleeding on one leg. Her dog had recently had a rabies shot, and the vets assured her she would be fine. Taylor fled to the emergency room at Kaiser and was put on four rounds of rabies vaccines spread four days apart. The hospital notified the Los Angeles County Dept. of Public Health, which contacted Taylor. Taylor and her boyfriend, who had MARY TAYLOR and Ruby. moved here from Scouts. A rescue from Tijuana, Boston in the fall, adopted Ruby was timid before, and two-year-old Ruby from Mutt (Please turn to page 19)

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attempted to grab the backpack the woman was wearing. After a struggle, the suspect punched the woman in the face and gained control of the backpack, fleeing on foot.

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BURGLARY: A laptop, TV and clothing were stolen from inside an apartment on the 800 block of S. Gramercy Pl. after a suspect gained entry through an open front window on Feb. 2 at 2:45 p.m. GRAND THEFTS AUTO: A 2018 Audi Q5 was stolen while parked on the 500 block of N. Windsor Blvd. between Jan. 29 at 9 p.m. and Jan. 30 at 9:30 a.m. A 2001 Honda CRV was stolen while parked on the 200 block of S. Van Ness Ave. between Feb. 3 at 2 p.m. and Feb. 4 at 9 a.m. A 2017 Hyundai was stolen while parked on the 800 block of S. Norton Ave. between Feb. 7 at 8:31 a.m. and Feb. 8 at 5 p.m. A 2014 Kia was stolen while parked on the 900 block of Third Ave. between Feb. 8 at 8 p.m. and Feb. 9 at 9:30 a.m. A 2000 Honda CRV was stolen while parked in the garage to a residential building on the 800 block of S. Wilton Pl. between Feb. 8 at 6:30 p.m. and Feb. 9 at 9:10 a.m. A 2008 Nissan Rogue was stolen while parked in the



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Larchmont Chronicle

MARCH 2021



Variance vs. variability: its upswings … and downswings

RUBY sustained minor injuries in the attack.


or it could resemble a wild carnival carousel. Aggressive Poker players are likely to show high variance, while tight players for All have low variance. The higher by your variance, the bigger the George bankroll you need to sustain Epstein yourself during down periods. What about variability? variance is the upswings and Variability is the lack of a downswings of the game as fixed pattern or the likelihood it is played. It could be like a of change from the mean valseesaw on a playground, fairly ue. In math, it refers to how equal on the ups and downs, spaced out the scores are in a distribution — the amount mals like raccoons, we could of spread of the scores around the mean. For years, I had be knee-deep in rodents. used the term while I was Don’t feed the wildlife Protect yourself and your thinking of variance. My mispets. Dogs are required by law take.… An experience to be vaccinated against ra A few years ago, I was playbies. Keep them away from wildlife. Keep pet food and wa- ing in a middle-limit hold’em ter indoors, away from wildlife.  game at my favorite local If aggressive or unusual behav- casino. Playing selectively ior is observed, avoid the ani- tight-aggressive while focusmal and report it to Los Angeles ing closely on the game, after Animal Services at 1-888-452- about three hours I had man7381. Visit  laanimalservices. aged to grind out a small profcom. More information is at it. And then it happened. … I looked down at my hole wildlife.ca.gov/Keep-Me-Wild.

(Continued from page 18) now more so, notes Taylor, an aesthetician. Her boyfriend mostly takes Ruby for their nightly walk now, and usually earlier than before. Unusual behavior “It is extremely rare for raccoons to attack persons or domesticated animals without provocation,” said City of Los Angeles Animal Services animal control officer and wildlife specialist Tami Shepphird. The good news is that no one has seen hide nor hair of the raccoon since the Jan. 31 incident, she added. “Typically, wildlife will avoid human interaction. In most cases where wildlife is becoming a nuisance, it is either ill or someone has been feeding them. I have seen squirrels become quite aggressive when they are used to being fed by people.” What are they good for? Raccoons are cute, sporting ringed tails and masks, and as carnivores, they are great at controlling rodent and insect populations. They also act as nature’s vacuum by removing carrion from around our homes. If it were not for ani-

cards and was pleased to see pocket Kings in the hole. In a middle position, I raised when the betting reached me. Four opponents and I saw the flop: Ad-Kc-9d. My set of Kings looked like a sure-fire winner. Now my goal was to build the size of the pot I expected to win. The underthe-gun (UTG) opened the betting. I decided to just call along so as not to chase out chip contributors. The cut-off (CO) reraised — a three-bet. Four of us saw the turn. It was another 9 on the board. That gave me Kings-full of 9’s — a big full-house! Wow! I considered the likely range of hands my two opponents held. My best guess was a pair of Aces or perhaps two-pair. After the UTG opened the betting, I raised – a two-bet. And then the CO reraised for a threebet. The three of us saw the river. What a pot it was! The dealer slowly placed a second 9 on the board. The

UTG checked to me. I opened the betting. And then the CO raised it up. The UTG then reraised (a three-bet), and I made it a four-bet. (That is the maximum allowed when three or more players are in the hand.) Surprise! My Acesfull was beat by the UTG’s quad 9’s. Disappointed to no end, I spoke out: “What a horrible case of variability!” An elegant, well-dressed older woman to my right smiled at me and said, “You mean to say variance.” I mumbled to myself, “Call it what you want; it was a monster pot that I lost.” All my hard-earned winnings were gone, plus … I had to take a break to avoid going on tilt. George “The Engineer” Epstein, a long-time resident, is the author of three poker books including “The Art of Bluffing” and “Hold’em or Fold’em – An Algorithm for Making the Key Decision.”

Larchmont Chronicle



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As you gain experience playing Texas hold’em, often you will hear the term “variance” used at the table. Why is it so important at the poker table? What is variance? In the “Official Dictionary of Poker,” Michael Wiesenberg defines variance as “the distribution of your results over a set of hands or sessions, or the swings in a positive or negative direction of cash flow.” In other words,



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Larchmont Chronicle

MARCH 2021

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los angeles, local news, larchmont village, real estate sales, gallery, theatre, movie reviews, professor know it all, local schools, youth...

lc real estate 03 2021  

los angeles, local news, larchmont village, real estate sales, gallery, theatre, movie reviews, professor know it all, local schools, youth...