LC section one 01 2022

Page 1

Larchmont Chronicle

VOL. 60, NO. 1




NEWS from the Ice Age.


HISTORICAL holiday party. 10

New districts, new city council representatives n Neighbors getting to know their new councilmembers

By John Welborne Political redistricting has brought significant change to the Mid-Wilshire areas covered by the Larchmont Chronicle. For more than 80 years, most of the City of Los Angeles’s geographic area east of Fairfax Avenue and north of Olympic Boulevard has been a part of the Fourth Council District, represented successively by Robert L. Burns, Harold A. Henry, John Ferraro, Tom LaBonge, David Ryu and Nithya Raman. With the new maps approved last month, Council District Four has been moved elsewhere, and our area now is split into two city council districts, CDs 5 and 13, and the new representatives are Paul Koretz (CD 5) and Mitchell O’Farrell (CD 13). Koretz is termed-out in 2022, so there will be a new representative elected this year in CD 5. O’Farrell is running for re-election in a CD 13 district

Fold, sort and dance Jan. 17, on MLK Day n ‘2,022 Winter Kits’

BOOK pulls at puppet and heart strings. 2-9 For Information on Advertising Rates, Please Call Pam Rudy 323-462-2241, x 11 Mailing permit:


By Suzan Filipek Big Sunday’s annual MLK Day Clothing Drive & Community Breakfast includes a little bit of sorting and a little bit of Motown. Maybe more than a little bit of sorting. The event / block party will take place outdoors on Mon., Jan. 17 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the nonprofit group’s headquarters at 6111 Melrose Ave. “This event is always a blast and, we like to think, very much in the spirit of what Dr. King fought so hard for,” said David Levinson, Big Sunday See Big Sunday, p 23

NEIGHBORS from Larchmont Village, Ridgewood-Wilton, St. Andrews Square and Windsor Square gathered to meet Mitch O’Farrell (back to camera), who now is the City Council representative for those areas.

that still remains primarily Hollywood. Meet and Greet Residents and business people eager to meet their new spokespeople in City Hall have been reaching out to their new representatives.

The former CD 4 denizens east of Arden Boulevard and north of Wilshire Boulevard held a reception for O’Farrell in the Windsor Square backyard of Jennifer and Bill Fain on Dec. 5. The Hancock Park Home-

Girl Scout cookies are coming to town!

n Sales to start this month; new ‘Adventurefuls’ By Nona Sue Friedman You know things are getting back to normal when Girl Scouts sell their cookies on Larchmont Boulevard. Look for the iconic boxes starting Sun., Jan. 30 through Sun., March 13. That gives you many weeks to choose, purchase and repurchase your favorite Girl Scout cookie. Are you a Thin Mint fan or do you lean toward Tagalongs? Why not try all nine flavors this year!?!

In fact, our neighborhood gets the opportunity to try the newest Girl Scout cookie, the Adventurefuls: a brownie cookie with caramel flavored crème and a hint of sea salt. Will it be soft like a brownie or crunchy like a cookie? Either way it should be delicious. If you are thinking that your purchase only goes to your waistline, think again. These purpose-filled cookies See Cookies, p 8

On the Boulevard ‘Larchmont Survey’ stirs controversy By Billy Taylor The Larchmont 2021 Survey [was to have been] now closed and the results being tallied (to be released later this month) but community leaders in Larchmont are warning constituents to disregard the survey and ignore its findings, due to a flawed process and misleading survey questions that ultimately have the potenSee Survey, p 6

Seeking Vacation & Valentine Tales!

Love and travel are in the air in February

Two special features, “Valentines” and “Vacation Planning,” will be highlighted in our February issue. To reserve advertising space, contact Pam Rudy, 323-4622241, ext. 11. Deadline is Mon., Jan. 10.

owners Association has scheduled a virtual “Meet and Greet” Town Hall with its new representative, Koretz, on Thurs., Jan. 13 at 6:30 p.m. The Zoom See New Districts, p 4

TROOP 4475 displays cookies for sale. See full caption inside.

Photo by Mako Scott

The topics of “Valentines” and “Vacation Planning” will be highlighted in our February issue. Write to us about your trips near and far. And, Valentines, tell us how you met. Send 200 words or less for either subject and photos to suzan@ Deadline is Mon., Jan. 10. ~ Entire Issue Online!


Larchmont Chronicle





By John Welborne

Another new year Last year, with this newspaper’s first issue of 2021, the New Year wish of the Larchmont Chronicle was the hope that we all were saying “goodbye and good riddance” to 2020 while looking forward to 2021. And 2021 turned out to be a pretty good year — for most people. But, in the waning days of 2021 as I write this, the COVID-19 Omicron variant seems to be wreaking havoc on a wide stage. Fortunately, its impact on the fully vaccinated is not the catastrophe initially experienced from the original virus in 2020. To all who are affected now, hang in there, take it easy, and do all that you can to reduce transmission to others. Moving on, with that rhetorically behind us, I also must note that our community actually has behind us many fine achievements during 2021, including a very successful celebration of the 100th anniversary of our venerable Larchmont Boulevard shopping district. However, looking forward is my purpose here. After all, this is the first issue of the 60th year of the Larchmont Chronicle serving our local readers and advertisers. You and your forebears have made this a resilient community for a very long time, and the Chronicle looks forward to doing that with you again in 2022.

Fri., Dec. 31 – New Year’s Eve. Sat., Jan. 1 – New Year’s Day and the Rose Parade. Sun., Jan. 9 – Park La Brea Residents Association semiannual meeting at 4 p.m. Wed., Jan. 12 – Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council General Board Meeting, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. via Zoom, Mon., Jan. 17 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Big Sunday MLK Day clothing drive and community breakfast from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Thurs., Jan. 27 – Larchmont Chronicle delivered.

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

“We are pastors of a new local church, The Heart LA, on Wilshire. I’d really like to focus on meeting our neighbors in the Miracle Mile district in the New Year.” — David “I’d like to try to read one new book per week in 2022.” — Randall “I want to learn to do the splits in dance and do more art.” — Rose “I want to finish my homework and learn to play tennis.” — Ryan The Araujos: David, Randall, Ryan (8) and Rose (8) Windsor Square

HAPPY NEW YEAR! & Thank You for supporting our Larchmont businesses!

‘What is at the top of your wish list this year?’

THESE IMPRESSIVE HOLIDAY COOKIES were made for the Larchmont Chronicle staff by Wilshire Park resident Cay Chiuco, who organized local fundraising efforts for typhoon victims in the Philippines. Photo by Tom Hofer

Letter to the Editor Real or ‘fluff’ stories?

With the dramatic increase in crime in the communities



“An oasis in the city”

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


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

Los Angeles, CA 90004 323-462-2241

where your paper is distributed, I expected to see numerous articles relating to the crime surge in our community including flash mob burglary at The Grove mall and home invasion robberies. Instead, all I was able to find was “fluff” stories. Are you no longer interested in covering real stories that affect the lives of your readers? Robert Cherno Miracle Mile North Ed. Note: The particular incidents mentioned by the letter writer took place after last month’s issue went to press. This month’s crime is reported on page 13, and in the Police Beat column on page 14 — all in Section 2. Write us at Include your name, contact information and where you live. We reserve the right to edit for space and grammar. CORRECTION The name of Michele Richards, development director of Alexandria House, was misspelled in last month’s article, “New building is on very top of Alexandria House wish list.”

“I want to spend more time with my friends and read more.” — Finn Joshua “I want to spend time with my friends, eat more ice cream and learn how to take care of a puppy.” — Charleigh The Didlocks: Joseph, Edward, Charleigh and Finn Joshua (both 7) Hancock Park

“We would like to start traveling more often as a family. The kids are getting to an age that seems great for travel, and we’re excited to show them the world.” — Mary “I want to learn to fly.” — Abigail “I want to play basketball.” — Anderson The Mendozas: Mary, Josh, Abigail (6) and Anderson (4) Citrus Square

Larchmont Chronicle




La Brea Tar Pits reimagined for the 21st century

By Suzan Filipek When a reimagined La Brea Tar Pits opens in 2028 (tentatively), scientists and visitors of all ages will be able to step back in time — way back — to learn about the last major episode of global climate change and to consider possible solutions for our own time. Visitors also will be able to have a cocktail and enjoy the view at the new Tar Bar at the world-renowned paleontological site. Members of New York-based architecture and design firm Weiss / Manfredi have been hard at work redesigning the 13-acre site ever since they were chosen in 2019 to create the Reimagine La Brea Tar Pits master plan. The team members said in a community Zoom meeting Dec. 7 that the new plan calls for a dramatic expansion of the museum, built in 1977 as the George C. Page Museum,

that nearly doubles the research and collection space. A one-kilometer pedestrian walkway, the La Brea Loops, (aka “Miracle Kilometer in Miracle Mile”) will connect the main areas of the museum on a journey from prehistoric time to today. The locale is, “without a doubt, one of the most extraordinary sites, subjects and settings in the world. If we think of Los Angeles as being the quintessential American city, then La Brea Tar Pits is quintessentially what is Los Angeles,” architect Marion Weiss said. “We have never been more moved by an opportunity than this one,” she added. Michael Manfredi said, “The master plan has evolved with the support of a great team of architects, engineers, designers, storytellers, even horticulturists and paleobotanists.”

CENTRAL GREEN will preserve the Tar Pits Museum’s beloved grass slopes and also leave room for picnic and play areas. Renderings courtesy of Weiss / Manfredi

Plan elements Key elements include a new bridge to take visitors across a lake at the site, Lake Pit, and the 7.3-acre renovated park space that will feature picnic

and play areas and continue to allow the popular experience for kids of all ages to “roll down” the original building’s grass slopes. After all, it is not only the

largest urban paleontological site in the world, it has a parklike setting in a city that is hungry for open space, Weiss said. (Please turn to page 8)


A GRACE all her own. 23 HEALTH, FITNESS & BEAUTY 9 ENTERTAINMENT At the Movies 14 On the Menu 15 Theater Review 16 CAMPS & SCHOOLS 17


Real Estate Libraries, Sports Home & Garden






Larchmont Chronicle



New districts

(Continued from page 1) link for that meeting can be found on the association’s website, Windsor Square event Although hosted in their Windsor Square backyard by the Fains, that Dec. 5 gathering actually was organized by residents throughout CD 13’s new areas, including Patti Carroll, Brian Curran, Charles D’Atri, Larry Guzin and Jane Usher, as well as the Fains. About 60 neighbors gathered to meet O’Farrell and several of his CD 13 staff members, including field deputy George Hakopiants, who has become the deputy for this “southern” part of CD 13. Guests at the event included all of the local association presidents. There were Rory Cunningham and Liz Gabor of the St. Andrews Square Neighborhood Association, Bob Reeves of the RidgewoodWilton Neighborhood Association, and John Winther of the Larchmont Boulevard Association — in addition to hosts D’Atri of the Larchmont Village Neighborhood Association and Guzin of the Windsor Square Association. Redistricting Changed political lines that affect the Larchmont Chronicle readership area have been created not only for the city, but also for the county and state. For those jurisdictions other than the city, the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council areas fared well, at least through the six months

WINDSOR SQUARE BACKYARD was the setting for a December gathering where association presidents welcomed new councilmember Mitch O’Farrell. Shown (left to right) are: Rory Cunningham and Liz Gabor, St. Andrews Square Neighborhood Association; Charles D’Atri, Larchmont Village Neighborhood Association; O’Farrell; Larry Guzin, Windsor Square Association; Bob Reeves, Ridgewood-Wilton Neighborhood Association, and John Winther, Larchmont Boulevard Association.

of public participation leading to the final draft maps of Nov. 10, 2021. Then, in last-minute changes made public with the final maps of Dec. 20, 2021, the State Redistricting Commission switched to an untrue community boundary line created in 2009 by a “Los Angeles Times” mapping project that made up a wholly artificial and historically incorrect western boundary for what that newspaper’s interns and/or editors decided was “Koreatown.” As a result, for the coming decade beginning in 2022 and for the U.S. Congress and State Assembly, Greater Wilshire will be split again, with the dividing line being the middle of Wilton Place, from Beverly to Wilshire, and then south along Crenshaw Boulevard. At least for the State Senate, the communities within

Greater Wilshire are largely kept together. With respect to the County of Los Angeles, there has been significant boundary shifting among its five Supervisorial districts. Most of Greater Wilshire now will be in Supervisor Holly Mitchell’s District 2, with the dividing lines separating District 2 from Sheila Kuehl’s District 3 being along La Brea Avenue and Beverly Boulevard. Mitchell was just recently elected, and Kuehl is serving her final term this year. Election challenges There will be lots of campaigning getting underway soon for all of these elected positions — plus the citywide offices of mayor, city attorney, and controller. These days, it often seems like our communities are in constant campaign mode.

HOST BILL FAIN discusses how he and the area’s new City Council representative have in common an interest in American Indian affairs in Oklahoma. Left to right are Fain, Rory Cunningham, Liz Gabor, and Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell.

ON THE PORCH, Councilmember O’Farrell, left, speaks with (left to right): Jeryl Bowers, Windsor Square; Bob Reeves, Ridgewood-Wilton; Rory Cunningham and Patti Carroll, St. Andrews Square; CD 13 field deputy for the new areas, George Hakopiants; Nora Houndalas, Windsor Square and Larchmont Boulevard and Karen Gilman, Larchmont Village.

New Year brings new elections — first deadline is February 12

It’s a new year, and 2022 will bring some new leaders and possibly keep some favorites. Potential candidates for mayor, city council, city attorney and city controller have until Feb. 12 to file their applications with the Los Angeles Ethics Commission, the first step in the process. Next, the city candidates will file a Declaration of Intention with the Los Angeles City Clerk Election Division between Feb. 7 and Feb. 12.

They then obtain nominating petitions and begin gathering signatures. The deadline to submit signed petitions is March 9. The signatures are then verified before the qualified candidates’ names are forwarded to the Los Angeles County Registrar in time to be listed on the Tues., June 7 primary ballot. The general municipal election, including any June runoffs that are necessary, is Tues., Nov. 8.

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Rediscover La Brea Tar Pits Come see science in action outdoors and indoors in the world’s only urban Ice Age excavation site right here in the heart of L.A. New discoveries happening daily!

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(Continued from page 1) tial to do more harm than good. [Late breaking news: The survey may be extended. See last paragraphs of this article.] The Windsor Square Association (WSA), whose community wholly surrounds the Larchmont Village shopping district below Beverly Boulevard, was not consulted during the process and was denied a chance to comment on survey questions before they were released, WSA President Larry Guzin told the Chronicle last month. He fears that the results of the survey — which was open to anyone with a computer, regardless of geography — will be used in the future to justify changes to the neighborhood without any significant outreach to the residents who actually live in the area. As a result, the WSA declined to disseminate the misleading survey questions to its membership, disenfranchising from the process the 1,100 homes surrounding the shopping district, which, arguably, will be most impacted by any change to Larchmont. “As the head of one of the two neighborhood associations that surround Larchmont, I received a draft copy of the survey secondhand,” said Guzin, noting that he was shocked that the WSA was not included in more outreach from the Larchmont 2021 group. “We were clear from the beginning that we wanted the opinions of the residents that surround Larchmont Village to be heard,” said Guzin.

“LARCHMONT 2021” webpage leads not only to survey but also to resources including recordings of June and July video meetings.

Guzin explained that, among his concerns, “there was not enough foundational information given” in regard to the survey questions, which involve complicated and sensitive issues such as land-use and alcohol-use permits. “I raised the issue that we were having a board meeting and that we would like the opportunity to view the survey questions at that meeting; we wanted a reasonable amount of time to review the document,” said Guzin. But the questions were made public days later anyway. Larchmont 2021 “I’m not surprised,” Guzin adds. “The mission statement for the Larchmont 2021 group has all along been the financial stability of the shopping district, not the interests of the residents that surround it.” The Larchmont 2021 group was commissioned at the March 2021 board meeting of the Larchmont Boulevard Association (LBA), which represents

the merchants on Larchmont from First Street to Melrose. Pandemic-related changes to Larchmont, such as outdoor table installations replacing metered parking spaces, were in full use at the time, and the LBA concluded that it would be a good moment to generate discussion about possible improvements to the Boulevard. LBA Board Member Patty Lombard, publisher of the Larchmont Buzz website, was tapped by LBA President John Winther to lead the committee. She set up an organizing group of four people: architect, urban planner and Windsor Village resident John Kaliski, Windsor Square resident and writer Gary Gilbert, Heather Duffy Boylston, who represents property owners via the Larchmont Village Business Improvement District and Lombard herself. At that time, Lombard told us that she was planning to conduct a series of learning and listening sessions, and once complete, she would “engage a

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larger working group of stakeholders representing the various other groups in the neighborhood,” as this paper reported in its May 2021 issue. That promise was never fulfilled, according to people interviewed for this article, who say that the committee of four people has acted unilaterally without any significant outreach to the organizations that they are said to represent. LBA left out “Who they are surveying, I am not sure,” LBA President Winther told the Chronicle by telephone last month. Winther says that Lombard has not reported back to the LBA on her work with the Larchmont 2021 group and that the LBA was never sent the survey questions when — much less before — they were publicly released. “I was surprised to have received the survey from someone secondhand,” said Winther. The LBA represents the people who run the businesses, explains Winther: “It’s a nice mix of people. But we have the most to lose and the most to gain in an enhanced Boulevard. Members are concerned about their businesses surviving, but we have to also fit into the community that we serve.” Winther says that the Larchmont shopping district is a “balancing act” between businesses and residents. And he is adamant that small business owners be fully included in any debate on Larchmont’s future. “Currently, our street closes down at a reasonable time. No liquor. And the Q conditions help to maintain small storesize to keep the scale down. These are small compromises between business and residents,” says Winther. The “Q” conditions, which have been in place since the early 1990s, limit the number of banks, real estate offices and food establishments on Larchmont to

Larchmont Chronicle preserve the area’s character and local-serving retail uses. “Larchmont is a small street with small problems. But it seems like these four people are seeking big solutions suited for big problems. I don’t know what they hope to accomplish,” Winther concludes. Flawed process, survey So, what’s so bad about the now infamous survey, anyway? To find out, we contacted Windsor Square resident Amy Forbes, who is a partner at law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, where she serves as cochair for the Land Use Practice Group. Forbes also serves on the WSA Board and has been following the Larchmont 2021 process with concern over the past couple of months. “I am completely opposed to this unscientific, manipulative poll being used to achieve what appears to be a predetermined end: bars, more restaurants and hard liquor on Larchmont, and a reopening of the Q condition,” said Forbes. “The questions seem innocuous enough, until you get to questions 13, 14, 15 and 16. Then it is clear that the survey has a purpose.” Forbes points out that there is no way of knowing who the survey respondents are, if they actually live in the neighborhood or whether they have any background on the issues. “It’s not a legitimate scientific survey,” says Forbes. That requires a random sample (you get a list of residents and reach them by phone or online, or both). Then you weigh results to the actual population per the local census data, she explains. “The key is that you randomly interview — you can’t let people self-select and just take a survey off an email. “And yet the proponents want this survey to be the underpinning of future policy (Please turn to page 7)

Larchmont Chronicle


(Continued from page 6)


erate and thoughtfully review the questions, she insists. “I have represented developers for 37 years. I support new development, and I believe in and support a healthy retail environment on Larchmont,” says Forbes. “But this small group of four should not be dictating the outcome and deliberately choosing to implement a process that is neither fair nor balanced.” Lombard responds In her response the night before the Chronicle was going to press — to the questions posed ten days earlier — Lombard said that she had no knowledge that the WSA was

decisions as if it truly represents the view of the neighborhood,” Forbes cautions. The entire Larchmont 2021 process has focused on commercial interests, according to Forbes, who says that it then “isn’t a shocker” that the poll seems weighted towards things the property owners on Larchmont might want to see changed in the land use restrictions. Things could have been different, explains Forbes, had the Larchmont 2021 group made more targeted outreach and offered a fair assessment of whether you can actually have “just one or two” hard liquor licenses issued (you cannot) and a clear acknowledgment that once a conditional use permit to allow liquor / bars has issued, it “runs with the land,” and there is no guarantee who the next operator will be. At a minimum, the release of the survey should have waited for the WSA’s December meeting to allow the SAMPLE QUESTION (one of 20) from Larchboard to delib- mont 2021 online survey.


dissatisfied with the Larchmont 2021 process and survey questions, and she noted that nearly 600 survey responses had already been collected. “We haven’t heard any complaints from the local HOAs,” said Lombard. “Gary [Gilbert] has been dealing with his colleagues in WSA but I think many residents have received it [the survey] through the Buzz or on Nextdoor or through the GWNC [Greater Wilshire

Neighborhood Council] email list,” explained Lombard, noting that the survey also was posted on social media and in the windows of some Larchmont retailers. “I think all our outreach demonstrates that we are doing what we said to engage as many people as possible in thinking about the future of Larchmont,” said Lombard. She added that “we are thinking of closing the survey on 12/31 but [if] you would


like to run the QR code … we would be happy to keep it open an extra week.” The QR code she sent is reproduced here, and maybe the survey will still be open when you read this.

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(Continued from page 1) fuel the organization’s principles of goal setting, making decisions, money management, people skills and business ethics. Girl Scouts started selling cookies door-to-door in 1928, and the tradition has been going strong ever since. This program is the largest girl-run business in the world. It’s an amazing opportunity for youngsters to learn entrepreneurial skills, work with a team and make a plan.

Tar Pits

(Continued from page 3) The iconic mammoth sculptures currently in the lake will be included in the new design, she added. Inside, visitors will be able to peek inside a glass-enclosed Fossil Lab to see ongoing discoveries and the extensive col-

ADVENTUREFULS is the newest cookie in the Girl Scout line.

A portion of the money raised from each box goes back to the seller’s chapter. The chapter collectively makes decisions on how to spend the money. Some of the lections. There, animal images will be projected at night. Fossil remains of sabertooth cats, giant sloths, dire wolves and other Ice Age animals who walked the grounds here 10,000 to 50,000 years ago — before being pulled into the sticky tar below — will be featured in the new Exhibition Building.

325 N. Larchmont Boulevard, #158 Los Angeles, California 90004 157 N. Larchmont Boulevard

Happy New Year!

As our calendars turn, so do our thoughts — to all kinds of fresh beginnings. Before we embark upon our own personal resolutions, we would like to note a few new things that the year 2022 is ushering in to our Windsor Square neighborhood. First, Windsor Square welcomes a new councilmember, Mitch O’Farrell. Due to recent redistricting, our neighborhood (formerly in Council District 4) has been merged into Hollywood’s Council District 13. We are now part of one of the most diverse districts in Los Angeles. Currently in his second term, Mr. O’Farrell has focused on environmental issues, public safety, historic preservation, combating homelessness and providing vaccines to underserved communities. To seek assistance with any local concerns, such as sidewalk repairs, traffic issues, or tree trimming, reach out to Windsor Square’s contact person in the councilmember’s office, Field Deputy George Hakopiants, at For further information on our new district and councilmember, go to Larchmont Village has new faces working in a few new retail spaces on the block. Recent months have seen the opening of Great White, a casual café with another location in Venice. Rothy’s Shoes and Corridor NYC also have opened for business. A Hawaiian donut shop called Holey Grail, as well as Skin Laundry, a skin care salon, have been announced as the first tenants to be signed for the “Larchmont Mercantile” project (former Lipson Building) on the east side of the street. Opening dates and other new merchants for that redeveloped space have not yet been announced. Here’s one resolution we can all support: Let’s keep Larchmont vital by shopping and dining locally. Recently, neighborhood residential real estate sales have set records. As houses change hands these days, construction sites dot our blocks. We’d like to remind any new owners that they are responsible for protecting and watering their street trees, even during lengthy remodeling projects. Water by hand, if the sprinkler systems are not operating, but do not neglect protecting the valuable resource of our tree canopy. We’d like to extend a welcome to any new neighbors and urge them to join the Windsor Square Association. The WSA is also happy to provide a free street tree where there is a space that is empty on the parkway in front of your home. Contact us at: We wish all Windsor Square residents a happy and healthy 2022!

money goes to service projects that help the community, some goes to outdoor advenShade will be offered at the existing outdoor classroom and fossil dig at Pit 91, where visitors will be able to see sticky asphalt oozing up from the ground below, while watching scientists work in real time. More shade is planned to welcome visitors at the entry plaza at the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Curson Avenue, which also will feature an Ice Age-era Pleistocene Garden. A second entryway will be on Sixth Street for school groups. Native plantings that support local wildlife and birdwatching areas will be in the park. The rooftop café and Tar Bar will offer refreshments and views. Gateway to the Ice Age “The site is a gateway to the Ice Age, and it is right on our doorstep,” said Lori BettisonVarga, president and director of the Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County (NHM). “It gives us a very good glimpse into the last global climate change episode. Understanding what happened back then — 10,000 to 50,000 years ago — is key to finding solutions in our own time,” she added. Dr. Luis Chiappe, NHM senior vice president of research and collections and architecture, said the site “is one of the best places in the world to study big questions in conservation science. Questions such as: ‘How will different plants and animals respond to climate change?’ … The answers … lie in the fossils from the tar pits. …

tures for the troop, and some goes to enhancing weekly meetings.

TAR BAR will be a feature of the renovated museum’s rooftop terrace, as designed by architecture firm Weiss / Manfredi.

“We want the tar pits to be a place of discovery … for people of all ages. We also want it to be a premiere training ground for graduate students … and others developing a degree in paleontology. But our

ambitions are limited by the physical reality of the existing museum,” he added. Public comment on the master plan to Reimagine La Brea Tar Pits is set to start later this month.

Join GWNC Board & Committee Meetings on Zoom or Phone! REGULAR MEETING SCHEDULE: Board of Directors


Second Wednesday of each month, 6:30 p.m.

Land Use Committee

Fourth Tuesday of each month, 6:30 p.m.

Outreach Committee

Third Tuesday of each month, 7:30 p.m.

Transportation Committee



Fourth Monday of odd-numbered months, 7:00p.m.

Environmental & Sustainability Committee First Tuesday of even-numbered months, 7:00 p.m.

Quality of Life Committee

Fourth Wednesday of the 2nd month of each quarter, 7:00 p.m.

Resilience Committee

First Wednesday of each month, 7:00 p.m.

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The Windsor Square Association, an all-volunteer group of residents from 1100 households between Beverly and Wilshire and Van Ness and Arden, works to preserve and enhance our beautiful neighborhood. Join with us! Drop us a line at 325 N. Larchmont Blvd., #158, Los Angeles, CA 90004, or visit our website at ADV.

TROOP 4475 displays cookies for sale. From left to right: Evelyn Berger, Coco Scott, Olivia Lippman, Addison ChristiansenAdams, Rosie Davisson, Alice Killoran, Amelia Rodriguez, Sienna Light and Kalia McCarthy. Photo by Mako Scott

Coco Scott, 12, of Hancock Park and Troop 4475, has been a Girl Scout and Thin Mint fan for six years. She is very excited to sell cookies this year because the money her troop raises goes toward a trip. Coco hopes to sell 100 boxes. Over the years, she’s learned different ways of selling cookies and good ways to advertise her product. Whatever your favorite flavor is, buy some this season knowing you are supporting girls, community and entrepreneurship for the next generation.

VISITORS will see ongoing discoveries and the extensive fossil collection in the glassenclosed Fossil Lab.

Larchmont Chronicle




Bethany Atkins’ Fit4Mom helps mothers tap into their health

By Caroline Tracy Mothers in greater Hancock Park who are looking for a healthy start to 2022 have a local option to consider. Bethany Atkins, franchise owner of Fit4Mom Larchmont, conducts all levels of fitness classes at Robert Burns Park on Van Ness and Beverly, and leads “stroller” walks through the surrounding neighborhood. According to the Fit4Mom website, the nationwide company focuses on pre- and post-natal health, wellness and fitness for every stage of motherhood. This ethos resonated with Bethany as she was beginning her journey as a mother. “I have a background in finance and worked on Wall Street, then I moved to Los Angeles and became a mom,” says Atkins. “I knew I didn’t want to go back to a 9-to-5 job, but was looking for something to fit into my new life. I became an instructor for Fit4Mom and liked it so much I decided to purchase a franchise.”

THE FIT4MOM LARCHMONT group and their little ones, led by Bethany Atkins (second from right).

Fitness was always a priority for Atkins, but becoming a mother made her realize the strong need for community. “I didn’t have much of a community when I was still new to the area and had a baby daughter. I would see moms with strollers everywhere though, so I knew they were there — we just didn’t talk to one another.” With Fit4Mom, Atkins was able to bring together mothers who, like herself, were looking to connect as well as

get fit. During classes at the park, with babies in tow, conversations about sleep schedules and the neighborhood’s best pre-schools arise between strength training circuits. When classes end, play dates often commence in the sand. Atkins credits her business background with being able to offer an even more dynamic program for her moms; one that includes synergistic partnerships with pediatricians, lactation consultants and a

ROBERT BURNS PARK is the site of Fit4Mom in action.

pelvic floor specialist. “I know how to teach exercise classes to all levels, but I don’t necessarily know everything about pelvic floor muscles, which is so specific,” explains Atkins. “I enjoy being able to plug people in with other types of services and practitioners that are relevant. There is a wealth of information out there to bring in.” In these times, the importance of health, wellness and human connection cannot be overstated. Atkins agrees and shares that the pandemic

forced her to pivot to virtual classes for a time. “The benefit to virtual classes, which I still offer, is that I can reach more moms. But there is definitely a downside to going totally online. You miss that human connection. Some of the pandemic babies who are coming to my classes now had never seen other babies.” Atkins is looking forward to 2022, which will present new mothers, new babies, new challenges, new opportunities and new needs for connection.

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Larchmont Chronicle


Merry eve, joy to all from WSHPHS “We had a wonderful time at the holiday party,” Richard Battaglia told us of the get-together of the Windsor Square-Hancock Park Historical Society (WSHPHS) at a landmark home on June Street Dec. 12. “With over 100 attendees,

the wonderful house, the great food, the Christmas decorations and wonderful company, this party will be one to remember,” added Battaglia, president of the WSHPHS. “I want to thank everyone who

attended. I especially want to thank our host, Joseph Guidera, co-chair Marlene Zweig, wine contributors Judy and Richard Zeller, Brian Curran for the carolers, and the rest of the executive committee.”

MEMBERS and their guests, above and top left, relished good cheer and song at the June Street home of Joseph Guidera.

ENJOYING the festivities were Elizabeth Blair, Jolin Crofts, Linnette Guidera and Jane Gilman (co-founder of the Larchmont Chronicle).

ON THE KEYBOARD, Fluff McLean welcomed arriving guests and kept music in the air throughout the evening.

Celebrating 36 Years Serving the Greater Los Angeles Community


Louis and Margaret Cherene, Chris Maddox and Marlene Zweig were among the Historical Society partygoers. Photos by WSHPHS

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Firecracker run, bike and walk to ring in Year of the Tiger Run, bike, bring the kids and even your dog to the 44th annual Los Angeles Chinatown Firecracker Year of the Tiger event on the weekend of February 19-20, 2022. The 5/10K Run/Walk and 20/40 mile bike ride take place on Saturday, with a kiddie run and a one-mile PAW’er dog walk on Sunday. Scenic runs will traverse Chinatown, Dodger Stadium and Angel’s Point. Opening ceremonies will feature lion dancers and lighting of firecrackers, and a Firecracker Festival both days will offer entertainment, food and arts and crafts. Registration is open to participate in-person or virtually. Participants receive a commemorative 2022 Firecracker race bib, collectible finisher’s medal and limited edition T-shirt. The 2022 USA Track & Field-sanctioned event is produced by the nonprofit L.A. Chinatown Firecracker Run Committee (LACFRC),

LION DANCE at the Chinatown event.

Photo by Bak Jong

a group of volunteers. All proceeds support elementary schools and nonprofit groups in local neighborhoods. For more information and to register, visit, write or call 818-925-8434.

Fran Drescher hosts Health Summit 2022 Jan. 8

Join Fran Drescher’s Master Class Health Summit 2022 “Pandemic to Endemic: The Game Plan” Sat., Jan. 8 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Jerry Moss Plaza, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave. The Cancer Schmancer event will be hosted by Drescher, an actress (“The Nanny”) and the movement’s founder. This year’s event will feature lessons learned from the COVID-19 experience and what the new normal will look like. Information on how to build immunity, improve nutrition and diet and care for your mental health will be discussed by experts in the field, including: Dr. Deepak Chopra; Paul Denniston, founder

CNN ‘Hero’ in our midst brings care to remote regions

2 1 Ye a r A n n i v e r s a r y ! T h a n k y o u , L a r c h m o n t !



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Dr. Patricia Gordon of CureCervicalCancer was recognized on television last month as a 2021 Top 10 CNN Hero — “everyday people doing extraordinary things to change the world.” The Hancock Park resident was honored at the 15th annual “CNN Heroes — An AllStar Tribute,” which aired live last month from the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Based in Los Angeles but operating globally, CureCervicalCancer (CCC) is dedicated to the early detection and prevention of cervical cancer. “Every two minutes, a woman dies of cervical cancer — but, through testing, we can stop this horrible disease before it starts,” said Dr. Gordon. CCC has established 106 screening / treatment clinics in 10 countries, which have screened nearly 170,000 women and treated nearly 9,000. The organization has trained more than 650 healthcare professionals and more than 300 community health educators. In October, CCC launched Mobile Health for Mamas, a community-based testing and treatment project to bring mobile human papillomavirus (HPV)-based cervical cancer testing and treatment to 10,000 women in rural Kenya. Gordon will also receive a $10,000 cash donation and an additional match of up to $50,000 from Subaru, which will pay to build more HPV mobile clinics to bring screening and treatment directly to resource-poor areas where women need it most. In addition, as part of the award package, Dr. Gordon will receive media relations training from Fenton, the social change agency. For more information visit

Fran Drescher

of Grief Yoga; and “New York Times” best-selling author Dr. Daniel Amen, among others. Drescher, a 20-year cancer survivor, launched the Cancer Schmancer Movement in 2007. The nonprofit organization is dedicated to shifting the nation’s focus from just searching for a cure to early detection and prevention. Tickets are $250. Visit


deep by Dr. Rebecca Fitzgerald

Jumpstart your body goals, fit into those jeans again, and finally keep a New Year’s resolution. Hello, CoolTone – the physical equivalent of doing 2,000 sit-ups in 30 minutes! The perfect compliment to Coolsculpting, which removes stubborn fat, CoolTone tightens and tones muscles after your CoolSculpting procedure. Here’s how it works: a paddle-like device is placed on your abdomen, thighs or buttocks to emit magnetic energy. That energy prompts thousands of involuntary muscle contractions to strengthen muscle fibers. Six treatments are recommended to see the lean, defined, enviable look of Pilates enthusiasts. After each session you’ll experience the rewarding soreness of a great workout. To maintain your sleek new physique, come in for a maintenance session every few months. Schedule your appointment today and get started on acquiring the body you’ve only dreamt of. Happy, healthy New Year! Dr. Rebecca Fitzgerald is a Board Certified Dermatologist located in Larchmont Village with a special focus on anti-aging technology. She is a member of the Botox Cosmetic National Education Faculty and is an international Training Physician for Dermik, the makers of the injectable Sculptra. She is also among a select group of physicians chosen to teach proper injection techniques for Radiesse, the volumizing filler, around the world. Dr. Fitzgerald is an assistant clinical professor at UCLA. Visit online at or call (323) 464-8046 to schedule an appointment. Adv.

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Larchmont Chronicle



‘Chaplin’ faced fame, controversy; enjoy the silly ‘King’s Man’

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Tony Medley She was probably very lonely. I could imagine it would be quite lonely being the wife of Charlie Chaplin.” SHO The King’s Man (7/10): 131 minutes. R. WWI was the most nonsensical war in the history of mankind. The fact that it occurred still boggles the mind. So this comes up with a fictional story about why it happened that isn’t as ridiculous as the truth. Silly as it is, though, it is enjoyable, aided by fine performances by Ralph Fiennes and Gemma Atherton and a scintillating, overthe-top job by Rhys Ifans as the mystic Grigori Rasputin. While the film treats actual historical events fictionally, how hard it was to kill Rasputin is accurate. You won’t learn anything, but it’s a fun movie. Being the Ricardos (7/10): 125 minutes. R. The tale of Lucille Ball (Nicole Kidman, who, at 5’10,” reflects Ball’s relative tallness at 5’7”) and Desi Arnaz (Javier Bardem) is told focusing on one week in the production life of their seminal TV show, “I Love Lucy.” The problem is that the troubles pictured in this movie did not all occur within the same week. They are, to



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Academy Awards, including best picture, in 1961? Director Steven Spielberg shows here that there are no good reasons. Robert Wise did it better, and that’s all there is to it. Just a few things that Spielberg did worse: Jerome Robbins’ wonderful choreography has been dumped or changed by Justin Peck (uncredited), to the film’s detriment. Spielberg has greatly changed “Dance at the Gym,” and it is much worse. Along with the music, it’s the best part of the 1961 movie. Robbins’ choreography was captivating. Peck’s is pedestrian. Especially romantic was the way Wise had Maria and Tony meet, as everything dims as they see each other across the dance floor and float together as the other dancers fade and they do a slow, dreamy mambo. Spielberg has them meet and then go behind the grandstand, standing there alone, robbing it of the mystique and magic that Wise / Robbins created. One of the most romantic songs in the play is “Somewhere,” a duet between Maria and Tony. (“There’s a place for us; a time and place for us; Hold my hand and we’re halfway there; Hold my hand and I’ll take you there; Somehow, someday, somewhere.”) Spielberg has Rita Moreno, playing Valentina (a male character named “Doc” in the original), singing it alone. It makes absolutely no sense and borders on heresy. If Spielberg remade “Showboat” he’d probably have someone like Kathryn Grayson sing “Ol’ Man River.” The music is so good in “West Side Story” that it would be almost impossible for a director to make a film (Please turn to page 15)

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At the Movies

wit: Ball is accused of being a Communist, she is pregnant, she wants Desi to have a producer’s credit, Desi is playing around, etc. Well, Desi was playing around throughout their marriage, not just this one week. Walter Winchell accused Ball of being a Communist in the fall of 1953, and her pregnancy was written into the show in 1952; her son was born in January of 1953, so there was no connection. According to this movie, Desi was the power behind the throne, helping to develop the three-camera technique in front of a live audience and filming all the shows while retaining the rights to them, which created the rerun industry that is enormously lucrative. But Aaron Sorkin barely mentions these and wasted his time covering minor incidents. All the supporting players give fine performances, especially Nina Arianda and J.K Simmons as Vivian Vance and William Frawley, respectively, playing Ethel and Fred Mertz in the show. Neither looks much like the person being played, but they display the pervasive animosity between the two in real life. Although too long (considering what it chose to cover), both Kidman and Bardem give wonderful performances. Who knows how accurate they are? I doubt Bardem’s is very faithful to Desi’s dissolute alcoholic, unfaithful character. Despite a wonderful opportunity lost by missing the important aspects of their groundbreaking lives, I give this a weak positive mark due only to the performances of the cast. West Side Story (7/10): 156 minutes. PG-13. Why remake a beloved film that won 10

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ther trace of her.” One thing that fascinated me was that there are photos of his last wife, Oona O’Neil, who he married when he was 53 and she 18, and they had eight children. She was gorgeous but silent. Says one of the daughters (unfortunately unidentified), “My mother’s voice doesn’t exist. There’s nothing with her. No recorded interviews. Certainly she kept diaries. Writing was her way of escaping; writing furiously; writing continuously. In her last years she spent a lot of time destroying. Destroying what she had written.

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The Real Charlie Chaplin (8/10): 112 minutes. Charlie Chaplin was a 5’4” superstar who faced fame and controversy. His loyalty was questioned, and he exacerbated the problem by saying, “I certainly say if that’s communism then there are a lot of people in the United States who would vote for it,” among others. His relationships with women were selfish, forcing Joan Barry to have two backstreet abortions. Barry was so unnerved that several years later she was committed to a psychiatric hospital, and “there’s no fur-

Larchmont Chronicle




Sushi, skewers and sake, oh my! Japanese dining across Los Angeles

Lately I’ve been indulging my obsession with Japanese food. What better way to start the new year than with raw fish? Long a hand roll advocate, I love the simplicity of a square of nori (seaweed) wrapped around raw fish and rice and left uncut. Pure heaven. There are three sashimi plates on offer, but hand rolls star at KazuNori. A flurry of sushi chefs create raw fish magic with options such as bay scallop, eel, yellowtail and lobster, either à la carte for $4.75 to $8.50 per roll, or sets of three to six rolls (substitutions allowed), for $14 to $27. KazuNori, 6245 Wilshire Blvd., 323-642-6457. • • • If you’re heading to the Pantages for a show on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday, a casual option for a pre-theater dinner is Yaki-Q, a Japanese skewer restaurant (a yakitori) atop the Klimpton Everly Hotel in Hollywood. View meals used to be scarce in Los Angeles, but hotels have jumped into the void, and in these days of waxing and waning coronavirus concerns, it is lovely to eat outside and get a view of the city, as well. Sip a sake or cocktail and nibble on grilled skewers, such as sweet shrimp, salmon and skirt steak, each coated in a choice of hoisin, miso soy or Thai chili glaze (my favorite). Prices for small pairs of skewers range from $10 for vegetables to $25 for scallops.

At the Movies

(Continued from page 14) that was not entertaining. But as to Wise v. Spielberg, I score it Wise: 1, Spielberg: 0. The Beatles: Get Back (5/10): 7 hours; 48 minutes. I might be a Beatlemaniac, but even for me this is far too long and disjointed. There is no narration, just The Beatles creating songs and preparing for their album / concert “Let it Be.” One has to be a true fanatic to stick with it all the way through. It’s interesting because there doesn’t seem to be much alienation, even though they are about to split up. And the way they create a song — at least the song “Get Back” — is revealing. They break out into other artists’ songs and all seem to play their instruments without any rehearsal (especially Ringo, who keeps good time to everything). McCartney seems to be the boss, and Lennon doesn’t have a lot to say. It’s a snapshot in time past of the inner workings of probably the greatest band of all time. But most normal people will probably find it pretty boring.

Chef Jeffrey Williams helms the outdoor barbecue. There are also a variety of small plates, including $14 green papaya and mango salad with kimchi dressing, a $35 Wagyu beef sandwich and $20 lobster and corn takoyaki, gloppy fritters which manage to taste yummy in spite of all the Kewpie mayonnaise holding it together. Yaki-Q, 1800 Argyle Ave., 213-279-3532. • • • Robata JINYA is a survivor on the ever-evolving Third Street restaurant scene, and with good reason. In spite of the “robata” in their name (indicating cooking over charcoal), they have an extensive menu that covers the gamut of greatest hits. Feel like slurping ramen in a lively setting? For roughly $16 a bowl, there’s long-simmered chicken, pork or vegan variet-

On the Menu by

Helene Seifer ies. Crave fried chicken bites, $8.60, spicy creamy shrimp tempura, $8.80, or a $30 bento box? No problem. There are multiple options in myriad categories: cut rolls ($6.30 for a California roll, for example), fancy rolls ($12.50 spicy tuna with avocado, shrimp tempura and eel sauce), hand rolls ($7.80 grilled black cod), nigiri sushi (two pieces each, $6.50 seared salmon belly) and rice bowls (with tuna belly, uni and salmon roe, $38). Everything is fresh and satisfying; some items are spectacular. Do not leave without

ordering the table-made fresh tofu. A pitcher of specially prepared warm soy milk is poured into a jug in front of diners. In five minutes the liquid congeals into pillowy silken tofu, ready to be mixed to taste with the accompanying scallions, yuzu sauce and bonito flakes, $7.50. Robata JINYA, 8050 W. Third St., 323-653-8877. • • • There are excellent serious sushi restaurants throughout our city, but the Valley has more than its share. One of note is the estimable Sushi Note in Sherman Oaks. Although not awarded a star, the Michelin organization singled out this temple of fish for a special mention, writing, “Chef Kiminobu Saito showcases serious craftsmanship, ace textures, and rare flavors in his seasonal plates.” Indeed, the eight-course

$115 omakase is close to perfection, with beautifully prepared fish, rice served at the perfect temperature and a variety of tastes and textures that lead the diner through a stellar gastronomic experience. Highlights include a sesame tofu pudding, scallop tartare, yuzu sorbet palate cleanser, 12 pieces of delicate market fish — some flown in from Japan — and a pickled daikon and fatty tuna hand roll. À la carte items are equally successful. We particularly admired the contrast of soft, flavorful spicy tuna on beautifully crispy rice “biscotti” rectangles (four pieces for $9). Interesting sakes and beer are on offer and their acclaimed wine list is also available as a wine pairing: six twoounce glasses for $75. Sushi Note, 13447 Ventura Blvd., 818-802-3443.

Happy New Year

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Larchmont Chronicle

‘Who Can I Turn To?’ lives on; coffee cup spoils ‘tick… tick…’

As Janus is the two-faced god of the new year, let me begin by looking back before looking forward. The musical theater world lost two titans last year — Stephen Sondheim and Leslie Bricusse. Leslie (whom I had the pleasure of knowing) wrote singularly hummable tunes that garnered him dozens of Academy, Tony and Grammy nominations and awards. Every crooner, it seemed, at one time recorded “Who Can I Turn

To?” or “What Kind of Fool Am I?” Leslie had the cosmopolitan panache of London of the swinging ‘60s, the French Riviera and a Hollywood era populated by Joan Collins, Roger Moore and the Rat Pack. Which is a far cry from Sondheim, whose memorable tunes, when taken out of their shows, come down to, maybe, “Send in the Clowns” and (my favorite) “Losing My Mind” (especially when sung by Bernadette Peters or Bobby Short).

Theater Review by

Louis Fantasia Sondheim’s style is that of the “New Yorker,” where — like the famous eponymous Saul Steinberg 1976 magazine cover — one never has to look past the East River to be con-

tent. Even when Leslie titled his songs with a question mark (“What kind of fool...” or “Who can I turn to...”), he would answer with rising chords of confidence, building to a boffo finale. Sondheim can make an imperative statement such as “send in the clowns” into the basis for nostalgic introspection, and a task like “finishing the hat” he can make into a stand-in for creative meltdown. Sondheim, current times Perhaps that’s why Sondheim seems so adaptable to the current moment, with its political and cultural complexities. Bachelor Bobby of “Company” is successfully gender-swapped to female “Bobbie” in its Broadway revival. “West Side Story” gets a Spielberg make-over with a diverse young cast, including newcomer Rachel Zegler as Maria. Sondheim himself (played by Bradley Whitford) makes an appearance in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s film of Jonathan Larson’s “tick... tick... Boom!” — cementing the throughline of: Oscar Hammerstein (who mentored Sondheim)… to Sondheim (who encouraged Larson)… to Miranda (who was inspired by Larson’s works). “tick… tick… Boom!” Which is why it took me a while to figure out why I hated “tick... tick... Boom!” so much. Unlike my proper theater-going manners, I have no problem screaming at the TV screen, and I found myself doing so frequently as the film progressed. The simplest way to explain it is the “coffee cup.” Larson (played by a hyperkinetic Andrew Garfield) has his first rehearsal for a backer’s audition of his new musical. As he briefs the cast, he sets his paper coffee cup down on top of the Steinway. In my 50-plus years

in the theater, that coffee cup would have been on that piano for all of two seconds before some stage manager would have started screaming! I cared more about the Steinway than I did about Larson, his cast or his play at that moment. Similarly, in what is supposed to be Miranda’s homage to Sondheim’s “Sunday in the Park with George,” Garfield fantasizes serving Sunday brunch at the Moon Dance diner to the likes of Bernadette Peters, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Rita Moreno and Lin-Manuel himself. The theater-nerd insiderism only succeeds in taking us out of the narrative. The cleverness of the cameos comes at the cost of caring for the characters. Theater or film Maybe it’s the curse of getting “theatrical” performances on film. We’ll see, because there are some very interesting opportunities coming up: Stephen Karam’s “The Humans” (Tony award, 2016) gets the film treatment with the author directing (Showtime), where the play seems more quiet horror film than family tragedy. HBO has “Reopening Night,” a documentary on the reopening of the Black adaptation of “Merry Wives of Windsor” at “Shakespeare in the Park” after lockdown. And Second Stage will live-stream the final 16 Broadway performances of Lynn Nottage’s Black ensemble piece “Clyde’s” (https://2st.assemblestream. com/) as a way of expanding its reach to more audiences. Increasingly, theaters will be trying this hybrid approach, as audiences continue to stay away — not in droves, but just enough to make producers nervous. Happy New Year... I hope!

Photographer captures the light in ‘Exposure’

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By Suzan Filipek Photographer Michele Asselin’s first solo show, “Exposure,” is at Louise Alexander Gallery / AF Projects, 7503 Sunset Blvd., in Hollywood through Fri., Jan. 21. The Windsor Square resident’s work has been featured in “New York Times Magazine,” “New Yorker,” “Time,” “Esquire” and others, and she has covered the Middle East as an Associated Press photojournalist. Her recent book, “Clubhouse Turn: The Twilight of Hollywood Park Race Track,” published by Angel City Press, tells of the now-closed track’s 75-year history and features its employees, jockeys and patrons as well as the design of the buildings and landscaped grounds. In her new body of work,

VIEW ON A WALL is among new works in “Exposure.”

“Exposure,” she turns the lens on her own environment, capturing natural light in her home as well as outdoors, in the desert and as wildfires erupt nearby. Dense air blocked any sense of an expansive sky — so being outdoors felt uncannily like being inside, she said. Through this exhibit, Asselin examines how the juxtaposition of sunlight to the natural world increasingly depends on our level of privilege.

Larchmont Chronicle



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Larchmont Village resident named a Mitchell Scholar

By Billy Taylor Local resident Rhiannon McGavin has been selected as one of 12 members of the George J. Mitchell Scholar Class of 2023. Considered one of Ireland’s most prestigious scholarship programs, it sends future American leaders to the island of Ireland for a year of graduate study. This year, 351 individuals applied for the 12 scholarships that cover one academic year of postgraduate study in any discipline offered by institutions of higher learning in Ireland and Northern Ireland. The program provides tuition, accommodation and a stipend for living expenses and travel. “I am so excited,” McGavin told the Chronicle last month by phone. “Since receiving the scholarship, I’ve been so happy I can hardly focus on anything else,” the Larchmont Village resident said. McGavin, a 2016 Youth Poet Laureate of Los Angeles, graduated last year from UCLA, where she studied English with a focus on creative writing. Since then, she has published her second book of poems, “Grocery List Poems.” The former Third Street Elementary student has read her

Rhiannon McGavin

poetry at the Hollywood Bowl, the Library of Congress and on National Public Radio. “I think I have been writing poetry since I was 11 or 12,” McGavin told us. She speaks fondly of growing up in Larchmont, and the ease of walking to Chevalier’s Books, which she calls “legendary.” When asked about being tapped as a George J. Mitchell scholar, McGavin says that she feels honored to be included: “Each of the recipients is so talented and has incredible experience. And I feel lucky to be able to study and write poetry — there is no better (Please turn to page 19)

Larchmont Chronicle


Pilgrim School leader tapped for Columbia fellowship

Booster vaccine to be required at Music Center January 17

The Music Center has expanded its vaccination policy for guests of all indoor preformances and events to show proof of a COVID-19 booster vaccine beginning Mon., Jan. 17. Guests who are eligible for the booster but have been unable to get it will be offered a one-month grace period. Lacking proof of a full vaccination and booster, certain tests will be accepted. Visit


HAPPY NEW YEAR! Neville Anderson, MD, FAAP Amaka Priest, MD Courtney Mannino, MD, FAAP

Patricia Kong

ward thinking school that is not only diverse, equitable and inclusive but also a place where everyone feels a sense of belonging. In fact, a key part of the Klingenstein program is the opportunity for participants to explore specific questions related to their own interests and school community. “In my application, I shared that I wanted to explore some of these questions,” Kong said, listing issues such as supporting an increasingly diverse student population; how COVID-19 influenced key changes on campus; how the most innovative schools are structured and how to support and sustain exhausted educators. Pilgrim School, founded in 1958, is an independent K-12 college preparatory school located in Koreatown. Visit


(Continued from page 18) place to write poetry than in Ireland,” she adds. McGavin will study creative writing at Trinity College in Dublin for the program. During her time as a Mitchell Scholar, McGavin says that she will work on her third collection of poetry, called “Computer Room,” which explores the emotional realities of technology. The George J. Mitchell Scholarship Program, named to honor former U.S. Senator George Mitchell’s pivotal contribution to the Northern Ireland peace process, is sponsored by the U.S.-Ireland Alliance. Visit

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By Billy Taylor Pilgrim School’s newly appointed Head of School Patricia Kong has been selected to join a small cohort of experienced national and international school leaders for the 2022 Klingenstein Head of School Fellowship in late January. The highly selective program admits 20 heads of school annually and offers a two-week, fully-funded fellowship at Columbia University’s Teachers College in New York City. Throughout the program, the participants will engage in design thinking and case study work with Klingenstein master’s students, and the heads of schools will visit independent schools in New York City to observe a variety of programs and ideas. “I’ve always dreamed of being a head of school, and I am humbled and honored for the opportunity to be selected to this one-of-a-kind program,” said Kong. Now in her 22nd year at Pilgrim, and first year as Head of School, Kong is the first Korean-American head of school at a K-12 independent school in California. Kong was selected for the Klingenstein program, in part, for her commitment to professional development and growth, both for herself and her teams. In addition to bringing back the experiences during the fellowship, Kong says that she is excited to implement what she’s learned in order to keep shaping Pilgrim into a for-


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CATHEDRAL CHAPEL By Kennedy del Pozo 5th Grade

Cathedral Chapel School continues to test all students, faculty, and staff weekly for Covid-19 and is committed to doing everything possible to keep our Chapel family safe and well. Students are constantly reminded to wear their masks properly, wash their hands

Larchmont Chronicle



frequently, and watch their social distance to keep all members of our school community safe and well. Every Tuesday and Thursday our student council collects food for the needy and delivers it to HopeNet for distribution at Blessed

Sacrament Church. Our 8th graders are busy writing essays and completing their applications for high school. All classes enjoyed class parties and treats before Christmas break. We wish all who are reading this a joyous and healthy New Year. Let’s pray that 2022 will bring all of us a renewed sense of hope as we work to bring some normalcy back to our lives!

OAKWOOD SCHOOL By Scarlett Saldaña 11th Grade

Following a restful two-week Winter Break, Oakwood students will await the many performances that fill the weeks of this month. On Jan. 11, a week after school resumes, a Jazz Concert will be held on-campus, giving both the middle school and high school Jazz Band a space to perform. The day after this, students in dance classes will showcase their cho-


Our first semester since in-person learning returned is now over, and it was a great year overall. Students worked hard and have adjusted well to coming back from online-learning. Our sports seasons are going smoothly, with the basketball season continuing and the e-sports

LARCHMONT CHARTER By Hajoon Koo and Luke Magnusen 4th Grade

Larchmont Charter School celebrated many different holidays from many different cultures last December with a holiday event at Fairfax campus. The Larchmont community called it Home for the Holidays. Home for the Holidays was a mixed event of Fair-

reographed dance routines, with styles ranging from hip hop to contemporary and jazz. Then, the last musical performance for this month is the Winter Concert on Jan. 20, which will also mark the end of the first semester. Once more, Oakwood’s Jazz Band will be playing, but along with the support from Choraliers, Oakwood’s vocal ensemble. From the beginning of the school year, Choraliers has been rehearsing songs such as “Sir Duke” by Stevie Wonder and “Take Me Home” by Pentatonix, and they will also sing and present the jingle they created for Oakwood’s radio station, KOAK. team coming to a close after reaching playoffs. NCA’s annual Thanksgiving banquet was a success and we were able to donate over 4,300 cans and 14 goats to those in need. To celebrate the end of the year, NCA hosted a Christmas service just as we have done in past years. A sermon commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ was given, K-3 students performed dances and Christmas carols, and teachers got into the action with NCA Staff’s Carols! After the Friday service, students enjoyed an extended Christmas break for 3 weeks. fax’s Bake Sale and Hollygrove’s World Fair. Due to COVID considerations, the Larchmont community decided to make a fusion of the two events. The Bake Sale was a traditional sale of food parents cooked, which was picked up on campus. The World Fair however was quite different — instead of ordering and picking the food up, we ordered and ate there, as well as played a variety of games. LCS ended 2021 with people from all around the Larchmont area. Besides food, students performed on stage in front of everyone. I believe our school does this so everyone can enjoy a fun day with all their friends and family. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

Remembrance Day honored Jan. 27 by Holocaust Museum

To commemorate Inter- Los Angeles, Hillel Newman, national Holocaust Remem- will make remarks. The day marks the Sobrance Day, Thurs., Jan. 27, the Holocaust Museum of Los viet liberation of AuschwitzAngeles is hosting a free webi- Birkenau. The United Nations nar about the layout and func- officially proclaimed this metion of Auschwitz-Birkenau, morial date in 2005 to honor the largest of the Nazi concen- the millions of victims of the tration camps. Cartographer Holocaust. To register for the webinar and 3D modeler Pavel Belsky that starts at 6 p.m., visit holowill lead the program, and BLUTHNER/LARCHMONT 4X2.5.qxp_BLUTHNER/LARCHMONT 4X2.5 8/22/16 Consul General of Israel in

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Larchmont Chronicle MARLBOROUGH SCHOOL By Avery Gough 10th Grade

Although Marlborough does not have an official finals week, December is still stressful because we have projects and tests to complete. But, on the bright side, we have our annual Win-


The Winter Sing is a big part of the winter season at The Center for Early Education. The Winter Sing is a celebration, the week before we leave for our holiday break, when the whole school comes together and shares a special moment. Usually, each grade sings a couple of songs, and then the entire school comes together to sing one song. This year was a bit different because of Covid, and we could not sing because of masks and other safety reasons. The only people who could sing

BUCKLEY SCHOOL By Jasper Gough 12th Grade

The end of December was a busy time on our campus. There were our annual Toy Drive and Winter Concerts, plus our full academic and athletics programs, while we were working on exams and final projects. All classes will resume for the second semester on Jan. 5. We will continue with remote learning and athletics practices until January 18th, at which time hopefully there will be more clarity about returning to campus. The Parent’s Association has


ter Fest event on campus, which is immediately followed by a long break which started on Dec. 17. Second semester classes resume Jan. 3. The Marlborough


were the a cappella students and Junior Choir, and they still did so while being Covid-safe. This year, the rest of the classes played instruments for the performance. The Winter Sing isn’t just for coming together and joining our voices. It is a chance for us to come together as one family, one community, in one happy place. Parents usually come to the Winter Sing, and other adults watch in seats in the Community Center, but this year the sing was live-streamed and recorded. It means that so many more families got to watch the sing, no matter where they lived. Even though the Winter Sing may not be the same as it generally is, it still was a wonderful time for The Center community to come together as one. planned a Jan. 10 event called “Party Book: Sips and Shakes.” During this event, kids will meet up and play various games which will remain a mystery until the kids arrive. It’s voluntary and everyone will be social distancing while there, in order to be safe. Then, during the second week of January, the school will host a virtual Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity (DEI) assembly by Zoom. The assembly’s speakers will talk about how we can help better the lives of minorities around us, as well as how to be antiracist. We also hope to tackle the topics of sexism and misogyny in these assemblies and how we can make our curriculum more minority-friendly. We will have no school on Jan. 18 because it’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day.


sophomore and junior semi-formal is being held in January in a hotel in Hollywood, though we do not have all the information. Students are encouraged to bring a guest or two. The 9th grade’s annual freshman themed Casino night will follow soon after. I was unable to experience it due to COVID-19 when I was a

freshman, but I have only heard positive things. When our winter sports come to an end, we launch into the spring sports season. On Jan. 24 tryouts for 9-12 grade Beach Volleyball / Swimming / Softball / Lacrosse begins again. Now that our Winter Choral Concerts are behind us, the next


big musical performance that is scheduled is the production “Mamma Mia!” on Jan. 26 to 29. Marlborough students have been working so hard to put this together. It will be the first time Marlborough parents and families have a chance to experience a performance in our new theater after its large renovation.

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I’m Sienna Light, reporting from the campus of Hollywood Schoolhouse. Here at HSH, the cold air has settled in. Winterfest was just one of the special things we did last month to celebrate the holidays, and everyone here loved it! Also, we had Snuggly Sweater Spirit Day, where everyone got to wear holiday sweaters


The Episcopal School of Los Angeles held its first ever homecoming dance on Dec. 3 and, even though ESLA doesn’t have a football team, it was a wild success. This was due to the expertise of our faculty organizers, who named the theme of the dance “Fire and Ice” and opened the night with a musical performance


to school. the Inside classroom, in science, we are doing all kinds of experiments. Yesterday, we made some homemade clay, which we will use to make different kinds of sculptures. We also made mini air testers out of wax paper and petroleum jelly. We will put these up on the walls outside, and the jelly will

trap air pollutants, which we will look at under microscopes. Lastly, the musical was finally revealed. The 2022 musical will be a mashup of different songs and dances from a variety of musicals on Broadway, with an original script written here on campus. This leads me to my next announcement. We have acquired a theater! It’s under renovation, and we look forward to having our school musicals there in the near future.

over a moonlight dinner from our singing club, the ES-LA-Ti-Dos, and several of the bands from our music elective. After dinner, everyone was directed toward the chapel space, which had been converted into a temporary dance hall: the lights were dimmed, the music was loud, and everyone was dressed to impress in their cocktail attire.

Students and their plus-ones (who needed a recent negative COVID-19 test in order to be allowed entry) were even given glow sticks and light-up glasses. Faculty supervisors stood on the fringes as an extra precaution to make sure that everyone stayed safe. The dance culminated with the Fire and Ice awards, given to the two seniors voted by the rest of the student body to have most clearly demonstrated ESLA’s five virtues: generosity, integrity, curiosity, courage, and sincerity.


Larchmont Chronicle



THIRD STREET By Coco Min 5th Grade

Hello again, and happy new year! Right now we are on winter break, and I’m busy getting Christmas carols stuck in my head, but we are going to be back in school on January 10. A little bit ago, our school hosted a vaccine clinic for the second vaccine dose. I got the vaccine, and I felt a bit sick after my second dose, but I still think that if people are able to, they should get it! We already have over 86% vaccinated in the whole of LAUSD. Looking into the future, we come to Martin Luther King Jr. day. There are a lot of ways to honor the memory of Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Some people go on marches, some take the time to quietly reflect, and some do creative things to promote equality. I am planning on



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using the day to learn more about Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. I am hopeful for the New Year, and the years to come. I think this year has been hard on everyone and I hope we can return back to normal soon.


At Melrose Magnet, we had a very special winter performance this year. Each grade made a video for the performance and we streamed the video to parents and families through Zoom on Dec. 16. We have a special tradition here at Melrose: 5th graders say a wish in various different languages. The families of Melrose speak over 20 various languages. This year, the wish was “We wish you health, peace, and happiness.” We wished health, hoping everyone stays safe during this COVID pandemic. We also wished for peace and hoped for the overall happiness for everyone during the New Year. We have already had our classroom Spelling Bee and we have a winner and a runner-up from each class. We will have the school-wide Spelling Bee on Jan. 26, and the winner of the Bee will advance to the Los Angeles regional Scripps Spelling Bee on March 13 in North Hollywood. We wish you a happy New Year!

IMMACULATE HEART By Kellyn Lanza 11th Grade

Happy New Year from Immaculate Heart High School! Students are still enjoying their three-week holiday break after completing their cumulative assessment period, marking the end of the first semester of instruction. December ended with many schoolwide activities, along with the busy preparation for finals. Throughout the month of December, the student body gathered donated items for Homeboy Industries’ Annual Christmas Carnival, including diapers, toys, sports equipment, and more. The Girls Athletic Association also hosted a flag football game on the ballfield between the students and the “staculty” (that’s both faculty and staff!) The entire school community turned out to cheer each side on! Along with the donations, the student body organized the annual Winter Formal and Christmas Program to end the semester, and now we are resting up from the holidays. Classes resume soon in January, and students hope to return rested and ready for semester two. We also look forward to cheering on our winter sports teams as they compete!

Larchmont Chronicle



Wendy Kramer, Wilshire Park, 72; she lived on her own terms By Suzan Filipek Wendy Kramer was a special person, judging by the eulogies from the family and friends she left behind, including her devoted husband of 50 years, Stephen Kramer. A longtime Wilshire Park resident, Wendy died Dec. 9 after being diagnosed a year earlier with pancreatic cancer. She was 73. She fought the disease in much the same way she lived her life: fiercely, with elegance and on her own terms, said Stephen, an attorney and Greater

Miracle Mile Chamber of Commerce founder and president. The couple met while attending the American University in Paris, and, Kramer said, when he saw Wendy it was love at first sight for the Los Angeles native; Wendy hailed from Ohio. Her initial diagnosis in November 2020 did little to slow her down. In the dresses and high heels for which she was known, she continued to work alongside her husband, managing his law office and making him lunch every day. While, in the end, she could

not beat the pancreatic cancer that took her life, she retained her optimism, quick wit, easy smile and an innate beauty, style and grace all her own, her husband said. Besides her husband, Wendy is survived by their daughters Jordan and Jennifer and son Jonathan, seven grandchildren and siblings Linda and Stacy Feldman. Services were held Dec. 13 at Hillside Mortuary. In lieu of flowers, the family asked that donations be made to the charity of your choice.

WENDY AND STEPHEN KRAMER met at the American University of Paris.

ST BRENDAN By Noah Borges 8th Grade

Happy New Year’s Larchmont! Thanks for tuning into the St. Brendan School section of the Larchmont Chronicle. Last month was a majestic and glorifying time of year as we spent this holiday season with family and friends. Last year St. Brendan enjoyed their annual Christmas pageant, which was held at St.


By Amiely Rodriguez-Lopez 8th Grade Happy New Year, Larchmont Chronicle readers! I hope your winter break was great! Can you believe the holidays have come and gone so quickly? This month, we will be celebrating the 100th day of school! It’s hard to believe that it has already been 100 days since we returned for the 2021-2022 academic school year. The general consensus is that this school year

Big Sunday

(Continued from page 1) executive director. New clothes in all styles and sizes — for disadvantaged and grateful people — will be counted, folded and sorted. “We’ll be putting together a full 2,022 winter clothing kits (new sweatshirts, T-shirts, hats, scarves, gloves, socks) … and we’ll have a fantastic band playing Motown; they’re so good they even get people stopping in the name of love,”

Brendan School. It was beautiful seeing the entire school unite in song as we sang, “Oh, Holy Night” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” St. Brendan loves accepting gifts but we love giving more than receiving. Last year we held a toy drive where people brought toys for Alexandria House. They truly did parents a favor by taking weight off their shoulders for that impactful Christmas season. St. Brendan cannot wait for this new year of 2022, but now the countdown of coming back to school begins. We hope 2022 is the best year yet to come! seems to be moving more quickly than previous years. To celebrate this milestone, we will be participating in fun activities such as cosplay. If this year’s celebration is anything like previous years’, we are sure to have a blast! We are also looking forward to Martin Luther King Jr. Day on the 17th. This day, as always, is a good opportunity for all of us to reflect on how we can be better members of our community. Each year, the students participate in various lessons which commemorate Dr. King, and show how we can continue to carry on his legacy. All of us at Page Academy wish you a happy and safe New Year!”

Levinson quipped. “This year we’re only accepting new clothes, due to COVID and … we need help!” he added. And, he did say 2,022 kits. Drop off donations Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. beginning Jan. 3, and on Sat., Jan. 8 from 10 a.m. to noon. Sign-ups are also on the website. Participants can also share the community breakfast. Sign up at Volunteers must be 12 or older and vaccinated.

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