Los Feliz Ledger Vol 9. No. 2
LFVBID’s Books Show Delay in Paying Vendors
Read by 100,000+ Residents and Business Owners in Los Feliz, Silver Lake, Atwater Village, Echo Park & Hollywood Hills
City Council Pushes Millennium Project Forward By Tony Cella Ledger Contributing Writer
By Tony Cella and Allison C. Ferraro, Ledger Contributing Writers LOS FELIZ—In response of a Freedom of Information Act Request, documents obtained by the Los Feliz Ledger show the Los Feliz Village Business Improvement District (LFVBID) as of mid-July had nearly $14,000 in overdue payments to vendors—$6,000 of which was owed to the 2012 Los Feliz Village Street Fair event coordinator, who was only recently paid in full, July 19th. The board also never reimbursed food vendors from last year’s Street Fair, as promised. The vouchers—at $15 each— were given to volunteers to use at food booths as a thank you for their time. “[The food vendors] were supposed to submit vouch-
LOS ANGELES—Reactions to the July 24th unanimous vote by the Los Angeles City Council to approve the controversial Millennium project for Hollywood were as expected, with developers claiming a victory and those in opposition hinting at a lawsuit against the city. After the vote, the lawyer for a group opposing the development, Robert Silverstein, said he was not surprised when the City Planning and Land Use Committee approved the project, but he was a bit taken aback that the city moved the project forward because the California Geologic Survey had just opened a investigation into the seismic studies conducted by the project developers and Caltrans. “The idea that [the developers] have done an adequate
see LFVBID page 17
see MILLENNIUM page 7
90039 Pollution One of the Highest In L.A. and Statewide
AVNC Says New Traffic Study Needed For Proposed Atwater Village “Mega Church”
By Colin Stutz, Ledger Contributing Writer
By Tony Cella, Ledger Contributing Writer
Silver Lake and Atwater Village may be some Los Angeles’ most popular neighborhoods, but are also among the city’s most polluted. According to data from the California Communities Environmental Health Screening Tool, the 90039 zip code that runs along the Los Angeles River—as well as Silver Lake and Atwater Village— has a pollution “burden score” that falls within the highest 2.5% of scores statewide. The score is factored from measurements of ozone, particulate and diesel matter concentrations, pesticide use, toxic releases from facilities and traffic density. It also considers indicators, including cleanup
ATWATER VILLAGE—The Atwater Village Neighborhood Council (AVNC) has requested the city to implement a new traffic study for the so-called “mega church,” proposed for the lot on Los Feliz Boulevard behind Costco by New Vision Church. The board’s letters, forwarded in June, claims a past traffic study was flawed. According to the letter, the AVNC criticized the previous traffic study by the Los Angeles Dept. of Transportation as it didn’t take into account Sunday driving, the most frequent day for Christian religious services to be held at the site and it counted potential drivers along Verdant Street, which will be
Los Feliz Confidential: A new column on notable Silent Film Era locals, page 7
sites, impaired water bodies, groundwater threats and solid and hazardous waste sites and facilities. As well as parts of Silver Lake and Atwater Village, the 90039 zip code includes portions of the I-5 and California 2 Freeways, and sections of Echo Park and Elysian Heights. Within its area is also the Los Angeles River and riverbank with the Metrolink maintenance facility at Taylor Yard. Metrolink officials recently agreed to perform a health risk assessment following Congressmember Adam Schiff’s urging. “Our office is going to make sure that that study see POLLUTION page 11
Politics: Thousands apply for positions on Garcetti’s staff, page 10
Community: The Echo Park Lake is so inviting, swimmers are jumping in, page 21
closed to churchgoers, per a request from the community. AVNC board member Edward Morrissey, who drafted the letter, also noted the study anticipated the estimated 602 church goers driving to and from New Vision’s lot throughout the day, instead of a study of traffic that corresponded with potential service start times at the church. According to plans presented to the AVNC, the religious organization would hold between three to six Sunday services and 5:30 a.m. rituals daily at the twostory church, which would be located immediately west of the shopping center that contains a Costco, Best Buy, Toys R Us and several restaurants.
“They spread traffic throughout the day as if people were going to a store, not an event with a set start and end time,” said attendee Monica Waggoner, who said she had a masters in urban planning with a focus on transportation from UCLA. However, church officials said they disagreed with the study’s attendance numbers, which the city based on the square footage of the property. Johg Choi, a self-described church “elder” said he expected attendance to be, instead, fewer than150 based on attendance at the church’s current location. In the past, however, the church has given varying estisee MEGA CHURCH page 17
Editorial: Silver Lake Resident Calendar: Zoo serves samples of Vincent Brook takes a look at multi- California Brews, Aug 9, culturalism on his block, page 23 losfelizledger.com
Los Feliz Ledger [letter from the publisher] The Los Feliz Ledger only received payment— nearly 12 months later—for services contracted by the Los Feliz Business Improvement District after writing about the issue in this column June 2013 and after the paper filed a “Freedom of Information Request” to review the LFVBID’s financial records to see if other vendors were in the same boat. After much going back and forth with the LFVBID’s current treasurer—she did not have all the records from 2012 and was unwilling to make copies to meet the request (I eventually went to her apartment and took PDFs of some of the documents with my cell phone)—they were. I realize the LFVBID is an all-volunteer organization. But the Ledger has been paid in a timely fashion by other local volunteer organizations, so that is not an excuse. What are not voluntary are the assessments all business owners pay to the organization. I sat on the LFVBID board for two years and I witnessed the boards’ lack of professionalism first hand. Meetings start late—every meeting—wasting the time of those that have shown up on time. Boardmembers also often skip meetings. According to one current boardmember, the LFVBID no longer
keeps track of boardmember attendance (see page 6) even though its by-laws clearly state that a boardmember can be removed if they miss three meetings in a year. In 2008 when I was the LFVBID’s board secretary, we kept track of attendance. I also posted minutes from our monthly meetings, every month, on the LFVBID’s website. Even though the LFVBID these days pays $240 a month for a web master to manage its website, there are 47 months of meeting minutes missing from its website dating to 2008. In fact, there were no meeting minutes posted at all in either 2010 or 2011; only one posted in 2012 and none, thus far, for 2013. And the meeting minutes that are there cannot be downloaded. I’ve tried. So what exactly is my $300 a year assessment going to? A Street Fair that brings in thousands of people, to be
sure, but does not help my business (or others, as I am told) in any way? In fact, many local businesses claim they actually lose business during the Street Fair as so many of the vendors exhibiting a booth are not local or their storefront is blocked. So who is this fair really for? Why do so many local businesses choose to not even have a booth? And why is the Street Fair costing our local businesses over $30,000 to stage as it did in 2012? According to an editorial in the Los Angeles Times, June 23, 2013, the Arts District BID in downtown Los Angeles was recently disbanded by order of a Superior Court judge who ruled that funds spent on economic development activities by that BID provided no special benefit to the people being assessed. The ruling raises potential issues for other BIDs including our own.
Pick up a copy at these locations: Citibank 1965 N. Hillhurst Ave. The Dresden 1760 N. Vermont Ave. News Stand at Vermont and Melbourne Skylight Books 1818 N. Vermont Ave. Atwater Public Library 3379 N. Glendale Blvd.
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Los Feliz Ledger Online Read more stories only available online in August, including: • •
COMMUNITY: Some Los Feliz organizations have set of goal of raising $150,000 to help homelessness in the area. POLITICS: The Atwater Neighborhood Council is undecided about “Small Lot” ordinances, meaning multiple story housing built on single family lots. POLITICS: Assemblymember Mike Gatto is seeking to protect the sites of California Native Americans. POLITICS: City Councilmember Tom LaBonge says goodbye to longtime deputy Mary Rodriguez and hello to new deputy Daniel Halden. CALENDAR: Things to do around the area in August.
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New Owners Update Hyperion Businesses By Kathy A. McDonald, Ledger Contributing Writer Mack Sennett Studios The historic triangle-shaped soundstage at the corner of Bates and Hyperion avenues has made a comeback worthy of a Hollywood script. Built in 1916 by film comedy impresario and producer Mack Sennett for silent screen star Mabel Normand—and the headquarters for the Mabel Normand Feature Film Company—the building’s footprint has stayed constant for 97 years. As a studio for silent films, it was partially open-air and light-filled, and was used for the production of the highest grossing comedy of 1918, the Mabel Normand film Mickey. Today, it’s booked for commercials, fashion shoots, music videos, events, television and film productions. As Jesse Rogg, president and head of production said the building’s soaring interiors and rich Hollywood history led him to buy and refurbish the local landmark this year. Outside there’s a new coat of paint and architectural details have re-appeared that were long hidden. Inside, 20th-century film production artifacts found in the building’s bi-level basement decorate the facility from film camera lenses to vintage lighting equipment and scenic painted backdrops. One fascinating relic was uncovered in the lobby: after removing drywall, Rogg found a patterned wall of reclaimed wood planks that was original to the structure but looks of-the-moment. Clients have the choice of two soundstages that have extensive prep areas, hair and August 2013
make-up rooms and other amenities. The sub-basement is an almost untouched treasure trove of equipment from typewriters to 1,500-watt light bulbs to an entire room of tools and screws. Rogg promises an “unearthing event” to display some of the finds. He’s also open to hosting community gatherings, fundraisers and cultural events. Mack Sennett Studios 1215 Bates Ave., LA 90029 (323) 660-8466 macksennettstudios.net O Banh Mi: A Vietnamese Sandwich Lunch Spot Blink and you’ll miss the tiny storefront O Banh Mi. A few years ago it was home to the Soy Café. For the past year, it’s been a micro-storefront that serves made-to-order Vietnamese Banh Mi. Owned and operated by Hieu Homert—who also owns the popular Speranza restaurant and Hyperion Tavern next door—her concept is to keep the menu simple. Open daily from 12 noon to 3 p.m., only sandwiches are served. Among the choices are tofu, lemongrass chicken and baby squid (“very authentic,” advises Homert). Fridays there’s a popular special: roast pig sandwiches. All sandwiches are $7.50. The whole pig is roasted at Speranza as O Banh Mi’s kitchen is tiny. Finding the spot is a tad difficult. Look for it on the west side of Hyperion, directly across from Playland. Cash only. O Banh Mi 1997 Hyperion Ave, (323) 665-1941. www.losfelizledger.com
LFNC Has Three Open Seats LOS FELIZ—The Los Feliz Neighborhood Council currently has three vacancies on its governing board: a Public Safety Representative, a Representative for District D and a Chairperson for its Parks,
Rivers and Open Space committee. Seats will be filled by appointment. For more information visit: lfnc.org. To apply, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
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Despite By-Laws LFVBID Doesn’t Track Boardmembers’ Attendance By Tony Cella, Ledger Contributing Writer LOS FELIZ—While waiting for boardmembers to arrive for the Los Feliz Business Improvement District’s (LFVBID) July meeting after the 9 a.m. start time, board president Chris Serrano noted one board member—a restaurant owner—was sporadic about attendance and didn’t show up frequently. A spokesperson for the North East Hospitality Alliance, who was in attendance as a guest, remarked the business improvement districts in the downtown area were strict about board members coming to board meetings. Serrano remarked the board “doesn’t like to kick anyone off.” The LFVBID’s bylaws state missing three consecutive meetings “without good reason” is grounds for expulsion from the board. According to LFVBID boardmember, Jessica Lewis, who serves as the board’s treasurer, it is not a requirement for the LFVBID to keep records of board member attendance to board meetings. The Historic Downtown Business Improvement Dis-
trict shares the same rule, but according to its executive director, Blair Besten, the organization is stricter in enforcing no-shows. According to Besten, boardmembers who can’t attend usually send an alternate in their place or typically call to explain an absence then send an email follow-up. “That way we have it in writing,” she said. Operations Manager Jim Omahen, of the Hollywood Media District Business Improvement District said the same attendance requirements are in their district’s by-laws as well. If an elected member misses too many meetings, the board of directors or one of the executives contacts the absentee to find out why they’ve been missing meetings. The information, he said, is brought back to the board and discussed. Another BID—called the Hollywood Entertainment BID—bylaws state “if any director shall consecutively fail to attend three regular meetings of the board, or fail to attend five meetings within the course of a twelve month period, without leave of absence
by the chair of the board, such director may be removed.” The organization refused to comment on how they’ve handled absenteeism in the past. Bersten, of the Historic Downtown Business Improvement District, said she has only asked one board member to resign after a six-month string of absences. She said it can be hard for members to
attend the meetings, because boardmembers volunteer their time. Still, she pushed the importance of boardmembers attending meetings. “We’re using [local businesses] money on the programs we’re implementing. We need [representatives of these businesses] to weigh in on issues. We need to know how they feel about it,” she said.
The LFVBID’s Serrano said in an email only one board member has been removed in her time as president. She added we’re “a pretty friendly group” and avoid resolving issues with disciplinary action. Businesses in the Los Feliz community are taxed yearly, the amount depending on the size of the business, to fund the LFVBID.
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Los Feliz Ledger [Los Feliz Confidential] By Donald Seligman , Ledger Columnist Editor’s Note:This new column will feature important silent film personalities living and working in Los Feliz between 1910 and 1930, based on information featured in the Los Feliz Improvement Association’s recently published book, “Los Feliz and the Silent Film Era: The Heart of Los Angeles Cinema 1908-1930.”]
MILLENNIUM from page 1
He also said the mixed use complex will bring new jobs to Hollywood and bolster the city’s general fund. Phillip Aarons, a founding partner in the Millennium Group—based out of New York—said he was “gratified by the decision” and “happy to
Building and Safety ask us to do,” he said. The City Council’s 13-0 vote came despite warnings about the project’s proximity to a major earthquake fault line and concerns that the complex would worsen traffic in the area. Opponents also
job is the funniest thing I’ve ever heard,” Silverstein said, outside the council chambers. The lawyer hinted at a possible legal challenge to the city’s decision, and said he and his group were considering all options to stop the project from moving forward. During the meeting SilNewly elected City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell verstein claimed the city had (CD13), with his vote in favor, got his first taste of violated due process by not discontent by his constituents. O’Farrell’s decision considering the petitions he to vote in approval for the project drew jeers from filed during the case and by allowing the developers to subMillennium Hollywood’s opponents including a cry mit alleged new findings the that O’Farrell was a “sell out.” morning of the council vote. “Building and safety move forward” and thanked complained the height of the haven’t done their job,” he O’Farrell for his support. twin buildings were too high. said. Aarons said he felt he had adUltimately, the developer reNewly elected City Coundressed most, if not all of the duced the project’s height. cilmember Mitch O’Farrell communities concerns about The project has been sup(CD13), with his vote in favor, the project, pointing to the ported by Mayor Eric Garcetgot his first taste of discontent limits placed on the height of ti, who represented the area as by his constituents. the building. a City Council member. O’Farrell’s decision to “[The project] will spur a Los Angeles City Councilvote in approval for the projre-focus on the entertainment member Tom LaBonge (CD4) ect drew jeers from Millenindustrysurgeon in Hollywood,” he Dr. SangDo Park is a board-certified orthopaedic was not available for the vote nium Hollywood’s opponents said. with additional fellowship training in sports medicine and due to a death in his family. includingsurgery. a cry that O’Farrell arthroscopic Aarons also said the MilHowever, LaBonge released a Dr. was Park areceived his medical degree from Columbia University “sell out.” lennium Group would not put with theThe distinction of Alpha Omega Alpha and residency training from statement saying he would not new councilmember any tenants at risk and said have voted for the project citsaid he applauded the develthe company will address coning height and traffic concerns opers for addressing the criticerns about the alleged fault and that the development, he cisms of the community, leavline under the property during said, would be out of character ing open space in the plan the permitting process. and keeping billboards out. “We will do whatever for the area.
The year was 1930 and a lot had happened in the 20 years since the arrival of the silent film industry to our formerly tranquil ranch called Los Feliz. The goings-on among the employees working at the local studios had caused a lot of tongues to wag at Charlie Goyette’s dry goods store at 1706 Vermont Avenue over the last two decades. Take Florence Turner, who moved from New York in At that time, it was unprec1912 to her new residence at edented for an actress to pro2043 Hillhurst Avenue not far duce her own movies. from her employer, the newly But World War I interestablished Vitagraph Studios rupted Turner’s projects in on Prospect Avenue and TalEngland, and she again remadge Street. turned to Los Feliz in 1916, Vitagraph, founded in living once more with her Brooklyn in 1897, had been mother and grandmother at promoting Turner as the “Vitheir Hillhurst home. Due to tagraph Girl,” and now the her previous shenanigans, Vistudio heads wanted her to tagraph was no longer interwork at their new west coast ested in hiring her and Amerifacility. She had recently been can fans nearly forgot her. She anointed by the New York only appeared in six producTimes as cinema’s first “movie tions until 1920, when she star.” Before Turner, actors again crossed the Atlantic to weren’t even listed in a movie’s try England once more. But credits. But she was the stuthe British film industry af- • General - orthopaedic trauma, fractures, sprains, muscle and joint pain, dio’s leading actress, starred in ter World War I was in worse and arthritis • Shoulder - fractures, instability, labral/rotator cuff injuries, and arthritis ORTHOPAEDIC TRAUMA • ACL their most prestigious producshape than ever. • Elbow - fractures, tendonitis/tendon rupture, instability, and arthritis FRACTURES LIGAMENT INJURIES tions and was •the first actor to After lesser roles in eight • Knees - fractures, instability, meniscus/cartilage injuries, ACL and other SPRAINS • LABRAL / ROTATOR CUFF INJURIES make public appearances. British movies, in 1924, Turner ligament injuries, and arthritis MUSCLE AND JOINT PAIN • MENISCUS / CARTILAGE INJURIES Imagine •the fuss when once more traveled back to Los Dr. SangDo Park is board-certified orthopaedic surgeon NSTABILITY TENDONITIS / TENDON RUPTURE with additional fellowship training in sports medicine. Feliz. She could only find work ARTHRITIS Turner left Los Feliz for England a year later with her frein small supporting roles, such • M.D. DEGREE, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY quent director and long-time as Buster Keaton’s mother in • RESIDENCY, UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA “friend,” Larry Trimble, who “College” (1927). As a result, • FELLOWSHIP IN SPORTS MEDICINE AND abandoned his wife in the proher friend and former frequent ARTHROSCOPIC SURGERY cess. There they formed their director at Vitagraph, Van • PROFESSIONAL SPORTS TEAM COVERAGE EXPERIENCE: L.A. DODGERS, LAKERS, KINGS, AND ANAHEIM DUCKS own production company Dyke Brooke, took her on as where Turner co-wrote and his “social secretary,” a job she directed her own productions. retained through the 1920s.
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Los Feliz Ledger [people in my neighborhood]
Dr. Floyd Gilles By Colleen Paeff, Ledger Columnist LOS FELIZ—Internationallyrenowned Neuropathologist Dr. Floyd Gilles has made Los Feliz his home since 1984. That was the year after he moved from Boston to Los Angeles to work at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA), bringing decades of experience and expertise in neuropathology to the Los Angeles area. Gilles credits two extraordinary teachers for his interest in neurology and, later, neuropathology. “I’ve been lucky,” he said. “I’ve had all kinds of great teachers.” As the Burton E. Green Professor of Pediatric Neuropathology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, Gilles is the one providing inspiration
and education to students and researchers nowadays. In fact, Gilles was instrumental in the formation of the Institute for the Developing Mind (IDM) within The Saban Research Institute of CHLA, which has allowed for the recent formation of a developmental neurobiology program at USC. As if Gilles isn’t busy enough with his hospital, research and teaching responsibilities—he jokes he’s actually “retired”—he is also the co-author, with Dr. Marvin D. Nelson Jr., of the recently released book The Developing Human Brain: Growth and Adversities. The book draws on the authors’ years of research and
clinical experience, as well as sources ranging from modern neuroimaging techniques to early 19th century medical texts—many from the authors’ personal collections—and especially on data from the National Collaborative Perinatal Project, an autopsy survey compiled from 1959 to 1974. Gilles laments that autopsy rates have declined so drastically in the last few decades, noting that it restricts brain research. “Modern neuroimaging is just out of this world,” he said, “but it hardly tells you everything about the brain.” When asked why the autopsy rate has declined, Gilles explained that with the incredible advances in brain imaging many doctors don’t think of requesting autopsies, espe-
cially younger doctors. But, he says, there’s another reason. “There’s a social thing going on….,” Gilles said. “Nobody wants to give someone in the family an autopsy… but the point is, what can you learn that will help the next kid? Families are losing that sense of community.” And what does Gilles wish you and I knew about the de-
veloping brain? “I would like people to know that each kid’s brain is unique and different structurally, so that gives a kid many opportunities to grow in different ways,” he said. He added: “I’d [also] like people to know is that a kids brain doesn’t start working at the time of birth,” he said. “It’s already been working for a long time.”
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Los Feliz Ledger
More than 3,000 Applied For Garcetti Mayoral Positions By Colin Stutz, Ledger Contributing Writer LOS ANGELES—Los Angeles’ new Mayor, former-District 13 City Councilman Eric Garcetti made a statement when he entered office. By foregoing the traditional black tie inaugural ball in favor of an open party in Grand Park, touring from Northridge to Boyle Heights on a “back-to-basics” listening tour that gathered neighborhood residents to discuss their ideas for the city’s future, and opening the City Hall hiring process to the public with a transitional website accepting all applications, Garcetti’s actions immediately established a populist identity for the city’s new chief. This of-the-people-forthe-people approach has been contrasted to Garcetti’s predecessor Antonio Villaraigosa’s first days in office during 2005’s booming economy— first days that were heavier on celebrity and showmanship. In comparison, Garcetti’s actions seem humble and singularly focused on engaging Los Angelenos in restoring the city’s economy and services. According to the Mayor’s Director of Communications Yusef Robb, whose Mayoral position was announced recently, and who worked in Garcetti’s council office, more than 3,000 people applied via Garcetti’s “transitional” website to be considered for his mayoral staff. In total, the Mayor’s office has more than 100 positions, more than 300 volunteer commissioner seats, as well as regional boards including the Metropolitan Water District and Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
Robb said the Mayor’s office is now fully operational and all jobs are filled, but there are still many commission seats open. He urged Los Angeles residents to reach out and apply. When asked how many hires came directly through the public website, Robb said he could not answer because it was standard practice for the transition team that all applications be submitted this way, even those he and other staff members personally received and recommended. “Mayor Garcetti made it clear that he wants the best possible people in his administration,” said Robb. “And to get that he wanted to cast the widest net possible.” Robb could not confirm how many hired had no previous government experience. The positions have been led by the Mayor’s newly hired chief counsel Rich Llewellyn, who was also appointed transition director in May. Llewellyn is a Los Feliz resident who served as chief of staff for the first four years of Garcetti’s 12 years as District 13 councilmember. Also hired from the Mayor’s former council district, is Heather Repenning of Silver Lake. A former senior advisor to Garcetti, she is now the Mayor’s Director of External Affairs. Meanwhile, Garcetti and his family have not yet decided whether they will stay in the Silver Lake home where they’ve lived since 2011 or move into the Getty House official mayor’s residence in Windsor Square, near Hancock Park.
SOLD IN MULTIPLE OFFERS
Page 10 COMMUNITY NEWS
Los Feliz Ledger [city sleuth]
Los Feliz’s Own Costumed Superhero By Diane Kanner, Ledger Columnist LOS FELIZ—Spanish-style, coral hued on the outside, Egyptian hieroglyphic on the inside, the 90-year-old Vista Theater at 4473 Sunset Blvd. offers a unique movie experience in a town blessed with many historic movie houses. It all begins at the door, as they might say in show business, when the Vista’s tall young manager, Victor Martinez, steps forward with a greeting. Every month or so, Martinez appears in full costume from the film being screened. Often a Johnny Depp character, Martinez takes the “movie theater manager” job description to another level. “It’s as if I was born for this job,” Martinez says from a second floor office above the marquee. “As a kid in Guatemala, I was instructed to greet customers at my mother’s convenience store and my grandma’s restaurant. The first day I was in Los Angeles after we arrived in America in 1984, my parents drove down Sunset Boulevard. That was the day I saw the Vista for the first time.” Studying at John Marshall High, Martinez worked as a janitor, as an office clerk, and then, for the first time, as a usher at the Vista. “After a week, the manager told me ‘you are really good with people.’” With a high school diploma earned in 1988, and a bit of capital, Martinez opened Vista Express copy store next to the theater. “Thanks to that store, he said, “I was able to buy my own home in Burbank.” A “Vista Express” sign remains on the building, but the copy business closed after 7 years and Martinez needed work. “Lance Alspaugh had been my landlord, and then he became my boss after he
offered me a job back where I had started, the Vista,” said Martinez. Alspaugh has poured large amounts of capital into rehabbing the theater and much
POLLUTION from page 1
is carried out,” said Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell whose 13th District includes some of the 90039 zip code. Zip code 90745 near the City of Carson has the highest “pollution burden” score for zip codes that intersect with the city and is in the highest 1% for the state. Other areas of Silver Lake, Echo Park, Los Feliz and Hollywood are included in zip codes that fall within the top 10% of the state’s “pollution burden” scores. This information was analyzed and reprinted in the city’s new “Health Atlas” report by the Health and Wellness Chapter, a new city pro-
smaller amounts underwriting the costume habit of his manager. “In 2004,” Martinez said of his first costume, “I created the ‘Phantom’ for the Vista’s
gram focused on improving the city’s health. Spokesperson Lys Mendez with the Dept. of City Planning said the “Health Atlas” is the program’s first step to draft a health and wellness plan, “so we can start to try to figure out the answers to those questions,” she said. Aside from pollution, the “Health Atlas” analyzes more than 100 health outcomes, including the geographic concentration of issues such as childhood obesity, pollution and crime. One discovery is that life expectancy throughout Los Angeles can vary by up to 12 years between neighborhoods.
presentation of ‘Phantom of the Opera.’ It was a huge hit and Mr. Alspaugh encouraged me to continue. I try to stay with the good guys, costumes that give a good message and don’t offend anyone. As Spiderman, the costume was really detailed and professional, and kids would attack me, they were so excited.’” Martinez doesn’t select Vista-screened films. Film buyer Doug Endicott does. “He’s been in the business for almost 40 years. Without him, the Vista probably wouldn’t be open,” Martinez said. While Martinez personally operates the projector with today’s digital technology, he is also capable of running an aging reel-to-reel projector
that remains in place in the second floor projection room. He puts in 60-hour weeks, and says he hopes to be on site in 2023 when the Vista celebrates a centennial. “I joke that I like popcorn too much to stay away very long,” he said. Recently Martinez captured the attention of a group of young filmmakers. A short documentary they created of his costume career will appear online at vintagecinemas.com
Look for the September edition of the
Los Feliz Ledger on August 29th
What a Designer Did for Herself
on’t miss this designer’s own Silver Lake duplex handy to the Silver Lake Reservoir and Sunset Junction. Meticulously restored from the systems out by Respectful Restoration with Venetian plaster walls; Indian slate flooring and bathroom walls; restored vintage hardwood flooring; recessed lighting throughout. Each unit has its own electric meter; garden and entrance. The main house features an open floor plan; commercial kitchen with a Royal commercial range; stainless Bosch dishwasher and Sub-Zero refrigerator; dining room with breakfast bar; private laundry with gas and electric hookups and an antique sink in the bath. Back house is not under rent control and has been renovated with the style and quality of the front house. Rear house rents for $1400/mo. Front house is vacant, but rented for $2700/mo. An ideal owner-user opportunity.
Web site: www.3219marathonstreet.com YouTube video: search “3219 Marathon” $750,000 Richard Stanley Estates Director Architectural and Historic Properties Specialist email@example.com 213 300-4567 cell / voice mail ©2013 Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. Coldwell Banker is a registered trademark licensed to Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. An Equal Opportunity Company. Equal Housing Opportunity. Owned and operated by NRT LLC. All rights reserved. If your property is listed with another broker, this is not intended as a solicitation. BRE license #: 00971211
COMMUNITY NEWS Page 11
NOURMAND & ASSOCIATES 2.0:
SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST It wa s 1 976, an d ch an ge w a s i n t h e a i r. A s t h e
I n a m o d e r n D a v i d v s . G o l i a t h t a le , s e l le r s
na ti on celebrated its bicen te n n i a l ye a r , a sm a ll
g re w impatient as their homes languished on the
start up was abou t to sh ake u p t h e We st si d e re a l
market. Although their agents were working hard
e s t a t e establishment.
to broker deals, their now antiquated approach no
That year, Nourmand & Associates launched it s
longer met t he demands o f a market in transitio n.
B e v e r l y H i l l s o f f i c e i n a s p a c e s m a l le r t h a n a
Within months of opening our Beverly Hills office,
Westside walk-in closet and with a roster of three
o u r re p u t a t i o n r ap i d ly s p re a d t h ro u g h o u t t h e
unknown, yet highly talented, real estate agents.
Westside like good Hollywood gossip: If homeowners
At the time, Beverly Hills real estate comprised an
wanted to close quickly and sell above market
elite group of household names—powerbrokers who
value, they’d better hire the brokerage with the
prided th emselves on keepin g h om e sa le s wi t h i n
exclusive list of affluent overseas buyers. Soon,
the tightknit community. “If it ain’t broke , don’t fix
decades-long allegiances between brokers and
it,” characterized their sales strategy. For decades
their sellers began to fizzle.
the old guard followed a time tested formula; they leveraged their traditional networks of buyers to
The Legacy Continues
purchase their client’s homes.
As of 2013, Nourmand & Associates has been i n b u s i n ess lo n g e r t ha n a n y o t h e r We s t s i d e
David Versus the Westside Goliath Before the term “globalization” entered everyday conversation, Nourmand & Associates saw massive opportunity. Our fledging brokerage recognized Los Angeles’s rapidly ch an g i n g d e m og ra p h i c s. I n t e r n a t i o n a l b u y e r s w e re c l a m or i n g t o e n t e r 9 0 2 1 0 , a nd th ese h igh n et wor t h fa m i li e s we re w i l l i n g t o p a y a p re m i u m t o c a l l B e v e r l y H i l l s home. Meanwhile, our seasoned competitors were confident that their loyal clients would never put
residential brokerage*. Our company continues to b e fam i ly ow ned and o perated, just as it w as 3 7 ye a rs a g o . Since o ur humble beginnings, o ur r i va ls h a ve g one o ut o f business o r have been b ou g h t ou t b y co rpo rate giants, and co unt less s t a rt u ps h a v e c o m e a n d g o n e . B u t o u r h a rd earned renown hasn’t bred complacency. In fact, Nou r m a n d & Asso ciates co ntinues to inno vate, grow, and remain fiercely independent.
their biggest asset—their luxury estates—in the
In 2 0 0 7 , Mi c hael No urmand became o ur
hands of a newcomer.
b roke ra g e ’s seco nd president, succeeding his *S tati sti c i s based o n ou r co mpan y’s sales vo lume and co n tinuity of ownership .
1. Founder Saeed Nourm and in 1976 2. Michael Nourmand honing his sales skills at a young age 3. Michael being sworn in as a director of the Beverly Hills Gr ea ter Los Angeles Association of Realtors
fat h e r. The USC gradu ate’s first m a j or d e c i si on
e n t i re com pa n y has increased sales vo lume and
w a s t o o p e n a t h i rd b r a n c h i n t h e h i s t o r i c
h i g h e n d d e a ls during the dow nturn.
H o l l y w oo d A t h le t i c C l u b i n o rd e r t o g a i n a s t ro n g e r E a s t s i d e p re s e n c e .
Fo r n e a rl y 4 0 y e a r s , w e ’ v e b e e n o n e o f Lo s A ng e le s’s m o s t t r u s t e d n a m e s i n rea l e s t a t e .
S h or tly a fte r we open ed th e doors to t h e sli c k
“ T h e b u s i n e ss r u n s i n m y D N A . B e c a u s e m y
s p a c e , t h e G re a t R e c e ss i o n s e n t t h e n at i o n ’s
fa m i ly ' s n a m e a n d l e g a c y a r e s y n o n y m o u s w i t h
e conomy i nto free fall. Despite t h i s si g n i fi ca n t
t h e c o m p a n y i t s e l f , m y c o m m i t m e n t b o rd e r s o n
set back, Michael believed in the long term growth
t h e o b s e ss i v e , " s a y s M i c h ae l .
o f o u r c o m p a n y an d i t s ro le i n t h e c o mm u n i t y. A s a resul t, he stayed th e cou rs e , a n d ta k i n g t he
I f y o u ’ re p l a n n i n g t o s e l l y o u r h o m e , g i v e o ne o f
r is k pa i d off. “I’ m prou d to say t h a t i n 2013 , ou r
o u r a g e n t s a c a l l an d ex p e r i e n c e w h a t i t m e a ns
H o lly wood off ice is ou r fastest g rowi n g b ra n c h , ”
t o b e pa r t o f t h e N o u r m a n d & A ss o c i a t e s fa m i ly.
s a y s M i c h a e l . I n fa c t , w e n o w h a v e a b o u t 4 0 han d-se le cted agen ts in ou r n ewe st offi ce , a n d
T hre e O f f i c e s . O n e R e s p e c t e d N am e .
N o u r mand & Associates, as a w h ole , i s h om e to
w w w. n o ur m a nd.co m
1 40 re a l e state profession als. Fu r t h e r m ore , t h e BEVERLY HILLS
421 N. Beverly Dr. Suite 200
11828 San Vicente Blvd.
6525 Sunset Blvd. Suite G6
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Los Angeles, CA 90049
Los Angeles, CA 90028
T: 310.274.4000 F: 310.278.9900
T: 310.300.3333 F: 310.300.2000
T: 323.462.6262 F: 323.462.6264
Manager - Libby Shapiro
Manager - Colin Keenan
Manager - Howard Lorey
LOS FELIZ | 1961 DE MILLE DR | web: 0285150 | $3,498,000 Coveted gated Laughlin Park arch. 5bd/4.5ba, library, media room and sitting rm, formal dining room, home w/knockout views of city/mtns, pool/spa. Rosemary Low 323.660.5885
LOS FELIZ | 1946 GRAMERCY PL | web: 0285181 | $3,195,000 Gated, extensively renovated, breathtaking city views. Original details withbest of modern design. Flat yard areas, pool and spa. Boni Bryant | Joe Reichling 323.854.1780
LOS ANGELES | LEMONCREST RANCH | web: 0285139 | $2,100,000 Equestrian and nature lover’s paradise. CA fully equipped horse compound with approx. 3,500 sq.ft. home on nearly 5 acres. LemoncrestRanch.com Boni Bryant | Joe Reichling | Patrick Moya 323.854.1780
LOS FELIZ | 2349 N CATALINA ST | web: 0285173 | $2,699,000 Private courtyard Mediterranean located North of the Boulevard. 4 bedrooms, 4 baths plus office and den with views and pool. Troy Gregory 323.203.5661
LOS FELIZ | 2016 NORTH GRAMERCY PL | $1,450,000 A 1933 Mediterranean with 3 bedrooms & 4 baths, a den, a family room, & an office. The property has a round-turret bonus room outside patio area. Jeffrey Young 213.819.9630
SILVER LAKE | 2183 KENILWORTH AVE | $1,200,000 3bd/2.5ba vibrant, happy home is southern traditional with cape-cod influence. Master bedroom offers simplicity and calm view of the reservoir. Gail Crosby 323.428.2864
SOTHEBY’S INTERNATIONAL REALTY LOS FELIZ BROKERAGE
As we enter the second half of 2013, we are excited about the market and are grateful to our neighbors, friends and clients. We remain the local brokerage of choice with over triple the sales volume of our nearest competitor in the local marketplace of Hollywood Hills East, Los Feliz, and Silver Lake-Echo Park.* SOLD
LOS FELIZ | 2383 LYRIC AVENUE | WEB: 0307681 | $975,000 2bd/2.5ba 1960’s Contemporary Modern. Completely updated with fantastic quality and attention to every detail. Jeffrey Young 213.819.9630
SILVER LAKE | 2558 CORRALITAS DRIVE | $779,000 Quintessential 3bd/2ba Spanish, spectacular city and mountain views, hardwood floors, huge yard with lots of entertaining and gardening space. Joseph Lightfoot 213.700.4438
SILVER LAKE | 1109 CORONADO TER | $675,000 This Craftsman Bungalow includes 3bd/2ba, one of them a large master suite with sitting room, a large kitchen, living room, and den. Joseph Lightfoot 213.700.4438
LOS FELIZ | 3832 EDENHURST AVE | web: 0284463 | $599,000 Original character and charm with modern amenities throughout. 2bd/1ba with spacious living room, formal dining, bright kit with custom cabinetry. Stephen Placial 323.854.7355
HOLLYWOOD | 1120 N EL CENTRO AVE | web: 0285177 | $539,000 3 Modern vertical Tri-Level Town Home Style Lofts with 17 feet tall ceilings Open kitchen with Honed black granite counter tops. $539,000-649,000 Manvel Tabakian | Nadia deWinter 323.376.2222
GLASSELL PARK | 3800 YORK BLVD | web: 0285162 | $535,000 2bd/1ba floor plan with a spacious living room anchored by a fireplace; formal dining room; bright kitchen; separate laundry; large pantry; and pool. Joseph Lightfoot 213.700.4438
GLASSELL PARK | 2053 ROME DR | web: 0285171 | $689,000 Architectural gem designed and remodeled by Architect Fritz Haeg in 2007. Approx. 9,601 sq.ft. lot sits this unique 2bd/2ba, plus office w/views. Stephen Placial | Luisa Ferrante 323.854.7355
SILVER LAKE | 1361 MICHELTORENA ST | web: 0285141 | $589,000 2bd/1ba Spanish home boasts a spacious living room with barrel vaulted ceiling, formal dining room, and a large open kitchen. Joseph Lightfoot 213.700.4438
SILVER LAKE | 4111 SUNSET #223 | web: 0285159 | $2,800/mo Sleek 2 story live/work loft near famous Sunset Junction. Home-loft offers soaring ceilings, soothing palette of natural gray, relaxing blues and white. Gail Crosby 323.428.2864
LOS FELIZ BROKERAGE MARC GIROUX | VICE PRESIDENT/BROKERAGE MANAGER
1801 North Hillhust Avenue | Los Angeles, CA 90027 | 323.665.1700 | sothebyshomes.com/losangeles *Data per MarketQuest for the dates ranging from 1.1.2013-6.30.2013 for Single Family Homes, Condos, and Townhomes for the areas of Hollywood Hills East, Los Feliz, Silver Lake-Echo Park
Operated by Sotheby’s International Realty, Inc.
Los Feliz Ledger
The (Helicopter) Buzzing Continues – Relief Still Needed By Congressman Adam Schiff Helicopter traffic and noise has long plagued residential neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles County. For years, community and homeowner groups have tried to work with helicopter pilots and operators to address these disturbances through voluntary measures, such as the “Fly Neighborly” program. These voluntary efforts—a series of recommended noise abatement procedures —were helpful but never consistently applied. Last year, in response to constituent concerns that helicopter noise was continuing to lower the quality of life for Angelinos, several of my colleagues and I requested the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to formally solicit stakeholder views on helicopter noise and swiftly develop solutions to this problem. After meetings with homeowners, operators and others, the FAA released their report in May. In the report, the FAA recognized that helicopter noise was a serious problem in Los Angeles, and recommended several voluntary steps that can be taken to reduce and mitigate its impacts. However, not surprisingly for an agency
more responsive to those in the air than those on the ground, the report stopped short of recommending regulatory action that is strongly opposed by the helicopter industry. In June, I convened a field hearing in Los Angeles to question the FAA on its report and solicit feedback from affected parties. More than 200 residents and members of the Los Angeles Helicopter Noise Coalition attended the hearing and identified multiple noise abatement solutions, such as the establishment of new flight paths and locations for minimum altitudes. These potential solutions, along with a helicopter tracking system, would result in tangible noise relief and should be part of the discussions moving forward. During the hearing, the FAA committed to several next steps: evaluating existing helicopter routes, analyzing higher flight altitudes for certain areas and developing best practices for helicopter hovering or gathering news. They’ve also agreed to reach out to helicopter pilots to increase awareness of hot spots and problem areas, and are working to identify a cen-
tralized and comprehensive noise complaint system for Los Angeles County that would allow residents to identify and report bad actors that veer off recommended flight routes. The next steps announced by the FAA at the congressional hearing are positive, and I will be working with the FAA and community groups to make sure they are followed up on. While I understand that the airspace over the Los Angeles Basin is among the most congested and complex in the world, that is not an excuse for inaction. The FAA expressed confidence that the voluntary measures it proposes will provide meaningful relief. I am skeptical, since voluntary measures have not succeeded in the past. For this reason, I have introduced legislation along with my Los Angeles-area colleagues in Congress, called the Los Angeles Residential Helicopter Noise Relief Act, which would require the FAA to issue regulations relating to the flight paths and altitudes. Although the FAA clearly prefers a voluntary approach, it did express a willingness to consider a regulatory approach if the measures once again prove inadequate. With our bill, we are determined—one way or another—to finally bring relief to noise weary residents.
[keen to be green]
Just What Can Go In Those Blue Bins? By Meher McArthur, Ledger Columnist I try to recycle as much trash as possible, but I remain stumped about what exactly can go in Los Angeles’ Blue Bin. From conversations with friends, it seems I’m not alone. So, I called the City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation with a list of 10 items that I was unsure about. These are all blue bin recyclable: Bags in side cereal boxes, cat food cans, plastic containers (other than #1 or #2), small plastic bags (Ziploc, bread bags and Trader Joe’s nuts or dried foot bags), aluminum foil, plastic from toy packaging, milk and juice cartons and plastic utensils. These are not blue bin recyclable: Aluminum take-out
LA COUNTY MEDIAN HOME PRICE UP 31% IN JUNE* “NOW IS THE TIME YOU’VE BEEN WAITING FOR”
LFNC Launches Monthly Day of Service LOS FELIZ—The Los Feliz Neighborhood Council (LFNC) has recently launched a monthly event to promote service in the area. In June, volunteers swept and cleaned up the Hoover Steps collecting bags of debris as well as tending to a neglected public garden. “We know service projects aren’t a new idea around here”, said Chris McKinley, VP of Communications for the LFNC. “Los Feliz is rich with organizations who put on great events. There’s a special sense of service in our area.” But according to McKinley, what makes the LFNC program different is its regularity. “It’s easy to count on it,” McKinley said in a press release. “ The same day every month. Just come out, roll up your sleeves, and let’s get started.” The Council Day of Service is scheduled for the third Saturday of each month. Variety is also a cornerstone of the idea. Each month a different LFNC board member will produce the third-Saturday event, so each project will be unique. One month might be a street cleanup, the next a tree planting, and the next a fundraiser for a local nonAugust 2013
profit group. Input from community members is welcomed, and partnerships with other local groups could play a role. Currently, six Council Day of Service events are scheduled through the end of 2013. “This is a pilot program, so we’ll see how it goes”, says McKinley. “If this works, we can hopefully make it a perma-
nent part of the Council’s mission. But to make it a success, we need community members to jump in and take part. I’m optimistic that will happen.” Augusts’ Council Day of Service is August 17th. For more details visit the LFNC website at losfeliznc.org or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you own your income property or does it OWN YOU? Clint Can Help!
containers and potato chip bags. Food-soiled paper, foil, cardboard and plastic are not recyclable and residents should completely empty an item before depositing it in their blue bin. Now, armed with better knowledge and a readiness to rinse off of bags and containers, I can put almost all of my trash in the Blue Bin. Fruit, veggie and yard waste can go in the Green Bin or be composted, leaving very little trash for the Black Bin. With more effort, I hope that soon, it’ll just be me and my “True Blue” buddy heading out to the curb on trash pick-up day. For information: http:// bit.ly/jploMC
S AY D 2
2303 RICHLAND AVE, LOS FELIZ
SOLD FOR +31% OVER ASKING. Probate fixer. www.2303richland.com
6708 HILLPARK DR #204, HOLLYWOOD HILLS
SOLD IN 2 DAYS FOR +17% OVER ASKING. The highest published sale in this 192-unit complex in the past year.
• Rent collections • 24/7 maintenance • 24/7 on-call for emergencies • Monthly detailed reports • Accountability and stress reliever!
LOW INVENTORY + HIGH DEMAND = UPTRENDING PRICES. SO, IF YOU’VE BEEN THINKING ABOUT SELLING, TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY WHILE YOU CAN, BECAUSE IT’S NOT GOING TO REMAIN OPEN FOREVER. *LA Times 11/18/13.
M I C H A E L
T U N I C K REAL ESTATE. REAL SERVICE. REAL RESULTS.
• 37 years sales + marketing experience • Top 2% of 54,000 Prudential agents nationwide • 22-year Los Feliz resident • Former boardmember Los Feliz Improvement Assoc.
Property Management www.losfelizledger.com
1621 Silver Lake Blvd., Suite 101 Los Angeles, CA 90026 (323) 668-7500 email@example.com www.ClintLukensRealty.com
323.646.3893 www.michaeltunick.com An independently owned and operated member of BRER Affiliates Inc. DRE #01321406.
DRE Lic #01367014
COMMUNITY NEWS Page 15
Los Feliz Ledger [senior moments]
Los Feliz Ledger (323) 667-9897
ASK GAIL of Sotheby’s International Realty
Buying an Income Property as a First Time Buyer is a Wise Investment. Dear Gail, My daughter is buying her first property. Her accountant told her that it is a smart idea to buy 1-4 units instead of a single family home. Do you think it is a wise idea from a real estate investment standpoint? She is applying for an FHA loan. A: I agree with her accountant that it would be a good investment because with a larger down payment and an owner-occupied FHA loan she can live in one of the units and receive income to pay off her mortgage by her tenants.
Other advantages include: 1. Gain Equity-with each loan payment her loan amount goes down. Her tenants are paying towards her mortgage. Although mortgage rates tend to be higher for income property than single-family homes it can be worth it for her in the long run. 2. Appreciation-the value of the property should increase as time goes on. Rents that were once $400 say 20 years ago are now $1,000. Location is a very strong factor in real estate. Look for properties where the rents are current with today’s market. Not below market value. Look for good appreciating areas such as Silver Lake, Los Feliz, Atwater, Highland Park, Hollywood, Mount Washington, Echo Park and Eagle Rock. 3. Depreciation-it creates tax benefits 4. Other tax advantages-tax breaks that will help increase the profitably of the investment are tax deductible 5. No management fee-if she lives in one of the units There are apartment owner clubs, associations and many sources available to help her screen tenants, manage and maintain units. With this growing trend she’ll find lots of help. As with any real estate purchase, there are pros and cons, so check wisely as each case is different. Call me if you are looking for income property.
Gail Crosby is a local real estate agent with Sotheby’s International Realty. Contact Gail with your home and real estate questions at 323.428-2864 or GailCrosby@aol.com DRE: 175513781 ADV
Can Your Home Help You Out? By Stephanie Vendig, Ledger Columnist Consider this scenario. You wish to stay in your home as long as possible. You need to modify your house to fit your situation as you age, or you have medi-
ally borrowing from the equity in your primary residence and the loan will be paid off when you sell the home or die. The loan that must be repaid includes the interest, principal and costs, such as real estate
The amount you can receive is dependent on the age of the youngest borrower (at least 62), the current interest rate and the home’s value. You are required to get consumer information free or at very low
Reverse Mortgages have been an answer for about 44% of borrowers with incomes under 200% of the federal poverty level, or $22,980 for a single individual. Conventional loans or refinancing eliminates many older home owners because they are based on income. Reverse mortage loans have no pre-fixed due date and they are insured against substantial drops in house prices. cal or other emergency needs. But your income is limited. If you no longer have a mortgage, or there isn’t much left to pay off, you can use your equity in your home with a loan called Reverse Mortgage or Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM). By doing so, you are actu-
taxes, utilities and home insurance premiums. To qualify for this type of loan, no underwriting or credit scores are necessary. These loans are made through the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development whose Federal Housing Administration division insures them.
Sunset Hall - Curriculum and Advocacy Thanks to our ad sponsor Sunset Hall. They offer...
Programs for free-thinking seniors (323) 660-5277
Conversational Spanish at GPACC on Wednesdays
Griffith Park Adult Community Center Calendar
Join us for a Luau at GPACC, Friday, August 30, 2013, 3:00 – 5:30 Meal and Entertainment * No General Meeting for August Griffith Park Adult Community Center 3203 Riverside Drive, just north of Los Feliz Bl. * Call for info and reservations (323) 644-5579 Lunch Program: Mon.-Fri., GPACC, 11:30 AM sign in, Noon lunch, Donation under 60 $4, 60+ $2 Club Info and Newsletter: Stephanie Vendig, (323) 667-3043 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Join GPACC Club: Only $15/year for trips and news. For information on trips, call Doris Slater, (323) 667-1879
cost from a HECM counselor prior to obtaining the loan. For information, http://portal. hud.gov/. You can also call (800) 569-4287. Reverse Mortgages have been an answer for about 44% of borrowers with incomes under 200% of the federal poverty level, or $22,980 for a single individual. Conventional loans or refinancing eliminates many older home owners because they are based on income. Reverse mortage loans have no pre-fixed due date and they are insured against substantial drops in house prices. However, these types of loans may become more restrictive according to a New York Times July 13, 2013 story due to the recent recession and a drop in housing prices. Last year, fees on such loans were raised. Additionally, there are plans for financial review of a borrower—such as the use of credit scores—and more rules to avoid borrowers defaulting. If it takes too long to change the rules as it goes through the congressional approval process, the agency will be forced to make larger cuts in the program, thereby reducing the number of people who could benefit from the option.
With a 90 year history, awardwinning senior living care, and a fresh outlook, Solheim offers the option to shine with a positive change and important support and resources. Call 323-559-4926 today for an informative discussion and tour.
shine through 2236 Merton Ave Eagle Rock CA 90041 (323) 559-4926 www.solheimlutheran.org Page 16 SENIOR MOMENTS
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Los Feliz Ledger MEGA CHURCH from page 1
mates for the number of attendees, ranging from 200 to 700. Critics of the so-called “mega-church” said they suspected the organization was backing away from previous estimates because of neighborhood opposition. The proposed church will also house a wedding chapel and a gym. Board member Alex Ventura, a supporter of the church’s current plans, proposed an amendment to the letter, which passed, requesting the city al-
low the church to provide their own attendance estimates to the study.Frequent Atwater Village resident and council critic Therese Dietlan, pointed out Los Feliz Blvd. is often clogged during the Christmas season and the church would only exacerbate the problems. “That street is going to be unusable,” she said. That notion was seconded. “We’re inviting Dodger’s Stadium to our neighborhood,” said meeting attendee Jordan Burwick.
Another vendor awaiting payment, not affiliated with the 2012 Street Fair, is Clean Streets an organization that power washes sidewalks. According to financial records, Clean Streets was owed $7,990 for work billed, but not paid, to the LFVBID monthly since December 2012. According to the LFVBID’s treasurer, Jessica Peart, some of that outstanding balance has been paid in recent weeks, though $1,305 is still owed to the company.
LFVBID from page 1
ers, along with receipts for all purchases,” LFVBID president Chris Serrano wrote in an email to the Ledger. “That didn’t happen. But instead we received vouchers with handwritten notes and most all for the full $15 each.” Also in question is whether the LFVBID has paid the Los Angeles Bike Coalition for services from last year’s fair. Calls to the organization’s executive director for comment were not returned.
Additionally, the Los Feliz Ledger was only recently paid weeks ago $2,343.78 by the LFVBID for flyers inserted into the July 2012 edition of the newspaper that promoted the LFVBID’s 2012 Street Fair. Meanwhile, the LFVBID is in preparation for its 2013 fair. According to the organization’s financial records the LFVBID has paid $16,404 to vendors for the upcoming event scheduled for Sept. 7th. On the LFVBID’s websee LFVBID page 23
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Los Feliz Ledger [the good life]
Tickled Pink: Sparking Wines for the End of Summer By Tara de Lis, Ledger Columnist During the dog days of summer’s temperatures, it’s fun to find a wine style that is simpatico with the heat. Champagne and sparkling wines are nice,
as are regular rosés, but why not combine the two? Pink sparkling wines are festive and taste lovely on a sunny day. The Réserve de Sours Rosé Brut is a crisp sparking wine with good minerality. Made from a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes, it’s
salmon-colored and comes from France’s famed Bordeaux region. Very approachable, yet sophisticated, it is also reasonably priced for a wine of its quality. Atwater Village’s 55 Degrees wine shop has a good amount in stock. The Château de Brézé
Crémant Rosé is from the Loire Valley—a region known for big reds—and is a blend of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. A really pretty but dainty nose matches the pleasant pink color, and the bubbles are gentle, making it infinitely quaffable. Bright and bold, the sweet ruby-red Cerdon RenardatFâche sparkling rosé comes from the lesser-known Bugey
region of France, which is located near Lyon, in the steep terrain of the French Alps. It’s a family-run winery, and the grapes they use are also less familiar: Gamay and Poulsard. It’s surprisingly low in alcohol, too, usually less than 8%, depending on the year it was bottled. Tara de Lis is a freelance writer who lives in Hollywood.
Hyperion Public: A Pub for the Whole Community By Pat Saperstein, Ledger Restaurant Critic HYPERION AVENUE—Silver Lake is changing fast, and the latest exhibit is Hyperion Public, a new bar and restaurant replacing the Flying Leap and Other Side piano bar. When Hyperion Public announced its opening as a “sports bar,” some locals feared it might not fit the neighborhood’s character. The upstairs bar does have TVs showing sports events, but with bingo, karaoke and live music nights, the owners are working hard to make sure the bar has something for everyone. The revamped space is neither a gastropub, a sports bar or a hipster haven. Instead it’s a lively and stylish restau-
BBQ steak lettuce cups—tender steak tacos with lettuce instead of tortillas—champagne kale or grilled chicken salad. Vegetarian choices include the quinoa bean burger, Silver Lake grilled cheese with stone fruit, mango and avocado salad and mushroom farro gratin, a homey, satisfying side that would work as a main course paired with a vegetable. The burger ($14) has been praised by Serious Eats’ reputable A Hamburger Today blog, and although pre-boning the buttermilk-fried chicken verges on nugget territory, it’s juicy and well spiced with a side of bacon-inflected coleslaw ($17). Grilled salmon is a
The revamped space is neither a gastropub, a sports bar or a hipster haven. Instead it’s a lively and stylish restaurant/pub with solid food that pairs well with drinks. rant/pub with solid food that pairs well with drinks. A makeover saw of-themoment Edison bulbs and industrial stools, and a large communal table perfect for large parties. Up a few stairs, the bar is more classic with a pressed tin ceiling and large booths. The menu has been freshened up a bit since Hyperion Public opened eight months ago, and the whole operation is starting to come into focus as a lively neighborhood spot with windows open to the street and a few tables on the sidewalk. If drinking is the main plan, there’s plenty of beerfriendly food items like F Yeah fries ($10) with bacon and creamy dip and half a dozen variations of chicken wings. The menu skews towards comfort food like three kinds of mac ‘n cheese, burgers and several bacon-laced items. But lighter eaters will appreciate Page 18 LIFESTYLES
good value at $16. The bar menu wisely concentrates on four signature cocktails: longtime Silver Lakers should try the vodka, basil and lime juice “Walking Man.” Both the wine and draft beer selections are fairly brief for a pub; for more variety, try a bottled amber ale from San Francisco’s Speakeasy or Shipwreck double IPA from San Diego’s Mission Brewing. Among the desserts, salted caramel pie has many fans, but Key Lime pudding served in a canning jar is also light and refreshing. Brunch is served starting at 11 a.m. on weekends, and also in the works is an adjacent bakery and coffee operation called Foreshadow. Don’t miss the very well priced Happy Hour menu from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Hyperion Public 2538 Hyperion Ave. (323) 761-6440 August 2013
Los Feliz Ledger [theater review]
Pet Shop Boys: Electric By Charles H. Cohen, Ledger Music Critic For the past 30 years British electronic pop duo Pet Shop Boys have been creating dance-anthem and pop classics. The release of Electric marks as the 12th studio album for the duo and the 3rd release in 10 months (joining Elysium and the Memory of the Future-EP). After Elysium was seen as an “experimental dud” of an album, the Pet Shop Boys have returned to their roots in electronic pop with Electric. Songs like “Axis,” “Love is a Bourgeois Construct,” and “Vocal” carry the album past its predecessor. The album itself will stand as one of the duo’s best since the 1990 release of plati-
num success Behaviour. With sounds that have adapted to the modern standards of electronic pop music—a genre that is rising in pop culture— while keeping the distinct sound of Neil Tennant, Electric can only be seen as a success for the aging musicians. However, no single song stands above the rest of the album. While “Love is a Bourgeois Construct” is my favorite it still doesn’t compare to the club-anthem “West End Girls” released in 1984. In the end Electric provides a nice return of the Pet Shop Boys in an album that, while nothing special, is good enough.
Hollywood Arts Council’s 28th Annual
Children’s Festival of the Arts • Casey McCabe, AMP Radio 97.1 DJ, Emcee • Dance and music from around the world • Family art workshops • Costumed characters • And other surprises!
SUNDAY, AUGUST 11TH, 2013
12 noon - 4:30
5555 Melrose Avenue, Hollywood, CA 90038 For more information, call (323) 871 - 2787 www.hollywoodartscouncil.org
“Nine” Shines at the Hollywood Met By Marilyn Tower Oliver, Ledger Theater Critic Film fans who treasured Federico Fellini’s iconic semiautobiographical movie 8 1/2 will want to revisit the story of an Italian movie director who suffers from a midlife crisis resulting in a creative block. The Tony award winning musical “Nine,” currently being staged by DOMA Theatre Company at the intimate Met Theatre in Hollywood, is based on the film. “Nine” is a musical drama about filmmaking seen from the director’s point of view. As Guido Contini, sensitively portrayed by David Michael Trevino, struggles with the creative process for his upcoming production—that begins filming at the end of the week—he is being torn apart by the women in his life. His wife demands that he devote more energy to their marriage; his female producer nags him to come up with a credible plot; and his slutty mistress wants him to marry her. His leading lady Claudia, portrayed by Toni Smith, wants to back out of the production. The ghost of his mother also makes demands. He tries to please all without success. It appears that his life is falling apart. Even though it’s obvious that he is a rake, Guido elicits sympathy for his creative dilemma. The action alternates between present reality and Guido’s childhood that unfolds through
Melissa Anjose and David Michael Treviño. Photo by Michael Lamont
flashbacks. This play has a lot of glitzy production numbers which are quite amazing in such a small venue. The score and lyrics by Maury Yeston are witty and pleasing. Director Marco Gomez and choreographer Rae Toledo make incredible use of the relatively small stage. The small live band, conducted by musical director Chris Raymond, produces a large sound. Lush costumes by Irvin Jimenez are very effective and recreate the ambience of mid-century Venice. The women in the cast are beautiful and stylish. His mistress Carla portrayed by Lovlee Carroll is appropriately sexy. Michelle Holmes is sensitive as Guido’s mother. Melissa Anjose effectively portrays
Guido’s long suffering wife Luisa. “Nine,” directed by Tommy Tune, opened on Broadway in 1982 where it won five Tony Awards including best musical. Although I was somewhat let down by a rather anti-climatic and unsatisfying ending, the current show is well-worth seeing and should be of interest to fans of the musical theater genre. “Nine,” through August 18th on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. Tickets $30$34.99. Seniors and students with ID, $20. 1089 N. Oxford Ave., Hollywood. Parking $5. Contact (323) 802-4990 or www.domatheatre.com.
We thank our sponsors: Paramount Pictures, City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Wen Hair and Body Care, Discover Hollywood, Central Hollywood Neighborhood Council, East Hollywood Neighborhood Council, Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council, Hollywood Studio District Neighborhood Council, Hollywood Hotel, Sunset Gower + Sunset Bronson, Paramount Contractors, Barnsdall Arts, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Casey McCabe and AMP Radio 97.1, Councilmember Tom LaBonge and Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell
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LIFESTYLES Page 19
Los Feliz Ledger
Locals Open New Middle School in Glassell Park By Colin Stutz, Ledger Contributing Writer GLASSELL PARK—A Silver Lake parent and former teacher from Ivanhoe Elementary school has teamed with one of Los Angeles’ leading education reformers to build a new middle school that will open in Glassell Park this fall. The new Studio School is a pilot school founded by Marca Whitten and Steven Barr, a fellow-Silver Lake resident and founder of the Green Dot Public Schools charter school organization. The school will be small with an emphasis on creative arts and technology education, not just as standalone courses but integral components to each subject. At full capacity The Studio School will serve about 300 students, grades 6th through 8th, mostly from the Silver Lake, Los Feliz, Cypress
Park, and Glassell Park communities. Whitten said class sizes will range between 25 to 32 students. As a pilot school, it is a collaboration between LAUSD
At full capacity The Studio School will serve about 300 students, grades 6th through 8th, mostly from the Silver Lake, Los Feliz, Cypress Park, and Glassell Park communities. and the United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) union that allows for a teacher-led design team and charter-like autonomy including control of curriculum, hiring, budgeting, scheduling and the calendar, while remaining in the district and employing current UTLA teachers. Whitten said at the center of the school’s philosophy
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Page 20 COMMUNITY NEWS
is a mission to “encapsulate kids into something that is well thought-out so they can bring their individual selves to school” as well as to create “a curriculum that will as much
as humanly possible keep the kids engaged in their education.” As she learned through her own children and students, she said, “whether they’re particularly bent for the arts or not, the arts develops students’ voices and gives them ways to express themselves… I see this project, and pilot schools in general, as hopefully a way to bring some reform to the overall [LAUSD] system. I feel that it’s just as good for teachers as it is for kids.” The Studio School is currently enrolling 6th grade students and is open to any student in the LAUSD. There will be an informational meeting about the new school at Glassell Park Elementary School on August 1st at 6 p.m.
August, 2013 By Anthony Cook, Griffith Observatory The annual Perseid meteor shower peaks on the late Sunday night and early Monday morning hours of August 11th and 12th. Conditions should be good for this year’s shower, with moon set happening at 10:19 p.m. Numbers of meteors should increase from then until dawn—4:40 a.m.— when you can expect to see
in Gemini the Twins and orange Mars are visible as dawn starts, low in the east-northeastern sky. The moon is new on the 6th, and in waxing crescent phase passes Saturn on the 12th. It reaches first quarter phase on the 14th, when it is near the bright star Antares of Scorpius the Scorpion. Full moon on the 21st has the tra-
To watch the meteors, lie on an inclined chair, such as a deck chair, tilted up enough so that you’re not watching the horizon. somewhere between 60 and 80 meteors per hour. Viewing from the suburbs may cut the number to about 20 per hour at best. To watch the meteors, lie on an inclined chair, such as a deck chair, tilted up enough so that you’re not watching the horizon. Venus is the brilliant “evening star” low in the west after sunset, while the ringed planet Saturn appears as a bright golden star high in the southwest as darkness falls. Bright planet Jupiter,
ditional name of the Full Sturgeon Moon. The last quarter moon is on the 28th. Astronomers are also looking forward to August as it will allow the first observations of comet ISON since it was hidden in the sun’s glare last June. Then we can see if it has resumed brightening, or if its development is still stalled, as it had been since January. This will give an indication of whether or not it could become a great comet when it rounds the sun on Thanksgiving Day.
Los Feliz Ledger
AVNC Reduces Funding for Elementary School Math Program
Echo Park Lake So Blue It’s Inviting Swimmers
By Tony Cella, Ledger Contributing Writer
ECHO PARK — When Echo Park Lake reopened June 15th after a two-year makeover that had the 29 acres obtrusively fenced off to the public, it was with widespread excitement from the neighborhood that resembled unwrapping a long awaited present. The $45 million storm water program Proposition O remodel included improved landscaping, restored buildings, general cleanup and new water-saving measures and came in $39 million under budget. Upon public review, it has been broadly deemed a success. And after the reservoir was drained and cleaned, many have noticed the lake is even glistening a brighter blue than ever before. It’s so inviting, in fact, it has enticed some to try getting in for a swim or to splash around, such as was the case at the opening day event and several times since. That pristine sapphire hue is not, however, a reflection of the water’s new cleanliness, but a UV inhibitor dye was added to the lake in early June to reduce the growth of algae, according to Julie Allen,
ATWATER VILLAGE—The Atwater Village Neighborhood Council (AVNC) reduced funding for the Atwater Elementary’s “ST Math Program”—an online program designed to supplement in class instruction—for this upcoming school year at last month’s Board of Governors meeting. At the meeting, a woman who only gave her name as Mary-Lou, petitioned the board for $3,500 on behalf of
wall here,” she said. Still, Couch found the council’s decision to not fully fund the math program difficult to understand and questioned the governing board’s priorities. “It’s bewildering,” she said. “[We] spend more on promotional shopping bags than… kids… I would put people before products any day.” The past year Atwater Elementary students in grades 2 through 5 participated in the
Shelli-Anne Couch, president of the AVNC, said the school’s budget has been cut the past two years, and she hoped the AVNC would begin soliciting funds from the community. the Friends of Atwater Elementary to pay for the program’s licensing fee, which would allow all 400 students in the K-5 school to participate. “This is not a one day thing. It’s not a one day event. It’s a whole year event,” MaryLou said. The council approved a $1,167 grant for the program indicating the entire $3,500 requested would deplete the council’s entire education budget at the beginning of the fiscal year that started in July. Shelli-Anne Couch, president of the AVNC, said the school’s budget has been cut the past two years, and she hoped the AVNC would begin soliciting funds from the community. “Our back is against the
program. According to the grant application, 2nd grader’s math scores increased by 19% and 5th graders by 5% as a result. Two years ago, when the school first implemented the program, 3rd grade math scores jumped by 18% and 4th grade saw a 20% hike. AVNC Board member Jerry Hoffman said he didn’t feel it was appropriate to take funds away from other services and recommended asking parents to help fund the program. Luis Lopez, was one AVNC boardmember in support of approving the entire $3,500. “When’s the last time we had [the potential to make] a major impact on 400 families?” asked board member Luis Lopez.
New Scientology Building Set for September Opening By Tony Cella, Ledger Contributing Writer HILLHURST AVENUE—The new Church of Scientology Los Feliz Mission, at Hillhurst Avenue and Los Feliz Boulevard, is schedule to open at the beginning of September, according to the organization. A spokesperson wrote in an email they expect 30 to 40 parishioners—not including walk-ins—to visit their 7,500 square foot building, which will house daily seminars on a range of topics including Dianetics, Life Improvement Courses and a detox program to help the body rid itself of harmful drugs, toxins and other “chemicals that lodge in the body and impede spiritual progress,” according to the email. The Mission will also have an information display about Dianetics, the religion’s beliefs and practices as well as a pictoAugust 2013
rial biography of their founder, L. Ron Hubbard. The two-story Spanish style religious center was conceptually designed by Michael Smith and Yvan Poissant and engineered by Kamus and Keller. The building will have a 30 parking spaces lot to serve parishioners. The property was purchased in early 2011 for $2,050,020. The church spokeswoman, Erin Banks, declined to release the price of the construction. “We don’t generally provide information about building costs,” she said. The nearby Mission of Los Angeles at 1934 N. Hillhurst Ave. will remain open. There are more than 10,000 Scientology churches, missions and affiliated groups in 167 nations worldwide. www.losfelizledger.com
By Colin Stutz, Ledger Contributing Writer a senior construction engineer and the Echo Park Lake rehabilitation project manager with the Bureau of Engineering and Dept. of Public Works. The dye works to limit the amount of light that reaches the bottom of the lake, lowering the water temperature and reducing the algae’s photosynthesis process, she said. That blue will fade by the end of summer when the lake’s wetlands plants will be more established and will on their own act to further reduce the nutrients in the water and further reduce the growth of algae, which is considered a pollutant. Swimming is prohibited in the lake for health and safety reasons, said Allen. Because the water comes directly from the storm drain system, it has been designated by the state as a non-contact water recreation water body that permits picnicking, hiking and paddle boating—which recently returned—but not activity such as swimming where ingestion of water is reasonably possible. “Treatment systems are
in place to remove oil, grease, trash, nutrients, and sediment, but there are no disinfectants added to the lake to remove bacteria,” said Allen. To address this issue, the Dept. of Recreation and Parks recently installed posts and a chain in front of the loading dock where most swimmers were accessing the lake. More signage has also been put up throughout the premises, said department spokesperson Andrea Epstein. Epstein said these added measures seem to be working, and following some initial incidents she did not know of any more swimmers at Echo Park Lake. Regardless, she would advise against anyone considering a dip, even on the hottest of days. “It’s a storm water project; it’s a Prop O project,” she said. “It’s not the ocean.”
Sunshine Kids Preschool Located in the Los Feliz area, close to Griffith Park. Now enrolling children 2.5 - 6 years old. Director & Instructor, Rosie Mambreian has over 25 years experience teaching within the Los Angeles public and private schools, using a Montesorri technique. The most up to datebooks and materials are used to include math, science, english, social studies and arts & crafts.
Plenty of outdoor activities. Private piano lessons available from her music studio. To make an appointment for a private tour please call Rosie at 213-280-2002. 2040 North Berendo St. Los Angeles, CA 90027
4612 Welch Place in Los Feliz
For more info (323) 666-6154
Celebrating 30 Years! preschool
OPEN HOUSE: Wednesday, August 7th • 5:30-6:30pm Now Enrolling! www.allchildrengreatandsmall.com
COMMUNITY NEWS Page 21
Los Feliz Ledger
All Children Great and Small Celebrates 30 Years LOS FELIZ—In the summer of 1983, Los Angeles city inspectors gave Hollywood Congregational Nursery School 30 days to vacate the premises after deeming its structure earthquake unsafe. Parents and faculty scrambled to secure a new site and raise funds for its purchase. They found a gem: a craftsman bungalow on tree-lined Welch Street. A faculty and parent board formed to create an enriching new curriculum and mission for the preschool. And in the fall, All Children Great and Small opened its doors. Christine Lonergan, whose son attended both Hollywood Congregational Nursery School and All Children Great and Small (ACGS), was one of the founding teachers. She credits the school’s first director, Morgan Graham, for implementing mixed age classes and parent participation— still hallmarks of the ACGS experience 30 years later. “Morgan was a gifted educator with a clear progressive school vision,” Lonergan said. “She was also a leader that we all eagerly followed. She inspired us.” On any day of the week, visitors to All Children Great and Small can see Graham’s vision come to vivid and occasionally paint-splattered life. The school maintains a playbased approach to learning that emphasizes exploration, creativity and self-expression. Field trips to the Los Feliz Library and the fire station on Hillhurst Avenue help children learn about their unique east side neighborhood. Parents work together on committees that support the school, plan
fundraising and recreational events, and help oversee field trips, forging a tight community of families committed to seeing every student thrive. Graham’s leadership lives on through ACGS’s current director and teacher Yolanda Ruiz, who was mentored by Graham and shares her unique ability to help ACGS’s 40 preschoolers effectively communicate their feelings and desires. Ruiz lists one of her of chief pleasures as “listening to how children, after much practice, use their problem-solving skills to get their needs met.” Decades after helping to create ACGS, Lonergan maintains close ties with the school. An Early Childhood Education Specialist, she is currently a consultant to the board and faculty. “When children observe adults collaborating to take good care of them and nurture their school, that’s a superb model for growing young people,” she said. “It makes for happier students and future school success.”
National Night Out Set for Aug. 6th LOS FELIZ—National Night Out—is a national event to help promote community and safety—will place Tues. Aug. 6th. The event is meant to promote public safety by encouraging neighbors to get to know each other and to get people out of their homes and apartments for a couple of hours to
walk their neighborhood. The event will take place from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Attendees should meet at the Vermont Triangle at Vermont Ave. and Hollywood Blvd. The walk will then continue through Los Feliz Village. Tables will be set up on Hillhurst Ave. at the Los Fe-
liz Library and at Fire Station 35 and also at Yuca’s on Hollywood Blvd. The event is free and will have free refreshments and prizes. National Night Out began in 1984 in an effort nationwide to promote involvement in crime prevention. In its first year, 2.5 million Americans took part across 400 communities in 23 states.
Council Approves Motion To Repair Merry-Go-Round GRIFFITH PARK—Los Angeles City Councilmember Tom LaBonge has allocated $10,000 in discretionary funding to repair the MerryGo-Round in Griffith Park. The motion was approved by the Los Angeles City Council. The funding will restore the Merry-Go-Round’s band organ and possibly its carousel crown. The attraction was built in 1926 and moved to Griffith Park in 1937 and features 68 historic horses.
NEW LAUSD PILOT MIDDLE SCHOOL Opening this August 2013 at Glassell Park Elementary School
NOW ENROLLING 6TH GRADERS TO ENROLL OR LEARN MORE ABOUT THE SCHOOL
213.270.9272 | www.studioschoolla.com
Information session: August 6 from 6-7pm at Glassell Park Elementary School 2211 W. Ave. 30, Los Angeles, CA 90017
Page 22 COMMUNITY NEWS
Los Feliz Ledger [open mike]
Top It If You Can! Multicultural Microcosm on a Silver Lake Street By Vincent Brook “When was the best time to live in L.A.?” one of my new Parisian immigrant neighbors, awash in the French-bred nostalgia of the Oscar-winning film The Artist, recently asked. “Right now!” I shot back, and this was before the city elected an Italian-Mexican-Jewish mayor with quality time spent in Kenya and Myanmar. And from a multicultural perspective, there’s really no question about it, especially if you live in my Silver Lake neighborhood just south of Sunset Blvd. All is not idyllic, in the newly proclaimed “hipster capital” or in Los Angeles as a whole. Unemployment is too high, city services too low, traffic jams and wildfires scarier than ever. And despite its vaunted liberal turn in the postmodern era, L.A. still deserves to be viewed bi-focally: as a pioneering multicultural megalopolis, on the one hand; ethnically fractured mosaic, on the other. Though no longer the nation’s “white spot” or “the last stand of Protestant America,” as the L.A. Times and Mayor John Porter touted the city into the 1930s, today’s non-Anglomajority Los Angeles remains stubbornly residentially divided along ethnic lines. Not everywhere, of course, nor was this ever always the case. Boyle Heights, now a predominantly Latino district, from the early 1920s through the 1950s was the region’s melting pot par excellence. Dubbed L.A.’s “Lower East Side” for its preponderance of immigrant Eastern European Jews, Boyle Heights also boasted large numbers of Mexicans and Japanese and additional clusters of Armenians, African Americans, Italians and Russian Molocans. Its ethnic diversity went so far as to prompt the Federal Housing Authority in 1939 to warn that “not a single block in the area does not contain detrimental racial elements, and there are few districts that are not hopelessly heterogeneous.” One wonders what double negatives the Housing Authority would ascribe to the single block of Robinson Street in Silver Lake I have lived on for the past 33 years. The extraor-
dinary diversity of this miniUnited Nations, not only of race and ethnicity but also of nationality and sexual orientation, is, I would wager, historically unprecedented and unmatched anywhere else in Los Angeles, if not the world. The breadth of humanity
dener, health care, interpreter, lawyer, nursing, plumber, professor, publicist, recreation and parks, retail display, retail sales, secretarial, social work and therapist. One person owns a local Japanese restaurant. Five young adults are students and six older ones—
As for what the people on my block think about its rainbow coloring, some were rather blasé, as if the phenomenon simply went with the territory. Others expressed varying degrees of amazement. One neighbor eloquently summed up the immense satisfaction
Immigrants (30) from: U.S.-born (32) - Descended from*: Philippines: 9 Great Britain: 10 (1 Jewish) El Salvador: 7 Mexico: 5 Guatemala: 4 Ireland: 4 Ecuador: 2 (1 Ecuadoran/Chinese) Germany: 4 (1 Jewish) France: 2 Africa: 2 Argentina: 1 (of German parents) Czechoslovakia: 2 China: 1 Native American: 2 (Cheyenne & Osage) Cuba: 1 Philippines: 2 England: 1 Cuba: 1 (*For the U.S.-born, each country of Israel: 1 El Salvador: 1 ancestral origin was counted as a whole Vietnam: 1 Italy: 1 number. For the 16 young children, the breakdown is the following: Korea: 1 White: 31.3%, Latino: 25%, Asian/ Norway: 1 Pac. Island: 12.5%, Mixed: 31.3%.) Russia: 1 (Jewish) has steadily increased during the time my wife (a Chicago transplant of Scottish origin) and I (a native Angelino of German-Jewish descent) have lived on Robinson. Finally, at the urging of a friend, I decided to get a more detailed picture of the demographics. The above box shows the results of my unofficial, door-to-door survey of the 62 adults who were available and chose to participate. Sexual orientation was more difficult to determine, but as Silver Lake’s long-standing “Swish Alps” nickname suggests, my block’s gays and lesbians are neither stuck in the closet nor in short supply. One even co-founded the Fallen Fruit eco-art project that appropriates a homophobic epithet for progressive purposes. As for the larger area’s recent gentrification and “hipster” rep co-opting my block’s diversity claim, consider the economic data. Thirty-four of the 55 households (62%) are rentals; 21 or 38% are selfowned houses or condos. The range of occupations further preempts the elitist charge. Befitting Silver Lake and environs’ media-related orientation, 10 of those consulted work in “the industry,” albeit not—as yet—in the limelight. Other jobs include baker, bookkeeper, cashier, construction, domestic help, electrician, financial services, gar-
including a Vietnam vet—are retired. Not a 100% workingclass neighborhood, but a far cry from Bel Air. As hopeful as this heterogeneity might be, it would remain on the Extreme Makeover, lottery-winning level were it limited to Robinson Street alone. But just as the
my wife and I, and other block-mates, feel about the situation saying, “We were attracted to the area, from New York, because of its diversity. When on our first Halloween we went down the street with our kids and saw Obama-face cookies and ‘No on Prop. 8’ [California’s anti-gay marriage
My Block Silver Lake White: 37.1% White: 34% Latino: 30.6% Latino: 41.8% Asian/Pac. Island: 22.6% Asian/Pac. Island: 18% Black: 3.2% Black: 3.2% Native American: 3.2% Native American: NA Mixed: 3.2% Mixed/Other: 3% Housing Authority’s debunking of the diversity on a single block in Boyle Heights redounded to the entire district, so does my extolling the multiculturalism on my block in Silver Lake extend to the overall community, especially south of Sunset, as the dozens of nationalities represented at local schools indicates and the 2010 census (given inherent ambiguities) affirms.
initiative] signs, we knew we’d come to the right place. These are our people!” Vincent Brook teaches at USC, UCLA, Cal-State LA and Pierce College. A longtime community activist, he also founded Music Box Steps Day, held in Silver Lake every fall to celebrate the famed film site of Laurel & Hardy’s Oscar-winning short The Music Box.
LFVBID from page 17
for 2013 according to the Los Angeles City Clerk’s Office are $78,359. According to the city as of June 3rd, $50,400 has been received thus far leaving $30,720 outstanding. “Quite frankly, if all businesses paid their assessments when due, as members of the BID, we might not be in the position of paying our bills late,” Serrano wrote in an email. When fees are collected, they are held by the city. All business improvement districts are required to submit reports on their finances, according to Rosemary Hinkson with the City Clerk’s office, to receive the collected fees in order to pay bills and fund programs “The Los Feliz district,”
site promoting the upcoming event is a notice that businesses must be in “good standing” with the LFVBID in order to participate. The LFVBID is one of 39 such business improvement districts in Los Angeles. Each year, businesses within the LFVBID’s boundaries pay a tax to the city to fund the BID for services such as street cleaning and maintenance and area beautification. The amount of the tax, otherwise known as an assessment, is based on the number of employees each business has ranging from $200 to $500. Expected assessments from the 284 local businesses
Regarding “GGPNC Changes its Name to Los Feliz Neighborhood Council” (June 2013), while I enjoy a balanced presentation to an argument, the “balance” in this article does not give weight to the large number of people in the audience at the GGPNC special meeting on May 23, 2013 who spoke in favor of keeping the name and did not want it changed. Over the course of eight months public comment was received from over 30 stakeholders who were against changing the name. There is only one public comment on record in favor of changing the name and that person only sent an email and did not come to the meeting in person. There are also five major community organizations that wrote official position letters against changing the name, and a petition was submitted with over 1,100 signatures from stakeholders who would like to keep the name Greater Griffith Park Neighborhood Council. Also, the final result of your online poll shows that 71 of 102 voters do not like the name change. The printed article states that 70% thought that the name change is good. Please correct this error of record. Shirley Mims Franklin Hills Editors note: The corrected vote tally should read that 70% did not like the name change and 30% of voters did.
SubmissionS FOR OPEN MIKE To submit a letter for Open Mike, send to allisonferraro@ losfelizledger.com or to 4459 Avocado St., LA, CA 90027.
Hinkson said, “turned in their financial statements and an invoice requesting the assessment fees a day late.” According to LFVBID boardmembers the boards’ past treasurer Rosa Palencia abruptly resigned her position in April. The board went without a treasurer until Peart took over a few months later. To date, the LFVBID has $16,000 in sponsorships for the 2013 festival and 31 booths have been leased. According to updated financial data provided for the 2012 street fair, the LFVBID took in $57,002 in vendor fees and sponsorships and had expenses of $90,471— a shortfall of $33,469.
EDITORIAL / OPEN MIKE Page 23
Thinking of Selling?
Our listings are selling for Top Market Value and very often for over asking price and with multiple offers! Call us and let us show you why our approach to selling homes in your neighborhood is so successful. George & Eileen 2150 Hillhurst Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90027
Los Feliz • Silver Lake • Franklin Hills • Franklin Square • Atwater Village • Echo Park • Beachwood Canyon
3216 Ettrick Street
Charming 3 bedroom 2 bath 1937 built Spanish home has been enjoyed by the same family since the 1950’s. Gracious living rm with fireplace. Formal dining room with coved ceiling. Hardwood floors. Laundry room. 5 years new central air and heat. Updated 220 amp panel. Copper plumbing. Cozy den with built-in book shelves. Great opportunity for possible expansion &/or room for a pool. A lovely neighborhood close to Rowena reservoir. Ivanhoe.
$1,089,000 2694 Glendower Avenue
Gated 1950’s Silver Lake Triplex with downtown views and nice curb appeal. 2 units will be vacant at close! Each unit 3 Bd, 2 Ba. Beautifully renovated owners unit and direct access to a 2 car garage, living rm w/dining area, eat in breakfast area in kitchen, new cabinets, stainless steel appliances & granite counters tops. Large master bedroom. Newly landscaped yard & deck. Approx 3160 sq. ft bld, 6615 lot size. 2 garages. 6 Parking spaces total.
2309 Commonwealth Ave Los Feliz Hills
Listed & Sold
Stylish and newly renovated 3+3 Contemporary home with great sweeping views. Fabulous spacious eat-in kitchen with stainless appliances, Caesarstone tops and corner windows to capture the views. Adjoining family room with fireplace. Kitchen & living rm opens to large view deck. Great master with spa like bath. Home office area. New flooring. Deck, patio & yard. 2 car garage. Central air and heat, copper plumbing. Apprx 2640 sq ft. Ivanhoe school.
3751 Tracy Street
Silver Lake Hills
Listed & Sold
Gorgeous & newly renovated 4+3.5 New England style residence on a lovely street. Living room with new fireplace. Sunny updated kitchen with white Shaker style cabinets & stainless appliances. Formal dining room with original built-ins. Spacious family room leads out to the large grassy yard with room for a pool. Master has great bath with double sinks, large shower and deck w/view of the Observatory & yard. New air and heat. Apprx 2420 sq ft.
Los Feliz Hills
Breathtaking views the Griffith Park hills, downtown and the city beyond are enjoyed from this warm & inviting 3+3.5 New England style residence. The gorgeous living room leads you to a fabulous deck surrounded by lush greenery with spectacular views of the mountains & Griffith Observatory. Formal dining room. Sumptuous master w/knock out views, high ceilings, fireplace, spacious bath & walk-in closet. Library or den. Garage w/workshop. 3 fireplaces.
$1,379,000 2485 Lanterman Terrace Silver Lake Hills $1,295,000 1950 Lucile Avenue
Lovely 3+3.5 N. of the Blvd 1923 built home with dramatic 2-story living room, fireplace and hardwood floors. Gorgeous dining room with bay window. Updated kitchen opens to the family room and out to a wonderful veranda with a pergola, great yard and a deck surrounding prolific avocado tree. A perfect home for entertaining. Master with nice built-ins. Central air and heat. Detached 2 car garage. Walking distance to Hillhurst restaurants and shops.
4947 Ambrose Avenue
712 Robinson Street
Stunning 3+2.5 2008 built 2-story Mediterranean residence with views of Hollywood Sign and Griffith Park Observatory. Living room with gas fireplace, built-in book shelves. LR & master with balcony to enjoy the glorious views. Cook’s kitchen w/stainless appliances. Dining room w/large built-in cabinet, high ceilings. Wonderful master suite with great bath and 2 closets. Great patio with BBQ area and small yard. Central AC & heat. Ivanhoe school.
Listed & Sold
$827,000 7808 Waring Ave West Hollywood Vicinity
Featured on HGTV, this stylish 2+2 Monterey Colonial offers a wonderful indoor outdoor feel. Living room with open beamed ceiling, fireplace, hardwood floors & leads thru French doors to the patio and yard. Spacious Cook’s kitchen w/center island & stainless appliances. Sexy master suite and bath. Central Air & Heat. Separate bungalow great for home office. Patio with hot tub, fireplace and great outdoor dining area. 2 car garage.
Absolutely charming 2 bedroom 1 bath Country English Cottage in a fabulous Melrose Avenue neighborhood! Gorgeous living room with vaulted beamed ceilings, skylight & stone mantel fireplace. Formal dining room leads to a lovely brick patio and garden. Renovated kitchen with stainless appliances & farmhouse sink. Updated bathroom with tiled shower & floors. Hardwood floors. A/C and heat. Close to Melrose, Farmers Market and the Grove.