Los Feliz Ledger Vol 3. No. 5
Serving the Greater Los Feliz, Silver Lake & Hollywood Hills Area | Distribution 32,500
“Greening” of the Park To Prevent Landslides Begins
Business As Usual For the Observatory Shuttles, Reservations To Stop
By Marie Cunningham Ledger Contributing Writer GRIFFITH PARK—In the ongoing effort to restore the nearly 1,000 acres of land destroyed in last May’s Griffith Park fire, helicopters have dropped hydro-mulch on the park’s charred hillsides to prevent soil erosion during California’s upcoming rainy season. Aerial drops started on Oct. 13th and were completed as of Oct. 24th. The $2 million hydromulching program will be present mostly on the southern portions of the park where little vegetation and steep slopes make mudslides more likely. The aerial drops are in conjunction with ground efforts to hydro-mulch. Ground hydo-mulching is expected to continue into November. Hydro-mulch is an organic mixture of wood mulch and guar gum that is sprayed directly onto exposed soil and binds to it upon drying. It absorbs water, preventing rainfall from mixing with soil and eroding the landscape, and protects native seeds already in the ground from washing away so they can germinate. The hydro-mulch itself has no seed in it to ensure non-native plants are not introduced into the area. “Hydro-mulching reduces the amount of erosion by about 75%,” Mike Shull, Superintendent of Planning and Development for L.A.’s Dept. see Hydro-mulch page 16
[ What’s Inside ] Police Blotter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Advertiser Focus: Casita del Campo . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Good Life: Wine Cellars . . . . . . . 12 Real Estate: Area Home Sales . . . . . Su Casa G Senior Moments: We All Need A Dash . . . . . . . . . . 15 Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 SLNC’s Doug Dickstein Says Goodbye . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Obituaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 & 23 Open Mike: Los Feliz Needs More Parking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
By Marie Cunningham Ledger Contributing Writer
WHITE CANE DAY: About 75 fully and partially blind men and women and Braille Institute staff and volunteers walked in the 4th annual 2007 White Cane Day Rally along Vermont Avenue on Oct. 15th. President Lyndon B. Johnson recognized the first White Cane Safety Day in 1964 with the hope of raising awareness about the white cane’s meaning and the need for motorists to exercise special care for the blind persons who carry it.
SLNC Election Challenged By Paria Kooklan / Ledger Contributing Writer SILVER LAKE—Two challenges have been filed in connection with the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council’s recent Governing Board election, delaying the council’s announcement of the official election results. Both challenges involve claims that a candidate violated the written election procedures regarding campaigning. One of the challenges was filed by candidate Noah Stein against Renne Nahum, his competitor for the Region 7 race. Stein alleges that Nahum campaigned on the premises
of a polling area, in violation of the election rules. The other challenge was filed by SLNC Election Committee Chair Leanna Dickstein against Jason Lyon, who ran as an at-large candidate. Dickstein contends that Lyons used official emails belonging to the SLNC for campaigning purposes. The Los Angeles Dept. of Neighborhood Empowerment, which oversees neighborhood council elections, forwarded the challenges to a “Final Decision Maker” (FDM) on Oct. 9th. The FDM, who has 30
$19 Million Gorilla Exhibit to Open
“It’s very different from our old exhibit,” said zoo curator Jennie McNary. “The old exhibit was a very typical exhibit, with a moat running around an island where the gorillas were. This new exhibit has multiple levels and glass-fronted viewing that allows people to get really close to the animals. It’s really lush and beautiful.” The exhibit will house six Western Lowland Gorillas—a family of four and a couple of bachelors—in two adjoining habitats that mimic the gorillas’ natural African environment. According to McNary, the naturalistic design will not only delight zoo-goers, but
By Paria Kooklan Ledger Contributing Writer GRIFFITH PARK—The Los Angeles Zoo will unveil its new gorilla exhibit, called the Campo Gorilla Reserve, on Nov. 6th. The state-of-the-art exhibit, which cost $19 million and took four years to construct, will feature threequarters of an acre of tropical plants, trees and waterfalls, along with a forested walkway for visitors.
days to investigate the challenge and may request up to two 15-day extensions, has not yet issued a decision on either challenge. A statement on the SLNC website indicates that the group will announce the official election results as soon as both cases have been resolved. The election took place on Sept. 29th. Eleven Governing Board members were elected out of 19 candidates. The turnout of 516 voters was a 42-person increase over last year and constituted the third highest turnout in SLNC history.
GRIFFITH PARK—Starting Nov. 3rd, the Griffith Observatory will resume normal operations, ending a yearlong “By Reservation Only” access program that required visitors to reserve admission tickets in advance, park at offsite locations, and take a shuttle to facility grounds. The resumption of normal operations permits visitors to drive directly to the Observatory and gain entrance without prior reservations. After closing in Jan. 2002 for a $93 million renovation and expansion, city officials predicted an overwhelming number of visitors to the Observatory upon its re-opening. The temporary reservation program was implemented to prevent long waits and overcrowding at the site and to maintain normal traffic flow in the neighborhoods surrounding the Observatory. During the five years prior to the Observatory’s 2002 closing, annual attendance averaged 1.8 million visitors a year, including school children. Attendance since the re-opening through Oct. 16th was at 621,091, nearly onethird the average. Reasons see Observatory page 16
Meadow Debate Continues By Kimberly Gomez Ledger Contributing Writer
The Zoo’s Silverback Gorilla, Kelly. Photo credit: Tad Motoyama.
will provide increased stimulation for the gorillas as well. “The new exhibit offers a much richer environment for them than we were able to provide before,” she said. “There’s just so much going on in there.”
SILVER LAKE—Sides continue to duel regarding the possible opening of the Silver Lake “Meadow,” with at least two proposals currently being considered and a third expected by year’s end. To date, the city has proposed that six acres of the Silver Lake Reservoir Complex— the so-called “Meadow”—be opened to the public during daylight hours. Additionally, a group called Silver Lake Friends and Neighbors—who are opposed to public access of the see Meadow page 16
Los Feliz Ledger
A Word from the Publisher and Editor Let’s Work Together to Improve Parking On our “Open Mike” page this month (page 26) there is an impassioned letter from a local Los Feliz apartment dweller who says that since permit parking (no parking nightly from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.) was established for Russell Avenue in Los Feliz, it now takes him upwards of 30 minutes each night to find parking. Homeowners on Russell are more than likely applauding the new restriction; while apartment dwellers and some late-night local businesses are probably cursing! How can we—homeowners, apartment renters and
businesses—work together for the good of our neighborhood in terms of making our “Village” an easier place to enjoy and shop? As a local resident, I too, have difficulty finding parking in Los Feliz. I often put off errands on Hillhurst or Vermont, because I just don’t feel like hunting for parking. Like the renter who can’t park his car to go home at night, I find myself circling streets. I can give up and go home, however. Our renter friend, can’t. At the September meeting of the Los Feliz Village Business Improvement District—of which I am a board
member—the issue was raised (by myself and others) regarding the possibility of trying to garner more parking in the Village, possibly by contracting with existing parking lots that are either largely unused during the day or locked and empty at night. What do you think of this idea? Would you be willing to pay a fee to park in a lot in Los Feliz Village? There’s always the other idea of just ditching our cars all together. See Kimberly Gomez’ story this month (page 17) on the city’s efforts to make Los Feliz and other areas of Los Angeles more “bicycle friendly.”
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Los Feliz Ledger LaBonge & Garcetti Save Holiday Parade HOLLYWOOD—Local Los Angeles City council representatives, Tom LaBonge and Eric Garcetti recently announced that Hollywood’s traditional holiday parade will once again march down Hollywood Boulevard Sun., Nov. 25th. “We’re excited to see that this wonderful Hollywood holiday tradition continues,” said LaBonge whose district includes parts of Hollywood and the Hollywood Hills. “This is a great occasion to bring family and friends together as we mark the start of the Christmas season.” Earlier this year, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce announced it would no longer produce the annual Hollywood Christmas Parade. Councilmembers LaBonge and Garcetti quickly worked to ensure the parade—now in its 76th year—could continue. “I’m proud to maintain one of Hollywood’s favorite traditions—Santa’s parade down our famed boulevard,” said counsee Parade page 7
New Myra St. Mural Unveiled Nov. 2nd
[ POLICE BLOTTER NOVEMBER 2007 ]
Aggravated Assaults: 2 Burglary: 13 Homicide: 1 Burglary Theft from Vehicle: 28 Robbery: 6 Grand Theft Auto: 12 Elder Distraction Burglary: Oct. 5th on the 2500 block of Aberdeen. Suspects used a ruse to enter victim’s residence and took $26,000 worth of cash and jewelry. Suspects then fled location with property. Burglary, Oct. 3rd: on the 1200 block of Westery Terrace. Suspect pried open rear sliding door. Suspect entered and alarm was activated. Suspect was detained by victim and was arrested. Burglary, Sept. 30th: on the 2500 block of Catalina St. Suspect forced open garage door, entered and took victim’s vehicle.
Burglary, Oct. 2nd: on the 2600 block of Nottingham Pl. Suspect entered via unlocked rear sliding door and took a brown bag containing jewelry. Suspect fled. Homicide, Oct. 14th: on 2100 block of Sunset Blvd. Suspect shot victim several times and fled on foot. Victim succumbed to his injures and was pronounced dead. Robbery, Oct. 12th: on the 4300 block of Sunset Blvd. Suspect entered location wearing black clothing and demanded money from cash register. Suspect then fled location with property. Burglary, Oct. 7th: at 1900 Mariposa Ave. Suspect entered via open side window and took a jewelry box. Suspect then fled with property. Burglary, Oct. 7th: on the 3900 block of Franklin Ave. Suspect entered through unsecured garage, then entered residence and took laptop, jewelry, traveler’s checks and currency. Burglary, Oct. 15th: at 3100 Silver Lake Blvd. Suspect removed hinges to garage door, entered and took $3,000 in electrical tools.
2nd Annual Taste of Los Feliz Draws Crowd, Raises Funds for the Needy VERMONT AVENUE—About 350 came out on Sunday Sept. 30th for the 2nd annual Taste of Los Feliz. In all, the event—which offers “tastes” from local restaurants to event goers—raised almost $20,000 for Hope-Net, a non-profit that operates food pantries and soup kitchens throughout the Los Angeles area. Two such pantries are being established currently in the Los Feliz area: one at Our Mother of Good Counsel church on Vermont Avenue and the second at Silver Lake’s Hollywood Free Clinic on Sunset Boulevard, set to open in 2008. “We are fully establishing ourselves in Los Feliz and surrounding areas,” said Douglas Ferraro, Hope-Net’s executive director. “We thank the community, the restaurants, the event committee and the sponsors for helping us establish a foothold against hunger and homelessness in the area.” This year’s participating restaurants were: Alcove, Aroma, Café Figaro, Café Los Feliz, Chi Dynasty, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Delilah Bakery, Dresden, Greenleaf Vegan, Home, House of Pies, Little Dom’s, Palermo, Pattaya Bay, Starbucks, Sweets for the Soul, Tiger Lily, Toni’s Bakery and Vermont. “This event is a success,” Ferraro said, “thanks to the wonderful drink, food and good will of the restaurants. Their work—and great food—will help us work to end hunger in the area.” The event was presented by the Los Feliz Ledger. The key sponsor was Keller Williams/Los Feliz. To see a list of Taste of Los Feliz 2007 sponsors and volunteers, see page 6. For more information about Hope-Net, visit: www.hope-net.info.
SILVER LAKE—A new Myra Street Mural, titled “Dream Again,” will be unveiled Fri. Nov. 2nd at 6:30 p.m. Brandon Tu, 14 and a graduate of Thomas Starr King Middle School, created the mural design as part of a contest sponsored by the Greater Griffith Park Neighborhood Council and the Franklin Hills Resident Association. The application of the mural was directed by Silver Lake’s Metro Gallery artist, Heng Leng with the assistance of 30 students from Thomas Starr King Middle School. The mural is the fourth to be painted under the Myra Street Bridge, thanks to the committed efforts of community residents. Tu is currently a freshman at John Marshall High School and has been creating designs for approximately three years. Heng has worked on several L.A. Beautification projects that involved children from L.A.’s Best schools. He has taught art classes and helped students in the completion of mural projects consisting of rainforest and reefs themes. He has also worked with the permission of several family owned businesses in Compton to create murals to minimize street graffiti vandalism. For more information, contact Metro Gallery, at (323) 663-2787 or visit www.metrogallery.org. COMMUNITY NEWS
12th ANNUAL LADWP
November 21 - December 30 Open 5 - 10 p.m. Nightly Enjoy the LA tradition of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power Holiday Light Festival with your family and friends. Weâ€™re going green to help the environment In order to save energy and protect the environment, all lights have been converted to energy efficient and LED lights. The festival will be walking only (closed to car traffic) from November 21-25. Limited parking available at the MerryGo-Round and L.A. Zoo lots.
Dress warmly and wear comfortable shoes Get a Preview at Our Third Annual Bike Night Join other cyclistsâ€”novices and experts alike-- for this preview night. The festival route will be closed to car traffic and open to cyclists only from 6-8 p.m. on Monday, November 19. Parking at LA Zoo. Located along Crystal Springs Drive in scenic Griffith Park, the light festival is a one-mile celebration with more than 500,000 twinkling lights and music. Visitors can drive through in their own cars or walk the route. More information can be found at www.ladwp.com or www.dwplightfestival.com
Happy Holidays As a covered entity, under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the City of Los Angeles does not discriminate on the basis of disability and upon request, will provide reasonable accommodation to ensure equal access to its programs, service and activities. For additional information, call (213) 485-6334
Los Feliz Ledger “I enjoy interacting with people in the neighborhood, especially those who are involved in the neighborhood councils and residents’ organizations,” Hisserich said. “Assemblymember Krekorian stresses the importance of constituent service. I want to make sure that he is aware of how the community feels about the issues that are of concern to them.”
[ SILVER LAKE CORRESPONDENT ]
Meet Your Neighbors: The Hisserich Family, Devoted Public Servants By Michael Locke / Silver Lake Correspondent Meet the Hisserich Family, familiar faces in the Silver Lake/Los Feliz area whose members have spent a lifetime largely devoted to involvement in the life of our community. John Hisserich serves as a consultant to our representative in the California State Assembly, Paul Krekorian on Silver Lake and Los Feliz issues; the Hisserich’s daughter, Helmi is the current Deputy Mayor of Los Angeles for Housing & Economic Development Policy (her partner Tori Patterson is a LAUSD librarian), while their son, Charles is a firefighter for the City of San Gabriel. Daughters Elizabeth and Alexandra play important roles too. Elizabeth is an attorney working at the University of Southern California and Alexandra is an assistant production coordinator at Warner Brothers. Mom, Susan Hisserich works as a sales assistant for a firm representing newspapers and is the “head cheerleader” for the clan. The children are all enrolled in area schools; Charles’ daughter Heather is a student at Glen-
dale College, while Helmi and Tori’s daughter, Madeline, is a student at Ivanhoe. Most of Los Feliz and Silver Lake are represented in the California State Assembly by Paul Krekorian, a Democrat who was elected in 2006. The 43rd Assembly District includes the cities of Glendale and Burbank, as well as most or all of the communities of Silver Lake, Los Feliz, North Hollywood and Valley Glen. Shortly after taking office, Krekorian asked Hisserich, whom he had met while both ran in the Democratic primary for the 43rd District in 2000, to join his staff. During the campaign, they had developed a mutual respect and friendship and Hisserich was pleased to have the opportunity to work with him representing the neighborhoods that the Hisserichs call “home.” John Hisserich has lived in the Silver Lake-Los Feliz area for over 30 years with his wife, Susan. In 2005, he retired from the University of Southern California where he served in several capacities,
Pictured are the Hisserich Family at home in Silver Lake: Seated (L-R) Madeline, Susan, John and Alexandra; Standing (L-R) Helmi, Tori, Charles, Elizabeth and Heather.
as Associate Vice President for Health Affairs, Deputy Director of the Norris Cancer Center, and professor of
WHO ARE WE? WE ARE YOU!
Greater Griffith Park Neighborhood Council... ...is a board of 19 of your neighbors who have been organized as an advisory body to the City of Los Angeles. The purpose of the GGPNC is to participate as an advisory body on city services of concern to you. The mission of the GGPNC is to promote citizen participation in government at all levels by encouraging citizens to advise City government. Now start advising. That’s how you helped us Save the Derby!!
Public Health in the School of Pharmacy. (Ironically, Paul Krekorian’s wife Tamar was a student in his class).
John Hisserich may be reached at the 43rd Assembly District Office, 620 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale, and (818) 240-6330 or by email: John.Hisserich@asm.ca.gov.
COMMITTEE COMMENTS Planning, Zoning & Historic Preservation To be considered at our November 14 meeting is proposed destruction of classic affordable housing at 4517-25 Franklin (for condos), at 1801-1817 New Hampshire (for condos) and at 4638-42 Prospect (for parking lot). A good idea? Let us know.
Parks, River & Open Space In an effort to promote a healthy environment the Griffith Park Holiday Light Festival will be having “walk only” days. From November 21st thru 25th you can park at the Zoo and walk the beautiful festival route. This is a pilot program and there is consideration to make the whole event a walking/biking/stroller event. What do you think?
Transportation In light of the pedestrian fatality on Franklin it was requested that Northeast motorcycle division of the LAPD monitor Franklin Ave. on a more consistent basis. But because of budget constraints and personnel shortages this could only be done periodically.
Education Committee This committee is currently looking at projects that schools within the area need financial assistance to complete. Recently approved was a $300 expenditure for King Middle School for their school Beautification Project. Please contact Dr. Sarah Napier for more information. E-MAIL: SALNLA96@AOL.COM
Did you know… The Autry is looking to expand their presence in Griffith Park. The size of the building may double. The artifacts gained in the Southwest Museum merger will be among the new added items available for public viewing. What happens to the Southwest Museum and it’s property? Come on buy our meetings and discover the answers with us.
www.ggpnc.org November 2007
To find out more about any of your councils activities just go to the website and check out our calendar. And as always all meetings are open to the public… …this means you!
Los Feliz Ledger [ ECHO PARK CORRESPONDENT ]
Turning “30-Whatever” in a “20-Something” Neighborhood By Sean Paul Mahoney / Echo Park Correspondent Recently, I c e le br at e d a birthday that officially takes me out of the “early thirties” category. Numbers, to me, are trivial nuances that come attached with certain stigmas so I like to call this particular number, which happens to rhyme with dirty jive, “30-whatever.” Maybe it’s a tad delusional or dishonest but it helps soften the blow. The omnipresence of “20somethings” in my neighborhood could be a contributing factor. While it is true that Echo Park has always attracted young adventurous types, lately, it’s as if they have taken over. From the sickly barely legal girls on clothing company billboards to the baby-faced boys hanging in the coffee shops, it is nearly impossible not to feel like a cast member from the movie Cocoon. To blend in, I try to avoid saying things like: “I remember when The Brite Spot
served a $4 breakfast special,” and “When I first moved here, The Shortstop was still a policeman’s bar.” That being said, my inability to recognize certain musical acts performing at The Echo is a telltale sign that I am no longer part of a certain demographic. Another reason why this birthday might be hard to swallow could have something to do with my childhood. When I was 11, my mother was 35. She seemed ancient to me and I honestly believed that I would I never be that old. She had already had four kids, a couple of mini-careers and was finishing a degree in accounting. In hindsight however, she really wasn’t as decrepit as I thought. After all, I still feel like I’m in my 20s and I’m sure my mom felt the same way. Her current youthful energy tends to support this theory. This morning, as I walked around the lake with a crop of “60-somethings” in their sweat suits, “30-whatever” didn’t look so bad. Am I the see Echo Park page 8
LFIA to Host Photo Day, Nov. 17th
CERT Training Continues thru Dec. 5
$1.4 Million Raised for Autry
LOS FELIZ—The Los Feliz Improvement Association (LFIA) is hosting its annual Photo Day Sat. Nov. 17th from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. to collect old family and scenic photographs taken in the Los Feliz community prior to the 1970s. The event will take place at the Los Feliz Library, 1874 Hillhurst Ave. Residents can donate their old photos or have copies scanned on site at no charge. Refreshments will be served. The event is sponsored by LFIA’s History Committee in cooperation with the Los Feliz Branch of the L.A. Public Library. “LFIA’s Archival Photos Project is an on-going campaign to collect old photos taken in the community so we can preserve our rich history,” said LFIA’s History Committee co-chair Norman Mennes. “We’re looking for snapshots that reflect activities and events in Los Feliz from the early 1900s to the 1970s.”
Learn to care for your family and neighbors in a time of crisis. The Silver Lake Neighborhood Council’s Public Safety Committee is continuing to host a training course for CERT (Community Emergency Response Team). The training is lead by the Los Angeles Fire Dept. and will be held on Wednesdays from 7 pm – 9:30 p.m. through Dec. 5. The course will be held at the Dream Center—formerly Queen of Angels Hospital— located at 2301 Bellevue Ave., Los Angeles 90026. Parking is available in the lot off Waterloo and Kent.
GRIFFITH PARK—The Autry National Center celebrated the 100th birthday of its founder, Gene Autry, on Sept. 29th. Chaired by Jackie Autry, the event was attended by close to 1,200 museum patrons, celebrities, and friends of Autry who helped raise a record-breaking $1.4 million for the Autry National Center. Proceeds from the event will support education and outreach programs that serve thousands of children, their families, teachers and scholars each year, as well as the Autry’s art and artifact acquisition fund. Glen Campbell and Willie Nelson headlined the program that included tributes from Norm Crosby, Joe Pesci and Joe diGenova—and a surprise video tribute from Ringo Starr.
The cost for the course is free. For questions and to register contact Barb Dakin at firstname.lastname@example.org or (213) 413-4221.
The Photo Day is free and open to the public. Parking at the library is limited, but there is also street parking. For more information, call the LFIA at (323) 660-1914 or email history@LFIA.org.