Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Can we fire someone?

Maybe I'm being picky here, but this happens too much. I was reading a news story about a man who was shot in Sherman Oaks last week and then CBS2 grabbed a quote from a detective from the West Valley Station.

Wait a second, West Valley doesn't cover Sherman Oaks, Van Nuys does. So I look at the address of the block of the incident and lo and behold, it's Encino.

For heaven's sakes, the article is titled "Sherman Oaks Man Shot After Opening Door."

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Van Nuys/Sherman Oaks Park Update

Straight from Wendy Greuel's office:
The repair and repaving of the parking lots on the South side of the park is beginning. The first lot to be done is Tyrone at Huston, followed by the Huston Lot by the play area and finally, the Hazeltine lot. The Senior Center lot is still under review for short term treatments since it will need to be replaced (and reconfigured) after the new Senior Center is Constructed.
No more bottoming out will be a fashionable thing in Sherman Oaks.

Finally. Ads.

Finally, it looks like the Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council will be stepping it up with marketing to the community, at least to homeowners as the Sherman Oaks Sun only gets delivered to homes and not apartments.

Good steps. Good steps.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

I Drove Grid

I was speaking to a field deputy the other week about improving things in a neighborhood and driving grid was a topic that came up. Basically, you get in your car and drive through the area you are representing finding problems and asking questions to yourself to later ask city employees. This sounded way exciting so I drove the majority of my elected area for the Neighborhood Council (normally I would bike, but I've been sick).

Here's some of what I found (besides the normal graffiti and illegal dumping of couches):
  1. Question: Why do some fire hydrants have curbs painted red and some don't?
  2. A property on a corner lot had its sprinklers running, yet spraying the sidewalk making anyone who would bike or walk through soaked.
  3. Murietta & Valleyheart: 6 or 7 Christmas trees dumped on side of the road on the LA River side.
  4. Moorpark/Ventura Cyn SE corner: It is always flooded here and has a pothole developing
  5. Alley behind Max/Maria's Italian Kitchen: Valet illegally parking vehicles
  6. Milibank/Matilija NE Corner: Abandoned Home with fence knocked over, boarded up windows unboarded and furniture dumped on the parkway.
  7. Question: Do we have an RV law?
  8. Dixie Cyn./Moorpark: When on Dixie, taking a left on to Moorpark, the red light is extremely long for 3 am. I've seen people get impatient and run the red because it felt like it was never going to change.
  9. Kling b/w Greenbush & Allott: This is against the 101 Freeway and people like to do drug deals here or once I saw some afternoon fellatio taking place. Well, I didn't see it literally, but from a distance, you knew what was going on.
So after reading that list, you can see that there's nothing shocking or pressing here -- it is Sherman Oaks after all. I can foresee a lot of my future grid drives are going to be about identifying future opportunities for improvements like bad traffic spots, controlled pedestrian cross walks, tree plantings, public art opportunities, etc.

What's needs to be solved in your part of Sherman Oaks?

Friday, January 05, 2007

Sherman Oaks in the CityNerd Awards

Elected Official
Jack Weiss was not nominated, but Wendy was. Vote here.

Elected Official Staff Member
In the North corner we have Pat Davenport fighting for Councilwoman Wendy Greuel and her 2nd District. In the South corner is rookie Joan Pelico fighting in honor of District 5's Jack Weiss. Both women are field deputies for their portions of Sherman Oaks. Vote here.

Neighborhood Council
Silver Lake is kicking butt, someone needs to vote to keep Sherman Oaks in the game! Vote here.

City Nerd Blogger
Whoa! You can vote for yours truly! Vote NOW.

For Your Consideration
Most of my writing is on LAist and you can vote for us too. Vote here.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Sexual Assault Suspect Sought

Los Angeles police are asking for the public’s help in locating a man suspected of sexually assaulting an 85 year-old woman.

On December 31, 2006, at about 11:30 PM, the suspect broke in through the rear window of woman’s home in Van Nuys. The suspect went directly to the bedroom and sexually assaulted the woman.

The suspect was described as a Black man in his 20s, about 5’ 7” to 5’ 10” tall and weighing 175 pounds. He was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt with “USA” written across the front.

The woman was taken to a local hospital where she was treated for a minor laceration and bruises.

Van Nuys Sexual Assault Detectives are handling the investigation and anyone who has any information is asked to call them at (818) 374-0040. On weekends and during off-hours, call the 24-hour toll free number at 1-877-LAWFULL (529-3855).

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Ventura Blvd. Weekend Closures

In the long long long long long list of projects to help fix the 405/101 interchange, here are the latest CalTrans closures:

Ventura Blvd.
From 11:59 p.m. Saturday, January 6 to 8 a.m. Sunday, January 7, Ventura Blvd. will be close from Sepulveda to Sherman Oaks Ave.

Northbound 405
  • Ventura Off-Ramp closed from 11 p.m. Saturday, January 6 to 10 a.m. Sunday, January 7
  • Connector to the eastbound and westbound Ventura Freeway (U.S. 101) will be closed from 11 p.m. Saturday, January 6 to 8 a.m. Sunday, January 7
Access to the Sherman Oaks Galleria from Ventura Boulevard will not be available for the duration of the closure. The closures are for a bridge girder erection on the Ventura Boulevard Bridge as part of a $46 million improvement project at the 101/405 Interchange.

The project involves extending the current auxiliary lane on northbound I-405 past the Greenleaf off-ramp to the U.S. 101 connector, permanently closing the loop on-ramp from eastbound Ventura Boulevard and constructing the Dickens Street bypass. The project is estimated to complete in summer 2007.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

1998 Galleria Suicide

I didn't live here then...

LOS ANGELES–It must have looked like a scene from a movie: On top of a parking garage at the Sherman Oaks Galleria stood an aging former actress, preparing to jump.

Pedestrians below obeyed when the grief-stricken woman ordered them to move off the sidewalk. Conrad Buchanan, a mall security guard at the end of his shift, did not.

In a moment that changed his life forever, he stayed put, looking up, trying to convince the woman not to kill herself, trying to get her to come down peacefully.

Instead, she jumped.

The woman plunged six storeys and fell on top of Buchanan, breaking his neck. She later died. The incident left Buchanan a quadriplegic and, in the minds of those who heard his story, a hero. The former security guard never saw it that way.

Finish the story over at the Toronto Star.