February - Studio City



February - Studio City
& the Neighboring Communities of N. Hollywood,
Valley Village
February 2011
Vol. III No.5
SC’s Milbank Street Is Searching for a Savior
Photo & Story by Richard Camp
Karen Hart, winner of the West Coast
Songwriters’ “Song of the Year”, Mirabelle,
will be performing this touching musical story
of a woman’s life on February 5, at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Studio City at
12355 Moorpark Street, Studio City.. Call the
church office for further information—818769-5911.
Monday February 7
Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council.
Meets second Monday of each month.
6:30pm. Sherman Oaks Elementary School
Auditorium. 14755 Greenleaf ST. 818-5032399
Wednesday February 9
Kiwanis Entertainment Industry Group – Studio City regular monthly meeting at Union
Bank starts at 6:00 pm. 15255 Ventura Blvd.
Sherman Oaks. www.kiwaniseig.org for info.
Thursday February 10
The Valley Watercolor Society meets the 2nd
Thursday of the month. Join them at the Encino Community Center 4935 Balboa Blvd
Cont. Pg 14
What’s Inside
Shuman at Large...................... 4
Scoops....................................... 12
Wendy Greuel.......................... 6
Tamar Galatzan...................... 6
Paul Krekorian........................ 4
iTeen......................................... 14
Ellen Vukovich........................ 5
Gerald A. Silver........................ 5
HOT Recipes............................ 8
Cibo Citta................................ 8
Talk DVD.................................. 16
Grigware’s Curtain Call.......... 15
Our street needs a savior, a hero, a champion… anyone in a position to counter the
question I was recently asked by an out-oftown visitor: “Why do you live on the ugliest street in your neighborhood?”
It’s a question I’ve been asking for years,
through two city council administrations
several harried Field Deputies and more
than two dozen emails. Bottom line, our
street is not only an unpaved eyesore but
unsafe for anyone walking or driving it. And
I live in Studio City.
Without the unsightly and downright dangerous potholes, Milbank between Laurel
Grove and Whitsett is quite a lovely street
in a nice, middle-class neighborhood. My
wife and I have lived here since 1991, and
in all that time our little street has never been
repaved. Because we have no sidewalks, the
street itself is where parents and nannies
push babies in strollers, where neighbors
walk their dogs, where young people jog,
children ride bikes, and older folks take
their morning or evening constitutionals. I
see them every day avoiding the potholes
and avoiding the cars that weave back and
forth in a valiant effort to save their tires.
This is not a good mix, and someone is going to get hurt.
Three years ago, in February of 2008 I began an email campaign with our City Council Representative, asking when our street
Cont. pg. 14
LA’s First Deputy Mayor Looks Out For Small Business
by Marci Marks
First Deputy Mayor and Chief Executive
Officer of the Office of Economic and Business Policy, Austin Beutner, was the featured speaker at the January 27th mixer for
the Regional Black Chamber of Commerce
at the Sportsmen’s Lodge in Studio City.
Beutner, whose successful careers have
taken him from hotshot young investment
banker to the State Department during the
Clinton years to our Deputy Mayor, was
appointed to the key position created by
Mayor Villaraigosa just over a year ago. He
accepted the job for $1a year salary to show
his commitment to help the City learn how
to do more with less, as he puts it.
Beutner oversees 13 City Departments
ranging from Planning and Building and
Safety to Housing and Homeless. He also
has responsibility for the Port of Los Angeles, and LA Airports: LAX, Ontario, and
Beutner is on a mission to get out in the
community to spread the word that there is
a new more friendly attitude towards small
business in the City of Los Angeles. He
touted policy changes including a Local
Preference Ordinance that would direct almost 2 billion in city spending every year
to local businesses as well as the Mayor’s
Photo by Stephen Phenow
Saturday February 5
Barn Owl and other Raptors at Wild Wings
Nature Store in Sherman Oaks. Valley Wildlife Care, a non-profit dedicated to rescuing
and rehabilitating native wildlife and releasing them back into their natural environment,
will be in the store Saturday afternoon from
1:00 to 4:00 pm. They will share their knowledge of our urban wildlife, while allowing
up-close encounters with a rescued Barn Owl
and other amazing raptors. This will be a great
opportunity to ask all of your questions associated with what to do with injured or orphaned wild animals. Call 818-995-0022 for
more info.
proposed in Washington would lead
to more funding. I
wasn’t optimistic
that our street
maintenance was
now linked to the
government bailout of 2008!
Months passed.
Paul Krekorian replaced Wendy
Gruel as our Council Rep. A flurry of
emails to his Deputies resulted in a
number of “you’re
on the list” responses. Then, I
Milbank Street’s disgruntled residents gather to protest the pothole epidemic
was told that we
will be paved. To this day that campaign
are now at the mercy of the Mayor’s budcontinues.
get. In a span of a few months we were deAt that time, Wendy Gruel was in office,
moted from possible national assistance to
and the first response I received from her
possible local assistance, while still receivDeputy was a rather perfunctory: “a request
ing no actual assistance.
was made to the Bureau of Street Services
Then, to add insult to our ongo(B.O.S.S.).”
ing injury, every single street surrounding
Shortly thereafter, a promising email arours has been recently repaved! We are a
rived: “Your section of Milbank is indeed
two-block island of disrepair surrounded by
in need of reconstruction and has been on
an ocean of the newly paved Sarah, Landale,
the Council District 2 priority list since
Laurel Grove and Rhodes Streets. This is
2006.” But, the Deputy went on to say that
particularly galling because every time we
many other streets are also on the priority
drive down our street and turn in any direclist and hoped that work programs being
First Deputy Mayor Austin Beutner
recent signing of an Executive Directive
enacting the Business Inclusion Program,
which sets goals for the City to contract with
the small, minority, women and veteran
I asked him what his biggest accomplishments were after the first year and he said,
“I brought in a new team that includes the
best from the public and private sectors. The
city has to be more responsive to private
sector employers.”
Beutner also created a Business Tax Holiday that exempts new businesses in Los
Angeles from paying gross receipts for the
first three years. He raised the dialogue
about the importance of serving the private
sector, and bringing in talented private sec-
tor people to mix with career policy makers to prove the city can do things differently to promote small business growth. An
early big challenge was to fix the dysfunction at the DWP, which was withholding city
funds trying to coerce the City Council to
force another rate increase on beleaguered
Beutner cut $263 million off of wasteful
spending at the department to stave off another rate increase. Just several weeks ago
the city hired someone with real utility experience, Ron Nickels, as the new DWP
Beutner wants to make the department
more efficient and invest in upgrading infrastructure, starting with the outdated billing system. He envisions a city utility that
can offer ratepayers options for using power
off peak at reduced rates, as one example,
and also offer discounts to small businesses.
Austin Beutner may be the right man for
the job of streamlining the maze of city departments that give conflicting information
that has frustrated new businesses that are
navigating the maze of city agencies they
are required to go through. The small business owners and entrepreneurs attending the
mixer received some good news from city
government for a change.
Vukovich Upcoming Election Analysis Pg. 5./ Sherman on Presidential Succession Pg. 6 / Horace Heidt Sr. - Valley’s Master Bandleader pg. 8
Studio City Sherman Oaks Encino News February, 2011
Studio City Sherman Oaks Encino News February, 2011
The Council
After I received a parking ticket for an Speaks...
From the Publisher
nonexistent address on a block in North
Hollywood where I never parked, I discovered the that the Department of
Transportation works in mysterious ways.
I thought appealing to my
councilmember that since I was cited for
parking at an address that is nowhere to
be found so how could the citation be
valid would be my first step. A field deputy
from the office of Councilmember
Krekorian agreed the ticket seemed suspect, but then forwarded me an email
from a Gold Card Specialist at Affiliated
Computer Services Inc., A Xerox Company, that said Mapquest says the address exists, therefore the ticket is valid.
As the DOT works on the assumption
of guilty until proven innocent, I was required to pay the fine and then request
an administrative hearing. After putting
several hours into photographing the
block where the address should have
been and writing letters, I realized it would
be easier to pay the $65 than to go downtown, pay for parking and take a half day
out of my life to attempt to prove I was
the victim of a phony ticket.
We have a city election on March 8.
We endorse Tamar Galatzan for re-election to the School Board in District 3. She
is a longtime Studio City resident, a contributor to this paper and an independent
voice for the community.
For information on the Ballot, go to the
website http:city clerk.lacity.org/election.
For SOHA columnist EllenVukovich’s
take on the ballots, see page 5.
ADDRESS: 263 W. Olive Ave. #305
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PHONE: 818.982.5002 (advertising)
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Publisher / Editor : M. L. Marks
Associate Publisher: Jim Kaplan
[email protected]
Associate Editor / Graphics / Production
Stephen Phenow
Senior Writer: Christopher Davidson
Website Manager: Brandan Scott
[email protected]
Wendy Greuel
Phil Shuman
Paul Krekorian
Gerald A. Silver
Ellen Vukovich
Tamar Galatzan
Jon Epstein
Vicki Stern
Don Grigware
Anna Terra
Cristina Wheeler Terra
Michael Mann
Stephen Phenow
The SC SO ENC NEWS is published monthly, and
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Shuman At Large
By Phil Shuman
By Paul Krekorian
In less than two months, voters will once
again head to the polls to decide on a slew of
measures that will help shape our city for
years to come. Part of the March 8 election
will include 10 ballot measures that will ask
you to consider an oil severance tax, pension reform and the implementation of a ratepayer advocate at the Department of Water
and Power – all important proposals.
On your ballot, you will see a list these measures listed as charter amendments lettered
G through Q. One that I believe is of paramount importance is Amendment L, which
would create the office of a ratepayer advocate at the DWP. For years, the DWP has
run amok, operating with a troubling lack of
transparency and accountability that has angered all of us.
Last year, I voted against multiple rate hike
proposals the DWP asked us to approve because they repeatedly failed to explain the
need for increasing utility rates to me and
my constituents. Because of those discussions, we have this ballot measure. I am confident that having a ratepayer advocate will
help improve the crisis of confidence at the
DWP to ensure that all proposed rate hikes
are absolutely necessary and fully explained
– and I plan on holding them to that.
I am also strongly in favor Proposition O,
oil production tax that could deliver a small
measure of relief to our city at a time when
we most need help. California is the only state
in the country that does not tax oil companies, though we are the top oil-producing
state in the U.S. and Los Angeles County is
home to the third largest oil field in the country. I’m sure the oil industry lobby will spend
millions of dollars to fight the proposal, scaring voters into thinking the price of gas will
rise precipitously, but this local measure will
have no impact on our price at the pump. I
fought hard as your council member to get
this approved, even as the oil company tried
to derail the proposal. Approving this may
not be a financial windfall for the city, especially as we navigate a $350 million deficit,
but every little bit helps.
Elections can be confusing, especially with
such a wide array of measures that can be
written in a way that makes them hard to understand. The good news is that there are
many avenues of education to learn about the
upcoming election [including the City Clerk’s
website, http://cityclerk.lacity.org/election].
In other news, a protective fence was recently installed at Beeman Park. The simple
green fence now sits near the cross country
ski machine and stair climber equipment after two children were slightly injured late last
year. The injuries – scrapes and bruises occurred on equipment meant for folks older
than 14-years-old. Thought the equipment is
exceedingly safe, warning signs were put up
to advertise caution for those under 14 and,
now a simple green fence will remind folks
to be as safe as possible. I’d like to thank the
Recreation and Parks Department for their
quick attention to this matter.
As always, be safe and please let us know if
you have any comments or suggestions. Our
number is (818) 755-7676 and you can email
me at [email protected]
Thanks so much.
I want to be inspired. I’m ready to be inspired. Sadly, I am not inspired. In fact, I’m
disappointed. Two speeches by two fascinating political characters in the past two weeks
have left me, shall we say, speechless? Both
our new old Governor Jerry Brown and our
semi new President Barack Obama gave
beautifully crafted addresses reflecting much
thought and preparation. My reaction, and
dare I say the reaction of many people I
talked to was “yeah… so?? That’s all you’ve
Enough already with the platitudes and applause lines. Give me results, timetables, specifics. Show me. Let me start with the most
recent, the Governor, speaking from Sacramento on his first “State of the State” since
retaking office. Filled with clichéd rhetoric
about the greatness of the Golden State, he
talked in generalities about tax cuts, about
budget problems, about the power of the
people. “The voters deserve to be heard,” he
News flash to the Governor. The voters were
heard, they elected you. Now, do your job.
Lead. Make a plan and don’t just suggest it…
force it through. Take names and kick some
butt if legislators throw up roadblocks. I
know that’s not easy in Sacramento (for reference see Schwarzenegger, Arnold).
The Governor needs to say something
along the lines of, “You elected me... this is
the plan I have devised based on my years of
experience. It’s a plan that will work…. Follow me… trust me… and I will lead you out
of the economic and financial ruins. I need
your support whether you’re Democratic Republican or somewhere left right or in the
middle. Ignore what I want at your own
Lay it out there… If you don’t do X, then Y
will happen, and this time it’s not “Chicken
Little”. If you don’t approve extension of the
sales tax increase, Community College tuition will go up by X percent. I want specifics. I want to have confidence in your decisions. You’re not making me feel confident,
you make me feel like you’re asking, begging, for support. Not attractive.
By the way Jerry, have you heard they invented Teleprompters? Your awkward looking down and reading off notes and looking
back up robbed viewers of any meaningful
eye contact. Not attractive. I’m sure you
think that’s a cute throwback to your Plymouth Valiant days but you of all Moonbeams should be embracing technology. Hey
I voted for ya… let’s go!
Speaking of Teleprompters, the President’s
State of the Union, while much more impressive and grand and theatrical left me feeling
about the same as the State of the State. Of
course the President is a masterful speaker,
looks great in a suit, and is very sincere.
Again though, it’s generalities without the
nuts and bolts of how to get things done. It’s
all velvet and no hammer; it’s all carrot and
no stick. It’s all, well, …..You get the point.
I would be pleasantly surprised if the President got out there and said, essentially, “I’m
the President of the United States, and this is
what I want to do to make things better on
Councilmember Paul Krekorian represents L.A.’s Second City
Council District His website iscd2.lacity.org and you can find
him on Facebook and Twitter (@PaulKrekorian).
Studio City Sherman Oaks Encino News February, 2011
the economic and jobs front, this is the way
we’re going to do it. Republicans, I need and
demand your support and your help.” If it
doesn’t work you go down fighting, (as the
Democrats did in the mid term elections.) I
know these particular speeches are designed
to be overviews, but again, we’ve heard it
all before. This is a new ballgame we’re in.
Throw out the old rules and do something
new and different. Don’t just appeal for support and or sacrifice. Demand it.
There just seems to me to be power lack
among our top elected officials. On a more
local level, the men elected to represent us
in Studio City and Sherman Oaks are extremely nice and hardworking and dedicated
as far as I can tell, but they’re not not close
to what you’d call forceful or powerful or
intimidating. Part of the reason for all this is
the way the “system” works. There are checks
and balances, which theoretically are a good
thing. We’ve seen that in Los Angeles over
and over again when the Mayor proposes
something (layoffs) only to have the City
Council, and labor unions shred his ideas and
scatter them to the winds. Now let’s be clear,
I’m not advocating a dictatorship. I think this
democracy thing is still a pretty solid concept. It seems though, we lack someone who,
through the sheer force of their personality
and charisma and exercise of power, can
impose their will and with the support of the
public make things happen in a timely manner. And time is something we don’t really
have a lot of to waste these days
Phil Shuman is a Fox 11 News Reporter who lives with his family in Studio City. You can email Phil at [email protected]
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From the Desk of SOHA
NBC Uni Draft EIR Is Flawed
NBC Universal recently released its Universal Evolution Plan Draft EIR. The massive project includes the development of a
391-acre site in the east San Fernando Valley near the Cahuenga Pass. The Project involves an increase of 2.01 million square feet
of new commercial development, including
500 hotel guest rooms and related hotel facilities. A total of 2,937 dwelling units would
be developed. Many Valley residents object
to the traffic, noise, congestion, infrastructure damage and pollution that this massive
2.01 million square foot development will
bring to the San Fernando Valley.
The draft EIR prepared by Matrix Environmental is “authoritative” looking on the surface, but is grossly inadequate and is flawed
in its findings. The draft EIR is devoid of
meaningful mitigation measures and contains
many faulty conclusions. The lengthy document that was released to the public obfuscates traffic, congestion and infrastructure
problems while going on at length about tangential matters and ignores mitigation measures that are required by CEQA. Throughout the draft EIR the preparer reached conclusions claiming impacts are reduced to
“less than significant” when in fact the impacts are significant.
There are many environmental reasons to
oppose the massive expansion at NBC Universal. First, the proposed location is not desirable to the public convenience or welfare
and is not proper in relation to adjacent uses
and development of the east San Fernando
Valley. The goal should be to determine what
is harmonious with the neighborhood and
community, not what will maximize NBC
By Gerald A. Silver
Tr uth or Dar
e? Mar
ch 8th Ballot
Universal’s profits.
The massive expansion will be
materially detrimental to the
character of the development in the immediate neighborhood, and the east San Fernando
Valley. This project is totally out of scale with
the adjacent community. The local roadway
and circulation system cannot handle this
massive increase in housing and commercial
development. The proposed location is not
in harmony with the various elements and
objectives of the existing community plans.
zone changes and variances are not needed
to build on this property. Rather, this is a situation where NBC Universal simply wants exceptions to the rules, to make this project
more valuable, at a cost to the community.
Benefits to NBC Universal should not be the
major determinant. Rather, the focus should
be on this project’s impact on the neighborhoods. Moreover, NBC Universal was aware
of all restrictions on this property when it
acquired the property.
It is naive to
believe that granting NBC Universal’s requests will not have severe negative impacts
on local residents and others living in the San
Fernando Valley. The Draft EIR is flawed in
its conclusion that this massive development
will have a “less that significant” impact on
parking, land use, water, biota, public services, utilities, population and climate
change. The Draft EIR is available online
at the Department of City Planning’s website:
http://cityplanning.lacity.org/ (Click on “EnCont. Pg. 14.
The View from CD5
Regarding the so-called “Gold Mountain”
project, a 125-unit, mixed-use complex being build on Ventura Blvd, “there’s no gold
in them thar hills,” instead, there’s an ugly
and garish color scheme, as evidenced by the
facade that’s been under construction the past
couple of months. What was supposed to be
a Tuscan design with an easy on the eyes
Mediterranean look is instead a crazy quilt
of red, blue, pink, yellow and white. This is
not the way it was supposed to be.
Back in October, 2002, many years before
I became the Councilmember, the City Planning Commission approved the project despite some significant opposition and appeals
by community members, who were upset
about the size and scope of the project,. The
community was successful in limiting the
height to 45', as compared to the 65' sought
by the developer — and gained the guarantee of a Mediterranean-type project in keeping with the neighborhood.
But that was then and this is now. And suddenly, it’s very clear that what is being built
is not at all like what had been indicated.
So what happened? In April, 2007 — again,
well before I became Councilmember — the
Planning Department signed off on revised
plans submitted by the ownership. Normally,
Planning will only sign off on quite modest
and minimal changes — the kind of slight
adjustments that can be expected of any
project, large or small, as it grows from blueprint to finality.
Significant changes require more than a
planner’s private signature. In this case,
though, a single signature
without public review approved a major redesign,
which wasn’t just about a
dramatically different
color scheme but also about reduced sidewalks and moving the building closer to
Ventura Blvd. So now we’re seeing what’s
being erected, and it ain’t pretty, and it’s not
what was expected nor promised.
I am
telling the Planning Department and Building & Safety to review this matter, both for
procedural lessons learned and to hear any
recommendations regarding correcting the
Gold Mountain situation now. At a bare minimum — at the very least — I think a repaint
is in order.
The March 8th city election has 10 ballot
measures placed by the City Council. No or
yes? Well, that depends on what message
you want to send downtown.
It does nothing to fix existing pension obligations, currently exceeding 600 Million
Dollars. So, no, it’s really not a complete
reform as the title implies – but it is a start.
It changes how the city determines payouts
for future Police and Fire hires. Currently,
lifetime payments are based on the last year
of work, a provision which has encouraged
first responders to accumulate excessive
overtime in order to retire at the highest tier,
i.e., about 90% of their last years’ salaries.
The measure changes that practice by averaging earnings during the past 2-3 years.
Civil servants pensions continue unchanged.
I – Department of Water and Power Ratepayer Advocate.
This is not the same post sought by
longstanding DWP reformers, contrary to
what you will be told. The City Council removed provisions making the “Advocate”
answerable to the public, and the selection
process independent of the Mayor and City
Council. Instead, the “Advocate” will be
selected by the Mayor and approved by the
City Council. Just like every appointed politically inspired post in the City. Is this just
another layer of bureaucracy since the Ratepayer Advocate will answer to the Mayor
when it comes time for asking for more electrical and water rate increases? (More rate
increases are scheduled).
J - Revenue Transfer. Created to prevent
DWP from threatening to withhold its yearly
revenue surplus transfer, which is a very crucial part of the city’s budget. However, since
statewide voters approved Proposition 26 in
November, any “fee” transfers must now be
approved by 2/3rds of the voters – statewide
and locally. I suspect a few attorneys will
be weighing on this one if it is passed.
L – for Libraries. Created to keep shutting
library doors another day of the week, increases libraries’ share of property tax revenues. However, by doing so, it jeopardizes
I want to thank local community leaders
like Encino Neighborhood Council President
Louis Krokover and longtime stalwart activist Gerald Silver for quickly noticing and
speaking up about the drastically different
redesign. It’s not clear how this will be resolved, but neighborhood voices often make
all the difference.
CD 5 Councilmember Paul Koretz can be reached at
[email protected],
Studio City Sherman Oaks Encino News February, 2011
By Ellen Vukovich
other city departments and services since they
will have to absorb the increased allocation
to the libraries. Frankly, this is a tough one
to consider because libraries are vital resource to any community. Yet, city departments are now operating on a very thin line.
M – Taxing Marijuana Dispensaries. The
City Attorney told the City Council that this
proposed tax has “little or no effect” since
sales of marijuana is illegal, and pharmaceutical marijuana can’t be taxed. The dispensaries are supposed to be non-profit – operate as collectives where the marijuana is
grown for and distributed to its members.
More next month.
New Development Update – SOHA, Homeowners of Encino and Property Owners of
Encino have responded (in opposition) to the
Draft Environmental Impact Statement issued on the Il Villa Toscano, (near 101 at
Sepulveda). Developer seeks numerous Exceptions to the Specific Plan and other entitlements in order to build 500 multi-family
residential units, 55,000 square feet of neighborhood-serving commercial uses in a series
of six-story buildings built over a parking
podium, with 1,470 parking spaces.
Meeting Info: Council Member Jan Perry
speaks about: building an NFL stadium
downtown (her District); are there answers
to the City budget, and protecting residential neighborhoods. Perry is rumored to be
running for Mayor in 2012. Wednesday, February 16, 6:15 (refreshments), speaker 7:15,
Notre Dame Cafeteria; Woodman and
Ellen Vukovich is a SOHA Boardmember and a
Sherman Oaks Homeowner.
Delinquent Tax Program is a Success
Continuing my efforts to reduce the City’s
budget deficit, I am pleased to announce that
my delinquent taxpayer program has successfully collected nearly $5.33 million from
38 delinquent taxpayers since its inception.
In February 2009, I unveiled the City’s first
delinquent taxpayer list, to crack down on
the most egregious delinquent business taxpayers in the City of Los Angeles.
I’m pleased that we were able to collect
more than $5.33 million since the inception
of the delinquent taxpayer program. Every
dollar saved can help address the City’s
massive budget deficit.
With over $220 million in delinquent taxes
still to be collected, we will remain vigilant
cracking down on tax cheats. Cheating on
your business taxes may seem appealing in
the short-term, but costing the city such
sorely needed revenues puts an unfair burden on the millions of law-abiding Angelenos.
I also recently announced that my delinquent taxpayer program has begun litigation
to collect an additional $220 million in delinquent taxes from 86 tax scofflaws. These
scofflaws have their names posted on a
website http://www.lacity.org/finance/
delinquent.htm that is regularly updated.
I hope that by publicizing the names of
those taxpayers who refuse to pay their fair
share, they will quickly come forward and
settle their debt. The list also serves to create a fairer business climate, by preventing
scofflaw businesses from gaining an advantage over their competitors.
Other jurisdictions have successfully implemented delinquent taxpayer lists and have
collected millions of dollars in overdue taxes.
California is the largest state to create a de-
A Policy Primer For the New State Ed Board
By Wendy Greuel
Though it often goes unnoticed in the titanic struggles over public school funding in
California, the 11-member State Board of
Education plays a critical role in setting
policy that impacts the Los Angeles Unified
School District. With a new board having
recently been appointed by Governor Jerry
Brown, this is an opportune time for the
LAUSD Board to send a strong message
about changes we would like to see in 2011.
First, some background. According to its
website, the State Board is the governing and
policy-making body of the California Department of Education. The SBE has the responsibility to establish policy in the area of standards, instructional materials, assessment and
accountability for grades K-12. The Board
also adopts textbooks for grades K-8, adopts
regulations to implement legislation, and exercises the authority to grant waivers to the
education code.
Closer to home, the State Board was represented on LAUSD’s Teacher Evaluation Task
Force, and has assisted my colleagues and
me to better understand some arcane aspect
of education policy. From my perspective,
the SBE has been both unobtrusive and helpful, which is not always the case with public
Still, the SBE has been frustratingly slow
in establishing certain key policies that are
in the best interests of LAUSD and other
school districts.
The first of these involves what are known
as Special Education Local Plan Areas, or
SELPA for short. Administered by school
districts and counties, SELPAs facilitate programs and services for special education stu-
linquent taxpayer list.
Since the state’s list was
published in December
2007, California has collected $89 million in delinquent business
taxes. At least 10 other states have similar
lists. The delinquent taxpayers were sent a
certified letter advising them that they had
30 days to pay or settle their debt. Those
debtors who did not respond or enter into
settlement negotiations were immediately
posted to the City’s website.
With a deficit of nearly $350 million for
next year, we must do everything possible to
help get the City back to sound fiscal footing.
Wendy Greuel is the City Controller of the City of
Los Angeles
dents. In California, charter
schools currently have the
right to contract with the more
than 120 SELPAs around the state that have
the capacity to absorb additional special ed
students. As a result, some charters, for the
purpose of saving money, turn over the responsibility for educating these students to a
SELPA outside of Los Angeles. The most
popular location to contract with appears to
be the El Dorado County SELPA, which
serves 14 school districts in the Northwest
corner of the state.
This policy is unfair to affected students and
their parents, especially those who live hundreds of miles from El Dorado County. A
mother who resides in Woodland Hills, for
example, and whose special ed son or daughter is being served by the El Dorado SELPA,
has to make a long-distance phone call or
communicate via e-mail whenever she wishes
to discuss the services her child is receiving.
The out-of-district SELPAs would also have
to understand and abide by the special education consent decree that exists in Los Angeles.
The State Board should review policy that
allows charters to contract out for special ed
supervision. One of my goals for 2011 is to
lobby the SBE to make this change.
The second issue involves the so-called parent trigger, which enables a majority of parents at a school to get rid of poor-performing teachers and administrators. My problem
is not with the trigger, which can be a valuable option for parents desperate for a quality education for their children, but the inCont. Pg. 14
School Notes
We Must Ensure Continuity and Legitimacy of the
By Congressman Brad Sherman
Each year during the State of the Union address a member of the President’s Cabinet
is whisked away to an undisclosed location.
The secretary’s absence is a precaution
meant to preserve the line of presidential
succession if a catastrophic event were to
decapitate the entire assembled federal government. However, there remain serious
flaws with the line of presidential succession as it currently exists.
Now is the time to consider how the current laws could leave the Executive Branch
crippled and its legitimacy in doubt at the
worst possible time, in the midst of an economic recovery and ongoing wars.
Improvements can and should be made to
presidential succession by statute, without
altering the Constitution. Soon, I will introduce comprehensive legislation — The
Presidential Succession Act of 2011 — to
solve the current succession law’s problems,
two of which I outline below.
First, under The Presidential Succession
Act of 1947 the Speaker of the House and
Senate President Pro Tempore are second
and third in line. Should either ascend to the
Presidency, a radical shift in policy could
occur if the successor is not of the same party
as the President. The possibility of such a
shift could also keep a President from taking a leave of absence for a medical operation if there was no one serving as Vice President.
My legislation enables the President to designate which of the top three House leaders
By Tamar Galatzan
Four years ago Janice Kueppers found out
that her sister had breast cancer. The diagnosis was difficult for the entire family.Janice
decided she had to do something. Her first
thought was to make a check out to a local
cancer research organization. But then,
Kueppers, who has been a music teacher at
Walter Reed Middle Schoolfor the past nineteen years, decided she could do more… and
so Concert for the Cure, at Walter Reed, is
now an annual event.
(Speaker, Majority Leader, or Minority Leader) would become the
second in line to the Presidency
and which of the top three Senate leaders
(Senate President Pro Tempore, Majority
Leader, or Minority Leader) would become
the third in line. This change would greatly
lessen any radical policy shifts from occurring in a time of crisis.
Second, The Presidential Succession Act
of 1947 does not provide for any person in
the line of succession who resides outside
of Washington; this would leave the country
without a President if the nation’s capital was
destroyed. The Presidential Succession Act
of 2011 will add our top five ambassadors,
starting with the Ambassador to the United
Nations, at the end of the line of succession.
In 1865, John Wilkes Booth not only assassinated President Lincoln, but plotted to
kill the Vice President and Secretary of State
as well. We must be prepared for the likelihood that Osama bin Laden, among other
terrorists, may be more ambitious.
The foregoing scenarios may seem farfetched and macabre, but in the nuclear age,
and the age of terrorism, our presidential succession laws must be as solid as the barriers
surrounding the Capitol grounds.
Janice Kueppers
This well-known and very popular concert
features students, alumni and professionals
who believe that they can make a difference.
Kids as young as eleven and adults in their
eighties will sing side by side to raise funds
for cancer research. The Walter Reed Combined Glee Club, Concert Choir, Advanced
Choir, Octet and the Barbershop Chorus will
all participate. Kueppers has told her students, “Your talent is a gift and with that gift
comes responsibility.”
Among the professional singers are The
Verdugo Hills Showtime Chorus and Carol
US Congressman Brad Sherman represents roughly half of the
San Fernando Valley.
Studio City Sherman Oaks Encino News February, 2011
By Donna Tetreault
Anne Kaufman, National and World Musical Whistling Grande Champion. “Ave
Maria” will be one of the two songs Kaufman
The choirs at Walter Reed are an accomplished group. There are more than seventy
trophies and plaques showcased in the choir
room at school.This past May, Kueppers, the
choir’s leader for almost two decades, was
chosen to be guest director of the LAUSD
Honor Choir Festival at the Nokia Theater.
The Concert is also responsible for bringing together Walter Reed Middle School and
the surrounding community. Each year more
parents volunteer their time, behind the
scenes, to contribute to the event’s success.
This concert will benefit Children’s Cancer Research and Susan G. Komen for the
Cure breast cancer research. The show is Saturday, February 12th at 2pm at Walter Reed
Middle School – 4525 Irvine Ave, North
Hollywood. Tickets are $20.00 or your best
donation. Tickets will be available the day
of the show. Kueppers says people who have
attended the event, in the past, describe it as
“A fifty dollar ticket.” There will also be a
silent auction and raffle. Janice Kueppers
explained, “It is my hope that a cure will be
found in my students’ lifetimes.” As for
Janice’s sister, the inspiration behind Concert for the Cure at Walter Reed Middle
School, “she is doing great!”
Donna Tetreault is a Television Reporter and lives in
Sherman Oaks with her husband and two young sons.
E-mail Donna at [email protected]
White Sofas and Other
Stupid Parenting Mistakes
We try so hard as parents to make the right
decisions for our children. Big choices or
small, we agonize over anything to do with
our kids. But no matter how hard we try and
how perfect we aim to be, we all make mistakes.
I’ll never forget trying the “Ferber” Sleep
method on our toddler, who couldn’t sleep
through the night. Basically, it’s a tortuous
method of allowing your baby to cry himself
to sleep, as though this will somehow convince his little pea brain that he can comfort
himself on his own, that he doesn’t need
Mommy or Daddy’s help, eventually leading to him sleeping through the night. As my
unhappy son wailed at the top of his lungs, I
couldn’t take it any longer and peeked in to
see if he was okay. I arrived just in time to
see him catapult his tiny body over the railing of his crib in what can only be described
as a half gainer with a triple twist. Big mistake that “Ferber” method. Not having an
area rug, another big mistake.
So, we make our mistakes, we learn from
them, we move on, and no one ever has to
know. Until now. Now there is “Facebook.”
My teenager has “Facebook.” I’m not sure
why. When he’s not in school seeing his
friends, he’s at baseball or football or soccer
with those same friends. Or he’s texting them,
IM’ing them or video-chatting with them. I
guess in the 27 minutes a day he’s not in direct contact with them, he needed
“Facebook” to tell those friends what’s he’s
doing when he’s not with them. I suggested
he learn how to use smoke signals or draw
Real Estate Corner
Reader’s Question: Are all Home Inspectors the same?
By Vicki Stern
I am always so surprised when buyers finally find the house they love and then they
get an accepted offer and I hear them ask
their agent or me if they should hire a home
inspector? My answer is always a hugeYES.
The value of a “good” home inspector is
priceless. All home inspectors are not created equal. Just like all contractors, real estate agents, restaurants and so on are not
equal, the same goes for Home Inspectors.
I have been to home inspections where I
was representing the sellers and the lazy
home inspector poked his head under the
house without going in the crawl space and
then lied to the buyers telling them that he
crawled under the house and the foundation
looked great.
I have been to home inspections where the
inspector was referred to by the buyer’s agent
and was told to be mellow because the agent
really needed the sale and the buyers were a
little fickle.
I have also been to home inspections where
the buyers have told the home inspector to
find as much stuff as they could find wrong
with the house and if they couldn’t find anything wrong then were asked to fabricate
things so that the buyer would be able to ask
for a large credit.
Believe it, these examples and more happen all the time. When I recommend a home
inspector to a buyer, I make sure that it is
someone who will do a great home inspection and is willing to call it as they see it. I
am not interested in having them sugar coat
hieroglyphics - after all he’s
getting to that age where his
hobbies will help set him
apart for his college application - but he didn’t think that was funny.
Every once in a while I go on his Facebook
page, to see what’s going on in my son’s life.
Recently I checked his page and was horrified to discover he’s been posting my
parenting mistakes. “My Mom called me a
‘wuss’ today.” “My Mom burned dinner.”
“Here’s a photo of my pants AFTER my
Mom ironed them.”
My mistakes are going viral. They have
links and their own videos. Complete strangers now know my batting average as a parent. Could my son possibly be getting revenge for the “Ferber” method? How can
anyone parent in the era of “Facebook?” The
only good news is that 55 of his friends liked
that I called him a “wuss.”
Vicki Stern used to be funny when she was a writer/producer of sitcoms
for TV. Now she’s a Mom and she’s not funny anymore...just ask her kid.
One Call Does it All
Drywall Plumbing Electric & more!
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by Matt Epstein
anything. And I am not interested in having them be
alarmist either. I tell my
home inspectors to just check everything and
give the report as if they were buying the
Once the general home inspector is completed then I always ask the home inspector
if there are any additional inspections that
they would recommend. The home inspector may also suggest a mold inspection, foundation, roof or pool or many others types of
inspections depending on what they were
able to see during their inspection.
Most of the time I will suggest the buyer
get a chimney and sewer line inspection. If
the house is in the hills then I also suggest
that they get a Geology inspection as well. It
is very important when looking to get these
additional inspections to not hire an inspector that will quote the job.
Warning…….If the inspector is quoting
prices for work that needs to be done, then
they are looking for work and not doing what
they were hired to do, an inspection. There
are so many people that look to take advantage of people and a lot of time buyers are
vulnerable when they are in the middle of a
home purchase. Check out all the inspectors
that you are hiring and ask around and get
Please send any questions or comments to
[email protected]
Local D.C. Gets Results Treating Fatigue and Low Energy
There is an epidemic that is sweeping this country leaving in its wake poor work performance,
loss of the simple pleasures in life, lack of ability
to exercise, kids who can’t sit still and repeatedly
get into trouble, poor ability to cope, difficulty
parenting, troubled homes and even loss of life.
What is this epidemic and what can we do about
It is fatigue and low energy. The number one
complaint I hear when a new patient comes in to
see me is that of fatigue and it’s cousins- “No
zip”. “No get-up-and-go”. “No motivation”.
“Tired”. “Exhausted”. “Worn out”. “Lethargic”.
Sleep deprivation and anemia are obvious
causes. Pain that is unrelenting is exhausting and
many different medical conditions can be as well.
Under-active thyroid or under-active adrenals can
cause fatigue, even when they do not show up in
lab tests. Alcohol use and many medications have
side effects of fatigue. Depression, grief, anxiety
and overwhelm often manifest as fatigue. Certain
illnesses such as: chronic infection (bacterial or
viral), parasites, congestive heart failure, diabetes, autoimmune diseases such as lupus, arthritis,
liver or kidney disease, anorexia or eating disorders, malnutrition, and cancer also have associated fatigue.
There are several effective remedies for fatigue
and low energy. First, an exhaustive inquiry into
the personal health and medical history, examination and testing is an essential must. There are
many tests other than blood tests that can help
identify the cause of fatigue done by doctors specializing in the natural healing arts. When the
underlying causative factor is addressed the fa-
tigue disappears. As obvious as that sounds, what
people reach for instead is counter-productive.
Coffee, energy drinks and sugar are often used to
stimulate energy. They tend to do the job temporarily however, they actually make the problem
worse. These stimulants give a false sense of energy which quickly deepens the spiral of fatigue
and makes it more difficult to overcome it.
Stress, long associated with fatigue, is another
significant causative factor. Going to bed early
regularly can help. Exercising on a regular basis
is essential. Learning to relax, changing your
stressful circumstances, maintaining a reasonable
schedule are all recommended and helpful hints.
The problem is when you don’t have the energy
to do those things. That’s when you need to call a
professional. Nourishing your body with quality
supplements made out of food (what a concept!)
and not made with synthetic chemicals is definitely helpful. Taking the proper Whole Food
Supplements Chiropractic Care for the condition
is also proven very effective. Just reaching for
something recommended by someone who knows
nothing about your health or medical history isn’t
always wise. Know what you’re doing, or better
yet, see a professional who does.
Call our office for your FREE EXAM and
FREE sample of Daily Multi Whole Food
FREE 15 min. Therapeutic Massage
Call for details
Studio City Sherman Oaks Encino News February, 2011
4397 Tujunga Avenue Unit # G
Studio City, CA; 91604
Tel: (818) 760-7970
valley’s great
musicians are
s o m e h o w
Horace Heidt
(1901-1986) is
Horace Heidt Sr.
Considered an
ordinary man with extraordinary determination, Heidt was an innovator and trailblazer
in entertainment. But it still remains that
Heidt is best known by the locals as the buyer
and developer of The Horace Heidt Hawaiian Estates (150 apartments and 10 houses
at Magnolia and Hazeltine) which he bought
in 1940, a modest ten acre horse ranch in the
San Fernando Valley so his band would have
someplace to stay and practice while working in Hollywood.
Horace Heidt Sr. (his son is Heidt Jr. author and bandleader) was born May 21,1901
in Alameda, CA. His instrument was the piano. In the early 20s he started a band which
was the early conception of his famous band
“The Musical Knights.” He was a band leader
(they were called master of ceremonies in
those days, adopting the name from the circus) with his roots in vaudeville. This made
him different from later band leaders such as
Tom Dorsey and Glenn Miller, and even
Lawrence Welk who were more about music
and dancing. What people do not realize is
under his guidance, his bands at one time
dominated the radio airwaves and produced
an impressive string of more than 50 hit
records from 1937 to 1945. His amazing
ability to anticipate trends and meld them into
commercial successes, with a gift for discovering talent, allowed him to leave his finger-
Horace Heidt & His Musical Journey Into History
prints all over an innovative period of popular music. Heidt discovered or played with
an incredible range of musicians including
the inventor of the electric guitar, Alvino Rey,
and a variable “who’s who” of early broadcast radio and television talent such as the
King Sisters, Frankie Carle, Larry Cotton,
(who sang the band’s biggest hits), Mary
By Stephen Phenow
Goddard that made Heidt
Photos courtesy of Horace Heidt Museum
ent shows. Unlike
a national name. It took its
many band direcname from “The Horace
tors of the segreHeidt and The Musical
gated era who reKnights” radio call-in
fused to hire
show of the same name,
women or people
which was America’s first
of color except for
giveaway money game
very limited roles,
show. (Listeners would
Heidt believed that
call in to win prizes while
all talent deserved
Heidt and the Knights ento be recognized
tertained.) It afforded
and developed. He
them a natural transition
was among the first
to TV, which they would The “Musical Knights” on the eve of WWII
band leaders to
do in the following decade.
hire women in non-singing roles, and he also
Today, Lythgoe’s “American Idol” is noth- offered opportunities to African-American
ing new, because talent shows have always musicians.
been a part of American entertainment. Many Horace Heidt was respected for his ability
of the nation’s greatest entertainers and mu- to lead, build respect, communicate and prosicians were discovered as amateurs in tal- mote equality between racial and ethnic
ent shows. Reality TV started in the 1950s. groups. Heidt always saw talent as a great
What audiences are a seeing today is reruns equalizer, and spent a most of his life offerof a successful format.
ing ordinary people the opportunity to shine.
Heidt had a radio show called the “Youth With one star on today’s Hollywood’s Walk
Opportunity Program” which was sponsored of Fame and another in Palm Springs, as a
by Phillip Morris. It was used to recognize man, bandleader and entertainer Horace
many of the musicians and singers he would Heidt himself
later include in his bands. So Horace Heidt shines brightly
was using the “Idol” format long before it in history of
became staple of popular culture. And when popular music.
most people were retiring, he came out re- “Horace Heidt: Big
tirement by creating the country’s first tele- Band Star-Maker” a
vised traveling talent show. With the Origi- pictorial history with
500 plus rare pictures,
nal Youth Opportunity Program, he discov- with informitive text is
ered and helped promote artists that became now available through
www.bigbands.com, or
famous TV and recording stars.
His motto was “Building Boys is Better than calling Horace Heidt
Wife and mother Adaline with
Mending Men.” It was the basis for his tal- Productions
Horace jr. in the ‘50s
Heidt (kneeling, left) with his band in 1935
Martin, Gordon MacRae, Gracie Allen, Art
Carney, Bill Finegan, Buzz Adlam, Glenn
Miller, Jess Stacey, Mel Henke and Lou
Bush, the jazz greats Lionel Hampton, Louis
Armstrong, Benny Carter, Warren
Covington, Fred Lowery, Shorty Sherock,
Red Nichols, Neil Hefti, Bobby Hackett,
Frank DeVol, Lysbeth Hughes, Ronnie
Kemper, Henry Russell,Donna Wood, Jean
Farney, Charles Goodman, Bob McCoy, Ruth
Davis, Red Ferrington, Emily Stevenson,
Mimi Cabanne and Gene Walsh. Any aficionado of the “Big Band Era” or broadcast
entertainment will recognize those names.
Heidt once even lost money on a show with
Bob Hope, which today would be deemed
impossible. But it was the film, “Pot of
Gold,” starring Jimmy Stewart and Paulette
Studio City Sherman Oaks Encino News February, 2011
Cibo Città
Cristina Terra
Mine ear is much enamoured of thy
So is mine eye enthralled to thy
And thy fair virtue’s force perforce
doth move me;
On the first view to say, to swear, I
love thee.”~William Shakespeare
Amore, amor, amour, ljubezen, ljubav, upendo,
dashuri, love. I don’t agree with the cynics
out there that February 14th is a “Hallmark
created” holiday. Whether or not you’re single
or in love, Valentine’s Day is the delightful
excuse to show your adoration for friends,
family, significant others, and so forth. Established by Pope Gelasius I in 500 AD, this day
was first associated with romantic love in the
circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle
Ages, when the tradition of “courtly love”
thrived amongst the citizens. In truth, Saint
Valentine was caught marrying Christian
couples and aiding any Christians who were
being persecuted under Emperor Claudius in
Rome. Saint Valentine was then arrested and
imprisoned and condemned to death when he
tried to convert Claudius to Christianity. Upon
waiting his execution, Saint Valentine restored
the sight of his jailer’s blind daughter, and on
the eve of his death he penned a farewell not
to the jailer’s daughter signing it, “From your
Valentine”. He is the Patron Saint of affianced
couples, bee keepers, engaged couples, epilepsy, fainting, greetings, happy marriages,
love, lovers, plague, travellers, and young
people. He is represented in pictures with birds
and roses.
I’ve done the research and sought out the
ideal eateries serving romantic fare with the
perfect dreamy ambience (and hopefully) aph-
vanilla ice cream are sure to satisfy the sweetest of tooth. An added treat, a special red rose
will be given out to all of the ladies. Awww
how sweet!
rodisiac meals.
Firenze Osteria: (818) 760-7081
4212 Lankershim Blvd
Toluca Lake, 91602
(818) 760-7081 Firenze Osteria is home to
Bravo “Top Chef’s” own Fabio Viviani (currently on “Top Chef All-Stars”). A hidden gem
in North Hollywood, this Italian Eatery is as
much fun as the food is delicious. Firenze
Osteria offers a fantastic Italian menu, with
some of the usual suspects (veal parmigiana,
fettuccini, etc.) and many innovative dishes that
will ignite your pallet. Alongside Fabio, Head
Chef John Paolone is incredibly talented and
unpretentious. We were friends right away, and
it’s impossible not to love John, for his cooking will seduce you right into food lover’s submission. His dishes are uncomplicated and
delicious. For Valentine’s Day, the regular
menu will be available as well as a 5 course
Tasting Menu. The 5 course Tasting Menu will
include: Hamachi crudo with crispy Shallots
and Chili oil, Champagne and Strawberry Risotto, Poached Escolar with Capponata and
Candied Lemon. Scrumptious dessert will also
be served. Va Bene!
Oliva Trattoria: (818) 789-4490
4449 Van Nuys Boulevard
San Fernando Valley, 91403 If you’re not
familiar with Oliva Trattoria you are missing
out greatly! Oliva offers wonderfully authentic Italian food at very reasonable prices. If you
don’t take my word for it, read what Los Angeles Magazine has to say about this wonderful eatery. “Tucked away in the heart of
Sherman Oaks, Oliva is a lot more than you
might expect from a neighborhood Trattoria!
The food is tasty and authentic, the atmosphere
is cozy, the staff is friendly and the prices are
reasonable. Look no further; this is the best
Italian cuisine in Los Angeles. Don’t forget
Thirsty Thursdays when $4 martinis are served
all night long! Oliva can also take care of catering needs including a full-bar anywhere in
LA.” For just $45/person, a three-course meal
with many options is available. For appetizers, choose one of the following: Pear, baby
greens, gorgonzola, and walnut salad, Burrata
(soft rich buffalo mozzarella) with tomato and
basil, shrimp cocktail, Caesar salad with rosemary croutons, and golden-fried calamari with
Arabbiata sauce. Entrees: Veal Scaloppini with
wild mushroom, Salmone con Lenticchie (lentils), Lake Superior White Fish, Gnocchi al
Funghi, Lobster Spaghetti, Agnello all
Mostarda, Picatta di Pollo, and Brassato (Italian Brisket). For dessert, Tiramisu, chocolate
cake, lemon sorbet, and ricotta cheesecake will
be served. Dinner will be served from 4:3011:00pm. Buon Appetito!
Bistro Garden: (818) 501-0202
12950 Ventura Boulevard
San Fernando Valley, 91604
Bistro Garden is known for its serene and relaxed ambience with traditional delicious,
American cuisine. The staff never rushes your
meal and takes pride in making sure the customers enjoy their experience. On Valentine’s
Day there will be a set menu for $78/person.
For starters diners can choose either the lobster ravioli, the radicchio salad with strawberries and pine nuts, or the tuna carpaccio with
soy ginger vinaigrette topped with cucumber
confetti. The main entrée choices are broiled
Lake Superior White fish, rack of lamb, or
grilled filet mignon. For dessert, chocolate and
raspberry soufflés and a warm apple tart with
Sportsmen’s Lodge
12825 Ventura Blvd
Studio City, 91604
The Sportsmen’s Lodge Hotel is a proverbial,
time-honored, secluded getaway located in the
heart of Studio City. Since the 1880’s, this San
Fernando Valley landmark has been an esteemed venue for celebrations, dinners, and
events. Saturday, February 12th through Monday, February 14th dinner for two will be served
at the fixe prixe price of $69.95. For dinner, a
choice of filet mignon with shrimp scampi or
lobster tail, filet mignon wrapped in bacon,
charbroiled and topped with butter bernaise
sauce. On the side, fresh vegetables and 2
loaded baked potatoes or a choice of dinner
salad will be served. Ice-cold bubbly house
champagne will be available to make your meal
extra special. Or book a room at a special rate
and order room service.
Wine Bistro
11915 Ventura Blvd
Studio City, 91604
Don’t let the decadent flair fool you, Wine
Bistro’s prices are moderate. This French restaurant is a great choice for those who would
like to exercise their epicurean muscles, without draining their wallets. The ambience is sultry and distinctly French, with Cabernet-red
walls, close, neighborly tables, and a well-appointed mahogany bar. “Lover’s Weekend” is
full of yummy goodness. Appetizers include
Leek Tomato soup, Heart of Romaine Caesar
salad, Warm Artichoke Tower, Red and Golden
Beets, Maine Lobster Feuillete, or Seared Foie
Gras. Main course is Crab and Shrimp ravioli,
Horseradish Crusted Alaskan Halibut, Blue
Cheese Stuffed Breast of Chicken, Marinated
Pork Tenderloin, Oven Braised Lamb Shank,
and Roasted Filet Mignon Bordelaise will be
served. Warm Double Chocolate Brownie,
Butterscotch Bailey’s Crème Brule, or Caramelized Apples with a side of the famous
Dandy Don’s French Vanilla Ice Cream are
available to top off this decadent meal beautifully. All for just $50/person.
“HOT” Recipe of the Month With Anna Terra
Breast of Chicken with Asparagus and Carrots
1/8 tsp. cayenne
Aluminum foil
Cooking Directions
Private - Group - Show Team
Every year, the fourteenth day of the month
of February has millions across the world presenting their loved ones with candy, flowers,
chocolates and other lovely gifts.
The reason behind all of this is a kindly cleric
named Valentine who died more than a thousand years ago. It is not exactly known why
the 14th of February is known as Valentine’s
Day or if the noble Valentine really had any
relation to this day. The history of Valentine’s
Day is impossible to be obtained from any
archive and the veil of centuries gone by has
made the origin behind this day more difficult to trace. It is only some legends that are
our source for the history of Valentine’s Day.
Here is a healthy “heart”, main entrée for you
and yours to enjoy!
Prep time: 15 minutes/Cook In a large skillet, heat olive oil
time: 20 minutes
on medium heat. Add asparagus,
onion and carrots and spices.
Serves 4
Salt and pepper to taste. Sauté
for 10 minutes. Tear off 1 large
Ingredients: 4 boneless skinless piece of foil for each serving.
chicken breast halves cut cross- Arrange chicken in center of
wise into ¼ inch strips, or 6 lower half of each length of foil.
breast tenders
Top with equal amounts of vegetable medley. Pour an equal
½ lbs. asparagus, trimmed and amount of butter over each piece
cut into 1 inch lengths
of chicken. Fold two ends of foil
together and tightly fold 3 or 4
2 medium carrots cut ½ inch
times. Repeat process with ends
to seal packet tightly. Arrange
foil packets in a single layer on
a baking sheet. Bake for 2o min1 small onion, sliced
4 Tbs. butter, melted
Bon Appetito! San Valentino
1 Tbs. olive oil
3 tsp. lemon juice
½ tsp. tarragon
½ tsp. dried basil
9am - 3pm
For More Information Call:
Los Angeles Children’s
Riding Center
9211 Del Arroyo Drive, Sun Valley
Studio City Sherman Oaks Encino News February, 2011
12522 Ventura Boulevard Studio City, 91604
Studio City Sherman Oaks Encino News February, 2011
A Wonderland of Sweets and Treats
Sweet Harts, your favorite neighborhood sweet shop, is now offering daily PLAY DATES! These one of a kind,public events operate
Monday through Friday and are geared toward specific age groups
from age 2 to 12. It’s the perfect time for parents and care takers to
relax while children play with new and old friends. Our Calendar
and full description of each Play Date are available at
www.sweethartssweets.com in our “Party” section.
to RSVP (818) 788-5004 or e-mail [email protected]
13704 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, 91423 818.788.5004
11am-10pm Weekdays 10am-11pm Weekends
Studio City Sherman Oaks Encino News February, 2011
The restaurant Chi Dynasty in Studio City
threw a Chinese New Year’s Party to celebrate the Year of the Hare last Thursday
evening. Our year 2011 is either 4708, 4709
or 4648 for the Chinese, scholars’ opinions
vary. The traditional Lion Dance was performed for the crowd of enthusiastic guests.
The Lion Dance consists of two dancers,
covered by a paper mache frame, executing
martial art moves to a drumbeat. The dance
is a quest by the ‘lion’ to pluck the auspicious green lettuce, the “lion” will approach
Dave Waterbury, me, & Howie Walfish
the “green,” “eat the green” and “spit” it out. goody bag that featured a gift certificate to
the restaurant. After tasting the delectable
appetizers of candied shrimp, orange
chicken, egg rolls and more that were passed
around, many decided to stay and have dinner. By then the place was packed and there
was an hour wait for a table. In attendance
were Jules Feir from SOHA, Joan Pellico of
Councilmember Koretz’s office, manager of
SC Rodeo Realty Wendy Cox with husband
Michael, Carol Zide from Willett Travel with
husband Tom, music producer Dave Waterbury, artist Sebastiano Ciarcia, comedian
Howie Walfish, and actress Carol Kiernan,
Chinese New Year in Studio City
The dance is believed to bring good luck and recently seen on Big Love.
fortune to those who watch it, and those
watching at Chi Dynasty were rewarded with
the traditional gift of the “red envelope” in a
Sally Kellerman, the fabulous actress and
singer who created the infamous role of
Major Margaret “Hot Lips” O’Houlihan in
Jimmy Smith, Mick Taylor, Robben Ford,
Guitar Shorty, Smokey Wilson, Eric Clapton,
Mick Fleetwood) and of course Herrera on
guitar. Coco Montoya, who learned guitar
from Albert Collins and played for ten years
with John Mayall and the , recently stopped
by to hang out and play the blues. Rockabilly
Fridays are wild and wooly with musicians
such as Kid Ramos, the 44s, and Eddie
Nichols of the Royal Crown Revue, and
Omar and the Stringpoppers, who are having a Cd release party there on the 18th.
Kellerman Upstairs at Vitello’s
Robert Altman’s classic film, “M*A*SH,”
was back by popular demand at Upstairs at
Vitello’s in Studio City last week. Her new
show, The Anti-Cabaret, with pianist/music
Director Andy Langham, is garnering rave
reviews for the sophisticated supper club
ambiance she creates. Kellerman, who grew
up in the Valley, was under contract with
Verve Records at the age of 18 and has always returned to music between her many
acting roles. The sultry chanteuse captivated
the room with her signature voice and
stylings, and we hear this first rate jazz and
blues vocalist may be back Upstairs at
Vitello’s very soon.
Weber’s Place in Reseda has been a well kept
secret for hearing live music in the valley.
Every Wednesday night there is a pro blues
jam with the Dennis Herrera house band featuring Lee Campbell (William Clark, James
Harmon), Hank Van Sickle (John Mayhall,
Studio City Sherman Oaks Encino News February, 2011
The Shops at Woodman and Ventura presented the Dixie Canyon Elementary School
PTA with a $1,000.00 check at their January
20, 2011 meeting, the proceeds from raffling
off a Vespa by the shops in addition to another $150 raised by parents at Dixie. The
big check was printed, mounted, and lami-
nated at The UPS Store . Michele Varon
from Abundance and Joe Casey from UPS
Store presented the big check.
Ernest Borgnine was feted at the Pre-SAG
Awards gifting party at the Sportsmen’s
Lodge Hotel. In attendance was Ed Asner,
Estelle Parsons, Scott Baio, Anson Williams
and Kevin Sorbo.
Seen around the SC: Actress Ashley Scott
(TV’s “Jericho”) at Eddy James Salon.
DTR Provides IRS Tax Relief
By the SCSO Enc. News Staff
Experienced Tax
Attorneys & Experts Can:
* Settle your debt for LESS
* Prepare unfiled Personal & Business returns
* Release your wage or bank levy
* Have your Penalties and Interest abated
Free Consultation
( $250 Value)
4717 Van Nuys Blvd #101, Sherman Oaks, 91403
“Direct Tax Relief” (DTR) is a company
based in Sherman Oaks that provides IRS
tax resolution services to individuals and
businesses. They are a national company
that assists taxpayers throughout the 50
states. Their firm consists of tax attorneys,
registered tax preparers and tax experts.
“Most of our clients are hard working individuals who didn’t deliberately avoid
paying their taxes”, states an advisor with
DTR, Harry Galstian. “There has been a
difficult situation in their lives such as a
divorce, foreclosure, unemployment, financial hardship or bad advice that caused
them to owe taxes to the IRS. We give all
of our current and potential clients the attention and honesty they deserve. Each
case we handle is unique based on the
client’s financial situation and we will
never give our client’s any false hope in
regards to the outcome of their case”.
DTR can help prepare your current or delinquent personal and business tax returns.
They are also skilled and experienced with
settling back taxes with the IRS or State.
The IRS has a program called an “Offer
in Compromise”, that allows eligible taxpayers to permanently settle their outstanding tax liability for less.
Their most recent success story was settling a $36,000 debt for only $1,970! Af-
Studio City Sherman Oaks Encino News February, 2011
ter a Van Nuys businesswoman was audited for 3 years by the IRS, she became
very distraught and needed tax relief immediately. After contacting DTR for a free
consultation, she decided to retain their
services. DTR prepared a Power of Attorney and took over all communication between the taxpayer and the IRS. After a
few months of negotiating back and forth
with the IRS agent, DTR was able to successfully settle her delinquent taxes of over
$36,000 for only $1,970!
They have also helped many eligible taxpayers have their penalties and associated
interest abated, based on reasonable cause.
There are many different situations that
constitute reasonable cause; but the more
common ones are: serious illness or injury,
financial hardship, divorce, death of an
immediate family member, a natural disaster, fire, etc.
The IRS can garnish Social Security earnings if your tax debt is ignored! DTR can
also have your bank or wage levy released
and have a collection hold placed on your
Contact Direct Tax Relief today at
(818)785-6500 for a FREE Consultation.
You can also visit them on the web at
Cont.from Pg. 1
Encino CA. Donation $5. Refreshments
Friday February 11
Hands For Hope presents “Starlight Jazz Serenade” at the Academy of Television Arts &
Sciences. Top Smooth Jazz artists perform and
there is a silent auction. $75 VIP tickets. $40
General Admission. Doors open at 7:15 pm.
Hands for Hope is a 501C3 non-profit providing free after school programs and support for
single parents by offering a variety of activities to engage the youth including educational
and social mentoring, nutritional snacks, enriching field trips as well as academic assistance, arts education, healthy lifestyles and life
skills. For info call 818-763-HOPE.
Encino Tarzana Branch Friends of the Library
Book sale 10:00 AM Two days of great books
at great prices. Friends of the Encino-Tarzana
Branch Library big book sale. Thousands of
books to choose from Awesome deals! Don’t
miss it. Encino - Tarzana Branch Library 18231
Ventura Boulevard Tarzana, 91356
Saturday February 12
Studio City Branch Library Monthly Movie
Event – THE SOCIAL NETWORK. Free Admission. Popcorn served! Movie license and
refreshments generously funded by the Friends
of the Studio City Branch Library. 3:00 pm to
5:00 pm. Studio City Branch Library is at the
corner of Moorpark and Whitsett.
Wednesday February 16
Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association The
Meeting begins at 7:15 p.m. with a Social Hour
starting at 6:15 p.m. The Meeting is held at
Notre Dame High School located at 13645
Riverside Dr., Sherman Oaks. This months
special guest is Los Angeles Councilwoman
Jan Perry. Topics include: NFL Stadium in
Downtown LA? What is the answer to the city’s
budget crisis? How To protect the city’s residential neighborhoods? For info call 818-3774590
Thursday February 17
The Valley Watercolor Society presents its
Annual Juried Membership Exhibit at Gallery
800. For sale: original watercolors, prints and
art pieces. Show dates February 17-March 13,
Reception February 19 from 5—9 pm. Gallery 800 is at 5108 Lankershim Blvd in North
Hollywood. Call 818-407-0828 for info.
Studio City Neighborhood Council. Board of
Directors meets the third Wednesday of each
month. CBS Studio Center Annex 1 Meeting
room. 4024 Radford Ave. Studio City enter
Gate A to be directed to the meeting. 818-6555400
Sunday February 20
Come join Wild Wings Back Yard Nature Store
for the Great Backyard Bird Count at Headwaters Corner in Calabasas. From beginners
to experts, everyone is invited to participate
in this fun day of birding. Our bird count will
be sent to Cornell University and added to
other lists from all over the country, providing important information about bird population trends. Meet at the Mountains Restoration Trust’s Nature Center at 8:00 am for
breakfast snacks and coffee, then spend
around 2 hours looking for birds and learning about the native plants on this beautiful
[email protected] Mountains Restoration Trust is at 3815 Old Topanga Canyon
Road, Calabasas, CA 91302. Call Wild Wings
Back Yard Nature Store for more info: 818995-0022
Wednesday February 23
Neighborhood Council Valley Village
monthly board meeting. Colfax Elementary
School Auditorium. (Corner Colfax and
Addison) 6:30 – 9:00pm.
Friday February 25
Central Care Pharmacy in Encino presents
“Anti-Aging Solutions – Experience the latest technology from Europe! Learn how to
reverse the signs of ageing and slow down
the ageing process. Friday from 3-6 pm and
Saturday February 26 from 11-1 pm. RSVP
with Central Care at 818-386-1888
Thursday March 3
Encino-Tarzana Branch Library presents a
discussion of some of the ballot measures on
the March 8th Municipal Elections led by a
representative of the League of Women Voters. Subjects: City Pensions and Budgets,
Taxation, The DWP, Campaign Finance Issues, Medical Marijuana & funding for the
Los Angeles Public Library. 1:30 PM 18231
Ventura Blvd. Tarzana. Sponsored by Friends
of the Library. www.ETLibraryFriends.org
Sherman Oaks. For info call 818-341-1000
Many of you have probably never heard of
such a thing as an immersion happening at
school, unless of course you go to my school
or know somebody that does. When my fellow classmates and I get back from our 2
week winter break, we return to school to
get immersed, or deeply involved, in a class
of our choosing, and we do that class for the
next 2 weeks. During this 2 week period,
none of the normal classes happen, no math
is taught, no humanities, no Spanish (unless
that is your immersion), and none of the other
basic classes either, instead, each student gets
to choose a subject/class which focuses on
something they want to learn more about…..
a subject that they would like to “immerse
themselves in” …… for two weeks.
There are many classes to choose from such
as Young Investors, where you learn about
the stock market and then invest fake money
into the market; Ocean Sailing, Navigation,
and Marine Science, where you learn about
oceanography and navigation then go to the
Caribbean to sail a 125 foot sail boat, Screenplay: The First 10 Pages, or The Grapes of
Wrath 2.0 where you study the book, The
Grapes of Wrath, and learn about the time
period in which it happened, Ecology Study
in the Field: Costa Rica and many more
classes to fit the needs of every student.
The immersion that I chose was marine biology, as you know from reading my articles
I love the ocean, underwater life and scuba
diving. The course was hard and challenging, but also fun and rewarding. During the
2 week period, we did lab work and also took
field trips, such as going to JPL(Jet Propul-
By Jon Epstein
age 14
sion Lab) to talk to a professional physical
Following that we went on a 3 day 2 night
trip to the Long Beach Marine Institute to
do dissections, kayak in the wetlands, and
do an ocean trawl to find marine life. This
opportunity that my school gives its students
is incredible because it gives us the opportunity to learn about something we’re really
interested in, in such a different way. Some
people may be reading this and think that
these classes are just a bunch of fun and
games, but they really are not, they count for
your transcript, and they also give you a grade
in the class.
Even though it may seem as if this is just a
waste of time to some skeptical people, it
really is not, and as I have stated, there is a
lot of work to do and it lets the students
choose what they learn, making this experience incredible.
Questions? Comments?
[email protected]
(818) 340-3060
License No. #505706
Street Savior
Cont. from pg. 1
tion we’re reminded of what a safe, smooth
ride should be. I meticulously photographed
each of these streets and sent them to Councilman Krekorian’s office with another request for a repaving of Milbank. This
prompted a phone call from a Deputy to my
wife who was given the Orwellian excuse that
our street was too damaged to be repaired
and needed further evaluation. Like going to
a hospital with a broken leg and being told
sorry, it’s too broken to fix, we’re going to
handle these nosebleeds instead.
On July 16th, 2010, I received this note:
“Our office has requested that Milbank be
added to the Bureau of Street Services 20102011 repaving program. While we will have
to give up several other streets in exchange
we do agree that Milbank is in very bad condition and the additional expenses involved
with reconstruction of the street are warranted.” I started feeling guilty because they
have to “give up several other streets,” but
the guilt soon passed when I received a follow-up note that said, in effect, “don’t get
your hopes up.”
November, 2010. A neighboring couple received this email from Bill Robertson, the
Director of the B.O.S.S.: “Milbank Street…
is in this year’s resurfacing program. It is tentatively scheduled as a 4th Quarter project.”
Well, since that ship sailed, we have been
able to view the official Resurfacing and Restructuring Committed Projects lists for January and February, 2011. Milbank is not on
the lists. In December, a new neighbor sug-
gested we write the Mayor himself. Which
we did. And received an automated reply that
our thoughts and concerns would be shared
with the Mayor. Then, lo and behold, on Sunday, January 23 a road crew filled in some of
our potholes but, oddly, not all of them. Fifteen feet from a filled-in pothole are others
just as gaping and dangerous. And, there are
still numerous fissures, gashes and “potholes
in training” growing deeper by the dozen. As
one neighbor said: “They did this maybe a
year or two ago - dumped some loose asphalt in some of the holes. Obviously not a
real fix since it’s as bad or worse now.” Another reaction: “the fix was a half-measure…
there is still a dangerous and defective condition present for which they will be liable,
and nothing short of a rebuild will cure this
condition.” While this temporary “band-aid”
is greatly appreciated, we still feel that after
more than 20 years of “you’re on the list,”
the overriding question remains: when will
our street receive the long-lasting and longrequested repair it clearly needs? And who
will be our champion? Councilman
Krekorian or his Field Deputy? Bill
Robertson, or anyone from the B.O.S.S.
who’ll take that acronym by the horns? One
of Mayor Villaraigosa’s aides? Mayor
Villaraigosa himself? Seriously, in these economic times we’re not asking to live on Easy
Street. Just Safe Street.
Cont. from pg. 6
Richard Camp is an Emmy-winning Television Writer and Playwright
who loves living in Studio City. [email protected]
Gerald A. Silver is President of Homeowners of Encino. He
served on the Citizens Advisory Committee that helped craft
the Ventura Blvd. Specific Plan. He can be reached at
[email protected]
Cont. next Col.
Studio City Sherman Oaks Encino News February, 2011
consistency with which it might be applied,
district by district, or even school by school.
The State Board needs to step up now and
establish clear, firm standards for when the
parent trigger can be applied, and when it
cannot. Are schools with increasing test
scores subject to a parent trigger? Can an
outside operator come in and organize parents? What should districts do about allegations that parents did not know what they
were signing?
As these examples attest, not all state education issues involve money. Along with lobbying legislators and the governor for more
dollars, we need to insist that the State Board
of Education do the right things when it
comes to educating our children.
Tamar Galatzan represents more than 100 Valley
schools on the LA Unified Board of Education. She is
up for re election March 8.
Cont. from pg. 5
vironmental” and then “Draft Environmental Impact Reports”) Comments on the
project may be sent to: Jon Foreman – Senior City Planner, Los Angeles City Planning
Dept., 200 N. Spring St. Room 601, Los
Angeles, CA 90012, [email protected]
Cite Case No. ENV-2007-0254-EIR.
Valley Curtain Call
In his lovely script The Trip to Bountiful
Horton Foote engages our attention with his
keen appraisal that “The world can’t be
bought”. Believing the best things in life are
free - well, almost..., elderly Carrie Watts
(Gwen Van Dam) proves just how healing a
return to one’s roots, however brief, may be..
Watts lives in Houston, Texas with her lackluster son Ludie (Kent Butler) and his lonely,
frustrated and childless wife Jessie Mae
(Gina Yates), who browbeats and dominates
them both. Watts can no longer bear her
empty life in the city and yearns to go back
to her country roots to the tiny town of Bountiful. She runs away, like an innocent child.
Her adventuresome journey is interrupted by
Ludie and Jessie Mae, but not before she
makes some life-affirming acquaintances.
Along the way she meets and comforts
Thelma (Liza de Weerd) and a kind sheriff
(Patrick Skelton), who sees to it that she sets
her sights on the decaying Bountiful.
The ensemble under Larry Eisenberg’s
mostly lucid and precise direction is terrific.
Van Dam brings her special sensitivity and
passion to the role of Carrie Watts and keeps
her performance realistically restrained and
within control. Yates as Jessie Mae is nothing short of outstanding. Despite her
character’s irritating selfishness, Yates makes
the pain and sense of isolation shine through.
Butler, Weerd and Skelton all have finely
tuned moments and add richness to the plot’s
predictable situations.
Eisenberg should slow down the final moment of Act II, as Carrie’s exit from Bountiful happens much too quickly. What raises
this Horton Foote piece above its predictabil-
With Don Grigware
ity is the compassion of the
characters and his lyric sense of
time and place. Trips backwards
are disappointing, but only if we
expect too much. Carrie Watts’s gentle acceptance of the inevitable, warmth and wise
philosophy of living make it all
worthwhile.Runs through March 6
Fans of TV’s Dancing With the Stars will
be in heaven during this live performance of
Ballroom With a Twist at the El Portal, created by the TV show’s Louis Van Amstel.
Van Amstel stars along with guest hostess
Jane Seymour (Feb 4-6) and possible other
celebrity hosts, 20 top dancers and two
American Idol finalists, singers Gina
Glocksen and David Hernandez at the classy
El Portal. The show is so electrically charged
that it is guaranteed to keep audience members jumping for joy. Van Amstel’s stamina
is truly amazing! This company of dancers,
in fact, all have sensational stamina and dexterity and are perhaps the prettiest group of
people to be seen on a Hollywood stage.
Scantily clad for many numbers, guys
shirtless and gals showing plenty of leg and
midriff, they create eye candy galore. It is
surely not in vain that the opening song is
Burt Bacharach’s “The Look of Love”, atmosphere which suits the entire sexy entourage. Featured dancers fromDancing With the
Stars include: Alec Mazo, Jonathan Roberts,
Edyta Sliwinska and Anna Trebunskaya, all
demonstrating consistently terrific moves.
Through February 13.
For those who love spectacle and horses
Cavalia continues on Front Street in Burbank
through February 13!
Enjoy Valentine’s Day With A Senior
Special to the News
If you’re looking to spend Valentine’s Day
with someone really special, consider bringing a bit of happiness to an elder. You’ll find
that you get much back than you give!
Here are some ideas to make the day special:
1. Rekindle your special senior citizen’s romantic memories by renting a favorite older
movie, such as Casablanca. Pop up some
fresh popcorn and settle in next to them on
the sofa. If your elder is up for it, select a
sentimental movie they might not have seen,
such as Sleepless in Seattle or Titanic.
ers and spend time together at the same time.
2. Pick up some art supplies, such as watercolors, crayons, or colored pencils and see
what hidden talents your senior citizen is
harboring. This activity is not only creative
but you might be surprised at the conversation that flows over water, paint and paper.
4. Instead of dining out, consider making
your elder a delicious meal in the comfort of
their own home.
However, with today’s busy and demanding lives, it can be difficult for family members to always be there when needed, and
that’s where Comfort Keepers can help.
Comfort Keepers provides seniors with the
extra assistance they need to manage their
everyday life. Services offered include companionship, light housekeeping, meal preparation, and transportation as well as personal
care services such as assistance with bathing, toileting, grooming, medication management and so much more. And since clients
decide how often they need services, Comfort Keepers’ services are an affordable and
practical choice.
3. If your elder loved one is a dog lover and
weather permits, how about heading over to
the local dog park to watch the canines play?
This is a great way to meet other animal lov-
For further information or to schedule a
free in-home visit, call (818) 776-5060 or
Studio City Sherman Oaks Encino News Editorial Submission Policy:
The Studio City Sherman Oaks Encino News welcomes
your letters and articles.
Letters to the Editor should be no more than 300 words,
although the News reserves the right to make exceptions to this policy.
Hand written letters are acceptable only if they are legible. Letters must contain the writer’s telephone number and address for verification purposes only.
The Studio City Sherman Oaks Encino News reserves
the right to accept, reject or edit letters and other editorial material. The SC SO ENC News does not return letters, photos or other editorial submissions.
Editorial material of 500 words or less may be mailed
to Big Valley Publications, 827 Hollywood Way, Suite
233, Burbank CA 91505 or
emailed to
[email protected] The deadline is the
second week of the month.
Studio City Sherman Oaks Encino News February, 2011
It’s Time for Oscar!!
The British are coming, the British are coming. With its aristocrats, statesmen and wartime peril, “The King’s Speech” is a throwback to the majestic, eye-filling costume pageants that dominated Hollywood’s Best Film
awards in earlier decades. Its nominations
include best director for Tom Hooper and
supporting-acting slots for Bonham Carter
as the king’s devoted wife and Rush as his
wily speech therapist. After blitzing through
the earlier awards shows like a runaway
freight train, and winning the Producers
Guild of America Award’s prize, whose recipient often goes to claim best picture at the
Oscars, no question this is the film to beat.
Can anyone?
The contender is the “The Social Network”
which casts Jesse Eisenberg as Facebook
founder Mark Zuckerberg, who’s depicted as
an interpersonal lout in one-on-one relations
but a genius to masses, creating an on-line
hangout where half a billion people keep connected with friends. “Network” is an immediate story, set in college dorm rooms, cluttered start-up space and anonymous legal
offices where Zuckerberg battles his former
associates over the proceeds of his invention.
David Fincher is the best-directing favorite
for “The Social Network” after winning at
the Golden Globes and was picked as the
year’s best by key critic groups.
Other best picture nominees include “Black
Swan”; the boxing drama “The Fighter”; the
sci-fi “Inception”; lesbian-family tale “The
Kids Are All Right”; a survival story “127
Hours”; the animated “Toy Story 3”; the
gritty Western “True Grit”; and the Ozarks
chase thriller “Winter’s Bone.”
I expect Feb 27th God once again will save
the king. Besides the star turns by Firth as
best actor, Helen Bonham Carter as Queen
Elizabeth, Rush is likewise superb. Tom
Hooper’s direction is also impeccable. No
Besides Fincher best-director picks are
Darren Aronofsky for “Black Swan”; Joel
and Ethan Coen for “True Grit”; Tom Hooper
for “The King’s Speech”; and David O.
Russell for “The Fighter.”
Russell’s “Fighter” was a huge surprise, he
melds cast and story seamlessly and shapes
the material quite convincingly. He almost
assures Melissa Leo a best supporting actress
statue and Christian Bale got his male supporting nod. .If Russell continues in this
vein he will get his award in the future.
Aronofsky’s production is frankly a mess.
He has learned nothing from making the raw
and incredibly disturbing “Requiem for a
Dream”, and the unflinching “The Wrestler,”
right after that first moment of off-the-rails
insanity in “Swan” his storyline declines to
pure cliche’ -a resentful mother pushing her
daughter to the brink, the obligatory lesbian
sex-scene, the older man/younger women
love triangle with revenge thrown in for good
measure. Most of this has been done before
and better, much of Nina’s relationship with
her mother was so cribbed directly from “The
Piano Teacher” that Michael Haneke could
probably sue Aronofsky for plagiarism. Likewise, the whole angle of Nina’s repressed
sexuality leading to her breakdown was done
better by Polanski in “Repulsion,” and that
was almost 50 years ago. “Black Swan” is
actually a hodgepodge of better films.
The Cohen Brothers after years of lampooning genres finally settle on the Western
and while doing a credible job, this is “No
Country...” and that will be the yardstick that
the Cohens’ future work will be measured.
This leaves Fincher as the winner by default. Though it is well deserved, not just for
this one film though brilliantly shot and realized, but for his other ground breaking work
as well. His Cinematographer will win for
his fine work with a Red digi camera.
The favorites in the male-acting categories
both were nominated, Globe winners Firth
as best actor for “The King’s Speech” and
Jesse Eisenberg for “Network.” Along with
Firth and Eisenberg, best-actor contenders
are Javier Bardem as a dying father in the
Spanish-language drama “Biutiful,” which
also is up for best foreign-language film; Jeff
Bridges as the boozy lawman Rooster
Cogburn in “True Grit,” the role that earned
John Wayne an Oscar for the 1969 adaptation of the Western novel; and James Franco
in the real-life tale of a climber’s sacrifice
after a boulder crushes his arm in “127
Jesse Eisenburg wins. Without his ice cold
portrayal of Zuckerburg, there really isn’t a
movie, just a series of well shot vignettes.
The best-actress field is a two-woman race
between Annette Bening for “The Kids Are
All Right,” who won the Globe for actress in
a musical or comedy, and Natalie Portman
for “Black Swan,” who received the Globe
for dramatic actress. Other best-actress
nominees are Nicole Kidman as a grieving
mother in “Rabbit Hole”; Jennifer Lawrence
as a young women trying to find her missing
father amid the Ozark Mountains’ seedy drug
culture in “Winter’s Bone”; and Michelle
Williams as a wife in a failing marriage in
“Blue Valentine.” Bening was nominated for
best actress as a lesbian mom whose family
is thrown into turmoil after her teenage children seek out their sperm-donor father in
“The Kids Are All Right.” Portman was
nominated as a ballerina losing her grip on
reality in “Black Swan.” Portman, should
win the Oscar for “Black Swan,” however, I
also believe she is receiving it for her work
in Nichols’ “Closer.”
The supporting-actress statue could prove
the most competitive among Oscar this year.
There are all fine performances by the
women, but Melissa Leo who won the Globe
for “The Fighter,” stands above the rest. Still
she faces strong competition from
“Fighter’s” co-star Amy Adams and the 14year-old newcomer Hailee Steinfeld, who did
not receivea Globe nomination for “True
Grit” but got it for supporting actress from
the Academy. Rounding out the nominations
is Jacki Weaver as a crime family matriarch
in the Australian thriller “Animal Kingdom.”
and Helen Bonham Carter as Queen Elizabeth in The King’s Speech.
Fighter” gives two sterling supporting-actress
performances from Leo as the two brothers’
doting but domineering mother and Adams
as Wahlberg’s tough, defiant girlfriend.
Steinfeld, who was just 13 when she shot her
debut performance in “True Grit,” also is a
strong possibility as a girl who hires lawman
Cogburn to track down her father’s killer.
This one is hard. I still think Leo gets it,
but Steinfeld could be the dark horse here.
The Academy loves young but extremely talented actresses. Steinfeld fits the bill.
Supporting actor has Christian Bale, the
star of Nolan’s “Batman” franchise, as strong
favorite to win as former boxer Dicky
Eklund, who helps his half-brother to a title
shot after his own career unraveled amid
drugs and crime in “The Fighter.” The star,
Mark Wahlberg, recieved no nomination as
best actor for playing Eklund’s half-brother,
boxer Micky Ward which is unfortunate.
Wahlberg should have got a nod. Rounding out the supporting-actor field with Bale
is Geoffry Rush (King’s Speech;) John
Hawkes as a backwoods tough guy in
“Winter’s Bone”; Jeremy Renner as a holdup
man in the bank-heist thriller “The Town”;
Mark Ruffalo as a sperm-donor dad in “The
Kids Are All Right.”
Intrestingly several years ago, Bale’s
“Batman” co-star, the late Heath Ledger, was
on the same awards track as he won a posthumous Oscar for supporting actor for “The
Dark Knight.” I see Bale following in his
foot steps.
The Rest:
Aaron Sorkin, nominated for best adapted
screenplay “The Social Network” won best
dramatic screenplay at the Golden Globes
will win this award as well.
“Toy Story 3,” the top-grossing film released in 2010, is nominated for animated
feature and is expected to become the fourthstraight winner in that category from
Disney’s Pixar Animation.
Best Foreign Language Film:
‘Biutiful’ - Mexico
Best Original Screenplay: Christopher
Nolan’s jaw dropping ‘Inception’ though
David Seidler ‘The King’s Speech’ runs a
close second.
Best Documentary Feature:
Best Original Song
‘We Belong Together’ from ‘Toy Story 3’
Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
Best Original Score
‘Inception’ Hans Zimmer (Close your eyes
and you will hear the ghost of the late Dave
Best Film Editing
‘The Social Network’
Angus Wall & Kirk Baxter
Best Visual Effects
Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew
Lockley & Peter Bebb
Best Short Film (Live Action)
‘God of Love’ - Luke Matheny
Best Documentary (Short Subject)
‘The Warriors of Qiugang’
Best Short Film (Animated)
‘Let’s Pollute’ - Geefwee Boedoe
Stephen Phenow is currently writing a horror script forLimelight Productions
Not to be combined with any other offer
Studio City Sherman Oaks Encino News February, 2011
Studio City Sherman Oaks Encino News February, 2011
Studio City Sherman Oaks Encino News February, 2011
Studio City Sherman Oaks Encino News February, 2011
3610 Longridge Ave SO $3,800,000
Proposed finished Construction per existing & approved plans
on a 4 bedroom 3 bath home in 4,860 Square feet on a 38,328
square foot lot. The vacant land & approved plans can be
purchased without construction for $2,400,000. Call listing
agent for details.
Secluded& private Ranch/Spanish compound Encino Estate on
an enormous 1.3 Acre all FLAT lot on one of Encino’s most
renowned streets blocks to Ventura Boulevard. Fix or build
your own private retreat. 3Bd+3Ba in 2213 SqFt. 1.3 acre lot.
12949 Blairwood Dr SC - $1,695,000
5343 Ostrom Ave ENC - $1,495,000
Longridge Estates with a breathtaking views. Studio City up a
private gated driveway. Country cabin feeling w/ hardwood &
granite floors. Large upstairs master suite. 3Br+3Ba in 3400
SqFt. on a 33,700 SqFt. Lot.
Fabulous Ranch pool home located in the heart of Encino &
Amestoy Estates. Opulent interior with gold leaf hand painted
ornate artwork on the walls & ceilings. Outdoor kitchen, two
BBQs Pool and Spa. 5 BR + 2.5 BA . 4311 sqft, 14,310 lot
4109 Rhodes Ave SC $1,250,000
5846 Hillview Park Valley Glen $1,699,000
4367 Hayvenhurst Ave Enc - $1,750,000
Gorgeous Mediterranean built in 2009 in Hillview Park Estates.
This Magazine Quality Estate features extensive use of designer
upgrades. Large Master Suite, formal dining & living rooms +
pool & spa. 5Br+6Ba in 5208 SqFt, 12,957 SqFt Lot
3905 Alta Mesa Dr SC - $1,475,000
Dramatic Architectural home w/ Impressive 2 story
Foyer entry, State of the art kitchen, Pella Windows, 2
Master Suites, Formal Dining & views from several decks
& patios. 5Br+5Ba in 3740 SqFt. 11,000 SqFt. Lot
15729 Sutton St Enc - $1,699,000
Mid Century Modern South of Ventura Boulevard. Gourmet
kitchen with granite counters & stainless Steel appliances. Open
floor plan with Great room and walls of glass. 4Bd+5Ba in
3967 SqFt, 13,992 SqFt Lot.
12651 Sarah Street SC - $1,250,000
Beautifully maintained traditional. 2 fireplaces, Hardwood
floors, Gourmet kitchen, lush back yard with lagoon style
pool, spa and waterfall. 4 car garage and an 800 sq.ft. studio/
bonus room. 4Br+3Ba in over 3,500 SqFt. on a ¼ acre lot.
4146 Weslin Ave SO $1,100,000
11639 Kling Street Valley Village - $819,000
5018 Fulton Ave SO - $799,000
Fabulous contemporary Sherman Oaks view home built by architect Les Makowski. South of the boulevard with incredible
valley & canyon views. Living room w/ fire place, large Master
Suite w/ walk-in.+ Den & office. 5Br+3.5Ba in over 3500 SqFt.
Recently renovated Valley Village traditional w/ full guest house.
Main house w/ 4Br+2Ba in 1985 SqFt. on a 11,927 SqFt. lot.
The Guest house is a 1Br+1Ba w/ full kitchen. Large back yard
with salt water pool & spa.
Great Buy in Sherman Oaks! Private, gated mini compound.
This traditional/contemporary home has been updated throughout. Large master suite, marble floors. Open floor plan & plenty
of room for entertaining 5Br+4Ba 3608 SqFt., 9335 SqFt Lot
4222 Rhodes Ave SC $799,000
5030 Matilija Ave SO - $744,000
4532 Mary Ellen Ave SO - $655,000
Fabulous Traditional home located in a very desirable area of
Studio City. Some of the features include: Hardwood Floors,
smooth ceilings, recessed lighting, copper plumbing, plantation
shutters & newer windows. Located in the Carpenter School
District. 3BR+2BA in 1866 SqFt on a 7000 SqFt lot
This open floor plan features formal living and dining rooms,
gourmet kitchen and Master suite with pool views. Plus a private back yard. 3Br+2Ba in 1691 SqFt. On a 8,775 SqFt Lot.
Elegant and sophisticated Cape Cod style home. Hardwood
floors, gourmet kit w/ Granite counters, formal dining, Master
suite w/ private bath. Carpenter school district. 4BR+3BA 2,355
sqft on a 7000Sqft lot.
Fabulous Traditional Sherman Oaks home with Formal
dining, updated plumbing, electrical & windows. Entertainers
paradise back yard w/ Pool & spa w/ resort style spill way &
waterfall, seating area and Glass block fire pit. 3Br+1.5Ba in
1583 SqFt.
Studio City Sherman Oaks Encino News February, 2011
7035 Whitaker Ave LKBL $349,000
Charming updated traditional located in Lake Balboa. New
AC/Heat,New Roof, New bath & New Kitchen w/ Granite
counters. Hardwood floors,Den/Office, Huge back yard
with room for a pool. 3+1, 1,256 Sqft on a 7701 Sqft lot.

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