Author: robwasserman

Westchester: Neighborhood Council supports Westchester Lutheran School project

A group of about 80 students, parents and supporters of the Westchester Lutheran School —at 7831 Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester — applauded and cheered Tuesday, October 5th, after the Neighborhood Council of Westchester/Playa del Rey voted to support the school’s revised “classroom modernization project.” The project would enable the Westchester Lutheran School to modernize its 50-year-old classrooms, which school officials say are now too small to meet current standards and permit the continued operation of the middle school, which moved to the site in 2002. The revised project calls for: – an additional 23,000 square feet, downsized from the original plan calling for 31,500 square feet; – 16 modern classrooms, replacing 16 outdated classrooms; – a new computer lab; – library and music room expansion; – an underground multi-purpose gymnasium with 266-roll-out bleacher seats; – a new outdoor seating area; – a new administration building; – downsizing the height of the elementary school from three stories to two (proposed height of the building reduced from 42 feet to 33 feet); – eliminating balconies on the west side of the building (to protect privacy of neighbors) ; – increased security for the school, including conversion to a gated campus to prevent night-time vandalism; and – a new 18-space parking lot; added to the project in an effort to reduce traffic. It is estimated that the school expansion would allow about 70...

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Grass Roots opposes city plan to require permits for Ocean Front Walk performers, artists

A proposed Venice Beach Boardwalk ordinance establishing a “permit program” for performers and artists on the west side of the Ocean Front Walk boardwalk was unanimously opposed by the Grass Roots Venice Neighborhood Council Monday, September 27th. The ordinance establishing the permit program would contain the following provisions supported by the Los Angeles City Department of Recreation and Parks Board of Commissioners: – Persons wishing to conduct public expression activities on the west side of the Venice Beach Boardwalk would have to apply for and be issued a “public expression permit,” valid for life, unless revoked, with a one-time charge of $25. The permit would be non-transferable and performers and artists would be required to obtain use of a designated location on the boardwalk. – Designated spaces would be marked and numbered on the boardwalk, with ten-by-eight-foot spaces for general public expression and 20-by-eight-foot spaces for persons expressing themselves through performance. There would be 62 public expression spaces and 44 performance spaces. Anyone wishing to use space on the boardwalk for public expression would have to be in an assigned and designated space with a permit in their possession. – A lottery would be held at the end of each month to assign spaces for general expression or performance for the coming month. In the case of more permit holders in the lottery than spaces, those not receiving an...

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LA DONE reinstates funding for Grass Roots Venice; says Neighbor Council can conduct business until election arbiter acts

The City of Los Angeles Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (DONE) has reinstated Grass Roots Venice Neighbor- hood Council funding, according to the DONE general manager Greg Nelson. The Venice Council’s ability to conduct business and expend funds from the city was suspended by the DONE, after the city department claimed that a quorum did not exist on the Grass Roots Venice board. In a letter Nelson submitted to the Grass Roots Venice board and community Wednesday, September 8th, Nelson said that the decision to reinstate the Neighborhood Council’s funding was based on legal advice the DONE received. “Those who were elected to the Grass Roots Venice Neighborhood Council board of directors in the June, 2004 election may, as provided for in their election procedures, conduct the business of the Neighborhood Council at least until the election arbiter acts on the challenges,” said Nelson. Nelson urged the Grass Roots board not to request large sums of money or money for long-term expenditures. “The reasons are obvious. Those actions should wait until the election challenges are resolved,” he said. Nelson was unwilling to suggest an estimated date when the election challenges would be decided upon. “I really can’t say,” said Nelson. Monday, September 13th, was the Grass Roots Venice Neighborhood Council’s first board meeting since learning of its ability to conduct business and access funds. President Suzanne Thompson demanded applause from...

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Eight security staff injured as flashlight batteries explode during luggage examination; three terminals evacuated in unrelated incident Saturday

Eight Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employees — working at the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) — were taken to a local hospital after a passenger”s flashlight batteries exploded while a piece of luggage was being examined at the Tom Bradley International Terminal at 8:06 a.m. Saturday, September 4th, according to LAX officials. The incident is not believed to be terrorist-related and the Tokyo-bound passenger was not arrested, said LAX officials. Another incident occurred the same day at 7:22 a.m. when a passenger apparently bypassed security at United Airlines Terminal 8 by running up a stairway from the lower level baggage claim area to the departure level. This breach of security resulted in an evacuation of Terminals 6, 7 and 8, which are connected. The evacuation allowed officials to conduct a security sweep of the terminals and re-screen passengers. The passenger who touched off the incident was not found. The combination of the two incidents resulted in law enforcement officials ordering closure of the central terminal area roadways at 8:22 a.m. The roadways were reopened to vehicular traffic at about 11:30 a.m. Six flights were canceled and 250 flights delayed because of the Saturday morning incidents, said Harold Johnson, LAX media relations representative. Two TSA employees were injured due to the minor explosion, said Johnson. ìSix employees complained of ringing ears,î said Johnson. ìThere was a loud pop,î he said....

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Del Rey area: Neighborhood Council wants DMV to stop testing drivers of big rigs on Washington Boulevard

Del Rey neighbors who live near Washington Boulevard want the state to stop testing drivers of big trucks near their residential neighborhoods. The Del Rey Neighborhood Council interim board of directors voted Thursday, July 8th, to support a petition initiated by homeowners who live adjacent to the Culver City Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office to end big rig driver testing at the Washington Boulevard DMV location. The neighbors claim that the big rigs tie up necessary street parking spaces needed by residents who live in the community. Representatives of the DMV, Los Angeles Councilwoman Cindy Miscikowski, State Senator Deborah Bowen and State Assemblyman George Nakano met Thursday, June 17th, with the homeowners to hear residents’ complaints. The homeowners suggested that the DMV relocate its commercial driver’s license testing to another office in a fully commercial zone — such as Inglewood or Santa Monica. Seven of the 30 DMV offices in the Los Angeles metropolitan area currently have commercial driver’s license programs. “The adjacent neighbors believe commercial driver’s license [programs] can, at no cost, be transferred to another, more suitable office, one without parking lot spillover,” said Bill Becker, a Del Rey Neighborhood Council board member who lives adjacent to the Washington Boulevard DMV office. He called the commercial driver’s license testing program “basically a dinosaur here. “The Washington Boulevard frontage (near the DMV office) is mostly empty or...

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