Have you ever wondered where you might be when the “big one” strikes? We are not talking about a big person hitting you on the head, but rather an Earthquake that could top the Richter scale at 7.0 or higher.
We all hear about big and devastating Earthquakes in other Countries, but for some reason people in California seem to have forgotten that we live in the biggest Earthquake State ourselves: California. We have trimmers almost every day and sometimes we can acutally feel them, even thought most of the time we do not.
Nevertheless, according to the US Geological Survey the arrival of the “Big One” is not the question of if, but when it will happen.
So you have to ask yourself this question: Am I Ready?
The Hollywood community, the Los Angeles Police Department / Hollywood Division and a large number of City, County and State departments held a great event in September this year to address exactly that one question.
HNN-TV was surprised to find out on just how few people are truly prepared or even knew what to do in general when the shaking starts.
Sergeant Darryl Davis made sure he had the right representation of those departments and organizations who could truly be an asset on enriching the knowledge of anybody who wanted to know just what to do when it starts shaking and what to do when the shaking was over.
On the onset of the first little “bump” you should “DROP – COVER – and HOLD ON” where ever you are standing in that moment, because it might just protect you and safe your life.
The people at Shake Out (www.shakeout.org/california/) will let you know what you need to do to be prepared. They will also gladly sign you up to participate in “The Great California Shake Out”, which will be held on Thursday, October 17, 2013 at exactly 10:17 AM. Now that’s an easy day / time to remember: 10/17 at 10:17 AM!
These volunteers told us that it is very important to not only participate in the shakeout, but also to practice the “DROP – COVER – and HOLD ON” part, since most of the “old wife’s tales” such as standing under a door frame just do not hold water anymore. The “myth” that by simple crawling under a table you are safe is partially wrong, too, since the table most likely will move and objects could tumble on you. That’s why it is important to “HOLD ON” to the legs of the table once you are under it. Again: Check out their website as it does offer a lot of really great information, suggestions and solutions in case of an emergency.
(More info on what to do and what not to do you to be found here: www.dropcoverholdon.org, www.earthquakecountry.org/dropcoverholdon)
There were many volunteers at each and every booth who answered any question that was asked.
Here are a few of them: Southern California Gas Company, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Animal Services, Police Department, Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council’s Emergency Committee, American Red Cross, www.shakeout.org.
Realizing quickly that only a handful of people in Hollywood actually know what to do and how to do things, such as shutting off the gas reader or tying down the water heater for example, here are a quick questions / answers / suggestions you might want to swirl around in your head.
Do you know where your gas reader / and shut off is? Do you know how to shut it off? Are you even supposed to shut it off? You can get answers to those questions directly from the Southern California Gas Company by simply calling 877-238-0092or visit their website at www.socalgas.com.
We all love our pets and we don’t want to lose them in case of an emergency, but do we know how to best protect them during a disaster?
One of the answers we received came from Dierich Nelson is the Chair of the Emergency Service Committee of the Hollywood Hills West NC and he has a plan not only for himself and his family, but also for his pets. In fact, he has a “Ready-to-Go-Kit” that can be grabbed at any moments’ notice. He told us that it is essential to have a pet carrier, water and food supplies for at least one week ready for it if you have to leave your home. – He’s got a first aid kit, food for one week per pet and a minimum of 1 gallon of water per day.
One other really great resource on how to protect your pet is at www.laanimalservices.com.
You might also want to consider this: Sign yourself and your loved ones up with a tool provided by New York Life. They will give you a CD of your information that can either be used if you can’t locate a family member. This tool has proven itself very helpful during some of the recent Amber Alerts. – There might be other companies out there, too, who provide a similar service, but since New York Life was at this event, check it out at www.newyorklife.com
This particular Emergency Preparedness Event was a true success and it might have even been more attended if the local Neighborhood Councils (NC) would have helped reaching out to their constituents. It was kind of exciting and yet also sad to see that the only NC to be physically present at the event was Hollywood Hills West NC, which is quite frankly the furthest one away from the event location.
Even Sergeant Davis was a little disappointed that none of the immediate Neighborhood Councils had a booth or other outreach tools at the event. Though in the end the attendance was pretty good, he had hoped for more “shout outs” to the local NC’s databases, their website and other promotional tools they might have.
NC’s are supposed to be the first group of local government to keep the community informed and involved, but hey: The word got out somehow, right?
We left the event site with newly gathered knowledge and even though we spent quite some time talking to almost everybody and their groups, we can only hope that we learned enough to be ready for the “big one” or any other emergency that might come our way.
Ziggy @ October 9, 2013
On Tuesday, October 8, at 10 AM, a hearing before a Zoning Administrator will be conducted in Room 1020 in Los Angeles City Hall regarding the February 21, 2012 razing of Hollywood’s Old Spaghetti Factory Building at Sunset Blvd. and Gordon Street. This hearing concerns politically-connected developer CIM Group’s illegal “midnight demolition” of this historic structure.
CIM also recently demolished historic buildings on the former Pickford Studios lot in West Hollywood, and was the beneficiary of the $30 million taxpayer loan from then Councilmember Garcetti to modify the Kodak Theatre for Cirque du Soleil – which after only 18 months closed its show in CIM’s Hollywood Highland boondoggle.
How much longer will the people of Los Angeles tolerate a City Council and City Planning/Building and Safety Department where the unwritten policy appears to be to enable and make excuses for developer criminal violations of Project conditions and City laws put in place to protect our health, safety and quality of life? Recently, Los Angeles officials, including Mayor Garcetti, went on record trying to deny that active earthquake faults cross the Millennium Project lots even though emails show Building and Safety General Manager Ray Chan discussing this “problem” with the developer’s attorneys – the same attorneys who hired Chan’s son to work for them as the Millennium project went through City hearings.
It is time for Hollywood residents to express to City officials just what they think of a City Hall that is willing to risk life, limb and quality of life to enrich their biggest campaign contributors. Our collective fury over this outrageous conduct can be productively vented at the October 8, 2013 hearing at 10:00 am in City Hall, Room 1020. Be there.
What Happened at Sunset/Gordon
The Sunset/Gordon Project has a lengthy history of City Hall ineptitude and corruption. In 2007, developer Gerding Edland entered into an agreement with the former CRA and then-Councilman Eric Garcetti to construct a 23-story skyscraper at the site of the Old Spaghetti Factory building.
The project sought extraordinary taxpayer subsidies, on the theory that government assistance was necessary to bridge the “funding gap” between the estimated cost of a redevelopment project and a “fair” developer profit. Based upon this principle, the CRA determined that Sunset/Gordon could only be built if the taxpayers of Los Angeles contributed $17.24 million in public funds, in order to assure that the developer would make his profit goal of $28.39 million.
As part of the project’s public benefit to preserve an important piece of Hollywood history, the façade of the Old Spaghetti Factory building was required to be retained and restored to its original beautiful appearance as the former Peerless Auto Showroom building.
The Sunset/Gordon project subsequently received the most variances in the history of the City of Los Angeles. Hollywood/Highland had 4; Sunset/Gordon received 17, allowing a skyscraper with twice the allowed residential density with half the required parking, a 260-foot tall building where the zoning allowed only a height of 45 feet.
When community members sued the City over this project in 2008, the CRA and Councilman Garcetti had City Council advance the developer $3.668 million in public funds to pay Gerding Edland’s litigation expenses, money that was supposed to pay for a public park. Gerding Edland subsequently defaulted on that advance, using the public’s money to buy property in Venice for another development. Gerding Edland also defaulted on all of its other subsidized condo tower projects: Evo, Elleven, and Luma all went bankrupt. When the CRA’s finance officer was asked why the CRA wasn’t trying to recover these funds, the officer responded that “The Government is in the business of giving out money, not getting it back.”
When the CRA originally approved the Sunset/Gordon project in 2007, developer Gerding Edland stated that the office skyscraper would cost $200 million. CIM Group purchased the site in 2011, and now acknowledges that the cost of the project is $102 million, or a savings to CIM of $98 million. CIM has also increased its built-in profit margin for the project over what Gerding Edland was taking. Yet the CRA’s successor agency, led by Nelson Rising, is still giving CIM $6 million in public funds to include 40,000 sq. ft. of office space in this development, at a time when a glut of such space is available. Also, if CIM cannot rent out the space, it does not have to repay the $6 million taxpayer loan.
As for the former Old Spaghetti Factory building, after saving millions of dollars by not having to shore up the structure and dig around it during construction as was enacted by the City into law as a mandatory requirement, CIM now says that it will “recreate” the building façade and incorporate it into the skyscraper. The CRA is counting this “recreation” expense as CIM’s required “art” contribution to the people of Los Angeles, and is refunding CIM back its $628,000 required art fee.
All of this is, of course, in addition to the news that County Assessor John Noguez was allegedly bribed by the original developer in exchange for a reduction of the assessed value of the Sunset/Gordon property. As reported by the LA Times, Noguez reduced that assessment from $20 million to $7 million after receiving the developer’s campaign contributions. CIM Group purchased the site in 2011 for $21 million.
In the pending court proceeding over CIM’s violation of the City’s requirement to restore the historic building in place, a Superior Court judge has already ruled that CIM violated the law, but the Court is requiring the City to conduct a series of administrative hearings to give it the opportunity to revoke CIM’s building permits and correct the violations. Anyone want to tell the City what it ought to do with CIM’s misdemeanor violations of City law?
The people of LA have been ripped off enough on this massive waste of taxpayer funds, and you have a chance to speak out about it on October 8. Please attend.
related story: http://paradiseleased.wordpress.com/2012/02/23/r-i-p-old-old-spaghetti-factory-building-1924-2012/
Ziggy @ October 4, 2013
Sun, surf, and 15 miles of open road will mark the first CicLAvia of 2013, transforming Venice Boulevard and downtown Los Angeles streets into a car-free, linear park for strolling, biking, playing, and exploring the city from a new perspective.Since it began in 2010, CicLAvia has quickly become Los Angeles County’s most popular public event, consistently attracting more than 100,000 participants. CicLAvia is free of charge and open to everyone, from lifelong Angelenos to first-time visitors from around the globe. Leave the motorized transportation methods behind and claim the streets as your own.
CicLAvia – To the Sea will be CicLAvia’s longest route to date, spanning more than 15 miles and connecting the city’s historic center at El Pueblo de Los Angeles and the bustling boardwalk of Venice Beach. Several hubs along this expansive route will offer information and services for participants. CicLAvia – To the Sea offers a rich tour of the city’s history, vibrant neighborhoods, and majestic views of the Pacific Ocean.
Erdan Bell @ April 15, 2013
Hollywood: Below the Word
There are less than a half-dozen areas in the United States that share the name Hollywood. But this is the place where it shines the most and often brighter, during major events is Hollywood, California. The Hollywood here is synonymous with glitz and glamor. There is a sign of letters up on the hill top here that smacks you right in the face and says, you are in Hollywood. It is up high and we are well below it. Actually you can trail up to those nine large letters in white, and get as close as a church mouse.
I gather that the word Hollywood, in its all and encompassing form, oversees everything below it. Are we its subject, or do we see it every day as others all around the world wishes they could see it every day. And as Hollywoodians, (I just made that up.) do we go about our day with our heads held up to high.
Naw, we don’t, we look straight forward, unless we got a Smartphone in our hand, and go about our daily lives. And for some of us, we see other things that are inherently Hollywood today. Take for instance, Mr. Rande Zell, a Taurus, and senior citizen who chooses life under the glare of the Hollywood word.
He’s got over twenty years in our wonderful community and he chooses to use the sky as his ceiling. He uses the street blocks as his living-room, bedroom and backyard. The ramps as his cash ATM machines and stage to the rush-hour traffic, which every man and woman has a choice seat to see him as they are in the front row.
But atlas, it’s not all guts and glory. Well you could lose your guts sleeping in the streets. Zell at one time had to ferry himself to the hospital for several days because of an altercation from a fellow Hollywoodian homeless friend. And his sleeping quarters were held before him by another who had to leave because of a fire.
Zell was born in Eureka, in Northern California and raised in the State Capital Sacramento area and eventually made it to Laguna Beach in Southern California. As an avid reader, he says he is blessed every morning he wakes up. He did not mention whether he was talking about natural causes or by the hands of another. But we can guess the latter. His parents both went to Berkley in Northern California.
He speaks proudly of his mother and states that she had a background in marine biology and she claimed to have one-eighth of an Indian (Pomo) tribe. He is a little ambivalent about that. He said his mother helped document, on a native land, plants and herbs that can be used for consumption.
This is not his first home in the Hollywood area. As transient people who live here, they come and go and move around. Zell seems to be more of a staple here. Some of the residents know who he is, as well as I, and some of the gangs members in the neighborhood. He assisted them in acquiring libations when they were too young to do on their own. As you can see in the video, they have tagged his living quarters to say it is okay for Zell here.
This self-employed humanitarian, as he states, seems to be genuine in putting people before himself. He has gone out of his way to share what food he has with unfortunate others. And one of those unfortunate others, did put him in the hospital once for several days.
Well for the life that Zell leads, it seems that all he wants to do is share a smile with you and in return, maybe you can share a smile too.
You never know what those nine letters are shinning on.
Come back and find out.
Erdan Bell @ April 14, 2013
Choi to face O’Farrell in May Runoff
The votes have been counted, and with 100 percent of the votes in it seems the top two votes getter will ask the voters again to pick a clear winner at the next vote day for CD 13.
With Choi having bill boards highly displayed, it did not make him a clear winner with O’Farrel’s grass roots community efforts.
It will just be two, no more no less.
This happens on May 21, so come out and vote.
Erdan Bell @ April 1, 2013