Sign of the Times – Fight Bundy Village

Seeing these signs all over South Mar Vista and everywhere, I wanted to look into the source. For more research on this proposed 11.5 acre project at Bundy and Olympic by Century City based developer Stonebridge Holdings Incorporated – Michael Lombardi, President I had to go to or .org.

Rumor has it that the developer across the road on Olympic is promoting the fight to kill or downsize the project.   This reporter could find no obvious link to Kilroy Realty Corporation at 12100-12200-12312 Olympic Boulevard. The domain and .org is registered to The Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc. which is the New York based parent  company of a global portfolio of advertising and marketing companies.

For another localized effort check out the website which says it was created and updated by the Brentwood Homeowners’ Association and Brentwood Community Council. The domain is registered to a Brentwood resident. Both sites offer to get you a lawn sign, one of over 22,000 reported placed.  Are they all the same sign as pictured below?


Keeshen Drive Block Party Success

At least seven choices.

The residents held their 6th annual summer block party on Keeshen Drive yesterday afternoon.  Kids had plenty to do,  a dunk tank, a jumper and a pinata and more.  Adults and kids appreciated the home made dessert contest. The judges had several difficult choices including the overall winner -peach pie.

And the winner is !

The grilled hot dogs and potluck food was plentiful and the adults also enjoyed adult beverages supplied by the owner of local Angel City Brewery. A raffle was held with prizes including gift certificates to local restaurants  and movie DVD’s.  The local band played as well providing musical entertainment.

Raffle prizes were popular

Mar Vista Community Council had a booth and provided their popular reusable grocery bags made from recycled parachute material to residents that hadn’t received one. The street closure was a success but the City has stopped providing fee waivers so the Block club had to pay themselves. This didn’t damper the mood and  a good time was had by all. Looking forward to year seven !

Alley Gates Going In

A group of over 50 SoMar homeowners worked diligently for about three years to install alley gates on a north – south alley between McLaughlin and EastBoulevard.  
This, like a lot of alleys, was a magnet for illegal dumping and a haven for petty crime. The old Los Angeles City program to financially aid neighbors in closing alleys has long past so these neighbors had to raise all the funds from themselves. City bureaucracy added an insurance requirement to the permit which complicated matters but was eventually removed with the help of Councilman Bill Rosendahl. The Councilman also helped with the permit fees.   Neighbor Jim Davidson, who spearheaded the closure effort, designed the gates from city Engineering Department specs.  The gates cost came in approximately half of what a general contractor might have charged. This is an example of citizens banding together to solve a problem instead of

Neighbors assist workers

expecting the government to do it. Working with the Councilman’s office to break the bureaucratic logjam created a successful outcome for a truly grass roots effort. The city is scheduled to clean the alley one more time before property owners take over maintenance. Installation is expected to be complete this week and a neighborhood party is planned to celebrate sometime soon.

Pet Waste Transmits Disease

The North Oval Neighborhood Association has sponsored a dog poop station.  As you see here in the photo it has a place to dispense plastic bags and a covered bin to place the waste. It is located on the outer wall of Meadowbrook Manor, a mental health facility, who also donated and maintains the station. A second waste unit is seeking a location on this popular route for dog walkers and joggers..

Report Graffiti Online – Reward for Conviction

To report graffiti or illegal dumping you can always call 311 but please make sure you can give the operator the exact address and cross street.

Below is the link to the City of Los Angeles – Office of Community Beautification  (OCB)  website where you can report graffiti online and also download the pdf application for the reward (I don’t know the amount)  for information leading to conviction of graffiti vandalism or illegal dumping:

http: //

Suspension of Community Beautification Grants for 2010-11

Due to the City facing another tough budgetary year, the City of Los Angeles Community Beautification Grant was not allocated funding for 2010-11 fiscal year.  As such, they will not be distributing applications or hosting workshops.

On the upside, CB Grant staff will continue to work diligently to support the 200+ projects that are in progress.  They will also search for and apprise us of any grant opportunities that are available to organizations.  Hopefully, in a year, they can look forward to receive funding for beautification projects so that they can continue the combined efforts of making the City of Los Angeles beautiful.

My Book of the Week

Book of the Week  by Christopher McKinnon

The looting of America: how Wall Street’s game of fantasy finance destroyed our jobs, pensions, and prosperity, and what we can do about it – Les Leopold  2009  219 pages

The title says it all but if you ever really wanted to know the definition of derivatives like a “CDO” Collateralized Debt Obligation or a “CDS” Credit Default Swap and how it relates to the “tranche” of your everyday life than this is the book for you.  It is an easy, if not fun, weekend read for a most complicated subject and can be reserved at your Los Angeles branch library. I use their online reservation system for extra convenience.

The author explains that those people stretching to buy homes with risky mortgages were not to blame for the debacle that resulted in the financial collapse around the world. He places fault mostly on the insatiable needs of financial institutions and billionaire CEO’s to play fantasy finance much as addicted sports fans play fantasy baseball. The repercussions of a players strike in this case having massive real world consequences that continue today in our cities and towns.

The author’s solutions skew to his perspective and background as a non-profit green union labor coalition organizer. He stresses that more parity must occur to the working class- financial class dichotomy that has proliferated and grown for at least three decades in order for the government attempt at solutions to take hold.

New Eateries in SoMar

South Mar Vista and adjacent  is fast becoming the place to eat in the area. Joining the Venice Grind and The Curious Palate on Venice Boulevard is Earl’s Gourmet Grub at 12226 Venice Blvd. which rehearsed their menu at the Mar Vista  Farmer’s Market for months of  Sunday’s. The owners Dean Harada and Yvonne MacDonald are SoMar residents! Opening at 3809 Grand View Boulevard is La Petite Creperie open for breakfast and lunch and on a recent Sunday the line was out the door.  Furthur afield but close enough to claim as our own is gastropub Waterloo and City at 12517 Washington Blvd. in Culver City 90066. The Wood Cafe at 12000 Washington Place  owned by Demetrios of Venice Grind has recently enlarged their menu.  Click on the names for reviews by SoMar member Sarah Auerswald on her  Mar Vista Mom blog. Be sure to visit all the restaurants  for the ambience, architecture and interesting unique food. Meet your neighbors and support your local businesses and more will follow. And don’t forget Pitfire Pizza!