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Horace Mann Renovations Could Include Public Parking

February 8, 2012

As the city searches for ways to revitalize southeast Beverly Hills, a proposal to add public parking under Horace Mann School  for local shoppers has elicited concerns from parents. The Board of Education voted Nov. 22 to formally approve plans to spend $55 million of Measure E funds to rebuild and modernize the Horace Mann campus. The proposal includes a two-story building on the corner of Robertson and Charleville boulevards that will house the middle school, a new multipurpose room and a new library. There would be 100 underground parking spaces for school staff and visitors. “Parking is key to upgrading the neighborhood, which will benefit everyone who lives here or attends school here,” Councilman John Mirisch told the Horace Mann Parent Teacher Association on Thursday. Mirisch and Deputy City Manager David Lightner raised the idea of adding a second level of underground parking at Horace Mann at a Nov. 9 Board of Education study session.   The city already leases space at Horace Mann through the Joint Powers Agreement , so offering public parking there could be seen as an extension of the JPA, said Mirisch. The councilman is looking at ways to bring parking to the area as part of his role leading the city’s task force to develop the southeast part of town. “With more parking, our section of Robertson Boulevard could become like Robertson Boulevard in West Hollywood,” he told parents. Mirisch noted that the Beverly Hills section of the street hosts small businesses like nail salons and massage parlors while the West Hollywood section hosts The Ivy and other high-end restaurants and retailers. If more upscale businesses opened near Horace Mann, the city would collect additional property taxes, the councilman said. This could directly benefit the Beverly Hills Unified School District, which became a  basic aid district in 2010. (Under basic aid, the schools are funded through local property taxes rather than a per-pupil allotment from the state.)   Many Horace Mann parents, however, expressed concerns about the idea. Some noted increased traffic flow, safety worries and the general philosophy that commercial and education interests should not be mixed. Mirisch himself said that environmental concerns may preclude the city from moving forward with his plan. There are subterranean toxins on the Horace Mann grounds from a gas station that used to be located across the street. The process of digging up the soil to clean it might be too costly to add any underground parking to the school. “The contamination is probably the biggest stumbling block to the [parking] idea, so I don’t know if it will make financial sense to move forward,” Mirisch told Patch in an email. “We need to…get additional information before there’s anything more to talk about.” Mirisch is continuing to look at other ways to provide more parking on or near Robertson, Olympic and Wilshire boulevards. Additional parking and bike lanes in the area could help create the “right mix of stores, boutique restaurants and most importantly, a sense of community,” he told Patch. Be sure to follow Beverly Hills Patch on  Twitter  and “Like” us on  Facebook . Read the original: Horace Mann Renovations Could Include Public Parking

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‘The Lady’ and ‘Kinyarwanda’ Now Playing at Music Hall 3

December 4, 2011

Laemmle’s Music Hall 3 is the spot in town to catch a flick. Two films that are currently showing at the historic theater have recently been reviewed by the Los Angeles Times . Why not stay in Beverly Hills for your next movie screening? ‘The Lady’ (R-127 minutes) Starring Michelle Yeoh of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon fame, this film tells the story of Aung San Suu Kyi, who was placed under house arrest in Burma for more than 15 years for publicly opposing the nation’s military dictatorship. Suu Kyi’s pro-democracy efforts eventually earned her a Nobel Peace Prize. To read the LA Times review of The Lady , click here . ‘Kinyarwanda’  (NR-108 minutes) The tragic history of the 1994 Rwandan genocide is the backdrop for this Sundance Film Festival 2011 Audience Award winner. Featuring a Rwandan cast and crew, the movie revisits the battle between the nation’s Hutu majority and Tutsi minority, and is based on the accounts of genocide survivors. To read the  LA Times  review of  Kinyarwanda , click  here . For show times and tickets, visit the Music Hall 3 website . Be sure to follow Beverly Hills Patch on  Twitter  and “Like” us on  Facebook . See the original post here: ‘The Lady’ and ‘Kinyarwanda’ Now Playing at Music Hall 3

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