Posts Tagged ‘ manager ’

Horace Mann Renovations Could Include Public Parking

February 9, 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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Week in Review: The 90210 ZIP, BHHS Fault Study and a 5-Car Pileup

December 18, 2011

A five-car accident occurred in a city parking lot last week. Read about that and more in the top stories from Dec. 11-17. 1. The 90210 ZIP has been named the nation’s fourth richest postal code for 2011, according to Businessweek.com.  2. The Beverly Hills Unified School District has restored $24,000 to the Measure E fund that was incorrectly billed to the bond. 3. A Beverly Hills motorcycle officer was involved in a traffic accident on South Beverly Drive. 4. The BHUSD is conducting a study to determine if there are  active faults under the Beverly Hills High School campus. 5. A chain-reaction car accident involving five vehicles took place in the city-owned parking facility at 439 N. Canon Drive. Also, don’t miss City Manager Jeff Kolin’s blog about the process of municipal construction .  Be sure to follow  Beverly Hills  Patch on  Twitter  and “Like” us on  Facebook . The rest is here: Week in Review: The 90210 ZIP, BHHS Fault Study and a 5-Car Pileup

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Stirling: Hollywood in the Adelaide Hills

December 4, 2011

Julia Ormond arrives at the 2011 HBO Golden Globe Party in Beverly Hills, California, in January. See the original post: Stirling: Hollywood in the Adelaide Hills

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City’s Affordable Housing Initiative Spent Nearly $50 Million, Produced Nothing

November 17, 2011

Reporters Bob Porterfield and Jackie Ginley are exploring the financial challenges facing Hercules for The Huffington Post and Hercules Patch . Read their report on municipal utility spending here . HERCULES, Calif. — There are 918 names on ‘the list.’ People from every walk of life are on it, with one thing in common: They all wanted the chance to take advantage of affordable housing offers in the small city of Hercules. Many have been waiting more than five years for a call that would have given them entrée to sparkling new digs in Sycamore North , a $70 million mixed-use housing development in this struggling community of 24,000 residents northeast of San Francisco. They’re still on hold, waiting for a project that looms over a mostly barren downtown, its only occupant a security guard living in a small trailer. “It’s a bummer,” says Karla Bernal, a Hercules native who moved back home two years ago and was lured onto the list, looking to buy a condo she and her mother could afford. “It would be amazing, awesome, to be able to live there.” Bernal ended up moving to nearby Pinole , where she rents a home. Even Hercules has washed its hands of Sycamore North. After dumping $38 million into the project with no hope of raising another $30 million to finish it, the city began maneuvering in August to find some way to salvage it. Negotiations are underway with potential buyers, possibly at fire-sale prices , and Hercules is asking the state to extend $5 million in loans it made to help with construction. City Council members are now debating whether, through a sale, to scrap Sycamore North’s 76 affordable housing units and convert the entire residential portion of the project into market-rate condominiums or retail space. Whatever the outcome, city officials say they hope to have the Sycamore North problem resolved within a few weeks. State auditors and federal investigators now are trying to unravel what went wrong with the Hercules affordable housing program, Sycamore North and other redevelopment projects in the town. A key question will be how a financially strapped community committed more than $100 million to an affordable housing program and its related infrastructure, spending nearly $50 million before the money ran out — including $30.2 million on the affordable housing segment of Sycamore North and $17.9 million more on other projects and assistance to benefit low-income residents — without producing a single unit of affordable housing. Another question will be why Hercules’ biggest affordable housing advocate, former City Manager Nelson Oliva , embarked in 2005 upon a spree of borrowing, spending and building that has nearly bankrupted the town. City Hall today is almost as empty as Sycamore North, with the few remaining employees, a new City Council, new city manager and new city attorney left to clean up a mess not of their making . It will be a daunting task. The Huffington Post and Hercules Patch reviewed thousands of pages of public records in an attempt to follow the trail of taxpayer money spent on affordable housing and other redevelopment in Hercules, but couldn’t determine where all the money went. Affordable housing program records are in disarray or missing, and former city officials and employees who knew what was going on have either been fired, laid off because of budget cuts, hired lawyers or simply refused to talk about Sycamore North. Even the experts and consultants who advised the city or have strong opinions on what happened in Hercules won’t comment publicly, for fear they will be drawn into lawsuits or grilled by FBI agents who are methodically interviewing current and former city personnel. “It’s easy for me in hindsight to look at this and say it was a poorly conceived project that was poorly managed,” says Frank Fox, a Philadelphia developer that Hercules hired in February to sort out its real estate transactions. “Cities should not be in the development business.” CONTINUE READING ON HERCULES PATCH Here is the original post: City’s Affordable Housing Initiative Spent Nearly $50 Million, Produced Nothing

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Diablo Cody at the 2011 Hollywood Awards

October 25, 2011
Diablo Cody at the 2011 Hollywood Awards

http://www.youtube.com/v/SVmXedbCWxw?version=3&f=user_uploads&app=youtube_gdata Diablo Cody talks to LA Times reporter Amy Kaufman at the 2011 Hollywood Awards. More here: Diablo Cody at the 2011 Hollywood Awards

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Obama Mingles With Stars At Hollywood Fundraisers

October 25, 2011

LOS ANGELES — Actor Will Smith and basketball standout Earvin “Magic” Johnson for dinner and Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas for post-meal mingling. President Barack Obama waded into the domain of the stars Monday as he hit the California fundraising circuit in one of his busiest donor outreach trips of the season. Smith, in an elegant three-piece suit, and Johnson, the standout former point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers, were guests at the home of producer James Lassiter and his wife, Mai. About 40 contributors, including actress Hillary Duff, contributed $35,800 each for a cozy dinner and a chance to chat with the president. Obama, eager to reinvigorate his supporters, ticked off his administration’s accomplishments. “Sometimes I think people forget how much has gotten done,” the president said as he urged his backers to rally once again, at the same time joking, as he often does, that he is older and grayer now. “This election won’t be as sexy as the first one.” The Lassiter dinner, followed by a larger affair at the home of Griffith and Banderas, were part of a three-day, fundraising-rich swing through Nevada, California and Colorado. California, however, is his biggest donor state and he raised about $1 million in the Los Angeles area alone during the past two fundraising quarters, according to an Associated Press review of contributions above $200. Testing a re-election theme, Obama is also telling donors that the country is suffering from an economic crisis and political crisis. “People are crying out for action,” he says. Pointing to elements of his $447 billion jobs plan that was rejected by Republican lawmakers, Obama said they likely would linger as campaign issues in 2012. “This is the fight that we’re going to have right now, and I suspect this is the fight that we’re going to have to have over the next year,” Obama told about 240 donors at a fundraising event earlier Monday at the Bellagio hotel and casino in Las Vegas. “The Republicans in Congress and the Republican candidates for president have made their agenda very clear.” The Las Vegas fundraiser attracted about 240 people who paid from $1,000 to $35,800 toward Obama’s re-election campaign and to the Democratic National Committee. The bigger donors met the president personally. Others at Lassiter’s Hancock Park home included Troy Carter, the manager of Grammy award winner Lady Gaga. The singer herself was a guest at a fundraiser last month at the Atherton home of Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg. The Griffith-Banderas event attracted about 120 donors and was aimed at Obama’s Latino supporters. It featured guests such as actress Eva Longoria and mayors Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles and Julian Castro of San Antonio. While in Las Vegas, Obama spelled out a plan to help homeowners refinance their homes even if their home values had dropped dramatically below what they owed on their mortgages. Obama ventured into a working class development in the Las Vegas suburbs that benefitted from a community revitalization program like one he is pushing Congress to approve now. But the president displayed campaign-style vigor, wading into the neighborhood crowd to shake hands and even lift a baby. His handlers reminded him it was time to leave, but Obama strode to yet another group of residents for one last hand shake, autograph and photograph. Upon arriving in Los Angeles, Obama headed to a diverse neighborhood minutes from Lassiter’s home south of Hollywood and stopped at Roscoe’s, a popular Los Angeles chicken restaurant chain. Obama roved through the dining booths greeting customers, leaving at least one awestruck young boy holding his hand aloft after shaking the president’s hand. One man gave him a hug and a Hispanic man told his daughter that if she studied hard “you’ll be like him.” Most of his remaining time during this three-day Western swing is being spent raising money. On Tuesday he will tape an appearance on “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno,” his second as president and fourth appearance overall. He also will attend fundraisers in San Francisco and Denver. Follow this link: Obama Mingles With Stars At Hollywood Fundraisers

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Suspects Sought in Store Robbery NR11480bb

October 14, 2011
Suspects Sought in Store Robbery NR11480bb

Los Angeles: LAPD West Los Angeles Division detectives are asking for the public’s help in providing any information that will lead to the arrest of the suspects responsible for a robbery in the West LA Area. On October 6, at around 5 am, two African-American males entered the 7-11 store located in the 11600 block of Wilshire Boulevard. Two employees, one of whom is the store manager, were working inside when the men walked in. One of the suspects made his way over to the employees and demanded one of them to the floor. The suspect then dragged the manager from the front of the store to the area behind the cash registers. Once the suspect and the store manager were behind the cash registers, the suspect ordered the manager to open the safe. When the manager said that he could not unlock the safe, the suspect demanded that he open the cash registers. Fearing for his life, the manager did as he was told. The suspect removed about two hundred dollars from one of the registers and then both suspects left the store. The store was equipped with a CCTV system that captured the robbery on video. The suspects are described as African-American males that appeared to be 20 years-old. They stood about 6 feet tall and weighed about 150 pounds. Both suspects were last seen wearing white plastic painter’s suits, gloves and their faces were covered by painter’s masks. The suspects are to be considered ARMED and DANGEROUS. Anyone with information on this crime is urged to call West LA …

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Raw Police Video