Posts Tagged ‘ news: schools ’

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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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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BHUSD Moves Money to Measure E Fund and Basic Aid Reserve

January 17, 2012

The Board of Education voted unanimously last week to use settlement money to reimburse $2.5 million to the Measure E bond fund and add another $2.5 million to the district’s  basic aid reserve fund . Energy company Johnson Controls paid a total of $6.6 million to the Beverly Hills Unified School District’s general fund in November to settle claims regarding $7 million worth of goods and services the district purchased from the company at the recommendation of former facilities director Karen Christiansen. Johnson Controls had secretly hired Christiansen to be a consultant while she was working for the district.  Christiansen was found guilty in November of four felony conflict of interest counts and was  sentenced  this month to four years and four months in prison for infractions that occurred while she was a BHUSD employee. The district has spent  more than $2 million  in Measure E funds on legal fees related to the months-long Christiansen trial. The $334 million  Measure E bond  was passed by voters in 2008 to help renovate all five BHUSD schools. The basic aid reserve now holds $3.25 million, Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Alex Cherniss told the board. The fund is in place to support the district in case property taxes fluctuate and bring in less revenue than anticipated. Money in the basic aid reserve cannot be spent without approval from the board majority. The Johnson Controls settlement also includes a $1.6 million credit for goods and services from the company to be delivered at a later date. If the district doesn’t take advantage of the credit, it will receive $1 million in cash. “We will get approximately $1 million in additional funds in the next 10 months unless the board chooses to buy services [from Johnson Controls],” Cherniss said. “We will be coming back with a recommendation for another $1 million to appropriate.”  Cherniss did not indicate how the additional funds might be spent. Be sure to follow  Beverly Hills  Patch on  Twitter  and “Like” us on  Facebook . Read more: BHUSD Moves Money to Measure E Fund and Basic Aid Reserve

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Idol recovers from surgery

November 8, 2011

Singer Billy Idol performs onstage at The Art of Elysium’s 3rd Annual Black Tie Charity Gala ‘Heaven’ on January 16, 2010 in Beverly Hills, California. Read the original: Idol recovers from surgery

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School Board Election Is Today

November 8, 2011

Tuesday, Nov. 8 marks the day that residents can vote to fill three seats on the Beverly Hills Unified School District Board of Education. The four candidates running in the school board race are incumbent  Brian Goldberg , El Rodeo parent  Frances Bilak , educator Lewis Hall  and Beverly Vista parent  Noah Margo .  Margo is the only contender who is running as a write-in candidate, which means his campaign statement will not appear on the ballot. To learn more about voting for a write-in candidate, click  here . The name of Traffic and Parking Commissioner Andy Licht, who has dropped out of the race, will still appear on the ballot per California law. Licht has said he intends to resign if voted to the board. Upon his resignation if elected, the board majority would appoint a successor for a two-year term until the next school board election. Board members who are directly elected serve for four years. Because write-in votes must be counted by hand, final election results will not be immediately available. If you are unsure where to vote, visit the Los Angeles County Registrar/Recorder’s polling place locator by clicking here and entering your home address (Note: do not include street type, such as north, south, boulevard or drive). If you received a sample ballot by mail, the location of your designated polling place should be printed on the back. Here is a list of official polling stations in Beverly Hills for the Nov. 8 school board election: BEVERLY HILLS HOTEL – SUNSET BALLROOM 9641 SUNSET BLVD. BEVERLY HILLS, CA 90210  SUNRISE ASSISTED LIVING OF BH – MEDIA ROOM 201 N. CRESCENT DR. BEVERLY HILLS, CA 90210  BEVERLY TERRACE HOTEL – LOBBY 469 N. DOHENY DR. BEVERLY HILLS, CA 90210  RESIDENCE – GARAGE 716 N. HILLCREST RD. BEVERLY HILLS, CA 90210  HORACE MANN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL – AUDITORIUM FOYER 8701 CHARLEVILLE BLVD. BEVERLY HILLS, CA 90211  BETH JACOB CONGREGATION – BAYER HALL 9030 W. OLYMPIC BLVD. BEVERLY HILLS, CA 90211  BEVERLY VISTA ELEMENTARY SCHOOL – MULTI-PURPOSE ROOM 200 S. ELM DR. BEVERLY HILLS, CA 90212  ROXBURY PARK – COMMUNITY CENTER 471 S. ROXBURY DR. BEVERLY HILLS, CA 90212  The polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Don’t forget to bring along your driver’s license or a state-approved photo identification card.   Stay tuned with Patch for the latest election news as it develops.   Be sure to follow Beverly Hills Patch on  Twitter  and “Like” us on  Facebook . Go here to read the rest: School Board Election Is Today

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Bilak Loses Two Endorsements After Debate Scheduling Controversy

October 22, 2011

Board of Education candidate Frances Bilak has lost two important endorsements since Patch reported Oct. 20 that an election debate had been canceled after Bilak emailed the Beverly Hills High School student who was organizing the event, claiming that she would contact local media and synagogues of his decision to hold the event during the Sabbath. Councilwoman Lili Bosse , who won every district in the city when she ran for election earlier this year, pulled her endorsement of Bilak after reading the Patch story. Planning Commissioner Brian Rosenstein also withdrew his endorsement of Bilak several hours after Bosse made her decision public on Patch. Bilak is one of four candidates running for three board seats in the Nov. 8 election. “The Last Word: The Last Election Debate” had been planned for 6 p.m. on Nov. 4, four days before the election. It was organized by Max Schwartz, a BHHS senior who hosts a talk show on KBEV6, the high school’s student television station.  Bilak, like her competitors Brian Goldberg , Lewis Hall and Noah Margo , had agreed to participate in the debate. But when she realized the debate time conflicted with the Sabbath, she asked Schwartz to change the date or time. Although he tried to reschedule the event, Schwartz was unable to do so.  In an Oct. 17 email to Schwartz, Bilak said that said she was “deeply disappointed” by his decision to keep the debate at its original date and time. “I will be letting the newspapers know tomorrow as well as the synagogues know of your decision,” she wrote. “I had told them that I believed you would respect the Sabbath and everyone’s decision to have dinner with their families on the Sabbath.”  The debate was subsequently canceled. “When I read your Patch story, it broke my heart, particularly because Max Schwartz is an exemplary student and member of our community,” Bosse told Patch. “[Bilak] really crossed the line when she said, ‘I am going to let the synagogues and the media know,’ as though what he was doing was religiously motivated. It felt like bullying behavior, it was cruel and that is when I wrote her an email letting her know of my decision.”  In Bosse’s comment to the Oct. 20 article, she asked that the candidate remove the councilwoman’s name from Bilak’s marketing materials for the remainder of the campaign unless the candidate made a public apology to Schwartz. Bosse said Friday that Bilak’s comments on Patch, in which she apologized to Schwatz, did not constitute a public apology and that her decision to withdraw support for Bilak was now final. “It is one thing to get frustrated with fellow adults, but with kids—the children of this district—the number one thing you have to have is compassion,” Bosse said. “I am sure she has learned a lot from this experience. It has been a lesson for all of us who take endorsements seriously.” Bosse noted that she originally had planned to avoid making endorsements in the Nov. 8 race. But when Margo decided to join as a write-in candidate, Bosse changed her mind because she said she knew how difficult a write-in campaigns can be and she believed Margo would make a good board member. At that point she decided to also endorse Bilak and incumbent Goldberg. Bosse still strongly supports Margo and Goldberg. Planning Commissioner Brian Rosenstein came to a similar conclusion after Patch alerted him to the fact that Bilak was promoting his endorsement in media advertisements. Like Bosse, he has also endorsed Goldberg and Margo. “I had assumed by tonight [Oct. 20] that I would have seen, or that you would have made, a public apology for the comments made to Max,” Rosenstein wrote in email to sent Bilak at 8:47 p.m. on Oct. 20. “What I saw on Patch was basically an ‘I’m sorry you feel that way’ message from you. That is not what I consider an apology and is not what Max and his family deserves or this community will find to be good enough.” Rosenstein posted his entire email to Bilak on Patch about an hour later at 9:52 p.m. At the time of this story’s publication, Bosse is still listed on Bilak’s website as being a supporter. Mayor Barry Brucker, who also endorsed Bilak, has not indicated that he plans to withdraw his support. Be sure to follow Beverly Hills Patch on  Twitter  and “Like” us on  Facebook . Originally posted here: Bilak Loses Two Endorsements After Debate Scheduling Controversy

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Raw Police Video