Saturday, March 30, 2013

Think Twice Before Adopting Rabbits for Easter

It's been a tradition in the past for families to give baby rabbits, chicks, ducks and other "cute" barnyard animals to children for Easter. While many families do raise and care for rabbits as pets, in many of these situations where the adoption is holiday based, it can turn into the nightmare as the family may find they are not prepared to care for the animal and it winds up injured, lost, abandoned or even killed.

That's why I was surprised to receive an e-mail blast for the Los Angeles Department of Animal Services that, while noting the general theme that impulse holiday pet adoptions are not a good idea, it was nonetheless highly encouraging the adoption of rabbits. While there are many rabbits held in shelters or rescues that need loving homes, it is a decision that any family should not come to lightly and surrounded by the emotion of holidays.

Bay Area based "The Rabbit Haven," a rescue and advocacy organization, urges parents to think again and not adopt the creatures, reminding that rabbits are "not a child's toy." They offer up the following points:
  • Rabbits are not toys to be set up in a kid's room only to come out when the child FEELS like playing. The rabbit needs a family to live with who loves them. They need room to play and be themselves.
  • Rabbits are not always cuddly and do not always like to be hauled around. They are affectionate, enjoy running and playing on the ground and use litter boxes.
  • Rabbits can become frightened when held or confronted by prey animals, like the family dog or cat. THEY NEED LOVING, GENTLE CARE.
  • Rabbits need to live indoors to be safe from diseases and predators.
  • Rabbits are not low maintenance pets. They require as much work as a cat or dog. Rabbits have high social needs and often want another rabbit as a companion.
  • Rabbits are not good first pets for a very young child. Kids lose interest quickly, and rabbits need continual love and support for a lifetime.
  • Rabbits can live 10 years, sometimes longer.
  • Rabbits need medical care from an Exotics vet. Spay or neuter can cost $150 or more, and rabbits require routine veterinary care. Rabbits have special diets and housing needs.
  • Rabbits cannot be set "free" out of doors- it's a death sentence. They are usually killed by predators within 72 hours, suffering terribly.
  • MOST RABBITS PURCHASED AS EASTER GIFTS END UP ABANDONED ON THE STREETS OR AT SHELTERS.
If you are interested in responsible rabbit adoption after the holidays, contact an organization such as Rabbit Rescue, Inc., who can get you started right.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Easter Sunrise Service at The Cross on McGroarty Peak

A Sunland-Tujunga Easter Tradition since the 1920's, coordinated through the Verdugo Hills Ministerial Association, the Easter Sunrise Service at The Cross on McGroarty Peak in Tujunga is for sure to be a beautiful experience and a dramatic reminder of Jesus Christ's promised resurrection after his crucifixion.

In 1992, Los Angeles Times religion editor John Dart wrote that old newspaper clippings indicate that a cross was first erected on the peak in 1923 and was dedicated in a ceremony led by a Catholic priest. The sunrise service, which evidently began in 1926, has usually been dominated by Protestants, however. The Tujunga event is only five years younger than the more famous Hollywood Bowl Easter Sunrise service, but unlike Hollywood and other events that bring in well known preachers and musicians - and attendees from all over - the event on McGroarty Peak is strictly a local event and Foothill denizens like that just fine.

Sadly, the cross was torn down by teenage vandals in 1975 but, with the help of the local Kiwanis Club and the City Department of Recreation and Parks, it was returned to it's place of prominence. However, as a result of the vandalism, the cross has a slight bent, which has become it's signature, much like the crack in the Liberty Bell. Three youths were later arrested and charged with the destruction and ordered to pay for the repairs.

The service begins at 6:00 a.m. however shuttle buses will begin departing from 5:00am -5:45am:
from the corner of Foothill and Hillhaven (Travel Inn). Organizers emphasize that there is NO PARKING on the mountain, so PLEASE do not attempt to park up there, because it causes a hazzard.

IF IT IS RAINING- the Sunrise Service will move to: New Hope Community Church, 10438 Oro Vista Avenue, Sunland @ 6:00am
The service begins with Worship Music led by The New Hope Tapestry Band, with Scripture Readings and Message by Pastors of the Verdugo Hills Ministerial Association.



Video by Dan McManus

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Saturday Entertainment Set for Easter Carnival!


The big Sunland-Tujunga Easter Carnival is soon upon us, starting Friday night at 5:00 p.m. The Saturday night entertainment bill looks to be a crowd pleaser with hugely popular local favorites Marcus Lane and Craig & Debbie set to fill the stage for the evening!

Marcus Lane is the melding of three diverse individuals, and music careers into a single, yet multi-faceted force. Their approach to blues seems almost as varied as blues itself. Blending soulful American roots, with powerful grinding grooves full of boundless energy, into an intoxicating unique style of blues. Their ability to perform acoustic, or electric sets makes them a perfect fit for most situations. Whether playing a festival, corporate event, or party, Marcus Lane performs with a passion rarely seen.




Craig and Debbie have been playing together for a few years now. They say they are making new music at warp speed, inspired by their loving relationship, entwined with creative urge. Craig's been playing guitar, singing and writing for decades. He has a warm and honest vocal style that makes you smile. His acoustic guitar playing romantically emotes the spirit of the music, and his song writing tells stories of love and life. Debbie is new to the performance scene, introducing music she's written over the years, thanks in great part, to the musical talents of Craig. Her songs are inspired by people and moments in her life, including songs written about her love for Craig. On a great day, she may brave the elements and play her guitar on stage, but you'll typically catch Craig on guitar, Debbie on vocals, and harmonies abound, as they come together as one, charming listeners with their music and love.


Craig and Debbie take the stage Saturday evening at 5pm, followed by Marcus Lane at 6. Back at 7pm it's Craig and Debbie, followed by another performance with Marcus Lane at 8pm and going until the carnival closes that evening at 10pm. It will be an awesome performance with these two incredible local acts!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

10% of CD7 Voters Did Not Vote for a Council Candidate

An abstention can be a voter preference.
The official and final canvas of votes from March 5th's Los Angeles Primary Election is out. No surprises or major changes to the numbers reported from election night, but in dissecting the race from CD7 that covers the North San Fernando Valley as well as the Shadow Hills-Sunland-Tujunga area, I found something interesting in the numbers.

The total number of ballots cast in CD7 was 21,874. That's the number of people who actually showed up (or pulled an absentee ballot) and either mailed in their AV ballot or dropped a ballot into the box. However, if you add up the total votes for candidates Nicole Chase, Felipe Fuentes, Krystee Clark and David Barron you get a total of 19,291 votes. That means that about 2,500 voters in CD7 voted/turned in a ballot BUT they did not mark a preference for the CD7 Council Member on their ballot.

By contrast, adding up the total of all of the votes for the Mayoral candidates in CD7, you get 21,082 votes. That means about 100 people chose not to/failed to mark a choice for Mayor. That makes sense because typically participation falls off as you go further down the ballot. Voters usually know who is running at the top of the ballot (President/Governor/Mayor) but as you go further down the list, they have no idea who these candidate are.  Likely a fairly significant number of voters in CD7 (and remember, CD7 is big, not just ST) reached the City Council race on their ballot and went "Huh?"

Many of them, probably most of them picked the name they knew best - they got a mailer, a pot holder, saw a billboard, etc. if you asked them who they voted for or why, they may not honestly be able to tell you. A smaller group of the confused folks (in this case, a fairly significant number of about 10% of the CD voters) chose to not vote for ANY candidate. That could be for a number of reasons including a protest vote against ALL candidates but I'm going to posit the overwhelming bulk of those non-voters simply did not who the candidates were.

So, when you count the votes of those who actually indicated a preference for Council, a total of 19,921 votes, Fuentes' 9,912 votes represents 51.38% of the total vote (as shown on the final certified bulletin which I've attached the link below). Not a great showing for a candidate with his money, resources and experience but more than sufficient to be elected. Had Clark, Barron and Chase been able to pull any significant combination of those blank voters their way, there could very well likely have been a run-off, without even having had to flip a single Fuentes voters.

All points to how valuable decent get out the vote efforts are to a campaign that wants to win.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Joshua's Second Chance

Baby Joshua was a young horse found tied to a tree in the desert and left to die. It happens more than anyone knows. Please see his story and share it to help us stop this in the Antelope Valley of California.

Angel Haven Ranch And Rescue is a charity equine & livestock rescue. They rescue animals from slaughter, horses off the track, animals who have been abused, neglected, & abandoned. Contact them at angelhavenranch@gmail.com.

Watch the video below for Joshua's story.





It's Easter Carnival Time Again!

This one always delights - the annual Sunland-Tujunga Annual Easter Carnival is coming up this weekend! The fun starts on Friday evening, the 29th, at 5pm and runs through Sunday, the 31st. In addition to carnival rides and games, there will be live entertainment, a marketplace and, food trucks! To top it all off, that Clown Prince of Hamburgers, Ronald McDonald will make a cameo experience!

Sponsored by the Sunland-Tujunga Chamber of Commerce, the event is held at Sunland Park. For more information, contact the Chamber at 818.352.4433.


Sunday, March 24, 2013

New Hope Church Hosts Passover Seder


Tying in the importance of the Passover to the final nights of the life of Jesus Christ, New Hope Church in Sunland is hosting a Passover seder on Wednesday, March 27th at 6:30 p.m. The event seeks to ask the following questions:

What is the significance of Passover, the Seder Meal?
Is Passover For Christians?

Join us for an evening celebrating the history of Passover and how it connects the Old and New Testaments within the story of the Last Passover Supper with Jesus and his disciples.

The event will be presented by The Chosen People Ministries. New Hope Church is located at 10438 Oro Vista Ave., Sunland, California 91040

Friday, March 22, 2013

Obama Staffers Quit Wendy Greuel Campaign as Candidate Turns Right

Political wags in LA were shocked Friday evening when four key staffers for the Wendy Greuel for Mayor Campaign, top veterans of the well oiled Obama get out the vote machine, abruptly quit over a "change in direction."

This news is on the heels of the announcement that Greuel received the endorsement of former Republican Mayor Richard Riordan, who had supported Kevin James in the primary. Not only did Greuel announce Riordan's backing, but said he'd be her first hire to play a significant role in handling the City budget. This revelation caught union leaders by surprise, the vast majority who have supported Greuel including spending millions of dollars in members' dues for the City Controller's campaign for Mayor.

MayorSam favorite political consultant Parke "Parque Esqueleto" Skelton, who is not associated with any mayoral campaign this cycle was dumbfounded by the move, telling the LA Times, "To adopt a new field strategy two months out seems like a recipe for dysfunction to me."

As noted by Joseph Mailander, writing at CityWatch, LA's progressives and union leaders are dumbfounded by the Riordan role in the Greuel campaign and potential administration, given that the financier turned Mayor is seen as a "pension buster." For sure, many a text message and email must have come out of IBEW, SEIU and LA County Fed iPhone, tablets and laptops with the subject line "WTF?"

We'll know soon enough if Greuel's change of field succeeds in turning out the mostly conservative Kevin James voters from the West Valley that Greuel needs to have a chance against frontrunner, Councilman Eric Garcetti. On the other hand it could fall flat should James announce for Garcetti and Wendy's campaign further alienates her most committed and loyal troops.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

What's Happening in Sunland-Tujunga? LOTS!

There are so many great things coming up in the next week or so in our community. Many choices that are great for the whole family, are affordable and some of it actually benefits some very worthy causes! Here are your options:

Friday evening at 8pm, the 22nd, at Comfort and Joy Cafe in Tujunga, The Foothills Performing Arts Council  presents it's Foothills Showcase! Come and Enjoy: Dinner - Appetizer - Dessert - Entertainment, all in an Intimate Patio Setting AND no cover charge! Hosted by THE WALKING MAN BAND featuring Tim J Borquez, Cecil Broughton, Jim Wheeler & David Wayne Jones. Special Guests include:  Laura Toyne, Karly Peterson, Mandie Jones, Adam Broughton and David Wayne Jones

The McGroarty Arts Center in Tujunga is holding it's annual art fair this Saturday, the 23rd.  The Art Fair is a chance for you to meets artists, purchase affordable local artwork, listen to music, and enjoy smiling faces in the Foothills! Eat food, find paintings, drawings, jewelry, and more! This year, the Fair will be held on March 23, 2013 11:00am - 3:00pm. One day only! For more information click here.

If you want to get your hands dirty and do a little work for the community, come help out with the work to beautify the Sunland Welcome Nature Garden, at the intersection of Sunland Blvd. and the 210 Freeway (just west of Sizzler). Please come join the group this Saturday, March 23, from 9 to noon. Bring gloves and a trowel for putting the plants in the ground. If you can bring a hard rake for spreading mulch, that would be great. The team is doing a great job to make this gateway to Sunland beautiful and more environmentally friendly.



The Sunland-Tujunga Rotary Club is holding it's first annual "Wounded Warrior Ride" to benefit those who gave all for our country. The event is Saturday, March 30th and kicks off with a sumptuous buffet FOR ONLY $10 at Comfort and Joy Cafe (you know that is going to be amazing!). Everyone is invited to the kick-off and buffet (the buffet is from 8:30 am to 10:30 am). For more information on the ride and how to help, contact Brenda Fortune at 949.374.3950 or Jan Linsalato at 818.298.8488.

Families looking to have some Easter fun with no mess to clean up can check out the Verdugo Hills YMCA's "Easter Family Fun Night." For a very affordable fee, dinner is included and the kids will get to participate in an Easter egg hunt, egg decorating, jump around in a jumper and other crafts. Click here to make your reservation and for costs.

Stonehurst Elementary School PTA has partnered with Goodwill of Southern California to raise and earn money for our school, as well as help Goodwill continue their many programs that enhance the quality of life for people with disabilities or other disadvantages by providing education, training, and job opportunities.  Come out and donate your gently used items to help clear out space in your home, as well as help our school and community.

DROP OFF YOUR DONATIONS AT:
Stonehurst Elementary School
9851 Stonehurst Avenue ~ Sun Valley, CA 91352 on Saturday, April 13, 2013 at 9am.

*Donation boxes and bags can be brought to the school beginning Tuesday, April 2nd- Friday, April 12th. Look for the sign on school grounds for drop-off location. Please be sure to take a look at the list of acceptable and unacceptable items we can accept for donations (click on the image below)


And finally, not an event but a tip! We hear that the eggs from one of our local chicken farmers on Art & Wheatland are amazing! Contact Anne (she is really nice and friendly!), at 818-352-5259. The eggs are organic and better than anything you can get in the store, we're told. Only in Sunland-Tujunga!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Saturday, March 16, 2013

LAAS Slashes Graveyard Shift; Impact on Safety Expected

by Elisha Lockhart

In Brenda Barnette's latest act of blatant indifference to the humane treatment of animals and public safety, she has eliminated staff from all LAAS shelters from midnight to 6 am every night (see announcement below).

The consequence of doing so will impact the life of approximately 1,500 animals residing at LAAS and Los Angeles public safety. During those six hours, there will be two Animal Control Officers on duty for the entire city of Los Angeles. Given that the two Officers will be manning the entire city, they will be out working in the field for a good portion of most nights. Therefore, the 1,500 will be in the shelter with no human supervision. Additionally, any incoming animals will either need to be tied to a pole or otherwise left alone in the front of the shelter, with no food, no water, and no medical attention. The hit-by-car animals will have to be left in a box if they are lucky otherwise lying on cold concrete in front of the shelter in bloody agony with crushed bones until the first LAAS employee arrives at 6 am.

Inside the shelter, according to Barnette's claims, we do not need to worry about dog fights with, as she calls them, "dangerous dogs like pit bulls" (see http://www.dailynews.com/news/ci_22793409/los-angeles-animal-shelters-lose-nighttime-staff) because they will be housed separately. What she fails to mention is that many of the fights that end up with severe injuries are in the overcrowded dog kennels housing the cute little small to medium size dogs (those Brenda would put in the non-dangerous category). So when Snoopy and Poochie get in a fight, and there is no staff to separate them most probably at least one of them will sustains severe injuries, the injured dog will end up lying in their own pool of blood until the 6 am staff members arrive to clean the shelter, and will probably go unnoticed until the full staff arrives for the 8 am opening and find Snoopy and Poochie dying or dead in their cage. And with lucky, no other dogs in the same run will jump into the ring with them.

And should you be coming out of a party or out of a movie one night and an aggressive dog tries to bite or does bite you or your child, good luck getting help. If you call the shelter for help, you will most likely get no answer because the total of two ACOs on staff will most likely be out in the field with no one to answer the phone to summon them to your emergency. In other words, your public safety and the public safety of others are jeopardized by Barnette's decision as well. Even though public safety is a core mission of LAAS.

For those people turning in animals they do not want, if they do not tie them up outside the shelter when they discover "no one is home" at LAAS, they will likely dump the animals at the side of a road or elsewhere. Now these animals can cause traffic accidents, be picked up for dangerous use, procreate and add to the pet overpopulation, get struck by a car as they try to find their way home, or get sick, injured or starve to death.

What is Barnette's excuse for this?

Barnette blames the new South LA shelter opening, claiming she now has so many cages that she does not have enough staff to man the graveyard shift. Yet even though Barnette already moved staff from East Valley and West LA shelters to man the expanded South LA shelter, all of the shelters, although somewhat understaffed, are still completing their work.

Remember, if the staff is not working during the graveyard shift, then the paperwork and animal care work they did not do will need to be done by staff in the morning -- for a net staff savings of none.

What is Barnette's real reason for doing this?

It is telling that Barnette is lying and claiming that she told and got the approval of New Hope Partners to this change. Yet the majority of New Hope Partners, if not all of them, were never told about this change. Now you know and if you are as outraged as I am about the lives of the voiceless souls of our city shelters and the safety of our city then I urge you to speak up and make as much noise as possible.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Paying for Neighborhood Council Elections

By Jennifer Solis, Westlake North NC Board Member
Neighborhood Council executives throughout the City are up in arms at the news that their budgets may take a hit next year to pay for their local NC elections. Many complain that this proposal is in retaliation for the fact that the vast majority (some say 95-percent) of these community leaders urged a “NO” vote on Proposition “A” – the sales tax increase ballot measure a week ago,

When the City’s Neighborhood Council Budget Advocates meet this Saturday, March 13, to make recommendations for the Mayor’s 2013-14 City Budget, you can be sure that this topic will be high on the list of discussion. Unlike previous semi-annual NC budget conclaves held at City Hall, this week’s gathering will be broken up into four venues for various regions of Los Angeles:

Boyle Heights Technology Youth Center, 1600 East 4th Street; the Constituent Service Center, 8475 South Vermont Avenue; Saturn Elementary School, 5360 Saturn Street (Fairfax area); and the Braude Center, 6262 Van Nuys Blvd. The public is also invited to attend these sessions, which start at 8:00 am and end about noon.

An estimated ten thousand stakeholders in Los Angeles recently completed a Budget Survey, which asked questions and sought opinions about city spending and how to pay for it. The results of these questions will be announced and debated at these meetings.

The actual cost of neighborhood council elections varies widely upon the size of a NC, and how much effort the local board members want to spend advertising their local election. The cost of “outreach” also varies, depending upon whether the council wants to finance area-wide mailings – or simply put up a few posters.

The Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, the branch of city government which oversees all 95 neighborhood councils in Los Angeles, would like all governing boards to put a maximum effort into these elections. But a political reality is that local politicians, even at the neighborhood council level, are usually not motivated to have themselves replaced.

For example, the two Westlake Neighborhood Councils (North and South) put in a very minimal outreach effort for the 2012 election cycle, and most of the local board members were returned to their positions on the 15-member governing boards. Some NCs, especially in the San Fernando Valley, spent thousands of dollars promoting their elections, with candidate forums and advertising.

With the upcoming Los Angeles fiscal forecast estimated at anywhere from $200 to $800-million in the red, depending on whose figures you believe, the question is who is going to pay for the ever-increasing salaries and pensions of city workers, and the services the public demands?

One of the inequities that no one wants to face is the fact that ALL 95 neighborhood councils receive the same amount of taxpayer money to spend, regardless of the size or population within each NC. It used to be $50,000 per year. When the economy tanked, it was reduced to $42,000, then $37,000, and now it is estimated that each next year’s NC budget will drop to only $25,000.

Every city department has been required to take a hit in their budget for 2013-14, which will cause a continuation of reduced services and a hiring freeze. Why do the local neighborhood councils believe that they should be exempt from these necessary cuts in funding? Many NC board members are demanding that we return to funding these community elected bodies to the former $50,000 level.

Unfortunately, for all the efforts going into budget forums, and outraged letters to editors, the fact is that a small number of greedy politicians – you know who they are – will ultimately decide who benefits, or suffers from how our decreasing resources are spent, and the local unions are the only ones who will have a seat the table.

Jennifer Solis is a graduate student and elected board member of the Westlake North Neighborhood Council. She takes comments at Cyberdiva@ca.rr.com

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Saturday Observations

Just a reminder that starting today the McGroarty Arts Center presents it's second annual exhibition of two dimensional works from hand selected local artists. The Art Exhibition theme is titled Bite Me and features works about, well, food! The opening reception is this evening from 5-9 p.m.

Who will he pick?
Courting of the losers by the winners in Tuesday's Mayoral race is already underway. The LA Times reports that both Wendy Greuel and Eric Garcetti are seeking the endorsement of former opponent, Kevin James, who came in third place. James has not yet stated if he will endorse and if so, who he leans towards. It's highly unlikely, given his criticism of Wendy Greuel's lack of independence from special interests he could support the Controller yet as well James was highly suspect of Garcetti's leadership as City Council President during the years Los Angeles slipped into steep decline.  James met with Greuel on Friday and will meet with Garcetti over the weekend. Perhaps he will announce his decision as well as comment on speculation he may seek the GOP nomination for Governor in 2014, when he guest hosts on KRLA AM 870's "The Morning Answer" on Monday morning.

A severe tuberculosis strain has broken out amongst the homeless population of LA's Skid Row and officials are scrambling to address it. Writing at CityWatch, author/blogger Joseph Mailander notes that "Over five of every six cases since 2007 have occurred among those homeless in Skid Row, for whom we have failed to provide housing, despite two decades of affordable housing programs and recent costly developments that are purported to house the greatest at risk." Mailander squarely lays the blame at LA's "Homeless-Industrial Complex" where a web of politically connected non-profit organizations, elected officials and Chamber of Commerce types spend millions in taxpayer dollars that do little to address getting any significant number of the homeless in homes. He observes that while "CEOs" of homeless service organizations get salaries often north of well paid Los Angeles City Council members, and apartment like housing units (such as the Day Street Apartments in Sunland-Tujunga) are developed at costs equivalent to the average single family home, existing stock and facilities which could house more individuals at a lower price point sit fallow. Mailander posits the City's policy of "containment" led to the TB outbreak, as opposed to spreading the homeless out in existing section 8 housing in a "regional approach" that doesn't require massive spending on homeless specific facilities. Blogger and homeless activist, Don Garza, told us he agrees with a regional approach stating "the homeless are in tears and those who have seen the horrors of the containment policy first hand living in the supportive housing in skid row" are hoping to see elected officials take a different approach.

Abraham Lincoln's troops won the battle at Gettysburg 150 years ago, which began to turn things around in the Civil War and likely saved the Union, but Los Angeles Pierce College President Kathleen Burke-Kelly is having none of it.  Burke has cancelled the annual Heritage Days event on the West Valley campus. The event featured highly detailed Civil War re-enactments where children and others can first hand get an idea of what the battle was like and even ask questions of re-enactors who answer in the frame of the period.  Yet, despite that Gettysburg Sesquicentennial observations are going on all around the country - and interest in Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War period is at an all time high with several popular movies, books and TV shows out on the subject - Burke-Kelley gave into naddering NIMBY naybobs in the Woodland Hills neighborhood who did not like "the noise." These are the same type of folks who got the Fourth of July Fireworks show cancelled at LA Valley College. Watch out, they may be coming to YOUR neighborhood.

And finally when you consider the results of our Mayoral and other elections on Tuesday, one often wonders "who are these people?" who vote.  We think late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel has found them! Watch below!


Friday, March 8, 2013

STNC General Community Meeting Set for Wednesday

The next meeting is Wednesday, March 13, 2013 from 7pm – 9pm.

All persons are invited to attend. The Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Council holds public meetings for all stakeholders to hear and participate in the business of the Council and community. Public input to the Board is encouraged. Meetings are at: 

7747 Foothill Blvd.
Tujunga, CA 91042

Bite Me!

McGroarty Arts Center presents the second annual exhibition of two dimensional works from hand selected local artists. The Art Exhibition theme is titled Bite Me has been curated by Danielle Eubank.  This event will continue to align McGroarty Arts Center with the working artist community that is in Sunland-Tujunga. McGroarty Arts Center’s Art Exhibition and fair will be a recurring annual opportunity for artists to present professionally made work for the community.

The Art Exhibition will be opening on Saturday, March 9, 2013, 6:00am-9:00pm, which is free and open to the public. The Exhibition will be available for viewing starting Monday, March 11 until Saturday, March 23, 2013.  We are closed on Sundays. The Art Fair is one day only on Saturday, March 23, 2013 11:00am to 3:00pm.

Programs at McGroarty Arts Center are funded by the Department of Cultural Affairs, Los Angeles, California Community Foundation, Annenberg Foundation, Ahmanson Foundation, Herb Alpert Foundation, Green Foundation, Weingart Foundation, Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, James Irvine Foundation, Los Angeles County Arts Commission and Experience LA, California Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

For questions about other arts opportunities please email Monica Hicks-Jenkins, monica@mcgroartyarscenter.org.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

At Least There's No Hanging Chads

KCET is reporting that there are about 90,000 uncounted ballots remaining from Tuesday's municipal primary election. This could make a difference in close races such as in CD3 and CD7 where Assemblymen Bob Blumenfeld and Felipe Fuentes respectively avoided a run-off scenario with their next closest challenger. 

In the meantime, Fuentes avoided a runoff by about 200 votes. According to the City Clerk, there are about 35 precincts in CD7. I don't know if challengers Nicole Chase, Krystee Clark and/or David Barron engaged captains in each one of those precincts, but you can be sure Fuentes did. Had any of the three challengers managed to call up and get about 6 more people per precinct out for them, or flip a Fuentes voters, Chase would be in a runoff with the former Assemblyman right now. Despite that, supporters of the challengers in CD7 are talking up the number of candidates, issues with signs, bullying, etc. While each of those issues do need to have a conversation around, the simple truth is it comes down to numbers. 

Speaking of numbers, blogger/writer Joseph Mailander (check out his new book Days Change at Night: Notes from LA's Decade of Decline in Los Angeles 2003-13) crunches some election results out of Sunland-Tujunga and Silver Lake coming up with what we might call an "dis/enchanted index" for Wendy Greuel and Eric Garcetti:
"Disenchanted v. enchanted? Wendy Greuel carried all precincts in Sunland-Tujunga, but received under 50% in all but one. Eric Garcetti carried all precincts in Silver Lake by over 50%, some over 60%, and one over 70%."

Always remember folks, politics is a numbers game! Cheers!


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

We Survived the Election. I Think.

Another silly season - well part one at least - has come and gone and here we are. Some folks are happy, most aren't and we're standing here asking ourselves how is our City - and our community - ever going to survive?



Results for Sunland-Tujunga are probably a mixed bag. Many local residents were supporting broadcaster and former Federal prosecutor Kevin James for Mayor. Another contingent was active for Controller Wendy Greuel, who served the area for a time as Councilwoman. We also noticed a smattering of Eric Gacetti, Jan Perry and Emanuel Pleitez fans around town. Now, Greuel and Garcetti are headed to a run-off, one that expects to be rancorous as each candidate has clearly defined factions supporting them; and one that will lead to depression, and perhaps even, nausea for some as the city is faced with a Hobson's choice between two long-time, well entrenched City insiders.

MAYOR
JAN PERRY 
45480 
15.93
EMANUEL ALBERTO PLEITEZ 
11716 
4.10
ERIC GARCETTI 
93978 
32.93
WENDY J. GREUEL 
83308 
29.19
ADDIE M. MILLER 
1401 
0.49
KEVIN JAMES 
46684 
16.36
NORTON SANDLER 
1598 
0.56
YEHUDA "YJ" DRAIMAN 
1174 
0.41


In the race to replace retiring and recently assigned to Sunland-Tujunga District 7 Councilman Richard Alarcon, Sunland-Tujunga denizens split in camps supporting hometown favorites David Barron and Krystee Clark and Pacoima Boys and Girls Club head, Nicole Chase, a resident of Sylmar. All three of the local favorites were going against former Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes, the choice of Wendy Greuel and one local Latino political faction. Fuentes, declared the worst legislator in California by the LA Weekly, scares the bejesus out of Sunland-Tujunga leaders given his record on a number of issues, most notably, his attempts to deliver the Verdugo Hills Golf Course to developers who would erect hundreds of homes at the entrance to La Tuna Canyon and create a traffic, ecological and planning nightmare. Not big fans of Fuentes for many reasons, Alarcon and soon to be retired Los Angeles Mayor Richard Alarcon, the dueling Eva Perons of the day, teamed up to support Chase, but it was too little, too late. Fuentes won the district outright with large support in Pacoima, Sylmar and other parts of the district avoiding a runoff with Clark, Barron or Chase.

MEMBER OF THE COUNCIL, DISTRICT NO. 7
NICOLE CHASE 
4051 
27.00
KRYSTEE CLARK 
1631 
10.87
FELIPE FUENTES 
7699 
51.32
JESSE DAVID BARRON 
1620 
10.79


Another race of consequence to locals is that in School Board District 6. Teacher Monica Ratliff will now head to a run-off with Antonio Sanchez, who won with a whole bunch of money from the soda-hating, nanny-statist mayor of New York City, the billionaire, Michael Bloomberg. We'll be watching this one.


MEMBER OF THE BOARD OF ED, DIST NO. 6
MARIA CANO 
4113 
13.56
IRIS ZUĂ‘IGA 
2778 
9.15
MONICA RATLIFF 
10351 
34.12
ANTONIO SANCHEZ 
13087 
43.15
And one bright spot in it all - the good folks of Los Angeles were smart enough - despite lies and scare tactics from your elected leaders - to turn down a sales tax increase. Such a move would be bad for consumers as well as small business, particularly in border communities like Sunland-Tujunga where shoppers can easily purchase items in LaCrescenta, LaCanada, etc. Whew.

For election winners and losers, check out this post by Scott Johnson at MayorSam; for election results, click here.

Round two starts NOW. The good thing is this one will only last two months. But get those blue bins out for all the mail you're going to get! Cheers!

It's Alive!

Blogging for you from my
table at Joselito's! 
In preparation for my planned move to the Foothills area, I prepared this blog so I could share my thoughts locally, in addition to the amazing work we do at MayorSam of course.

It took a little longer than planned, but today we're launching - we want to hear what YOU have to say and are always happy to chat with any of you about being contributors to this blog. We have those famous GOLDEN TICKETS available.

So now...let's chat!