Marshall is the second smallest LAUSD high school campus and according
to Tellez “we’re bulging at the seams.” School board figures show an
enrollment of over 4800 students. Tellez invited residents to call the
school if there are problems, such as graffiti, that the school might
be helpful in solving.
Next on the program was the State of the Hill report by President
Charley Mims. He urged residents who see a way to better the
community to come to the FHRA with their ideas and energy as we’ve done
in the past with the median landscape and stairway cleanups. He also
urged all of us to slow down when driving because of the increased
number of children in the neighborhood.
|The meeting also heard
from board member George Grace who is still working to get a wildlife
drinker installed in Griffith Park in hopes of keeping critters there
and not in our back yards. He asked folks to let him know, through a link on the FHRA website, about any coyotes sightings in the neighborhood.
Grace is the FHRA representative to a citizens committee working to
improve the proposed Griffith Park master plan unveiled earlier in the
spring and mitigate the traffic effects of the Observatory reopening
|Next up was traffic
committee co-chair Shirley Mims who detailed efforts to get traffic to
slow down and prevent serious accidents adjacent to Franklin Avenue
Already as a result of FHRA concerns DOT has added new lines and signs
to the area and since their installation there have been no major
She explained that new traffic studies are being done in hopes the
street can be downgraded from its current “secondary highway” status
which might allow installation of speed bumps, but with the high volume
of traffic that still might not be possible.
relieve Griffith Park traffic and Observatorty parking he proposed an
aerial tramway to allow Observatory visitors to park near the Greek
Theatre and glide their way up the hill.
|Councilmember Tom LaBonge
made his always lively appearance asking the crowd to give themselves a
big hand for being involved in their neighborhood. Responding to a
continuing complaint in the Franklin Hills…the deterioration of our
concrete streets…LaBonge says he trying to find the money to put
together a program to preserve those streets that are now over 80 years
old. He also pushed for expansion of our rail transit system explaining
that if all the buses that run along Wilshire Blvd. each day were
parked end to end they would stretch from the ocean to Monetbello.
|Peter Bedard reported that
work will be started in late June on first for four envisioned murals along
Myra Avenue under the Sunset overpass. The design for the mural by
artist Louie Metz, which has been praised and approved by the city’s
Cultural Arts Commission, incorporates historic photos from the FHRA
collection and representations of current life in the area.
|FHRA member Chris Casady
complained about the lack of public input into the mural’s design and
later supplied the FHRA with his own concept of what should go on the
forlorn, oft graffitied walls.
|Bedard also demonstrated
how he uses his cell phone camera to catch photos of taggers and sends
them the LAPD. There are rewards up to $1,000 for some tagging tips
that lead to convictions.
Bruce Carroll presented the FHRA treasurer's report saying the finances
were in good shape and asking those in attendance whether the FHRA
should cast the proxy for our 4 shares of AT&T in favor of a merger
with SBC. They said "yes." The big deal will net FHRA about $2.99 at current stock prices.
The most controversial topic of the evening revolved around
cancellation of a new school in our area. The LA Unified School
District had been planning a nearby “Span School” with grades 6 through
12 to relieve serious overcrowding at Marshall High and King Middle
|Carroll also reported that the wishes of Franklin Hills residents, as
expressed in a poll last year, will come true, and the short section of
Prospect Avenue just west of Vermont will not be closed off as some had
proposed in redesigning the Vermont Triangle intersection at Hollywood Blvd.
The official business
of the evening, electing six members of the eleven member FHRA board,
was carried out swiftly. Candidate Anne Marie Ripley, told the audience,
“I love walking through the hills and I have been active painting out
graffiti.” She will be joining reelected current board members: Chris
Boutelle, Bruce Carroll, George Grace, Carol Skinner and Elliot
Councilmember LaBonge favors building the span school as originally
envisioned, but wants it located adjacent to the LA City College campus
where the golf driving range was recently built. Cline says that site
is not large enough and they’d have to condemn many rental units and
businesses along Vermont to put the school in near the LACC campus.
Cline, a former FHRA member, who manages planning and pre-construction
of LAUSD projects, says the latest six year area school population
projections have “taken a severe dip” indicating that overcrowding can
be relived by other new school projects such as the Central High School
#1 already under construction at Sunset and the 101 freeway and another planned
across the LA River in the former Taylor railroad yard.
There would also be a new middle school on Western Ave. near Fountain
replacing the old Tropicana mud wrestling venue. But that site is only
three blocks from the existing LeConte Middle School.
Then the meeting moved from big schools for lots of students to little
schools for the littlest students. Representatives from three nearby
preschools talked about their programs, progressive philosophies and
parent participation. Missy Coombes spoke on behalf of the LA Family
School on Griffith Park Blvd., Kenneth Robins described All Children
Great and Small on Welch Pl., and Shelly Freiberger represented the
preschool at the Silverlake Independent Jewish Community Center on
FHRA member Mary Rodriguez, former GGPNC Education Committee Chair,
contested Cline’s demographic assumptions and urged residents to let
the school board know that we really do need the span school because
without it Marshall and King will still be operating at twice their
design capacity. She also noted that the proposed Taylor Yard site is
very likely contaminated from its railroad days.
|The closing act…because
they are always a tough act to follow, was our long time LAPD Senior
Lead Officers. Ofc. Al Polehonki reported Franklin Hills crime is down,
about 7% from last year, but not as much as the near 20% drops in the
last three years. Ofc.Sam Salazar detailed recent success with the arrest
of a suspect who had raised the number of thefts from motor vehicles in
his area to about 20 in one week from it’s usual 2. By spotting the
trend early and applying extra resources his crime spree was quickly
quenched. Polehonki warned Hondas and Toyotas are the most stolen
cars…but suggested the steering wheel Club defeats 99% of the
thieves who are just out joy riding.
BACK TO THE FHRA HOMEPAGE
||At least three lucky residents went away from the meeting with big smiles after winning door prizes of gift cards.
FHRA member Sheri Mobley, who did such a great job publicizing our
Shakespeare Bridge re-opening party in 1998, won a gift card from
Skylight Books on Vermont. Other prizes got the winners meals at The
Alcove Restaurant on Hillhurst and Giannino Restaurant on Hyperion.
The moral of the story is getting involved with the FHRA can be
rewarding...not only for the community but for your palate and brain.
Thanks to all who attended and joined the FHRA for 2005