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Hollywood United Neighborhood Council Board Meeting Minutes
May 21, 2007
6:30 PM
Community Room, First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood
6054 Yucca St, Los Angeles, CA 90028

1---Welcome & Roll Call.
Present: Robert Abrahamian, Jordan Birnbaum, Bechir Blagui, Maurece Chesse, Andrew Ettinger, Bree Long, Hilary Royce, Erik Sanjurjo, Susan Swan, Charles Suhayda, Susan Polifronio, Gary Slossberg, Ryan Hass, Norma Foster, Scott Larson. Excused: David Schlesinger, Viktoria Gaw

2.  Approval of Minutes from March Board meeting.

  • Motion: Susan Polifronio, “To approve the minutes of the HUNC Board Meeting of April 19, 2007.” Second: Jordan Birnbaum. Vote: Yes—14 No—0 Abs---0.

3. LAPD Police Reports.

  • No report given at this meeting.

5. Public Comment on items not on the Agenda.

  • Enci Box expressed thanks to Jordan Birnbaum for supporting local theater with a paid advertisement. She also thanked Norma Foster for the Hollywood Bowl Easter Sunrise Service.
  • Tricia La Belle (President, Hollywood Hospitality Association) expressed concern over a new club in Hollywood (Crowbar). It is situated in the Fox Theater (SW corner of Wilcox & Hollywood). Its planned capacity is 1200 persons. The owners are applying to ABC for a liquor license. Susan Swan stated that this establishment is outside our boundaries but people can write letters to the Zoning Administrator with their comments.

6. Recognitions.

  • 6B—Avantika Shahi was given the HUNC Good Neighbor Award. The award was a Certificate of Recognition from the City of Los Angeles. Avantika received this recognition for her work in rebuilding the HUNC website in 2 weeks. After receiving the award, she indicated that her next project will be to put the HUNC Newsletter online.

7. Executive Committee Reports.

  • President: Susan Swan reported on: (A) the first Town Hall meeting of the Hollywood Coalition on April 26th. The speaker was Dr. Carol Baker Tharp, the new General Manager of the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment. Ms. Tharp spoke of her vision for the Neighborhood Council system. Also attending the Town Hall was Anastasia Mann, President of Hollywood Hills West NC. (B) The Congress of Neighborhoods at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel on Saturday, April 21st had a number of good seminars and there was a good opportunity for networking. (C) Scheduling the full Board Workshop. It was decided by consensus to hold the workshop on Saturday, June 16th from 10 AM to 2 PM at the Celebrity Center. The one theme will be the upcoming HUNC elections.
  • Vice President: Maurece Chesse reported on: (A) Recording of meetings and downloading this information. He said that he would not be able to handle this task as we move forward. Robert Abrahamian recommended that HUNC hire someone to do this task; it’s essentially a once a month task. Norma Foster recommended hiring a student from the LA Film School. (B) LA River Clean-up. Students from Cheremoya showed up for the clean-up. There was a 60’s throw back band. Gary Slossberg and his parents also attended. Gary Slossberg stated that FOLAR was our Earth Day event for the kids at Cheremoya. We provided suntan lotion, wet naps and sunscreen. We re-allocated the funding from the first Earth Day event to this event. Gary wanted to notify the Board that these expenditures were made. Susan Swan this can come from discretionary funds from outreach. The total expenses for these items are about $195. The remainder of the money allocated for Earth Day was returned to that line item.
  • Treasurer: Gary Slossberg provided the treasurer’s report along with a monthly budget report in a 3-page handout.

8. Outreach Committee
            1) Purchase of ads for HUNC (and possibly joint ads with Hollywood Coalition) in local newspapers and other media, including ad space in Erik Sanjurjo recommended that HUNC consult with other Hollywood NCs about regular advertising in the Hollywood Independent as a means of advertising Hollywood Coalition meetings. There is regular NC coverage in the LA Daily News. It would also be good to talk with the Editorial Board of the Independent about more coverage of the Neighborhood Councils in Hollywood. Jennifer Christie reported on ads in Independent Shakespeare. The cost for a ¼ page ad is $250, for a ½ page ad is $500 and a full page ad is $900. The Season for Independent Shakespeare Company program in Barnsdall Park begins on July 2nd. Susan Swan sent this to the outreach committee.
            2) Preparation and professional printing of HUNC Brochure, handouts, etc. Maurece Chesse provided a template of a new HUNC brochure which he believes is an important outreach tool. Ryan Hass also recommended a refrigerator magnet. Tote bags are also a good outreach tool. Gary Slossberg recommended that HUNC purchase ads in local theater programs. Enci Box can provide a listing of local theaters in Hollywood.

4B. City Council Updates: Helen Leung CD-13—New Hollywood Field Deputy.

  • Transportation: This is a priority in CD13. Left turn signals are a priority. A new LT signal was installed at Hollywood & Highland.
  • Gower Street Project: An architect will be selected shortly for this project. It is anticipated that schematic diagrams will be available sometime in June. The architect and developer will return to HUNC with
  • Globe Theater: A theater outside of the HUNC boundaries. There have been homeless issues around this theater also trash and dumping. If there are areas in HUNC that need trash pick-up, graffiti removal, let CD13 office know and they will help with these problems.
  • Children’s Hospital received a grant for reducing the drug problem, “The Hollywood Drug Free Initiative.” They are looking for volunteers, parents and youth to join a Task Force on this project.
  • Habitat for Humanity is coming to Hollywood in November. Families are eligible for renovations of their homes if they meet eligibility criteria. Up to 10 houses will be renovated. Robert Abrahamian requested that the criteria be forwarded to the Board. It was further clarified that eligibility is based upon income not property value.
  • Trainings offered by CD 13 to help stakeholders better understand how the city works and various city issues. (1) Government 101 (last training), (2) Planning 102---parking & traffic on June 16th  at 10 AM; Panel will include Don Shoop (UCLA), DOT, Department of City Planning, Mike Smith (Westside Urban Forum).
  • Department of City Planning will hold a web-based training. How to navigate their website and get the information you need.

Helen Leung: Contact information:
Phone: (323) 957-4500            e-mail:

Erik Sanjurjo commented that the triangle at Argyle & Yucca is in need of improvement. Norma Foster there are plans in place to beautify the Argyle & Yucca triangle. Robert Abrahamian stated that improvement here should come later as new buildings are coming to this area and improvements to the triangle at this point might be lost as new construction proceeds. The one corner of this intersection will have a new project with a 17 story building.

9. Allotment of monies to cover the cost of contracting with Hollywood Beautification Team to water the Franklin Avenue trees during the summer. They charge $5 per tree to water them once a week, there are more than 40 trees.

Motion: Scott Larson, “That up to $3,000 to water trees with HBT at $5 tree.” Friendly amendment by Maurece Chesse that it be reviewed again in 3 months. Accepted by Scott Larson. Second: Jordan Birnbaum. Vote: Yes—15  No—0  Abs—0

10. HUNC participation in and support of upcoming Los Angeles City College Gala (purchase of a table).

  • Hilary Royce: LA City College is a mainstay for Hollywood. Many students with varied backgrounds; it’s a hub for the city. She consulted with the person organizing the gala. She wanted to know whether the proceeds from the HUNC purchase of a table would then be allocated to a scholarship for a LACC student. The organizer said this was possible. We could do a PR campaign around this. Also wants to check with other Hollywood NCs (Hollywood Coalition) to see if they are also interested in providing for a student scholarship through this gala. The sponsorship is a Bronze Level table. There should be follow-up promotion and this can also be placed into the newsletter. The cost of the table is $5,000. The date for the event is October 20, 2007. She would like to have this approved soon. Motion: Hilary Royce, “That HUNC purchase a Bronze level table at the LACC Gala.” Second: Susan Polifronio. Discussion:  Susan Polifronio wanted to know if we can do a general scholarship or could we purchase books with our donation so that way we could fund 2-3 students. If we purchased books we’d have receipts. Hilary would like to provide scholarships and books through our NC. Erik Sanjurjo asked for clarification from Mark (DONE Attorney) as to whether this would be permissible. Mark---This is a gift of public funds, so you can’t give a scholarship as you’d like to do. However there are creative ways to do what you’d like to accomplish. Then we can work out how you can do that. Hilary---If we want to purchase books for students for a year? Mark---you’d have to have some kind of dedication inside of book indicating that it’s a donation from HUNC. Susan Swan—requested to Table. Agreed to by consensus.


11. Update on Big Sunday and approval of cost overrun funds including reimbursement for Hollywood Beautification Team for costs around the Big Sunday planting at Cheremoya.

Erik Sanjurjo: There was a cost to the moving of the large pots from the Hollywood entertainment District to the elementary school. Maurece Chesse: This can be invoiced for professional services.

Motion: Erik Sanjurjo, “That HUNC authorize up to $500 for the cost of transporting the pots by HBT to Cheremoya.”
Second: Gary Slossberg
Vote: Yes—14   No—0   Abs---0

Susan Swan—We’ll need a letter with the invoice.

Reports on Big Sunday:

  • Susan Polifronio: Big Sunday was a blast. She recommends Debbie Aldall should receive a Certificate of Recognition. Debbie is a 3rd Grade teacher at Cheremoya and was vital in organizing this event. About 140 people showed up. Many parents and children; people from the Hollywood Dell.
  • Bree Long: Really enjoyed seeing the community come together and to see all the kids involved.
  • Susan Polifronio: The Fire Dept help clean the children’s playground and alcoves with a high pressure hose.
  • Gary Slossberg: We over spent our Big Sunday Budget by about $1,000. But we under spent on the 2 Town Halls in April. Motion: Gary Slossberg, “Approve left over funds from the 2 Town Halls up to $1,300 total to cover the cost over run for the Day of Service. Second:  Susan Polifronio.  Vote:  Yes—15  No—0  Abs—0

12. Thai Town Gate: Thai CDC invitation for HUNC to participate in the “Gate Inauguration” which is tentatively set for June 15th at Western & Hollywood (with street closures).
Jennifer Christie: HUNC can get a table for this event at no cost.

4A. Council Updates—CD4
CD4 Councilmember Tom La Bonge—He asked NCs to agendize for future meetings the topic of what to do in case of disaster. He introduced Vicki Israel, the Superintendent of Griffith Park and Darryl Ford from the Department of Recreation and Parks. Tom wants to meet with the NCs to discuss disaster preparedness as we reflect upon the Griffith Park fire of May 8-9. The burned over area covered 817 acres.
Darryl Ford—Now the main focus in the burned over area is the prevention of mud slides. The first step will be to assess the condition of the burned area. The preliminary strategy is: (1) place netting over area, (2) fence off area (chain link fence), (3) restore vegetation (replant or allow for natural re-growth). There will be a meeting on this on Wednesday, May 23rd at 6 PM in the Friendship Auditorium.
Tom wants to see the creation of a conservation corps.

Tom La Bonge on Fire Station 82--- The Main Station will be on Van Ness & Hollywood Blvd. The Training facility will be on Bronson at the current FS 82 site. The addition of more parking to the Bronson site is not a reality. Comments on the Parking situation:
Scott Larson: There is a parking problem on Canyon and Taft because people are parking on these streets and using street parking in residential areas.
Susan Polifronio: We’ve had a parking problem in this area for 30 years.
Tom La Bonge: You need a valet service. You could use valets to park cars here in the church lot on Carlos. At the current FS 82 site you can’t build below ground, it’s too costly.
Scott Larson: The neighborhood supports the restaurants but we need solutions. Let’s meet and look for solutions.
Anne De Bello: This area is 100 parking spots short for the residents. Permit parking in this area would hurt the residents.
Robert Abrahamian: His problem is that there are new entitlements given to new night clubs. He’s aware of 40 new entitlements. These are promoter-driven clubs.
Ryan Hass: It’s possible to put in parking at the current FS 82 site because: (1) the driveway is not at it’s maximum width, (2) the Fire bond money can’t support a feasibility study but during the John Ferraro era, $800,000 was set aside for a feasibility study.
Tom La Bonge: Requested that Susan Swan appoint a committee to work on the parking problem with his office.
Gary Slossberg; Asked Tom if he had seen the Advancement Report on Gangs. Tom’s reply: You break the cycle with Cops & Coaches. He stated that there are only 12 police cars on patrol in Hollywood, yet we have 300,000 residents. The LAPD has always had a small department compared to other major cities.
Ryan Hass: Inquired about the lot at the intersection of Ivar & Franklin. Tom LaBonge: Walk the site. Look at the chain of title. Find out how much we can raise. Petition the State (CalTrans). What type of park would be on this site? It would be a problem to leave it as open space. A park is better, but then you have to keep in mind the recent USC study on pollution and kids. Ryan Hass—how about a dog park? Tom LaBonge—But then people will park in your neighborhood. Norma Foster—an interested party wants to buy this parcel to build parking.
Andy Ettinger: Are there any Federal funds for Griffith Park restoration? Tom La Bonge—The problem is that it’s not federal land. Andy Ettinger—Perhaps corporate donations are possible.

13. Other Committee & Liasion Reports including but not limited to:

13A. Update on the Villas at Gower Permanent Supportive Housing for Homeless.
Susan Polifronio said she will come back with a report when the architect is selected.

13B PROS—1.) Allotment of up to $7,500 to assist in restoration and replanting of Griffith Park including Dante’s View and Captain’s Roost.
Vicki Israel—We need picnic tables and benches made from pre-cast concrete. The cost is $8,050.
Motion: Maurece Chesse, “That HUNC approve $8,050 for the purchase of 7 picnic tables (At $675/table) for a total of  $4,728 and 7 benches (at $475) for a total of $3,325.
Second: Susan Polifronio. Friendly amendment: Gary Slossberg, “increase the total expenditure to $8,500.” Vote: Yes—15  No—0  Abs---0.

13B  PROS 2-9  and 13 PS&T C5

2. Letters of thanks and appreciation to the LAFD, LAPD, DOT, OPS and RAP Park Rangers for preserving and maintaining our community's safety and security during and after the fire.
3. Resolution to Mayor and CD4 etc in support of Councilmember Weiss' suggested "pre-deployment" firefighting strategy, in which fire trucks are placed in hilly, at-risk
neighborhoods during red flag weather as a precaution .
4. Resolution to Mayor and CD4 etc to support Mayor's suggestion to increase Ranger patrols during times of heightened fire danger.
5. Resolution to Mayor, RAP, CD4 etc. supporting the temporary ban on open fires in Griffith Park that has been suggested by the Mayor.
6. Resolution to RAP GM Jon Mukri encouraging the extension of the City Council's recent ban on smoking in all City parks to include golf courses which are currently
7. Resolution asking the City to convene an expert panel to advise on the restoration of the burned areas which comprise 15% of the Park's natural habitat (specialists on
the Santa Monica Mountains ecosystems: fire ecologist, naturalists, etc)
8. Resolution asking the City to provide immediate funding for the restorative and ongoing maintenance of Griffith Park.
9. Resolution asking the Department of Rec and Parks, the Board of Rec and Parks Commissioners, CD 4, and the Mayor's office to extend the Public Comment period regarding the Autry National Center Improvements re: the Draft Environmental Report
and to postpone the Public Scoping meeting to a later date, or to hold follow-up Public meetings, in order to allow Community Review and input in a timely manner.

C 5. Motion: "The HUNC encourages the City to provide funds in the new City budget to place "no smoking" signs in hillside areas that are sensitive to fire and increase enforcement of the ban on smoking in these areas."

Motion: Gary Slossberg, “That the Board approve the resolutions 13B 2-9 and C5.”
Second: Maurece Chesse.
Vote: Yes—14   No—0   Abs—0
These will be drafted into a letter by Jordan Birnbaum, Erik Sanjurjo and Susan Swan.

13C 3,4. PS&T:

3. Motion: "The HUNC wishes to go on record in support of a zero-tolerance policy in regards to any homeless encampments in the Hollywood Hills during periods of high fire risk and calls upon the City to create a joint task force between the LAFD, LAPD, Recreation and Parks, County and any other agencies that need to be involved in order to closely monitor and keep undeveloped hillsides unoccupied."
4. Motion: "The HUNC supports the siting and construction of an emergency shelter for the homeless in the Hollywood area to allow the City to take people there who have been removed from the hills."

Motion: Ryan Hass, “That the Board approve motions 13C numbers 3 and 4.”
Second: Andy Ettinger
Vote: Yes—10   No—0   Abs---0
Friendly Amendment: Erik Sanjurjo, “To allow for the city to take people to safe sites upon evacuation.”

13 C6---Cost of graffiti eradication and what we can do, costs associated with and allotment of money to pay for it.
 Continued to June Meeting. Janet Romans not with us today.

13C 7---Proposed Metro Fare Increase and Public meeting on May 24th

Motion: Gary Slossberg, “That HUNC approve the Resolution in Opposition to the Proposed Metro Fare Increase.” See attached resolution at end of minutes
Second: Bachir Blagui
Yes---11  No—0   Abs---1

13 D. ACE - New HUNC logo, stationary and business card design
for approval.

Re-agendize for a future meeting.

13 F. Finance Committee –
1. Interim Treasurer as per DONE; creation of assistant treasurer position.

Motion: Gary Slossberg, “That HUNC create an assistant Treasurer position.”
Second: Norma Foster
Vote: Yes---11   No—0   Abs---0

2. Approval of $4500 from the Community Events line item for Hollywood Bowl Easter Sunrise Service 2007.

Discussion: Hollywood Bowl Easter Service is a 501C3 non-profit. The cost for the grand stand facility at the Bowl was $4,500.
Erik Sanjurjo: Do other NCs contribute to this event? Norma Foster—No.
Maurece Chesse: Would like to refer this back to the finance committee. They should note Code 1090 which deals with conflicts.
Susan Swan: This should go back to Budget & Finance. The committee should talk to Steve Ball & DONE for approval by the City Attorney.
Ryan Hass: We should have a presence at this event. Did HUNC get recognition at this event?

Funding for Board Workshop on June 16th.
Motion: Gary Slossberg, “That HUNC approve $500 for expenses for the Board workshop in June.”
Second: Robert Abrahamian
Vote: Yes---11   No---0   Abs---0

13 G. PLUM –
1. Proposed restaurant and bars in Little Church of Hollywood.

Presentation by PLUM Committee. Elizabeth Peterson is representing this developer. Some data on this project:

  • Capacity: 593 people (looking at 700-800 people total/night). 150 will be inside the remainder will be outside.
  • Permit: Planning on 7 days/week operation until 2 AM. Will have a liquor license.
  • Parking: Not resolved.
  • Concerns: (1) Parking, (2) 7 day/week with an alcohol variance, (3) Dancing with out door music and 2 outside bars.

Bree Long: They have to prove that they are a bonafide restaurant before they can be eligible for a liquor license.

14. Old Business/Unfinished.
1. HUNC membership in LANCC (Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Coalition)
 Re-agendize for a June meeting.

13 C. PS&T –
1. Update on location of Fire Station 82 including funding for parking, and Letter in support of FS 82 location:

Motion: "The HUNC supports the proposed location for the construction
of a new Fire Station 82, to be built on the northeast corner of
Hollywood Boulevard and Van Ness Avenue on property owned by the City
of Los Angeles. We also wish to give our conditional support for the
proposal to build a training facility/community center on the site of
the existing Fire Station 82 on Bronson Avenue, provided that the
City include parking spaces open to the public as part of this
development. HUNC would also like to go on record requesting that
the City not issue any RFP for the Bronson site until the matter of
providing parking to the surrounding community is decided."

Motion: Erik Sanjurjo, “To approve this motion with the following sentence replacing the last sentence of the original motion from committee, ‘HUNC would also like to suggest that the City utilize funds from the Canyon/Franklin parking fund set up by John Ferraro to pay for a feasibility study of including parking there.’”

The HUNC supports the proposed location for the construction
of a new Fire Station 82, to be built on the northeast corner of
Hollywood Boulevard and Van Ness Avenue on property owned by the City
of Los Angeles. We also wish to give our conditional support for the
proposal to build a training facility/community center on the site of
the existing Fire Station 82 on Bronson Avenue, provided that the
City include parking spaces open to the public as part of this
HUNC would also like to suggest that the City utilize funds from the Canyon/Franklin parking fund set up by John Ferraro to pay for a feasibility study of including parking there."

Second: Robert Abrahamian
Vote:  Yes---11  No—0  Abs—0

15. New Business