With gold-tipped shovels in hand, Councilmember Tom LaBonge joined community members and agency personnel in breaking ground on new, landscaped medians along Highland Avenue in Hollywood. The two new medians fill in a gap between the Highland medians in Hancock Park south of Melrose and those in Hollywood north of Santa Monica Blvd. The Funding was provided through the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Call for Projects and the Hollywood Media District, a Business Improvement District (BID).
“These medians will create a river of green down Highland Avenue,” Councilmember LaBonge said. “We’ve been installing them as public money becomes available and they are transforming Highland from a strictly industrial area to a pleasant mix of industry and outdoor cafes and shops. This is the future of Hollywood.”
This particular median project was one of the first improvements that Councilmember LaBonge promoted when he was elected in 2001. Three new landscaped median islands will be installed on Highland Avenue from Melrose Avenue to Santa Monica Blvd., as part of this project. Decorative crosswalks at Melrose and Highland, already have been installed, and 53 pedestrian lights on Highland, from Melrose to Fountain Avenue, are scheduled. The $810,000 project was funded through the MTA, with matching funds from the BID. Construction started last week.
Others who attended the ground-breaking event were Bureau of Street Services Asst. General Mgr. Ron Olive and Hollywood Media District BID President Carol Cassella.
Councilmember LaBonge joined Windsor Square neighbors at the official re-opening of the Robert Burns Park play area on Monday. The upgrades to this popular pocket park on Beverly Boulevard included a new play structure, benches, security lighting and security cameras.
The Council Office worked with neighbors and parents of park-using children to identify new elements to best suit the community. After months of planning, a new play structure was installed that has swings, slides, climbing and swinging features that children love.
“Every time I drive by this park, it is full of playing children,” Councilmember LaBonge said. “The community has been pleased with the upgrades and the park looks terrific. I’m pleased.” The new features cost about $175,000 and were funded through Quimby funds, garnered through new condo development in the neighborhood.
More upgrades are planned: the shaded picnicking area is next on the agenda for replacement. "Kids love this park," said neighborhood mom Katie Trevino. "There something fun to do for kids of all ages."
Come out and enjoy two arts festivals - TarFest and the NoHo Scene Festival - in CD4 from October 3-5.
Take the bus or ride a bicycle to TarFest for three days of art, film, music and even a fun run. Click here for more information. Take the Metro to the NoHo Scene Festival on Lankershim Blvd. on Sunday, Oct. 5, 11a-8p for a multi-faceted celebration of performing and fine arts. Click here
for more info.
In an effort to promote tourism in Downtown Los Angeles, Councilmembers Jan Perry and José Huizar joined Councilmember LaBonge and Starline Tours in launching a new downtown bus tour.
Starline Tours is offering the Downtown Hop-on, Hop-off tour after tremendous success with a similar service in Hollywood over the past year.
“After working with Starline Tours to launch a hop-on, hop-off service in Hollywood, I am very excited to see this happening Downtown,” said Councilmember Tom LaBonge. “Tours like this are popular in cities around the globe. Good for Starline Tours for taking the initiative and making it happen here in Downtown Los Angeles."
The London style double-decker bus tour is narrated and has 14 stops where guests can hop-on and hop-off over a 24 or 48-hour period of time. As part of the new service and at no extra cost, Starline Tours will connect the Downtown LA route with the Hollywood Hop-on, Hop-off tour using a shuttle service between Hollywood and Downtown LA. This will make it possible for visitors to see the sights from Beverly Hills to Downtown LA, all on one Starline Tours Hop-on, Hop-off ticket. "Downtown Los Angeles is home to some great cultural and historic treasures. Iconic buildings like City Hall and the Walt Disney Concert Hall coupled with new entertainment venues like L.A. LIVE make Downtown an ideal tourist destination," said Councilmember Jan Perry, who represents a large portion of Downtown Los Angeles. “Exploring our urban core via an open-air bus is an ideal way of seeing all the outstanding sites that we have to offer.”
LA INC., the Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau, will sell tickets for Starline Tours Hop-on, Hop-off service at its Visitor Information Centers in Downtown LA (685 S. Figueroa) and Hollywood (6801 Hollywood Blvd.). 24 hour tickets cost $30. 48 hour tickets cost $40 for adults and $30 for children. Family ticket packages covering transportation for 2 adults and up to 3 children cost $90 (24 hours) or $125 (48 hours).
About 50 hikers - and several quadrupeds - joined Tom for his annual Fall Equinox Hike on Tuesday evening. The Councilmember led hikers - some of whom brought their dogs and in one instance a horse - up a gradual trail to the top of Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park.
Along the sloping trail up to the peak 1,625 feet above sea level, the group was able to view the remarkable recovery that Griffith Park has undergone since a devastating fire 18 months ago.
“This was a great evening to take in the sweeping views of the park and see how much new vegetation has grown in during the past year,” said Councilmember LaBonge. “I love celebrating the park and the change of seasons with this annual hike.”
Please join Councilmembers LaBonge, Perry and Huizar as they help launch a new Starline Tours service in Downtown Los Angeles.
Beginning this week, Starline will offer a hop-on-hop-off service downtown, which will allow riders to visit sites at their leisure and then return to the route as they wish. The new service will ride in a 30-minute loop, stopping in Chinatown, the Civic Center, the Disney Concert Hall, the Grand Central Market, Little Tokyo and the Broadway Theater District, among other locales. It is modeled on similar services offered in cities throughout Europe and the U.S.
"This tour will help further the revitalization of downtown by showing off the great architectural and cultural landmarks of Los Angeles," Councilmember LaBonge said.
The service is being launched with a press conference on Wednesday, Sept. 24 at 10 a.m. in front of the Plaza Firehouse on Olvera Street. Free tours will be available after the event. For more information, click here.
With help from Pilgrim School students, Councilmember LaBonge planted the 50th new crape myrtle tree in Koreatown as the school celebrated its half-century mark.
"I'm a big fan of children because I have two children and I used to be one," the councilmember said to the school's 350 students on Sept. 15th. "Give yourselves and Pilgrim School a big hand for celebrating your 50th anniversary at this beautiful site in Koreatown."
Pilgrim is the only fully accredited Kindergarten-through-12th-grade independent school in the Los Angeles urban core and the most ethnically diverse private school in the state of California.
Through the City's Million Trees LA program, Pilgrim students and staff planted 50 trees near the school this year. For more information about Million Trees LA, please click here.
Please join Tom and the Council District 4 staff for our annual Fall Equinox Hike in Griffith Park on Tues., Sept. 23 at 6:15 p.m. Meet us at the north end of the Griffith Observatory parking lot for the spectacular city views of this sunset hike. Contact Jullian Harris-Calvin for more information.