(March 3rd, 2011; Los Angeles) – Responding to calls from the community, Councilmember Tom LaBonge helped secure approval from the City’s Cultural Heritage Commission for a new Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ) in the Hollywood Hills. Commissioners recommended that the full Los Angeles City Council approve the Hollywood Grove HPOZ at an upcoming future meeting. Councilmember LaBonge said, “This is a wonderful opportunity to preserve another great neighborhood. These are beautiful Craftsman style homes. There’s a lot of love in that neighborhood, and I applaud the community for their tenacious efforts to get this Historic Preservation Overlay Zone.” The Hollywood Grove neighborhood is a quaint community of historic Hollywood bungalows, north of Franklin Avenue, between Canyon Drive and Saint Andrews Place. These bungalows were built between 1905 and 1939 and 78% of them are very much intact. Councilmember LaBonge helped the community push hard for a speedy adoption of this historic district. The matter goes to the City Planning Commission for approval on March 10th, then on to the City Council.
The time is NOW to be heard on the proposed expansion of Universal Studios. The Public Comment Period ends on February 4th. Take your opportunity to comment on the draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR). Everybody deserves an opportunity to be heard on this massive project, with more than two-million square feet of new development. All comments that are received before February 4th -- written or verbal -- must be responded to in the Final EIR. For many of us, the main issue is TRAFFIC. I certainly have concerns about the plan's impact on traffic in the area. I believe good development can occur and I would support NBC Universal's project, IF and only IF, the project mitigates traffic. There are opportunities to get a bikeway along the Los Angeles River. Pinch-points in the Cahuenga Pass must be resolved, and it's extremely important to get a Hollywood Freeway southbound on-ramp at Universal Studios Boulevard. And certainly, improvements to the Hollywood Freeway interchange should occur sooner rather than later. If you have any questions about how to submit your comment before February 4th, please contact our office at 213-485-3337.
Los Angeles Councilmember Tom LaBonge and his entire City Hall staff were joined by Playboy founder Hugh M. Hefner, (pictured, center in hat and red shirt) The Trust for Public Land and the Hollywood Sign Trust to thank the community and the donors who raised money and awareness to save Cahuenga Peak from development. Spearheaded by Councilmember LaBonge, the 12.5-million dollar acquisition of Cahuenga Peak adds 138 acres to Griffith Park and preserves the land in its natural state for wildlife and future Angelenos to enjoy for generations to come. "This is a peak moment for the City of Los Angeles as we celebrate with the Trust for Public Land and the angels who helped us expand Griffith Park by acquiring Cahuenga Peak," said Councilmember LaBonge. "The Tiffany & Co. Foundation, Aileen Getty and Hugh M. Hefner as well as the people of Los Angeles and California join us in this great celebration. They're all angels in the City of Angels."
The Cahuenga Boulevard area of Studio City/North Hollywood was named the safest big city neighborhood in the United States this week. Research combining crime and neighborhood statistics on the personal finance blog WalletSpot found that Cahuenga Boulevard area residents have a 1 in 1,042 chance of being a victim of a crime in that neighborhood.
That makes it safer than 98% of all neighborhoods across the nation--from the smallest towns to the biggest cities.
"Los Angeles is full of great neighborhoods and some of the best neighborhoods are right here in District Four," Councilmember LaBonge said. "I'm proud of our neighborhoods and it's clear that efforts of my office, the LAPD and the Studio City and Hollywood Hills West neighborhood councils have maintained a stable, safe community for so many people."
To see more statistics about the nation's safest big city neighborhood, please click here.
Members of the LA Fire Department, Police Department and California Highway Patrol lit up Hollywood for Tom's annual 10-4 Day Parade on Monday. The group caravaned up Hollywood Boulevard in vintage police cars to salute Los Angeles public safety personnel. Special guests included radio host KRTH’s Shotgun Tom Kelly and actor Larry Wilcox, co-star of the late 70s TV show, "CHiPs."
“The parade is intended to be fun, but it does carry a serious message. Let’s appreciate our public safety officers and all they do to protect and serve the public,” said Councilmember LaBonge.
The group paid homage to beloved television cop, Broderick Crawford, with a brief ceremony at his Walk of Fame star. The actor played CHP Chief Dan Mathews in the popular series Highway Patrol from 1955-59.
This year’s event was dedicated to Art Gilmore who was the narrator of all 156 episodes of Highway Patrol. He passed away Saturday, September 25, at the age of 98. Gilmore was a broadcast professional and actor since the 1930’s and became known as Hollywood’s number one pitchman. He was remembered as a great Angeleno who will be deeply missed by his fans worldwide.
Councilmember LaBonge and the Trust for Public Land (TPL) led a successful fundraising effort this year to acquire 138-acre Cahuenga Peak as an expansion of Griffith Park.
So, what's next?
The Councilmember formed a committee this week to identify other undeveloped parcels of land adjacent to the park that the city can consider acquiring as well.
"There's nothing like a wilderness mountain that you can see from almost any place in the city," the Councilmember told eight of the committee members at its first meeting last night. "Maybe there are other parcels near Cahuenga Peak that we could protect from development and open to all Angelenos for hiking." The Cahuenga Peak Next Steps Committee will meet over the next six months to help plan the Cahuenga Peak celebration event and begin the next steps.
Councilmember Tom LaBonge flipped the switch at a ceremony on Wednesday, to turn Hollywood blue in support of the Prostate Cancer Research Institute’s (PCRI) Blue September Campaign. Dr. Mark Scholz, co-founder of PCRI and Jim Kuha, Senior Director of EMI Music North America, joined the Councilmember at the ceremony.
“It’s so important for Americans to learn how to speak frankly about this disease that affects 180,000 American men every year,” Councilmember LaBonge said. “This is my call to action for the people of Los Angeles and across the world: Let’s take care of ourselves, get your yearly prostate exam and let’s fight this killer.”
Buildings going blue include the Capitol Records Building, Paramount Studio’s Melrose Gate and Water Tower the historic Roosevelt Hotel and the Ramada of West Hollywood. International organizations are also showing their solidarity with the campaign, including The Harbor Bridge in Sydney, Australia and the Parliament House in Melbourne, Australia.
Prostate Cancer is the most common cancer in males in the Western world. Each year, 27,000 American men die from prostate cancer and 180,000 men are diagnosed with the disease. Over 2 million American men and women are currently living with the disease. Studies have shown links between a high-calorie diet and prostate cancer—a fact for serious consideration in Los Angeles where obesity has been on the rise. A 2003 report from the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services stated nearly 55% of Los Angeles residents are obese or overweight.
The Blue September Campaign, launched by the Prostate Cancer Research Institute, aims to raise awareness about prostate cancer. The PCRI was founded in 1996, with the objective of educating patients and their families about prostate cancer.
For more information about Blue September or PCRI, please go to www.blueseptember.org.
Chuck Berry, the music legend, guitarist, lyricist, singer and pioneer of rock ‘n’ roll, was honored by Councilmember Tom LaBonge and adoring music fans at the Hollywood and Highland Center on Friday.
“It is my pleasure to honor Chuck Berry because he is an American icon,” Councilmember LaBonge said. “He is a worldwide idol of rock ‘n’ roll and we thank him for his many years of music genius. Special thanks to the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce for honoring one of our brightest stars on the 50th Anniversary of the Hollywood Walk of Fame.”
Councilmember LaBonge declared July 2, 2010 “Chuck Berry Day” with a presentation of a resolution from the City of Los Angeles. The Councilmember also presented a plaque of Chuck Berry’s Hollywood Walk of Fame Star on behalf of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. Congresswoman Diane Watson issued a certificate of commendation in honor of Berry’s long list of musical accolades. The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce was also in attendance.
“It is such an honor to receive a day in my name and this beautiful replica of my Hollywood Walk of Fame Star,” Chuck Berry said. “It’s like a dream. I will do my best to deserve this tribute during the years I have left.”
“On behalf of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce we welcome you back to Hollywood during the Walk of Fame’s 50th Anniversary,” Scott Moe, Treasurer of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce said. “We are proud to have you as a legendary Walk of Famer.”
Hundreds of music fans gathered to honor the elusive rock legend on Los Angeles’ Chuck Berry Day, many of whom then traveled to Irvine to see Berry perform at the Oak Canyon Ranch.
Known for such hits as "Maybellene" (1955), "Roll Over Beethoven" (1956), "Rock and Roll Music" (1957) and "Johnny B. Goode" (1958), the star has captivated fans for generations.